We all know David Cronenberg is a national treasure here in Canada. But I really think he is a treasure to the entire filmmaking world. There are few directors with such unique vision and style and Cronenberg has a knack of examining the human condition through stories of horror and other genres that elevate his films to a whole different level. From his early works like Rabid, Videodrome and The Brood to his big screen classics The Dead Zone and The Fly, Cronenberg remains one of the most influential and unique voices in film. One of his most unique and underrated thrillers from the 80s, Dead Ringers, has finally arrived on Blu-ray in a wonderful Collectors Edition from Shout Factory.
Beverly and Elliott Mantle (both played by Jeremy Irons) are twin gynecologists who have always taken advantage of the fact that no one can tell them apart. They share a practice, an apartment, and on occasion, women. When one woman, Claire Niveau (Geneviève Bujold), falls in love with the submissive Beverly, dominant twin Elliott is upset and the relationship causes a rift between them that could end tragically.
Dead Ringers is a masterwork of storytelling. It is also the first film to utilize CG to blend environments to achieve a more realistic twins effect with Irons playing both brothers. The result is still astounding today. Irons gives two of the best performances of his career as the Mantle twins and makes your forget from the first scenes that the two men are being played by the same actor. And Cronenberg’s direction here is calculated and confident and infuses the film with a surreal quality that is bone chilling from the first frames. Dead Ringers is very disturbing and a fascinating portrait of madness. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
The new Dead Ringers: Collectors Edition features a hi def transfer of the widescreen theatrical print of the film as well as a new 2K scan of the film at the directors preferred ratio as well as a new audio commentary with writer William Beard, author of The Artist As Monster: The Cinema Of David Cronenberg, a commentary with Jeremy Irons, tons of new interviews with key crew members and lots of vintage special features. This is a beautiful new edition and a fascinating and masterful film that has to be seen to be believed.