The average Psychological horror film is just that, psychological. Cat and mouse, stalking, the usually. The one thing the average psychological horror film is missing is blood and gore. Sure you may get a scene here or there but nothing like you would in say a slasher film. Well back in 1981 a little film starring Lauren Bacall and James Garner came out that combined those two elements. The film was called The Fan.
Lauren Bacall plays Sally Ross, a film star who as it would turn out has an obsessed fan named Doug Breen (Michael Biehn) who is not only a huge fan, but an deranged lunatic as well. He has spent quiet a bit of time writing Sally rambling love letters and such, but she’s never seen them. Her assistant reads them when checking her mail and at one point even responds to one telling Doug to leave her alone. Sally finds out about this and actually gets mad at her assistant, Belle, for being mean to a fan. Doug meanwhile has become even more obsessed with meeting Sally, and works up the nerve to deliver a letter to her personally. He follows her to a rehearsal for a play she is doing and hands it to one of the workers. He goes and watches to see if Sally gets it, but when the letter is given to Belle and she becomes disgusted he figures out that Sally has not been getting his letter. He gets a bit mad and stabs her in the face a few times while she waits for the subway.
Doug get a lot more unstable. He starts stalking Sally more and more, breaks into her place, kills a few people, writing horrible filthy disturbing letters. You name it. He really is insane, and he’s now more than ever determined to meet her.
This film is great. Tense, bloody, well-acted, you name it. I firmly believe the violence is what hindered this film during its original box office run. Bacall is great as the damsel in distress roll and plays her part perfectly. James Garner does a fine job as her ex husband who she’s reconnecting with, but its Michael Biehn that steals the show. Michael as you may recall played Kyle Reese in The Terminator. This role was a few years before and he was fantastic. Very creepy, and twisted. He is simply a deranged lunatic that you will feel no sympathy for. He plays this part to perfection. He alone is reason enough to watch this film.
A long lost classic in the horror community The Fan was originally given a simple on demand DVD release. Well now the fine folks over at Scream Factory are giving it the treatment it deserves. A fantastic transfer in both terms of audio and video, this looks amazing. The picture is marvelous. The contrasts between light and dark are smooth and look real at times. The audio is great, as this film has a really good score that sounds amazing in surround sound. They have even loaded it up with special features.
NEW Number One Fan – An Interview With Actor Michael Biehn
NEW Fan Service – An Interview With Director Edward Bianchi
NEW Fanning The Flames – An Interview With Editor Alan Heim
NEW Audio Commentary With Cult Film Director David DeCoteau And Film Historian David Del Valle, Moderated By Scream Factory Marketing Director Jeff Nelson
One of the best thrills you have never seen is what I like to say. This is a must for fans of suspense and horror alike. You cant go wrong with this amazing cast, great practical effects, and just a tense paced story. Head on over and pre-order this today.
Overall 4 out of 5 Stars!