Mesmerized DVD

Mesmerized still

Mesmerized aka: Shocked - 1984

RKO/Challenge Film Productions - 96 min.
DVD UPC # 056775128890; 090328902391; 096009010034; 090328220082; 728665901202; 779836113696; 779836224095; 5050232705483; 619543002732; 779836202598; 5050232715581; 798622307927

Cast: Jodie Foster, John Lithgow, Michael Murphy, Dan Shor, Harry Andrews, Reg Evans, Beryl Te Wiata, Sarah Peirse,Jonathan Hardy, Philip Holder, Don Selwyn, Derek Hardwick.
Screenplay: Michael Laughlin; Photography: Louis Horvath; Editor: Petra von Oelffen; Original Music: Georges Delerue; Producer: Anthony Ginnane; Director: Michael Laughlin.

A weird drama, set in the Bay of Islands area, about an innocent orphan who weds a stern older man. It is based upon the Victoria Thompson murder case in the 1880's. She becomes a woman held captive to the bizarre torment of her deranged husband. An ensuing love triangle combines passion, deception and deceit in ways that can only lead to murder; a clever murder, a revengeful murder that is based on the powers of hypnosis. This is not even close to THE PIANO. Weak acting, script and direction.

Censor Rating: M - Review Rating: C

Official MP4 Trailer


New NTSC VHS or R1 & R0 DVD copies are available from numerous U.S. or Canadian sources for less than $10us. Used copies are about $5. There are a large number of distributors of this title and I have yet to see one that is, technically, top notch - some are just a bit better, or worse, than another, but the dvds are somewhat technically improved. The film is presented 1.33:1 with dolby digital 2.0 sound. Some distributors have included a few extras such as major cast bios and synopsis of the film, but nothing extensive.
Starting 05 March 2014, an R0 Pal re-release became available from Australian and New Zealand resellers.

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Four Word Film Review

"Technically, pic is first rate, with a fine Georges Delerue score and notable camerawork from Louis Horvath. A scene in which Lithgow's teeth are pulled out is gruesome, but overall the film, being billed as a horror item, is notably lacking in horror, suspense or tension. It remains frustratingly bland and, ultimately, rather pointless" - (Variety, November 5, 1986)

"Actors Equity will consider direct protest action against the $1.5 million film production Mesmerised for its use of five overseas actors [...] Actors Equity president Mr John McDavitt said many actors were angry that New Zealanders had been deprived of work in those roles. He considers only [Jodie] Foster was famous enough to give the film extra box office attraction overseas [...] 'The producer (Tony Ginnane) isn't the slightest bit interested in us - he casted the American actors without even auditioning Kiwis. The company is just 'using' New Zealand'" - ("Actors choose direct protest", Auckland Star, June 21, 1984)


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