The Ugly DVD

Ugly, The - 1997

Essential Productions - 93 min.

DVD UPC/EAN # 031398689430; 5014293131353; 5055002550096

Cast: Paolo Rotondo, Rebecca Hobbs, Paul Glover, Chris Graham, Roy Ward, Jennifer Ward-Lealand.
Writer: Scott Reynolds; Photography: Simon Raby; Editor: Wayne Cook; Music: Victoria Kelly; Producer: Jonathan Dowling; Director: Scott Reynolds.

Simon is a maniac who has killed a large number of people by cutting their throats with a razor and has been kept for years in a rather gloriously macabre mental institution, in the tender care of an extremely odd doctor and a couple of comparably sadistic orderlies. He has asked to be assessed for fitness to stand trial by the celebrated Dr Karen Schumaker. When Karen interviews the slight, soft-spoken young man, we discover, through a series of flashbacks, that although Simon has killed countless people, its all OK because he was dyslexic, came in for some teasing at school, had a tyrannical mother, and hallucinated a lot. Karen finds out the hard way what everyone, except apparently her, knows - that Simon is a dangerous loony and not to be trusted.

Censor rating: R18 - Review rating: B-

The Ugly
Official MP4 Trailer


New R2 PAL DVDs can be found for about 6#. The R2 disc is presented 1.33:1 with 2.0 stereo sound, trailer and filmographies. New R1 NTSC DVDs are selling in the U.S. for about $10us. The R1 disc is presented 1.82:1 anamorphic with 2.0 dolby digital surround sound, trailer and subtitles for English, French or Spanish.

On 6 October, 2010, a PAL R0 version, presented 1.33:1 with 2.0 stereo sound and no extras became available from New Zealand resellers for under $15nz

Aro Video of Wellington has rental copies available for any New Zealand address

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Four Word Film Review

"When I wrote it and when I made it I wanted to play with emotion and I thought it would be really interesting to do the story of a serial killer from a serial killer's p.o.v - to see what he sees, feel what he feels. I tried to make it where he was one of the most sane characters in it, he's also one of the most calmest at times and I really just wanted to try and make you feel something for him, maybe it's sympathy, maybe it's empathy. It definitely takes risks, the fact that it's quite violent and doesn't shy away from it, is a risk, the fact that it's about a serial killer is a risk because we've seen that done so many times before..." - (Scott Reynolds interviewed by Jonathan Dennis, Film Show, National Radio, August 24, 1997)

"The Ugly feels a lot like a piece of filmed theatre, with its small cast locked up for most of the film's duration and a story told almost entirely in narrated flashbacks. For this reason, the somewhat shrill performances of the entire cast, except for Paolo Rotondo as Simon, seem apt for the rising crescendo of insanity [...] Its ingenuity lies instead in the insidious way it turns from character study to gothic horror [...] The finale, however, though unsettling, takes a detour into the incomprehensible that tends to reduce the whole film in retrospect into a malicious shaggy dog story. Nevertheless, there is a lot to admire and be disturbed by here" - (Kim Newman, Sight and Sound, [unsourced], pg.56)


Listener, v.160no.2991(Aug.30 1997)
Metro, no.195(Sept.1997)
New Zealand herald, Aug.28, 1997


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1997 - New Zealand Film Awards - Best Prosthetics Design.
1997 - Sitges Catalonian International Film Festival - Best Director.
1997 - Fantafestival - Best Actor: Paolo Rotondo
1997 - Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival - Audience Choice Award
1998 - Fantaporto - Best Actress: Rebecca Hobbs - Special Mention.

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