As soon as I saw Franco Nero‘s beautiful blue eyes peering out from beneath his golden Space Jesus locks I knew that this movie was going to do something weird to my head. How could it not, when into the room of bald-headed children stolls the voice of Gandolf, the voice of God, one of the greatest film directors of all time, John Huston, playing the role of Jerzy Colsowicz, alien visitor – alien savior. If you’ve ever wondered what it would look like if Jodorowsky directed Damien: Omen II while blackout drunk, then look no further. Giulio Paradisi‘s 1979 forgotten classic, The Visitor, is now available thanks to the fine folks at Drafthouse Films (since few people can get their hands on the 2010 Code Red release) and while it demands a looser interpretation of plot and motivation than a mainstream film might, The Visitor is a film that also demands attention. The story, straight out of Heavy Metal or Humanoids Press, concerns a little girl, Katy Collins – played with piss and obscene vinegar by Paige Conner – whose telekinetic powers make her the focus of a struggle between Good and Evil. Evil wants her mom, Barbara Collins (Joanne Nail) to birth a baby boy, so that Katy will have a mutant incest mate to help her take over the world – or something to that effect. Evil – personified as a malevolent businessman/doctor by Mel Ferrer – recruits Lance Henriksen (who had actually been in Damien: Omen II just a year earlier) to convince Barbara to get married and pregnant. But she’s having none of it. Katy is a freak child and she doesn’t want another. Enter John Huston as babysitter/Alien-Visitor-Savior and Shelley Winters as housekeeper/Space-Jesus-Spy who try to rein in Katy’s increasingly surreal violence in order to save her mother and us all. Throw Glenn Ford and Sam Peckinpah into the mix as a persistent detective and a jaded abortion doctor respectively, and you’ve got the makings of an epic drunken Saturday movie night with friends. Drafthouse Films knows how to pick ’em. Pair this baby up with Miami Connection and you may have the most amazing night of horribly bad, but remarkably pure-of-heart films humanly possible. If you were to toss Starcrash in there, you might just reach Low-Budget-Nirvana before the night was through. Despite what the interviews with Lance Henriksen and writer Lou Comici (of one draft of a screenplay that morphed more than Tetsuo in the final act of Akira) will tell you, there is a story here. It probably wasn’t coherent from inside the process of bringing it to the screen – and the cut Henriksen saw in New York back in ’79 was, admittedly, a horrendous cut – so the bonus interviews are at least entertaining as they both regale us with stories of madness, guns, and incomprehensible direction from Paradisi. Although Cinematographer Ennio Guarnieri has far more favorable things to say about the director, the cast, and pretty much everyone involved with the production. The Blu-ray release of The Visitor is a beautiful (but not pristine) print, uncut and complete for the first time ever (except for that pesky Code Red release) and includes a nice booklet featuring Alamo Drafthouse programmer Zack Carlson discussing the production, the original release, and the Drafthouse re-release with writer/producer Ovidio G. Assonitis. This is where you get some good tidbits of information, like the fact that Peckinpah was so horrible to work with his part was cut to just one scene and the rest of the film had to be reworked to make sense without him. And according to Assonitis, John Huston loved the final result and even had a copy of the film on his shelf as he lay dying. Go ahead. Ask Huston about it. Oh wait. In all honesty, your mileage is going to vary with this film. But all I can tell you is that if you can’t see the inherent psycho-social value in John Huston as an Alien Savior working with Franco Nero as Space Jesus, Shelly Winters as a straight-talking housekeeper, and a roomful of bald mystical children to save us all from a foul-mouthed female Damien and the Boardroom of Oppressive Evil, then I just don’t know you anymore. Who are you? See larger image The Visitor [Blu-ray] + Digital Copy New From: $18.98 USD In Stock Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.