Saturday, 18 June 2016

Enemy Mine (1985)

Wolfgang Petersen’s big budget mid 1980s science-fiction movie gets a gorgeous Blu-ray release courtesy of Eureka.
Coming across as a cross between Byron Haskin’s ROBINSON CRUSOE ON MARS (also released by Eureka recently) and John Boorman’s HELL IN THE PACIFIC, but with an alien instead of a Japanese navy captain, Petersen’s film takes place at the end of the 21st century. Man is exploring the stars and is in competition with the lizard-like Dracs for the best bits.

During a spaceship dogfight, Willis Davidge (Dennis Quaid) crash lands on an alien world, as does his opponent, Jeriba (Louis Gossett, Jr). Initially opposed, the two come to understand one another out of necessity, surviving both the elements and the alien wildlife. Then it turns out that Jeriba is pregnant

Adapted by Edward Khmara (LADYHAWKE) from a short story by Barry Longyear, ENEMY MINE manages to be both a buddy movie (from the era of Richard Donner’s LETHAL WEAPON) and a feelgood space adventure. Fans of Jon Pertwee-era DR WHO will no doubt feel a few nostalgic rumblings, and not just about the alien Draconian race - the alien root thing from Death to the Daleks pops up a couple of times as well.

A film that went wildly over budget and never made it back, at least all the money is on screen - the model work, matte paintings and especially Chris Walas’ alien makeup are all excellent. ENEMY MINE suffered from marketing problems on its initial release and never really found its audience, turning it into one of those cult sleeper items that many remember fondly even though it’s not one many fans would mention if they were asked to list ten great SF films of the 1980s.

Eureka’s disc has an extended scene and a trailer as extras, which is a bit of a shame as there’s plenty to talk about regarding the making of this. The movie started off under the direction of Richard Loncraine, shooting in Iceland but when things allegedly went a bit out of control, Petersen was brought in a reshot everything. Rumour has it the original footage still exists in a Twentieth Century Fox vault. If it does, it certainly doesn’t resurface on this disc.
        That said, ENEMY MINE looks great on Eureka’s Blu-ray, and the 5.1 sound mix sounds great as well. A very nice presentation of an underrated piece of 1980s SF. 

Wolfgang Petersen's ENEMY MINE is out on UK Blu-ray from Eureka on Monday 20th June 2016

No comments:

Post a Comment