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Straw Dogs R2 First Look

We've just received a review copy of the R2 Special Edition of Sam Peckinpah's Straw Dogs and I'm delighted to confirm that Fremantle Media have pulled out all the stops on this one, making it an early candidate for R2 DVD of the year.

Along with a remastered, anamorphic transfer of the film, we get two fascinating commentary tracks. The first, featuring Peckinpah fans David Weddle, Garner Simmons and Paul Seydor, is a fascinating discussion which often breaks into disagreements and differing interpretations but also confirms the love these men have for Peckinpah and his films. Not a dull moment on this track I can assure you and it's one of the best such commentaries I have ever heard. The second track features a non-scene specific interview with Peckinpah's PA Katy Haber and it covers all the bases with some fascinating reminiscences of how Peckinpah's mind worked from a woman who knew him closely for the last 13 years of his life.

There are also three interviews, each of them about 25 minutes long. The best is with Susan George, still looking damn good, but the others - with Simmons and producer Daniel Melnick - are valuable too, even if the old "Is it sodomy or rear penetration in the rape scene" argument is muddied yet again by the latter.

The other extras are an ancient piece for South West TV which is in black and white and seriously damaged, but still rather special, the US trailer and TV/Radio spots, and a truly wondrous selection of articles and letters about the film.

Then, just when you think they've crammed as much onto a single disc as they possibly can, we get an isolated music track featuring a stereo remix of Jerry Fielding's fabulous score.

This is a great DVD of a great, hugely underrated film. A full review will be on its way early next week, along with some other Peckinpah items to mark the long awaited British release of Straw Dogs.

The disc, which has an uncut '18' certificate, is released on the 7th October.

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