Maybe it should have stayed buried, in this British mockumentary horror.
Ever since he saw E.T. as a child, James Parker (James Powell) has wanted more than anything to make films. After leaving University, instead of settling down and getting a job as his parents wish, he follows his dream and enters the film industry at the bottom rung – an unpaid job as a runner at a production company called Equator Films. Tasked with providing an inventory of an old storage warehouse, he discovers cans of film from the 1980s for an unfinished black and white horror film called The Street Walker about the activities of a serial killer. James decides to complete the film. Big mistake.
Resurrecting “The Street Walker” is a first feature by Ozgur Uyanik and it’s inspired in part by his own experiences as working as a runner. (You do hope the rest of the film isn’t autobiographical, though…) The film takes the form of a documentary – not an assemblage of found footage (as in The Blair Witch Project, The Last Broadcast, Cloverfield and so on) but as a reconstruction after the fact, complete with narration (provided by Uyanik), talking-heads interviews, still photographs and fly-on-the-wall video footage shot by James at the time of the events. Much of what follows will be familiar to horror fans: the obsession that spirals into madness. It’s not hard to guess which character will be on the receiving end of it. (A particular character’s The following text contains spoilers. Click and drag over this box to view.pregnancy seems to be included just to up the ante of nastiness.)
This type of film stands or falls on its cast, who absolutely cannot be seen to be “acting” or else the illusion of reality is shattered. Uyanik manages this very well, and his “reality” footage (shot in HD) and the grainy 16mm visuals of the film-within-the-film are well achieved. While the scenes of the killer at work are not as gruesome as they could be – Uyanik suggests more than he shows – this isn’t a film for the squeamish and certainly more likely to appeal to fans of the genre than anyone else.
Resurrecting “The Street Walker” is released by Kaleidoscope on a dual-layered DVD encoded for all regions. It begins with trailers for Splintered, Stag Night, Colin and Pontypool.
There shouldn’t be anything wrong with a DVD transfer of a HD-originated film made in 2009, and there isn’t. The transfer is in the ratio of 1.78:1 and anamorphically enhanced. It manages the changes of image medium ably enough: from sharp HD to grainy film to boisy video. Colours are fine, blacks solid.
The soundtrack is Dolby Surround (2.0), though pretty much monophonic except for a music score. The track is clear and well balanced, especially the dialogue, which is just as well as there are no subtitles for the hard of hearing.
The extras begin with cast and crew interviews (31:09), in order James Parker, Ozgur Uyanik, producer Ian Prior, Tom Shaw, Gregory Duke and Lorna Beckett. Uyanik tells how he found a genuine unfinished film when he was working as a runner: Dark Blood the abandoned film that River Phoenix was making when he suddnenly died.
Next up are deleted scenes (32:58), put together as a single item with twenty-four chapter stops. The extras are completed by test footage (6:33) and the trailer (1:46).
It’s the end, but the moment has been prepared for…
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