07/25/2014  
Prom Night on Blu-ray and DVD Sep 9Ghostbusters & Ghostbusters II in Theaters Aug 29 & Blu-ray Sep 16Toy Story of Terror! On Blu-ray + Digital Copy, DVD, and More Aug 19The Railway Man on Early Digital Aug 1 on DVD/Blu-ray Aug 12Gangster on DVD & VOD Jul 22Spartacus: The Complete Collection on Blu-ray, Digital HD, DVD Sep 16Awkward: Season 3 on DVD Aug 5

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Prom Night on Blu-ray and DVD Sep 9...
Nick Jonas Releases 'Chains' Single ...
Ghostbusters & Ghostbusters II in Theaters Aug 29 & Blu...
'Bosom Buddies' Star Donna Dixon Resurfaces, Stunning a...
'Fargo' will return to FX next season but with new ca...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
CREAM FAREWELL CONCERT...
JACK REACHER...
MANBORG...

CA Chuck Aliaga

CORRUPTION (BLU-RAY)...
THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
TANK GIRL (BLU-RAY)...
HORROR STORIES...
THE UNINVITED (BLU-RAY)...

RR Rich Rosell

THE GIRL...
THE HORDE...
LIFE IS SWEET (BLU-RAY)...
SHOUT AT THE DEVIL (BLU-RAY/DVD COMBO)...
THE BLUE ANGEL (BLU-RAY)...

MZ Mark Zimmer

BABY PEGGY: THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM...
STORAGE WARS: VOLUME THREE...
Take Part in a Film Restoration...
THE 39 STEPS (BLU-RAY)...
DARK SHADOWS: THE BEST OF BARNABAS...

JS Jesse Shanks

2 BROKE GIRLS...
DOWNTON ABBEY SEASONS ONE & TWO LIMITED EDITION...
FLORENCE AND THE SPIRIT OF THE RENAISSANCE...
NAZI COLLABORATORS...
KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP (BLU-RAY)...
PURPLE NOON (BLU-RAY)...
WEEKEND (BLU-RAY)...
JUAN OF THE DEAD...
THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
SALO, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...

JC Joel Cunningham

YOJIMBO/SANJURO...
SUMMER HOURS (L'heure d't)...
WIZARD OF OZ...
WINGS OF DESIRE...
HORTON HEARS A WHO!...

DH Dan Heaton

REVANCHE...
LAST DAYS OF DISCO...
NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
STARGATE SG-1: CHILDREN OF THE GODS...
STARGATE ATLANTIS: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
MANAGEMENT...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...

KC Kevin Clemons

Freddy Got Fingered...

JU Jeff Ulmer

Secure The Second Season of The Border on DVD August 25...
THE WALTONS: THE COMPLETE 9TH SEASON...
Dance Me Outside kicks onto DVD May 6, 2008...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Synapse Films presents
Long Weekend (1978)

"Actually, we're, uh, not talking at the moment."
- Marcia (Briony Behets)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga  
Published: September 26, 2005

Stars: John Hargreaves, Briony Behets
Director: Colin Eggleston

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (adult situations, nudity, graphic violence)
Run Time: 01h:35m:02s
Release Date: September 27, 2005
UPC: 654930304594
Genre: horror


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A AA-A B

DVD Review

What qualifies a film as a cult classic? That term is thrown around quite liberally, but most people associate the term with time-honored projects like The Evil Dead, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Re-Animator. It used to be that the only way to catch these hidden gems was at a midnight screening or if you were lucky enough to have the right cable TV channel on late some Saturday night. Now, the DVD boom and greater theatrical exposure have made cult films much more accessible, therefore challenging their very (albeit inferred) definition. 1978's Long Weekend truly does deserve the "cult classic" moniker, though, as it simply embodies everything the aforementioned gems brought to the table.

Long Weekend was directed by Australian Colin Eggleston (Fantasm Comes Again) and written by Everett De Roche (Patrick), and the pair have crafted a genuinely creepy thriller. Atmosphere is key to this film, with the Australian setting adding immeasurable value to the story, and the numerous close-up shots drawing us right into the claustrophobic nightmare that a pair of struggling spouses find themselves in.

The spouses in question are Peter (John Hargreaves) and Marcia (Briony Behets), a pair who are about to embark on a weekend camping trip in their native Australia. When a bleary-eyed Peter runs over a kangaroo on the way to the campsite, it proves to be a bad omen, to say the least. There is obvious tension between these two, as they are going on this trip to save their marriage. While Marcia is not aware of Peter's latest road kill victim, she soon encounters the campgrounds' many slimy inhabitants. They meet various snakes, vultures, and animals that are native to Australia, all of which seem to have some sort of chip on their shoulder.

This is a film that just has to slowly unfold to be effective. The plot isn't particularly complicated, but there are many layers to what we actually see on screen and what is inferred, meaning that any further plot synopsis would simply be a cheat to those who haven't seen it.

Long Weekend has so many things going for it that it's amazing just how obscure it is outside of Australia. Hargreaves and Behets are phenomenal in the lead roles, creating just the right amount of tense yet reserved love between them throughout the film. We aren't told up front why the tension exists, and the film is all the better for this subtle approach. There are plenty of gradual reveals, which, along with the mounting natural terror, keep the overall level of fear at a near boiling point. This is how to make an effective thriller, an art that is sadly in need of a renaissance.

The opening shot of a bug of some kind scaling a rocky wall perfectly sets the tone for the overall man vs. nature theme of the film. This often signals some form of schlocky, mutated form of an actual insect or animal of some kind. Long Weekend is the only other example of this old movie trend (the other is Hitchcock's classic, The Birds), where the project doesn't settle for the cheesy clichés of its counterparts. This is powered by a tightly written screenplay that really has us contemplating the impact and degree of revenge that nature does take on our protagonists. While their fates are decided by the creatures they have wronged, the way in which the film ends is terrifically original. The last 10 minutes are unforgettable, and reason enough that this more than deserves a bigger audience.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: When it comes to restoring old, probably messy source material, this anamorphic 2.35:1 widescreen presentation is exactly how it should be done. The gorgeous waterfront camping area looks magnificent, blistering with bright colors. When the sun is shining, we get perfectly rendered brightness, and the nighttime sequences are aided by solid blacks and shadow levels. The first 15 minutes or so do remind us of the film's age, but this is only a result of some grain and dirt that are virtually unnoticeable once the story really kicks into gear.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglishyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: Long Weekend can be watched with either the film's original mono soundtrack or a brand new, amazing Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. Most older films with 5.1 mixes on DVD don't feature many more dynamic upgrades than that music and sound effects are louder. This new track, though, brings the surrounds to life, cranking up the atmospheric effects and allowing us to hear each and every ambient sound that the characters encounter on their trip. I really didn't expect this picture to scare me much at all, but the various surprising sounds that pop in and out of the rear speakers were enough to make me turn a few more lights on in the house.

Audio Transfer Grade: A

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 16 cues and remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Producer Richard Brennan and cinematographer Vincent Monton.
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Still Gallery Featuring an Audio Interview with Actor John Hargreaves
Extras Review: A trio of extras are on board, and even the theatrical trailer that's here is worth a look. There's also an audio commentary featuring producer Richard Brennan and cinematographer Vincent Monton. This new track is full of very interesting, often heart-warming anecdotes about the making of Long Weekend, including plenty of reflections on what it was like working with director Colin Eggleston and the two protagonists, John Hargreaves and Briony Behets.

The best feature is a stills gallery, a type of extra that hardly ever receives such praise. In this case, the praise is worthy due to the inclusion of an audio interview with John Hargreaves, who has passed away. This track was recorded in August of 1995, when Hargreaves was interviewed by Tony Watts about his acting career.

Extras Grade: B

 

Final Comments

The perfect first part of a double-feature with the recent Open Water, 1978's Lost Weekend challenges us to decide between right and wrong, in the form of humans vs. nature. This virtually unknown project finally gets a chance at major exposure thanks to Synapse's DVD release. The restoration of the film's audio and video might be the best of the year so far, and there are a couple of extras that are worth a look as well.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

horror, music, nick jonas, jonas brothers, jason evigan, r&b, chains, comedy, television, donna dixon, bosom buddies, dan aykroyd, james brown biopic, get on up, saturday night live, doctor detroit, fx, fargo, martin freeman, billy bob thornton, allison tolman, animation, drama, tca awards, breaking bad, true detective, matther mcconaughey, hbo, itunes festival 2014, september, pharrell williams, kylie minogue, maroon 5, david guetta, sam smith, blondie, beck, kasabian, movie, philip seymour hoffman, february death, cooper, tallulah, willa, mimi odonnell, james cahill jr., david friedman, box office, movies, action, app, james garner, maverick, the rockford files, devine secrets of the ya-ya sisterhood, 8 simple rules, the children's hour, doris day, reality, marvel comics, thor, femail, god of thunder, mjolmir, super hero, johnny winter, blues guitar player, zurich switzerland, johnny winter album, willie dixon, walter horton, sex tape, the purge: anarchy, planes: fire & rescue, dawn of the planet of the apes, documentary, soccer, world cup, germany, argentina, mario goetze, dancing with the stars, abc, cheryl burke, botox, no eating disorder, no plastic surgery, simian flu, matt reeves, rick jaffa, amada silver, mark bomback, andy serkis, jason clark, keri russell, kodi smit-mcphee and gary oldman

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too
Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact