Director – Michael Anderson (Orca)
Starring – Cliff Robertson (Spider-Man), Jean Simmons (Dark Shadows), and Jenny Agutter (The Avengers)
Release Date – 1979
Rating – 1.5/5
Blu Release – 3/5
Tagline – “A story of the macabre… with a different twist”
Several years ago I bought one of those box sets that had about 15 or 20 public domain horror movies. A good portion of those films were movies I had never heard of before. I picked through it a few oddities I had never seen before and one of the them was the 1979 thriller Dominique and I reviewed it on my blog. Title and cover art are pivotal when making and marketing a movie.
Titles and artwork spark imagination and intrigue so I went into Dominique not expecting much. There is nothing appealing about that title. I gave it a spin and didn’t care for it. Jump forward several years and the fine folks over at Vinegar Syndrome released the film on blu. I absolutely adore Vin Syn and when they sent this release over I knew I was in for a long evening.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows David Ballard (Robertson) and his wife Dominique (Simmons). David is a greedy asshole that wants to drive his wife insane so he can take all her money. He succeeds and Dominique hangs herself. However, she just does not stay dead. David keeps seeing her when he least expects it. Is he too going crazy or did someone steall a page from his book?**Spoiler Alert**
When people today complain and say Hollywood is no longer producing original films clearly have not watched any of the movies in these giant horror movie box sets. Big budget films have a history of “borrowing” from other films often rehashing similar ideas and applying what they think are clever twists. This particular film falls prey to just that.
The acting is what you would expect from a film of this caliber. For back in the day it did have a somewhat rather large budget which allowed them to buy some decent actors. Though, none are truly A-listers but they did do a great job at portraying their roles. Sadly, this is the only praise I can give this one.
The story was almost word for word as another film I reviewed from that same box set. That film, Nightmare Castle, was also about a greedy asshole that attempts to drive his wife insane only to be haunted by ghosts. This one is done in a different manner with some changes but really does not offer up anything fun or entertaining. If the movie wanted to borrow the same plot it could have done it a different way or at least made some major changes to keep the audience intrigued. The pacing is all wrong and the flow of the film is odd. You will find yourself browsing social media more than actually watching this one
Finally, those of you looking for special effects and on screen kills will definitely miss out when watching this one. No deaths nor special effects can be seen in this one. In fact, this movie can hardly be called a horror film other than the classic gothic atmosphere reminiscent of classic films such as Dracula and Frankenstein. We get some tense suspense in certain scenes but the film fails to pull it all together. Overall, Dominique is not one of my favorite releases from Vin Syn. The blu release is great for fans of this film but completionists will still want to grab this one for their collections. I may not like the film but it is another solid release from Vin Syn.
Region Free Blu-ray/DVD combo
Newly scanned & restored in 2k from its 35mm negative
Audio interview with actor Michael Jayston
Audio interview with assistant director Brian Cook
Original theatrical trailer
Reversible cover artwork
English SDH subtitles