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Pyx [DVD] [1973] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

2.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Region 1 encoding. (This DVD will not play on most DVD players sold in the UK [Region 2]. This item requires a region specific or multi-region DVD player and compatible TV. More about DVD formats)
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Product details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005CVFZ34
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 117,605 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

2.5 out of 5 stars
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Montreal.A high class hooker Elizabeth Lucy(Karen Black) takes a swan-dive off the penthouse balcony clasping the eponymous locket in one hand and an upside down crucifix around her neck.Police detective Henderson(Christopher Plummer)gets the case and very quickly finds himself up to his neck in dead bodies and occult rituals.

Released on the trinity label in 2005,the Pyx was unwatchable but here thankfully Scorpion have done a much better job.Taking from the org negatives and presenting in anamorphic widescreen,The pyx has never sounded better and the picture quality is perfectly decent throughout with the night scenes much improved.

No real surprises narratively but hart compensates for that with some nice touches -naturalistic performances-Plummer and Black are very gd as are the numerous supporting players,some sharply handled,almost jabs,of violence and a brooding sense of peril for Black's character presenting her sins(prostitution and drug habit) and lapsed catholic faith almost as if she welcomes or indeed deserves her eventual fate.
Hart's use of flashback is superb and keeps you on your toes.

A cult item from the 70s and well worth seeking out.
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I almost gave this largely forgotten 1973 film 4 stars, because it really tries to be a bit different, but I did find the plot and particularly the ending abit confusing. However, the rest of it is very watchable in a rather dreamlike way, and Black and Plummer are good, so good I can't single one out. But, strangely, I can see why their performences and the film could bore and annoy a lot of viewers. The action - Plummer's investigation into Black's death, and flashbacks as to what led up to it are filmed almost in an offhand way, which worked for me, but...not t6o everyone's taste. The print is pretty good, both sound and picture (tho not absolutely perfect). The price is good, and as usual there are Katarina's "extras" - I haven't seen them so can't comment. I recomend this with slight reservations, but personally I enjoyed it. (My wife and I both enjoyed Karen's singing, even if the style is a bit, well, "Hippyish??")
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Unlike other reviewer I did actually like this one, but admittedly it's pretty trashy and tv movie-ish It is more of a guilty pleasure.
SO why the poor review then?
The disc is an AWFUL release. I could care less about extras on a trashy film like this but a decent transfer and restoration would be nice. The picture is washed out and grainy to a level where it is impossible to make out any detail especially in dark scenes, and the soundtrack is a hissy mess clearly this release is out to make a quick buck from little effort whatsoever. Oh! and widescreen?! only if you count sticking black bars across a vhs transfer widesceen, i do not.

Avoid this one!
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This is a badly executed attempt. The storyline is poor and full of gaps. The direction is weak as is the screenplay. There is little attempt at character building. It comes across as a low budget b-movie and whoever told Karen Black she could sing and write songs was woefully misguided!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.1 out of 5 stars 25 reviews
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars HORRIBLE DVD release of obscure Canadian occult mystery 6 Mar. 2004
By e1x56u$*w# - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This DVD is of a little-known film made in Montreal in the early 1970s, starring a very young and beautiful Karen Black, Christopher Plummer and Quebec actor Donald Pilon. This film was often shown on TV in Canada throughout the 70s, and although I cannot call it a great movie, it does have a certain atmospheric quality to it which has stuck in my mind all these years.
This movie is one of a host of films that came out at around this time (see also: "The Devil's Rain", "Race With the Devil", "The Omen", "The Sentinel", etc.) which, influenced by the success of such films as Rosemary's Baby and especially The Exorcist, dealt with the theme of Satanism.
Police detective Plummer and his partner Pilon are called to the murder case of prostitute Black. We flash back to Black's final days, as clues gradually lead the detectives to a Satanic cult.
Plummer is good as the detective but the real star here is Black, who has never been more radiant, and who also sings the movie's hauntingly etherial theme song.
It's a pity that the DVD transfer of this film is so bad, because I really do like this film and would otherwise have given it 3 stars.
But unfortunately the money-grubbing DVD-making people at Beverly Wilshire were so cheap they did not even bother to do what most el-cheapo DVD release companies do when releasing a movie with a picture screen ratio wider than a conventional TV screen, which is to pan and scan. Instead, they merely went and squeezed the entire wider image into the smaller screen, thus giving us a movie of long, thin "stick people". Such lazyness is absolutely INEXCUSABLE, and I wish there were some way to punish these people who are obviously out to cheat the unsuspecting public.
I guess the only real method to punish them we have at our disposal is to withhold our hard-earned money, so I would strongly advise you NOT to buy this DVD.
--Which is a real pity, because this film does deserve to be seen, and if you've viewed and enjoyed the other films I've mentioned above, chances are you will probably like this one too. I can only hope that someone will someday rerelease this again in a proper DVD version, giving the film the respect it deserves. In the meantime, this film was also previously released on video, so if you scrounge around you may be able to find yourself a copy. This is what I will now have to do.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally a Remastered Version This Forgotten Film Deserves 24 Oct. 2011
By John McCabe - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
For everyone wishing for a re-mastered version your wait is over. This newly released DVD from the original negatives is as good as it gets and a badly needed improvement over previous fuzzy versions.

There is no need to repeat what other reviewers have said about this movie other than if you are looking for a standard fare horror shocker avoid it. It is more of a detective story with a haunting quality.

Extras include amusing commentary by Karen Black who does not appear to like this movie remembering little about the plot. Most of Karen's commentary critiques the other actors (she liked Christopher Plummer) and the cinematography. There is also no chemistry between her and the other commentator who rambles on like a film school professor.

Still the extras are appreciated and all in all a very nice effort by Scorpion Releasing.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 70's Cult Cinema 19 Sept. 2012
By Movieman, Montreal - Published on
Format: DVD
The review is for Katarina's Nightmare Theater release of the PYX. I have been curious about this film for decades & I am glad I finally picked it up.
The Pyx is based on the novel written by John Buell, I grew up in Montreal and attended elementary school with his young son. So, I knew about the book first, then years later I learned it was made into a film. This is a Canadian production & it's an early example of Canadian Exploitation Cinema, during this period several productions were being made in Canada featuring American directors & actors. Canadian film making was in it's infancy & the producers probably had their eye on making a dent in an American market. The Pyx also serves as a bit of a time capsule, as you get to see how Montreal looked back in the early 70's. Christopher Plummer plays a cop who is investigating the murder of prostitute, Karen Black. Plummer finds evidence of a devil cult, drugs, & the church being involved during her final hours. The storytelling style is interesting - from Karen's perspective it unfolds through a series of flashbacks leading up to the final days just before her death. It's a suspense thriller with supernatural elements. The version presented here is taken from the original film negative & it also features commentary with Karen Black & the original trailer. You can watch the movie with the intoduction from horror hostess Katarina, or just play the feature film. The Pyx is also known as "The Hooker Cult Murders", but this particular version is 2:35:1 widescreen, it has the best quality. This is the one to get if you are interested.If you like this movie, another Canadian production worth checking out is The Silent Partner which was shot in Toronto just a few years later, it stars Elliot Gould, Susannah York, Christopher Plummer & a very young John Candy.
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Unusual, Excellent Film 28 Mar. 2006
By Brian G. Ehlert - Published on
Format: DVD
I must disagree with the prior review; I saw the film theatrically in 1973 when it first opened theatrically and was a bit put off; then I saw it again about a year later and saw plot points I had missed the first time and found the film to actually be quite intricate with fascinating characters. Karen Black turns in one of her best performances as Elizabeth Lucy, the heroin-addicted prostitute (and she also wrote and performs several effective songs on the soundtrack). Far more intellectual and riveting than many "thrillers", I highly recommend this film to anyone who likes intelligent screenplays and also a film that makes them think a bit. Recommended.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ...Five, Six, Grab Your Crucifix... 10 April 2008
By Bindy Sue Frønkünschtein - Published on
Format: DVD
I've loved Karen Black ever since I sat rivetted by her performance in TRILOGY OF TERROR, back about a million years ago. THE PYX has Ms. Black as Elizabeth Lucy, a heroin-addicted prostitute, just trying to get by. Unfortunately, she gets drawn into a horrific situation, resulting in her demise. The movie opens at the point of her death. Christopher Plummer (Dolores Claborne) is a cop named Henderson who tries to unravel the mystery surrounding Elizabeth's homicide. We are taken along as things grow increasingly uneasy and disturbing. Henderson himself must come face to face w/ evil, and forces he cannot understand. His facial expression tells it all during the finalé! I like this one a lot, and found Ms. Black's music to be both haunting and tragic...
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