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Sleepwalker (BFI Flipside) (DVD + Blu-ray)

4.2 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Joanna David, Bill Douglas, Heather Page
  • Directors: Saxon Logan
  • Format: Dolby, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Bfi flipside
  • DVD Release Date: 23 Sept. 2013
  • Run Time: 50 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00CWZ2OR8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,220 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

BFI Flipside presents

SLEEPWALKER (DVD + Blu-ray)

A film by Saxon Logan

THE FLIPSIDE: rescuing weird and wonderful British films from obscurity and presenting them in new high-quality editions.

When wealthy couple Richard and Angela visit Marion and Alex in their decaying family home, their differing social and moral attitudes create uneasy tensions. An inharmonious evening of drunkenness and sexual rivalry soon turns bloody as the guests fall victim to an unhinged attacker.

Featuring a rare performance from Bill Douglas (Bill Douglas Trilogy, Comrades), and starring British screen greats Joanna David and Heather Page (both of whom would go on to work with Douglas in Comrades), Sleepwalker is an outrageous and incendiary mix of biting satire and bloody horror that is at once reminiscent of otherwise unlikely bedfellows Lindsay Anderson and Dario Argento. The stellar cast also includes Nickolas Grace, and features cameos by Fulton MacKay, Michael Medwin and Raymond Huntley.

Remastered from the only surviving print, this long-unseen mid-length film is presented here for the first time on any home video format, along with two shorts by its director, Saxon Logan, and the rare 1971 mid-length fantasy, The Insomniac, directed by Rodney Giesler.

Special features

  • Presented in High Definition and Standard Definition
  • The Insomniac (Rodney Giesler, 1971, 45 mins): a man experiences a night-time world that is part nightmare, part sexual fantasy
  • Stepping Out (Saxon Logan , 1977, 11 mins): a couple's untraditional early morning ritual is observed in a short drama which originally supported Polanski's The Tenant in UK cinemas
  • Working Surface: A Short Study (with Actors) in 'the Ways' of a Bourgeois Writer (Saxon Logan, 1979, 16 mins): Bill Douglas plays a writer struggling with a script about two women (played by Joanna David and Heather Page)
  • O Lucky Man: Saxon Logan in Conversation (2013, 72 mins): exclusive feature-length interview with the director of Sleepwalker
  • Extensive illustrated booklet with essays by Julian Grainger, Vic Pratt, Alex Davidson and Sam Dunn; complete film credits

UK | 1984 | colour | English language (optional English hard-of-hearing subtitles) | 50 minutes (+ extras) | Original aspect ratio 1.85:1

Review

'Another fascinating release in the BFI's Flipside line...this is operating in a gear all of its own' 7/10 --Michael Bonner, Uncut (2013)

'The BFI's Sleepwalker release is a real prize ... one of the releases of the year so far' - 9/10 --The Digital Fix

'disorienting, bizarre, and, if you're game, quite amazing ... another feather in the cap for Flipside, to put it mildly' --Mondo Digital

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
An interesting piece of work offering a quirky allegory to the political climate of the times. It manages to capture a great snapshot of the era via some eccentric characters and a background of classic horror ambience. I enjoyed its underlying story and thought that its also quite fun as a stand-alone horror flick.
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Format: DVD
Saxon Logan's extraordinary 49 minute feature pitches four people into a class war situation with a vicious sting in the tale. After a not entirely stress-free journey, ("Wake me up when it's over")Richard Paradise (Grace) and wife Angela (David) arrive at the house of Albion, owned by brother and sister act Marianne and Alex Britain. When a violent storm breaches the walls and windows of Albion, Marianne is forced to abandon plans for a quiet candlelit dinner so the quartet head for a local restaurant where Fulton Mckay and Michael Medwin materialise as all-seeing, all-knowing proprietor and waiter; a Fulci-esque pair of characters who appear to 'come with the place.' It's here the fun really does start as Richard- ("He's in videos") looking for all the world like a deserving victim from Jose Larraz's Vampyres - launches a vicious attack on Alex (the excellent Bill Douglas) and his socialist principles. Be sure this loathsome 'Tory Boy' will set your hackles rising, as his entrepreneurial claptrap embodies the sentiments of Neil Kinnock's brilliant rejection of Conservative values ("The only person is me. The only number is one. The only time is now".) And the ladies? While Angela demonstrates she's at least a few pills short of a full valium bottle, Marianne (Page) simply drinks, while exuding a trouser-rousing air of sex and sensuality that remains right up to a veritable blood-soaked finale.

Boasting a script laced with black as crude humour, Sleepwalker comes over like a head-on collision between Mike Leigh and Dario Argento, with its mise en scene often recalling the late, great Mario Bava. Frequent references to nocturnal, eyes wide shut states of being - comas, sleepwalking, the strange tale of a certain Mr. Valdemar, not to mention Alex's final terrified demand ("Wake up!
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Format: DVD
Bravo BFI for releasing Saxon Logan's black comedy SLEEPWALKER.
I have been a long-time supporter of the film even during its obscure years and I am pleased that it is finally getting the praise it deserves.
This BFI Flipside release on standard DVD does excellent justice to the film but the Blu-ray edition really shows it in its true sparkling form.
The whole package is excellent value. The accompanying extras are a very exciting addition, including an outstanding interview with Saxon Logan.

This is a timely and brilliant release of a fine film.
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Format: DVD
Sleepwalker was made in 1984 by a promising film-maker called Saxon Logan. It's a politically underscored drama about two obnoxious couples who after an evening meal head back to stay the night at the rotting house owned by one of them. Unfortunately one of the group is afflicted with violent somnambulist tendencies and the night will end in tragedy. Running at only 50 minutes in length Sleepwalker is about right in its pacing. It's a thoroughly British affair, although the characters are hardly an attractive representation of our over-filled island. There is a fine air of decay, particularly in the home (English man's castle...?) and as the story threads its way to the finale it is evident that some influence emanates from the Italian giallo cinematic movement. There is also a reminiscent touch of the TV series Hammer House of Horror - I feel that Sleepwalker could almost have been a part of that series.

The Rank studio did not take well to the film back in the mid eighties, putting an end of Saxon Logan's fiction movie career before it really got started, but it's heart-warming that it was later rediscovered (thanks partly to Kim Newman arousing interest in the then-forgotten film some time ago). It's wonderful that BFI have taken films like this to exhume for the more open-minded among contemporary audiences, as it has recently been scanned and mastered for Blu-ray, with excellent results.

The BFI release is also packed with two of Logan's earlier short films also mastered in HD (Stepping Out running at 11 minutes and made in 1977, plus Working Surface, 16 minutes, 1979), which are curiosity pieces making the package feel very complete as far as Logan's fiction work is concerned (he went on to cement himself as a documentary film-maker).
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Finally granted a release after too long in limbo,director Saxon Logan's sublime SLEEPWALKER hits dvd courtesy of the BFI
in a dazzling,all-singing-and-dancing edition.
Packed with extras,including two witty,earlier shorts from Saxon,as well as a great feature length interview with the man
that is both enlightening and deeply moving,this gem of a movie,a 50 minute masterpiece,could best be described as "Mike Leigh
meets a Nightmare on Thatcher St via Italain giallos" (all will become clear when you watch it).
I was fortunate enough a decade ago to meet with Saxon on a number of occasions and see this tremendous prize winner at the
Berlin film festival play to appreciative audiences as it should have done back in the 80's - especially at the Festival of
Fantastic Films in Manchester - and so it is a real treat that this much neglected film of it's era,stupidly denied a release
in the UK,finally has it's day,and emerges blinking into the light,more relevant than ever!
Funny,scary,politically charged,stylistically beautiful,please do yourself a favour and buy this dvd and tell all your friends,
the wait is over..
Mike Wesley
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