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Customer reviews

2.7 out of 5 stars
6


on 8 September 2011
Not quite sure why I like this movie but I do. It's a fairly patchy and confused horror/scifi story but with much imagination, a very impressive cast and a strange compelling quality that makes the viewer watch to the end. Reminds me a little of some of the themes explored by the Blue Oyster Cult in song over the years. Despite its faults I rather enjoyed it.

PS. Don't take the big eyeball guy on the cover literally - the malevolence is more of the unseen variety.
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on 7 December 2010
A couple of important points about this DVD release to start with, Amazon have the wrong region code, the disk is region 0 so can be played on any DVD player and also there is no synopsis included in the description so I'll give a short overview here.

The central plot on the Visitor focuses around Sateen, an immensely powerful evil force from another planet, he could take on many different guises including bird and human. Sateen came to Earth to mate with human females and spawn a race of children who would inherit and carry on these powers, (it should be mentioned you don't see any of this, it's all given in an explanation in the opening scene). Katie Collins (impressively played by Paige Conner) is one of those children and she is approaching her eighth birthday. The Visitor (John Huston) is a man who is sent to Earth to save Katie's soul and in doing so will stop Sateen's evil legacy from multiplying any further.

Code Red have been promising a DVD release of The Visitor since about 2007 and I honestly never thought this would see the light of day. But here we are, three years on and only 18 years from my first viewing of the film that I credit with introducing me to the horror film genre. This was in fact the very first horror film I ever saw, and being only 10 years old at the time it was the scariest thing I'd ever witnessed. Taking into account this film is fairly old (30 years) times change and it doesn't seem nearly as frightening as it did back then, coming across more eerie then terrifying in the present time. The Visitor is very much a film of it's time and would be better received by people who were children/teenagers in the 70's and 80's. However, there are some very notable sequences in this film that still look impressive when viewed in 2010, namely the opening scene and the ice skating sequence. The soundtrack is quite striking as well, especially in the way it replaces the dialog in the two afore mentioned scenes.

I would recommend this if you like your horror retro and with a heavy dose of surrealism. This isn't for fans of special effects laden, mainstream, modern horror. Personally, I love this film and watching it again after such a long time was very much a nostalgia trip. It's worth mentioning also the DVD has some really interesting extras as well, particularly the feature including interviews with the cast members.
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on 20 April 2014
Producer Ovidio G. Assonitis has some truly mental films in his filmography. Amok train, a film about a murderous train, Beyond the Door, an Exorcist knock off that ranks as one of the weirdest demonic possession films i've seen and James Cameron's directorial debut, the utterly deranged Piranha 2 where the ante is upped from the Joe Dante original by having the fish fly through the Air. The Visitor however, makes all these seem like child's play. Essentially it plays with the Von Daniken notion that God was a space alien and uses it to construct a tale of good Vs. Evil set in Atlanta. It seems the film-makers were given free access to the city for exterior shooting and in fairness they really make the most of it!

The film is a genuine oddity. The best comparison I can make is The Omen mixed with liberal doses of 2001 a space odyssey. if Damien thorn had a pet satanic hawk, legendary actor/director John Huston is playing 'god', Lance Henriksen as Satan and a cameo from Django himself Franco Nero as Jesus. We also get a Cameo from director Sam Peckinpah thrown in for good measure. While the film is baffling and frankly may give some a headache, its got a certain style to it and a level of oddness that makes it one cult film fanatics may find worth seeking out. I can say with all certainty that you will have seen nothing like it.

The disc is sadly region locked, so unless you lucked out and got one of those hackable Phillips players or have a second region A player set up, then you won't be watching this. Unfortunate as like with their Ms.45 release, Alamo Drafthouse have delivered a phenomenally good looking (and sounding) transfer of this film that manages to one up code reds release from a year or so back. Unfortunately it's missing most of the bonus material from the code red Dvd release including the two commentary tracks so fans should keep hold of those DVD's. If you can play it then this is well worth it still for the astonishing transfer.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 2 May 2011
I have no idea what this movie is about. Usually I'm able to unravel weird, symbolic, bizarre movies, or at least vaguely comprehend what's going on.

But with "The Visitor," I don't have a clue. It's like somebody threw "Rosemary's Baby," "The Omen," "Star Wars" and other successful movies of the 1970s into a blender, and splattered the resulting mush all over a surrealist painting. It's a rich, atmospheric tapestry of derivative lunacy, so insane that it's actually funny.

It begins with John Huston doing his best Ben Kenobi impression in a desert, facing off against a cloaked figure. Then it snows. Then we see some blonde guy (who is... Jesus Christ?) telling a bunch of bald children about Zatin, a shapeshifting alien criminal "muTANTE" with occult powers who was hunted down by an army of trained birds. I can't make up stuff this cracky, folks.

Apparently the main focus of this story is Katie Collins (Paige Connor), a creepy little devil-child who makes basketballs explode. Raymond Armstead (Lance Henriksen) wants to marry her mom Barbara (Joanne Nail), apparently because she alone "carries the genes of Zatin."

However, John Huston wants to save the world from devil-brats. So when the forces of evil arrange for Barbara to be shot and later impregnated, John Huston and his army of Jesus-following bald children must save the world from her, by convincing her to join the side of good (over a game of Pong).

Make no mistake: "The Visitor" is a really bad movie. But it's not Uwe Boll-bad, where every shot and line screams of ineptitude.There is just so much insane, illogical stuff going on in "Visitor" that eventually you get numb to it and think, "A killer toy bird. Why not? Jesus Christ versus aliens mutants. Makes sense! The scion of evil causing mayhem at the skating rink. Whatever!"

And unlike Boll's work, it's beautifully filmed and very evocative, with some very creepy scenes sprinkled throughout the story. The problem is that not a single beautifully-filmed scene in the whole thing makes sense or is adequately explained.

Eventually you just slide into a sort of accepting stupor and have an out-of-body experience, andf you are foolish enough to try to THINK about any of the ridiculous stuff you're watching, your brain will combust. Even the soundtrack is hilariously illogical -- we get epic, dramatic 70s music at the weirdest times. She's doing EVIL gymnastics in a RED leotard! Surgeons are putting on MASKS! Someone's pouring a DRINK! Huston is walking up STAIRS! And looking at a ROOF!

As for the acting, most of the actors look completely befuddled about what they're doing. Huston twinkles genially like a sort of New Age Gandalf, despite the fact that he was clearly filmed apart from the other actors. Connor is actually rather good as Child Of Evil Katie, even though the role doesn't require much.

Henrikson tries his best but makes little impression, and Nail is so creepily plastic that it's hard to connect with her unlucky character. And Italian actor Franco Nero is rather good as, uh, Jesus -- but his performance is constantly undercut by the question of what he's doing there!

"The Visitor" is a movie of beautiful, polished insanity. Instead of taking recreational drugs, I advise you to watch this movie -- it has the same effect, but without the harmful side-effects.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 24 February 2014
I have no idea what this movie is about. Usually I'm able to unravel weird, symbolic, bizarre movies, or at least vaguely comprehend what's going on.

But with "The Visitor," I don't have a clue. It's like somebody threw "Rosemary's Baby," "The Omen," "Star Wars" and other successful movies of the 1970s into a blender, and splattered the resulting mush all over a surrealist painting. It's a rich, atmospheric tapestry of derivative lunacy, so insane that it's actually funny.

It begins with John Huston doing his best Ben Kenobi impression in a desert, facing off against a cloaked figure. Then it snows. Then we see some blonde guy (who is... Jesus Christ?) telling a bunch of bald children about Zatin, a shapeshifting alien criminal "muTANTE" with occult powers who was hunted down by an army of trained birds. I can't make up stuff this cracky, folks.

Apparently the main focus of this story is Katie Collins (Paige Connor), a creepy little devil-child who makes basketballs explode. Raymond Armstead (Lance Henriksen) wants to marry her mom Barbara (Joanne Nail), apparently because she alone "carries the genes of Zatin."

However, John Huston wants to save the world from devil-brats. So when the forces of evil arrange for Barbara to be shot and later impregnated, John Huston and his army of Jesus-following bald children must save the world from her, by convincing her to join the side of good (over a game of Pong).

Make no mistake: "The Visitor" is a really bad movie. But it's not Uwe Boll-bad, where every shot and line screams of ineptitude.There is just so much insane, illogical stuff going on in "Visitor" that eventually you get numb to it and think, "A killer toy bird. Why not? Jesus Christ versus aliens mutants. Makes sense! The scion of evil causing mayhem at the skating rink. Whatever!"

And unlike Boll's work, it's beautifully filmed and very evocative, with some very creepy scenes sprinkled throughout the story. The problem is that not a single beautifully-filmed scene in the whole thing makes sense or is adequately explained.

Eventually you just slide into a sort of accepting stupor and have an out-of-body experience, andf you are foolish enough to try to THINK about any of the ridiculous stuff you're watching, your brain will combust. Even the soundtrack is hilariously illogical -- we get epic, dramatic 70s music at the weirdest times. She's doing EVIL gymnastics in a RED leotard! Surgeons are putting on MASKS! Someone's pouring a DRINK! Huston is walking up STAIRS! And looking at a ROOF!

As for the acting, most of the actors look completely befuddled about what they're doing. Huston twinkles genially like a sort of New Age Gandalf, despite the fact that he was clearly filmed apart from the other actors. Connor is actually rather good as Child Of Evil Katie, even though the role doesn't require much.

Henrikson tries his best but makes little impression, and Nail is so creepily plastic that it's hard to connect with her unlucky character. And Italian actor Franco Nero is rather good as, uh, Jesus -- but his performance is constantly undercut by the question of what he's doing there!

"The Visitor" is a movie of beautiful, polished insanity. Instead of taking recreational drugs, I advise you to watch this movie -- it has the same effect, but without the harmful side-effects.
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on 11 April 2014
Well, I'd love to be able to comment on this quirky piece of madness, but unfortunately as Draft House don't bother to mention on their website that their Blu-ray release of The Visitor is Region A encoded and to add insult to injury, the code for the download of the film that comes with the disc is also invalid to those of us in the UK, I haven't seen the film to be able to review it.

I am fully aware that there are various reasons that companies are sometimes bound to have some releases regionally encoded - territorial licensing agreements etc., but in this global market I do expect those releases that are encoded to be flagged as such on the website of the company releasing them. I guess I'll just have to wait a couple of years until I upgrade my BR player...

Thanks for the lesson Draft House, I needed reminding that not all underground DVD/Blu-Ray companies are as good as Grindhouse Releasing or Code Red...
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