The Visitor (1979 film)
|Directed by||Giulio Paradisi|
|Produced by||Ovidio G. Assonitis|
Luciano Comici and Robert Mundi
Assonitis and Paradisi
|Music by||Franco Micalizzi|
|Edited by||Roberto Curi|
|Distributed by||Film Ventures International
|Running time||101 minutes|
The Visitor (1979) is a science fiction horror film directed by Giulio Paradisi (Michael J. Paradise), based on a story by the Egypt-born Italian writer (and producer) Ovidio G. Assonitis. The film stars such names as John Huston, Shelley Winters, Mel Ferrer, Glenn Ford, and Sam Peckinpah. Prominent conservative talk-show host Neal Boortz also has a role. The film was a co-production between Italy and the United States, with an Italian title of Stridulum and Spanish of El visitante del más allá.
A young girl with telekinetic powers is the focus of a battle between good and evil. Katy Collins (Paige Conner) is no ordinary 8 year-old girl. Indeed, she is unique, carrying within her the power of Sateen, an inter-spacial force of immense magnitude. Katy's primary mission on earth is to carry these genes forward, a task accomplished by convincing her mother, Barbara (Joanne Nail) to bear a similarly endowed male child with whom Katy would eventually mate. Raymond Armstead, who is secretly part of a global conspiracy trying to gain control of the world using these powers attempts to seduce Barbara into marriage so he can father a child who can harness them. Opposing him is the mysterious Jerzy Colsowicz, also known as the Visitor, and his legion of child followers. He possesses the same powers and knows that they are meant to be used for the good of mankind.
- Mel Ferrer: Dr. Walker
- Glenn Ford: Det. Jake Durham
- Lance Henriksen: Raymond Armstead
- John Huston: Jerzy Colsowicz
- Joanne Nail: Barbara Collins
- Sam Peckinpah: Dr. Sam Collins
- Shelly Winters: Jane Phillips
- Franco Nero: Jesus Christ
- Neal Boortz
- Steve Somers
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Independent distributor Drafthouse Films announced its acquisition of the film, giving it an HD restoration and planning a theatrical, home video and multi VOD/Digital platform release later in 2013. Drafthouse Films announced they will re-release the film in remastered form on October 31, 2013 with a VOD/digital and home entertainment release in January of next year.
Prior to the Drafthouse Films acquisition, the film was released on DVD by independent distributor Code Red in November 2010. It was the first time the film had been presented in its uncut form in the United States.
The film-making involved a great deal of symbolism, with an attempt to be an art film, though it ultimately received poor reviews by the mainstream critics. The film has been called a rip-off of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Damien: Omen II, because the film revolves around a dispute between extraterrestrials from heaven and demonic forces. The Visitor has also been criticized by audiences, who claim the film's cover art (featuring a bizarre, alien-like being hovering over a city) was misleading, because the said images did not appear, nor were referenced in the film. The film was written and produced by prolific Italian-American filmmaker, Ovidio G. Assonitis, who was known for making rip-offs of Hollywood blockbusters.
- Amador, Maria Luisa; Blanco, Jorge Ayala (2006). Cartelera cinematografica, 1980–1989 (in Spanish). UNAM. pp. 53, note 432. ISBN 978-970-32-3605-3.
- Lancia, Enrico; Melelli, Fabio (2005). Le straniere del nostro cinema (in Italian). Gremese Editore. p. 183. ISBN 978-88-8440-350-6.
- Hayes, Kevin J. (2008). Sam Peckinpah: Interviews. Univ. Press of Mississippi. pp. xxxii–xxxiii. ISBN 978-1-934110-64-5.
- Husney, Evan (June 19, 2013). "Drafthouse Films Rediscovers The Sci-Fi/Horror Epic That 1979 Couldn't Handle". Drafthouse Films. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
- Collis, Clark (2013-10-09). "Drafthouse Films to rerelease whacked-out '70s horror film 'The Visitor' this Halloween -- EXCLUSIVE POSTER". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2013-10-15.