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Miguel Ferrer is not what Hollywood would consider a leading man; he is however, a very entertaining character actor. Ferrer continually turns up in supporting roles that afford him far too little screen time. While a horror film may not be the ideal venue for an actor to show off his talents, THE NIGHT FLIER ($25) places Ferrer in the film’s lead role and gives him a chance to work his brand of magic. THE NIGHT FLIER also known as STEPHEN KING’S THE NIGHT FLIER is the tale of a tabloid reporter covering the story of a series of bloody murders. The murders are directly tied to a black Cessna aircraft that lands at small, secluded airports and its pilot who identifies himself as Dwight Renfield. Ferrer portrays Richard Dees, the cynical tabloid reporter who becomes obsessed with finding the killer he has dubbed The Night Flier, since his Cessna is airborne only at night. Dees’ coverage of the story takes him from one crime scene to the next where he interviews the locals.

The accounts of the various killings make perfect tabloid fodder, with everything pointing to a vampire as the killer. Soon after Dees begins tailing The Night Flier he receives a series of warnings from the killer to leave the story alone. Not one to let a few threats come between him and a front-page story, Dees continues pursuit of the elusive Dwight Renfield. In addition to Miguel Ferrer the cast of THE NIGHT FLIER also features Julie Entwisle as Katherine Blair, the cub reporter trying to beat Dees to the story and Michael H. Moss as Dwight Renfield, the fly by night killer. While THE NIGHT FLIER may not be the greatest vampire film ever made, it is creepy fun, certain to appeal to the devotees of the horror genre.

HBO Video offers THE NIGHT FLIER on DVD in a wide screen presentation that features the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 televisions. The Letterboxed transfer presents THE NIGHT FLIER at approximately 1.85:1 and appears correctly framed, without any appreciable loss from the extreme edges of the frame. Color reproduction is very good; most colors appear natural and have respectable saturation. Sharpness and detail were on that high level that one comes to expect from a new transfer. Digital compression artifacts were minimal.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 channel mix was had some nice directional effect that added to the film’s creepy atmosphere, but the track was never what one would categorize as spectacular. Other soundtrack options include a matrixed Dolby Surround compatible track. Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish.

This DVD has some of the best animated interactive menus of any disc on the market. The stylish menus make accessing the DVD’s scene selection (with full motion previews) and supplemental features quite a bit of fun. Supplements include a theatrical trailer, production notes and cast biographies/filmographies.




DVD reviews are Copyright 1998 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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