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PROGENY ($30) is an interesting little science fiction movie that is a little bit VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED, a little bit ALIEN, a little bit COMMUNION, a little bit DEMON SEED and a whole lot of THE X-FILES. Okay, so it isn't overly original. Still, PROGENY proves to be entertaining alien abduction film from Brian Yuzna and Stuart Gordon, the creators of the horror classic RE-ANIMATOR. PROGENY stars Arnold Vosloo as Dr. Craig Burton and Jillian McWhirter as his wife Sherry. One night while the couple is making love, something odd happens to them. Just as a strange blue light appears in their bedroom, they become aware that two hours have past, for which neither one of them can account.

Did they fall asleep, or did something else happen to them during that those "lost" two hours. Anyway, Craig's curiosity about the missing two hours intensifies when Sherry announces that she is pregnant. His concerns begin to effect him at work and he goes to see a therapist. The therapist tries hypnosis allowing Craig to recall the events of the mysterious night in question. Under hypnosis, Craig is able to unlock memories of an alien abduction, which convinces him that the child Sherry is carrying isn't of this world. PROGENY also stars Brad Dourif, as alien abduction expert Bert Clavell- the man Craig goes to, to help him confirm his beliefs. The cast of PROGENY also features Lindsay Crouse and Wilford Brimley.

PROGENY comes to DVD as part of Sterling Home Entertainment’s Millenium Series. The Letterboxed transfer restores the film’s proper 1.85:1 framing, but doesn’t contain the 16:9 enhancement for wide screen televisions. As far as unenhanced transfers go, this one isn’t going to excite anyone. The image lacks the "snap" of a recent big Hollywood production appearing on DVD. Sharpness and detail rate as average, although color reproduction fares better. Flesh tones appear natural and color saturation is pretty good. Contrast appears a little washed out, precluding a true black level. Neither chroma noise or compression artifacts presented any difficulties on the DVD.

The Dolby Digital soundtrack is of the two-channel variety and decodes to standard surround. As spoiled as I am by fully discrete Dolby Digital 5.1, this track proved that it could hold its own. Channel separation is pretty good across the front, plus the track offers clean dialogue reproduction. The surround channels provide ambience and a number of directional effects, but are nowhere as intense as a fully discrete track. Bass reproduction is quite good for standard surround.

The interactive menus contained animation, sound and an appropriately eerie design. Through the menus one gains access to the standard scene selection menu, plus all of the DVD’s supplements. Two audio commentaries are provided. The first features director Brian Yuzna along with producers Henry Seggerman and Jack Murphy, while the second includes writers Stuart Gordon and Aubrey Solomon. Both commentary tracks make for interesting listening and provide insight into the creative process behind PROGENY. Other supplements include on camera interviews with cast and crewmembers, interviews with actual alien abductees, a trailer, a look at the special effects, storyboards, a trivia game and cast biographies/filmographies.




DVD reviews are Copyright 1999 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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