The Reincarnation of Peter Proud – USA, 1975

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The Reincarnation of Peter Proud is a 1975 US supernatural horror film directed by J. Lee Thompson (Eye of the Devil; Happy Birthday to Me; 10 to Midnight) from a screenplay by Max Ehrlich (The Cult; Shaitan), based on his 1973 novel. The haunting part-synth score was by Jerry Goldsmith.

The film stars Michael Sarrazin (Eye of the CatFrankenstein: The True Story; The Seduction) in the title role, along with rising actors Margot Kidder (Sisters; Black ChristmasThe Amityville Horror), Jennifer O’Neill (The Psychic; Scanners), Cornelia Sharpe (Open Season; Venom), Paul Hecht (The Savage Bees) and Norman Burton (Fade to Black; Deep Space).

On May 29, 2018, Kino Lorber is releasing 4K Special Edition Blu-ray and DVD versions of the film.

Buy Blu-ray | DVD via Amazon.com

Brand New HD Master from a 4K scan of the original 35mm Negative by Paramount Pictures Archives
-Audio Commentary by Film Historian Lee Gambin
-Spanish Super 8 Bathtub Scene with Spanish Audio
-Spanish Super 8 vs US – Side by Side w English Audio
-TV Spot
-30 Second Radio Spot
-60 Second Radio Spot
-International Posters and Lobby Cards (5:38)
-International Promotional Material (1:55)
-International Home Video Releases (0:48)
-Promotional Stills (0:35)
-Original Theatrical Trailer
-Original German Trailer

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A professor at a college in California, Dr. Peter Proud (Michael Sarrazin), begins to have recurring dreams. In one nightmare, Proud appears to see a man murdered by a woman in a rowboat while he is swimming naked. The murdered man repeatedly cries, “Marcia, don’t!”

Proud is haunted by his dreams and seeks medical treatment. He attends a “sleep lab” to try to decipher his visions. Upon learning that the location of his “visions” is in Massachusetts, Proud and his girlfriend Nora (Cornelia Sharpe) travel there.

They drive from town to town, but are unsuccessful until they arrive in Springfield. It is here that Proud begins to see familiar sights from his dreams, such as the bridge, the church, the Puritan statue, and others. Eventually, Peter locates Crystal Lake and Marcia (Margot Kidder), the mystery woman from his nightmares…

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Reviews:

‘The film is quite hypnotic. Maybe because it’s from a different era (it feels odd to be looking back in time at a film that’s looking back in time), but it has plenty to offer as a mystery, as to how it’s all going to pan out. Also, it’s not coy! I don’t think there’s nearly as much sex or nudity in mainstream horror (or thrillers) at the moment.’ Black Hole Reviews

‘The film is a soft core 70s journey into, the psycho sexual and an indulgence into mysticism. The preoccupation of the 70s with reincarnation and past lives emerging. Peter Proud is a truly, gripping, haunting film directed seamlessly by J. Lee Thompson … One of the superb elements of this fine supernatural suspense/horror film is the musical contribution by legendary composer Jerry Goldsmith.’ The Last Drive In

“What sets this one apart is its strong focus on sexuality as a complex emotional trigger, with frequent nudity and love scenes acting as transition points that mingle uneasily with the  act of violence at the center of Peter’s memories. It’s still an unsettling experience with elements of incest and rape added to the mix, with Kidder delivering a powerhouse performance that culminates in a bathtub / sexual trauma flashback scene that no viewer has ever forgotten.” Nathaniel Thompson, Mondo Digital

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‘ … any howls emanating from your local theatre on this occasion should be attributed to hilarity rather than horror… it’s the inadvertent humour that gives real pleasure here, much of it provided by Ms Sharpe in a performance of what may be the years worst-written role…’ Village Voice

‘Directed with a total lack of finesse, the film is even more clumsily scripted (by Ehrlich from his own novel) and features a mass of flashbacks and some truly embarrassing interventions by Hecht as an excited parapsychologist.’ Phil Hardy (editor), The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror

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Cast and characters:

Michael Sarrazin as Peter Proud
Jennifer O’Neill as Ann Curtis
Margot Kidder as Marcia Curtis
Cornelia Sharpe as Nora Hayes
Paul Hecht as Dr. Samuel Goodman
Tony Stephano as Jeff Curtis
Norman Burton as Dr. Frederick Spear
Anne Ives as Ellen Curtis
Debralee Scott as Suzy
Jon Richards as Newspaper Custodian
Steve Franken as Dr. Charles Crennis
Fred Stuthman as Pop Johnson
Lester Fletcher as Car Salesman
Paul Nevens as Room Clerk
Breanna Benjamin as Miss Hagerson
Addison Powell as Reeves
Phillip Clark as Number Five
Gene Boland as Charlie
Albert Henderson as Police Sergeant
Connie Garrison as Ellie
Sam Laws as Satan’s Disciple
Mary Margaret Amato as Nurse
Terry Green as College Student
Jacqueline Manning as Lab Assistant
Henry Cosimini as Square Dance Caller
Douglas Rutherford as Club Steward
Marjorie Eaton as Astrology Lady
Shelley St. Clair as Bookstore Clerk

Trivia:

In 2012, a remake directed by David Fincher (Se7en) was mooted but the project has since been shelved.

Wikipedia | IMDb | Image thanks: Technicolour YawnWrong Side of the Art!

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