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The Corruption of Chris Miller Blu-ray Review

Written by ZigZag

Blu-ray released by Vinegar Syndrome

The Corruption Of Chris Miller Blu Ray Large

Directed by Juan Antonio Bardem
Written by Santiago Moncada
1973, 113 minutes, Rated R
Released on April 30th, 2019

Starring:
Marisol as Chris Miller
Jean Seberg as Ruth Miller
Barry Stokes as Barney Webster
Perla Cristal as Perla
Ruby Gaebel as Lewis
Alicia Altabella as Adela
Gérard Tichy as Commissioner

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Review:

Chris Miller is a beautiful young woman who lives with her stepmother, Ruth, in a large secluded mansion in the Spanish countryside. The women have a love/hate relationship, as there are not many distractions this far out of town and they are constantly together. Ruth is a designer and Chris likes to sunbathe and ride her friend’s horses. Chris’ father abandoned them a year ago, but she anxiously awaits word from him every day. Chris has recently been released from a psychiatric clinic, and Ruth does her best to soothe her step-daughter’s emotional problems. Their isolation is interrupted by the arrival of a mysterious drifter named Barney Webster, whom they take on as a handyman. A love triangle develops and tensions begin to rise. Meanwhile, an unknown scythe-wielding maniac stalks the area, leaving an ever-growing trail of bodies. Could Barney be the killer? The women begin to suspect that something is afoul, but how can they get him to leave them alone?

The movie opens with a standalone sequence featuring a popular actress ending an affair with a young man dressed in a Charlie Chaplin disguise – complete with creepy black-and-white full-face mask. She pays him off and kicks him out, but he doesn’t go quietly and things quickly turn bloody. The story makes the news and a local cinema pays tribute to the slain movie star, but it remains unclear if this murder is in any way connected to the rest of the plot. The murderer wears a hooded raincoat and dark glasses as a disguise, but seems to choose his victims at random. The rest of the characters do not have any connection to the actress, but the killer’s violent technique is shockingly familiar.

The main thrust in The Corruption of Chris Miller is the relationship between Chris, Ruth and Barney. Barney brings a lot of exciting possibilities with his arrival, first setting his sights on Ruth. Soon his attention turns to the teenage Chris, and Ruth grows jealous. Knowing they have a delicate relationship that outside influence could easily ruin, the women must decide what to do with this handsome stranger. Chris suffers deep emotional problems that only Ruth can soothe, but Barney is encouraged to try to calm her during a particularly violent outburst. His failure leads to his ouster, which sets off the events that will build to a dynamic finale. The mysterious killer arrives on the scene at a neighbor’s farmhouse leaving a surprisingly bloody trail in his wake. Is this Barney’s reaction to being kicked out or is someone else responsible for the crimes?

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Director Juan Antonio Bardem (Death of a Cyclist) weaves a twisted tale of broken dreams and haunting memories in this deliberately-paced thriller. Written by Santiago Moncada (Curse of the Black Cat), the script manipulates its three lead roles with its reversals and betrayals building to an unexpected and surprisingly violent finale. The characters are well-developed and audiences will find something to like in each of them. The film is beautifully photographed by cinematographer Juan Gelpi (Crypt of the Living Dead), who fills the widescreen frame with interesting camera angles and stylistic lighting.

The great Jean Seberg (Breathless) stars as Ruth, the strong-willed stepmother trying to shield her stepdaughter from the dangers and disappointments of the outside world. Spanish actress and singer Marisol (The Days of the Past) is the titular Chris Miller, the frustrated teen in search of stress release and space from Ruth. She shares great onscreen chemistry with Seberg and the two enjoy many great scenes together with a shifting power dynamic. Barry Stokes (Prey) plays Barney the drifter, an opportunistic man looking for a good time. His performance is strong as an outside influence on an increasingly tense relationship between two isolated women.

The Corruption of Chris Miller steadily builds tension as relationships strain under pressure from the threat of change. Bardem keeps things interesting with his slow-burn thriller that expertly weaves a twisted tale of three damaged people pushed together in a remote mansion. Violence is the inevitable outcome of this situation and it is masterfully staged in a sudden rush of irreversible activity. The finale is haunting and will stick with you after the film is over. It takes a while to get where it is going but the ending makes the journey worth taking.

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Video and Audio:

The newly remastered image makes its widescreen 2.35:1 aspect ratio debut with pleasing results. The original camera negative has received a 4K scan and the restoration looks fantastic. Previous releases were only presented in full-frame versions that severely hampered the composition of shots. Colors and black levels are solid and flesh tones appear natural throughout.

The mono soundtrack is presented in a DTS-HD MA 2.0 track that faithfully reproduces the source recording. Dialogue levels are clean and free from hiss or other distortion.

Optional English subtitles are included for anyone in need.

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Special Features:

The archival career retrospective interview Different Perspectives (1994, 58 minutes) features director Juan Antonio Bardem looking back on his body of work. Each film is given ample coverage and he shares his memories of the productions. In Spanish with English subtitles.

Jean Seberg: Movie Star (12 minutes) is a short film exploring the tragic life of the actress featuring interviews with those who knew her. Participants include her sister Mary Ann Seberg, Seberg’s ex-husband, author Garry McGee, some of her co-stars, directors and more. This is a thoughtful piece that covers a lot of ground and is well worth checking out.

An alternate Spanish ending (4 minutes) offers a more upbeat finale.

A partial opening credits sequence featuring Spanish titles is provided as is an insert shot of a Spanish language newspaper headline.

The original theatrical trailer has been included.

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Grades:

Movie: Threeandahalfstars The Corruption Of Chris Miller Blu Ray Small
Buy Amazon Us
Video: Fivestars
Audio: Threeandahalfstars
Features: Threestars
Overall: Threeandahalfstars

About The Author
ZigZag
Author: ZigZag
Staff Writer
ZigZag's favorite genres include horror (foreign and domestic), Asian cinema and pornography (foreign and domestic). His ability to seek out and enjoy shot on video (SOV) horror movies is unmatched. His love of films with a budget under $100,000 is unapologetic.
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