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Pyx,The

KAREN BLACK; CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER , HARVEY HART    R (Restricted)   DVD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 11.95
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 70's Montreal drama w/ unique layered editing June 15 2007
By Dm Otis
First off -- this Trinity DVD release is of some old copy, quite possibly a Beta master tape the film would have been transferred to long ago. It atleast is in proper wide ratio (very wide -- 2:35:1 according to imdb) but the colour and detail and contrast are horrible. It is possible that this is the only remaining elements for the film -- but either way the releasing company spent NO money to improve it.

Still, the gritty look may have its charm for people who saw it on late night TV years ago. Karen Black is well worth watching. The editing tries a somewhat unique parallelling of past and present through using the same location that past and present events took place in, and cutting them together without inserting any device to indicate a change from one to the other (hopefully that makes sense).

For the cheap price you might feel the awful transfer is worth wading through.
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Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Unusual, Excellent Film March 27 2006
By Brian G. Ehlert - Published on Amazon.com
I must disagree with the prior review; I saw the film theatrically in 1973 when it first opened theatrically and was a bit put off; then I saw it again about a year later and saw plot points I had missed the first time and found the film to actually be quite intricate with fascinating characters. Karen Black turns in one of her best performances as Elizabeth Lucy, the heroin-addicted prostitute (and she also wrote and performs several effective songs on the soundtrack). Far more intellectual and riveting than many "thrillers", I highly recommend this film to anyone who likes intelligent screenplays and also a film that makes them think a bit. Recommended.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ...Five, Six, Grab Your Crucifix... April 10 2008
By Bindy Sue Frønkünschtein - Published on Amazon.com
I've loved Karen Black ever since I sat rivetted by her performance in TRILOGY OF TERROR, back about a million years ago. THE PYX has Ms. Black as Elizabeth Lucy, a heroin-addicted prostitute, just trying to get by. Unfortunately, she gets drawn into a horrific situation, resulting in her demise. The movie opens at the point of her death. Christopher Plummer (Dolores Claborne) is a cop named Henderson who tries to unravel the mystery surrounding Elizabeth's homicide. We are taken along as things grow increasingly uneasy and disturbing. Henderson himself must come face to face w/ evil, and forces he cannot understand. His facial expression tells it all during the finalé! I like this one a lot, and found Ms. Black's music to be both haunting and tragic...
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 1/2 Stars -- Karen Black and Christopher Plummer in a faulty but still enjoyable police procedural April 19 2011
By Bryan Byrd - Published on Amazon.com
Disclaimer: The version of the film that I watched was included in a compilation package called 'Horror - Do Not Watch Alone 15 films' by TGG Direct. (This is nearly the same edition as Horror - Do Not Watch Alone (20 Classic Horror Films) by the same company.) As such, I cannot comment on the quality of this product - my review is concerned with the entertainment value of the film only.

There are several elements of this 1973 film that work well and should appeal to viewers with different tastes; however, taken together, I suspect that these elements don't always compliment each other. Those who might appreciate some aspects may not care for others, which makes the film weaker as a whole. Unfortunately, the way that this film is marketed (in individual packages as well as compilations such as the one I have), it is very likely to turn off those who might enjoy it most, and mislead those who would probably like it least into buying it. You must stretch the definition to its very breaking point in order to call this a horror movie - it barely even works as a thriller. More than anything, it is a police procedural, with Christopher Plummer's detective investigating the death of a heroin-addicted call girl played by Karen Black.

One of the benefits of these compilation discs is that I usually have little idea of what the movie is going to be about before I watch - it takes me be surprise, so to speak. Without any expectations, I enjoyed 'The Pyx', even as I could see its weaknesses. In a very excellent opening, the credits appear over scenes shot from the interior of a Montreal cabdriver looking out at the city. At the end of the credits, in the corner of the camera lens almost off screen, we see a body falling from one of the downtown high-rises. This is so underplayed as to almost be shocking. Regardless, the police are quickly called, and thus begins the investigation. As the film continues, we are treated to flashbacks from the point of view of the victim Karen Black interspersed with the investigation into her death.

The film is atmospheric and slow. Director Harvey Hart seems to be going for an accumulated creepiness, though I think the flashback segments interrupt the narrative flow too much to ever establish that kind of mood. What's left is the mystery of exactly what happened to Karen Black's character in her last few hours, although since we do know the eventual results, it does seem a bit academic. Since every other official blurb for this film lets on that there is involvement with a devil cult, it seems like no spoiler to mention it here, though that _is_ the crux of the mystery. Except there is no overt supernatural element -- and using that particular element to make it sound like a horror film is likely to only disappoint people.

With no expectations, and with an attitude that is generally favorable toward 70's cinema (at least to the point of being indulgent toward its many faults), I admit I rather liked this film. Christopher Plummer, Karen Black, and the supporting cast were all in top form here, and even though the film took its time, I never got bored with it. Those who detest slow, mood-building films should probably avoid 'The Pyx', as well as those who have an inherent dislike toward older films, though patient mystery fans should enjoy it.

Of course, there were some points that detracted from it too -- the most, to my mind, was the ending, where the flashbacks met up with the starting point of the story. So much time had been invested to get us to that point that the payoff seemed rushed and unsatisfactory. Also, the choice of having Ms. Black sing on the soundtrack will appeal to some and not others -- I personally like the songs, but the style dates the film. All together, the positives outweigh the negatives, but only by a slim margin. 3 1/2 stars.

From other reviewers and studio information provided by Amazon, its very difficult to tell if _any_ of the current packages of this film are worth investing in. The version I watched was satisfactory for the price I paid (about 50¢ after averaging), though it had several defects - most notably it was very dark. I also watched it on a smaller screen, and I would imagine large, hi-def screens will augment other problems. Those interested in the film may want to wait until a quality imprint releases it, or resign themselves to the defects on the lower-priced horror collections that currently offer it.
3.0 out of 5 stars The Trinity Home Entertainment DVD is a mixed bag for this unusual film. July 7 2014
By ScoreTheFilm - Published on Amazon.com
I came here to comment on the Trinity Home Entertainment DVD and not so much the film. I was pleased that the film is presented in what looks like its original aspect ration of 2.35 : 1 and it's formatted for 16:9, but the image is dirty and dark. I'm OK with filthy prints, especially with films like this where it sometimes adds to the experience, but the image is often so dark it's difficult to see everything as it was intended. The end credits are almost completely illegible. The disc does not include any extras, not even a trailer.

As for the movie, it's not that bad. Some will find it a little slow and it might take some time to get used to the mixing of the flashbacks of Elizabeth's (Karen Black) last day with Detective Henderson's (Christopher Plummer) investigation of her death. The performances are quite good and the music score and songs (sung by Black) work very well, too. Perhaps with a better print I might have enjoyed the film more. Or better still, if I could have seen this 40 years ago at a drive-in...that would have been fun.
4.0 out of 5 stars The Pyx (1973) May 2 2011
By James C. Ward - Published on Amazon.com
I liked this film- mostly because I like watching Karen Black. (She also sings several songs in the film).

Christopher Plummer also excels as a tough-nosed cop. The setting is Montreal, Canada.

A heroin addicted call girl (Black) is found splattered on the street, a victim of falling 20 stories from a high-rise apartment complex.

Plummer and his partner pick up various clues along the way to determine who the killer is. Eventually this points to a powerful occult group who entrap the call girl into their schemes.

I really liked the acting of Black and Plummer- really the best part of the movie. The plot is fairly straight-forward murder mystery, but it is their acting that makes this movie stand out.

The daily dispair of a call girl addicted to heroin and a endless stream of nameless men.

The driven cop determined to find the killer at the expense of his personal life.

A dark, gritty, crime drama. Well done.
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