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Repulsion [Blu-ray]

Catherine Deneuve , Ian Hendry , Roman Polanski    Unrated   Blu-ray
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 42.99
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Repulsion [Blu-ray] + Rosemary's Baby (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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Roman Polanski was still a newcomer to the world of cinema when he unleashed this unforgettable exercise in skin-crawling terror. Repulsion was the Polish director's first film in English, but that hardly mattered: much of the movie is as wordless (and as weird) as the silent Nosferatu. The young Catherine Deneuve plays a Belgian girl stranded in '60s London, a shy beauty with no social skills. When her sister leaves their shared flat, Deneuve goes gradually, quietly, completely mad. Her world becomes Polanski's paintbox, as the devilish director distorts reality via a series of surrealistic touches (grasping hands that protrude from elastic walls) and out-and-out murderous horror. Very few films cast the kind of eerie spell that this 1965 classic achieves, and it clearly points the way toward Polanski's Rosemary's Baby. As with most of the director's work, what is unsettling is not the overt violence, but the terrifying sense of emptiness and isolation, and the boiling unease inside one's own mind. --Robert Horton

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie, Poor Video Nov. 4 2004
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
A wonderful film, but the current video transfer is quite poor; grainy image, and annoying audio hum throughout.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant film; unwatchable tape Nov. 6 2002
Format:VHS Tape
REPULSION is a classic suspense film, worth of watching over and over again to capture all its subtleties. However, this specific tape is of such poor quality that watching the film is almost impossible. The video is smeary and indistinct, but worst of all the sound is so muffled that nearly all of the dialogue is rendered unintelligible. Please see this film; however, make sure you don't make the mistake I did of renting/buying this edition.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gives cinematic expression to madness Dec 15 2003
Format:VHS Tape
The film begins with the shot of an eye (of the actor Catherine Deneuve) beginning with the pupil and slowly moving out, and the film ends with a shot of the same eye, albeit taken from a family snapshot of the protagonist as a young girl, which snapshot has been on display on the sideboard in the flat where the psychological breakdown of, and murders committed by, the character occur. There is a famous eye shot in an early silent film involving Salvador Dali where an eye (of a sheep) is cut by a razor. REPULSION too features eyes and razors in abundance. And it is the accumulation of many such details which reveal Mr Polanski's deep knowledge of cinematic art. For example, the three street musicians, and their music, could have walked straight from a Fellini set. The use of wide-angled lenses and the consequent distortions disturbing to the viewer and the brilliant use of chiascuro, shadows, light used as sculpture, and the long corridors of light and dark suggest German expressionist cinema in the tradition of "Dr Caligari". As well the masterful use of SOUND including that by jazz musician Chico Hamilton is quite powerful. For example, the attack by the protagonist, dressed in her nightgown, slashing at the man with another man's cut-throat razor is given incredible power by the drumming of Mr Hamilton and is an interesting comparison with the screeching violins of Bernard Hermann in the shower scene in Psycho. Or the weird arco bass and shimmering cymbals when the ceiling cracks before her very eyes. Otherwise, ordinary sounds, such as the nearby bells in a convent, dripping tap water, a clock, flies, become a tintinnabulation of horror. Not a film to see alone. Do not watch if having suffered any mental illness however minor. Read more ›
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4.0 out of 5 stars Eeerie, Challenging, Powerful (4 1/2 stars) Feb. 6 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Perhaps not one of the widely viewed horror films of the 1960s and certainly not as famous as Polanski's later Rosemary's Baby, Repulsion is nevertheless a crowning achievement in the psychological thriller canon and a masterpiece from the young Czech. Few directors have delved into the study of emptiness and isolation with such penetration and success as Polanski has here. Despite some patchy dialogue(this was Polanski's first english film) and a snails pace for the most part Repulsion is a challenging and important study of a nightmare reality of alienation and virginity which will manifest itself as violence.
In a stunning naturalistic performace, Catherine Deneuve skillfully brings out all the complexities of such a character- her perfectly subtle performace providing both eerie discomfort and eliciting terror and sympathy from the audience. Polanski's direction is also key. His camera effortless creates tension and mood; especially in the silent scenes where the director acts as a voyeur, eavesdropping into Deneuve's painful lack of options and increasing vulnerabily. Like Rosemary's Baby three years later, Repulsion doesn't resort to cheap shock tactics and meaningless scenes of terror- the effect is consquently rewarding and original.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A cinematic masterpiece. March 5 2002
Format:VHS Tape
This film charts the slow descent of a French girl, Carol, played by Catherine Deneuve, into madness and horror. The acting in this film is superb, and especially by Deneuve, who brings to her part a delicate balance of vulnerability and strangeness. Right from the start, there is a sense that this beautiful, introverted, seemingly harmless girl, is not 'quite all there.' Give her a slight push, and she will tumble into total madness. As a performance, it is reminiscent of Anthony Perkins in Psycho.
The camera is on Carol all the time, and we see events unfold through her paranoid and schizophrenic mind. We feel her isolation. The mundane is amplified -the ticking of a clock, the sounds of the street outside, the toiling of the bell from the next door nunnery-and made to seem menacing. She is dependant on her sister to such an extent that when her sister goes to Italy on holiday, leaving her alone, she loses her lifeline on which to grasp for human contact. Her isolation is so intense that other people become a threat. Those who are a menace to her, such as her landlord, are treated in the same manner as those who wish her well, such as her boy friend. She can no longer tell the difference. The madness in her mind is made manifest on the screen: Huge cracks appear in the wall symbolising the cracks appearing in her mind. Hands come out of the wall and touch her. Her nightmares torment her with physical contact of men, the one thing that horrifies her, and which are made utterly believable by the vagueness of the camerawork and the silence on the soundtrack-how very much like a real nightmare. The structure of the film is marvellous, as is the cinematography. There is not a shot or a frame wasted as every scene, every shot, builds up to show Carol's loosening grasp of reality.
One of the greatest films of the 20th Century. On every level, this film not only works, but works brilliantly. Roman Polanski is a genius, and this film is his cinematic masterpiece.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Arrived in good time and was exactly as was advertised. A++
Published 1 month ago by Greg Roberts
4.0 out of 5 stars Blu-ray Details +++ NB: The transfer is 1920x1080i 50 Hz
-> BLU-RAY review

Transfer looks very good.
But instead of the usual Blu-ray 24fps 1920x1080p (progressive) Full HD, what you get is a 1920x1080i (interlaced)... Read more
Published 10 months ago by mickey_one
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Intriguing Psychological Thriller
Roman Polanski's tale of a young woman's descent into insanity. Catherine Deneuve plays Carol, a Belgian woman living in London with her older sister. Read more
Published on June 16 2012 by Daffy Bibliophile
1.0 out of 5 stars Scenes Deleted.
My copy says "Director Approved" and I am ticked off. I saw this film on its initial release in 1965, and the horrific scene of Deneuve crawling on the floor with the rabbit in her... Read more
Published on March 7 2012 by Federov
5.0 out of 5 stars Very creepy
Even on her good days, Carol lives on the edge of sanity; she stares endlessly at sidewalks cracks, feels things crawling on her body, and doesn't respond to people. Read more
Published on Nov. 22 2008 by Kona
3.0 out of 5 stars Peculiar
Some people talk about the apartment Trilogy ,refering to three of Polanski's films. The Tenant, Rosemary's baby and Repulsion. I think Repulsion is not as good as the other two. Read more
Published on Dec 14 2006 by Eric Simard
5.0 out of 5 stars Scary
One of the greal psychological horror movies I've ever seen. It raises an interesting question; is the world hell or do we create our own hell??
Published on Nov. 6 2003 by Dhaval Vyas
1.0 out of 5 stars Bo o o oring
The sound track is so bad as to render most of the dialogue useless if not downright irritating; it might as well have been produced as a silent film. Read more
Published on Sept. 27 2003 by Alvin H.Safanie
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Scary!
Roman Polanski sets up a tense atmosphere for this macabre tale where every black-and-white shot is subjectively motivated by the deranged character played with quiet brilliance by... Read more
Published on June 18 2003 by Tom Servo
2.0 out of 5 stars psychological? ok, entertaining, no!
this movie is all pychological [stuff] about a woman all fearful of sex. but that's it, nothing really happens. Read more
Published on June 13 2003
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