Spherical Panavison - 1.85:1
Written & Directed by: Adam Rifkin
Starring: Judd Nelson,
Bill Paxton, Wayne Newton, Lara Flynn Boyle
David Lynch, move aside! Adam Rifkin has arrived, and he has breathed new life into your genre dark, noisy fantasy worlds of the strange), at less than one-tenth the budget of Dune, with a film called The Dark Backward.
In a world that resembles a grungy, post-nuclear nightmare with art deco advertising, Marty Malt (Judd Nelson) is a nebbish of the purest order, yet his best friend (Bill Paxton) keeps telling him he would be a hysterical stand-up comic. Marty's jokes go nowhere, until something truly bizarre happens to him that changes his life and his career forever - he grows a third arm!
Such a low-budget, little-seen release as The Dark Backward would seem an unlikely candidate for letterboxing. Yet Columbia TriStar Home Video recognized that despite the film's low cost, Adam Rifkin placed as much into each frame as he could to breathe life into the world he created, making the letterboxing (at an approx. 1.80:1 aspect ratio) not only a plus, but a necessity. The deep blue hues of the film try the limits of laserdisc, but there seems to be no way around it. The sharpness and CX-encoded digital mono audio are still decent, however.
So if you're looking for something out of the ordinary, why hedge? Go all the way by getting The Dark Backward, and leave all sense of reality behind. The normal need not apply.
Review by Brad DeMoss
From "Pond Scum" #30, unpublished|
Original Review: 09/92
Last Updated: 04/19/97