Blu-ray Review: THE FAN (1981)

THE FAN is based on a novel of the same name by Bob Randall. The movie was directed by Edward Bianchi from a screenplay by Priscilla Chapman and John Hartwell and stars Lauren Bacall, Michael Biehn, James Garner, Hector Elizondo and Maureen Stapleton.

Sally Ross (Lauren Bacall) is a renowned Broadway star, glamorous celebrity, and the object of adoration for countless admirers. But among all the loving little people lurks a young man (Michael Biehn) whose devotion teeters on the edge of madness. His impassioned letters to her are initially a source of pleasure, but as he attempts to realize his ultimate fantasy – and is met with rejection – the stakes are raised to terrifying heights … which might bring on the final curtain for Sally.

The story for this 1981 psycho-thriller / slasher hybrid centers around Sally Ross (Lauren Bacall), an actress who ends up finding out she has a special fan. Douglas Breen (Michael Biehn) becomes obsessed with his favorite actress to the point of madness. He types out numerous creepy fan letters to her but he ends up being rejected so this sends the obsessed fan over the edge and he begins stalking Sally’s close friends and cutting them up.

Thankfully for Sally she has Jake Berman (James Garner), her on again – off again ex turned bestie who tries to be there by her side during her time of need. The thing is, he can’t be t here for her all the time so when Douglas finds a window of opportunity to strike he finally meets his favorite actress in person. Sally is left to confront her biggest fan on her own and ultimately finds the courage to stand up to him and counter his attack with her own deadly blow.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features some banner art for the movie. The Blu-ray disc features some artwork that matches the front cover. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release and were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, The Fan ended up being another first time watch for me and I thought this cult classic was a good watch, not great, but good. The story was interesting but the movie itself couldn’t decide if it wanted to be a psycho-thriller or a straight up slasher so it’s kind of both. The movie does have a fantastic cast that features several Hollywood legends but stealing the spotlight is a young Michel Biehn in his first big role as this obsessed fan who takes things way too far with his favorite actress. Edward Bianchi was a last minute replacement as director and I thought he did a good job considering what he had to work with. It’s a hybrid of sorts that does have a little slice and dice action it in as well as some atmospheric cinematography that helps set the dark tone plus Biehn is just creepy as hell and fun to watch. The Fan will be available on Blu-ray on November 19th.

Distributor: Scream Factory

Run Time: 95 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono

Subtitles: English

Special Features: The extras include three new interviews with some of the cast and crew, some new audio commentary, theatrical trailer, TV spots and a still gallery.

  • NEW Number One Fan – an interview with actor Michael Biehn (25:52)
  • NEW Fan Service – an interview with director Edward Bianchi (38:15)
  • NEW Fanning the Flames – an interview with editor Alan Heim (18:13)
  • NEW Audio Commentary with cult film director David DeCoteau and film historian David Del Valle, moderated by Scream Factory marketing director Jeff Nelson
  • Theatrical Trailer (02:04)
  • TV Spots (01:30)
  • Still Gallery (04:19)

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