Black Rainbow is one of those films that I’m fully discovering because of Arrow Video. Originally released in American theaters by Miramax in 1989, it got a two week release on a national level. It wasn’t until a later VHS release in 1992 that a small cult following developed. But, what does one make of a movie about a medium being stalked by a murderer that only she can predict? Also, why is it told in flashback?
Jason Robards remains one of my favorite actors. I’m sure that enough time has passed where younger film fans aren’t as familiar with the acting titan. He plays the father of Rosanna Arquette’s medium character. Honestly, he’s a bit distracting for the purposes of the film. I kept finding myself focused on him, even though Arquette and Hulce were the focuses of the film.
What Flash Gordon director Mike Hodges manages to do is serve both aspects of his career. While his early movies were flashy, the later films starting with Croupier played it slow and drew you into the narrative world. Black Rainbow wants both of those tastes, but it honestly feels like a genre film that didn’t quite commit to either.
I dig the film as an experience. However, I’m not sure if it’s something I’m ever going to watch again. That is becoming increasingly common with my viewing habits. But, don’t let that dissuade you from watching Black Rainbow. Arrow didn’t rescue this movie for you not to see it. Plus, it’s nice to dip back into films like Black Rainbow to increase your cult cinema knowledge.
Arrow brings the special features in this loaded release. You get an archival director’s commentary, archival featurettes and trailers. There is a new commentary from some film historians, but I’m starting to get annoyed by those. Experience the film directly and see what grabs you. The A/V Quality is pretty sharp for a little seen 80s movie. Ultimately, I’d recommend a purchase to the interested.