For someone who claims to be an atheist, Clive Barker sure does delve into the afterlife and spiritual realm a whole lot. From “Nightbreed” to “Hellraiser,” the author / director seems to have an obsession with what’s to come once we shuffle off this mortal coil. Scream Factory’s release of “Lord of Illusions: Collector’s Edition” reminds horror fans of his passionate and dark dwellings on the realm of the dead. This new version assembles the Director’s Cut and the theatrical one with new and old special features for its debut on Blu-ray.
Private Detective Harry D’Amour (Scott Bakula) is caught up investigating the deaths of several reformed cult members. As he digs deeper for one of the victims’ widows (Famke Janssen), he is exposed to the dangerous worlds of illusions and magic. D’Amour soon learns that illusions are trickery, but magic is very real and very deadly.
The 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.78:1) transfer for the Director’s Cut gives home viewers the perfect visual experience. The practical and special effects for “Lord of Illusions” are still impressive, even if their limitations are more evident because of a clearer picture. Knowing that all the gruesome carnage seen onscreen was achieved without the use of CGI is a breath of realistic fresh air.
Both the Director’s Cut and theatrical version of “Lord of Illusions” give viewers the option to switch between DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. Either way, the musical score, dialogue, and audio effects will plunge you into the woeful recesses of Clive Barker’s mind. It’s left up to you what level you want to descend to.
“Lord of Illusions: Collector’s Edition” comes with plenty of extra material thanks to Scream Factory’s loving attention. Clive Barker provides commentary for his Director’s Cut. “A Gathering of Magic” featurette gives us a glimpse into the making of the film. A new interview with Storyboard Artist Martin Mercer is found. Original Behind-the-Scenes footage, deleted scenes, and a photo gallery are included as well.
The Director’s Cut is unrated and with good reason. There’s loads of violence and gore, nudity, language, sexuality, and adult situations. Not only are we exposed to female nudity, we get full frontal male nudity as well. Some of it is shrouded in shadows, but still visible.
“Lord of Illusions: Collector’s Edition” reminds us all of what a great blend of noir and horror Clive Barker’s film is. It does an excellent job of showing us what can happen if we become obsessed with attaining power and forbidden knowledge through the occult. Even though he might not fully believe in it, Barker teaches us that playing with magic and supernatural forces can only do harm. You might not want to own it, but it’s worth a watch just for its interesting take on the subject matter.
“Lord of Illusions: Collector’s Edition” is available now on Blu-ray.