Black Rainbow (1989)

Mike Hodges has had a crazy career. Who else could make both Flash Gordon, Pulp and Get Carter? This film is even stranger, a tale of Martha Travis (Rosanna Arquette), a carny clairvoyant who is traveling the rails with her father (Jason Robards), pulling off that old cold reading trick, letting people feel better about their dead loved ones. One night, however, she predicts a death, which starts spiraling her life — and everyone connected to it like journalist Gary Wallace (Tom Hulce, Amadeus) — out of control.

After predicting the death of a whistleblower, Martha is soon followed by the police, the press and the man who keeps killing anyone to keep the secrets of industry. While she was once content to use her gifts for showmanship, now she feels the need to tell her growing audience that there is nothing left in the great unknown. Worse, she is starting to see how each of them will die.

This is an anachronistic film, because if you asked me when it took place, I’d say the 1930’s, but there are references to R2D2 in the dialogue. That kind of incredulity makes me love this movie even more. It’s a shame that it was basically dumped on release. No surprise, it was produced by Miramax over here.

Arrow has re-released this film (it came out in 2005 from Anchor Bay), keeping archival features whole adding their always stellar extras. With a brand new restoration from the original negative approved by writer-director Mike Hodges (Arrow will also be releasing his movie Terminal Man in 2021) and new audio commentary by film historians Kat Ellinger and Samm Deighan, this is the best version of this movie that you can find.

You can grab this from Arrow Video.

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