Chris Walas’ special effects work is within the hearts and minds of every single genre fan. I mean, he did the facemelting in Raiders of the Lost Ark, created the Gremlins, designed the makeup for Jereeba Shigan in Enemy Mine and was the creature designer for The Fly, House II, Arachnaphobia, Naked Lunch and so many more films, as well as directing The Fly II and this film.
Richard Jefferies wrote Blood Tide and the script for this movie a decade before it was filmed. It was based on a real homeless person who lived in a vacant lot on the other side of the street from his first house in Los Angeles. He showed the script to William Wesley and that led to them making Scarecrows together and then after rewrites on this movie, Walas came on to direct and brought the script to Mel Brooks, who had produced The Fly II.
Graham Krakowski (Bill Paxton) has just bought his first house and he worries that the homeless man (Marshall Bell, Coach Schneider from A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge) across the street is stalking him, a fact that becomes more true when he has the man arrested for urinating on his yard. Soon, he’s sleepwalking and wondering when he’s having a nightmare and when it’s reality. And when a series of murders happen, he wonders if he’s the one doing the killing.
This movie has the kind of cast I love to see in a movie, including Michael Ironside, Colleen Camp, Stuart Pankin, Mitzi Kapture (I may have watched more than one movie with a Silk Stalkings castmember this week) and Marc McClure.
This made me miss Bill Paxton, an actor who could do just about anything. He hits every emotion in this film and owns every scene that he’s in.
The Arrow Video blu ray of The Vagrant has a brand new 2K restoration by Arrow Films from a new scan of the original camera negative; new interviews with director Chris Walas, Marshall Bell, Michael Ironside and Colleen Camp; a trailer; an image gallery; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Robert Hack and an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing by film critic Chris Hallock and Vagrant super-fan James Pearcey. You can get it from MVD.