Review: Raising Cain
Blu-ray + DVD: Raising Cain (1992)
Normally I’d give a brief synopsis but occasionally, as with Raising Cain, it’s best to dive right on in.
Brian De Palma has long been derided for being a Hitchcock copycat, and anyone familiar with his work has to (somewhat) agree, that Hitch is an influence. However, Give De Palma his due, Hitch would never have attempted to make anything as BONKERS as Dressed to Kill, Raising Cain, Body Double, Phantom of the Paradise, or as bright as Carrie, Mission Impossible or Snake Eyes, and I feel in my humble opinion that De Palma may be influenced by Hitchcock but he can also be on a par with this filmic genius.
(Spoilers!) Psychiatrist Dr. Carter Nix (John Lithgow) is the perfect husband to Jenny (Lolita Davidovich). She becomes ‘concerned’ that Carter is obsessively studying their daughter, Amy. Little does Jenny know that Carter suffers from consisting of his ‘twin brother’ Cain, Josh, a 7 and half year old boy, and Margo (John Lithgow in a wig and dress somewhat like a tall Sybil Fawlty).
It appears that Cain is kidnapping (and sometimes murdering) mothers to steal their kids to ‘experiment on. Jenny is having an affair with Jack Dante (Steven Bauer), and … Boy, this has a complicated plot. BUT it’s not so complicated that you start twiddling with your phone, or get bored. Oh far from it, mainly because of John Lithgow’s outstanding performance which is completely over the top as Cain, indescribable as Margo and well this fella is magnificent no matter what he’s in, from Netflix’s The Crown to Buckaroo Banzai, and who can forget him calling Dexter Morgan a cunt?
This is such a one-off film, a great companion to Body Double as they both have the same ‘feel’ and palate. I won’t reveal the rest of the plot, as this is yet another indispensable must-buy from the great Arrow Films. Extras include TWO versions of the film and several new documentaries. 10 out of 10 again from Arrow.
LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS
- Limited Edition [3000 copies] containing two versions of the film on Blu-ray and the theatrical version on DVD
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing on both versions
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Nathanael Marsh
- Booklet featuring new writing on the film by Anne Billson
DISCS 1 & 2: THEATRICAL VERSION [BLU-RAY & DVD]
- High Definition digital transfer of the theatrical version
- Hickory Dickory Doc, a brand-new interview with actor John Lithgow
- The Man in My Life, an interview with actor Steven Bauer
- Have You Talked to the Others?, an interview with editor Paul Hirsch
- Three Faces of Henry, an interview with actor Gregg Henry
- The Cat’s in the Bag, an interview with actor Tom Bower
- A Little Too Late for That, an interview with actor Mel Harris
- Raising Pino, a brand-new interview with composer Pino Donaggio
- Father’s Day, a brand-new video essay about the multiple versions of Raising Cain by Chris Dumas, author of Un-American Psycho: Brian De Palma and the Political Invisible
- Theatrical Trailer
DISC 3: DIRECTOR’S CUT [LIMITED EDITION BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVE]
- Raising Cain: The Director’s Cut, a De Palma-endorsed recreation of the film by Peet Belder Gelderblom, re-ordered as originally planned
- Changing Cain: Brian De Palma’s Cult Classic Restored, an introduction by Gelderblom to the Director’s Cut
- Raising Cain Re-Cut, a video essay by Gelderblom on the origins and differences of the Director’s Cut
Review by Tina (co-host of 60 Minutes With) from discs kindly supplied by Arrow Films.