DVD/Blu-ray review | Sleepwalker (1984) | BFI Flipside resurrects Saxon Logan’s old dark house satire

Saxon Logan's SleepwalkerTHE STORY
As a storm rages, arrogant video producer Richard (Nikolas Grace) and his timid wife Angela (Joanna David) arrive at the country home of Angela’s friend Marianne (Heather Page) and her brother Alex (Bill Douglas) for a weekend stay. But things get off to a bad start at a local restaurant where materialist Thatcherite Richards launches into a vicious verbal assault on intellectual translator Alex. A few bottles of wine later, events take a nightmarish turn back at the house when an unseen killer takes down the guests one by one. …

Saxon Logan's SleepwalkerTHE LOWDOWN
With its blackly comic script and knowing horror imagery, Saxon Logan‘s pint-size homage to James Whale’s 1932 classic Old Dark House plays like a giallo-styled Abigail’s Party possessed by the acid tongue of Joe Orton and the social satire of Lindsay Anderson. This bastard offspring is a deliciously dark vision of British mores that justifiably deserves being dusted off from the BFI vaults. It’s a great little find, just begging for rediscovery. It’s just a shame that Logan, a one-time BBC film editor who began his career working on Anderson’s O! Lucky Man (1973), never did anything else after this.

Saxon Logan's SleepwalkerTHE BFI FLIPSIDE RELEASE
Re-mastered from the only surviving print, this long-unseen 49-minute film is presented here in its original aspect ratio 1.85:1, in both HD and SD, along with two shorts by director Saxon Logan – (Stepping Out, 1977, 11min), which supported Polanski’s The Tenant in UK cinemas, and (Working Surface, 1979, 16min) – plus, the rare 1971 mid-length fantasy, The Insomniac, directed by Rodney Giesler. A 2013 video interview with director Logan and a booklet featuring notes on the transfer and an essay on the film also accompany the release.

This BFI Flipside dual format release is out from 23 September 2013 (click here to order)

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