The Astrologer Film Details
Overview: A scientist who works for a secret government agency that studies zodiac signs finds himself against a dangerous Indian cult lead by a powerful enigmatic man.
Tagline: “Two forces were trying to father the child… Ultimate good, undeniable evil. It is 10 days before the second coming, but whose child will it be?”
Review: Director/producer James Glickenhaus made some of my favorite films in the 80s. I loved THE EXTERMINATOR, THE SOLDIER, THE PROTECTOR and SHAKEDOWN. They were action films that grabbed you by the throat and held you there. So when I heard Severin was releasing Glickenhaus’ first film, one I wasn’t familiar with, I was excited to say the least. What I ended up watching was something different than the rest. THE ASTROLOGER follows an organization known as the Interzod Organization. Funded over centuries by various groups they’re currently part of the US government. What the organization does is determine people’s “zodiacal potential” to determine if they will be good or bad and act accordingly. Their current head is Alexei Abernal (Bob Byrd) who has determined that the second coming is about to happen. The only problem is whether or not the child will be born to a good or evil father. While all of this is going on Alexie’s wife Kate (Monica Tidwell) has seen a fortune teller who is concerned about what her future holds. Somehow the woman could tell when she gave her date of birth it wasn’t correct. Kate is also having issues with Alexei since even though they’ve been married several years he still hasn’t had sex with her. Could it be there is a connection between her and the birth being predicted? Add to this a mysterious stranger, the leader of a suicide cult who has appeared in Kate’s dreams. Kajerste (Mark Buntzman) is a mystic from India who plays a part in what is transpiring as well. But just what part he will play isn’t known until the end. So is the movie any good? Well yes and no. It has a truly interesting story based on the book by John Cameron (Glickenhaus’ father-in-law) and plenty of story on hand. Perhaps that’s the biggest problem though, it feels like it has too much story. The convoluted plot is drawn out in lengthy back and forth dialogue filled moments without a lot of other things taking place. This gives us a slow paced film that suffers slightly because of it. In spite of that the movie is interesting and holds your interest. Made on a shoestring budget and Glickenhaus first feature film he even notes that the movie provided him the opportunity to learn from the experience, the biggest lesson being films need more visual actions to hold an audience’s attention. Watching this film compared to his others you can see he learned the lesson well. The film does show promise for a young first time director though. The acting here isn’t the worst in the world but it is very dry. Byrd plays the role as well as can be but still has difficulty putting any emotion into the part. That he has no other credits to his name isn’t surprising. Perhaps the only cast member to appear in more films is Tidwell who parlayed her appearance as a Playboy centerfold into this film and 5 more. She shows potential here but it went unused as most of her films offer less acting and more of her displaying her charms. For fans of Glickenhaus and those who long to have a complete collection of the director’s films this is a treat though. Severin has gone out of their way to make this a quality offering beginning with a 4k scan of the original negative from the director’s personal answer print. While the film stock isn’t great you won’t get a better picture. In addition to that they have a number of extras that make picking this up worthwhile. They include “Sign of the Times” an interview with Glickenhaus discussing the film, “Monica Tidwell Remembers THE ASTROLOGER” an interview with Tidwell, “Tales from the Set” interviews with filmmakers Brendan Faulkner and Frank M. Farsel, “Zodiacal Locations” a look at the various locations used in the film today and a reversible cover using the other name the film was released under, SUICIDE CULT. I’ve praised Severin before as I have Arrow Video and will continue to do so. Why? Because they are rescuing forgotten films that fans have sought out over the years and been forced to own multi-generational bootleg copies of. Their respect to these films and their handling of them needs to be encouraged and applauded. So if you’re a fan of Glickenhaus or this film, this is the copy you need to own.
Country: United States
Duration: 96 min
Also known as: The Astrologer,Suicide Cult