Phase IV: The Evolution Cut

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Superb re-scoring and narration removal Last Survivor achieved here with this Bass oddball feature, giving more contemplative atmosphere to unique cinematography. I've seen the original long ago and Gascoigne's score is somewhat faded from memory, but the new score feels quite organic to the visuals and LS made the addition of Bass' pre-theatrical ending seamless more than the material allows. Having seen this fanedit second time with informative audio commentary I must say LS deserves high praise. Get it, dig it, and all hail our new antlords!
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(Updated: February 01, 2021)
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In all honesty, this was effective enough that I had to go back and familiarize myself with the original audio. Which means that although my appreciation for Gascoine's original score has now since been refreshed to a degree, I'm even more impressed with the audio decisions in this fan edit - As they don't ignore the timbre and emotive tonal motif in the moments that are re-scored and even where they might differ in attitude, it has been obviously contrasted and compared with thought and intuition. The narrative changes that Last Survivor made overall were with a disciplined hand and were spot on. The removal of some of the weaker acting/directing moments raise it's game more than you might expect for how slight they are for the most part and the removal of all narration really opens this film up to an interpretive degree, not to mention the improved atmosphere in which it can be enjoyed. First class editing to help the final piece step up a notch - And to have Bass' original ending to work with also, makes the final touches by LS so worthwhile.

I never just blow smoke etc, so I do have to say I miss the ponderous, characterful bass lines in Gascoines' opening score as we follow our first character through their world (in fact those bass lines were very reminiscent of 'Fantastic Planet' if I remember right - find it if you haven't seen it) But I don't fault the replacement audio here at all. It works very well. It all works very well, including of course all the smaller cues that segue less dynamic moments nicely and populate the soundscape of the laboratory further, alongside existing blips and hums. Whilst not routinely psychedelic, the replacement score retains the required intensity of cumulative moments that are completely in step with the visuals, which at times definitely are psychedelic.

So, a film that was originally subject to tone deaf marketing posters in the cinemas and is in fact a style of feature far closer to the likes of 'The Andromeda Strain' than it is to the giant ant film 'Them', now fits even more comfortably in place alongside more "respectable" science fiction. Highly recommended.

(I didn't realize there was a commentary track by Last Survivor, which I should have checked out before now really, but I wanted to get this down. I will be sure to do that)
Owner's reply February 07, 2021

what can I say? It's great when you get such nice feedback from people who are genuine fans of the original version. I can't tell you how much I love the original film, so I was genuinely hoping that this admiration for Bass' film would still shine through with this new rescoring. To hear that you liked this aspect was such a relief, as I thought long and hard about what music to use. Also glad to hear the little nips and tucks in removing a few scenes worked to the film's advantage too. Thanks so much and glad you enjoyed it!

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(Updated: March 21, 2021)
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10.0
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10.0
After this edit won FEOTM,I was convinced I needed to see this edit! I'm a graphic Designer and love Saul Bass as a Graphic Designer. Never been much into horror or old movies, but I feel obligated to check out this project so I ordered the DVD.

I would definitely recommend watching the original first, to be sure how much was edited. I am not big on older movies, but this one was surprisingly well done in a strage, timeless sci-fi way. Very interesting cinematography to be sure. Classic 70s vibe.

Now, on the the review of the edit - the original Phase IV was insane, but without the narration, I feel like whateder I'm on just "kicked in", the beginning felt like a drug flashback, (in a good way LOL) This edit is so... cerebral. Saul Bass's visuals seem so much deeper and more like an art piece. The Hubbs character seems a little less sinister, awhich I do miss a little, but Lesko seems a little less creepy on Kendra, which is a positive. Love the soundtrack updates.

And that ending. That drug trip kicked back in for sure! Sooo much better.

I knew Saul was a little insane like we artists all are, but man what a weird good movie. So glad I bought the disc and took this ride! Thank you for bringing attention to this weird weird movie. I'm not usually a big fan of older movies either.

Some fanedits are definitely hit or miss, but this is the good stuff and why I love this community. So weird, I love it!!!
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Overall rating
 
9.8
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
This edit of Phase IV made by LastSurvivor, wow. This was so awesome, awesome in the best possible way. A simple, but really surreal and weird killer-ant story with a crazed researcher and a leering linguist is enhanced beyond what I could have ever anticipated.

LastSurvivor, you made something really special by restoring and enhancing the vision of Phase IV and its creator (You know who I mean). I will return to this edit for years to investigate more of the movie and it's meaning and it's all thanks to you.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
A
Top 500 Reviewer 14 reviews
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Overall rating
 
9.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
A far cry from the earnest-but-hobbled attempt at sci-fi grandeur that I first experienced years ago as an early MST3K episode, LastSurvivor has given us one of the absolute masterworks not only of fanediting but, in restoring this film to as close as possible to its intended form, one of the masterworks of science fiction film. An absolute psychedelic marvel from beginning to end, it is both a descendent of 2001 and a progenitor of Primer. (Anyone, like myself, bemoaning that we'll likely never see another film from disgraced genius Shane Carruth would do well to track this edit down.)

The music, the editing, the restoration of the climactic sequence, everything about this edit is perfect. My only small complaint is that perhaps Bass' original ending doesn't seem to quite stick the landing in terms of the profundity of 2001's alien-driven-evolution-of-mankind, but who knows, I may change my mind on future viewings -- of which there will definitely be many, if for no other reason than to marvel over how the insects of the film manage such stunning performances.

Even rivalling the lead turn by Michael Murphy, aka "the guy who played the mayor in Batman Returns."

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
DVD
R
Top 10 Reviewer 156 reviews
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