HTF REVIEW: "Making Contact" (with screenshots)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Nov 27, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator

    Jul 3, 1997
    Likes Received:
    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein

    Making Contact

    Studio: Anchor Bay
    Year: 1985
    Rated: PG
    Film Length: 79 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: 16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (2.35:1)
    Subtitles: None

    With the latest batch of Anchor Bay screeners I
    received last week it was a tough choice deciding
    which to review. Upon picking up the box for
    Making Contact, I was rather intrigued by
    the fact it was made by Roland Emmerich, the
    director of Independence Day. It also
    promised to be a "supernatural shocker" with all
    the elements of movies like E.T. and
    As the film begins, we are introduced to nine-year
    old Joey who is attending the funeral of his father
    who suddenly passed away. Soon after, many bizarre
    things begin happening in Joey's life. First he
    discovers he has some sort of mild telekinetic powers.
    Next, Joey brings home a doll named Fletcher that
    he found in an abandoned house. The doll turns out
    to be possessed by an evil being with powers similar
    to Joey's, only stronger. As scientific authorities
    arrive, Joey finds himself battling a horrific
    unexplainable supernatural force.
    Unfortunately, Making Contact is nothing more
    than a cheesy rip-off of just about every 70s and 80s
    science fiction film, with absolutely no shock value
    whatsoever. In fact, it's kind of sad to see that
    the filmmakers did nothing original here, almost
    copying the look and style of movies we already know.
    This 2-disc set contains both the uncut original
    German release, Joey, along with the American
    version, Making Contact. The German release
    contains 20 minutes of additional footage.
    How is the transfer?
    Both transfers look about the same. Generally,
    the picture quality looks above average. The film
    looks a bit dated with colors looking duller than
    they should and flesh tones looking overly red.
    There's also a noticeable amount of film noise that
    shows in various scenes. Otherwise, the transfer
    looks generally clean here.
    The big problem is the sound.
    On the American version, Making Contact, the
    Dolby Surround EX sounds pretty good for a low-budget
    80s flick. There is a distinguishable amount of
    surround effects from the rear channels, but you
    never get a sense of direction from them. In other
    words, it's an average sounding surround track --
    especially for the fact that LFE response is very
    low. It's disappointing that after the film is
    introduced with a pounding low-end Dolby Digital
    trailer, the film itself comes off with sound that
    stays in the high ranges rather than providing any
    warm bass.
    As for the German Version -- it is unlistenable.
    Something very bad has happened to this mix. The
    entire film is supported by audio that remains
    mostly in the front right channel and the left
    rear channel -- and I mean everything is
    thrown to those channels including dialogue and
    music. Something obviously went wrong during the
    mastering of this DVD.
    Let me also note that while the German version
    has English subtitles, once again Anchor Bay has
    not provided subtitles for the hearing impaired
    on their English titles. There is closed captions,
    but they are far more burdensome than subtitles.
    Special Features
    There is nothing more here than the original
    theatrical trailers for each version of the film.
    Final Thoughts
    A low-budget sci-fi horror film that rips off
    everything that came before it, combined with a
    defective German surround soundtrack makes this
    a totally wasted review.
    If you see this on the shelves of your DVD retailer,
    just pass it by.
    Release Date: Now
  2. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

    Jun 15, 2001
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    I certainly will!
  3. Beast

    Beast Second Unit

    Oct 12, 2001
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    Is it just me, or does Fletcher looks like some sort of evil Ronald Reagan dummy? [​IMG] [​IMG]
  4. Sean Laughter

    Sean Laughter Screenwriter

    Aug 3, 1999
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    I watched this film religiously when I was a kid. I have no idea why because it freaked me out big time, particularly since I had a ventroliquists doll of my own that sat in a chair in the corner of my room!! I swear that thing moved some nights!

    Anyway, yeah, it's not a particularly good movie at all, but it has some sentimental value so I may pick it up if I find it cheap, but it's definately not a priority purchase at this point.
  5. Matthew Chmiel

    Matthew Chmiel Cinematographer

    Apr 26, 2000
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    I will admit, the film is a piece of crap. But like Sean, I watched this film religiously when I was younger. I still have the VHS tape I got from K-Mart for $2.99 when I was seven.

    I want to get the DVD as it has some sentimental value and I would like to see the original German theatrical cut, but maybe when we get word on what happened to the sound on the German cut.

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