August 6, 2018  (Web Review)

The Reincarnation of Peter Proud

Kino Lorber, 105 min., R, DVD: $19.99, Blu-ray: $29.99

Reviewer rating: 1.0/4

The late Michael Sarrazin stars in this miserable 1975 dark thriller featuring an undercurrent of metaphysical wonder, based on Max Ehrlich’s 1974 novel. Sarrazin stars as the titular history professor, who becomes increasingly convinced that he is the reincarnation of a man who was secretly murdered by his wife, Marcia Curtis (Margot Kidder) in 1946. Driven by instinct to a town in Massachusetts, Proud locates the aging Martha, and somewhat perversely begins dating her daughter, Ann (Jennifer O’Neill)—a theoretically incestuous relationship (although the script fails to explore the potential cross here between paranormal mystery and Greek tragedy). Kidder’s presence only reminds viewers of what a director like Brian De Palma (who directed Kidder in Sisters) could have done with the material (turned it operatic, certainly), but instead J. Lee Thompson was at the helm of this botched effort. Extras include audio commentary by film historian Lee Gambin, an extended scene, radio spots, and image galleries. Not recommended. (T. Keogh)