With the opening of “Carrie,” we see a brutal horror unfold with main character the titular Carrie White taking a shower during gym class and discovering the horror of her first period. She’s a girl who’s never really been given an explanation on anatomy or biology thanks to her religiously fanatical mother, and is terrified. Sadly the predators in her class that revel in bullying Carrie torment her by throwing tampons and towels at her as she screams. While the scene itself is jarring and the epitome of the cruelty Carrie inexplicably receives, it’s also the implication that ultimate evil has been realized. Though it’s mostly hinted at by Carrie’s mother, Carrie, despite being a good person at heart, is also pure evil personified.
When she finally reaches her period and reaches puberty, her world shatters and she begins developing supernatural powers. From the outset Carrie is capable of committing horrible damage when her emotions peak at an all time high, and she gradually figures out what she’s capable of. The growth of Carrie is the growth of a person whose own powers allows her to evolve in to someone with better confidence about herself. Sadly, a lot of what goes on behind the scenes unwittingly unleashes the pure carnage Carrie White is capable of. Whether it’s completely confirmed or not, Carrie might be a potentially deadly force whose own religiously fanatical mother is the only person capable of controlling and stifling any and all ability to destroy. When Carrie is victorious at the prom and has pig’s blood dropped on to her head, every bit of psychosis, pain, and emotion hits its high and she unleashes the only thing she has true control over.
And she uses it to punish literally everyone who’s ever looked down at her, patronized her, and tortured her. “Carrie” is still a juggernaut of horror cinema, and DePalma’s direction matched with the amazing editing makes the film feel like some sort of fever dream that Carrie White is incapable of escaping. She’s a character constantly on edge and stuck in a world which is accentuated by the tight editing and close shots of Carrie’s face during the film’s key moments when she’s in emotional stress. King’s tale is still a very prophetic statement about the damaging effects of bullying, the ruthlessness and inexplicable cruelty of bullies, and how in many ways evil begets evil.
Scream Factory pulls out all the stops for the 40th anniversary collector’s edition, offering up a two disc edition and brand new art for “Carrie.” Featured on disc one is an HD theatrical trailer, and a gallery of trailers for the franchise. With Disc Two, there’s “Writing Carrie,” a new thirty minute interesting interview with screenwriter Lawrence Cohen who discusses in great length how he adapted the book from a then unknown Stephen King, and his feelings on the book. “Shooting Carrie” is a new fifteen minute interview with Director of Photography Mario Tosi. It’s another fine interview with who discusses a lot of the visuals, including how he made most of the film feel like one fuzzy bad dream, as well as DePalma’s approach to the storytelling. “Cutting Carrie” is a twenty five minter interview with editor Paul Hirsch who relays some excellent insight about how he put the film together in the editing room, finding the tone of the film, the frantic pacing, and the big editing of the climax.
“Casting Carrie” is a sixteen minute talk with casting director Harriet B. Helberg who discusses what it took to get the film cast and the search for the lead role which went to Sissy Spacek. “More Acting Carrie” is a twenty minute segment with new but short interviews with Nancy Allen, Betty Buckley, William Katt, Piper Laurie, Edie McClurg, and P.J. Soles, respectively. One of the more fun revelations during this segment is that DePalma was holding auditions for “Carrie” while George Lucas was holding auditions for “Star Wars” in the same room at the same time. Imagine John Travolta as Han Solo, or Mark Hamil in William Katt’s role. “Bucket of Blood” is a twenty two minute interview with Pino Donaggio who discusses his amazing score for the film. He explains the approach toward the score, and how they composed most of the haunting music, including the string music derived from “Psycho.”
There’s a new “Horror’s Hallowed Grounds” an eleven minute look at shooting locations for the movie with legendary host Sean Clark. “Acting Carrie” is an archival series of interviews from past Special Edition DVD’s with principal cast. “Visualizing Carrie” is a forty one archival making of segment from past DVD editions. “Carrie the Musical” is a six minute collection of interviews about the attempt to make the film in to a full fledged musical. “Stephen King and the Evolution of Carrie Text Gallery” is a text history about the creation and genesis of the novel, and where King derived his ideas from. There are two HD still galleries of rare Behind the Scenes stills, and Posters and Lobby Cards. There’s a collection of five brief TV trailers for the film, and finally a radio spot for the movie.