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Black Rainbow  (DVD)


Stars: Rosanna Arquette. Tom Hulce, Jason Robards, Mark Joy, Ron Rosenthal, Linda Perce

Director: Mike Hodges

Martha Travis (Arquette) , a travelling clairvoyant moving from town to town with her sceptic father (Robards), holds a seance in which she communicates a message to a woman from a dead husband. Shocked, the woman says her husband is still alive. But later that evening, he is killed by a hit-man...

As Martha begins to see more and more tragic events, journalist Gary Wallace (Hulce) pursues the psychic to see how the story develops.

Not content with being an okay if slightly overlong straight thriller about the medium who finds herself foreseeing deaths - a theme used before, although not all that often - Black Rainbow finally makes it through to the supernatural proper in a shivery last reel.

This aspect, though, seems rather 'tacked on' and not entirely relevant to the main theme of a moderately written, but well acted and directed thriller, with some doomy film noir music by John Scott to underline its trance of death.

Arquette's childlike voluptuousness is quite effective as the visionary in white who suddenly starts foreseeing events of purest black. The versatile Robards is for once on form as her father (who doesn't believe a word of it), while Hulce is caught between the two as the scribe in search of a scoop.

David Quinlan

UK 1989. UK Distributor: Arrow Films (originally Palace). Colour.
99 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 01 Jul 2020