'The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey (Special Ed.)'
(Bruce Lyons, Chris Haywood, Hamish Mcfarlane, et al / Blu-ray / PG / (1988) 2018 / Arrow Films UK)
Overview: Men seeking relief from the Black Death, guided by a boy's vision, dig a tunnel from 14th century England to 20th century New Zealand.
Blu-ray Verdict: This is highly extraordinary film, not to mention a highly, and extraordinarily underrated one, of that you can believe.
I first saw this film as a child and it has stayed with me ever since. Now I've seen it once more with adult eyes I can't help but wonder why it's not more renowned.
The fact it defies standard genres has probably hampered its reputation, often getting it unfairly shelved as a sort of arty kid's flick.
Undoubtedly there are elements here that will appeal to children - imagine a more sombre Terry Gilliam and you might be there - but it's much more than just that.
The film is about a small medieval village during a time of the plague and a boy who seems to have an answer on how to keep this plague at bay. It's a world filled with superstitions and struggle, even when the travelers end up in the modern era, all their motivations are much the same.
Indeed, this is a film that will stick with you and will stand out to you also as a movie that was clearly ahead of its time. I strongly urge everyone to see this. It may be difficult to understand at first, sure, but you must allow it to sink in. There is a moral to it that if you don't get, or quite fully understand the first time around, watch it again. Either way, enjoy, my friends. Enjoy!
In closing, to simply describe it as merely fantasy is to ignore the power and universality of the story. Poetic and moving, 'The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey' is a lost masterpiece of '80s cinema waiting to be rediscovered ... and, as it's now out as a stunning new High Definition Blu-ray presentation via Arrow Films / MVD Visual, well, dive on in, everyone. The viewing water's are just perfect! This is a Widescreen HD Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
High Definition (Blu-ray) presentation
Original mono audio (uncompressed LPCM)
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
Brand-new appreciation by film critic Nick Roddick, recorded exclusively for this release
Kaleidoscope: Vincent Ward Film Maker, a 1989 documentary profile of the director made for New Zealand television
+ FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Kim Newman and an introduction by Vincent Ward