High Anxiety (Blu-ray)
Dr. Thorndyke is the newly appointed head of the Psychoneurotic Institute for the very, very Nervous. He soon discovers that not only is something amiss but that his late predecessor didn’t in fact die of natural causes and now he’s being framed for murder. He must battle the corrupt faculty members, assassins and his own condition “High Anxiety” if he’s to clear his name and survive the ordeal.
Sweet Jesus where do I begin!? This movie was beyond the realm of ridiculous, it was painstakingly horrible from start to finish! Now before you begin to think I’m judging this thing too harshly, I assure you I go into every film with an open mind (this might be a good time to mention I watched ECLIPSE over the weekend and enjoyed it. SEE, I told you I was fair). I won’t say I’m a fan of Mel Brooks per say but I don’t dislike the guy either. Some of his other films were indeed funny (or at least funny-ish) such as DRACULA: DEAD AND LOVING IT, ROBINHOOD: MEN IN TIGHTS and of course SPACEBALLS. HIGH ANXIETY is a far cry from any of those.
First off I thought this was a comedy but I didn’t laugh…not once. I would further love to add that I could hear the sound of crickets chirping every time a lame as hell joke slithered its way into the dialogue but even the crickets knew better than come out for this nonsense. I know this was made in seventy-seven but so were STAR WARS, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND and THE DEEP. I’m all for older films as there are many great ones to choose from but this is not one of them. I’m not a fan of overacting antics, unless of course your name is Leslie Neilson but even he didn’t do it like this. These characters are cringe worthy on every level, especially the nurse. I wanted nothing more than to snap her neck every loathing second she was on screen.
Next we have the ode to Hitchcock angle which also didn’t set well with me. If I were Alfred Hitchcock not only would I be rolling over in my grave each and every time someone uttered the words “High Anxiety”, I ‘d have also risen from the grave to nut punch Mel Brooks and crane kick the holy hell out of anyone and everyone involved with this movie as well as their friends and families. The James Bond reference to the Jaws villain was also a slap in the face. Between the sad borrowed references, the annoying musical number that I still can’t get out of my head and the irritating bondage content I seriously don’t know how I avoided shooting myself in the face.
HIGH ANXIETY may have a place in the hearts of older crowds or people who share a complete opposite idea of comedy that I do but like I said, I’m not against Mel Brooks or some of his older works so I can’t help but chalk this up to just being a bad film overall. Of course, that said when it comes to older films we all have our favourites yet I’ll be the first to admit that what makes these oldies nostalgic and fun is the fact that we saw them back in the day first. Watching old films like this one now, for the first time, is never a particularly good idea regardless of how good or bad it’s supposed to be. So bare that in mind if you have yet to watch this movie. My suggestion, watch SPACEBALLS instead.
Video: 1.85:1 Widescreen in 1080p HD with AVC codec. I saw far too much, far too clearly by being exposed to this film in HD. Yes, I feel optically violated.
Audio: 5.1 DTS-HD in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese with the same subtitle options. I’m firmly sure that this film is equally awful in all four languages.
Hitchcock and Mel: Spoofing the Master of Suspense (29:20): Brooks and some greatly over-the-hill actors and actresses take this opportunity to express their love and admiration of the Hitchcock era and talk about why they went in this direction. I can feel Hitchcock stirring in his grave.
The “Am I Very, Very Nervous?” Test (1:34:05): This incredibly lame feature plays along with the entire film showing a heart rate monitor in the top left corner to let us know when Mel is getting nervous.
Don’t Get Anxious! The Trivia of Hitchcock (1:34:05): Another play along feature for the film that’s pretty much a “Much Music Pop-up Video” deal only with Hitchcock trivia instead.
Previews: There’s a theatrical trailer as well as trailers for various other Mel Brooks films.