Director: Rupert Wainwright

Starring: Patricia Arquette, Gabriel Byrne, Jonathan Pryce


Director: Carl Schultz

Starring: Demi Moore, Michael Biehn, Jurgen Prochnow

Stigmata recounts the story of a young hairdresser (Arquette), who displays the signs of a stigmatic, and a roguish priest (Byrne, counterbalancing his role in End of Days). The film is undeniably shallow, but Wainwright’s dynamic MTV-style approach and compelling performances from his two leads mean that the film doesn’t outlast its meagre premise.

The disc contains a 16:9-enhanced 2.35:1 letterboxed presentation of the film. The film utilized a bleach-bypass process (popularised by David Fincher’s influential Se7en), resulting in a rather coarse look, with occasional intensified splashes of colours. The UK disc contains English subtitles, which aren’t available on the US disc. Ally McBeal star Portia de Rossi has an insignificant cameo role as one of Arquette’s colleagues.

MGM are the only major company who seem willing to do more than just bitch about how American imports are undermining sales of Region 2 discs, (which, more often than not, are poor cousins to their US equivalents). Where most companies are happy if UK consumers are kept blithely ignorant of their options, MGM UK knows that their potential customers are savvy and disloyal! The UK version of Stigmata includes a twenty-five minute documentary Divine Rites: The Story of Stigmata that isn’t on the American disc. The first half is a skimpy examination of the stigmata phenomena, the second a promotional piece for the movie containing soundbite interviews and behind the scenes material. This is in addition to the US disc’s features: an entertaining director’s commentary track; Natalie Imbruglia’s Identity video and a theatrical trailer. The disc also presents six deleted scenes, totalling about 12 minutes. These include a more explicit version of the sex scene that plays under the finished film’s title sequence, and an alternate, slightly more ponderous, ending. (This can also be selected from a menu option that allows the film to be played with either conclusion). One feature seemingly missing from the UK disc is the US disc’s hidden “easter egg”, an animated storyboard presentation of the film’s train scene (perhaps the UK division didn’t realise it was there!)

The Seventh Sign contains even more pseudo-religious mumbo jumbo than Stigmata. It has a more developed plot - albeit one that’s remarkably preposterous - about a young woman (Demi Moore) whose pregnancy is connected to an apocalyptic biblical prophecy. Aliens’ Michael Biehn play’s Moore’s husband, and Jurgen Prochnow plays the couple’s mysterious new lodger…

Contrary to the sleeve notation, The Seventh Sign is thankfully presented in its correct 2.35:1 ratio, enhanced for 16:9 TVs, in a very clean new transfer that’s a huge improvement on the cramped pan-and-scanned version used for the film’s VHS release. Aside from this there’s nothing very special about Columbia Tristar’s Region 2 disc, which offers skimpy biographical details for Schultz, Moore and Biehn and trailers for another two Demi Moore movies (About Last Night… and Mortal Thoughts) as the only extras.


Unless explicitly stated, DVD screen captures used in the reviews are for illustrative purposes only, and are not intended to be accurate representations of the DVD image.   While screen captures are generally in their correct aspect ratio, there will often have been changes made to the resolution, contrast, hue and sharpness, to optimise them for web display.

Site content copyright © J.A.Knott - 2002-2004