Drafthouse Films has added another curio to their eclectic slate. They’ve unearthed 1979’s The Visitor, a phantasmagorical sci-fi oddity starring Lance Henriksen, Mel Ferrer, Shelley Winters, Franco Nero, and iconic film directors John Huston and Sam Peckinpah in the tale of an alien Christ figure battling a demonic 8-year-old girl and her pet hawk for the fate of the universe. One of the crop of Hollywood knockoffs that proliferated in Italian cinema in the 1970s and ’80s, the Italy/US co-production from producer Ovidio G. Assonitis and bodybuilder-turned-director Michael J. Paradise mashes elements of The Omen, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, and Star Wars in what Drafthouse Creative Director Evan Husney describes as “joyfully delirious” experience. The Austin-based distributor has plans for a theatrical, home video and VOD/digital release later in the year from an HD restoration of the film. The bizarre pic has been a must-see on the late night circuit for genre devotees for years. COO James Emanuel Shapiro negotiated the deal on behalf of Drafthouse Films and Fabrizio Giona on behalf of the film’s rights holder, producer Ovidio G. Assonitis.
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