Giorgio Moroder Presents: Metropolis REVIEW
"Damn it, I forgot to make a robo-bra."
Release Date: 23 July 2012
1984 | PG | 84 minutes | £20.42 (Steelbook edition)
Distributor: Eureka Entertainment
Director: Fritz Lang
Cast: Aldred Abel, Brigette Helm, Gustav Fröhlich
Although generally reviled by critics at the time, music producer Giorgio Moroder’s MTV-generation makeover of Metropolis has one creditable claim to fame: it re-energised interest in the 1927 Fritz Lang film. Queen had paved the way using clips in their “Radio Gaga” video, but this was the first chance many curious SF fans had to experience the full film.
Except it’s nowhere near the full film. At the time (long before the rediscovery, in 2008, of lots of lost footage in South America) barely half of the original remained. And Moroder’s effort is hardly what you’d call a sympathetic restoration.
Moroder – famous for his work with Donna Summer, and for soundtracks such as Scarface – uses garish tints, new effects, fades between scenes and captions in place of intertitles. None of these, though, are as heinous as the soundtrack, stuffed with some of the lamest ’80s electropop you’ll hear outside of a Flock Of Seagulls LP. The lyrics are comically banal: “Here she comes,” warbles Bonnie Tyler as the robot Maria comes to life, “She’s gonna cause a sensation now.” Freddie Mercury, meanwhile, offers, “Love just won’t stand still,” making you wonder if he’s fallen for one of the film’s hunky sprinters.
Despite all that, it’s good to finally have this curiosity out on DVD, digitally remastered and with new surround-sound audio, because in its own cheesy way it’s as much a piece of film history as the original.
Just one: “The Fading Image” (17 minutes), a vintage documentary from 1984 about Moroder’s reconstruction.
Read our review of the Metropolis Special Edition DVD.
Read more of our DVD reviews.