The Film (3.5/5)
The Internecine Project is a British crime espionage thriller starring James Coburn(Our Man Flint, In Like Flint) as Robert Elliot, an ex-secret agent, who is about to be promoted to a government advisor. The problem is he has a great deal of skeletons in his closet from working with four associates and he needs to eliminate them so they wont reveal his dark past. His four associates are Alex Hellman (Ian Hendry, Theater of Blood), Christina (Christiane Kruger, Lovemaker) and David Baker (Michael Jayston, Tales that Witness Madness) and Bert (Phillip Anthony, THE ABC Murders). He devises a very thorough ingenious plan to have them all killed in the same night and not by his own hand. All he does is sit and wait for the phone to ring a certain number of times and he knows what’s happening.
The Internecine Project is a good, moody thriller, while it lacks in action and explosions, it does have a lot of tension, some suspense and a great creepy score. It might be considered too slow of a film for some people, while other viewers will be hooked with the deliberate pace of the film. The acting is well done with a great cast which includes Keenan Wynn (Laserblast, Song of the Thin Man), as EJ Farnsworth, who has a key role leading to the events that happen in the film and Lee Grant (Visiting Hours, Mulholland Drive) is Jean Robertson the (weak) love interest. The romance between Elliot and Roberston is not really a major element in the film which I thought it could have and should have been. James Coburn hands in one of his finest sinister roles here as well. And let’s not forget the twist ending or the murder scene that will remind you somewhat of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.
There is also the issue of morality in The Internecine Project, to question the integrity of a man who needs to kill people in order to protect his shady past. He wants to be the advisor that badly, but as we learn in this film, what goes around, comes around.
Kino Lorber releases The Internecine Project on Blu-ray for the first time anywhere, and it looks really good overall. The image boats some strong colors and textures, leaning toward the darker side of the color scheme, especially the blues. There is a bit of fuzziness in some areas but nothing that detracts from the viewing. Grain is present with no DNR having been applied. It’s not the glossiest looking release in the world, but it’s more than passable. The film is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1:78:1 with an MPEG-4 AVC Encode.
The audio used for this release is the usual Kino DTS-HD Master Audio English 2.0 and it is more than serviceable. Dialog, music, screams and other sounds are all loud and clear. There are optional English subtitles
Kino has provided a couple of supplements for this release as well. The extras for this release include an interview with Screenwriter Jonathan Lyon and trailers for The Internecine Project, Harry in Your Pocket, Loophole and The Naked Face. If you are an extras fanatic you might want to hold on to the DVD released from Scorpion Releasing which has supplements not on the Blu-ray release
The Internecine Project is a very well-done, thoughtful film, which can now be enjoyed in high definition, thanks to Kino Lorber. Fans of James Coburn and political crime films shouldn’t pass this one up.