There are cult favorites that have found their way into special edition blu-ray releases. Companies like Scream Factory, Code Red, and Arrow Video have reignited some forgotten gems and other movies that might have never been past a VHS release. Then, there’s movies like WATERWORLD, a big budget (actually the largest at the time) action movie starring Kevin Costner that no one watched at the time. It was considered a notorious box office bomb and there was plenty of behind the scenes drama that hit the tabloids, further expanding its reputation. I did see it when it was first released but was a kid, remembering it taught me about how one could breath underwater and urine could be used as a refreshment.
For those unfamiliar, WATERWORLD was the dystopian future before it was cool in teen fiction. Polar ice caps have melted and the planet is has become a sunken landscape where the new generation live in communities called atolls. They have formed their own societies, typically against one another, and dry land is nothing but a myth and subject of fictional stories in their eyes. Costner, who was probably the biggest movie star at the time, plays a nameless drifter who comes across a gang of ridiculous pirates. These pirates are in search of a young girl (Tina Majorino, True Blood and Veronica Mars) who might possibly have a tattoo of a map to dry land on her body. The drifter gets mixed up and finds himself on the run with the girl, Enola, and her guardian played by Jeanne Tripplehorn.
Obviously, despite his initial hesitation to associate with anyone, the three find themselves protecting each other and a family dynamic forms. Their journey is not without its troubles and history about the world slowly comes to light as the drifter has some secrets of his own. Revisiting this several years later, I kept thinking this was Mad Max on water, which apparently was the inspiration behind the script according to the special features that accompany this release.
What’s awesome for fans is that there’s three cuts of the film that are remastered here. That’s two more than I knew even existed. There’s an extended version that aired on American television, censorship and all, but with over 40 additional minutes. The third cut is the same extended cut but without the censorship which I’m sure brings excitement to a physical media completest. Arrow didn’t stop there and decided to put together a feature length documentary covering everything you can think of in WATERWORLD history. There’s some newly filmed interviews but much of the cast is seen through archival footage. Along with some image galleries and trailers, there’s an interesting feature on apocalyptic cinema which many film goers are familiar with now.
While WATERWORLD is not personally my cup of tea, it clearly has its devoted following and those fans shouldn’t be disappointed with this release that also comes with a limited edition book, fold out poster, and postcards. WATERWORLD is available for purchase HERE.
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