Shout Factory has finally released Michael Mann’s Manhunter in a pristine collector’s edition Blu-ray set.
Several years before Anthony Hopkin’s would appear in his iconic role as Hannibal Lector in Jonathan Demme’s masterpiece, The Silence of the Lambs, Michael Mann would adapt Thomas Harris’ Red Dragon, casting Brian Cox as everyone’s favorite cannibal. William Peterson and Tom Noonan would also lend memorable performances to the film.
Peterson plays Will Graham, a retired cop who finds himself on the job yet again, when he is approached to investigate a case involving a serial killer named “The Tooth Fairy” (Tom Noonan, in an absolutely horrifying performance). He promises his wife that he won’t get too involved with the case, but that’s exactly what happens. Will becomes obsessed with the case, at times having to think like a killer in order to be able to catch one.
Things escalate to an almost unbearably tense level when The Tooth Fairy begins to threaten Will’s family, leading to an unforgettable ending.
Manhunter is a well done film, most definitely a product of its time. This being an eighties film by Michael Mann, it has a very “Miami Vice” feel to it that many will appreciate. There are those who find this film superior to The Silence of the Lambs – and I have to passionately disagree. But that is not to say that Manhunter is without merit. There is much to praise here, and fans of the film should purchase this new release as soon as possible.
This special edition includes both the theatrical cut and the director’s cut of the film, along with many other featurettes, including interviews with the cast and crew, theatrical trailers, and a commentary from the director.