This week the unusual British horror film Goodbye Gemini (1970) is getting released on DVD by Scorpion Releasing. I’ve only seen the film once on a second generation video tape and the quality was abysmal so I’m really happy that I’ll finally have the opportunity to see the movie again. Scorpion Releasing is a new boutique DVD company and according to Amazon.com they’re releasing Goodbye Gemini in widescreen and it will include the original trailer for the film as well as audio commentary with actress Judy Geeson and producer Peter Snell.
Goodbye Gemini explores the troubled relationship between two 20-year-old twins named Julian (Martin Potter) and Jacki (Judy Geeson). The film takes full advantage of its swinging London setting and the seemingly innocent and attractive siblings make for some great on screen eye-candy, but there’s a lot going on under the surface of this unusual British thriller. The film has some genuinely creepy moments and the strong sexual themes are handled surprisingly well. It also boasts some creative camera work and exceptional performances from all the actors involved including Michael Redgrave and Alexis Kanner.
I think the film’s most impressive performance comes from British born actor Martin Potter who had just finished starring in Fellini’s decadent masterpiece Satyricon (1969). Porter really gets to show off his acting chops in Goodbye Gemini as one of the troubled twins and his work in the film is especially noteworthy for the range he showed and the risks he was willing to take with his role. Martin Potter was an extremely attractive young actor and he was at the height of his beauty in 1970. His androgynous good looks and genuine sex appeal are used to great effect in Goodbye Gemini.
Goodbye Gemini was directed by Alan Gibson who also directed two vampire films for Hammer studios; Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972) and The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973). A lot of critics and horror fans have dismissed Gibson’s films with Hammer but I think his work shows a real appreciation for the Grand Guignol aspects of horror cinema. In some ways Alan Gibson was ahead of his time and I think the modern feel and look of his films often sets his work apart from his contemporaries.
If you’ve enjoyed other horror films involving twin siblings such as Robert Mulligan’s The Other (1972), Brian De Palma’s Sisters (1973) and David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers (1988) you’ll probably find Goodbye Gemini just as interesting.
Martin Potter and Judy Geeson in Goodbye Gemini (1970)
Goodbye Gemini can currently be purchased at Amazon for $19.99 and it should be available at online rental outlets like Netflix and Greencine.