Goodbye Gemini (1970)

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 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.
Goodbye Gemini (1970)
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.

9 thoughts on “Goodbye Gemini (1970)

  1. Can I just add a huge thumbs up for Christopher Gunnings excellent score, atypical for a horror film, but redolent with swinging 60’s chic.

  2. Yes you can Steve! And I’ll give it a second “thumbs up.” Gunning’s score for the film is fantastic. So fantastic that I highlighted one of his compositions for the film as my “Video of the Week” (located in the sidebar of my blog that most people probably never look at).

    I suspect that I’ll be eager to get myself a copy of the score as soon as I get the opportunity to see the movie again.

  3. I saw a bad copy under the silly US title “Twinsanity”. It’s one of those obscurities that doesn’t live up to the expectation you have for it ( “Girly” is another film I was disappointed by ), but it’s certainly sleazy enough to hold your interest. there do seem to be alot of films that involve incestuous or unhealthy relationships in British films of this period! I was quite struck by Alexis Kanner with his facial hair & hard to place accent.

    The soundtrack is really good, featuring Jackie Lee singing ( famous in Britain for singing the theme to “Rupert the Bear” & “White Horses” ). The title song by The Peddlers got me interested in hearing other stuff by them…they did a really good live Lp which is like a jazz rock concept album. You can find their albums on various music blogs if you search a bit. In fact, I first discovered the Goodbye Gemini soundtrack on a blog.

    Quite surprised that Judy Geeson has done a commentary as she seemed quite reticent on an interview I saw on the Norman J Warren dvd set.

    I’ve got an old paperback of the novel next to my bed ( “Ask Agamemnon” by Jennie Hall ), but I’ve not read it yet.

  4. It’s one of those obscurities that doesn’t live up to the expectation you have for it (“Girly” is another film I was disappointed by)

    I like Goodbye Gemini and Girly. I think they’re both ahead of their time. They don’t confine themselves to many of the typical genre expectations of the period and I appreciate that.

    I’d like to read the book now so thanks for the info about “Ask Agamemnon.” I’ll look for it.

  5. With typical bad timing, I bought/watched a poor quality sourced-from-VHS DVD-R of this one last weekend.

    It’s… well, I guess I’ll file it as one of those films that’s full of what should be absolutely great stuff, but somehow disappoints for reasons I can’t quite put my finger on.

    Alexis Kanner makes for a wonderfully weird screen presence, and the concentration on London gay/drag culture is pretty interesting (not to mention daring), but I thought the acting, script and direction were all sort of… heading in the right direction for ’70s cult perfection, but not really strong enough to make a lasting impression.

    I guess the film is also served poorly by the fact that the poster makes it look like a weirdo horror film, when it’s really more of a straight up psychological thriller with lots of decadent aesthetics… very much like the kind of film Brian DePalma might have made about ten years later in fact…

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