Review Date: February 11, 2001
Released by: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Release date: 8/24/1999
Region 1, NTSC
Widescreen 1.78:1 | 16x9: No
Libby Mannering (Andi Garrett
) and Kit Austin (Sarah Lane
) are two average, all-American teenage girls. When Kit's parents go away on an overnight trip, leaving Kit to baby-sit her kid sister Tess (Sharyl Locke
), she invites Libby over to her house to hang out. Since Libby lives out in the country, there's really not much to do, so the girls decide to spend the evening making prank telephone calls. They pick several names randomly out of the book and call, annoying the hell out of a couple people by saying things like "I saw what you did...and I know who you are!" They call one number listed as "Steve Marak". Judith, the man's wife (Joyce Meadows
), answers the phone, and goes to get her husband, who's in the shower. After waiting for several minutes with no answer on the other end, the girls hang up and decide to try again later.
The reason why Mrs. Marak didn't come back on the line was because she was killed by Mr. Marak (John Ireland
). The woman was in the process of packing up and getting ready to leave her husband, and when she went into the bathroom to get him out of the shower, he stabbed her to death. Steve's neighbor Amy Nelson (Joan Crawford
) hears the commotion and comes over to see if everything's all right. He tells her that he and Judith had one last fight and she left without even finishing packing up. Amy is a bit suspicious, but since she's madly in love with Steve, she doesn't care what the story is - she's just glad that her competition is gone. After she leaves, Steve stuffs the body into a steamer trunk and buries it out in the countryside.
When Steve comes back, he finds that Amy is waiting for him at the house. He's doesn't want to see her, but telling her to go away seems to be more trouble than it's worth. As they sit down to a drink, the phone rings. Steve answers it, and Kit and Libby whisper "I saw what you did...and I know who you are!" Thinking that it's somebody trying to blackmail him, Steve asks to meet the girls, who think that he's aware of the joke and is just playing along. Amy overhears the conversation and thinks Steve is messing around with another woman. She goes into the bathroom where she finds a knife and bloodstains, and realizes that Judith was murdered by her husband.
Getting Steve's address from the phone book, the two girls decide to borrow the Libby's mom's car and drive into town and park by his house, in the hope of getting a good look at Steve and seeing who he is. However, when they get there, Libby decides to get out and peek through his windows. Amy catches her snooping though, and drags her back to her car, telling the girls to go home and never go near Steve again. She then steals the registration off their car and goes back into the house, where she tells Steve that he'd better marry her or else - she knows what happened to Judith, and if he doesn't, she'll call the police. Steve agrees, but is only playing along - when Amy tries to kiss him, he stabs her to death. But now Steve also has the registration to the girl's car - he knows exactly who "saw what he did", and where to find them...
Considering that it was originally made for the teenage matinee crowd, I Saw What You Did
still holds up pretty well, even after three and a half decades. The film was directed by none other than William Castle, who made himself famous for coming up with all sorts of outlandish gimmicks to help promote his movies (A Lloyds of London life insurance policy in case you died of fright while watching "Macabre", a skeleton that flew out over the audience during House on Haunted Hill
, rigged theater seats for The Tingler
, etc). In this case, the movie that Castle made was much better than his gimmick, which was a special section in each theater with seatbelts to hold in frightened audience members. The basic premise may be unlikely, but it hits home and is rather creepy - how many of us haven't made a few crank phone calls in our day? The pacing of the story is a bit slack (it takes nearly a half hour before Libby and Kit even call Steve for the first time), but the suspense builds nicely once the plot gets moving.
With the exception of Andi Garrett and Sarah Lane as Libby and Kit, who have got to be the ditsiest teenage girls I've ever seen in a movie, the performers are all fun to watch. John Ireland is appropriately menacing. Unfortunately, Joan Crawford doesn't have much to do, but it's still nice to see her. Although her fans may be a bit disappointed, I Saw What You Did
is still a film that well worth a look.
I Saw What You Did
is presented letterboxed at 1.78:1, and is not 16x9 enhanced. This is a very good black and white transfer. The image is wonderfully sharp and detailed for most of the film, and the print was in very good shape. There was some occasional grain, and a few shots look rather muddy, but these are not major problems.
The soundtrack is presented in Dolby 1.0 Mono. It sounds fine for it's age, there's some occasional background noise, but nothing major. In the early scenes, dialogue seems a bit low, but this gets better as the film goes on. There are no subtitles or alternate language tracks included.
The only extras that are included are two theatrical trailers, one of them an amusing teaser hosted by William Castle himself, and talent bios of John Crawford and Castle.
A pretty fun movie. Although the lack of 16x9 enhancement is a bit of a disappointment, the video quality for this movie is still very good. If you're one of those baby boomers who has fond memories of I Saw What You Did
, you'll definitely want to get a hold of this disc.
Movie - B
Image Quality - B+
Sound - B
Supplements - C
- Running Time - 1 hour 22 minutes
- Not Rated
- 1 Disc
- 20 Chapter Stops
- Dolby Digital Mono 1.0
- Theatrical trailers
- Talent bios