Color, 1970, 89m.
Directed by Alan Gibson
Starring Judy Geeson, Martin Potter, Michael Redgrave, Alexis Kanner, Freddie Jones, Mike Pratt
Scorpion (Blu-ray & DVD) (US R0 HD/NTSC), Oden (DVD) (UK R0 PAL) / WS (1.78:1) (16:9)

Goodbye Gemini Goodbye GeminiIn a swinging version of London apparently oblivious to the impending death of hippie culture, a pair of wide-eyed blond twins, Julian (Potter) and Jackie (Geeson), arrive at a boarding house along with their tightly-guarded teddy bear, Agamemnon, whose presence at the top of a flight of stairs leads to their landlady's demise. Soon they become embroiled in the local party scene where the pansexual Clive (Kanner) seems to fancy them both and unleashes a torrent of sexual misadventure, the most unexpected of which involves Julian preyed upon by a pack of drag queens. Blackmail soon enters the game along with a jolting murder involving knives and bed sheets (which logically inspired the film's marketing campaign) as the twins find their lifestyle and possible homicidal impulses to be a very dangerous mix indeed.

Sporting an unusual cast (with Michael Redgrave and Freddie Jones scoring highest as a concerned politician and a very gay dandy, respectively), Goodbye Gemini was part of a wave of youth-oriented films with fresh-faced stars greenlit after the success of Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet, though like another contemporary offering, the wildly underrated 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, it splashes elements of incestuous longing and horrific violence into the brew for good measure. Based on the novel Ask Agamemnon by Jenni Hall (not hard to see why they changed that title), this film is surprisingly stylish and deserves a bit more recognition than the oblivion which largely greeted it. Director Alan Gibson (who mostly toiled in television apart from helming the last two Dracula movies with Christopher Lee for Hammer) delivers some nifty flourishes (especially the central murder scene) when he isn't basking in the gaudy, almost eye-searing art direction; as for the two leads, Potter (fresh from Fellini's Satyricon) is striking but rather wooden while the charismatic, ridiculously pretty Geeson acts circles around him. Also noteworthy is the catchy, complex music Goodbye Geminiscore by Christopher Gunning which has taken on a cult following of its own via a much-loved soundtrack now commanding obscene amounts of money. Fans of "mod" cinema will find Goodbye Geminithe depiction here a little different than usual as this feels more like a party with Oscar Wilde and his friends transplanted to the late '60s with the characters spitting out acidic one-liners and eyeing every gender with very questionable thoughts filling their heads. This would definitely make a great double feature with the 1970 Massimo Dallamano version of Dorian Gray, with which this shares more than a few creative similarities -- but this is definitely the more accomplished film of the two.

Though it popped up in the VHS age from Prism under the ridiculous title of Twinsanity (complete with a new video-generated title card), Goodbye Gemini was largely ignored for decades after its release, a fate no doubt attributable to the difficulty in categorizing it. Yes, this could be termed a horror film (definitely so if The Wicker Man falls in the same category), but anyone expecting a relentless avalanche of thrills and chills will be confounded by what they get here. However, if you're open to a genre-mashing experiment in melancholy '70s psychological tension with a heavy pop art slant, this should fit the bill just fine. Scorpion's 2010 DVD licensed from rights holder Cinerama (who also confounded audiences with Candy and a few Amicus offerings) is transferred from the original negative and looks stellar for SD; colors and detail are spot on without any annoying noise reduction or digital fudging, and the entire thing looks so beautiful and clean it could have been shot yesterday. A handful of daytime exterior shots have some odd color registration issues (mainly some faint red lines around the actors' faces in certain shots) which have Goodbye Geminialways plagued this film, but that's not a fault of the transfer (nor are the occasional artsy soft focus shots, though those are few and far between). The main extra here is an audio commentary with Geeson and producer Peter Snell, moderated by yours truly; obviously I can't evaluate it, but hopefully it makes for an informative listen. Both of them remembered the film well and offer Goodbye Geminitwo different perspectives on its creation. Also included is the lurid original theatrical trailer and bonus Cinerama trailers including the much-desired Girly. A stripped-down version was issued on DVD in the UK later the same year from Odeon.

Six years later in 2016, Scorpion revisited the title as a limited 1,000-unit Blu-ray release sold exclusively through Screen Archives. Rather than reuse the previous master, the film has undergone a new scan and looks quite impressive; the strong, symbolic use of the color red benefits in particular with some beautiful ruby-red hues popping up in almost every scene, now rendered with more detail. The occasional registration issue built into the original film is still here, of course, so don't be surprised when it pops up in a few shots. The DTS-HD MA English mono audio sounds impeccable, and both the original trailer and commentary from the original release have been carried over.

Updated review on June 4, 2016.