[Blu-ray Review] Arrow Video's 'The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey'

What an interesting trip.

14th Century. Plague is upon a secluded mountain town. The town, and most notable explorer, Connor, decide to put faith in a boy, Griffin, that has precognition, which could lead to staving off infection.

Griffin's visions are that of mining to the center of the Earth. Once there, the town will be able to escape the plague. "There" consists of 20th Century New Zealand. Four amongst the town are chosen to accompany the boy.

Trust for Griffin is put tot the test as the men experience the 20th century together. The age of invention. Their sun and torch-lit world now a haze amongst the rainbow of colors in the 20th Century. (Amplified by Arrow Video's excellent transfer.) The buildings. The cars. Can you imagine the sensory overload for 14th Century peasant?

Strong performances by Lyons, Gough, Haywood, Napier, Appleby really gave the epic tale more of a beating heart. My favorite part is that it kind of had its own logic. It felt like Lynch. It felt like Gilliam. It felt like both. It felt original.

I would be remiss to not mention what a fantastic transfer was done by Arrow Video. The picture was truly something to behold. The sound sharp. Another movie enhanced by the fine people at Arrow Video. I urge everyone to check it out.


Following the release of his 1984 debut feature Vigil, Vincent Ward returned four years later with The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey, a film that would cement his position as one of the most exciting filmmaking talents to emerge during the eighties.

Cumbria, 1348 the year of the Black Death. Griffin, a young boy, is plagued by apocalyptic visions which he believes could save his village. Encouraging a small band of men to tunnel into the earth, they surface in 1980's New Zealand and a future beyond their comprehension but must complete their quest.

Nominated for the Palme d'Or at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey is a bold and often startling fusion of medieval fantasy and time travel science fiction, quite unlike anything you've seen.


  • High Definition (Blu-ray) presentation

  • Original mono audio (uncompressed LPCM)

  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing

  • Brand-new appreciation by film critic Nick Roddick, recorded exclusively for this release

  • Kaleidoscope: Vincent Ward Film Maker, a 1989 documentary profile of the director made for New Zealand television

  • Theatrical trailer

  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Kim Newman and an introduction by Vincent Ward


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