On March 27, 1977, a young Juan Carlos Fresnadillo watched two 747 jumbo jets collide on the runway of the Santa Cruz de Tenerife airport in the Canary Islands. Fifteen years later, Fresnadillo unleashes his dehumanizing Intacto onto the world. Holocaust survivor Sam (Max von Sydow) runs a Casino in the Tenerife desert where Federico (Eusebio Poncela) takes his human good luck charms in order to play curious games of chance (Russian Roulette where all but one chamber has a bullet inside and, most memorably, a creepy contest where an insect needs to land on one of three human heads smothered in treacle). Petty thief Tomas (Leonardo Sbaraglia) is Federico’s token-of-the-week, the sole survivor of a horrific plane crash. In this much-ado-about-nothing procedural, Fresnadillo reduces his characters to pawns lost in a Greek labyrinth. Stylistically accomplished but needlessly heavy, Intacto contemplates a world in which someone’s good luck can be stolen with a photograph and used as ante in ghoulish betting games. During the film’s money sequence, Fresnadillo’s pawns run through a forest blindfolded—the last one not to smack headfirst into a tree stump is the winner. The anticipation is grueling but that’s all Intacto has working to its advantage. The obvious collection of good luck signs and overall emotionless vibe suggests that Fresnadillo was raised less on Kieślowski and more on endless midnight showings of Tom Tykwer’s Winter Sleepers.
Lions Gate Home Entertainment presents Intacto in its original 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen on this DVD edition of the film. If there's one thing going for the film, it's the lush color palette. But while edge enhancement is virtually nil, the transfer in general appears a bit overblown (notice the chips in the opening casino scene). Skin tones are accurate though blacks disappoint, especially in scenes involving heavy special effects. The Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround track on the other hand is constantly busy and never disappoints. Every collision in the film sounds larger than life.
First up is a commentary track by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, who confirms the film's simplicity as a preposterous rumination on luck. Some, though, may find an interest in the director's struggle to visually evoke ways for characters to steal another character's luck. A surprisingly elegant making-of featurette sums the film up rather nicely, and in only 16 minutes. Equally nifty is a trippy special effects featurette. Also included are four trailers, filmographies, a Cannes promo and no less than seven stills galleries.
Lions Gate Home Entertainment offers a surprisingly meaty collection of features on this DVD edition of Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s pretentious and vacuous thriller.