Entertainment » Movies

The Incredible Shrinking Woman

by Kevin Taft
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Nov 14, 2017
The Incredible Shrinking Woman

The 1981 Lily Tomlin-starring comedy "The Incredible Shrinking Woman" is fascinating for nostalgia buffs on a few levels. It was directed by Joel Schumacher, who went on to direct such pop-culture hits as "St. Elmo's Fire," "The Lost Boys," "Flatliners," and "Phantom of the Opera." It was written by Tomlin's longtime partner Jane Wagner and featured a few different Tomlin characters audiences were already familiar with (Ernestine the Operator, for one.) It is also one of special effects guru Rick Baker's early gigs in which he plays the character of Sidney, the gorilla.

The Shout Factory release lovingly restores the film with a brand new remaster and includes updated special features sure to give fans a thrill. Starring Tomlin as stay-at-home mom Pat Kramer, she becomes a victim of the toxic chemicals included in household products and processed foods which cause her to literally shrink in size. Wagner's spot-on ideas about the effects this toxicity can have on living creatures was revolutionary in its day, even if the outcome of that toxicity is a little far-fetched.

The comedy doesn't always hold up, as it is a bit broad by today's standards, but Tomlin is a joy and sells the whacko plot with aplomb.

New Supplements include an extended conversation with Tomlin and Wagner who discuss what they like and didn't like about the final product.

New interviews with director Joel Schumacher goes into the lucky history of his career, and cinematographer and visual effects supervisor Bruce Logan brings an insider's look to how they achieved the practical effects of Pat Kramer's height challenge.

Also included are an interview with the film's composer Suzanne Ciani, a quick look at the locations used in the film, a Still Gallery, and the Theatrical Trailer.

The best treat is the deleted scene of Tomlin playing her legendary character Edith Ann, the 7-year old lisping brat who appears briefly when Kramer has been kidnapped and put in a lab.

For fans of Tomlin and the original film, this is a great disc to own as the interview with Tomlin and Wagner alone is worth the price.

"The Incredible Shrinking Woman"

Kevin Taft is a screenwriter/critic living in Los Angeles with an unnatural attachment to 'Star Wars' and the desire to be adopted by Steven Spielberg.


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