Dr. Lecter knows why MGM released this third ”special” edition of Silence of the Lambs: They covet. They covet your cash.
How else to explain this double-dip, which recycles featurettes, deleted scenes, and Lecter’s eerie phone greeting from the most-excellent 2001 DVD? Even two new docs mostly regurgitate twice-told tales of author Thomas Harris’ inspirations (Ed Gein, Ted Bundy, etc.) and serendipitous casting (Michelle Pfeiffer and Sean Connery passed on the lead roles). At least screenwriter Ted Tally reconsiders his depiction of serial killer Buffalo Bill, which had upset gay viewers: ”We certainly wished…we had crafted that character in some different way. At least, God forbid, not give him a white poodle that he calls Precious.”
While not upgrade-worthy, this edition does serve as a reminder that 16 years later, Lambs remains a great film. A groundbreaking film. A feminist film about a killer who skins women. And a career-altering film: Foster had tired of playing victims; Hopkins had quit hopes of Hollywood stardom; director Jonathan Demme absorbed accusations of homophobia and poured them into his next project, Philadelphia. But as a Collector’s Edition, this DVD has more in common with the Lambs sequels — underwhelming and unnecessary.