Disaster movies all have a few things in common. For starters they feature some type of disaster. They usually have a star studded cast. And usually the disaster aspect, although impressive lasts for around 20-30 min while the other 90min or so is simply character development. But it always has been a successful formula. From Meteors hurling towards earth, to massive storms, to one of the first ones, an earthquake. Yes, all the way back in 1974 a movie about a giant earthquake the levels Los Angeles came out. It was called Earthquake. It had a hell of a cast. Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, Lorne Green, Victoria Principal, George Kennedy, and more. It was truly a spectacle. Nominated 4 for Academy Awards (it won best sound), it even has a ride at Universal Studios as part of the studio tour. I’ve done it, its pretty cool as everything collapses around the trolley you are in.
Earthquake begins as a small earthquake hits LA, nothing special, just an above average tremor. We cut to the CA Seismological building where one of the Dr’s. has been researching these tremors and according to his calculations finds that a giant earthquake will hit LA in the next few days. He tells his superiors but they don’t want to cause a panic and be wrong so they just decide to call the National Guard and local police and tell them in case anything should happen.
We get an occasional tremor here and there as we meet our cast of characters, who for the most part are pretty stereotypical. We have Rosa, a woman struggling to make ends meet, Jody, a nice store manager who is also part of the National Guard. Denise, an up and coming actress, Stewart, a football player going through marital trouble, and many more. They all interact in some way or another until a major 9.9 earthquake hits and just destroys everything.
Building collapse, cars go flying off the freeway, powerlines crash, the Mulholland Dam collapses, just massive destruction on every level. Then if that’s not enough we get the aftershocks trapping more people in various life and death situations and causing even more destruction. And that is truly what the films sell point is, the earthquake itself. I have to say for being made in 1974 this is still the best looking earthquake I’ve seen in film. I will say it looks better, at least in terms or realistic than the more recent San Andreas film. People are running and falling, everything is shaking, it just captures a great claustrophobic feel that has yet to be duplicated. The acting is good, and the characters all serve there purpose but lets be honest you watch a film like this for the action and destruction. And this pays off.
Shout Factory, under there Shout Select Banner has just put this out on a fantastic Blu-ray transfer loaded with special features. And yes I’ll tell you right now this 2 disc collectors set does include the TV Version that runs almost 40min longer. And I have to say this transfer is fantastic, the film looks amazing and sounds even better. I could hear every piece of falling debris. And aside from the TV version you get all of these special features
· NEW 2K Scan Of The Interpositive Of The Theatrical Cut (2.35:1)
· Audio Options: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, 2.1 With Sensurround Audio, And 2.0
· Original Theatrical Trailer
· Original TV Spot
· Original Radio Spots
· Vintage Audio Interviews With Charlton Heston, Lorne Greene, And Richard Roundtree
· Still Galleries – Movie Stills, Posters, Lobby Cards, Behind-The-Scenes Photos, Matte Paintings, And Miniatures
DISC TWO: Television Cut Of The Film
· NEW 2K Scan Reconstruction Of TV version, Featuring Over 20 Minutes Of Made-For-Broadcast Footage (Presented In 1.33:1)
· NEW Sounds Of Disaster: Ben Burtt Talks About SENSURROUND
· NEW Scoring Disaster: The Music Of EARTHQUAKE
· NEW Painting Disaster: The Matte Art Of Albert Whitlock
· The Additional TV Scenes – Play Them Without Watching The Television Version
· Additional TV Scenes (Taken From The Best Available Film Element)
All these years later and this film still holds up well. It set the standard for natural disaster films that still grace the theaters today. Its another must own from Shout Factory that you need to add to your collection.
Overall 3.5 out of 5 Stars!
I hate cats they don’t scare me or anything I just don’t like them. I’m highly allergic, plus I dated a girl once that had like 4 or 5 of them. I assume by now she has 26 or so, but that’s beside the point. Cats have always been prominent in horror films, Cat People, Sleepwalkers, Cats Eye, you name it. Anthologies are also quiet popular when it comes to horror films. So why not make an anthology that centers around evil cats. The Uncanny did this back in 1977, and they did it horror icon Peter Cushing.
The Uncanny stars Cushing as Wilber Grey. He’s a writer who has just finished a book about unsolved murders. He believes this murders have all been committed by cats. Of course his publicist thinks he’s insane, so Wilber decides to tell him 3 stories about killer cats, not like walking talking cats, but normal household felines that are responsible for murders.
The first story takes place in the early 1900’s in England. It focuses on an old lady who plans to rewrite her will an leave her vast fortune to her cats. Her maid overhears this plan and tells the women’s son, who she happens to be dating. Naturally this does sit to well with him so he devises a scheme to break into her safe and change her will. Things backfire and the lady ends up dead. Well the cats want their money so they decide to get revenge.
In the Second story we meet a girl named Lucy. Her parents have passed away and she is going to stay with her aunt. She’s bringing her cat, Wellington with her which really upsets her young cousin Angela who is mad because her parents wont let her have her own pet. Angela is essentially an evil brat who delights in getting Lucy and her cat in trouble. She blames them for everything until her parents decide that the cat has to go. They drive it out in the woods and just leave it for dead. Too bad for them her comes back and decided to plan revenge along with Lucy’s help.
The last story focuses on Valentine De’ath, a former Hollywood star who has recently murdered his wife. It doesn’t take him to long to hook up with a new lady who he soon brings back to his home. Problem is his wife’s cat, and her litter of kittens are still living there and they don’t like Valentine. He hates them as well so the stage is set for the cats to get revenge for their beloved owners murder
The second story is my personal favorite, but all three are actually quiet good, None of them are played to serious, yet there not exactly funny either. This is a great example of old school horror in terms of camp value. By today’s standards it’s a bit humorous, but when it was released it was much more of a serious affair. It features great acting so it’s definitely a movie to watch. Severin has done there usual fantastic job with the transfer in terms of both video and audio so the film looks like it was made yesterday as opposed to 1977. Its even got a great making of documentary and the original trailer.
Fans of old school horror films, and anthology based horror films should definitely pick this one up and add it to the collection. It’s a fun film that moves quick and has a few nice jump scares.
Overall 3 out of 5 Stars!
Have you ever seen a movie that’s not really a movie? I don’t mean like a collection of skits, I mean like a bunch of random stuff lumped together yet sort of tied together, but not, if that makes sense. Ever seen a film shot on 16mm and 35mm film and hooked together then upgraded? If you answered yes then, simply put your lying, because its never been done before. Well I take that back. It was done in 2013 but just released in 2019. Its called Saint Bernard. It was made by FX creator Gabriel Bartalos and its easily the strangest thing I have ever seen in my life.
The film centers around a music conductor named Bernard. Bernard loves his music, and in fact always dreamed of being able to conduct a symphony. He gets his chance, throws out his hands to begin and drops a whole ton of drugs on the floor in the process. That’s not a good way to begin things so he transforms into a giant snake like creature and floats off to his car to escape. Then he finds the head of a St. Bernard which he places in a sack and begins to carry it around with him. From there things begin to get weird.
We see some skydiving chickens, stick figures made of hair, a Dammed concert, a monster cop or two, an ogre, even a cactus penis. It literally makes no sense yet all the sense in the world at the same time if you pay close enough attention. Now when a film is one weird scene after another, and makes Eraserhead seem logical that may be hard to do, but what Bartalos has done is used his mastery of FX work to tell the story of a troubled an from his own point of view.
Bernard is a messed up guy from the get go. He was born with the knowledge of all the sounds of the universe and trained to become a music conductor by his uncle since he was a little kid. As a child of hopes and dreams he grew into a mentally abused man (he had a rotten family) and a drug addict. We are meant to see the world through his eyes. Which if you’re a screwed up junkie high as a kite on hallucinogenic things are going to certainly have a warped perspective. Giant worms, and killer brains of hair are not real in our world, nor are they in this film. There simply how Bernard sees the world. It’s a walk through the mind of a drug addict fueled with doubt, fear, and paranoia, and if you take it at that value its fascinating. If you don’t take symbolism into account your just watching bad acid trip loaded with insane special effects, and I have to praise the effects, as they are top notch especially for a small budget film.
Made in 2013 but aside from few circuit showings Saint Bernard is finally seeing the light of day thanks to the amazing folks over at Severin. They have once again done an amazing job with the transfer, and this one was probably not as easy as, like I stated earlier was filmed in both 16 and 35mm film. They matched it perfectly and the result is amazing. The audio and video look fantastic. They even included a making of featurette.
Fans of art house, horror, and just weird in general should definitely pick this up. Even if you aren’t into the symbolism of the film you will definitely have a good time, as this is the weirdest thing you will watch. Add this one to your collection today
Overall 3 out of 5 Stars
Horror fans, in general seem to enjoy pro wrestling, and vice versa. And believe it or not the two have been married for quiet sometime. El Santo fought Monsters, and aliens back in the 60’s. Matt Hardy, Roddy Piper, and Shane Douglas battled zombies. Kane was a serial killer, the list could go on and on. Well back in 1994 Dale Schnek, and Ed Polgardy fame came up with a concept for a pro wrestling slasher movie. They used their own money to finance and hit a few snags. So filming stopped for a bit and picked back up in 1996. They once again ran out of money and the actors involved moved on to other work. The film was almost done, and Schnek packed up the negatives and stored them away in his basement. Finally in 2017 he took the negatives out and began converting them to High Def. He added a beginning and end sequence to sandwich what he had filmed and finally after almost 24 years had finally completed his masterpiece.
The Masked Mutilator was a pro wrestling superstar. But one night after applying a sleeper hold to his opponent he becomes overzealous and snaps his opponents neck, killing him dead center of the ring. That’s frowned upon and he is banned for life. We pick up with him years later as he is now without his wrestling mask and working in a group home for troubled teens. The kids call him “Commando” as he is huge. He gives them a lot of tough love. Simple yet effective things like locking them in “The Cell” when they misbehave, or putting them in choke holds and the ever popular “Chicken Wing” to subdue them if they get out of line. He runs a tight ship, and in the beginning breaks up a fight involving one of the more troubled kids named “Rocker” he throws Rocker in the cell and goes back to work.
The next day we see the arrival of two new characters. Brian Worth (Tom Taylor who also did the stunt coordinating) a martial arts bad ass with a heart of gold. Gotta have at least one good hearted delinquent, and Steve Carson (Brick Bronsky from Troma Fame) as the new group home councilor, fresh out of school and ready to make a difference. Steve and Mike (the Masked Mutilator) clash right away over there different approaches in dealing with troubled kids, but that’s not all. Unfortunately a killer wearing the mask of the Masked Mutilator has arrived and begins murdering the kids. Has Mike snapped or will he need to step into the ring with a new killer? You’ll have to watch and see.
I simply loved this film. Top to bottom its great. Its very low budget, like in the sense the group home its filmed in is clearly somebody’s house with signs taped to doors. The effects are all practical, and a bit on the lower budget side but to me this added to the charm. The acting was pretty good and all of the characters had great chemistry together. There was an ample amount of blood so the slasher fans will no doubt enjoy it. And yes, don’t worry wrestling fans, when there are fight sequences there are done with lots of wrestling moves.
One of the things I like the most about this film, aside from the fact its so fun is that you can tell the creators are not only wrestling fans, but horror fans as well. You can feel the passion they have for both. The wrestling aspect is never presented as something goofy, and the horror element is never done to over the top. It’s a perfect blend of both worlds, and to see it all play out is really a thing of beauty.
Thanks to the awesome folks at Severin under their InterVision label they have given this the Blu-ray release it deserves. It looks really good especially its coming off a 16mm transfer that sat in a basement for 24 years. The audio is fantastic. That actually sounds as though it would have been receded in high def. Its even got special features, one of them with the late great Mean Gene Okerlund which was a blast for me to watch.
· Audio Commentary with Cast & Crew (Dale Schneck, Tom Taylor, Paul Sutt, Steve Mittman and Jim “The Tank” Dorsey)
· You See Me Sweatin’? – Interview with Actor Tom Taylor
· Slice the Pretty Boy – Interview with Actor/FX Artist Paul Sutt
· Scissors, Tape & Paste – Interview with Co-Writer/Co-Executive Producer Ed Polgardy
· Don’t Believe That, Folks – Interview with Co-Writer/Executive Producer Dale Schneck
· Audition Tapes
· Mean Gene Okerlund Interviews Tom Taylor
A great film from top to bottom and a true labor of love to watch and enjoy. Wrestling fans, slasher fans, and fans of independent films should definitely pick this up. It really has something for everyone. I’m glad it finally was able to see the light of day. Do yourself a favor and pick it up.
Overall 4out of 5 Stars!
My last three nights have been the same. I have been re-watching Melrose Place (Don’t laugh you know you did to when it was on) and the new releases from Severin. I covered Death Warmed Up, and Escape from Women’s Prison the last two days. Those were both fantastic. So last night I watched Emmanuelle and Francoise aka Emmanuelle’s Revenge. Just think Giallo revenge movie meets sleaze with the sleaze being in the forefront. I assume I don’t need to say anymore, but let me actually give you a synopsis.
Francoise is a beautiful woman who is married to a real deadbeat named Carlo (George Eastman of Anthropophagus fame). He likes to beat her, and mentally abuse her. And when he’s unable to pay off gambling debts he lets the people he owes use her in various peep shows to pay off his debt. She’s abused and raped in the process.. She finally has enough when she catches Carlo having sex with another woman and decides to jump in front of a train. Well it turns out her sister is Emmanuelle, from the popular series of films, and she is now out for revenge. She finds Carlo, which as she plays a reporter is pretty easy for her to do, and dopes him up. When he comes to he finds he has been chained up in a room with a weird two-way mirror. Now Emmanuelle has a weird plan. Instead of stabbing him, or beating him she makes him watch her have sex with various men. Then she has sex with his new girlfriend, and her friend as well. She does this to drive him slowly insane as he can’t join in on the fun.
Then she moves on to the next phase and that is injecting him with a tons of LSD so he begins to hallucinate. And let me tell you he has some really weird visions. He begins seeing Emmanuelle and her sex partners start eating themselves in old school cannibal fashion. He even begins seeing himself kill Emmanuelle with a meat cleaver. Now I don’t want to give too much away but she does plan on castrating Carlo as well, problem is, he gets lose, and from there things get even more insane.
Joe D’Amato directed this, and let me tell you it’s one of his crazier ones, and that is really saying something. The weird score in the film is like euro trash synth at its finest and helps set the tone. And the tone in this one is very different. Not horror, not torture porn, not Giallo. It’s something all its own. It’s as if D’Amato was able to combine all of this into one glorious spectacle. This is, and I don’t mean it in a bad way, soft core horror trash at its finest. I’ve seen most of the Emmanuelle Films, and believe me there are more than you thing and this is definitely one of the best in my opinion. Blending a plot like this with soft core sex scenes, and a horror torture element without being corny is very hard to do, but D’Amato is able to pull if off perfectly with this one. As exploitive as this film is it never becomes comical or to violent to watch. Sure it’s a soft core film with a plot, but the acting, score, and pacing help elevate it to another lever.
Severin once again pulls out all the stops with this transfer. The video and audio are amazing. Nothing like a euro sleaze score blasting through your surround sound to put you in the mood for a good exploitation film. They really do have the transfers down to a science. These old exploitation films never looked great to begin with, and I’m pretty confident the negatives were not exactly preserved in the best way, so watching how clear these are now is simply astounding. Hopefully they start pumping out more releases as they are really taking the market by storm. The cover art is fantastic, and yes, don’t worry they even have it loaded with special features
·Three Women and a Mirror: Interview With Actress Maria Rosaria Riuzzi
·The Other Side of the Mirror: Interview With Actor George Eastman
· Deleted/Alternate scenes
· Reversible Cover
· Limited Edition Slipcover
Fans of exploitation, and of the Emanuel series in general should pick this one up and add it to the collection. Its just another great release from Severin you need to own
Overall 3.5 out of 5 Stars
Two Words, Women in prison. Actually that’s technically three words. But they are glorious words if you’re a fan of trash cinema. Come on every guy digs a good women in prison film. The problem is, a lot of those films that were released under that guise are not in fact prison style films. One of those to fall in between the cracks was titled Escape From Women’s Prison. A nasty little Italian film made by Giovanni Brusadori back in 1978. I saw it back o VHS when I was a young kid and really enjoyed it. Now thanks once again to our friends at Severin I get to see it on Blu-ray uncut.
Escape from Women’s Prison is exactly was the title states. Four stereotypical women escape from prison. They are essentially labeled terrorists, sex crazed bi sexual terrorists. They kill a few cops and as they need a ride they hijack a bus full of women’s tennis players. Then they decide to set out to find the female judge who sent them up the river who conveniently lives in a big secluded mansion. They head there and keep all the female tennis players as hostages while they get revenge on the judge.
That revenge is not simply murdering her that would be to boring. These are female prisoners so they have to do a lot of rape, beatings, humiliation tactics, more rape, more beatings. See not only are these four women dangerous there also either a nymphomaniac or a sex staved lesbian. Yes you read that right. This is not citizen Kane, this is a mean nasty vile exploitation film. It’s a hardcore shocker not meant for everyone. But if you like these films you will be all over this one. The only thing that is a bit misleading is the title. It takes place in a big mansion as opposed to a prison. However the women treat it like a prison, and I guess they did escape from a prison so in all actuality the title is not misleading.
The film to me has more of a Last House on the Left vibe as opposed to other films of this genera. As I stated the women arrive at the judges place pretty early on and keep everyone under total fear and control even though they are outnumbered. It’s not until the closing act when the captives start to fight back as the authorities come to lay siege. That’s not taking anything away from this film, I just feel had it been promoted as more of a hostage style piece it may have reached a larger crowd.
I mentioned before I saw it on VHS as a kid and I have to say it looked horrible. But that’s all changed because Severin strikes again. This print looks amazing, and considering the negative in question was probably not in the most preserved state what they did is astounding. This looks fantastic. Everything is bright and colorful, and let’s face it no one wats to see this type of film on a grainy picture. The Blu-ray sounds great as well. The audio is crisp, and probably sounds better than it did during its initial theatrical run. And I should say not only is this presented uncut but they even were able to include the original trailer, and an interview with Director Giovanni Brusadori.
Another thing I have to mention is the cover art. Lots of companies create their own artwork now for these films and Severin does not get the credit it deserves. The artwork they use is amazing. This one to me is especially great as it has such an old school comic like style that you would find in the pages of the old Heavy Metal magazine. Think Neil Adams meets David Hess. It’s a beautiful design that is bright and loud, yet trashy and menacing at the same time. I hope one day they start doing poster size reprints of these as they have several I would love to frame.
So let’s recap. Women break out of prison and torture other women. Lots of violence and nudity, and I think some sort of political message was intended when it was made. Maybe, if so I think I understood it. Regardless I understood that if you like films like this you need to add it to your collection. Head on over and grab this one right away.
Overall 3out of 5 Stars!
When you think of New Zealand horror films, particularly of the splatter variety you of course think of Dead Alive or Bad Taste both made by Peter Jackson. Dead Alive is considered one of the bloodiest films ever made, and with good reason. However if you were to travel back to 1984 you find the inspiration for that film. A small little splatter picture made by Gary Day entitled Death Warmed Up!. Never heard of it? Well that’s understandable. Made on a micro sized budget this film boasts a ton of gore, and also a ton of off the wall humor. It’s so out there it was banned by the Australian Classification Board and had to be heavily censored for release. Well now thanks to our good friends at Severin Films you no longer need to search out a bootleg VHS copy. You can watch it fully uncut on Blu-ray.
Death Warmed Up is the story of a young man named Michael Tucker. His father is a professor who works for a Dr, who is actually a mad scientist named Archer Howell. See Howell is all kinds of crazy and experiments on dead bodies in the hopes of bringing them back to life. Professor Tucker can’t be a part of that kind of nonsense and tells Howell he’s going to blow the whistle on him. So as Howell is a mad scientist he starts giving Tuckers son Michael some mind control drugs. Once Michael is all good and brainwashed Howell orders him to kill his parents. Michael does, and gets sent off to the looney bin when no one believes his defense of being mine controlled.
We flash forward about seven years and Michael has just been released , and he manages to convince his girlfriend and a couple of his buddies to go on vacation to a nice remote island. See this island is the home for Dr Howells new medical fortress where he has amassed an army of brainwashed slaves. That means little to Michael though as he is out for blood.
Killings by knife, electrocution, exploding heads, open brain surgery, mutants, and a synth score to die for this film has it all. It is 100 percent completely over the top. It has so much flying at you it gets confusing at some points. Nothing bad, as if you are watching this is no doubt for the gore. Heck the brain surgery is more than enough to satisfy any gore hound, but that’s only 1 out of 1000 different scenes. Extremely low budget yet extremely effective this may be the bloodiest film I have ever seen.
It doesn’t stop with just the blood, its incredibly funny. It’s so over the top it’s almost like watching a slapstick comedy where every joke contains some type of blood spray. I found myself laughing hysterically at some point just due to the shear nature of insanity being flung at me. I really can’t stress how fun this film is.
Severin, as I’ve stated before has really come into their own with these transfers, and this one is no exception. The transfer is crisp and clear, and the audio is fantastic. You can hear the blood spraying in the speakers, and see it pouring out of your television. They really have upped the ante with this release. It’s even loaded with special features.
BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVE: Original New Zealand 4×3 VHS cut
Audio Commentary with Director David Blyth and Writer Michael Heath
I’ll Get You All: Interview with Actor David Letch
Deleted Scenes with Optional Audio Commentary by Director David Blyth and Writer Michael Heath
Interview Featurette with David Blyth and Michael Heath
If you’re a fan of blood and guts, and complete insanity then this is the film for you. It’s really a lot of fun, and the amount of gore is sure to please any fan of the horror genera. Overall I can’t stress enough how fun this picture is. Do yourself a favor and pick this up today.
Overall 3.5 out of 5 Stars!
You know what is a good setting for a movie? A boarding school. Yes, a boarding school, an all-girls one to be exact. Then to take it to the next level you throw in a futuristic dystopian background and make said school sinister. This is the premise for the new film from writer/director Danishka Esterhazy Level 16. A small budget film that puts a strong emphasis on storytelling that’s sure to entertain you.
Level 16 takes place at the Vestails Academy where the girls are taught to be patient, clean, and obedient. They advance in levels and when completed the end goal is for them to be adopted out to a nice home. Now if the girls don’t act right they get a beating, or some other type of punishment. Vivien, the girl who we primarily focus on took a severe punishment when she was on Level 10. She’s moving up now, and when we get to Level 16 we learn a few more things. None of these girls can read or write. And the girls get a night time vitamin that’s actually a powerful sedative. Vivian and her new friend Sophia realize things are not what they seem and begin to look for truth.
Sunlight never comes through the building, there convinced that outside air is provisions, I mean its endless what they go through. The film runs a smooth 107min, and manages to hold your interest until the end. The story is slowly unfolded so you be will wondering how everything will turn out up until the final frame. Esterhazy does a tremendous job of pacing this film out. It moves slowly but never does it make you lose your interest. It’s amazing how he could take a small budget, combined with a very plain general setting and craft it into such an interesting film.
The film draws so many comparisons to the Island that’s its almost unfair, as this takes it to a different level. The amount of metaphors you can draw from Level 16 are astronomical. From Capitalism, to feminism, to BDSM, it’s all in there plus more. Being able to pull that off with a group of great, yet unknown actors is a feat in itself.
If you enjoy Futuristic films with a meaning, that are not heavily rooted in science fiction (yes that’s how out there this is) then this is for you. As that is not really a category how about we just say fans of something different and though provoking need to pick this one up.
Overall 3 out of 5 Stars!
“Alone….terrified….trapped like an animal.” That was the original tagline for the 1982 thriller The Seduction. It is notable for a few things. The first being it starred Morgan Fairchild who was red hot from Flaming Road at the time, and the fact that it won three awards. Unfortunately those awards were Razzies. It won for Worst Actress, Worst New Star, and Worst Supporting Actress. The film, although a bit corny by today’s standards is actually pretty good. I don’t know if I would go so far as to say it was ahead of its time, but stalking films were still fairly scarce back then, especially those that dealt with obsessed fans and local celebrities.
The Seduction stars Fairchild as Jamie Douglas. She’s an anchorwoman in Los Angeles who takes many baths, and dips in the pool. I say that because there are a lot of scenes with her cleaning up. Obviously it was done because she is extremely beautiful, and of course because the filmmakers were trying to be as erotic as possible. She lives next to a weirdo named Derek (played wonderfully by Andrew Stevens). He really likes her. In fact he’s obsessed with her. He’s also lucky she takes so many baths because he takes tons of pictures of her. He also does a lot of little things like send her flowers, send her notes, follow her around, you name it. He’s sort of ok just being a common stalker but when he discovers Jamie has a boyfriend he sort of snaps and becomes fully blown crazy obsessed.
Now back in 1982 stalking was more of a thing you saw in films. Sure it happened in real life but it was not covered as much back then. Cops basically couldn’t do anything unless they caught the guy in the act, and Jamie just kept calling them at the wrong times. So what’s a girl to do in a stalking movie? Take matters into her own hands and get revenge. And let me tell you, it does play out well.
The film gets a lot of grief for being bad, which I don’t understand. Fairchild does a fine job playing the woman in peril, then woman out to strike back just fine. She was a Television actress and this move to the big screen was done fine. She was easily one of the most beautiful women in the world at the time and she played a good part. See one thing people don’t take into consideration was that films like this seem laughable now because of the subject matter. Stalking was either played for laughs or used in horror films. It wasn’t handled as a serious subject back then, hence a bit of the overacting.
That part aside its actually a really well made film. As I said Fairchild is great, as is Stevens. They both play their parts perfectly. My only issue would be that so much of it was played on Fairchild’s looks, and that her character was not given enough to do acting wise. This film has become a cult classic over the years, and now Scream Factory has picked it up and have given it a Blu-ray treatment.
It looks fantastic. The audio and video are tremendous. Scream Factory does such a good job with these transfers its almost a science to them at this point. This one look like it was made just yesterday. My only issue is that, although it had a budget to it back in the day it sort of resembles a made for television film by today’s standards. But Scream Factory never disappoints, and they have this one loaded with special features
· NEW “Beauty And Strength” – An Interview With Actress Morgan Fairchild
· NEW “The Seducer” – An Interview With Actor Andrew Stevens
· NEW “Flashbacks” – An Interview With Producer Bruce Cohn Curtis
· Audio Commentary With Producer Irwin Yablans, Bruce Cohn Curtis, And Writer/Director David Schmoeller
· “Remembering The Seduction” Featurette Featuring Interviews With Bruce Cohn Curtis, Irwin Yablans, David Schmoeller, Actress Colleen Camp, Actor Kevin Brophy, And Associate Producer Tom Curtis
· “Remembering The Locations And Production” Featurette With Bruce Cohn Curtis And Location Manager Charles Newirth
· “Remembering The Seduction And The Law” Featurette
· Original Theatrical Trailer & TV Spot
· Still Gallery
Although not racked with the tension a film like this should have by today’s standards it’s still a great film to sit back and watch. I enjoyed it, and there is a reason it has developed such a cult following. Go ahead and pick this one up.
Overall 2.5 out of 3 Stars.
I had the privilege last night of watching I’ll Take Your Dead., a new horror, drama, plain weird film set to have a limited release theatrically and on VOD beginning May 3rd, then a video release from Shout/Scream Factory later in the year. It’s definitely a very original film from writer and director Chad Archibald. It offers, to say the least a very different take on supernatural films. It boasts a really great cast and should do well with the horror community. By no means is it a terrifying jump scare movie, but more of a supernatural crime drama.
It stars Aidan Devine as William, and Ave Preston as his daughter Gloria. William is a simple farmer who wants what’s best for his daughter. He takes on a second job, primarily for her protection from the local mob. As William lives out in the middle of basically nowhere, the mobsters will drop off bodies of their victims for William to dispose of. He becomes known as “The Candy Butcher” as the legend the criminal element spread is that he’s a cannibal who eats the bodies he is given. He doesn’t really have a problem doing it, and in fact his daughter knows, and doesn’t mind either. She just makes sure William promises never to dispose of children. Also his daughter is able to see the ghosts of the victims his disposes of. Other than that they are a pretty happy little family. Gloria, even though she can see ghost is actually a fairly normal girl. Which is a really nice touch for films of the genera.
Everything is going ok, or at least as well as can be when your job is disposing of bodies until William gets his next drop off. It’s a group of three, two guys and a young lady. Now as William has to cut these bodies up, and as he is a strict professional he has a makeshift operating table he uses. When he throws the woman on there she starts to move. No she isn’t a zombie, she’s just not dead. She’s badly wounded, but still alive. Her name is, as we come to find out Jackie (Jess Salgueiro) and the mob really wants her dead. William may dispose of bodies but he’s not really much of a killer so he decides to keep her tied up (can’t have her running away and blowing his cover) and with the help of Gloria nurse her back to health..
Ironically Gloria does not mind this too much, as Jackie, in a weird way begins to fill the hole in her life that she has since her mother has passed away. Even though she is tied up she still becomes essentially part of the family. However the fact that she is essentially a hostage doesn’t help matters, and also the fact the mob finds out she is alive and really want her dead complicates things further.
The film is really well made, and runs at 100mph. It’s a very short 84min long so it gives you no room to breathe. The characters are introduced right off the get go, and the very little backstory given is spread out throughout the film in minutes. That’s not a bad thing however as it never gets dull. I was invested from the beginning, to the weird supernatural crime finish.
The blend of styles as well as the acting make this definitely one to check out. As I said its getting a limited VOD and Theater run, but if you miss it then it will get the Shout/Scream Factory treatment later this year. Either way don’t pass up your chance to check this out. Fans of Crime, horror, and just plain tension you’re sure to get a kick out of this weird blend of film.
Overall 3 out of 5 Stars