Last Friday, I gathered some pals together to assault their senses – and perhaps their patience – with Scream Factory’s latest Blu-ray double pack, The Video Dead & TerrorVision.
Scream Factory because has been doing an amazing job of late. Not only have they been releasing some choice horror cuts over the last year or so, but also excelling in the packaging and supplemental departments, as well. I mean, just look at the title menu screen for the above disc!
Anyways, back to the evening at hand. Knowing that TerrorVision was likely going to be the easier for my peeps to ingest, I slapped on The Video Dead first. Even twenty five years later, I still find this movie so endearing. Director Robert Scott had more dreams than money – it was literally shot on weekends over the span of a year – but knew to accentuate his strengths. Sure, it’s slow in parts and the acting is questionable at best, but there is an emphasis on the zombies as characters that you usually don’t see outside of Romero’s catalogue.
As for the transfer, it looks pretty solid. Considering this film was originally shot on 16mm, this is the best The Video Dead has ever looked. I have to now give a shout out to Chris MacGibbon. His painstaking, multi-year pursuit to get The Video Dead released on a digital format has finally come to fruition. Additionally, all the supplemental materials he has been producing over that time are on the disc, including two commentaries, interviews and extensive galleries. It is pretty much all a Video Dead super-fan could ever want.
I know that all in attendance were not as thrilled about The Video Dead as I was, but nevertheless we moved onto TerrorVision.
I had an even more vague recollection of this title, but wagered that the combined efforts of Charles Band & John Carl Buechler wouldn’t let me down. Thankfully, I was right. Just the production design alone in this movie is enough to keep you entertained. Imagining a universe where a house like this could exist brings a smile to my face. Then again, it was the eighties.
TerrorVision falls into a category that several of Band’s pictures possess where it seems like, gore and encroaching adult themes aside of course, he was almost trying to make a kids movie. It would certainly explain why several years later, Band founded Moonbeam Entertainment, the more youth-friendly genre offshoot of his Full Moon empire.
Not surprisingly, the center piece of TerrorVision is the monster, which is top notch. Just two years before the legendary carnage of Friday the 13th Part VII, effects artist John Carl Buechler was at the top of his game here. It goes to show you that no matter how rudimentary a fabricated monster may look, it will always beat CG.
But wait, there’s more! TerrorVision also features a catchy theme song, an Elvira ripoff named Medusa, whose heaving bosom defies the laws of physics and some pretty extreme eighties hairdos. Also, much like its counterpart, this disc is rife with special features, including a commentary, retrospective doc and a still gallery.
All of this added up to a fun evening. With many more great titles on the way from Scream Factory this year, I suspect there will be many more nights like this to come.
That is one hell of menu screen, that's for sure!
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