Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Final Terror - Scream Factory - Blu-ray Review

The Final Terror - Scream Factory - Blu-ray Review
Without Knowing They Have Awakened An Unknown Force

The Final Terror Blu-ray Scream Factory

Released by: Scream Factory
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Region Code: A
Running Time: 1:23:56
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Video: 1080P (1.78:1 Aspect Ratio)
Subtitles: English


A group of young campers from Redwood County Youth Corps out for what they hope will be a fun-filled weekend find their plans spoiled by a disguised, merciless killer who stalks the forest in search of new victims. Soon they are caught in a terrifying web of bloodshed and murder. It is up to the remaining few to defend themselves and put an end to the terror-filled weekend.

I've been a fan of the film for about ten years since I watched it for the first time. It does not have a particularly large body count. I would say that the film probably would have benefited with a few more deaths but it still does a fair enough job in the killing department. The acting is pretty good with a number of the cast going on to larger careers after this film.

The cast includes Rachel Ward (The Thorn Birds), Daryl Hannah (Kill Bill), Adrian Zmed (T.J. Hooker), Mark Metcalf (Animal House), Lewis Smith (Django Unchained) and Joe Pantoliano (The Sopranos). The film was directed by Andrew Davis (The Fugitive).

Daryl Hannah in The Final Terror


The English DTS-HD Master Audio track does a good enough job in respect to managing a balance between the music, dialogue and sound effects, although at times, the dialogue can be a little quiet. I never encountered a moment where I was lost in what was said, just to be clear. 


"The Final Terror" makes it way to Blu-ray thanks to Scream Factory via a Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack. The film sports a 1080p transfer with a 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio.

Before I discuss the video further, I would like to mention that before the film begins a title card is shown with the following message:

"Unfortunately all of the original film elements for 'The Final Terror' - the negative, the inter-positive - are all lost. Scream Factory went through six film prints, lent to us by film collectors, to find the best looking reels to do the transfer you are about to watch. We hope you enjoy this presentation.

Special thanks to Lee Shoquist and Joshua Gravel"

With that said, I definitely enjoyed the presentation. I was very excited when this release was first announced because frankly, after waiting for and never getting, a proper DVD release for years, I assumed a Blu-ray would never happen. Color me surprised when "The Final Terror" was announced. I probably did a little dance in my chair without realizing it. I of course pre-ordered my copy and as soon as I got my hands on the package, it was torn to shreds like a kid on Christmas morning. I was truly surprised at how good the picture quality looked. After reading the title card regarding the patchwork job that Scream Factory had to perform as though they were creating Frankenstein's Monster, expectations were not very high. Well, expectations were more than exceeded. 

Yes, at times the image goes a little soft and sometimes colors may fluctuate. Even with those few minor issues, yes I am calling them minor issues because if you had ever seen the film before in some fashion, it was dark, really dark, basically all the time. Now you can see more as though some darkness filter was removed. No they didn't tinker with the contrast to achieve that. They just did a proper job using good quality film prints. Well, reels from six different film prints. During bright scenes, the picture shines and you can really appreciate the work Scream Factory put into their release.

Fans of the film are sure to be pleased with the result. It feels like the film was saved from oblivion, especially since we learn that as far as anyone knows, all the original elements are sadly gone. This is easily the best that this film has ever looked except perhaps if you saw it theatrically from a pristine print. If you are new to "The Final Terror" then you might not find the video quality quite as pleasing. But rest assured, as of now, you will not find a better version anywhere.

The Final Terror Blu-ray


As if getting the film on Blu-ray wasn't enough, Scream Factory provides some nice bonus material as well. In addition to the following, English Subtitles and a Chapter Selection Screen can be found via the Main Menu.

Commentary Track - Director Andrew Davis provides some insight on many aspects of the film as well as some interesting bits of info on the cast. My favorite purely because it made me laugh is that he mentions this film features Joe Pantoliano before he had his nose job and that Joe was a bit afraid of being out in the woods. There are many long moments of silence during the commentary and a moderator would have helped to keep up the conversation, but it is still an enjoyable track.

Post Terror: Finishing The Final Terror (22:59) - This features Executive in charge of Post-Production, Allan Holzman and Composer, Susan Justin. They discuss a variety of topics including the making of the film, what went into getting the film financed and the score. It's a fairly interesting featurette.

The First Terror With Adrian Zmed and Lewis Smith (16:22) -  Here the actors discuss their roles in the film, the production, the other actors, how they did their own stunts and also their careers. They both tell personal stories including one by Lewis Smith about how some locals gave them brownies which they later found out contained marijuana and the cast became ill. He said they probably gave them the brownies because they didn't want them there. A fun set of interviews. 

Theatrical Trailer

Behind the Scenes Still Gallery (8:59)


"The Final Terror" is a good backwoods survival slasher film with a very nice Blu-ray release from Scream Factory. If you are a fan of the film, buy it if you have not already done so. If you like films such as "Just Before Dawn" and "Rituals" or even slashers in general, give this one a spin as I think you will like it. Scream Factory did a great job and I can't thank them enough for releasing this. 


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Friday, July 10, 2015

Fear the Walking Dead - Comic Con Trailer

Fear the Walking Dead, the spin-off to The Walking Dead, focuses on how the world transformed into a zombie apocalypse. Set in Los Angeles, the new series follows new characters as they face the inevitable.

Fear the Walking Dead AMC

Fear the Walking Dead premieres Sunday, August 23 2015 on AMC.
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The Walking Dead - Season 6 Trailer

The Walking Dead panel is going on right now at the 2015 San Diego Comic Con and the trailer for the upcoming season has been released. 

The 90 minute season 6 premiere will air on AMC on Sunday October 11, 2015.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Town That Dreaded Sundown (2014) - Image Entertainment - Blu-ray Review

Stay inside tonight.. and every night

The Town That Dreaded Sundown 2014 Blu-ray

Released by: Image Entertainment
Release Date: July 7, 2015 (Best Buy Exclusive until Sept 8th)
Region Code: A
Running Time: 1:26:24

Audio: English and Spanish DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 tracks
Video: 1080P (2.40:1 Aspect Ratio)
Subtitles: English SDH


65 years after a series of brutal slayings terrorized the small town of Texarkana, the “Moonlight Murders” suddenly begin again. While on a trip to Lovers’ Lane, 17-year-old Jami (Addison Timlin) watches as her date is brutally slain by a masked serial killer. Barely escaping with her life, she becomes obsessed with finding the man referred to as "The Phantom." As the body count climbs and the carnage comes closer, Jami delves deeper into the mystery, following clues that point her toward the killer’s true identity.

I have seen this film referred to as a remake, reboot, sequel and meta-sequel by various people and websites. I think of it as a sequel or maybe those that say meta-sequel are right. Who knows. This film is very different from its predecessor in that this is more of a straight up slasher. The kills are violent, bloody and most definitely mean spirited... which I loved! The one thing this doesn't quite have that the previous film had, is the creepiness. The 1976 movie with its documentary style shooting was downright eerie at times. But I'm not complaining because the two films are a nice contrast with each offering something different. 

The film was directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (American Horror Story) and stars Addison Timlin (Californication, Odd Thomas), Anthony Anderson (Black-ish, The Shield), Gary Cole (Office Space), Edward Herrman (The Lost Boys), Joshua Leonard (The Blair Witch Project), Denis O’Hare (American Horror Story, True Blood), and Veronica Cartwright (Alien. Invasion of the Body Snatchers - 1978)

Addison Timlin
Sad times for Jami

The English DTS-HD MA 5.1 track did a fine job with a good balance of sound effects and dialogue. I did not notice any issues with the sound. There are also English SDH subtitles available.


"The Town That Dreaded Sundown" (2014) comes to Blu-ray courtesy of Image Entertainment with a 1080p transfer and 2.40:1 Aspect Ratio. PLEASE NOTE that the following negative aspects I mention are also present in the version playing on Netflix. So I can only surmise that they are a result of how this was filmed. In well lit scenes the image looks good and at times has very good fine detail. However in darker scenes, which is most of the film, the image tends to be a bit soft, with less detail. It's to be expected to see more detail in brighter shots but it seemed like a significant difference. My biggest complaint is the halo and bright glowing effect of many of the lights in the film. I found them to be distracting and very displeasing in some scenes. Below are two examples. Both pictures are from Netflix where the same issue exists (I do not have a BD drive in my computer to take screenshots of the Blu-ray).

The Town That Dreaded Sundown 2014

The Town That Dreaded Sundown 2014

Anyhow, in the grand scheme of things, it's a minor annoyance as most of the film is fairly dark or at least does not have such odd lighting effects. Again... this was found on the Netflix version as well so I do not hold the Blu-ray at fault here. 


Sadly, only a trailer is to be found on the disc. The disc does at least have a Chapter Selection Screen. But that is all. 


The Blu-ray may be underwhelming as far as special features are concerned but I believe its low price makes up for it. I enjoyed the film and think slasher fans will as well. If slashers aren't your thing you may enjoy the 1976 film instead but should still give this one a chance. The Best Buy exclusive only contains a Blu-ray disc, no DVD, in case you were wondering. It did come with a slipcover for those interested. 


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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

'Dollface' Carves Its Way to DVD and VOD on September 15th

"Crinoline Head" sequel is coming

Dollface poster

Tommy Faircloth's "Dollface" will make its DVD and VOD debut on September 15th courtesy of Breaking Glass Pictures and Vicious Circle Films. In addition to buying the DVD, you'll be able to watch the film via Amazon Instant Video, VUDU, Itunes, Google Play and XBOX. For those wanting a Blu-ray release, there was a hopeful comment posted on their Facebook page saying, "You never know. A BR version could be in the future."

Originally titled, "Dorchester's Revenge: The Return of Crinoline Head" where it screened at several film festivals and won a number of awards, the film was re-titled to the shorter name "Dollface" for distribution. In case the previous title didn't give it away, "Dollface" is a sequel to Tommy Faircloth's 1995 film "Crinoline Head". In the sequel, the story follows a group of college students researching Dorchester Stewart, better known as the infamous killer Crinoline Head, return to the scene of the horrific murders that happened in 1996.

"Dollface" stars Debbie Rochon, Jason Vail, Christian James, Kirsten Ray, Leah Wiseman, Gunner Willis, Elizabeth Mears, Nicholas Sweezer, Cameron Turner, John Kap

If you would like to catch a screening of "Dollface", check out the picture below for upcoming convention appearances.

Dollface advertisement


Source: Facebook 

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'Lizard in a Woman's Skin' coming to Blu-ray from Mondo Macabro

'Lizard in a Woman's Skin' coming to Blu-ray from Mondo Macabro

Lizard in a Woman's Skin poster

Mondo Macabro has announced that they will be releasing Lucio Fulci's "Lizard in a Woman's Skin" on Blu-ray later this year. No word on extras yet but they did say they would be using the same master that was used for the French Blu-ray from Le Chat qui Fume and Studio Canal. 

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Monday, July 6, 2015

Cujo Reboot News

DJ Perry is set to star in Sunn Classic Pictures remake of the 1983 film "Cujo", which starred Dee Wallace and Danny Pintauro. The reboot titled C.U.J.O., stands for Canine Unit Joint Operations. Lang Elliot is set to direct.

Canine Unit Join Operations... Could this be a cross between C.H.O.M.P.S. and Man's Best Friend? Comment below and share your thoughts.

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Sunday, July 5, 2015

Madman - Blu-ray Review - Vinegar Syndrome

They thought they were alone.

Madman Blu-ray Vinegar Syndrome

Released by: Vinegar Syndrome 
Release Date: May 26, 2015
Region Code: All 
Running Time: 1:28:42
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio Mono
Video: 1080P (1.85:1 Aspect Ratio)
Subtitles: English


"Madman" takes place, as stated on screen following the opening credits, at North Sea Cottages, a special retreat for gifted children. The opening scene shows children and camp counselors sitting around a camp fire creepily being sung to by T.P. (Tony Fish). Throughout the song, we see a montage of scenes, which is a bit of 'things to come' later in the film. Next up, the gang is treated to a spooky story by Max (Carl Fredericks), the caretaker at the camp, who tells the story of a farmer that used to live close by. As the story goes, he was married and had two children. He was a mean and ugly man who beat his wife and brutally punished his children. He liked to drink and fight. One time during a brawl, he had part of his nose bitten off and didn't feel a thing. For no apparent reason, he went mad one night and used an axe to chop up his wife, his son and lastly, his daughter. Next he walked into the tavern and hoisted his bloody axe onto the bar and ordered a drink. It didn't take long before the townspeople took justice into their own hands, hanging the farmer from a tree, only to find his body and the bodies of his family missing the following day. Max then further sets things up by telling the counselors and children that if you say his name (Madman Marz) above a whisper, he'll come for you. Richie (Jimmy Steele), one of the kids, proceeds to egg on Marz by calling him out, thus starting a night they'll never forget.

Tom Candela Jimmy Steele in Madman
Richie decided to sneak off and do some investigating


The DTS-HD MA Mono audio track does a fine job. It is clear and balanced throughout the film. There were not any real noticeable hisses, pops, or any other distracting sounds. Dialogue is easy to understand as well.


"Madman" makes it HD debut via Vinegar Syndrome who really did a great job creating a new transfer, restoring "Madman" in 4K from the 35mm camera negative. For fans of the film, like me, I don't think anyone could have predicted it receiving this kind of treatment. The video quality looks incredible. Those unfamiliar with the film may think this Blu-ray release looks a bit soft, which is does at times, but I imagine that is due to how it was shot and the filming conditions, rather than any fault of Vinegar Syndrome. For the majority of the film, the video looks fairly sharp with good colors, skin tones and contrast. The video quality really shines in a number of close ups and well lit scenes. For a film shot at night, black levels look good. The level of grain looks great as well. I can't imagine that someone who has seen the previous Standard Definition releases, being disappointed with how this Blu-ray looks. One important thing to note is that Vinegar Syndrome made it a point to bring the blue tint back to the film. They were not heavy handed with it, as was the case with the Anchor Bay DVD in 2001, where everything was heavily bathed in a blue tint. When the title was announced for future release, a number of fans, myself included, inquired about the blue tint and if it would be brought back since the Code Red DVD released in 2010 eliminated it altogether. Thankfully Vinegar Syndrome was very much, on it, and spoke with the films producer, Gary Sales. What we have now more closely represents what the film looked like theatrically back in 1982. There is one negative thing regarding the video and that is some vertical scratches that appear several times throughout the film. They only last a second or two and while easily noticeable, I did not find them particularly off-putting as some might find. It would seem they are part of the negative and I am not an expert in that field so I can't begin to speculate what fixing them or the cost to do so, would involve.   

Gaylen Ross in Madman
Betsy, you better watch your back


Another area that this release really shines is all the extras that are included. Thankfully it's all on a 50GB Dual-layered disc so there is plenty of room. You have the option when playing the film, to first watch a brief intro by producer Gary Sales. On the Main Menu there is a section called "Reels" which is a Chapter Selection screen. The cover art is reversible featuring work by Paul Ehlers. 

Commentary Track #1 - Features director Joe Giannone, producer Gary Sales, actors Paul Ehlers (Madman Marz) and Tony Fish (T.P.). A good commentary track with plenty of insight from all involved. 

Commentary Track #2 - This track features The Hysteria Continues! It is a mix of informative moments as well as times where they have a bit of fun with the film, cracking jokes about some scenes. I did notice at approximately (1:07:20) that the audio cuts out for a second while one of the members are talking. That's the only instance of it that I noticed. The commentary continued fine afterward.

Madman: Alive at 35! (21:00) - Here we have Gary Sales reuniting actors Paul Ehlers (Madman Marz) and Tom Candela AKA Jimmy Steele (Richie). They take a trip back memory lane and share some stories. 

The Early Career of Gary Sales (14:15) - Here we have producer Gary Sales talk about his career including a foray in the adult film business. 

Original Theatrical Trailer (1:48)

The Legend Still Lives! (1:31:42) - Here is a hefty documentary that fans should thoroughly enjoy. It was thankfully ported over from the Code Red DVD. It features interviews with members of the cast and crew including: Paul Ehlers, Gary Sales, Harriet Bass, Carl Fredericks and Michael Sullivan. Gary Sales and Paul Ehlers give the fans a look at the tree where Madman Marz was hung. The production of the film is covered as well as a variety of topics associated with the film. Some fans are interviewed as well and they give a look at their "Madman" collections. 

Stills & Artwork Gallery (7:20) - Gary Sales does commentary while the slideshow plays.

Music Inspired by Madman (13:17) - Features songs inspired by the film as well as fan renditions of the feature song.

In Memoriam (5:46) - Gary Sales pays tribute to director Joe Giannone who passed away in 2006 and Tony Fish (T.P.) who passed away in 2009. A brief mention of Carl Fredericks (Max) is made as well. He also sadly passed away in 2012.

TV Spots (1:59)

Deadpit Interview with Gary Sales (3:37) - The interview mainly consists of Gary Sales talking about remaking the film and wanting to do more than one film. 

Deadpit Interview with Paul Ehlers (5:15) - Similar to the other interview, most of the time is spent discussing a remake with Ehlers again playing the role of Madman Marz.


While the film never got the notoriety of the likes of Friday the 13th, Halloween, etc. it remains one of my favorite slashers. It goes against the grain a bit in regards to "final girl" and doesn't feature a cast of models like the majority of today's horror films. I was very excited when I first read that "Madman" was coming to Blu-ray and Vinegar Syndrome did a fantastic job! A 4K restoration and tons of extras. If you are a fan of the film you need this release in your collection! If you have never seen the film before, now is a good time to check it out. I also want to note that this release is a Blu-ray and DVD combo pack. 

OVERALL: 4.5/5

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