Saturday, July 18, 2015

To All a Goodnight - Blu-ray Review - Kino Lorber

You'll Scream 'til Dawn

To All a Goodnight Blu-ray

Released by: Kino Lorber
Release Date: October 21, 2014
Region Code: A
Running Time: 1:27:19
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
Video: 1080p (1.85:1 Aspect Ratio)
Subtitles: None


'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, Santa Claus is stirring, and he's not bringing gifts. Five young female boarders at the Calvin Finishing School for Girls have set their sights on a festive Christmas holiday romp. They have just drugged their housemother and smuggled their boyfriends into the house. But their fun-filled promiscuous frolic will soon turn into a blood-soaked nightmare when a sadistic maniac dressed as Santa Claus arrives to deliver some holiday cheer, or maybe that's FEAR. The insane Santa Claus starts slashing his way through the house, and the gory body count begins. So you better watch out, as this Santa knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake! Jennifer Runyon (in her film debut) stars in this 1980 slasher cult-horror favorite, directed by David Hess (Krug in Wes Craven's Last House on the Left) and written and produced by Alex Rebar (The Incredible Melting Man). 

I've always enjoyed this film even though it doesn't tend to rank too high with many others. I can't put my finger on what it is that makes me like it. I personally don't think it's very good. But on a scale of one to ten, I would rate it a six. I do like slashers. Make that, I love slashers, particularly those from the 1980's. Plus it does revolve around a holiday, so that tends to add more interest for me. 

To All a Goodnight Blu-ray


The only audio option for this disc is English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono. The track does a fair job with the score, sound effects and dialogue even though the sound quality falters a bit during several lines of dialogue in the film. It's most likely due to the source and it's not as if the dialogue is unintelligible. It's just not always crystal clear. Fear not, it's not often and not off-putting. I'd give the audio a 3/5. 


"To All a Goodnight" makes it high definition debut thanks to Kino Lorber. The film is presented in 1080p with a 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio. Kino Lorber deserves some thanks and they will at least get mine, for releasing this film in HD. For a long time fans had to suffer with nothing but a dark and shoddy VHS release. But now in "dark scenes" we can actually see more of what is going on. It reminds me of a similar situation with "The Final Terror" from Scream Factory. I had no real hope of seeing this get an HD release since at one time I had read that "To All a Goodnight" was always going to look dark because of the way it was shot. Well, so much for that because Kino Lorber did a really nice job. There is heavy grain, most notably in darker scenes. But those that don't mind or like film grain, probably won't take issue with it. I didn't mind it one bit. To me, grain simply adds to a film, helping it show its age and looks more authentic as opposed to most films now shot digitally with a very shiny and polished look. To me, horror just looks better shot on film. But I digress. Colors look good with reds definitely looking bright as you can see from some characters outfits and of course, the Santa suit. Black levels leave a bit to be desired but no real complaints. Fine detail is good at times in brighter scenes and close-ups with characters faces, hair and clothing fairing well.


In addition to the following, this disc also features a Chapter Selection Screen. There are no subtitles included. Thanks go to Scorpion Releasing for helping provide some extras for this release. 

Jennifer Runyon Interview (12:30) - Ms. Runyon talks fondly about the film, how it was her first job as well as other films and TV shows in her career. 

Katherine Herrington Interview (9:37) - Ms. Herrington discusses her use of an alias for her credit on the film as well as her trouble working with Director David Hess. She explains how she objected to a few things he wanted done in some scenes in the film. Overall, she comes off as mostly negative regarding the film, in my opinion. But she's at least honest about it. 

Alex Rebar Interview (13:39) - Mr. Rebar served as the films Executive Producer and Writer. He talks about many aspects of the film making process including writing the script and how they shot the film in ten days. Mr. Rebar also discusses other films in his career including "Demented" and "The Incredible Melting Man."

Theatrical Trailer

To All a Goodnight Blu-ray


While not a top tier slasher film, "To All a Goodnight" still has a home at least among 80's slasher fans. It's also part of the killer Santa, film club. I'm thankful to Kino Lorber for releasing this. They did a nice job on this Blu-ray. This is a huge improvement over the previous VHS release and fans of the film should not hesitate to purchase a copy. If the film is new to you, it might be in your best interest to watch at a friends house or rent it if you happen to have a store close by that carries this film. If you are a big slasher fan, I would blind buy this Blu-ray. The trailer below should give you an idea whether this is the sort of movie you would like or not.

OVERALL:  3.5 / 5

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Friday, July 17, 2015

The Slumber Party Massacre - Blu-ray Review - Scream Factory

Close your eyes for a second...and sleep forever.

The Slumber Party Massacre Blu-ray Scream Factory

Released by: Scream Factory
Release Date: March 18, 2014
Region Code: A
Running Time: 1:16:14
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
Video: 1080p (1.78:1 Aspect Ratio)
Subtitles: English


When Trish (Michele Michaels) decides to invite her high school girls basketball teammates over for a slumber party, she has no idea the night is going to end with an unexpected guest - an escaped mental patient and his portable power drill - crashing the party in the cult classic, "The Slumber Party Massacre."

A girls slumber party, the thing that teenage boys dream about. Well, in the movies they do. As usual you have twenty somethings playing high schoolers who this time, attend a slumber party. They'll soon wish they stayed home. Not much really needs to be said about the film as you get a good idea of what to expect just from the title or viewing the trailer. 

Jennifer Meyers as Courtney in The Slumber Party Massacre


The only audio option on this release is English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono. The track does a good job and the score, dialog and sound effects are balanced fairly well. I did not notice any issues with the audio. You'll be able to hear the girls.. and guys, scream just fine. 


"The Slumber Party Massacre" drills its way into high definition via a Blu-ray from Scream Factory. The film is presented in 1080p with an Aspect Ratio of 1.78:1 thanks to a new HD transfer from the original camera negative. If you're not familiar with the film, do not set your expectation level too high in regards to the video quality. This film was made and shot cheaply. However, this Blu-ray looks pretty good and better than its previous DVD releases. There are minor scratches, pops, and other blemishes here and there but they are not overly distracting. The film grain is fine and not nearly as heavy as I would have expected. Although it is heavier in dark scenes. Viewers will find a fair amount of fine detail in the film as well. As is normally the case, well lit scenes fair the best. Colors are solid and vibrant. Skin tones look natural as well. 

Michelle Michaels as Trish in The Slumber Party Massacre


In addition to the following, this Blu-ray also has a Chapter Selection Screen and English Subtitles.

Commentary Track - Director Amy Holden Jones, Actors Debra De Liso, Michael Villella and moderated by Tony Brown of The Old Hockstatter Place. The group discusses the films production and Amy Holden Jones meeting with Roger Corman. They cover many topics including shooting locations, the cast, the crew, the 'required' nudity and death scenes. This commentary was ported over from the previous DVD. It's an interesting track and well worth a listen.

Sleepless Nights: The Making of "The Slumber Party Massacre" (23:04) - This is a portion of a longer documentary from the previously released DVD box set of The Slumber Party Massacre trilogy from Shout Factory. This features interviews with Director Amy Holden Jones and several members of the cast.

Interview With Rigg Kennedy (13:22) - An interview with the actor who played neighbor, Mr. Contant. He talks about his role in the film and some of his recollections from the set. He also reads some sort of poem and sort of sings and makes sounds during the reading. It doesn't have anything to do with the movie except some clips from the film are played throughout. 

The Slumber Party Massacre Trailer

Slumber Party Massacre II Trailer

Slumber Party Massacre III Trailer

Still Gallery (3:20)

Michael Villella as Rush Thorn in The Slumber Party Massacre


"The Slumber Party Massacre" is not held in as high regard as many other slashers. But it is fun with the slumber party gone wrong aspect. The Blu-ray looks pretty good considering its source. If you are a fan and owned the movie on a previous format, you can buy the Blu-ray with confidence. This film always hits the nostalgia button for me because I remember renting it on VHS with a friend back in the late 80's and having a good time with it. I hope that the two sequels will find their way on to Blu-ray someday as well.

OVERALL: 3.5/5

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Leviathan (1989) - Blu-ray Review - Scream Factory

How long can you hold your breath?

Leviathan Blu-ray Scream Factory

Released by: Scream Factory
Release Date: August 19, 2014
Region Code: A
Running Time: 1:38:00
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 / English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Video: 1080p (2.35:1 Aspect Ratio)
Subtitles: English


On the dark and forbidding ocean floor, the crew of a deep-sea mission rig discovers a sunken freighter that harbors a deadly secret: a genetic experiment gone horribly wrong. With a storm raging on the surface and no hope of rescue, the captain and his team are propelled into a spine-tingling battle for survival against the ultimate foe - a hideous monster that cannot die... and lives to kill!

This film has to me, always felt like a hybrid of John Carpenter's "The Thing" and Ridley Scott's "Alien". It's not as good as either film, in my opinion, but it's still an enjoyable movie with a good cast and special effects. 

"Leviathan" was directed by George P. Cosmatos (Tombstone) and stars Peter Weller (RoboCop), Richard Crenna (First Blood), Daniel Stern (Home Alone), Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters), Hector Elizondo (Chicago Hope), and Amanda Pays (The Kindred).

Leviathan Blu-ray Scream Factory Ernie Hudson Hector Elizondo


"Leviathan" features two English audio tracks, a DTS-HD MA 2.0 and DTS-HD MA 5.1. The 5.1 track will make good use of your surround speakerss but you may want to lower their volume a little because they can be a little overwhelming at times in regards to your other speakers and dialogue. The 2.0 track, which I prefer, sounds fine and does an adequate job of putting you in the middle of the action.


"Leviathan" comes to Blu-ray thanks to Scream Factory. The film is presented in 1080p with a 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio. Overall I found the Blu-ray to look very good. The film does not feature much in the way of colors, focusing more on black, white, gray and dark blues. Other colors may look a bit flat, but it seems fitting for this film. Black levels look very good. Fine detail looks quite good and I am surprised just how good, some shots appear. There is a fine layer of grain which looks natural and doesn't seem to have any clumping issues. 

Daniel Stern in Leviathan


Along with the following, this Blu-ray also features a Chapter Selection Screen and English Subtitles. The cover art for this release is also reversible. 

Leviathan - Monster Melting Pot (40:26) - This extra features interviews with Tom Woodruff Jr. and Alec Gillis who works on the film as part of Stan Winston Studios. The pair discuss Stan Winston choosing to work on "Leviathan" as opposed to another undersea film. They talk a bit about issues working with Director George P. Cosmatos and their work on the film. A fairly informative set of interviews that fans will want to watch. 

Dissecting Cobb with Hector Elizondo (12:35) - Mr. Elizondo discusses playing 'bad guys' and shares some advice he once received from Lee Marvin. Among other things, he also talks about the exosuits and a near accident while inside one of them.

Surviving Leviathan with Ernie Hudson (15:01) - Mr. Hudson expresses his displeasure about the demise of his character so close to the end of the film. He also speaks about his role in the film and some of the special effects used in the movie. 

Theatrical Trailer (1:51)

More From Scream Factory (1:42)


"Leviathan" should appeal to fans of "The Thing" or "Alien" at least to some degree. It's a decent movie that has a good amount of action, good special effects and great looking creature effects thanks to Stan Winston Studios. The Blu-ray is pretty good with above average audio and video quality as well as a few decent extras. If you're a fan of the film, you should definitely buy this release. If you're a sci-fi/horror/action film fan and have never seen "Leviathan", you owe it to yourself to check this one out. 


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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Brood - Coming to Blu-ray from Criterion

Criterion announced today that they will be releasing David Cronenberg's The Brood on Blu-ray on October 13, 2015.

The Brood Blu-ray Criterion


  • New, restored 2K digital transfer, supervised by director David Cronenberg, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New documentary about the making of the film and Cronenberg’s early work, featuring actor Samantha Eggar, producer Pierre David, cinematographer Mark Irwin, assistant director John Board, and special makeup effects artists Rick Baker (Videodrome) and Joe Blasco (Shivers and Rabid)
  • New, restored 2K digital transfer of Crimes of the Future, a 1970 feature by Cronenberg, supervised by the director, plus a 2011 interview in which the director discusses his early films with Fangoriaeditor Chris Alexander
  • Interview from 2013 with actors Art Hindle and Cindy Hinds
  • Appearance by actor Oliver Reed on The Merv Griffin Show from 1980
  • Trailer and radio spot
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Carrie Rickey
New cover by Edward Kinsella

Canada 1979 92 minutes Color 1.78:1 English Spine #777

A disturbed woman is receiving a radical form of psychotherapy at a remote, mysterious institute. Meanwhile, her five-year-old daughter, under the care of her estranged husband, is being terrorized by a group of demonic beings. How these two story lines connect is the shocking and grotesque secret of this bloody tale of monstrous parenthood from David Cronenberg, starring Oliver Reed and Samantha Eggar. With its combination of psychological and body horror, The Brood laid the groundwork for many of the director’s films to come, but it stands on its own as a personal, singularly scary vision.


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Shocker Blu-ray - Scream Factory Announces Final Extras

Shocker Blu-ray Scream Factory

We have lots of high-voltage stuff lined up for our upcoming Collector's Edition release of Wes Craven's rockin’ and shockin’ cult favorite so let's get right to them:

• NEW Audio Commentary with director of photography Jacques Haitkin, co-producer Robert Engelman, and composer William Goldstein
• NEW! Cable Guy – An all-new interview with actor Mitch Pileggi
• NEW! Alison’s Adventures – An interview with actress Cami Cooper
• NEW! It’s Alive – An interview with executive producer Shep Gordon
• NEW! No More Mr. Nice Guy – The Music of “Shocker”, featuring interviews with music supervisor Desmond Child and soundtrack artists Bruce Kulik (KISS), Jason McMaster (DANGEROUS TOYS), Kane Roberts (ALICE COOPER) , and Dave Ellefson (MEGADETH)
• Audio Commentary with writer/director Wes Craven
• 2 Vintage Making of SHOCKER featurettes including an interview with Wes Craven
• Theatrical Trailer
• TV Spots
• Radio Spots
• Original Storyboard Gallery
• Still Gallery

The set also comes with a reversible wrap which includes the original theatrical key art.

National street date is 9/8/15. If you pre-order now directly through us here you’ll receive a limited edition 18" x 24" poster of the newly designed artwork! (While supplies last.) Act fast!

Source: Facebook

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Scream Factory's Comic Con Announcements 2015

Scream Factory logo

On Friday at the 2015 San Diego Comic Con, Scream Factory announced ten titles for future release on Blu-ray. Here's what they had to say.


We just revealed the following upcoming Scream Factory blu-ray releases at our Comic Con panel this evening. Here's the exciting line-up:

1. WOMEN’S PRISON MASSACRE (1983) - First women-in-prison film in the Scream Factory roster. Bonus points for being Italian-made.
2. BLOOD AND LACE (1971) – First time ever on a home entertainment format!
3. TROLL (1986) – Which will be paired with Troll 2 as a double feature.
4. GHOST STORY (1981)
5. THE GUARDIAN (1990) – From the Director of The Exorcist!
6. THE CAR (1977)
7. NIGHTMARES (1983)
9. GARBAGE PAIL KIDS: THE MOVIE (Collector’s Edition) (1987) – Not horror of course, but “gross” enough!
10. THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD (Collector’s Edition) (1985) - !!!

We have no details to report on this time other than that Death Becomes Her, Blood and Lace and Troll are slated for November 2015 street dates. The rest will roll-out in the months to follow with ROTLD likely releasing in Summer / Fall of 2016.

Scream Factory's Comic Con Announcements 2015

Source: Facebook
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The Prowler - Blu-ray Review - Blue Underground

If you think you're safe... you're DEAD wrong!

The Prowler Blu-ray Blue Underground

Released by: Blue Underground
Release Date: July 27, 2010
Region Code: All
Running Time: 1:28:16
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 7.1 / English Dolby Digital 5.1 EX / English Dolby Digital Mono
Video: 1080p (1.85:1 Aspect Ratio)
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French


Avalon Bay, 1945: On the night of her graduation dance, young Rosemary and her date are brutally murdered by a prowler thought to be a jilted soldier home from the war. The killer was never found. Thirty years later, the dance is held again for the first time since that horrific evening - but something else may have also returned... Tonight, the teens of this sleepy town will meet their grisly ends at the hands - and pitchfork, blade and more - of THE PROWLER!

Also known as "Rosemary's Killer", this gruesome shocker is one of the cruelest "body-count" movies of the 1980s, thanks to razor-sharp direction by Joseph Zito (Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter) and graphic gore effects by Tom Savini (Dawn of the Dead). Hollywood legends Farley Granger (Strangers on a Train) and Lawrence Tierney (Reservoir Dogs) star in this rarely-seen sleeper from the golden age of slasher films

The Prowler poster


Blue Underground's Blu-ray features three English audio tracks; DTS-HD MA 7.1, Dolby Digital 5.1 EX, and Dolby Digital Original Mono. I'm a bit old fashioned or as some call us, purists, in that I prefer the original audio tracks over new mixes. I have nothing against new remixes and some sound good. It's just a matter of preference. All tracks sounded fine with most of the sound coming from the center and front right and left speakers. Dialogue sounded fine as did the score and sound effects. 


"The Prowler" arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Blue Underground. The film is presented in 1080p with a 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio. The film looks good overall. As usual, brighter scenes fare better than those that are darker in nature. There is a nice layer of grain for most of the film except in darker scenes where it is a bit heavier. Colors are mostly subdued and flat, giving the film a look that makes it seem older than it actually is. That's not a complaint though or necessarily a detriment to the film. The picture has a bit of softness to it that may be inherent in the original materials. Skin tones look fine for the most part but they too are a bit flat in tone. Fine detail as usual, is more evident in bright, close up shots as opposed to the wider shots in the film. There are some instances of bloom (thanks wikipedia/google search for the term) mainly with the lights in the scenes from the 'past' like the lights on the bridge and gazebo. As a said, the overall video quality is good and it should be pleasing enough for fans. 


In addition to the following, this release also has a Chapter Selection Screen and English SDH, Spanish and French Subtitles.

Commentary Track - Director/Producer Joseph Zito and Special Make-up Effects Artist Tom Savini do a great job at entertaining the listener in this commentary. They cover everything from stories about the cast, details of death scenes, information on the shooting locations and much more. Listening to them talk, joke, reminisce and just have a good old time makes this even easier to enjoy. 

Tom Savini's Behind the Scenes Gore Footage (9:34) - Here viewers get to see, as the title of the piece says, a behind the scene look at footage of gore from the film. You get an idea of the amount of time and effort it can take to get the right shot in a death scene. 

Theatrical Trailer

The Prowler Blu-ray Blue Underground


"The Prowler" which features effects by Tom Savini is a must see for slasher fans and general horror fans as well. With CGI becoming more prevalent and practical effects going by the wayside, there aren't many opportunities to see 'old school' effects outside of independent films anymore. So fans should check this film out if they have not already, even if it is only to admire Tom Savini's work, which is great. However, the film has more going for it with a killer who implores an unusual weapon of choice, a pitchfork. Yes, other weapons are used as well, but the pitchfork is always a fun one to see and you get to see it a few times here. With good audio and video and a couple nice extras as well, this should be on a lot of shelves.


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Burnt Offerings (1976) Coming to Blu-ray

Burnt Offerings Blu-ray Kino Lorber

Kino Lorber will be bringing "Burnt Offerings" to Blu-ray on October 6, 2015. "Burnt Offerings" tells the story of Ben and Marian (Oliver Reed and Karen Black) who are surprised to find a mansion out in the country that they can cheaply rent for the summer. As they settle into their isolated estate with their son and Ben's Aunt Elizabeth (Bette Davis), they discover a lot more that is hard to believe.

The film was directed by Dan Curtis and stars Oliver Reed, Karen Black, Bette Davis, Burgess Meredith, and Eileen Heckart.

The Blu-ray will contain the following Special Features:

• Brand New 2015 HD Master
• New On-camera Interview with actor Anthony James
• New On-camera Interview with screenwriter William F. Nolan
• New On-camera Interview with actor Lee Montgomery
• New Audio Commentary by Film Historian Richard Harland Smith
• Audio commentary with director/co-writer/producer Dan Curtis, actress Karen Black, and co-screenwriter William F. Nolan
• "Trailers From Hell" with Steve Senski
• Animated Montage of Images
• Original Theatrical Trailer

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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Curtains - Blu-ray Review - Synapse Films

Behind every curtain, someone is waiting... someone is watching.

Curtains Blu-ray Synapse Films

Released by: Synapse Films
Release Date: July 29, 2014
Region Code: A
Running Time: 1:29:07
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1 / English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono
Video: 1080p (1.78:1 Aspect Ratio)
Subtitles: English SDH

Curtains Blu-ray Synapse Films


A group of woman gather for a weekend casting call at the secluded mansion of director Jonathan Stryker (John Vernon). He's searching for the perfect woman to play the role of the crazed character "Audra", and these women are just dying for the chance to play her! Stryker's last star, Samantha Sherwood (Samantha Eggar), is so determined to get the part, she committed herself to an asylum to prepare for the role. Unfortunately for all, a crazed killer in a disgusting "hag" mask is viciously murdering everyone one by one. Who will survive the final curtain call?

"Curtains" was directed by Richard Ciupka and stars John Vernon (Animal House), Samantha Eggar (The Brood), Lynne Griffin (Black Christmas) and Lesleh Donaldson (Happy Birthday To Me).

Production began in late 1980 but the film was not released until 1983. The film had a very troubled production which you can learn about in the extras included in this release. The film was never given a proper home video release until Synapse Films rescued it from somewhat obscurity and released an amazing Blu-ray. 

Curtains Blu-ray Synapse Films


Viewers have the choice between  the original sound via a DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono track and a newly created DTS-HD MA 5.1 remix. Both tracks sound great with the new 5.1 track doing its best to draw you in and heighten your viewing experience. The sound quality is quite good in all aspects from dialogue to sound effects. 


"Curtains" slashes its way on to Blu-ray due to many hours of hard work by Synapse Films. The film is presented in 1080p with a 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio. Synapse Films did a new 2K High-Definition transfer from the original vault materials. Where do I start? The film looks amazing. No one could have ever guessed that a film that many had never seen before due to it being largely unavailable, could look this good. The ice skating scene alone, is breath taking. You can see the fibers in characters clothing in some shots. This is the type of quality that every horror fan wishes to see in all older horror films that make it to Blu-ray. Colors look appropriate and vivid. Skin tones look perfect. The grain structure looks great as well. There really is nothing negative to say about the video quality of this release. The details in the shots of the hag mask are incredible. This isn't my first time watching this Blu-ray. I have had it since it's release. But I recently started to write reviews and I am glad I picked this one today, because it is a work of art.

Curtains Blu-ray Synapse Films


Synapse Films also includes the following special features on their Blu-ray release as well as a Chapter Selection Screen and English SDH Subtitles.

Commentary Track - Actresses Lynne Griffin (Patti) and Lesleh Donaldson (Christine) are joined by Moderator Edwin Samuelson on this fun and casual track. The ladies memories are a bit hazy at times regarding the film but it has been a very long time for them. Thankfully Mr. Samuelson is there with questions and information to help guide them along the way. It's fun listening to them reminisce about their time on the set and their reactions to something they see in the film. Lynne Griffin mentions that her mother played one of the women in the asylum. They also talk about the wardrobe or lack there of and having to wear their own clothing. The pair discuss careers and personal lives as well. All in all, a fun commentary that I enjoyed.

Audio Interviews (55:26) - Found in the Setup Menu on the Blu-ray, this is a pair of interviews with Producer Peter Simpson and Actress Samantha Eggar. The interview with Peter Simpson takes up the bulk of the running time. At times it can be a little tough to understand Mr. Simpson due to it sounding like it was an interview done over the phone. He's very frank in the interview when he talks about the troubled production of "Curtains", issues with the Director (Richard Ciupka), having to do reshoots and the ice skating scene among other topics. Samantha Eggar speaks about her role in the film and her career.

Ciupka: A Filmmaker in Transition (15:09) - This featurette discusses Ricard Ciupka's change from Cinematographer to Directer and the problems he faced along the way and afterward. There is also some behind the scenes footage from "Curtains" as well. It's an honest and interesting piece.

The Ultimate Nightmare: The Making of "Curtains" (35:51) - A very good documentary on the many issues that plagued the production. This segment features interviews with Director Richard Ciupka, Editor Michael MacLaverty, Special Make-Up Effects Creator Greg Cannom, Composer Paul Zaka and Actresses Lynne Griffin and Lesleh Donaldson. The participants are very candid at times and it makes this a must watch for fans. 

Theatrical Trailer


"Curtains", a troubled film but a trouble-free Blu-ray release thanks to Synapse Films. Some may remember reading about all the extra footage, alternate ending and more that was thrown out a couple years before Synapse Films was able to track materials down. It really is a shame because it would have been something special. But what we still have is an incredible Blu-ray and the film has never looked anywhere close to as good as it looks now. I cannot recommend this enough. It should be appreciated just for the video quality alone because they put a lot of hard work into this release, and it shows. 


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The Legend of Hell House - Blu-ray Review - Scream Factory

For The Sake Of Your Sanity, Pray It Isn't True!

The Legend of Hell House Blu-ray cover

Released by: Scream Factory
Release Date: August 26, 2014
Region Code: A
Running Time: 1:33:54
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
Video: 1080P (1.85:1 Aspect Ratio)
Subtitles: English


It sits there, shrouded in mist and mystery, a nesting place for living evil and terror from the dead. It's Hell House. Roddy McDowall heads the cast of this exciting chiller about four psychic investigators and the dark, brooding mansion they call "the Mt. Everest of haunted houses." It's already destroyed one team of researchers. Now this brave quartet ventures in for another try at unraveling its secrets. But before they succeed, they must suffer through madness, murder and everything else that the spirits who dwell here have in store for them. Yet learning the truth just might drive them all insane. An ingeniously devised ghost story, "The Legend of Hell House" will thrill and delight veteran horror fans from the first creaking door to the very last slithering shadow.

This is my favorite haunted house film. It has so much going for it, from the cast, music and most of all, the house itself. It has a look that most films made now just can't quite capture. Typically they're set in a modern house and to me, it's just not as scary. I also love how when the lights illuminate the cobwebs, it adds another level to the eeriness of it all. You would not want to spend a single night in that house.

"The Legend of Hell House" was written by Richard Matheson, based on his own book. "Hell House". The film was directed by John Hough (Twins of Evil) and stars Roddy McDowall (Planet of the Apes), Pamela Franklin (The Food of the Gods), Clive Revill (C.H.U.D. II - Bud the Chud), and Gayle Hunnicutt (Eye of the Cat).

Roddy McDowall in The Legend of Hell House


The audio portion of the film sounds very good thanks to the DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono track. The score by Delia Derbyshire and Brian Hodgson is effective at creating a haunting environment for the viewer. This film may have benefited from a new 5.1 audio mix to really immerse its audience, but the track provided does an adequate job. There is a nice balance of dialogue, sound effects and score. I did not notice any problems with the audio.


"The Legend of Hell House" haunts its way on to Blu-ray thanks to Scream Factory. The film features a 1080p transfer with an Aspect Ratio of 1.85:1. For the most part, the video quality is quite good throughout the film. The quality does dip a bit in darker scenes and is a little soft in wide shots. But in close ups, specifically of the characters, there is very good fine detail in the characters faces and clothing. Colors in general, look good. The film has a nice thin layer of grain but it does get heavier at times in the darker shots. You also have the occasional speck or scratch but they are minor in my opinion. Overall I would say the video quality is quite good and this release is a big improvement over the old DVD from Fox. 

Roddy McDowall and Gayle Hunnicutt in The Legend of Hell House


Scream Factory provides a couple of nice bonus features. Along with those listed below you will also find a Chapter Selection Screen and English Subtitles for the film. This release also features reversible cover art. 

Commentary Track - This track is a bit confusing because on the back cover of the Blu-ray it is listed as an "Audio Interview With Pamela Franklin." But on the Blu-ray itself it is listed as an audio commentary. It plays more like an interview since Pamela Franklin seems to be asked and answers questions that rarely pertain to what is on the screen at the time. She doesn't speak until a few minutes into the film and she stops with several minutes remaining in the film. However, the track is worth listening to as she talks about everything from "The Legend of Hell House" to other films she has works on and even her personal life.

Theatrical Trailer

Interview With Director John Hough (28:19) - This was an entertaining interview where John Hough discusses many aspects of the film including locating the house,  the casts wardrobe, and his filming style. He also talks about his favorite shots in the film but did not want to disclose all of his secrets. Mr. Hough talks about other films he has worked on and also mentions how he would like to make a sequel to "The Legend of Hell House" someday. 

Photo Gallery (2:50)

Radio Spots (2:00)

Also Available From Scream Factory (4:47)


"The Legend of Hell House" is a great haunted house film that older fans of the genre should enjoy. Younger fans may find the film too tame by today's standards because it is not a gore-fest and only has a PG rating. "The Legend of Hell House" relies more on sounds and what you don't see, to entertain it's viewers. Scream Factory did a fine job with this release and I think those that purchase it will be pleased.


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