Someone’s Watching Me
Starring Lauren Hutton, David Birney, Adrienne Barbeau, Charles Cyphers
Directed by John Carpenter
Starring Matthew Laborteaux, Kristy Swanson, Michael Sharrett, Anne Ramsey
Directed by Wes Craven
Eyes of a Stranger
Starring Lauren Tewes, Jennifer Jason Leigh, John DiSanti, Peter DuPre
Directed by Ken Wiederhorn
From Beyond the Grave
Starring Peter Cushing, Donald Pleasence, Lesley-Anne Down, David Warner
Directed by Kevin Connor
Starring Larry Drake, Holly Marie Combs, Cliff De Young, Glenn Quinn
Directed by Manny Coto
Distributed by Warner Home Video
With Halloween just around the corner, it seems as if the big studios are finally opening up the flood gates in terms of movies that they’ve been sitting on for whatever reasons. Today, folks, we can now officially throw away several of our old VHS tapes, DVDr bootlegs, and even a sub-par full-screen release, as Warner Home Video has unleashed its Twisted Terror Collection onto DVD in one big-ass blood-drenched boxset!
I have to say it … Holy shit this set is packing! We’re talking six films (many of which are making their DVD debut) spanning nearly three decades of horror from directors like Carpenter, Craven, and Oliver Stone! Does it get any better? Let’s take a quick look at the movies (which are all classics in their own right) and what’s including (if anything; yes, there are a couple of bare-bones releases here) on each disc.
First up — The Hand. Director Oliver Stone doles out the horror goods with this tale of a cartoon artist (Caine) who loses his hand in a car wreck only to find it crawling back not only to him but to the throats of anyone who’s ever wronged him. Featuring effects from Carlo Rambaldi, The Hand is a dark mind-fuck of a film that offers just the right amount of horror and psychological terror. In terms of supplemental features, we have an audio commentary by director Stone and the theatrical trailer. We’re off to a good start!
Also making its DVD debut here is John Carpenter’s lost TV classic Someone’s Watching Me. Back in the day no one could do suspense quite like Carpenter. Here we have a prime example. This flick’s about a peeping Tom who takes his obsession with a young girl that just moved to L.A. (Hutton) way too far. Things start off innocently enough with the usual perverted telescope watching, phone calls, etc. Then our chick turns the table on this slime-ball, and things quickly go to hell in a hand basket! Also included on this disc is a short featurette titled John Carpenter: Director Rising, which takes a look at the master’s introduction to the biz and so on. Good stuff.
How about an anthology to keep things cooking! Amicus’ From Beyond the Grave is next up to bat as we get four stories (not including the wrap-around) adapted from four short stories by R. Chetwynd-Hayes. Here we find the great Peter Cushing playing an antique dealer who tempts folks to damnation through the purchase of his cursed wares. What can I say? This is vintage Amicus, people. Sadly, in terms of supplements all we get here is the theatrical trailer.
Eighties heartthrob Jennifer Jason Leigh then takes center stage with the semi-forgettable stalker opus Eyes of a Stranger. While certainly not the best film in the bunch, it is an interesting little yarn about a killer whose next victim ends up being the blind sister (Leigh) of a newscaster who’s been reporting about him. If you can make it to the end, there’s a great cat and mouse sequence to be found, but the rest of the film is paced agonizingly slow. Don’t be expecting any extras here.
Wes Craven’s Deadly Friend gets this horror train back on track with a modern day, albeit goofy Frankenstein-like tale of a brainy kid who refuses to accept that his crush next door (Swanson) was rendered brain dead in a horrible accident. What’s a smart and horny teen to do? Insert a chip in her brain and turn her into a killing machine of course! This is a thick slice of Eighties cheese! In retrospect it’s so laughably bad it’s hard to not have a good time with it. In terms of extras — just the trailer.
And finally, my favorite film in the box: the equally cheesy and ludicrous Dr. Giggles. Larry Drake turns in a devilishly maniacal performance as the lead character who lives in the neighborhood haunted house and enjoys making minced meat out of his patients. While there’s absolutely nothing in terms of bonus features on this disc, Dr. Giggles is presented here in its original widescreen format so throw away those original old Good-times Home Video DVDs.
It should also be noted that each print of the above titles looks pretty damned good so video snobs like myself should be very pleased. Each film is also available separately, but why bother when you can get the whole package — which is perfect for some horror movie marathon shenanigans — for one low price? Pretty fucking cool! Buy this NOW!
3 1/2 out of 5
Special Features Collectively:
2 1/2 out of 5
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