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V/H/S/2 (Blu-ray / DVD)

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 (Blu-ray / DVD)Starring Adam Wingard, Lawrence Levine, L. C. Holt, Kelsy Abbott, Hannah Hughes

Directed by Simon Barrett, Adam Wingard, Edúardo Sanchez, Gregg Hale, Timo Tjahjanto, Gareth Huw Evans, Jason Eisener


Horror anthology films have been enjoying a resurgence in recent years, though much like the anthologies that were prevalent in the ‘70s and ‘80s the end results often wind up a mixed bag. Not every new film can be Trick ‘r Treat (2007). A recent spate of new films – Chillerama (2011), The ABCs of Death (2012), and V/H/S (2012) – managed to garner a lot of attention, but reviews on each were decidedly mixed. The most divisive of the lot was V/H/S, a film which I have yet to see thanks to continual cries of “Too much shaky cam!” and “That was the worst piece of shit I’ve ever seen!” coming from people whose opinions I typically trust. Not that I let everyone dictate what I’m watching or anything. But I digress. When V/H/S/2 arrived on my doorstep, concern set in not because the first film was still a mystery to me, but because there was that inherent fear that it would be lumped in with some of the aforementioned titles as another exercise in horror friends making films that only seem to amuse their other horror friends. I’m sure Chillerama sounded like a great idea after Adam Green and Joe Lynch had one too many bong tokes. But as a film? Total mediocrity that felt more like a wasted opportunity than anything else. The ABCs of Death had 26 (!) segments, only the only one I’d even consider watching again focused on two Japanese schoolgirls who enjoy smelling farts. The first V/H/S received so much backlash, it was surprising they even made a sequel, let alone one that materialized in such little time. So, with a little trepidation I fired up the blu-ray player and went in with tempered expectations…

… which were totally exceeded. Man, this movie was a blast! Not entirely (more on that later), but as a whole this is certainly heads above any horror anthology put to celluloid (or digital, whatever) since 2007. Even the wraparound, despite making little sense, just worked. And if I were a betting man, I’d wager this was largely due to the fact that they attracted some more well-known talent to helm the segments this time around. The directors here aren’t a bunch of neophytes looking to cut their teeth (not that everyone was last time); these are names most genre fans will/should recognize, and might even excite them. Word on the street is that the creative team behind the first film actually listened to the feedback fans were providing for that film, and then applied what they had learned in order to make this sequel a worthy follow-up. This should occur more often.

The film’s wraparound segment (which is also intercut after each segment), Tape 49, was written & directed by Simon Barrett. A young private detective, Larry (Lawrence Michael Levine), and his private detective girlfriend, Ayesha (Kelsy Abbott), are hired by a young man’s mother to locate her missing son. The duo stake out his house and break in, finding a room containing several old TVs stacked upon each other, many VCRs, and lots of VHS tapes. Ayesha decides to stick around and watch some of the footage while Larry goes to investigate the rest of the place… It can be easy for an anthology film’s wraparound segment to get a bit neglected because it’s hard to gain much impact when your piece is constantly being cut to make way for the “feature” segments. Tape 49 sets itself up with a simple premise, then pops back in from time to time to advance the tape playing but also to incrementally ratchet up the tension. I liked the revelation made once it finally was allowed to play un-interrupted, and even though the climax had me scratching my head at what exactly was going on, it didn’t matter because there were some solid practical effects on screen to distract me. This should occur more often.

The first “tape” up was Adam Wingard’s Phase I Clinical Trials, which is shot almost entirely from the POV of a man (Adam Wingard) who has just received a bionic eye, and his other natural eye isn’t working. Although he was warned of potential side effects, he probably didn’t think they could include seeing the bodies of dead people thanks to his newly-acquired ability to see in the electromagnetic spectrum. Several instances cause him to demand the company remove his eye (which they’re also monitoring), but before that happens a girl from the hospital, Clarissa (Hannah Hughes), stops by his house to tell him she knows what’s happening and she’s got a potential solution: sex. That only lasts so long, though, and soon after the visions he’s seeing begin to take on a power that becomes a real threat. I really like what Wingard did here. It’s an intriguing story that employs a cool hook (I know Eye Transplant Ghosts aren’t anything new, but a bionic eye? Haven’t seen that one.) with a POV shooting style that lends itself well to the material. If I had one complaint, it would be that there are too many jump-scare moments. A couple is understandable; a handful is just aggravating. The final moments get about as crazy as any Paranormal Activity film. And that’s not entirely a backhanded compliment! An entirely backhanded compliment would be saying his segment here was better than the overhyped You’re Next (2011).

Up next is A Ride in the Park, from two of the men behind The Blair Witch Project (1999) – Gregg Hale and Eduardo Sanchez. The segment starts off with a biker (Jay Saunders) taking an EXTREME RIDE (there’s a lot of annoying dubstep playing) through the woods when he runs across a woman screaming that her husband was hurt before she starts spewing up blood. Our biker looks to the trees and sees a herd of zombies headed his way, but before he can do anything the woman reanimates and takes a chunk out of his neck. He kills her, and then runs off toward a path where he’s spotted by two other cyclists. As one tries to save him, the man dies… and promptly returns as a flesh-eating zombie, taking a bite out of the man’s face. Now, this is where things get novel – the guy has been wearing a GoPro camera the entire time, and now we get to watch a zombie hunt from the perfect POV. This segment had me nervous at the start because there is absolutely nothing new done for zombies here; it’s the same stuff you see all the time. Very typical stuff. It doesn’t start being unique until we get that zombie POV, at which point the film takes on a delirious life that is a little disturbing and a lot of fun. Zombies sure can take a lot of punishment; these dead are durable! Combine that with some mostly-impressive gore FX and suddenly watching yet another zombie film doesn’t seem so trite. And from two guys who effectively disappeared from the genre for almost a decade!

Every anthology has to have a bad segment, right? It seems inevitable unless you have some black magic on your side. Even Creepshow (1982), a movie that I love to death, has “They’re Creeping Up On You”. I don’t care what anyone says, that was a horrible segment to end the film. Anyway, V/H/S/2’s clunker comes from every geek’s new favorite director, Gareth Evans. You know, the guy who did The Raid (2011). A group of journalists enter an Indonesian cult’s compound looking for answers regarding some of their questionable rituals. What they find are brainwashed members who perform extreme acts to show their loyalty, including ritual suicide and Satanic worship. Lots of people die, and eventually it’s found that these guys actually were able to make a baby Satan, resulting in big baby Baphomet storming through the house looking for daddy. Evans was clearly trying to do something different here, so he can get some credit for that. The story itself just wasn’t very compelling, relying on too much talking and hinting instead of going for the jugular earlier. As a viewer, I felt disconnected from whatever world they were introducing. The mystery wasn’t unfolding in a way that had me leaning in, eager for more. And the climax and conclusion seemed almost hokey.

Good thing Jason Eisener was around to cap this thing off. Easily winning the best title of the bunch, Slumber Party Alien Abduction is a frenzied slice of hyper creepy nostalgia. The atmosphere has a ‘80s vibe to it, which I’m going to assume was intentional based on Eisener’s previous projects that reveled in retro glory. Here, a group of adolescents think they’re about to enjoy a night of no parental supervision and playful mischief until blaring noises and intense lights indicate they may not be alone. One of the boys goes out to investigate (always a great idea, right?) and is promptly attacked by a long-limbed alien that looks like something right out of a nightmare. From there, it’s a non-stop race to evade these interstellar creatures that are nipping at our groups heels every step of the way. Most of this segment is shown from the dog’s POV, as someone attaches a camera to it before the mayhem gets underway. Eisener doesn’t allow the tension to dissipate here once the chase ensues; maintaining a frenetic pace that will leave viewers feeling exhausted once the segment comes to a close. And the design of those aliens is really disturbing.

And there you have it. Three solid shorts and one that is maybe half good, with a wraparound that feels organic to the material both in presentation and execution. Is V/H/S/3 a foregone conclusion thanks to the warmer reception this entry has enjoyed? Probably. And that’s hopefully going to be a good thing, because if this entry is a marked improvement over the previous one, then I can only hope a third installment will maintain the quality shown here and then some. Anthology films can be a blast when they’re done properly. Even with a minor misfire, V/H/S/2 has great replay value thanks to some brief, intense segments that rely on genuine scares and (mostly) practical effects.

The only consistency you’re going to get in the video department is that the film is framed at 1.78:1, but outside of that we’re dealing with myriad video sources here. The wraparound looks the roughest of them all, vacillating between degraded digital shots and some that look like they were pulled off a VHS tape (how fitting). The rest of the segments are shot using high-quality cameras (the Red Epic is used on Wingard’s segment) or quality consumer models, like the ever-popular GoPro, which makes an appearance in just about every segment seen here. Quality is strong across the board for the most part, with solid color reproduction and a decent, if unspectacular, level of depth to the image. Images and background elements are sharp and detailed unless the filmmakers have chosen to intentionally obfuscate them to maintain a certain aesthetic. Any aberrations within the digital image are just as intentional, but they resist the urge to degrade it so much that it seems implausible. After all, digital may glitch a bit but it hardly ever gets as bad as some found footage films demonstrate.

Try as they might to age some of the video, one thing that feels very modern is the English DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround sound track. It’s a beast. The soundtrack delivers an absorbing atmosphere that provides an immersive experience for listeners. Bass levels in particular are brutally deep, producing a shockwave of sound that had my couch rumbling. The fidelity is excellent across the board, with a broad range that allows more numerous sound effects to all be heard without becoming lost in the mix. Rear speakers are used frequently, mainly to elevate the soundfield without coming on too strong – they imperceptibly heighten tension by carrying ambient cues and disturbing sounds across all corners of the room. This is a very proficient track that, quite honestly, amazed me with its power and subtlety.

When you’ve got a lot of directors making a lot of short films, you’re bound to end up with a lot of bonus features. Magnet didn’t skimp on the good stuff here, as each segment gets represented in the supplemental department. Leading things off is an audio commentary track that features each segment’s writer/director duo once their respective entry comes up. Wingard and Barrett get the most time simply because they had the most footage in the film (having done both Tape 49 and Phase I Clinical Trials). Their track is fun and informative, getting into some technical details of note while also discussing things like how Adam’s apartment was used as the model for the guy in Phase I but if he’d also suddenly become rich. The rest of the track is a good listen, mainly because none of the participants has any time to dawdle over trivial things. There’s a finite amount of time for everyone to speak so they really make the most of it.

Several featurettes make up the bulk of the bonus material. “Tape 49 Rewind” is a very brief look at the making of the wraparound. “Dissecting Phase I Clinical Trials” is another extremely short look behind the scenes of shooting Wingard’s entry, including how he was reluctant to act in it but figured no one else could get the angles he knew he wanted. “Inside Safe Haven” is a sit down interview with director Gareth Evans and writer Timo Tjahjanto, both talking about how they came up with the idea for their segment. “Slumber Party Alien Abduction: Behind the Lights” focuses mainly on showing us behind the scenes footage of shooting the POV scenes, most of which come from a dog’s vantage point. “A Ride in the Park: I Dare You” is guys doing guy things, which in this case is pushing over a dead tree in the middle of the woods. “AXS TV: A Look at V/H/S/2” is a typical EPK that quickly summarizes the film.

The disc also includes several behind-the-scenes photo galleries featuring shots for all of the segments. Finally, the package is rounded out by a pair of theatrical trailers for the film’s release.

V/H/S/2 is the rare sequel that builds upon the success of the first film, while also elevating the material and not requiring that one has seen the prior film before watching this entry. The concept is easy to follow (which, according to the credits, we can thank Brad Miska for!), and each segment is distinct from the others, allowing horror fans to sample a little from a few different subgenres. Found footage movies have taken a real hit from fans over the last few years, mainly because they’re so cheap to produce that it quickly turned into a crap factory for low-budget hopefuls. When they’re bad, they’re intolerable. When they’re good, you don’t care about things like how implausible it is for someone to actually obtain all of this footage, let alone edit it into something cohesive and entertaining.

Special Features:

  • Tape 49 Rewind
  • Dissecting Phase I Clinical Trials
  • Inside Safe Haven
  • Slumber Party Alien Abduction: Behind the Lights
  • A Ride in the Park: I Dare You
  • AXS TV: A Look at V/H/S/2
  • Behind the Scenes Photo Galleries
  • Filmmaker Commentary
  • Theatrical Trailers

    Film:

    4 out of 5

    Special Features:

    3 1/2 out of 5

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    Beyond the Seventh Door DVD Review – No-Budget S.O.V. Canuxploitation At Its Finest!

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    Beyond the 7th DoorStarring Lazar Rockwood, Bonnie Beck, Gary Freedman

    Directed by B.D. Benedikt

    Distributed by Severin Films/Intervision


    Two people trapped within a labyrinthine complex. Booby traps. Rigged doors. Death lurking around every corner. And a mysterious voice communicating clues every step of the way via recorded tapes. No, this isn’t the latest Saw film but a Canuxploitation entry from the shot-on-video market, 1987’s Beyond the Seventh Door. Oozing ambition and bolstered by a truly bravado performance from newcomer Lazar Rockwood – a man who looks like the love child of Tommy Wiseau and Billy Drago – this no-budget Canadian shocker delivers just as many twists and turns as Lionsgate’s dead-horse franchise. The main difference being that instead of having to mutilate yours or someone else’s body, the protagonists here are forced to solve obtuse riddles in order to move on to the next room; failure means death. Intervision has been crushing it throughout 2017 – and this release may be the best yet.

    Boris (Lazar Rockwood) is a career thief and recent ex-con who is trying to turn his life around when Wendy (Bonnie Beck), a former flame, comes back into his life. She now works for a rich paraplegic, Lord Breston (Gary Freedman), who lives in an actual castle just outside of town. Desperate for “one more job” and a big payday, Boris begs for a gig and Wendy delivers; the plan is for the two of them to break into the basement of Breston’s castle and steal whatever treasures he has socked away, all while her boss is busy entertaining guests at his costume party. The next night, the plan is enacted and the duo clandestinely slip into the castle’s lower level, when suddenly the door locks behind them and a tape recorder begins to play. Breston’s voice is heard, welcoming the thieves into his home and offering up a challenge: use scant clues (or sometimes, none at all) and uncover a way out of each of the six rooms linked together down here. Succeed and a briefcase of money awaits; fail and you die. Truly motivating.

    Going into this film blind is my best recommendation, and so for that reason no other plot points will be revealed here. Besides, the real motivation for watching this movie is to witness the raw acting prowess of Lazar Rockwood. Glad in a denim jacket and rocking the ubiquitous ‘80s bandana headband, Rockwood has the delivery of a porno actor stammering lines between sex scenes. His accent is impenetrably thick and the range of his acting could fit within a matchbox, but dammit the man is weirdly magnetic on screen. He’s clearly throwing everything in his arsenal onto the screen with tremendous bravado. Modesty must be a scarce commodity when you have a name that would go perfectly alongside Dirk Diggler on an adult theater marquee in the ‘70s. My favorite line in the entire film is when Wendy is trying to solve the first clue, which has something to do with rings. When she’s rifling through possibilities and says, “Lord of the Rings?” Boris replies with, “Lord of the ring… who the hell is that guy?” said with equal parts confusion and annoyance. The kicker is viewers will believe that query could have come from either Boris or Lazar.

    The rooms aren’t likely to impress viewers with their intricacy or set design, but each has a clever solution that is often a stretch to imagine our leads managing to solve within the allotted time. The clues provided by Lord Breston are esoteric and Boris isn’t exactly the erudite type, but working together with Wendy they are able to move ahead, often with mere seconds to spare. Evidence of past would-be thieves’ unlucky attempts are glimpsed, including one room where a body remains. NON-SPOILER: I completely expected the body to in actuality be Lord Breston, “checking up” on his unwanted guests much like John Kramer in Saw (2004), especially since you can clearly see the actor breathing, but this is not the case. Instead, the he’s-clearly-not-dead guy is played by a local eccentric, whose life is briefly chronicled in the bonus features.

    Viewers will already be hooked on Beyond the Seventh Door by the time the climax arrives, but the final twists are what drive this S.O.V. thriller over the edge and into the cult territory it so richly deserves. It’s crazy to think this film went virtually unseen for years, being impossible to acquire on VHS and never receiving the proper home video release until now. Director B.D. Benedikt offers up further proof that strong ideas can be realized on any budget, and fans of films like Saw or Cube (1997) will enjoy this “store brand” version of those bigger budgeted hits.

    The video quality review for every Intervision title could probably be a copy/paste job since each one is shot on video, always with a 1.33:1 aspect ratio. The quality here is comparable to a remastered VHS tape. There is a slight jerkiness to the opening but that passes quickly. Colors appear accurate and contrast is about as strong as can be. The picture is often soft which, again, is just something inherent to shooting on video. Film grain is minimized as much as possible; don’t expect a noisy mess just because this isn’t shot on film.

    The English Dolby Digital 2.0 track plays with no obvious issues. Dialogue is clean and free from hissing and pops. The score is another awesomely cheesy ‘80s keyboard love-fest, with the three (!) composers – Michael Clive, Brock Fricker, and Philip Strong – getting plenty of mileage out of the main theme, which sounds like it would be the in-store demo default keyboard setting. No subtitles are included.

    There is an audio commentary with writer/director B.D. Benedikt & actor Lazar Rockwood, moderated by Paul Corupe of Canuxploitation.com.

    “Beyond Beyond the 7th Door features new interviews with Benedikt, Rockwood, and Corupe.

    “The King of Cayenne” – Focusing on “legendary Toronto eccentric Ben Kerr”, a street performer who played the role of “dead guy in that one room”.

    Special Features:

    • Audio Commentary with Writer/Director BD Benedikt and Actor Lazar Rockwood, moderated by Paul Corupe (Canuxploitation.com)
    • Beyond Beyond the 7th Door: Interviews with Writer/Director BD Benedikt, Actor Lazar Rockwood, and Canuxploitation.com’s Paul Corupe
    • The King of Cayenne: An Appreciation of Legendary Toronto Eccentric Ben Kerr
    • Beyond the Seventh Door
    • Special Features
    3.5

    Summary

    Virtually lost for nearly three decades, Beyond the Seventh Door deserves a wider audience and Intervision’s DVD should bring it. The then-novel plot and sheer ambition should be enough to get most viewers hooked, but if not the Yugoslavian wonder Lazar Rockwood will handily have them glued to the screen.

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    The Crucifixion Review – Should’ve Left This One Nailed to the Cross

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    Starring Sophie Cookson, Corneliu Ulici, Ada Lupu

    Directed by Xavier Gens


    Claiming to be inspired by actual events, director Xavier Gens’ The Crucifixion forgoes the affecting shocks and awes, and instead beats its audience into the ground with a laundry-list of ho-hum dialogue and lesser-than-stellar instances…forget the priest, I need a friggin’ Red Bull.

    A 2005 case is spotlighted, and it revolves around a psychotically damaged woman of the cloth (nun for all you laymen) who priests believed was inhabited by ol’ Satan himself. With one rogue priest in command who firmly believed that this was the work of something satanic, the nun was subject to a horrific exorcism in which she was chained to a cross and basically left to die, which ultimately resulted in the priest being stripped of his collar and rosary…how tragic. Enter an overzealous New York reporter (Cookson) who is intently focused upon traveling to Romania to get the scoop on the botched undertaking. After her arrival, the only point of view that seems to keep sticking with interviewees is that the man who sat close to the lord killed a helpless, innocent and stricken woman, that is until she meets up with another nun and a village priest – and their claims are of something much more sinister.

    From there, the battle between good and evil rages…well, let me rephrase that: it doesn’t exactly “rage” – instead, it simmers but never boils. Unfortunately for those who came looking for some serious Father Karras action will more than likely be disappointed. The performances border on labored with cursory characters, and outside of some beautiful cinematography, this one failed to chew out of its five-point restraints.

    I’d normally prattle on and on about this and that, just to keep my word limit at a bit of a stretch, but with this particular presentation, there just isn’t much to bore you all with (see what I just did there). Gens certainly had the right idea when constructing this film according to blueprints…but it’s like one of those pieces of Wal-Mart furniture that when you open the box, all you can find are the instructions that aren’t in your language – wing and a prayer…but we all know what prayers get you, don’t we, Father?

    My advice to all who come seeking some hellacious activity – stick to The Exorcist and you’ll never be let down.

    • Film
    2

    Summary

    The Crucifixion is one of those films that needs the help of the man above in order to raise its faith, but I think he might have been out to lunch when this one came around.

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    User Rating 3.47 (17 votes)
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    Black Christmas Blu-ray Review – Making Its U.K. Debut From 101 Films

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    Starring Keir Dullea, Olivia Hussey, John Saxon, Art Hindle

    Directed by Bob Clark

    Distributed by 101 Films


    There is only one Bob Clark Christmas movie I watch each year and it doesn’t feature Ralphie and his Red Ryder fantasies.

    The endurance of Clark’s 1974 legendary slasher, Black Christmas, can be chalked up to a number of factors but the greatest is this: it is a disturbing film. I frequently come across horror message board topics asking for genuinely scary titles devoid of jump scares and excessive gore, but oddly enough Black Christmas doesn’t get many mentions. Maybe because it has been relegated to the “seasonal viewing only” heap? Regardless, fans will agree that the unsettling events portrayed don’t diminish with repeat viewings; if anything, subsequent watching serves to reinforce that it is a standout among a sea of imitators. The film is also a noted influence on John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978) – arguably the granddaddy of slasher films – adding a bit of prestige to its legacy.

    The girls of Pi Kappa Sig are throwing a holiday party before the Christmas break when, toward the end of the night, they receive a phone call from a man they’ve been calling “The Moaner”, who has a habit of calling and making unusual noises. Jess (Olivia Hussey) initially accepts the call but also allows her other sisters to listen in, prompting outspoken Barb (Margot Kidder) to jump on the line and goad this mystery man. She and Phyllis (Andrea Martin) argue over the possibility this guy may be more threatening than anyone realizes. Unbeknownst to the ladies partying downstairs, however, moments before the phone call came through an unidentified person (very likely this same caller) snuck up the side of the house and into the attic. And once the party wraps up that same person is found hiding in Claire’s (Lynne Griffin) closet, whereupon she is strangled and placed in a rocking chair in the attic.

    The next day Claire’s father comes to the campus to meet her and is understandably stood up. He heads to the sorority house and reports her missing, at which point the girls and their housemother, Mrs. Mac (Marian Waldman), agree to help him locate her. The file a report with the police, led by Lt. Fuller (John Saxon), and Jess also wrangles in Claire’s semi-boyfriend, Chris (Art Hindle), who helps bolster the search by raising hell at the station. Jess, meanwhile, is having problems of her own after confessing to her boyfriend, Peter (Keir Dullea), she is pregnant. She wants an abortion; he is vehemently against it. Claire’s absence grows more concerning when another missing girl is found dead in a nearby park, prompting the cops to ramp up their efforts. The girls are being picked off one by one as the unseen assailant remains hidden in the attic, continuing his phone calls that come after each murder. The cops suspect Peter may be a person of interest, as his interactions with Jess have become increasingly aggressive, but everyone is in for a shock when a tap on the line reveals the true source of the calls – they are coming from within the house.

    With the film having been around for over forty years, and fans having been sold one “upgraded” home video version after the next, I suspect most readers are more interested in how Scream Factory’s Blu-ray stacks up against similar editions – which is basically my way of saying this review is a bit glib. For the uninitiated, however, let me say that I cannot overstate how exceptional Clark’s film is – never giving the killer an identity, an entire subplot concerning abortion, a palpable sense of grief for Claire’s father, a cast of interesting, unique people who don’t ever feel like archetypes, and a potentially downer of an ending. Some of his moviemaking tricks are brilliant, like the decision to create Billy’s voice from a combination of three different people (one a woman) and using interchangeable actors to portray the killer so you’re never quite sure who is in the attic. Carl Zittrer’s score is disorienting and minimal, making use of odd instrumentation to add extra unease; it also appears infrequently, giving the movie more of a real life quality. Black Christmas was a reasonable success upon release, more so commercially than critically, but time has been kind to this old gem and many now view it as an outright horror classic.

    Hell, it was Elvis’ favorite Christmas movie.

    Cult label 101 Films is giving the film its U.K. debut, presenting a transfer that is nearly identical to the remastered version Scream Factory released last year in North America. That 1.85:1 1080p picture is very likely the best this film can and will ever look. Black Christmas has a long home video history of looking very grainy, murky, dulled, and soft. I can’t say the new disc’s results are far off that mark but there are clear improvements. For one, grain has been resolved in a tighter field that looks less “noisy” and more “grindhouse-y”; do not expect an image clear as a crystal unicorn by any means. There is still softness to many faces and objects though detail looks far better here than it ever has before. Colors are more vibrant, too. Black levels run on the hazy side but they’re more stable than ever. The only noticeable difference between the Scream Factory and 101 Films versions are the latter is a touch brighter, allowing for a little more detail to filter through.

    Audio is available via an English LPCM 5.1 surround sound track or a 2.0 stereo option. The multi-channel effort grants the unsettling soundtrack and Billy’s insane vocalizations more room to breathe, ratcheting up the creepiness thanks to the sense of immersion. Unlike the Scream Factory edition, the original mono track is not included.

    Only a handful of extra features have been included, all of which can be found on the Scream Factory edition, too.

    “Film and Furs: Remembering Black Christmas with Art Hindle” – Hindle, who still owns that jacket, talks about being a working actor in Canada when there wasn’t much work, as well as how he wound up auditioning for Clark for a different role.

    “Victims and Virgins: Remembering Black Christmas with Lynne Griffin” – The actress who is most famous for having a plastic bag over her head tells a few tales from the set.

    “Black Christmas Legacy” – This is a lot of interviews from the film’s actors and notable fans. I found it to be a bit tedious.

    A handful of original TV and radio spots have been included, along with the “40th Anniversary Reunion Panel: Fan Expo Canada 2014”.

    The package also includes a fold-out poster, reversible cover art, and a DVD copy.

    Special Features:

    • Film and Furs: Remembering Black Christmas with Art Hindle
    • Victims and Virgins: Remembering Black Christmas with Lynne Griffin
    • Black Christmas Legacy
    • Original TV and Radio spots
    • 40th Anniversary Reunion Panel: Fan Expo Canada 2014
    • Black Christmas
    • Special Features
    4.0

    Summary

    This is an easy recommendation for purchase if you live in the U.K., since this is the film’s Blu-ray debut. Stateside readers may find this region-free version attractive due to the price, but know that it does contain significantly fewer extras than the in-print Scream Factory release. Either way, fans on both sides of the Atlantic have a version worth buying.

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    User Rating 3.33 (18 votes)
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