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Alien Vs. Hunter (DVD)

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Alien Vs. Hunter reviewReviewed by The Foywonder

Starring William Katt, Dedee Pfeiffer, Wittley Jourdan, Randy Mulkey

Directed by Scott Harper

Released by Asylum Home Entertainment


If you listen to the most recent I Am Legend edition of Dinner For Fiends, during which the topic of Alien vs. Hunter came up, you’ll hear Dread Central’s very own Sirand tell the tale about how he almost got the gig to make this Asylum mockbuster. It fell through because, as he puts it, they didn’t want to take a chance on an unknown. Yet they were willing to put it in the hands of Scott Harper, the guy who made Supercroc, The Asylum flick from earlier this year about a giant crocodile that rises from the depths and proceeds to just walk around a lot not doing much of anything. I don’t know if Sirand’s movie would have been good but I am willing to go out on a limb and say it would have been a hell of a lot better than the pointless, worthless, pathetic excuse for a motion picture they wound up with. What would he have had to do to make it worse? Ninety minutes of a blank screen?

The production of AVH (for short) proved such a fiasco that I’ve been receiving emails over the past couple weeks from more than one Asylum insider telling bits and pieces about what an utter catastrophe the making of it turned out to be and how it wasn’t just the worst Asylum movie ever, it was going to be one of the worst movies ever made. All of them pointed the finger of blame at director Scott Harper, his ego and his incompetence. Here are a few snippets of what they told me.

“…AVH is the worst thing I’ve ever seen. (Harper) would show up 2 hours late each day and play on his iPhone while the first and second ADs actually directed the scenes. He has no idea how to make a movie.”

“(Harper) stated that he didn’t like any movies made before 1970 and that he was going to direct Captain America.”

Alien Vs. Hunter review“I’m amazed the editor didn’t quit. (Harper) would stop on every shot and change it for no reason. There were shots they only had one take of and yet he’d insist being shown another take; he’d then be shown the exact same take and rave about how much better it was. When told it was the same take he’d call the editor a liar. The poor guy spent days having to correct footage Harper kept tampering with just to be doing something.”

“So they ordered a day of reshoots. However, instead of shooting any of the missing 25 pages of the movie’s climax, the director shot 20 takes of a hand grabbing a gun.”

“Harper would never apologize for anything or admit he was an idiot. Everyone who works with him has to constantly cover their collective asses because when he screws up he blames everyone but his own incompetent self.”

There’s actually more that I’ve been told further solidifying Scott Harper’s rightful place in the hallowed halls of cinematic hackery, but since my sources prefer to remain anonymous and the other stuff they get into is so specific as to reveal who they are, I can’t reprint it here. I think you get the idea though. Suffice to say, Scott Harper is not the post popular guy inmate at The Asylum.

Given all that I’d heard about AVH‘s behind the scenes troubles, seeing the words “FILMMAKERS COMMENTARY” written on the back of the DVD case piqued my interest; Harper’s take on the film’s making might have proved interesting. Even more interesting is that Harper is nowhere to be found on the “Filmmakers Commentary” track; instead we get the line producer and first assistant director. Seemed to be a very diplomatic commentary track; I only listened to about a half hour of it and didn’t hear any talk of the problematic shoot outside of the usual spiel about rushed low budget filmmaking. But more importantly, I never heard either of them bring up Harper’s name even once.

Even more curious is a short “Making of” featurette that’s primarily just a musical montage of set footage. We never hear from Harper here either and he’s really only seen in it once – sitting on the ground clutching a prop machine gun while production assistants are clearly shown mapping out a scene. Very curious indeed.

I realize I’ve spent a considerable amount of time talking about the problems that plagued Alien vs. Hunter behind the camera without actually getting into the matter of the film itself. Is it the worst movie ever made? No. Is it the worst Asylum movie ever made? That’s debatable. Is it an indefensibly atrocious piece of filmmaking? Damn straight!

Alien Vs. Hunter review!Truth is hearing about those problems really gave me an interesting perspective watching the film itself as it’s quite apparent those problems translated to the screen immensely. I was also told the movie was recut and reedited about a half dozen times trying to salvage this mess into something watchable. It shows – and it’s still barely watchable. AVH is terribly directed and edited; the narrative becomes increasingly scattershot and there’s overuse of establishing shots, recycled stock footage, and mismatched shots. I lost track of the number of times the same shots of the Alien and the Hunter got repeated. Between the slapdash editing and the crummy script (not all of which even got filmed) you just watch with a complete disconnect to anyone or anything on the screen.

The biggest crime of all is the complete failure of the “vs.” aspect of the film. This is inexcusable. Was this not supposed to be the point of the movie? Yet the Hunter spends more time scuffling with human characters than it ever does the Alien, and even when it fights the Alien, those skirmishes are every bit as lame as they are brief. And believe me, they’re brief. Heck; the Hunter is practically a spectator off on the sidelines during the climactic showdown between the Alien and the humans. If that’s the route the filmmakers opted to go you have to ask yourself what was the point in even making this movie in the first place. When you make a (BLANK) vs. (BLANK) movie those of us watching will be doing so because we want to see (BLANK) battling (BLANK), not (BLANK) getting blasted by Michelle Pfeiffer’s kid sister while the other (BLANK) watches.

Looking like a big spider with the torso and head of the Alien rip-off monster from the Marc Dacascos sci-fi movie DNA grafted onto it, the rubbersuited top-half portion of the Alien is actually fairly decent looking, but whoever came up with the idea to make it a big spider made a serious tactical error. We mostly see the rubbery monster suit portion of the Alien in close-up, no doubt because the full bodied CGI spider alien is costlier to produce and harder to integrate with the other actors. Thus, the filmmakers had to work around not showing the lower half as much as possible. This doesn’t just limit what they can do with the Alien – it utterly cripples how they can stage the attack scenes involving it.

Whoever designed the look of the Hunter ought to be embarrassed. Forget the face you see on the DVD art (and the back of the DVD case too) because that looks nothing like the one in the film. The Hunter actually looks vaguely like what Robot Monster probably would have looked like if the makers of that film hadn’t had to resort to the gorilla suit. I’d love to know at what point the effects wizard declared, “All it needs is an upside down salad bowl to wear on its head like a hat and it’ll be perfect!” That little accessory makes an otherwise generic costume positively stupid looking. In fact, when framed in the shot just right it’s hard not to get a Sgt. Kabukiman vibe from it.

A haggard looking William Katt stars as the single worst writer in the history of mankind. I mean a giant fireball falls from the sky just behind him and not only does he barely give it a second look, he tells another character moments later that he’s not interested in covering the story because he prefers things nice and quiet.

Give William Katt credit for being a trooper amid all this dreck. By the third act a good portion of his dialogue will have devolved to an awful lot of “AAAAAARRRRHHHHH!!!!” and “NOOOOOOOO!!!!” and “YAAAAAAAAH!!!!” I do believe it possible to build a drinking game around this.

Alien Vs. Hunter reveiw!The writer who wishes not to be bothered soon gets to watch the Alien eat the sheriff right before his eyes. Nobody believes him about what he saw until the Alien starts eating a couple non-believers in front of other non-believers’ eyes. Katt then leads the cut-off-from-the-outside-world survivors up a mountain to (supposed) safety. Personality wise, the characters seem to fall into the category of either frightened or pissy or, despite the gravity of their situation, wisecracking.

Look; when you make a movie like this you either have to give the monsters distinct personalities or make the human characters sympathetic – preferably both. AVH does neither. There’s no reason to care about any of the characters and the Alien and the Hunter don’t even have characters per say. The more I think about it the more I come to the belief that one could have completely left the Hunter out of the movie altogether and it really wouldn’t have made all that much of a difference.

The Hunter shows up with its invisibility powers and a laser rifle that makes a funny, old fashioned, “Pew! Pew!” sound when fired. For an extraterrestrial that specializes in hunting down dangerous otherworldly lifeforms this Hunter really does have some seriously piss poor aiming skills. It’s not like the Alien is a hard target either.

A survivalist backwoods bear hunter dude is then introduced. He’s like a less comical, less paranoid, less charismatic version of Tremors‘ Michael Gross. Still, actor Randy Mulkey plays the role convincingly enough to make him the closest any character in the film ever comes to having a genuine personality. It won’t take long before he and his militia buddies are shooting it out with the Hunter. Doesn’t really make much sense for them to be doing so, but you know how rival, rifle-toting rednecks are when you get them together out in the woods: they’re either gonna bond over deer and beer or start trying to shoot one another.

By the 45-minute mark the movie had already become mired in a series of characters either skulking about dank tunnels or roaming around the woods being attacked at random. The finale is enormously anticlimactic, especially given that the Hunter barely factors into it. And to add insult to injury, it ends with a gag regarding the true identity of the Hunter. You cannot make a movie that builds up this much ill will and then try to end it on a stupid punchline.

The longer Alien vs. Hunter went on I began to notice something was building up inside of me; that something was contempt – contempt for a simplistic film that couldn’t even do the simplest things right. AVH is neither fun nor exciting nor scary nor even so bad it’s good. How does one fail this miserably? This should have been a monster movie with a pro wrestling mindset. This should been rock’em, sock’em, mano-a-mano monster action. This should have been…

Sigh.

I give up.

SPECIAL FEATURES

  • Filmmaker’s commentary
  • The making of Alien Vs. Hunter
  • Deleted scenes
  • Bloopers

    MOVIE


    1/2 out of 5

    EXTRAS


    2 out of 5

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    Hell Night Blu-ray Review – Mischief & Mayhem At Mongoloid Manor

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    Starring Linda Blair, Peter Barton, Suki Goodwin, Vincent Van Patten

    Directed by Tom DeSimone

    Distributed by Scream Factory


    1981. Prime time for the slasher film, when studios were more than content to pump out one after another since production cost was often so low. The downside, though, was that many wound up being formulaic and, eventually, forgotten. Time has allowed the cream to rise to the top of that crop and while Hell Night (1981) isn’t among the best it does stand out due to some novel choices made by director Tom DeSimone and executive producer Chuck Russell, the man responsible for some of the most consistently entertaining horror films of the ‘80s. A dilapidated mansion, oozing with gothic atmosphere, stands in place of a college campus or generic forest setting. Characters are dressed in formal costume; a stark departure from typical ‘80s teen garb. The film is half haunted house, half crazed killer and there is a not-entirely-unexpected-but-definitely-welcome twist at the end providing a solid jolt to a beleaguered climax. Fans are rightly excited to see Hell Night makes its debut in HD, though the final product is still compromised despite Scream Factory’s best efforts.

    It’s Hell Night, every fraternity brother’s favorite evening; when new recruits are tormented in hazing rituals from, well, Hell. Peter (Kevin Brophy), president of the vaunted Alpha Sigma Rho house, comes up with the brilliant idea to have four pledges – Marti (Linda Blair), Jeff (Peter Barton), Denise (Suki Goodwin), and Seth (Vincent Van Patten) – spend the night in a decaying mansion. But this isn’t just any old house, as Peter regales a rapt audience – this is where former owner Raymond Garth killed his wife and three malformed children before hanging himself, sparing only the life of his son, Andrew, who was rumored to reside within the place after the murders. The pledges enter Garth Manor and quickly pair off, with Marti and Jeff getting intellectual while Denise and Seth take a more physical path.

    A few hours pass and Peter returns with some of his bros, planning to initiate a few good scare pranks they set up earlier that week. The chuckles don’t last long, though, because Jeff and Seth quickly find the shoddy wiring and poorly placed speakers rigged upstairs. What they don’t know is that there is an actual killer on the loose, and he just decapitated one of the girls. Leaving the labyrinthine home proves difficult, with Marti & Jeff getting lost within the catacombs beneath the estate, evading their mongoloid menace however possible. Seth, meanwhile, has to scale a massive spiked fence if they hope to get any help way out here. Wait, didn’t Peter mention something about Andrew having a sibling?

    The production team on this picture was a beast, and I’m convinced that’s the chief reason why it came out any good at all; specifically, the involvement of Chuck Russell and Irwin Yablans. I give a bit less credit to director Tom DeSimone, who up to that point (and after it) filled his filmography with lots and lots of gay porn; storyline and direction are usually secondary in that market. Hell, they even had Frank Darabont running around set as a P.A. which is just a cool fact because nobody listens to P.A.s on a film set. Music is just as important, too, and composer Dan Wyman is a synth master who worked with John Carpenter on his early films. His score here is reminiscent of those lo-fi masterpieces.

    Solid atmosphere and rounded characters make all the difference. Instead of a roster of stereotypical sophomoric faces the bulk of the film focuses on four individuals with personality and a bit of depth. Blair makes a good turn as the bookish good girl type, while Barton is a charming match for her mentally, showing interest in more than just a drunken hookup. Denise and Seth are both superficial, and their interactions inject the most humor into the film. Denise continually calling Seth “Wes” is one example. A good horror film gets the audience invested in who lives and dies, and while I won’t go so far as to say these are exemplary characters the script does make them three-dimensional and not so paper thin.

    The 1.85:1 1080p image is sourced from a 4K restoration of an archival 35mm print with standard definition inserts. This is a step up from Anchor Bay’s old DVD but not by leaps and bounds. Colors attain greater saturation and definition is tightened but the picture looks awfully soft too often and the jump between HD and SD footage is plain as day. The print displays vertical scratches and white flecks. Black levels are decent but there is clear room for improvement across the board. To their credit this is the best image Scream Factory was able to produce but fans should temper expectations going in because this is not a pristine picture by any means.

    There is nothing wrong to be found with the English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono track, which does a fine job of carrying the dialogue alongside Dan Wyman’s sinister synth soundtrack. Direction is limited and the presentation is routine, but no problems were detected and the track capably supports the feature. Subtitles are available in English.

    Here is where Scream Factory does their best to make up for the shortcomings of the a/v presentation: a ton of extra features.

    An audio commentary track features actress Linda Blair, director Tom DeSimone, and producers Irwin Yablans & Bruce Cohn Curtis.

    “Linda Blair: The Beauty of Horror” – This is a recent discussion with the actress, who covers her run in the genre in addition to diving deep into this film’s difficult production.

    “Hell Nights with Tom DeSimone” – Shot on location at the Garth Manor (actually Kimberly Crest Estate in Redlands, CA), DeSimone reflects back on shooting the film there over 35 years ago.

    “Peter Barton: Facing Fear” – The actor offers up expected discussion, covering his career in horror and navigating the Hollywood scene.

    “Producing Hell with Bruce Cohn Curtis” – This covers more of the behind-the-scenes work that went into making the movie.

    “Writing Hell” – Screenwriter Randy Feldman offers up some insight into his process for creating the story and writing the script.

    “Vincent Van Patten & Suki Goodwin in Conversation” – The two actors, who have not seen each other in quite some time, sit down together for a back-and-forth discussion.

    “Kevin Brophy & Jenny Neumann in Conversation” – This is another chat conducted the same way as Van Patten & Goodwin.

    “Gothic Design in Hell Night” – Art director Steven Legler talks about his process for turning Garth Manor into how it is seen on film; evoking the right chilling atmosphere.

    “Anatomy of the Death Scenes” – Pam Peitzman, make-up artist, and John Eggett, special effects, scrutinize each of the film’s kill scenes and discuss what went into achieving them.

    “On Location at Kimberly Crest” – DeSimone guides viewers on a tour of the “Garth Manor” as it can be seen today.

    A theatrical trailer, two TV spots, a radio spot, and a photo gallery are the remaining features.

    Special Features:

    • NEW 4K Scan of the film taken from the best surviving archival print
    • NEW interviews with actors Linda Blair, Peter Barton, Vincent Van Patten, Suki Goodwin, Kevin Brophy and Jenny Neumann
    • Audio Commentary with Linda Blair, Tom DeSimone, Irwin Yablans and Bruce Cohn Curtis
    • Original Theatrical Trailer & TV spots
    • Blu-ray Disc Exclusives:
      • NEW interview with Director Tom DeSimone
      • NEW interview with Producer Bruce Cohn Curtis
      • NEW interview with Writer Randolph Feldman
      • NEW – Anatomy of the Death Scenes with Tom DeSimone, Randolph Feldman, Make-up artist Pam Peitzman, Art Director Steven G. Legler and Special Effects artist John Eggett
      • NEW – On Location at the Kimberly Crest House with Tom DeSimone
      • NEW – Gothic Design in Hell Night with Steven G. Legler
      • Original Radio spot
      • Photo Gallery featuring rare, never-before-seen stills
    • Hell Night
    • Special Features
    4.0

    Summary

    “Hell Night” overcomes being lumped in with standard slasher fare thanks to dripping atmosphere, unique production design, and characters that elicit some empathy. The a/v presentation leaves much to be desired but a plethora of bonus features softens that blow.

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    The Open House Review – Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here

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    Starring Dylan Minnette, Piercey Dalton, Patricia Bethune, Sharif Atkins

    Written by Matt Angel and Suzanne Coote

    Directed by Matt Angel and Suzanne Coote


    Mere weeks, even days, after effusively beating Netflix’s original horror content drum (The Babysitter, Before I Wake, Creep 2), I’m here to confirm that The Open House is emptier than an vacant bomb shelter. Cold, unappealing and thoughtlessly plotted to the point where “generic” would have been an improvement. From the moment we’re welcomed into Matt Angel and Suzanne Coote’s scripted imprisonment, it’s nothing but loose floorboards and busted plumbing. The home invasion genre has rarely been navigated with such little attention to detail, asking for our suspension of coherent storytelling early, often, and without earning the right to be deemed mindless genre fun. Not even Ty Pennington could save this extreme renovation disaster.

    Dylan Minnette plays Logan Wallace, a track star and student who must find closure after watching his father fall victim to a fatal car accident. It is his mother Naomi’s (Piercey Dalton) idea to spend a little time away from their suburban home – escape those painful memories – so they retreat to her sister’s luxurious mountain getaway. The catch? It’s in the process of being sold and open houses are on the regular, so Naomi and Logan must vacate their temporary premises on certain days. It’s after one of these very showings that Logan begins to notice slight changes around the house, and he fears that an unwanted visitor may be in their midst. Guess what? He’s right.

    To understand how little The Open House cares about conscious blueprinting, just read the poster’s tagline. “You can’t lock out what’s already inside” – right, but you could have prevented them from coming in, or checked the house to make sure they weren’t squatting, or explored numerous other possibilities to avoid this scenario. The mansion’s realtor allows prospective buyers to come and go but it’s not her job to make sure no one’s hiding in the basement? Naomi can’t even keep track of the *single* visitor she lets look around the house? It’s infuriating to see so many people neglect safety out of forced coincidence because the script couldn’t rationalize the killer’s entry any other way – a confounding strike one.

    This is also a film that admits no reasoning for why its own murderer has targeted the Wallaces, or why he stokes a violent fetish when it comes to open houses. We never actually see his face, just his imposing handyman-looking attire, nor do we savor any kind of tangible backstory (his family died during their own open house and he suffered a psychotic breakdown – just give me *something*). His undefined form never demands curiosity like John Carpenter’s “The Shape” once did, because scripting is nothing more than bullet notes for basic horror movie necessities. Here he is, your bad guy – too bad he’s introduced without fear, handled without originality and unable to characterize beyond torturous kidnapper dotted lines. He’s just, you know, a guy who sneaks into open houses and kills – COMPLETE WITH A FINAL PAN-IN ON AN OPEN HOUSE SIGN WHEN HE MOVES TO HIS NEXT TARGET [eye roll into infinity].

    Every scene in The Open House feels like an afterthought. “Ah, we need a way to build tension – how about a senile local woman who lives down the street and wanders aimlessly into frame?” Overplayed and in no way suitable to most her inclusions, but sure. “Oh, and we need inner conflict – what about if the breaker-iner steals Logan’s phone and frames him for later acts?” I mean, didn’t Logan canonically lose his phone even before Naomi’s mid-shower water heater issues – but sure, instant fake tension. “How are people going to believe the killer is always around and never blows his cover – think they’ll just buy it?” No, we don’t. Worse off, his cat-and-mouse game is dully repetitive until a finale that skyrockets intensity with jarring tonal imbalance. This closing, dreadful end without any sort of redemptive quality. More abusive than it is fulfilling.

    If there’s anything positive worth conveying, it’s that Minnette does a fine job shuffling around as a character with severe sight impairment. The killer makes a point to remove his contacts as a final “FUCK YOU,” just to toy around a bit more, and Minnette frantically slips or stumbles with nothing more than foggy vision. Otherwise, dialogue finds itself ripped form a billion other straight-to-TV Logo dramas about broken families, no moment ever utilizing horror past a few shadowy forms standing in doorways after oblivious characters turn away. You can’t just take an overused subgenre and sleepwalk through homogenized beats…case and god-forsaken point.

    Even as a streamable Netflix watch, The Open House is irredeemable beyond fault. The walls are caving in on this dilapidated excuse for home invasion horror, benefiting not from the star power of a temperamental Dylan Minnette. I have seen most involved players here in far better projects (Minnette’s stock has rightfully been skyrocketing, Matt Angel in The Funhouse Massacre, etc), but this is bargain bin theatrics without a fully formed idea. A nameless villain, doomed nice guy (Sharif Atkins), woefully unaware plot advancement – all the worst cliches found in one rage-quit worthy effort. Anyone who makes it through deserves an award…or a dunce cap.

    • The Open House
    1.0

    Summary

    Unless you’re irrationally afraid of cold showers, The Open House fails to deliver on a premise that can be summed up by no more than two lines of text.

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    Ruby Blu-ray Review – ’70s Drive-In Psychic Shocker From VCI

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    Starrign Piper Laurie, Janit Baldwin, Stuart Whitman, Roger Davis

    Written by George Edwards and Barry Schneider

    Directed by Curtis Harrington

    Distributed by VCI Entertainment


    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and director Curtis Harrington’s Ruby (1977) is paying it to a few of the ‘70s most notable horror films. Cribbing liberally from such better pictures as The Exorcist (1973) and Carrie (1976), this is a picture that could have worked well despite being a pastiche because it begins with a decent setup and the elements for something interesting are present. Unfortunately, nothing ever gels like it has to and Ruby loses focus early on, dashing from one death scene to the next and allowing for little salient connective tissue to tie it all together. The big mystery presented early on should be easy enough for horror fans to deduce, and the film never brings the scare factor. A few of the deaths are novel in their inventiveness, especially the use of the drive-in theater surroundings, but a couple kills do not a movie make and Ruby spends too much time middling and being weird to be of any note.

    Florida, 1935. Low level mobster Nicky Rocco (Sal Vacchio) is gunned down by a lake as his pregnant girlfriend Ruby watches on in horror. Just before dying, Nicky swears vengeance on whoever did this to him. Cut to sixteen years later and Ruby (Piper Laurie) runs a drive-in movie theater and lives in a home nearby with her daughter, Leslie (Janit Baldwin). Ruby is a tough broad, quick-witted and foul-mouthed; able to hold her own with the guys. But those guys are beginning to vanish one by one as the bodies start piling up at the theater. Ruby suspects there’s something off with Leslie, so she brings in her own psychic doctor, Dr. Paul Keller (Roger Davis), to examine her daughter. Leslie, as it turns out, is acting as a conduit for the wayward soul of Nicky, who blames Ruby for his ultimate demise. Possessed and programmed for vengeance, Leslie and Ruby have an all-out battle in a search for the truth.

    The second half of this film is where things go right off the rails, with scenes aping The Exorcist so much it feels like a knock-off. This isn’t always such a bad thing because knock-offs of better films can always turn out great (see: most of the post-Gremlins little creature features), but Ruby never makes a clear case for introducing these fantastical elements in the third act. This is a story that could have worked better by exercising restraint, playing closer to something like J.D.’s Revenge (1976), a similar gangster-soul-out-for-justice film, than a wild, possessed ride.

    What does work, for me, are the drive-in theater setting (I’m a sucker for movies that also involve the craft of film in some way) and the kills, a few of which make great use of the theatrical setting to deliver fitting fatalities. One employee winds up stuffed into a soda machine, with his blood getting pumped into a dark, syrupy drink and served up to guests. Another meets his end on the screen, impaled by the pole on which car speakers are kept. Harrington does inject this picture with a strong sense of atmosphere, too. The locale is woodsy and feels remote; the countryside is dark and foggy, the perfect setting for something grim to occur. None of these elements are enough to fully save the feature, though they do bring enough production value to ease to burden of a poor script.

    Personally, I’m a sucker for almost any horror from bygone eras – especially the ‘70s and ‘80s – so, deficiencies aside, Ruby is still worth a spin if you enjoy reveling in this particular era. This is far from an unheralded gem or little-seen treasure, but it does, at the least, rip-off good pictures in spectacularly bad fashion.

    This is a rough film and every bit of work done for the 2K restoration still can’t do much to polish it up any better. First, a note: there is a video drop-out for approximately ten seconds around the 21-minute mark. VCI is offering replacement discs via their Facebook page, so check there for further details. Future copies will be corrected, and those should already be on “shelves” now, so consider this an FYI. The 1.85:1 1080p image is frequently soft and murky, darkly shot and poorly lit. Shadow detail is virtually non-existent. The color temperature looks a bit on the warm side. Film grain is noisy and occasionally problematic.

    An English LPCM 2.0 track carries a clean & balanced audio experience. Voices sound a touch muffled at times, though nothing too severe. The murders scenes are accompanied by creepy ambient sounds, adding a slight chill. The film’s closing theme song is awesome cheese that must be heard. Subtitles are available in English SDH.

    There are two audio commentary tracks; the first, with David Del Valle and Nathaniel Bell; the second, with Curtis Harrington and Piper Laurie.

    The film’s original trailer is included in HD.

    Also included are a few interviews with Harrington, conducted by David Del Valle, including “2001 David Del Valle Interview with Curtis Harrington”, and “Sinister Image Episode Vol. 1 & Vol. 2: David Del Valle Archival Interview with Curtis Harrington”.

    Special Features:

    • NEW 2K RESTORATION from the original camera negative
    • Original theatrical trailer
    • Audio Commentary with Director Curtis Harrington & Actress Piper Laurie
    • New Audio Commentary with David Del Valle and Curtis Harrington historian Nate Bell
    • Two Interviews with Curtis Harrington by Film Critic David Del Valle
    • Photo Gallery
    • Optional English SDH subtitles
    • Ruby
    • Special Features
    2.3

    Summary

    A simple plot becomes wildly unfocused but Ruby does have intermittent camp value fans of ’70s horror cinema should dig. VCI’s Blu-ray is no beauty by any means, though it’s likely to be the best this poorly-shot feature will get.

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