Grindhouse Double Feature: Dead Riot & Flesh for the Beast (DVD)

Grindhouse Double Feature: Dead Riot and Flesh for the Beast DVD review (click for larger image)Reviewed by Uncle Creepy

Starring (Dead Riot) Tony Todd, Carla Greene, Nina Hodoruk, Michael Quinlan, Cat Miller (Flesh for the Beast) Jane Scarlett, Sergio Jones, Clark Beasley Jr., Jim Coope, David Runco

Directed by (Dead Riot) Derek Wan, (Flesh for the Beast) Terry West

Distributed by Media Blasters

Who doesn’t love the films from yesteryear that have affectionately come to be known as grindhouse movies? You remember them! They were void of any real substance other than badass characters, ludicrous plot lines, lots of sex, and of course barrels of blood. Really, what’s not to like? Tarantino and Rodriquez paid homage to these glorious flicks in their Planet Terror and Death Proof collaboration, and with the Grindhouse craze still enjoying some steam, Media Blasters have taken a page out of their playbook and gone back to give two of their releases “the treatment“. What does that mean? Both Shadow: Dead Riot (here just Dead Riot) and Flesh for the Beast have been worked over to have that distinct vintage film feel by adding grain, pops, and all manner of artifacts to their prints. Once grind-ified, they’re presented here in a two-disc set sandwiched between truly vintage trailers and theatre commercials. It’s quite the experiment, but does it work? Before we get to that, let’s look at the flicks themselves.

Grindhouse Double Feature: Dead Riot and Flesh for the Beast DVD review (click for larger image)Dead Riot is pretty fucking crazed. It’s got just about everything you could look for in a great bad movie — zombies, violence, lesbianism in a women’s prison, mutant cannibal babies, kung-fu fighting, and Tony Todd doing … being … trying to … oh hell, I have no clue what Tony was trying to do here, and I’m not sure what was over-acting more — Todd or his dreadlock wig! One thing’s for certain though … whatever it was, I couldn’t take my eyes off of it! Simply put this flick kicks ass no matter what way you watch it. It’s perfect Friday night with friends fodder!

Giving this movie the grindhouse look really works. Aside from some really bad CGI, everything feels authentic. If the look and sound of the movie wasn’t enough, Media Blasters even added an audience commentary track. I expected this to be really bad, but you know what? The people that they gathered to pull this off were genuinely random and totally funny. This further enhanced the already goofy Dead Riot experience, and I was with it all the way! We’re on to something here, folks!

Pretty cool! Next up: disc two!

Grindhouse Double Feature: Dead Riot and Flesh for the Beast DVD review (click for larger image)When Flesh for the Beast was first released, I was not a fan. Though it was chock full of gore and sex, something really seemed to be missing. For those unacquainted with the movie, it basically tells the story of a rich loony who hires a paranormal team to help him recover an ancient amulet that would make it possible to control the succubi that were haunting his manor. One by one the team members are killed, breasts heave, and the succubi writhe in gore.

Sure that’s perfect horror movie fodder, but everything just felt too polished. Now that the polish has been stripped away, I must admit even this flick played better. Though not as worked over as Dead Riot, the colors here are brilliantly muted (except for red), giving the print a really worn out feel. This new translation is less effective here, but the sound and music are what puts this baby over the top. It’s just dirty and funky! Aw yeah, mama! Sadly, there’s no audience track on this one, but you will find more trailers and old school ads.

All in all, this is a truly successful experiment that I really cannot recommend enough. Kudos to Media Blasters for sticking their necks out and trying this! Dimension can take a cue or two from them about how to release a double feature too, as their Grindhouse experience is still only available separately and sans all the bonus goodness that ran in theatres.

Right on M-B!

Special Features

  • Unrated grindhouse enhanced versions of both films
  • Vintage ads and trailers
  • Audience commentary track on Dead Riot

    Films combined:

    4 out of 5

    Special Features:

    3 out of 5

    Discuss Grindhouse Double Feature: Dead Riot and Flesh for the Beast in our Dread Central forums!

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    Steve Barton

    You're such an inspiration for the ways that I will never, ever choose to be.

    • ki11raven

      Some times you just need cheese to make things seem better, and it dosent get any cheesyer than this movies.

    • Terminal

      Fair enough. Give me THOSE movies over this, any day. No wait, give me ACTUAL grindhouse movies or this money grab any day.

    • Uncle Creepy

      I know where Ror is coming from. No Country and There Will Be Blood were amazing films, but fun? Not really.

    • Terminal

      “As Creepy said, and I agree with him 100% here”

      The hell, you say!

      “I had WAAAAY more fun watching these than I did watching THERE WILL BE BLOOD or NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN.”

      I laughed a lot at this. Thank you, Ror.

    • Rorschach

      Suit yourself, Terminal. As Creepy said, and I agree with him 100% here….these things AREN’T your “high end” fare….but they ARE a goddamn BLAST to watch, and while they’re not going to win any Oscars, I have to say I had WAAAAY more fun watching these than I did watching THERE WILL BE BLOOD or NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. Never ONCE was I bored watching either of these films….and the “audience commentary” only added to the fun.

      Great review, Creepy!

    • Terminal

      Man they’ll add “Grindhouse” to any piece of shit these days. Even “Grindhouse.” 😛

      No seriously, I’ll save me money.