BLU-RAY REVIEW: THE DRILLER KILLER

By Nick Durham

Saying that director Abel Ferrara has had an odd career is saying it lightly. From his beginnings with making short films and even pornography, Ferrara would end up making a name for himself with gritty, unique, unflinching, and thought-provoking films like Ms. 45, King of New York, Bad Lieutenant, The Addiction, and more. In the late 70s, Ferrara began filming a super low budget exploitation movie called The Driller Killer, and upon its 1979 release garnered a surprising amount of attention and even became one of the infamous “video nasties” in the United Kingdom. Besides being a true piece of cinematic trash (in a good way), The Driller Killer announced Abel Ferrara’s unique style to the world, and became a classic of 70s grindhouse exploitation cinema. Arrow Films has released the film in a super duper special edition Blu-ray, complete with a limited release steelbook to boot.

 

The plot of The Driller Killer revolves around an artist named Reno (played by Ferrara himself, going under Jimmy Laine) who lives in relative squalor with his girlfriend Carol and her lover Pamela. On the brink of getting booted out for not paying the rent, Reno’s troubles are exasperated by having to overhear the music of a shitty band that perform and practice nearby. With all the stress, noise, and hatred of the local derelicts, Reno’s grip on his sanity begins to fade; culminating in the purchase of a portable drill. Soon enough, Reno is slaughtering the local hobos and drunks, and that’s only the beginning of Reno’s rampage. 

 

Given Ferrara’s directing style and what all unfolds on screen, saying that The Driller Killer is an acquired taste is saying it lightly. That being said, for being a low budget exploitation film, there is some definite technical talent that is on display here. The film’s acting and dialogue are all over the place, and the film’s soundtrack will more than likely make your ears bleed (and possibly grate your nerves), but it offers a picture of late 70s New York City that is way grittier than any other film of the time period could hope to display. The film’s violent moments aren’t as plentiful as first-time viewers may hope, but when they occur, they get messy. It’s easy to see how The Driller Killer winded up being a video nasty.

 

Arrow Video’s Blu-ray release of The Driller Killer is a sure-fire treat. The film is presented here in two different aspect ratios and is fully remastered, as well as keeping the film’s original mono audio. There’s a brand new commentary track by Abel Ferrara, and good fucking lord, you have to hear it to believe it. This is a guy that flat out doesn’t give a fuck about much and offers his unfiltered opinions and reflections on making the film, and it’s a definite breath of fresh air. In addition to that, there’s a brand new interview with Ferrara, as well as a video essay on his filmography. Ferrara’s full-length 2010 documentary Mulberry St. is included here as well, focusing on the New York location that has often played a central role in his films. The film’s trailer rounds out the supplements, with the physical extras being a collector’s booklet with some essay’s on the film, as well as the beautiful steelbook packaging. There were a handful of short films of Ferrara’s that were included on the old DVD releases of the film years back, and sadly those are nowhere to be seen here. Despite that though, this is the definitive home video release of the film to be sure.

 

For fans of The Driller Killer, this is the release of the film that deserves to be in your collection. Newcomers to the film may wonder what all the fuss is about upon initially viewing it, as it is definitely an acquired taste. That being said though, it’s also a classic of the grindhouse exploitation genre, and announced to the world the talent and unique voice of Abel Ferrara. Check this out. 

 

Rating: 4/5

 

BLU-RAY REVIEW: RABID

By Nick Durham

Before David Cronenberg took the horror world by storm with Scanners, Videodrome, The Fly, and Dead Ringers; his exercises in body horror more or less began with 1975’s Shivers (AKA, They Came From Within). While that film is certainly rough around the edges in terms of technical aspects, those shortcomings are more than made up for in terms of scale, vision, and being able to creep you the fuck out. Cronenberg would follow up Shivers two years later with Rabid, another film that is fairly rough around the edges, but manages to overcome whatever flaws it has and winds up being a pretty damn chilling flick. The film has been long out of print on any kind of home video format here in the States for quite some time, so thankfully Scream Factory has decided to bless us with a pretty good Blu-ray release of the film.

 

Adult film legend Marilyn Chambers stars as Rose, a young woman involved in a motorcycle accident along with her boyfriend Hart (Frank Moore). Due to the severity of Rose’s injuries and literally being out in the middle of nowhere, an experimental procedure is done on Rose to save her. The end result leaves Rose with a strange growth under her armpit that emits a stinger-like appendage she uses to feed on blood. Victims of said appendage end up becoming blood-thirsty maniacs, resulting in a frantic search for Rose, and a public health nightmare across Canada.

 

As I mentioned earlier, Rabid like Shivers before it is nowhere near a technical masterpiece. Cronenberg hadn’t really started coming into his own as a filmmaker just yet, but his vision and scope even here are unparalleled. He has big ideas here that don’t always get capitalized on due to the various limitations of the film itself, but despite that, the film manages to pack a punch. It was a big deal back in the day when Marilyn Chambers was cast in the lead, but she’s actually not too bad in terms of acting chops, and she’s definitely easy on the eyes. The effects work hasn’t aged so well, but given the film is almost 40 years old, this isn’t really much of a surprise.

 

Scream Factory has packed some decent features into this Blu-ray release of Rabid, as well as presenting the film in a new 2K scan. There’s a commentary track from Cronenberg as well as one featuring Cronenberg historian and author William Beard. There’s interviews with Cronenberg, producer Don Carmody, and executive producer Ivan Reitman, as well as a handful of trailers and radio spots. There’s also a video essay from Caelum Vatnsdal, which is more or less a retrospective on the early days of Cronenberg’s career.

 

All in all, Rabid is far from David Cronenberg’s best work, but it’s an early almost-gem that laid the groundwork for the kind of nasty body horror he would become known for. It’s definitely worth checking out to be sure, and Scream Factory’s Blu-ray release is a worthwhile pickup, so give it a shot. If you’re new to Cronenberg’s work, this is also a pretty good place to start.

 

Rating: 3.5/5

BLU-RAY REVIEW: THE INITIATION

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By Nick Durham

The Initiation is one of those 80s slasher flicks you don’t hear much about. Actually, I don’t remember hearing much, if at all, about this 1984 flick. There’s relatively good reason for that though; it’s fairly standard and doesn’t feature anything you haven’t already seen plenty of times already over the past three decades. Arrow Video has decided to release the film on Blu-ray for new viewers to discover, and that’s for better or worse as it turns out.

 

The plot of The Initiation doesn’t revolve around witchcraft or anything like that (which the film’s cover and frankly the title kind of convey), but instead focuses on young coed Kelly (Daphne Zuniga) who appears to have experienced some kind of trauma in her childhood that she doesn’t quite recall completely. To get to the bottom of this, Kelly comes under the care of a psychology grad student (James Read) that through various methods wants to help Kelly remember just what the hell happened, much to the chagrin of her mother (Vera Miles). In the middle of all this, a stealthy killer is on the loose, targeting everyone between Kelly’s father (genre stalwart Clu Gulager) and various members of Kelly’s sorority.

 

The Initiation isn’t a good film, in fact, it’s hardly memorable. There’s a lot of bits of confusion in terms of the film’s plot and twists, and there’s even quite a few unintentionally hilarious moments thrown in for good measure. The film’s big twist is such a hoot that you have to see it for yourself. The kill scenes are alright, and because this features a sorority, be ready for a healthy amount of 80s-era boob and even some beaver shots thrown in for good measure. Everyone loves 80s beaver am I right?

 

Arrow Video’s Blu-ray release of The Initiation features the film with some great audio and video restoration. That shouldn’t be a surprise considering Arrow usually goes out of their way to present their releases the best they could possibly look and sound. In terms of special features, there’s a commentary track that includes a number of podcasters and critics, but literally no one involved with the film itself. There’s a couple interviews with people involved with the film, but sadly nothing from Daphne Zuniga, who was actually a surprising minor scream queen (this film, The Dorm That Dripped Blood, The Fly II) before finding mainstream success with Mel Brooks’ Spaceballs and Melrose Place in the 90s. I personally would have loved to hear her input in being in this thing, but alas, there’s nothing. The supplements are rounded out with the film’s trailer and a lone extended scene (with no sound) from the film’s party scene, which doesn’t really amount to much. This isn’t the most extras-laden Blu-ray Arrow has produced, but it least it looks and sounds good, so there’s that.

 

All in all, The Initiation is a forgotten slasher flick that may actually be better off being forgotten. You’ll surely see worse films of this type from this era, but you’ll definitely see more interesting ones as well. It’s worth checking out if you’ve never seen it, let alone heard of it, just don’t go in expecting anything totally worthwhile.

 

Rating: 2/5

BLU-RAY REVIEW: RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD 3

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By Nick Durham

When it was originally released in 1993, you didn’t see many zombie movies like Return of the Living Dead 3. Out of all the sequels to Return of the Living Dead, this installment is definitely the most serious in tone, delivering straight-forward horror and nastiness which more than makes up for the fact it has a significantly lower budget and scope than either of the previous entries in the franchise. Oddly enough, Return of the Living Dead 3 would end up becoming almost as iconic as the original film, thanks mainly to the film’s ghastly effects work, and star Mindy (later more widely known as Melinda) Clarke as the doomed Julie. The film has finally seen a stateside Blu-ray release under Lions Gate’s Vestron label, which is an absolute treat.

 

The plot of Return of the Living Dead 3 revolves around Curt (J. Trevor Edmund) and his girlfriend Julie. Curt’s father (Kent McCord) is a stoic military man working in a secret lab that is testing the effects of the Trioxin on corpses. Curt and Julie witness such an experiment gone awry, and after learning from his father that they have to move to a new city and leave Julie behind, Curt decides he’s having none of it. After a motorcycle accident leaves Julie dead, Curt decides to reanimate her still sexy corpse, resulting in a nasty chain of events that racks up a body count, and finds our zombified Julie (who still has her wits about her) craving human flesh, and self-mutilating in an effort to stop herself from eating Curt.

 

Undoubtedly the best sequel in the franchise, what Return of the Living Dead 3 lacks in budget and scope it more than makes up for in nastiness and a surprising amount of subtext. Our heroes are likable for the most part, and Mindy Clarke is spectacular in her role, sexiness aside. She really does put her all into playing the tortured Julie, and gives a pretty damn fearless performance. The film is directed by Brian Yuzna (Society, Bride of Re-Animator) and has a feeling of cheapness to the whole thing, in particular some of the makeup and creature effects. Sometimes they look pretty good, and other times they look absolutely laughable. Now this isn’t because of the age of the film, because the laughable looking effects looked laughable back then too. That aside, when the really nasty bits come, they make an impact, and that can’t be denied any way about it.

 

The Vestron-labeled Blu-ray has half decent restoration to the audio and some fairly spotty work done to the video sadly, but the special features are really worth noting. There’s a couple commentary tracks that feature Yuzna, Clarke, and makeup supervisor Tom Rainone. There’s also a handful of interviews that feature Yuzna, Clarke, Edmund, and more besides. There’s a couple of vintage featurettes on the film’s makeup effects, as well as storyboard and still galleries and the film’s trailer. There really are some great things to admire here, as long as you can find this at a good price that is.

 

All in all, the Vestron Blu-ray release of Return of the Living Dead 3 is a more than worthy pick up. It’s definitely nice to have a proper Blu-ray release of the film finally here in the States, even if it’s lacking in terms of video quality. Regardless, you should pick this up while you can.

 

Rating: 4/5

DVD REVIEW: THE TRAIL OF DRACULA

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By Nick Durham

There probably isn’t a bigger horror icon than Dracula. The vampire master lord of darkness has been making an impact in the world of entertainment media since debuting in Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel, and has since gone on to be the subject of a never-ending wave of books, literature, stage plays, films, TV shows, video games, and more. The Trail of Dracula is a documentary that examines the origins of the character of Dracula, from the inspirations drawn from real world history, to the various mythologies that Stoker drew upon as well.

 

The Trail of Dracula, presented by Severin Films and brought home to DVD by Intervision, is slightly over an hour long and presents lots of input from various scholars, critics, and historians in the world of horror, literature, and history alike. Everyone involved offers some interesting tidbits and factoids about our favorite vampire lord, and there’s vintage clips from iconic Dracula actors Bela Lugosi, John Carradine, and Christopher Lee offering their insights to playing the character. All of this is fairly interesting, albeit not nearly as in depth as one would like from this kind of thing. Still though, it’s an interesting enough documentary that features some pretty good insights from some pretty learned individuals, which is what we’re all here for to begin with.

 

Intervision’s DVD release of The Trail of Dracula includes some pretty interesting special features. There’s over an hour and a half worth of movie trailers of various Dracula-based flicks, including the 1931 Universal classic, the various Hammer films, Andy Warhol’s Blood for Dracula, and even porn flicks like Dracula Sucks and Sexcula among many others. There’s a couple vintage audio interviews with Christopher Lee and Francis Lederer (star of The Return of Dracula), and a couple older on-screen interviews that include genre stalwart Udo Kier and legendary director Werner Herzog (Nosferatu the Vampyre).

 

The Trail of Dracula is a nice little DVD package that Dracula/vampire addicts will enjoy. It’s budget-priced and features enough content here to justify picking it up for cheap, with the only real flaw of it being that I wish the documentary itself was more in depth. That aside, this is still worth checking out regardless, even if it will only whet your appetite for anything Dracula/vampire-related.

 

Rating: 3/5

BLU-RAY REVIEW: I DRINK YOUR BLOOD

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By Nick Durham

I Drink Your Blood is a weird fucking movie to say it lightly. Despite its title, the film features no blood drinking, nor is it about vampires or anything of the sort. Instead, I Drink Your Blood is something else entirely, taking cues from the then topical Manson murders and combining it with what would become fairly typical grindhouse fare (the film was produced and released in the very early 70s). Grindhouse Releasing, who had unleashed the film on DVD year prior, has given the film the Blu-ray treatment, and it’s pretty damn cool.

 

The story of I Drink Your Blood involves a Satanic, Charles Manson-esque cult that is led by Horace (Bhaskar Roy Chowdhury) that wind up in a small, decrepit town. After assaulting a young girl, the gang’s recently purchased meat pies get infected with the blood of a rabid dog (yes, you read that right) in what was supposed to be a measure of revenge. However, the gang becomes even more insane and murderous, and go on a nasty, bloodthirsty rampage. Sounds like fun for the whole family right?

 

For its time, I Drink Your Blood is a nasty piece of filth, so nasty that this film is in fact the first movie to ever receive an X-rating for violence alone. Watching it now it’s easy to see why given the time period when it was made, even though for modern audiences this film doesn’t offer anything you haven’t already seen plenty of. It flows fairly quickly, although the film as a whole is a bit of a mess. There isn’t a whole lot of narrative cohesion, although given its budget it is well-shot and competently made. The acting in the film is a mixed bag, but Bhaskar Roy Chowdhury is an absolute blast as our lead sicko, and his performance is worth the price of admission alone.

 

Special features wise, Grindhouse Releasing has packed a lot of extras here in this set. I Drink Your Blood is presented here in two different cuts with wonderfully remastered picture and sound. This is undoubtedly the best the film has ever looked or sounded, and is light years beyond the older DVD release. There’s a handful of older commentary tracks that feature the late Bhaskar as well as writer/director David Durston among others, and a handful of deleted scenes and outtakes that round out the first disc of the set. The second disc features a bevy of interviews, trailers, and documentaries; most of which are carried over from the DVD release. As a mega bonus though, I Eat Your Skin (the film that I Drink Your Blood was often paired with in theaters and drive-ins) is included here, as is David Durston’s X-rated 1969 film Blue Sextet. These are wonderful bonuses to be sure, and the package is rounded out by a six-page booklet featuring various essays. Needless to say, this set is fucking great to say it lightly.

 

All in all, I Drink Your Blood is a nasty blast that has its place in the history of violent drive-in fare. Grindhouse Releasing’s Blu-ray release is yet another must-have for horror Blu-ray aficionados, which shouldn’t be much of a surprise given their track record. Pick this up as soon as you can, and if you already own that older DVD release, you can chuck that fucker right out the window.

 

Rating: 4.5/5

BLU-RAY REVIEW: CHILD’S PLAY

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By Nick Durham

Child’s Play is one of those rare gems from the late 80s that despite its ridiculous premise, managed to be a pretty effective killer doll flick. Not to mention the fact that it also spawned a whole franchise with numerous sequels (that range from “meh” to “sweet Jesus this is awful”) and solidified possessed killer doll Chucky as a slasher icon. Scream Factory has bestowed upon us a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release, and despite the fact that there’s already been numerous releases of the film on DVD and Blu-ray over the years, this is the edition to pick up.

 

I won’t go into the story of Child’s Play too much because we all know it by heart: a serial killer on the run from the cops (Brad Dourif) transfers his soul into a Good Guy doll at a toy store. It isn’t long before said doll finds its way into the home of young Andy (Alex Vincent) and his mother Karen (Catherine Hicks). Soon enough, some nasty shit starts happening, culminating in a showdown between the murderous Chucky and his would-be victims (as well as cop Chris Sarandon). Nearly everything about the film’s story shouldn’t work, but thanks to director Tom Holland (Fright Night), it ends up being a surprisingly taut and even more surprisingly good flick; in fact, it’s probably better than you remember it being.

 

Scream Factory has packed a hefty amount of features on these two discs. Disc one features the film itself, along with a new commentary track from Tom Holland. There’s older commentary tracks as well, including ones that feature Catherine Hicks, Alex Vincent, screenwriter Don Mancini, producer David Kirshner, Chucky designer Kevin Yagher, and even select commentary from Brad Dourif as Chucky, which are a hoot.  The second disc features a bounty of new and archival interviews and making-of featurettes, as well as a great interview with effects maestro Howard Berger. There’s photo and poster galleries, as well as the film’s trailer and a TV spot too. In terms of video and audio presentation, Scream Factory did really well here, and this is probably the best Child’s Play has ever looked or sounded.

 

All these years later, Child’s Play is still a blast to watch, and undoubtedly the best of the franchise by far. Even if you own the film on DVD or Blu-ray already, you should get your hands on this set from Scream Factory. It’s a very enjoyable edition of a fun film, and is more than worthy to be in your collection.

 

Rating: 4/5

BLU-RAY REVIEW: RAISING CAIN

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By Nick Durham

Raising Cain is a weird fucking movie. Let’s get that out of the way right fucking now. Not to mention the fact that it is also one of director Brian De Palma’s most underrated films as well. A critical and commercial flop when originally released in 1992, Raising Cain is an exercise in lunacy with a serious Hitchcock-ian vibe. Now I know that just about all of De Palma’s films are Hitchcock inspired, but Raising Cain seriously takes it to another level. Scream Factory has graced us with a Blu-ray special edition release of the film, so now hopefully it will receive the appreciation it deserves.

 

The story of Raising Cain revolves around child psychologist Carter Nix (John Lithgow) who has his share of problems. These problems include the fact that he has multiple personalities and is a murderous nutjob, and that’s really only scratching the surface here. Carter’s cheating wife Jenny (Lolita Davidovich) and her lover Jack (Steven Bauer) appear to be in the crosshairs of Carter’s many personalities, in particular that of Cain; a demonic personality which seems to have some fucked up plans of his own. In the midst of all this are child experiments (including Carter’s own child) and Carter’s mysterious father (also played by Lithgow); culminating in so many what the fuck moments and legitimate shocks that I’m really having a hard time explaining things here, so all I can really say is that you need to see it yourself.

 

First and foremost, John Lithgow is having a pure blast in Raising Cain. He gleefully switches between desperate and joyfully over the top that it’s just pure joy watching him have fun. Lithgow is usually always a treat to watch no matter what he’s in, but here he gives such a dynamite performance that’s it’s hard not to admire the work he’s doing here. The rest of the cast don’t appear to take things too seriously though, which kind of drags the film down a bit to be totally honest. Not to mention the twisting plot and outrageous characters and overall story make Raising Cain hard to get into. It’s really no surprise that the film didn’t do so well when originally released, but hey, if this film were made today, chances are it wouldn’t get a theatrical release at all.

 

Scream Factory’s Blu-ray release of Raising Cain is interesting to say the least. It’s a two disc set which features the theatrical cut of the film on the first disc, along with a handful of lengthy interviews with Lithgow and De Palma stalwarts Bauer and Gregg Henry, along with others as well. The second disc of the set features a “director’s cut” of the film, and I use quotation marks here because technically it isn’t so much a director’s cut at all in the traditional sense of inserting extra footage or things like that. It’s actually kind of a re-editing of the film more or less based on the original screenplay that De Palma apparently had little to no input on. This alone makes this set worth picking up. Additional features include a small featurette on Peet Gelderblom; the man who is responsible for this re-edited cut, and a video essay from Gelderblom explaining the differences between the cuts. Just like with the Carrie Blu-ray release, there’s nothing from De Palma himself included here, which is a real shame.

 

All in all, saying Raising Cain isn’t for everybody is saying it lightly. That being said, it’s a very unique film, and one of De Palma’s more underrated ones as well. Scream Factory has assembled a pretty nifty Blu-ray release that fans of the film should undoubtedly pick up. For everyone else though that isn’t familiar with the film, this is definitely an acquired taste.

 

Rating: 3.5/5

BLU-RAY REVIEW: BURIAL GROUND

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By Nick Durham

You won’t find many zombie films from the early 80s as deliriously goofy as Burial Ground. An infamously ludicrous Italian splatterfest, Burial Ground (also known as Burial Ground: Nights of Terror, or just The Nights of Terror as its title card says) is more well-known for its Oedipal undercurrents than it is its zombie mayhem. Nevertheless, that in itself makes the film worth rediscovering or checking out for the first time. You really won’t see many zombie films like this, whether it’s from these days or from this era. Severin Films has decided to give the film a Blu-ray release, so here we are.

 

The plot, and I use that term very loosely (nor is there any pun intended either between the word plot and the film’s title), of Burial Ground revolves around a group of gleeful morons that run afoul of some recently unleashed and awakened undead. Unintentional hilarity ensues, as our crew of idiots ends up getting slaughtered. Most famously among these idiots is a total MILF and her weirdo “child” son (played to perfection by Peter Bark, a 20-something dwarf), and the incest vibe between them that literally comes out of nowhere, which results in undoubtedly the film’s most infamous moment. 

 

Let’s get this out of the way right now: Burial Ground is a terrible movie. It features laughable everything: from the acting, to the makeup effects, to the overall atmosphere. Despite that though, the film somehow manages to be shockingly enjoyable believe it or not. Maybe it’s because there’s just a tad of tongue-in-cheekness to the whole thing? I really can’t put my finger on it honestly, but there’s something about this piece of shit that makes it a worthwhile watch, even if it’s just to laugh your ass off.

 

Severin’s Blu-ray release of Burial Ground includes a few worthwhile features. There’s interviews with producer Gabriele Cristani and actress Mariangela Giordano, which are fairly interesting. There’s an assembly of outtakes as well (with no sound) included here, as well as a gallery that features various poster and home video artwork, along with other marketing material as well. The features are rounded out with the film’s theatrical trailer, and that’s pretty much it. The film’s audio and video quality don’t seem to be given that much of an upgrade sadly, though they are marginally better than any previous shoddy DVD release the film has gotten over the years.

 

If you’ve never seen Burial Ground before, you should give it a shot. Don’t expect too much out of it going in, just sit down, kick back, grab a beer, and prepare to laugh your ass off as the absurdity and flat out insanity you’re about to witness. Severin’s Blu-ray leaves a bit to be desired honestly, but the fact that we have a Blu-ray release of the film that actually includes some interesting supplemental material is better than nothing.

 

Rating: 3/5

BLU-RAY REVIEW: CARRIE (1976)

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By Nick Durham

The fact that Scream Factory is giving Carrie the Blu-ray treatment seems like a match made in heaven. Given the fact that the film has seen many varying releases over the years on DVD and Blu-ray, it doesn’t seem like there could really be anything new added overall to make it worth picking up, but low and behold, Scream Factory has crafted a well put-together Blu-ray release. Granted there isn’t that much here you probably haven’t seen before, but it’s still a more than worthwhile pickup, and the film itself is still a classic.

 

If for some reason you’ve been living under a rock for the past 30 or 40 years (or if you’re 8 years old, in which case get the fuck off this site), Carrie is Brian De Palma’s (Scarface, Dressed to Kill) adaptation of Stephen King’s smash hit novel. Sissy Spacek stars as the title character: a habitually picked on teenage girl with a domineering, overly religious mother (Piper Laurie). Carrie suffers humiliating abuse at school from a bevy of assholes (including Nancy Allen, John Travolta, and PJ Soles). Unbeknownst to them though, Carrie has telekinetic abilities that are beginning to manifest themselves, culminating in an infamous prom scene in which the shit literally hits the fan. Forty years after its original release, Carrie remains an iconic film in both the horror genre, and Brian De Palma’s filmography. Granted I’ve never really thought of it as the massive kind of classic that many consider it to be, but despite that, the film still manages to be an absolute blast and one of the best adaptations of Stephen King’s work, at least to me anyway.

 

Scream Factory has done a pretty good job here in terms of video and audio quality. The film definitely looks better than the MGM Blu-ray that came out a few years back, and the film’s audio is outstanding. Every sound and note from Pino Donaggio’s music score sounds brilliant and chilling. This is without a doubt the best the film has ever looked and sounded. In terms of special features, this set includes two discs. The first disc includes the film itself, along with the film’s trailer, and a franchise trailer as well that features that best-forgotten sequel from the late 90s, The Rage: Carrie 2. The second disc is where the meat and potatoes of the special features are found, which include a shitload of interviews with various crew members, the film’s screenwriter, Pino Donaggio, and there’s also new interviews with Nancy Allen, Piper Laurie, PJ Soles, and William Katt. There’s a look at the film’s shooting locations, an archival piece on the infamous musical based on Carrie that hysterically bombed big time, and a handful of TV spots, radio spots, and still galleries as well. Sadly there’s no contributions from Brian De Palma or Sissy Spacek, which is a damn shame. I would have loved a commentary track from De Palma, but I guess that’s just wishful thinking.

 

All in all, if you’ve missed out on any of the previous home media releases of Carrie thus far, Scream Factory’s set is definitely worth picking up. Hell, even if you do own the film already on DVD or Blu-ray, this is still worth picking up just because of this edition’s video and audio quality. It’s still one of the better adaptations of Stephen King’s work, and if for some reason you’ve never seen the film before, you should probably rectify that pretty soon.

 

Rating: 4/5