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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Blu-ray Review: THE DORM THAT DRIPPED BLOOD (1982)

THE DORM THAT DRIPPED BLOOD
Directed by:  Stephen Carpenter & Jeffrey Obrow
Distributed by:  Synapse Films

I finally got a chance to sit down and watch the classic early 80's slasher film, THE DORM THAT DRIPPED BLOOD.  The film is also known by it's alternative title, PRANKS.  This new Blu-ray + DVD combo pack put out by Synapse Films actually contains the Uncensored Director's Cut of the film, and goes by it's original title of DEATH DORM.  Confused yet?  Well, don't worry about what it's called, just sit back and enjoy this sleazy shocker from the golden age of the slasher film, the early 80s.   Here is the basic plot from the Synapse Films website:

On the eve of Christmas vacation, a college dormitory stands condemned… the dark halls now vacant, and unsafe. Student Joanne Murray and her close friends volunteer to help close down the building, unaware a psychopathic lunatic is hiding in the shadows. As the students disappear one by one, Joanne discovers the horrifying reality that if she is to survive, she alone will have to find a way to slay the brutal murderer.

This film was released in 1982, I was only 8 years old at the time, so I obviously never saw this one upon its initial release.  With as many horror films as I have seen in my life, I still find films like this all the time that just passed by me somehow.  I have heard of this film before, but just have never had the chance for one reason or another to check it out.  Synapse Films is helping to fix this with a slew of films from the 80's they are re-releasing onto Blu-ray and DVD.  Check out their website to see all their great films!!

Ok, back to the movie at hand.  THE DORM THAT DRIPPED BLOOD is a slasher film that was quite often cut and censored  upon its initial release.  Luckily, with this uncensored directors cut, we get a never -before-seen alternate version of the film, containing additional scenes and additional gore removed from earlier cuts of the film.  This is a good thing, because the gore really does make this film.   Now don't get me wrong, the film would still be good without all the gore...in fact, it would remind me of some of the early Italian Giallo films, and would be a good who-done-it type of murder mystery, complete with a twist ending when it comes to who the killer is. Now that the gore is added back in, we don't just get the mystery movie, we get a full on horror flick.

One example of the fine gore on display here is when the killer takes a bat (full of nails sticking out of it) and swings it right into a guys head....over and over again.  Most films would cut away right as you were about to see the bad make contact, then maybe show some blood hitting the wall, then cut back to the man laying on the ground all bloody.  Well, not this film.   There is not cut-away with this film, as they show you everything.  Kudos to the sound crew as well for recreating perfectly what I would imagine the sound of a bat with nails in it slamming into a dudes face would sound like.   The dull thud and sound of ripping flesh at the same time was very impressive to say the least! 

Another thing I noticed about this film is the music....it has the perfect music for a slasher flick, check out the trailer to see what I'm talking about.   The movie is a little dated, of course, with the clothing and esp the hair styles (I forgot how big bangs were in the 80's!), but this is still a fine horror film worthy of adding to your Blu-ray/DVD collection.

Special Features include:

* Audio Commentary featuring Directors Jeffrey Obrow and Stephen Carpenter
* Interviews with Composer Christopher Young and Make-Up FX Creator Matthew Mungle
* Isolated Music Track
* Original Theatrical Trailers
* Reversible Cover Art with Alternate Title and Artwork


CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the Blu-ray + DVD combo pack




CLICK HERE to visit the official website of Synapse Films

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