Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Blu-ray Review: FRIGHTMARE (1983)
a.k.a. THE HORROR STAR
Written & Directed by Norman Thaddeus Vane
Vinegar Syndrome is quickly becoming one of my favorite DVD/BD distributors. If you are not familiar with this company, you should be for sure. They release some great long lost, hard to find exploitation and sexsploitation films along with the grindhouse/drive-in horror features from years ago. One of their latest releases is FRIGHTMARE, also known as THE HORROR STAR. This film is from 1983, so don't confuse it with the 1974 Pete Walker film also known as FRIGHTMARE. Here is the basic synopsis of this film from the Vinegar Syndrome website:
Conrad Radzoff (Ferdy Mayne) was the biggest name in horror movies for decades until, one day, he died of a heart attack. Determined to celebrate his life, and death, the members of a local horror film society steal his freshly buried corpse and decide to host a party, in his honor, at their old and lavish mansion. Unaware that Radzoff’s interest in horror extended beyond the silver screen and into the black arts, his corpse is soon re-animated and he begins exacting a bloody revenge against those who disturbed his final resting place.
Slyly combining 80s slasher tropes with an insightful and self reflective look at the meaning of horror movies and death itself, Norman Thaddeus Vane’s FRIGHTMARE (originally known as THE HORROR STAR) is a quick witted and suspenseful tribute to classic horror cinema. With captivating cinematography by Joel King (JUST BEFORE DAWN) and supporting performances from Jeffrey Combs (RE-ANIMATOR), Luca Bercovici and Leon Askin, FRIGHTMARE has been newly restored from its original camera negative and is coming to Blu-ray for the very first time!
FRIGHTMARE is a must see if you have never had the chance to view it. It has such a nostalgic feel to it, almost like watching an old Hammer Horror film. In fact, it's pretty obvious that the character of Conrad Radzoff was inspired by the great Hammer Films actor, Christopher Lee. The film is part gothic horror and part slasher film, as your typical group of kids is picked off one by one by the killer. There are some pretty interesting kills in this film, including a woman bursting into flames, and one of the greatest decapitation scenes you will ever see!
The acting is pretty good overall, with a wonderful performance by Ferdy Mayne as Conrad Radzoff. Also worth noting is one of "kids" is played by fan favorite Jeffrey Combs . As you know, Combs would go on to star in RE-ANIMATOR two years later, which to this day is still one of my top five horror movies of all time. It was fun seeing him in this different kind of role.
I highly recommend checking out FRIGHTMARE and all the other great horror titles Vinegar Syndrome has been putting out lately!
FRIGHTMARE is available now on DVD/Blu-ray combo from Vinegar Syndrome and contains the following special features:
+ Restored in 2k from 35mm camera negative
+ All extras on both Blu-ray and DVD
+ New video interview with Cinematographer Joel King
+ Archival audio interview with Director Norman Thaddeus Vane
+ Historical commentary track with David Del Valle and David DeCoteau
+ Commentary track by The Hysteria Continues
+ Original theatrical trailer
+ Reversible THE HORROR STAR cover art
+ English SDH subtitles
CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the DVD/BD combo