THE ZERO BOYS
Directed by Nico Mastorakis
Distributed by Arrow Films / MVD Entertainment Group
If you recognize the name of Director Nico Mastorakis, it's probably from his infamous 1976 film, ISLAND OF DEATH. That was the only film I had ever seen of his until watching this new release from Arrow Films titled, THE ZERO BOYS. While not as wild and depraved as ISLAND OF DEATH, it is a great film by this legendary director. Here is the basic plot from the MVD website:
From cult director Nico Mastorakis, the man behind such eclectic offerings as the controversial Island of Death and the Oliver Reed-starring actioner Hired to Kill, comes The Zero Boys - the genre-bending '80s classic with gruesome sequences that anticipate the torture porn horrors of Hostel and Saw. For a group of young friends, a weekend of survival games in the wilderness turns into a genuine battle of life and death when one of their number turns up dead. Finding themselves hunted by a bloodthirsty band of maniacs intent on slaughtering them one-by-one, the self-styled "Zero Boys" must now play their war games for real. Starring Kelli Maroney (Night of the Comet, Chopping Mall) and featuring an early score from the legendary Hans Zimmer (Inception, The Dark Knight Trilogy), The Zero Boys mixes action, survival and all-out slasher movie elements in a thrilling horror yarn that falls somewhere between Friday the 13th and Deliverance.
I had never even heard of this movie before I got it for review. This really surprises me, as I was huge into horror movies as a kid, and this came out when I was 10 years old...I should have seen this one. Somehow, this one slipped past me. Luckily, this film holds up 30 years later! This was an extremely fun film which started out pretty silly with all the paintball stuff, but transformed into an action packed slasher film.
One thing I noticed multiple times throughout the film was the amazing camera shot and cinematography. One scene in particular made me say "Wow!" out loud and demanded a rewind to see it again. This is a scene when one of the girls is in the car and looks out and sees the killer for the first time. He is standing there holding a knife and all you can see is his silhouette in front of the dark blue of the night sky. This scene can be seen briefly in the trailer below, but looks so much better on the Blu-ray of the film.
Another thing I noticed about this film was how much ahead of it's time it was. There is part of the film where the guys find a video camera set up in the barn pointed at an empty chair. Later they find a TV which is broadcasting what is happening in the barn through the video camera setup. This was a very unique twist to the film and reminded me of something you'd see in more modern horror films.
As always, Arrow Video has done an amazing job with this release. Their releases are always packed full of great special features and this one is no different. THE ZERO BOYS is available now on Arrow Blu-ray/DVD combo from MVD Entertainment and contains the following special features:
* Brand new 2K restoration of the film, approved by writer-director Nico Mastorakis
* High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
* Original Stereo audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
* Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
* Audio Commentary with star Kelli Maroney, moderated by Shock Till You Drop’s Chris Alexander
* Nico Mastorakis on… Nico Mastorakis – brand new interview with Mastorakis on the making of The Zero Boys
* Brand new interview with star Kelli Maroney
* Brand new interview with star Nicole Rio
* Original Theatrical Trailer
* Stills Gallery
* Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
* Fully-illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing by critic James Oliver
CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the Arrow Blu-ray/DVD combo pack