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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Slasher > Supernatural > Satire > Spoof > Comedy > Savage Weekend/Bloody Birthday/Student Bodies & Jekyll & Hyde - Together Again (1979/Cheezy Flicks DVDs/1981/Severin Films//81/82/Legend Films Blu-ray Double Feature)

Savage Weekend/Bloody Birthday/Student Bodies & Jekyll & Hyde - Together Again (1979/Cheezy Flicks DVDs/1981/Severin Films//81/82/Legend Films Blu-ray Double Feature)


Picture: C/B-/B-/C+     Sound: C+     Extras: D/C+/D/D     Films: C-



From Cheezy Flicks we have Savage Weekend, a horror movie from 1979 that is without a doubt a product of its time.  Despite this very '70s tone, there are aspects that can be attributed to the emerging slasher genre as well, but don't go in expecting another Halloween, or even Black Christmas for that matter.  This is little more than a time waster for the horror fan who's on a mission to see and experience everything that the genre has to offer.  If this doesn't describe you, then side-stepping this one won't cause you to lose any sleep.


In Ed Hunt’s Bloody Birthday, three children are born at the same time during a solar eclipse.  Naturally, this means they're not going to be normal, well-balanced adults, but rather murderous killers devoid of souls or conscience.  You've seen this story done before, and better, too.  While I didn't find it to be completely without merit, it's nothing worth getting excited over, and another one for only the most dedicated horror fanatics.  There are a couple of decent interviews, and the featurette A Brief History of Slasher Films, which has also been included on the DVD of Nightmares, another Severin title recently released.


Paramount had previously teamed up with Legend Films to bring out several genre offerings to DVD that weren't deemed worthy enough of being released directly through the company.  Now they're presenting some of them as two disc Blu-ray double features.  While not everyone will see these titles as fit enough to be given the high-def treatment, the addition of more oddball stuff to the format is appreciated.


Student Bodies is the first of the two titles, and is an interesting curio, as it's prototypical of the Scream and Scary Movie series.  With Scream 4 out recently, this re-release doesn't come as too much of a surprise – but as so many of the jokes have aged poorly and are largely irrelevant now, it's hardly worth anybody's time.


The second half of this set is Jekyll & Hyde – Together Again, a spoof that can be seen as a take-off of Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein, by way of Airplane!.  In it, Mark Blankfield plays the good doctor who stumbles onto a formula that turns him into a crazed party animal.  Comedy takes on the classic Robert Louis Stevenson story have been done before and since, but this doesn't rank among the best of them.  I got a few chuckles here and there, but ultimately I'd say to skip this one unless you're truly dedicated to this specific sub-genre.


Savage Weekend is presented in a 1.33:1 full frame image that looks okay, though I do believe that since this release, better-looking editions have been released which maintain the film's original aspect ratio.  Bloody Birthday is in anamorphic widescreen with a 1.66:1 frame and a Dolby 2.0 Mono soundtrack.  The disc is sourced from a new HD transfer from original elements, and is an improvement over the previous edition covered elsewhere on this site.  The Legend Films double feature presents both movies anamorphically with a 1.78:1 frame.  They look and sound good, but aren't anything you'd want to test your equipment by.



-   David Milchick


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