(2013/Cinema Libre DVD)/Curse
Of Chucky (2013/aka
(1976/Blue Underground Blu-ray)
C/B- & C/B- Sound: C/B & C+/C+ Extras: C-/C+/C+
for some new horror releases you should know about...
Higgins' The Castle
Project (2013) allegedly
exposes a haunted mansion in Denver (maybe its just the thin air
playing with people's minds) but the HD-shot production that insists
the place is haunted, talks to all kinds of people, shows its
so-called evidence and does this for 76 very, very long minutes
ending in none of this being convincing and even silly.
least it is not edited with so many cutaways and with the abundance
of tired shaky camera work we have seen in this sub-genre of would-be
supernatural expose, but in the end, it never works, it is weak,
totally unconvincing and a waste of my time. Unless you really,
really, really enjoy this kind of thing, skip it.
trailer is the only extra.
Mancini's Curse Of Chucky
(2013) is the sudden 6th
film in the on and off series, but this time, the writers and makers
have decided to end the all out comic approach and get back to the
mean, sick, dark, suspenseful version of the killer doll and though
they succeed greatly at this, it only brings us back to just about
everything we'd seen in the original trilogy. That is welcome news
for fans and a nice break from the endless shlock and amazingly
sloppy, bad work in the genre of the lats few years from low budget
to big budget works.
also happens to be in time for the arrival of another new killer
doll, The Conjuring's
Annabelle, but the makers manage to keep Chucky quiet at first,
building up the suspense and allowing the tension to build. The film
is not shy about being graphic, but does this with timing and effect
with discipline rarely seen in the genre today. Even if we have seen
it all before, at least they pulled that much off. This is still for
fans only, but they will be pretty happy.
include Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and iTunes capable
devices, while the Blu-ray exclusives include Storyboard Comparisons,
and Voodoo Doll
featurettes and both format offer a feature length audio
commentary track by Mancini, Puppeteer Tony Gardner & Star Fiona
Dourif, Deleted Scenes, Gag Reel and a
Making Of featurette entitled Playing
we have the infamous 1976 release Snuff,
a film shot cheap in South America where “life is cheap” as the
ads tell us, though this was before the U.S.A. became the greatest
debtor nation versus the greatest creditor nation it was at the time
of the film's release. It was sold as a film made by sick people who
are brutally killing woman on camera and selling the results for
profit, getting the film banned in many states and causing an FBI
investigation. The film was a fraud, but the hype worked and it made
money as the sweepstakes in the horror/exploitation genre was in full
swing to have films that outdid each other for outrageousness, though
this is not a Horror genre work per se.
actual film is an outright exploiter with some tough angry gals
torturing and killing all kinds of people, who turn out to be lead by
a Charles Manson type, but the cheap, sloppy work is all over the
place, has a child molesting moment for bad measure and ends in more
bloodshed, but the U.S. distributor knew the film was bad and would
not sell until he came up with the idea of adding a epilog scene that
tells the audience all they have been watching is a film production
(deconstruction) only (SPOILER ALERT!!!) for the makers to take an
actress on the set, hold her down, rape, torture, mutilate her and
kill her in one final bloodfest that says the murder and blood is all
over the place.
today's standards, it is still gruesome and deserved its X-rating for
violence and gore, but it is garbage and it knows it, os only it as a
curio and for the scenes that are not so graphic is it watchable at
all. In this era of so much hate, Torture Porn and genre gore
excess, some of this sadly seems somewhat tame, but it is the ad
campaign and reputation of the film that was a larger success than
the content of the actual film in any cut.
Paul Schrader once said that the idea of a snuff film was actually
more disturbing than the actual film to people on immediate
consideration and Joel Schumacher's underrated 8MM (with
Nicolas Cage, reviewed elsewhere on this site) dealt with the issue
as a murder thriller inspired by Schrader's own underrated Hardcore
(1978) which likely inspired his comments. Horror fans and film
completists should see this film once, but don't expect much. It is
not that good, that real (which is a relief in that no one was killed
for profit) and now Blue Underground has this infamous curio on
Blu-ray so everyone can see it for what it really is.
include a Controversy Gallery with text, Posters & Stills
Gallery, optional Nicolas Winding Refn intro to the film, U.S.
Trailer, German trailer, a text essay on the film by Alexandra
Heller-Nicholas and three Making Of featurettes: Shooting Snuff, Up
To Snuff and Porn Buster.
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on the Castle DVD is
soft throughout, has image flaws (some intended, some just sloppy)
that makes this additionally hard to watch and is not in the visual
league of the few better-shot variants of this kind of visually
1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Chucky
is an HD shoot that has some good shots, but also some soft ones and
bad ones, though this is often saved by some unusually good
composition at times. The
anamorphically enhanced DVD is much softer and harder to watch as a
1080p 1.66 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Snuff
was shot on 16mm film and though the print used can show the age of
the materials used, this is far superior a transfer to all previous
releases of the film. Color is the big surprise here, looking decent
and offering a few really good shots, while blood is always very red.
You can also more obviously see the stock type and quality switch at
the end of the film with its added ending.
lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on Castle is also the weakest
audio presentation here from location audio issues (some faked?) to
plenty of rough audio that makes this one a real patchwork of a mix.
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on Chucky
is the big surprise on the list as after so many bad and lame horror
genre mixes of late, the makers actually knew what they were doing
and create a solid, consistent, warm soundfield that understands
sound design, suspense and the genre. Everything including the
dialogue is exceptionally well recoded and mixed, making this
possibly the best sounding film in the series. The lossy Dolby
Digital 5.1 on the DVD is sadly much weaker and barely gives a hint
of how good this is.
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 1.0 lossless Mono on Snuff has been
cleaned up and sounds as good as it ever will considering the dubbing
and cheap budget.