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Category:    Home > Reviews > Thriller > Drama > Abduction > Noir > Disease > Epidemic > Post Apocalyptic > French > Exploitation > Kidnap > Amber Alert: Terror On The Highway (2008/Nasser DVD)/Detour (1945/Film Chest DVD)/The Last Days (2013/MPI/IFC Midnight DVD)/Runaway Nightmare (1982/Vinegar Syndrome DVD)/The Snow Devils (1966/MGM/Warn

Amber Alert: Terror On The Highway (2008/Nasser DVD)/Detour (1945/Film Chest DVD)/The Last Days (2013/MPI/IFC Midnight DVD)/Runaway Nightmare (1982/Vinegar Syndrome DVD)/The Snow Devils (1966/MGM/Warner Archive DVD)

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

PLEASE NOTE: The Snow Devils is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.

Here's a mix of strange thrillers...

George Mendeluk's Amber Alert: Terror On The Highway (2008) has Tom Berenger playing to type as a frustrated older man who kidnaps underage girls in this goofy, badly written thriller when he actually outacts everyone in a badly directed mess. There might have been a good story in here somewhere, but it is very badly done and comes across as cheaply and exploitive as it might seem with its overly melodramatic title. Unless you like Berenger, skip it.

A trailer is the only extra.

Edgar G. Ulmer's Detour (1945) is considered a true Film Noir classic and has been in public domain for eons, but a good copy has yet to surface anywhere. Tom Neal plays the guy who keeps getting more deeply into trouble no matter what he does, made worse by taking the identity of a man who dies picking him up hitchhiking. I guess this is a complete copy from Film Chest and it is a fine film, but I found this edition hard to watch despite their best efforts.

There are sadly no extras.

Alex & David Pastor co-directed the post-apocalyptic thriller The Last Days (2013) in France and it has some good moments as everyone in the world suddenly gets a form of agoraphobia and cannot go outside, so thew world collapses and the survivors who have not had heart attacks from this development fight to survive. We get some flashbacks, interesting moments and good performances all around, including leads Quim Gutierrez and Jose Corronado, but the conclusion does not necessarily work and sometimes comedy shows up in ways that do not work. Still, it is ambitious and genre fans might still want to see it.

A trailer is the only extra.

Mike Cartel's Runaway Nightmare (1982) is an exploitation film about two guys kidnapped by a female cult, who intend to do what they want with the guys. Done on the cheap, the duo witness a big box being buried, then when they investigate, find a naked woman inside. Then they get kidnapped by said cult and the nightmare begins. Things are not always shown, the acting is really bad and the result is an oddity worth a look for genre fans, but not a good film by any means. Still, it is a time capsule of an independent horror cinema coming to an end.

Alternate video scenes of film footage that showed up on video but was not made by the original filmmakers and a feature-length audio commentary by Director Cartel are the extras.

Anthony Margheriti, under his oft used Anthony Dawson moniker, directed the amusing The Snow Devils (1966) is the third of three hilarious space operas he made following War Of The Planets (see elsewhere on this site) and War Between The Planets (both also 1966) that are not great viewing by any means, but are interesting to watch for their ideas of costumes, technology and what the future might be. The visual effects are also always amusingly dated, so in this one, the scientists encounter a race of humanoid snow men up to no good, bad make-up designs and all. This begins when the footprint of an abominable snow man surfaces. The cats of mostly unknown Italian actors (and American actor Wilbert Bradley) are a hilarious plus, even when almost al of them are dubbed. Give this one a look.

A trailer is the only extra.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Alert, 1.33 X 1 black & white image on Detour (with its old film print) and anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on Days are well shot, but these transfers are just too soft and could all look better. The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image on Nightmare and anamorphically enhanced 1.66 X 1 image on Devils tie for first place and look the best including some good color, but there is still some print issues or damage here and there.

As for sound, Alert and Days (a Spanish track) have lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 and tie for the best-sounding releases here as expected, if not spectacular, sound good. Days in particular might benefit from a lossless track. The rest of the DVDs have lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono sound and all show their age, but they do have a few good sonic moments each.

To order The Snow Devils from Warner Archive DVDs, go to this link for it and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo


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