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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Monster > Zombie > Murder > Drama > Comedy > Newspaper > Crime > Gangster > Motorcycles > Australia > S > Deadsight (2019/RLJ DVD)/Roadhouse Murder (1932/RKO/Warner Archive DVD)/Sidecar Racers (1975/Universal/Umbrella Region Free PAL Import DVD)/Slaughter Of The Innocents (1993/Synapse Blu-ray)/Two From H

Deadsight (2019/RLJ DVD)/Roadhouse Murder (1932/RKO/Warner Archive DVD)/Sidecar Racers (1975/Universal/Umbrella Region Free PAL Import DVD)/Slaughter Of The Innocents (1993/Synapse Blu-ray)/Two From Hell: House Of 1,000 Corpses (2002)/Devil's Rejects (2005/Umbrella Region Free Import Blu-ray Set)

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

PLEASE NOTE: The Sidecar Racers DVD and Two From Hell Blu-ray imports are now only available from our friends at Umbrella Entertainment in Australia, while the Roadhouse Murder DVD is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series. All can be ordered from the links below.

And now for a set of unusual action thrillers you should know about.

Starting with our newest entry, Police officer Mara Madigan (Liv Collins) is just about to go on maternity leave until she suddenly wakes up to finds herself in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. On the run and with only one gun, she has a fate chance encounter with Ben Neilson (Adam Seybold), a legally blind man (!) who can't remember anything. Somehow, they both escaped the initial outbreak but now they work together and find a safe haven in Jesse Thomas Cook's Deadsight (2019).

Officer Mara is also a pregnant woman, but her world is turned upside down when the zombie apocalypse hits. She finds and runs into Ben, a blind hospital patient who that has somehow survived (and even killed a zombie) and has amnesia. Mara initially saves Ben and searches for the ambulance he came from for medical supplies and a working vehicle, but then she finds the ambulance and discovers it is useless with dead batteries, only then she realizes her only help and hope is Ben. As time goes on, her labor approaches she becomes weaker and tires more easily, Mara and Ben's roles reverse and now it is Ben's turn to protect Mara. They end up at a power plant and Mara... you'll have to see the rest for yourself to judge.

This was your typical zombie horror survival movie, in this zombie movie the zombies were fairly slow and inept, but for those who love and watch zombie movies, you want to scream at the characters for some of the poor choices they make, never go off alone, don't leave your weapon behind stuck in a zombie ...there are rules in surviving a zombie apocalypse. Extras include trailers.

J. Walter Ruben's Roadhouse Murder (1932) is an amusing David O. Selznick production about a reporter (Eric Linden, definitely being given a chance to be a star here) who is a reporter who wants to get a story so bad that will put him on top, leading to an early disaster when he gets a compromising photo that does not go over well with his editor. Taking a break with his girlfriend (Dorothy Jordan) to take a break, they land up with a dead body at a hotel and they know it is murder from the gunshot. In addition, a name killer (Bruce Cabot in one of his early turns as a heavy) is involved, but our eager reporter to be decides to let himself be framed for the killing until he can reveal the truth. Too bad things do not go as planned.

An interesting RKO programmer that runs 73 minutes, there is much to enjoy here and it shows how the studio and Selznick could make a small film like this move and work. Along with a few unintended chuckles and its age, it is worth a look.

There are sadly no extras.

Earl Bellamy's Sidecar Racers (1975) is an Australian film about motorcycle racing, but the bikes have to have sidecars, making them harder to race as simply, but the result is a sport has developed (this exists there in real life) and the competition gets wild as expected. A local rider (John Clayton) lands up teaming up with a U.S. surfer/swimmer/visitor (Ben Murphy) who calls his laid back vacation off to partner with him, but they land up competing for the same woman (Wendy Hughes) and her father (Peter Graves, on his interesting pre-Airplane!/post-Mission: Impossible roll) happens to run the races!

Sure it has cliches and sags in parts, but the racing footage is a nice change of pace form the usual boring recycling of obvious vehicles and being from Australia, has its own feel and look that helps make the 100 minutes interesting more often than not. I wish they had come up with more and I bet there are a few things they could have included, but it is worth a look for those interested and is smarter than any of the Fast & Furious sequels or spin-offs. Its certainly more realistic by default, so those interested should see it.

There are sadly no extras.

Maybe the biggest curio here is one most people did not see, James Glickenhaus' Slaughter Of The Innocents (1993) with Scott Glenn as an FBI agent trying to stop a serial killer. Yes, only a few years after Silence Of The Lambs, he signed onto this project about a killer going after children. Not a child-in-jeopardy film necessarily, the odd twist is that his son (the director's young son, Jesse Cameron-Glickenhaus is a computer geek (wait until you see how old the tech is!) is a precocious thinker trying to help him solve the case.

This could have been an outright exploitation film, but it is not a big success either as the son has way too much screen time and is just not able to carry his role, which is over-written and always holds the credibility of the film back. More interesting is early turns by Kevin Sorbo and Aaron Eckhart as FBI agents, but in all this, the film keeps trying because this group is going for broke trying to make the next Silence Of The Lambs no matter what. That is why it is worth seeing, no matter its many flaws.

Synapse has issued a Blu-ray with a bunch of extras and a decent transfer (see more below) to do as much justice as can be done to it, so it give the film the best new chance for people to see it and decide for themselves. I just hope this is not the reason Glenn was passed over for Ridley Scott's Hannibal.

Extras include a feature length audio commentary track with director James Glickenhaus, Archival Interviews with James Glickenhaus, Jesse Cameron-Glickenhaus & Scott Glenn, All-New 2019 Featurettes with Make-Up Effects designer Gabe Bartalos, and Director of Photography Mark Irwin, The U.S. and International Theatrical Trailers, Archival Electronic Press Kit Featurette, Deleted Scenes and an Alternate Assault Sequence.

Finally, Two From Hell is simply a repackaging of two Rob Zombie slasher films we reviewed twice before:

House Of 1,000 Corpses (2002) and...


The Devil's Rejects (2005)


The ratings are mine, but links are to the second wave of reviews, both of the imports in this set, by a fellow writer who liked the films more than myself, so you'd have to look up the earlier coverage to see how much I thoroughly thought they wasted my time. These are for fans only and of course, the extras are the same.

Now for playback quality. The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Deadsight is as good as it can possibly look on DVD, making us wonder why no Blu-ray, but it is the best DVD here and is surprisingly consistent throughout. The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 is a bit pedestrian, with limited surrounds and is often dialogue-based.

The 1.33 X 1 black & white image on Roadhouse and 1.33 X 1 color image on Sidecar are well shot, but the transfers here are both soft, flawed and even second-generation, but both are good looking productions for their budget limits. Both also have lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono sound, but Roadhouse somehow sounds better than Sidecar, but both could sue some work.

The same can often be said of the 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Slaughter, but it just has a few too many soft shots that are not part of the shoot. The big plus here is that it is a rare film totally shot on 35mm Agfa color negative film and it gives it a rare look that most thrillers do not have and was shot by the great Canadian Director of Photography John Irwin, C.S.C., so it is yet another set of signs of how ambitious the makers were here. However, the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo lossless mix on the film has limited surrounds and shows its age in the lower budget the film had. However, it makes for an interesting viewing just the same.

To order either of the Umbrella import Sidecar Racers DVD and Two From Hell Blu-ray, go to this link for them and other hard to find releases:


...and to order the Roadhouse Murder Warner Archive DVD, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo and Ricky Chiang (Deadsight)


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