Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Thriller > Animation > Comedy > Satire > TV > Exploitation > Revenge > Thriller: A Cruel Picture (1973/Synapse Blu-ray w/DVD/*all MVD)

Bryan Loves You (2008/Blu-ray*)/The Gardener (2021/Lionsgate DVD)/Mania Killer (1987/Full Moon Blu-ray*)/Rick and Morty: The Complete Seasons 1 - 5 (2013 - 2021/Adult Swim/Warner Blu-ray)/Thriller: A Cruel Picture (1973/Synapse Blu-ray w/DVD/*all MVD)

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

Here are some more genre thrillers and an animated series that just keeps on going...

In Bryan Loves You (2008), which is shockingly based on the writer/director's true story; a found footage style film, a 32-year-old psychotherapist (Seth Landau, Take Out) begins to suspect that his small Arizona community is being taken over by a white masked homicidal religious cult known as "The Bryans". Filmed in California mainly, Tony Todd is the overall narrator of the piece that warns you of the intense nature of the film before it begins.

It's pretty crazy when you consider this film really happened to someone, as the filmmaker swears up and down in the bonus features. However, I'm a sure a few liberties were taken for the sake of cinema. Realism goes out the window when you see so many recognizable faces though in the cast, especially if you watch a lot of horror movies. But still, this is a fine effort and not bad.

Bryan Loves You stars George Wendt (Cheers), Daniel Roebuck (The Fugitive), Lloyd Kaufman (CEO of Troma Entertainment!), Tiffany Shepis (Hatchet), Chuck Williams (Bubba Ho-Tep), Bobby Slayton (Bandits) and scream queen Brinke Stevens (The Slumber Party Massacre).

The film is presented in 1080i high definition on Blu-ray disc with a 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and an audio mix in lossless PCM 2.0 Stereo, which again is fine considering that this is a found footage movie. The presentation is fine considering it's a found footage movie and it's in HD.

Special Features:

2022 Audio Commentary with Writer / Producer / Director Seth Landau

2008 Commentary with Writer / Producer / Director Seth Landau, cast and crew along with JoBlo Writer/Critic James Oster, Elissa Dowling and Professor / Religious Expert Dr. Phillip Baker

Interview with star George Wendt

Interview with star Tiffany Shepis

Interview with star Daniel Roebuck

Interview with star Brinke Stevens

and a 2022 Theatrical Trailer (HD)

The Gardener (2021) stars Robert Bronzi, who infamously looks a lot like an aged Charles Bronson. Well, Bronson he is not as is proved in this England set film. While he may have some swift action moves still in him, his overall acting ability is pretty flat.

The film itself is mediocre; essentially a home invasion thriller with a twist, the film takes place in England where a rich family have a mansion of sorts in the woods. A group of bad guys invade the family home to get some secret hard drives, but what they weren't counting on is the badass gardener (Bronzi,) who is ex-military badass living a quiet life and whom steps forward to protect the family and home. (Liam Neeson could have easily played this role.) As Bronzi takes down the bad guys one by one, the ringleader jumps in, and takes things up a notch. The film isn't bad in parts, but seems kind of lazy in others.

The film also stars Gary Daniels, Sarah T. Cohen, Becky Fletcher, Nicola Writing, and Peter Organ to name a few.

The Gardener is presented in anamorphically enhanced, standard definition DVD with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and a lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital surround mix. The transfer is compressed and average for the aging DVD format. The photography and editing isn't always the best and the score overpowers the dialogue on more than one occasion.

Special Features:


Making of Featurette

Bloopers / Trailer

So in summary, The Gardener is pretty mediocre thriller and at no point feels original. I think this is a film that likely read better on paper.

Part of Full Moon's Eurocine Collection, Mania Killer (1987) also known as Maniac Killer (which its the actual name on the title card to the film), is pretty much a run of the mill slasher centered on a cult that kidnaps and tortures French prostitutes in an attempt to purify them. Of course, the pimps who are in charge of these girls aren't too happy with this cult and seeks them out all the while another man whose girlfriend is abducted goes after the kill. The film is very similar to Mardi Gras Massacre and films of the like, however this one doesn't quite have the charm those do. This film takes itself a tad too seriously instead of embracing the schlock that it is and ends up being unintentionally funny more than once.

The film stars Bo Svenson, Chuck Connors, Robert Ginty, Suzanne Andrews, Dora Doll, Henri Lambert, and Jesse Joe Walsh.

Mania Killer is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.66:1, and lossy, English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (192kbps) and English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448kbps) mixes. The film looks and sounds passable for the format and isn't a bad transfer is any way. Just nothing too jaw dropping.

No extras except trailers for other Full Moon films.

If you're a fan of Adult Swim's Rick and Morty, then this is a nicely priced set that includes all the episodes from The Complete Seasons 1 - 5 (2013 - 2021) together in a nice nifty package. While they are all available individually, and have been reviewed elsewhere on this site, the adult themed cartoon has enough gross humor and knee slapping puns that it is likely to appeal mainly to the teenage crowd.

The humor is at times gross, but not quite as much so as South Park or even Ren and Stimpy. Rick is an eccentric uncle (definitely inspired by Doc Brown from Back to the Future) who drags his teenage nephew Rick on various inter dimensional and other worldly adventures. The characters never take themselves seriously at any point in the series and are usually burping or getting drunk or getting in trouble and endangering the fate of existence in one way or another per episodes. I couldn't help but feel that the show tries a little too hard some times to be funny yet there are a few standout episodes per season that are a bit better than the others. That's solely this reviewer's opinion though. As mentioned, if you're a fan of the series then this five-disc Blu-ray box set is worth picking up if you don't have the others as it is a one stop shop.

Rick and Morty stars the voice talents of Justin Roiland (Solar Opposites), Sarah Chalke (Scrubs), Chris Parnell (Saturday Night Live), and Spencer Grammer (Greek). The series is created by Dan Harmon (Community) and Justin Roiland who also serve as executive producers.

Rick and Morty is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC, VC-1 codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and a lossless, Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit) sound mix, all of which present the animated series in a clean presentation that's up to standards and is all in line with all the previous Blu-ray reviews of the show over the years reviewed on this site.

Special Features:


Commentaries for Every Episode

Animatics for Every Episode

Behind the Scenes

Deleted Scenes


Commentaries for Every Episode

Animatics for Every Episode

Deleted Animatic Sketches

Rick and Morty Season 2 Premiere Party Featuring Chaos Chaos


Commentaries for Every Episode

Animatics for Every Episode

"Inside the Episode" for Every Episode

Exclusive "Inside the Recording Booth"

Origins of Rick and Morty Part 1 & 2


"A Day at Rick and Morty": Inside Season 4

"Inside the Episode" for Every Episode

Creating Snake Jazz

Directing Rick and Morty

Samurai and Shogun

Prop Process

Character Creation

Animation Challenges


"Fighting Gravity": The Making of Season 5

"Inside the Episode" for Every Episode

B-Story Generator Vol. 1 & Vol. 2


Animation and Compositing

Coloring Rick and Morty

Directing 'Mortyplicity' & 'Rickmurai Jack'

and Season 5 Hype

And finally, we get to the film hailed by Quentin Tarantino as ''the roughest revenge film ever made,'' Thriller: A Cruel Picture (1973) gets an updated version on Blu-ray disc from Synapse films. Similar to I Spit On Your Grave, Thriller is considered a cult classic in many film circles for its groundbreaking on screen brutality and sex. You will notice that Eli Roth and Tarantino have both borrowed certain elements from it in their films such as Kill Bill and Knock, Knock. Thriller is very Grindhouse cinema feeling and doesn't shy away from extreme close-ups during sex scenes to get its graphic point across.

A pretty young girl is picked up by a stranger, who drugs her and keeps her captive, forcing her to become both a junkie and a prostitute to his circle of high paying friends. The guy even pokes her one eye out with a knife when she doesn't obey him. The girl isn't dumb though, in secret she trains on how to fire a gun and learn martial arts by some military guys. One day she snaps and starts picking out those who tormented her one by one with a shotgun. This revenge tale has a lot of big ideas in its cinematography and some elements ahead of its time like slow motion gore scenes and a few very interestingly constructed sequences that are almost western-like in execution.

The film stars Christina Lindberg, Heinz Hopf, Despina Tomazani, Per-Axel Arosenius, and Solveig Andersson.

Thriller is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.66:1 and an LPCM 2.0 Mono mix in Swedish and English dubbed version. The transfer doesn't look bad but there's a lot of hairs in the film gate in the negative that's apparent during watching, and they pop up more than once. You can also see other elements from the negative still intact, which gives the film more of that grind house feel. Whether these things are fixable at this point or not, the film looks pretty good in HD overall. Also included is a lesser, anamorphically enhanced, standard definition DVD with a compressed presentation and a transfer that's fine for the aging format.

Special Features:

Uncut and uncensored high definition 1080p (1.66:1) presentation

Original Swedish language version with newly translated removable English subtitles

Alternate English dub soundtrack with newly translated removable English subtitles

Multiple still galleries including rare behind-the-scenes images and nude photos of Christina Lindberg on set

Theatrical Trailers and TV spot


Alternate Harbor Fight Sequence

THRILLER: A CRUEL LAB MISTAKE: Rare photos from an unused fight sequence that was ruined by the film lab during production


and Reversible Cover Art from Wes Benscoter

- James Lockhart



 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com