Wednesday, July 15, 2015

THE OUTING (1987) / THE GODESEND (1980) DOUBLE FEATURE

THE OUTING (1987) / THE GODESEND (1980) 
DOUBLE FEATURE 
Label: Scream Factory
Region Code: A
Duration: 89 Minutes I 93 Minutes
Rating: R
Audio: DTS-HD MA 2.0 with Optional English Subtitles
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (1.78:1)
Director: Tom Daley I Gabrielle Beaumont
Cast: Deborah Winters, James Huston, Andra St. Ivanyi I Malcolm Stoddard, Cyd Hayman, Angela Pleasence

THE OUTING (1987)

This fantastic slice of 80s cheese was previously issued on a DVD but Scream Factory as part of a four-pack with The Godsend, The Vagrant and What's The Matter with Helen?" as part of the All Night Horror Marathon releases. Scream have managed to give the longer uncut version of the film -- original title, The Lamp -- a new HD transfer with the original extended opening credit sequence which adds a bit more mythology set aboard a cargo ship headed from the Middle East to Texas, where the entire crew is dead as the Captain makes off with a magic lamp before dying himself. Years later a group of juvenile delinquents enter the home of an old woman rumored to be hoarding treasure of some sort, after killing her they find the very same magic lamp buried away behind a wall. Unbeknownst to them they have awakened the malevolent genie who lives inside the lamp, and unfortunately for them the only wishes he will be granting are death wishes. They three are dispatched quick enough, and when the crime is discovered the lamp is sent off the the local museum by the authorities for whatever reason, because it looks old I suppose. .

The daughter of the museum's curator plans to have an impromptu sleepover at the museum that night along with five friends, who end up locking themselves in the basement for whatever reason, it just doesn't seem like that great of a night, but we have to get these six kids in the basement with this evil genie somehow I guess. 

There are two security guards on patrol, two weirdo 80's bullies, and Dr. Wallace and his girlfriend also entering the picture, most of whom end up on the bad side of the evil genie. Its a very silly film but also a lot of fun with loads of 80s goofiness and some fun kills, this one definitely gets buy on the 80s atmosphere and goofiness, and throws in some decent kill scenes. One of the teens is nude in the bathtub when the genie unleashed a trio of deadly cobras, meanwhile her boyfriend is snapped in half just off screen. The pair of bullies attempts to rape one of the young ladies when the medieval helmet he is wearing is tightened to the point of crushing his face, that's just fun stuff. 

One of the museum researchers is levitated into the whirling blades of an industrial ceiling fan, while one of the guards is speared through the chest -- theres a pretty decent assortment of deaths throughout this one, which kept it fun. The idea of teens being where they don't belong is straight out of Chopping Mall and Waxwork, it's dumb but then again so are horny teens, ha ha. 

The genie itself is pretty damn goofy, a beastly apparition made of rubber, bathed in green light and mist, it's appropriately cheesy and looks like a cross between a Gremlin and a demon, but you gotta love how it's bathed in that cheesy 80s green lighting. Not a great film but certainly a fun 80s entry that has some decent kills, brief nudity and familiar yet fun set-up. 

THE GODSEND (1980)
The Godsend concerns a family who encounter a strange woman near their property, she turns out to be pregnant and stays at home for sometime before giving birth and then abruptly disappears leaving the newborn behind. The family care for the child as one of their own but soon after strange and ominous things begin to happen to the other children. The family is cursed by the deaths of their own children as the father grows more suspicious of the young child they've let into their home the mother becomes more protective, despite the obvious inferences. The film owes a lot to supernatural kiddie menace The Omen, a slow-paced movie with some good atmosphere and dread, but pretty slow all the way around. The deaths of the children are affecting though, it has a haunting menace about it and the deaths of children do carry quite an impact, as does the grief of the parents, though one does seem more enthralled by the evil child than the other, as so often happens in these types of movies.  

If you can wrap your head around slow-burn kiddie horror along the lines of The Omen and The Other I think you will be rewarded with your patience by this one even though it's pretty paint by numbers, the end will be no surprise to those familiar with the other movies mentioned. The strange woman who gives birth to the baby is played by Angela Pleasence, the daughter of Dr. Loomis, Donald Pleasance, who unfortunately looks a lot like her father, and it works in her favor, she has the mosr dead-panned expression on her face and strange eyes, which feed into the weirdness of her character, a good casting choice right there. 

The new Blu-ray transfers improves quite a bit upon the previous standard def version from a few years ago, but don't expect a miracle, the cinematography is soft focus and the HD image lacks the clarity and sharpness it would otherwise have, but colors, sharpness and clarity are definitely imroved over the DVD. 

I do love these double features from Scream Factory even though this one is sadly devoid of extras aside from a crummy trailer. Fans of The Outing should be pleased to have the longer version on Blu-ray even if it is just a two-minute prologue, and fans of slow-burn killer kiddie movies need to at least watch The Godsend once. A pretty solid 80s double feature, but I think you would have to be a hardcore 80s horror fan to NEED these on your shelf, particularly if you own the All Night Horror Mrathon four-pack DVD set. 2.5/5


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