Thursday, March 30, 2017

FACES OF HORROR (1971-1990) 10 MOVIE COLLECTION (DVD Review)

FACES OF HORROR (1971-1990) 
10 MOVIE COLLECTION

Label: Mill Creek Entertainment

Region Code: 1 NTSC 
Rating: R, Unrated 
Duration: 925 Minutes 
Audio: Fullscreen / Widescreen 
Video: English Dolby Digital 2.0 
Directors: Fred Walton, William Byron Hillman, J. Lee Thompson, Ross Hagen, John Stewart, Robert Hammer, Marc B. Ray, Theodore Gershuny,  David Paulsen, Yabo Yablonsky, Percival Rubens
Cast: Charles Durning, Carol Kane, Melissa Sue Anderson, Glenn Ford, Mickey Rooney, Cameron Mitchell, John Carradine, Troy Donahue, Cleavon Little, Keenan Wynn

Mill Creek Entertainment have unleashed a new 10 movie collection, this one titled FACES OF HORROR, bringing together a few titles already released multiple times on past collections, no exclusives on this one, and no noticeable picture quality that I can discern, but what we do get is 15 hours of culty slasher-thriller fun for cheap, this one goes for about $7 on amazon.com right now. 

Here's what this oe has to offer...

WHEN A STRANGER CALLS (1979) 

Rating: R
Duration: 97 Minutes
Audio:English Dolby Digital 
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1) 
Director: Fred Walton  
Cast: Charles Durning, Carol Kane, Colleen Dewhurst, Tony Beckley, Rachel Roberts, Ron O’Neal

Synospsis: A terrified young baby-sitter...an incessantly ringing phone...and whispered threats set the stage for one of the most suspenseful thrillers ever filmed. Carol Kane stars as the baby-sitter who is tormented by a series of ominous phone calls until a compulsive cop (Charles Durning) is brought on the scene to apprehend the psychotic killer. Seven years later, however, the nightmare begins again when the madman returns to mercilessly haunt Kane, now a wife and mother. No longer a naive girl, though still terrified, but prepared, she moves boldly to thwart the maniac’s attack in scenes that culminate in a nerve-shattering conclusion.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME (1981) 

Rating: R
Duration: 111 Minutes 
Audio: english Dolby Digital 
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen (1.85:1) 
Director: J. Lee Thompson 
Cast: Melissa Sue Anderson, Glenn Ford, Lawrence Dane, Sharon Acker, Frances Hyland, Tracy Bregman, Lisa Langlois

Synopsis: Get ready for a taut mystery-shocker that will keep you at your wit’s end and at the edge of your seat. Popular high school senior Virginia Wainwright (Melissa Sue Anderson) survives a freak accident, but suffers from memory loss and traumatic blackouts. As she attempts to resume a normal life, something terrible is happening - her friends are ruthlessly murdered one-by-one. Will she be the next victim or is she the killer? The terrifying truth is finally uncovered at Virginia’s 18th birthday party and you’re invited!


DOUBLE EXPOSURE (1983) 

Rating: R
Duration: 95 Minutes 
Audio: English Dolby Digital 
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1) 
Director: William Byron Hillman
Cast: Michael Callan, Joanna Pettet, Cleavon Little

Synopsis: A photographer who specializes in taking pictures for men’s magazines is disturbed by his recurring dreams dealing with the apparent murder of his models. When his models begin showing up gruesomely killed, the photographer and his psychiatrist fear he may indeed be a killer. The photographer struggles to find out the truth behind the killings, whether he is responsible or he is being set up by someone else.


CLICK: THE CALENDAR GIRLS (1990) 

Rating: unrated
Duration: 87 Minutes 
Audio: English Dolby Digital 
Video: Fullscreen (1.33:1) 
Director: Ross Hagen, John Stewart
Cast: Troy Donahue, Ross Hagen, Hoke Howell

Synopsis: This suspenseful tale takes place in the world of high fashion photography, where a psychotic killer stalks the models who have gathered at a photographer's remote ranch. As the bodies begin to appear, the depravity in which the victims were murder indicates a twisted and sadistic mind. The remaining models and the photographer must protect themselves at all costs, while wondering if the killer is one of them or some stranger who is butchering them.


DON'T ANSWER THE PHONE (1980) 

Rated R
Duration: 95 Minutes 
Audio: English Dolby Digital 
Video: Fullscreen (1.33:1) 
Director: Robert Hammer
Cast: James Westmoreland, Ben Frank, Flo Lawrence

Synopsis: A deranged Vietnam veteran becomes a serial killer who targets the female models he photographs in their lingerie. After the killer dispatches each victim, he calls the female host of a radio show to talk about his problems and behavior. While the police attempt to track him down, the killer decides to set his sights upon the radio psychologist and begins stalking her.


A deeply disturbed photographer and Vietnam veteran, named Kirk Smith, terrorizes Los Angeles by going around strangling lingerie-clad young women in their homes while taunting Lindsay Gale, a young psychologist, by calling her on a radio call-in show to describe his sexual hang-ups and misogynistic ways, while a local police detective, Lt. McCable, is always two steps behind in trying to catch the psycho. Now here's an exploitation gem. Don't Answer the Phone stars James Westmoreland as Kirk, our deranged serial killer and boy is he ever a character. I love this film. My second favorite character is the film is a wisecracking coroner who always says the most inappropriate things, good stuff. 


SCREAM BLOODY MURDER (1973) 

Rated R
Duration: 85 Minutes 
Audio: English Dolby Digital 
Video: Fullscreen (1.33:1) 
Director:  Marc B. Ray
Cast: Fred Holbert, Leigh Mitchell, Robert Knox

Synopsis: A young man kills his own father and is subsequently set to a mental institution where he remains for many years. Upon his release, he returns home to discover his mother has remarried and, after growing to dislike his new step-father, murders the gentleman as well as his own mother. The crazed man then turns his attention to a young artist whom he has become obsessed with and continues his murderous ways in order to be with her.


SILENT NIGHT, BLOODY NIGHT (1974)

Rated R
Duration: 85 Minutes 
Audio: English Dolby Digital 
Video: Fullscreen (1.33:1) 
Director: Theodore Gershuny 
Cast: Patrick O’Neal, John Carradine, Walter Abel

Synopsis: A man inherits his family’s mansion that has been unoccupied for years and was at one time a mental hospital. Desperate to sell for much-needed cash, he sends his attorney to the mansion to prepare it for sale. Unfortunately at the same time, a deranged killer escapes from a nearby institution and returns to the town and the mansion, both which hold some dark and sinister secrets.


When a man inherits a country mansion that was the former site of an asylum the bodies start piling up, it stars Mary Woronov (House of the Devil) and the print is just awful, which makes it difficult to enjoy what's happening onscreen, certainly this is a case of if we had a decent transfer it would be so much more enjoyable but as it stands if you have the patience to sit through it there's a really decent slasher at the asylum story here with some decent atmosphere and gory kills, it's a bit of a slow-burn but the creepy tension and decent payoff kept me hanging in there. 


SAVAGE WEEKEND (1976)  

Rated: R
Duration: 86 Minutes 
Audio: English Dolby Digital 
Video: Fullscreen (1.33:1) 
Director: David Paulsen
Cast: Christopher Allport, James Doerr, Marilyn Hamlin

Synopsis: A rich New York City businessman decides to take his fiancee and a few friends upstate to his vacation home to relax. Everyone seems to be enjoying their time resting, drinking and enjoying each others company. This good time is spoiled by the appearance of a masked killer who begins stalking and then butchering the vacationers one by one.


THE DEMON (1979) 

Rated R
Duration: 93 Minutes 
Audio: English Dolby Digital 
Video: Fullscreen (1.33:1) 
Director: Percival Rubens
Cast: Cameron Mitchell, Jennifer Holmes, Craig Gardner

Synopsis: A deranged killer is stalking the citizens of a small-town, brutally killing a family and abducting the daughter. The town is terrified of these events and is unable to find the killer. Only a former cop with psychic abilities appears to be the town’s hope of tracking down the murderer and finding the missing girl.


THE MANIPULATOR (1971) 

Rated R
Duration: 91 Minutes 
Audio: English Dolby Digital 
Video: Fullscreen (1.33:1) 
Director: Yabo Yablonsky
Cast: Mickey Rooney, Keenan Wynn, Luana Anders

Synopsis: A has-been movie make-up man has gone over the edge by kidnapping an actress and hiding her on the back lot sound stage of an old movie studio. While there, he forces the actress to perform scenes from various productions, all the while shouting orders to imaginary crew members and spiraling further into madness. Faced with death through starvation or by his hand, the actress must try to reason with a man who has clearly lost his mind.


Holy cow, you've never seen Andy Rooney like this, what a surreal slice of 70's movie making! 


Audio/Video: Let's be realistic folks, what we have here are ten movies crammed onto a three disc set, When A Stranger Calls and Happy Birthday To Me look decent in anamorphic widescreen, sharing disc one, but everything else is problematic as far as PQ, loads of compression issues, artifacting and rampant print damage, but what else would you expect, honestly we are not buying these budget sets expecting superior A/V presentation, but I will say that with with their recent Blu-ray releases Mill Creek have been doing alright, but these budget collections fare poorly in terms of quality with a few exceptions, the recent Hammer, William Castle and Sci-Fi  collections, licensed from Columbia Pictures, have look quite good. 


Disc 1:

When A Stranger Calls
Happy Birthday To Me

Disc 2: 

Double Exposure
Click: The Calendar Girl Killer
Don't Answer The Phone

Disc 3:

Scream Bloody Murder
Silent Night, Bloody Night
Savage Weekend
The Demon
The Manipulator 

Special Features: 

- None 

These Mill Creek sets are a guilty pleasure, and I credit Mill Creek with bringing a lot of these cult films to my attention through budget sets they've released in the past, of few of which have gone on to receive superior widescreen restorations from niche cult labels like Severin Films and Vinegar Syndrome, but it was Mill Creek that brought them to my eyes the first. If you're looking for superior quality presentations of a few of these films I would recommend seeking out the When A Stranger Calls/Happy Birthday double-feature Blu-ray from Mill Creek, which looks wonderful. Also available, both Double Exposure and Don't Answer the Phone have deluxe restorations available on Blu-ray from Vinegar Syndrome, as does Savage Weekend from Kino Lorber, but if you're just looking for some low-grade b-movies fun on the cheap this set from Mill Creek is worth the $7 price tag. 


No comments:

Post a Comment