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01 December, 2007

DVD Review: SCREAMING DEAD

Title: SCREAMING DEAD

Year of Release—Film: 2004

Year of Release—DVD: 2004

DVD Label: Shock-O-Rama Cinema




THE MOVIE

Shock-O-Rama Cinema has a certain reputation in Horror circles, and not an altogether bad one. Though they are an admittedly low-grade producer and distributor of Horror Films, churning out, for the most part, no-budget, shot-on-video gorefests, that doesn’t mean they aren’t good Horrors. Monogram was able to produce some quality films in the 1940’s, just as Amicus was in the ‘70’s and New Line in the ‘80’s. Every era has it’s low-budget studio turning out reel after reel, or in this case disc after disc, of good, solid, horror entertainment. There may not be an Oscar winner in the bunch, but they deliver what’s promised. Though SCREAMING DEAD may not win any awards, it’s a good little Horror Film, one that delivers what it promises.

A famous photographer rents an old haunted building for a photo-shoot, and arrives with several gorgeous models, including the “star” of the film, Misty Mundae; a cute young assistant; (Heidi Kristoffer, in a very good performance…) and the representative of the property-owner in tow. The photographer proceeds to subject his models to various staged “torture” situations for his photographs. This activity awakens the hostile, sadistic spirit of a man named Rossiter, who enacts in fact what the photographer staged for fantasy. Rossiter, well-played by Kevin Shinnick, (who, in the interests of full disclosure, is an acquaintance of this reviewer…) proceeds to hack his way through most of the cast in varied and imaginative ways.

In effect a remake of the 1965 Italian film THE CRIMSON EXECUTIONER ~aka~ BLOODY PIT OF HORROR, SCREAMING DEAD benefits from having a coherent script and, for the most part, decent acting… two factors the original lacked. Let’s be honest… this movie’s not likely to win any awards. But it does what I require of any movie—it entertains me.



THE DISC

Shock-O-Rama is one of those companies that always seem to deliver value for the Horror-fan’s dollar. They turn out a reliable, quality product, and this disc is no different. The print is crisp and clean, and the audio is sharp. There are no subtitles, however, which would be a plus. Overall, though, a very well done project from Shock-O-Rama.



THE SPECIAL FEATURES

For what is essentially a bargain-rate movie from a low-budget distributor, this is a surprisingly well-planned and executed disc. There are several special features, including a making-of featurette, as well as an interview segment with the director, Brett Piper, and several of the cast. There’s a Documentary on Misty Mundae, Shock-o-Rama’s Queen of Screams, and additional photo galleries and such. Not a bad package for such a low-budget effort.



IN CONCLUSION

As I said, this movie wasn’t in the Oscar hunt, and deservedly so. Still, for less than $20, you can have a good, thoroughly enjoyable Gorefest to add to your collection. May not be your first choice when video shopping… but don’t be too quick to pass it by.






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