Jump to content



Sign up for a free account!

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests to win things like this Logitech Harmony Ultimate Remote and you won't get the popup ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo
DVD Reviews

HTF REVIEW: Fright Pack - Walking Dead



This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
4 replies to this topic

#1 of 5 Michael Osadciw

Michael Osadciw

    Screenwriter

  • 1,325 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 24 2003

Posted September 15 2005 - 05:04 PM

Posted Image
FRIGHT PACK – COOLER THAN HELL: WALKING DEAD

[*]HELL OF THE LIVING DEAD
[*]DEAD HEAT
[*]NIGHTMARE CITY
[*]CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD
[*]LET SLEEPING CORPSES LIE
[*]HOUSE BY THE CEMETARY







Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment

Rated: R or Unrated…for gore, obviously…

Disc Length: 552 minutes
Genre: Horror/Comedy

Aspect Ratio:[*] 2.35:1 widescreen enhanced (The House by the Cemetery, Nightmare City)[*] 1.85:1 widescreen enhanced (others)
Colour/B&W: Colour

Audio:[*] Hell of the Living Dead: English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono[*] Dead Heat: English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround[*] Nightmare City: English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono[*] City of the Living Dead: English Dolby Digital 5.1 surround[*] Let Sleeping Corpses Lie: English Dolby Digital 5.1 surround[*] The House By The Cemetery: English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround

Subtitles: some English
Closed Captioned: Yes
U.S. SLP: $34.98




Release Date: September 13, 2005.



6 Premium Horror Films

To follow up with their highly successful six-pack bundles of horror films, Anchor Bay has released another two ultra-cool Fright Packs at some ultra-low prices. These are titles that I know many of you are interested in picking up because they’re well known flicks of the ‘80s and chances are you’ve seen the covers of these, or the titles, on the video shelves at least one point of time in your life. O.K., so you weren’t brave enough to pick these titles up the first, or even the second time around they were released. If your excuse is because you didn’t know how good these films were, that’s fair enough. Or maybe the real reason you don’t have these is because the scary movies you’ve seen in the past have given you some trauma of some sort and they are still haunting you today. If that is the case, I highly recommend you put yourself out of your misery: slip into a straightjacket and watch these movies!

This second wave of Fright Packs comes in two different flavours: Man’s Best Friends and Walking Dead (this review). The Man’s Best Friends theme pack is all about insects and animals that kill…parasites, slugs, cats, rats - lay down flat, and creep up to kill you. Pretty cool stuff of Italian and Spanish horror – all in their uncut versions with the best available elements. The other set is of the Walking Dead; a theme of zombies and cannibalism destroying all the living. These titles are also presented in their complete, uncut versions, so you won’t miss a severed body, devoured brain, or edible intestine – but maybe you’ll hurl up one of your own!

Each title is wrapped individually within the six-pack case so there is a lot of plastic to throw in the bin. But once you put the movie in the DVD player you’ll forget that you feeding the garbage can of things that aren’t bio-degradable. Hey, maybe one of these movies predicts the future: humans become deformed because of chemical waste! Filmmakers have such an ugly look on human society, so you might as well share that with them while watching these movies. And I’m totally pumped right now about these titles; I figured the best way to write this review is to get in the mood and get all spun-out listening to some hardcore and death metal, so right now my nerves are about as thin as the hair that will be standing on your head when you watch these flicks. Here’s what’s included in this Walking Dead DVD box set:


Posted Image
CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD - Film Rating: Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image / Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

Paura nella città dei morti viventi, 1980

I’ll start with my favourite title in the box. This one is gruesome, but not as gruesome as some of the other titles here. It’s about a reporter and a psychic who realize that the city is alive – with the dead! The Seven Gates of Hell have been opened in this evil Lucio Fulci shocker. It’s a great flick because time is taken to build a story before we see gore, and when gore happens there are lots of close-ups. Yummy.

Scare Factor? Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image /5


VIDEO QUALITY Posted Image Posted Image / Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

There is consistent grain over the 1.85:1 widescreen enhanced image that is distracting and the black levels are undefined. Contrast is good in the outdoor scenes and colour fidelity is limited, but not as bad as some of the other titles in this collection. At least flesh tones look natural and there is no edge enhancement that stands out. This title also appears to have its 3-2 sequence interrupted every so often because combing appears once in a while.


AUDIO QUALITY Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image / Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

There is limited fidelity in this Dolby Digital 5.1 encoded soundtrack but a fair amount of spatial presentation in all channels. LFE has some good kick with the music score (sounds like Goblin music). The English dubbing is very bad and it doesn’t sound like the original voices. This is weird because most of the dialogue seems to be spoken in English when reading lips…that I don’t understand…

SPECIAL FEATURES Posted Image / Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

You’ll find a trailer, a still gallery and a little bit of information about director Lucio Fulci in the special features. A poster card is also in the case and features chapter stops on the reverse of it.


Posted Image
LET SLEEPING CORPSES LIE - Film Rating: Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image / Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

Non si deve profanare il sonno dei morti, (1974)

By far, this title has the coolest looking artwork as well as the coolest title of them all. Let Sleeping Corpses Lie is also a darn good horror flick. It’s not really bloody and gory (to me at least), but I found it highly entertaining. It’s the oldest in the set but the video is better than most. In the English countryside, this film is about a posh English chap who is pretty much forced to be in a car with this hot redhead (she struck his motorcycle so she’s giving him a ride). During their travels, they discover that an experimental machine used to kill pests in farmers’ fields with ultrasonic radiation is raising the dead – and the dead are hungry!! To make matters worse, the police think they are responsible for the violence!

Scare Factor? Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image /5


VIDEO QUALITY Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image / Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

This picture is a little dim overall, and that is surprising considering that most of the movie happens outside in the light of day. Shadow detail is poor, resolution is fair, and pixelization and compression smearing is apparent on a regular basis. This is surprising considering this is a DVD-9.


AUDIO QUALITY Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image / Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

While fidelity sucks, I have to give this movie credit for using sound as a major driving force for this movie. The 5.1 soundtrack is encoded in Dolby Digital and the sound is spread around nicely to create a sense of space. Much of focus is still in the center speaker; that doesn’t surprise me because it was originally a mono soundtrack. The original mono soundtrack is not on this disc. Like the other title, the English language is not synced to the lips of the people who are also speaking English. It looks like a re-dub with different voices.


SPECIAL FEATURES Posted Image Posted Image / Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

There is an introduction by the film’s director, Jorge Grau, as well as an exclusive interview with him that is about 20 minutes in length and is available in Spanish alone or with English subtitles. A T.V. spot, a radio spot as well as a still gallery is on this disc too. I can’t forget about the poster-card too.


Posted Image
THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY - Film Rating: Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image / Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

Quella villa accanto al cimitero, (1980)

I have this title in my collection already, but released by a very sh*tty company called Diamond Entertainment. While it was claimed it was “remastered from original elements” to my horror it was a copy the laser disc (it even had the A-B flip point and text resembling that of a Pioneer player). It looked like hell and sounded like hell, in fact, the whole movie experience was a hellish disappointment. Not so here. Anchor Bay has released this Lucio Fulci title in 2001 and it looks a lot better than the rotten disc I have.

The story is of a young family who moves from New York to New England and finds out that their house is inhabited by another being…or thing…in the basement. The previous owner did human experiments that turned grisly…what is left behind? Gasp! You’ll find some good gore here with knives through the skull and throat slicing, and maybe a head rolling too…great horror from Fulci. The only thing I can’t stand about this movie is the little boy’s overdubbed voice…its terrible!

Scare Factor? Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image /5


VIDEO QUALITY Posted Image Posted Image / Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

Enhanced for widescreen TVs, this 2:35:1 movie is gritty, dirty, and digital looking. It has a lot of noise from all sorts of things. I wanted to wipe it all off the screen. Most disappointing is the amount of digital artefacts that latch onto the excessive film grain and cause the image to smear. Colour-wise, it has pinky flesh tones and limited array of colours.


AUDIO QUALITY Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image / Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

The sound is a little more respecting. It is a Dolby Digital 2.0 surround soundtrack. Some of it was originally in English and other times it was in Italian. This is just an English dub that is OK. The rest of the sound can be characterized as thin. At least there is some decent left-center-right panning of audio.


SPECIAL FEATURES Posted Image / Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

You’ll find theatrical trailers, a T.V. spot, some talent bios as well as a still gallery. A poster-card with chapter listings is also inside the case.


Posted Image
HELL OF THE LIVING DEAD – Film Rating Posted Image / Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

Virus, (1981)

This waste of celluloid is about a SWAT team who is sent to New Guinea to see what the commotion is about an accidental chemical leak at a chemical plant. It seems that these chemicals are turning people into teenage girls who apply make-up horribly to their faces. Oh, wait…those were supposed to be zombies? Sorry. This is a piece of crap movie in my opinion and the only real reason to watch it is to laugh at how silly it is and to see the female reporter do some naked anthropology (this is coming from a director who’s done horror porn). It is so low budget that it stole the Goblin music from Dawn of the Dead and Alien Contamination as well as used stock footage from the 1972 film La Vallee (remember, the movie Pink Floyd recorded Obscured by Clouds for?). The quality between this film’s footage and the stock footage don’t even look the same, the native scenes have NOTHING to do with the zombie problem, and there are tonnes of shots of animals throughout the movie that have nothing to do with the movie either!! I felt like I was watching a terrible version of Mountain of the Cannibal God (a pretty good movie I admit, separately available from Anchor Bay).

Scare Factor? Posted Image /5


VIDEO QUALITY Posted Image / Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

This crappy movie also has crappy video quality. It’s soft beyond belief. I believe the dead will rise faster than this movie getting a chance to look better. The image is undefined and is polluted with so much grain you’d think the chemical leak in the movie affected the camera’s film. There is ZERO sense of 3-D and there is a strange colour to the movie it makes bile look more appetizing.


AUDIO QUALITY Posted Image Posted Image / Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

Mono and limited fidelity. Need I say more? Dolby Digital 2.0 mono for double the horror.


SPECIAL FEATURES Posted Image Posted Image / Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

There’s a 5x7 theatrical poster replica with a little write-up about the movie inside and chapter stops on the back of it. Standard features here, my friends. A theatrical trailer, poster and still gallery, director Bruno Mattei Bio, as well as an all-new interview with Director Bruno Mattei about this movie. He thinks it’s a fun movie! I agree – if your goal is to make fun of it!


Posted Image
NIGHTMARE CITY – Film Rating Posted Image / Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

Incubo sulla città contaminate, (1980)

This was another one that stunk more than the rotting corpses it left behind. It’s not as bad as Hell of the Living Dead, but its close. This one is about a radioactive spill that causes people to turn into blood-hungry maniac murderers. They aren’t zombies because they are still alive, the city’s people just go on a rampage murder spree. They aren’t slow moving; they run around quickly to kill and they use weapons like knives and guns. I didn’t like this because a) the deformations and special effects are not special, b) there is no horror, c) just senseless killing that is terribly executed. Knives don’t stab or go in bodies – they just touch the person and there is no blood and the person falls dead. How pathetic – a bunch of high school kids could to better.

Scare Factor? Posted Image /5


VIDEO QUALITY Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image / Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image


This is one of the two films what are 2.35:1. It is also enhanced for widescreen TVs. While the image has good contrast and black levels, it has a strange colour tone. Flesh tones can look red, cement can look pink, and walls can look green while the grass looks faded and dead. It’s weird. Grain is the biggest problem.


AUDIO QUALITY Posted Image Posted Image / Posted Image http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif


This title is also Dolby Digital 2.0 mono. The music is loud and it has an annoying theme song that I’ve thankfully forgotten about. I’m sure in the next little while I’ll remember it again and torture myself, but for now I’m safe. The music in my opinion doesn’t go well with the visuals. The score is a poor choice and it makes me feel like I’m watching a circus of freaks. Some sounds are surrounded by a loud hiss.


SPECIAL FEATURES http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif http://static.hometh...milies_half.gif / http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif


This disc has a Umberton Lenzi bio, the theatrical trailer and a 5x7 theatrical poster with chapter stops on the back. There is also an all new interview with Director Umberto Lenzi in Tales of the Contaminated City. It doesn’t look at this film so highly. Neither do I.


http://members.aol.c.../images/dvd.gif
DEAD HEAT – Film Rating http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif / http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif


Two LAPD officers are running after criminals who won’t die. They are zombified by a “resurrection machine” in a mysterious pharmaceutical firm. Then one of the officers die and when he’s resurrected, he has to figure out his own case.

This was a neat shoot-em-up movie that bombed at the box office just as New World Pictures was going under. It’s not a scary film nor is it a great one. It’s a horror-comedy that can be entertaining.

Scare Factor? http://static.hometh...smilies_eek.gif http://static.hometh...smilies_eek.gif /5


VIDEO QUALITY http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif / http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif

This is the best looking title in this set as it once received the DiviMax treatment as well as the seemingly useless THX certification for a great presentation. I saw serious combing with my Denon DVD-3910, and trust me most of the time I don’t pick up these errors often, but this movie did it all of the way through and it was annoying. Those of you watching this in 480i will see no problems and I can imagine this title being hell for those of you with flag-based players.

Edge enhancement is also a problem with this title. Colour looks good though, a little faded, but better than everything else I’ve gone through in this set. Grain is minor. The aspect ratio is 1.85:1 and it is widescreen enhanced.


AUDIO QUALITY http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif http://static.hometh...milies_half.gif / http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif


This is a Dolby Digital 2.0 surround soundtrack that sounds thin and like it was recorded in a large tin can. Fidelity, especially on the automatic weapons, sound weak and limited. There is virtually no low midrange and bass. Yikes.


SPECIAL FEATURES http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif / http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif http://static.hometh...milies_star.gif

This is the disc if you want special features. There are many here and because of time limitations I didn’t get a chance to get through these, but they speak for themselves anyways.
[*]theatrical trailer[*]poster and still gallery[*]original storyboards[*]deleted scenes[*]audio commentary with Director Mark Goldblatt, Producers David Helpern and Michael Meltzer, and writer Terry Black[*]original electronic press kit[*]MIFED Promo[*]DVD-ROM: Original screenplay


IN THE END…

This is what horror is about, my friends. Gore, guts, scares, and good titles and bad titles. Filled with Italian and Spanish horror cinema from the ‘80s, this package is pretty good. I just wish each title had the original audio and optional subtitles. I know that is not the best option for horror films when you are supposed to be looking at the screen to get the full effect, but I never was a fan of dubs – especially when it seems like English is dubbed over English. How do I know that? Well, because in the special features of some of these discs the original audio is on a few clips. The voices of the people are different than in the movie and it sounds much more integrated. But since I know I’m not getting that, I still liked four titles of six and your ratio may be higher or lower than mine. The price is low enough. Some have seen it as low as $20. That’s a great deal for these titles wrapped up in these cans of, er, blood.

Michael Osadciw
05.09.16
Warner Bros. Blu-ray Reviewer
Anchor Bay/Starz Entertainment Blu-ray Reviewer

THX/ISF Professional Video Calibrator
HIGHEST FIDELITY CALIBRATIONS

#2 of 5 Anthony*B

Anthony*B

    Stunt Coordinator

  • 205 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 06 2003

Posted September 16 2005 - 01:41 AM

good review! but to newbie horror fans, dont let some of the low scores fool you! if these are the same transfers as AB's previous versions of these films (& i suspect they are), you should know thatt they are, for all intents & purposes, the best transfers of these films domestically available....I am gonna recommend this set (because of the low low price to a buddy of mine because he, like me, is very interested in Euro-horror, particularly the zombie/Fulci stuff & he doesn't have a ton of $$$...I won't be getting it because I already bought the single edition of most of these, but to Euro cult fans on a budget this is a great set..

#3 of 5 Michael Osadciw

Michael Osadciw

    Screenwriter

  • 1,325 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 24 2003

Posted September 16 2005 - 02:29 AM

Thanks for your input, Anthony. They are the same discs that were available as a single. Now all six of these discs have been packaged into a box for the purpose of a low-priced release for six films. In my opinion, these sets are a steal.

Mike
Warner Bros. Blu-ray Reviewer
Anchor Bay/Starz Entertainment Blu-ray Reviewer

THX/ISF Professional Video Calibrator
HIGHEST FIDELITY CALIBRATIONS

#4 of 5 RoyM

RoyM

    Stunt Coordinator

  • 204 posts
  • Join Date: May 02 2005

Posted September 16 2005 - 05:43 AM

The Fright Packs are a great deal. I would be all over these but (sadly) while filling out my horror on DVD collection over the last several months, I already picked up many of the fringe AB titles in these packs individually at an average of around $10 per. Arrgggh!

Like everything in life, it's all about timing...

#5 of 5 Anthony*B

Anthony*B

    Stunt Coordinator

  • 205 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 06 2003

Posted September 16 2005 - 06:26 AM

timing indeed Posted Image like the bad timing i had a while back when I paid 50$+ for Fulci's Zombie on the old Anchor Bay disc & it became readily available a few weeks later Posted Image DOH!