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DVD Reviews

HTF REVIEW: Superstition



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#1 of 2 OFFLINE   Michael Osadciw

Michael Osadciw

    Screenwriter



  • 1,329 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 24 2003
  • Real Name:Michael Osadciw

Posted October 10 2006 - 05:10 AM







SUPERSTITION


Distributed by: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Film Year: 1982
Film Length: 85 minutes
Genre: Horror

Aspect Ratio:

  • 1.85:1

    Colour/B&W: Colour

    Audio:

  • English 2.0 mono

    Subtitles: none
    Film Rating:







  • Release Date: October 10, 2006.


    Rating: /

    Scare Factor: /

    James Houghton (Rev. David Thompson), Albert Salmi (Inspector Sturgess), Lynn Carlin (Melinda Leahy), Larry Pennell (George Leahy), Jacuelyn Hyde (Elvira Sharack), Maylo McCaslin (Sheryl Leahy)

    Written by: a bunch of guys…
    Directed by: James W. Robertson


    You’ll believe it just before you die...



    Woo hoo! It’s Christmas time for horror fans as Anchor Bay continues to unleash the horror films that have been laid to rest for so many years. Recently dusted from the vault is the early ‘80s horror flick Superstition. You can use it as a pumpkin stuffer this Halloween; Superstition is a wrapped bundle of pure cheese as it’s filled with silly writing, fake props, costumes from a Halloween store, goofs, a few good scares and lots of blood! Nice!!

    There’s some town superstition at the old house on Mill Road…people think it’s haunted but it’s a great place for a teenage make-out and pranksters. But death comes as a long torturous moment for these young and dumb kids who become locked inside the house. For years, there have been many mysterious deaths. Could the reason be that centuries earlier an evil witch was drowned in a nearby pond and she’s back to unleash more terror??

    A new church minister, a sceptical detective, and an alcoholic minister and his family are about to experience this comedic terror of events. After fixing the house up they experience mysterious events that are enshroud in blood. How much more blood will be spilled before they discover the secret behind the unexplainable massacre?

    I found this film a mix of horror and comedic entertainment. There are a few scares that’ll make some people jump. Many times it successfully leads me to be scared and other times it left me laughing. From seeing microphone wires up shirts, rocks moving when being leaned against, and an ancient priest who looks like he was hired from a death metal band, this movie let some goofs go unnoticed. I don’t think horror fans will mind too much with the exploding heads, bodies split in two, and saw blades grinding through the body (and actors showing little remorse about the deaths!)


    VIDEO QUALITY /

    Framed correctly at 1.85:1 (with most of the bar up top), the image has the pale late ‘70s to early ‘80s low budget look. The film quality is variable and the overall result is fine in my opinion. I’m not expecting too much from an old ‘80s horror flick but would still like it presented the best it can be.

    The result is a dark picture with muted colours. Shadow detail is not that great often showing the dark robes undistinguished from the dark backgrounds. It gives a “floating head” appearance in this instance. As mentioned, the colours are pale with very little popping off the screen. The result is one similar to a television that hasn’t been calibrated properly and has a colour temperature noticeably shifted towards blue. Most images in the film look like this but the odd screwdriver is thrown in such as dark scenes having more of a red cast or the very grainy parts of the picture looking too green. Strange indeed.

    The detail of the picture is acceptable. It’s a bit soft, but it’s a nice soft that strangely complements the picture. Some shots of the original photography are blurry and nothing will fix that. Edge enhancement is a non-issue but those with sensitive eyes may not like how MPEG-2 deals with the excessive amounts of film grain in this picture.


    AUDIO QUALITY /

    The soundtrack is good for a limited fidelity recording. The mono soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0. There are some small variances in the recording level because some voices come across as louder than others even within the same sentence. It’s almost as if the final recording was done “on the fly” at times. The slight variances may not be noticeable on most audio systems except for those most discriminating. The dialogue also comes across as too recorded sounding…yes, it IS recorded (and noisy too), but it doesn’t have to sound like it. Spatial integration was not first and foremost with this film but some effort has been made to try at least.

    Bass response is almost nil except for a bit of music that tries to creep under the skin. The music itself, while well recorded compared to the rest of this soundtrack, is funny in the sense that it made me laugh. Ahhhh! Nothing takes me out of a scare more than the ‘80s synth music…Some music is long and drawn out and packs a good jump too.

    TACTILE FUN!! /
    TRANSDUCER ON/OFF?: OFF

    No LFE = no tactile effects!!


    SPECIAL FEATURES /

    The theatrical trailer is included and is enhanced for widescreen televisions.


    IN THE END...

    Cool movie but not what I would call a hit film. It’s worth a watch in my opinion despite not being a reference quality disc. In the end, it’s all about the enjoyment of the film, right?

    Mike Osadciw
    October 10, 2006.

    Michael Osadciw

    THX/ISF Professional Video Calibrator

    Video Contributor

    CANADA HiFi Magazine


    #2 of 2 OFFLINE   RoyM

    RoyM

      Stunt Coordinator



    • 204 posts
    • Join Date: May 02 2005

    Posted October 10 2006 - 08:25 AM

    Thanks for the review, Mike. I pre-ordered this title a week or so ago, and am looking forward to it. I have never seen it, but I'm dedicated to building a definitive collection of good or bad or so-bad-it's-good 1980's horror, so this seemed like a great addition, especially at just $7.00 and change from DDD.





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