DRIVE IN DOUBLE FEATURE + BONUS HORROR 101 HORROR 102: ENDGAME MUSEUM OF THE DEAD Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment Film Years: 2000, 2004, 2004 Rating: PG-13 (all) Disc Length: 264 minutes Genre: Horror Aspect Ratio:[*] HORROR 101 - 1.85:1 widescreen enhanced[*] HORROR 102 - 1.78:1 widescreen enhanced[*] MUSEUM OF THE DEAD - 1.85:1 widescreen (not enhanced) Colour/B&W: Colour Audio:[*] English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo Subtitles: None Closed Captioned: Yes U.S. SLP: $12.98 CDN SLP: $15.98 Release Date: April 19, 2005. HORROR 101 - Film Rating: / HORROR 102: ENDGAME - Film Rating: / MUSEUM OF THE DEAD - Film Rating: / [/i] Yikes! Another horror Double Drive-In Feature DVD from Anchor Bay has made its way to the store shelves. On this disc Horror 101 and Horror 102 are the features and also included is a bonus film titled Museum of the Dead. Horror 101 is about eight university students in a psychology night class that study the minds of serial killers. On the last evening when they are to present the final projects for their instructor Miss Allison James (Bo Derek), the students go missing one by one. It’s a film that is satisfactory; only a little bit of decent acting, and a neat rock music soundtrack, although it’s not bloody like I would suspect and it may give only a few mild jumps. This is a class I won’t be taking again for a while. Scare Factor? /5 Horror 102 is the direct-to-video sequel…or just another class having a very bad night. It continues with seven students who are staying overnight in a newly-bought dorm of the university. The dorm isn’t new at all actually; it’s an old psychiatric hospital that the university bought cheap. Again, students go missing one by one, but this time they are sliced and diced on the skin and they don’t look so pretty when they are found – the killer has a tendency to ram their victim’s head into doors as a knock. Bloodier than it’s predecessor, this film has too much bad acting, a complete lack of suspense, poor script, and the use of traditional horror film tactics that do not work at all. Scare Factor: /5 What about the bonus film Museum of the Dead? It’s got a cool title and a neat picture on the back of the DVD, but that’s all it has. This film isn’t much better. It’s about two girls who decide to go to a museum that only opens once a year on Halloween. As they roam around inside this eerie place, they stumble across strange artefacts and a spirit/man cannibal. All who have entered into this museum on this night will fall prey to this ancient soul-sucker. This movie looks really low budget, done on video rather than film (or was sourced from video…). Surprisingly, the lead actress’s acting is fairly good while the rest of the cast needs a lot of work. The blonde gets points for looking cute in her Halloween outfit. This bonus film is probably just a bonus because the producers are the same between all of these films…hopefully their upcoming Day of the Dead 2 is more amusing than these. Scare Factor: /5 VIDEO QUALITY HORROR 101 / HORROR 102 / MUSEUM OF THE DEAD / In sum, all three of these films suffer from compression artefacts. At 1.85:1, Horror 101 looks the best of the three with acceptable black levels and a smooth and soft film look. It certainly suits the photography, which at times isn’t bad at all. Colours look dead on and edge enhancement isn’t distracting. Compression artefacts are the culprit for giving this a better rating. Horror 102 looks very unimpressive. There is a high amount of film grain and digital grain that it will drive you nuts watching it. Back-blocking is present as well as quite a bit of MPEG noise causing me to conclude that a very poor job was done for compressing this title. The image can be defined as “hazy”. On the plus side colours look good and are slightly desaturated. Contrast is poor because dark scenes have a very difficult time at showing real picture information. Whatever film was used to make this movie, it certainly doesn’t like taking dark pictures. All definition and shadow detail seems to be lost in the source. The aspect ratio is 1.78:1 and there seems to be no problem with edge enhancement. Museum of the Dead looks like it is video based. The image is 1.85:1 and not widescreen enhanced. The video was probably cropped intentionally to give it that theatrical feel (I always do that with my camcorder too). The reds are hot and noise shows in the darker parts of the picture. I think these effects are just attributes of the camera they used to make this movie. The image is much more impressive than Horror 102 but it too is riddled with compression artefacts. Edge enhancement is not problematic. AUDIO QUALITY HORROR 101 / HORROR 102 / MUSEUM OF THE DEAD / All movies are encoded in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo. Horror 101 wins again for being the most impressive as it offers a wide stereo soundstage and produces many sounds that wrap around you for a surround sound feel. The dialogue is firm in the center and always sounds natural and clear. There is a good rock music soundtrack to carry the film and it’s very effective. There’s also a decent amount of bass accompanying that too so the recording doesn’t sound thin or brittle. Horror 102 has a good amount of ambience and the recording also has a decent amount of surround information if you choose to Pro-Logic II decode it. I just listen to it in stereo to experience the surround sound. The music is truly low budget as anyone with a computer and a basic audio program can make these sounds and lay it down for a soundtrack. Dialogue is clear – mostly. Lastly, Museum of the Dead has some interesting sounds and some interesting music but it still fails to impress. It’s thinner sounding than the other two titles. Sometimes dialogue is a little quiet but for the most part it’s projected fairly well. Most of the sounds are limited to the middle of the soundstage and it’s the music that opens the soundtrack up a bit more. SPECIAL FEATURES / The only special feature on this disc is the third “bonus” movie Museum of the Dead. It’s only slightly amusing because I can’t take it serious, but you may find this movie better than Horror 102: Endgame. IN THE END… The killers are on the loose again, but this time it’s these films that you need to run from. I have bought many Double Drive-In Features from Anchor Bay and all of them are great films that would otherwise have a tough time finding their way to DVD. I was disappointed with this set, but I guess every movie has an audience and every movie needs a home. So this Double Drive-In Feature is the home for Horror 101, Horror 102: Endgame, and Museum of the Dead. Do you dare to take these classes? Michael Osadciw April 25, 2005.