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directed by Danny Steinmann
USA 1981

 

Description: A TV reporter (Barbara Bach) and two friends head to Solvang, California, to cover a Danish festival. When a mix-up at the hotel leaves them stranded without hotel rooms, the girls accept the invitation of a friendly museum owner to board at his farmhouse.

But what the women don't know is that something is living in the basement of that farmhouse. Something unspeakable. And their stay soon becomes a horrific nightmare when they encounter the "unseen". From an original story by make up legends Stan Winston (PUMPKINHEAD) & Tom Burman, written by Kim Henkel of TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE fame and directed by Danny Steinmann of SAVAGE STREETS. now witness the horror from a brand new HD master from the original negatives which is two minutes longer than the previous release!

***

Reporter Jennifer (Barbara Bach) and her crew (Karen Lamm, Lois Young) arrive in the Danish-influenced town of Solvang, California, to conduct interviews at the annual festival and find that their reservations have been lost. They meet eccentric museum owner Ernest Keller (Sydney Lassick) who invites them to stay at his creepy gothic home outside the town. Little do they know (and they are the only ones who don't) that they are being watched by the unseen of the title through the floor gratings and dark corners of the house.

That's about it. Once the set-up is out of the way, its stalk and kill. Its suspenseful and moody (co-writer Kim Henkel also scripted Tobe Hooper's THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE) and well-made (something of a middle-ground between independent slashers like FRIDAY THE 13th and the slick studio-funded cash-ins like HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME) and would make a good double-bill with Code Red's forthcoming SILENT SCREAM (another low body count set largely in a creepy mansion). The Solvang setting (and a production-value opening sequence set in L.A.), the accomplished make-up effects (when one takes into account that most of the work of effects artists like Tom Savini and Tom Burman for other slasher films ended up snipped by the MPAA), and the film's long unavailability outside of some pricey ex-rental tapes is what mainly distinguishes this film from the rest of its ilk.

Eric Cotenas

Theatrical Release: September 1981

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Comparison

Code Red DVD (Two-Disc Special Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Scorpion - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the DVD Review!

1) Code Red - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT
2) Scorpion Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT
 
Box Covers

 

 

 

Distribution

Code Red DVD

Region 0 - NTSC

Scorpion Releasing

Region FREE- Blu-ray

Runtime 1:31:45 1:34:11.270
Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.9 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 24,505,636,458 bytes

Feature: 17,278,789,632 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 20.00 Mbps

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Bitrate Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono) DTS-HD Master Audio English 1665 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1665 kbps / 24-bit (DTS
Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary: DTS-HD Master Audio English 1463 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1463 kbps / 24-bit (DTS
Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / 24-bit)
Subtitles None None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Code Red DVD

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• DISC ONE
• Audio commentary with producer Tony Unger and star Stephen Furst moderated by Lee Christian
• Introduction by Doug Barr and Stephen Furst
• Interview with Stephen Furst (4:3; 9:22)
• Interview with Doug Barr (4:3; 6:57)
• Still Gallery
• Theatrical Trailer (2:22)
• Trailers for THE FARMER (4:3;2:07), BUTCHER BAKER NIGHTMARE MAKER (16:9; 1:28);
• SOLE SURVIVOR (4:3; 1:51); BEYOND THE DOOR (16:9; 2:14); DEAD PIT (4:3; 1:51);
• THE VISITOR (16:9; timecoded; 3:17); TERROR CIRCUS (16:9; 2:46)
• DISC TWO
• Interview with Make-up Effects Artist Craig Reardon (4:3; 38:07)
• Interview with make-up effects artist Tom Burman (4:3; 24:45)
• Make-up tests, slides, and stills from Craig Reardon's collection (46 slides)

DVD Release Date: August 19th, 2008
Amaray

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Scorpion Releasing

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 24,505,636,458 bytes

Feature: 17,278,789,632 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 20.00 Mbps

 

Edition Details:
• Play Feature with Katrina's Nightmare Theatre (1:40;37)

• Audio commentary with producer Tony Unger and star Stephen Furst moderated by Lee Christian

• Kat's Eyes - Interview with Producer Tony Unger (25:18)

• Craig Reardon's Make-up Test Stills, Slides Sketches

• Original Trailer (2:11)

• Interview with Doug Barr (6:56)

Interview with Stephen Furst  (9:23)

• Interview with Craig Reardon (36:28)

• Interview with Tom Burman (24:24)

• Stills Gallery

Blu-ray Release Date: August 20th, 2013
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Scorpion Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray - August 13': Dramatic improvement in video - as evidenced by the screen captures. the video-like SD looks quite sad, and vertically compressed, beside the 1080P. The only real negative is the 1.78:1 seems to be cropped a bit notably on the top edge. For such a cheesy horror - this looks solid - nice colors, no manipulation and some textured grain. Lossless audio and some of the effects and screams have depth - still no subtitles. Endless extras with a couple of hours of interviews, the commentary (duplicate from the DVD) and you can play the feature with the Katrina's Nightmare Theatre sarc. I kinda liked this - no pretense and Barbara Bach is pretty easy on the eyes. You probably know what you are in for here - some Friday night this will be totally suitable after slaving at the salt mines and accompanied by a vat of popcorn. I'm impressed with the Blu-ray - shame it is not a superior film. 

***

ON THE DVD: As usual Code Red have given respectful (some might say extravagant) treatment to an obscure horror film. Transferred from the original IP, the progressive, dual-layered, anamorphic image looks a tad soft but that has more to do with the film stock and filtering (evident in the sunny exteriors).

 

Code Red has discovered a small deleted scene in slightly coarser quality early in the film and put it back into the film causing a jarring jump cut (though the effort is appreciated). Producer Anthony B. Unger (DON'T LOOK NOW) and actor Stephen Furst provide an audio commentary (moderated by Lee Christian) with some interesting factoids about the production (for instance, the opening sequence in L.A. was part of the original script even though it looks tacked on to open up the film's setting a bit). Furst and co-star Doug Barr (TV's THE FALL GUY) contribute on-camera interviews. The original trailer and several Code Red trailers round out the first disc (their BEYOND THE DOOR trailer is longer than the one on their disc of SOLE SURVIVOR - and the trailer for THE VISITOR is time-coded and lacks dialogue and sound effects). The second disc features lengthy interviews with effects artists Craig Reardon and Tom Burman (CAT PEOPLE) and 46 make-up test slides, sketches, and behind-the-scenes stills from Reardon's collection.

 - Eric Cotenas

 


Menus

1) Code Red - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT
2) Scorpion Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT
 

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

1) Code Red - Region 0 - NTSC TOP
2) Scorpion Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


1) Code Red - Region 0 - NTSC TOP
2) Scorpion Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


1) Code Red - Region 0 - NTSC TOP
2) Scorpion Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


1) Code Red - Region 0 - NTSC TOP
2) Scorpion Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


1) Code Red - Region 0 - NTSC TOP
2) Scorpion Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


 

1) Code Red - Region 0 - NTSC TOP
2) Scorpion Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

More Blu-ray Captures


Box Covers

 

 

 

Distribution

Code Red DVD

Region 0 - NTSC

Scorpion Releasing

Region FREE- Blu-ray

 

 





 

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