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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

Directed by Curtis Harrington
USA 1973

 

After being released from prison for a brutal assault in which he too was a victim, Terry returns home to his mother's (Ann Sothern) boarding house. Unable to cope with his freedom and uncertain about how to appease his ever growing desire to harm those around him, Terry finds solace in playing violent practical jokes. But when an attractive young woman (Cindy Williams) moves into the boarding house, Terry finds himself overpowered by violent impulses and, in a fit of rage, accidentally murders the woman. Now engulfed by bloodlust, it's not long before he begins seeking out more victims...

A brooding study on the nurturing of a serial killer, acclaimed filmmaker Curtis Harrington's (NIGHT TIDE, WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH HELEN?) THE KILLING KIND remains an unsettling depiction of violent mental illness. Featuring John Savage (THE DEER HUNTER), as Terry, in his first starring role, and lushly photographed by Mario Tosi (CARRIE), Vinegar Syndrome presents this unforgettable study in psychosis on Blu-ray for the first time, newly restored from its original 35mm camera negative.

***

This genuinely perverse horror film stars John Savage as a young man forced to participate in the beachfront gang rape of Sue Bernard by his nasty friends. After two years in jail, he returns to the boardinghouse run by his mother (Ann Sothern), who does things like kissing him on the mouth and photographing him in the shower. Before long, he freaks out and strangles a cat while peeping at a new tenant (Cindy Williams), then almost drowns the poor girl in the pool before slashing her panties with a razor and choking her in the bathtub. He forces Bernard's car off a cliff, then makes his lawyer (Ruth Roman) drink herself stupid at knifepoint before setting her on fire. Savage and Sothern are fabulous and Luana Anders is creepy as the librarian next door who keeps trying to seduce the disturbed man. Quite a twisted little chiller, with several priceless bizarre moments like a dream sequence featuring a diapered Savage in a crib on the beach surrounded by laughing neighbors. The ubiquitous Gary Graver did 2nd unit photography.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 21st, 1973

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Review: Vinegar Syndrome - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Distribution Vinegar Syndrome - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:35:32.893         
Video

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 30,730,022,360 bytes

Feature: 28,082,635,392 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.92 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1801 kbps 1.0 / 96 kHz / 1801 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 320 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 320 kbps / DN -4dB

Subtitles English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Vinegar Syndrome

 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 30,730,022,360 bytes

Feature: 28,082,635,392 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.92 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Archival interview with filmmaker Curtis Harrington (22:28)
• “Harrington on Harrington” – a career-spanning interview with Curtis Harrington, directed by Jeffrey Schwarz and Tyler Hubby (24:31)
• Historical commentary track with David Decoteau of RapidHeart and David Del Valle of SinisterImage
• Reversible cover artwork
• English SDH subtitles)


Blu-ray Release Date:
November 6th, 2018
Standard Blu-ray Case inside cardboard sleeve

Chapters 6

 

 

Comments:

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

Vinegar Syndrome have presented the Blu-ray premiere of "The Killing Kind". This transfer is newly restored in 2k from its 35mm original camera negative. The film is housed on a dual-layered Blu-ray with an impressively maxed out bitrate. There is certainly a heavy amount of grain here, but close-up shots still show a nice level of detail. Colors seem authentic in their representation and there is a reasonable contrast. Darker scenes tend to have an overwhelmingly singular black, though this only makes the shadows that much creepier, and this is clearly a choice of the filmmakers. This is an impressive transfer nonetheless.

The Blu-ray has a fairly robust audio track thanks to its' 24-bit 1.0 mono DTS-HD Master Audio. Dialogue is audible and clearly separated. The sound effects are equally impressive, from the crickets as Terry sneaks around in the dark peeping into windows to the sounds of splashing in the pool. The score is thanks to composer Andrew Belling (Fairy Tales) and thanks to Vinegar Syndrome, there is the option to listen to this score as an isolated track. There are optional English SDH subtitles on this Region Free
Blu-ray from Vinegar Syndrome.

There is a fascinating commentary track with film historian David Del Valle of SinisterImage and director David Decoteau of RapidHeart.tv . Del Valle knew the director of "The Killing Kind", Curtis Harrington and many personal recollections are shared on this track. Del Valle even saw different cuts of this film. Interesting that Harrington was embarrassed by eventually being trapped directing television episodes, though as Del Valle states, Curtis was a perfectionist and even his episodic work for Aaron Spelling maintained a certain integrity. Decoteau also shares some stories about how working on adult movie sets (where he met Haxel Wexler) led him to meet director Harrington. Even more interesting his his stories about his friend, Ann Sothern. There is also a 23-minute interview with the director, discussing how he came to be in the business. Eventually he speaks about the production and casting of "The Killing Kind". The stories of the financiers and distribution rights is quite frightening and could have been the reason the film was never widely released or even publicized. "Harrington on Harrington" is a 25-minute interview with the director discussing why he gravitates toward the genre pictures. He is a believer in "you never choose your medium, your medium chooses you", and he absolutely loved his work in film. This is a rather in-depth interview, with Harrington talking about the meanings behind his work. There is also the aforementioned isolated music track as an option from the extras menu.

"The Killing Kind" is a fascinating and unique take on the usually rote, by-the-numbers psychological horror genre. It fit into the
'Grande Dame Guignol' genre. You can see the care and thought that went into this picture, elevating it above the ranks of movie-of-the-week genre fare. Vinegar Syndrome's transfer is pretty strong, with certainly some heavy grain and dark scenes, though this really just amplifies the creepiness factor. I strongly recommend checking out this Blu-ray.

Colin Zavitz

 


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Distribution Vinegar Syndrome - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 


 

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