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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Twisted Brain" )


directed by Larry N. Stouffer
USA 1974


Vernon (Pat Cardi) is your typical science geek mistreated by his teachers, his gym coach, the janitor, and the jocks. He's been doing some Jekyll-and-Hyde-esque experiments. When the janitor's cat kills his guinea pig and gets itself killed, the janitor forces Vernon to drink his own formula and it has the expected side effects and the janitor winds up in the acid vat (this school allows smoking in the halls, so I guess anything goes here). When Vernon's English-teacher is annoyed that he pays more attention to science than literature and runs his biology project through the paper-cutter, she's next on the chopping block. Then coach tries to force Vernon into helping jock Roger cheat to pass his classes but Roger is the jerkish boyfriend of Vernon's unrequited love Robin (Rose Holitik, DON'T LOOK IN THE BASEMENT). Lt. Bozeman (Austin Stoker, ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13) is on the case and is immediately suspicious of Vernon even after Roger is arrested at one of the murder scenes. Although the film opens with Vernon's English class watching a film adaptation of DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE, don't expect any deep ruminations on the nature of evil. Although not a slasher film (it predates that genre by several years), it does anticipate the slasher sub-genre of teased/tormented/abused nerds taking gruesome revenge on their tormentors. Although Cardi manages to wring some sympathy out of his pathetic character, no effort is made in the script to make Vernon even remotely up to the battle of wits it wants to set up with him and Lt. Bozeman. There is some surprising gore and some funky scoring during the stalking sequences (as well as the moody "Vernon's Theme" which plays over the atmospheric title sequence and the extended end credits shot).

Eric Cotenas


Theatrical Release: March 1974 (USA)

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DVD Review: Code Red - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Code Red

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:23:06

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.71 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

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


Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Code Red

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary with The Geek Squad: J. Keith Van Straaten, Marc Edward Heuck and Paul Goebel
• Interview with actor Austin Stoker (4:3; 26:07)
• TV version scenes (4:3; 9:02)
• Alternate TWISTED BRAIN Opening (4:3; 2:31)
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9 ; 2:18)

DVD Release Date: August 10th, 2010

Chapters 12



Code Red's HD-mastered DVD of HORROR HIGH marks the film's uncut debut in the US. Previous cassette releases from the dawn of video have been of the TWISTED BRAIN version which was edited and padded for television (this version also showed up on DVD from Rhino - who briefly had the Crown library - in their HORRIBLE HORRORS set). Shot on 16mm and blown-up to 35mm, the transfer looks the best it can (contrast can be harsh in night scenes but that's the original cinematography). Grain is natural and there is no evidence of digital manipulation.

Audio is fine. The alternate footage for TV includes an alternate title card and a meandering 9 minute sequence featuring Vernon's absentee father and his mistress; both of which are featured here as extras. Also included is a 26 minute interview with Austin Stoker. He speaks of the film for the first several minutes but then spends the bulk talking about other films in his career (which included three exploitation pics with William Girdler and John Carpenter's ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 among others). The HORROR HIGH trailer is also included. A comedy commentary track by The Geek Squad is provided strictly for entertainment purposes. Trailers for other Code Red releases round out the package.

  - Eric Cotenas


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Code Red

Region 0 - NTSC



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