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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Wendy, Darling" )

 

directed by Deagol Brothers (Andy Duensing and Chris Doyle)
USA 2008

 

Just after graduating from high school, pretty Wendy Hearst (Shellie Marie Shartzer) disappeared and was presumed dead. The friends she left behind include slacker Patrick (co-writer Eric Lehning) and his introverted fraternal twin brother Carol (co-writer Cody DeVos), their kid brother Beetle (Brett Miller), buddy Rody (composer Jordan Lehning), and Addy (Leah High). After the in-absentia funeral service, Carol takes Beetle cicada-hunting and they discover that while Wendy is dead, she's still walking around. They bring her home to Patrick and try to figure out how to bring her back to life (even as she is slowly decaying). When Rody skips town and puts Patrick in charge of looking after his folks' house for the summer, they hide her there and make the discovery that she has to feed off of live things. Meanwhile, Addy is putting the moves on Wendy's grieving boyfriend Brian (Josh Duensing) and Carol (who is in love with Addy) has to court Addy's pretentious and self-absorbed friend Anne (Tia Shearer) to divert suspicion of their activities. As Patrick sinks into his obsession with Wendy, Carol must balance keeping an eye on Patrick (with Beetle's help) with his goal of winning Addy before the end of the summer (when she will return to private school). Narrated by kid brother Beetle, MAKE-OUT WITH VIOLENCE is not always consistent in tone but it is nicely idiosyncratic treatment of the zombie girlfriend sub-genre (DEADGIRL fans need not apply) although it does have its share of expertly dolled-out icky moments. The characters are well rendered thanks to an extended setup (the girl Wendy used to be is as strongly established conveyed as David Lynch's Laura Palmer so the connection of the characters to her even in zombie form is believable) and the performances are good overall (High, DeVos, and Miller are particularly good). It is interesting that the characters adjust to the "zombie" situation so quickly, but also refreshing that no hipper-than-thou character starts spouting movie references. Also, refreshingly, the subplots involving the main and supporting characters do more than simply pad out the running time. The film also shows some mature restraint in developing the Patrick's increasingly unnerving intimacy with Wendy (the Carol-Addy-Brian-Anne subplot hits the right dramatic and comedic notes - and some additional ones - to leaven the more depressing Patrick-Wendy scenes) including the pseudo-bondage of zombie Wendy's restraints. The deadpan humor actually works (whether it disguises the limited range of some of the actors is hard to tell as the characterizations largely ring true) and a few stilted bits lacking total verisimilitude are organic to fringe filmmaking (somehow I could imagine this kind of film being made on 16mm during the nineties indie film boom, although likely with less technical finesse than digital filmmaking allowed here). The film took four years to complete and the end result (and the effort that went into promoting it evident in the extras) was certainly worth it, with none of the confessed setbacks and compromises evident to the viewer. I would recommend the film to both open-minded horror fans, indie film aficionados and genre filmmaking hopefuls as an example of an independent film approached throughout the production process as a mainstream production (in terms of casting, art direction, location scouting, shooting, editing, scoring, and full promotion and distribution).

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 12 April 2008 (USA)

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Comparison

Factory 25 - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Factory 25 - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

Factory 25 - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. Factory 25 - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT

DVD Box Cover

 

 

 

Distribution

Factory 25

Region 1 - NTSC

Factory 25

Region FREE - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:45:40 1:45:47.924
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.79 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 24,936,362,340 bytes

Feature Size: 12,784,760,832 bytes

Average Bitrate: 14.91 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-2 1080P

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

Bitrate DVD

Bitrate Blu-ray

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Subtitles English HoH, none None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Factory 25

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary with the directors' younger brothers Zach Duensing and Kevin Doyle
• THE FUGUTIVE BRAIN: Behind the Scenes (16:9; 34:04)
• 4 Live Soundtrack Performances
• 13 Deleted Scenes (16:9; 30:19)
• 2 Scenes with Deleted Score Songs (with introductions)
• MY SATURDAY IS NOW RUINED: look at the poster design process (16:9; 5:05)
• 6 Radio Spots (6:15)

DVD Release Date: 25 October 2010
Digipack in a cardboard slipcase

Chapters 27

Release Information:
Studio: Factory 25

 

Disc Size: 24,936,362,340 bytes

Feature Size: 12,784,760,832 bytes

Average Bitrate: 14.91 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-2 1080P

 

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary with the directors' younger brothers Zach Duensing and Kevin Doyle
• THE FUGUTIVE BRAIN: Behind the Scenes (16:9; 34:04)
• 4 Live Soundtrack Performances
• 13 Deleted Scenes (16:9; 30:19)
• 2 Scenes with Deleted Score Songs (with introductions)
• MY SATURDAY IS NOW RUINED: look at the poster design process (16:9; 5:05)
• 6 Radio Spots (6:15)

Blu-ray Release Date: November 30th, 2010
Custom Blu-ray case

Chapters 27

 

Comments

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

ADDITION: Factory 25 - Region FREE - Blu-ray - (November 2010) - 'Boo + hiss' to this Blu-ray. Someone made some terrible authoring/production decisions. Not only is the feature size only marginally larger than a dual-layered DVD (just over 12 Gig) but it is rendered in MPEG2 (like the SD-DVD) as opposed to the stronger, more commonly used for HD, VC-1 or AVC - and no lossless audio either! The extra are duplicated from the SD - although now in 1080. Also there are no English subtitles that were optionally available on the DVD! Some very bad decisions - and they want $8 more for the Blu-ray - but there is no viable improvement! No thanks - stick with the cheaper DVD.

- Gary W. Tooze

***

ON THE DVD: Shot with Panasonic HD cameras, the progressive, anamorphic 1.78:1 is likely as slick as the attractive photography allows (day exteriors are sterling while some night scenes evince a little noise in the blacks). A forthcoming Blu-ray edition (HERE) will of course have the edge in detail and resolution (a DVD/soundtrack LP combo is available directly from the Factory 25 website). Audio is stereo only (with optional HoH English subtitles) but it nicely conveys the dialogue and supporting actor Lehnning's diverse scoring.

The audio commentary is provided by the siblings of the directorial pair (whose responsibilities including everything from camerawork to props to make-up and digital effects). While there are plenty of anecdotes, the commentary is not played for laughs like some that accompany low budget genre works. A half-hour behind-the-scenes documentary is quite comprehensive and there is another half-hour of deleted scenes (some of which appeared in the original 108 minute film festival premiere version). Music rights prevented the use of songs by How I Became the Bomb, but two of the deleted songs are provided with the scenes they were meant to accompany (with introduction by the composer). 4 songs that were used in the film are also shown in live performances that were done to raise money and awareness of the film. The extras are rounded out by a look at the evolution of the poster art (including some striking European artwork) as well as 6 radio spots. While some independent genre films on DVD are similarly glutted with extras to make up for the less-than-interesting film, the quality film and extras make for a well-balanced package. Strangely, the only thing lacking is a trailer.

  - Eric Cotenas

 



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Factory 25 - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Factory 25 - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Factory 25 - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Factory 25 - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Factory 25 - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Factory 25 - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Factory 25 - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Factory 25 - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Factory 25 - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Factory 25 - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Factory 25 - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Factory 25 - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


  Factory 25 - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Factory 25 - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


DVD Box Cover

 

 

 

Distribution

Factory 25

Region 1 - NTSC

Factory 25

Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 




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