S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
The House on Sorority Row [Blu-ray]
(Mark Rosman, 1983)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: VAE Productions
Video: Scorpion Entertainment
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 22,681,191,495 bytes
Feature Size: 14,820,771,840 bytes
Video Bitrate: 18.00 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: April 22nd, 2014
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1824 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1824 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
/ DN -4dB
• Commentary with writer/director Mark Rosman, Kate McNeil
and Eileen Davidson
Description: Flirtatious young sorority sisters who are days away from graduation set out to throw one last decadent celebration. Unbeknownst to them, the strict matron of their house hides a horrendous secret thought long buried. A gruesome accident is witnessed by a hideous fiend, hidden within the once nurturing dwelling, which triggers a rampage of death and destruction. Before the end, the peril faced by this sisterhood will push them to the brink of annihilation. And rivers of blood will drown all who enter... The House On Sorority Row. Now see the cult classic in a 2 disc set, with a recent brand new HD master with additional color correction and the pre credit sequence re-color timed to director Mark Rossman's approval, to make this the final definite version!
Sorority sisters are frighteningly plucked off one by one in this low-budget horror film by Mark Rosman. Katherine (Kathryn McNeil) is a serious-minded, thinking woman whose intelligence is about to stand her in good stead when events turn dark and murderous. She and the more evil-minded Vicki (Eileen Davidson), along with five other women, cannot believe it when their housemother forbids them to throw a big party on June 19th. As a response, the sorority women drown her in the swimming pool. One would think another date might have been negotiated. What they do not know is that the 19th marks the birthday of a very unusual offspring, born to the housemother 20 years earlier in an experimental procedure that left much to be desired. Apparently this son does not appreciate the murder of his mother, and mayhem begins from that point onward, and onward, and onward until the final climactic moment arrives at last.Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
Seven sisters of the Theta Pi
sorority are graduating and they want to throw one last bash to
remember; however, housemother Mrs. Slater (Lois Kelso Hunt)
always closes up the house on the same day every year, and she
does not want the girls staying on. When Mrs. Slater catches
alpha female Vicki (Eileen Davidson, TV's THE YOUNG AND THE
RESTLESS) with her boyfriend and slashes her mattress, Vicki
decides that not only are they going to have their party, but
the sisters are going to get even with her for four years of
misery. Unfortunately, a real bullet finds its way among the
blanks Vicki loaded into a gun she got to scare the old bat and
now there's a body in the swimming pool. Good girl Katherine
(Kate McNeil, MONKEY SHINES) wants to call the police,
but Vicki convinces her and the other girls to hide the body and
press on with the party. Mrs. Slater won't stay down, it seems,
since her body disappears from the swimming pool and someone
begins stalking the girls with the aged housemother's lethal
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The House on Sorority Row arrives on Blu-ray from Scorpion Entertainment. Eric covered the 2012 DVD HERE. It is advertised as being "HD master with additional color correction and the pre credit sequence re-color timed to director Mark Rossman's approval". It looks quite good - a single layered transfer with a modest bitrate. Like the SD, it is transferred in 1.78:1 - colors appear to brighten and contrast is more layered. Detail rises but the transfer is at the mercy of the original production - a relatively low-budget affair. There are some speckles but generally the image is clean and I don't doubt that this is the best we it will look on digital. I have no major complaints and appreciated the image consistency.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio is transferred via a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 1824 kbps. Effects export some potent bass via the lossless. As Eric stated "post-production department brought on composer Richard Band (Re-Animator, The Pit and Pendulum, Puppet Master etc.) to score the film (temp-tracked with Bernard Herrmann and Pino Donaggio cues) with the London Philharmonic Orchestra (who would also perform Band's score for Film Ventures' MUTANT, on which Rosman was the initial director), and the score is one of the film's lasting elements." I concur. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
Extras: Supplements appear to mimic the 2012 Scorpion DVD (minus the 'Katrina's Midnight Theatre' extras), reviewed HERE;
The feature is accompanied by two audio commentaries. The track with director Mark Rosman and actresses Kate McNeil and Eileen Davidson dates from the 2010 Liberation special edition (which reportedly featured an interlaced transfer) which went out of print quickly. The track is humorous, but also detailed with a lot of information imparted by all three participants. Rosman explains his reasoning for the film's original ending and the funding issues (including having to do without dailies for several weeks after bouncing checks with Technicolor, and borrowing $7,500 from an orthodontist relative), while McNeil and Davdison reminisce about the night shoots, the difficult living situations (a bat-ridden campground), and their relationships with the other cast members.
Scorpion recorded a new commentary track with Rosman (moderated
by hostess Katarina Leigh Waters). There is plenty of overlap
with the previous track and some of Rosman's anecdotes seem
delivered almost verbatim, but it is a more structured talk with
more scene-specific comments (although less entertaining). Also
on disc 1 is a new forty-odd minute interview with actress
Harley Jane Kozak, who spends the first half discussing her
memories of the film. She also discusses her subsequent film
ARACHNOPHOBIA and THE TAKING OF
BEVERLY HILLS) as well as her work as a novelist (she also
contributed an essay on the film and its remake SORORITY ROW
for the 2011 book BUTCHER KNIVES AND BODY COUNTS). The
film's alternate ending is depicted through a series of still
photographs with commentary from Rosman, and is ported over from
the Liberation edition, as is the storyboard-to-film featurette.
Disc 1 also features a lovely-looking trailer and four TV spots
(the latter were not on the previous edition).
May 1st, 2014
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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