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directed by Richard Griffin
USA 2012

 

Blaming himself for his father's death in a car accident, freshman Josh (Jamie Dufault) hopes for a new beginning at Greensboro College in Massachusetts; but his filmmaker roommate Leon (Sean Sullivan) has christened their dorm room "pussy central", his history professor (Rich Tretheway, THE DISCO EXORCIST) hates his guts (as do his classmates), he discovers his mother has been frequenting gay strip clubs, and he gets beaten up for objectifying women at a wet T-shirt contest! The worst is to come when he witnesses the brutal murder of three classmates by a devil-masked trio, and barely escapes himself with superficial injuries despite being stabbed several times. As Josh prepares to return to college with vengeance in mind, he is approached by Detective Forester (Michael Thurber, EXHUMED) who lost his wife to the masked killer he nicknamed "The Greensboro Devil" after the university's lacrosse team and compares findings with him (with Josh providing the revelation that there is more than one killer and they seem to be some kind of cult). Convinced that the killers are either students or others connected to the college, Forester pairs Josh with his daughter Meg (Samantha Acampora, COST OF THE LIVING: A ZOMBIE ROM COM) to pursue leads on campus while posing as students; but there's a whole lot that they don't know about Greensboro that could cost them their lives.

Set in 1983, MURDER UNIVERSITY seems to have at least begun as an eighties slasher throwback - it convinces more in terms of wardrobe and decor than on the level of cinematography, music, and sound design (although few throwbacks thus far have achieved this, and it at times feels more mid to late than early eighties) - but had morphed into something less cohesive by falling back too often on parody. Texturally and textually, it ultimately plays like one of David DeCoteau's BROTHERHOOD films without the homoeroticism. It does, however, sport likable lead performances (particularly Dufault and Acampora), it's jokes are occasionally funny, and the gore is delightfully splashy and unenhanced by CGI. Kudos to Jill Poisson as well for some accomplished HD videography, and composers Timothy Fife and Timothy Lang-Grannan for some synth cues and songs that are "dated" in a good sense (as well as a theme song by The Kolour Cult with lyrics that describe "Murder U" as being "where the alumni are underground" and "all your tuition ends up going the mortician!").

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 1 August 2012 (USA)

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DVD Review: Wild Eye Releasing - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Wild Eye Releasing

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:36:24
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.41 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.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Wild Eye Releasing

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary with director Richard Griffin and writer Lenny Schwartz
• Audio Commentary with director Richard Griffin, producer Ted Marr and actors Samantha Acampora, Sean
• Sullivan, and Nathaniel Sylva
• Deleted Scene (16:9; 3:02)
• Easter Egg (16:9; 1:27)
• Trailers for 'Exhumed', 'Disco Exorcist', 'Mold!', 'Dropping Evil', 'Tight', and 'Night of the Livin

DVD Release Date: 15 October 2013
Amaray

Chapters 6

 

Comments

Wild Eye's single-layer DVD features a good transfer of a AVCHD production shot on the Sony NEXFS100 (which has a Super 35mm-sized sensor) and partially on a Canon DSLR. Compression isn't perfect on some of the darker scenes or the ones with saturated gels, but it isn't particularly noisy (some of this may originate with cinematography that is mostly high quality but probably not as controlled as a mainstream production). The Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack is generally fine, although some shouted dialogue late in the film does distort (but that's a defect of the original recording which should have been ADR'd).

The film can also be viewed with two commentary tracks with director Richard Griffin and writer Lenny Schwartz on the first, and Griffin, producer Ted Marr and actors Samantha Acampora, Sean Sullivan, and Nat Sylva on the second. There is some overlapping between the two tracks when it comes to production anecdotes, but the crew commentary is more focused while the cast/crew track is typically jokey about the film's exploitable aspects (particularly Acampora while viewing her sex scene). Sullivan's accent is more apparent on the track than in his performance in the film as he amusingly discusses how he came up with his character. The Rhode Island filmmakers discuss hiding anachronistic items from the camera on location (as well as some happy discoveries like a Donkey Kong arcade at the college bar location), as well as mentioning some of their past films as they pertain to locations and actors reused here. A deleted scene is also included featuring a scene between the protagonist and one of his other professors (who is only seen as a murder victim in the final cut), as well as an Easter Egg also provides an extended version of Sullivan's comical dancing, and trailers for the film and other related releases.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Wild Eye Releasing

Region 0 - NTSC

 




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