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directed by J.S. Cardone
USA 1990

 

From the director of the underrated eighties supernatural slasher THE SLAYER (yay!) and the PG-13 PROM NIGHT remake (boooo!) J.S. Cardone, comes this thoroughly cheap and predictable if nonetheless entertaining body count film in a bunker made under the auspices of Charles Band's Full Moon Productions (in their Paramount video distribution era). NASA Captain Hickock (David Beecroft, TV's FALCON CREST) arrives at the Jackass Flats Proving Ground underground research facility to investigate the death of one of the research subjects of the government-funded "Shadowzone" project, an "extended sleep study" with applications for space travel supervised by the shifty Dr. Van Fleet (James Hong, BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA). Although the research team - including imperious Dr. Erhardt (Louise Fletcher, FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC), pretty Dr. Kidwell (Shawn Weatherly, TV's BAYWATCH), and computer tech Wiley (Miguel A. Nez Jr., RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD) - insist that the test subject died of a cerebral hemorrhage unrelated to the testing, Hickock has them re-run the fatal simulation. Taking one of the subjects down to a profound level of dreaming sleep allows a being from a parallel dimension (contact with which the brain would normally prevent by waking the sleeper as a self-defense mechanism) nicknamed "John Doe" who overrides the computer system and traps Hickock and the crew - along with comic relief janitor Shivers (Frederick Flynn, Cardone's THE SLAYER) and surly ex-brothel keeper-turned-cook Cutter (Lu Leonard, STARMAN) - underground and begins taking the forms of their nightmares to kill them one by one. Surviving test subject Jenna (Maureen Flaherty, BIKINI SQUAD) - nicknamed "Sleeping Beauty" - may be the only way to send the monster back to its dimension if they can keep her alive long enough.

Cheaply conceived and shot, SHADOWZONE is dead serious in tone and diverting enough; but it could have benefited from better creature effects. Hong's sinister doctor character is no real stretch for his range while Beecroft's hero is even more one dimensional. Fletcher, on the other hand, makes the most out of a somewhat flimsy character and invests it with a measure of humor and "red herring-ness" it might not have otherwise possessed. A fair amount of grisly gore (courtesy of PHANTASM II's Mark Shostrum, and possibly trimmed for an R-rating), a surprising amount of nudity for a Full Moon production, and nary a pint-sized doll character in sight, the film is only really let down by its monster once visualized (well-rendered but poorly designed). The photography by Karen Grossman (who shot episodes of both TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE and MONSTERS) and the score by Richard Band (CASTLE FREAK) are rather undistinguished for a Full Moon production (surprisingly so in the latter case).

Eric Cotenas

Poster

Theatrical Release: 22 February 1990 (USA)

Reviews                                                         More Reviews                                                DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

Full Moon - Region 0 - NTSC vs. 88 Films - Region 0 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for all the Screen Caps!

(Full Moon - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. 88 Films - Region 0 - PAL - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Full Moon

Region 0 - NTSC

88 Films
Region 0 - PAL
Runtime 1:27:57 1:24:39 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.21 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.7 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

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

Bitrate:

 

Full Moon

 

Bitrate:

 

88 Films

 

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo

English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo

Subtitles none none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Full Moon

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Website Info

DVD Release Date: 10 April 2007
Amaray

Chapters 8
 

Release Information:
Studio: 88 Films

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Trailer (4:3; 1:36)
• Full Moon Trailer Park

 

DVD Release Date: October 21st, 2013
Amaray

Chapters 8

 

Comments

Both transfers appear to come from aged video masters, but the 88 Films disc - while minutely zoomed in on all sides - sports a slightly more colorful and more detailed image. The Dolby Digital 2.0 renderings of the Ultra Stereo soundtrack are of comparable quality. Neither release has much in the way of extras, but the UK release includes the film's trailer and trailers for other Full Moon titles. Full Moon's later single-disc edition (B00926DPNW) reportedly has the film's VideoZone segment, but it is not present in the box set version or 88 Film's release (their other releases have featured the behind the scenes featurettes).

 - Eric Cotenas

 



DVD Menus
(
Full Moon - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. 88 Films - Region 0 - PAL - RIGHT)


 

 

 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Full Moon - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. 88 Films - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Full Moon - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. 88 Films - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Full Moon - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. 88 Films - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Full Moon - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. 88 Films - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Full Moon - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. 88 Films - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Full Moon - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. 88 Films - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Full Moon - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. 88 Films - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

88 Films

Sound:

Draw

Extras: 88 Films
Menu: 88 Films

 
DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Full Moon

Region 0 - NTSC

88 Films
Region 0 - PAL

 

 


 




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