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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

directed by Alex Nicol
USA 1971

 

Lobster House lounge singer Tony Trelos (Peter Carpenter, BLOOD MANIA) catches the eye of Andrea (Dyanne Thorne, ILSA, SHEWOLF OF THE SS). Fortunately, she's the wife of abusive wheelchair-bound National Records president Martin Hilliard (Joel Marston) and she gets Tony a recording session and seduces him poolside. When Tony witnesses Andrea murder her husband, he blackmails her and sets up in the Hilliard household (casting off his own girlfriend Sally [Paula Mitchell, whose bizarre career included behind the scenes work on SALO, CALIGULA, Fellini's CASANOVA and CITY OF WOMEN]). Things get even deadlier when Martin's grieving daughter Helayne (Lory Hansen) turns up and Tony falls for her. A vanity project written by and starring Peter Carpenter (who spends more time scantily-clad than any of the women in a film destined for the grindhouse despite its many artistic touches) with all his co-starlets pawing at him (including Andrea's lush friend Fran (Leslie Simms). It is more of an R-rated soap opera than a horror film or thriller (despite the title and advertising) much like Carpenter's other writing/starring vehicle BLOOD MANIA which like this feature may have been inspired by his previous pic LOVE ME LIKE I DO (which also starred Thorne and BLOOD MANIA's Maria De Aragon). Tony's Motown Records-produced vocal numbers probably provoked some derision back when the film first came out (I can't believe the opening titles "showstopper" didn't get some titters) but there is more for cult fans to savor from Thorne's stacked murderess, the gel-heavy, wide-angled cinematography, the seventies California coastal atmosphere (complete with a silhouetted shot of two lovers kissing against the sunset that looks like a seventies cigarette ad), to Tony's flapping choreography and outfits.

Eric Cotenas

Poster

Theatrical Release: 1971 (USA)

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Comparison:

Scorpion Releasing - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Vinegar Syndrome - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the DVD Review!

Box Covers

 

   

 

   

Distribution

Scorpion Releasing

Region 0 - NTSC

Vinegar Syndrome - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:27:30 1:27:38.753
Video

1.74:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.73 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.85:1 Disc Size: 48,695,824,520 bytes

Feature Size: 22,854,355,584 bytes

Total Bitrate: 31.95 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

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

Bitrate

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono DTS-HD Master Audio English 1108 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1108 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Subtitles none English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Scorpion Releasing

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.74:1

Edition Details:
• Remembering Peter Carpenter: interview with Peter’s Acting Teacher/Co-Star Leslie Simms (4:3; 15:10)
• Telephone Interview with star Dyanne Thorne (14:50)
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 2:21)

DVD Release Date: 31 August 2010
Amaray

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio:
Vinegar Syndrome

 

1.85:1 Disc Size: 48,695,824,520 bytes

Feature Size: 22,854,355,584 bytes

Total Bitrate: 31.95 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

 

Edition Details:

• Both films scanned and restored in 2k from 35mm camera negative
• Commentary track on BLOOD MANIA with Robert Vincent O’Neill (Director), Leslie Simms (Actress) and Vicki Peters (Actress)
• Video interview and introduction with director Robert Vincent O’Neill (8:20)
• Video interview with actress Leslie Simms (14:04)
• Theatrical trailer for Point of Terror (2:23)
• TV spots for both films (0:30 X 2)
• Promotional galleries for both films
• Reverse cover artwork

Second and third disc DVDs of the features

Limited to 3,000 Units

Blu-ray Release Date: January 31st, 2017
Standard
Blu-ray Case
Chapters5

 

 

 

Comments

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

ADDITION: Vinegar Syndrome - Region FREE - Blu-ray January 17': Firstly, this shares the disc with Blood Mania (reviewed HERE) and it is stated that "Both films scanned and restored in 2k from 35mm camera negative". Not much to say beyond that - the new 1080P is heads-and-tails above the older SD. The BD is much tighter, richer colors, more information in the 1.85:1 frame. It even exports some depth. The overall image is surprisingly strong.

Audio, likewise, is a massive improvement with a DTS-HD Master, original, mono track (24-bit). Effects are minimal with very little aggression in the film's soundstage. Along with an uncredited score by Don Hulette and Don Vincent, we get Peter Carpenter's lounge and studio performances with This Is . . . , Lifebeats and Drifter of the Heart. The sound is, predictably, flat but carries some resonance via the lossless. There are optional English subtitles on the region FREE Blu-ray disc.

Most of the extras are for Blood Mania including a commentary plus an 8-minute video interview and introduction to that film with director Robert Vincent O’Neill, plus a 14-minute interview with actress Leslie Simms - she played Nurse Turner in Blood Mania - her first role. There is a theatrical trailer for Point of Terror and TV or Radio spots for both films as well as promotional galleries. The package has reversible cover artwork and the it has a second and third disc DVDs of the two features.

NOTE: Eric tells us: "Disc three (DVD) of BLOOD MANIA/POINT OF TERROR features the TV versions of both. BLOOD MANIA's TV version loses nudity and gore and features several reshoot scenes in which the nurse character is revealed to be in cahoots with the blackmailer. In place of the more graphic footage, she skulks around the house and phones her boyfriend to tell him what is going on. Both characters also have a long flatly-shot introductory sequence inserted before they are actually introduced in the theatrical version. There is also a new scene of Carpenter driving a body to the beach and burying it. POINT OF TERROR loses nudity and some gore but the only differences are a ten minute flashback to Carpenter's youth as a shoeshine boy (also shot some time after the theatrical release) and a nightmare recap inserted at the end."

Point of Terror is a poor film by most standards. It's, almost humorous, transparency, and sub-par performances aren't an asset but they both add a nostalgic kitsch appeal that has desirability with many. I watched the whole thing and shrugged but saw a spark of some eccentric worthiness that is almost addictive. Let's see what Blood Mania brings...

Gary Tooze

***

ON THE DVD: The opening credits sequence seems to have been sourced from video elements as the credits and Carpenter's red outfit are rife with dot crawl. While the presentation improves after, the noise is still evident in the saturated reds of the wardrobe and lighting. There is also some chroma noise in the fine patterns of the fashions and decor (see the sofa in cap 6). There is a brief half-second instance of pixilation late in the film which may go unnoticed by most viewers.

Co-star Simms reminisces about star Carpenter (who was also her acting pupil and had previously co-starred with Carpenter in BLOOD MANIA) in a fifteen minute interview. She recalls the film vividly (and BLOOD MANIA) and that Carpenter was a Las Vegas jazz dancer. She mentions that even back then they all laughed at the red suede outfit Carpenter had to wear for the opening credits number. The interview is interrupted by screeching tires of a passing car ("Don't you love L.A.?" she quips). Dyanne Thorne provides a telephone interview. She fondly remembers her co-stars, her nude scene, and her standout violent rage scene. The film's trailer rounds out the extras (curiously there are no trailers for other upcoming Scorpion Releases as on their other discs).

The film was previously released on DVD by Rhino Video (when they had the Crown Pictures library) in an open-matte transfer in the first volume of their HORRIBLE HORRORS collection (which paired two movies on each side of two double-sided discs). The original early eighties United Home Video VHS release featured a transfer of the TV version with a lengthy unrelated flashback to the protagonist's youth (in place of snipped nudity and violence) which has not been retained here as an extra (subsequent releases of the film were of the full R-rated theatrical version).

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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