Sunday, May 30, 2021

Fatal Exam (Home Grown Horrors: Volume One) – Vinegar Syndrome (Blu-ray)

Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1988
Director: Jack Snyder
Writer: Jack Snyder
Cast: Mike Coleman, Terry Comer, Carol Carlberg-Snyder, Paul Steger, Gilio Gherardini, Joe Midyett, Maureen Lampert, Greg Rhodes, Teresa Nienhaus, Mike Suzor, Dave Mayer, Karen Greer

Release Date: April 27th, 2021
Approximate Running Time: 114 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: R
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $79.98

"A group of college students have been given a very unusual assignment: spend the night inside of a supposedly haunted house, as part of their studies into the supernatural and occult. Although the rag tag team of collegiates would much rather party and get stoned than look for ghosts, it's not long before unexplained events begin to occur. Initially suspecting that some of their classmates might be playing a practical joke, their fears are proven very real when someone - or something - dressed in robes and carrying a scythe starts bumping them off one by one." - synopsis provided by the distributor

Video: 4.5/5

Here’s the information provided about this release's transfer, "Newly scanned & restored in 2k from its 16mm original camera negative".

Fatal Exam comes on a 50 GB dual layer Blu-ray.

Disc Size: 42.3 GB

Feature: 33 GB

The source used for this transfer is in very good shape and source related debris is minimal. Image clarity, colors, black levels look very good and there’s a healthy layer of grain.

Audio: 4/5

This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English and included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles. Considering the limitations of the source and how the soundtrack that was created in post-production. This audio track sounds good for a low-budget film.


Extras for this release include reversible cover art, a Making of documentary titled  Fatal Examination (47 minutes 40 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with English subtitles) and an audio commentary track with director/screenwriter Jack Snyder, composer Carl Leta, special effects William Crawford and actors Terry Comer, Mike Coleman and Dave Mayer.


Though the horror genre is the genre that most first-time directors working on a limited budget gravitate towards. The amount of films that succeed and leave a lasting legacy within the horror genre are few and far in between. Case in point Fatal Exam, a film that features a solid premise that is full of possibilities. Unfortunately, the result is a film that’s hampered by lethargic pacing, too many scenes that drag on and an anemic amount of bloodshed. That said, Fatal Exam gets an excellent release Vinegar Syndrome that comes with a strong audio/video presentation and a pair of insightful extras that are more fun than the film.

It should-be noted that Fatal Exam is part of Home Grown Horrors: Volume One, a box set that also has Winterbeast and Beyond Dreams Door.

Written by Michael Den Boer

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