Monday, September 27, 2021

Shallow Grave – Vinegar Syndrome (Blu-ray)

Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1984
Director: Richard Styles
Writer: George Edward Fernandez
Cast: Lisa Stahl, Tom Law, Carol Cadby, Donna Baltron, Just Kelly, Vincent Tumeo, Gregg Todd Davis, Kevin Quigley

Release Date: September 28th, 2021
Approximate Running Time: 89 Minutes 26 Seconds
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: NR
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $39.98

"Four college coeds are on their way to Florida for spring break. While passing through a small Georgia town, they unwittingly witness the murder of a woman. But when they discover that the assailant is the local sheriff, they’re forced on the run from a cunning and deranged sociopath who will stop at nothing to cover up his crime. After trapping the girls in town overnight, he devises a plan to permanently eliminate any potential witnesses and begins to terrorize and murder the girls one by one…" - synopsis provided by the distributor

Video: 4.25/5

Here’s the information provided about this release's transfer, "Newly scanned & restored in 2k from 35mm vault elements."

Shallow Grave comes on a 50 GB dual layer Blu-ray.

Disc Size: 30.6 GB

Feature: 24.8 GB

The source used for this transfer looks very good and any source related imperfections are minimal. Colors look correct, image clarity, and black levels look strong 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. The audio sounds clean, clear and balanced. That said, range wise there are some limitations.


Extras for this release include reversible cover art, an interview with writer/producer George Edward Fernandez titled A Visual Storyteller (13 minutes 30 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English subtitles), an interview with director Richard Styles titled Looking For Magic (14 minutes 42 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English subtitles), two audio commentary tracks, the first audio commentary is with Richard Styles, and the second audio commentary is with The Hysteria Continues! and an embossed slipcover limited to 5,000 units.


A film like Shallow Grave is a good example of why you should not judge a book by its cover or in this case a film. Though Shallow Grave has a salacious promotional poster that hints at the nastiness that lies within. Anyone expecting a film that dives right into bloodletting might be disappointed, since most of the first half of Shallow Grave is a light-hearted spring break adventure. Fortunately, the latter-half of Shallow Grave takes a darker turn that’s relentless.

From a production standpoint, Shallow Grave is a well-made film that fully exploits its resources. The premise is perfectly executed, the narrative peaks, and valleys are well-executed and an emotional gut-punch finale puts an exclamation on the events that have unfolded. The acting ranges from adequate to very good. With few performances far exceeding expectations. And the kill sequences are not for the faint of heart. Ultimately, Shallow Grave is a bleak film that slasher film fans are sure to enjoy.

Shallow Grave makes its way to Blu-ray via a first-rate release from Vinegar Syndrome that comes with a strong audio/video presentation and a wealth of informative extras, recommended.

Written by Michael Den Boer

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