Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Ticks – Severin Films (4k UHD/Blu-ray Combo)

Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1993
Director: Tony Randel
Writer: Brent V. Friedman
Cast: Rosalind Allen, Ami Dolenz, Seth Green, Virginya Keehne, Ray Oriel, Alfonso Ribeiro, Peter Scolari, Dina Dayrit, Michael Medeiros, Barry Lynch, Clint Howard, Rance Howard

Release Date: October 26th, 2021
Approximate Running Time: 87 Minutes 43 Seconds
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 2160 Progressive / HEVC / H.265 / HDR10
Rating: R
Sound: DTS-HD Stereo English
Subtitles: English SDH
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $59.98

"An assortment of unruly and misfit teens have all been forced to attend camp at a wildlife preserve, to commune with nature. What they don't realize is that nearby in the woods, an illicit marijuana growing operation is underway and the weed farmers have been using a pesticide which has had one very unintended side effect: turning ordinary ticks into giant, ravenous bloodsuckers..." - synopsis provided by the distributor

Video: 4.5/5

Here’s the information provided about this release's transfer, "Newly scanned & restored in 4k from its 35mm interpositive."

Ticks comes on a 66 GB dual layer 4K UHD.

Disc Size: 60.6 GB

Feature: 59.4 GB

Ticks comes on a 50 GB dual layer Blu-ray.

Disc Size: 33.3 GB

Feature: 24.4 GB

Having only ever seen Ticks on television, this release would mark the first time I have seen Ticks on home video. That said, judging by online screenshots and comments about Olive Films' Blu-ray. It's clear that this new 4K transfer from Vinegar Syndrome is a superior upgrade in every way. 

Audio: 4.5/5

This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD stereo mix in English and included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles. This is a solid audio track. Dialog always comes through clearly, everything sounds balanced, the score sounds appropriately robust and sound effects are well-represented. That said, range-wise, this audio track takes full advantage of the sound spectrum.

Extras:

Extras on the 4K UHD disc include an audio commentary track with director Tony Randel and actor Clint Howard, moderated by Nathaniel Thompson and an audio commentary track with special effects supervisor Doug Beswick and stop-motion animator Yancy Calzada, moderated by filmmaker Joe Begos.

Extras on the Blu-ray disc include an extended three part making-of documentary with: director Tony Randel, actress Rosalind Allen, special effects supervisor Doug Beswick, actress Ami Dolenz, writer Brent Friedman, editor Leslie Rosenthal, composer Christopher Stone and executive producer Brian Yuzna, Part 1: Origins (10 minutes 12 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English subtitles), Part 2: Metamorphosis (14 minutes 8 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English subtitles), Part 3: New Blood (14 minutes 47 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English subtitles), an audio commentary track with director Tony Randel and actor Clint Howard, moderated by Nathaniel Thompson and an audio commentary track with special effects supervisor Doug Beswick and stop-motion animator Yancy Calzada, moderated by filmmaker Joe Begos.

Rounding out the extras are a reversible cover and an embossed slipcover limited to 8,000 units.

Summary:

No genre more than horror held my attention when I was a teenager. And though there are many horror films that I hold in as high regard as I did when I first saw them all those years ago, Far too often, I find myself wondering why I enjoyed a film so much.

Case in point: Ticks, a film on paper, should have been so much more than it turned out to be. After all, director Tony Randel (Hellbound: Hellraiser II, Amityville 1992: It's About Time), the special effects were created by KNB and executive producer Brian Yuzna (Re-Animator, From Beyond) are the main creative forces behind Ticks.

Though a strong opening sequence can go a long way when it comes to opening a horror film, There is a lot to be said about the scenes that precede an opening sequence. That said, Ticks spends most of the first half of the film getting to know its characters. Fortunately, once the ticks became the focal point, things picked up considerably.

Ticks’ cast is filled with recognizable faces. All around, the performances are very good. A few performances stand out, including Alfonso Ribeiro (The Fresh Prince of Bel Air) portraying a tough inner-city troubled youth, Seth Green (Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery) portraying a stereotypical nerd, and Ami Dolenz (Miracle Beach) going against type by portraying a pampered rich girl.

From a production standpoint, Ticks is a technically sound film. And though the premise covers familiar ground, The result is a film that works as well as it does because everyone involved is full of enthusiasm. Not to be overlooked are the special effects, which look amazing. Ultimately, it is a film that can be a lot of fun if you're in the right frame of mind.

Ticks gets an exceptional release from Vinegar Syndrome that comes with a solid audio/video presentation and a trio of insightful extras, highly recommended.

4K UHD screenshots.












Written by Michael Den Boer

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