FleshEater – Vinegar Syndrome (4k UHD/Blu-ray Combo)
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1988
Director: S. William Hinzman
Writers: S. William Hinzman, Bill Randolph
Cast: S. William Hinzman, John Mowod, Leslie Ann Wick, Kevin Kindlin, Charis Kirkpatrik Acuff, James J. Rutan, Lisa Smith, Denise Morrone, Mark Strycula, Kathleen Marie Rupnik, Matthew C. Danilko, David A. Sodergren
Release Date: April 26th, 2022
Approximate Running Time: 88 Minutes 47 Seconds
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio / 2160 Progressive / HEVC / H.265 / HDR10
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $49.99
"While assisting on a dig, a construction worker accidentally destroys the final resting place of a demonic zombie, rousting him from his unholy slumber, and reigniting his taste for human flesh. Meanwhile, a group of teenagers have decided to spend the night camping in the woods for a Halloween hayride, only to have their partying interrupted with the arrival of an ever-growing army of bloodthirsty undead! Will anyone survive the night in one piece?" - synopsis provided by the distributor
Here’s the information provided about this release's transfer, "Newly scanned & restored in 4K from its 16mm original camera negative."
FleshEater comes on a 66 GB dual layer 4K UHD.
Disc Size: 59.9 GB
Feature: 59.7 GB
The source used for this transfer is in excellent shape. Color saturation looks very good, image clarity and black levels are strong throughout, and a healthy layer of grain is present throughout. That said, it's hard to imagine FleshEater looking any better than this transfer.
FleshEater comes on a 50 GB dual layer Blu-ray.
Disc Size: 42.8 GB
Feature: 24.2 GB
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English, and included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles. There are no issues with distortion or background, and overall, things sound good considering the limitations of the source. Dialog comes through clearly, and ambient sounds and the score are well-represented. That said, things are limited range-wise.
Extras on the 4K UHD disc include an audio commentary with cinematographer Simon Manses, composer Erica Portnoy, and producer Andrew Sands.
Extras on the Blu-ray disc include an extensive behind-the-scenes still gallery, an interview with hairstylist/makeup artist Terrie Godfrey titled Minor Budget Majorette (7 minutes 5 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), an interview with unit manager Paul Giorgi titled Meatballs and Missing Actors (8 minutes 1 second, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), an interview with actor John Mowod titled To Live and Die in PA (8 minutes 57 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), an interview with special makeup effects artist Jerry Gergely titled Crushed Pink Grapefruit Brain (14 minutes 40 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), an interview with actress Heidi Hinzman titled Family of FleshEaters (9 minutes 25 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), an interview with Erica Portnoy titled Carnage in Compositions (7 minutes 30 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), an interview with Bonnie Hinzman titled The Family Continues (7 minutes 27 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), an interview with Simon Manses titled All Roads Lead Back to FleshEater (18 minutes 32 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), an interview with Andrew Sands titled Zombie Nosh LLC (19 minutes 35 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), and an audio commentary with Simon Manses, Erica Portnoy, and Andrew Sands.
Other extras include reversible cover art and an embossed slipcover limited to 5,000 units.
There’s no denying the impact that a film like Night of the Living Dead had on zombies in cinema. And though there have been other zombie films that have had a lasting impact, there have been far more films that are best forgotten.
The creative force behind FleshEater was Bill Hinzman, who wrote, directed, edited, and acted in FleshEater. He got his start as a filmmaker when he appeared in George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, a film that clearly influenced FleshEater. Though he would appear in sixteen films, The Majorettes is the only other film that he directed.
FleshEaters' narrative revolves around a group of friends who venture out on a trip to the country for Halloween, and what starts off as fun and games. When attacked by flesh-eating zombies, trunks quickly turn deadly.
Though FleshEater has all the elements that one would want from a zombie film, Most notably, there are plenty of gory moments. The result is a film that ultimately gets bogged down by a lethargic narrative. Fortunately, things pick up considerably by the time the zombies take center stage.
As mentioned before, one can easily find many similarities between FleshEater and Night of the Living Dead. And none is more obvious than when it comes to both films' endings.
From a production standpoint, FleshEater has all the hallmarks of low-budget cinema. There are minimal locations and wooden performances that are as lifeless as the zombies in the film. That said, special effects are one area where FleshEater exceeds expectations. Ultimately, FleshEater is a predictable film that brings nothing new to the table.
FleshEater makes its way to 4K UHD via an excellent release from Vinegar Syndrome that comes with a solid audio/video presentation and a wealth of insightful extras, recommended.
4K UHD screenshots.
Written by Michael Den Boer