Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Shriek of the Mutilated – Vinegar Syndrome (Blu-ray)

Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1974
Director: Michael Findlay
Writers: Ed Adlum, Ed Kelleher
Cast: Alan Brock, Jennifer Stock, Tawm Ellis, Michael Harris, Darcy Brown, Jack Neubeck, Tom Grail, Luci Brandt, Ivan Agar

Release Date: July 26th, 2022
Approximate Running Time: 87 Minutes 1 Second
Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1 Aspect Ratio / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: NR
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $42.98

"Anthropology professor, Dr. Prell, has invited his class to a remote cabin in the mountains to research the mythical Abominable Snowman. Soon after they arrive, strange events begin to befall the students, including sightings of a huge, white, furry creature. When several members of the group go missing, only to be discovered dead; their bodies horribly mangled, fears mount that the legendary monster is very real and out for blood...but is everything as simple as it appears?" - synopsis provided by the distributor

Video: 4.5/5

Here’s the information provided about Horror High's transfer, "Newly scanned and restored in 4K from its 35mm original camera negative."

Shriek of the Mutilated comes on a 50 GB dual layer Blu-ray.

Disc Size: 36.5 GB

Feature: 23.8 GB

The source used for this transfer looks fantastic, and it is by far and away the best this film has ever looked on home video.

Audio: 3.75/5

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, and range-wise, things sound very good considering the source's limitations.

Extras:

Extras for this release include an audio essay by Cryptozoology author David Coleman (30 minutes 5 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), a locations featurette titled The Wilds of Westchester (14 minutes 5 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), an interview with producer/screenwriter Ed Adlum titled So Bad So Great (22 minutes 7 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), an interview with Roberta Findlay titled Yeti Again (12 minutes 36 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), an audio commentary track with cinematographer Roberta Findlay, moderated by film historian Casey Scott, reversible cover art, and an embossed and spot gloss slipcover limited to 6,000 units.

Summary:

Throughout cinema’s history, there have been a variety of interesting sub-genres. A case in point is the bigfoot sub-genre, which Shriek of the Mutilated is part of. That said, there are elements in Shriek of the Mutilated that would later become synonymous with the slasher sub-genre.

From its opening moments, it's clear that what's about to unfold is going to be a wild ride. With Shriek of the Mutilated's opening moments being a tacked-on sequence that fortunately works well with the story at hand. Unfortunately, from there, the narrative is slow-moving and things do not pick up until the last forty-minutes.

Shriek of the Mutilated was directed by Michael Findlay, a filmmaker who is most remembered for directing the roughie exploitation film series The Flesh Trilogy. Shriek of the Mutilated's producer, Ed Adlum, is a director in his own right, who directed the notorious schlock exploitation film Invasion of the Blood Farmers.

From a production standpoint, everything about Shriek of the Mutilated screams low-budget cinema. Whether it be a yeti monster that is actually a suit with a visible zipper, amateurish acting, and a score that features a music cue titled "Dream of a Witches' Sabbath" by composer Hector Berlioz, from which the main theme of The Shining’s (1980) main theme would draw inspiration. That said, when it comes to bloodshed, there is a decent amount of gore. Also, there are a lot of shrieking and dismembered bodies. Ultimately, Shriek of the Mutilated is a textbook example of Z-garde cinema that is so bad that it's bad.

Shriek of the Mutilated gets a definitive release from Vinegar Syndrome that comes with a solid audio/video presentation and a wealth of informative extras, recommended.








Written by Michael Den Boer

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