The Stack Holiday Gift Guide 2014, Episode 7: Scream Factory Part 3
Welcome Back to The Stack Holiday Gift Guide. We are approaching the end of our look at the magnificent 2014 output of Scream Factory with only one more episode to go after this one.
Legend of Hell House (1973) has long been considered the poor man's The Haunting (1963) and while there is some truth in that The Haunting is clearly the superior film in most ways, that doesn't detract from the very real intensity of Hell House. The film looks good all spruced up for Blu-ray and now might be a good time for people to reconsider whether or not they think it deserves a higher place in the haunted house hall of fame.
The Final Terror is also a film that should get some reappraisal. Directed by Andrew Davis (The Fugitive ) this is a killer in the woods movie that packs a pretty intense wallop featuring solid performances from Daryl Hannah, Rachel Ward, and Joe "Joey Pants" Pantoliano.
The fun thing about the rest of the films I'm looking at this episode is how entertainingly bad they are. Without Warning (1980) boasts a cast including Martin Landau, David Caruso, Jack Palance and Cameron Mitchell. It also boasts some of the worst special effects of any feature. These aren't just dated they are timeless and overall the film is a messy blast. Final Exam (1981) is a pretty slasher set on a college campus and I wonder exactly what the idea was here. Maybe somebody at Scream Factory! has a special place in their nostalgic little heart for it.
Lastly a double feature disc promises cinematic ignominy with Hell of the Living Dead (1980) and Rats (1984). Rats is based on a famous and fairly well regarded horror novel by the legendary James Herbert. Rats really should have been paired with our last selection the hilarious Deadly Eyes (1982) which is also about mutant killer rats. Deadly Eyes is the better of the two but this probably has something to do with the fact that the special effects team, made their giant mutant rats by building rat costumes they could put onto trained wiener dogs.
Almost all of the above feature the famed reversible artwork and special extras that have made Scream Factory something to scream about.