Frightmare (1981) (Blu-ray/DVD Review)
Directed By: Norman Thaddeus Vane
Starring: Ferdy Mayne, Luca Bercovici, Nita Talbot
Rated: UR/Region O/1:85/1080p/Number of Discs 2
Available from Vinegar Syndrome
Conrad Radzoff (Ferdy Mayne) was the biggest name in horror movies for decades until, one day, he died of a heart attack. Determined to celebrate his life, and death, the members of a local horror film society steal his freshly buried corpse and decide to host a party, in his honor, at their old and lavish mansion. Unaware that Radzoff’s interest in horror extended beyond the silver screen and into the black arts, his corpse is soon re-animated and he begins exacting a bloody revenge against those who disturbed his final resting place.
Frightmare was an old Troma release that Vinegar Syndrome picked up and among the many things you could say about it, one notable thing is it co-stars a very young Jeffery Combs! The plot of this one deals with an old actor who has seen his best days and he just isn’t down with that idea. When he starts getting talked down to a bit he snaps and then he almost dies, only everyone just assumes he is dead. He takes this as his chance to pay everyone back and return from the dead and as luck would have it some unlucky teens are stealing his body and falling right into his trap. Our lead here is played by Ferdy Mayne whom I believe looks a whole heck of a lot like Christopher Lee in his young footage. He’s great in the role and the movie offers up some really cool moments, but this one finds itself spinning its wheel and lacking a bit in between. It seems to be some strange hybrid at times of Dracula and Weekend at Bernies, which as cool as it may sound doesn’t always work.
There’s a lot of stuff going on in the middle here that tends to drag this one down a bit much for me, but I can appreciate the good parts of it and I also can appreciate the mood and tone the movie gives off. Maybe one day down the road I’ll give it another watch and grown a bit more fond of it, but as for now I’m just a bit mixed on it and a little underwhelmed. The transfer here from Vinegar Syndrome is great and I think that this movie will probably never look as good as it does here. It might be a cool watch for Vinegar Syndrome/Troma fans or fans of Jeffrey Combs, but I think we have a movie that missed the mark a bit here and probably could have changed my way of thinking had it just done a little more a little sooner and more often.
– Restored in 2k from 35mm camera negative
– All extras on both Blu-ray and DVD
– New video interview with Cinematographer Joel King
– Archival audio interview with Director Norman Thaddeus Vane
– Historical commentary track with David Del Valle and David DeCoteau
– Commentary track by The Hysteria Continues
– Original theatrical trailer
– Reversible THE HORROR STAR cover art
– English SDH subtitles
Quality of Transfer: 90%