Truth or Dare?: A Critical Madness (1986) (DVD Review)
Directed By: Tim Ritter
Starring: John Brace, Mary Fanaro, Bruce Gold
Rated: UR/Region: 0/1:33/Number of disc: 1
Available From SRS Cinema
Mike Strauber just wants what everyone wants. He wants to feel accepted and be loved. Mike has a wife he loves dear named, Sharon..but the thing is Sharon has become bored with the relationship. Mike unable to catch the hints walks in on Sharon in bed with another man, but not just any man, his best friend Jerry. Unable to deal with this drastic disappointment Mike snaps, and sets on a blood soaked mission to play a twisted little game of truth or dare?
I’ve used the term so bad it’s good before. However, to me, Truth or Dare? is soo bad it’s awesome. There are moments in this film that will make you question just what the heck you’ve seen. There are moments that will make you roll your eyes and laugh. But somehow it all mixes together to make a very watchable film that is packed with twisted enjoyment. Plus, you got to really hand it to Tim Ritter. He made this film on a very shoestring budget, yet still, he makes it a lot of fun. While the gore isn’t what you’d come to expect from movies with more money placed into them then or today, you get gore that just makes you feel dirty at times watching. That pretty much alone is all you need to turn a film into a cult classic. As the story moves along we see Mike go from a guy obsessed with his game to a man who jacks a car and loads it up with some of the most random murder weapons you could see. Let’s see, just what does Mike randomly pull out? There’s a machine gun, a chainsaw, a machete, a pair of nun-chucks, and some other old barbarian type weapon that I have no idea what you’d call it..Good times!! They also try to get over his copper mask he starts wearing in the film but I just don’t think it catches on a well as Jason’s hockey mask or Michael Myers’ repainted Shatner mask. The key to this film and the selling point is what it’s named after, Truth or Dare? Anyone could just toss on any old mask and try to make a horror icon with it but it doesn’t have the same unique feel of someone randomly asking another person to “Cut their finger off”.
But as I said the film is so awesomely bad it’s crazy. The acting is very spotty. However, I do think John Brace does a great job as Mike. There are some comedic/dark humor moments that sometimes work and sometimes don’t. Also not only do you have to pay close attention to the details of just how Mike ends up with all the weapons he has nearing the end of the film. You better set yourself up for one of the un-logical endings you’re ever going to see. I’m not sure if that’s due to some bad editing or what, but it holds things back a bit. That all being said, I think you should all see this movie at least once. Now, as far as the re-issue of the DVD goes from SRS Cinema, it’s a different transfer. I’ve attached some screenshots from the original release below, but this looks like more of a straight up VHS rip of the film while the older DVD looks a bit more crisp but comes with black bars not only on the sides but the top and bottom as well. Extras all seem more or less the same with the new one having different trailers and a few new Truth or Dare trailers/teasers. This release does come with the original VHS artwork and might just be the one to go with if you want a more true to the VHS source version. If you want a bit of a better look, then you may want to seek out the DVD release from 2010.
– Director’s Commentary
– 30 Years of the Game Featurette
– Truth or Dare 1-4 Trailers
– Truth or Dare 5 Teaster
– Italian Language Track
– SRS Trailers
Here is a quick comparison of the Old 2010 DVD and the new 2017 version with the original release on top. The rest are more shots from the 2010 DVD for comparison to the above pics.