Hellmaster (1992) (BLU-RAY/DVD REVIEW)
DIRECTED BY: Douglas Schulze
STARRING: John Saxon, David Emge, Amy Raasch
RATED: UR/REGION O/1:85/1080P/NUMBER OF DISCS 2
AVAILABLE FROM Vinegar Syndrome
Decades ago, deranged Professor Jones (John Saxon) concocted a diabolical drug at a rural college called ‘The Nietzsche Experiment,’ designed to give its users telepathic abilities, but instead turned anyone who took it into violent lunatics. Now, 20 years later, Jones has returned to resume his experiments and avenge himself against those he feels wronged him and his work. Armed with a group of hideously deformed mutant slaves, it’s not long before the tranquil college becomes host to vicious violence and carnage.
We’re still dwelling in the ’90s with obscure horror movies with Hellmaster. A movie that comes to us on a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack from Vinegar Syndrome and is about as insane as the plot would lead you to believe. To be honest, it is all over the place at times but does give you that chaotic feel and tosses some strange looking characters at you as you watch the people having to deal with them in the movie trying to survive. I think the pure madness of it all is the best selling point for this one and the fact this one seems to be tossing everything it can against the wall in hopes that something will stick. Some stuff does, of course, but a lot of stuff kind of falls flat and that’s why we are dealing with a movie that just sort of becomes worth a watch instead of all in all awesome. It does have John Saxon who seems to be giving it his all even if people making the movie doesn’t seem to be doing the same all the time.
But the movie does have a mood and an atmosphere to it and that goes a long way with me. We have some blood and gore too. That also always goes a long way with me. The movie isn’t the most coherent movie I’ve ever seen but it does manage to keep your attention regardless of whatever crazy stuff that is going on up on the screen. It does feel like a movie that is unsure of just what sub-genre of horror it is from time to time but I can look away from that based on just the fact alone that this one isn’t boring. Not being dull is a thing many movies fail to deliver on but this one does. It also looks amazing here in HD and I think that’s another great thing people who watch this will be able to take away from it once they see it.
– Region Free Blu-ray/DVD combo
– Newly scanned & restored in 4k from its 35mm original negative
– Original Theatrical Version (as “THEM”)
– Director’s recut version (as “HELLMASTER”) (SD)
– Director commentary for both versions
– “Creating Reality” – an interview with cinematographer Michael Goi
– Conceptual artwork gallery
– Behind-the-scenes stills gallery
– Archival locations featurette
– Reversible cover artwork
– English SDH subtitles
QUALITY OF TRANSFER: 100%