Play Dead (1983) (BLU-RAY/DVD REVIEW)

Play Dead (1983) (BLU-RAY/DVD REVIEW)

Play Dead (1983) (BLU-RAY/DVD REVIEW)

0 comments 📅24 July 2019, 04:00

Play Dead (1983) (BLU-RAY/DVD REVIEW)
DIRECTED BY: Peter Wittman
STARRING: Yvonne De Carlo, Stephanie Dunnam, David Cullinane
AVAILABLE FROM Vinegar Syndrome

Hester Ramsey (Yvonne De Carlo) lives in a cavernous old house, with only her pet Rottweiler, Greta, to keep her company. Bitter and alone, Hester blames her estranged sister for stealing away her one true love, Sam, decades earlier. Following her sister’s death, Hester begins to plot an act of diabolical revenge, using her knowledge of the black arts to place a spell on her dog, and then gifting the satanic beast to her grief-stricken niece, Audrey (Stephanie Dunnam). Soon, those closest to Audrey begin to get bumped off by her newly cursed pet in a series of increasingly violent ‘accidents,’ as Hester seeks to kill off all of her surviving family and leave Audrey to take the blame.

In all honesty, Play Dead and its alternate title Satan’s Dog is probably a better as a title than the movie is as a film. The movie being shot in 1981 and not being released until 1986 might be a good indication of how the quality of this one was. Anyway, a woman scorned by a lover uses her magic powers (or satanic powers) to make her Rotweiller kill members of her family. The best part of this is probably how the dog kills these people. It isn’t just your typical mauling and such, this dog does such things as drop electrical appliances into the bathwater of someone in order to kill them off. This is the highlight of this one for me and I wish we had more stuff of that nature going on. Also, if things would have moved along better it would have helped a little too.

Still, the idea of a killer dog is always fun and this one does pack some memorable moments even if they are few and far in between. It would probably make a good double feature late at night with some friends along with Monster Dog but on its on and on your own watching it can feel like it is dragging a bit. From a technical side of things, this one does look really good here on Blu-ray! The release even comes with an awesome slipcover if you can get one before they are gone. You also get some extras and some reverse cover art with the alternate title Satan’s Dog to go along with it.


– Region Free Blu-ray/DVD combo
– Newly scanned & restored in 2k from its 35mm interpositive
– Video interview with director Peter Wittman
– Audio interview with actress Stephanie Dunnam
– Original theatrical trailer
– Reversible cover artwork
– English SDH subtitles

Quality of Transfer: 92%

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