Frightmare

Production Year: 1974
Release Date: 03/18/2014
Studio: Kino
Collection Number: #1662

Frightmare is a film about good 'ol wholesome family values, after finally being release from a mental institution Edmund and Dorothy Yates attempt to live a normal life.  The only real issue is Dorothy and her habitual need to murder.  The film's also about the bond between two sisters; One that's well aware of her mum's macabre exploits and the other that's kept in the dark.  The younger sister (Jackie; Deborah Fairfax) is a troublesome teen who unfortunately might share more traits with her crazed mother than her responsible older sister.



While Hammer ruled the euro-horror scene in Britain there was a certain under-appreciated filmmaker toiling away creating works of depravity, the likes of which that particular audience had never seen.  Pete Walker helmed a number of films during that era of horror.  For a little over a decade he unleashed nothin' but classic sleaze, horror, and filth.  House of Whipcord, The Flesh and Blood Show, The Comeback, Die Screaming Marianne, the list goes on and on.  While he did find some success, it was Media Blasters and their Pete Walker releases that helped him find a second audience here in the states.


Often called Britain's answer to the Texas Chain Saw Massacre, the film features a frayed (and crazed) family unit led by a love-struck father and a cannibalistic mother.  It's bleak and exploitative and while not quite as unnerving as TCM, it's a damn well-made piece of horror cinema.  This one is strictly for lovers of power tools and 70's Euro-Horror-sleaze.


While I didn't think Shriek Show's previous transfer was horrid by any means, this is certainly a big clear step up.  The film does suffer from age related scratches, spots, and specs, there's a definite clarity here that was not available previously.  Like with most Kino releases, the film is presented simply in high definition.  They did not remaster it meaning there's no need to worry about any over-polishing or grain removal.  Overall It's nice upgrade in comparison to the previous releases.  A nice solid HD track accompanies the picture and does have a few age related occurrences though it's nothing that will take you out of the film.


Audio Commentary with Pete Walker and Peter Jessop - The commentary is conducted by author Steve Chibnall.

For the Sake of Cannibalism (HD 11:56) - This is an interview with director Pete Walker and it is conducted by Elijah Drenner (American Grindhouse).  The director discusses Frightmare, the production of the film and the movie's perception upon it's initial release.

"Sheila Keith: A Nice Old Lady?" (SD 13:53) - A number of fans and filmmakers discuss Sheila Keith and her calm yet insane portrayal of Dorothy Yates.

Pete Walker trailer reel (Varying quality 12:00) - The trailers featured are Die Screaming Marianne, Frightmare, The Comeback, The Flesh and Blood Show, and The House of Whipcord.

It's time to retire those ol' Shriek Show dvd's folks, this new disc is certainly worthy of the upgrade.  Not only is the PQ in another league, there's also a wonderful new featurette with the infamous director.  For those who've yet to see Frightmare, it's high time you correct that issue.

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