Production Year: 1997
Release Date: 02/25/2014
Studio: Cult Epics

An eccentric doctor (Dr. Harvey Langston; Patrick McGoohan) owns a large gothic manor full of mentally ill patients. Rather than the traditional treatment of these insane people, Langston deviates from the norm and implants a chip in each patient's head. This chip allows each disturbed prisoner to "link up{" causing a group conscious, one cohesive massive psychosis. That's when Dr. Samuel Fry (Michael Maloney) shows up, perturbed by Langston's horrific experiments Samuel sets out to put an end them only to find himself on the operating table. Now linked to the other psychotics in the ward can Samuel Fry finally put an end to this madness?

Calling Hysteria a weird film is the definition of an understatement. Weird has got nothin' on this flick. The film itself is as insane as the crazed doctor's experiments. The group psychosis sets up some extremely interesting scenes involving crippled dance numbers, sex, and murder. Director Rene Daalder is no stranger to the world of shlock and exploitation helming such gems as Massacre at Central High (1976) and Habitat (1997).

 The film has a soft look to it like a lot of the late 70's early 80's films, the subject and the direction help in capturing that era's tone, a time when any subject or idea could be turned into a film.  While I did recognize a few of the actors I was shocked to see that this movie was produced in the late 90's. It really does feel like some sort of lost 80's exploitation flick.  If you're in the mood for some wildly-strange cinema pop in Hysteria and prepare for the onslaught of that good ol' fashioned "what did I just watch" feelin.'

As I mentioned earlier this film has a somewhat soft look to it, there are muted colors and drab sets.  It really does look like a film that was shot in the early 80's.  Cult Epics did their best with a print that was likely not in the best shape, throughout the film there are small hints of some age issues, but that does give away to a picture that contains a nice amount of detail.  The sound presented is an HD 5.1 surround sound, a track that does it's job; the score never drowns out the vocals and the dialogue is always clear.  Overall I'd say they did a pretty good job with this blu-ray.  This is the third Cult Epics blu-ray release I've had the pleasure of watching and so far the company has a perfect track record with yours truly.   

The Making of Hysteria (28:46 HD) - Director Rene Daalder chats with Amanda Plummer about her role and overall thoughts on the outcome of the film.  Plummer had a pretty good time making the film and expresses that in this interview.  The actress recants on the insanity that was brought out of each of the actors while delving into the role of a "crazy person."

Theatrical Trailer (02:50 HD)

Once on track, Hysteria is a pretty wild ride.  The story is over-the-top but a fine group of actors keep things evenly grounded.  The direction is wonderful and it's odd that Daalder strayed away from filmmaking after this movie.  Hysteria does a great job of sucking the viewer into it's insane world, it's one flick I would certainly recommend.


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