"TerrorVision/The Video Dead (1986,1987/Blu-ray&DVD Combo/Scream Factory)" Review

I have seen many double feature DVD's that many companies have released and most the time the two films don't really go together. In this case with this double feature I am very satisfied with the two they picked. Terror Vision and The Video Dead work so well as a back to back double feature because they both have a common theme in some ways. They both have monsters using television to come into our world and cause havoc. To me the treat of this set is that you get two films that have never been released on DVD or Blu-ray before in the US! Lets bust into this double feature and see what it has in store for us!

Life will never be the same for the Putterman family in Terrorvision. Stanley Putterman (Gerrit Graham) installs a state-of-the-art satellite dish in his backyard. Through a cosmic accident, a wayward monster's energy is beamed across galaxies, into the satellite and onto the Puttermans' television set. The Puttermans don't notice any changes, only better reception and a strange monster continually appearing on the screen. But when the monster leaps off the screen and into the Puttermans' living room, terror erupts, as it needs to feed on humans for its survival!
 Review: Terror Vision is a horror comedy that goes out of this world with a very bizarre and over the top cast of characters that range from eccentric swinger parents to ditsy metal heads. When I say this film is bizarre I seriously mean that, it seems so surreal and I think that is due to the very over-the-top characters and very goofy looking alien monster. It's the type of bizarre horror film that I like because it goes beyond the standards of horror and in ways pokes fun at it. I really liked who they chose for the cast especially the use of film icons Gerrit Graham (C.H.U.D. 2: Bud The Chud) and Jon Gries (Napoleon Dynamite). It's great when you haven't seen a film in so long and when you get a chance to see it there are actors you never realized played in that film and that is what happened to me with TerrorVision.
The monster is like I said quite goofy looking. It is of course done the old school way and kinda reminds me of the monster in "The Deadly Spawn" , but more of a inbred relative of that monster. Like you would already know they made the monster of practical effects which is awesome and looks a million times better than any CGI monster. The gore effects quite good as well and are great when they show the heads of the family as he kills them pop up on his body and talk. That reminds me of the special effects in the film "Society". One last thing I want to mention is that this film has an awesome theme song at the open of the film that is now one of my favorites next to the Django theme song. Bottomline is if you want a cool and odd horror comedy then this is one for you!

On a quiet, tree-lined street, evil has arrived in a most ordinary way, an old television set. It receives a single channel, one that not only shows the same film over and over – a horror film where zombies rise from the grave to kill – but also frees the gnarled, evil monsters….and once out, they’re not going back! They like the real world. They’ve already killed five people and want more blood…and a new family is moving into the neighborhood!
 Review:  This is once again one of those films that brings me back to my childhood and my fond memories of the horror section with row after row of memorable VHS cover art. The Video Dead had this amazing artwork of a zombie coming out of a television and it's great that it actual represents the film properly. The Video Dead is exactly what you'd think, it's about a possessed television that these zombies/monsters come out of and kill people, oh and no electricity is required to bring out the dead! I have always liked how this film breaks the forth wall and has the evil inside the TV come out into our world to cause havoc kinda like the way they did with "Shocker" and "Ghost In The Machine".
Like alot of films like this one from the 80's they made it on a low budget, but made it the best horror film they could with limited funds. The only thing I found to kinda cripple the film a little bit was the actors and writing. The two actors who play as the brother and sister seem like they're supposed to be in their later teens or early 20's, but they seem much older. The writing is horrible alot of the time with dialogue that even talks about a dog that likes to try and mate with skunks. Trust me the dialogue can be quite cheesy. Now one thing that makes up for the dialogue is the intentional and unintentional humor that is added in. For example this zombie couple ends up taking this woman and putting her in the washing machine and it kills her. The female zombie of that couple also takes a wig she finds and wears it. I am not completely sure if this film is supposed to be a horror comedy or not, somethings point towards yes, but other things make me think not. Nonetheless it's a fun cheese fest.
Now as far as how the monsters look they did a pretty good job. Instead of them just slapping some makeup on a person they seemed to actually use prosthetic latex pieces with makeup. They are not the best zombie like effects I have seen, but they certainly are far from the worst. They even used a funky blue color on this one zombie that looks close to the same color they used on "Dawn of the Dead" but maybe a bit brighter. Overall this was a enjoyable cheesy film that I will come back to over and over again. The presentation of this film looks damn good for the age and budget of the film. I especially was surprised by the picture quality of this film and others that Shout! Factory has been releasing because alot of these films I figured would of been treated not nearly as good as most when it came to preserving them.
Overall Feeling (whole set): This is a great set and what I see as one of the best double features to come around in awhile. You get two really fun films along with some really killer extras that consist of audio commentary with the director's as well as cast and crew, trailers, still galleries, poster art, and also a retrospective for TerrorVision! Shout! Factory has once again done a great job and brought to obscure classics to life once again in the awesome blu-ray and DVD formats!

-Daniel "Damnation" Lee

Director: Ted Nicolaou (TerrorVision)/Robert Scott (The Video Dead)
Genre: Horror/Comedy

Blu-ray Release Year: 2013
Theatrical Release Year:1986 (TerrorVision)/1987 (The Video Dead)
Time Length: 81 mins. (TerrorVision)/90 mins. (The Video Dead)
Company: Scream Factory (Shout! Factory)