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Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon Collector’s Edition (2006) - Blu-ray Review

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Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon Collector's Edition 2006 - Blu-ray

Movie Review

5 beersConsidering the fact that there are STILL those poor souls out there who do not understand that Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon is a mockumentary, you’ll forgive me if I lead this review off with a curse aimed directly at their heads. Fuck those idiots. Seriously. They may keep the movie low in the polls, but they are DEAD WRONG in their declaration that the movie is a waste of shelf space. And Scream Factory’s new Collector’s Edition of this mockumentary is perhaps all the proof I will ever need.

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, sharing the same fictional world with the three heavyweight slashers and their killers – Michael Myers in Halloween, Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th, Freddy Krueger in A Nightmare on Elm Street – do (those movies really happened), is a rip on other documentaries as its focuses its cameras on an ardent admirer of those killers and their brutal handiwork.  He worships his heroes and aims to copy them in their search for virgins and he has everything mapped out.  Everything.

This is Leslie’s story and, as hilarious as it is in the beginning when he is first (and rather awkwardly) introduced to a female journalist named Taylor Gentry (Angela Goethals) and her two cameramen, Doug (Ben Pace) and Todd (Britain Spellings), the film is also downright frightening in where it goes, acting out as a new slasher of its own. Clever, clever; turns out this was Leslie’s plan all along. Lure the strangers in, make them feel safe, and then turn those tables.

"Eat your heart out, Scream. When it comes to solid laughs while labeling the genre, I call dibs on Leslie Vernon (Nathan Baesel), especially when he takes the camera crew to witness his own exploits."


Eat your heart out, Scream. When it comes to solid laughs while labeling the genre, I call dibs on Leslie Vernon (Nathan Baesel), especially when he takes the camera crew to witness his own exploits. The movie – written and directed by Scott Glosserman – never once goes off the rails. It is equal parts horror and comedy, offering a great treat for any horror-themed get-together you might be hosting in the near future. Seriously. There is fun and scares to be had here as Leslie brings the documentary crew to meet his father (Scott Wilson), a killer of his own, and his high school targets.

Co-starring Robert Englund as Leslie’s main nemesis and  Zelda Rubinstein as the local librarian, Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon is a whirlwind production that calls out and then spoofs the slasher genre and its many conventions with an attention to detail that is spot-on and quite effective. Leslie explains each concept in the genre and then identifies when he is enacting them, all the while we laugh because we know it is true. It works and then, sharpening all sets of tools, he goes in for the attach and, gaping wide-eyed besides the camera crew, we are unsure of how to effectively respond.

After all, one does not tend to laugh at the stalking and murder of virgins and their loser friends. It is encouraged here and, yes, it is damn effective in creating a very fun mood that is stroked throughout the flick with nods to the original slashers, wink-nudge-wink-nudge moments, and a charm surrounding its primal subject as Leslie trains to be an above-average supernatural killer so that he can keep up with the youngsters he chases down through the woods.

Complete with a cameo from Kane Hodder, Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon is the Man Bites Dog of the slasher genre. Get your copy of this mockumentary masterpiece now.

 

Film Details

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon Collector's Edition 2006 - Blu-ray

MPAA Rating: R for horror violence, language, some sexual content and brief drug use.
Runtime: 92 mins
Director: Scott Glosserman
Writer: Scott Glosserman, David J. Stieve
Cast: Nathan Baesel, Angela Goethals, Zelda Rubinstein
Genre: Horror
Tagline: Jason, Freddy, Myers. We All Need Someone To Look Up To.
Memorable Movie Quote: "It is going to get wet in here tonight. Lace your boots up kiddies."
Theatrical Distributor: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Official Site:
Release Date:  March 16, 2007
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: March 27, 2018
Synopsis: You know legendary maniacs Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers and Freddy Krueger. Now meet Leslie Vernon, the next great psycho-slasher. Nathan Baesel (Invasion) stars as Vernon, a good-natured killing machine who invites a documentary film crew to follow him as he reminisces with his murder mentor (Scott Wilson, The Walking Dead), evades his psychiatrist/nemesis (Robert Englund, A Nightmare On Elm Street), deconstructs Freudian symbolism, and meticulously plots his upcoming slaughter spree. But when the actual carnage begins, where do you draw the line between voyeuristic thrills, mythic evil, and good old-fashioned slasher movie mayhem?

 

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon Collector's Edition 2006 - Blu-ray

Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray - March 27, 2018
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles: English SDH
Language: English
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Scream Factory provides Behind the Mask with a new HD master from the 2K intermediate and the results are damn strong. The AVC encoded 1080p transfer might be built upon "found footage", but you can kiss the grain goodbye. Due to the higher resolutions of the modern cameras – including cell phones – there's clarity throughout the 1.85:1 transfer. Black levels are strong throughout and greens are especially sharp. We are, after all, in a number of indoor and outdoor settings as we follow this maniac around. Things do get shaky with a number of the shots – a stylistic choice, mind you – so there is a bunch of sources at play. Sound is pretty expressive in English 5.1 DTS-HD MA track, which provides for a truly immersive listening experience while watching the movie. Results might vary but that’s due to all the different locations.

Supplements:

Commentary:

There are two commentaries. The first is with Co-writer/Director Scott Glosserman and is moderated by filmmakers Adam Green and Joe Lynch. The second is with Nathan Baesel, Angela Goethals, Britain Spelling, and Ben Pace and recalls their time making the movie.

Special Features:

With new featurettes, the upgraded Collector’s Edition release of this movie includes new cover art (reversible, too!), a new HD transfer, a couple of commentary tracks, and the making-of looks that were originally included with the initial release.

Joys And Curses – Interviews With Actors Angela Goethals, Ben Pace, And Co-writer/Co-producer David Stieve
Before The Mask: The Comic Book – An Interview With Comic Book Artist Nathan Thomas Milliner
The Making Of Behind The Mask: The Rise Of Leslie Vernon Featurette
The Casting Of Behind The Mask: The Rise Of Leslie Vernon Featurette
Deleted And Extended ScenesTheatrical Trailer

 

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon Collector's Edition 2006 - Blu-ray

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