BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Deadly Manor (1990) - Blu-ray Review

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Deadly Manor

This house is EVIL!  

At least, that’s the opinion of Helen (Claudia Franjul), one teenager in this group, when confronted with the option to stay the night in an abandoned mansion deep in the woods.  She’s not sticking around to find out what murderous intentions it has in store for her, her friends, and the handsome long-haired hitchhiker they picked up along the way.  Good for her.  Unfortunately, thanks to the speed of this 86-minute slasher, she doesn’t wander the wilderness for very long before coming to a grisly end.

"more suspenseful than it has any right being"


 

The others think she’s nutso for being afraid, but - to be fair - there are a lot of weird things discovered in the house while the skies turn dark and stormy above them.  Maybe she can go get help for them.  There are weird things being discovered, after all.  The car wreck turned shrine in the front yard that the group first came across is one thing, but the basement full of coffins really sealed the deal.  Yes, Deadly Manor has it all, including a china doll-faced killer.

And what’s all with the pictures of the same girl on the wall?  She’s hot and all, but it’s more troubling than the mysterious hitchhiker (Clark Tufts) they’ve picked up along the side of the road to help them with finding the lake they are headed toward.  

With few choices left, the group - minus the logical one who decided to run and get help - explore the mansion as the night descends and discover that, damn, this house of long shadows might just be a shrine after all.  And then they discover yesterday’s newspaper in a chair.  Warning: if you think a house is deserted but you discover a recent newspaper has been left in the house, then you probably need to get the fuck out at double the speed.  Good things do not await you.

Because the people who do live in the house covered with pictures of the same woman (Jennifer Delora) on the wall are very, very angry and, with human scalps in a closet, they are definitely coming back!  Her spirit - which is very much alive and fleshy and ready for sex - is still alive.

Directed by José Ramón Larraz and full of nice atmosphere, Deadly Manor was filmed in upstate New York where a house that was due to be flattened stood as if waiting for the perfect film to be made within its decrepit walls.  The abandoned house, full of big fireplaces and long cracks in the wall, makes this film more suspenseful than it has any right being. Deadly Manor Made when there was a bit of a lull in slasher flicks, Deadly Manor delivers dumb fun with smart atmospheres thanks to the direction of Larraz, who absolutely delivered with 1988’s Edge of the Axe and 1982’s Black Candles.  His camera has a great sense of purpose and he delivers shocking moments that make this film - like most of his better-known Spanish flicks - afloat.  

Deadly Manor is now on blu-ray thanks Arrow Video and their brand-new 2K restoration from the original film elements.

3/5 stars

Deadly Manor

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Arrow FIlms
Available on Blu-ray
- February 18, 2020
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: LPCM Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Region-free playback

An old, dark house... A maniac on the loose... An orgy of bloodlust! All the hallmarks of late master of Spanish macabre José Ramón Larraz (Edge of the Axe, Vampyres) are present and correct in 1990’s Deadly Manor - the final horror movie from one of the genre’s most unheralded filmmakers.

The last in a trio of transcontinental slice-and-dice co-productions helmed by Larraz towards the end of the 80s (all of which which he directed under the anglicized moniker of Joseph Braunstein), Deadly Manor - released on VHS in the US under the title Savage Lust - is a fitting capper to the director’s prolific career in fear, now finally unearthed for the first time on Blu-ray.

Video:

Arrow Video presents Deadly Manor on blu-ray thanks to a brand-new HD scan in 2K. With an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, this transfer is detailed and looks better than ever. Some shots, due to the era of the day, are fuzzier than others but the image is reasonably well defined with crisp contrasts and solid textures. Colors are solid, with reds being a standout. Blacks are, too. 

Audio:

The disc comes with a DTS-HD Master Audio Mono that presents the original uncompressed soundtrack as intended.

Commentary:

  • There is a new one featuring Kat Elinger and Samm Deighan, both of them waxing poetic about the film’s textures and the strength of Larraz as a director.

Special Features:

As usual, Arrow Video supplies this release with plenty of supplemental elements that will keep fans well-fed, complete with new interviews, a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Adam Rabalais, and a collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by author John Martin.

  • Newly-filmed interview with actress Jennifer Delora
  • Making a Killing - a newly-filmed interview with producer Brian Smedley-Aston
  • Extract from an archival interview with Jose Larraz
  • Original “Savage Lust” VHS trailer
  • Image Gallery
  • Original Script and Shooting Schedule (BD-ROM content)

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 3/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 3/5 stars
  Extras 3/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

3.5/5 stars

Deadly Manor

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
82 mins
Director
: José Ramón Larraz
Writer:
José Ramón Larraz
Cast:
Clark Tufts, Greg Rhodes, Claudia Franjul
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
She has a lust for life... pray it's not yours.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Take it easy? Take it easy? There's a smashed car outside, coffins in the basement, and scalps in the closet, and you're telling me to take it easy? What's next, Uncle Fester on the patio?"
Theatrical Distributor:

Official Site:
Release Date:

DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
February 18, 2020.
Synopsis: Whilst en route to a lake, a group of youngsters make an unscheduled stop-off at a remote, seemingly abandoned mansion where they plan to spend the night. But the property is full of foreboding signs - a blood-stained car wreck in the garden, coffins in the basement, scalps in the closet, and photographs of a beautiful but mysterious woman adorning every corner of the house. Before daybreak, the group will unwittingly uncover the strange and terrifying truth that lurks behind the walls of this dreadful place.

Deadly Manor

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