BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

The Chill Factor (1988) - Blu-ray Review

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The Chill Factor (1988)

Six friends.  A remote part of Illinois.  Snowmobiles.  And a Satanic Cult.  I mean, what could go wrong?

The Chill Factor, produced and directed by Christopher Webster (the producer of Hellraiser, Heathers, Meet the Applegates, The Inheritor, Mindwarp) , is not a great movie in the sense of traditional Hollywood-back films.  Citizen Kane it is not.  The horror film, full of some really bad dialogue and stilted acting, wins no awards and, with nothing all that original in its set-up (another cabin in yet another woodland location), it could have easily disappeared and been forgotten by even the nastiest of videophiles. It could have.

"a wildly entertaining horror flick thanks to its committed direction and its smartly-paced editing."


The Chill Factor; however, is not forgettable.  It is far from it.  Thanks to a dedicated pool of local talents, this film succeeds where others fail because, yeah, it is so bad at what it is trying to achieve that it actually becomes a fun watch.  And now, thanks to an exclusive 2K restoration by Arrow Video, it has a chance to reach a whole new level in its climb toward cult film status.

This slasher – a highlight of the extreme violence being a nasty beheading by ceiling fan – is obviously inspired by Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead series.  In place of a weekend getaway, though, we get a snowmobile race across Black Friar Lake which results in an unfortunate accident.  The group of teens – after a HUGE scene of hilariously-awful exposition reveals in a local dive – are dim-witted enough to watch one of their own ram head-on into a tree.  Talk about hard-headed, man.

The young adults – Ron (Jim Cagle), Lissa (Eve Montgomery), Jeannie (Dawn Laurrie), Karen (Connie Snyder), and Chris (David Fields) as the group’s goofball – wind up taking their injured friend, Tom (Aaron Kjenass), to an abandoned camp that used to be headquarters for a Christian summer camp.  Uh-oh.  The problem is that Jesus was nowhere to be found in this summer camp.  Sure, the religious symbols are present (which is one of the nice touches of this film and how it uses the signs) but this place, discovered to be Camp St. Dominic, was holding something deadly and demonic at bay or were they actually worshipping it.

And these infighting idiots, bored but spirited by the discovery of a Devil Eye, decide to have some fun.  Like I said, idiots.  Soon enough, the devil’s reign begins again as the group discovers that they might have just resurrected the murderous activities of a serial killer who remains at large.  And it is all thanks to their fooling around.  Death to all! The Chill Factor (1988)

Full of some pretty awful dialogue, horrible acting, and a series of wild, snow and ice-related deaths, The Chill Factor succeeds as a wildly entertaining horror flick thanks to its committed direction and its smartly-paced editing.  It might not earn its marks with rampant nudity, but the implied sexual situations are there and, thanks to a committed demonic spirit, it has a lasting effect on those who still long for the VHS daze of yore. 

The Chill Factor is now on blu-ray thanks to Arrow Video.

4/5 beers

The Chill Factor (1988)

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Arrow
Available on Blu-ray
- July 16, 2019
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: LPCM 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

The Chill Factor’s brand new 2K restoration from the original film elements includes the original, uncompressed stereo audio.  The film looks pretty good, considering its low budget.  The details in the diner and the clothing and some of the furnishing items are a reason to appreciate the visual “pop” throughout the high definition transfer.  The atmosphere – especially the cinematography – is especially nice.  The crisp image quality is the best you’re going to get with a film like this and, admittedly, even a bit better than expected.  Some stuff from the same era hasn’t made the HD transition quite as well, but colors are perfect. Blacks are solid. Skin tones are detailed and appropriate.  The sound – offered here in a strong DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo track – presents the snowbound terror in an engaging manner.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • There is a brand new audio commentary with special effects artist Hank Carlson and horror writer Josh Hadley.

Special Features:

On top of the brand new 2K restoration and the new audio commentary with special effects artist Hank Carlson and horror writer Josh Hadley, we have several brand new on-camera interviews with the folks behind the scenes on this production.  There is a Still Gallery and the original VHS trailer attached.  The first pressing contains a Collector’s booklet.  There is also a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Marc Schoenbach.

  • Brand new on-camera interview with makeup artist Jeffery Lyle Segal
  • Brand new on-camera interview with production manager Alexandra Reed
  • Brand new on-camera interview with stunt coordinator Gary Paul
  • Still Gallery
  • Original VHS trailer

Blu-ray Rating:

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

Overall Blu-ray Experience

4/5 stars

The Chill Factor (1988) Blu-ray

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
86 mins
Director
: Christopher Webster
Writer:
Julian Weaver
Cast:
Dawn Laurrie, Aaron Kjenaas, Connie Snyder
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the slopes.
Memorable Movie Quote: "We found a toy to play with."
Theatrical Distributor:

Official Site:
Release Date:
July 28, 1993
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
July 16, 2019
Synopsis: For a group of young couples, a snowmobiling trip turns into a waking nightmare when one of their number is thrown from their vehicle and knocked unconscious. Seeking refuge in a nearby abandoned summer camp, the group find themselves holed up in a cabin filled with bizarre and ominous religious artefacts. As night falls, the discovery of a Ouija board amidst the dusty relics awakens a terrifying evil.

The Chill Factor (1988) Blu-ray

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