BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Pandemonium (1983) - Blu-ray Review

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Pandemonium (1983)

Candy, Mandy, Sandy, Andy and Randy!  Say it again with all the joy you can muster!  And then there’s Glen.  Glen . . . Dandy!

Yes, those are the names of possible victims in Pandemonium, a horror spoof directed by Alfred Sole (Alice, Sweet, Alice), and - whether it be via strip poker, a trampoline, javelin tossing, brushing teeth, or whatever else you can think that kids and teenagers do - the crazed killer at the center of this Airplane!-styled spoof (which I first saw decades ago) - is definitely up to the task of murder-izing everyone and everything with RAGING hormones.

"populated with Old School Hollywood Stars and the renowned Groundlings comedy troupe, and its on-screen Victim Counter is certainly NOT for everyone"


And it is all for sweet Candy, cheerleaders, and their dirty, dirty pillows.  

Welcome to the town of It Had To Be, Indiana.  This is the place where horror - according to screenwriters Jaime Klein and Richard Whitley (Rock ‘n’ Roll High School) - lives and dies.  It could be your hometown, but - as you will soon find out - tragedy struck here hard in 1963 and It Had To Be Uni’s Summer Cheerleading Camp was forced to close its doors.

That was then.  In 1982, Bambi (Candice Azzara) wants to reopen its doors and that’s when . . . (dramatic sound effect) . . . the killing resumes!  But who it is will surprise ANYONE still among the living.

Truly, the atmosphere throughout this comedy is thick with a great mood to flick the tropes of the genre against.  And that’s where a lot of Pandemonium’s best moments come from, flipping expectations on its head time and time again as solid comic performances from a talented cast - which includes Tab Hunter, David Landers, Carol Kane, Judge Reinhold, Kaye Ballard, Donald O’Connor, James MacKrell, Debralee Scott, Mile Chapin, Marc McClure, Tommy Smothers, Phil Hartman, Warden June, John Paragon, and Paul Reubens (who seems to be trying out his Pee Wee Herman routine here with GREAT results) - repeatedly deliver gold nuggets for the audience to laugh at.  Otherwise, this script and its jokes are a bit too uneven and, yes, dated. Pandemonium (1983)

But, man, it’s okay because sometimes this movie - full of baths with milk and cookies, lasers shooting out of eyeballs, a stewardess who warms food and drink with fire breath  - absolutely knocks it out of the park . . . especially with that opening which has a bunch of cheerleaders carrying fruit props from their routine getting shish kebobb-ed by a javelin.

Pandemonium, populated with Old School Hollywood Stars and the renowned Groundlings comedy troupe, and its on-screen Victim Counter is certainly NOT for everyone.  

Fans of Student Bodies, Saturday the 14th, and Class Reunion are going to dig it, though, thanks to its willingness to GO THERE with some of its lampooning, which includes a premise ripped straight from Friday the 13th, heartwarming mother and daughter defiant moments previously seen in Carrie, routine Jaws jabs, Psycho pops, and nods to Universal’s classic run of monster movies.

Co-starring Alix Elias, Pat Ast, Don McLeod, Edie McClurg, and former pro wrestler Lenny Montana (Luca Brasi in The Godfather), Pandemonium is all about the nonsense that rides into one small town when the the Royal Canadian Mounted Police comes to the rescue, leaving behind a bunch of horse shit for passerbys to step right into.

Pandemonium, complete with a brand new 2K restoration and a limited edition slipcover, is now on blu-ray thanks to Vinegar Syndrome.

3/5 stars

Pandemonium (1983)

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Vinegar Syndrome
Available on Blu-ray
- September 29, 2020
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

In 1963, a group of college cheerleading students were brutally slain by a mysterious killer, resulting in the closure of the school they attended. Now, former student and professional cheerleader, Bambi, has decided to re-open the institution. As new students arrive, it’s not long before the murderer makes his presence known and the bloody hi-jinx resume. Even worse, the only hope of unmasking the culprit falls upon an overworked Canadian Mountie.  Jam packed with bizarre humor and even stranger death sequences, Vinegar Syndrome brings this never-on-disc, early 1980s cult favorite to Blu-ray in a brand new 2K restoration!

Video

Newly scanned & restored in 2k from its 35mm interpositive, Pandemonium looks almost brand new again.  The 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 transfer is a thing of rugged beauty. Newly restored from its original 35mm camera negative, there is a new depth to much of the film which reveals just how cheap the shoot was. Black levels are strong, too. Grain has never looked this inviting. The details through this feature are simply scrumptious. From fabrics in the jackets of the actors to the facial imperfections of the football helmets on their heads, this AVC encoded image (1.85:1 aspect ratio) 1080p transfer gets the look right.

Audio

A DTS-HD Master Mono Audio track provides the only source of sound for all the shenanigans.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

Newly scanned & restored in 2k from its 35mm interpositive, fans also get an interview from Alfred Sole, a collection of stills, and a reversible cover.

  • Dying Of Laughter
  • Promotional Still Gallery

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 3/5 stars
  Video  3/5 stars
  Audio 2/5 stars
  Extras 3/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

3/5 stars

Pandemonium (1983)

MPAA Rating: PG.
Runtime:
82 mins
Director
: Alfred Sole
Writer:
Jaime Barton Klein, Richard Whitley
Cast:
Tom Smothers, Carol Kane, Tammy Alverson
Genre
: Comedy | Horror
Tagline:

Memorable Movie Quote: "You are frightened of baloney?"
Theatrical Distributor:
United Artists
Official Site:
Release Date:
April 2, 1982
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
September 29, 2020.
Synopsis: In 1963, a group of college cheerleading students were brutally slain by a mysterious killer, resulting in the closure of the school they attended. Now, former student and professional cheerleader, Bambi, has decided to re-open the institution. As new students arrive, it’s not long before the murderer makes his presence known and the bloody hi-jinx resume. Even worse, the only hope of unmasking the culprit falls upon an overworked Canadian Mountie.

Pandemonium (1983)

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