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Saturday the 14th (1981) - Blu-ray Review

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Saturday the 14th (1981) - Blu-ray Review

"If you weren't immortal, you'd kill yourself!"

Welcome back to the house where only The Twilight Zone is on the television set.  It is as creaky place where even the décor blows dust in your face.  It doesn’t matter the hour; doesn’t matter the day, The Twilight Zone remains on the “boob tube” and then, out of sheer disgust, even turning off the television fails.  Neighbors go missing.  And, once inside the house, there is a mysterious storm that won’t allow you to leave.

"the dryness of the humor and the performances of Benjamin and Prentiss as his “charming wife” make this film work far beyond what it has ever been given credit for"


Producer Julie Corman’s spoof of the horror genre, Saturday the 14th, remains comedic gold.  There are stretches of unfunny events, yes, but the film still nails its campy vibes.  From the one-liners to the rubber-suited monsters flip-flopping around in the house (and in the bath tub, much to actress Kari Michaelsen’s surprise), this film and all its mugging from real-life husband and wife team of Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss will have you howling at the moon with laughter.

It is a cult comedy, complete with dirt in the bed of a newly bitten vampire victim, where the dishes do themselves.  As a result of its monster-sized ridiculousness, a lot of people just don’t “get” this film, but that dry wit and loopy writing from Second City’s Howard R. Cohen, who also directed the movie, is approaching the genius level as a lot of the horror films – their tone and all – get lampooned thanks to the inheritance of a home with a lasting curse on it.

Of course, as the lawyer dies before finishing his thoughts on the curse, John (Benjamin) and Mary (Prentiss) and only too excited to move their daughter Debbie (Michaelsen) and their young, “smart” son Billy (Kevin Brando) into it.  With Waldemar (Jeffrey Tambor), a vampire, and Yolanda (Nancy Lee Andrews) keeping eye on the Book of Evil which hides inside, it is only a matter of time before the curse is discovered and unleashed. 

But, for this family, it is the unwanted presence of a whole lot of bats in the belfry that must be dealt with first.  Mary refers to them as owls, but these bats – insanely attracted to her flesh – cause John to call the exterminator.  When the exterminator turns out to be Van Helsing (Severn Darden), the search for the Book of Evil is on.Saturday the 14th (1981) - Blu-ray Review

But who is to be believed about the consequences of its unleashing?  Only Billy knows . . . because he already opened it!  Full of great and not-so great gags, the dryness of the humor and the performances of Benjamin and Prentiss as his “charming wife” make this film work far beyond what it has ever been given credit for. Trust me, the condemnation of this flick is so undeserved that it’s rather hysterical when I hear someone talking trash about this and its cousin in supernatural spirit, Haunted Honeymoon, that I can’t help but groan. 

Saturday the 14th is now available on blu-ray thanks to Scream Factory.  The second unluckiest day of the year has finally arrived in HD thanks to a new 2K scan of the original film elements.

4 beers

Saturday the 14th (1981) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: PG.
Runtime:
75 mins
Director
: Howard R. Cohen
Writer:
Howard R. Cohen
Cast:
Richard Benjamin, Paula Prentiss, Jeffrey Tambor
Genre
: Horror | Comedy
Tagline:
Just when you thought it was safe to look at the calendar again.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Selling the house now would be like closing the barn door after the horses eat your children"
Theatrical Distributor:
New World Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
October 30, 1981
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
January 15, 2018
Synopsis: John (Richard Benjamin, Love At First Bite) and Mary (Paula Prentiss, The Stepford Wives) can't believe their good fortune when they inherit the vast estate of John's recently departed uncle. Sure, it's a fixer-upper. But there's nothing that can't be taken care of with a fresh coat of paint, a little dusting ... and maybe an exorcist! It turns out that they've just moved into the most eerie house in Erie, PA — and one that some loathsome looky-loos are simply dying to take off their hands! Monsters, mayhem, and mirth descend upon the house — and only a mysterious book can save this everyday normal family from Saturday's paranormal activity.

Saturday the 14th (1981) - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

New Release
Home Video Distributor:
Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- January 15, 2019
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: 
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Saturday the 14th is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of Shout! Factory's Scream Factory imprint with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 1.85:1. For the most part, this is a significant upgrade from the previous edition, with better clarity, improved contrast and more robust color.  Colors are bold and energetic with rich saturation in the primaries, adding to the film's sly self-aware sense of humor. Black levels are true and accurate for the most part with some of the best moments taking place at night.  Generally speaking, this is a really nice looking high definition presentation that makes a few minor missteps, none of them fatal.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

With a brand-new interview with Julie Corman, the special features attached to this new 2K scan begin with a bang. 

  • Interview with Producer Julie Corman
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spot
  • Photo Gallery

Saturday the 14th (1981) - Blu-ray Review

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