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Scared Stiff (1987) - Blu-ray Review

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Scared Stiff (1987)

Ca-Ca-Crazy lives here and, if you are anything like me and my warped sensibility, you are gonna love it.

"From children being whipped to a slow demonic possession, there’s nothing that this horror film doesn’t offer fans of haunted houses"

“Mom, will you close the closet door?”  With that simple question, Scared Stiff – a horror film about living in a house haunted by a slave owner – preys upon all our childhood fears.  This is a movie, made in 1987, that combines the wild MTV scene with chills and thrills thanks to a pop singer (Pretty Little Liars’ Mary Page Keller), when she, her son, and her psychologist boyfriend (10 to Midnight’s Andrew Stevens), who hilariously tries to explain all the unexplained AND OBVIOUS events away with psycho-babble, come to live in a plantation house that is clearly haunted. 

Hell, in this flick, even the pigeons and the young boy’s toys are possessed, suddenly springing to life as if they were featured in a toy commercial from 1985.  Every child’s fantasy, right?  Wrong.  Because these toys aren’t playing around.  At all.  And this scene, coming from out of nowhere, should give you some indication exactly where this horror story is headed.  Completely bonkers.

Never frightening and always hilarious, this kooky B-grade picture should be experienced by all B-movie lovers AND haters.  Poorly edited, ridiculously acted, and completely off the wall with gore (especially toward the ending), this “mysterious” picture concerns itself with skeletons found on the property (nearly mummified), a diary from the former plantation owner which describes his brutal reckoning, and an African voodoo creature that, because so many African-Americans were victimized by this dude, takes over David (Stevens), Kate’s man, and convinces him that killing all of them is the only way to be free of the curse. 

Directed by Richard Friedman (Doom Asylum), one has to absolutely fall in love with a film that, about 30-minutes until its conclusion, decides to go full tilt gonzo and throw everything at the screen to see what will stick.  It is a kickass round of voodoo crazy as the screen practically explodes into a paranormal free-for-all. Scared Stiff (1987)

Hang tight because you really cannot predict just where the hell this flick is going – except down the tubes when it appears that everyone, including the director, has thrown in the towel and just goes all willy-nilly on an over-the-top ending that ratchets up the gore and the supernatural spooks.  Quite suddenly, we have time travel and monsters and spears being chucked through portals in time itself. 

From children being whipped to a slow demonic possession, there’s nothing that this horror film doesn’t offer fans of haunted houses.  You definitely won’t be craving anything more from this bizarre culmination of rock and schlock terror . . . except maybe logic.

Scared Stiff is now available on blu-ray thanks to a solid 2K restoration from the original film elements.  It is presented by Arrow Video.

3/5 beers

Scared Stiff (1987)


Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Arrow
Available on Blu-ray
- April 23, 2019
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
: English SDH
English: Stereo 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc; reversible slipcover
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Presented in a crisp 1080p transfer, the new 2k scan and restoration of the original negative is a thing of pristine beauty.  The film is dominated with reds and greens that absolutely burst with color.  It’s a cheap film, for sure, but the simple backgrounds burst with new details and a nice level of clarity.  Black levels are solid and skin tones are natural.  Shadows are defined and the film has a new depth previously unseen.  Audio wise, the original uncompressed stereo audio for the film’s soundtrack is clear and the dialogue is never lost or hard to hear.  There are English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing.



  • Director Richard Friedman, Producer Dan Bacaner, and Film Historian Robert Ehlinger provide a brand-new commentary for their film.

Special Features:

Fans will be delighted to find out that the first pressing of this release contains a fully illustrated collector’s booklet with new writing on the film by James Oliver.  The release also has brand-new documentaries, a new commentary, and new interviews with cast and crew.  There is also a reversible cover with two different versions of the film’s cover artwork.

Mansion of the Doomed: The Making of Scared Stiff – brand new documentary featuring interviews with Richard Friedman, Dan Bacaner, Robert Ehlinger, actors Andrew Stevens and Joshua Segal, special effects supervisor Tyler Smith and special effects assistants Jerry Macaluso and Barry Anderson

  • Brand new interview with composer Billy Barber
  • Image Gallery
  • Original Theatrical Trailer

Blu-ray Rating:

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

Overall Blu-ray Experience

4/5 stars

Scared Stiff (1987)

MPAA Rating: R.
83 mins
: Richard Friedman
Mark Frost, Daniel F. Bacaner
Andrew Stevens, Mary Page Keller, David Ramsey
: Horror
There's no place left to hide.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Those old bones from our attic turned out to be from his wife."
Theatrical Distributor:
International Film Marketing
Official Site:
Release Date:
October 23, 1987
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
April 23, 1987
Synopsis: TV star Mary Page Keller (Pretty Little Liars) appears alongside Andrew Stevens (10 to Midnight, The Fury) as a couple terrorised by an age-old curse in this much-underrated late-80s offering from director Richard Friedman.

Keller plays Kate Christopher, a singer who moves into an old colonial mansion with her son and psychologist boyfriend David (Stevens). But when they make a strange and gruesome discovery in the boarded-up attic, it soon becomes clear that the mansion carries with it a dark and blood-stained past – and one that is about to terrorise them in the present.

Scared Stiff (1987)

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