BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

The Soultangler (1987) - DVD Review

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The Soultangler (1987) - Blu-ray Review

Movie Review

5 beers

“After life. After death. The madness begins.” It is the poor delivery of that opening line that seals the deal in this shot-on-video ultra trashy flick. The Soultangler, directed by Pat Bishow, is the real deal when it comes to super sticky SINema from the other side of the aisle. Thankfully, we have AGFA and Bleeding Skull to bow down to for their epic treatment of this horror film, which makes its DVD debut in this ultra-cool release.

Written by John Bishow and Lance Laurie, The Soultangler begins with a freaky montage of incredibly sick images – full of wonderfully fake practical effects – as Dr. Anton Lupesky (Bill Bernhard) tells us of his newly discovered drug that can help the living take possession of any dead body they so choose. The only thing is that the hallucinogenic side effects can kill you. So far, though, the only person those side effects haven’t offed is the good/bad doctor himself, who some describe as an agent of Satan.

Bishow’s film, with super gooey effects from George Higman, wants to be on the shelf next to Lovecraft and, in a weird way, it absolutely achieves this. It’s dedicated to a truly bizarre narrative that pays off in a BIG way. Sure, it was shot on 16mm film and edited on video, but its theme is absolutely batshit crazy – with a solid high-five to the Dark Lord of the Underground himself – this Long Island flick is all sorts of bizarre fun. Too bad then it was made for the price of a used clunker, but really that is part of its charm.

AGFA and Bleeding Skull have cleaned up a transfer that has been sourced from the original 1'' master video release and – while dingy and of poor VHS quality – this is the absolute best, with the technology that we have today, that this film is EVER going to look. Fuzzy scenes and washed out colors are prolific. Ah, VHS clamshelled glories.

 

"The Soultangler is a poorly acted poverty row trashterpiece. And it knows it, hamming it up at almost every chance it can before spinning into the abyss of experiments and MTV-like montages courtesy of Hypnolovewheel."


 

Fans, and there are quite a number of them out there, will be pleased with the results as investigative reporter Kim Castle (Jennifer Brown) attempts to stop the madness of Lupesky’s experiments upon his return to the country. After all, the facilities are better here and her dreams – full of strange visuals – are definitely guiding her hand as she avenges her father’s death.

The Soultangler is a poorly acted poverty row trashterpiece. And it knows it, hamming it up at almost every chance it can before spinning into the abyss of experiments and MTV-like montages courtesy of Hypnolovewheel.

The Soultangler is schlocky, unhinged, and – you guessed it – bizarre. It’s a slow trek, unless you watch the preferred Director’s Cut, through a gooey funhouse. The hammer kidnappings have to be some of the most righteously wonky executed moments of VHS history. They are hilarious, suddenly brutal, and then, maybe for good measure, funny once again all do to the wacky piece of cloth covering the abductor’s face. What?

What I love about this “production” is the fact that absolutely nothing is sacred. Even the local priest is in on the joke, posing as one of the fallen for a dream sequence that is cheaply shot and all about the walking green-faced (is that mud?) dead. Filmed in basements and garages and (quickly) in the streets outside local businesses, The Soultangler has returned with a vengeance.

And that’s how it done, boys and girls. Don’t give two shits and make homegrown horror that absolutely sticks to the damn wall.

The Soultangler is ready for its close-up.

 

Film Details

soultangler artMPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
98 mins
Director: Pat Bishow
Writer: John Bishow, Lance Laurie
Cast: Bill Bernhard, Jennifer Brown, Tom Ciorciar
Genre: Horror
Tagline: The Soultangler.
Memorable Movie Quote: "it all began when my father died. I began to do some investigative work.”

Theatrical Distributor:Official Site: Release Date: DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: March 27, 2018Synopsis: If RE-ANIMATOR was shot on Long Island for the price of a used car, THE SOULTANGLER would be the result. Insane genius Dr. Anton Lupesky has developed a drug that allows users to inhabit corpses and transform into rabid maniacs! Can reporter Kim Castle stop the carnage and save our species from annihilation?!

 

The Soultangler (1987) - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: AGFA
Available on Blu-ray - March 27, 2018
Screen Formats: 1.33:1
Subtitles: None 
Audio: Dolby Digital Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Transferred from the original 1” master tapes, this DVD release from AGFA and Bleeding Skull is strictly for the depraved like me. Presented in good spirits, the 1.33:1 full screen image is as pretty shitty as you can imagine. Colors are never bright. The contrast is never clear and the picture is one big ball of fuzzed out pixels. Nothing is crisp and the black levels bleed like the fake blood flicked at the screen in all the death scenes. The sound is presented in an effective Dolby Digital Mono soundtrack.

Supplements:

Commentary:

There is a new commentary track from the film’s director Pat Bishow.

Special Features:

Transferred from the original 1” master tapes, this DVD release from AGFA and Bleeding Skull is strictly for the depraved like me. Presented in good spirits, the 1.33:1 full screen image is as pretty shitty as you can imagine. Colors are never bright. The contrast is never clear and the picture is one big ball of fuzzed out pixels. Nothing is crisp and the black levels bleed like the fake blood flicked at the screen in all the death scenes. The sound is presented in an effective Dolby Digital Mono soundtrack.

Commentary:

There is a new commentary track from the film’s director Pat Bishow.

Special Features:

Fans get the 62-minute PREFERRED version of the film, behind the scenes looks at the making of the movie, and trailers. There is also a music video, linear notes, and reversible cover art. There are also good linear notes and reversible cover art.

Director’s Cut of The Soultangler (62 min)

Behind The Scenes Footage

Trailers

Music Video

 

The Soultangler - Blu-ray Review

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