BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Spookies (1986) - Blu-ray Review

  • Movie Review

  • Blu-ray Review

  • Film Details

  • Art


Spookies, originally directed by Brenden Faulkner and Thomas Doran and then later, inserting additional footage, by Eugenie Joseph, is back to party once again!  This cult classic - disappearing after a limited theatrical release, was revived on VHS and, eventually, became a standard broadcast for USA’s Up All Night - has an interesting production history, thanks to a financer who claimed he didn’t know what he was doing.  Hint: he did!  

"this weird tale, thanks to the make-up effects and the twisted history of this film, is somewhat of a Holy Grail find, completing many a cult cinema enthusiast's collection"

What he did want was a film that had more monsters than any other film at the time.  In that way, Spookies delivered. While the end result might not be the best horror film ever made, Vinegar Syndrome is proud to bring the film to Blu-ray for the first time, newly restored in 4K from its long lost original negative.

On one hand, Spookies is the story of a boy whose parents forgot his birthday and encounters a drifter in the woods after running away from home.  It is also, as was its original intention, the story of some teenage partiers who, believing a mansion to be abandoned, decide to have a party in it.  Both wind up in this mansion for the celebrations to occur. 

Little do they know that Kreon, a warlock who is watching over his dead bride, is going to have his way with them thanks to a werecat with a hook hand, a wide array of witches, farting monsters rising up from the floor of the wine cellar, and a bizarre spider woman who sucks off her victims, leaving them dry as bone.

Some party, huh?  Such is the weird and wacky world within the walls of Jay Estate in Rye, New York.  It’s a place where demons with wild, electric tongues and Ouija witches celebrate the partiers, one who speaks with a puppet attached to his hand,  with one hell of a haunted birthday reverie. Even the Grim Reaper comes out to play.  Spookies

All the little boy whose parents forgot about his birthday, Alec Nemser as Billy, wanted was a gift from them.  He got a lot more thanks to Fred Ward as Kreon, Soo Paek as The Spider Woman, and Dan Scott as Kreon's Servant. And it all has to do with getting Kreon’s bride back among the living.  But what if she, too, is a prisoner?  

Spookies, a certified cult classic with tons of madcap monsters in a haunted house, is now available on blu-ray thanks to the restoration efforts of Vinegar Syndrome.  As far as later 1980s horror-comedies go, this weird tale, thanks to the make-up effects and the twisted history of this film, is somewhat of a Holy Grail find, completing many a cult cinema enthusiast's collection.

4/5 stars



Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Vinegar Syndrome
Available on Blu-ray
- February 25, 2020
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
: English SDH
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0; English: Dolby Digital 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Vinegar Syndrome proudly brings Spookies to Blu-ray for the first time, newly restored in 4K from its long lost original negative and including a brand new, feature-length 'making of' documentary, charting its incredible and often unbelievable production history.


Newly scanned and restored in 4K from the original 35mm print, the film is dominated with reds and greens that sparks with strong colors.  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.  This is, after all, a dark film. There are lots of night scenes; thankfully, the lines hold their edges. Shadows are defined and the film has a new depth previously unseen.


Audio-wise, the DTS-HD MA 2.0 stereo soundtrack is included.  The dialogue is clear and the score/effects are never lost or hard to hear.


  • None.

Special Features:

Fans get a feature-length making-of documentary with deleted scenes, a documentary on the notorious UK home video label, VIPCO, screening introductions from the original co-directors, a Q&A session from 2015, archival location featurette, outtakes, bloopers, and a still gallery.

  • Twisted Tale - The Unmaking of Spookies
  • VIPCO - The Untold Story
  • 2015 Alamo Drafthouse Introductions
  • 2015 Q&A with actor Peter Iasillo, actor Anthony Valbiro and production assistant Tom Sciacca
  • Archival Locations Featurette
  • Outtakes and Bloopers
  • Still Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailer

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 4/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 3/5 stars
  Extras 4/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

4/5 stars


MPAA Rating: Unrated.
85 mins
: Genie Joseph
Mark Frost, Daniel F. Bacaner
Thomas Doran; Frank M. Farel; Brendan Faulkner
: Horror
A night of unrelenting terror.
Memorable Movie Quote: "My victims, walk in the land of the dead. They are all my children, and I am their ultimate lord..."
Theatrical Distributor:
Sony Video Software Company
Official Site:
Release Date:
January 1988
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
February 25, 2020.
Synopsis: After their car breaks down, a group of travelers find themselves stranded in a remote part of New England. After taking shelter in a spooky old mansion, complete with a graveyard, they discover a ouija board and decide to spend the night attempting to summon some spirits. But the group soon learns that playing with the forces of black magic isn't fun and games, and it's not long before they're head-to-head with all sorts of demonic creatures, shape shifters, and other forms of evil, all of whom are more than happy to pick them off in the most gruesome of ways.


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