BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Through the Fire (1988) Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive - Blu-Ray Review

Through the Fire (1988) Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive

Black magic!  Like in Marilyn's books!  This demon wants a lifeless body to control!

Through the Fire begins with a flat tire.  We have a glorious wide shot in which a white car comes to a stop against a night full of stars.  That single shot is pretty awe-inspiring.  Unfortunately, the rest of the movie is less than.  The woman driver (Tracy Baldwin) piles out of the car and looks at the flat tire.  It doesn’t take long for her to realize that she is not alone on that stretch of highway.  Someone is pulling up alongside her and she lets out a scream that wakes the dead.

"It’s the random demon attacks which keeps us going in this B-grade thriller"


These are your first moments of Through the Fire, a thriller which begins with the search for this now missing woman and ends with an up-close and personal look at a demon known as Muloch, thanks to a strange cult that accidentally awakens the angry demon.  

Directed by Gary Marcum and shot on location in Texas, Through the Fire introduces a hell of a lot of characters at the beginning of its narrative which adds to the confusion as we jump from a drunk woman in a bar getting picked up by a police officer, to a seance with a strange amulet, and finally to a sleep-out with a couple of kids.  It is all leading to a series of quick edits and a bloody attack as the demon rears its ugly head and takes out the mother of the boys in the backyard.Through the Fire (1988) Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive

Starring Tom Campitelli (Dark Angel) as the officer hired to find Tamara Hext’s missing sister, Through the Fire is a regional horror title with a memorable morning blow job from the nude woman in Campitelli’s bed.  She’s as hot as the coffee he burns his mouth with and the quick scene works to create some interest.  I begin here because, while competent enough, nothing much happens in this tale of demonic activity until the very end as two people go off in search of missing people with no plausible conclusion.  

Sure, we have a pretty DUMB cult responsible for the demonic attacks, but they are more of a laugh than an honest threat, but what they have unleashed is hungry for more and more blood and supple female flesh.  That demonic threat lies in wait as shadows descend over its body and its shot in a manner which keeps it secret to us until it's time to shine.  In between those moments, we are teased with more nudity, a lackluster search for Marilyn, the woman who disappeared at the start of the movie, and a lot of bad acting against lackluster sets in offices and warehouses.

It’s the random demon attacks which keeps us going in this B-grade thriller from Marcum and Brad Potter.  Newly restored in 2K from its 35mm internegative, Vinegar Syndrome presents this weird regional title on blu-ray for the very first time.  Included with the purchase is a limited edition embossed slipcover (designed by Robert Sammelin).

Step back, Satan!  Through the Fire is now on the scene.

3/5 stars

 

Through the Fire (1988) Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive

Blu-ray Details

Vinegar Syndrome special limited edition embossed slipcover

Home Video Distributor: Vinegar Syndrome
Available on Blu-ray
- August 31, 2021
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono; English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A, B

After finding a strange looking amulet, a young woman mysteriously vanishes. Her sister, Sandra, finding the police to be little help, turns to a rogue officer named Nick, who senses that something evil is afoot. However, the strange disappearance is only the beginning of a horrifying nightmare, as a Satanic sect, which worships the God Moloch, are determined to do anything in their power to retrieve the ancient amulet as a means of bringing their unholy master to life and ushering in Hell on Earth. It's up to Nick and Tamara to face off against not only the murderous cult, but their monstrous deity.  The special limited edition embossed slipcover (designed by Robert Sammelin) is limited to 5,000 units and is only available at VinegarSyndrome.com!

Video:

Newly scanned & restored in 2k from its 35mm interpositive, Through the Fire  looks filmic with its high grain factor.  It is truly impressive, adding a layer of depth to the fun Z-grade voodoo bullshit.  Colors are cool.  Black levels are textured and interiors look good in high definition.  The film is dominated with reds and greens that spark with strong colors.  It’s a cheap film, for sure, but the simple backgrounds and animated sequences burst from the transfer 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 dark scenes; thankfully, the lines hold their edges. Shadows are defined and the film has a new depth previously unseen. 

Audio:

An English Stereo track provides all the steely-eyed sounds from Hell!

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Fans get two solid commentary tracks with this release.  See below for the breakdown.

Special Features:

A low budget, high ambition, Texas shot Satanic thriller, Gary Marcum's Through The Fire (which was released on VHS under the wildly misleading title of The Gates of Hell Part II) blends lo-fi special effects with a grimy, southern regional flavor. Starring Tom Campitelli (Dark Angel) and prolific character actor, John S. Davies (Robocop, Magnolia), Vinegar Syndrome brings this uniquely southern fried piece of 80s horror to Blu-ray, newly restored in 2K from its 35mm internegative. 

  • “Lighting the Spark” - an interview with co-writer/director Gary Marcum and co-writer/associate producer Brad Potter
  • “A Labor of Love” - an interview with special makeup effect artist Gregor Punchatz
  • Alternate feature-length version The Gates of Hell Part II (sourced from video)
  • Commentary track with co-writer/director Gary Marcum
  • Commentary track with co-writer/director Gary Marcum, co-writer/associate producer Brad Potter and editor Jay Helton (moderated by Zack Carlson) for The Gates of Hell Part II
  • Behind-the-scenes special effects video footage
  • Reversible cover artwork

Blu-ray Rating

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

Composite Blu-ray Grade

3.5/5 stars


Film Details

Through the Fire (1988) Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
87 mins
Director
: Gary Marcum
Writer:
Gary Marcum; Brad Potter
Cast:
Tamara Hext; Tom Campitelli; Randy Strickland
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
Some things never rest in peace.
Memorable Movie Quote:
Original Home video Distributor:
Tapeworm Video Distributors
Official Site: https://www.thehustle.movie/
Release Date:
November 1988, (Fort Worth Texas)
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
August 31, 2021.
Synopsis: After finding a strange looking amulet, a young woman mysteriously vanishes. Her sister, Sandra, finding the police to be little help, turns to a rogue officer named Nick, who senses that something evil is afoot. However, the strange disappearance is only the beginning of a horrifying nightmare, as a Satanic sect, which worships the God Moloch, are determined to do anything in their power to retrieve the ancient amulet as a means of bringing their unholy master to life and ushering in Hell on Earth. It's up to Nick and Tamara to face off against not only the murderous cult, but their monstrous deity.

Art

Through the Fire (1988) Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive

 

 

Through the Fire (1988) Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive

 

 

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