BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Alone in the Dark: Collector's Edition (1982) - Blu-ray Review

Alone in the Dark: Collector's Edition

“Alright, they’re crazy! Isn’t everybody?”

We are all crazy.  Every one of us are absolutely insane and little separates us from those poor individuals committed due to their uncontrolled impulses.  Working with this idea, Alone in the Dark condemns all of society, showing just how fragile it is when a power outage causes mass riots and looting while mental institute patients see their chance to kill and kill again upon this playground of human flesh.  Let it all go to hell!

"Cult films don’t get much crazier than right here in this B-grade horror flick"


And it does so with a gnarly smile on its lips in Alone in the Dark!  Enjoy the terror of Haven Mental Hospital in Springwood, New Jersey when the lights go out!

Irreverent and often off its rocker in its use of tongue-in-cheek horror, Alone in the Dark is a slasher film disguised as poignant social commentary as Donald Pleasence (Halloween) plays love-child psychiatrist Dr. Bain to Ed Wood’s Martin Landau, Dutch-American actor, opera singer, and amateur wrestler Erland Van Lidth De Jeude (The Running Man) and City SlickersJack Palance in writer/director Jack Sholder’s debut feature film. 

Pleasence considers his work to be ahead of its time and he certainly treats the delusional inmates differently, giving them jobs around the institute that makes it hard for damn near anyone to find their way to Dr. Bain’s offices.  If they want a match to light something on fire, well, he gives it to them and so on.   Why not?  They are no different than the other humans walking around in society.  It’s an interesting mix of genres, actors, and ideas as one town gets painted RED in all the wrong ways.  Sholder’s next film, after earning this job from New Line Cinema due to his work on The Burning, would be A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2, so it is here where he cuts his teeth with the formula of stalking and slashing thrillers and, while working with his own ideas about society and social norms, he delivers in spades.Alone in the Dark: Collector's Edition

From the opening dream sequence to the final moments in a club where the Sic F*cks play, Alone in the Dark never disappoints when it comes to its own oddness.  It’s not plausible, but you simply go with the explanations and hope for the best as a massive city-wide blackout releases the craziest of the inmates who take it upon themselves to join in on the fun happening throughout the city.

With a great (and shocking!) sequence of blood and guts from make-up effects artist Tom Savini, Alone in the Dark works as expressive satire as Dwight Schultz (The A-Team) and his family - wife Nell (Deborah Hedwall), young daughter Lyla (Elizabeth Ward), and his adult sister Toni (Lee Taylor-Allan) - find themselves at the center of this night of blackout terror when their home becomes ground zero for all the planned bloodshed.

Alone in the Dark is now on blu-ray thanks to Scream Factory’s efforts to bring this B-movie back into our consciousness.  Complete with hours of special features and a new 2K scan of the original 35mm print, the movie can be yours to own once again!  Cult films don’t get much crazier than right here in this B-grade horror flick.

Let’s get nuts!

4/5 beers

Alone in the Dark: Collector's Edition

Blu-ray Details

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- September 14, 2019
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

At a secluded mental institution, electricity fuels the hi-tech security system that keeps the nearby neighborhoods safe from deviant menaces like Frank Hawkes (Jack Palance, Batman) and "Preacher" (Martin Landau, Ed Wood). Dr. Bain (Halloween's Donald Pleasence) maintains strict order while a new doctor, Dan Potter (The A-Team's Dwight Schultz), arrives in town with his family. But the inmates don't take kindly to Potter's presence and believe he has killed off their former therapist. Suddenly, a power outage leaves the town in chaos ... and now the maniacs are free to roam the streets and hunt down the man they believe has invaded their lives. With the area quickly descending into riots and chaos, the innocent few must fight for their lives when they're left terrified, cornered and Alone In The Dark! One of the most memorable and terrifying cult horror films of the 1980s, this white-knuckle shocker from director Jack Sholder (The Hidden) features gory make-up effects from Tom Brumberger (Don't Go In The House) and Tom Savini (Friday The 13th), delivering one seat-jumping scare after another, along with a thick slab of pitch-black humor!

Video:

Scream Factory’s NEW 2K scan of the original film elements is pretty solid, offering the best look of the film possible.  The 1080p transfer is presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio and the results, while not as sharp as you might be expecting, are certainly a plus.  The interiors are crisp and, while there is a lot blackness in this movie - details are never lost.  The effects are quite strong.  The clothing and some of the furniture items are a reason to appreciate the visual “pop” throughout the high definition transfer, too.  Even the bare-bottom effects look better than remembered, with Savini’s work on the film being certainly the best display.  The image quality is the best you’re going to get with a film like this.  Colors are perfect. Blacks are solid. Skin tones are detailed and appropriate.

Audio:

The DTS-HD stereo soundtrack is filled with lots of punk sounds and bloods shrieks of terror!

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • See Special Features for details.

Special Features:

With a nice lead-in from the film’s director, Scream Factory continues to deliver when it comes to supplemental items with NEW interviews from The Sic F*cks and more!

  • NEW Out Of The Dark – An Interview With Director And Co-Writer Jack Sholder
  • NEW Mother Choppers: The Sic F*cks Remember Alone In The Dark
  • NEW Sites In The Dark: The Locations Of Alone In The Dark
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Genre Film Critic Justin Kerswell And Film Historian Amanda Reyes
  • Audio Commentary With Director Jack Sholder
  • Bunky Lives! – An Interview With Actress Carol Levy
  • Still F*cking Sick – Catching Up With The The Sic F*cks
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spot
  • Radio Spots
  • Still Gallery

Blu-ray Rating

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

Composite Blu-ray Grade

4/5 stars


Film Details

Alone in the Dark: Collector's Edition

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
92 mins
Director
: Jack Sholder
Writer:
Jack Sholder; Robert Shaye; Michael Harrpster
Cast:
Jack Palance; Donald Pleasence; Martin Landau
Genre
: Horror | Thriller
Tagline:
Turn off the lights and watch...if you dare!
Memorable Movie Quote: "So... it's not just us crazy folk that kill. We all kill... when we must. And we all die... when it's time."
Theatrical Distributor:
New Line Cinema
Official Site:
Release Date:
November 12, 1982
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
September 14, 2021.
Synopsis: At a secluded mental institution, Dr. Bain (Halloween's Donald Pleasence) maintains order while electricity fuels the asylum's hi-tech security system that keeps the nearby neighborhoods safe from menaces like Frank Hawkes (Academy Award® winner Jack Palance, City Slickers) and "Preacher" (Academy Award winner Martin Landau, Ed Wood). Meanwhile a new doctor, Dan Potter (The A-Team's Dwight Schultz), arrives in town with his family, but the inmates don't take kindly to his presence and believe he has killed off their former therapist. Suddenly a power outage leaves the town in chaos...and now the maniacs are free to roam the streets and hunt down the man they believe has invaded their lives. With the area quickly descending into riots and chaos, the innocent few must fight for their lives when they're left terrified, cornered and Alone in the Dark!

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Alone in the Dark: Collector's Edition

 

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