BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

The Cellar (1988) Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive - Blu-ray Review

The Cellar (1988) Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive

Children shouldn’t play with spears.  End of story.

There’s something EVIL bubbling just under the soil on this cursed farmland in Texas.  What it is though isn’t exactly too thrilled that this family has arrived.  Just witness the burning of the wooden oil pump  as a young boy, along with his dog, takes shelter in the farmhouse.  He just saw his father get yanked down below the depths and now this: fire!  

"With solid kill sequences, lots of atmospheric shrieks and growls, and a strange liquid bubbling up from the ground, The Cellar is a solid slice of creature feature horror pie"


Little does he know that he has awoken an ancient spirit that The Comanches once had trapped just under the soil with a spear and a rabbit talisman.  It is a creature designed to kill the white man.  But there is a flaw in its matrix and, unsurprising to some, is that it kills without prejudice.  This is the basement dwelling TERROR that emanates from THE CELLAR!

Directed by Kevin Tenney (Witchboard, Night of the Demons) when the original director, John Woodward, abandoned the project, The Cellar is an interesting slice of oil well-centered horror as a creature, first seen by children, and the Native American population makes its presence known to new home owners in the area.  Willy (Chris Miller) is the first to know of the creature's intentions when he is nearly pulled off his tire swing by this unnatural thing.

Convincing his father, Mance Cashen (Patrick Kilpatrick), and his new wife (Suzanne Savoy) of that is going to take a bit more than just that random attack.  You’d think the hole in the wall when they move some furniture around in the house and the bubbling sounds from the depths below would be enough.  It’s not, though, and even the warnings from a Comanche Indian chief, Chief Sam John (Michael Wren), isn’t enough to steer The Cashens away from the property.The Cellar (1988) Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive

Hard to believe then that even the warnings from the local drunk, T. C. van Houten (Ford Rainey) goes ignored and unheeded.  Of course, he’s acting all sorts of shady as he knows what evil lurks on the property.  As stated in the movie, there isn’t ANYTHING friendly out in this area of Texas.  Unfortunately, what wants to kill everyone in the movie damn near does it by luring them into The Cellar.

With solid kill sequences, lots of atmospheric shrieks and growls, and a strange liquid bubbling up from the ground, The Cellar is a solid slice of creature feature horror pie that deserves more appreciation than it gets from cult film fanatics.  Thankfully, this release from Vinegar Syndrome, newly restored in 2K and on Blu-ray for the first time, should change that.  The scenery alone is worth the spellbinding trip. There are also some great moments via a Polaroid camera and the creature feature suspense is almost non-stop once the thrills get going.

This special limited edition embossed slipcover (designed by Richard Hilliard) is limited to 4,000 units and is only available at VinegarSyndrome.com.

3/5 beers

 

The Cellar (1988) Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive

Blu-ray Details

Home Video Distributor: Vinegar Syndrome
Available on Blu-ray
- April 27, 2021
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0; English: Dolby Digital 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Region-free playback

The Cellar (1988) Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive

An unfortunately troubled production, with director Kevin Tenney (Night of the Demons, Witchtrap) called in early on to take over directing duties, The Cellar is a stylish monster film playing into the folk horror of the American southwest. Starring Patrick Kilpatrick (Minority Report), Academy Award nominee, Chris Miller (Puss In Boots), Suzanne Savoy (The Upside), and veteran character actor Don Collier (Tombstone), this movie highlights the woes of one family in the middle of nowhere in Texas. Upon arrival at their new home, Willy, their young son, explores the area, befriending a Native American shaman who warns him of the powerful forces and apparent curse on their land. Meanwhile, at home, Willy senses that there's something unusual about the cellar of their home; specifically that something strange might be living down there...and unfortunately for the Cashens, it's very hungry...

Video:

Newly scanned & restored in 2k from its 35mm interpositive, The Cellar might not be the best-looking release that Vinegar Syndrome has ever put it out, but it is a far cry from its origins.  An awful amount of love went into putting this release together and it shows. The crisp transfer is presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio and looks quite warm in the color department.  Reds are the dominant colors.  Black levels are solid, though.  The film looks crisp and colors are bold, with special gooey attention paid to the creature feature aspect of the special makeup effects.  It’s unlike any other version of the movie released thus far; focused and detailed. 

Audio:

An English Stereo track provides all the screams and the scares as the crows take over the cursed land of The Cellar.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Of special interest is the group commentary on both versions with: Kevin Tenney (director), Suzanne Savoy (actress), and Patrick Kilpatrick (actor).  One version they take seriously.  The other they completely obliterate the cut, talking smack about the producer’s intentions.

Special Features:

Vinegar Syndrome presents The Cellar newly restored in 2K and on Blu-ray for the first time, offered in both its commonly seen theatrical cut as well as its never before seen, and vastly superior, original director's cut.

  • Includes two versions of the film: the theatrical cut and the unseen director’s cut
  • Introduction by the director
  • “From Chicken Shit to Chicken Salad, Unearthing the Lost Cellar” - a brand new extended making-of documentary featuring interviews with the cast and crew
  • 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

The Cellar (1988) Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive

MPAA Rating: PG-13.
Runtime:
85 mins
Director
: Kevin Tenney
Writer:
John Woodward; Darryl Wimberley
Cast:
Patrick Kilpatrick; Chris Miller; Suzanne Savoy
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
Enter if you will - Leave if you can!
Memorable Movie Quote:
Theatrical Distributor:

Official Site:
Release Date:
No theatrical release
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
April 27, 2021.
Synopsis: In the hilarious new comedy THE HUSTLE, Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson star as female scam artists, one low rent and the other high class, who team up to take down the dirty rotten men who have wronged them.

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The Cellar (1988) Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive

 

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