The Hustle (2019)

Metallic hands and dark glasses!  There can be only one Dr. Gogol!   Maybe it is the warning that is issued as the film begins in total blackness or maybe it is the way that Peter Lorre is lit and filmed throughout this horror film, but Mad Love absolutely works its twisted ways in a modern viewing and ...

Killer’s Delight (1978) Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive - Blu-Ray Review

3 Beers

Video:4 Beers

Audio: 3 Beers

Special Features: 4 Beers 

Beware the yellow van!

Opening with some great aerial shots of San Francisco, Jeremy Hoenack's Killer’s Delight (originally shot as The Sport Killer and later re-released as The Dark Ride) shocks its audience when a van that we’ve been following pulls to the side of the road and a nude, dead woman is tossed down the side of the mountain.  This attention-getting beginning is a great way to introduce the unseen killer that is taking out one female hitchhiker after another to us in this proto-slasher and detective drama which takes its Ted Bundy roots a little too close to the bone.

The views of San Fran are as good as some of the close-ups as this murder mystery puts us all in the van with the killer.  Everyone is a suspect and, while the detectives bumble around in the search for the deranged lunatic responsible for the killings, the bodies begin to pile up.  The film, after settling into its murder/detective work pattern, might not be as interesting as its opening lets on, but that doesn’t stop Killer’s Delight from being completely disturbing thanks to its atmosphere and its stark locations as a killer has his way with his victims.  They might claw at his eyes, but they never get too far away from his van.

Starring TV actor James Luisi (The Rockford Files) as Sergeant Vince De Carlo, Susan Sullivan (Falcon Crest),  John Karlen (Dark Shadows), and genre film character actor, George 'Buck' Flower (Berserker) in an early scene as a witness, Killer’s Delight is a Bundysploitation flick made during the actual manhunt for his crimes.  It is interesting to watch because the sadism is toned down a bit and, as there was no way that the filmmakers knew to the full extent of his crimes, comes across in a believable manner, no matter how desperate De Carlo gets.

None of that dispels the made-for-television feel that this drive-in flick has, though.  We get handheld camera shots and a great (but brief) appearance from Anne-Marie Martin (Halloween II, The Boogens), yet the fact remains that too much of this flick feels as cheap as the gore.  I’m not saying there aren’t some unsettling fingers and arms broken moments, but the nudity is relatively tame and so, too, are the details in the violence.

But, seriously, hats off to the aerial work because those moments are astounding in this flick.

Vinegar Syndrome has released Killer’s Delight with a special limited edition embossed slipcover (designed by Earl Kess) is limited to 5,000 units and is only available at VinegarSyndrome.com.

Blu-ray Specifications:

An unknown killer has been stalking Northern California, picking up innocent young women in his van and then brutally torturing and murdering them, leaving their mutilated bodies in nearby woods. Sgt. Vince De Carlo has been assigned to the case but finds himself with almost nothing to go on, that is, until the murderer begins picking off teenage girls who frequent a local public pool. With the aid of psychologist Carol Thompson, De Carlo begins to devise a plan to lure the killer into the open...

Video:

Newly scanned & restored in 4k from its 35mm interpositive, Killer’s Delight  is an absolute STUNNING transfer.  The slasher looks filmic with its high grain factor.  It is truly impressive, adding a layer of depth to the serial killer hunt and his haunts.  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 Northern California backgrounds and pool sequences burst from the transfer with new details and a nice level of clarity.  Black levels are solid and skin tones are natural. 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:

An English Stereo track provides all the screaming and shouting as one killer haunts the hills of Northern California!

Commentary:

There is a commentary track with director Jeremy Hoenack.

Special Features:

More than slightly inspired by the then hot case of notorious serial killer, Ted Bundy, Jeremy Hoenack's Killer’s Delight is an intriguing mix of proto-slasher and detective drama which stars prolific TV actor James Luisi (The Rockford Files) alongside Golden Globe nominee Susan Sullivan (Falcon Crest),  John Karlen (Dark Shadows), and genre film character actor, George 'Buck' Flower (Berserker). Vinegar Syndrome is proud to present this gritty true crime thriller on Blu-ray for the first time, newly restored in 4K from its original 35mm camera negative.

New interview with director Jeremy Hoenack

New interview with writer Maralyn Thoma

New interview with cinematographer Arthur R. Botham

New interview with actor Martin Speer

Outtake scenes

Original TV spot

Still gallery

Reversible cover artwork

Violence in a Women's Prison (1982) - Blu-ray Review

Kitty’s back on the cell block!  Woot! Woot!  Let the sweat-dripping orgies begin! Violence in a Women’s Prison, originally released in 1982, is a damn ugly exploitation flick. Even when you lower the bar when it comes to Women in Prison flicks, this ...

G.I. Joe Origins: Snake EyesThese are STILL not the ninjas you are looking for.  Sure, they might go by the same names as those in the outstanding G.I. Joe universe, as developed by Marvel Comics from 1982 to 1994 in the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero comic series, but the film adaptations have yet to do Hasbro  ...

The Hunchback of Notre Dame: 4K RestorationLon Chaney as Quasimodo.  Need I say anymore?  I don’t really think so, but I’ll flex.  The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a certified REEL CLASSIC of silent, cinematic horror and it begins right there with Chaney’s performance as the deaf, half-blind, hunchbacked bell-ringer of the famous Cathedral of ...

Girls' School Screamers (1986) Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive

“Kiss me, Tyler!” Alright, alright, so Girls School Screamers might be on the rather cheap end of Z-grade budget horror, but from the very beginning (in which a ghost in a wedding with worms and maggots dangling from her face scares a little boy so badly he runs from the house), to its ...

Masked Mutilator - Blu-rayYou say want sex and violence?  Well, the Masked Mutilator has EXACTLY what you are looking for.  Just be respectful because this house parent will definitely kick your ass ...

Free GuyWhat if all the non-playable characters (NPCs) in video games – the background characters controlled by the game's artificial intelligence (AI) rather than by a gamer – suddenly broke out and began taking control of their own destinies? Would anyone play a video game that awards points for  ...

State of the Union

It’s Spencer Tracey and Katherine Hepburn. Are you sold on it yet? No? Alright, let’s talk: When you think about Tracey-Hepburn films, Frank Capra’s 1948 State of the Union is certainly not as revered or remembered in the way that Woman of the Year, Adam’s Rib, or even Guess Who’s  ...

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  ...

Bringing Up Baby: The Criterion Collection

"I've got my head. I've lost my leopard!" As far as screwball comedies go, the pairing of Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn was probably seen as an odd choice in 1938. She didn’t have a hit film and Grant, hitting his comedic stride, was just coming off of The Awful Truth to ...

The Night HouseWhat makes for great horror? Some prefer in-your-face blood and graphic violence, while others are spooked by the unsettling things that can’t be seen – the things that happen just off screen or in the corners of the frame. Fans of the latter, do we have a film for you! ...

Alien from LA (1988) Vinegar Syndrome ExclusiveOnce Upon a Time there lived a young woman named Wanda (Kathy Ireland.  You know the name.  Look up the number!) and she really wanted to change in order to please her surfer boyfriend.  She can change!  She wants to change! ...

Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House: Warner Archive CollectionThe comedic timing.  The charisma of all involved.  The breaking of the fourth wall.  Hollywood’s definitive leading man!  What’s not to love about Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House as Cary Grant takes his physical comedy and his mannerisms from the office to home construction woes ...

The Green Knight

“Is it wrong to want greatness for you?” David Lowrey’s new visual marvel, The Green Knight, challenges the very notion of greatness and honor in this 21st-century retelling of the 14th-century poem, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. What exactly does achieving greatness and honor ...

Val Lewton Double Feature - The Ghost Ship/Bedlam: The Warner Archive Collection

It’s time once again to hop in the WAY BACK MACHINE and go . . . way back to another age of Hollywood HIGHS and HORROR!   Pre-Code Hollywood fascinates me.  There are a lot of grand and wonderful films reflecting the true culture of the time period from 1930 – 1934.  Man, it must  ...

Isle of the Dead: Warner Archive CollectionA psychological thriller in which Boris Karloff does NOT play a creature of the night?  Say it ain’t so?!  But it’s true.  Isle of the Dead, produced by the legendary Val Lewton, concerns itself with that which haunts Greek nightmares: the Vrykolakas and this female vampire is certainly NOT  ...

F9Climb in and enjoy the ride, suckas!  There’s no need for roads where this franchise is headed!  Space awaits!  Yes, this is where F9 heads and you will love the sheer ridiculousness of it all as the 9th film in the series gets both the FAST and the FURIOUS back on track, avoiding the Moonraker-sized  ...

Dead Space: Limited Edition - Shout! Factory ExclusiveA cure for a virus has some serious consequences, especially when Dead Space is involved!  It’s big and its bad attitude gives it the upper hand in this . . . remake of a rip-off?!  Yup. There is an interesting cut which happens early in Fred Gallo’s Dead Space, a remake of Roger Corman’s ...

M: The Criterion CollectionMadness.  Mayhem.  And, of course, MURDER.  This is what follows the anti-archetype characters of M.  It is a thriller that is meant to unsettle the viewer with its hunt for a serial killer, making it an unforgettable REEL CLASSIC ...

ZolaIn case you missed the now (in)famous twitter thread from back in 2015 written by then mostly unknown waitress/stripper A’Ziah-Monae “Zola” King – who now acts as the film’s producer, you can get yourself caught up on one of the most bizarre weekend road trip stories since the Hoover family ...

Elvira’s Haunted Hills: Collector’s EditionThere is an easy but irreverent joke in the title of Elvira’s Haunted Hills.  Figure it out and actually laugh out loud and you will easily enjoy this throwback trope-utilizing flick.  Oh, it’s corny lowbrow horror escapism, complete with secret passageways and family curses, but fans of Elvira aren’t  ...

Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)The new comedy starring Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson called The Hustle is an almost identical remake of the 1988 classic comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels which starred Michael Caine and Steve Martin - itself a remake of Marlon Brando’s Bedtime Story. I say “almost” because  ...

In the HeightsCrazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu teams up with Tony-Award winning playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda to bring this year’s most electrifying film to theaters and HBO Max. In the Heights is a beautifully orchestrated celebration of diversity, heritage, and the Latin culture that just might be  ...

Fade to Black (1980) Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive

“Stop filling your head with all that useless trivia!” Fade to Black lives on the fringes of cinema fanaticism.  This slasher celebrates the gray areas in life, where fantasy and reality come crashing together, as one young cinephile takes matters into his own hands and takes down all ...

The Suspect (1944)Suspicions!  Accusations!  It’s all on the screen in this minor film noir classic.  The Suspect arrives on blu-ray thanks to Kino Lorber and I, as a fan of Laughton’s performances, couldn’t be happier ...

LucaWhat I wouldn’t give to have been a fly on the wall during what was certainly the most bizarre elevator pitch in the history of elevator pitches for Luca, the latest churn from Pixar’s ever-productive mill of animated greats. It probably didn’t, but I like to imagine it went something like this ...

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 ...

Room For One More (1952)One wouldn’t normally equate Cary Grant with a family movie about adoption and the drama which lies therein, but perhaps that’s why Room for One More (also known as The Easy Way) lingers with viewers.  Grant, playing one half of The Roses, never gets time alone as his house is filled  ...

Speed 4KSome 27 years after it’s release, one might be forgiven for forgetting what a game changer Jan de Bont’s Speed was. No scratch that, you should remember! Back in the early 90s, the big muscles, full testosterone action picks from Sly, Arnie, Segal, Van Damme and the like were started  ...

Movie Reviews

Our Tweets

 

You are here: Home Home Video
Follow us on Twitter
Like us on Facebook
Letterboxd
Find us on Rotten Tomatoes