BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Shallow Grave (1987) Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive - Blu-ray Review

Shallow Grave (1987) Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive

Ending up in a ditch with a flat tire and no spare is just the beginning of Sue Ellen, Patty, Cindy and Rose’s problems in the regional thriller Shallow Grave.

No, this Shallow Grave is not the well-respected but little seen Danny Boyle thriller.  This B-grade thriller is for cult enthusiasts who enjoy unexpected shots to the head, a shot-by-shot remake of the Psycho shower scene (with more T&A), and a killer who also happens to be the local sheriff of a small town in Georgia.  It’s grimy and suspenseful as four college coeds find their trip to Fort Lauderdale interrupted by . . . MURDER!

"Never released legally on disc anywhere in the world, Vinegar Syndrome is proud to bring the criminally under-seen movie to Blu-ray"


Shallow Grave and its hicksploitation isn’t for everyone.  There is a seediness to it all that will certainly make your skin crawl off your bones as you ride alongside the girls straight into the Hell of this small town.  There are so many red flags of warning that, when the killing begins, you just sort of die inside a little bit . . . especially when you see the dopy deputy (Tom Law) out “patrolling” the streets to make sure “everyone is where they should be” in this small town.  Justice is not something this town stands by.

Starring Lisa Stahl, Carol Cadby, Donna Baltron, Just Kelly, and Tony March as Sheriff Dean, Shallow Grave pulls a con job on the audience and opens as a typical slasher would.  Even as the girls joyride down the highway, the film follows what we have come to expect from the genre, especially by 1980s standards.  But, then, just at the halfway point, Shallow Grave goes from slasher to downright depressing as its director, Richard Styles, pulls the rug out from under the girls while they are in Medley, Georgia.  

One witnesses a murder.  Deep in the woods, Sue Ellen hears voices while peeing and goes to investigate.  Maybe they can help get her and the rest of the girls back on the road, you know?  She sees a man - after having sex with a woman (Merry Rozeile) - argue with her and then break her neck against the hard ground.  It is shocking and violent and leaves Sue Ellen running for her life.  She has to warn the others!Shallow Grave (1987) Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive

And that’s when the man grows wise to the eyes spying on him.  What follows is a deadly game of consequence as he, after dressing and pinning his sheriff’s badge back on, goes after all of the girls.  This is, after all, his town.  He can do what he wants.  Never-wracking and full of great suspense, Shallow Grave offers little in the way of hope for the girls as even the sheriff's own paranoia seems destined to blow the hole shithouse up in flames! 

With one song playing over and over on the radio, Shallow Grave should make your skin crawl.  Everything about it is cheesy and sleazy, but it is effective horror as a psychotic sheriff takes the law into his own hands and throws everyone he suspects of knowing just what he’s done into a SHALLOW GRAVE.  

Never released legally on disc anywhere in the world, Vinegar Syndrome is proud to bring the criminally under-seen movie to Blu-ray, freshly restored from long believed lost 35mm elements alongside newly shot and illuminating interviews.  This special limited edition embossed slipcover (designed by Earl Kessler Jr.) is limited to 5,000 units and is only available here at VinegarSyndrome.com!

4/5 stars

 

Shallow Grave (1987) Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive

Blu-ray Details

Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive / Limited to 5,000 copies

Home Video Distributor: Vinegar Syndrome
Available on Blu-ray
- September 28, 2021
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0; Mono; English: Dolby Digital 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc set
Region Encoding: Region-free playback

Four college coeds are on their way to Florida for spring break. While passing through a small Georgia town, they unwittingly witness the murder of a woman. But when they discover that the assailant is the local sheriff, they’re forced on the run from a cunning and deranged sociopath who will stop at nothing to cover up his crime. After trapping the girls in town overnight, he devises a plan to permanently eliminate any potential witnesses and begins to terrorize and murder the girls one by one…

Video:

Newly scanned & restored in 2k from 35mm vault elements, the transfer on this Region Free Blu-ray is probably as good as it gets for this little slasher. Presented in a widescreen 1.85:1 aspect ratio, Shallow Grave’s transfer looks pretty clear. The colors don’t really pop thanks to the low budget in play, but there are more refined colors and black levels due to the effort.  Lines are detailed and shadows thick. Grain is high and the black levels are solid throughout.

Audio:

A basic english mono track provides the sound for this vacation down south.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • There is a NEW commentary from director Richard Styles and another one from The Hysteria Continues!

Special Features:

Never released legally on disc anywhere in the world, Vinegar Syndrome is proud to bring the criminally under-seen movie to Blu-ray, freshly restored from long believed lost 35mm elements alongside newly shot and illuminating interviews and new commentaries.

Region Free Blu-ray

  • Newly scanned & restored in 2k from 35mm vault elements
  • Brand new commentary track with director Richard Styles
  • Commentary track with The Hysteria Continues!
  • “Looking For Magic” - an interview with director Richard Styles
  • “A Visual Storyteller” - an interview with writer/producer George Edward Fernandez
  • Reversible cover artwork

Blu-ray Rating

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

Composite Blu-ray Grade

3/5 stars


Film Details

Shallow Grave (1987) Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
90 mins
Director
: Richard Styles
Writer:
George Edward Fernandez
Cast:
Tony March; Lisa Stahl; Tom Law
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
Where the most feared killer wears a badge.
Memorable Movie Quote:
Distributor:
Paramount (home video)
Official Site:
Release Date:
September 25, 1987
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
September 28, 2021.
Synopsis: Four college coeds are on their way to Florida for spring break. While passing through a small Georgia town, they unwittingly witness the murder of a woman. But when they discover that the assailant is the local sheriff, they’re forced on the run from a cunning and deranged sociopath who will stop at nothing to cover up his crime. After trapping the girls in town overnight, he devises a plan to permanently eliminate any potential witnesses and begins to terrorize and murder the girls one by one…

Art

Shallow Grave (1987) Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive

 

Shallow Grave (1987) Vinegar Syndrome ExclusiveShallow Grave (1987) Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive

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