Thursday, February 5, 2015

HI-8: Horror Independent 8 (DVD Review) - Wild Eye Releasing

Directed By: Tim Ritter, Marcus Koch, Tony Masiello, Ron Bonk, Chris Seaver, Todd Sheets, Donald Farmer, Brad Sykes
Written By: Ron Bonk, Donald Farmer, Matt Hill, Alaine Huntington, Marcus Koch, Tim Ritter, Chris Seaver, Todd Sheets, Brad Sykes
Starring: Baker Chase, Alexis Codding, Travis Hoecker
Color/98 Minutes/Not Rated
Region 1
Release Date: December 16, 2014

The Film
Shot on video horror was huge in the 80s and churned out some really dreadful movies that somehow managed to land distribution simply because it would sell. Occasionally though, some of these movies were actually pretty good, or entertaining at the very least. The format was cheap but had a distinct look that brings back quite a bit of nostalgia today. There's no doubt that it opened the door to almost anyone to make a movie. So what would happen if a group of modern day indie horror directors went back in time to use HI-8 cameras and tapes to film a horror anthology? The result is HI-8: HORROR INDEPENDENT 8.

It's pretty easy to figure out why there are eight chapters to this anthology film, with everything from zombies to slashers and rapists. Each director makes their own retro styled horror tale, some serious, some overly cheesy. This film feels like it could be straight out of 1989 with wild gore and creature effects and a genuine excitement that can be felt through the screen.

Yes, there is plenty of camp and cheese and this isn't Hollywood level stuff but it isn't meant to be. This is horror lovers making horror movies for nothing else but the love of doing it. This is the type of movie that you sit back with a few friends and a few beers, kick up the recliner and just enjoy. There's something for every taste in HI-8 whether you like the straight forward stalk and slash, or if you prefer monsters or if you're in the mood for something a bit weirder, it's all here and the movie flies by. HI-8 is a whirlwind of shot on video fun.

The Audio & Video
Wild Eye Releasing has given HI-8 a home on DVD and the results are solid. Taking into account that this was filmed entirely on video the DVD looks great. The picture quality is clean and as sharp  as you'd hope. Colors look good as well. The stereo audio track sounds good as well with quality mix jobs. There's no damage or excessive buzzing or popping.

The Extras
-Audio commentary with producers Brad Sykes and Josephina Sykes
-The Making of HI-8
-Teaser trailer
-Promo clip for "Gang Them Style"
-Promo clip for "The Scout"
-Promo clip for "A Very Bad Situation"
-Behind the scenes image gallery

The Bottom Line
HI-8 is a project full of fun and love by film makers that love horror and put their heart and soul in to everything they make. HI-8 may be low budget but it's extremely high energy and definitely worth checking out.


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