Friday, January 1, 2016

THE LAST HORROR FILM (Blu-ray Review) - Troma

Directed By: David Winters
Written By: Judd Hamilton, David Winters, Tom Klassen
Starring: Joe Spinell, Caroline Munro, Judd Hamilton
Color/87 Minutes/Not Rated
Region FREE
Release Date: December 15, 2015

The Film
Vinny Durand (Joe Spinell) is a cab driver with dreams of being a big time Hollywood director working with his favorite actress Jana Bates (Caroline Munro). Vinny decides the perfect time to make this happen is to follow Jana to the Cannes Film Festival and begins stalking her while her entourage begins turning up dead.

Spinell and Munro team just two short years after they paired up for one of my personal favorites, the classic Maniac and are brilliant here again. Joe Spinell portrays the delusional and increasingly psychotic Vinny Durand with grace, never coming on too strong to the audience or hamming it up. The film could have very easily entered cheesy territory which is not at all the tone that this film was going for but Spinell was a world class talent and brought that to the table to handle Durand's personality quirks.

Former Bond girl Caroline Munro can't be overlooked either and she's as gorgeous as ever as the starlet Durand longs to work with. Munro plays a great damsel in distress type character and is a perfect character to root for and care about - the perfect counterpart to Spinell.

THE LAST HORROR FILM was shot guerrilla style with no permits during the 1981 Cannes Film Festival and that raw, organic energy can be felt seeping through each and every scene. This isn't something filmmakers could easily get away with today and likely will never be duplicated. It's fascinating to watch director David Winters work through the crowds of film fans, critics and stars to form a genuinely disturbing and twisted horror film that packs in some fantastic shots, a good bit of violence and a couple of surprises.

I already have a deep love and appreciation for THE LAST HORROR FILM and what they managed to create while breaking all of the rules and somehow the film still gets better with each viewing. My feelings on the film were echoed by Caroline Munro as she was genuinely excited to chat about it with me at a convention in spring 2015 where she mentioned it was one of her favorite films she's been a part of and is proud of how it turned out. She's a class act and for such an oddly off the wall and twisted exploitation film it can still manage to be defined as classy.

The Audio & Video
Troma dishes out a quality Blu-ray release that does the film justice. The 16x9 anamorphic widescreen transfer has good detail and color reproduction. There's a bit of speckling and light scratches showing that the source material wasn't overly cleaned up but it fits the tone and style of the film to have a bit of grit left over. There's no digital noise or excessive DNR so skin tones still look healthy and natural. The English HD mono audio sounds very good. There is some noticeable background crackling in the audio but it's not distracting and is easily ignored. Otherwise the audio sounds nice and has quality mix and steady levels.

The Extras
-Audio Commentary
-Mr. Robbie short film - the unfinished follow up to Maniac starring Joe Spinell
-New Intro by Lloyd Kaufman
-Highlights of the 2015 Tromadance Film Festival
-A Full Episode of Kabukiman's Cocktail Corner
-The Return Of Dolphin Man

The Bottom Line
I was beyond excited to see that the vastly overlooked movie was getting a Blu-ray release and that it turned out to be a quality presentation. THE LAST HORROR FILM is not only worth your time and money but your collection is suffering without it.


No comments: