Tuesday, June 28, 2016

HELLHOLE (Scream Factory Blu-ray/DVD) - Stripped, Naked and Blu

Oh the waiting. Hellhole was slated for a much earlier release when suddenly it was stolen from us by the hand of fate who saw fit to give Scream Factory an incomplete print of the feature. So we waited, thinking the release was pulled for good. For VHS era nutters like myself, we longed to see the movie on beautiful Blu and to finally see the movie that once laid beneath the Mylar tapey goodness on our mom and pop video store shelf. Scream Factory announced that it had the whole thing, more complete from Ass to Zinc (this one has no shortage of skin). The catch? Some of the movie would have a noticeably different picture quality due to the source for the missing film elements from the interpositive source. Scream Factory has been more than up front with this and they disclaim this fact before the feature begins. They’ve been more than fair.

Was the wait worth it? Was the additional footage worth the wait and how bad is the inserted footage?

Yes it is was worth the wait. This was my first time enjoying the slasher classic, Hellhole that features a little mad science combined with plenty of full frontal nudity, a well-mustached murderer and Mary frickin’ Woronov. The fun level as well as the cheese grade is through the roof and finally crafted respectively. Hellhole should not be expected to frighten you but rather should be enjoyed for its sleazy, drive-in qualities that keep you feeling aroused while you attempt to save the amnesia plagued victim by yelling at the screen. It’s quite debauched. It’s not as insane as say Blood Sucking Freaks, but the torture sessions do offer some novelty that will carry you through the picture if the production value cannot.

The additional footage is always appreciated, and in this instance, important. I didn’t have a problem with the difference in quality of the reinserted footage. That kind of thing doesn’t bother me unless that aspect ratio is off or the color is completely deteriorated. There’s plenty of juicy moments without the additional footage, but it’s nice to be able to see a movie in totality that has a reputation based on its gratuity. I would have enjoyed a preservation feature (however brief) detailing the process of re-establishing a complete Hellhole in the extras. We didn’t get that.

Aside from the inserted bits that really aren’t bad at all, the transfer is quite nice. I suppose the inserted footage actually made me more keenly aware of slight imperfections as my eyes were focused in on looking for those moments when the inserted frames would arise. The picture looks good with good black levels and does not appear to be overly digitized. You only get one cover with this release and a reverse cover still. While this is light on extras, you did get a brief Mary Woronov interview that is hilarious! She pretty much thought everyone would forget about the movie and that it would fall into a garbage bin somewhere. She was almost right!

This is pure sleaze with plenty of bush and boobs as well as the kind of slasher goodness you’re bound to love with a hint of mad scientist thrown in to give the movie some novelty. I’d actually best compare it to Mansion of Doom in tone though the production quality is much better than Doom. I’ll be watching this one again soon. Probably during the Halloween season.

You can order your copy now via Scream Factory or DiabolikDVD:

From Scream Factory:

Having witnessed her mother's brutal death, Susan (Judy Landers, Dr. Alien) gets amnesia from a fall while being pursued by the killer, Silk (Ray Sharkey, The Idolmaker). Awakening in Ashland Sanitarium, she is once again terrorized by Silk, disguised as an orderly. To pry an incriminating secret from Susan's brain, Silk forms an uneasy alliance with Dr. Fletcher (Mary Woronov, Rock 'n' Roll High School), a psychotic scientist who has been testing a new lobotomy technique, using helpless inmates as her guinea pigs. These vicious experiments are carried out in the "Hellhole," a torture den awaiting Susan as its next victim.

Featuring an all-star cast of cult film stars including Marjoe Gortner (Starcrash, The Food Of The Gods), Richard Cox (Cruising), Terry Moore (Mighty Joe Young), Edy Williams (Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls), Robert Z'Dar (Maniac Cop) and Dyanne Thorne (Ilsa: She Wolf Of The SS).

Bonus Features
NEW Interview With Actress Mary Woronov
Original Theatrical Trailer

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