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Friday, October 14, 2016

FENDER BENDER (Scream Factory Blu-ray) - The Great VHSing of a Modern Slasher Flick


When Scream Factory eluded that it was going to throw its hat into the ring by making a feature Horror film, I kind of expected a monster movie at first. That was me being hopeful. Instead we got a slasher. That's not necessarily a bad thing mind you, but slasher film has a history that would suggest that they are money grabs without novelty and recycle themselves to infinity. I like to think I can keep an open mind, and gradually, as we learned more about the release, I became intrigued. The story sound modern enough that it could not recycle the best of 1981 plot points. The look of the killer was strong. It sort of reminded me of the The Collector with an almost steampunk meets Torso mask.

I was ready to give it a shot, and it was good. Not my favorite slasher film, but it had a cohesive modern story that had a few scares and moment of tension. The kills were somewhat ordinary, but they were appropriate to the story and were not so over the top to render the movie unbelievable. Of course I typically like the kills in my slasher movies to be so gonzo that they really are exercises in special effects artistry, but I can forgive that when the movie actually has a story to tell. Aside from the modern style of story telling and unique story elements (involving cell phones and insurance), Fender Bender is a fairly unoriginal slasher tale. All performances were okay. Not great. Just okay. They were not laughably bad which is important in this genre. I can't say I care for our lead.

All of that probably sounds rather lackluster right? Like I'm not going to recommend the Blu-ray hard, right? Well I am. I am going to say that this is a must pick up disc. The reason is in the extra features. This Blu-ray includes a splatter reel of slasher films put out by Scream Factory. I recommend watching this before the movie. As a trailer reel junkie, I'm really glad they decided to include this on the disc. You watch that first. Then... you should watch the VHS edition rather than the full, pretty HD version. It looks like a taped off TV version f the movie that has a bumper and tape distortion and imperfections that make it feel perfectly 80's Fans of the "grindhouse experience" put out by other distro companies, this is the VHS junkie equivalent. I hope to see more of this on other Scream Factory releases especially any of their own movies. Guys, the bumper... is... perfect.

Scream Factory has a good first effort in terms of an original picture. Let's support this and get a few more out of them.

Order your copy now:
https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/film-horror/fender-bender

From Scream Factory:

THERE ARE NO ACCIDENTS.

He stalks the streets. Remorseless. Brutal. Bloodthirsty. When his prey is at its most vulnerable, he appears. And when night falls and all is quiet… he strikes. Prepare for the next driving force in horror… Fender Bender, "a scary, suspenseful slasher [that'll] keeps you on pins and needles throughout" (Bloodydisgusting.com)!

Seventeen-year-old Hilary has just received her driver's license… only to have her first accident shortly thereafter. Innocently exchanging her personal information with the remorseful stranger behind the wheel, Hilary returns home for a quiet evening with friends. But when the man she so readily handed all of her information to reveals himself to be something much darker and sinister than she could imagine, Hilary finds herself in a head-on collision with terror.

From writer/director Mark Pavia (Stephen King's The Night Flier), Fender Bender is an intense crash-and-slash thriller that brings you back to a time when the boxes on the shelf at your local video store beckoned you with masked, knife-wielding maniacs and a twisted sense of morals.

INCLUDES DIGITAL COPY REDEEMABLE FOR STREAMING OR DOWNLOAD
Digital Copy Expires October 4th, 2017.

Bonus Features

"Retro VHS" Version Of The Film In Which You Can Watch The Film In A Re-created Mode That Takes You Back To The 1980's And The Heyday Of VCRs
"Slashback" Trailer Reel – A Collection Of Vintage Scream Factory-branded Slasher Previews
Director's Commentary
Producer's Commentary
Behind-The-Scenes Featurette
Original Trailer And TV Spot

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