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Archive for November, 2013

Demons / Demons 2: Blu Ray Reviews

Friday, November 29th, 2013

 

Demons / Demons 2

by Troy Howarth

Demons (1985)

Directed by Lamberto Bava

Starring Urbano Barberini, Natasha Hovey, Karl Zinny, Paola Cozzo, Fiore Argento, Bobby Rhodes, Nicoletta Elmi

Demons 2 (1986)

Directed by Lamberto Bava

Starring David Knight, Nancy Brilli, Coralina Cataldi Tassoni, Asia Argento, Bobby Rhodes

Patrons at a movie theatre get more than they bargained for when the horror film they are watching spills over into reality, unleashing a hoarde of bloodthirsty monsters….

The Italian horror boom was on its last legs in the 1980s, but nobody really knew that at the time.  Dario Argento had usurped the crown of “King of Italian horror” from the late Mario Bava, forging a career as a major celebrity and auteur figure, when he decided to branch out into producing.  His former assistant, and son to the late Italian horror icon, Lamberto Bava had devised a concept for a horror anthology with his friend, screenwriter Dardano Sacchetti, and Argento saw it as a perfect vehicle for his first major “homegrown” Italian horror production.  Argento worked closely with Bava and Sacchetti, refining the concept as a stand-alone exercise in splattery special effects.  The end result, Demons, would become a major hit across the globe.

Lamberto Bava would seize the opportunity to pay tribute to the history of the Italian horror film by working in nods to the works of his father (the mask of the demon can’t help but remind one of Black Sunday) and producer Argento (a poster for Four Flies on Grey Velvet is seen hanging in the theatre lobby), but the style of the film is aggressively modern.  In many respects, it’s a representative horror film of its era, from its emphasis on splatter to its use of heavy metal blarring on the soundtrack.  The central concept is very clever but anybody looking for a cerebral exploration in meta-cinema will be disappointed: this is balls-to-the-wall horror from beginning to end, and there’s no room for subtlety.

Bava came to the film having made several films in the horror and action genres, but at the time of filming his career had yet to catch fire.  Mario had attempted to push Lamberto into directing much sooner, but it would take him until 1980 when he finally made the leap from assistant director to full-time feature film director.  The younger Bava attempted to involve his father in his debut, Macabre, but Mario was adamant that he should proceed without his influence.  The end result was a morbid gem, based in part on a real life horror story, and he would proceed to direct the giallo A Blade in the Dark and the action film Blastfighter.  His work had shown plenty of flair and promise, but it would take the success of Demons to put him into the upper echelon of Italian genre filmmakers.  The film moves at a tremendous clip and delivers on its promise for extreme gore and shocks.  Characterization is nil, however, making it difficult to become emotionally involved in the action.  Much of the acting is also broad and the English dubbing threatens to push the film into out-right parody.  Still, it succeeds where it should – but the end result is not necessarily among Bava’s finest work.

Even so, the film’s excess and abandon ensured that it would become a box office hit – thus necessitating a sequel.  Argento, for his part, was not necessarily keen on sequels, but he wasn’t about to miss out on an opportunity to infuse his production company with a stronger cash flow.  And thus it came to be that a sequel was rushed into production, with much the same production personnel… and one or two of the same cast members, albeit in different roles….

Demons 2 is set an indeterminate length of time after the events of part one; here, the contagion spreads via TV, as inhabitants of a high rise apartment building are beset by a new  plague of demons….

Demons 2 bears all the signs of having been a hastily assembled production.  Though graced with above average production values, the film has an overall cheap air which manifests itself in the highly uneven special effects work.  Sergio Stivaletti had risen to the challenge of making Demons one of the most memorably “wet” horror films of the 80s, but here his work feels half-finished, even amateurish at times.  The little imp demon which terrorizes one character can best be described as looking cute, and as for that dog demon… well, perhaps the less said, the better.  There’s also a serious issue with the tone of the film – on the one hand it feels a bit light, even camp, yet there’s every indication that this is meant to be taken pretty darn seriously.  It could be that Bava was having a bit of fun with the material – this is borne out by the opening shot of what appears to be blood dripping on a knife, which turns out to be jelly – but the end result is schizophrenic and doesn’t carry nearly the same charge as the original.

Given the film’s high rise setting, it would seem that Bava and co. were riffing on David Cronenberg’s Shivers.  Any attempt at social commentary is strictly superficial, however, as the demons set their sights on a group of overly pretty yuppies, ranging from a med student and his pregnant wife to a high class hooker visiting one of her clients.  Bobby Rhodes, cast as a pimp in the first film, returns as a tough talking gym trainer – and Asia Argento makes her debut as a little girl caught up in the carnage.  None of the actors really get much of a chance to develop anything resembling a characterization, but Coralina Cataldi Tassoni (who would go on to play roles for Argento in Opera, Phantom of the Opera and Mother of Tears) clearly had a fun time playing the spoiled brat-turned-demon who causes much of the damage.

For all its shortcomings, Demons 2 is still a reasonably enjoyable horror film.  Simon Boswell contributes a memorable main theme, and the “lighter” rock fare contrasts nicely to the use of metal on the first film’s soundtrack.  Both films nevertheless fail to come to grips with the full potential of their central concept, making them relatively minor in the context of Italian horror history.  Demons 2 in particular stands as arguably the weakest film Argento had his name attached to for many years – though it arguably looks a lot better today in light of such frustrating pictures as Giallo or Dracula 3D.  Taken in the spirit of “just plain fun,” the films are well worth revisiting; they certainly deliver in the gore department, if nothing else.

Video:

Synapse brings these two cult favorites to region A/region 1 blu ray and DVD.  The 1.66/16×9/1080p transfers blow all previous editions out of the water.  Both films gain tremendously in terms of detail and nuance, with all manner of little lighting tricks and flourishes finally standing out in relief.  Demons looks the best of the two films, as the second one was photographed on a temperamental film stock which resulted in far heavier grain – the second film also contains a few jittery shots which were compromised due to a camera malfunction, so don’t sweat it: it’s not your TV or playback system, nor was it a gaffe on Synapse’s part.  The films are both presented fully uncut and have not been subjected to merciless DNR.  The steelbook packaging for both discs is simply gorgeous.  These releases are a fine example of how to do these titles up right – it’ll be interesting to see what they do with Phenonema, Tenebrae and their recently-announced Suspiria!

Audio:

Audio options on Demons include the 2.0 stereo Italian track, in addition to two different English tracks – one in mono, one in stereo.  The two tracks contain some differences in scoring and vocal performances, and settling on which one to listen to may well boil down to a matter of personal familiarity based on previous home video versions.  The various tracks are in great shape.  Synapse had to do some tweaking on the mono English track, but the changes are so artfully done as to be unnoticeable.  The music and sound effects have a great deal of punch.  Demons 2 includes both the Italian and English tracks, both in stereo.  There are no issues to report with either track – and once again, the music and sound effects pack a real wallop.  English subtitles are included for the Italian tracks, and captions for the deaf and hard of hearing are included for the English tracks.

Extras:

Synapse have rounded up the same extras included in the Arrow blu ray release from the UK.  The commentary track on Demons is in Italian with English subtitles: Lamberto Bava, FX artist Sergio Stivaletti, composer Claudio Simonetti and actress Geretta Rosemary Geretta occupy the track, which contains enough behind the scenes anecdotes and information to make it worthy of a listen.  Demons also includes on-camera interviews with Bava, Argento, filmmaker Luigi Cozzi, journalist Alan Jones and stunt person Ottaviano Dell’Acqua.  Trailers are also included.  Demons 2 isn’t quite as stacked, but then again.. it’s not as interesting.  On-camera interviews with Bava, his son Fabrizio, filmmaker Federico Zampaglione, FX artist Sergio Stivaletti and composer Simon Boswell are included, along with the theatrical trailer.  Fans who picked the films up on laser disc back in the day or who bought the old Anchor Bay DVD editions will want to take note: the commentaries from these releases are not included here, so depending on your fondness for revisiting those old tracks (the Demons 2 track featured Lamberto and Roy Bava, with Sergio Stivaletti), you may want to hold on to the old editions for the sake of completion.

Film:  ***1/2 out of ***** (Demons)  **1/2 out of ***** (Demons 2)

Video: ***** out of ***** (Demons)  ****1/2 out of ***** (Demons 2)

Audio: ****1/2 out of ***** (Both)

Extras: ***** out of ***** (Demons)  **** out of ***** (Demons 2)

The Horror Show (1989) Blu-ray Review

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

“The Horror Show” (1989)
Director: James Isaac
Starring: Lance Henriksen, Brion James, Rita Taggart, Dedee Pfeiffer & Aron Eisenberg
Released by: Scream Factory

Reviewed by Mike Kenny

After years of evading the DVD and Blu-ray scene, Scream Factory proudly presents the highly requested “The Horror Show”. Produced by Sean S. Cunningham (“Friday the 13th”), this late 80s flick utilized an tone reminiscent of the “Nightmare on Elm Street” films carried out by a terrific cast of cult icons most notably Lance Henriksen (“Near Dark”, “Pumpkinhead”) and Brion James (“Blade Runner”, “The Fifth Element”). After nearly 25 years since its original release, does “The Horror Show” still have the chops (literally) to please or is it best left to fry in the electric chair? Grab your meat cleaver and let’s find out…

“The Horror Show” focuses on the deadly serial killer “Max Jenke” (Brion James) who along with his meat cleaver has claimed the lives of 116 people. Thankfully, justice will finally be served as this brutal killer is sentenced to the electric chair. Unfortunately, “Jenke” is no ordinary serial killer. The high-voltage blasts transform him into a supernatural force that is hellbent on extracting revenge on “Detective Lucas McCarthy” (Lance Henriksen), the man responsible for his capture. “Jenke” will not rest until “McCarthy” and his family have paid with their lives!

MOVIE:
While 1989 saw tremendous output from horror icons in the form of “A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child”, “Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers” and “Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan”, the writing was becoming clear on the wall. The slasher boom, as well as the horror genre as a whole, was beginning to wane on the public’s interest. One of the few exceptions of the year came from “The Horror Show”. A film that makes no mystery it’s borrowing elements from the successful “A Nightmare on Elm Street” series but still manages to find its own identity. Sure, Brion James‘ performance of a wisecracking serial killer is comparable to “Freddy Krueger”, who at the time became a humorous poster child for the MTV generation, James manages to come off more sinister and unforgiving. From the opening scenes, James pulls no punches when he decapitates a young girl’s head before tossing it at Henriksen. James’ greasy hair, yellowing teeth and icy blue eyes sends chills down your spine in the same fashion Joe Spinell achieved in “Maniac”. Lance Henriksen plays the tough as nails detective “McCarthy” and brings a lot of integrity to the role that is a treat to watch. Once “Jenke” is sentenced to the electric chair, the aftermath is delivers the viewer plenty of jumpscares when “McCarthy” keeps seeing the crazed killer he watched fry to death appear. While the film loses some steam halfway through with “Jenke” just simply taunting “McCarthy” and no real death scenes occurring, “The Horror Show” quickly whips itself back into shape. Some terrific special effects gags are showcased here that include “Jenke” taking on the form of a nicely roasted turkey as well as a nightmarish scene that finds “Jenke” pushing his face through the pregnant stomach of “McCarthy’s daughter (Dedee Pfeiffer). The finale finds “McCarthy” tracing “Jenke”, with “McCarthy’s” wife (Rita Taggart) hostage, to a power plant (that looks much too similar to the boiler rooms of a certain razor clawed killer). Using the power of high-voltage electricity against “Jenke”, “McCarthy” manages to bring the mad serial killer back into reality to finish him off once and for all. The film certainly does stray closely to the “A Nightmare on Elm Street” formula but there’s nothing wrong with that as the film thoroughly entertains its entire runtime. Director James Isaac made his directorial debut with “The Horror Show” joined by Harry Manfredini (“Friday the 13th”, “House”) who executed a signature creepy score for the film. After replacing David Blyth (“Death Warmed Over”) behind the camera, Isaac accomplished a wonderful little gem in an overly populated release year for horror flicks. It would be a whopping 12 years before Isaac returned to the director’s chair for the tenth installment of the “Friday the 13th” franchise with “Jason X”. Tragically, Isaac passed away in 2012 at the tender age of 51. “The Horror Show” is an entertaining and frightening flick that brought out the best in its core cast as well as its first time director. For what it’s worth, “The Horror Show” should be looked upon as Director James Isaac’s crowning jewel in his very modest directorial efforts that still manages to bat a home run nearly 25 years later.
RATING: 4/5

VIDEO:
Scream Factory presents “The Horror Show” in a 1080p 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. The film has a nice clean look throughout with minor instances of flakes and speckles popping up from time to time. While nothing to complain about, the film does seem to have an aura of softness to it that appears to be attributed to Director of Photography Mac Ahlberg (“Hell Night”, “Re-Animator”) artistic choices. Detail is sharp with aging wrinkles and perspiration on the actors clearly seen. Black levels are as clear as can be which is terrific considering how many dimly lits scenes are seen throughout the film. Overall, this Scream Factory transfer has my seal of approval!
RATING: 4/5

AUDIO:
“The Horror Show” comes accompanied with a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mix that sounds wonderful. Dialogue comes off with no hissing or distortion and Harry Manfredini’s effective score is heard in all its robust glory.
RATING: 4.5/5

EXTRAS:
While not apart of their “Collector’s Edition” series, Scream Factory does manage to offer fans a nice assortment of special features.

- Audio Commentary with Producer Sean S. Cunningham: Moderated by Red Shirt Pictures’ Michael Felsher, Cunningham talks about a variety of different topics including the early origins of the films story with Steve Miner and the reasoning behind the films alternate title of “House III” in foreign territories. Felsher does a great job keeping Cunningham motivated which makes the commentary track far from boring. It’s refreshing to hear Cunningham discuss something other than his association with the “Friday the 13th” franchise so this was a welcome treat.

- “The Show Must Go On! with Kane Hodder”: An interview with Stunt Coordinator Kane Hodder who touches upon the fun nature of the stunts in this film as well as his recollections doubling for Actor Brion James. Hodder seems to have nothing but fond memories of the shoot and all the players involved with it.

- “House Mother with Rita Taggart”: Actress Rita Taggart sits down for a 10 minute interview discussing her insecurities of original Director David Blyth being removed from the project and her fondness for co-star Lance Henriksen.

- Theatrical Trailer

- DVD Copy

RATING: 3.5/5

OVERALL:
“The Horror Show” treads on water that we’ve all seen before but manages to feel fresh and always entertaining. Brion James steals the show as the sadistic “Max Jenke” and is supported by a terrific performance by Lance Henriksen. The special effects in the film achieved by KNB are a hoot to watch and are one of the most entertaining aspects of the film. While the body count is fairly low especially with a serial killer that has murdered 116 people before the film even begins, “The Horror Show” doesn’t disappoint in making you jump out of your seat several times complimented with another effective score from Composer Harry Manfredini. Scream Factory has done another great service to horror fans by releasing this highly sought after flick from MGM’s vaults in the best shape we could ask for.
RATING: 4/5

Jane Eyre (1943) Blu-Ray Review

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

 

Stars: Orson Welles, Joan Fontaine, Margaret O’Brien, Peggy Ann Garner, Henry Daniell, John Sutton, Agnes Moorehead, Hillary Brooke
Director: Robert Stevenson

Released by Twilight Time
Limited edition of 3,000 units
Available at screenarchives.com

Reviewed by Steven Ruskin

Jane Eyre is a gothic romances. It can appear to be a peculiar genre. Generally a young girl grows up enduring tremendous hardship. She spends too much time in a dark desolate place amidst thunder storms and cracking lighting. Often she works in a cavernous like estate of a very rich loner, or a once rich family. There is a dreaded family secret and many times a room that she is forbidden to enter. Her pluck and rugged perseverance get her through this. Most often true love is lost and found. Charlotte Bronte’s novel, Jane Eyre is a very popular gothic. Joan Fontaine does a wonderful job in the lead role. She was in the somewhat similar themed Rebecca (1940) directed by Alfred Hitchcock. She followed that with another Hitchcock film Suspicion (1941) with Cary Grant. The pairing of her with her costar elevates this film considerably.

Orson Welles may have been a lot of things: a wunderkind director, an iconoclast, an amateur magician, a regular on the late night TV talk show circuit and a guy who lent his magnificent voice to maybe one too TV commercials. Beyond all that and for many, many years he was a magnificent actor. He brings a tremendous sense of malignant brooding to his first starring role working for another director. It was only his third picture, too. When we first see him in the film he is riding a horse at full throttle accompanied by a huge hound dog that could have belonged to the Baskervilles. He stops just short of running into Jane who is walking out in the fog. His horse rears up and he topples off. He’s got this cape and just looms out of the darkness. Welles brings a real intensity to Edward Rochester. But as foreboding as he is, there is that charm lurking below the surface. His gaze lingers on Jane. He often has her sit hear him. It’s a very reserved dance these two do throughout the film.

This is a very dark film full of dark shadows and fog. The magnificent estate looks like a set from the early Universal Frankenstein films. Cinematographer George Barnes shoots this one almost as if it were a horror film. People are always lurking in the shadows just out of sight. He makes everything look so heavy and mysterious. We see a tremendous amount of fog and smoke in the picture. Often a scene will have the long tendrils of shadows artfully arranged. Compositions are always done with taste and a very good eye for creative balance. As the chain of events unfold dealing more and more disappointment to Miss Eyre he seems to deny her any real light. She suffers throughout the whole story. It feels like it is only at the very end that she experiences any real sunlight at all. Bernard Herrmann’s score also wraps the narrative in a full orchestration rich in texture. We hear a deep dark resonance that carries poor Jane’s suffering along with her. The poor girl just can’t escape the heaviness. When we first see her in the film, as a little girl she’s been kept locked in a closet. When she is sent to a school which is more like a juvenile delinquent Borstal she is made to stand on a chair for hours on end. One girl shows her kindness, they become friends then that girl become sick. Jane shares a bed with her to keep her warm. She wakes up the next morning to find the cold dead hand of her friend clasped in hers. This is almost just too much. There are moments when she gets her hopes up, when her situation improves but those feelings are dealt one crushing blow after another. The story has a very distinct progression.

For those that would not normally be draw to this kind of material rest assured that you will be caught up in Jane’s plight. The relationship between her and Mr. Rochester evolves steadily though sometimes it is very subtle. It is a gratifying journey that feels very old school. The film opens with Joan Fontaine literally reading passages from the source book by Charlotte Bronte. We return to this motif a few others times so that we never forget the literary world this story came from. Those who love the book will be richly rewarded and those who do not may find themselves very pleasantly surprised by the power of these characters and the strong tide of the narrative. And keep an eye out for Hilary Brooke who was a regular on The Abbott and Costello TV show.

 

Video – 1.33:1
This is a good if not remarkable transfer. There is a note on Screen Archives site that states, “Please note: we have brought this film to Blu-Ray using the best source material available.” The intense and deep black levels do not get the treatment they deserve. Much of the beautiful and dark photography looks okay, though the rich textures are just not allowed the kind of definition that was shot and carefully brought out by the fine attention to the lighting by George Barnes. This is entirely watchable and will not interfere at all with your enjoyment of the acting or the telling of the tale.

Audio – Mono 1.0 track in English 1.0 DTS-HD, subtitles offered in English SDH.
All dialogue is clear. There are some softer sequences that will ask you to pay very close attention though. Welles can draw out a pause to great lengths, but it’s worth it to hang on his every word. Bernard Herrmann’s score sounds fine. He manages to coax a very powerful deep undercoat to this score even though this is just mono and not the finest of recordings. Much of that has to do with his arrangement and choice of instrumentation. There are bits here that almost feel like he went back to for some of the cues in Journey to the Center of the Earth, which is to say that yes he does sound like himself. Herrmann has a recognizable style and it’s great.

Extras – Twilight Time’s signature Isolated Score Track, commentary with biographer Joseph McBride and Actress Margaret O’ Brien, Second commentary with film historians Julie Kirgo, Nick Redman, and Steven C. Smith,, “Locked in the Tower: The Men Behind Jane Eyre” featurette, “Know Your Ally Britain” United States War Department Film directed by Robert Stevenson, Original Trailer.
The featurette is well worth a look as it gives some solid background to the filming. The interplay between Welles and director Stevenson is very interesting, too. Welles was a huge presence at that time and could have been very intimidating for the director who appears to have handled the situation very well.

On a scale of Poor, Fair, Good, Excellent, Classic
Movie – Excellent

Blu-Ray – Good

TV Terrors – The Initiation of Sarah (1978) / Are You in the House Alone (1978) DVD Review

Sunday, November 17th, 2013

Stars: Kay Lenz, Morgan Brittany, Morgan Fairchild, Shelley Winters, Kathryn Crosby, Tisa Farrow, Kathryn Grant, Kathleen Beller, Dennis Quaid, Blythe Danner, Tony Bill
Director: Robert Day, Walter Grauman
Released by Scream Factory

Reviewed by Steven Ruskin

TV Movies are a genre unto themselves. They first came about as Television’s home made answer to going out to the movies. Rather than outwardly compete with the film studio’s releases they filled a kind of B- Movie niche, though some of them were outstanding. As they ran through the gamut of choices they eventually came around to the horror genre. There were lots of excellent ones like The Night Stalker (1972) which set records for a viewing audience. There were plenty of poor ones to be sure and several that were clearly inspired by their theatrical brethren. Scream Factory offers up a pair of TV Movies from 1978. Initiation of Sarah was no doubt begat by Carrie (1976) however it more than stands on its own as a quality TV Movie and a choice slice of seventies horror.

Sarah and her sister start their first year of college. As they make the rounds of the various sororities it becomes very clear that the very snobbish sorority takes an instant liking to her sister Patty. They shun Sarah and make fun of her. These girls are really vicious, very much like the Heathers and Mean Girls. Morgan Fairchild is the leader and she just oozes contempt for all those beneath her as she leads her followers in fits of braying laughter. She is one nasty bitch who more then deserves to get her comeuppance. Left with nowhere else to turn Sarah falls in with the misfits and broken toys at a run down sorority run by Shelly Winters. There is a dark history between these two houses and Sarah’s arrival awakens an old rivalry. Just like Carrie, Sarah has the power of telekinesis which seems to manifest when she becomes angry. At one point she blasts Miss Fairchild into a University pool leaving her embarrassed and sopping wet. The pranks against Sarah escalate with some vengeful results. There is an occult twist with Shelly Winters reviving her old skills as a witchy dorm mother who has some very dangerous initiation rites in mind for her young girls.

What continually set this tale above the normal Made for TV Movie fare are the performances. Kay Lenz as Sarah is believable taking us along from her fearful introversion to a desire for settling the score. She also projects an inner morality that let’s us pull for her to do the right thing. That gives a nice dynamic to the story. The casting is good with many recognizable faces. Robert Hays (Airplane) is Morgan Fairchild’s boyfriend who senses she has gone too far with a particularly dirty prank. Kathryn Grant from Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (1958) even shows up as Sarah’s mother who clearly likes her sister better. This is a very solid and enjoyable film that easily transcends it initial copy-cat beginnings.

Are You in the House Alone (1978) is not really a stalker horror film at all. This one opens with Kathleen Beller (The Sword and the Sorcerer) being wheeled in to a hospital. She is bloodied and has been raped. She won’t say who did it yet – cue flashback. The bulk of the film plays like an after school special about rape in high school. Though Beller delivers an okay performance the one actor that will catch your eye is a young Dennis Quaid. He’s got a presence and puts a real smirk on his character. The story plays out pretty much as you expect. Though Kathleen Beller finds creepy notes in her locker and get some bizarre phone calls there is not really a stalker’s siege on her while she is at home alone. The house where she baby sits two very young kids is the site of the attack that we see in the very first scene. The gimmick is much more who the killer is than any kind of real suspenseful break in. There is the shunned ex-boyfriend who broke up with her because she would not put out. Then there is the somewhat lecherous photography teacher who thinks one of her pictures makes her look sexy. Her new boy friend seems perfect for her but he has a temper. While the film is enjoyable enough it’s not a very good paring with the far superior Initiation of Sarah. Kay Lenz’s Sarah is a fully realized albeit very troubled character. Kathleen Beller plays yet another teen in trouble in fairly routine melodrama. The set however is recommended for those longing for a good old dose of TV terror that can be tuned in with The Initiation of Sarah.

 

Video 1.33:1
Initiation of Sarah can be pretty soft at times. Nothing is particularly sharp and the source elements don’t quite shine. However it’s a lot better than a TV broadcast; still this is nowhere near on a par with other TV fare that’s made the transition to DVD from that era. Are You in the House Alone looks much better with the brighter scenes offering some decent detail. Colors look pretty good. Black levels don’t stand out as very strong. However both films are entirely watchable. The 1.33:1 aspect is correct for TV Movies as that was exactly as they were originally presented.

 

Audio – Mono
To say that these sound just like you are watching a TV program is exactly the point.

 

Extras – None

 

On a scale of Poor, Fair, Good, Excellent, Classic

Initiation of Sarah DVD – Fair Movie – Excellent

Are You in the House Alone DVD – Good Movie – Fair