Written by: Michael Den Boer on November 19th, 2013
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1984 (Black Devil Doll from Hell), USA, 1987 (Tales from the Quadead Zone)
Director: Chester Novell Turner (Both Films)
Writer: Chester Novell Turner (Both Films)
Cast: Shirley L. Jones, Keefe Turner (Black Devil Doll from Hell), W.J. Rider, Doug Daverport, Johnnie Tanguy, Chris Calloway, Kim Nichols, Tammy Nichols, Jeff Miza, Ronda Rider, Keefe L. Turner, Larry Jones, Lawrence R. Jones, William Jones, Tommy L. Miller, Shirley L. Jones, John W. Jones, Richard Tanguy, Dan Kugler, Patrick D. Tanguy, Jamar E. Bankhead (Tales from the Quadead Zone)
DVD released: November 12th, 2013
Approximate running times: 87 minutes (Black Devil Doll from Hell), 62 minutes (Tales from the Quadead Zone)
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Frame (Both Films)
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English (Both Films)
DVD Release: Massacre Video
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $29.95
Black Devil Doll from Hell: A possessed doll turns a woman who has devoted her life to god into nymphomaniac.
Tales from the Quadead Zone: A young boy has his mother read him tales of terror from a book titled Tales from the Quadead Zone. The first tale is titled ‘Food for?’ revolves around a family that does not have enough food to around for everyone. Tired of not having enough to eat one of the children shows up at dinner with a gun and then proceeds to kill several members of his family. Unfortunately for the son he is given the death penalty, while his parents get to live it up due to his rampage. The second tale is titled ‘The Brothers’ revolves around a depressed young man who enlists the help of a few of his friends to recover his recently departed brother’s corpse from a funeral home. From there the young man dresses up his deceased brother as a clown and proceeds to resolve unfinished business between them.
Every now and then there are film’s that have amassed an almost legendary status and yet they have been only seen by a limited amount of people before disappearing from the public conscious. Case in point the double whammy we have here that known as the film’s Chester Novell Turner aka Black Devil Doll from Hell and Tales from the Quadead Zone.
When I first heard about these two films they almost seemed to good to be true and then when the opportunity presented itself for me to finally check them in all of their glory. You know I jumped in head first at such a proposal.
From a production stand point these films are not the kind of film’s that one would recommended to someone aspiring to be a filmmaker or are they? Sure their many areas where this film comes up short and could have been vastly improved under the right circumstances. But then if these areas where ‘improved ‘upon then I can almost guarantee that we would not be here discussing these films all these years later. Let’s face it, it is the things that come dangerously close to coming off the rails and crashing that are so damn compelling and dare I say it entertaining to watch.
With that being said those with the fortitude to sit through these two films will be rewarded with something unlike that which they have ever seen before or are likely to ever encounter ever again. And it is safe to say that once you have finished watching these two films, you will never view cinema the same way again.
Both films are presented in their original aspect ratio. And both are also source from VHS sources. Of the two films included as part of this release Black Devil Doll from Hell is in the worst shape, while Tales from the Quadead Zone fares much better. With that being said from a quality standpoint don’t go in expecting too much and just be thankful that there are any sources left for which source a release like this release.
Both films come with one audio option a Dolby Digital Mono mix in English. Background is present and varies in degree throughout. Depth wise both audio mixes sound tiny and there are a handful of instances where the dialog is not as clear as it could have been.
Though the presentation of both films are one without their short comings, the same thing could not be said about the wealth of extra content include with this release. Extras include audio commentaries for each film with director Chester Novell Turner and actress Shirley L. Jones and they both return for a thirty five minute featurette titled ‘Return to the Quadead Zone’. Other extras include a stills gallery, the BC video introduction, trailers for other titles also available from Massacre Video and The Hollywood Home Theatre re-cut version of Black Devil Doll from Hell.
Chester Novell Turner and Shirley L. Jones have sharp memories as they remember just about every detail about these two productions. And they are both a joy to listen to as their enthusiasm for these films is infectious.
Though is one of those rare occasions where the extras are more entertaining than the films at hand. The quality of said extra content actually makes the viewing of these two films all the more enjoyable the second time around. Overall the films of Chester Novell Turner get an exceptional release from Massacre Video.