Written by: Michael Den Boer on June 25th, 2008
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1982
Director: John Wintergate
Writer: John Wintergate
Cast: John Wintergate, Kalassu, Alexandra Day, Joel Riordan, Brian Bruderlin, Belma Kora, Tracy O’Brian, Mary McKinley, Rosane Woods, Cindy Williamson, Christopher Conlan, Elizabeth Hall, Tom Mones, Dean Disico, Elliot Van Koghbe
DVD released: April 29th, 2008
Approximate running time: 99 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Frame
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: Code Red
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.98
Synopsis: A boardinghouse were several murders occurred years before is reopened when a man named Jim Royce inherits the property. Jim decides to rent out the rooms in his boardinghouse to attractive young women. At first everything is all fun and games. Then strange things start to happen to the tenants of the boardinghouse.
Boardinghouse is the brainchild of John Wintergate who wrote the screenplay, directed and had the lead male role in the film. In the twenty six years since it was first released Boardinghouse is most remembered if for nothing more than it being the first shot on video horror film blown up to 35mm and shown in movie theaters. Visually the film is Hodge Podge of ideas that never really come together in the end. Stylistically the film looks very plain and truthfully this film is nothing more than a glorified home movie in the guise of a horror film.
The films pacing is tediously overlong and the films stretches out what could have been done in a thirty to forty minute short film into a feature that is just under 100 minutes in length. Sure a lot of things went wrong while making Boardinghouse but one thing is for sure that those involved look like they had fun making this film. In the extras John Wintergate discusses who the film was original supposed to be a spoof of the horror film genre and that the distributor insisted that they make a genuine horror film. The end result lacks any real moments of freight and the kills like many moments in the film bring about laughter more then fear.
To right this film off as one of those that are so bad they are good type of films would be doing other films of this distinction a disservice. Overall Boardinghouse is a true test of one’s endurance. If you are a fan of schlocky cinema then you might have the patience and fortitude to survive this film.
Boardinghouse is presented in a 1.33:1 full frame aspect ratio. The image is spacious and never looks cramped. The image looks very clean with no noticeable defects or source damage. Outside of the noticeable edge enhancement this transfer looks really good for a shot on video production.
This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital stereo mix in English. The audio at times sounds too thin and volume adjustment may be required. Overall the audio shows its low budgets video origins and it is not as clear as I would have hoped it to be.
Extras for this release include two T.V. spots for Boardinghouse and a thirteen minute interview with Johnn Wintergate and Kalassu that starts to lose its focus near the end. The main extra for this release this release is an audio commentary with director John Wintergate and actress Kalassu. This audio commentary is moderated by Lee Christian and Jeff McCay. Overall the audio commentary is a bizarre affair that is not as much informative as it is entertaining (even more so then the main feature). This DVD also comes with trailers for other Code Red releases like Sole Survivor, Nightmare, Can I Do it til I Need Glasses?, The Dead Pit and The Chilling. Code Red spares no expense at giving Boardinghouse a DVD release that is more impressive then film itself.