Written by: Michael Den Boer on September 14th, 2011
Theatrical Release Dates: USA, 1981 (Scream), USA, 1974 (Barn of the Naked Dead)
Directors: Byron Quisenberry (Scream), Alan Rudolph (Barn of the Naked Dead)
Writers: Byron Quisenberry (Scream), Jerald Cormier, Roman Valenti (Barn of the Naked Dead)
Cast: Pepper Martin, Hank Worden, Ethan Wayne, Ann Bronston, Julie Marine, Nancy St. Marie, Joseph Alvarado, Alvy Moore, Bobby Diamond, John Nowak, Joe Allaine, Cynthia Faria, Bella Bruck, Dee Cooper, Bob Macgonigal, Gino Difirelli, Gregg Palmer, Woody Strode (Scream), Andrew Prine, Manuela Thiess, Sherry Alberoni, Gyl Roland, Sheila Bromley, Gil Lamb, Al Cormier, Chuck Niles, Jennifer Ashley, Laura Campbell, Sonja Dunson, Karen Fredrik, Lin Henson, Jolene Lontere, Jeane Manson, Leslie Oliver, Marlene Tracy, Byrd Holland, Nick Archondo, Billy Holms, Bernie Schwartz, Bill Conway, David Miller, Jerald Cormier (Barn of the Naked Dead)
DVD released: September 27th, 2011
Approximate running times: 83 minutes (Scream), 84 minutes (Barn of the Naked Dead)
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen (Both Films)
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English (Both Films)
DVD Release: Code Red
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $14.98
Scream (no not the film that was directed by Wes Craven) was written and directed by Byron Quisenberry. An alternate title which this film is also know by is The Outing. The film feature a serviceable score from Joseph Conlan whose other notable composing credits include Chained Heat and the T.V. series Simon & Simon.
Things go downhill quickly is this cheaply made horror film from the early 1980′s that is virtually devoid of suspense. The premise is in line with other horror films from the same era. Everything in this film is drawn out and then some. I just keep waiting for something, anything to happen. Several of the kill scenes are off screen and none of the kills are gory.
All of the characters are so bland and underdeveloped, that feeling anything for them is impossible. As incomprehensible as everything that is going on is. Things go even further off the rails once a mysterious cowboy (Woody Strode) arrives out of nowhere. Is he responsible for the killings? Does he know who or what is responsible for these killings? These and so many other questions are left unanswered.
From a visual stand point this film is also lacking in every way. Performance wise the cast are adequate at best. I have seen more than my fare share of really bad horror films (Boardinghouse, The Forest, Don’t Go Into the Wood’s) and none have ever reached the level of awfulness on display in Scream.
Barn of the Naked Dead (Terror Circus): Three girls on their way to Las Vegas are abducted by a madman, who has a circus full of abducted women that he refers to as his animals.
Barn of the Naked Dead (Terror Circus) was directed by Alan Rudolph, who’s other notable films include Welcome to L.A., Roadie and The Moderns. Earlier on in his career has also worked as an assistant director on three Robert Altman films, The Long Goodbye, California Split and Nashville.
Though this film never quit lives up to its salacious title Barn of the Naked Dead, since there is very screen time in which naked flesh appears on screen. It tries to make up for this oversight by heaping on sadism from its protagonist.
Narrative wise, there really is not much going on here. Once the three girls on their way to Las Vegas are abducted by the protagonist, the bulk of the film is spent with him torturing the girls he has abducted in various ways. Thankfully to break up the predictability to the story at hand, the protagonists father who has been contaminated by radiation enter the fray and mangles a few corpses along the way.
Performance wise, the majority of the cast are really not much more than mere props that help propel the weekly constructed plot along. The only performance of note is Andrew Prine (The Centerfold Girls) in the role of Andre, the film’s protagonist and resident madman. Surprisingly as convincing as his performance is, he has been reportedly quoted as saying this about Barn of the Naked Dead (Terror Circus), "This is the only movie I ever regretted making".
Slow moving at times and relatively tame when compared to other exploitation films from this era, Barn of the Naked Dead (Terror Circus) is an amusing time filler and nothing more.
Code Red’s audio / video presentation looks comparable to both films previous DVD’s that were released by Media Blasters under their Shriek Show banner.
Extras for Scream (The Outing) are limited to a trailer for the film (1 minute 26 seconds – anamorphic widescreen). Three extras from this film’s previous DVD release have not been carried over, a T.V. spot, a brief image gallery and a audio commentary with writer / director Byron Quisenberry and moderators Marc Edward Heuck and Bill Olson.
Extras for Barn of the Naked Dead (Terror Circus) include a featurette titled ‘Barn Again! Return to the Terror Circus’ (22 minutes 48 seconds – 4:3 full frame / letterboxed widescreen) with comments from producer Marvin Almeas, costume / wardrobe department Allan Apone, visual effects department Byrd Holland & Douglas J. White and actress Jennifer Ashley. The featurette covers the various aspects of this production, locations, working with director Alan Rudolph, special effects and casting. Rounding out the extras for this film is a lively audio commentary with Byrd Holland & Douglas J. White that finds a good balance between being irreverent and the more technical aspects of this film.
Other extras included with this release include a music video with Maria Kanellis, who sings a song titled ‘Fantasy’, while dancing around in skimpy outfits and trailers for The Hazing, The Hearse, The Babysitter, Love me Deadly, They’re the Ghetto Warriors (The Black Gestapo) and Cut-Throats Nine.
Also there are two ways to watch the main feature, ‘Watch the Movie Only’ or ‘Watch the Movie with Maria!’. This first option allows you to watch each movie separately, while the second option plays the films back to back and this option has three segments with Maria Kanellis, one before the film, another in the middle and the last one after the second feature ends. These segments are line with the ones that she has done with previous B-Movie Mayhem releases. Overall two previously released Code Red titles are paired together for their most affordable releases to date.