Written by: Michael Den Boer on September 22nd, 2011
Theatrical Release Dates: USA, 1973 (Love Me Deadly), USA, 1977 (Curious Case of the Campus Corpse)
Directors: Jacques Lacerte (Love Me Deadly), Douglas Curtis (Curious Case of the Campus Corpse)
Writers: Roger Wall, Robert Cleere, Jacques Lacerte, Buck Edwards (Love Me Deadly), Bruce Shelly (Curious Case of the Campus Corpse)
Cast: Mary Charlotte Wilcox, Lyle Waggoner, Christopher Stone, Timothy Scott, Michael Pardue, Dassa Cates, Terri Anne Duvalis (Love Me Deadly), Jeff East, Kelly Moran, Sandra Vacey, David Hayward, Brad David, Jim Boelsen, Charles Martin Smith (Curious Case of the Campus Corpse)
DVD released: September 13th, 2011
Approximate running times: 95 minutes (Love me Deadly), 93 minutes (Curious Case of the Campus Corpse)
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
The mind boggles, when I imagine what it must have been like to have seen Love Me Deadly, when it was first unleashed on a unsuspecting public in the early 1970′s. And while there have been far more graphic portrayal’s about Necrophilia that have graced the silver screen since Love Me Deadly, most notably Beyond the Darkness, Nekromantik, Lucker the Necrophagous and Aftermath. All of these other films focused more on the visuals aspects of the act of Necrophilia, while Love Me Deadly approached the subject at hand from a more psychological perspective.
Content wise, Love Me Deadly is equal parts melodrama and horror film, with the emphasis being more on the former. With this being said, that is not to say that this film does not have more than its far share of disturbing moments, like a scene where a mortician that belongs to a cult picks up a male prostitute and takes him back to the mortuary. Once there he straps him down to a metal table and drains his blood, while he is still alive and struggling to free himself from his restraints.
Visually Love Me Deadly relies more on atmosphere, then artfully designed compositions. Thankfully what this film lacks in style, it more than makes up for due to the strength of Mary Wilcox’s (The Lawyer) in the role of this film’s protagonist Lindsay. The same cannot be said for her male counterpart Lyle Waggoner (‘The New Adventures of Wonder Woman’), who’s lifeless performance is easily this film’s weakest link. Ultimately, though there have been countless films that have revolved around Necrophilia, it is safe to say that none have approached this subject in quite the way in which Love Me Deadly does.
Curious Case of the Campus Corpse (The Hazing): Craig Lewis a freshman on a track scholarship is approached by a fraternity to become one of its pledges. Craig becomes entangled in a murder when another one of the pledges who accidentally dies. Craig’s new sorority brothers’ blackmail him into keeping his mouth shut.
The Curious Case of the Campus Corpse was originally released under the title The Hazing. The Curious Case of the Campus Corpse was directed by a first time director named Douglas Curtis who previously had only directed documentaries and commercials. The screenplay was written by Bruce Shelly a writer who primary work for television. This film would mark Bruce Shelly’s only produced screenplay to be made into a feature film.
Trying to fit The Curious Case of the Campus Corpse into a specific genre is difficult since has equal amounts of comedy, drama and suspense. One thing this film is not is a horror film even though its salacious title would suggest otherwise. The plot is not without its flaws most of which are in the middle act of the film after the death of the pledge. One has to wonder why Craig was so easily bullied by the other boys. He threatens to go to the cops many times only to be talked back down. The strongest part of the film is the way the story is initially laid out and the introduction of the main characters. The ending is an interesting twist that one can see coming long before the films big reveal.
One thing that I thoroughly enjoy about this film was the acting. Jeff East a former child star who gained fame working for Disney is cast in the lead role of Craig Lewis. In a lesser role that almost overshadows all the other performances is Charles Martin Smith as Barney the pledge who accidentally dies during hazing. Every tragedy needs a villain and in this film that role is played flawlessly by Brad David (The Candy Snatchers) the president of the sorority that Craig and Barney are pledging at. Other notable casting choices are David Hayward (Nashville) in the role of Craig’s older brother Carl who had attended the same college six years before and Kelly Moran as Craig’s girlfriend Wendy. Ultimately The Curious Case of the Campus Corpse is forgettable film that never finds its identity.
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 Love Me Deadly include a trailer and image gallery for the film.
It should be noted that the audio commentary with producer Buck Edawrds from the previous DVD release of Love Me Deadly has not been carried over for this release.
Extras for Curious Case of the Campus Corpse (The Hazing) include a trailer for the film and a forty four minute documentary titled ‘Directing the Campus Corpse: a Look Back at The Hazing’. This documentary includes interviews with director Douglas Curtis, actors Jeff East, David Hayward and Jim Boelsen. This is a well made documentary that leaves no stone unturned.
A few extras that were included as Case of the Campus Corpse (The Hazing) previous DVD have not been carried over and they are as follows, a audio commentary with director Douglas Curtis, actors Jeff East, David Hayward and Jim Boelsen, an alternate opening title sequence under the films alternate title ‘The Hazing’ and a thirteen minute featurette titled ‘Campus Corpse: Alive & Well at the New Beverly Cinema’.
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 Hearse, Scream (The Outing), The Babysitter, Blood Mania, I’m Going to Get You Elliot Boy, Horror High, Running Hot (Lucky 13) and Stigma.
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 in line with the ones that she has done with previous B-Movie Mayhem releases. Overall another strong double feature from Code Red that gives those who missed out on these two films previous releases a chance to pick them up at their most affordable price to date.