Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 28th, 2016
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1989 (Deadly Embrace, Murder Weapon)
Director: David DeCoteau (as Ellen Cabot) (Both Films)
Writers: Richard Gabai (Deadly Embrace), Ross A. Perron (Murder Weapon)
Cast: Jan-Michael Vincent, Jack Carter, Mindi Miller, Linnea Quigley, Michelle Bauer, Ruth Collins, Ken Abraham (Deadly Embrace), Lyle Waggoner, Linnea Quigley, Karen Russell, Stephen Steward (Murder Weapon)
BluRay released: October 25th, 2016
Approximate running times: 82 minutes (Deadly Embrace), 81 minutes (Murder Weapon)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC (Both Films)
Rating: NR (Both Films)
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English (Both Films)
Subtitles: English SDH (Both Films)
BluRay Release: Vinegar Syndrome
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $29.98
Deadly Embrace and Murder Weapon were directed by David DeCoteau, a prolific filmmaker whose other notable films include, Creepozoids, Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama, Nightmare Sisters and Blonde Heaven.
Deadly Embrace: A neglected housewife’s affair with her much younger gardener turns deadly, when the gardener’s girlfriend shows up for the weekend.
Premise wise, Deadly Embrace goes down the all too familiar path of neglected housewife who has an affair. Running co-currently with the main premise is a secondary plot where the husband character wants out of his marriage and he is entangled in his own affair with his secretary. Fortunately for the husband his only way out of paying his wife alimony is catching her with another man. Unfortunately for the husband and other main characters involved, his wife’s obsession for gardener takes a deadly turn.
Though the narrative for Murder Weapon is not a coherent as Deadly Embrace’s narrative. It more than makes up for this short coming with the dream like sequences that defy any semblance of reality. With the plot taking yet another turn by the final act when the film transforms into stalk and kill scenario.
Content wise, both of these films are firmly rooted in the erotic thriller genre that rose to prominence in the 1990’s. It should be noted that both films take on a darker tone then what one expects from an erotic thriller. With the bloodletting in Murder Weapon being on par with something one would expect from a Slasher film. Visually both films are at their best during the more erotic moments and aforementioned dream sequences. Another common thread that binds these two films is that they both have an ample amount of nudity. And the performances from these two films is on par with another erotic thriller’s.
Deadly Embrace and Murder Weapon come on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. Both films for this release have been scanned, restored and preserved in 2k from their 16mm original camera negatives. Colors look accurate, black levels fare well, details generally look crisp and there are no issues with DNR or compression. Quality wise these new transfers are by far and away the best these two films have ever looked on home video.
Each film comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English and each film comes with removable English SDH subtitles. Both audio mixes in good shape and free of any background hiss or distortion. Dialog comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced. Range wise things tend to sound limited at times.
Extras for this release include, intro for Deadly Embrace (1 minute 55 seconds), intro for Murder Weapon (2 minutes 26 seconds), outtakes from Deadly Embrace (2 minutes 53 seconds), a trailer for Murder Weapon (1 minute 23 seconds) and an audio commentary track for each film with director David DeCoteau and actress Linnea Quigley.
Topics discussed in the audio commentary for Deadly Embrace include, how film came about, the origins of the DeCoteau pseudonym Ellen Cabot, the cast and information about them, how Jan-Michael Vincent was a last-minute replacement to another actor, locations featured in the film, how the film was shot in 5 days on 16mm and how the opening / closing wrap around scenes where shot after the film was completed.
Topics discussed in the audio commentary for Murder Weapon include, how the success of Deadly Weapon led to this film being made, the cast and information about them, locations featured in the film, special effects, how the film was shot in 6 days on 16mm, how several of his films have initially received negative reaction to them and have since become cult classics and the advantages of shooting on film verse shooting on video.
Also included with this release is a DVD that has the same content included on the Blu-Ray included as part of this combo release. Overall another solid release from Vinegar Syndrome.