Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 23rd, 2015
Theatrical Release Date: Mexico / USA, 1981
Director: Alfredo Zacarías
Writers: David Lee Fein, F. Amos Powell, Alfredo Zacarías
Cast: Samantha Eggar, Stuart Whitman, Roy Jenson, Lew Saunders, Narciso Busquets, José Chávez, Haji
BluRay released: October 20th, 2015
Approximate running time: 79 minutes (Demonoid), 91 minutes (Macabre)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC (Both Films)
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English (Both Films)
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Vinegar Syndrome
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $24.98
Synopsis: After centuries of entombment a demonic left is freed to wreak havoc on anyone who gets in its way.
Demonoid was directed by Alfredo Zacarías, who also directed the equally delirious slice of Z-cinema The Bees. Key collaborators on Demonoid include cinematographer Alex Phillips Jr. (Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, Seduction) and composer Richard Gillis (‘When the World Was New’ from A Boy and His Dog). There are two versions of this film, a shorter gorier version that was shot for North American audiences and a longer more family friendly version that was shot for international markets.
Content wise, this supernatural Horror film is best summed up as, a not so friendly game of tag with the left hand of the devil. With the film’s opening act does a good job laying the groundwork related to the demonic hand. Unfortunately the same cannot be said, when it comes to back-story for any of the other characters in this film.
And though there are clear elements in this film that are known Horror genre staples. This film ultimately relies more on atmosphere. With the moments of bloodletting come off as rather tame. Also when it comes to the hand attacking there are a handful of these moments that induce humor instead of fright.
From a production stand point the visuals range from there are a few well-crafted moments. Most notably the scene in mine where the Mark and Jennifer Baines character discover the hidden tomb. It is this location where they discover the cursed hand. Also the lackluster performance from the entire cast should not coma s surprise, since the true star of this attraction it ‘The Hand’.
Demonoid comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. This transfer was sourced from a brand new 2k scan and restoration that from the 35mm original camera negative. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, shadow detail and black levels look consistently strong and details look crisp. Also grain looks neutral and there are no issues with DNR or compression.
The Demonoid version of the film comes with one audio, a DTS-HD mono mix in English and removable English SDH subtitles have been included for this audio track. There are no issues with distortion or background noise and dialog always comes through clearly. Range wise things sound very good as the score sounds robust and everything sound balanced. Also when it comes to the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack this audio mix does a great job.
Extras for this release include, original artwork gallery, a trailer for the film under the title Demonoid (1 minute 19 seconds), a T.V. spot (11 seconds) and trailer for the film under the title Macabre (3 minutes 26 seconds), an interview with director Alfredo Zacarías (14 minutes 35 seconds) and the alternate International version of the film under the title Macabre (90 minutes 40 seconds – 1080 progressive widescreen, English and French audio options and English subtitles).
Topics discussed in the interview with Alfredo Zacarías include, how he came up with the premise for the film, the difficulties in being a first time disturber for this film, the cast and his thoughts on their contributions, the look of the film and working with cinematographer Alex Phillips Jr., why there are two versions of the film and version of the that he prefers.
A few of the differences between the two versions included with combo release. Demonoid has a pro-log, a few scenes that have been shortened and this version of the film has more gore. Also when it comes to their scores each film features a different score.
The audio / video presentation for Macabre is on par with Demonoid’s audio / video presentation.
Rounding out the extras is a reversible cover art with the International title Macabre and artwork. 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 Demonoid gets a definitive release from Vinegar Syndrome, highly recommended.