Written by: Michael Den Boer on January 12th, 2012
Theatrical Release Date: UK / USA / Greece, 1976 (The Devil’s Men), 1978 (Terror)
Directors: Kostas Karagiannis (The Devil’s Men), Norman J. Warren (Terror)
Cast:Donald Pleasence, Peter Cushing, Luan Peters, Kostas Karagiorgis, Dimitris Bislanis, Anna Matzourani, Jessica Dublin (The Devil’s Men), John Nolan, Carolyn Courage, James Aubrey, Sarah Keller, Tricia Walsh, Glynis Barber, Michael Craze, Rose Collins, Chuck Julian, Peter Craze (Terror)
DVD released: January 24th, 2012
Approximate running times: 88 minutes (The Devil’s Men), 85 minutes (Terror)
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Anamorphic Widescreen (The Devil’s Men), 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen (Terror)
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English (Both Films)
DVD Release: Scorpion Releasing
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $14.95
The Devil’s Men: Devil worshipers kidnap victims for a sacrificial ritual.
The Devil’s Men was directed by Kostas Karagiannis (Death Kiss) a prolific Greek filmmaker who’s output almost rivals Jess Franco’s in sheer number of films. When released in the U.S. by Crown International, The Devil’s Men was released under the title Land of the Minotaur. And just like the aforementioned Death Kiss, the U.S. release for The Devil’s Men was cut down from its original length, with about nine minutes being trimmed. The Devil’s Men’s eerie score was composed Brian Eno (Roxy Music).
Considering the talent involved in this production, it is surprising just how inept the finale product is. The film’s is tediously paced, there is absolutely no tension and the haphazard plot is downright confusing and not in good way. Another area in which this film is a letdown are the way in which the deaths are depicted onscreen, they are virtually devoid of blood and to put it bluntly very tame.
In a film where virtually everything goes wrong, it should not come as a surprise that the performances from its three main stars, Donald Pleasence (Halloween), Peter Cushing (The Horror of Dracula) and Luan Peters (The Flesh and Blood Show) are all just as bland and uninspired as the story at hand. Ultimately The Devil’s Men is a convoluted tale about Satanism that never figures out where it wants to go or what it is really trying to achieve.
Terror: After completing a film about a three hundred year old curse a film producer and those around him start to die mysteriously.
The plot for Terror is your murders by numbers type horror film. The kills are for the most part inventive and bloody. The first killing in the film is the best of the lot with the way in which the victim is stalked and eventually trapped. One of the plot’s biggest flaws is the ambiguity as to whom or how the killers are being perpetrated. There are many red herrings pointing fingers that never fully pan out and the ending leans towards a supernatural entity behind the murders.
Visually Terror is miles ahead of Norman J. Warren’s Satan’s Slave. The films score composed by Ivor Slaney is one of the films strengths. The acting adequately suits the story with no performances standing out as weak or wooden. A minor role of note is The Mechanic who is played by Peter Mayhew whose most famous role is Chewbacca in episodes four, five and six of the Star Wars series. Ultimately Terror is an entertaining horror film that has enough kills and surprises to keep things interesting throughout.
Both films are presented in an anamorphic widescreen that retains their original aspect ratios. Both films also had been released before on DVD by BCI. Quality wise the transfer for Terror is comparable to the one that BCI used for their release, while the transfer for The Devil’s Men is big improvement over its previous DVD counterpart. Also this release marks the first uncut release of The Devil’s Men on DVD.
Each film comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital mono mix in English. Background noise is minimal, there are no problems with distortion and dialog comes through clearly.
Extras for Terror include a deleted scene, two trailers and a ‘Making of’ featurette titled ‘Bloody Good Fun’ (40 minutes 45 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) that includes comments from director Norman J. warren, Les Young Producer, screenwriter David McGillivray, actresses Carolyn Courage, Elaine Ives-Cameron and Mary Maude, associate producer Moira Young and actor James Aubrey. This is a well rounded look into the various aspects of this production, with one of the more interetsing topics about how Suspiria was a major influence on Terror. The Devil’s Men comes with no extra content that is specific to that film. Rounding out the extras for this release are trailers for Nothing But the Night, Double Exposure and The Devil Within Her.
Also there are two ways to watch the main feature, ‘Play Movie’ or ‘Play Katarina’s Nightmare Theater’. 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 Katarina Leigh Waters, 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 Katarina’s Nightmare Theater releases. Overall this is another strong from Scorpion Releasing.