Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 24th, 2011
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1981
Director: Jeffrey Obrow, Stephen Carpenter
Writers: Jeffrey Obrow, Stephen Carpenter, Stacey Giachino
Cast: Laurie Lapinski, Stephen Sachs, David Snow, Pamela Holland, Dennis Ely, Woody Roll, Daphne Zuniga
BluRay released: April 26th, 2011
Approximate running times: 88 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
BluRay Release: Synapse Films
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $29.98
Synopsis: During the Christmas break, a group of college students help clear out a dorm that is about to be torn down. What should a have been a fairly routine job, quickly turns deadly when a manic starts knocking them off one by one.
The Dorm That Dripped Blood was originally released in a compromised version, under the alternate title Pranks. And even though this release goes under the more famous title The Dorm That Dripped Blood. The actual title card which appears for this release is Death Dorm. And reportedly this is the director’s preferred cut of this film.
Visual the film does a very good job setting the mood and capitalizing on the film’s meager resources. Another area in which this film is sure to please most fan’s of Slasher films, are its kill scenes. And while the special effects are crude by today’s standards, they are sufficiently gory.
Performance wise the cast are engaging enough in their respective roles. With the majority of the performance short comings, arising more from the fact that they are given very little to work with. Though the cast is primarily made of unknown actors, many of which this is their one and only film. The cast does feature at least one actor who would go onto to bigger and better things, Daphne Zuniga (Spaceballs and the T.V. series Melrose Place).
When compared to other Slasher films from the early 1980’s, this film’s plot is as bland as they come. Sure there is the obligatory set up, which also serves up a few red herrings. Outside of this minimal attempt at back-story. The remainder of the film is nothing more than your by the numbers body count film. Besides the familiarity of the plot, another area in which this film often comes up short is its lethargic pacing that gives ‘slow grind’ a whole new meaning.
The Dorm That Dripped Blood comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. Considering the low budget origins of this project, the one area in which this transfer will surprise most viewers are the black levels which look consistently good. Colors and flesh tones look accurate. Grain looks natural and print damage is minimal. There are no problems with compression or edge enhancement.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD Mono mix in English. There are no issues with distortion and background noise is minimal. Dialog is always clear and everything sounds balanced. Range wise everything sounds as good as one would expect for a mono audio mix.
Extras for this release include the original The Dorm That Dripped Blood trailer (1 minute 26 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), the original alternate title Pranks trailer (1 minute 53 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), two interviews – the first interview with composer Christopher Young (8 minute 11 seconds – anamorphic widescreen)and the second interview with make-up effects creator Matthew Mungle (9 minutes 28 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) and a audio commentary with director’s Jeffrey Obrow and Stephen Carpenter. Despite their brevity the two on camera interviews do a reasonably good job explaining how each participant became involved in this project. The standout extra for this release is the audio commentary track with the film’s director’s who discuss the origins of the film, the cast, the special effects and various other production related topics. Also included with this release is a isolated music track and a reversible cover for the film’s alternate title Pranks. Overall The Dorm That Dripped Blood gets a first release from Synapse Films.
Note: Also included with this combo release is a DVD copy that has all the contents that are included on the BluRay counterpart.