Written by: George Pacheco on November 22nd, 2013
Theatrical Release Dates: USA, 1988 (Lurkers), USA, 1972 (Die Sister, Die!)
Directors: Roberta Findlay (Lurkers), Randall Hood (Die Sister, Die!)
Writers: Ed Kelleher, Harriette Vidal (Lurkers), William Hersey, Tony Sawyer (Die Sister, Die!)
Cast: Christine Moore, Gary Warner (Lurkers), Jack Ging, Edith Adwater (Die Sister, Die!)
DVD Release Date: November 26th, 2013
Approximate Running Times: 90 minutes (Lurkers) / 82 minutes (Die Sister, Die!)
Aspect Ratio: 1.78.1 Anamorphic Widescreen (Both Films)
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English (Both Films)
DVD Release: Scorpion Releasing
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $16.95
Scorpion Entertainment’s latest release is somewhat of a schizophrenic double feature, consisting of two very different styles of pictures.
The first film is a late 80s horror piece from cult New York City filmmaker Roberta Findlay, who–along with her husband Michael–was a pioneer of sleaze and sexploitation roughies during late sixties and early seventies before graduating to a full out exploitation, horror and porn career.
This career eventually petered out around the time Lurkers was released in 1988, serving as one of Ms. Findlay’s last feature releases (to date) before closing up shop in ’89. The quality of the film suffers as a result, serving as a fast ‘n cheap horror picture with a bare bones plot consisting of a cellist–played by the sexy, if drably dressed, Christine Moore–who is haunted by visions of an abusive childhood, and the demons which manifest themselves as a result.
These elements basically just serve as a set-up for lots of dialog padding, gratuitous nudity and special effects which actually aren’t too bad, given the obvious budget limitations associated with the film. Lurkers is almost interchangeable with any of Findlay’s latter day horror cheapies–see also Blood Sisters or Prime Evil–yet there’s this nebulous likability which surrounds the film’s visual style; one which harkens back to the glory days of video store box covers which called out to VHS hounds back in the bloody, gaudy 1980s.
Die Sister Die also possesses a striking promotional poster of its own, yet this 1972 T.V. movie offers little in common with the nubile young girl on the cover, instead presenting a dialog-driven story of a mentally unstable and suicidal woman–Edith Atwater, whose delivery and acting chops carry the film–with a greedy, inheritance-hungry brother who hires a nurse to “speed along” Atwater’s demise.
The level of professionalism here makes up for the lack of “action” present within Die Sister Die, yet the atmosphere and vibe surrounding the film is palpable throughout, keeping the viewer interested and invested in both the characters and story. Granted, the stylistic differences between Lurkers and Die Sister Die may not be more vast and apparent, yet Scorpion’s DVD still provides a nice home for this satisfying double feature.
Scorpion Releasing presents both Lurkers and Die Sister Die in anamorphic widescreen presentations which preserve the films’ original aspect ratios. Colors pop nicely despite the film age involved, while audio is nicely balanced without any noticeable errors. Only minimal dirt and print damage make themselves apparent during both films, while extras for the DVD include isolated music tracks for both films and original trailers. Scorpion Releasing delivers a solid, if somewhat sparse presentation for Lurkers and Die Sister Die.