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Haunted (Maria’s B-Movie Mayhem) 
Written by: on August 21st, 2011


Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1977
Director: Michael A. DeGaetano
Writer: Michael A. DeGaetano
Cast: Aldo Ray, Virginia Mayo, Ann Michelle, Jim Negele

DVD released: September 20th, 2011
Approximate running time: 81 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: R
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
Subtitles: N/A
DVD Release: Code Red
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.98


Synopsis: A Indian woman is accused of being a witch during the Civil War, so she put a curse on the descendants of those who persecuted her.

Don’t let this film’s title trick you, if anything this film should have been titled ‘boredom’. After a detailed text about the crux of this story, which plays before the film. This film then spend the open setting rehashing what was just explained in the open text. Oddly enough these opening moments are actually as good as things get, since it is downhill from there as the plot just meanders along all leading a one climatic set piece (which according to the extras was the only reason why this film was even made). Not wanting to give this film money shot away for those who have yet to this abomination, let’s just say that when this special moments arrives you will know it.
 
Pacing issues and the absurdity of the plot are just a few of this film’s many flaws. The visuals are bland and the awfulness of the performances often defy description. With this film’s worst performance coming from Aldo Ray (We’re no Angels), who’s character actually has more screen time shirtless than Ann Michelle (Virgin Witch, Psychomania), this film’s main source of eye candy. Sadly the amount of screen time that is she is exposed is minimal, most of which comes during an early scene in which she is topless riding a horse. Overall, there are bad horror films and then there are horror films in a league of their own like Haunted, a film that is short on thrills and often defies logic.

The DVD:

Code Red presents Haunted in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. This is strong looking transfer, colors look nicely saturated, flesh tones look accurate and black levels fare well. There are no problems with compression or edge enhancement.

This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital mono mix in English. Dialog comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced. It should be noted that background noise varies in degree throughout.
 
Extras for this release include interview with actor Jim Negele (10 minutes 15 seconds – 4:3 full frame), who discusses the cast, working with director Michael A. DeGaetano, why a substantial amount of footage was deemed unusable due to a issue with camera and how this lack of footage only further made the narrative all the more incoherent. Other extras include a music video with Maria Kanellis, who sings a song titled ‘Fantasy’, while dancing around in skimpy outfits. Also there are two ways to watch the main feature, ‘Watch the Movie Only’ or ‘Watch the Movie with Maria!’. This seconds option is essential two segments with Maria Kanellis, one before the film and the second one follows the film. In her opening she set’s what this film is about, while dressed up as a character from the film. For the closing segment she capsulizes what we have just watched, of course all of her comments are done in a tongue and cheek way. Rounding out the extras are trailers for Love me Deadly, The Hazing, Scream, Blood Mania, The Hearse, I’m Going to Get You Elliot Boy, The Babysitter and They’re the Ghetto Warriors (The Black Gestapo). Maria also introduces the trailers included with this release. Overall Haunted gets a first rate release from Code Red.

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