Written by: Michael Den Boer on July 24th, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1974
Director: Larry N. Stouffer
Writer: Jake Fowler
Cast: Pat Cardi, Austin Stoker, Rosie Holotik, John Niland, Joye Hash, Jeff Alexander, Mike McHenry
DVD released: August 10th, 2010
Approximate running time: 83 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Code Red
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.98
Synopsis: Tired of being tormented. A high school student, who is working on a experimental drug that can drastically alter ones personality. One evening he takes the experimental drug. After being confronted by one of his tormentors. After being exposed to his darker side. He looks to settle to score once and for all with his tormentors.
Even though the film is populated with your cliched high school characters and there is a predictability to where everything is going plot wise. There is something oddly endearing about this unique take on Robert Lewis Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. After initial set up, the pace picks up slightly once the film’s main character Vernon Potts first transformation. The killings are sufficiently gory enough. With Coach McCall’s death scene being the stand out kill sequence. This film’s most glaring flaw are the performances from the entire cast. Which features many actors who’s career began and ended with this film and several Dallas Cowboy players. The only performance that leaves any lasting impression is Pat Cardi (Let’s Kill Uncle, Before Uncle Kills Us). He gives a well rounded performance as the film’s tormented protagonist Vernon Potts. The film’s melancholy opening theme “Vernon’s Theme’, which also closes the film, is one of its most enduring assets.
Code Red presents Horror High in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. This transfer has been flagged for progressive playback. Horror High was previously released on DVD by Rhino Video. This new transfer from Code Red is vastly superior to that release in every way. Flesh tones look healthy, colors look accurate, black levels fare well and details look crisp throughout.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital mono mix in English. Dialog is clear and everything sounds balanced. It should be noted that there are a few very mild instances of background hiss. In all the audio is in very good shape.
Extras for this release include a trailer for film (2 minutes 18 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), alternate opening title “Twisted Brain” (2 minutes 31 seconds – 4:3 full frame), deleted scene that were shot for TV version (9 minutes 2 seconds – 4:3 full frame), a interview with actor Austin Stoker (26 minutes 7 seconds – 4:3 full frame) and a audio commentary with ‘The Geek Squad’, J. Keith Van Straaten, Marc Edward Heuck and Paul Goebel, from TV’s Beat the Geeks. The interview with Austin Stoker that opens with comments about Horror High before shifting into more of a career retrospective interview. The audio commentary is a enthusiastic track that is equally fun and informative. Also included with this release are trailers for Family Honor, This is a Highjack, Slithis, The Night Child, Exterminators of the Year 3000, Light Blast, Terminal Island, The Visitor, The Black Clansman, Stigma, Mean Johnny Barrows, Gosh (Alice Goodbody) and The Statue. Overall Code Red gives Horror High its most definitive release to date.