Written by: Michael Den Boer on July 25th, 2014
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1982
Director: David Winters
Writers: Judd Hamilton, Tom Klassen, David Winters
Cast: Caroline Munro, Joe Spinell, Judd Hamilton, Devin Goldenberg, David Winters, Susanne Benton, Filomena Spagnuolo, Glenn Jacobson
BluRay released: July 21st, 2014
Approximate running time: 87 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: 18 (UK)
Sound: DTS-HD Stereo English
BluRay Release: 88 Films
Region Coding: Region B
Retail Price: £14.00
The Last Horror Film was directed by David Winters (Alice Cooper: Welcome to My Nightmare). Winters also appears in The Last Horror Film as a director of horror films. Over the years The Last Horror Film has been released under a variety of different titles like Maniac 2 and Fanatic.
The Last Horror Film was a quickly put together after the success of William Lustig’s Maniac which also stars Joe Spinell and Caroline Munro. The premise for The Last Horror Film, a deranged nobody who craves the limelight makes perfect fodder for a horror film. The plot feels cobbled together and the ending is kind of a letdown. Even though there is plenty of killings this film is not your typical horror film.
Despite its flaws there is plenty things that work like David Winters direction and the performances of its two leads Joe Spinell and Caroline Munro. Above all else The Last Horror Film is all about Joe Spinell’s performance as Vinny Durand. While the moments where Vinny is at his most psychotic are right up Joe Spinell’s alley. It is the moments where Vinny is interacting with his mother (who is portrayed by Joe Spinell ‘s actual mother), in which Joe Spinell really shines. Ultimately The Last Horror Film is a flawed film that quickly crumbles under the weight of its meager budget.
The Last Horror Film comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. Before the main menu appears there is a disclaimer that says that various sources, including the original negative were used for this transfer and to expect some variance in quality. Colors and flesh tones look accurate and there are no issues with compression. Black levels fare well and details generally look crisp, with a few minor instances where they lack the clarity that is present for the majority of this transfer. And when compared to previous releases like Troma’s 2009 DVD, this new transfer from 88 Films improves upon it in every imaginable way.
This release comes with one audio mix a DTS-HD Stereo mix in English. There are no issues with background noise or distortion, dialog always comes through clearly, everything sounds balanced and robust when its needs too.
Extras for this release include three trailers / T.V. spots for the film under the title Fanatic, an introduction to the film from Lloyd Kaufman, Buddy Giovinazzo’s eight minute short film titled Maniac 2: Mr. Robbie starring Joe Spinell, a twenty four on camera interview with Luke Walter titled ‘My Best Maniac’, who discusses candidly his friendship with Joe Spinell and an informative audio commentary with Luke Walter and moderator Evan Husney. All of these extras have been ported over from Troma’s DVD for this film. Extras new to this release include an eleven minute Q & A with actress Caroline Munro and a trailer reel for other titles also available from 88 Films. Overall The Last Horror Film gets a strong release from 88 Films.