Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 22nd, 2015
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: December 15th, 2015
Approximate running times: 87 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
BluRay Release: Troma Entertainment
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $24.95
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 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. Though it appears that this new transfer from Troma uses a similar source that 88 Films did for their transfer. These two transfers are not identical when it comes to their file sizes. With the file size for 88 films transfer being about 16.6 GB’s and the file size for Troma’s transfer being about 16.1 GB’s. Quality wise this new transfer is somewhere in-between the aforementioned 88 Films transfer and Troma’s previous home video release for this film.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in English. When compared to the aforementioned 88 Film’s Blu-Ray release the audio for this release has not underwent the same level of clean up and there are instances where background hiss is noticeable. With the most noticeable moment being right at the beginning of the film. Fortunately after this initial incident, the remaining audio imperfections are very mild and not as intrusive. With that being said, dialog always comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced.
Extras for this release include, an introduction to the film from Lloyd Kaufman (4 minutes 7 seconds), a trailer for the film under the title ‘The Last Horror Film’ (1 minute 15 seconds), Buddy Giovinazzo’s short film titled Maniac 2: Mr. Robbie starring Joe Spinell (8 minutes 4 seconds) and an audio commentary with Luke Walter (a friend of Joe Spinell) and moderated by Evan Husney.
Other extras include trailers for Return to Nuke ‘Em High: Vol. 1, Return to Nuke ‘Em High: Vol. 2, The Toxic Avenger, Troma’s War and Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies. Rounding out the extras is a clip titled ‘Highlights from Tromadance 2015’ (5 minutes 21 seconds), another short clip titled ‘The Return of Dolphin Man’ (4 minutes 49 seconds) and a full episode from Troma’s web series ‘Kabukiman’s Cocktail Corner’ (9 minutes 44 seconds).
Overall The Last Horror Film gets a strong release from Troma Entertainment.