Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 20th, 2016
Theatrical Release Date: Germany, 2011
Director: Andreas Marschall
Writer: Andreas Marschall
Cast: Susen Ermich, Magdalena Ritter, Julita Witt, Norbert Losch, Dieter Rita Scholl, Michael Siller, Marcel Trunsch, Stefanie Grabner
BluRay released: September 13th, 2016
Approximate running times: 109 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 German, DTS-HD Stereo German
Subtitles: English, Spanish
BluRay Release: Reel Gore Releasing
Region Coding: Region Free / Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $39.95
Synopsis: Stella is an aspiring actress whose audition has once again underwhelmed. Determined to be actress she takes one of the judges’ advice to check out the Matteusz Gdula acting academy, a school known for their controversial acting methods. And at that moment they were conducting Summer enrollment. Not deterred by her recent setbacks Stella aces her audition for the Matteusz Gdula acting academy. Will she find what she has been looking for as an actress or will this academy’s most unusual methods break her?
Masks is classic example of a film that becomes something more than an homage. And when it comes to its influences this film never strays away from giving credit, where credit is due. With its most notable influence being the Italian film genre the Giallo. Also this film is not just a pastiche and the end result is something that can be viewed as more of an extension of the Giallo genre for modern times.
This film features a well-constructed narrative that has an ample number of red herrings and more importantly stylish death scenes that are sufficiently gory. The main characters are fleshed out just enough so that their motives are never left in doubt? And pacing ins not an issues as things move along briskly and allow key moment to fully resonate.
As mentioned before this film proudly wears its influences and nowhere is this more evident then when it comes to its visuals. There is a moment early on where one of the students flee the academy in a panic and they then stay over at a friend’s house. Later that evening whatever she was trying to hide from kills her and her friend. This opening moments of the film bears a striking resemble to the opening moments of Suspria. Another standout moment visually includes the film’s blood-soaked finale.
Performance wise the cast all very good in their respective roles. With this film’s strongest performance being Susen Ermich in the role of this film’s protagonist, an actress named Stella. Other notable performances include, Dieter Rita Scholl in the role of Kaspar, the judge that tells Stella about the Matteusz Gdula acting academy and Stefanie Grabner in the role of Lenka, a disciple of Matteusz Gdula who lurks in the halls of the academy and continues to do his bidding.
Masks comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. This film has a very distinctive look and the transfer provided for this release does a great job retaining said look. Also there are no issues with compression and DNR is kept in check.
This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in German and a DTS-HD stereo mix in German. Both audio mixes sound clean, clear ad balanced. With the better of these two audio mixes being the DTS-HD 5.1 mix which offers a more robust experience. Also included with this release are two subtitle options, English and Spanish.
Extras for this release include, original trailer (1 minute 46 seconds, in German with English subtitles), 2016 trailer for the film (1 minute 58 seconds, in German with English subtitles), slide show (2 minutes 24 seconds), music video (4 minutes 24 seconds), four deleted scenes (4 minutes 13 seconds, in German with English subtitles) and behind the scenes footage (14 minutes 54 seconds, in German with English subtitles).
Other extras include, trailers for Violent Shit: The Movie and The Curse of Doctor Wolffenstein.
Rounding out the extras is Reel Gore collectors’ cards for Mask, a CD containing the score for Masks and a twenty-four-page booklet with a bio for Andreas Marschall, a review for Masks written by Kier-La Janisse and an interview with Andreas Marschall. Also included with this release is a DVD that has the same content included on the Blu-Ray included as part of this combo release. Overall Masks gets a first rate release from Reel Gore Releasing.