Written by: Michael Den Boer on August 12th, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 2008
Director: Scott Bunt
Writer: Scott Bunt
Cast: Tom Savini, Ingrid Pitt, Troy Holland, Bill Timoney, Edward X. Young, Pete Barker, Sarah Dauber, Stuart Rudin, Darby Lynn Totten
DVD released: August 10th, 2010
Approximate running time: 90 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: Cinema Epoch
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95
Synopsis: Shortly after his arrival in a the remote village of Heidelberg, a young doctor becomes the pawn of an evil entity.
With just about every other horror film of late being populated by zombies or a psychopath killer. It is refreshing to finally come across a horror film that goes against the grain. Sure the majority of what occurs in Sea of Dust has been covered in countless other horror films. And while these familiarities may turn some viewers off. The filmmakers intentions to pay homage to Hammer horror films and the film’s of Mario Bava (more specially The Whip and the Body), come off as genuine. One has to look no further than the film’s highly stylized cinematography and be impressed with by the lengths that were taken to achieve the specific visual look, in this case ‘Technicolor’.
Story wise while things start off straight forward enough. The film does tend to get a bit jumbled as things progress. And while the disorienting structure of this film does take some time to get used too. It gives the viewer a good indication of what is happening to the film’s lead character a young doctor named Stefan Christoph. Pacing wise things move along quickly from each new revelation to the next.
Anyone looking for a body count film or a lot of gore. Should look elsewhere. Outside of a handful of deaths that occur in this film. The majority of the gore takes place in scenes where characters are whipped or tortured by other means.
The film features a solid cast which includes Ingrid Pitt (The Vampire Lovers, Countess Dracula), who is involved in the film’s most gory kill scene and Tom Savini (From Dusk Tell Dawn) in the role of Prester John a mythical Christian King. The film’s standout performance comes from Troy Holland in the role of Stefan Christoph. Ultimately Sea of Dust metapsychical horror film that takes a few viewings to fully digest.
Cinema Epoch presents Sea of Dust in an anamorphic widescreen that retains the film’s original aspect ratio. This film was shot with the intention of recreating the ‘Technicolor’ look. The end result is a very satisfying transfer that does a very good job emulating the now defunct ‘Technicolor’. The source used for this transfer is in great shape as black levels look strong and details look sharp throughout. There are no problems with compression and edge enhancement is kept in check.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in English. The audio is clean and at times robust. A minor quibble is that there are a few instances where dialog is not as clear as the rest of the mix.
Extras for this release include a teaser, two trailers and a ‘Grindhouse’ teaser for the film. Other extras include deleted scenes (3 minutes 50 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) with optional audio commentary with screenwriter / director Scott Bunt and producer Pauline Bunt, a slideshow with music from the film playing in the background and a ‘Behind the Scenes’ segment (14 minutes 40 seconds – anamorphic widescreen). This ‘Behind the Scenes’ segment features comments from the cast and crew who all discuss how they got involved in the project. The most interesting comments come from Scott Bunt who discusses how Hammer Films and Mario Bava were his main inspirations. The main extra included with this release is an audio commentary with screenwriter / director Scott Bunt and producer Pauline Bunt. The audio commentary gives a well rounded overview about the various aspects of this production. Also included with this release is a promo image gallery of titles that are available on DVD from Cinema Epoch. Overall Sea of Dust gets a first rate DVD release from Cinema Epoch.