Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 22nd, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1989
Director: Franco Steffanino
Writers: William James Kennedy
Cast: Joe Spinell, Rebeca Yaron, Patrick Askin, Susan Bachli, Martha Somoeman
DVD released: October 5th, 2010
Approximate running time: 82 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 4:3 Full Frame
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: Code Red
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.98
Synopsis: Looking to drum up some business for his mortuary. A psychopath mortician stalks and kills victims.
Content wise, The Undertaker returns Joe Spinell to familiar territory, Maniac and The Last Horror Show. With the common link being in the role of the protagonist a psychopath killer. And performance wise he brings an intensity to his role in The Undertaker that is on par with those other two aforementioned films. Unfortunately, when it comes to the rest of the cast they never rise to his level and their performances are best a described a pedestrian.
When it comes to gore related moments this one area where this film delivers and then some. Another strength of the kill scenes is that they are all inventive and well executed. With each of the kill scenes featuring the protagonist grabbing an object of conveyance as the murder weapon.
Since this film’s initial release much has been made about this film being a maligned project. And though this film did face its fair share of production related issues, most notably four directors. Fortunately, the end result is very effective Slasher film that far exceeds its limitations.
Code Red presents The Undertaker in a 4:3 full frame aspect ratio. This video sourced transfer looks pretty good all things considered. Colors generally fare well and flesh tones look healthy. Black levels are average at best and details tend to look soft more often than crisp. Also is should be noted that there are some tape based defects, none of which are too distracting.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in English. There are instances where the audio sounds muffled and some issues with distortion.
Extras for this release include a brief intro to the film with actor Robert Forster, a four minute interview with Robert Forster and his daughter Kate. Also included with this release Nightmare, The Carrier, The Visitor, Slithis, Horror High and Family Honor.
Overall The Undertaker gets a serviceable audio / video presentation from Code Red.