Director: Bruno Mattei
The 80’s is such a memorable decade: big hair, great music, flashy clothes, keytars, movies, overall there is a lot of good that came from the 1980’s. Unfortunately there is also a lot of bad. For Example, the double feature I chose to review. I absolutely love horror, science fiction, fantasy films and the 1980’s had some, as my sister says, “amaze balls” films. These two are not one of them.
Hell of the Living Dead– is the story of research at a scientific plant gone wrong. A poisonous green fog kills and turns living humans into walking zombies. It is a plague sweeping New Guinea, wiping out local tribes and surrounding civilizations. A special swat team is sent in to assess the situation, along the way they find a female actress/reporter and her camera man and a whole bunch of zombies. It’s a story of survival, no matter where they go there are zombies everywhere. Civilians are just trying to survive while the swat team is looking for answers. This film is set up with one liners and interesting characters, but lacks the proper development and execution by the actors.
RATS Night of Terror– tells the story of a post apocalyptic world. In this world there is a gang of bikers who stumble across an abandoned town with a lab that is producing fresh food and water. All seems great; this group can settle and live out a new better life. Hell there is even a sex scene with some descent nudity. But this new oasis is inhabited by a group of hundreds of genetically altered rats. They are critical thinkers and deadly biters.
The video was clear in both films. Hell of Living Dead could have gone without the national geographic shots, but both films had great camera angles and the video outlined the environments and mood perfectly. I appreciated the zombie scenes when they did eat or attack someone; it appeared how I would imagine it to be. Rats could have been a little better as far as the effect of them jumping and attacking. I enjoyed this film slightly better but that’s just because of the twist at the end and the struggle within the group. Who does not love a little on screen drama.
Master Audio 1.0, the sound came through clear, the dialogue did not match up with the lip movement of those speaking. I am not sure if that was an editing issue or not. Also I would have appreciated if the screams by the actresses in both films were actual horror screams. They sounded like bears… not amusing at all. Well except that one woman who died in Rats when she was molested to death.
THE PACKAGING AND EXTRA FEATURES
The packaging is standard Blue-ray Disc. The cover art is actually what appealed to me because it really screamed 80’s Horror. Both Movies are on one disc which is super convenient. Extras Include interviews with the Co-writer and stars of both films, and the director, Bruno Mattei. I watched the Interviews to see if it may change my initial perception of each film, it did not. I think everyone took this project a little serious while being produced. Other features included trailers and picture stills.
I am really disappointed in these two movies. Maybe I’m tainted, maybe I just missed the appeal to these films, but I did not find either entertaining. It would have been better use of my time to watch Troll 2 on repeat, because there was more interesting humor in it. Both these movies lacked humorous camp which it felt like they were trying to do but failed. I would maybe chuckle at some of the actresses screaming, but that’s pretty much about it. One positive from both of these movies is that the concepts and story behind them were good, the execution and writing was just dismal.