'Scared Stiff: Special Edition'
(Andrew Stevens, Mary Page Keller, Joshua Segal, et al / Blu-ray / R / (1987) 2019 / Arrow Films UK)
Overview: Strange visions come to haunt a singer when she and her boyfriend-psychiatrist move into the old house that is haunted by the ghost of a slave owner.
Blu-ray Verdict: TV star Mary Page Keller (Pretty Little Liars) appears alongside Andrew Stevens (10 to Midnight, The Fury) as a couple terrorized by an age-old curse in this much-underrated late-80s offering from director Richard Friedman.
In truth, this '80s supernatural horror is, for the most part, a rather dull affair, but it is lifted somewhat by a final twenty minutes that completely throw logic and sanity out of the window!
The lunacy is hinted at in an earlier scene where a young lad's toy cars come to life, engines roaring and wheels spinning, but it's not until the closing act that director Richard Friedman goes all out with the madness!
Chucking in time travel, a snarling monster, an exploding police car (it's amazing how easy the vehicle blows up), a mouldy corpse smashing through a window (having hung outside for several days unnoticed), a giant floating lampshade in the shape of an Indian, and Ivory Coast natives hurling spears through time and space!
The plot goes something like this: Having recovered from a mental breakdown, pop star Kate moves into a new home with her boyfriend (and doctor) David Young (Andrew Stevens), and her seven year old son Jason (Josh Segal); unaware that the place is haunted by the malevolent ghost of a slave merchant.
This hokey old set-up is rife with clichés, Friedman's attempts at atmosphere and foreboding fall horribly flat, his cast give uniformly bad performances, and certain scenes are horribly dated (such as the moment when Jason's computer projects a holographic 3D image or when David explains what diskettes are for).
If you can, try and stay the distance for the mind-numbingly bonkers ending, which is just about worth the wait, but I wouldn't blame you if you gave up and found something better to do with your time. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Brand new 2K restoration from original film elements
Original uncompressed Stereo audio
English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Brand new audio commentary with director Richard Friedman, producer Dan Bacaner and film historian Robert Ehlinger
Mansion of the Doomed: The Making of Scared Stiff brand new documentary featuring interviews with Richard Friedman, Dan Bacaner, Robert Ehlinger, actors Andrew Stevens and Joshua Segal, special effects supervisor Tyler Smith and special effects assistants Jerry Macaluso and Barry Anderson
Brand new interview with composer Billy Barber
Original Theatrical Trailer
Reversible sleeve featuring two original artwork options
+ FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Fully illustrated collector's booklet with new writing on the film by James Oliver