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Ghost Canyon

'The Twisted Terror Collection'
(Kristy Swanson, Larry Drake, Holly Marie Combs, Michael Caine, Peter Cushing, Lauren Hutton, Jennifer Jason Leigh, et al / 6-Disc / NR / 2007 / Warner Bros.)

Overview: The 'Twisted Terror Collection' features: 'Deadly Friend,' 'Dr. Giggles,' 'Eyes of a Stranger,' 'From Beyond the Grave,' 'The Hand' and 'Someone's Watching Me.'

DVD Verdict: Wow, there's some great classic horror / suspence tales here, for sure! Here are my own semi-detailed descriptions of each featured film within this 6-DVD box-set ... in case you had not heard of any of them: "From Beyond the Grave" (1973) - Peter Cushing hosts this anthology of four tales that is pretty good if you are a fan of British style horror. The shortness of the four tales keeps things moving along nicely so that you don't get bored. What holds the stories together is that Cushing plays the owner of an antique shop whose customers meet supernaturally tragic fates if they try to wrong him.

"Someone's Watching Me" (1978) - Stars Lauren Hutton and David Birney, directed by John Carpenter. Lauren Hutton is a woman being stalked by a neighbor across from her apartment. He calls her, sends her gifts, and watches her through his telescope. When she can't get the police to take her seriously, she has to take on her tormenter herself along with her boyfriend and a woman that works at the same TV station as she. This is actually a well-done film that was made for TV. The Special Feature now included on this DVD is a New Featurette: "John Carpenter - Director Rising."

"The Hand" (1981) - Stars Michael Caine, directed by Oliver Stone - The idea is simple enough. Jonathan Lonsdale is a comic book artist whose right hand is severed in a car accident. The hand takes on a life of its own and kills everyone who annoys or wrongs Jon. Although not great, good direction by Stone and good acting by Michael Caine as the tortured artist really save this one. It's not meant to be so much horror as a character study of Lonsdale, and on that level it works. The included new Special Features are a Commentary by Oliver Stone and a Theatrical Trailer.

"Eyes of a Stranger" (1981) - Lauren Tewes and Jennifer Jason Leigh. This is your typical immediate post Jason/Michael Myers kind of slasher movie that was prevalent at the time. Tewes, of "Loveboat" fame, is a reporter on the trail of a neighbor that she believes is a serial killer. And of course, what would a 1980 era slasher film be without the helpless girl waiting to be a victim, Jason Leigh, the blind and deaf sister of Tewes. Not very interesting or thrilling at all except for the fact that this is Leigh's film debut. The only Special Feature included here is a Theatrical Trailer.

"Deadly Friend" (1986) - Stars Matthew Laborteaux and Kirsty Swanson and is directed by horrormeister Wes Craven. Laborteaux plays Paul, a new kid in a strange town whose only real friends are the girl next door, Samantha (Kristy Swanson), and a robot that he has built. When Samantha is murdered by her abusive father, Paul steals Samantha's body and implants his robot's microchips into her brain to bring her back to life. However she is merely reanimated rather than "alive" in the moral sense, and soon becomes out of control. I have to say it's not like any other Craven film I've seen, and it comes across more cheesy than anything else. It does have one extremely original thing going for it - death by basketball. What a hoot. The only Special Features here is a Theatrical Trailer.

"Dr. Giggles" (1992) - Holly Marie Combs (Charmed) and Glenn Quinn (Angel). Larry Drake, the villain in "Darkman", plays the insane son of a mass-murdering doctor. Drake's character escapes from his confinement, sets up practice as a doctor in the town where his father was caught, and comes up with all kinds of inventive ways of killing his patients as a means of avenging his dad. The worst thing a horror film can be is boring, and it seems the film makers had this in the front of their minds because they are so busy juggling activity that the picture literally becomes cramped with action. Much could have been cut from the script and they would have had a better movie. No Special Features (unfortunately) included.

So, basically, the extra (special) features on the whole package really just add up to the commentary by Oliver Stone on "The Hand" and the featurette about John Carpenter on "Someone's Watching Me". Because of the paucity of extra features in this set I just feel slightly sad that Warner Bros. couldn't find other additions to liven the behind-the-scenes inside looks up. That said, this is a GREAT 6-Disc collection and perfect for the Halloween upcoming season! These are all Widescreen Presentations (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.