'Malevolence: Special Edition' [Blu-ray + DVD]
(Brandon Johnson, Samantha Dark, Heather Magee, et al / Blu-ray+DVD / R / (2004) 2019 / Mena Films - MVD Visual)
Overview: Taken from his backyard swing at the age of six, Martin Bristol was forced to witness and participate in the horrific crimes of a deranged madman.
For years, Martin's whereabouts have remained a mystery... until four bank robbers, on the run from the law, meet up at an abandoned house to split up the loot.
They chose the wrong house!
Blu-ray Verdict: Director, Stevan Mena, did a wonderful job of writing and directing this film, no matter what the oh-so many ill-informed, or naive to the genre, critics have dared to spout down the years, trust me!
For yes, many of the elements of a good horror film ie: 'Halloween,' 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre,' 'The Shining,' et al are indeed lovingly incorporated into this film, but they play out as homages, at every single shocking turn!
One of the things that surprised me was the absence of sex though for in most horror/slasher films the gratuitous sex with college/high school kids is always there; while the bad guy is running around trying to find/kill them!
But no, 'Malevolence' had its own scary story line and stuck to it through thick and thin! In fact, come the end it just made me jump out of my skin several times, which is definitely the sign of a great movie of this genre, am I right!
When the horror did kick in I was all over the shop! I think the ambiguity of the beginning made me wonder what the hell was going to happen next.
So, in a way, it worked to create a sense of not knowing where the film was going to go next. So when the scares do happen, you're not expecting them! Even the ones I thought I saw coming got me!
I mean, come on now, this movie does has it all - suspense, terror, and an excellent soundtrack. The cinematography really helped to aid in building the suspense and as it was a small indie on a small indie budget, well, I was more than impressed with the cinematic outcome.
Also, all the actors, all unknowns at the time, were perfectly cast. Brandon Johnson, Samantha Dark, and Courtney Bertalone were just electrifying to watch and I had hoped to see them in future films of this ilk down the years, but not so much, sadly.
But, and again I tip my hat to the directing masterclass by Mena for giving true horror fans something worth watching.
Generally noted as actually being the middle part of the trilogy, 'Malevolence 2: Bereavement' has also just been re-released as Special Edition Director's Cut Blu-ray+DVD combo pack along with the just-released third and final chapter, 'Malevolence 3: Killer' -- just in time to get them lined up for Halloween! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
New HD 35mm transfer, supervised by Director Stevsn Mena and Cinematographer Tsuyoshi Kimoto
Audio Commentary with Stevan Mena and Brandon Johnson
Trailers, TV & Radio Spots
Featurette: Back to the Slaughterhouse
Featurette: The Dark Side of Horror with Samantha Dark
CLICK HERE to read an exclusive interview we did with Director Stevan Mena, conducted a few years ago, when he was initially trying to get 'Malevolence 3' just filmed!