This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Ames) plays soon-to-be-wed Pov- erty Row screenwriter Ralph Dawson, whose studio boss “S.K.” (John Ince) hires him to write a horror script based on the recent abductions shortly before his own fiancée (Wandy McKay) and her maid of honor (Louise Currie) join the others in Marlowe’s dungeon, writing him into it. A brisk 62m salad of WTF


moments, VOODOO MAN (which now carries a 2015 Paramount Pictures copyright) is presented in its original 1.33:1 aspect ratio, with indications throughout that it was framed with allowances for slight matting. (For example, the establishing shot of Zucco’s ser- vice station shows two gas pumps bearing the familiar Pegasus logo for Mobil, though the Mobil name has been painted out—yet the word Mobiloil remains intact on cases stacked low in the frame between them.) The image qual- ity is no more than acceptable, obviously some distance from original elements, with gray whites, the occasional scratch, and evi- dence of some digital repara- tions; the Blu-ray primarily offers only more readable grain as an advantage over the DVD. Long time fans of the film may be impressed to hear the final mu- sic cue continue on through a closing end credits card that reads “CALLING 80,000,000 AMERICAN MOVIEGOERS! BUY WAR SAVING STAMPS and BONDS On Sale in this Theatre!”


WITHER aka Vitra


2012, Artsploitation, 96m 29s, $29.95, DVD-1 By Chris Herzog


Viewers may be forgiven for rolling their eyes during the first act of WITHER, as they watch a yet another group of attractive twenty-somethings preparing for a weekend getaway at yet another


One of the supernatural zombies conjured up by a Scandanavian demon in WITHER.


cabin in the woods. Somewhat atypically, the kids don’t even have time to pair up sexually be- fore being transformed into a suc- cession of flesh-eating zombies. Swedish directing team Tommy Wiklund and Sonny Laguna (BLOOD RUNS COLD) offer few surprises, in fact, as this Nordic take on the zombie genre plays out predictably from the first shot to the last. The film’s rote nature proves even more frustrating as it becomes apparent that the film- makers have the skills and sensi- bilities required to transcend the limitations of the genre potboiler. Wiklund and Laguna, who also co-wrote the script, deploy their ensemble of young actors deftly and naturally, providing each weekend reveler with quickly-sketched personality and motivation without resorting to stereotype or ham-fisted charac- terization. We don’t get to know a lot about these characters, but they do feel like real people. Though the cast does a fine job, it is really the film’s special effects that carry the day. A gritty, unfor- giving mix of practical effects and restrained CGI use, the copious gore rarely feels gratuitous or showy. Viewers are much more


likely to grimace or cringe than to applaud.


WITHER’s one true Swedish touch is the fact that the film’s spastic, semi-intelligent zombies are supernatural in origin, created by the gaze of mythic Scandan- avian forest demons known as Vitra. When we finally get to see one of these, it proves to be the film’s most effectively chilling vi- sual accomplishment. Whether the filmmakers were so enraptured by American zombie movies that they chose deliberately to stick close to genre formula, or simply lacked the confidence (or the backing) to create something more original, it’s a shame we didn’t get more of the Vitra—which, inciden- tally, gets titular billing in the Swedish version. Nevertheless, WITHER should please diehard zombie film addicts, particularly fans of the Evil Dead franchise and its imitators.


Artsploitation’s DVD provides a 5.1 Swedish-language sound- track with optional English subs. Extras include a behind-the-scenes featurette, a wisely deleted final scene, trailers and a booklet in- sert containing liner notes by critic Ryan Clark and an interview with the directors.


13


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87