Director – Alfred Sole (Cheeseball Presents; Alice, Sweet Alice)
Starring – Carol Kane (Addams Family Values, Tales from the Crypt), Candice Azzara (Married… With Children, The Wonder Years), and Judge Reinhold (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, The Santa Claus)
Release Date – 1982
Rating – 3/5
Blu Release – 3/5
Tagline – “Finally, a movie that is totally taste-free”
Vinegar Syndrome is a company that I often praise and those praises don’t go unwarranted. This company has been bringing the video store era into the modern age. Over the years they’ve released countless video store gems that have never made their way to disc or if they did hit disc they have long been out of print. Each and every month they bring me titles to films that I’ve never heard of before.
Case in point is 1982’s oddball horror comedy Pandemonium. I had never heard of this film prior to their announcement but after discovering it was a horror comedy with Paul Reubens you can damn well bet your ass that I was on board for it. Thanks again Vin Syn for sending this one over!
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows a cheerleading camp reopening years after the tragic murder of the cheerleaders years prior. The local authorities are actively trying to prevent the deaths from previous years of returning but the local prison and asylum both experience escapes by their most dangerous inmates and the pair meet up before making their way to the camp where the cheerleaders are.**spoiler Alert**
Pandemonium is not one of those movies that will make horror fan’s top ten lists and you will not find people with tattoos featuring scenes from the film but you will find people who enjoy watching it. The movie, for a lack of a better term, simply fun. It doesn’t try to redefine the genre or make something that would become a pop phenomenon. Instead, if offers up some cheap laughs that works in the same manner as Student Bodies and Scary Movie.
The acting in this one is fun and consistent. The characters all bring something different to the table and they all offer up some laughs. The characters that bring the horror aspect are a little underwhelming but the funny out weighs the horror anyway.
The story for this one parodies several movies of the time with the biggest being Carrie. The movie is funny and I’ll give it that but the humor does run it’s course well before the middle of the film. The movie tries too hard to make the viewer laugh than it does to bring substance. Also, the horror angle takes the back seat resulting in some miss opportunities story wise with the killers.
Finally, the film is not a bloody one for those of you needing the gore fix. There is some death scenes but they play on the comedy side of the film. No blood and gore but comical deaths that work for the scene it is in. With that being said, that film has several visual effects heavy scenes that are very dated by this point. Overall, Pandemonium is an entertaining experience but not a movie that will stick with you. The blu is a crisp and gorgeous transfer that deserves to be in any collector’s collection but don’t expect a movie that you will revisit several times. Check it out.
Newly scanned & restored in 2k from its 35mm interpositive
“Dying Of Laughter” – an interview with director Alfred Sole
Promotional still gallery
Reversible cover artwork
SDH English subtitles