Director – Jeremy Hoenack
Starring – James Luisi (The Hidden, Baywatch Nights), Susan Sullivan (Justice League, The Comedy Company), and John Karlen (Night of the Shadows, House of Dark Shadows)
Release Date – 1978
Rating – 3.5/5
Blu Release – 4/5
Vinegar Syndrome has done an amazing job at bringing long forgotten and relatively unknown films from the late 60s, 70s, 80s, and early 90s to many movie collectors over the years. Some have not been good but a good portion of these releases were fantastic with almost all of them being first time watches for me. When Vin Syn announced the release of Killer’s Delight I was very curious about the film. It was one I had heard about under the name The Dark Ride but had never seen. After watching The Lamp I couldn’t wait to finally check it out.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a small town detective in California who is dealing with a string of murders involving beautiful young women who was hitchhiking. He teams up with a San Francisco detective to track him down before more young ladies become another statistic. **Spoiler Alert**
I didn’t know what to expect from Killer’s Delight when I tossed it in but I actually enjoyed it a lot. the blending of true crime and police drama actually works for a late 70s horror flick. It may not be up to speed for some horror fans but as someone who loves character driven stories I found myself pulled into this one.
The acting in this one is not the best. A lot of the scenes feel goofy and awkward but it’s far from being the worst I’ve seen. The characters, the two male leads included, are easily forgettable and could be replaced with a number of other characters from films out the same time with little to no change to the film.
The story for this one is is a police drama that meets a true crime storyline. We get a cop who is dedicated to his job who finds himself investigating a string of murders involving young women who happens to have a daughter the same age as the victims. He takes it personal and starts searching for the killer relentlessly. It works as a straight forward horror drama but it’s clearly inspired by the murders of Ted Bundy. I really enjoyed the investigation stand point and how they scattered the hitchhiking murders throughout. The film does slow down to a snails pace at times but if you stick with it you find the story picking up before it causes damage.
Finally, the film is not bloody or gruesome. The deaths take place off screen and we get just a little drop of blood here or there. The film gets an rise out of the viewer by getting you attached to the character before they die. Overall, Killer’s Delight was an unexpected surprise. I really enjoyed it but I wish this release would have used the other alternate title Sports Killer because it fit the film a lot better. The release from Vin Syn is great and another must own for collectors. Check it out.
Region Free Blu-ray
Newly scanned & restored in 4k from its 35mm original camera negative
Commentary track with director Jeremy Hoenack
New interview with director Jeremy Hoenack
New interview with writer Maralyn Thoma
New interview with cinematographer Arthur R. Botham
New interview with actor Martin Speer
Original TV spot
Reversible cover artwork
English SDH subtitles