UHD Release – 4/5
Director – David Paulsen (Savage Weekend, Dallas)
Starring – Klaus Kinski (Nosferatu the Vampyre, Venom), Donna Wilkes (Angel, Jaws 2), and Marianna Hill (Star Trek, The Outer Limits)
Release Date – 1980
Rating – 3/5
Tagline – “Dear Julia; Don’t let me do it again…”
It’s not often that I get in movies to review from companies like Arrow Video, Vinegar Syndrome, and other boutique labels that I had previously seen before. When it does it for movies that countless other genre fans have seen and are mostly classic among the genres. However, this time its a little different. When Vinegar Syndrome announced the release of Schizoid and X-Ray on UHD I was excited and a little confused. Both films, if I’m not mistaken, received blu releases from Scream Factory several years ago.
Not a lot of genre fans have seen these films and the Scream Factory releases were not the most popular releases. In fact, the release came and went with very little acknowledgment. I surprisingly snagged a copy during this time and watched it. I enjoyed both for the most part and wondered why so many slept on the release. I was looking forward to upgrading my copy with Vin Syn’s release but I was also curious why they would put it out on UHD knowing that the blu didn’t do too well. Anyway, I snagged a copy and after my Billy Blanks marathon I decided to revisit Schizoid and this time on UHD.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a woman who writes for an advice column in a local paper. She is currently going through a divorce and when other women in her therapy group goes missing only to turn up dead she uses her influence in the paper to try and draw the killer out. However, she soon learns who the real killer is and they are closer to her than she expected. **Spoiler Alert**
Schizoid is not a slasher that fits into one of the many sub-genres. When you toss in a slasher you expect to find a masked maniac stalking teenagers in the woods or a mentally unstable man or woman killing teenagers or college students on campus. Instead, Schizoid plays out almost like a made for television murder mystery with some slasher elements but lacking the tone and atmosphere that makes them so much fun. Don’t get me wrong. Schizoid was a fun horror film but it’s not what you expect when you hit play.
The acting in this one is nothing special but its not bad. I liked seeing Christopher Lloyd in one of the film’s many red herring roles. The same can be said for Klaus Kinski. The remainder of the cast is decent as well but almost all the performances are easily forgettable and blend into the background. The film doesn’t have any stand out performances or characters that you actually enjoy.
The story for this one tries too hard with the red herrings thrown at the viewer making them try to predict who the real killer is. It’s not predictable like so many other slashers but these characters, like Lloyd’s and Kinski’s, were false flags that are obvious and took away from the actual story. I liked that you never truly know who the killer is and the reveal is worth the wait.
Finally, the deaths are a huge disappointment. I love a slasher with deaths that fit the theme of the film. Schizoid doesn’t really have a theme perse but the deaths could have been a little more imaginative. The effects are limited when we do get to see the deaths but for the most part they are off screen. Overall, Schizoid has it’s flaws but I enjoy it. The Vin Syn UHD release looks absolutely fantastic. Collectors really need to snag this one while they can!
Director – Boaz Davidson (American Cyborg: Steel Warriors, Blood Run)
Starring – Barbi Benton (Deathstalker, Riptide), Charles Lucia (Tank Girl, Society), and Jon Van Ness (Tourist Trap, Supernatural)
Release Date – 1981
Rating – 3/5
Tagline – “The movie that will scare the life out of you”
X-Ray is one of those films that you either like or hate. I remember watching it all those years ago and remember liking it but it was a movie that was soon erased from memory. It doesn’t have any memorable qualities but it’s enjoyable for a late night horror fix especially if you had never seen it before. I can see why some genre fans may not like it but I did enjoy it I just couldn’t remember anything about it. When Vinegar Syndrome announced it as the second film on their UHD release I was really looking forward to revisiting both films that I had watched all those years before.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows the beautiful Susan (Benton) who stops by the hospital for a routine check up and soon finds herself the center of a horrible game as someone starts tampering with her medical file. Soon hospital staff starts to go missing as someone dressed as a doctor is stalking and killing with a grudge for Susan. **Spoiler Alert**
X-Ray is a slasher-esque horror flick with a medical theme that struggles with pacing and character development but makes up for it with atmosphere and tension. The predictable story and corny dialogue makes this a slasher that you may not love but you can enjoy.
The acting in this one is pretty rough at times but still far from the worst I’ve seen. The cast is dedicated to their roles and go all in but they still struggle to feel comfortable in front of the camera. Benton is the only performance that doesn’t leave you rolling your eyes as the film progresses. The story for this one is rather predictable but knowing who the killer is adds a bit of fun to the film. A lot of the dialogue is awkward and rough to sit through but seeing who dies next is what makes this one so much fun.
Finally, the film has several deaths that fit the medical theme with some solid effects but the lack of gore or imagination in the way the deaths were shot is a bit disappointing. Overall, X-Ray is not a fantastic film but it is fun especially if you are looking for a late flick to watch while you drink. I highly recommend checking it out especially if you like the cheesy side of horror.
3-disc Set: 2 4K Ultra HDs and 1 Region A Blu-ray
4K UHDs presented in High-Dynamic-Range
Newly scanned & restored in 4K from their 35mm original camera negatives
“Shooting by March” – a brand new interview with Schizoid writer/director David Paulsen
“Hide the Scissors” – a brand new interview with Schizoid actress Donna Wilkes
“Blood in the Jacuzzi” – a brand new interview with Schizoid makeup artist Erica Ueland
“A Wellesley Graduate” – a brand new interview with Schizoid actress Flo Lawrence
“Ultra Violet Vengeance: The Talent & Technicians of X-Ray” – a brand new making-of documentary featuring interviews with the cast and crew of X-Ray
“Bad Medicine” – an archival interview with X-Ray director Boaz Davidson
Original theatrical trailer for Schizoid
Inside cover artwork
English SDH subtitles