• Fiend (1980) (Massacre Video) Blu-ray Review + Screenshots



    Studio: Massacre Video

    Release Date: September 1980 (original release) / December 11th, 2018 (blu-ray)

    Run Time: 92 mins

    Region Code: FREE

    Picture: 1080p (1.33:1 aspect ratio)

    Sound: English Dolby Digital 2.0

    Subtitles: English

    Slipcover: Yes (slipbox)

    Digital Copy: No

    Starring:  Don Leifert, Richard Nelson, Elaine White

    Written by Don Dohler

    Directed by Don Dohler

    Rating: Not Rated: (Violence)


    THE FILM

    Don Dohler was a filmmaker who didn’t care about the limitations he faced when making films. His budgets were very low, his effects primitive, and his actors were mostly not very good. He always overlooked these aspects and just focused on making the film that he wanted. His 1980 film Fiend is a prime example of this. While the acting isn’t terrible with his lead actor Don Leifert giving the best performance as the titular fiend. This performance helps keep the film grounded. The effects in the film, when there are any, are cheap and easy to do, but we don’t really care because the film is, above all else, is fun. Everyone seems to be having fun, as evidenced by the outtakes reel located in the special features section. The film is competently made and has that 70’s and 80’s low budget charm that films made today don’t have. The film was also shot on actual film which gives it even more charm. Basically, Fiend is one of the most charming horror films ever made.



    THE PICTURE

    Fiend was shot on 16mm film and this transfer is taken from the original A/B rolls and transferred in 2K. Nothing has been cleaned up with dirt, jitters, specs, hairs, and vertical lines all make an appearance during the film’s runtime. There is a decent amount of detail, especially in close-ups, and fine grain is present throughout, with a few scenes containing heavier grain. Colors look natural as do skin tones. Blacks are deep, but the contrast appears to be turned up a little bit too much. The day for night scenes are just daytime. Outside of that, everything else appears to be where it should be. All of these “problems” add that charm I was talking about earlier.

    The sound is presented in a lossy Dolby Digital track. I know that many will have a problem with the fact that the track isn’t lossless, but I honestly wouldn’t have been able to tell had I not had to look for this review. The track is very clean with no hisses or distortions to the track. The track is a bit lower than I would have liked, but that is really the only negative thing I can say about the track.

    THE PACKAGING

    Fiend is brought to blu-ray courtesy of Massacre Video.


    This blu-ray is packaged inside of a beautiful looking slip box. The front cover is a close-up of the titular fiend.


    The case inside the slip box is a clear, non-eco case with the front cover featuring the film’s original art.


    The is some nice inner art with the glowing fiend and the words “Don’t fuck with the fiend”


    The disc art is the same as the front slip box.

    The disc is REGION FREE.

    THE FEATURES




    Commentary featuring actor George Stover and cinematographer Richard Geiwitz, moderated by Cinema Arcana’s Bruce Holecheck

    On Fiend- Archival Interviews (2m 14s, HD) Don Leifert, Greg Dohler, and Kim Dohler Pfeiffer are all interviewed.


    Blooper Reel (9m 44s, HD) Remastered in 2K, this reel is a lot of fun with flubbed lines and other hilarity going on.

    Image Gallery (5m 42s, HD) Autoplays while selections from the score from the film plays.

    Night Pulse Trailer (6m 40s, HD)

    The Devil Trailer (4m 18s, HD)

    8mm Shorts of Don Dohler

    Mr. Clay (12m 25s, HD, 1.33:1)
    Pursued (10m 23s, HD, 1.33:1)
    Horrors of the ID (7m 59s, HD, 1.33:1)
    To Die...or Not to Die (7m 13s, HD, 1.33:1)



    HIDDEN BONUS ITEM:


    While I was doing screencaps for this review, I saw a file that had a runtime that did not match with anything in my notes. I clicked on this mysterious item to find A WHOLE FILM hidden from the main menu. The film is Blood Massacre, from 1991, and is directed by Don Dohler. There is a whole story to the making of the film that you should go and read. I haven't watched the film yet, but it does look like it was taken from a video master. I haven't been able to figure out how to access the film from a normal set-top player, only from my computer. Will update when I figure it out.

    UPDATE: A twitter user who goes by the handle @biscutbuu69 saw my tweet about this hidden film and was actually able to find it. Here are the instructions:

    1. Highlight the Special Features tab and press the enter button
    2. Press down on the remote through all the special features.
    3. Keep pressing down as the menu goes through the Play Movie option.
    4. You should see the Fiend come out from the bottom of the menu.
    5. Click on him and the film will come up.



    OVERALL

    Fiend is an unabashedly fun film. Sure, there are problems with the film, but fans of Don Dohler, and low budget films, in general, don’t mind that. We just like the film because there is a passion and heart to the film that is absent in so many films today. This isn’t a product to get rich off of. This is a film made by a real film fan because he can. The blu-ray represents the film very well with really good picture and sound. The special features, which include four of Don Dohler’s short films, is a really nice package that will make fans of the film very happy.

    MORE SCREENSHOTS:















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