Scream Queen Hot Tub Party (Retromedia) Blu-ray Review + Screenshot Comparison

The Scream Queen Hot Tub Party blu-ray from Retromedia should serve as an example of how NOT to release standard definition video on blu-ray.

Studio: Retormedia
Release Date: 1991 (video premiere) / September 26th, 2023 (blu-ray)
Run Time: 
Region Code: FREE
Disc Count: 1
Picture: 720p (1.33:1 aspect ratio) (both films)
Sound: English LPCM 2.0
Subtitles: No
Slipcover: No
Digital Copy: No
Starring: Brinke Stevens, Monique Gabrielle, Kelli Maroney, Michelle Bauer, Roxanne Kernohan
Written by Jim Wynorski, Fred Olen Ray
Directed by Fred Olen Ray, Jim Wynorski
Rating: Not Rated (copious amounts of nudity)




What's It About?

Join Hollywood's greatest Horror
Starlets as they reveal their deepest secrets, favorite films and most private fantasies. An All-Star cast featuring Scream Queens Brink Stevens, Michelle Bauer, Kelli Maroney, Roxanne Kernohan and Monique Gabrielle are lured to a spooky mansion by their mysterious host, Count Orlock. They soon realize they've been tricked and retreat to a five-girl hot tub to discuss their careers! (Scream Queen Hot Tub Party)

A woman finds a cavegirl in the backyard so they decide to have showers, strip, and dress in lingerie. (One Million Heels BC)

Film Review

There isn't much to review here. Do you like to see women naked? Do you like seeing clips from old films? Do you like films that don't over stay their welcome? This is the perfect film for you. There is plenty of nudity and the run time is short.


This one is disappointing. I wasn't expecting much out of this blu-ray. The film was a cheapie shot in one day, so the expectations had to be low. How many films shot in one day can you say are good? Not very many. This thing was made for the home video market. It's a clip show. The new footage was shot on video and the clips were edited in from various films. There's nothing to this thing. 

That being said. The picture quality is pretty bad. The video stuff is stuck in standard definition and it would take a lot of work to get the proper film elements to edit into the video footage. To remaster this thing properly it would take far too much time and cost too much money. We all know that. Well, what Retromedia did was, instead of leaving the film as an SD file and allowing the increased storage of a blu-ray to give the film room to breathe, they upscaled the footage with AI and the results are pretty bad. There are shots that look ok. The picture is definitely clearer and many of the problems that come with footage sourced from a VHS tape are not all that pronounced as they are on the DVD, but the entire picture looks like it was slathered with all of the DNR. There are shots that look ok but they are overshadowed by the stuff that makes the 4K of TERMINATOR 2 look like a proper restoration. Just look at those screenshots.

Makeflix, where Retromedia sells their stuff, has been known for NOT upscaling their standard definition stuff. Much of Makeflix's bed and butter is from a time before HD was the norm but they refuse to upscale their stuff because it would look bad and wouldn't properly represent their library. 

This comes from JR Bookwalter on

I lobbied Fred Olen Ray hard to NOT upscale for this release... I've found with my Tempe Digital restorations that it's better to keep everything at the same resolution all the way down the line and let the television do the upscaling, which is much better than any software or hardware-based technique I've ever seen. (Encoding SD also allows for much more disc content!) But Fred marches to the beat of his own drummer, so here we are.

I hope that Fred Olen Ray looks at the reactions to the upscaling done here and decides not to use it in the future. I will say that I am glad he used a smaller film like SCREAM QUEEN HOT TUB PARTY to try upscaling out but I really hope he doesn't use it in the future.  

This is the worst "restoration" / transfer I have seen in 2023. 


Commentary by Jim Wynorski and Fred Olen Ray
Bonus Feature: One Million Heels BC

Packaging wise, this thing is interesting. The front cover looks almost exactly like the original art that was used for the VHS and DVD releases but it is slightly different. While it is from the same photography sessions, the looks on the actresses' faces are slightly different. That's not the thing I am trying to point out. What I am trying to point out is the smoothing that was applied to the artwork. It makes this artwork look oddly fake despite the fact that it isn't. The artwork on the DVD and VHS releases doesn't have this smoothing filter applied so why now? I guess Retromedia was trying to give us a clue on what the picture quality would be like. 

The single blu-ray here is REGION FREE


SCREAM QUEEN HOT TUB PARTY is a video store throwback if ever there was one. Say what you will about the quality of the film but this film gives us a different look at what video stores were like back then. It wasn't just about the horror films that everyone knows about or even the ones that were released by companies that are held in "high" regard today (Full Moon and Troma). There were many films like SCREAM QUEEN HOT TUB PARTY that were made out of other films (just look at the films of Al Adamson to see what I am talking about. Sometimes, a clip show of a film was the only way to see something from a film your video store doesn't carry. I discovered many a film thanks to clip shows like this and TERROR IN THE AISLES. This film hasn't aged all that well but that doesn't matter. It's still a fun time. 

I am sad that I have to write "skip this". I have liked everything else that Retromedia has released so watching this broke my heart. The picture quality is awful and should be avoided at all costs. It is a shame that the DVD is out of print and goes a pretty penny. That is definitely the best version of this film out there. Skip this one. It isn't worth the money.




DVD vs Blu-ray Comparision

Top: DVD (Retromedia)
Bottom: Blu-ray (Retromedia)


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