Video Violence 1 and 2 (Terror Vision) Blu-ray Review + 1080p Screenshots + Packaging Shots

Terror Vision brings two very beloved shot on video movies to blu-ray in the best way possible. 

Studio: Terror Vision
Release Date: December 2nd, 1987 (video premiere) (Video Violence) / 1988 (video premiere) (Video Violence 2) / June 2024 (blu-ray)
Run Time: 1 hour 38 minutes 17 seconds (Video Violence) / 
Region Code: FREE
Disc Count: 2 (1 BD-50, 1 BD-25)
Picture: 1080i (1.33:1 aspect ratio) (both films)
Sound: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (both films)
Subtitles: English SDH (both films)
Slipcover: Yes
Digital Copy: No
Starring: Gary Schwartz, Chick Kaplan, Robin Leeds, Paige Price, Kevin Haver (Video Violence) / David Christopher, Mavis Harris, Neil Cerbone, Gary P. Cohen, Uke (Video Violence 2)
Written by Gary P. Cohen, Paul Kaye (Video Violence) / Gary P. Cohen (Video Violence 2)
Directed by Gary P. Cohen (both films)
Rating: Not Rated (copious amounts of fake looking gore and some uncomfortable nudity) (Video Violence) / 




What's It About?

Video Violence finds a normal and unsuspecting couple, Steve and Rachel, completely immersed in a town of blood-drunk crazies. Led by sickos Howard and Eli, these backwater psychopaths create and watch their own snuff films. One day an unmarked tape shows up in the return bin of Steve's video store, and it's the town postmaster being savagely mutilated. Can it be real, or is it just a gag? He’ll soon discover the horrifying answer… (Video Violence)

In Video Violence 2, the town crazies have graduated from gruesome basement antics to pirating a cable TV channel for the purpose of furthering their brand of homegrown depravity. With the help of ‘do-it-yourself’ videos submitted by adoring fans, the sadistic hosts guarantee the “Bloodiest Show on Earth.” (Video Violence 2)


Film Review

There are two really big problems with the first VIDEO VIOLENCE. The first is the length. No SOV movie should be more than 80 minutes long. These things are not telling complicated stories. Most SOV movies can sustain an hour let along 40 minutes on top of that. There is one scene that takes place entirely in slow motion while the same twenty second looped score plays. It's a bold choice but one that doesn't work. Cut a ton of time from this thing and it becomes better. 

The second problem is that the movie takes itself way too seriously. This is a shot-on-video movie about two guys who kill people in town, videotape it, and return the tape to the video store. The video store owner watches the tapes and tries to figure out who is committing the murders, despite knowing what these people look like. 

There are some nice comedic bits, though, like when the chief of police erases crucial videotaped evidence because he doesn't know how to operate a VCR. Or when the two heroes are trying to follow our killers and they have to walk down the noisiest staircase of all time. I am not sure whether these scenes are played for laughs or not because the tone is so serious. I found the gore to be very charming as well. It is not good at all but they went for it and you have to admire them for that.

VIDEO VIOLENCE was a hit and Cohen was able to get enough money together to VIDEO VIOLENCE 2. Director Cohen took the complaints about the first movie being too serious and made a movie that is very much the opposite of the firs movie. There was very little humor in the original movie so Cohen made this much funnier. There is an advertisement for a toy that kills the kid who opens the box. It reminded me of the Cheddar Gremlin from MANDY.

The gore is as cheesy and charmingly crappy as the first movie. There is some more uncomfortable nudity. I get what they are going for but it feels cheap especially with the movie being an SOV affair. Imagine if there was nudity in your home movies. It would just be weird.

I kinda like the first movie to the second movie. That's not to say the sequel is bad. It's just not as good as the first movie. The first movie is cozier. It felt a little bit more right. I know that doesn't make sense but I can't find the right word to describe what I am thinking of. Both of the movies are worth checking out.


Both of these films were shot on video. In the 80s. 80s videotape. Neither one of these films are going to look good, by conventional means. So, I will be looking at them through the eyes of someone who has seen many, many shot on video (SOV) movies. I would say this looks better than most but not as good as the best. The picture quality on the first film is on par with BLOOD LAKE but is miles better than SCREAM QUEEN HOT TUB PARTY (the blu-ray. not so much the DVD). I didn't have any problems with the look of either movie but that's because I don't hold SOV movies to the same standard as the ones shot on film. 

While the video quality for the original film is pretty good, VIDEO VIOLENCE 2's video quality is noticeably worse. The master tapes are apparently partially lost so they had to lesser quality tapes. This makes the quality dip to the level of some of the SOV movies I have reviewed. Just look at a home movie shot in the 80s or 90s and you know what the look of the movie is. I don't have a problem with this because these are much smaller movies that have to work with what they have. If you are putting standard definition video on a blu-ray, all you have to do is let people know so they aren't blindsided. That's the case here. It looks pretty decent for what it is.


Disc 1: Video Violence

Commentary - with director Gary Cohen, makeup artists Mark Dolson and Mark Kwiatek, and actors Art Neill, Paul Kaye, David Christopher and Uke (2007)
Commentary - with director Gary Cohen (2022)
Archival Interview with director Gary Cohen on Video Violence 1 and 2 (2007) (14m 5s, SD, 1.33:1) Tells the story of a mother who came into his video store and wondered if a very violent film had any nudity. He told her about the violence but she was more concerned about nudity. She didn't care that her kids watched violent films. She just cared about the nudity. Cohen talks about why he chose to Camp Motion Pictures. He talks about making part two including getting Camp to make the poster. Speaks very highly of his cast including the two leads who were actual actors. The movie actually had a lot of professionals including the guys who did the effects. He talks about a third movie saying he would love to make it but doesn't know if it were to work today.
Documentary - The SOV That Wouldn't Die: the history of Video Violence and its fandom. 
Interview with actress Paige Price (5m 35s, HD, 1.78:1) She did the movie because she had been friends with a lot of the people involved with the movie. She didn't even have to audition. Her scene was shot in one day. She then spends the rest of the interview talking about the actual shoot.
Interview with makeup FX artists Mark Dolson and Mark Kwiatek (12m 58s, HD, 1.78:1) They talk about their first job. Every effect they did on the movie was the only one made because they didn't have the budget to redo the effects. They were given complete control over how a kill would go. They speak about the set and how cozy it was. They then break down some of the effects they did for both movies.

Disc 2: Video Violence 2

Commentary - with director Gary Cohen, makeup artists Mark Dolson and Mark Kwiatek, actors Art Neill, Paul Kaye, David Christopher and Uke
Commentary - with director Gary Cohen
Interview - with actor Robert Amico (5m 23s, HD, 1.78:1) Started his career at 17. Left the business after he got married and came back after his divorce. He had no idea what the movie would be like outside of his scene. He tells some great stories about the shoot.
Interview - with crewmember Mitchell Speert (6m 55s, HD, 1.78:1) He worked on the talk show segments. He recorded the sound and the video on these segments. Speaks highly of the actors. 

I am very happy with the packaging here. First, we start at the slipcover. It's a nice thick cardstock and is the same as the ones Vinegar Syndrome uses. Terror Vision uses both sides of the slip to feature both films original artwork. The pieces of art for the movies are quite striking. You will never forget them. You'll be on your deathbed, fifty years from now, and you will still remember both of them. You'll tell your family about them and they will look at you like your farted or something. You would be on your death bed and still remember it.

You: Honey. Come close.

Significant other (Honey) moves closer to You.

Honey: Yes dear.

You: The skeleton was pointing his camcorder at us while the ooze from GHOSTBUSTERS II is thrown around everywhere.

Honey: Would you please die already.

Anyway, this slipcover is awesome and the other labels should take notice. They also don't feature anything but the original art. No banners or anything else to take away from the beautiful art. The letters in the title and tag lines are embossed.. The clear, 2-disc blu-ray case features reversible artwork with the first movie's original art on one side, and the sequel's on the other. 

Inside the blu-ray case is a "Creep Coin." Every Terror Vision blu-ray comes with one of these. The more you collect, the more you can earn. Ten Creep Coins gets you "Any Terror Vision Casette of Your Choosing" while 100 Creep Coints gets you "2 VIP Tickets to Our Annual Fright Fest. You'll Receive the Full VIP Package Including Limited Run Posters, T-Shirts Backstage Access to Meet Cast/Crew, and a Hotel for You." I think it's a neat little thing that tells you "You will buy more so you can be treated like a King" without shoving it into our faces. Also included is a 24-page booklet, made to look like the preview booklets and magazines video stores used to get in the 80s and 90s, featuring a forward from director Gary P. Cohen, an essay from Brad Henderson, and some really nice BTS shots. Lastly, two discs with the original artwork as their artwork.

Menus are nice and clean; each film is divided into 8 chapters.

Both discs are REGION FREE


The movies are entertaining and fun but nothing more than that. Both movies are Video Store Classics if ever I saw one.  

Terror Vision has gone above and beyond here. The picture quality is pretty good (especially the first film) and the sound is amazing. I never thought a SOV movie could ever sound this good. The special features are where it's at here. We get multiple commentary tracks for each film along with interviews and a documentary about the making of the movies and the fans who love them. Packaging is also a complete winner with not one thing being off. I had a lot of fun going through this release and I think SOV fans will love it. 






Post a Comment