Schizoid / X-Ray (Vinegar Syndrome) (4K Ultra HD Review)

Schizoid / X-Ray (Vinegar Syndrome) (4K Ultra HD Review)
RATED: R/REGION O/1:85/2160P/NUMBER OF DISCS 3
AVAILABLE FROM Vinegar Syndrome

Schizoid (1980)
Directed By: David Paulsen
Starring: Klaus Kinski, Donna Wilkes, Marianna Hill

Pieter Fales is a renowned psychiatrist who is unable to reconcile his relationship with his teenage daughter, Alison. Julie, one of Pieter’s patients, is a successful advice columnist in the midst of a messy divorce, who has also started receiving threatening letters. When a black clad, scissors wielding killer begins murdering people in Julie’s life, she begins to suspect that her unknown writer and this mystery assailant might be one and the same…Taking strong stylistic cues from the giallo genre, director David Paulsen’s (Savage Weekend) SCHIZOID, is a delirious whodunit headlined by cult film superstar, Klaus Kinski (Nosferatu the Vampyre), alongside Donna Wilkes (Angel), Marianna Hill (Messiah of Evil), and an early appearance from Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future), all amplified with a throbbing electronic score by Craig Huxley and presented here from a stunning new 4K restoration!

I sadly didn’t have the same joy out of the first part of our double feature as I did the second film. And, oddly enough, this one perhaps packs the best transfer as the film looked just beautiful with detail in some areas. The thing about this movie was the kills seemed weak and the action was just too slow. It came across as more of a giallo than anything else and I had hoped for more of a slasher. There wasn’t a ton of gore, but there is some blood. Also, for what it might be worth the killer does at least look cool.

There is also a great deal of naked women. We have some of what we need for a great slasher, but we just had too slow of a pace and not enough gore. The actors, however, are very keen to their roles and if nothing else make the movie as a whole at least watchable. We end up with a very nice-looking movie, but a weak movie nonetheless. Others might enjoy it more, but I just wanted more action and more blood. I still got to compliment the job on the transfer here.

X-Ray (1982)
Directed By: Boaz Davidson
Starring: Barbi Benton, Charles Lucia, Jon Van Ness

When Susan was a little girl, she rejected the Valentine of a lovestruck classmate. Decades later, she’s come to the hospital for a routine medical examination. But when her x-rays seem to show something unusual, Susan finds herself trapped in a bizarre medical nightmare, made all the worse as her vengeful childhood valentine, disguised among the hospital staff, begins murdering everyone in his path as a means of proving his undying ‘romantic’ obsession…With its exceptionally colorful cinematography by Nicholas Josef von Sternberg (Slaughterhouse Rock) and otherworldly sense of surrealism, trailblazing Israeli filmmaker Boaz Davidson’s (The Last American Virgin) sole foray into horror cinema, X-RAY (aka Hospital Massacre) is a slasher like no other and has been freshly restored in 4K from its 35mm original camera negative, allowing its one-of-a-kind weirdness to be experienced as never before.

I can really dig and appreciate a slasher movie like this. That might be because I really love slashers anyway, but this one does bring a little more to the table rather than a masked killer chasing a woman around in the woods and such. Here, a masked man chases a woman around the hospital! Sure, we’d see that again in Halloween 2, but here the hospital isn’t empty and it seems rather cleverly done. It also doesn’t hurt to have a lead like Barbi Benton running around in a hospital gown and her underwear for most of the film while this guy is trying every way possible to keep her in the hospital.

While we don’t get much in the way of well-done gore effects, we do end up with a great deal of blood that seems nice and gory in the enhanced style of HD. When the blood flies (and it flies a lot) we get it all over the place and it does look far better than you’d expect from a film like this. From wacky characters like old ladies in the room with our final girl to a neat little back-story with kid actors, this movie was a whole lot of fun and very much worth the price of this release alone. If you love slasher movies you shouldn’t be at all let down with this one.

Extras

  • THREE-DISC SET: TWO 4K BLU-RAY DISCS AND ONE BLU-RAY DISC
  • NEW 4K RESTORATIONS OF BOTH FILMS FROM THE ORIGINAL CAMERA NEGATIVES
  • HDR PRESENTATIONS OF BOTH FILMS
  • “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
  • 4K BLU-RAY: REGION-FREE
  • BLU-RAY: REGION-A “LOCKED”

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