Not content to provide simply three great horror films, the Scream Box set also contains an exclusive bonus DVD that adds even more to this great collectible trilogy. On this DVD, the Bonus Materials are the main attraction, as the DVD contains a lengthy Documentary entitled "Behind the Scream," Outtakes from "Scream," screen tests from then-unknowns Neve Campbell, Skeet Ulrich and Jamie Kennedy, an editing game entitled "The Cutting Room" in which the viewer can select various pieces of the opening scene which takes place in Cotton Weary's apartment and edit them together in whatever order they wish, and finally a number of trailers from "Sunrise Studios," the studios who brought you the "Stab" films. In addition, the DVD contains a number of DVD-Rom features including a trivia game, a screen saver, and the complete screenplay from "Scream."
The Documentary- This comprehensive documentary truly covers all bases in the making of all three films, going through the entire creative process of each of the films in the trilogy. More than most behind the scenes documentaries, this one truly gives the viewer the feeling of being on the set, and also includes a number of interviews with a great many members of the cast of the three films about their experiences making the film. The documentary also showcases the talent that went into the films and the great accomplishments of the movie. The documentary includes discussion of an initial Hollywood trade publication story on the film pronouncing it to be dead on arrival in theaters and the major phenomenon that the first film became. All in all, it is a fitting tribute and examination of what is destined to be the great trilogy of horror films.
The Screen Tests- While this is a nice feature to include on the bonus DVD, and shows what caused the filmmakers to take a bit of a leap casting somewhat unknown young actors and launching their feature film careers. The screen tests range from two to five minutes and only include one or two scenes, but do showcase what Campbell, Ulrich and Kennedy brought to their roles coming in. While it would have been fantastic to see screen tests for those who did not get a part in the film, the inclusion of these three screen tests is a nice touch, although they really would never warrant a repeat viewing.
The Outtakes- Like those from "Scream 2" and "Scream 3," these outtakes from the original film are fun for a laugh, but little else. They are again a collection of fowl-ups and laughter, but without finished production values, these appear extremely grainy and shimmery. Nevertheless, it is impressive that, after releasing a Collector's Series of the first film, that the producers of the box set would endeavor to try to give the viewers even more from the film.
The Cutting Room- This feature, a relatively new bonus feature on DVD's (amongst major releases, only "Men in Black" has had a similar bonus feature) is somewhat enjoyable. There are perhaps twenty snippets of the scene in Cotton's apartment to rearrange and choose from, and the viewer can redesign the scene as he or she likes. While the finished product will likely appear a bit choppy, and possibly repetitive, (in mine Cotton says the same line three different times, but then again I only tried it once) it is a fun added feature and an enjoyable opportunity to design and redesign a tiny slice of macabre.
Also worth mentioning is the fact that the Scream Box Set also comes with a well put-together booklet with a feature on each of the films. IT is VERY IMPORTANT, however, if one is seeing these films for the first time that one not look at the booklet, as it charts out who dies in each film. Other than that, the booklet is a nice, informative addition, with examples of posters from the film and background on each of the films.
Sunrise Studios Trailers- These are a collection of previews for a variety of horror films made by the studios. While "Scream 2" prominently featured the big budget feature "Stab," and "Scream 3" focused on the filming of "Stab 3," there was always the big mystery of the films, what happened to "Stab 2"? Preserved for the viewers to see is a preview for "Stab 2." There are about 10 previews included on the DVD, all featuring (the same) cast of veritable unknowns in many films with the look and feel of the 70's (including "Frankenpimp"). They range in production values from low to abysmal, and also range from the lame to the funny. Along with "Stab 2," another highlight is "The Scared Bitch Project," the umpteenth parody of Blair Witch, this time featuring a white filmmaker who gets lost making a documentary in the projects.
The picture quality of these bonus materials varies with the materials themselves. The outtakes and screen tests are a bit fuzzy and unclear, with low production values, while the documentary looks quite good. The imperfections in the presentation of a number of these bonus materials is to be expected, and, although the outtakes are especially unclear, they are still watchable.
Like the picture quality, the sound transfer varies with the bonus material. In the documentary, the sound transfer comes through quite clearly, while in the outtakes, the sound is less strong. Throughout the bonus features, however, the dialogue is sufficiently clear to be easily discernable throughout the film.
Like the rest of the bonus features on the other three DVDs, these materials show the desire to go further and to offer viewers more. This endeavor represents the best of what the industry has to offer. If this box set is a sign of things to come from Dimension Films, it will cause viewers to anxiously await their next box set releases.
Please note- the "What it's worth" amount is just for this 4th DVD. The Box Set itself would get a rating of $59.99