DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
Blu-ray
4K UHD
International DVDs
Theatrical
Video Games

Features
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
Interviews
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Columns
Anime Talk
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
Resources
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info
Links

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Advertise
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds


Sponsored Links

Search: For:
Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Lake Dead - After Dark Horror Fest
Lake Dead - After Dark Horror Fest
Lionsgate Home Entertainment // Unrated // March 18, 2008
List Price: $19.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Kurt Dahlke | posted March 12, 2008 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Rent It
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly
Lake Dead:

Much credit goes to the brains behind the After Dark Horrorfest, and the yearly series of 8 Films To Die For. Branding their selection of goodies with a provocative title, great packaging and graphic design (not to mention Miss Horrorfest) certainly implies a consistent level of quality, and probably even makes the movies seem better than they actually are.

Lake Dead might fit in that category, but by any measure it's pretty good. Ardently embracing any number of horror clichés, Lake Dead finds three twenty-something sisters inheriting a motel, some land and a tiny little lake deep in the dusty hills behind Studio City, California. The grandfather they never knew has died under strange circumstances at the hand of a cop, and now the girls have to decide whether they want to keep this mysterious motel, or sell it and escape a family heritage they never knew they didn't want.

Foremost, any horror fan worth their salt will feel strong déjà vu watching these attractive young adults running around So Cal backwoods while dodging scary mutant killers. One in every ten horror movies ever made has a similar scenario. Furthermore, one or two improbabilities (corpse-accompanied, closed-eye wallet-diving, for instance) elicit deserved forehead slaps, but that's pretty much it for the bad. Lake Dead finally delivers a few nice chills, nasty kills, pleasing sleaze and that most important ingredient, realistic characters (excepting maybe the mutant killers).

Imagine being chased through the woods by the Geico Cavemen after they've gone into a 'roid rage due to angry weeks spent in the gym after their sit-com tanked two episodes in, and you'll get an idea of our protagonists' particular peril: this after some nice soft-core shagging in the woods and a swim in the slime-infested pond these folks insist on calling a lake. But these kids aren't all booze, boobs and desperate screaming. When put to the test, they act with some smarts, a little resourcefulness, and strength. I'm telling you, this type of characterization goes a long way towards winning the horror fan's heart.

While Lake Dead doesn't generate quite the level of fear of your best redneck-mutant movies, a few teeth-clenching kills and willingness to show cranial bludgeonings in unflinching detail makes up for it. And even though horror clichés are almost slavishly celebrated (Lake Dead is nearly a pastiche of two or three different genres - from Psycho-type movies to Deliverance-types) writer Daniel P. Coughlin and director George Bessudo give viewers ultimate credit for being intelligent and unwilling to put up with lazy BS. Lake Dead is a mean, tight and fun little horror romp.

The DVD

Video:
In 16 x 9 widescreen format, that's a 1.78:1 ratio, Lake Dead looks great. Nice naturalistic colors, relatively deep black levels and a good sharp transfer make your viewing experience quite pleasurable - that is if you like watching burly, gas station attendant-looking geeks terrorizing hot Cali girls.

Sound:
5.1 Dolby Digital Audio brings the screams in fine fashion, with a nicely enveloping soundtrack that doesn't intrude on the dialog, while rendering the guttural growls of the mutants in startling clarity.

Extras:
English and Spanish Subtitles hold hands with English Closed Captions in a friendly alliance of plebian extras, while about 20 minutes of Miss Horrorfest Contest Webisodes are the only real extra to be had. For what they're worth, I'll say I dislike web content editing and filming techniques - too quick, too flashy and too eager to conceal a dearth of content. Personally, I'd like to see more (at least when bandwidth isn't a concern) of these delightfully devious maidens and their stupid trials on their journey to horror stardom. For the most part, they are hot - especially the twins, (or whatever they are) can't get enough, but the webisodes don't deliver.

Final Thoughts:
Benefiting mightily from the marketing magic of the After Dark Horrorfest, Lake Dead gets a chance to escape a fate worse than death; having people think it's a piece of straight to DVD crap from Asylum. It is not, Lake Dead is actually a pretty nasty but none-too-serious redneck mutant monster mash, putting Cali twenty-somethings in extreme peril of the buggering-or-braining variety. Characterizations (except for the villains) are plausible, and that's saying a lot. Instead of screaming 'you idiot!' to the screen you'll cheer, but still wonder if your friends will come out alive. When's the last time you had that reaction while watching a simple horror movie? Lack of extras keep this release in the Rent It category, but it's a hearty Rent It.

- Kurt Dahlke

~ More of Dahlke's DVD Talk reviews here at DVD Talk I'm not just a writer, I paint colorful, modern abstracts, too! Check them out here KurtDahlke.com

Popular Reviews
1. 12 Monkeys: Special Edition
2. The Evil Dead
3. Good Times
4. Gold (1974)
5. A Raisin In The Sun: Criterion Collection
6. Ocean's 8
7. Ant-Man and the Wasp
8. Tales From the Hood 2
9. The Swarm
10. The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame: In Concert: Encore


Sponsored Links
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.
Sponsored Links
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use