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Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » Destroyer / Edge of Sanity (Blu-ray)
Destroyer / Edge of Sanity (Blu-ray)
Shout Factory // R // April 12, 2016 // Region A
List Price: $26.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Kurt Dahlke | posted April 13, 2016 | E-mail the Author
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Destroyer / Edge Of Sanity:
Points to Scream Factory for finding interesting crevices to scrape on the bottom of the barrel, in order to come up with these, I'm sure fondly remembered schlock-fests from 1988. Sharing Anthony Perkins' odd presence and unique talents, Destroyer and Edge Of Sanity otherwise couldn't be much further apart on the old block o' cheese. Destroyer features Lyle Alzado running around with a jackhammer, attempting to make his eyeballs pop out of his skull, while Edge Of Sanity finds a sex and death obsessed Perkins looking like a My Chemical Romance reject. Proceed with caution.

Destroyer hearkens back to the days when a person could sit at a Diner counter, stubbing a cigarette out in a cup of coffee in disgust, when shit started to go down at the prison where Anthony Perkins is filming a horror movie. Also the days when you could cram every '80s-style stock-character into a loud, ridiculous action-horror movie that's pretty light on any of those things that generally make a movie good.

Perkins' stellar performance anchors what's otherwise a see-saw between hacky yack-yack scenes with Surfer-Stoner Guy and Whiny Big-Haired Actress, etc. and scenes of Alzado crashing about in various Village People costumes, occasionally chopping someone's head off (off-screen) and stuffing it in a copy machine. Unfortunately most of the killings aren't gory enough for the Fango set, Alzado's not much of an actor, and the latter half of the movie is bombastic and mind numbing. Reckless viewers only need apply.

The Uncut version of Edge Of Sanity, however, is all about Perkins, who gives his all and then some to his urbane/maniacal character(s). Yes, kids, Edge represents the brilliant idea of turning Dr. Jekyll into a crack-smoking Jack The Ripper and turning him loose in a whore-house decorated by Zalman King. There's plenty of toplessness and psychosexual insanity to scratch that itch, but like in Destroyer, gore and terror are mere garnishes on the plate.

Rampant use of Dutch Tilt and incredibly loud music cues make Edge as much of an endurance test as Destroyer, but Perkins' performance is deep and intense. As kinky, sweaty Hyde, he brings you to sexual depths a little too convincingly, while upper crust Jekyll believably whips from cutting sarcasm to genuine affection with grace. Perkins also gets plenty of time to goggle and drool insanely while the camera zooms in at another angle. In other words, Perkins et al give too much to a dunderheaded boobs and blood festival. Grating as hell, but otherwise lots of fun.

The DVD

Video:
Both movies are coming at ya in 1080p, High-Definition widescreen transfers, with varying results.
Destroyer, at a 1.78:1 ratio, features a call-out at the top of the DVD stating this new HD transfer comes from the 'only surviving elements in the vault', so we're in caveat emptor territory. That said, it's not that bad, but yeah. Little bits of damage crop up here and there, briefly noticeable but not a big deal, and heavy grain is throughout. Darker scenes feature really heavy grain. It's a pretty dark movie, but black levels could be deeper, and overall details could be sharper. Final quibble, flesh tones lean pretty red. Otherwise, colors seem fairly natural and are nicely saturated.

Edge Of Sanity fares much better in its 1.85:1 ratio transfer. Colors are super rich and super stylized, featuring hyper-reds in the brothel, nicely contrasting Hyde's exaggeratedly sallow complexion. Details are pretty sharp and fairly deep, film grain is present but understated, and print damage is not a problem. This is probably better than this movie should look.

Sound:
Destroyer touts DTS-HD Master Audio in Stereo, which seems to have fared a little better in the vaults. At the very least it's mixed properly, with dialog, music, and the rest of the soundtrack blending nicely. Dialog is mostly clear and intelligible, though varying somewhat in volume occasionally. A tiny bit of distortion crops up every so often as well. Stereo placement is enthusiastic and entertaining.

Edge Of Sanity sports the same specs as Destroyer, but again source materials are in much better shape. In general dialog is sharp and clear. The musical score, unfortunately, is pushed to the limits, seemingly twice as loud as the dialog. At other times, shrill laughter or screaming approaches overdrive. Dynamic range is quite broad, and stereo mixing greatly adds dimensionality.

Extras:
Not much in the way of extras to be had. Both movies come with their Respective Theatrical Trailers, and English Subtitles.

Final Thoughts:
The 13-year-old Beta-renting geek in me loves these movies. In fact, I want to get a root beer and some pizza and rent them right now, but that's all I want to do, and probably what you should do, too. Hyperbolically insane, but in different ways, each movie will test your patience. The movies will also blow your mind, with a kinky Anthony Perkins slashing up hookers, and Lyle Alzado walking through brick walls. Stupid fun, but not exactly essential. 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

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