Blu-Ray Review: TerrorVision/The Video Dead

Blu-Ray Review: TerrorVision/The Video Dead

| Scream Factory 2013 | 1986-1987 | 2 Movies | 173 min | Rated R |

*This was originally posted over at*


Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Resolution: 1080p

Aspect ratio: see individual releases Original aspect ratio: see individual releases


English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0




50GB Blu-ray Disc Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD) DVD copy

Playback Region A (locked)

Listen to The ScreamCast Episode #1 featuring this title!

Movie ★★★½☆
Video ★★★☆☆
Audio ★★★☆☆
Extras ★★★½☆

Life will never be the same for the Putterman family in Terrorvision. Stanley Putterman (Gerrit Graham) installs a state-of-the-art satellite dish in his backyard. Through a cosmic accident, a wayward monster’s energy is beamed across galaxies, into the satellite and onto the Puttermans’ television set. The Puttermans don’t notice any changes, only better reception and a strange monster continually appearing on the screen. But when the monster leaps off the screen and into the Puttermans’ living room, terror erupts, as it needs to feed on humans for its survival!

The Movie

TerrorVision is one of the many movies I remember seeing the VHS cover decades before I finally sat down to watch it. When I finally caught up with it on Netflix one night, I remember not being too thrilled with this flick. However, upon second review the light bulb in my brain clicked and I was suddenly in on the joke. At least I appreciate the film for what it is now. A cartoonish, over-the-top horror/comedy that isn’t afraid to take some chances. The plot is bizarre and the characters even more bizarre. Swinging parents? A love den with oversized hot tub and near-pornographic paintings throughout the house? They built Grandpa his own storm shelter? If you’re prepared for the wackiness of this flick you’re in for a pretty damn fun ride.

Video Quality

Compared to the VHS and bootleg DVD options we’ve had, this 1080p HD transfer will be a revelation to fans of this flick. TerrorVision won’t be mistaken for a brand new movie, but this transfer serves the original 35mm print well.

Audio Quality

The DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 is serviceable and considering all previous releases, fans should be very happy. The sound won’t shake the living room, but Scream Factory has given us a worthy upgrade to be proud of.

Special Features and Extras

  • Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Ted Nicolaou and Stars Diane Franklin and Jon Gries. This is a lively and extremely entertaining commentary. Ted Nicolaou is very candid and gives a lot of fun information about the production. Diane Franklin and Jon Gries add some flavor to the conversation. Worth checking out.
  • Monsters on Demand: The Making of “TERRORVISION” – An all-new retrospective with Writer/Director Ted Nicolaou, Stars Gerrit Graham, Mary Woronov, Diane Franklin, Jon Gries, Chad Allen, Ian Patrick Williams, Special Make-up Effects Creator John Carl Buechler, Special Effects Artist Cleve Hall, Executive Producer Charles Band, and Composer Richard Band. A comprehensive and entertaining documentary.
  • Poster & Still Gallery
The Video Dead
Movie ★★★½☆
Video ★★★☆☆
Audio ★★★☆☆
Extras ★★★☆☆

On a quiet, tree-lined street, evil has arrived in a most ordinary way, an old television set. It receives a single channel, one that not only shows the same film over and over – a horror film where zombies rise from the grave to kill – but also frees the gnarled, evil monsters….and once out, they’re not going back! They like the real world. They’ve already killed five people and want more blood…and a new family is moving into the neighborhood!

The Movie

The Video Dead is another flick with a kick-ass poster that is almost better than the film itself. It’s not as fun and wacky as TerrorVision, so watching these back-to-back may be an interesting experience. On it’s own, though, this is a criminally underseen zombie flick that has it’s moments. This is not a movie that was trying to be anything more that it was. A simple zombie film with somewhat of a twist involving the television.

The acting is pretty bad and stilted (especially by then 16-year-old Rocky Duvall). For a very low budget zombie flick, Director Robert Scott and his team put all the money on screen and it works. The zombie make-up looks great, the gore gags are full of ingenuity and the post-production spark/electric effects hold up extremely well. What also sets The Video Dead apart from a lot of zombie movies is the use of the zombies during daylight. My favorite scenes involve the zombies in a variety of suburban situations.

If you’re a fan of zombie movies, this is one of the better ones from the 80s. Worth checking out.

Video Quality

Like TerrorVision, no one’s winning any awards here for cinematography. But the transfer seems to be what it should be for a 27 year old 16mm print. There doesn’t seem to be any DNR and the grain is in tact giving this an apparent film quality. Still, for those of you with VHS copies of the film, you’ll be loving this.

Audio Quality DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. It is what it is. Just a solid stereo experience.

Special Features and Extras

  • Audio Commentary with Writer/Producer/Director Robert Scott, Editor Bob Sarles, and Special Make-up Effects Creator Dale Hall, Jr. This commentary is moderated by Chris MacGibbon and is pretty slow and dry and the director doesn’t really remember a whole lot about the shoot. Definitely not as lively and fun as the TerrorVision commentary. That said, there are tidbits of interesting info for fans.
  • Audio Commentary with stars Roxanna Augesen and Rocky Duvall, Production Manager Jacques Thelemaque, and Make-up Assistant Patrick Denver. This commentary also moderated by Chris MacGibbon, is much more fun and lively. A lot of fantastic observations from the two stars and some great technical information from the film’s production manager and make-up assistant. I prefer this commentary over the first.
  • Pre-recorDEAD – All new interviews with Make-up effects creator Dale Hall, Jr. and Make-up Assistant Patrick Denver. A short and sweet 10 minute featurette that focuses on a few of the practical effects in the movie. I really wish we had a more comprehensive documentary featuring the director and stars, but this is still pretty solid.
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Poster and Still Gallery
  • Behind-the-Scenes Still Gallery
TerrorVision/The Video Dead [Blu-ray]
Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

This double feature isn’t for everyone, however fans of under-seen 80′s horror will eat this up. The TV theme makes for a great pairing. The fact that Scream Factory put together special features for this release is pretty inspired. If you enjoy low(ish) budget horror with a bit of camp thrown in, you’re in for a treat. Recommended.