HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Destroyer/Edge of Sanity
HTS Overall Score:53
WARNING: THE SCORES ABOVE ARE A COMBINED SCORE FROM BOTH FILMS, THE INDIVIDUAL SCORES ARE CONTAINED BELOW IN THE INDIVIDUAL SECTIONS OF THE REVIEW
Scream Factory has put together another nice little duo of bottom dwelling horror flicks from the late 80’s for us today. Both “Destroyer” and “Edge of Sanity” were released in 1988 or 1989, and both really are just a cheesy layer of schlock dressed up in a pretty package. There’s very little redeeming about either movie, but they are so horrible that they make from some great laughs as well as a look back in time to when practical effects (no matter how bad they looked) dominated the industry. “Destroyer” features a gigantic muscle bound oaf running around with a jackhammer, murdering the set and crew of a motion picture being shot in an abandoned prison, while “Edge of Sanity” features a Jack the ripper meats Jekyll and Hyde in the form of Anthony Perkins (who also plays the director of the movie within a movie in “Destroyer).
“Destroyer” is a pure cheesefest flick that just revels in the insane and mockery of the genre. The story is, that 18 months prior to the film’s “present”, a mass murderer/rapist by the name of Ivan Moser (played by NFL lineman Lyle Alzado) was electrocuted and during a power outage caused by the execution a prison riot demolished the place. Now a year and a half later a film crew has come to the prison to use it as a set piece for their cheesy, schlocky “women in skimpy outfits being abused by the guards” movie. The director is hammed up by Anthony Perkins, who plays his normal whimsical and classy character, but the main “heroine” is one Susan Malone (Deborah Foreman), a stunt woman for the snotty and arrogant main character of the flick (who is played by Lannie Garrett).
Things seem to go as planned until the bodies start piling up and it becomes obvious to the few remaining survivors that Ivan Moser didn’t actually DIE that night of the power surge. He still lives in the bowels of the prison and surfaces to wreak vengeance on anyone who dares trespass on his own. Couple that with an unhealthy obsession with Susan Malone and you have a rampaging beast with a twisted psyche that can only end in his death, or everyone else’s.
I chuckled a good bit over “Destroyer”. The movie is NOT a classy film, but it never aspires to be one either. The movie within a movie aspect seems to sort of wink at the audience with the horribly schlocky movie that they’re trying to make IN a horrible cheesy film. Deborah Foreman does the best out of the low level actors for the film with a 2nd place medal for the dopey surfer like character of Rewire (played by Jim Turner). The rest of the actors (besides Perkins and his minimal roll) are largely forgettable, especially Lyle Alzado who does better as an NFL Lineman rather than as an actor. It’s a largely forgettable film, but “Destroyer” has its own charms when watched with a few pints.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=68826[/img]Edge of Sanity :2.5stars:
“Edge of Insanity” takes Anthony Perkins out of the background and into the foreground with this twisted tale of Jekyll and Hyde meets Jack the ripper. Dr. Henry Jekyll has just created a new analgesic formula that will revolutionize the medical industry. More powerful and potent than Morphine, this new invention will put him on the map for scientists the world lover. The problem is that he ingests too much of the drug during a test experiment forms an alternate personality. The proverbial and literal Mr. Hyde. While Dr. Jekyll is a gentleman of extreme virtue, and honest heart, Hyde is the exact opposite. A sleazy sex crazed murderer who can fall into the depths of depravity without even thinking twice. Their physical appearance is about as unique as the two “men” and their mental attributes. Jekyll walks proudly and with a very confident demeanor, while Hyde slips into the role of sleazebag so well with a sweaty, sort of greasy man with a penchant for debauchery.
Turning Jeckyll and Hyde into a crack smoking Jack the ripper is an odd twist, but Anthony Perkins delves into the psyche of each character with a relish that is oddly satisfying as much as it is horrifying. There’s plenty of nudity and psycho/sensual sexual experiences while in the Hyde form, but much of it is almost surreal and hypnotic rather than actually arousing and enticing. The twisted form of Hyde loves that world more than life itself (wink wink), and soon the blood starts flowing as he finds a house of ill repute and begins imputing his vengeance on the workers of the establishment. Sadly, there’s no singing and dancing like Dolly Parton’s rendition of those same houses of ill repute (and a lot less funny).
“Edge of Insanity” is a test of one’s patience almost as much as “Destroyer” is, but Anthony Perkins performance elevates the loud and abrasively scored film to something better than what it should be. His dual role is both believable and intoxicating. One moment he is the complex and well-meaning Dr. Jekyll, and the next moment he’s the sweaty and sleazy Hyde, skulking in the corner and taking advantage of those in his way (and under his lustful gaze). It’s a creepy movie, but sadly not worth much more than Perkin’s performance.
Rated R for violence/gore, sexual content and some language / Rated R for strong perverse sexuality/violence/gore and drug use
The opening scrawl for “Destroyer” gives fair warning to the viewer that this Blu-ray master was created using the only film elements still available at the time and that there would be some “meh” ness to the films transfer. The movie isn’t in HORRIBLE shape, but it does suffer from very uneven filming, showing one scene being delightfully grainy and detailed, while the next it is a bit smeared and loss of detail all around is evident. There is speckles, dirt and debris on the film and contrasts get a bit funky at times. Combine that with some weak blacks and you get a very mediocre transfer all around.
Edge of Sanity :3.5stars:
“Edge of Sanity” looks a lot better than “Destroyer” does, as it doesn’t look nearly as uneven and smeared. Facial detail and longs shots look quite good at times, although it does show some wonky contrast levels and colors that look a bit crushed (including the black levels), but overall clarity is nice and there is sense of creepy darkness to the filming.
“Destroyer” sports a 2.0 DTS-HD MA lossless track that seems to fare a bit better than the video encode did. The dialog is mixed nicely, and seems to show good presence in the front stage along with the minimal effects of the movie, but I did notice some volume changes that go up and down the spectrum. That had me changing the dial of the receiver quite a bit trying to hear what was going on when dialog would suddenly dip.
Edge of Sanity :3stars:
“Edge of Sanity” is a loud and abrasively mixed track that is given the same 2.0 DTS-HD MA treatment by Scream Factory. The loud garish music is harsh and abrasive, sometimes overwhelming the dialog, but overall it’s clear and free of most major distortions. There’s a small bit of hiss in the background from time to time, but I didn’t get too much bleeding into my speakers except at excessive volume. Vocals are clear and defined, albeit mixed a bit soft in comparison to the music.
• Theatrical Trailer
Edge of Sanity
• Theatrical Trailer
The little horror nerd in me loves these types of movies to death, but the objective critic in me has to wince when actually watching them. I have to say that these are some of the bottom of the barrel horror flicks for Scream Factory, but then again, that’s exactly what I love bout them. “Destroyer” is the most FUN out of the bunch, while “Edge of Insanity” carries the weight of a much more complex performance by Anthony Perkins. Either way, they’re a fun waste of time on a Friday night, but sadly not much more than a rental unless you’re a die hard fan.
Starring: Anthony Perkins, Deborah Foreman, Clayton Rohner : Anthony Perkins, Sarah Maur Thorp, Glynis Barber
Directed by: Robert Kirk : Gérard Kikoïne
Written by: Dennis Feldman, Ben Ripley : Dennis Feldman, Ben Ripley
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC / 1.85:1 AVC
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0, English DTS-HD MA 2.0
Studio: Scream Facotry
Rated: R: R
Runtime: 94 minutes : 91 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: April 12th, 2016
Buy Destroyer/Edge of Sanity Blu-ray on Amazon
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