Scream Factory has built its suc­cess on rela­tion­ships with a vari­ety of pro­duc­tion and dis­tri­b­u­tion enti­ties: for exam­ple, it has released spe­cial edi­tions for a lot of films owned by MGM and Universal.  They recent­ly extend­ed this kind of part­ner­ship to work­ing with oth­er home video com­pa­nies by pick­ing up the blu-ray release rights for a few films pre­vi­ous­ly released on DVD by Code Red and Scorpion Releasing.  Final Exam is one of the films that emerged from this deal and the results do well by this cultish slash­er flick.

FinalEx-bluThe trans­fer used for this disc looks quite impres­sive, offer­ing a well-mas­tered ren­di­tion of a small-bud­get­ed yet skill­ful­ly shot film.  The mut­ed ear­ly ‘80s col­or scheme looks richer than past stan­dard-def ver­sions here and the clar­i­ty of detail is pret­ty impres­sive.  The audio part of this trans­fer offers a loss­less ver­sion of the film’s mono mix.  The results sound fine, adding a lit­tle extra depth to the effec­tive Carpenter-clone musi­cal score.

This disc also includes a few extras cre­at­ed for past edi­tions of this title.  The biggest is a com­men­tary track that orig­i­nat­ed with the now out-of-print BCI DVD ver­sion of this title.  It fea­tures cast mem­bers Joel S. Rice, Cecile Bagdadi and Sherry Willis-Burch as well as mod­er­a­tors Julia Marchese and Deron FinalEx-adMiller.

The track is a relaxed, infor­mal yet infor­ma­tive affair, with Marchese dri­ving the process with a steady stream of ques­tions.  Don’t expect any major bomb­shells but you’ll learn a vari­ety of inter­est­ing triv­ia, like how the cast­mates sang “Another One Bites The Dust” every time some­one had to film their death scene and the physical/technical act­ing rig­ors of shoot­ing those death sce­nes.

Marchese dri­ves the track with plen­ty of ques­tions, ener­get­ic if per­haps a lit­tle over­en­thu­si­as­tic about this film’s influ­ence on the hor­ror gen­re.  She has also has some inter­est­ing, off­beat the­o­ries about the film’s killer and even offers up her premise for a sequel.  Miller is a sub­tler pres­ence by chimes in with the FinalEx-VHSocca­sion­al obser­va­tion, like how the film’s lack of inter­est in its killer’s iden­ti­ty is part of its appeal to some fans.

There are also a trio of brief inter­view fea­turettes for Rice, Bagdadi and Willis-Burch, all in the four to sev­en min­ute range.  There is a lot of over­lap between the com­men­tary and the­se pieces but the par­tic­i­pants are able to add some extra bits of infor­ma­tion to flesh out their com­men­tary sto­ries, like Willis-Burch reveal­ing how her work for MPM’s pro­duc­ers led to her being cast in the film or Rice’s tale of how and why he tran­si­tioned from act­ing into pro­duc­ing.

The pack­age is round­ed out by the orig­i­nal the­atri­cal trail­er, which makes the film look a lot more like a typ­i­cal slash­er than it actu­al­ly is.  All in all, Scream Factory has put out a nice-look­ing ver­sion of this lesser-known slash­er item and those who missed out on the BCI DVD will be hap­py to see its com­men­tary track revived here.  If you’re a stalk ‘n slash obses­sive, it’s worth adding to your blu-ray shelf.

To read Schlockmania’s film review for Final Exam, click here.