Synapse is one of the most reli­able cult movie labels when it comes to the qual­i­ty of trans­fers, par­tic­u­lar­ly its blu-ray releas­es. Label founder Don May Jr. is famous­ly metic­u­lous when it comes to the trans­fers on his discs: even when Synapse is doing a high-def update of an old­er title, they can still be relied upon to put in the extra effort that gen­re fans appre­ci­ate. The lat­est exam­ple of Synapse doing this is their recent blu-ray release of Long Weekend, which offers a ster­ling A/V update for a key title from their reper­toire.

LongW-bluThe trans­fer is, in a word, gor­geous. The atmos­phere of Long Weekend leans heav­i­ly on the sump­tu­ous out­door pho­tog­ra­phy of Vincent Monton and that asset comes through beau­ti­ful­ly here: the beach­side vis­tas leap off the screen with all sorts of rich tex­tures, vivid col­ors and the detail of the land­scapes is life­like. It’s hard to imag­ine this low-bud­get but well-shot film look­ing bet­ter than it does here.

Both 2.0 mono and 5.1 stereo remix tracks are pro­vid­ed here in loss­less form to accom­pa­ny the trans­fer. The 5.1 track was lis­tened to for this film and it does a nice job of cre­at­ing a sub­tly creepy mul­ti-chan­nel expe­ri­ence that match­es the film’s mood nice­ly.

This blu-ray release also car­ries over the hand­ful of extras that appeared on the old Synapse DVD. The first and most sub­stan­tial is a com­men­tary track that pairs exec­u­tive pro­duc­er Richard Brennan with Monton. They dis­cuss why they chose to shoot the film in the anamor­phic for­mat and the dif­fer­ent tech­ni­cal chal­lenges that entailed as well offer­ing back­ground on direc­tor Colin Eggleston and reveal­ing why the film’s two leads were cho­sen. There’s also some inter­est­ing details on how the con­vinc­ing ani­mal-attack sce­nes were shot.

The next extra is a motion pho­to gallery that runs just under five min­utes and is accom­pa­nied by an inter­view with actor John Hargreaves from 1995. Hargreaves passed away the next year so it’s nice to have this bit of audio pre­served: in it, he dis­cuss­es how he learned to be nat­u­ral and truth­ful on cam­era. The images offer some neat insights into the shoot­ing of the film, includ­ing images of the crew at work and a fun­ny pic­ture of Hargreaves pos­ing with his own stunt-dum­my. The pack­age is round­ed out by the orig­i­nal the­atri­cal trail­er, which avoids the film’s rela­tion­ship dra­ma angle to pitch it as a straight­for­ward revenge-of-nature hor­ror flick.

All in all, this is a fine update of one of the cult favorites in Synapse’s cat­a­log. Any hor­ror fan who takes their high-def seri­ous­ly will appre­ci­ate the impres­sive work the label does here.

To read Schlockmania’s film review of Long Weekend, click here.