Though it has made its name with deluxe edi­tions of famous hor­ror and sci-fi cult favorites, Scream Factory is quick­ly expand­ing its pro­file by mov­ing into the more obscure cor­ners of the cat­a­log title world.  Their new dou­ble-fea­ture set of Terrorvision and The Video Dead is an impres­sive exam­ple of their work in this area.  This savvy pair­ing of two t.v.-themed hor­ror favorites from the VHS era gives the films a seri­ous upgrade in trans­fers as well as a hefty stack of extras.

Both films have been given new anamor­phic, high-def­i­n­i­tion trans­fers that will impress fans who became used to watch­ing the­se films on VHS.  Terrorvision is par­tic­u­lar­ly impres­sive, with the sleek pho­tog­ra­phy and the vivid col­or scheme of the pro­duc­tion design pop­ping right off the screen with a new lev­el of clar­i­ty.  The Video Dead has a rougher, low-bud­get visu­al style but it looks good here, with appro­pri­ate film green and a sharp­ness of detail that was nev­er seen in its video­tape incar­na­tion.

In terms of audio, both films fea­ture their vin­tage 2.0 mix­es as well as new 5.1 remix­es, with all options pre­sent­ed in a loss­less for­mat on the blu-ray.  The 5.1/lossless options were uti­lized for the­se reviews and both sound quite good: dia­logue is clear on both, sur­rounds are used sub­tly but effec­tive­ly and the elec­tron­ic-lay­ered musi­cal scores get a boost in depth from the remix.

Each film also fea­tures an array of spe­cial fea­tures, most of them pro­duced espe­cial­ly for this disc.  Fans of The Video Dead will be sur­prised to see this cult favorite got not one but two com­men­tary tracks, both mod­er­at­ed by super­fan Chris MacGibbon.  The first fea­tures writer/director Robert Scott, edi­tor Bob Sarles and FX man Dale Hall Jr. while the sec­ond track fea­tures cast mem­bers Roxanna Augesen and Rocky Duvall, pro­duc­tion man­ager Jacques Thelemaque and FX men Patrick Denver and Hall.

The first track is the best as Scott is able to go into the hows and whys behind his choic­es, with his cohorts adding inter­est­ing tech­ni­cal details on their work.  The sec­ond track is more rau­cous and unfo­cused but has the occa­sion­al nugget of inter­est for fans, like Duvall’s mem­o­ry of how he attend­ed an audi­tion for the film over the objec­tions of his high school dra­ma teacher(!).

The Video Dead extras also include an orig­i­nal the­atri­cal trail­er, just under two min­utes of out­take footage (main­ly slates & behind the sce­nes stuff) and a fea­turet­te about the make­up effects.  The lat­ter seg­ment is enti­tled “Pre-RecorDEAD” and uti­lizes inter­views with Hall and Denver to dis­cuss their work.  Both are proud of what they accom­plished on a short sched­ule — they had only two weeks of prep time — and go into detail about how the zom­bie make­ups were achieved and speci­fic shock moments, like the chain­saw zom­bie dis­mem­ber­ing scene.  Hall also relates a par­tic­u­lar­ly fun­ny anec­dote about a doing a cast on a female cast mem­ber.

Terrorvision’s extras are small­er in num­ber but potent.  The first is a com­men­tary track that pairs writer/director Ted Nicolaou with stars Diane Franklin and Jon Gries.  It’s a very scene-speci­fic track, with Nicolaou lay­ing out pro­duc­tion info while Franklin and Gries offer appre­ci­a­tions from the actors’ per­spec­tive.  A lot of the big points they make over­lap with the fea­turet­te but they have a humor-filled cama­raderie that makes the track a pleas­ant lis­ten.

The com­men­tary is pret­ty decent but the fea­turet­te for Terrorvision is even bet­ter: “Monsters On Demand” is an expan­sive 34-min­ute ret­ro­spec­tive that includes every­one from the com­men­tary plus actress Mary Woronov, pro­duc­er Charles Band, FX man John Buechler and more.  The anec­dotes move at a nice clip, deft­ly inter­cut with clips from the film as the par­tic­i­pants describe the film’s poster-inspired gen­e­sis, the relaxed charm of shoot­ing a film in Italy and the rea­sons Terrorvision was essen­tial­ly buried dur­ing its orig­i­nal release.  It all adds up to anoth­er strong fea­turet­te from Red Shirt Pictures and the kind of thing that any cult film fan will enjoy.

The pack­age for Terrorvision is round­ed out by an image gallery that includes stills, behind the sce­nes pho­tos and pro­mo­tion­al art. Like the film itself, the images are col­or­ful and wild.

All in all, this blu-ray/DVD set offers a gen­er­ous and tech­ni­cal­ly-impres­sive pack­age for two films that most gen­re fans would have nev­er expect­ed to get such a treat­ment.  It’s anoth­er fine edi­tion for Scream Factory and will leave fans hop­ing that they con­tin­ue to give gen­re rar­i­ties this kind of atten­tion.