Okay, Shout Factory titles are now a staple on this site. I love the company so much for their unapologetic love of all things horror and cult. In the past couple of years they have really been focusing on taking smaller movies, especially from the 80s, and putting them on double feature Blu-ray’s, which is so damn cool. Titles I never thought I would see on DVD let along Blu-ray like the Scanners sequels, Bad Dreams, Visiting Hours, Vampires Kiss, Love at First Bite, The Food of the Gods, Breakin’, Ghost Warrior and tons of other b-movie classics. This month they release another double feature featuring one of the most beloved actors of all time, Anthony Perkins.
First up is a film from 1988 called Destroyer. Perkins plays movie director Robert Edwards, who is fascinated by the legend of Ivan Moser (football great Lyle Alzado), a convict set to be electrocuted the night of a prison riot who disappeared without a trace. 18 months after the event, Edwards begins filming a movie in the very prison Moser was held in. But on the last night of filming the cast and crew find themselves trapped in the prison as the fate of Moser is finally revealed.
Destroyer is no great film, but it has some creative gore effects, a fun over the top performance by Alzado during his 15 minutes of fame, and a solid little turn by Perkins, who classes up any film he happens to appear in. The story is pretty much by the numbers but still makes for a really fun 80s throwback horror night.
The second feature in this set is the real gold in my opinion. Edge of Sanity was released in 1989 and stars Perkins as Dr. Henry Jekyll, whose experiments with cocaine result in an accident that engulfs Jekyll in toxic fumes transforming him into a savage alter ago, Mr. Hyde. At the same time in Whitechapel a killer known as Jack the Ripper is preying on streetwalkers leaving the public in terror. But could Jekyll’s uninhibited alter ago also be responsible for the grisly murders?
Edge of Sanity is a depraved horror masterpiece. Perkins is absolutely off his hinges here as Jack Hyde. He is a drug riddled, maniacal, powerful villain set loose on the population to succumb to his most twisted sexual obsessions. He gleefully overplays every line to camp perfection and although the film is violent and unfeeling, his performance is a marvel to behold. Director Gérard Kikoïne crafts a psychedelic visual treat of a film that harkens to the heyday of directors like Dario Argento with bold color lighting, insane camera angles and dizzying camerawork. This is a film like no other and a minor masterwork of 80s violent cinema.
The Destroyer/Edge of Sanity double feature Blu-ray is a fantastic deal and a killer addition to the horror genre on hi def. Highly recommended.