- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit), English LPCM 2.0 (48kHz/24-bit)
- Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
- Subtitles Color: Yellow
- Region: A (Region-Locked)
- Rating: R
- Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
- Digital Copies: N/A
- Run Time: 87 Mins.
- Studio: MPI Media Group
- Blu-ray Release Date: April 2, 2013
- List Price: $29.98
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(The below TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
This latest entry into the cult/slasher film genre features comedian Ross Noble staring as a killer clown in a classic play on the nightmarish clown iconography. Writer-director (and editor for this film) Conor McMahon isn’t long on originality when it comes to putting this story together, opting to take his cues directly from every teen comedy and horror film from the 90s on. The result is some Frankenstein’s monster of a film, pieced together from American Pie, the 2012 Silent Night remake, and Scream.
The film opens during young Tom’s (Ryan Burke) birthday bash where birthday party clown Richard “Stitches” Grindle (Noble) suffers a brutal freak death at the hands of the bratty kids attending the party. Years later when they are all teens, and still rather annoying, Tom (now played by Tommy Knight) is suffering from emotional problems (read: seeing killer clowns everywhere) due to seeing the death of the clown and the belief he saw a secret clown cult ritual afterwards. It’s the weekend of his birthday and he still has a major crush on one Kate (Gemma-Leah Devereux), who once gave him a kiss in his treehouse. So, his first party in years is in order with his best mates Bulger (Thommas Kane Byrnes) and Richie (Eoghan McQuinn). The plan – invite Kate (who’s dating a real jerk) and win her over. Of course half the school shows up for a night of debauchery with no parents in sight – and so does a risen-from-the-dead Stitches to exact violent revenge on the brats who killed him.
What starts off as a run of the mill teen comedy that goes as far as to rip off some of the gross-out humor from other films like American Pie like drinking urine from a wine glass and the supposed to be funny drug humor that is just blasé these days, quickly turns into amazingly gruesome slasher porn. It really turns on a dime too, but not in a good way, rather abruptly. The over-the-top camp in Stitches and near lack of a sensible story beyond some implied mystical origin of immortal clowns make it ho-hum. The violence delivers on all counts, without a doubt, however, and there is no shortage of fake blood splashing everywhere. Not to give too much away, but I’ll just mention an ice cream scoop and a can opener. The problem is, just running together a string of gruesome killings doesn’t make for an interesting film, especially when you’re just lifting directly from other, better films.
The image quality for this film, provided in a 1.78:1 framed AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement, is just about what one would expect coming from an indie film from this genre. There’s nothing in this production to really show off a high definition display, but it is decent enough, with fine details on close-ups and only the occasional issue with softness, noise, and some color banding noticeable. This U.S. Release from MPI looks nearly identical to its UK counterpart from Kaleidoscope, having just about the same amount of detail, texture, and sort of digital anomalies. A closer look reveals that it is somewhat murkier, with a cooler color palette and darker overall brightness. My personal preference leans towards the Kaleidoscope release where the brighter image and more saturated appearance gives it a little more pop.
Stitches gets a competent lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit) soundtrack that provides clean dialogue and spreads the sound spaciously and atmospherically during the fateful party scenes. The musical accompaniments get a good boost of low end from the sub, but there is really nothing too special about the mix beyond that. The LPCM 2.0 (48kHz/24-bit) mix also had a good, wide soundfield that is almost just as good as the 5.1, which ought to tell you something.
Stitches in the U.S. Gets all the same supplements as its U.K. counterpart from Kaleidoscope plus the addition of an audio commentary from star Ross Noble and writer-director Conor McMahon. None of the video extras are really worth sitting through, however.
- Making of (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:20:03)
- Bloopers (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:04:13)
- Trailer (1.78:1; 1080p/24)
- Commentary with actor Ross Noble and writer-director Conor McMahon
The Definitive Word
Skip this one or rent it on a really slow day if you’re into this genre. No compelling story, thrills, or killer make it no more than a jumble of take-offs from better works in the comedy and horror genres.
Additional Screen Captures[amazon-product]B00A92MBRO[/amazon-product]