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The Deadly Spawn: Millennium Edition Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080i/60 (29.970Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English LPCM 2.0 Mono (48kHz/16-bit)
  • Subtitles: N/A
  • Region: A (B? C?)
  • Rating: R
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Run time: 81 Mins.
  • Studio: Elite Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: February 7, 2012
  • List Price: $19.95

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BestBuy.com:
The Deadly Spawn -

Purchase The Deadly Spawn on Blu-ray at CD Universe

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Overall
[Rating:2/5]
The Film
[Rating:2.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:1/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:2/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All 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)

The Film

[Rating:2.5/5]

Well, what is there to say, really, about this B-movie cult classic from 1983? Filmed entirely in New Jersey, directed by Douglas McKeown and with special effects by John Dods, The Deadly Spawn provides exactly what you’d expect from a B-grade creature-feature flick from the era – over-the-top acting and buckets of red-dyed corn syrup or some other viscous fluid.

The story, slight as it is, in this case involves a toothy, man-eating alien creature that crashes to Earth then proceeds to terrorize a town. It falls to a group of four nerdy teenagers and a pre-teen boy to stop its rampage before everyone is killed.

Cult horror enthusiasts will love its campy acting, old school gore and wacky squid-like alien. They don’t really make them like this anymore, that is for sure.

Video Quality

[Rating:1/5]

I hesitate to even call this high definition. Actually, no, I don’t call it high definition. The Deadly Spawn was originally produced on 16mm film. That, in and of itself, is not the problem, however. There are plenty of releases on Blu-ray that look incredibly good given that they were done in 16mm – The recent Rum Diary and Happy, Happy, for instance, are just two examples. This transfer, for whatever the reasons may be, doesn’t even look like it was actually taken from any print or negative source for this release. It looks like a standard definition master transferred to Blu-ray. In fact, I’d say it looks worse than a lot of DVDs. That doesn’t even take into account the issues with video noise, source damage, and the fact that they’ve done this in 1080i/60, which shows some motion artifacts and softness as well. Did someone make a mistake here?

Audio Quality

[Rating:2/5]

The LPCM 2.0 Mono (48kHz/16-bit) soundtrack is almost as bad as the video, sounding very dull and muffled and filled with some obvious clipping that was probably part pf the original recording.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2.5/5]

For fans, this is probably the best part of this release – too bad everything is in standard definition and remarkably looks even worse than the feature!

The supplements:

  • Commentary with Ted A. Bohus and Marc Harwood
  • Alternate Opening (1.33:1; SD; 00:04:23)
  • Casting and Gags (1.33:1; SD; 00:35:57)
  • Bloopers and Outtakes (1.33:1; SD; 00:04:56)
  • Local News Segments (1.33:1; SD; 00:40:32)
  • Take One (1.33:1; SD; 00:24:58)
  • Visit with the Deadly Spawn (1.33:1; SD; 00:08:39)
  • Theatrical Trailer/TV Spot (1.33:1; SD)
  • Slideshow (1.33:1; SD; 00:15:30)
  • Comic Book Preview

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:2/5]

Sadly, for aficionados of these sorts of films, this “high definition” release is a let down, to be sure. It looks and sounds awful. To add in my personal opinion, I can’t say that this is one of my favorite “cult” films either, but it surely must deserve better than this? Save your money and skip this release entirely.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B005IGVTE2[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
The Deadly Spawn -

Purchase The Deadly Spawn on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:2/5]
The Film
[Rating:2.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:1/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:2/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

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