Scream Factory METAMORPHOSIS / BEYOND DARKNESS – Blu-Ray Review
Scream Factory brings you another double feature and this time the films they dug up are so rare that they haven’t been seen since VHS or at least as far as I can find. I present to you Scream Factory’s double feature METAMORPHOSIS and BEYOND DARKNESS.
Let us start with METAMORPHOSIS. Dr. Peter Houseman (Gene LeBrock) has the run of the genetics research dept at the University where he also teaches at. He’s the biggest asshole to everyone, has been blowing through thousands of dollars in funding and hasn’t published anything. During the newest rounds of funding, the board asks him to produce something, anything but of course he doesn’t. He doesn’t want to show anyone anything until it’s fully ready. Of course, he doesn’t do it in a friendly way and he gets the funding cut. While that’s going on another colleague is trying to steal his work. He doesn’t take to kindly to that and take matters into his hands. Just like every other movie when it comes to research, Dr. Houseman decides to experiment on himself which leads to some deadly consequences.
What can I say about this film except that it wasn’t the greatest thing I have seen and I’ve seen some really great terrible films. I want to call this a The Fly knock off minus the asshole-ness of this guy. If you didn’t figure it out from my mention of genetics research and self experimentation, Houseman decides to test out his genetic experiment and because it’s not fully ready, he starts turning into whatever was the exact opposite of what he was trying to do. This film clocks in at 96 mins and it was 36 mins too long. It was painfully slow, the acting was dull, and what would make for a good horror film was left for flashbacks or off screen – the gore. The make up for when Houseman officially turns is pretty good but that ending had me laughing. I want you to watch it so I’m not going to mention it. Oh and during all of this, he falls in love with the lady that was sent to “audit” him and the score that is used for their scenes was hilarious. Also, they never explained what went wrong or what/how he was trying to figure it all out.
Beyond Darkness is the second film on the blu-ray and it doesn’t fair any better. A man of God, Reverend Peter (also played by Gene LeBrock) and his family move into a really beautiful, really large, do you need that much space for a family of four home out in the middle of no where. As they are enjoying their time in this lovely house strange things start happening. It turns out that the house was built on a plot of land where the locals used to burn witches. These witches all dressed in black now feed upon the souls of children and they try to capture the daughter who goes by the name of Carole (Theresa walker). Instead they capture the son Martin (Trolls 2 very own Michael Stephenson). While Reverend Peter tries to figure out how to get his son back, Carole is worried about her bear named Johnny and at this point I have forgotten what has happened to the mother. Martin does come back but he is possessed and another Reverend has to help Peter save his son.
I had some high hopes for Beyond Darkness but it didn’t hold my attention for anything. I thought I was in for some awesome fun because director Claudio Fragasso also directed the amazing Troll 2 and if you haven’t seen it, you need to. There isn’t much in ways of effects happening except a consent light shining through a crack in the wall which had my boyfriend and I mentioning Pond and the Doctor. The script was better then Metamorphosis, but not by much. It doesn’t scare at all, there is no gore, and I just didn’t care what happened to anyone in the house. The antique radio blowing up was pretty cool and it seemed like the family was ready to battle some evil, at one point the wife had a weapon and almost beat her husband but we never got to see this epic battle. It was complete misfire.
The video transfer for either of these films didn’t really pop on my TV like their other films have. It is listed as having 1080p HD widescreen though. The audio is pretty good, nothing write home about but I didn’t have to turn it up to the high 30s on my TV so that’s a plus in my book. There is no reversible insert for this Blu-ray, but the inside has stills that remind me of lobby cards, not sure if that was a choice or happy accident. I found the extras lacking, only including trailers, one for each film. The Metamorphosis trailer actually tells you the entire film and my goodness did that trailer feel long.
Overall, this is for a completionist. Whether it’s of the Italian House series that Evil Dead kicked off (Beyond Darkness is also known as House 5) or of the Scream Factory’s normally fun and varied releases of classic horror brought into the age of HD.
Metamorphosis / Beyond Darkness Double Feature is available now at Shout! Factory!