Another week, another all-new, all-awesome edition of PAUL’S HORROR FLIX! As promised, I’m back with a double dose of horror this week, and I decided to step up my game a little bit – sure, last week’s Demonic Toys 2 and Road to L had a small droplet of the red stuff, but this week’s contenders poured on ample amounts of what we like to see in our horror flicks – chunky, gooey, dripping blood and guts!
The two contenders this week are Cabin Fever: The Director’s Cut, out now on blu-ray, and Doghouse (currently only available on import DVD). How do they measure up? Find out after the jump!
Cabin Fever: The Director’s Cut
I love the hell out of Eli Roth – he’s only directed three full-length films, but I’ve loved each one for very different reasons. Cabin Fever, the film that introduced him to the world at large, is a fun low budget romp that was better than it had any right being. Hostel I and II divided audiences, and unfortunately really contributed to the “torture porn” craze, but managed to elevate themselves above the rest with smart direction, good acting, and beautiful cinematography that most other films exchange for flashes of white light and quick cuts.
Anyway, like I said, Cabin Fever is the start of Roth’s career and I remember seeing it in the theater, wholly unprepared for the film I was about to see. It starts off as this fun, riotous comedy before quickly delving into one of the most insane, gruesome horror flicks in recent memory. When I’d heard they released an Unrated Director’s Cut on blu-ray, I decided to pass on it because, quite frankly, I’m tired of Director’s Cuts that change nothing in the film, and I didn’t think this film really needed to be experienced on Blu-Ray. But for some reason I caved (only paying $15 for a blu-ray helped sway me) and I’m glad I did.
I had no idea that Cabin Fever could look and sound as good as it did on Blu-Ray. I remember it looking much lower budget than this presentation, but that may just be bad memory. However, Blu-Ray makes this film truly shine, both visually and in a 7.1 mix that lets you hear every gooey, crunchy bit. I was absolutely blown away by the quality of this film. As for the Director’s Cut bits, it’s been a little while since I’ve seen the film, but I noticed some slight differences in the movie (mostly character bits and a little bit more bloody stuff) and the ending itself was recut to flow more smoothly. I have to admit, the frenetic pacing of the original ending was one of the reasons I liked the film, but the recut ending felt a little more natural, and a little less amateur-ish, if that makes any sense. It’s not so different as to change your opinion of the film, but it’s different enough to notice.
If you didn’t like the theatrical cut of Cabin Fever, nothing here is going to change your mind. However, if you loved the film like I do (most people either love or hate it), this blu-ray, with a brand new commentary track with all the stars of the film, as well as all of the bonus features from the original film, is a must own.
A double dose of horror comedy today at Paul’s Horror Flix, with my second choice, Doghouse, which has yet to be released in the US, but should still be sought out anyway! Doghouse is the story of what happens when a bunch of guys, unhappy with their wives and girlfriends, go on a guy’s trip and end up coming across a town of crazed zombie women who would love nothing more than to have some guys to munch on! Doghouse stars Danny Dyer (who I loved in Severance, another horror comedy), Stephen Graham (who’s always good), and a whole cast of people you won’t know unless you watch the BBC (like Hex‘s Christina Cole).
Still, not knowing who’s in the film is no reason to skip this fun horror flick, which is a great blast and perfectly mixes “guy comedy” with a fun zombie romp. It’s like Shaun of the Dead, but less likely to appeal with your female counterpart, because of the largely chauvinistic way these guy treat their women (though they do get jacked up pretty bad, so maybe that’s a reason they’ll enjoy it – my wife liked it). There’s plenty of great bloody bits to enjoy, tons of great humor, and the film moves along at a pretty fast clip. My main qualm with the film is the way it ends – it just seems so sudden and so odd, it seems more like an outtake than the actual ending to the film you’ve just spent an hour and a half watching. I can’t help but feel like another minute (seriously, that’s all it would take) tacked on at the end would have ended the film more satisfactorily.