Scream Factory offers up an entertaining DVD compilation of forgotten and underrated cult classics with its "4 Movie All Night Horror Marathon" 2-disc set. The combination is made up of films which span three decades and come in a variety of different levels of quality when it comes to production. It truly is a perfect blend of genre flicks for a fun evening in with friends and family.
1971's "What's the Matter with Helen?" is a great thriller that constantly reminds the viewer of Bette Davis and Joan Crawford's "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" Shelley Winters and Debbie Reynolds take the lead spinster roles that Davis and Crawford made famous and mold them into their own. Two women move to California to get a fresh start after their sons are indicted for murder in their small hometown. Just as they are settling into their new glamorous lives, the past comes back to haunt them in the form or mysterious calls and shadowy figures following them.
"The Vagrant" stars Bill Paxton in the role of a yuppie that is haunted by a deformed homeless man after he moves into his new house. Talk about a fun 1990's black comedy with some nice thrills and chills. Paxton is fabulous as the anxiety-driven suit being terrorized by the deliciously vile Marshall Bell playing the vagrant.
1980's "The Godsend" is the British equivalent of "The Bad Seed." It's obviously not as well-executed as the 1958 original, but the creepy little girl (Wilhelmina Green ) causing all the commotion is effective and gives you goose bumps at the proper times throughout its run time. Playing out a bit like "The Omen," the Marlowes adopt the baby girl a strange woman gives birth to in their home. Suspicions arise when the couple's other children begin dying from freak accidents that occur when little Bonnie is around.
"The Outing" is the edited and shortened version of 1987's "The Lamp." Filled with idiotic teens doing even more idiotic things in a closed museum, it revolves around an evil genie released from its bottle to wreak havoc. There are some great scenes in the film, which is basically your typical teen slasher flick with supernatural elements added in. You can't help but feel like this would make a brilliant companion for a double feature with "Leprechaun."
All the films included in the "4 Movie All Night Horror Marathon" 2-Disc set are rated R except "What's the Matter with Helen." The rating is understandable for "The Vagrant" and "The Outing" as there are some scenes of nudity and gore. However, "What's the Matter with Helen?" and "The Godsend" are both tame by today's standards and have violence and some language but not much else to find offensive.
Although there's no extras included with "4 Movie All Night Horror Marathon" 2-Disc set, it lives up to its name and is worth every penny you'll spend on it. If I were younger and surrounded by genre-loving friends, I could see doing a six hour binge of these movies. There's something in this collection for every type of fan of gore and scares.
Scream Factory's "4 Movie All Night Horror Marathon" is available now on DVD.