Lionsgate UK present Dementia 13, The Wraith on Blu-ray out now as part of the Vestron Collector’s Series

Vestron was a logo that I was very familiar with when I would rent and watch films on VHS a few decades ago. Whilst I never sought out the latest Vestron releases, I always have fond memories of popping a VHS into the player, pressing play and watching a bunch of trailers before the main feature, so its with a smile that I have seen the name of Vestron pop up on some great blu ray releases of  films later and two of the are here ( there are three actually but im not familiar with Sundown so will be focussing on the other two) 
 
DEMENTIA 13: DIRECTOR’S CUT (1963)
This is a film I hadn’t ever watched, but having read many biographies and autobiographies about some of the Hollywood greats, the title of Dementia 13 was a title that cropped up whenever the book i was reading mentioned Francis Ford Coppola. I didn’t know what the film was about, but I knew its name so needless to say I was very happy when Dementia 13 landed on blu ray and so I thought the time was right to finally check it out. Dementia 13 released in 1963 and was Francis Ford Coppola’s first ever film and is described as a quintessential gothic horror, wrapped in the twisted mysteries of a family’s deepest, darkest secrets. That’s a pretty good summary actually and to delve into a plot summary if you want to  know, then read on. A widow deceives her late husband’s mother and brothers into thinking he’s still alive when she attends the yearly memorial to his drowned sister, hoping to secure his inheritance. But her cunning is no match for the demented, axe-wielding thing roaming the grounds of the family’s Irish estate There you go.
 
I have to say that for a low budget film not what Id call a major release the Vestron restoration looks great and this version of the film is also director’s cut which apparently restores a previously missing prologue sequence, but I of course will look into the differences more than I have viewed the film later this week.  What I am also excited about is the commentary included by Francis, as his commentaries are always interesting to check out and this one for Dementia 13 is great. Its not totally a scene specific commentary and is more an overview of the film but also how Francis came to be the writer director of the film. Francis’s commentaries are always like mini film schools and always worth checking out.  If you haven’t listened to the man talk his way through a film, I highly recommend it.
 
There arent too many special features on the disc which is a shame, but the commentery and picture and sound restoration make this disc a great purchase. We do get an Introduction by Francis Ford Coppola but that lasts perhaps 40 seconds, but still a nice one.
Then its onto one of my favourite 80s films. The Wraith, which I cant even guess how many times I watched when I had the VHS, easily in the dozens. So much so that even rewatching the film this week on bluray, I could mimic the dialogue of many of the characters.  I dont feel guilty about watching The Wraith but if i had to pick films to go on one of those ‘guilty pleasure’ movies, then The Wraith would 100% be on that list. Its a blast!

THE WRAITH (1986)
Charlie Sheen (who would soon be moving into the higher level that year with Platoon ), Nick Cassavetes (Face/Off), Sherilyn Fenn (who  would later move into Twin Peaks), and Randy Quaid (who would later help save the world in Independence Day) star in this turbocharged cult classic which I think for the first time is on bluray and looks fantastic with a great restoration both sound and pictures.

When four glowing orbs crash into each other over the Arizona desert, they leave in their wake a badass Dodge Turbo Interceptor, and its enigmatic, helmeted driver. The next day, the mysterious Jake (played by Charlie Sheen) appears in the town of Brooks, catching the eye of Keri (played by Sherilyn Fenn) and the ire of Packard (played by Nick Cassavetes), the ruthless leader of a gang of street racers. When gang members start losing races, and lives, to the Interceptor, the recent death of Keri’s boyfriend suddenly seems connected to the arrival of Jake, the unbeatable car…and an avenging entity called The Wraith.

Special Features:
– Audio Commentary with writer/director Mike Marvin
– Audio Commentary with actors Dave Sherrill and Jamie Bozian
– Isolated Score Selections featuring audio interview with co-composer J. Peter Robinson

Theres also a decent amount of featurettes which are short in running time but longer than many others on films, so I certainly am not going to put the short running time down as a negative of any kind.  For a film of this budget, and a film from this time, I genuinely think its wonderful to get any behind the scenes look at all and whilst the featurettes are generally around the 11 minute each mark, they do pack in a lot of interesting nuggets of information about The Wraith. 

We get the following. 

– Tales From The Desert – An interview with writer/director Mike Marvin  

– Rughead Speaks! – An interview with Actor Clint Howard

– Ride of the Future – Interviews with stunt coordinator Buddy Joe Hooker and transportation coordinator Gary Hellerstein

– The Ghost Car – Interviews with visual effects producer Peter Kuran and effects animator Kevin Kutchaver

Then we do get this wonderful 27 min short film 
– The Wraith Filming Locations: Then and Now in which we get to visit the locations used in the film and I love this type of featurette having always had a fascination about every day locations that were used in movies, that most people will walk past each day without realising they were walking through a location that has been immortalised on screen

We also get the following things on the disc which for completists are fun, but they arent things I generally check out. 
– Theatrical Trailer
– TV Spots
– Alternate Title Sequence
– Still Gallery

 
Certification: 15
Run time:  93 mins
Amazon Blu-ray: https://bit.ly/TheWraithVestron

 

Dementia 13, and The Wraith are on Blu-ray 15 November from Lionsgate UK

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