A lot of classic Canadian genre films are making the transition to Blu-ray this year. Some have had a long home video life, and have been widely available throughout various formats, and others, like Curtains have had a practically non-existent presence on any format. From what I understand, a terrible version of the film was released in a random multi-pack, and featured audio and video quality that may have rivaled a third generation VHS dub. Synapse have resurrected Curtains, in a way only Synapse could. One thing you can be sure of, when a title is announced as being released to Blu-ray by the label, is that they’ll either put out a perfect, preserved transfer of the film, or they’ll release nothing at all. A lot of the time their releases get delayed, because they aren’t happy with how it has turned out, and they would like to do a little more work on the presentation. Delays can suck, I know, but with a reason like that, it’s hard not to understand, and even love them for this method of operating. A lot of boutique labels are just concerned about getting the product out there, and care very little about presentation, but folks like Scream Factory, Vinegar Syndrome, and especially Synapse are actually lovers of film, and do what they can to bring us the best possible release. That trend continues with this quirky little Canadian slasher film. In all honesty, if you’re a fan of Canadian horror, or if you’re a slasher completist, you should probably go ahead and hit this link to secure a copy for yourself.
Synopsis From Synapse-Films.com:
UNSEEN ON HOME VIDEO FOR OVER 30 YEARS, THE CANADIAN HORROR CLASSIC MAKES ITS DIGITAL HOME VIDEO DEBUT FROM SYNAPSE FILMS!
“… the classiest, most chilling thriller to come along in quite a while… rich in surprises of a gripping sensuous nature.” – The Hollywood Reporter
John Vernon (CHAINED HEAT, National Lampoon’s ANIMAL HOUSE) and Samantha Eggar (THE BROOD, THE EXTERMINATOR) star in this horror classic from the golden age of the slasher genre.
A group of women gather for a weekend casting call at the secluded mansion of director Jonathan Stryker (Vernon). He’s searching for the perfect woman to play the role of the crazed character “Audra”, and these women are just dying for the chance to play her! Stryker’s last star, Samantha Sherwood (Eggar), is so determined to get the part, she committed herself to an asylum to prepare for the role. Unfortunately for all, a crazed killer in a disgusting “hag” mask is viciously murdering everyone one by one. Who will survive the final curtain call?
Lovingly re-mastered in 2K resolution from original vault materials virtually untouched for over 30 years,CURTAINS makes its high-definition world premiere from Synapse Films.
The Synapse Blu-ray release of Curtains is a special treat for horror fans. Anytime a previously unavailable film is rescued from obscurity is a good thing, but when a company goes to great lengths to fully restore the film, both by cleaning and transferring the print to Blu-ray, and by filming a new retrospective documentary to go along with the release, horror fans need to pay attention. The best way to do this, is to buy the release. This is so that Synapse and other companies like them know that there is a demand for this type of release, and it gives them financial motivation to continue doing so. I’d never seen Curtains before, so I have no frame-of-reference with which to compare. Suffice it to say, Curtains looks beautiful on Blu-ray. The picture quality is unrivaled, with elements from the vault put through a strenuous 2k scanning process, it is unlikely that there will ever be another release of Curtains that looks better than this. There is also a brand new, 5.1 DTS surround mix that was created specifically for this release. You also have the option of selecting the uncompressed mono track as well, if you prefer to view the film that way. While I wouldn’t say the release is packed with extras, it does feature its fair share. Most notably, a newly-produced retrospective documentary that I have already mentioned. There is also an audio commentary track, as well as an alternate audio track that features vintage interviews. I will list all of the specifics below, but this is far from a barebones release. You get what you pay for, and then some.
Synapse’s Blu-ray release of Curtains is highly recommended to all collectors of horror home video releases. You can purchase a copy for yourself by either visiting the Synapse Films website, Or you could save a few bucks by purchasing it on Amazon. From what I understand, Amazon underestimated the demand for the title, so it may take a couple extra days for the item to ship. Whatever you decide, you will be supporting one of the most important genre distributors, and one of the most important Blu-ray releases of 2014. Even if you end up not liking the film, you will still be satisfied with this purchase, and walk away a better-educated horror fan than you were before.
- Brand-New 2K High-Definition Transfer from Original Vault Materials
- 5.1 Surround Remix Specifically Created for This Release
- THE ULTIMATE NIGHTMARE: THE MAKING OF “CURTAINS” – An All-New retrospective featuring interviews with Director Richard Ciupka, Stars Lesleh Donaldson & Lynne Griffin, Editor Michael MacLaverty, Special Make-Up Effects Creator Greg Cannom, and Composer Paul Zaza
- CIUPKA: A FILM-MAKER IN TRANSITION – Vintage documentary short featuring rare, behind-the-scenes footage from the making of “CURTAINS” (Blu-ray Exclusive)
- Audio Commentary with Stars Lesleh Donaldson & Lynne Griffin
- Audio Interview with Producer Peter R. Simpson
- Audio Interview with Star Samantha Eggar
- Theatrical Trailer