Scream Factory has been doing an amazing job of revive classic and cult horror films in breathtaking Blu-ray sets. But the series is also doing hunting down new tales bound to cause a few nightmares. Most fans of the genre have found them harder to find in normal theaters that would rather clog up their screens with comic book films instead of screams. Stung, Gravy and The Stranger are basically about meals gone really bad. Stung shows what can go wrong at a garden party. Gravy reminds us why to never work on a slow holiday night. The Stranger is about things that can go wrong eating at home. All three are best viewed after dinner and not before your reservations.
Stung is a giant bee movie that will sent you swatting at the 5.1 surround sound speakers. The film starts out as a romantic comedy. Julia (Jessica Cook) and Paul (Matt O’Leary) drive out to the countryside in a van. They’ve been hired to cater a garden party at a mansion. While Paul likes Julia, she’s not ready to settle down for a guy who has little ambition outside of bartending for her company. There’s no real issues while setting up the party except for an occassional wasp or two. But this isn’t just a goofy love story since the town’s mayor is Lance Henriksen (Aliens). What can go wrong? How about a party guest having a giant wasp emerge from her head? He’s once more having to deal with battling giant critters. The young couple and other guests hide in the house from the mega-insects. But wasps don’t give up easily when it comes to being mean and nasty. The film is a step above the average SyFy channel original in plot and acting. It is nice to see wasps get their evil due after bees dominating cinema fear for decades.
Gravy allows director and co-writer James Roday (Psych) to scare us with what’s off the menu. This tale of a Halloween night at a Mexican restaurant diner starts out cute enough with Anson (Michael Weston) doing his best to work up the courage to as Bethany (Sarah Silverman) out on a date. But is he really in her league? As cute as we’re supposed to view Anson, he’s got issues. He hooks up with his friends who have special meal planned for the night. They take everyone hostage at the Mexican joint and force the chef to prepare items way off the menu. They want to eat the wait staff which includes Paul Rodriguez and Gabourey Sidibe. The movie is a bit refreshing from the wave of zombie who prefer their humans tartar-style. Finally a movie that lets an audience feel a gourmet touch in cannibalism. Gravy is a feast for the eyes.
The Stranger is from Guillermo Amoedo, known for working with Eli Roth on Aftershock and The Green Inferno. A drifter comes into a dark town searching for a woman that was one his wife. He discovers she’s passed a way while back. Before he can do much, he’s attacked and knocked out by local thugs. He’s rescued by a local kid. But is this really a good thing? Seems like he had less than mournful plans for the deceased woman and himself. Turns out she might have been a form of vampire. He has his own issues with immortality. There’s a crooked cop thrown in the mix. This is a movie that needs to be experienced on a huge wide screen TV to allow the moody pace to be absorbed.
The video for both film is 2.35:1 for all three films. The 1080p transfers look rich. DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 are on all three films too. The sound is best on Stung since the buzz noise is used effectively in the speakers. All three movies are subtitled.
Audio Commentary features Producer Benjamin Munz, Director Benni Diez and Writer Adam Aresty. They talk about working with Henriksen.
Making of Stung (21:25) gets inside the buggy nature of the movie with cast and crew describing the action.
Production Blog (21:30) are video clips shot on the set.
Theatrical Trailer (2:12) promises to sting the viewers.
Joe Corey is the writer and director of "Danger! Health Films" currently streaming on Night Flight and Amazon Prime. He's the author of "The Seven Secrets of Great Walmart People Greeters." This is the last how to get a job book you'll ever need. He was Associate Producer of the documentary "Moving Midway." He's worked as local crew on several reality shows including Candid Camera, American's Most Wanted, Extreme Makeover Home Edition and ESPN's Gaters. He's been featured on The Today Show and CBS's 48 Hours. Dom DeLuise once said, "Joe, you look like an axe murderer." He was in charge of research and programming at the Moving Image Archive.