The use of the old 1 inch tape Master (with an apology) is given prominence only when you load up the DVD, hmmm. It looks just like my old USA VHS but slightly improved for the resolution, and I have done a better job of colour correcting that to DVD-R - especially in the exterior shot real Mardi Gras sequence, as on the new DVD it looks the same drab brown that shows no regard for even minimal (colour grading) restoration (although Code Red might have passed the old 1" through an Archangel or some such with their claims of restoration, hmmm.
So a 4:3 transfer, looks alright for what it is - a straight replacement for my old VHS. Where are the original negative elements, or an old 35mm print that could be cleaned up? A possible wasted opportunity that will probably mean no BD of this film in a 16/9 reframed transfer.
An interesting interview with "The creepy strange playboy killer William Metzo is still loose on the streets and has given us an interview for the MARDI GRAS MASSACRE dvd! Metzo talked about how he was cast, how cheap the film was, how much he enjoyed working with director Jack Weis, and many other things about the film...even the fortune cookie!"
Ditto for NIGHT OF THE DEMON -- they both look better than a worn old VHS prerecord, but I can't help but think how much they'd benefit from a new film transfer. It's ironic that HAUNTED, arguably the least of the three VCII titles, is the only one to receive such treatment! (Granted, elements may not exist or be accessable for the other pair any longer.)
I'm also a little sad about the lack of supplements on NIGHT; it's been a longtime personal favorite of mine and it would've been great hearing some stories about its shoot. Stephen Thrower interviewed co-writer / producer Jim Ball for his upcoming NIGHTMARE USA follow-up, so at least there's that. The trailers for NIGHT and MASSACRE also pop up on Nucleus Films' amazing UK import trailer compilation VIDEO NASTIES: THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE.
The Maria's B-Movie Mayhem wraparound segments are pretty pointless -- she's crazy hot and likable enough, but they supply zero information. Scorpion Releasing's competing line, Katarina's Nightmare Theater, comes across as more informative and interesting, but a little dry. I'd love for them both to meet somewhere in the middle.
Regardless, I'm very happy both films are back in circulation and *do* constitute upgrades from my old tapes.
(Amusingly, one of the extras from the bar scene in MARDI GRAS MASSACRE now runs a pawn shop near me; I may have to do a small interview for my blog with him, just for giggles.)