It”s an unfair life for the gore-film fan, his passion usually exiled to the bargin bin at Blockbuster or some seedy neo-comicbook hellhole run by a dude with greasy black hair, a goatee composed of 16 hairs, and a t-shirt showcasing William Hickey”s Toulon. Flixmix attempts to save the splatter-freak from exile to “USA Up-All-Night” or the oft-too-artsy Italian and Japanese fare by compiling what they believe to be the finest collection of American horror clips ever assembled for DVD in “Boogeymen: A Killer Compilation.”
While the disc kicks off with Pinhead from “Hellraiser” removing a man”s cheeks with assorted hooks, and climaxes with Dr. Loomis shooting Michael Myers in “Halloween,” these classic clips book end a mixed bag that goes from the obscure (“The Ugly”) to the antithesis of what horror movies should try to accomplish (“I Know What You Did Last Summer “). The die-hard fans that would purchase this disc probably have already shelled out their blood money for most of these films on DVD.
The clips are certainly fun, aside from the few times the DVD producers decide to cut a scene before the end, leaving it confusing or unresolved. Robert “Freddy Kruger” Englund provides an optional running commentary track, where the horror legend waxes philosophically about the state of horror films, or simply mentions knowing certain actors as they appear on screen. It”s clear that Englund did nothing to prepare for his commentary, yet unclear whether he even knew what scenes were included on disc.
Anything he says of interest can also be seen on the “FlixFacts Animated Trivia” option. If you enable the trivia (“Pop-Up Video” style) and listen to Englund at the same time, at times they both provide the exact same information.
It”s a pity that they couldn”t have gotten a few more icons to work on the commentary. What are Gunner “Leatherface” Hanson and Tony “The Candyman” Todd doing that makes them so busy, huh? At least that would have taken away from Englund”s fanboy knowledge of films in which he did not appear.
The true gem comes in the form of a dozen or so original theatrical trailers that can be accessed in the “special features” section. As the films span three decades (four if you count the wildly misplaced “Psycho” clip) it”s great fun to see how advertising changed to conform to taste. What was unrelenting horror during the “70s became campy humor during the “80s and arrogant irony in the “90s. Also included is a “Name That Frame” game that is nearly impossible if you have not watched the clips, yet pointlessly easy if you have just finished them.
While the special features are certainly nice to look at, the real reason anyone would shell out their hard-earned bones for this disc is the clips. Sure, “Leprechaun” is funny and “The Puppetmaster” clip is downright awesome, tripe like “Wishmaster” and “Child”s Play 2” lower the compilation to the land of the sub-par. The die-hard fans that will most want to buy it will probably be the most disappointed.
A better (though more expensive) alternative would be to purchase last year”s “Nightmare on Elm Street” box set, which had an entire disc of interviews and factiods with actors and film makers. Yet for us tiny-pocketed college horror-geeks will have to make due with glimpses from our favorites.