Disconnected - Disconnected(Blu Ray/DVD) [Vinegar Syndrome - 2017]From 1984 Disconnected is a fairly original & distinctive blend of slasher, psycho-drama, and arty horror/thriller. For many years the film languished in VHS obscurity, but here from Vinegar Syndrome- those saviors of many filmatic cult curios- we have a well-deserved duel format reissue of the film.
Disconnected was the first full length feature from Connecticut based writer/ director Gorman Bechard- Psychos in Love, Cemetery High, Friends (With Benefits), etc. And itís an edgy & often creative shot of low-budget regional horror- filmed in & around Bechardís hometown Waterbury. The film focuses in on Alicai- who works in a video store, is in a dead end relationship with her boyfriend who she thinks might be cheating on her with her twin, and is receiving strange phone calls at her apartment. At the same time a deranged killer is knocking off young women, and Alicai starts getting a male admirer visiting her at work.
The film aptly balances & mixes elements of slasher, serial killer drama, thriller, with arty & subtle supernatural horror elements, and touches of sly humor. Itís all soundtracked with an often urgent & off-kilter new wave/ 80ís goth music.
The cast is made up of amateurs & lesser known B actors, who for the most part competent & convincing enough. We have Frances Raines (The Mutilator, Breeders, and Bad Girls Dormitory) playing the lead dual role of Alicia / Barbara Ann. And Mark Walker( Rabid, Rats and Rabbits, and various TV shows)- coming off like a campier young James Franco, as the too-nice-to-real & creepy admirer who comes to the video stall. The whole thing is well directed & shot- with an interesting mix of soapy chatter, sudden Ďní unbalancing gore & visuals, and a fairly effective & chill educing ending.
As mentioned in my opening the film comes in duel format- offering up both region free DVD, and ABC region Blu ray. These come in a double blu ray case- which features a six-page inlay booklet, and reversible sleeve. With the first 2í000 copies, you get one of the classy slip sleeves VS are known for- this features glossy raised red ink texts and a nice thick card stock.
The film gets a 2K scan from the original 16mm film, and it looks & sounds great- with the punchy new-wave soundtrack & at times edgily arty visuals snapping in all their 80ís glory. Extras wise we get a nice selection- we get a commentary from Bechard, and actor/crew member Carmine Capobiano- this is chatty, funny & often insightful. We get two standalone ten or so minute interviews- ones with Bechard & the other with Capobiano, and these also adding some more nice insights. We also get a thought lost documentary film by Bechard from the 80ís- this is entitled Twenty Questions and runs for just over an hour. Itís a fairly provocative & arty talking head venture- which sees a series of Waterbury residents answering questions surrounded by TVís playing a mix of news, disturbing images, and texts. Itís an interesting enough extra- though only really is a one watch affair, you also get a 16 minute Q&A with Bechard discussing Twenty Questions at a local film festival.
Disconnected is a worthy example of creative low-budget regional horror fare from the 1980ís. And Vinegar Syndrome have done another sterling job with the presentation of this duel release. And itís well worth picking this up sooner, than later - so you can snag one of the great slips.Roger Batty