Pandemonium - Pandemonium(Blu Ray) [Vinegar Syndrome - 2020]Directed by Alfred Sole (Alice Sweet Alice) in 1982, Pandemonium is a comedy slasher movie with an all-star cast that features Tom Smothers, Carol Kane, Judge Reinhold, Phil Hartman, Paul “PeeWee Herman” Reubens and Tab Hunter to name but a few. This is quite exciting for fans of the movie as this is the first time it found its way to disc anywhere in the world. The print is taken from a brand new 2k restoration that ensures the film looks better than ever almost 40 years on from its original release.
After the bizarre murder of a group of cheerleaders in 1963 (they were all impaled on a single javelin), Brandy Summers (Candice Azzara), who witnessed the events of the fateful day decided that the time was right to reopen the cheerleader school. Before too long the murderer makes their presence felt as they start bumping off the small group of students in a variety of strange and creative ways. The school only appears to have six students, three male and three female, Candy (Carol Kane), Sandy (Debralee Scott), Mandy (Teri Landrum) Andy (Miles Chapin) Randy (Marc McClure) and Glenn (Judge Reinhold). Redhead Candy is the lead character and is a riff on Carrie White, she has special powers and a mother played by Eileen Brennan who adopts that crazy religious mother role that Piper Laurie made so famous in the original, there is even a ‘dirty pillows’ joke to truly ram home the Carrie influence. Anyway, our hero of the piece is the local law enforcement officer, Sgt Reginald Cooper (Tom Smothers), a Canadian mounted police officer, who along with his horse Bob and his partner Johnson (Paul Reubens) must try to protect the students and catch the killer.
The film features some pretty oddball humour and no real scares, but the cast put in some pretty enjoyable performances, proving their comedy credentials, whilst special attention must be drawn to the performance of Bob the horse who tends to steal most of the scenes he’s in. The comedy is pleasant enough for the most part but after an hour and a half, it starts to wear thin a little bit. Overall, the film itself is a reasonably fun watch, as long as you leave your brain at the door.
The film itself looks amazing, Vinegar Syndrome have once again brought a lost film back to life and given it a really great release. There’s not a whole lot of bonus material this time out but there is an informative and interesting interview with director Alfred Sole and a promotional stills gallery, as well as the usual reversible artwork that Vinegar Syndrome have become famous for.
Generally speaking, this is a pretty decent release for an average but fun movie, that will leave fans overjoyed and others a little underwhelmed. It’s not a bad film per se, it’s just not a great one.Darren Charles