Pulse - Pulse(Blu Ray) [Eureka Entertainment - 2021]Directed by Paul Golding (Beat Street and The Magical World of Disney) Pulse is a sci-fi horror movie originally released in 1988 starring Cliff De Young (Glory, The Craft and Rude Awakening), Roxanne Hart (Highlander, Letters from Iwo Jima), Charles Tyner (Harold and Maude, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Cool hand Luke) and the Lawrence brothers, Joey (Blossom, Oliver And Company) and Matthew (Boy Meets World, Mrs Doubtfire).
Bill (De Young) and his wife, Ellen (Hart) are woken by the sound of the neighbour going berserk, trashing his house. By the time the police arrive and go into the house they find the neighbour dead. A few days later Bill’s young son from a previous marriage, David (Joey Lawrence) comes to stay. It becomes evident quite quickly that there is something wrong with the electricity in the street. David is home alone watching the baseball on TV when the images on the screen become distorted, David also begins to notice a bunch of other stuff starting to happen, the overhead power cables in the street start sparking and buzzing and the washing machine turns itself on and starts making strange noises. Bill and Ellen return home to find David spooked by the evening’s events and the TV won’t turn off. This is, however, just the beginning, and things begin to escalate from here on in. It later transpires that an intelligent electrical pulse is travelling around the neighbourhood from house to house, terrorizing the occupants by taking control of the electrical appliances, and David believes his father’s home is the next one to experience its reign of terror.
Despite the unusual premise, Pulse is a surprisingly effective slow-burn horror movie that works better than it ought to. The crazy plot about a sentient electrical pulse causing harm feels less insane than it should, which is to be credited to Golding’s direction and the performances of the cast. Cliff De Young and Roxanne Hart are excellent in their roles as Bill and Ellen, whilst Charles Tyner is very effective as the crazy old man who David meets when he breaks into the dead neighbour’s house. Whilst Pulse is never going to be labelled a horror classic there are far worse ways to spend 90 minutes.
This Blu Ray release from Eureka Entertainment is the first time the film has been released in 1080p and it has to be said it looks pretty good. The first 2,000 copies come with a limited-edition slipcase and a collectors booklet. Bonus features include an audio commentary with film historian Amanda Reyes and a video essay from Lee Gamblin. Overall, this is a pretty solid release for an underrated movie.Darren Charles