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Americas Deadliest Home Video - Camp Motion Pictures - DVD Print E-mail
User Rating: / 2
Written by Jay Creepy   
Thursday, 08 August 2019


Severed Cinema review of America's Deadliest Home Video from Camp Motion Pictures

Directed by: Jack Perez
Written by: Jack Perez, Michael L. Wynhoff
Produced by: Michael L. Wynhoff, Steve Diller
Cinematography by: William Francesco
Editing by: Jack Perez
Music by: Issac Ersoff, James Edward Garcia, John Zehren
Special Effects by: Jeffrey Lyle Segal
Cast: Danny Bonaduce, Michael L. Wynhoff, Mollena Williams, Melora Walters, Lauren Campedelli.
Year: 1991 (Released 1993)
Country: USA
Language: English
Color: Color
Runtime: 1h 25min

Camp Motion Pictures

It was back in 1992, reading Gorezone issue 25, I came across a film which would arrive into my hands over twenty five years late, via DVD. Yes, America's Deadliest Home Video, a unique concept and idea back then, really caught my attention in its four-page spread with juicy pictures. I knew I wanted to see it, however, it eluded me for so long. Many dealers didn't have it, and most hadn't even heard of it. Then, over the passage of time, I forgot about it altogether until recently, spotting the title on Amazon courtesy of Camp Motion Pictures. Click/buy. Week or so later, in my sweaty anxious hands.

Would the product whose stills and write up alerted the late teen Jay Creepy be up to the anticipation? ADHV was way ahead of its time back then, and in this day and age of Reality TV, found footage camcorder or mobile lensed flicks all over, could it still have a fair amount of clout?

Yes indeed it can. America's Deadliest Home Video has a big leap over the hurdles where the ones who came after failed -- likeable characters who are given time to breathe and construct themselves for us. No rush jobs, or empty written voids -- the people in this film are totally solid.

Danny Bonaduce, one of the kids from The Partridge Family, who has acted throughout his life, been a radio DJ, a wrestler, and been arrested for attempting to purchase coke, and also for beating down a transvestite, stars as Doug, a decent bloke who happens to have an unhealthy obsession filming everything on his camcorder. Everything. Including him and his wife's innermost couplings, which his other half, Debbie, is annoyed about. Anyhow, things must have been strained a while, for he follows her one night and discovers her riding some other bloke.

So Doug takes her van, his camera, and off he drives across America, filming as he goes. “Well, there's no going back now. I am on the road!” After a while of wandering and chilling out, he happens to explore a quarry and hears voices. Witnessing the disposal of a car by a couple, he turns to go, only to face a rather angry third person levelling a gun at him.

Poor Doug has accidentally come across the trio of thrill seeking criminals who rob petrol stations, etcetera and were ditching their vehicle. Of course, he has a nice big van, so they decide to keep him alive (apart from gun crazy, Vezna who simply is out to kill everybody) and want him to film their exploits. “So how did it look?” enquires gang leader, Clint as he drives, “When I ditched the car. How did it look?”

The first place Clint takes him (against the wishes of Vezna and Gloria) is to have him film a corpse they've left on a beach. Doug tries to run, but Vezna takes him down. Later, tied up and secure, Clint explains to him who they are, and what they've done so far. A huge point Clint is trying to make is the fact the world and modern history only exists when documented. Thus they are making history, they need to be filmed whilst doing so.

“Welcome to your first day with the Clint Dryer Gang.” grins Clint as they leave the motel – Vezna takes a chair for the long rides ahead. “She's a bitch, but she's a great shot.” he comments about Vezna who's in a seriously bad mood as they load up the van. As night falls, they rob a gas station which of course ends in Vezna killing someone, much to her comrade’s anger, and they have to head off faster than expected.

Onwards, the following day they all head off to the surf to relax a bit. Clint 'borrows' a jet ski off a truly arrogant arsehole, so he and Gloria have a few giggles on that. Clint first notices that Doug has feelings for Gloria, who is his girlfriend. Afterwards, it's decided they'll pop down the road and knock over a convenience store. Clint has a great idea, Doug will be part of the robbery, initiate him.

Finding a stash of weed during turning over the place, they all get absolutely stoned. At one point, Doug and Gloria talk and they both have a mutual attraction. With Vezna's rage, Clint growing more erratic, and their feelings building, it isn't long before cracks begin to appear in the gang leading to an inevitable implosion.

It's the back and forth conversations, the character building, and an overall sense of fun amongst such slaughters (Gloria discovering the zoom for instance is howl inducing as she giggles “It's like a Kung Fu movie!” zooming in and out at everyone), that makes this one hell of a film. All the way through, Doug's camera becomes a larger-than-life personality in its own right. It makes just about all the cast stare into it, ask questions about it, smile at it, and die in front of it.

The attention to detail is so on point. Take, for instance, the video shop massacre, all done in one uncut unedited scene. So, the girl behind the register is at gunpoint, camera moves to another person being shot, we hear a couple more blasts, camera returns, she's dead, face a mass of gore. According to the Gorezone interview, they switched her with her twin sister who was already covered in make-up so to make the segment in real time. Brilliant. Equally captivating is the arrival of a police officer who has his own film crew in tow. 

So ahead of the pack which was soon to arrive. As director, Jack Perez said in the before mentioned Gorezone; “The story is a reflection of this period in society in which it's almost like nothing counts unless you document it. So many people have video cameras, and everywhere you go, somebody's shooting something...” soon, along came Man Bites Dog, Natural Born Killers, etcetera, and the world of cheap cash-ins exploded. Honestly, America's Deadliest Home Video is a low profile masterpiece, it just had such bad luck.

Filmed in 1991, the flick was delayed until 1993 and by then, Man Bites Dog had arrived. Film distribution at theatres fell apart, somewhat. The person to blame for that is George Lucas, and a comment he made. What a complete farce. America's Deadliest Home Video has been an obscure unknown item known only to a few since, and probably will never receive the praise it deserved, now we are in another era altogether.

Jack kept busy directing TV movies, series, and documentaries, some of the cast sunk into the realms of forgotten souls, aside from Danny, of course, and Melora Walters (Gloria) who has rarely been without work since.

The DVD release here has a crowd of trailers including Animosity and the totally random, Lizard Man, plus a commentary with Jack Perez and the producer/actor, Michael L. Wynhoff. The movie looks great, by the way. Naturally it has a home vid grainy quality. The sound is so polished as well.

America's Deadliest Home Video comes full on, gun in yer face recommended. It's pure entertainment created with intelligence and shouldn't be ignored any longer.



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 Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Frame
 Region: NTSC R0
 Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono

 – Trailers
 – Commentary with Michael L. Wynhoff and Jack Perez

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3.22 Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."

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