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Halfway House, The - BV Entertainment Print E-mail
User Rating: / 4
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Written by T.W. Anderson   
Friday, 11 January 2008

The Halfway House DVD Cover - Severed Cinema

Directed by: Kenneth J. Hall
Written by: Kenneth J. Hall
Produced by: Ed Polgardy
Cinematography by: Tom Callaway
Editing by: Julie Lucas
Special Effects by: Christopher Bergschneider, Jeffrey S. Farley, Total Fabrication
Music by: Atom Smith
Cast: Mary, Woronov, Janet Tracy Keijser, Shawn Savage, Stephanie Leighs, Athena Demos, Monica Shere, Joseph Tatner, Mike Gaglio, Cleve Hall
Year: 2004
Country: USA
Language: English
Color: Color

Severed Cinema - DVD Logo
Video: NTSC
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital 2.0
Distributed by: BV Entertainment
Official Website: http://www.halfwayhouse-movie.com

http://severed-cinema.com/images/horizon.jpg

Maybe it's just me, but it seems a foregone conclusion that any film whose central location is a Catholic home for wayward girls is going to be damn near busting at the seems with the sluttiest bunch of delinquents beauties you can shake a… (Nevermind).  Lets try this again. Any film set at a boarding house for runaway women and run by Attila the Nun is bound to be a…(Wait, I think I’ve got it).  Any film starring Mary Woronov is bound to be fucking brilliant right!!!!

Did you ever stay up late on Friday and Saturday and watch “USA: Up All Night”?  Did you rent every direct-to video-horror film released between 1984 and 1992?  If you answered yes to either of these questions then brother have I got a movie for you.  It’s Lovecraftian, it’s deviant, it’s damn near sacrilegious, it’s…it’s…it’s a women in prison, monster movie?

You asked for it (you know you did…don’t lie), and Director Kenneth J. Hall (Creator of the "Puppet Master" series) is serving it up steaming on Satan’s silver platter. I can’t recall the last time I saw a film that instantly transported me back to by teenage video watching days.  Days when I longed for the latest Full Moon film, nights when I was glued to the tube watching "Demon Wind" and "Rock N’ Roll Nightmare" on Cinemax and making Karo syrup blood packets to hurl at my friend’s unsuspecting heads. Hall has done it and done it damn well; he has almost single-handedly recaptured the magic of that bygone era, and who better to do so than a man who helped to invent it.

As far as plot and premise go this dandy little flick is as straightforward a genre piece as ever I’ve seen one. One by one the luscious ladies of the Mary Magdalene Halfway House for Troubled Girls are mysteriously disappearing and being fed to a hungry beast that lurks in the basement.

This film has it all including some pretty nifty special effects (even if the demon creature looks like he’s made out of plastic) and some fairly impressive production values.  But forget about all that technical crap this flick is about the absurdist casting and man does it ever deliver. You’ve got a sadistic nun portrayed with lunatic delight by genre queen Woronov ("Eating Raoul").  A perverted priest with an S&M fetish and a blow-up doll stuffed in his office armoire. A creepy handyman with some seriously scary dental work who guards the lair of a giant one-eyed-fang-toothed monster which only exists to satisfy its insatiable need to eat beautiful nude girls chained to the floor.  Don’t forget the lesbian gang members staking out their territory as house bitches from hell and one damn fine shower scene to top it all off.

"The Halfway House" is sensory overload of the highest order; a veritable orgy of every conceivable genre cliché.  The only thing missing from this film is…. nope forget it, its got that too.   I can only describe my unabashed joy upon viewing "The Halfway House" with one final sentiment…Thank you Mr. Hall, may I please have another.

THE DVD

VIDEO:
1.85:1 Widescreen
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AUDIO:
Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital 2.0
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SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL:
- Unrated Director’s Cut
- Audio Commentary by writer/director Kenneth J. Hall and producer Ed Polgardy
- Deleted Scenes
- Gut Eating Monsters from Hell – The Making of The Halfway House featurette
- Uncensored Trailer
- Insecto Circus “Halfway to Hell” music video


Fans of "The Halfway House" will be delighted by the quality of the special features contained on the DVD release, specifically, a 40-minute look at the making of the film, featuring interviews with a number of the men and women responsible for bringing this feature to life, including interviews with the entire principal cast. The disc also includes three deleted scenes.  Each deleted scene is accompanied by notes regarding its placement in the film and its reason for its delegation. Finally writer/director Hall and producer Polgardy provide a feature length audio commentary that really demystifies the filmmaker’s process on a low budget film. Specifically they often note when cast and crew members were required to go above and beyond their initial job descriptions in order to better service the making of the film. The beauty of the DVD revolution is that films that never dream of touching the mainstream can still be treated with the same adulation that is generally reserved for multimillion dollar blockbusters. The special features provided on this film are truly a tribute not only the hardworking individuals who concocted this devilishly fun film but to the fans who will no doubt embrace it for years to come.

The Halfway House

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The Halfway House

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

 
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