The 1980s and slashers go together like peanut butter and jelly. Slashers from the ’80s have grown beyond a niche status and evolved into a nostalgic comfort for genre fans. Vinegar Syndrome has embraced this with one of their newest releases, the 4K combo pack of cult genre favorites, Schizoid (1980) and X-Ray (1982). This sharp 2-in-1 release has a lot to unpack, so let’s dive in.
Schizoid is directed by David Paulsen (Savage Weekend 1979). It tells the story of a newly divorced woman who works as an advice columnist, and she starts receiving death threats in the form of unique letters. X-Ray is a 1982 debut from director Boaz Davidson (The Last American Virgin 1982). This tale is about a woman who goes to the hospital for a standard exam, and she becomes caught in the sick game of a killer as bodies pile up.
These two mysteries fit very well together, both in their themes and their shooting styles. Both mix the whodunit and slasher aspects well, akin to other popular genre fare of that time period, like My Bloody Valentine (1981 – our retro review here). The 4K restoration is very clear and impressive, especially since both were originally shot in 35mm. The three disc set includes both films on Blu-Ray individually and a combo disc with the 4K versions as well as extras.
Speaking of those extras, they total over fifty four minutes of never before seen footage. David Paulsen has a sit-down interview where he discusses writing the script in two weeks and having to start filming in just two months. Two of the actresses from Schizoid also get 5+ minute interviews where they talk about the more nerve-wracking parts of their roles. Then we hear from Schizoid’s makeup artist as she recalls the Jacuzzi scene being her favorite special effects project.
X-Ray gets involved in the bonus feature party as well. They get an extra called Ultra Violet Vengeance, a 26+ minute documentary that details how the film has grown in popularity and how a lot of the cast and crew had no idea what to expect when filming.
If you’re a lover of the more obscure selections on the slasher shelf, then this is the perfect three disc set for you. These classic Cannon Films not only get a worthwhile quality update, but they also take a deep dive into the grass roots growth that made them feel so special. Vinegar Syndrome went all out once again and put the care into this release that these films deserve.