Vinegar Syndrome is at it again, bringing more obscure 80’s horror to Blu-ray. Today, we are taking a look at Witchtrap, a fun slasher featuring a warlock and a paranormal investigation.
Let’s take a look!
One of my favorite things about Vinegar Syndrome (apart from their stellar transfers) is that they release a lot of films that I have never heard of and would otherwise miss out on. Witchtrap is no exception to this.
Released in 1989, this film has gone by two other names – The Presence and The Haunted. In it, we watch as a team is assembled to investigate the validity of a large house being haunted. The nephew of a rumored dark magician has inherited the place after a suspicious death occurs. He intends to rent the house out, but first he must take care of the paranormal problems.
The team that enters the house soon learns just how evil this warlock was and uncovers his plans to reinhabit the world of the living. Soon the objective turns from investigate and clear the house into simply surviving…
The acting in this one is laughably bad at times, and the effects are often cheesy, but in both cases, this can be seen as a strong selling point. This movie won’t ever be used as an example of prime filmmaking, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a highly entertaining watch. 80’s horror films are often so highly regarded because they are ridiculous and cheesy, which is precisely why there is such a following for movies like these.
If you like other laughably bad slashers, this is a definite pickup.
As mentioned earlier, Vinegar Syndrome is fairly well know for their transfers. They continue their streak here, with a very clean and good looking display. The film grain is present, which gives the film an authentic feeling, but doesn’t get in the way of clear, defined details. Colors also stand out brightly.
Witchtrap’s audio track is a 2.0 stereo offering, but sounds good nonetheless. This soundtrack fits the tone of the film very well, and dialog is never lost.
I’ll say this up front – holy shit, Vinegar Syndrome is packing a punch with the special features here. I wish other distributors would put half as much effort in the extras as we see here.
- Commentary track with writer/director Kevin Tenney, producer Dan Duncan, cinematographer Tom Jewett, and actor Hal Havins
- Interview with Kevin Tenney
- Interview with Linnea Quigley
- Interview with Tom Jewett
- Interview with SPX supervisor Tassilo Baur
- Audio Interview with special effects makeup artist Judy Yonemoto
- Audio Interview with music composer Dennis Michael Tenney
- “Book of Joe” – short film
- Alternate ending to “Book of Joe”
- Production and Promotional Stills Gallery
Each of these interviews range from about ten to twenty minutes in length and are very entertaining if you have any interest in B-movies. I highly recommend watching them all.
As for packaging, Witchtrap comes in the standard Vinegar Syndrome package: a clear amaray case with a double sided sleeve, and two discs (one DVD and one Blu-ray) that each have very attractive art.
One of the more entertaining 80’s horror films I’ve seen recently. Witchtrap definitely falls in the “laughably bad but still fun” category of horror, so if that’s your thing, scoop it up. Otherwise, I highly recommend renting or streaming this if you can.
You can purchase it here on Amazon.
Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process