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Blu-ray Review: Cold Light of Day (1989)

Presenting the murder biz of one Cranley Gardens serial killer, named Denis Nielsen in real life but having the handle of Jorden March (Bob Flag, sporting one hell of a wig) here in a move that just screams “We ain’t payin’ shit to use this asshole’s real name”, and his hapless (seriously, this dude just kills people… he doesn’t really know why he does it, the cops never really figure it out, and besides a drop of childhood trauma the film never really seems to give a damn either) journey through a wicked wonderland of diabolical dismemberment.

Speaking of which, the gritty pseudo-real aesthetic that permeates this fright flick is undoubtedly the greatest asset it possesses, as it’s gritty, unpolished visuals give the affair (an endless parade of picking up male victims that won’t be missed, followed by the hoary ol’ chestnuts of sex and murder… all of which are presented in an unglamorous, nearly mundane manner) a near documentary feel that makes the various instances of  bloodshed and gore feel all the more effective, even if the budget isn’t the highest for such things.

Also adding to the overall vibe is a soundtrack courtesy of Paul Stuart Davies that combines pounding score with urban ambient noise to create an unsettling soundscape to the vile events!

Speaking of “adding”; Arrow Video (along with MVD Entertainment) have offered up some bonus content to shed light on the dark world of Mr. March. First up we get two new audio commentaries, one  with writer/director Fhiona-Louise (who discusses the film’s production in detail), and the other with film historians Dean Brandum and Andrew Nette (that offers insight into the film’s themes, it’s representation of the real life events it’s based on, and it’s place in the very slim British serial killer subgenre).

Also included are new interviews with actors Martin Byrne-Quinn and Steve Munroe, a tour of the film’s locations, a short film promo version of the feature utilized to secure funds for the feature, a trailer for the re-release of the film, and two short films by Fhiona-Louise.

All of this comes in  a package sporting a reversible sleeve featuring artwork by Gilles Vranckx, and containing a collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by film scolar Jo Botting, an interview with Fhiona-Louise, and a look at how the press reported Dennis Nilsen’s real-life crimes by film researcher Jeff Billington.

If you are looking to set-up a solid double feature the next time you throw on Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, then Cold Light of Day would fit that bill; it’s a look into the day-today life of a psychopath in a realistic, un-sensationalized manner.

 

 

 

 

 

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