Blu-ray Review: Deadly Manor (1990)

March 12, 2020

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

A group of friends are ramblin’ down the road down upstate New York way pick up a hitchhiker cum Lorenzo Lamas circa Renegade mother fucker named Jack, who in truth is an escaped convict. Anyway, this gang of goofs end up making a pit stop at a dilapidated mansion (which comes complete with it’s own sacrificial alter for cars and countless photos of a beautiful nude woman… as is so often the case).

Anyway, after some debate, our heroes head inside and spend a restful night, then continue on to their destination where fun is had.

Of course, the fucking with you has been well and truly had. In truth, these folks get offed one by one (hell, one lady doesn’t even make it through the front door) and someone or thing won’t rest until every living sole in that damned domicile are dead as doornails!

Comprised of a more likable cast of characters than most stalk n’ slay affairs (the real stand out for yours cruelly was Jerry Kernion as the motorcycle riding wise ass Peter), Deadly Manor makes you actually give a damn what happens to these folks as they hunker down in the house where evil dwells.

Another deviation from slasher flick protocol is the rather slow-burn nature of the piece, as things don’t get full-on slasher-centric ’til act three. Before that, the film is more akin to the “old dark house” genre so popular in the 1930’s among poverty-row fright flicks… everything is dark hallways and mystery before the sinister shit hits the fan later on, and it’s a refreshing take on the material for sure.

Speaking of slashers; the killer in this flick is quite memorable and unique, and their backstory is pure pulp fiction cheese mixed with a healthy sprinkle of Phantom of the Opera… in other words; the type of shit I gobble-up with revoltin’ relish!

As for special features on this Blu-ray release from Arrow Video you can expect a veritable ass-loaad. First up are interviews with actress Jennifer Delora (a lengthy and hilarious conversation through and through), producer Brian Smedley-Aston, and an archival chat with co-writer/director Jose Larraz.

Following that we get a trailer for the film from it’s VHS release (when it went by the handle of Savage Lust), an archival promo video, and greatest of all; an audio commentary courtesy of authors Kat Ellinger and Samm Deighan that discusses in detail the film’s themes, production, and legacy all in engaging and scholarly detail!

All of this comes under a sleeve featuring original art by Adam Rabalais, and with a booklet featuring a new essay by author John Martin.

Deadly Manor is a stalk n’ slay picture with plenty to offer fans of the genre, and would make a fine addition to your creepy collection indeed boils n’ ghouls!



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