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Christmas Evil [Original Director's Cut] [DVD] [1980]

Christmas Evil [Original Director's Cut] [DVD] [1980]

Synapse has rescued another twisted gem from video oblivion with this handsome edition of Christmas Evil. The video transfer improves upon the past Troma edition with an impressive anamorphic widescreen transfer taken from the vault elements: both detail and color levels are rich, really bringing out the film's carefully crafted yuletide look in style. It's also worth noting that this is a director's cut version that reinstates a few extra dramatic scenes into the running time. The audio portion of the disc retains the original mono soundtrack, which sounds good and has been mastered well. There's also a plethora of extras. First up is a pair of commentary tracks, a solo track by writer/director Lewis Jackson and another that pairs Jackson with fellow director and fan John Waters. The solo track is a serious one devoted mainly to behind-the-scenes stories and the genesis of the film while the track with Waters is more lighthearted, with Waters pulling some additional amusing stories from Jackson about the events surrounding the film's making and how it was distributed. Each track has some gaps and there's a certain amount of informational overlap between the two but each track is a worthwhile listen for fans. There's also nearly a half hour's worth of audition videos for the film, with an impressive group of actors like JoBeth Williams and Michael Beck. Elsewhere, the viewer is treated to a few deleted scenes, some storyboard samples and, best of all, a pretty hilarious selection of viewer comment cards from a test screening. All in all, this is an enjoyable and informative package that does Christmas Evil justice, making it a worthwhile holiday pick for the cult movie fan.

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