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Alone in the Dark
     

Alone in the Dark

Director: Jack Sholder

Cast: Jack Palance, Donald Pleasence, Martin Landau

 
This is a very enjoyable tongue-in-cheek horror film about some homicidal maniacs who break out of an asylum and terrorize a psychiatrist's family on a dark and stormy night. Martin Landau and Jack Palance are particularly funny, but there are some genuine scares as well. One scene, in which a frightened woman is menaced on her bed by a maniac thrusting a

Overview

This is a very enjoyable tongue-in-cheek horror film about some homicidal maniacs who break out of an asylum and terrorize a psychiatrist's family on a dark and stormy night. Martin Landau and Jack Palance are particularly funny, but there are some genuine scares as well. One scene, in which a frightened woman is menaced on her bed by a maniac thrusting a butcher-knife up through the mattress, is a clever send-up that will nevertheless linger in the memory. The coda, in which the crazy Palance has a bizarre encounter with a spaced-out punk chick in a nightclub, is a real gem. Recommended.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
This satirical take on the slasher genre is a welcome antidote for those burnt out on the many run-of-the-mill examples of the form. The script, penned by director Jack Sholder, takes a little while to rev up, but it works in plenty of sly humor along the way, usually riffing on the idea that sanity is a relative concept. The script also boasts characters that are unusually rich in dimensions for this kind of movie. These amusingly offbeat characters at brought to life nicely by an above-average cast: future A-Team loony Dwight Schultz gets to play it straight here as the psychiatrist hero and Jack Palance, Martin Landau, and Erland Van Lidth all register strongly as three different kinds of psychos, all bringing both menace and wit to their roles. However, it is Donald Pleasance who practically walks away with the movie, thanks to his deviously funny performance as an institution director who identifies a little too strongly with the patients he treats. Behind the camera, Sholder's pacing is little off in a few spots, but he gives the film a stylish look (aided nicely by Joseph Mangine's shadowy style of cinematography) and pulls everything together for a thrilling final act that is capped by a haunting yet funny parting shot. To sum up, Alone in the Dark is one of the best (and most subversive) entries in the '80s slasher boom and a worthy choice for horror fans of this era of film.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/13/2005
UPC:
0014381131628
Original Release:
1982
Rating:
R
Source:
Image Entertainment
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:33:00

Special Features

New anamorphic widescreen transfer; New audio commentary with director Jack Sholder; New video interview with actress Carol Levy; New video interview with Underground New York Punk favorites The Sick F*cks and Adam Rockoff, who perform two songs in the film ; Theatrical trailer; Liner notes by Fangoria's Michael Gingold; Extensive gallery containing rare artwork, lobby cards and more

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jack Palance Frank Hawkes
Donald Pleasence Dr. Leo Bain
Martin Landau Bryon "Preacher" Sutcliff
Dwight Schultz Dan Potter
Erland Van Lidth Ronald "Fatty" Elster
Deborah Hedwall Nell Potter
Phillip Clark Tom Smith/Skaggs
Lee Taylor Allen Tonie Potter
Brent Jennings Ray Curtis
Carol Levy Bunky
Annie Korzen Marissa Hall
Lin Shaye Receptionist at Haven
Jana Schneider Spaced-out Girl at Club
Larry Pine Dr. Harry Merton
Frederick Coffin Jim Gable
Laura Esterman Woman Voyager
Michael Earl Reid Cursing Voyager
Paula Raflo Voyager
Steve Daskawisz Doctor
Michael Medeiros Club Manager
E.D. Phillips Jailer
Ken Burns Cop at House
Keith Reddin Billy

Technical Credits
Jack Sholder Director,Original Story,Screenwriter
Arline Garson Editor
Michael Harpster Original Story
Benni Korzen Executive Producer
Joseph Mangine Cinematographer
Peter Monroe Art Director
Sara Risher Associate Producer
Renato Serio Score Composer
Robert Shaye Original Story,Producer,Screenwriter

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Alone in the Dark
1. The Preacher's Nightmare: Main Title [4:37]
2. Doctor Dan Potter [4:47]
3. The Men on the Third Floor [5:43]
4. Another Day on the Job [6:07]
5. The New, Improved Toni [3:39]
6. Blackout [4:22]
7. The Escape [10:01]
8. A New Hat [5:10]
9. The Babysitter [14:34]
10. A Very Serious Situation [8:55]
11. Leo Arrives [4:38]
12. Through the Window [7:33]
13. The Bleeder [4:17]
14. Saved By the News [3:38]
15. Frank Hits the Clubs [2:40]
16. End Credits [2:36]

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