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Christopher Webster [DVD News 06.11.15] horror cult

Guys. Arrow Video is finally here. For those of us who, for years, have had to watch our UK counterparts gloat about the label's top-notch releases, it's a pretty big deal. Of course, now Arrow is on the hook to deliver some quality titles in amazing packages and with this stunning release of Brian Yuzna's Society, I'd say they've already solidified their reputation as one of the finest curators of cult genre films from across the globe.

So, why do I love Society so much? I've thought about this a lot over the last couple of days. First of all, it's definitely one of the best, lost horror movies of the late 80's. It's a film as icky as you've heard both visually and thematically, with imagery that will haunt you for the rest of your life. It evokes the best of David Cronenberg and Lynch, while also showcasing the anxieties of 80's teen culture in a way that the popular teen movies at the time couldn't or wouldn't.

More specifically, Society is literally about a pervasive consumer culture that is waiting to feed on you, drain your essence and assimilate you. It is about an incestuous upper class that eats you, the lower. And you simply cannot fight it. It will always win.

Society is one of the few movies of the era that has the conviction to go all the way in fully embracing what it's trying to say about class inequality and the American culture. And it brings all this amazing subtext alive with dark humour, grotesque imagery and subversive sexual overtones.

The film follows teenager Bill Whitney (Billy Warlock) who feels dislocated from his parents and his sister Jenny Whitney (Patrice Jennings). When his sister's ex-boyfriend bugs his family, and shows him disturbing tapes featuring incest and a weird society Bill realizes his greatest fears are true and decides to investigate. Unfortunately, it seems everyone is against him.

Shit goes increasingly crazy from there.

The film's "surreal makeup effects" by Screaming Mad George are among body horror's greatest moments and will leave you squirming in your seat. Gloriously grotesque and thought provoking.

How's the Blu-ray?

Beautifully packaged in a limited edition slipcase, Arrow's release is simply astounding. Yuzna's film has never looked better. The release features a new 2K digital transfer of the film, approved by director Brian Yuzna. And considering the film was on the low budget side (produced for approximately $2 million) when it was made, the image stands up amazingly.

We also get a brand new audio commentary with Yuzna along with some revealing new interviews about the genesis of the film and the ideas behind it.

They've even included the comic-only sequel, "Society 2: Party Animal".

Society is so much more than an 80's nostalgia bomb and is easily recommended to adventurous fans of retro horror. The less you know about this film the better. You will be rewarded.

Recommended Release: Society (2-Disc Limited Edition)

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Duh (7 years ago) Reply

One of the most underrated horror movies ever.

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