Beyond Dream's Door
Home Grown Horrors: Volume One (Blu-ray) Vinegar Syndrome Ltd
Throughout the 1980s and 90s, independent and first time filmmakers across the United States saw new opportunities to create work in the horror genre. Often integrating the flavor and color of their inner-America locales into their work, they created films that, while inspired by mainstream trends, are about as far from Hollywood as one can get. Collected here are three diverse films, all produced in the late 1980s, providing a fascinating and entertaining glimpse into the forgotten world of Home Grown Horror.
BEYOND DREAM’S DOOR:
Lately, Ben hasn’t been sleeping well. His dreams are filled with violent and terrifying visions of monsters and death. Seeking out answers, he begins to pursue the subtext and hidden meanings of his strange and terrifying nightmares, with the help of his professor and several friends. As the dreams grow increasingly lifelike, Ben fears that he’s losing his grip on sanity, especially as those around him start turning up dead; horribly mutilated just like he’s seen in his sleep…
A low-on-budget but extremely high on ambition apocalyptic horror film, and the first feature written and directed by jack-of-all-trades filmmaker, Jay Woelfel, the Ohio lensed BEYOND DREAM’S DOOR skillfully blends elements of surrealism, mystery, and grotesque and violent horror set-pieces, resulting in a wholly singular vision. Sadly relegated direct-to-video, BEYOND DREAM’S DOOR has earned a sizable cult following and comes to Blu-ray for the very first time, from Vinegar Syndrome, painstakingly reconstructed shot by shot from its original, unedited 16mm camera negative, and is presented in its director’s cut.
Weird things are happening in and around the Wild Goose Lodge, a snowy inn located in rural Massachusetts. People are being found dead and mutilated, while others are vanishing without a trace. Realizing that the violence might have something to do with Native American black magic and the ancient secrets of the area’s historic totem poles, a trio of cops decide to investigate the goings on, and are faced with an array of monsters, ghouls, and even a sampling of murderous locals!
A film which truly justifies the term ‘unclassifiable,’ and the sole feature from writer and director Christopher Thies, WINTERBEAST was shot on and off for nearly half a decade and in a mix of super 8mm and 16mm, resulting in a one of a kind piece of outsider art horror filmmaking that must be seen to be believed. Loaded with surreal dialogue, mind-blowing stop motion animation, homemade gore effects, and more than a few genuinely creepy moments, Vinegar Syndrome is delighted to bring this forgotten cult gem to Blu-ray, newly restored and reconstructed from it’s original film elements and presented in both its commonly seen released version along with a never before released workprint edit.
A group of college students have been given a very unusual assignment: spend the night inside of a supposedly haunted house, as part of their studies into the supernatural and occult. Although the rag tag team of collegiates would much rather party and get stoned than look for ghosts, it’s not long before unexplained events begin to occur. Initially suspecting that some of their classmates might be playing a practical joke, their fears are proven very real when someone – or something – dressed in robes and carrying a scythe starts bumping them off one by one.
A truly local slice of ultra low budget supernatural-slasher made by a first time cast and crew based in St. Louis, Missouri, Jack Snyder’s FATAL EXAM plays its haunted house tropes for its first half, before shifting gears into slice n’ dice mayhem for its second half. Barely released in any format and never officially made available on disc, Vinegar Syndrome is happy to bring this low-fi curiosity on Blu-ray, newly restored in 2K from its 16mm original camera negative and featuring an illuminating array of extras.
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