Deadline is a 1980 horror film co-written & directed by Mario Azzopardi (Free Fall, Bone Daddy, Nowhere to Hide, The Outer Limits, Total Recall 2070, Highlander TV Series, & RoboCop TV Series). It was shot in 1979 but it took 5 years for it to be released. It was co-written by Richard Oleksiak (Night Trackers, Diamond in the Rough, Counterstrike, & T and T). It was produced by Henry Less (Baby on Board, 11 Cameras, Save Our Shelter, & Almost Entertainment). Steven Lessey (played by: Stephen Young from Soylent Green, Patton, Breaking Point, & The Clown Murders) makes his living as a horror writer who has learned that the bloodier the story, the bigger the market. Steven has also hit a personal crisis wherein he yearns for artistic recognition & an escape from the brutality he conjures up to earn a living. Producer Burt Horowitz (played by: Marvin Goldhar from Gotti, Garbage Pail Kids, Ewoks, & Hot Money) is adding unneeded pressure to the already stressed writer. His horrifying & murderous fantasies begin to blend into his day-to-day life numbing him to his crumbling marriage with wife Elizabeth (played by: Sharon Masters from The Last Tycoon, Bonnie’s Kids, & Booby Trap) until a shocking tragedy occurs from which he has no escape from. Is his reality over? or Is this just another horror fantasy from the horror author????
Deadline actually collected some dust it was released to the public. This was made in Canada with a small crew. It should have been released in 1980 but nothing happened until 1984 for the independent horror feature. Considering it’s title, that’s a little ironic. I loved the concept for this, it’s a nice little character study. It shows a man completely losing his mind after dealing with way too much stress & pressure. Stephen Young was a great lead, I haven’t seen him in much but he carried Deadline with no problems. He made you get invested into his character. I am curious if it was inspired any specific author, you know who I am thinking of. The small supporting cast was solid which included Marvin Goldhar, Sharon Masters, Jeannie Elias (The Pit, Nomads, & Teen Wolf) & Cindy Hinds (The Brood, The Dead Zone, & Tales of the Haunted). It got really dark & it had some gruesome moments especially when they were showing movies made from the author’s work. The special fx were very impressed & any horror fan will be pleased with the final results. I’ve never heard of this until the great folks at Vinegar Syndrome announced it for release. This one is definitely under-rated & it deserves more attention, RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation & special features from Vinegar Syndrome! This 1080p (1.85:1) transfer is from a newly scanned & restored in 2K from 35mm vault elements. Vinegar Syndrome proves once again why they are one of the best when it comes to restorations. This low budget 80s independent horror film looks better than expected on it’s blu ray debut. The English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track sounds great. All of the dialogue is crystal clear, the madness is elevated, & the music has a nice boost to it. It has English SDH subtitles. “Produce Something Horrific” is an almost 13 minute interview with producer Henry Less. He goes over his career. He chats about meeting director Mario Azzopardi. He talks about the production of Deadline. He brings up the script & shooting for the feature was done in a few weeks. He says he had different interests when it came to the project. Mario was more focused on subtext & he was more worried about attention grabbing special fx over anything else. He said they had a falling out during the editing of Deadline. They tried to push it at the Cannes Film Festival in 1981 but no one really cared about it. “Embracing the Horror” is a little over 14 minute interview with cinematographer Manfred Guthe. He chats about his early career with Canadian television. He talks about moving on to documentaries then going into film. He goes over his first opportunity on the horror The Pit. He brings up his experience on Deadline. He says he had all kinds of freedom while working on it. He chats about doing still photography now. It has reversible artwork & it comes with a DVD copy of the release. You can get an exclusive slipcover version at the official Vinegar Syndrome website. It’s available everywhere in two weeks, CHECK IT OUT!!!!