Last Gasp is a 1995 direct to video horror film directed by character actor Scott McGinnis (Caroline at Midnight, Angel, The Jersey, Cousin Skeeter, and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show). It was written by Pierce Milestone (Warlock III: The End of Innocence). It was produced by It was produced by Peter Locke (The Hills Have Eyes franchise, Getting Gotti, Freeway 1/2, Witchhouse, Blood Dolls, and But I’m a Cheerleader), Vlad Paunescu (Trancers franchise, Hellraiser franchise, Anaconda franchise, Pumpkinhead franchise, and Subspecies franchise), and Donald Kushner (Monster, TRON 1/2, Puppet Master vs Demonic Toys, Blitz, and Pumpkinhead 3/4).
The ambitious Leslie Chase (played by: Robert Patrick from Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Cop Land, Double Dragon, and The Faculty) will do anything it takes to push through his mega real estate development, even if it includes arranging the massacre of a Mexican native tribe to clear a patch of land. No bad deed goes unpunished as, after murdering the tribe’s chief in cold blood, Leslie’s body and mind are taken over by the chief’s vengeful spirit. Two unlucky ladies Nora Weeks (played by: Joanna Pacula from Tombstone, Warlock: The Armageddon, Marked for Death, and Body Puzzle) and Goldie (played by: Mimi Craven from Swamp Thing, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Chiller, and Mikey) are at the wrong place at the wrong time which sets off a chain of gruesome events. The greedy Leslie is now forced into committing a series of heinous murders Leslie’s life is thrown into greater peril when a private detective named Ray Tattinger (played by: Vyto Ruginis from NCIS: Los Angeles, Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies, 8 Million Ways to Die, and Broken Arrow), who has been hired to investigate the disappearance of one of his victims, begins to suspect that the elusive real estate tycoon is harboring a deadly secret!!!!
Last Gasp’s creative concept had so much more potential but it wasn’t executed as well as it could have been to be honest. The ambitious script had it’s moments but it felt rushed at times. Robert Patrick gives one of his best performances here and he’s great as the greedy psychotic Leslie Chase. If you are a fan of this character actor, this is a must own. Last Gasp is rarely known and it’s kinda obscure compared to other projects released during the same time. These direct to video features were being pumped out so fast during the 90’s to fill up all those video rental shelves. This one has some excellent eye candy when it comes to the two leading ladies Joanna Pacula and Mimi Craven (Yes, legendary horror director Wes Craven’s wife). Both of them were solid here when it came to their performances. It had a good supporting cast with more a few familiar faces that included Vyto Ruginis, Alexander Enberg (Pump Up the Volume), Nan Martin (A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors), Caroline Barclay (American Gothic), Don Edmonds (Ilsa franchise), and Ion Haiduc(Subspecies franchise). Last Gasp’ is more of a suspense thriller than a horror film to be real. Don’t get me wrong, it has enough horror elements to be considered that and it does get gory at times. It had solid special fx, production design, and music. It does feel bigger than it’s budget, they spent their money in the right departments and it paid off for them for the final product. It’s a little inconsistent and you have to be patient at times but it was a very solid overall. I would definitely watch it again in the future, RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s discuss the high definition presentation from Vinegar Syndrome! This 1080p (1.85:1) transfer is from a brand new 4K restoration from the original 35mm camera negative. I could be wrong but I don’t remember this one having a DVD release here in the states. I think it only had a VHS home video release here but it did have a variety of oversea DVD releases over the years. This brand new restoration from the great folks at Vinegar Syndrome blows away everything from the past when it comes to this movie. It’s the best it’s ever looked and I don’t see anyone else doing better than this one. Vinegar Syndrome is one of the best when it comes to re-storing transfers in the industry. It has a few audio options which includes English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 and English: Dolby Digital 2.0 on the disc. Last Gasp sounds better than expected here and it’s definitely a huge upgrade compared to all the other home video releases. The dialogue is crystal clear, all the suspense has a nice boost to it, and the music is elevated here. The music shines the most when it comes to the audio. It also has English SDH subtitles.
Let’s talk about the special features from Vinegar Syndrome! It has “Extensive Outtakes” that’s a little oer 15 minutes. It has a variety of scenes from the film with the score over it. It has the original “Theatrical Trailer”. It comes with a high quality slipcover and reversible artwork. It’s available early and right now at VinegarSyndrome.com! The wide release is 2 weeks and it will be available everywhere then, CHECK IT OUT!!!!