The Fear is a 1995 horror film directed by Vincent Robert (Diane – Crime Fighter, Origines, Captain Sharif, and Special Honors). It was written by Ron Ford (Alien Force, The Mark of Dracula, Witchcraft XI: Sisters in Blood, and Natasha Nighty’s Boudoir of Blood). It was produced by Greg H. Sims (Red Surf, To Die For 1/2, The Fear: Resurrection/Halloween Night, and Return to Horror High). This was the first feature film to have an all horrorcore soundtrack for it’s music. It featured such artists as Esham, NATAS, Insane Clown Posse, Gravediggaz, Flatlinerz, Headless Horsemen, Half Pit, Machete, Terror, Infared, and many others. It’s one of the best soundtracks made in the history of cinema. A direct sequel was made in 1999 under various different titles The Fear: Resurrection, The Fear: Halloween Night, and The Fear 2!!!!
Richard (played by: Eddie Bowz from Hit the Dutchman, Murder in the First, NYPD Blue, and Family Plan) is a college student who has decided to focus his attention on the study of fear after getting permission from Dr. Arnold (played by: legendary director Wes Craven from A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, Scream franchise, Swamp Thing, The Hills Have Eyes 1/2, The People Under the Stairs, Shocker, The Last House on the Left, and Summer of Fear) and has invited a group of friends which includes Ashley (played by: Heather Medway from Models Inc., Viper, Serpent’s Lair, and Seinfeld), Leslie (played by: Ann Turkel from Humanoids from the Deep, Ravagers, Knight Rider, and Deep Space), Troy (played by: Darin Heames from Dr. Giggles, Night of the Demons 2, PCU, and Sons of Anarchy), Gerald (played by: Antonio Lewis Todd from Anger Management, Little Big League, Higher Learning, and Lockdown), Vance (played by: Leland Hayward III from Outbreak and Her Last Chance), and Mindy (played by: Monique Mannen from School Daze, Florida Lady, Coming to America, and The Adventures of Ford Fairlane) up to his family’s secluded mountain cabin for the weekend, during which they’ve agreed to participate in his project and share what terrifies them. His uncle Pete (played by: Vince Edwards from Dillinger, Cellar Dweller, Return to Horror High, Space Raiders, and The Seduction) and his girlfriend Tanya (played by: Anna Karin from Wild Cactus, Red Meat, Body of Influence, and Sacred Cargo) join in on the fun. While the experiment seems harmless at first, when it comes time for Richard to reveal what he’s afraid of, the answer comes in the form of a strange, lifelike, wooden carving of a man which has been in the cabin for generations and is named Morty (played by: Erick Weiss from Mannequin: On the Move, Crime of the Century, and Star Trek: The Next Generation). As the friends attempt to enjoy their wilderness seclusion, Morty comes to life and begins stalking and killing the youngsters in ways that go far beyond their most horrific nightmares!!!!
I’ve been a fan of The Fear since it’s original release. I’ve always scratched my head over this one because it’s not really brutal or gory at all plus not much nudity either but it’s watered down for the longest time. For some reason, it’s been butchered/edited/censored on home video besides the early VHS until now. Thanks to the great folks at Vinegar Syndrome, it’s finally fully uncut after all these years.This one was promoted as a slasher but it’s more of a psychological feature than anything. As a matter of fact, no one dies here until after an hour in this so you have to be a very patient with this one because it’s a slow burn. Personally, I’ve always thought The Fear has one of the weirdest paces/flows of any 90’s horror film but the script is well written. It has a campus rapist subplot that creeps in every once awhile but it’s not really pushed as much as it should be. It’s loaded with character development plus all kinds of sexual tension (everyone is a hoe here for the most part, not much loyalty on this vacation) then the last 40 minutes is non stop chaos which rewards you for waiting. It has a lots of variety here which includes drama, suspense, a weird cult, a zombie, incest, and some slasher moments. The cast is actually solid in this, it includes Eddie Bowz, Leland Hayward, Wes Craven, Anna Karin, Antonio Lewis Todd, Monique Mannen, Stacy Edwards (Spontaneous Combustion), and Erick Weiss. Heather Medway, Ann Turkel, Vince Edwards, and Darin Heames were the standouts here. Darin Heames basically reprises his Zboy role from Night of the Demons 2 here which is interesting. Morty is a great villain, he’s actually not used as much as he should be here but he is really creepy and you don’t forget him after seeing The Fear. They could have done so many more sequels with this character but unfortunately the sequel wasn’t that great and nothing else happened after that one. Speaking of Morty, the special fx were top notch from John Carl Buechler (A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, Halloween franchise, Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, From Beyond, & Bride of Re-Animator) for the villain role.The kills were just decent in this and it didn’t have that much blood when it came to them but I did love the concept that it all centered around their fears. This has pure 90’s atmosphere when it comes to everything, it basically a time capsule for that moment so it’s nice to revisit. Like I said before, The Fear has one of the best movie soundtracks of all time. I’ve owned the CD since it was first released by Warlock Records. It brings back so many memories and it introduced many of my all time favorite artists when I was growing up like Esham, ICP, NATAS, Flatlinerz, and Gravedgiggaz. It actually inspired me to do music myself. I was a horrorcore recording artist (Wicked Dub/Torchur/Phantazm/Three One Se7en) from 1998 to 2014. Esham actually hosted my Elevated Mind State 2012 mix tape and I did two tracks with Mastamind from Natas so that’s personal connection to this horror film. I think this one is very under-rated, I hope more give it a chance after this brand new home video release from Vinegar Syndrome, RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Vinegar Syndrome! This 1080p (1.85:1) transfer from a brand new 4K restoration from the original 35mm original camera negative is fully uncut and uncensored on the home video for the very first time since the VHS days. The original and wide DVD release from A-Pix was heavily edited by 6 minutes. I’ve owned this one in various formats over the years and it’s never looked this good on home video before. It’s almost like watching it for the very first time. Vinegar Syndrome proves once again that they are one of the best when it comes to restorations. It has two different audio options which includes English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 and English: Dolby Digital 2.0 on the disc. This one sounds fantastic and it’s a major improvement over the past versions. All of the dialogue is very clean, all the madness is elevated, and the classic soundtrack has a nice boost to it. It also includes English SDH subtitles.
Let’s discuss the special features from Vinegar Syndrome! “Audio Commentary” # 1 with director Vincent Robert and moderated by Brad Henderson. Henderson is a big fan of this film and he asks all kinds of interesting questions about the production here. There’s one point where the director briefly mentioned the music for a second here but unfortunately Henderson quickly changes the subject so it doesn’t get covered at all here which I was hoping for. Vincent Robert has a great memory about his experience making The Fear in 1995. They chat about the cast, characters, Wes Craven, locations, special fx, the look of the film, and the video release. “Audio Commentary” # 2 with producer Greg H. Sims and moderated by Brad Henderson. Henderson is a big fan of this film and he asks all kinds of interesting questions about the production here. He repeats a few of the same ones from the previous track but for the most part it’s a very different from the other one. He goes over his Devin Entertainment label that did this film plus it’s sequel. He was friends with Wes Craven and that’s why he makes a rare acting appearance in The Fear. He tells the story on how he got him to do this feature as a favor. He chats about the location and how he actually lived around there. He says he let some of the cast and crew stay with him while filming. He talks about the cast and how he helped manage a few of them. He tells a few stories about them including a funny one about Vince Edwards. He brings up coming up with the story for this and how it was developed into a full script. He goes over the special fx plus the success it had in theaters and on VHS at the time. I was excited to hear him chat about the soundtrack for The Fear. He mentions the artists featured on it and the CD from Warlock Records doing good when it came to sales during it’s release. Both tracks have a decent amount of information and they are fun to check out. It has a little over 50 minute “Face To Face With The Fear: The Making Of A Cult Classic”. It has interviews with director Vincent Robert, producer Greg H. Sims, writer Ron Ford, actors Darin Heames, Erick Weiss, Heather Medway, Eddie Bowz, Ann Turkel, SFX artist Tom Irvin and SFX technician Jason Hamer. This brand new The Fear documentary is divided into 10 different chapters. They all chat about how they got involved with the film. They go over their careers a little bit before doing The Fear. They talk about the locations and special fx for it. They go over the story, concept, and how The Fear was developed into a full length feature. They bring up The Shining being an influence and the original title for this was Morty. They talk about working with director Vincent Robert, cinematography, the friendships they made during it, and it’s 12 city theatrical run back in the day. It’s kinda hilarious but actress Ann Turkel doesn’t remember anything about this movie here. They close the documentary with updates on what they have been doing all these years later after The Fear. I wish this blu ray included the Esham “Morty’s Theme” music video as a bonus feature but besides that it’s loaded with extras. This is a top notch home video release for such a rarely seen or mentioned 90’s horror flick. This is a Vinegar Syndrome.com exclusive and only 4,000 copies were pressed of this limited edition. It comes with a high quality slipcover and reversible artwork. Do not sleep on this release before it sells out, CHECK IT OUT ASAP!!!!
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