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X-Ray/Schizoid Double Feature (Blu-ray Review)

X-Ray-Schizoid1980-1983 is known as the “Golden Age” of the slasher film.  This horror subgenre got so popular there was almost a new one every week in theaters.  Slashers were cheap to make and brought in big returns.  Some studios built up and became something because of these films.  However many studios crashed and burned.  A lot of these films were lost or forgotten due to studios going out of business.  One of those studios was the well known Cannon films.  Scream Factory has gone in and saved 2 of these early slasher films that have never even had a DVD release.  X-Ray and Schizoid are making their first appearance in the home video market since VHS.  Being a fan of slashers and never having seen either, I was excited to dig in to this release!

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X-Ray 

On Valentines Day 1961, kids Susan and Jeremy (her boyfriend) poke fun at a valentine sent to her by outcast classmate.  Little do they know, Harry is watching them poke fun and tear up his valentine card.  When Susan leaves the room for a moment, Harry breaks in a breaks her boyfriend’s neck on a coat rack.  Fast forward 19 years to Valentines Day, on a routine check up at the hospital, Susan’s records are mysteriously replaced keeping her longer for more tests while a killer stalks the halls of the hospital.  Has an older Harry returned to come after Susan?

X-Ray (aka Hospital Massacre) is every bit a welcomed Golden Age Slasher film.  It’s one of those few occasions where the film deals with adults instead of teens or college kids.  It follows the sins of the past “prank” motif for its killer’s motivation, but also is able to do the “whodunit” approach as we begin with young kids.  We’re given a main character and a pair of suspects, but nobody else is given any sort of depth.

While the lead is a Playboy Playmate and a lot of the kill scenarios are having people just walk on to screen to be killed can be lame, this movie still delivers some fun for slasher enthusiasts.  The kills aren’t always the best and you kind of wish they’d show more, but there’s some intentional humor here that is a little charming.  The film is aware of what it is and isn’t afraid to poke some fun.  Also, its always fun to see what kind of mask or outfit they were giving the killers back in these early slashers.  This one happens to be surgical wear.  Being as this is a rare slasher film not and not very accessible, it should provide for a very fresh and fun viewing for fans of the genre.

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Schizoid 

An advice columnist begins receiving deadly threats in the form of letters formed with magazine cut outs.  Meanwhile, members of her group therapy session she attends start turning up murdered.  The letters threaten gun violence while the women in her group have been stabbed.  Are they related?  Is one a hoax?  Does she have two separate killers after her?

Schizoid is another adult whodunit slasher like X-Ray.  However, this time, they get the aspects right.  We are given a variety of suspects and also some time to spend with them to build up red herrings (one of which happens to be Christopher Lloyd sporting a mustache).  Accompanied by a nifty score, there are also some really solid chase scenes ending in good stabbings.  It’s on the better side of things when judging slashers of this era.

Klaus Kinski comes off as really weird in the film.  He’s a suspect, yes, but man is he kind of eerie and gross.  His love scenes are just out of this world and bizarre to watch.  The man makes some weird gestures and faces.  It’s entertaining, disturbing and creepy.  I’d say it’s to the benefit of the film overall.

I’d definitely watch Schizoid again.  It’s a very solid Golden Age slasher film sporting a better than average cast.  The kills work enough and the whodunit plot provide enough to have you playing along as you.  Overall there’s a lot of fun to be found in its 90 minute runtime.

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Video

X-Ray 

Schizoid 

X-Ray carves up your viewing in 1080p MPEG-4 encode with a 1.78:1 frame.  The film is very soft throughout and there’s not a lot of sharpness.  Detail does prove very good in close ups.  There’s an examination scene that proves quite impressive with its consistency in skin tone and detail.  The look is that of being mastered in HD, but not noticeably tampered with.  There’s a heavier level of grain that in some darker scenes makes itself known, but if you’re a fan of theatrical presentations this shouldn’t bother you.  It’s a solid soft picture that impresses in spots and gives you a solid viewing.

Schizoid comes in under the same specs, but delivers a much cleaner picture than its counter part.  Detail is solid throughout the film.  It looks a little bit newer and less rough.  It may help that the film’s craft and is a bit better as well.  The image is soft at times, but a rather good presentation as a whole.  Both films transfers are nice and natural.  They don’t give a feel like any sort of artificial tampering is present.

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Audio

X-Ray 

Schizoid 

The DTS-HD MA 2.0 track is enough to do the trick for X-Ray.  It has some fun playing back and forth between speakers.  Ideally, I would have liked for some deeper sounds in moments, but it’s still solid.  Sometimes the score is a bit overbearing drowning some of the dialog but it’s not dominant throughout.

Schizoid’s audio proves just as potent as X-Ray’s.  It’s a nice loud and clear DTS-HD MA 2.0 track.  The effects work is played really nicely.  The stabbings come out at a nice good painful crisp level.  The vocals are nice and clean and it’s a rather nice compliment to the video and the horror at hand.

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Extras 

Both films’ extras are presented in 1080p MPEG-4 AVC with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.  A DVD copy is also provided with this release.

X-Ray

  • Interview With Director Boaz Davidson (13:01) – The film’s director discusses his early career and how he got the job.  He discusses a little bit about production and how it was a big deal to work with Barbi Benton.  This interview does end on a bit of funny note.

Schizoid

  • Interview With Actress Donna Wilkes (10:41) – The actress who played Klaus Kinski’s daughter in the film reflects on how he behaved on set and how she treated the film at the time.  She also reflect a bit on some of her other career highlights
  • Theatrical Trailer (1:39)

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Summary 

This is a double feature containing films that compliment each other very nicely.  Two hidden gem slasher films that both deal with whodunit adult storylines.  Schizoid is a solid good entry into the golden age slasher oeuvre and X-Ray is a great example of the enjoyable schlock the genre is accused of being. Both make for a lot of fun when paired together.  Scream Factory gives the films the best presentation they’ve ever experience with a couple fun interviews in tow.  This is a definite recommend for slahser and vintage 80s horror fans!


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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

1 Response to “X-Ray/Schizoid Double Feature (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Brian White

    That’s pretty cool how they never made DVD and now on Blu!

    Scream/Shout Factory has my attention now!

    I just wish Paramount could release Double Jeopardy and HBO can release Normal Life. My Blu-ray collection would be complete, minus the Star Wars Thanksgiving Special, but of course.