Tales From The Crypt Presents: Bordello Of Blood – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)

Bordello-of-BloodJust in time for Halloween festivities, fans of the widely popular TALES FROM THE CRYPT rejoice as the collector’s edition of TALES FROM THE CRYPT PRESENTS: BORDELLO OF BLOOD hits home entertainment shelves everywhere on October 20, 2015 from SCREAM FACTORY™.   Brimming with blood, lust and wicked laughs, BORDELLO OF BLOOD is directed by film producer/filmmaker Gilbert Adler (Thir13en Ghosts, House on Haunted Hill) and features a fun cast of Dennis Miller (Joe Dirt), Erika Eleniak (Under Siege), Angie Everhart (Jade), Chris Sarandon (Fright Night, Child’s Play), Corey Feldman (The Lost Boys, The Goonies), John Kassir as the voice of the crypt keeper, Aubrey Morris (A Clockwork Orange) and Phil Fondacaro (Ghoulies II).  This highly sought-after cult horror classic debuts for the first time on Blu-ray™.  The collector’s edition Blu-ray™ features exciting bonus content, newly rendered retro-style artwork, a reversible wrap with theatrical key art and more! 

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Wisecracking private eye Rafe Guttman investigates some strange happenings at a titillating bordello on the edge of town. It seems owner Madam Lilith and her luscious cohorts want more than money… they want blood!  Soon Rafe finds himself up to his neck in a den of hungry vampiresses and battling the Reverend Jimmy Current, a slick televangelist with an unstoppable talisman.

Bordello of Blood followed on the heels of Demon Knight the following year.  It seems to be a project that even the people working on it before and during production weren’t very confident, but went ahead anyway.  The film found itself scheduled in a more favorable part of the calendar year, but less success resulted from that.  Bordello bombed at the box office and was pretty much panned by any critic that saw the film.  With this big drop off, it pretty much killed off the Tales From The Crypt franchise.  Even though it was anthology based and the next film would’ve started from scratch, the box office was telling enough that nobody wanted to take another chance at a third film.

With this movie, they went straight for comedy and titillation and left horror as a sort of dressing for the film.  The movie features good practical effects once again and carries some juicy blood, but only hits at that stuff once in a while.  This film has a story problem that its a mystery that we the audience already know pretty much the entire solution to, and there aren’t any surprise twists or turns to it.  We basically have to sit and hope that our characters and the events that lead the film to the climax are entertaining enough to get us through it.

They bring together another ensemble cast but this one really doesn’t work to well and mostly none of them have chemistry with one another.  First off, though, Corey Feldman is terrific in this movie and its one of his best performances.  But, this movie is the Dennis Miller show.  You can tell he rewrote or improv’d his lines throughout the thing.  Miller’s dialogue is basically throwing rapid fire jokes and sarcastic snark at a wall and constantly hoping it sticks.  I’d be lying if he didn’t get a snicker out me at intervals throughout.  Its a mix of snickers and eye rolls.  Miller isn’t an actor, and he does the best he can, but its just an element that I’m sure was a good idea in conception that didn’t pay off.  Another one that doesn’t pay off is putting a supermodel in a lead.  Angie Everhart is an incredibly gorgeous woman (She still is), but man, her performance here is flat out dreadful.  She’s relegated to some one liners and the like that she just can’t deliver.  But, damn she looks drop dead gorgeous doing it and is one of the most beautiful vampires of all time.  And to round it off, Erika Eleniak is flat and wooden as hell in this film.

Okay, so I have bashed this film and rated it a 2.  But, now, looking back on the film as a horror relic that has no stakes…I can’t say I hated going back and watching it.  Its trashy, yes, but it has impressive special effects, camp and some humor that works well enough.  The film is also very short which helps it out.  Its nothing I’m going to recommend to anyone or say its a lost treasure, but those of us that were hard on it back in 1996 might want to give it another shot and see if there’s some enjoyment to be found.

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Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Clarity/Detail:  This one doesn’t fare as well as Demon Knight did.  The film looks a bit soft and a little too smooth in some areas.  Detail is very good when characters and the camera are holding still.  Clothing fabrics and threading or suede texture is nice and discernible on the apparel in the film.  Surfaces are rather hit and miss or a little too smooth a lot of the time.  Its another case of 90s film stock not jumping to Blu-ray really well without a big, not worth the money, restoration process.

Depth:  This one’s a bit on the slightly above flat end of things.  Background items are rather more blurry for the most part even when its focused decently.  Movements bring about some blur and smoothness.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep and can hide detail in the shadoes.  Dark hair, clothing and surfaces will show detail when well lit, but offer nothing in mid lighting and dark scenes.  No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction:  Colors come across in a very worn fashion.  Nothing is really striking.  Reds, like Everhart’s hair looks pretty good, but nothing is showstopping.  Even in the really well lit scenes (Like ones containing Chris Sarandon), things are still in a more natural and restrained appearance.

Flesh Tones:  Skin tones are natural in appearance and maintain that throughout the runtime of the film.  In well lit scenes, and when characters are sitting still, facial features are outstanding, like stubble, wrinkles, freckles, make-up lines and lip texture.  However, when constant movement is going on things get a little too smooth.

Noise/Artifacts:  Heavier grain, with some very very minimal specs/dirt.

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Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English 2.0 DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English SDH

Dynamics:  Bordello of Blood brings along a solid 5.1 mix that does rock and it does roll.  Storm scenes sound really full and highlight the mix whenever the weather calls for it.  The score is pretty loud in the mix, but never steps on anyone’s toes.  From low sounding effects like flipping through papers to the loud crushing of mystical key, everything sounds well rounded, crisp and concise.

Low Frequency Extension:  The LFE gives a lot of attention to the music, fire, camera flashing, thunder and other necessary action sounds.  The subwoofer isn’t a scene stealer like it was in Demon Knight (primarily because there is less action), but it still does a solid job here.

Surround Sound Presentation:  Not a film huge on action (til the end), but the film manages to follow along speaker to speaker quite well.  Its a front heavy 5.1 mix, but doesn’t leave out the rear speakers completely.  The rear channels help fill up the room with some light ambiance that helps to craft the enviornments.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Dialogue is a little lower in the mix than everything else, but its never really a problem.  Characters sound clear, concise and crisp.

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Bordello of Blood – Collector’s Edition features reversible cover art featuring the original poster artwork.

Audio Commentary

  • With Screenwriter A.L. Katz

Tainted Blood: The Making of Bordello of Blood (HD, 36:08) – Interviews with ActorsCorey Feldman, Angie Everhart and Erika Eleniak,, Co-Writer & Co-Producer A.L. Katz, Editor & Second Unit Director Stephen Lovejoy, and Special Effects Creator Todd Masters.  And yes! Yes! Yes!  As with a lot of failure films, this retrospective documentary features everyone letting loose and confronting personality issues on set and sharing grievances about their experiences on the film.  Corey Feldman leads this charge with very interesting anecdotes on Dennis Miller and Erika Eleniak.  Eleniak actually owns up to her secluded cold shoulder attitude on the film’s set.  Demon Knight may have been the better film, but this one tells the more juicy, exciting tale of making it.

Video Promo (HD, 3:12) – Ahh, harkening back to times long gone, a Universal logo set to the Back To The Future theme introduces this promo for video stores to order the film.  These things tickle me whenever they’re included as bonus features.

Still Gallery (HD, 5:34) – Promotional still, magazine inserts, headshots, effects shots, posters and marketing test shots.

Theatrical Trailer (HD, 1:42) 

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In an odd fashion, Bordello of Blood still isn’t a good movie, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I had fun revisiting it and could see myself coming back to it down the line.  Its a weird, unique vampire movie that tries to mix some different ingredients into a pot but it doesn’t blend quite well.  This Blu-ray features a very good presentation, having it look better than it ever has, with more quality bonus material than the film deserves.  Not a strong film, but this release from Scream Factory definitely elevates its worthiness of putting into your collection.  The retrospective documentary is possibly worth owning this release on its own.

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Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com). He is also the Moderator/MC of the Live Podcast Stage and on the Podcast Awards Committee for PopCon (popcon.us). In the past 10 years at Why So Blu, Brandon has amassed over 1,500 reviews of 4K, Blu-ray and DVD titles.

2 Responses to “Tales From The Crypt Presents: Bordello Of Blood – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Gerard Iribe

    Never cared for BoB, because I thought From Dusk till Dawn did it way better. Even the super soaker gag was done better in FDTD.

  2. Brandon Peters

    Interestingly enough, G, FDTD was supposed to be Tales From The Crypt. The original plan was to make a 3-story anthology film with Demon Knight, Bordello of Blood and From Dusk Til Dawn. They couldn’t come to an agreement with Tarantino, so they chucked that idea and went for separate films for DK & BoB. So, its likely, them being familiar with the FDTD script, they “borrowed” the super soaker gag from it.