In Cheese Doodles on October 31, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Title: Boardinghouse
Production: USA 1982
Director: John Wintergate
Cast: John Wintergate
Run Time: 99min
Circulation: NTSC  DVDr
Generation/Source: VHS Master
Language:  English
Subtitles: None

Rare 35MM  film print transfer, as per the last run of Paragon Video’s VHS release.

“Resembling a cross between “The Amityville Horror” and a Playboy Playmates video, this film tells the terrifying tale of a cheesy video special effect that stalks bikini-clad women. In between scenes of them playfully splashing each other and wrestling with each other’s bathing suit tops, they’re murdered and/or terrorized by horrific hallucinations. These hallucinations include seeing blood in the shower stalls (while they’re trying to lather up), having giant monsters jump out of the hall closet, and seeing their faces temporarily turn into rubber Halloween masks.” [imdb]

“So John may be a bit fuzzy on that since it was likely JAWS 3D based on the year of release, but BOARDINGHOUSE did in fact play theater houses down on 42nd Street.  But BOARDINGHOUSE was no regular horror film (anything but!), it was shot on video – becoming the first ever SOV horror film and possibly the only SOV ever to be transferred for theatrical release.  All home video releases (from Paragon and other companies VHS to Code Red’s DVD) have been of the original video master… AT LEAST WE ALL THOUGHT!!
I’ve recently been buying copies of BOARDINGHOUSE on VHS for my collection and came upon what I can only describe as THE HOLY GRAIL of SOV legends…
BOARDINGHOUSE as transferred from its RARE 35MM FILM PRINT!!
I came upon it in one of Paragon’s last VHS re-print, copyrighted as 1985.  It is a small, regular VHS sized box but with a few notable differences… Paragon’s blue star on the side panels of the box are colored red inside (they were left white on prior releases), the copyright text on the back of the sleeve is slightly moved from earlier cassettes, and the image of John Wintergate’s hypnotic stare has been slightly re-positioned – showing some of his necklace while removing the sliver of window we used to see beyond the building frame.  This version of the box also shows a copyright date of 1985, while earlier releases had 1983 (and were prints of the original video master).  THIS 1985 RE-PRINT CONTAINS THE FILM STRUCK FROM THE 35MM FILMSTOCK!
Seeing BOARDINGHOUSE play from a film master is an entirely bizarre experience… right away you’ll notice the difference in movement, as the action now comes from 24 frames per second (rather than video’s 29.97).  The colors are bolder and the blacks darker, leaving the blood to take on a very thick-crimson murkiness.  Portions of the film’s opening have retained their 1.85:1 theatrical framing – while the rest of the film has been pan & scanned FROM THAT 1.85:1 FRAMING (so 80’s!).  Plus, the green computer text is much brighter and crisper than ever before – and complete with the original BEEP BEEP sounds (no post-added narration!)  Hairs and film nicks even pop up from time to time!
All in all, the film feels much more scary and (dare I say it) LESS amateur than we’ve come to expect these SOV’s to be.  If anything, this version of BOARDINGHOUSE is the ultimate Special Feature… enjoy!!” [CG – dogcentral]


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