The Norman J. Warren Collection (1976 - 1981)

4 film, 5 disc collection of exploitation horror from British exploitation director Norman J. Warren. ABUK R2 UK boxset.

The Background

In the 1970s, British horror cinema was in a slow decline. The exploitation films were in - Hammer Horror had passed their peak, desperately trying to adapt their familiar and now outdated formats to attract modern audiences who were flocking to see the gore and sex filled horror, murder mystery and crime films coming from Italy and Spain. However, the sucess of the Hammer films, and their rivals, meant that the idea of British horror films was sellable to audiences and the opportunity was there for British exploitation films to capture the fleapit audiences.

Norman J. Warren directed a variety of very low budget horrors and comedies - this set includes four of Warren's best horror entries. Despite the low budgets, Warren is a very talented director; using a variety of low budget tricks, combined with often very clever scripts and an impressively hard working crew to help the films rise above their exploitation roots.

The Films - links to individual DVD reviews.

In Brief:

Anyone famous in it? Look out for Michael Gough in Satan's Slave (1976)
Who is it for?
Fans of the 1970s European exploitation films should enjoy these British versions.

The DVDs

Visuals The films are in original aspect ratios (except Prey)
Picture quality is decent throughout although the films do show their age.
Audio All discs have good sounding original English mono tracks as well as rather pointless DTS and 5.1 remixes.
Subtitles All the films include English HOH track. Extras are unsubtitled.
ExtrasEach film disc includes original trailers, interesting audio commentaries and some of the discs include extra interview pieces and deleted scenes.

The bonus disc includes:
  • Fragment - Norman J. Warren's first publicly shown short film. Anamorphic widescreen, good quality black and white print. Interesting (10 minutes).
  • A Sort of Autobiography - Warren talks about his introduction to cinema and early film making. (30 min)
  • Detailed documentaries, with a mix of interviews, clips and photos for:
    • Satan's Slave - 30 minutes
    • Prey - 30 minutes
    • Terror - 40 minutes
    • Inseminoid - 45 minutes.
  • 9 text biographies of the actors in the films, and photo galleries for all four films.
  • The box includes a brief liner notes booklet.
All of the documentaries and interview pieces are very interesting and entertaining.
Packing/availability A relatively durable Cardboard coffin shaped box. No single disc releases.
Region Region 2 - PAL
Other regions? Some have been release elsewhere, these are the best releases of any of the films.
Cuts? All films are believed to be fully uncut although some exist in other cuts. Prints are English langauge.


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All text in this review written by Timothy Young - September 2006.
Text from this review not to be used without authorization.

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