‘The Necro Files’ Visual Vengeance Blu-Ray Review

An often referenced and notorious underground classic for the last 25 years, this “American Video Nasty” is finally available to a mass audience and for the first time ever in BR format. A serial killer rises from the grave as a flesh-eating zombie maniac! Two Seattle cops, a satanic cult and a flying demon baby try to stop the lust-crazed ghoul before he can kill again. The Necro Files is stacked with intense scenes of gore and sadism, and boasts some of the most WTF moments in the history of shot on video cinema.

For thoughts on The Necro Files, please check out our discussions on The Video Attic:

Video Quality

The Necro Files is presented on Blu-Ray with its original 1.78:1 presentation which looks about as good as you would expect under the circumstances – so, not great. As the disc boots up, you are greeted with a warning that the presentation is delivered to the fullest extent as the source will allow while still appearing quite unsightly. Wild Eye Releasing and the whole Visual Vengeance line is banking on fans wanting to recreate the gnarly, low-grade quality of the source with the stability that the Blu-Ray format can offer. This film was shot on video using entirely consumer grade equipment which comes with a slew of drawbacks in the HD era. All of this is to say, the film is never going to look shining and new, but it was never supposed to.

There is no getting around that this film looks terrible, but having this movie presented on Blu-Ray does allow the movie to exist in its most satisfying state. There appears to be some issues with compression artifacts and other digital anomalies such as macroblocking and more. Do not go looking for detail in the clothing of the subjects or the production design unless you are in the midst of a daytime scene. Colors are subdued and do not impress in any real way. It does not even really feel fair evaluating this presentation since it is supposed to look homemade and terrible. It has done its job – you get to experience VHS quality without breaking out your old machine.

Audio Quality

The new Blu-Ray is presented with a DTS-HD 2.0 Master Audio track, but the disc actually defaults to a Dolby Digital 2.0 track which sounds a bit cruddier and likely more accurate to the experience back on VHS. Either way, these tracks follow the material perfectly well. The words of the subjects mostly come through well in relation to the competing sounds, but you can tell there were some limitations in the capturing of the sound. The most impressive aspect of this track is the gently unsettling synth score which comes through with a nice fidelity. There are some sound issues due to the source material, but the most important thing is that the track remains faithful to the intention of the creative team. English subtitles are provided for those who desire them. This one sounds as good as it possibly can in this Blu-Ray collection.

Special Features

The Visual Vengeance Collector’s Edition of The Necro Files includes an array of physical items with the first run of the package including a limited edition slipcover, double-sided cover art, a mini-poster, and The Necro Files Official Condom. The on-disc special features are as follows:

  • Audio Commentary #1: Producer/ director Matt Jaissle provides a new commentary track in which he discusses the motivation behind shooting on video, attempting to make a satire of other shot-on-video horror films, the cast they were able to assemble for the shoot, the colorful background of some of the performers, how they achieved certain effects, getting kicked out of certain shooting locations, the nods to other horror classics they sprinkled throughout the film and more.
  • Audio Commentary #2: Matt Desiderio of Horror Boobs and Billy Burgess of the Druid Underground Film Festival provide a fairly decent fan-centric commentary track in which they generally discuss the action on the screen while providing some tidbits here and there while also goofing off a lot. Like watching with some well-informed friends.
  • A Chat with Director Matt Jaissle: A new seven-minute interview with Jaissle that he self-films in a cemetery in which he discusses his career, influences, his reasons for making The Necro Filestips on making movies and more.
  • Matt Jaissle Super 8 Short Movies: A 13-minute collection of two short films that are also in the horror genre that are of superior visual quality to The Necro Files due to being shot on Super 8.
  • The Necro Files On Chilean Talk Show: A four-minute piece in which a talk show in Chile discusses The Necro Files, but presented without subtitles. Still an interesting inclusion even for those who do not speak the language.
  • Dong Of The Dead – The Making Of The Necro Files: A 20-minute documentary which explores the creation of this film from the perspective of director Matt Jaissle.
  • The Corpse – Super 8 Shorts: A nine-minute short film is provided here also in the horror genre.
  • Necro Files 3000 (2017 Sequel): The 62-minute sequel is provided here in HD that was created entirely with dolls and puppets. I like this a lot more than the actual feature.
  • Trailer: This disc provides the Producer Trailer (1:10) and Visual Vengeance Trailer (1:29) for The Necro Files. There is also a trailer for Necro Files 3000.

FinalThoughts

The Necro Files is a feature that is built to piss on the dividing lines of good taste. I personally hated the movie, but that will not stop me from enthusiastically recommending it to an audience that is primed to love such a twisted tale. There are horror fans who want to watch the most microbudgets depictions of grotesque mutilations and sexual deviancy, and this film will be a dream come true for them. Wild Eye Releasing and Visual Vengeance has released a Blu-Ray that sports the best A/V presentation you could hope for with this one and a host of special features that are arguably better than the main feature. It is extremely impressive how much care was put into resurrecting this oddity for the world.

The Necro Files is currently available to purchase on Blu-Ray.

Note: Images presented in this review are not reflective of the image quality of the Blu-Ray.

Disclaimer: Wild Eye Releasing and Visual Vengeance have supplied a copy of this disc free of charge for review purposes. All opinions in this review are the honest reactions of the author.

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