Collector's Edition

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Details At A Glance

Category Black Comedy Theatrical Trailer(s) Yes, 1 - 1.33:1 non 16x9, Dolby Digital 2.0 
Rating Other Trailer(s) Yes, 1 - Dolby Digital City (erroneously encoded in 2.0)
Year Released 1998 Commentary Tracks Yes, 1 - Darren Stein (Writer & Director), Dolby Digital 2.0 
Running Time 83:16 minutes Other Extras Featurette - Behind The Scenes
Music Video - Imperial Teen "Yoo Hoo"
Biographies - Cast & Crew
RSDL/Flipper No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 2,4 Director Darren Stein

Columbia TriStar
Starring Rebecca Gayheart
Rose McGowan
Julie Benz
Carole Kane
Pam Grier
RRP $34.95 Music Stephen Endelman

Pan & Scan/Full Frame No MPEG None
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Dolby Digital 5.1
16x9 Enhancement
Soundtrack Languages English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448 Kb/s)
German (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448 Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 256 Kb/s)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
Macrovision Yes Smoking Yes
Subtitles English
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

Plot Synopsis

    This is a pretty bog-standard, no-surprises, weak-plotted teen high-school black comedy. Three "teen queens" accidentally kill the school prom queen as the result of a kidnapping prank gone awry. We are then expected to sit through an hour-and-a-half of bickering, bitching and mindless drivel until these girls get their comeuppance at the finish.

    Black comedies were never my thing, and try as I might I cannot find death in any way amusing. Am I too uptight? Maybe. The only positive aspect of this entire movie is the eye candy provided by the lead bitch Rose McGowan, and she basically tries to carry the whole movie, and succeeds I suppose. Director and Writer Darren Stein has tried very hard to be clever with this one, but it simply doesn't work, at least not for me.

Transfer Quality


    Here we have an almost perfect transfer let down by film artefacts, which is most surprising given that the movie is so young.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced.

    At all times the image was gloriously sharp, clear and detailed. Shadow detail was exemplary, and there was no low-level noise. All these things are a given from Columbia TriStar, and there are no surprises here.

    The colour rendition is excellent, with full saturation giving the film the intended "larger than life" feel. This is a really good example of how colours should look.

    There were no MPEG artefacts during this movie other than the scene where the dead body is being photographed by the police. The whole screen lights up and fades down in slow motion, and this torture test strains the encoding process with visible results. There were no film-to-video artefacts worth mentioning. What  is worth mentioning is the propensity of film artefacts - the entire movie was filled with them to one degree or another. A result of this is that the editing process, which normally goes unnoticed, is brought into sharp relief. It is obvious when scenes are pasted together, because many shots have telltale film blemishes and others do not, and jumping between them looks ridiculous. Why a movie made as recently as 1998 should suffer these problems is beyond me, and I have lowered the video rating a notch down because of this.


    This is an excellent sounding disc, and fits the bill nicely.

    There are two audio tracks: English Dolby Digital 5.1 and German Dolby Digital 5.1, as well as an English commentary track in Dolby Digital 2.0 . I listened to the default English soundtrack.

    Dialogue was at all times clear and easy to understand.

    There were no problems with audio sync during the movie.

    The score suited the movie very well, being what you might call "attitude" music. Very modern, very clean and very quirky. However, it will be too soon if I never hear the signature song "yoo hoo" again, and I have developed a healthy loathing for it. The soundstage is wide and very full sounding.

    This is a fairly aggressive surround mix, with extensive use of the rear channels to add ambience and atmosphere to the movie. Many of the short sound snippets which mark scene changes shoot across the rears and around the front, and they are an aural treat. Having such an active surround presence also has the effect of widening the front sound-stage and allowing it to extend beyond the main speakers and wrap around the listener, and this soundtrack makes good use of that.

    The happy subwoofer was used throughout to add weight to music and effects, and also helped with many "stabs" used by the score.


    Another tedious movie given the Collector's Edition treatment!


    The static menu design is very nicely done, though it is not 16x9 enhanced. The menus are quite busy and detailed, and much of the writing is quite small, and I feel people with smaller displays may have a hard time reading some of it. This is not a gripe by any means, as those of us lucky enough to have big displays welcome such style.

Audio Commentary - Darren Stein ( Writer & Director )

    This young and energetic director is clearly very proud of this movie, and his enthusiasm comes across through his commentary very well. He talks nearly constantly, and is quite frank and open which is always appreciated. This commentary is actually better than the movie itself, and is a redeeming feature of this disc. The film's audio is in the background, and the commentary is in Dolby Digital 2.0 .

Music Video - Imperial Teen "Yoo Hoo" (3:36)

   The song is tedious, and the video is an excuse to get Rose McGowan into some tight gear (which, I might add, is not a bad thing in my book...). Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 in Dolby Digital 2.0

Featurette - Behind The Scenes (4:44)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and in Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, this is simply one long promotional trailer. We learn nothing of anything behind the scenes, with a few token words from the key players padding it out a little bit.

Biographies - Cast & Crew

R4 vs R1

    The R4 version misses out on:     The R1 version misses out on:     Content wise there is nothing here which would compel you to get one version over the other, so the local R4 would be the choice given the much better PAL picture.


    Lacking anything by the way of originality, this dark comedy is definitely not my bag. However, if you do like the movie you will be well pleased with this disc.

    The video should have been reference quality, but a massive amount of film artefacts let it down.

    The audio is excellent, and very enveloping.

    A generous helping of extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

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© Paul Cordingley
12th January 2000
Review Equipment
DVD Panasonic A350A; S-Video output
Display Pioneer SD-T43W1 125cm Widescreen 16x9
Audio Decoder Internal Dolby Digital 5.1 (DVD Player)
Amplification Sony STRDE-525 Dolby Pro-Logic / 5.1 Ready Receiver, 4 x Optimus 10-band Graphic EQ
Speakers Centre: Sony SS-CN35 100 watt, Main/Surrounds: Pioneer CS-R390-K 150-watt floorstanders, Subwoofer: Optimus 100-watt passive