Beware! Children at Play (Stomp Visual) (1989) (NTSC)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Inter-active Tour of Troma Studios.
Audio Commentary-Director Mik Cribben
|Year Of Production||1989|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Mik Cribben|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (384Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||480i (NTSC)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||Unknown||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
It's a Troma release, unfortunately not one of the better ones, and not of the decent quality of their own inhouse classics. This is director Mik Cribben's first and only film at the driver's seat, a very low budget affair from the late 80's lacking in taste and story; he also has a role in the film, as a farmer, and continues to work on films today. The lack of funds for the project is obvious with what's onscreen; one special feature on the DVD features an interview with Ron Jeremy, who says "The most amazing thing about a Troma movie is that they get made at all.... with what they spend on lunch at Hollywood is what they make a movie with at Troma." No doubt, and a lot of Troma's inhouse fare stands tall as enjoyable filmmaking despite budget-and-taste constraints; sadly, this affair is marred by poor technique and awful plotting, as well as bad acting and no reason to care.
As if it matters, a family visiting a far-away town accidentally find themselves in danger at the hands of a cannibalistic cult recruiting young ones, who proceed to slaughter and eat adults and follow various horror tropes until the glorious ending. The taboo climax is the only part of the film worth staying awake for, in part because I can't imagine what was going on in the heads of the parents who agreed to let their offspring appear in this film. (See Bruno for more information on these type of people.) Shelve this one - save your pennies for genuine Troma classics like Toxie and Tromeo.
All things considered - the low budget, the different film stock, the NTSC mastering - this is not a terrible video transfer. Despite having interlacing, grain and occasional artefacts, there's still a lot of detail and the colours are bright and good-looking. There is only occasional low level noise, with the darker scenes usually quite decent, and on the whole I was impressed - not because the transfer is particularly good, but because it isn't the bottom-of-the-barrel I've experienced with Troma of late.There are no subtitles.
Beware! Children at Play sounds exactly as you'd expect - single channel, low quality mediocrity. Everything is nice and audible, so the dialogue, music and effects never get in the way of each other, but it's as no-frills as you can get. A mixed blessing, as the music is not particularly good, very much in the vein of "tension-building" 80's electronica that hasn't aged very well and is rarely very effective. The sounds of children growling over the closing credits is dandy.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The video and audio transfers are appropriately low budget.
The extras are the same as every other Troma DVD with little material actually related to this film.
|DVD||Sony Playstation 3 (HDMI 1.3) with Upscaling, using Component output|
|Display||Philips 47PFL9732D 47-inch LCD . Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Logitech 5500 THX.|
|Amplification||Logitech 5500 THX|
|Speakers||Logitech 5500 THX|