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|Category||(Very Bad) Satire||Menu Animation & Audio
Audio Commentary - Steven Nemeth (Producer) et al
|Running Time||82:28 Minutes|
Universal Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English (Dolby Digital 2.0, 224Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary (Dolby Digital 2.0, 224Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||
|Subtitles||None||Annoying Product Placement||Yes|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, a Where Are They Now? after credits|
At its heart, Shriek: If You Know What I Did Last Friday The 13th is a spoof of I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream, but the latter is where the real difficulty lies. Scream itself was intended to be satirical at heart, although it was so subtle in this aim that it was hard to tell this at a casual glance, which begs the question of how to satirize a send-up. Generally speaking, the jokes have to be as clever as the original send-up, even if they are so low-brow that they could have been written by a mob of primary school boys during a lunch break. This is where Shriek: If You Know What I Did Last Friday The 13th comes apart, as the jokes are doing well to even approach being clever, let alone funny. Admittedly, the introduction is quite hilarious in and of itself, but it all goes downhill rapidly from there, with flashback sequences that get boring in a hurry, and vastly overdone jokes about the state of education in America.
The film begins with a young woman named Screw (Aimee Graham) answering a phone call from a killer in black robes and a hockey mask. I won't spoil the few funny moments that this sequence contains (this was done much better in Scary Movie), but suffice it to say that Screw dies and the entire student populace of Bulimia High are scared out of their wits. Enter the new guy in the school, a rather pleasant guy by the name of Dawson (Harley Cross), who is soon met by Barbara (Julie Benz), Martina (Majandra Delfino), Slab (Simon Rex), and Boner (Danny Strong). Cue two unfunny running jokes, the first of these being the proper pronunciation of Boner's name, and the second being The Principal (Coolio), who seems to have a bit of an obsession with Prince (or Ponce as I like to call him). Meanwhile, a reporter by the name of Hagitha Utslay (Tiffani-Amber Thiessen) is covering the murders in progress for a network called empTV (unfunny joke number three that the entire underground music community thought of long before this film was even conceived). Meanwhile, as the five heroes recall what they did last Summer, Halloween, or whatever, they are subjected to a series of near misses by The Killer (Chris Palermo). While I'm at it, I should mention the presence of Doughy (Tom Arnold), a security guard from the local shopping mall.
Frankly, if none of the actors who appear in this dreadful film ever work again, that would be a good thing, and I have to wonder what the hell happened to the career of Tiffani-Amber Thiessen. The only actor in this film who comes across as remotely appealing would be Majandra Delfino, who at least gives us some change from the uniformity of the protagonists in the films that the makers were trying to send up. Overall, I don't even recommend a rental for this film; as a matter of fact, I recommend that the people who made this film should be executed for crimes against humanity.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and it is 16x9 Enhanced, which brings me to another negative about this film: you could crop this film to fit the old shape of television and I doubt you'd notice any real difference. On top of that, the film never really approaches anything that resembles real sharpness, with even a lot of objects in the foreground of some shots being hazy and murky. The shot in which we are introduced to a student at the high school by the name of Chuckie (Steven Anthony Lawrence) is a sterling example of this: Chuckie appears to only just barely be in focus for most of the shot.
The shadow detail is acceptable, and there is no low-level noise.
The colour saturation of this transfer is muted and drab, also reflecting the cheap production values of the original photography. It would not surprise me to learn that this film was shot on videotape or a lesser-quality format than thirty-five millimetre film, considering how little vibrancy there is in the colour palette.
MPEG artefacts are not a problem in this transfer, which is a credit to Universal Home Video. Film-to-video artefacts are slightly problematic, with aliasing being apparent in the opening credits, and various other points where the original source material finally had enough resolution for this artefact to become apparent in the transfer. Film artefacts consisted of some black and white marks on the picture, as well as some scratches such as the noticeable one at the lower right of the frame at 5:34. Finally, some warping in the film image became apparent at 35:38, with what originally looked like film scratches also revealing a few bends in the picture that were slightly distracting.
Once again, Universal Home Video have chosen to encode this film without subtitles. If I may make a suggestion, I would at least like to see English for the Hearing Impaired being included on future releases, because these subtitles can be handy when the dialogue is problematic, even for those of us with perfect hearing like myself.
The dialogue is clear and easy to understand at almost all times, which just makes it all the more torturous to listen to. The only element of this soundtrack that I feel would pose a problem would be The Killer's voice, which was slightly distorted in an effort to make it reminiscent of the voice of the killers in the Scream trilogy. There were no discernible problems with audio sync.
The score music in this film is credited to one Tyler Bates, and it is a perfect match for the film in that it is banal, self-recycling, and ultimately forgettable. The one purpose this score music seemed to serve was to make me even more reluctant to sit through this film from start to finish. Thankfully, I had my trusty stereo CD player and some self-made compilations of music that would better fit into better films to flush my ears out with.
The surround channels are not used by this soundtrack at all, reflecting the straight-to-television heritage of this turgid film. There didn't seem to be any real separation between the two stereo channels of this soundtrack, either, with the entire soundfield coming across as rather flat and monaural. Engaging the rarely used Pro-Logic mode on my amplifier only served to make the soundtrack seem more flat and unappealing, as it generally tends to do, so those who are looking out for a surround system workout will be well advised to leave this disc alone. The subwoofer frequently took redirected signal to support the music and some sound effects, but all in all, it was never really worked out by this soundtrack, either.
The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;
The video quality is average.
The audio quality is average.
The extras are minimal.
© Dean McIntosh
(my bio sucks... read it anyway)
May 19, 2001
|DVD||Toshiba SD-2109, using S-video output|
|Display||Samsung CS-823AMF (80 cm) in 16:9 and 4:3 modes, calibrated using the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Built In (Amplifier)|
|Amplification||Sony STR-DE835, calibrated using the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Yamaha NS-45 Front Speakers, Yamaha NS-90 Rear Speakers, Yamaha NS-C120 Centre Speaker, JBL Digital 10 Active Subwoofer|