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Twisted Terror Collection: 4 Film Favorites [4 Discs] [DVD]

Release Date:06/26/2012
This box set pays homage to 1980s horror classics, with four titles from that genre. First up is Wes Craven's Deadly Friend (1986), about a lovestruck teenager who revives the girl next door (Kristy Swanson) as his own Frankenstein-style creation; next on the bill is 1981's grisly slasher opus Eyes of a Stranger, about a TV newswoman trying to protect her disabled sister from a psychotic neighbor. The Hand (1981), one of Oliver Stone's first directing jobs, stars Michael Caine as an artist who loses the titular appendage in an auto accident - only to see it come back to life and embark on a murderous rampage. Finally, John Carpenter's well-received telemovie Someone's Watching Me (1978) stars Lauren Hutton as a gutsy woman of style who takes things into her own hands when the police fail to help her fend off a stalker.

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    Someone's Watching Me!
    Hot on the heels of his theatrical-feature megahit Halloween, writer-producer John Carpenter concocted this nailbiting made-for-TV suspenser. Lauren Hutton stars as stylish career girl Leigh Michaels, who lives in an ultra-modern, glassed-in high rise apartment. Leigh's relatively tranquil existence is shattered when she begins receiving disturbing phone calls--and ostentatious gifts--from a man living in the high-rise next to hers. Despite the increasingly threatening tone of her mystery caller, Leigh is unable to get any help from the police, simply because there's no real evidence that she's in danger. Rest assured, however, that she is--and that, in traditional "John Carpenter heroine" fashion, she will ultimately deal with her tormentor all by herself. Filmed under the title High Rise, Someone's Watching Me! first aired November 24, 1978, on NBC. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Deadly Friend
    With the over-the-top gruesomeness of The Re-Animator to compare it to, Wes Craven's Deadly Friend limps into the second tier, coming across as a Frankenstein tale lost on Elm Street. Paul (Matthew Laborteaux) is a teen computer genius who has recently moved to a new town. The quiet and peaceful milieu permits him to continue experimenting with his life's work -- a human-like robot named Bee Bee. But Paul becomes smitten with the comely girl next door, Samantha (Kristy Swanson). For Samantha, however, the small-town life is less than quiet and peaceful; she is the victim of an abusive father, who she dreams of killing. During an argument, her father pushes her down the stairs, and she lapses into a coma. Paul, with the help of local paperboy pal Tom (Michael Sharrett), decides to implant Bee Bee's microchips into Samantha's brain to re-animate her back to life. But Samantha, restored to life and with the strength of an inhuman robot, decides to exact vengeance upon her father and the rest of the townspeople who have done her wrong. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

    Eyes of a Stranger
    In this slasher film, Lauren Tewes stars as a TV anchorwoman whose deaf, dumb and blind teen sister (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is the next target of a killer. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi

    The Hand
    Oliver Stone's first directorial effort for a major studio (and his second horror film after the 1974 Seizure) came shortly after the phenomenal success of Midnight Express, which was based on Stone's Oscar-winning screenplay. The director turned to Mark Brandel's obscure thriller "The Lizard's Tail" as source material for what is essentially a silly psychosexual variant on low-budget horror films like The Crawling Hand. The title appendage belongs (for a while, anyway) to smug, conceited artist Joe Lansdale (Michael Caine), who owes his success to a popular comic strip featuring a macho, Conan-type hero. After Lansdale's drawing hand is sheared off in a grisly car accident, his career, dignity, self-control and even his sanity soon begin to abandon him as well. His tenuous relationship with his wife Anne (Andrea Marcovicci) falls apart as she takes steps to improve her own self-worth -- something she had never had the strength to do before the accident. Bitter and paranoid, Joe begins to lash out in anger at everyone around him ... and becomes convinced that his severed hand has come back, wandering in fields and dark alleys and squeezing the life out of everyone it comes in contact with. The question of whether the hand is real or merely a manifestation of Lansdale's rage is never answered, even in the film's "shock" coda. At any rate, it's impossible to take the film seriously -- the crawling-hand effects are laughably shoddy for a major studio production, reflecting none of the skills of effects wizard Carlo Rambaldi, and Caine's sweaty, pop-eyed histrionics are too goofy to be convincing. On the plus side, James Horner's score is remarkably chilling, contributing a great deal to a few effective suspense scenes -- but it belongs in a better film than this. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Adrienne Barbeau
      Adrienne Barbeau - Sophie
    • David Birney
      David Birney - Paul Winkless
    • Charles Cyphers
      Charles Cyphers - Gary Hunt
    • Lauren Hutton
      Lauren Hutton - Leigh Michaels

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.