Actors: Margit Evelyn Newton, Franco Garofalo, Ottaviano Dell’Acqua, Geretta Geretta
Directors: Bruno Mattei, Claudio Fragasso
Studio: Blue Underground
DVD Release Date: August 26, 2014
Run Time: 198 minutes
“Hell of the Living Dead”: 4 out of 5 stars
“Rats: Night of Terror”: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars
When I see an announcement from Blue Underground, I can’t help but get excited since they always find a way to release some crazy cult classics that I loved growing up. Case in point, their new ‘Blood-Soaked Double Feature’ Blu-ray, which includes both “Hell of the Living Dead” and “Rats: Night of Terror”. These are great Italian horror films that deserve a great release. I remember the first time I rented these on VHS and was drawn in by their fantastic boxes when I walked down the horror isle. So these were a great trip down memory lane.
Both of these films are directed by the legendary Italian director Bruno Mattei, who is also known for “Emmanuelle in Prison” and “SS Extermination Love Camp”. When you think of ’80s Italian shockers, these are always two that come to my mind. They are jam-packed with over-the-top gore, twist endings, humor and still hold up today. It’s been a while since I have seen these films but they are still just as fun and shocking.
Official Premise “Hell of the Living Dead”: An accident at a chemical plant unleashed a horrific virus, and an elite SWAT team is sent to New Guinea to investigate. But when they arrive on the hellish island, they discover a plague of flesh-eating zombies as well as a beautiful female reporter who practices nude anthropology. Can the commandos survive this cannibal rampage, uncover a shocking government secret and still find time for occasional cross-dressing before the ravenous hordes of the living dead infect the entire world?
Official Premise “Rats: Night of Terror”: In the year 225 A.B. (After the Bomb), a group of post-apocalyptic bikers discover an abandoned research laboratory filled with food, water…and thousands of rats. But these are no ordinary vermin; these are super-intelligent mutant rodents with a ravenous appetite for human flesh. Can a bunch of heavily armed but not-too-bright human scavengers survive a night of terror against the most hungry and horrific predators on earth?
Blue Underground didn’t just throw these on Blu-ray, they really delivered them with some extra love. These were both given brand-new high definition transfers from their original uncut and uncensored negatives. These films have never look better personally. Blue Underground could have just dropped these on a disc and called it a day but instead, they really make sure they were giving a solid release to the fans. These films also come with solid DTS-HD Master Audio Mono tracks, both films sound great. So if you are a horror fan, these are a must.
In terms of special features, there is some decent content. There is a newly-produced documentary called “Bonded By Blood”, which includes interviews with Co-Writer/Co-Director Claudio Fragasso and Stars Margit Evelyn Newton, Ottaviano Dell’Acqua & Massimo Vanni. There is also an interview with Director Bruno Mattei in the extras “Hell Rats Of The Living Dead”. Other than that there are some Theatrical Trailers and Poster & Still Galleries included here.