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Deadly Species

Reviewed by: David Litton
Genre: Horror
Video: 1.33:1 fullframe
Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0
Language: English
Subtitle: English, Spanish
Length: 88 min
Rating: R
Release Date: 04/22/2003
Studio: Artisan Home Entertainment
Commentary: None
Documentaries: None
Featurettes: None
Filmography/Biography: None
Interviews: None
Trailers/TV Spots: Trailer, sneak peeks
Alternate/Deleted Scenes: None
Music Video: None
Other: Photo gallery
Cast and Crew: Pete Penuel, Allison Adams, Brian Minyard
Written By: Rory Penland, Bill Suchy
Produced by: Rick Warren, Tracy Frenkel, Bill Suchy, Daniel Springen
Directed By: Daniel E. Springen
Music: N/A
The Review: I guess it goes without saying that the cover art for this direct-to-video clunker is mute testimony to its B-movie status. "Deadly Species" takes us to that most popular of horror movie settings: the forest, where a group of young men and women have come for a camping trip, only to discover that there is something lurking in the woods, a creature so horrifically envisioned that it would make Stan Winston wince in agony. The story is the tried-and-true path of people dying, baring breasts, suffering gruesome injuries (surprisingly enough, there is a relatively low amount of gore), and all the trappings of the conventional trash flick. The Internet Movie Database recently ran a poll concerning which direct-to-video movie titles were the worst? Those containing the word "deadly" ranked very high that day; "Deadly Species" is proof of that.
Image and Sound

Not the horrid transfer that I was expecting, actually. The 1.33:1 fullframe image is quite nice, in fact, with some good clarity and edges that are generally sharp, though tend to lean towards the softer side. Colors are mediocre and bleed in a few places, but contrast is generally pleasing and shadow detail, although wanting, not as bad as other titles like it. ***

The sound is mastered in Dolby Digital 5.1, and while it's not quite as aggressive as big-budget flicks, it still manages to please. The score is given over to the entire soundfield, including the surrounds, while sound effects remain somewhat muted. The dialogue can be hard to hear at lower volume levels, so be sure to crank that decoder up. The .1 LFE is largely unnoticed by the track, with only some slight enhancement here and there for good measure.

The Extras Not much in the way of extras... we have some promo trailers for other Artisan titles, as well as a photo gallery with some stills.
Commentary None
Final Words: Admit it: you know you want to watch it just to see how bad it is. Trust me on this one: if bad were a small, circular disc that shines on one side and has a custom-made label on the other, this would be it.

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May 6, 2003