• Deadly Revisions

    Released By: MVD Visual
    Released On: September 29, 2015.
    Director: Gregory Blair
    Cast: Bill Oberst Jr., Mikhail Blokh, Cindy Merrill, Dawna Lee Heising
    Year: 2014
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    The Film:

    When successful horror film writer Grafton Torn miraculously wakes up from a coma, all signs point to a healthy recovery and a continued wealth of scary movie scripts emerging from his brain. Aside from the freaky-looking nurse in the room, the prognosis is good... the doctor seems unconcerned, and Grafton's jokey best friend Deter is on hand to welcome him back to the land of the living with his unique sense of comedic delivery. But alas, all is not well; Grafton finds that he is unable to remember the events that caused his coma, or anything other than vague mental suggestions in the months leading up to it.

    What he does remember is his separation from his wife and movie partner, Kat, a loving relation that started to sour in conjunction with various movie props moving around the house, in some cases, even disappearing. Returning to his lonely house seems to be just what the doctor ordered in order to stimulate his damaged nerves, but his dreams are haunted by a baby demon doll prop with glowing red eyes. Ever the friend, Deter offers the use of his rustic cabin/cottage in the woods, an isolated place of healing. Unfortunately, in the absence of baby demon dolls, Grafton is instead besieged by deer with glowing red eyes and hooded figures with nooses lurking in the dark.

    At the end of his rope (snort) Grafton turns to a recommended psychologist/hypnotherapist in a tight sweater who is convinced that she can help his memory return and reveal what happened the night of his accident. As their sessions get more intense and he gets closer to the truth, Grafton's visions become more horrifying; and Deter holds a secret that may just send him over the edge. And why does the axe in the workshed (yeah, workshed) look suspiciously like the one that was in his former house?

    To get the good out of the way first, Deadly Revisions has an interesting premise with a couple of clever twists that show off Writer/Director Gregory Blair's ability to conjure up something a little less obvious than your standard horror material. This isn't going to make anyone's jaw drop loudly, but it's a fine attempt at something different. Lead actor Bill Oberst, Jr also does a fairly decent job of portraying the tortured Grafton, but to be honest, it's a little less than I would expect from somebody with his resume. Mikhail Blokh also does adequately well as Deter, but the majority of the rest of the cast are much less effective, practically ruining every scene that they're in. Blair's direction itself comes across as largely capable, but in the scenes where it falters, shoddy acting and questionable dialogue drive Deadly Revisions into the ground.

    That being said, the biggest flaw with Deadly Revisions is this; it's just not scary. At all. The scenes where Blair tries for horror... mainly, the things with the red eyes... come off as comedic. Literally, I cracked up when the demon doll showed up. The deer with the red eyes, with some kind of weird filter applied, and GIGANTIC in the field of vision as Grafton looks out the window, are just as bad, though Oberst's, "Fuck off, Bambi" line makes you wonder if it were intentional. In any event, there's no point during the film, even in the basement with the lights off, where any feeling of horrific atmosphere or dread is developed. And when you combine that with sub-par acting and the fact that the film aesthetically looks pretty bad, no doubt a product of an extremely low budget, one gets the impression that Deadly Revisions should have gone through a few more revisions.


    Deadly Revisions comes to DVD in a... well, I'm going to say it's about 1.66:1 ratio. It looks like it's a 1.78:1 anamorphic that has some kind of in camera side-masking going on, but we'll say 1.66:1 for the sake of argument. Anyway, it doesn't look great, but that's more than likely a result of the low-budget source material. The transfer itself doesn't contain any recognizable flaws, but colours are all over the place, as well as black levels.

    The Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track is serviceable, with the score, sound effects, and dialogue remaining clear, but EQ'ing is off here and it comes across as very tinny. Still, you can hear what's going on with little effort, and there were no clicks or pops that I noticed. One thing you WILL want to notice is that if you go from the feature into the Blooper Reel supplement, turn the volume down heavily, or dig your speaker cones out of the wall. The difference is significant and slap-worthy.

    A Blooper Reel (6:06) and two Trailers are included with the film.

    The Final Word:

    The road to hell is apparently paved with good intentions, and if it is, Deadly Revisions is probably somewhere in there. Despite what can be categorized as "the old college try", acting, aesthetic, and some weak horror elements prevent Deadly Revision from being worth recommending.