• Blood Hook

    Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
    Released on: April 24th, 2017.
    Director: Jim Mallon
    Cast: Don Winters, Mark Jacobs, Lisa Todd, Patrick Danz, Sara Hauser, Christopher Whiting
    Year: 1986
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    The Movie:

    Jim Mallon, one of the original producers of Mystery Science Theater 3000, directed this mid-eighties horror-comedy about an annual fishing contest called "Muskie Madness." Tons of local and not-so-local fisherman cram in around the lake in hopes of getting lucky and reeling in the big one. Our lead character in the film is a man named Peter (Mark Jacobs) and when he was a kid, his grandfather was killed on the same lake where the fishing tournament takes place.

    And of course, soon after the contest start, a murdering psychopath shows up on the scene and starts eliminating some of the competition. While this is going on, various teens do what teens do in slasher movies while various fishermen fish away, some of them even stooping so low as to cheat. The local police force think that they've got this one solved soon after it happens when they find out that the killer is using fishhooks to land his victims (resulting in a couple of rather nasty murder scenes), but are they right? Are they even close? The fact that the bodies keep piling up probably answers that one for us….

    Blood Hook works well enough as a horror comedy. Don't take it too seriously (obviously you're not supposed to…) and you're at least be entertained. Just keep your expectations in check. The characters are very thinly written, very few of the people that populate the movie really stand out much at all, even if they are intentionally quirky. This means that most of them are simply slasher fodder, but in a movie where the killer reels in his victims using a hook and rod, well, it doesn’t really matter all that much. Logic and realism were clearly never a concern here, and the plot isn’t so complex that it really requires us to invest in the characters all that much anyway – which in a way is probably for the best, as the acting is fairly dire. This one is all about the cheap thrills, and we get enough of them that we’re able to look past the film’s obvious shortcomings.

    Speaking of, some of the murders are well done and actually quite painful looking and the gore effects in these sequences are fairly well done. This helps to keep the horror elements safely in check, while the humor (even if it is a bit dated) is more often effective than not. These elements, and some quick pacing, mean that Blood Hook ultimately winds up being pretty successful. There’s enough quirky material in here to keep it interesting and the end result is a lot of fun (and if you’ve got an affinity for eighties era pop culture and fashions, so much the better).


    Blood Hook arrives on Blu-ray framed at 1.66.1 widescreen in an AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer that is ‘newly scanned and restored in 2k from 16mm original camera negative.’ This was previously released by Troma on a triple feature DVD and it looked pretty rough – not surprisingly, this Blu-ray provides a fairly massive upgrade in picture quality. The image does show minor damage like small white specks and the occasional small scratch, but the increase in detail and clarity is impressive. The naturally grainy image has good depth and excellent color reproduction. Black levels are nice and strong and skin tones look good. All in all, a very organic looking image – this is quite film-like and impressive considering the film’s origins.

    The DTS-HD Mono track, which is in English, sounds fine, if a little flat here and there. Dialogue is clear and easy to follow and the levels are properly balanced. The score sounds alright too, as do the various sound effects used throughout the production. Optional English subtitles are included.

    Extras start off with Hook, Line And Sinker, a brand new half-hour interview with director Jim Mallon that proves to be both thorough and interesting. He talks about how he got into filmmaking, how childhood projects grew into more serious endeavors, financing Blood Hook, working with the cast and crew, the locations that were used in the shoot and lots more. From there, dig into First Blood Hook, an interview with actress Lisa Todd that clocks in at just under nineteen-minutes in length. She talks about how she landed the role in the film, how she got along with the different cast and crew members and a fair bit more. In What’s in The Tacklebox? we spend twenty-three-minutes with SFX artist Jim Suthers wherein he talks about having to create what was needed for the film with the modest resources that were at his disposal. He also talks about how he got into doing SFX work and how his love of horror movies at a young age brought him into the industry.

    Vinegar Syndrome also includes an audio interview with cinematographer/editor Marsha Kahm that runs just short of a half hour in length. She talks about getting her start in the business, how and why she wound up working on Blood Hook, her thoughts on the picture and working with Mallon and other subjects related to the picture.

    The disc also includes a still gallery and an original theatrical trailer as well as animated menus and chapter selection.

    As this is a combo pack release, a DVD version is also included inside the clear Blu-ray keepcase. Additionally, Vinegar Syndrome has packaged this release with some very cool reversible cover sleeve art

    The Final Word:

    Blood Hook may not be high art but it is a pretty entertaining mix of horror and comedy that slasher fans should appreciate when in the mood for something a little less serious than the norm. Vinegar Syndrome’s Blu-ray release looks and sounds quite good and it’s pretty packed with extras too. All in all, a strong release for an enjoyable B-movie.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!