• In The Cold Of The Night (Vinegar Syndrome) Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Review

    Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
    Released on: March 26th, 2019.
    Director: Nico Mastorakis
    Cast: Jeff Lester, Adrianne Sachs, Shannon Tweed, Tippi Hedren, Marc Singer, Brian Thompson, David Soul
    Year: 1990
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    In The Cold Of The Night – Movie Review:

    Colorful lasers zip around the room. A fog machine pumps away, filling the area with fake smoke. Women in bikinis strut their stuff while bad music plays in the background. This is the opening of Nico Mastorakis’s 1990 erotic thriller, In The Cold Of The Night, and it serves as our introduction to the world of Scott Bruin (Jeff Lester). He’s a Los Angeles based fashion photographer and, if the posters on his walls are anything to go by, a really big fan of Bugle Boy Jeans.

    After this latest shoot, he heads home where he bones a lovely blonde woman named Lena (Mrs. Gene Simmons herself, Shannon Tweed). It’s a casual thing, they’re both just in it for fun. They make passionate love atop his bottom lit water bed, and then they fall asleep – until Scott has a vivid dream where he strangles a pretty brunette and wakes up to find his hands around Lena’s throat! She’s not upset. It got her off. Scott’s understandably perturbed by this, however. He talks to a shrink (Starsky And Hutch’s David Soul), who tells him not to worry about it. He talks to his beefy best friend, Phil (Brian Thompson of Cobra), who eats a giant sandwich and also tells him not to worry about it. But Brian keeps having these dreams.

    When he sees the face of a woman air brushed onto the t-shirt of a beach bum, he chases said bum and finds out that the guy stole it. He finds the store where it was stolen from – there are a lot of Guns N Roses shirts here but if you look closely, you’ll also see a D.R.I. shirt, which is fucking boss – and he asks the airbrush guy about the girl. The guy denies knowing her but Brian leaves his card and tells him if she should come by again, he’d like to shoot her. She has an interesting face, he tells him. The next day, the girl, named Kimberly Shawn (Adriana Sachs of Robocop and The Stuff), shows up at Brian’s pad and even drives her motorcycle right into his studio! Soon they have a torrid affair and he pours marbles on her when they fuck – but he keeps having those dreams and soon, his life starts imitating his dream state…

    Shot by Andreas Bellis (Thriller - A Cruel Picture), In The Cold Of The Night is as beautifully photographed as it is absolutely ridiculous. With a soundtrack comprised almost entirely of ‘sultry’ saxophone music and featuring some really long, albeit fairly enthusiastic, softcore bumping and grinding, this noir inspired thriller definitely gets points for taking you to a conclusion you won’t really see coming. It’s also the rare film that features a laserdisc as a plot device. The film is also a wonderfully bonkers textbook example of everything that erotic thrillers were in the ‘Skinemax’ era – glossy visuals, less than perfect acting, more glossy visuals, fancy ‘right people’ locations, and a lot of humping all set to a score that sounds like it was culled from an R-rated episode of Moonlighting.

    The performances here are actually just fine. Not ever great, but fine. Jeff Lester, remarkable for how little body hair he has, is a perfectly decent lead. He does the confused thing well and seems more than happy to lay his female co-stars. He also jokes around with an underused Brian Thompson with enough ‘bro-pal-dude’ charisma that we can see them hanging out in real life. Tweed is also underused, here only in two scenes, but she looks great and her character is actually quite funny (intentionally so). David Soul’s work is really only at cameo level, but it’s fun to see Hutch show up in a sexy thriller like this. Exotic looking Adrianne Sachs isn’t the world’s greatest actress but she’s definitely attractive enough that you can see why Lester’s character would be drawn to her. And hey, check out The Birds’ Tippi Hedren in a two-minute cameo where she eats lunch (it’s actually quite amusing)! Oh, and Marc Singer, The Beastmaster himself, also shows up here, which is rad.

    Mastorakis, who shares a writing credit here with Fred Perry (who worked with Mastorakis on a few other titles – Blind Date, Sky High, The Zero Boys, The Wind and Hired To Kill) stretches the running time out to almost two hours in length, which is longer than it needs to be, but otherwise, this one delivers!

    In The Cold Of The Night – Blu-ray Review:

    Vinegar Syndrome brings In The Cold Of The Night to Blu-ray on a 50GB disc in AVC encoded 1080p high definition with the picture framed at 1.85.1 widescreen taken from a new 4k restoration from its original 35mm camera negative and in its fully uncut NC-17 rated version. The picture quality is fantastic. The opening credits look a little softer than the rest of the movie but it is smooth sailing after those few minutes. Detail is excellent and the image is sparkly clean from start to finish. There’s no noticeable print damage here while the film’s natural grain structure is left intact, as it should be. There’s great depth and texture, colors look fantastic and black levels are rock solid. Skin tones, of which there are a lot of in this movie, also look nice and natural. There’s no evidence at all of compression, edge enhancement or noise reduction – this looks great.

    English language options are provided in DTS-HD 2.0 Stereo and 5.1 Surround Sound options with removable SDH subtitles provided in English. The 5.1 mix mainly spreads out the score and the occasional foley effect with most of the dialogue up front in the mix. Both tracks sound very good, however. Dialogue is clean and clear and the score, that ridiculously sax-intensive score, sounds very good. There are no problems with any hiss or distortion worth noting. No complaints!

    The main extra on the disc is an archival behind the scenes featurette that runs just over four-minutes in length. The director narrates the piece and talks about what it was like making the film, it’s NC-17 rating and his experiences dealing with the MPAA. There’s a bit of behind the scenes footage here but most of the visuals come from film clips.

    Rounding out the extras on the disc is an archival still gallery, a theatrical trailer for the feature, menus and chapter selection. As this is a combo pack release, we also get a DVD version of the movie and Vinegar Syndrome packages this with some nice reversible cover artwork.

    Slip cover collectors will be interested in buying directly from Vinegar Syndrome where they can get a limited-edition slip featuring exclusive (and super cool) artwork from Derek Gabryszak that is limited to 1,500 pieces.

    In The Cold Of The Night – The Final Word:

    In The Cold Of The Night is so ridiculously cliché ridden that it almost feels like a parody, but you know what? It’s an insanely entertaining movie and a whole lot of fun. There’s a good cast here, the movie is, visually speaking, slicker than grease and production values are just fine. Even at almost two hours it is paced pretty well and Vinegar Syndrome has done bang up job on the presentation.

    Click on the images below for full sized In The Cold Of The Night screen caps!

    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Nabonga's Avatar
      Nabonga -
      Shot by Breaking Point perv? Cool. I should check it out.
    1. David H's Avatar
      David H -
      I had a lot of fun with this one. And really, what's up with the waterbed with the bottom lit mattress? It would be like sleeping on top of a bunch of lit fluorescent light bulbs. I love the 90s.