DVD Review: Incident On And Off A Mountain Road

Posted by Peter Hall - May 18th 2006 @ 10:29 pm

Damn did Anchor Bay really pack these Masters of Horror DVDs with some very worth while features.  Counting the running time of the commentary tracks, of which there are two, there are over 3 hours of special features here:

  • Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Commentary by Writer/Director Don Coscarelli and Writer Stephen Romano
  • Commentary by Writer/Director Don Coscarelli and "Incident" Author Joe R. Lansdale
  • "Predators and Prey – An Interview with Don Coscarelli" featurette
  • "Working With A Master: Don Coscarelli" featurette
  • "Behind The Scenes: The Making of Incident On and Off A Mountain Road" featurette
  • On Set: An Interview with John De Santis
  • On Set: An Interview with Ethan Embry
  • Trailers
  • Still Gallery
  • Don Coscarelli Bio
  • Screenplay (DVD-ROM)
  • Screensaver (DVD-ROM)

The Still Gallery and Don Coscarelli Bio are your generic freeze frames of text/imagery, which are always lackluster on DVDs (who REALLY wants to reads pages of text from their couch?), but the rest of the features more than make up for it.

The "Predators and Prey" and "Working With A Master" featurette’s are superb.  There’s some tiny overlap between the two, but they’re really informative examinations of Don’s career and life, all the way from 1976’s Jim The World’s Greatest up to Incident.  "Predators and Prey" is about 23 minutes of Don talking openly to the camera about his inspirations, his successes, his failures and why he made every film he has.  It’s never, ever dull and provides a lot of smiles.

But the real smile inducing featurette is "Working With a Master", which hovers around 20 minutes as well and is comprised of new praise from all of Don’s key actors/producers over the year: Angus Scrimm, Reggie Bannister and Paul Pepperman of the Phantasm series, as well as Marc Singer from Beastmaster, and of course the Incident cast.  Obviously no one has a bad thing to say about Don, but the praise is so genuine that you can’t help but respect the man more.  The highlight of the reel is Marc Singer’s honest desire to remember his experience on Beastmaster in the life flashes that may happen before you die.

The on-set interviews with John De Santis, who played Moonface, is cool because you get to see his make-up effects being applied etc, plus his take on Moonface’s characterization is interesting.  Ethan Embry’s is a little drier, but still worth a watch at less than 5 minutes.

The Behind the Scene’s featurette is a bit of let down, just because it’s a montage of behind the scene’s footage that is cut to a wholely generic techno song.  Doesn’t really have a point.

There is a small set design easter egg to the right of the menu, which is worth a quick watch just because the sets are pretty fancy.

The Commentary Tracks:
I haven’t listened to both commentary tracks, but the Coscarelli/Lansdale track is worth listening to.  It’s not at all dry, but actually pretty energetic thanks to the modesty and humor of both talkers.

But I’m also a writer, so I like to hear successful writers talk about their craft, especially great writers like Joe R. Lansdale, who is a kick here.

The Movie:
It’s no secret that Don Coscarelli’s episode of Masters of Horror is my favorite.  I think it’s perfectly paced and entertaining survival story about a woman who is chased through the woods by a horrible monster of a man. 

There are some really great performances all around, which I also think is the best acting the series has seen so far.  Ethan Embry steals a lot of his scenes as Bruce, the progressively psychotic survivalist husband of Ellen.  Angus Scrimm is a hoot, and delivers his last lines wonderfully.  John De Santis rocks it as Moonface, and is just a great creature/character actor.  Bree Turner also deserves her due as the ‘damsel in distress’, who really overcomes her young Hollywood looks, which superficially makes her hard to take seriously. 

And comeon’, don’t you just wanna see people get their eyes drilled out or someone get smashed over the head with a baby?

The Presentation:
The picture quality is fantastic, as well as the 5.1 audio mix, but then again…what do you expect from DVDs these days?  It looks good, but with anything that was a studio production of the last 5 years, there’s just no way it will look bad on disc.

The menus have the MOH music, but they’re simple point and click deals, which isn’t a criminal offense at all.

Should You Buy it?
I think you should.  Hell, I picked it up from Wal-Mart for under $10, but even at Amazon/Best Buy’s $12 price tag, it’s still worth it for the featurette’s alone.  The commentary track has a lot of meat to it, so that’s worth a listen as well.  Plus, you get a kick ass, straight chase, short horror film.  You’re out of excuses.

And, if you buy it from click on the DVD cover, I get a kickback from Amazon!

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