Greetings, readers. Yes, I know I’m talking about Slime City Massacre again; so sue me. Greg was kind enough to put a copy of the check discs (which Media Blasters had sent him to make sure everything was hunky-dory for mass-production and retail) in my hands in order to put the word out on just how damn awesome this DVD release is. Yes, I’m a shill, but I’m an honest shill.
First of all, the Slime City Massacre DVD release is a two-disc set; the first disc features the film itself (no great surprise there) and audio commentary, primarily by Greg Lamberson, Debbie Rochon and rising star Jennifer Bihl; “Buffalo’s Donald Pleasance,” Michael O’Hear, and Rod Durick, one of the special effects guys, also provide some commentary. I’ve heard some lousy DVD commentaries before; this is not one of them. Greg is energetic, witty, and endlessly informative, absolutely gushing with stories from the production. Debbie is always thoughtful and has some great anecdotes to relate and I’m more in awe of her dedication to her craft then ever. Jennifer Bihl is a little overshadowed by these two, but nevertheless holds her own and has her moment in the sun while explaining what happened to her the evening she was injured on set — falling into an eight-foot pit hidden in the shadows as the sun set and gashing her left hand, hence the “lobster claw” of bandages around it (and the quick scene of Kealan Patrick Burke, her co-star, bandaging her hands).
First of all, we have SLIME CITY SURVIVOR, a making-of documentary filmed by Madeleine Koestner, the film’s script supervisor and second AC (and who can also be seen in the finished film, getting vaporized next to Lloyd Kaufman) as she walked around set with a video camera, interviewing the cast and crew and showing us the slimy truth of what went on behind the scenes. You get to hear about the difficulties had in getting port-a-potties delivered to the set, Mr. Softee, and John Renna’s van full of KY Jelly. What does he intend to do with a van full of KY Jelly? You’ll have to watch and find out!
Funny story, actually — I first found out about this film via a chance meeting with Madeleine Koestner when Charles Band came to Buffalo (She was here for school, studying at the University of Buffalo; I just live here) with his Full Moon Horror Roadshow back in October 2009. She told me about Slime City Massacre, put me in touch with Greg, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Next up is a feature called SCORING SLIME, about the music of Slime City Massacre. The film composer, Mars, is interviewed (or rather, monologues) on the creative process and the creative freedom Greg gave him in scoring the film.
A behind-the-scenes featurette gives us a glimpse of a flooded stairwell and Arick Szymecki, one of the special effects guys (here in Mole Person garb) submerging himself for a scene — and let me just say, you wouldn’t have gotten me in that stagnant, scummy black water, so kudos to Arick for being a trooper — and Greg urging Jennifer Bihl to “stop skipping” through a scene.
A blooper reel (with the usual flubbed lines, but also some excellent and unexpected material as well), trailer, still gallery and a cut sequence (I’m not sure I’d call it a deleted scene per se, but it’s a bit trimmed off an existing scene to make things flow a little better) round out the special features.
I have to say, I am really pleased with the content of this DVD release. I see so many releases that are minimalist at best when it comes to bonus features — some times it feels like even getting a half-hearted commentary track is a victory, unless buying a $50 super-special-edition boxed set. I would have liked a featurette on the special effects work to go with the one on the music, but overall I can’t complain.
If I had to voice one complaint, it’s that sometimes Media Blasters (especially their Shriek Show line of horror films) has trouble with consistent audio quality, with sound (especially dialogue) sometimes fading in and out. I’ve encountered it on other Shriek Show discs, though it’s not too terrible here — the only place I really encountered it was a little bit on the commentary track. And since I’m guessing Greg wasn’t waving the microphone back and forth in front of his face while recording the commentary…
Slime City Massacre is for sale on Amazon, pre-order at the moment, and becoming fully available on Tuesday, May 10th.