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The Halfway House (Intervision Picture Corp.) Blu-ray Review

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    Ian Jane
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  • The Halfway House (Intervision Picture Corp.) Blu-ray Review



    Released by: Intervision Picture Corp.
    Released on: November 26th, 2021.
    Director: Kenneth J. Hall
    Cast: Mary Woronov, Janet Tracy Jeijser, Shawn Savage, Stephanie Leighs, Athena Demos, Cleve Hall
    Year: 2004
    Purchase From Intervision Picture Corp.

    The Halfway House - Movie Review:

    Written and directed by Kenneth J. Hall, who also did double duty handling some of the effects work on the picture, 2004's The Halfway House, opens with a scene where a pretty blonde woman is out for a jog. She runs around her neighborhood for a while, clearly committed to staying in shape, and then she's grabbed by a hooded assailant. She wakes up bound in some sort of dungeon where, once her top is ripped off, she's sacrificed to a toothy beast from another dimension.

    The victim's sister is Larissa Morgan (Janet Tracy Keijser) and when she finds out that her kin has vanished, she heads straight to the cops to try and get some help. Sergeant Dick Sheen (Shawn Savage) is more than willing to help her out, and soon enough the two of them are trying to figure out exactly what happened.

    Their investigation takes them to a halfway house operated by one Sister Cecilia (Mary Woronov), a suspicious looking and acting nun that they can't quite figure out, and Father Fogerty (Joseph Tatner), who has his own thing going on (he likes to spank). One of the girls who lives there is named Cherry Pie (Stephanie Leighs), which should give you an idea as to what to expect. The next night, Larissa uses her feminie wiles to ensure that Dick stays on the case with her, after which she decides to go infiltrate the halfway house as a woman in need, at which point things go from weird to weirder (highlighted by an attempted lesbian rape scene involving a jar of Vaseline and a statue of the Virgin Mary!). It all ties into the opening scene before it finishes up, and along the way a lot of attractive women get naked.

    This is a reasonably silly movie that was seemingly intended to be nothing more than a reasonably silly movie and, as such, it's a good bit of fun. The cheesecake on display is probably the biggest draw, Woronov being the only actress in the film who doesn't show off what the Good Lord was kind enough to bless her with. The rest of the girls are game, delivering performances that might not qualify as good but that definitely qualify as good looking. Come for the boobs, stay for the dime store monster effects.

    Mary Woronov, who is awesome in pretty much everything she's ever done and who has a fantastic screen presence, acts circles around the rest of the cast. She's clearly having a good time here playing a sadistic nun and dressed to the nines while doing it. If boobs isn't enough of a draw here, her performance should sweeten the pot a fair bit.

    Hall keeps the pacing going at a nice clip. The effects are limited by their budget but charming in the way that low budget effects can be. Production values are good enough but it's the gleefully exploitative style on display here that makes this as much fun as it is.

    The Halfway House - Blu-ray Review:

    Intervision Picture Corp. debuts The Halfway House to Blu-ray in AVC encoded 1080p high definition framed at 1.78.1 widescreen looking just fine, given the movie's low budget SOV roots. Colors are handled nicely, black levels look good and compression is fine. Detail is limited by the source material but it isn't bad at all, we get nice skin tones and a fair bit of depth here.

    The English language DTS-HD 2.0 Mono Stereo sounds just fine, it's properly balanced and free of any hiss or distortion. Range is better than you might expect for a micro-budget SOV film and the score has decent presence. Optional subtitles are provided in English SDH only.

    Extras start off with an audio commentary by producer Ed Polgardy and writer-director Kenneth J. Hall that goes over the influences that worked their way into the movie, thoughts on the source material, casting the film, the effects, who did want both in front of and behind the camera and lots more.

    Discipline And Sacrifice: A Look Back At The Halfway House is s thirty minute featurette that is made up of interviews with Hall, producer/assistant director Ed Polgardy, puppeteer and actress Constance Hall and cast members Athena Demos and Janet Tracy Keijser, FX artist Jeff Farley, associate producer Sam Park and actor/associate Michael Gaglio. This one goes pretty in-depth, covering the origins of the film, what it was like on set, Hall's directing style, how everyone got along during the making of the movie and thoughts on the film overall.

    Cleve Hall: From Monster Kid To Monster Man runs twenty-eight minutes and proves to be a very nice tribute to the makeup artist/FX artist/actor who recently passed away. We hear from a lot of people who knew him and clearly cared for the guy and learn about his life and his work primarily in the low budget film scene.

    A thirty-nine minute archival Making-Of featurette is included on the disc, which also includes a video from Insecto Circus for the track 'Halfway To Hell,' a trailer for the film, menus and chapter selection options.

    The Halfway House - The Final Word:

    The Halfway House isn't deep but it is a pretty fun watch. If naked women and goofy monster effects are your bag, it stands to reason that you'd get a big kick out of this one. Intervision's Blu-ray presents the movie in about as nice a presentation as we're likely to get, and with a nice array of supplements included.

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





























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