Alone in the Dark (1982): Collector’s Edition [Blu-Ray]

It’s too bad that in the eighties, in the midst of the big slasher movie boom, that “Alone in the Dark” was almost completely lost in the shuffle of the endless genre titles thrown in to theaters. At a time when audiences wanted splatter films and masked slashers, “Alone in the Dark” snuck by them for too long. Whole it’s not nearly the slasher that the original art for it implies, what we actually get is a chaotic home invasion horror movie with a sick sense of humor.

Dan Potter has just moved into a new town and is now the resident psychiatrist for the local insane asylum. Interestingly enough, the current patients have garnered an attachment to the previous doctor, and Dan isn’t welcomed by them in the slightest. Four primarily dangerous patients that lurk in their rooms are convinced that Potter killed their favorite therapist who once resided in the asylum, and intends on avenging him once and for all. Thanks to a rolling black out one night, the electricity to the bars of the asylum go down and the patients break free, wreaking bloody havoc on the wardens and, in the midst of chaos in the town, find their way to Dr. Potter.

Among the film’s maniacs are A shell shocked military veteran (Jack Palance), a pyromaniac preacher (Martin Landau), a large child molester (Erlind Van Lidth), and an unseen maniac that fancies hiding his face (Phillip Clark). Once they escape the hospital, they not only head for Dr. Potter but they also delight in wreaking some of their own havoc with some hapless victims. Jack Sholder’s horror film is a different kind of horror title for a decade that strived to tap in to movies about Hockey masked killers and dream demons.

It’s a thriller, but also an intense home invasion horror film that sets loose four very mentally unstable but dangerous men. Sholder drapes the film in tension, vicious violence, and of course, some darkly comic moments that keep the pacing brisk. There are some interesting murders, and some meta comedy involving one of the patients and his affinity for a hockey mask. “Alone in the Dark” really ends jup being a tongue in cheek horror entry about society and how easy it is to send it spiraling in to insanity. It’s aged very little and deserves its reputation as grade A eighties horror.

Featured on the new Edition is an archival audio commentary by director Jack Sholder, where he discusses the location of the opening of the film, the difficulty to bring to life “two words” in the script that he wrote, how the score was acquired for free, and more. The all-new second, very informative audio commentary by Critic Justin Kerswell and Historian Amanda Reyes includes a deep dive into this film. Some of the details include where the slasher film was when this film was produced and released, the Lynn Shaye cameo (her first appearance), and much more.

Out Of The Dark with Jack Sholder is an all-new interview with the writer/director, who discusses his origins as a classical orchestra musician that eventually lead to an interest in film and becoming a film director.  Sholder discusses budgeting the film, casting the film with some truly legendary actors, and other information. Mother Choppers: The Sic Fucks Remember Alone In The Dark is an all-new interview with the surviving band members of the Sick Fucks and how they created the band to get into the film, the origins of the band, and much more. Sites In The Dark: The Locations Of Alone In The Dark is an all-new featurette hosted by content producer Michael Gingold.

Like Horror’s Hallowed Grounds, they go to the various locations used by the production in and around New York. Bunky Lives! – An Interview With Actress Carol Levy is an archival featurette where Carol Levy discusses her career in ads/commercials, how she got the part of the baby sister in Alone in the Dark, and more. Still Fucking Sick – Catching Up With The The Sic Fucks is an archival featurette with the Sic Fucks who discuss getting the gig and their career post-Alone in the Dark. There’s the red band Theatrical Trailer, original TV Spots, two Radio Spots, and finally a still gallery featuring posters, lobby cards, and production stills.