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Blu-ray Review: The Larry Fessenden Collection
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Adam Frazier   |  @   |  
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The Larry Fessenden Collection Blu-Ray from Scream Factory

The Larry Fessenden Collection
Blu-ray
Director: Larry Fessenden
Cast: Connie Britton, Ron Perlman , Larry Fessenden, Meredith Snaider, Miriam Healy-Louie, Patricia Clarkson, Jake Weber, Erik Per Sullivan, James Le Gros
Scream Factory
Not Rated | 390 Minutes
Release Date: October 20, 2015

Writer, producer, director and actor, Larry Fessenden has become an indie horror icon with his idiosyncratic, genre-bending films. Known for realistic, character-driven horror stories. Fessenden’s films often examine the disintegration of civilization and humanity, focusing on psychological dread instead of blood and guts.

Scream Factory and IFC Midnight have teamed up to present four of Fessenden’s critically acclaimed films on Blu-ray for the first time. The Larry Fessenden Collection includes No Telling, Habit, Wendigo, and The Last Winter, and features new director-supervised HD transfers.

In 1991’s No Telling, an organic-farming advocate (David Van Tieghem) meets a woman (Miriam Healy-Louie) whose husband does weird limb transplant experiments with animals. It’s like a weird mash-up of Stuart Gordon’s Re-Animator and Shane Carruth’s Upstream Color.

Next there’s 1995’s Habit, which stars Fessenden as a down-on-his-luck bohemian who meets a mysterious woman (Meredith Snaider) at a Halloween party, believing she might be a vampire. Habit is a really interesting vampire film that feels like Red Shoe Diaries meets The Lair of the White Worm – a weird mash-up that is no doubt Fessenden’s strongest work.

Wendigo (2001) stars Patricia Clarkson (The Green Mile) and Jake Weber (Dawn of the Dead) as vacationers terrorized by the spirit of the Wendigo, a Native American legend made real by their son’s imagination. The supernatural half-beast creature resembles Pumpkinhead, but with a deer’s skull and antlers. Wendigo features some strong performances from a solid cast, but ultimately the payoff (i.e., the creature’s reveal via low-budget special effects) can’t live up to the film’s slow but compelling buildup.

The final film in Scream Factory’s Fessenden collection is The Last Winter, an arctic horror-thriller in the vein of John Carpenter’s The Thing. Starring Ron Perlman and Connie Britton, the 2006 film involves a crew sent to evaluate the environmental impact of Arctic oil drilling. While there, strange and unexplainable events begin to plague them. The crew suspects that sour gas (natural gas containing hydrogen sulfide) may have been released as a result of runaway climate change, inducing hallucinations and insanity among the group.

This complete retrospective comes with an insane amount of bonus content, including a 24-page booklet with liner notes by Fangoria’s Michael Gingold that includes never-before-seen photos, storyboards and sketches, new audio commentaries and interviews, and making-of featurettes.

Also included are Fessenden’s short films, including the rarities White Trash and Santa Claws, as well as music videos, behind-the-scenes footage, and a feature-length documentary about the making of The Last Winter.

Overall, The Larry Fessenden Collection is a solid Blu-ray release from Scream Factory that includes four interesting indie horror films. Fessenden’s work is more psychological in nature, which may prove taxing for those looking for buckets of blood and guts. Still, for those who are looking for something different, these films are nothing less than intriguing.

The Larry Fessenden Collection is now available at Amazon. For a complete list of bonus features, as well as trailers, keep reading!

The Larry Fessenden Collection Bonus Features

No Telling

  • NEW: Director-approved HD Transfer
  • NEW: Audio commentary with Larry Fessenden
  • Making of No Telling (1991)
  • Archival footage (1990)
  • Short Film White Trash (1979) with new music by Will Bates
  • Glass Eye Pix sizzle reel (1985-1990)

Habit

  • NEW: Director-approved HD Transfer
  • NEW: Audio commentary with Larry Fessenden
  • The Making of Habit featurette (1995)
  • Short film Habit (1981)
  • The making of short film Habit (1981)
  • “Save You from Yourself” music video
  • Short film N is for Nexus, from The ABCs of Death 2
  • The Making of N is for Nexus
  • “Frankenstein Cannot Be Stopped” music video
  • Theatrical trailer

Wendigo

  • NEW: Director-approved HD Transfer
  • NEW: Audio commentary with Larry Fessenden
  • NEW: Audio commentary with Patricia Clarkson, Jake Weber, and John Speredakos
  • Search for the Wendigo – Behind the Scenes featurette (2001)
  • Interview with Larry Fessenden (2001)
  • Wendigo: The Animated Series trailer
  • Short Film Santa Claws (2008)
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Glass Eye Pix sizzle reel (2010)

The Last Winter

  • NEW: 2015 interview with Larry Fessenden
  • Audio commentary with Larry Fessenden
  • The Making of The Last Winter – full-length documentary
  • Deleted scenes and archival footage (2005)
  • Short film Jebediah
  • Short film Origins
  • Short film Mister
  • “Tired of Killing Myself” music video
  • Glass Eye Pix sizzle reel (2014)

Trailers

Cover

The Larry Fessenden Collection

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