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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Stag Night

February 14th, 2011

Stag Night - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray

Stag Night is the latest in a long line of Ghost House Underground DVD / Blu-rays I've reviewed, which is a label for mostly low budget horror movies with the occasional thriller tossed in. For the most part I've had mixed reactions to these films, so my expectations are a little on the low side. That said, I'm opened to being pleasantly surprised.

The Movie

The film stars Kip Pardue and Breckin Meyer as brothers, Mike and Tony. The former is getting married and the latter is part of the quartet that form the roaming bachelor party, the others being Carl and Joe. Mike is marrying Claire, who is not happy Tony's along with his friends. She thinks Tony's a troublemaker, and it's hard to disagree with that assessment, because as soon as she says that, Tony gets tossed out of the strip club they are visiting.

Joe thinks it's time to call it a night (he has a wife and kid at home) but Carl says they should head uptown to a bar he knows. So they hop on the subway and head off. Once there, they spot a couple of the strippers that worked at the club they were just tossed out of, Michelle and Brita. Carl decides to try his luck with Michelle, even though she shot him down at the club. Meanwhile, Tony starts hitting on Brita, which ends with him getting a face full of mace. Due to the ruckus, the train is stopped at an abandoned station and all six get out to recover and the subway leaves before they can get back on.

Being lost in the subway tunnels is pretty bad (not so bad that a Carl and Michelle don't make out) but their evening gets worse when they see three inbred, mutant, cannibals kill a transit cop. When the cannibals spot them, the chase is on.

While watching this movie the thought that went through my head the most was, "Haven't I seen this film before?" The killer mutants / inbreed cannibals as movie villains is hardly an original premise and films like Wrong Turn or The Hills Have Eyes have used it in the past. Even having a killer like this set in a subway is not unique. So it's not exactly original, it does have the requisite gore that fans of the genre are looking for, and while the characters are really underdeveloped, the acting is above average. Breckin Meyer gets to play an ass, which is not a role he usually plays, and he seems to be enjoying himself.

The pacing it strong, for the most part. It takes about 20 minutes to get to the action, and from there, there are not too many parts where the film slows down, other than to build tension. On the other hand, much of the plot is prodded along by the characters acting stupid. (Why get off the train in the first place? Why investigate the tunnels after seeing the transit cop get killed? Etc.)

I think the positives and the negatives balance out and if you are a fan of this genre, it is worth checking out. If you are not a fan, it won't win you over.

The Extras

The only extra on the DVD or the Blu-ray is a making of featurette, but at least it has some heft to it and comes in it at over 30 minutes. Writer / director Peter A. Dowling and much of the cast sit now to discuss the story, the characters, how they got involved in the project, etc.

I don't have the Blu-ray so I can't compare specs, but with a price-tag that is 30% more, it's right on the border between being worth it or not. Given the visual style of the movie, and its budget, I would be surprised if it shined on High Definition. Add in zero exclusive extras, and I don't think it is likely that the Blu-ray would be worth the premium.

The Verdict

Stag Night is a low-budget film that cost just $4 million to make, but it is better than I was expecting, given its budget and genre. Fans of these movies will want to check it out, but I think a rental will be enough for most, as it has some good scares and some well done gory scenes, but not a lot of replay value. Additionally, the DVD and the Blu-ray are not exactly loaded with extras.

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Filed under: Video Review, Stag Night