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Unmasked Part 25 Main

Unmasked Part 25 Blu-ray Review

Written by ZigZag

Blu-ray released by Vinegar Syndrome

Unmasked Part 25 Large

Directed by Anders Palm
Written by Mark Cutforth
1988, 88 minutes, Unrated
Released on October 29th, 2019

Starring:
Gregory Cox as Jackson
Fiona Evans as Shelly
Edward Brayshaw as Father
Debbie Lee London as Christi
Kim Fenton as Nick
Anna Conrich as Ann

Unmasked Part 25 01 Unmasked Part 25 02

Review:

Jackson is something of a celebrity, yet he does not crave fame nor does he care to socialize. Jackson is a hideously disfigured homicidal maniac who stalks the city of London wearing a hockey mask and a long black trench coat. His murders are numerous and have inspired a series of films called Hand of Death that he purportedly stars in. The long-running franchise has spawned two dozen sequels and show little sign of slowing down as long as he continues to kill. What Jackson needs is to be loved. During his latest bloodbath, he slaughters five out of six young adults attending a party. It is when he approaches his final girl of the evening that he meets Shelly, a blind woman who mistakes him for her absentee date and the two hit it off.

Shelly invites Jackson to her apartment where they relax, talk and make love. Jackson is taken by her kindness and lack of judgment. He feels free to open up to her and reveal his sensitive side, reciting Byron and Shakespeare. They fall madly in love and Jackson strives to be a better man, as lately he finds his profession as a serial killer tedious. Drawing inspiration from Shelly’s strength of character Jackson attempts to turn over a new leaf, but fate has other plans for him and soon he is back in the killing business.

Unmasked Part 25 (aka Hand of Death) is a horror-romantic comedy hybrid from the 1980s that satirizes the slasher subgenre. Taking aim at the Friday the 13th franchise and its ilk, the makers of this picture take a fresh approach by humanizing the villain and making him the hero. Jackson was raised to be a killer and excels at the task with originality and style. He is really good at his job but is growing bored of the routine and finds the process pointless. It is the introduction of Shelly into his life that brings him fresh inspiration, one of hope and change.

Unmasked Part 25 03 Unmasked Part 25 04

Director Anders Palm (Murder Blues) and writer/ producer Mark Cutforth (Blast ‘Em) create a refreshing and thoughtful meditation on the slasher film. The premise is inspired by Frankenstein and Beauty and the Beast and focuses on richly drawn characters balanced by moments of extreme violence and gory mayhem. The film has a pitch-black sense of humor and contains its share of surprises as our anti-hero strives to change his ways. Gregory Cox (Making a Killing) stars as Jackson, the sensitive psycho prone to poetry. He delivers a touching performance that shines even through his heavy prosthetic make-up. Fiona Evans (Gems) is the beautiful Shelly, the inspiration for a new life. She and Cox work really well together and their budding relationship feels natural and promising.

As well-written as the romance angle is, horror fans will be happy to know that Jackson remains a brutal mass murderer. He stalks his victims in cinematic fashion and delivers punishing justice for their indiscretions. The gore is over-the-top and accomplished with plenty of blood and guts to satisfy. Unmasked Part 25 was written by a Canadian, directed by a Swede and carries a very British sense of humor. The film plays as something of a precursor to the self-referential style that became popular in the 1990s. If you’re looking for a love story with a body count, this is definitely one you should have in your collection.

Unmasked Part 25 05 Unmasked Part 25 06

Video and Audio:

Newly scanned and remastered in 2K from the original 35mm negative and presented in the 1.66:1 aspect ratio, the picture looks fantastic. Colors are bright and well-saturated, black levels are deep and flesh tones appear natural throughout.

A DTS-HD MA 1.0 delivers the original mono mix without any problems. Dialogue is always clear and distinct and music cues are solid without being intrusive.

Optional English subtitles are included for anyone in need.

Unmasked Part 25 07 Unmasked Part 25 08

Special Features:

There are two audio commentaries on this release, the first with director Anders Palm who provides a look at the production history and the challenges of the shoot. The discussion is scene-specific and he is seldom at a loss for words, although there is some occasional onscreen narration.

The second commentary features writer-producer Mark Cutforth and is moderated by Peter Kuplowsky and Justin Decloux of Laser Blast Film Society. This is a lively track that covers a lot of territory including inspirations for the story, establishing tone and the writing process, casting, working with special effects and distribution. Cutforth shares plenty of production stories and seems to really enjoy the opportunity to discuss the film.

A photo gallery plays as a slideshow (3 minutes) containing both color and black and white shots of behind-the-scenes images, promotional stills and assorted bits of press coverage.

A spoiler-heavy trailer has been included.

Unmasked Part 25 09 Unmasked Part 25 10

Grades:

Movie: Threeandahalfstars Unmasked Part 25 Small
Buy Amazon Us
Unmasked Part 25 Small
Buy Vinegar Syndrome
Video: Fivestars
Audio: Threeandahalfstars
Features: Twoandahalfstars
Overall: Threeandahalfstars

About The Author
ZigZag
Author: ZigZag
Staff Writer
ZigZag's favorite genres include horror (foreign and domestic), Asian cinema and pornography (foreign and domestic). His ability to seek out and enjoy shot on video (SOV) horror movies is unmatched. His love of films with a budget under $100,000 is unapologetic.
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