Saturday, January 7, 2017

Thriller Video, Hosted By Elvira: The Turn of the Screw

Thriller Video was a short-lived distributor of VHS and Beta tapes who began releasing tapes in February 1985, and released tapes through 1989. They were notable for their big box format, and securing the rights to distribute what are now considered classic horror movies, such as: zombie master Lucio Fulci's Seven Doors of Death and the cannibal classic Make Them Die Slowly. Perhaps their greatest coup was securing horror movie host Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, to present 24 tapes that they would begin releasing bi-monthly at the beginning of 1985. Unlike the aforementioned gory movies, Elvira refused to do hardcore horror movie, cruelty to animals, or gore for the sake of gore, so it was perfect that she would introduce the 24 Thriller Videos she did that were mostly episodes of a British series titled Hammer House of Horrors, with some B movies thrown in.

As I get closer to finishing my collection of Thriller Videos hosted by Elvira I have learned some of the titles are much more difficult to find than others. For instance, in over five years of active collecting, I have only seen titles like The Turn of the Screw, NATAS: The Reflection, The Human Duplicators, and The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde les than three times, usually only once, and I unfortunately was not able to secure them for my collection when I saw them. But I can do the next best thing: write about them.

Turn of the Screw Thriller Video

Turn of the Screw is a tape I have seen listed for sale one time in five years. I did not win that auction, so I'm still waiting for it to come up again. 

I also haven't seen the 1974 made for tv movie, but after watching a Kolchak: The Night Stalker a thon a few nights ago, and being a big fan of Trilogy of Terror and Dark Shadows, I'm always happy to watch a Dan Curtis production. 

In the 1898 novella written by Henry James an unnamed narrator listens to Douglas, a friend, read a manuscript written by a former governess whom Douglas claims to have known and who is now dead. The manuscript tells the story of how the young governess is hired by a man who has become responsible for his young nephew and niece after the deaths of their parents. He lives mainly in London and is uninterested in raising the children. The two children turn out to not be exactly what they appear.

This production starts Lynn Redgrave as the governess, Miss Jane Cubberly, oh, I'm just discovering this as I type, James "Shadmock" Laurenson as Peter Quint. Thriller Video fans will of course remember Laurenson as the tender-hearted Shadmock in Thriller Video's The Monster Club

There's almost no chance I'll take the risk of putting this tape in a VCR when I eventually do get it, so if I ever watch it most likely I'll do it on YouTube. 

Good luck with your own Thriller Video collection, and good luck next time this one comes up for auction on Ebay.
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