Jun 112019
 

Trapped Alive is a middling and ultimately dull horror-fantasy-thriller and it’s really not hard to see why this didn’t really see the light of day over the past 20+ years, still fans of the subterranean monster film might get something out of this.

 

 

Trapped Alive
(1988)

Genre(s): Horror, Fantasy
Arrow Video | NR – 91 min. – $39.95 | June 4, 2019

Date Published: 06/11/2019 | Author: The Movieman


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by: Leszek Burzynski

Writer(s): Julian Weaver (original story), Leszek Burzynski and Julian Weaver (screenplay)
Cast: Alex Kubik, Randolph Powell, Elizabeth Kent, Mark Witsken, Sullivan Hester, Cameron Mitchell
DISC INFO:
Features: Commentaries, Featurettes, Interviews, Gallery

Slip Cover: No
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 2.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.78
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 41.01 GB
Total Bitrate: 39.72 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C

Arrow Video provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.


THE MOVIE — 2.25/5


Plot Synopsis: On a wintry night, friends Robin (SULLIVAN HESTER) and Monica (LAURA KALISON) are making their way to a Christmas party when they’re carjacked by a gang of crooks (ALEX KUBIK, MARK WITSKEN, MICHAEL NASH) recently escaped from the local penitentiary. With the two young women taken as hostages, things take an even darker turn when their vehicle plummets down an old abandoned mine shaft, trapping the group underground and at the mercy of a mutant with a taste for human flesh.

Quick Hit Review: Trapped Alive a.k.a. Trapped a.k.a. Forever Mine is a horror movie that pretty much nobody really every heard of (as noted by horror fans on “The Hysteria Continues” audio commentary) and it is one that was filmed in the late 80s but apparently didn’t see a release until the early 90s. It’s really not hard to see why this didn’t get much attention until this Arrow Video release.

Trapped Alive is a slow moving film with not a whole lot going on until probably over the halfway point and afterwards, only a couple of scenes of actual horror. The writing itself, co-scripted by director Leszek Burzynski, doesn’t have the strongest character development though at least some of the performances, especially when comprised of some novices, including Sullivan Hester, weren’t too bad. The film also features Cameron Mitchell late in his career when he literally had done hundreds of movies, here he appears for maybe 5-minutes of screentime, a couple lines of dialogue and generally his scenes were shot in one location.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 4.0/5


This single-disc release is housed in a clear HD keep case and comes with a nice booklet.

Audio Commentaries:

  • Writer-Director Leszek Burzynski
  • Makeup Effects Crew Member Hank Carlson and Horror Writer Josh Hadley
  • The Hysteria Continues

Each one of these gives a different perspective of the movie. The first, with Burzynski gives a good background on the project (which he also recounts in the subsequent interviews) while the second is more specific on the effects. The third is probably my favorite having listened to them on other Arrow Video releases and they do provide a plethora of information; it’s like sitting in with a group of friends.

There’s EVIL Underground (30:52) – This featurette includes new interviews with writer-director Leszek Burzynski, Cinematographer Nancy Schreiber, Production Manager Alexandra Reed and Actors Alex Kubik & Sullivan Hester. Always enjoy these retrospective featurettes and here they do manage to get a few from the production, including one of the leading ladies in her sole credited role. There is bits of info gleaned, including horror icon Michael Berryman was originally cast as “Face” but was fired.

Interview with Hank Carlson (18:37) – This is a new interview with the Makeup Effects Crew member recounting his work on the production.

Upper Michigan Tonight TV Documentary (22:32) is from 1988 and was about the Windsor Lake Studios in Wisconsin and features behind-the-scenes footage and contemporary interviews with the cast and crew.

Leszek Burzynski: The Early Years (9:41) – The director discusses the early foray into filmmaking.

Rounding things out is an Image Gallery (3:19).

 


VIDEO – 4.5/5


Arrow Video releases Trapped Alive onto Blu-ray where its presented with a 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 1080p high-definition transfer. The picture did get restored, taken from the original 35mm camera negative and then scanned in 2K resolution (and supervised by Nancy Schreiber). Although I did tend to notice some minor specs here and there but for the most part, the video was sharp and the natural film grain has been retained. Colors meanwhile were decent and skin tones appear natural looking, even when the bulk of the movie is in a dark location.

AUDIO – 3.75/5


The disc includes DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track which was perfectly satisfying though nothing overly amazing. Dialogue did come through with good clarity and really didn’t detect any pops or hissing, so it was a clean audio transfer.

 


OVERALL – 3.0/5


Overall, Trapped Alive is a middling and ultimately dull horror-fantasy-thriller and it’s really not hard to see why this didn’t really see the light of day (at least much) over the past 20+ years, still fans of the subterranean monster film might get something out of this. The Blu-ray release from Arrow Video offers up great video and serviceable audio, however there was a nice selection of bonus features, primarily no less than THREE audio commentaries.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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