HOLLISTON (S1 BLU-RAY)
Reviewed by: Zombie Boy
What's it about
In FEARnetís first original show, two slacker wannabe horror filmmakers engage in day to day hijinks. Think old school sitcom, but with more dick jokes and flesh-ripping.
Is it good movie?
Adam Green and Joe Lynch had built a lot of equity with me for HATCHET and WRONG TURN 2, respectively, but that was slightly attenuated by the debacle that is CHILLERAMA. So when I learned that FEARnetís first original show was going to be those two guys doing a throwback, three-camera sitcom complete with laugh track, I was less than jazzed. But one of the best things about this DVD Pub critic gig is that I get exposed to new things, even if I donít want to be. As it turns out, HOLLISTON is pretty damned good.
Green and Lynch pretty much play themselves here, though exaggerated for comic effect. Theyíre two average guys making low-budget cable TV commercials for local businessmen, and use the equipment at night to host a horror film TV show. In their off time they work on their script for SHIN PADS, a horror film about an undead hockey team. Meanwhile Adamís ex-girlfriend, Corri, who broke his heart and whom he is clearly not yet over, comes back to town. She moves in with Joeís tiny and bizarre girlfriend, Laura, and the four get into a variety of hijinks.
HOLLISTON has a lot of good things going for it. Right off the bat, the foursome cast has great chemistry, largely because theyíre all good friends in real life. Green and Lynch also have a lot of horror street cred, and added to the fact that the show is produced for a network created specifically for horror fans, you get a lot of nice guest stars. In addition to show regulars Dee Snider and Oderus Urungus (very exciting for me, as a long-time Gwar fan) there are appearances by Derek Mears, Kane Hodder, Bill Moseley, and Danielle Harris, among others. There are also lots of great z-grade gore gags referencing films such as RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK and POLTERGEIST. Hell, even Victor Crowley makes an appearance!
Sure, the laugh track and campy 80ís sitcom gags are hard to take at first, but once you get into the show that worry melts away. Itís good, gory, goofy fun, and a definite love letter to all of us who grew up with horror, and aspired to be a part of it in whatever way we could.
Video / Audio
Video: 1080p, Widescreen, 1.78:1.
Audio: DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Commentaries: Green, Lynch, Ortiz, and English all do a group commentary on every episode. Not surprisingly, Green and Lynch do most of the talking. The commentaries are fun, easy to listen to, and informative.
The Road To Holliston promos: This is a collection of six short promo pieces, that I assume aired on FEARnet as a lead-up to the premiere of the show. Theyíre all staged and self-deprecating, containing similar humor as the actual show. They range from one to ten minutes long each.
Deleted Scenes: As opposed to a normal menu of deleted scenes, the three featured here are kind of fun. There is an alternate ending to one episode, which was shot in case the show got cancelled early so they could have a satisfying wrap-up. There is also an alternate opening to one episode, which was scrapped after that episode suddenly got sponsored by Butterfinger, and they had to shoe-horn references into. And finally there is a scene where each character ends up chewing the same piece of gum, and we see it here from only one camera with no cuts.
Behind the Scenes: This is actually a series of seven short pieces covering every aspect of the show, from its inception to SFX to cast to set design to specific big scenes from different episodes.
Sneak Peak TV Special: This is a 20-minute interview with the four cast members, including scenes from the show. If youíve watched the other special features first, this is really just a lot of repeat information. No one can say that this special features menu is not damned comprehensive.
Bloopers: Now, you know a show with this style of humor and self-deprecation is going to have a blooper reel. And itís pretty funny. Especially the Oderus moments.
This is a serious labor of love for Adam Green, being the creator, writer, director, and star of the series. Luckily it is a labor well undertaken. It is a love letter to fans of horror, and for all the misfits and miscreants out there just trying to make ends meet and satisfy their creative yearnings. And for everyone else there is gore and potty humor. Kudos to FEARnet for taking a chance on such a weird premise as a horror-themed sitcom, and may all their original programming be so weird and entertaining, and for putting out a Blu-ray with such an embarrassment of riches on the special features menu.