.Ever totally forget you ordered something until it arrives? This is Videoville Showtime's box set of Return of the Living Dead Necropolis and Rave to the Grave hailing from Canada. It also came all the way from the country and took weeks to get to my mailbox. Why is Canadian Post always so damn slow?
I decided to investigate this VVS Films set since there's a number of odd things about it. First, it just seems strange a studio would care enough to create a limited edition box set of two rather uneventful releases and dub it a "collection" of a director that's nowhere near a household name to anyone. A curious "unrated" is slapped on the front and Rave to the Grave's cover with Lionsgate's stateside discs being R-rated. There also appears to be no specs or details of this set available anywhere. So I had no idea if these had exclusive extras or what...dammit.
When Amazon.ca had this set, it was tagged with the insane price of $42 US shipped. Finally sealed copies are currently popping up from iNetVideo on Amazon's Marketplace and eBay for $15 shipped, but the shipping time as stated is a bitch like that third step.
Surprisingly, both films in this set are longer than Lionsgate's U.S. discs. Necropolis runs one minute, six seconds longer while Rave to the Grave runs exactly three minutes longer than the R-rated cut. This extra time is calculated at main track start and every disc has identical opening and closing credit sequences. I haven't seen Necropolis recently enough to tell (aside from the first kill), but it appears nearly every bloodier/gorier portion involving zombie attacks in Rave is lengthened by a few frames on this Canadian DVD. You gotta wonder why Lionsgate went through the trouble of submitting to the MPAA's scissors when the only people watching these would want to see the maximum amount of undead carnage contained within. The addition bits aren't going to change minds but it's annoying knowing the versions from a studio known for releasing horror uncut are truncated.
For the the video quality of the presentations; the hat tips to Lionsgate with both of their DVDs featuring progessive, anamorphic widescreen transfers. VVS's transfers are interlaced with terrible combing artifacts and for some unknown reason Necropolis is non-anamorphic (despite the box stating it is) yet Rave is anamorphic. Liongate's discs only feature Dolby stereo tracks while both of VVS's discs sport Dolby 5.1 tracks. Extras are slim with VVS having each film's "Coming to a Theater Near You" (hahaha) trailers and Lionsgate crapping out with only trailers for other films on each.
I know this won't mean much to most, but this entry is for those like me with DVD version control OCD and uncut diehards who demand only the longest cuts of the films they watch...but who wouldn't? If you haven't seen these and want to; this set looks nice with a nice price (see here) next to your other ROLD series DVDs. No reason to fiddle with the edited versions, right?