The Screwfly Solution

January 28, 2012 5 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

The world has become a dangerous place if you’re a female, as a rash of vicious murders has unfolded. The epidemic began as isolated incidents, a religious zealot attacking an exotic dancer or a man suddenly killing his wife, but now, the violence has spread to epic proportions. Alan (Jason Priestley) is a biologist just back from South America, where he helped develop an enzyme to control population growth of a lethal variety of insect. Now he and his colleague Barney (Elliott Gould) have been called in to find answers in this horrific turn of events. The two quickly study the patterns and surmise that sexual arousal is sparking this violence, as if someone has tampered with the male human genetic makeup. As the team works to find some kind of solution, more and more women are killed. Can Alan manage to discover the truth about the recent events and concoct a way to end the madness, or will even he soon succumb to the mysterious ailment?

As a diehard horror fan, of course I was thrilled when the Masters of Horror series was announced. The genre’s best and brightest, with free reign to create sixty minutes of concentrated mayhem. With only an hour to fill, stories too short for feature films could be used, so the potential was limitless. While Masters of Horror has been inconsistent at best, The Screwfly Solution proves that the series’ potential is still viable. Joe Dante directs this dark, brutal episode, one that has vicious bloodshed, an engaging storyline, and even some well handled social commentary. Never forced, the social issues are instead covered as part of the story, an approach that helps keep the focus on the plot. The cast is solid across the board, the production values are impressive, and there is some wicked gore, including an off the charts stabbing that is quite intense. The Screwfly Solution isn’t perfect, but it is well crafted and is one of the better installments of the Masters of Horror.

Video: How does it look?

This transfer looks terrific, for a made for cable production or otherwise. The flaws are very minor here, with some slight pixel breakup present and edge enhancement, but in the end, these aren’t enough to hold back this superb transfer. The colors look rich and bold here, with accurate flesh tones and no signs of bleeds in the least. I found the contrast to be flawless also, as black levels were razor sharp and detail is rich throughout. I have no real problems here and as such, I am giving it high marks.

Audio: How does it sound?

The surrounds are used a lot in this one throughout, which adds a lot to the film’s atmosphere and that is vital to a picture like this one. When it needs to, this track can boom and even the bass kicks like a mule, but even the low key scenes pack a solid punch. The music sounds solid here also and the dialogue is sharp, never lost in this mix, even when it reaches a fevered pitch. In the end, this is a superb audio track and I think it helps the film’s effectiveness a lot. This disc also includes a 2.0 surround soundtrack.

Supplements: What are the extras?

The supplements start off with an audio commentary track, as director Joe Dante and teleplay writer Sam Hamm. This was a fantastic session, perhaps because of the short duration, but also because of how information was packed in. The two cover a wealth of topics, from the cast to the special effects to the story, not to mention production stories and beyond. One of the best commentary tracks I’ve heard lately, not to be missed. You can also check out two brief featurettes, one general and one for the special effects, but neither off as much substance as the commentary track.

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