When I was a kid, I was a big fan of TNT's MonsterVision which was like USA Up All Night only they showed these old low budget horror flicks. TV favorite Joe Bob Briggs hosted it. One of the show's staples was Encounter With the Unknown. It usually followed another TV classic, The Legend of Boggy Creek. I've lost track the number of times I recorded and re-recorded these movies and now Code Red has finally done EWtU justice by bringing it out of the VHS graveyard and into the digital age.
Encounter With the Unknown is much in the vein of Night Gallery and The Twilight Zone with Rod Sterling narrating a trio of supernatural tales. In the first story, a grieving mother places a deadly curse on three young men who played a fatal prank on her only son. "One by land. Two by sky...". In the second story, a country boy discovers a gaping hole in the middle of his family's land where strange, terrifying noises emanate from deep within. When the boy's bumpkin father and his friends decide to venture down into the hole, they soon discover that there are places man was never meant to go. In the last story, a sad young girl hails a ride home from the bridge. When the good Sumaritan arrives at the girl's home, she has vanished and he earns of her sad fate.
Code Red has done a remarkable job by presenting this fun family horror flick in an anamorphic widescreen version. While the print is riddled with scratches, debris, and washed out colors, it's a small price to pay to finally see it on DVD. I didn't care. I've waited so long to add this to my collection that I'll take this copy any day.
As part of Code Red's double bill, they've added a version of Journey To the Center of the Earth with A Night To Remember (the original Titanic epic for our grandparents' age) star Kenneth More. Why they chose to include a cheesey sci-fi flick with a horror movie is anyone's guess. I have yet to watch and I doubt I ever will as this story has never interested me in any of its remakes. Also included is a couple of forgettable trailers that I guess Code Red may release in the future if people appear to want them. I won't be amongst them.
As with Code Red's marketing policy, this DVD will most likely have a short shelf life so if you're interested in a fun, scary flick, I'd grab a copy while you still can. Ghostkeeper was recently released and it's already gone OOP with a last listing of $75.