When a Stranger Calls / Happy Birthday to Me [Blu-ray] [US Import]
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MILL CREEK 63173 WHEN A STRANGER CALLS & HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME BLU-RAY(TM) DOUBLE FEATURE
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Top Customer Reviews
Sheesh! STILL have to stick these clarifications at the top of reviews in case this review gets shunted onto another release...
WHEN A STRANGER CALLS.
"Have you checked the children?"
Still one of the finest opening scenes in a horror movie. Creepy and unnerving without needing to spill a drop of blood. This opening scene could cut together as a great standalone short movie. As for the rest of the film, previous times I've sat through the film what follows always came as something of an anticlimax. Essentially it reverts to showing the killer as he wanders the city after escaping the mental hospital while a retired detective (played by Charles Durning) attempts to track him down, not to apprehend him but to kill him. The film becomes more a portait of a madman than a suspenseful horror and I always felt it never really picked up the same quality until about ten minutes before the end.
This time I really enjoyed it however. Probably more so than any previous time I watched it.
Probably because the picture and sound quality on this release is first rate. Mill creek are a fairly cheap and cheerful operation but so far they have managed to stick out some great quality releases that actually look and sound great. Compared to the rotten looking dvd releases when a stranger calls looks phenomenal on Blu-ray. Lots of detail, great colour and in anamorphic widescreen. For the going price of the disc this alone would be worth shelling out for but then we also get...
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME.
J.Read more ›
Please note that this American import is a region A locked Blu ray and will require playback on a multi-region player although I did easily get this to play on my UK Panasonic BD80 by pressing stop on the wrong region screen then hitting the '1" button followed by 'ok'. I believe this ONLY works on certain Panasonic machines so please don't take my words as gospel but it was nice to sidestep the region coding and be able to see these two films.
Millcreek's record on quality has been famously hit and miss but thankfully this to-fer is one of the better ones presenting both features in 1080p AVC MPEG 4 encoded transfers. Happy Birthday To Me is the best looking of the two with a surprising strong transfer that appears to have been sourced from well preserved elements. Framed at 1.77:1 the picture exhibits a wealth of detail in the image despite the obvious low budget of the movie and the relatively low bitrate of the encode. The bright outdoor daytime scenes looks great and thanks to solid black levels the night segments are especially strong too showcasing excellent shadow detail perfect for the bell tower and graveyard scenes as well as the low-lit interiors.Read more ›
Happy Birthday To Me (1981) is closer to the traditional slasher - a group of teens are knocked off one by one (as usual) at the hands of a psychopath, while one of the girls clearly has a few deeply rooted psychological issues. At nearly two hours this could have done with being edited down by around fifteen minutes or so, but the story is reasonably good and there are a few twists to keep you on your toes, along with some nasty murders and a morbid finale. The original poster artwork would have been more desirable for the cover (rather than the Columbia Tristar DVD artwork) but I'm not going to jump on the cove-bashing bandwagon that is so popular these days.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
These are two horror classics from the turn of the 80's that have been copied and spoofed. Watching these films will help someone understand the genius of say a movie like... Read morePublished 10 months ago by The Movie Guy
Bad, bad,y made and, despite a not so common plot, I think the remake by Simon West is at least more tense and cinematically more interesting, with a good sense of space and designPublished 12 months ago by Elleppi
Bought for when a stranger calls but happy birthday to me is also good fun. Decent quality I both picture and soundPublished on 4 April 2014 by keith
I'd never seen either of these films before ordering the Blu Ray - first things first it is true that this disk is region locked and will not play on a Region B player but anyone... Read morePublished on 30 Sept. 2013 by zax93
I have always enjoyed both of these two movies and was happy to find them on this double feature release from Miller Creek. And for the low price as $5-8 its a steal! Read morePublished on 31 Aug. 2013 by N. Lindström
Picture quality very good - a surprise considering the price tag.
As for the films themselves,a couple of classics from late 70s early 80s well made and acted.
I've never seen When A Stranger Calls, so my reason for wanting this was because of Happy Birthday To Me, a film I remember reasonably fondly from the early 1980's. Read morePublished on 27 May 2013 by Lucifer Box