Pranks (aka The Dorm That Dripped Blood) DVD Review

Written by Peter West

DVD released by Eclectic DVD

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Directed by Stephen Carpenter & Jeffrey Obrow
Written by Stephen Carpenter, Jeffrey Obrow & Stacey Giachino1982, Region 1 (NTSC), 84 minutes, Rated R
DVD released on December 2nd, 2003

Starring:
Laura Lapinski as Joanne
Stephen Sachs as Craig
David Snow as Brian
Pamela Holland as Patty
Kay Beth as Debbie's Mother
Jimmy Betz as Officer Lewis
Chandre as Alice
Thomas Christian as Officer Dean
Richard Cowgill as Debbie's Father
Dennis Ely as Bobby Lee Tremble
Woody Roll as John Hemmit
Daphne Zuniga as Debbie

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Movie:

Prior to closing an old college dormitory, five students plan to inventory and dispose of the dorm's contents during Christmas break. Joanne (Laura Lapinski) is informed by one of her helpers Debbie (Daphne Zuniga) that her parents have decided to pick her up for the holiday instead and she will have to leave. Debbie's parents arrive while Debbie is getting Joanne the master inventory list for the dorm, however none of them make it out alive. Armed with a spiked baseball bat and piano wire Debbie's parents are killed, Debbie herself gets flattened by a car tire. This all happens unbeknownst to the others.

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In the mean time Patty (Pamela Holland) is spooked by a local transient John Hemmit (Woody Roll) as he's raiding the dumpster and she convinces Joanne to call the local police. A mysterious character Bobby Lee Tremble (Dennis Ely) arrives to buy some of the tables from the dorm and he expresses a more than friendly interest in Joanne. The maintenance man gets drilled and one by one Joanne's team of coeds meets a unsavory fate at the hands of the killer.

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Is John Hemmit a harmless tramp? Does Bobby Lee's interest in Joanne include murder? It's down to Joanne and Craig to find out who is up to these "pranks'! The movie concludes with a ending so shocking, you'll never live on campus again!

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Review:

Pranks is a normal 80's era slasher film. Nothing really to distinguish it from others such as April Fools Day, Friday the 13th or Prom Night. It is the first movie for the duo of Stephen Carpenter & Jeffrey Obrow. The may be best remember for the TV series "The Kindred" or Dean R. Koontz's The Servants of Twilight. Most of the actors in this film have their only film credits from this movie. The story is fast paced, rarely slowing down for character development or love interest. Actually most characters don't live long enough for any of that!

With a list price of $14.99 and a street price of about $10, Pranks is a good buy for fans of the "slasher" genre. The presentation does leave something to be desired in the image, however makes up for it with the action and twists. It's well worth a view!

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Video and Audio:

Pranks is presented full frame, whether or not this is the OAR, I was unable to determine. The colors are a bit faded and the picture is not very sharp. I suspect it may originate from a video source.

This movie is the debut for renowned composer Christopher Young. I suggest you check out the link I've attached to his name to view his extensive body of work! The sound is presented in a Dolby mono track and is clear and free of hiss or dropouts. Young demonstrates why he is one of Hollywood's most sought after composers with this thrill packed soundtrack.

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Special Features:

Even though Daphne Zuniga has a minor part in this film, a filmography of her distinguished career is include. Everybody has to start somewhere and Daphne started in Pranks!

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Grades:

 
Movie: Threestars
Video: Twostars
Audio: Fourstars
Features: Onestar
Overall: Threestars

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