I’ve got a strange, abusive relationship going on with the writing duo of Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan right now because while I blindly follow their horror adventures time and time again, I’m not always left a happy camper. Sure, efforts like Feast, a highlight reel of their work throughout the Saw series, and The Collector made the horror fan inside me squeal with joy, but then there are the films like Piranha 3DD, the less appealing moments tainting their Saw series work, and the squandered opportunities of the other two Feast movies which knock their fans right back into a failed B-Movie reality. Hit and miss seriously describes the two to a tee, so when I walked into a theatrical viewing of The Collection back in 2012, you better believe I had no bloody idea what to expect.
The Collection is a straight follow-up to their indie “torture-porn” hit The Collector, about some lunatic in a mask who rigs a suburban house with traps galore while a common criminal simultaneous plans a robbery targeting the same house. As the film wraps up, our thief turned victim, Arkin (Josh Stewart), thinks he’s made it out of the house of horrors with a new lease on life, only to be snatched up by The Collector as the credits role – but that’s far from the last we hear of Arkin, as that’s pretty much exactly where The Collection picks up.
After Arkin is freed through a horrifically violent turn of events, The Collector steals a young girl and retreats to his abandoned warehouse hideout, but unfortunately his newest victim Elena (Emma Fitzpatrick) comes from a rich and connected family who won’t give up on her. A team of specialists is assembled, of course Arkin is roped in because he’s the only one to successfully escape The Collector, and a siege on the hideout is planned. Too bad you can’t plan on walking into a deadly carnival of terror, all meticulously planned out by a masked psychopath, as our rescue team soon find themselves in a gargantuan maze of rigged traps around every corner, certainly giving The Collector home field advantage.
With creativity in spades and unapologetic horror brutality covering audiences in a thick, red goo, The Collection remains one of the biggest genre surprises of 2012 for myself. Not everybody bought Melton and Dunstan’s disregard for sanity and relentless attack of stomach-churning death trap after death trap, but for those sick and twisted enough to share my same mindset, it became oh so easy to dig every freakin’ minute of action and insanity thrown our way.
Don’t think you’re eased into it either, because The Collection starts things off with a rave-scene massacre which HAS to set some kind of body count record, and from that point on the film keeps the pedal to the metal, spitting blazing fire out of a comically large engine, running down anything in its devastating path.
Sorry, I could gush over The Collection for days, and watching it from the comfort of home offered the same enjoyable (yes, I know I’m f*cked up) experience, so if you want my full thoughts on the film, check out my review for the theatrical release! If you want my Sparknotes version though, I’ll sum my feelings up with a simple blurb from my review:
The Collection is one of those horror films that really makes you sound like a deranged psychopath for recommending, but demands to be spread like a mind-controlling plague.
Getting away from the overall quality of the film, The Collection Blu-Ray offers stunning 1080P High Definition picture to really bring out the visual brilliance of every severed limb and spurt of blood, because who doesn’t want maximum carnage in the most dazzling picture possible?! Marry those sticky visuals with the mood-setting 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio to really bump those techno club beats and driving horror soundtrack, and you’ve got a pleasing combination suitable to deliver The Collection in all its gory glory. A crystal clear picture which accentuates the rivers of blood, crisp audio to hear every single crunching bone – man, I’m probably going to be put on some type of watch-list after writing this review.
As for the special features, here’s the rundown:
- Ultraviolet Digital Copy
- Commentary With Director/Writer Marcus Dunstan And Writer Patrick Melton
- Alternative Scenes
- A Director’s Vision
- Makeup And Effects Of The Collection
- Production Design
- Special Effects of The Collection
- Stunts of The Collection
Concerning the alternative scenes, two out of three are worth the watch. While we can easily write off an alternate which only sees The Collector looking at disguises, the other two offer completely different glimpses into the film’s world – specifically expanding upon the mercenary Dre with one while the other draws out the existing ending with some grainy 8MM footage that looked like it could have been a pretty twisted post-credits scene.
Being the uber-nerd I am though, I was super excited to check out the behind-the-scenes extras showing the movie magic behind making giant windmilling turbines of doom or the makeup design which takes life from the living – and I wasn’t disappointed.
While each segment was a little on the short side and could have gone into some more technical detail, each topic picked its biggest scene to display just how the most grandiose stunt or bloodiest body-explosion came to be. I especially enjoyed hearing director Marcus Dunstan talk about working with makeup effects designer Gary J. Tunnicliffe, and how the visual mastermind refused to favor CGI over practical work. For a movie like The Collection, such a decision pays off ten times more than an animated cop-out, which is why Dunstan’s film has so much vibrant life as compared to other films which might have had a bigger budget yet went the route of animation. I’m a horror purist, and The Collection understood my wants completely.
If you liked The Collection in theaters, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t splurge and add its Blu-Ray to your collection, but I highly advise against making Dunstan’s film an impulse buy. Some will find it revolting, disgusting, and grossly braindead when compared to more intelligent horror films, but for those looking for nothing but a howling mad film worth an epic midnight-movie watch, The Collector’s evil ways remain even sweeter the second time around.
The Collection is over-the-top gory, brutally unapologetic, and in-your-face horror insanity which injects life into the "torture porn" sub-genre of horror once again.