"Behind the Mask: The
Rise of Leslie Vernon" DVD
Every so often, something
comes along that makes me wonder how it managed to only go to
video. Something that, while I'm glad to see it on shelves, really
makes me shake my head in bafflement as I wonder how something
so good got passed up for theatrical release.
"Behind the Mask:
The Rise of Leslie Vernon" is one such film.
And what's behind this
mask is a documentary profiling the next great icon of evil in
the making, Leslie Vernon.
This part alone makes
it a unique, shining gem on the video store shelves--the documentary
portion of "Behind the Mask" does no less than a brilliant
job of deconstructing all those legendary slasher movie staples.
Ever wonder why a door always seems to close behind slasher movie
protagonists? "Behind the Mask" will explain it. How
the killers always seem to manage to escape fates that should
be their deaths? Even how they always seem to catch up to their
prey so readily even though they never move faster than a brisk
walk? All of these questions are answered, in a fashion that's
But! That's only half
the picture. "Behind the Mask" will actually manage
to subtly, almost unnoticeably, convert into a full-on slasher
flick. The transition is almost so seamless you have to pound
your rewind buttons to determine at what point it stopped being
a mock documentary with surprising depth and clarity to a slasher
flick so deftly prepared that it cannot help but satisfy.
Let me be clear. This
is utterly, utterly original. There is not, that I can recall,
anything to compare this to. The best I can do is a flimsy hypothetical--picture
Michael Moore doing "Ted and Me", a documentary where
he follows Ted Bundy around.
Perhaps even better
than all this is the appearance of Robert Englund, whose post-Freddy
years (well, almost post) have been surprisingly good to us, and
possibly him. He's clearly channelling Donald Pleasance as Doc
Loomis here, folks...the parallels are just beyond description,
and when you see him act this part out, you should be as convinced
as I am. If he wanted to, he could be the Doc Loomis in any new
Halloween he wanted. There's just no two ways about it.
Plus, from the great
distant past of the eighties, we also get a bit part from still-great
Zelda Rubinstein, who still has the chops for solid horror roles,
and whose unique voice is a charge to any exposition narrative.
The ending is a marvelous
destabilization, with a twist you only might see coming. It's
pure slasher flick ending with plenty of innovation thrown in
to keep it spicy. And the ending doesn't stop when the credits
roll, folks--stick around through the end for one last big surprise
that I will NOT give away here no matter how much you beg. Forget
The special features
include commentary tracks, a making of featurette, a casting of
featurette, deleted and extended scenes, a screenplay, audio options,
English closed captions, and trailers for "Behind the Mask:
The Rise of Leslie Vernon", "Hatchet", "Night
of the Living Dorks", "Hellboy: Blood and Iron",
and "Masters of Horror: Right to Die".
All in all, "Behind
the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon" is going to be, without
question, one of the best horror movies you see all year. If for
no other reason than it's the start of a whole new horror subgenre,
the mock horror documentary--the shockumentary--it's also great
enough on its own merits. If you're even vaguely into horror,
you must see this.
the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
Directed by Scott Glosserman
Written by David J. Stieve, Scott Glosserman
Starring Nathan Baesel, Angela Goethals, Zelda Rubinstein, Robert
Produced by Scott Glosserman
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