Blu-ray Review: SAINT BERNARD

SAINT BERNARD was written and directed by legendary FX Master Gabe Bartalos and stars Jason Dugre, Katy Sullivan, Peter Iasillo Jr., Bob Zmuda and Warwick Davis.

Shot on Super 16mm and 35mm film, the highly-anticipated horror jaunt fixes on a classical musical conductor who unravels into the abyss of insanity. Gabe Bartalos, the film’s director, writer and special effects artist pulls heavily from his ripe imagination, creating extraordinary characters, bizarre set designs, and incredibly inspired prosthetic effects. Amid a palette of dark themes, the film takes its audience on a turbulent ride through Bernard’s surreal adventures as he spirals into madness.

This bizarre horror fantasy follows Bernard and plays like a drug induced day in the life of or maybe a bad acid trip or possibly over shroomed. Can you over shroom? Anyway, Bernard dreams of becoming a world famous music conductor one day and when he’s finally given the chance, he blows it and it has something to do with drugs. From that point on we watch this man go on this wacky journey that’s really hard to describe. He stops on the damned interstate and finds the rotting head of a St. Bernard so he puts it in a bag and carries it around with him through the rest of the movie.

Bernard encounters all kinds of characters along the way. Some of these figures are made out of hair while others appear as monster cops and stick figures. There’s even skydiving shickens! Bernard meets up with these figures and is able to find his way out of these fantasy-like predicaments almost like it’s a video game being played where he makes it to the next level. It’s all drug induced, folks! Bernard didn’t have a happy childhood and it’s poored over into adulthood which ultimately leads him to confronting a family member who may or may not be the cause for his troubled life.

The front of the packaging features the wild artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. This Severin release comes in a black keepcase which helps it stand out from the others. The Blu-ray disc also features some artwork that matches the front cover. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Saint Bernard is hands down the craziest movie I’ve ever witnessed. I mean, what the heck did I just watch and then watch again because it was so freaking entertaining? Bernard’s story is really a sad one that’s drug induced from the get go and he’s about as insane as it gets. This man is dealing with his own personal demons in a very unhealthy way and it literally drives him crazy. As interesting as the story is, it’s also the weakest part of the movie because a lot of people aren’t going to get it. Hell, maybe I got it all wrong! But, it’s also a fascinating watch that’s driven by this interesting character who meets all kinds of bizarre and eccentric figures along the way. Something really impressive about this watch are the amazing special effects and creature designs that come from the mind of Gabe Bartalos. This was the second full-length feature for the FX Master and he took his time getting the final product to look the way he wanted it to. From 2013 to 2019 to be exact. It’s an entertaining watch that’s maxed out with bizarre weirdness and there’s nothing else out there like it. Saint Bernard is now available on Blu-ray.

Distributor: Severin Films

Run Time: 98 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0

Subtitles: N/A

Special Features: The extras include a making of featurette (17:14) and official trailer (00:57).

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