DVD Review: BENDER

BENDER is based on the horrifying true story of America’s first serial killing family. The frontier thriller was helmed by first-time director John Alexander and features a stellar ensemble cast with Linda Purl, Bruce Davison, Buck Taylor and horror icon James Karen.

It’s 1870s Kansas, and people have started to mysteriously vanish on the plains.  When the troubled Doctor York goes searching for answers, he stumbles upon the Benders, a homesteading family with an unnatural way of living off the land.   And when the good doctor also disappears, the locals sense that the Benders may be farming more than wheat.  With the sheriff circling and insanity afoot, America’s first serial killing family must decide what to do with their latest harvest in a 19th century thriller that’ll make your blood run cold.

Possible spoilers ahead! The beginning of the movie kind of tricks the viewer some and focuses on this one particular character who you think might be the hero of the film. Things quickly go south for the man as soon as he crosses paths with this deranged family and it doesn’t end well for him. Once we meet this family, the focus immediately changes over to them and the twisted lifestyle they live. They pick their prey like a pack of wild animals (or in this case buzzards) and the viewer gets to witness some of that. Without giving too much away,  the brother of this one particular character from the beginning of the movie gets introduced into the mix and he ultimately learns first hand what this family is capable of plus he lives to tell about his terrifying experience.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and specs. The DVD disc features the movie logo. Inserting the disc, the movie immediately starts playing so there’s no menu screen at all. The picture and sound quality for this standard-definition release were really good. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Bender ended up being a bit of a slow burn but it’s a really good watch and something a little new and different for horror fans to sink their teeth into. No pun intended. This one takes place in the late 1800’s and we don’t get too many horror-thrillers that go back in time like this one does. For this to be the directorial debut for John Alexander I thought he did a really good job with it all. The detail and vintage look for this movie is spot on, from the old timey homes, to the wardrobes, all the way down to the dialogue, there was a lot of time and effort that went into getting all of this accurate. To compliment all of this was the impressive cast assembled for the feature and they all did a great job with their characters. The blood and gore are minimal because the movie is more of a dark character study than anything else. Bender releases on DVD on August 1st from Candy Factory Films and is worth checking out.

Distributor: Candy Factory Films

Run Time: 75 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated

DVD Video: Widescreen (2.35:1)

DVD Audio: English 5.1 Surroud

Subtitles: N/A

Special Features: N/A

 

 

 

 

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