Movie Review: Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (Collector’s Edition) Blu-ray

Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon was directed by Scott Glosserman from a screenplay by David Stieve and Scott Glosserman and stars Nathan Baesel, Angela Goethals, Britain Spelling, and Ben Pace, with Zelda Rubinstein and Robert Englund.

You know legendary maniacs Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers and Freddy Krueger. Now meet Leslie Vernon, the next great psycho-slasher. Nathan Baesel (Invasion) stars as Vernon, a good-natured killing machine who invites a documentary film crew to follow him as he reminisces with his murder mentor (Scott Wilson, The Walking Dead), evades his psychiatrist/nemesis (Robert Englund, A Nightmare On Elm Street), deconstructs Freudian symbolism, and meticulously plots his upcoming slaughter spree. But when the actual carnage begins, where do you draw the line between voyeuristic thrills, mythic evil, and good old-fashioned slasher movie mayhem?

I remember when I first watched Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon back in 2007 and it’s a movie that definitely came from out of nowhere that featured this all-new slasher who invites a film crew to record him as he prepares for a killer night they’ll never forget. The night begins okay for them and Leslie seems like an all-around nice guy plus they even get to meet a few of his friends who share some stories of their own about the business. It’s wild watching these killers sit around and talk about the horrifying acts they’ve committed like it’s a normal thing. As the night plays out and Leslie shares his plan of how things are going to go down, everything for this group slowly begins to change and then it gets extremely deadly. When Leslie puts on his creepy cool mask it’s almost like he’s an entirely different person and the awkwardly fun night turns into a terrifying nightmare for this film crew that become the latest targets for Leslie Vernon. The killer sets his eyes on them until the “final girl” finds a way to ultimately stop him – or does she?

Okay, there’s so much to like about this unique slasher. The story, the characters and how this movie was filmed were all just right and it was something this subgenre was needing desperately at the time. It’s crazy how Leslie Vernon acts in the first half of the movie because he’s such a likable guy who talks so much about how he aspires to be the next iconic slasher but in the second half he morphs into this silent masked killer who shows no remorse at all for his victims. There’s plenty of the red stuff to go along with the kills so that should satisfy the thirsty slashermaniacs out there. Also be sure you watch through the end credits as the Talking Heads “Psycho Killer” plays out inside the morgue where Leslie Vernon has been taken. This is an awesome song for a great movie that has a creepy cool ending that left me wanting more! I remember when they were trying to raise funds for the sequel/prequel Before the Mask: The Return of Leslie Vernon and how excited I got about it. So excited I contributed and got a cool poster out of it but unfortunately the movie never got made. Hey, at least we have the comic book that tells the story.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/0-card. The front features the all-new artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, an image and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features some original artwork and movie credits so you have your pick of which side you’d like to use for the front cover. The Blu-ray disc also features some matching artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. This release features a new HD master from the 2K intermediate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition upgrade were really good. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, I had a blast revisiting Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon because it’s a unique horror-slasher (with a sense of humor) that honors those iconic characters that paved the way for this fantastic new face of fear. The story was interesting and I liked the way the movie was shot docu-style and this was way before there were so many movies being cranked out like this. It’s a mockumentary that follows this likable young killer who aspires to become as legendary as Jason, Michael and Freddy who are referrenced several times in the movie. That’s one of the things that makes this watch so cool! I thought the cast did a really good job with their characters and when Nathan Baesel put on that mask he became this terrifying figure that showed no mercy. Scott Glosserman did a great job telling the story and bringing this creepy world to life on screen that left so many fans wanting more. Who knows, maybe this re-release will help build up some new interest in getting that sequel/prequel finally made because this is a killer I’d like to see more of. Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon will be available on a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray on March 27th and is definitely worth adding to your Scream Factory collection.

Distributor: Scream Factory

Run Time: 91 Minutes

Rated: R

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

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0

Subtitles: English

Special Features: Good Stuff! The extras include all-new interviews with some of the cast and crew, a new “Before the Mask” featurette, some audio commentary, two vintage featurettes, ten deleted/extended scenes with optional commentary and the theatrical trailer.

  • NEW HD master from the 2K intermediate
  • NEW Joys and Curses – interviews with actors Angela Goethals, Ben Pace and co-writer/co-producer David Stieve (28:50)
  • NEW Before the Mask: The Comic Book – an interview with comic book artist Nathan Thomas Milliner (06:19)
  • Audio commentary with co-writer/director Scott Glosserman, moderated by filmmakers Adam Green and Joe Lynch
  • Audio commentary with Nathan Baesel, Angela Goethals, Britain Spelling and Ben Pace
  • The Making of Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon featurette (32:08)
  • The Casting of Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon featurette (06:00)
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes (29:44)
  • Theatrical Trailer (02:17)

 

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