Freaks of Nature (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
February 10, 2016 by Dennis Amith
“Freaks of Nature” is one of those far-out, crazy, chaotic films that didn’t do well in the theaters but will no doubt attract a cult following for those who crave horror comedies.
Image courtesy of © 2015 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: Freaks of Nature
FILM RELEASE: 2015
DURATION: 92 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (2:40:1 Aspect Ratio), English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 5.1, English DTS Digital Sound, Subtitles: English, English SDH, Chinese (Traditional), French, Indonesian/Bahasa, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish and Thai
COMPANY: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
RATED: R (Bloody Violence and Gore, Pervasive Language, Sexual Content and Drug Use – All Involving Teens)
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Directed by Robbie Pickering
Screenplay by Oren Uziel
Story by Bahareh Azimi
Produced by Matthew Tolmach
Executive Producer: Ron Schmidt, Ben Waisbren
Music by Fil Eisler
Cinematography by Uta Briesewitz
Production Design by Chris L. Spellman
Art Direction by Jann K. Engel
Set Decoration by Cynthia La Jeunesse
Costume Design by Debra McGuire
Nicholas Braun as Dag
Mackenzie Davis as Petra
Josh Fadem as Ned
Denis Leary as Rick Wilson
Ed Westwick as Milan Pinache
Vanessa Hudgens as Lorelei
Keegan-Michael Key as Mr. Keller
Bob Odenkirk as Shooter Parker
Joan Cusack as Peg Parker
Chris Zylka as Chaz Jr.
Ian Roberts as Chaz Sr.
Rachael Harris as Mrs. Mosely
Mae Whitman as Jenna Zombie
Patton Oswalt as Stuart Miller
In Freaks of Nature, we welcome you to Dillford, where three days ago, everything was peaceful and business as usual: the vampires were at the top of the social order, the zombies were at the bottom, and the humans were getting along in the middle. But this delicate balance was ripped apart when the alien apocalypse arrived in Dillford and put an end to all the harmony. Now it’s humans vs. vampires vs. zombies in all-out, blood-sucking, brain-eating, vamp-staking mortal combat – and all of them are on the run from the aliens. It is up to three teenagers – one human, one vampire, and one zombie – to team up, figure out how to get rid of the interplanetary visitors, and try to restore order to this “normal” little town.
Filmmaker Robbie Pickering (“Natural Selection”, “Prom Night”) and writer Oren Uziel (“22 Jump Street”, “Mortal Kombat: Rebirth”) have crafted a 2015 American horror comedy known as “Freaks of Nature”.
The film stars Nicholas Braun (“The Perks of Being a Wallflower”, “Sky High”, “Princess Protection Program”), Mackenzie Davis (“The Martian”, “That Awkward Moment”, “What If”), Josh Fadem (“Miss March”, “30 Rock”), Denis Leary (“Rescue Me”, “The Amazing Spider-Man”), Ed Westwick (“Gossip Girl”, “J. Edgar”, “Children of Men”), Vanessa Hudgens (“High School Musical”, “Spring Breakers”, “Sucker Punch”), Keegan-Michael Key (“MADtv”, Tomorrowland”, “Let’s Be Cops”), Joan Cusack (“Say Anything…”, “Working Girl”), Rachael Harris (“The Hangover”, “Showtime”, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”), Mae Whitman (“Independence Day”, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”, “The Duff”) and Patton Oswalt (“Magnolia”, “The King of Queens”, “Young Adult”).
While the film received only a limited release, the film will now be released on Blu-ray courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
The film is set in the town of Dillford and is told by the perspective of not-so-popular Dag Parker (portrayed by Nicholas Braun).
Dillford is an unusual town as it is the home of humans, vampires and zombies who all get along.
For Dag, all he cares is about scoring with his old friend Lorelei (portrayed by Vanessa Hudgens), but she has her eyes set on the popular vampire Milan Pinache (portrayed by Ed Westwick).
For teenager Petra (portrayed by Mackenzie Davis), she has been with Milan but where he has sex with other ladies, all he will do with Petra is bit her (in which he turned her into a vampire).
And for Ned (portrayed by Josh Fadem), he used to be best friends with Dag, but Dag dumped him because Ned is a nerd and despite being a smart kid, all his parents cares about is his brother, Chaz Jr.’s highschool football success.
Seeing no positive future in his life and not being wanted, he decides to ask his zombie friend Jenna Zombie (portrayed by Mae Whitman) to bite him and turn him into a zombie.
But life for these three individuals becomes chaotic when the aliens arrive to Dillford.
“Freaks of Nature” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:40:1 aspect ratio). For a film that you expect not-so great visual effects, surprisingly “Freaks of Nature” actually does a great job in providing visual effects (the UFO and aliens) to great costumes and makeup design which really look great in HD. Considering the number of zombies, vampires and aliens, the film looks very good in HD.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Freaks of Nature” is presented in English 5.1 DTS Master Audio and French, Thai 5.1 Dolby Digital. Dialogue is crystal clear but a plus is that the lossless audio for the film features quite a bit of action that takes advantage of the surround channels and LFE. From explosions, fighting to people being thrown all over the place, “Freaks of Nature” sounds great in HD!
Subtitles are in English, English SDH, Chinese (Traditional), French, Indonesian/Bahasa, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish and Thai
“Freaks of Nature” comes with the following special features:
- Alternate Opening – (2:37) Featuring an alternate opening for “Freaks of Nature”.
- Gag Reel – (3:40) Gag reel from “Freaks of Nature”.
- Deleted Scenes – (3:54) Featuring two deleted scenes
For those wanting a hilarious horror comedy that isn’t intended to be deep or scary but for the most part, a parody of the plethora of zombie, vampire and alien films out there, “Freaks of Nature” is a film that will entertain you.
But with that being said, the film is along the lines of similar films such as “Scary Movie” that contains moronic comedy with horror elements which viewers will find themselves entertained or turned off by its sill comedy.
With the film trying to combine humans co-existing with zombies and vampires, you can imagine the craziness that takes place in the town and the amount of bullying that certain characters endure.
The film follows teenager Dag who attends high school at Dillford. He feels bad for his former best friend Ned (who is a nerd and often bullied by his brother Chaz Jr., who is the favorite of the family due to his athletic skill) but as he tries to avoid being called a “nerd”, he tries to be cool.
Poor Ned does great in school but his vampire teacher, Mr. Keller gives him bad grades because Ned does a great job and wants him to fail because he does so well. His parents don’t care for him all that much and his former bet friend, Dag, avoids him. So, he decides to have a zombie bite into him, so he can turn into a zombie.
Unfortunately for Dag, he tries his best to attract his childhood friend Lorelei who is wild and beautiful, but she only has her eyes set on the vampire Milan Pinache. But as Dag tries to be an athlete, unfortunately he is often picked on by wealthy business owner Rick Wilson (portrayed by Denis Leary).
Meanwhile, we are introduced to a vampire named Petra, who was turned into a vampire by her boyfriend Milan. She can’t understand why he prefers having sexual relationships with other women, especially with Lorelei, while all he does with her is bite her.
Suffice to say, he treats her badly and so she desperately wants to destroy Lorelei due to her jealousy.
The film features plenty of cameos featuring Joan Cusack, Rachael Harris, Patton Oswalt and more. They each provide additional comedy from the film and time away from the primary characters as they have a role in other comedic scenes.
But this film revolves around Dag, Petra and Ned who are brought together as their hometown is invaded by aliens. And without spoiling the film, I will say that these unlikely individuals must work together in order to survive and possibly save others…that is if they can remain together without killing each other.
As for the Blu-ray release, picture and lossless audio are good and I didn’t find any major issues with banding or artifacts during my viewing of the film. The film features a few special features such as a gag reel, alternate opening and deleted scenes.
Overall, “Freaks of Nature” is one of those far-out, crazy, chaotic films that didn’t do well in the theaters but will no doubt attract a cult following for those who crave horror comedies. The fact that the films takes those interesting situations which involve zombies and vampires and turns those stories upside down by having humans, zombies and vampires co-exist and throw in an alien invasion and all hell breaks loose in the small town of Dillford.
The film is a fun diversion and for those who are looking for a crazy, popcorn horror comedy, “Freaks of Nature” is a film worth giving a try!
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