10th Jun2015

‘Society’ Blu-ray Review (Arrow Video)

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Billy Warlock, Devin DeVasquez, Evan Richards, Ben Meyerson, Charles Lucia, Concetta D’Agnese, Patrice Jennings, Heidi Kozak, Ben Slack, David Wiley, Tim Bartell, Brian Bremer, Maria Claire | Written by Rick Fry, Woody Keith | Directed by Brian Yuzna


If you are old enough to remember the good old days of renting out horror movies on videos you’ll remember the joy of watching the trailers for new releases, even if you’d seen them many times before. There was a lot of work put into them and they did their job well.  One I always remember seeing and it left me wanting more was the trailer for Society, just a shame I never managed to get it.  Now though, with Arrow Video’s Blu-ray release, I finally get to see the film in all its gory glory.

Bill Whitney (Warlock) “appears” to be your average teenager. Being part of a rich and privileged family means everything should be perfect for him, but he can’t shake the feeling that he is different from his parents and sister.  When a friend brings him an audio tape revealing some truths about them his world is torn apart, though nobody will believe him, including his therapist.  When Bill gets too close to the truth and everything is revealed, his world spirals out of control descending into an explosion of gore that is not for the faint of heart…

It’s hard to go into Society cold as it is a classic of the genre and has been around so long that you’ve no doubt at least seen clips of the scenes that make it so famous – if not you’ve surely heard people talk about them, these scenes are certainly memorable that’s for sure!  If you’ve not seen it though you are in for a treat – this is an oddity that really keeps you off-track to the truth about whatever the hell is really going on in the social circles that Bill should be a part of and when the reveal comes, it is no surprise that Bill never really connects with his peers of the same social class.  For most of the film there is a real The Stepford Wives feel to Society, but when we reach the third act and the revelations begin, this is where things start to get really crazy with some of the best gore ever to be put on film.  On Blu-ray and with the fantastic PQ of this Arrow Video release, there is no escaping it either.  Thankfully the special effects by Screaming Mad George hold up very well so gore hounds will love it.

One thing that I did like about Society is the fact that yes, it may have a certain 80s style to it, but the story it tells is becoming just as relevant as it was in the Reagan era.  The concept of the rich being almost alien to the lower classes is something that can be felt every day so in many ways Society is metaphorical for the life we lead now, especially in the United Kingdom with the Conservatives in charge.  I could rant on about politics and how the uber-rich controllers of the world are so out of touch with the “normal” people and how that related to this film, but back to the matter at hand.  Let’s just say a lot of what we see in Society can be compared to David Cameron and his cronies in charge.

The special features included by Arrow Video are the usual documentaries about the making of the movie, which include interviews with members of the cast and it’s always interesting to see how much they have changed.  An interesting Q&A session is also included with the director Brian Yunza recorded in 2014, as well as a brand new audio commentary by the director.  These are quality features providing us with everything we need to know about the movie, the history of the making as well as what the director was trying to create which is a great success. With Society being a truly unique Eighties horror movie it deserves to be given some special treatment and Arrow Video haven’t let us down here.

Having finally seen Society I feel slightly conflicted by it.  For most of the movie it does feel like an average teen horror, or even something that could be compared to The Stepford Wives and that can make you feel on edge, not knowing what to expect.  When the curtains are drawn back and the full truth is revealed it becomes a gore fest that is truly a glorious thing to watch (if you can stomach it) and looks beautiful on-screen in this high-def presentation.  Arrow Video have given Society the love it deserves and haven’t missed a step with this release.  This is a must buy, one which I’m sure most horror fans have been looking forward to for a long time…

***** 5/5

Society is available on dual format DVD and Blu-ray now.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

One Response to “‘Society’ Blu-ray Review (Arrow Video)”

  • Jack

    Nice review. I think Society would make a great double bill with They Live. Similar themes and era, both fun and slightly demented.