Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Phil's Horror Watch: Phil reviews TICKS (1993) Blu-Ray from Olive Films-February 20, 2013

TICKS Blue-Ray Cover (2013)
Starring: Seth Green, Ami Dolnez, Alfonso Ribeiro, Rosalind Allen, Clint Howard, Virginya Keehne, Ray Oriel, Peter Scolari, Dina Dayrit, Michael Medeiros
Written by Brent V. Friedman 
Cinematographer: Steve Grass
Line Producer: Gary Schmoeller
Producer: Gary Schmoeller
Executive Producer: Brian Yuzna
Directed by Tony Randel
Production Company: First Look Pictures
Originally released by Republic Pictures
Distributed by Olive Films

Hello again horror hounds and welcome back to another installment of Phil's Horror Watch! If you've paying close attention, you'll notice a huge abundance of horror films being released on both Blu-Ray and DVD. Majority of these titles are older films, mostly from the 1980s-1990s. I recently picked up a Blu-Ray of a film that I have not seen in over 15 years. I had the film originally on VHS, but I'm very happy to inform you all that the long, lost, and overlooked horror film TICKS is finally receiving a proper release finally after all these years.

The film's official synopsis: A group of problem teens in Los Angeles join an inner-city wilderness project in an attempt to get back in touch with life's priorities, led by do-gooders Holly and Charles (Rosalind Allen and Peter Scolari respectively). When they get to the campsite, they begin having problems adjusting to the wild life, particularly local marijuana growers using herbal steroids to accelerate plant growth, and the mutated ticks that the leaky steroid system has created. These over-sized mutant ticks-with an insatiable lust for human flesh-start terrorizing the campground, eating the campers and else in sight.

Original VHS Box Cover (1993)
The film features an impressive cast of who's who. You have lead actor Seth Green portraying timid Tyler Burn. Green is known for playing Oz in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series, the voice of Chris Griffin from Family Guy, Scottie Evil from the AUSTIN POWERS Trilogy, and the mastermind Cartoon Network's Robot Chicken. Ami Dolnez (as the stuck-up Dee Dee Davenport) is the daughter on Monkees drummer Micky Dolnez and has been in films like MIRACLE BEACH, WITCHBOARD 2: THE DEVIL'S DOORWAY and PUMPKINHEAD II: BLOOD WINGS. Portraying street thug Darrel 'Panic' Lumley is Alfonso Ribeiro, who's famous for appearing as Alfonso Spears on Silver Spoons in the 1980's and Carlton Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in the 1990's. Peter Scolari starred opposite Tom Hanks in the 1980's television series Bosom Buddies. And last, but not least, there's genre icon Clint Howard, who has appeared in numerous horror and cult classic films like ROCK'N'ROLL HIGH SCHOOL, GRAND THEFT AUTO, SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT PARTS 4 & 5, ICE CREAM MAN, and Rob Zombie's 2007 remake of HALLOWEEN. Tony Randell is famous for directing the films HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER II, CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT, and AMITYVILLE 1992: IT'S ABOUT TIME.

The film also has some excellent special effects, especially pertaining to the freaking looking, mutated ticks. Special visual effects supervisor Doug Beswick boasts on of the most impressive resumes in Hollywood, having worked on films like STAR WARS: EPISODE V-THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (stop motion technician: miniature and optical effects unit), EVIL DEAD 2 (stop motion animation, BEETLEJUICE (visual effects: sandworm sequence), and BLADE (3D animation supervisor: Flat Earth Productions). The ticks look so real in the film that many fans have parised its realism. Long before CGI, these ticks a combination robotics and puppets. That's how it was done in the old days kids.

Olive Films, a theatrical and home video distributor that's releasing a number of excellent classic/older films licensed from Paramount Pictures/Republic Pictures, have done a fantastic job with this release. The film is once again in the anamorphic widescreen (the old VHS was in the standard TV format) and looks great. There are some minor pixel noise in some of the scenes, but overall the picture quality is top notch. The film also features a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio Mono track and everything little noise in the film is heard perfectly clear. The only special feature offered is an audio commentary by Tony Randell and co-star Clint Howard. It would've been nice to have the film's trailer added, but given that the film was made so long ago, I'm just happy to see it finally re-released.

In conclusion, TICKS is an genuine, low budget, horror cult classic that deserves to be rediscovered! Thanks to Olive Films, fans of the film can once again relive the mayhem and carnage while new horror fans can watch it for the very first time! 4 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!

TICKS is available on both Blu-Ray and DVD and can be purchased at your local retailer as well as the Olive Films website. To purchase a copy, please visit

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

1 comment:

  1. They ought to make "TICKS 2" through "TICKS 6" and they should also do lot more body bulging bug mutation makeup effects and creature effects.