‘Malev­o­lence’ tril­ogy high­lights lots of frights

The Morning Call - - GUIDE - By Amy Longs­dorf Amy Longs­dorf is a con­tribut­ing writer.

This Oc­to­ber, it’s easy to en­joy some lo­cally con­nected frights and de­lights, cour­tesy of a hand­ful of new re­leases, in­clud­ing all three films in the Al­len­town-shot “Malev­o­lence” tril­ogy (2004-2018, MVD, R, $20 each) and “The Omen Col­lec­tion: Deluxe Edi­tion” (1976-2006, Shout Fac­tory, R, $80), which fea­tures former East Strouds­burg res­i­dent Sea­mus Davey-Fitz­patrick.

Di­rected by Long Is­land,

New York na­tive Ste­van Mena, “Malev­o­lence” (2003), “Be­reave­ment” (2010) and “Killer” (2018) all tell dif­fer­ent chap­ters in the story of Martin Bris­tol, a young­ster who was kid­napped at age 6, and raised by a psy­chotic mur­derer named Gra­ham Sut­ter.

A lot of dif­fer­ent peo­ple cross paths with Bris­tol (Jay Cohen) over the course of the se­ries, but in the fi­nale, he re­turns to his home­town and goes full-on Michael My­ers, stalk­ing and slic­ing his way through a hand­ful of vic­tims, in­clud­ing a house full of col­lege stu­dents (Katie Gib­son, Alli Cau­dle, Kelsey Deanne).

Through the years, the films have been shot at var­i­ous Val­ley lo­ca­tions, in­clud­ing an aban­doned Iron­ton slaugh­ter­house, Shankweill­er’s Drive-In, Park­land High School, Sch­necksville Ele­men­tary School, a Ta­maqua stor­age fa­cil­ity, the Char­coal Drive-In in Wescosvill­e,

Church Street in Northamp­ton, a farm­house in New Tripoli and Beth­le­hem’s Foun­tain Hill.

“The Le­high Val­ley is unique in that you can drive five min­utes in any di­rec­tion and find a com­pletely dif­fer­ent land­scape,” Mena said while pro­mot­ing the film’s fi­nal chap­ter. “Farm­land? Five min­utes that way. Down­town? In­dus­trial? Lake­side? For­est? Mountains? Man­sions? Trailer park? Ev­ery­thing is within five min­utes.

“Where else can you find that? Pretty much the only thing you can­not find is beach­front, which is why I haven’t moved there.”

All of the films ref­er­ence the Val­ley, with “Killer,” in par­tic­u­lar, name-check­ing White­hall, Min­ersville, Iron­ton and Lib­erty Street, where much of the ac­tion takes place.

While the movies have been re­leased pre­vi­ously, the Pottstown-based MVD, along with Mena Films, is fi­nally mak­ing all three in­stall­ments avail­able in ex­tras-laden DVD and Blu-ray pack­ages.

If you’re in the mood for the ultimate hor­ror binge, dive into “The Omen Col­lec­tion:

Deluxe Edi­tion,” fea­tur­ing all four orig­i­nal films as well as the 2006 re­make.

Packed with hours of spe­cial fea­tures, this five-disc set in­cludes 1976s “The Omen,” with a new 4K re­mas­ter; “Damien: Omen II,” in which Damien dis­cov­ers his des­tiny; “The Fi­nal Con­flict,” in which he re­al­izes his full power; and “Omen IV: The Awakening,” in which a de­monic force re­turns in the form of a wicked young girl.

And then there’s the 2006 re­make, which fea­tures Davey-Fitz­patrick as the evil one. The ac­tor, then liv­ing in East Strouds­burg, net­ted the job dur­ing an au­di­tion in which he rocked back and forth on a creaky swing while star­ing di­rectly into the cam­era.

The screen test so im­pressed di­rec­tor John Moore that he gave Sea­mus the role and used the footage as a teaser trailer for the film.

While the orig­i­nal “Omen” re­mains the best of the bunch, Davey-Fitz­patrick does a su­perb job adding a new twist to a time-honored tale of ter­ror.


“The Omen Col­lec­tion: Deluxe Edi­tion” fea­tures Sea­mus DaveyFitz­patrick, formerly of East Strouds­burg.


“Killer” is part of the ‘Malev­o­lence’ tril­ogy.

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