‘Malevolence’ trilogy highlights lots of frights
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.