Director: Bob Balaban
Cast: Randy Quaid, Mary Beth Hurt, Sandy Dennis
Release Date: January 31, 2017
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
Meet the Laemles. Dad’s got a great job, mom has all the modern conveniences a happy homemaker could ask for, and ten-year-old Michael has great new friends and two parents who kill him with kindness. They’re the all-American family . . . or are they? Michael can’t figure out why his family serves leftovers every night. “Leftovers? Well, what were they before they were leftovers?” questions young Michael. “Leftovers-to-be,” smiles dad. Dad’s bringing home the bacon . . . and a whole lot more! Michael’s parents are getting away with murder — making home where the horror is!
Arriving home with (available separately) Ken Russell’s cult classic ‘The Lair of the White Worm’ (which you can read our review of here) and serving as the seventh entry in the recent Vestron Video Collector’s Series lineup of Blu-ray releases is the cult classic ‘Parents’ which tells the tale of a troubled young boy who can’t seem to get past the fact that his peculiar parents serve leftovers every night at dinner, even answering his inquiry of what they were prior to being leftovers with a smiling response of “Leftovers to be!” Directed by Bob Balaban (My Boyfriend’s Back) and starring Randy Quaid (National Lampoon’s Vacation), Mary Beth Hurt (The Exorcism of Emily Rose), Sandy Dennis (The Out of Towners), and young Bryan Madorsky (in what appears to be his only credited acting role). ‘Parents’ is a fun, occasionally unsettling, and just somewhat odd (in the best way possible) little film from the late 1980’s that offers some fairly interesting characters, an enjoyable mystery and serves as an overall good time that’s beautifully detailed throughout and likely to be appreciated by many of the fellow genre fans out there.
Fans of the gorgeous, creepy and often quite funny horror-comedy gem ‘Parents’ and hardcore fans of Randy Quaid and director Bob Balaban will definitely want to consider picking up a copy of the new Vestron Video Collector’s Series Limited Edition Blu-ray release of the late 80’s flick to add to your collection alongside the previously released Vestron BD titles. Marking the first time ever available on Blu-ray for the movie, this release delivers fantastic high definition video and audio presentations on the feature film, along with a number of enjoyable extras; many created specifically for this new Collector’s Series release such as ‘Leftovers To Be: An Interview with Screenwriter Christopher Hawthorne’ and more (more detailed information regarding the bonus content can be found in the special features section of the technical specification coverage below). Altogether, the impressive video and audio presentations combined with a pretty decent collection of supplemental material should easily make this Blu-ray release of ‘Parents’ a definite must own for many of its fans.
Overall, fans of the dark and quirky horror/comedy ‘Parents’ and the fellow genre fans making a point of collecting all of these snazzy Vestron Video Collector’s Series Blu-ray titles will both surely want to think about purchasing a copy of ‘Parents’. The release marks the film’s first time available on Blu-ray and provides impressive high definition video and audio presentations, in addition to a collection of noteworthy extras including some brand new goodies created just for this Blu-ray Edition. Any fellow genre fans that might not have previously had the pleasure of this enjoyable cult classic may want to try and see if a rental option is available should you be understandably hesitant to drop the cash on a blind purchase.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Parents’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks fantastic as a whole and provides a clean, detailed and beautifully mastered presentation that looks sharp, while also retaining plenty of grain and other artifacts representative of the film source. It holds up impressively even during the many darkly lit sequences, never causing anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible; in fact suffering no negative faults to speak of at any point during its course. Overall, this is a top notch high definition video presentation that looks surprisingly fantastic and should have no trouble thrilling the film’s fans.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 2.0 Stereo DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless stereo soundtrack delivers a crisp, clean and surprisingly sharp audio presentation throughout. The dialogue, music and various additional auditory elements all share the two available channels perfectly, without any dialogue or other aspects ever becoming contradicted or rendered indiscernible by another simultaneously occurring audio element; suffering no noticeable faults at any point along the way. Overall, this is an impressive 2.0 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that sounds fantastic and shouldn’t disappoint fans of the movie in the slightest.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Parents’ includes some enjoyable extras for the fans, and just as with the previous Vestron titles features a number of new extras created specifically for this Blu-ray edition of the movie. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with Director Bob Balaban and Producer Bonnie Palef’ along with another audio track consisting of ‘Isolated Score Selections and an Audio Interview with Composer Jonathan Elias’. We’re also treated to a number of Interviews/Featurettes with members of the cast and crew, they include: ‘Leftovers To Be with Screenwriter Christopher Hawthorne’ (running approximately 17 minutes in length), ‘Mother’s Day with Actress Mary Beth Hurt’ (running approximately 14 minutes), ‘Inside Out: An Interview with Director of Photography Robin Vidgeon’ (approximately 14 minutes), and ‘Vintage Tastes with Decorative Consultant Yolanda Cuomo’ (9 minutes). The ‘Theatrical Trailer’ (approximately 2 minutes), ‘2 Radio Spots’ (2 minutes combined), and a ‘Still Gallery’ (5 minutes) for the film are also included.