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(Unrated Edition)

If you get a sense of déjà vu while watching REST STOP ($25), you are not alone. REST STOP is more than evocative of a number of horror movies- heck, this film is something like if DUEL, THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and several other genre films were dropped in a blender and someone hit frappe. The basic premise of REST STOP finds a pair of young lovers running off to California. Of course, they decide to travel off the main highways, which leads them to an isolated rest stop where our hero suddenly disappears- leaving our heroine to fend for herself against a homicidal maniac, who is rarely seen, but his presence is felt every time his ominous truck shows up. What follows is a game of cat and mouse, as our heroine tries to survive against the malevolent trucker who has taken, tortured and killed numerous victims. The cast of REST STOP features Jaimie Alexander, Joey Mendicino, Deanna Russo, Diane Salinger, Michael Childers, Curtis Taylor and Joseph Lawrence.

Warner Home Video has made REST STOP available on DVD in a 1.78:1 wide screen presentation that features the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 displays. REST STOP falls under Warner’s direct-to-video Raw Feed label of low budget genre films. That being said, REST STOP looks like a low budget affair, with the picture quality being mildly soft compared to a theatrical feature- sort of like a gritty documentary by comparison. Still, the picture offers respectable sharpness and image detail. Colors are solid; with the flesh tones and blood appearing seemingly realistic. Black are ok, whites are stable and the level of contrast is just fine. Some grain is noticeable, but adds to the intended grittiness of the production. Digital compression artifacts are not a concern.

REST STOP comes with workable a Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack. The sound design gets the job done, but it isn’t as aggressively mixed, as are theatrical caliber features. The front channels see the lion’s share of sonic activity, occasional zingers and other mild effects, as well as some ambience fill out the rears. Fidelity is generally strong, with the music coming across well enough and sound effects being reasonably convincing. The bass channel gets by, but isn’t ground shaking. Voices sounds pretty natural, plus the film’s dialogue is always completely understandable. No other language tracks have been included on the DVD, but English, French and Spanish subtitles are provided.

Music underscores the basic interactive menus, which allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a few extras that include Three Alternate Endings, Scotty's Blog Expose, Crime Scene Photos Taken On The Torture Bus and a Theatrical Trailer.

REST STOP may not be the most original horror film to come down the pike, but there are worse ways to spend eighty-five minutes.



Rest Stop (Unrated Edition) (2006)



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2006 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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