October 30, 2022 The Kindred (Special Edition Blu-Ray Review)
During the VHS era Horror cinema celebrated its golden age. From more mainstream titles to more obscure ones, a visit to the Horror section in your local video store was an exciting experience no matter your age. That in mind, when the digital video disc (DVD) came into play a little under two decades later, there were some Horror titles that never made the jump to the new format. Lost in the shuffle, not enough fanfare, or perhaps held back due to legalities, one title which fell into obscurity was 1987’s The Kindred.
A Creature Feature in the same subgenre of “When science goes bad,” like 1979’s Prophecy or 1987’s The Nest, The Kindred had minor success earning just over two million dollars at the box office. Not bad for a film that had a budget reportedly around or just under one million dollars, it also featured a decent cast that included the Academy Award winning Rod Steiger (On the Waterfront 1954, In the Heat of the Night 1967), plus rising talents such as David Allen Brooks (Manhunter 1986, Cast Away 2000), Amanda Pays (Max Headroom series, Leviathan 1989), and Talia Balsam (Mad Men series, Divorce series). Worthy of a Horror genre fan’s attention, amazingly it was not until May of 2022 that the film would actually see the light of day again on physical format when it was released on Blu-ray and DVD in a limited SteelBook edition of 3,500 units thanks to Synapse Films.
A long time coming, for those who do not want to spend the big dollars on this limited edition copy, Synapse Films offered a resolution with the Special Edition Blu-Ray release to hit the public on October 25th. Just in time for Halloween season, this Special Edition features an all-new 4k high-definition remaster of the unrated version of The Kindred. What does this mean? It means you get a much cleaner transfer of the film on a Blu-Ray disc that is certainly superior to a VHS copy from thirty-five years earlier. In addition you get both a 5.1 stereo surround sound mix and original 2.0 mono theatrical mix. Beyond this the bonus features include audio commentary from the Directors Jeffery Obrow (The Dorm That Dripped Blood 1982, The Power 1984) and Stephen Carpenter (The Power 1984, Blue Streak 1994), plus an interesting nearly hour long documentary about the making of the film entitled Inhuman Experiments.
Now, chances are if you are buying this Special Edition copy of The Kindred on Blu-Ray you probably viewed it at least once back in the day… so you really do not need a synopsis of the plot. For anyone else, who is just looking to dig into some older ’80s Horror they might have missed, The Kindred is best summed up as typical for the era. It has a decent enough plot, but where it really excels is the outstanding practical effects. So if you are someone who appreciates such lost art forms who has not seen The Kindred, this Blu-Ray is worthy of your collection. For the others who have had a soft spot for this film, your time has come to finally own it, so do so, the transfer and overall packaging is worth it. For all these reasons, Cryptic Rock gives The Special Edition Blu-Ray release of The Kindred 4 out of 5 stars.