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Suffer Little Children (1983) - DVD-Review

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Suffer, Little Children (1983) - DVD Review

5 beersHave you seen the new girl?  Elizabeth (Nicola Diana) is her name.  And she’s a weird one, demanding protection from the adults who try to tame her curious influence over all the other kids in the orphanage.  She’s got two little devotees by her side all of the time and watches over all the Christ worshippers with great intensity.  Those dark eyes of her are so controlling.  As silent as she is, her glance and smile speak volumes. 

And she’s all about having teenagers stab themselves in the leg until blood shoots up like a fountain all over their Thompson Twins poster.  This is the stark territory of Suffer Little Children, a cheap lo-fi shot-on-video cult curiosity from a bygone era.  It’s a secret heavy metal video at its roots, complete with quick zooms and droning brain dead music.  And the sheer amount of blood in the final apocalyptic 15 minutes is damn near impossible to imagine.  And yet there it is.  Flowing like an ocean of red food coloring.

With plant levitations and disturbing voices emanating from the mouth of one small child, Suffer Little Children, celebrating its over-the-top violence and its saucy, satanic swagger, was quickly slashed and burned as a video nasty in United Kingdom and never appeared here in these United States.  It remained censored and cut on VHS … until now. 

Directed by Alan Briggs and made by the acting students in writer/producer Meg Shanks' Drama School, Suffer Little Children has a very interesting history.  The film’s commanding approach to some pretty dark material is to be commended.  Even if it suffers from cheaper production issues and a largely forgettable directing style, this release is easily one of the best shot-on-video titles I have ever had the pleasure of watching.

The film, co-starring Colin Chamberlain, Ginny Rose, and Jon Hollanz, also has its own theme song and, with a metal-minded guitar effect, manages to inspire a sort of catchiness that is still celebrated to this day.  It turns out that once you hear this song, you aren't soon to forget its repetitive nature. Is this a good thing?  I'll let you decide.

Suffer Little Children, as disturbing as it is with its roots lying inside the head of a weird, mute girl, isn’t a one-and-done film either.  You will pay it more attention.  Sure the audio may be a bit too basic but, with a gnarly use of suspense and gore, the production problems with the video title are quickly forgotten.

Intelligent and engaging, all of the semi-professional performances in the campy film work to create a tension-filled atmosphere that finally, thanks to this release by Intervision Films Corporation and Severin Films, makes its disc debut.  It was a longtime coming, too, as there have been many bootlegs of this cutthroat charmer. 

Unfairly censored when it was originally released, this cheap film is a goddamned classic of the SOV medium and deserves a chance to be applauded in the sunlight with this glowing release.  Gore-gore girls and horror hounds, I promise that you are absolutely going to lose your shit over just how explicitly extreme this release is. 

Suffer Little Children is a detailed report of what went down at 5 Kingston Road, New Malden, Surrey, England when a child’s demonic supernatural powers became too much for her to remain in control of.  And so she loses it.  Absolutely.  You will, too, thanks to this now-classic release from the vaults of SOV terror.  Come, Devil, Come indeed.

Suffer, Little Children (1983) - DVD Review

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
74 mins
Director
: Alan Briggs
Writer:
Meg Shanks
Cast:
Colin Chamberlain, Ginny Rose, Jon Hollanz
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
The Power of The Devil in the Hands of a Child.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Come, devil come."
Distributor:
Intervision Picture
Official Site:
Release Date:
1983 (UK)
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
August 29, 2017
Synopsis: Suffer, Little Children is a tale of a child’s demonic supernatural powers and the brutal.... terrifying results. Suffer, Little Children is a reconstruction of the events, which took place at 45 Kingston Road, New Malden, Surrey, England in August 1984. None of these events were reported in the press and now the house is scheduled for demolition in the immediate future.

Suffer, Little Children (1983) - DVD Review

DVD

DVD Details:

Home Video Distributor: Severin Films
Available on DVD
- August 29, 2017
Screen Formats: 1.33:1
Subtitles
: None
Audio:
Dolby Digital Mono
Discs: DVD Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Presented by Intervision, the 1.33:1 full screen image is as pretty shitty as you can imagine.  Colors are never bright.  The contrast is never clear and the picture is one big ball of fuzzed out pixels.  Nothing is crisp and the black levels bleed like the fake blood flicked at the screen in all the death scenes. The sound is presented in an effective Dolby Digital Mono soundtrack.  Seeing as how this is the merely the third release from Intervision, more will probably be on the way

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

We get an interview with the director, and interview from John Martin, a UK native of the whole Nasty Era of filmmaking, and an original trailer.  Too bad we don’t get more of Jesus Christ Superstar…

  • School of Shock – An Interview with Director Alan Briggs
  • Seducing The Gullible – An Interview With Legend of UK “Nasty” Era Fanzine Critique John Martin
  • Trailer

Suffer, Little Children (1983) - DVD Review

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