The Best Last Horror Film

Suckers to the side, I know you hate my 88's!  But now might be the time to get yours.  As we're all stuck home on lockdown looking for films to keep us occupied, what better time to look back at our favorite cult labels and see if there's anything we missed?  And going back over my list, I see there are still a couple noteworthy labels I haven't made "Pair" posts for, and a couple Exotica-worthy titles from said label just dying to be covered.  In fact, 88 Films' blu-ray release of 1982's The Last Horror Film is a disc I've been meaning to cover since I started this site in 2014.  And hey, it's not like I have anywhere else to be today, so I guess the stars have finally aligned.

Update 5/5/20 - 9/20/23: Man, Severin and 88 Films have become the new Scream Factory and Arrow, when they were constantly releasing the same titles, and fans were always waiting to see which had the superior release.  Well, they latest salvo in this war is Severin's new 2-disc UHD/ BD combo-pack, which interestingly enough was only available during their brief Summer Sale.
Not to be confused with 2003's The Last Horror Movie, which is sort of a Man Bites Dog/ Henry: Portrait Of a Serial Killer found footage flick from Fangoria about a killer making a horror snuff flick... The Last Horror Film is a more interesting, and distinctly original, piece of work.  It stars Joe Spinell as another loner psychotic, and forms a perfect trilogy with Maniac and The Undertaker.  In fact, it's a better picture than The Undertaker, and possibly even Maniac, depending on your attitude.  Maniac is a more of a controlled, cohesive character study of a disturbed killer, whereas Last is a wilder, unrestrained exhibition of Spinell's own unloosed psyche.  To put it in form of an analogy, Maniac is to Kubrick as Last is to Fulci.  So, okay, it might be hard to argue this is a legitimate better film, but it could well be a lot of peoples' favorite.
Last reunites Spinell with his Maniac co-star Caroline Munro, who instead of being the strangely genuine love interest of a deranged killer, is the perhaps more straight-forward, unwitting object of his obsessions.  But that's about the only straight-forward aspect of this affair.  See, Spinell is of course a down-on-his-luck madman again, but this time he's also an aspiring movie producer.  And Munro is a Hollywood star.  So he follows her to the Cannes Film Festival, intent on creating a horror film with her as the star, whether she consents or not.  And what really makes The Last Horror Film The Last Horror Film is that this completely independent film production really went to the 1981 Cannes Film Festival and stole all kinds of footage, guerilla style, right in the middle of their biggest events and regalia.  In a signature moment, Munro across a red carpet of reports and film stars, wearing only a towel and being pursued by a crazed Spinell.
And if you know your Maniac, you're familiar with how Spinell and his best friend - also on hand here - lifted the movie camera from the production at night to film their own improved scenes, which turned out to be quite compelling.  Well, that's like half of this movie.  We get everything from Spinell's vivid hallucinations of grisly murder to his daydreams of cross-dressing in a local nightclub.  We get movies within movies and Spinell's mother charmingly playing herself.  We're shown over-the-top extravagant production values set against cheap-looking, home video-like set pieces.  Vampires!  Strippers!  Airplanes!  Bubble baths!  Classic cars!  Castles!  Paddleboats!  Robin Leach!  Death by jacuzzi!  It's all here, and it all makes sense... at least in Spinell's mind.
Troma has the rights to this film, but it's important to note that this isn't a Troma production.  They didn't make this film anymore than they made The Stendhal Syndrome or My Dinner With Andre.  They're just the distributors; so don't expect anything along the lines of Nuke 'Em High or Sgt. Kabukiman cameos.  Thank goodness.  But that means, since 2000, they've been issuing it around the world on open matte fullscreen DVDs, usually under the alternate title: Fanatic.  In 2009, they made a bit of a special edition of it, and in 2015, they released it on blu.  But there was also an even better BD special edition, thanks to 88 Films.  But now, Severin has restored the film in 4k on UHD.  So let's see how much better they could get it.
1) 2014 88 Films BD; 2) 2023 Severin BD; 3) 2023 Severin UHD.
Both 88 and Severin present this film in its proper 1.85:1 aspect ratio, scanned from the original negative, but 88's has a faded look, and leans a bit green, which Severin's corrects.  It varies shot to shot, and some are reasonably close, but just look how much better separated the colors are in that second set of shots.  The sky's supposed to be blue, but not the waiter's jacket.  Grain is also somewhat lighter on the 88, even when just comparing the two BDs.  And of course, detail that gets blocky and pixelated when you zoom in to on the blu-rays stays rounded and realistic on the UHD.  It's a distinct improvement even before you get to the composite footage.
1) 2014 88 Films BD; 2) 2023 Severin BD; 3) 2023 Severin UHD.

Surely, the biggest factor that set 88's blu-ray apart from its Troma counterpart was that it's uncut.  Troma's edition is missing some of key footage that apparently has been removed from the source materials.  To compensate, 88 has edited in workprint footage, also matted to 1.85, to make a composite cut which runs about a minute longer, where a couple of kills are considerably more graphic.  You'll definitely notice the picture quality shift from full color filmstock to almost monochromatically blue VHS tape quality.  But not so much on the Severin, because they were able to find the missing footage on a 35mm print.  Yeah, there's a difference between the print and the OCN's quality, but if you didn't know what footage was restored, you probably wouldn't notice the difference, whereas you couldn't help but notice it before.  And I agree with 88's decision to crop the footage to 1.85 rather than have the AR shift, but it was at the cost of losing picture information that Severin has been able to restore.  So as exciting as it was when 88 was able to construct their composite, Severin's is now equally exciting.

They both provide lossless versions of the original mono track (LPCM on 88 and DTS-HD on the Severins).  That was another point in 88's favor, since Troma's audio is lossy.  Also, neither release included subtitles, which Severin finally does.  So it's progress after progress.
88 also beat out Troma in the special features, although it was a closer race than you might guess.  Troma did actually cook up some worthwhile extras for this film.  First of all, Lloyd Kaufman gets into the spirit of things by filming his intro at Sundance and sharing his own personal memories of Spinell.  They also provide an audio commentary with Joe's friend and associate producer Luke Walter.  It's moderated by a kid from Troma, who detracts about as often as he contributes, but Luke has a lot to share, having frequently been on set and involved closely with the filmmaking, including enabling Spinell's indulgent forays.  It's a fun track with Luke pointing out who was an unwitting extra and who was an actual actor, telling risque personal anecdotes, etc.  They also have the trailer and that Mister Robbie promo clip Spinell made hoping to get Maniac 2 financed.  It makes more sense as an extra on Maniac, which it also is, but it's cool here, too, since these films are son closely tied together.

Anyway, all of the above are on both the Troma and 88 blus.  But both discs have exclusives.  Troma's exclusive, however, are all Troma-specific junk that has nothing to do with The Last Horror Film.  There's something about TromaDance and a short film called The Return Of Dolphin Man...  Unless you're a big Troma fan, you won't care.  But you will be interested in 88's stuff.  Well, most of it anyway.
First up is a short, nostalgic documentary called My Best Maniac (surely a play on My Best Fiend) where Walter takes us on a tour through Spinell's hometown.  He talks a little about the film, particularly an anecdote up front, but it's mostly a tribute to Spinell as a person, ending with a stop at his grave.  Then there's a short but great interview with William Lustig who shares what he knew about this crazy project, including how he was asked at one point to take over the direction (he declined).  After that, it boils down to odds and ends.  There's a promising sounding "Caroline Munro Q&A," but it turns out to just be a short clip with no connection to this movie.  She's actually being interviewed about Slaughter High and doesn't even bring up this film in passing.  I mean, it's still better than nothing I suppose, but what a let down.  Then there's a long reel of bonus trailers, and that's about it.  The sleeve has reversible artwork, which is cool.
But Severin now, has the best extras package of all, and it's all new.  They start off with an audio commentary by Luke Walter, which I had assumed was the same one on the previous blus.  But no, this one's different, and Severin's moderator is a lot better than Troma's.  Next, we have a second commentary by Caroline Munro and Alan Jones, and it's terrific.  We've been getting so many mediocre commentaries from the boutiques lately that I was starting to forget how much value a top level commentary can have.  Munro is in good spirits and happy to discuss everything.  And Jones is a knowledgeable critic more than ready to not just moderate, but add real insight whenever Munro didn't have so much to say.  They really compliment each other, and together manage to stay focused and entertaining for the entire running time.

They also interview Spinell's old friend, Sal Sirchia, who shares some personal history and dispels some myths about the actor.  He even plays some answering machine messages he saved and visits his grave.  Then there's a great locations tour, which finds all the spots in both New York and Cannes where the original film shot.  And there's an audio-only interview with producer and co-star Judd Hamilton, who has a lot of dirt to dish... he even blames his divorce on this movie.  And that leads us to his producer's cut.
2023 Severin producer's cut BD.
Yes, the director managed to keep the final cut on this film, and Hamilton's always been unhappy with it.  So Severin allowed him to go back and finally cut it his way.  And... it's not as good.  He basically just trims a lot of the nudity and some of the fun Cannes location footage (including that shot of the crowds in front of that giant James Bond sign at the Carlton in my first set of comparison shots).  It's definitely a case of a producer not fully appreciating the film his talent made for him, though to be fair, he only really takes 6-7 minutes out of it, and it's all thoughtfully done.  It's also brighter, but that might be less of a creative decision and more down to the compression or whatever, because it's presented here in HD, but only allotted 3GB of disc space, which is less than most DVDs.  So goodbye film grain and all of that.  It also has lossy audio and no subs.  But considering it's basically just a cut version, it's probably only going to be of interest to fans as a quick novelty anyway.

Anyway, Severin's release also includes an extensive, 100-page full-color book, half written by Hamilton, and also including a vintage interview with the director David Winter and some vintage artwork.  It also comes in a delightful, embossed Maniac II: Love To Kill slipbox, which they describe as "extremely unofficial."
So yeah, The Last Horror Film is a must for any horror fan's collection, especially if you love Maniac, and extra especially if you've already sprung for The Undertaker.  88's blu used to be the way to go (uncut, lossless audio, the best special features), until Severin came and raised the stakes (higher picture quality, subtitles and even better features).  Die-hards might still want to hang onto their 88's for some of those exclusive extras, like the Lustig interview.  But Severin's has become the definitive first choice now... at least until 88 decides to take up the gauntlet again and make their own 4k edition.

Stay For the Sinner's Blood

"Can any woman see the climax without feeling the knife?" is a question I often ask myself.  It's also the tagline for a gonzo sixties sleazefest called Sinner's Blood, new on blu-ray from Dark Force Entertainment.  Think Last House On the Left without the Bergman influence.  I had put off checking it out because I'm not a big fan of biker flicks in general, and 60s exploitation tends to feel pretty tame once you've seen stuff from the following decades (I can still remember as a kid renting Blood Feast after hearing for years what an insane gore-fest it was and what a disappointment that turned out to be).  But this really isn't a biker flick, though there is a biker gang in the movie, and it sure ain't tame. 
Not that Sinner's Blood is some kind of a gore fest either.  It's a sleazy sex and violence fest, full of rape, incest and drawn out, sadistic stabbings.  It's also so off-beat, unpredictable and at times curiously chipper, that it's oddly compelling even if you're not just in the market for envelope pushing.  I've read people try to describe how it doesn't really have a plot, so much as it is a succession of things that happen, and I think I've put my finger on it, because there is a straight-forward story in a sense, with events all leading into each other, and even some dare I say "subtle" foreshadowing.  It's because there really isn't a protagonist.
Two girls arrive in a small town from Chicago to stay with their aunt and uncle after their parents die.  They're both hotties, of course, but one is a heavily telegraphed good girl and the other is obviously the bad girl.  They seem like our leads but they slowly fade into the background, acting more as catalysts for everyone they run into.  Because every man, and even some of the women, go completely ga-ga over them.  And everybody in this town is a total nutcase, from the local biker gang with a homicidal loose cannon in their ranks to the town preacher who screams at people that they're animals.  So dangling this additional temptation in front of them all is just a propulsion for them to spring into murder, voyeurism, betrayal, LSD freakouts and the least titillating orgy you'll ever witness.
What a weird piece of Americana.  You could write it off as just softcore porn, because clearly this film is just dying to linger on as many bear breasts as possible.  But it's such a weird story going on, clearly with some kind of demented artistic vision pushing it along.  And sure, there's an amateurish level to it all where actors sometimes stumble over their lines and the production values are cheap.  But the cast is also really going for it, and they're clearly making an effort to come up with creative camera angles and pack the story with locations, tons of characters, weird dialogue and all sorts of things some hack rushing out a cheap sex flicks for a quick buck would never bother with.  Mind you, I'm not arguing that this is a good movie; but it's not unworthy of your time.  It's a heck of a time capsule and you'll never be bored.
Sinner's Blood has been a grey market staple for ages.  There's an old Genesis Home Video DVD with a copyright 1987, that only makes sense when you realize their back cover is a copy of the old VHS tape.  There's also a Cheezy Flix DVD.  All 1.33 VHS rip stuff, until Code Red picked it and decided to do it properly in 2012, giving it both a "brand new 1.78:1 (16x9) transfer from the only surviving 35mm print" and an additional "full frame version with a new scene from a 3/4" tape" on the same disc.  It was the definitive go-to edition until now, as Dark Force have released it on blu-ray as Volume 20 of their Drive-In double feature series (paired with Rivals, already fully covered here).  Now it's got a "new 2K scan from 16mm blown up to 35mm original internegative with extensive restoration and color correction."
1) 2012 Code Red DVD (print); 2) 2012 Code Red DVD (tape); 3) 2023 Dark Force BD.
So before I say anything else, I want to say Sinner's Blood has never looked half this good before.  This is a huge revelation.  I'm going to point out some flaws, but if you're a fan of this movie, this is an essential double-dip, putting everything that came before it to shame, even Code Red's DVD, which clearly put in the effort of giving us two transfers.

One is fullscreen (1.29:1, counting the rolling video bar along the bottom), and the other is widescreen (1.77:1 with very slim pillarboxing).  You can see why he included a full-screen option, since the widescreen version doesn't just matte the film vertically, but loses picture from all four sides.  Dark Force's transfer is 1.33:1, including even more picture around all four sides, though it feels excessively open matte, frequently with a lot of head room.  I wouldn't be surprised, though, if this is sort of a NotLD situation, where the filmmakers were still green enough to have framed for fullscreen simply because they weren't professionally seasoned enough to plan for theatrical matting.  I don't think it's true, though, what Dark Force said in their video promoting this release about going 1.33 "because that's technically the shape of a drive-in screen."  It's not, almost all drive-ins are widescreen (and certainly, the Midway and Santee drive-ins, highlighted on this disc's cover and menu screen respectively, had 2.39 screens).  So that's a little weird, but hey, this new blu still looks great.
Sure, it has plenty of dirt, scratches and hair in the gate, but it's still far less damaged than the green emulsion-riddled print Code Red used.  And critically, Dark Force didn't use a print but an internegative with far more detail and clarity.  Some of the close-ups on this disc look amazing.  And oh god, forget about Code Red's fullscreen transfer, which is so blockly, it looks like it was ripped from an old 240p Youtube post.  It's interlaced, too (the widescreen version isn't, and of course Dark Force's isn't), but you can barely tell because the image quality is so bad.  And yes, Dark Force's color correction is another big improvement, looking far more accurate and attractive than Code Red's faded, red and yellow leaning transfers.  It does have a weird flaw in a few shots, though, where the darkest parts of the shot are actually brighter than they should be, making a character's dark pants, for example, look like they're glowing.  You can see it a bit around the legs of the girl in the plaid shirt in the first set of comparison shots, and more extremely in that shot of the looking through the hole in the wall.  The above close-up is a perfect example, where it gives a greenish hue in the shadows of his hair, his collar and the eye further from the camera making them stand out in a way those areas shouldn't.  That gets a little distracting, I've gotta be honest.  And the older transfers don't have this problem.  But I still wouldn't trade Dark Force's new restoration for the old ones in a million years.

No subtitles this time (despite them being on Rivals), but Dark Force has bumped the mono audio to DTS-HD.  It still has crackles and light hiss, but it sounds better than Code Red's, which didn't have subtitles either.  Well, Code Red's widescreen transfer has less his, but the dialogue isn't as clear.  And their fullscreen version sounds awful.
Dark Force's disc is also the longest, most uncut version going, along with Code Red's fullscreen version.  If you were wondering what that "new scene" reference was about on the Code Red case, their widescreen version is missing some footage.  It cuts the first line of dialogue, replacing it with an Exclusive International Pictures title card not on either of the other editions.  It's also then missing the Cinema International Pictures logo that's cut later into the opening credits.  But the key differences are that the widescreen version cuts a lot of the lesbian scene out, as well as the final scene of violence/ nudity (which makes the film's ending even more confusing than it normally is), both of which are intact in the two fullscreen versions.  So it's not really a difference of a single "new scene," but several cuts.  And judging by the running times on the backs of their cases, the Genesis and Cheezy Flix DVDs are more heavily cut.
Code Red also hooked us up with a couple extras.  Well, one really.  They interview one of the lead actors, John Talt, who plays the emotionally disturbed creeper (if that narrows it down at all?).  And it's a fun one.  He does call the film terrible multiple times, but he has some good memories and insight into the film, which is good because anyone who sees this movie will definitely be coming out with questions.  Besides that, there's just a couple bonus trailers for other Code Red titles.

Sadly, Dark Force drops the interview.  So the new BD doesn't have any extras apart from the drive-in interstitials, where they play trailers and theater advertisements between the two features, which is admittedly fun.  But it's a real shame about the interview.  That's some value lost right there, and it feels like an unforced error not to slap it on.  It's not like none of the Drive-In series can have extras; Who's Child Am I?/ Weekend Murders had an audio commentary and on-camera interview.  Oh well.
This release does come in a colorful slipcover.  And it's two totally demented films looking better than they ever have before.  I only picked this release up for Rivals, but Sinner's Blood drew me in so much, I picked up the Code Red DVD just for the interview.  So at the end of the day, I'd say this is a high recommendation for the very niche audience that would be interested in these movies, but certainly not for, you know, sane people.

Nightmare(s In a Damaged Brain): A New Challenger Appears!

88 Films' blu-ray of Nightmare(s In a Damaged Brain) has just landed, and I'm pretty excited! How does the new transfer compare to the previous US blu from Code Red? How are the extras different? Is it a different cut? Well, I've got them right here, so we're about to find out everything for sure. But just to give you a hint up front? I'm smilin'. 😃

Update 11/28/15 - 9/12/23: Bigger smile!  😁  Severin Films has just dropped their all new, 3-disc UHD/ BD special edition combo-pack.
The only reason I'm not even more excited than I am is that, frankly, I'm not a huge fan of this movie. It's got a stilted, semi-amateurish feel in places, with kind of a cheap look and a few really hammy performances. Plus, the story is kind of a mess, like maybe they had trouble getting 100% of the script on screen as written. But, I think our quasi-protagonist C.J. is great... he reminds me a lot of the kid in Trick Or Treats in all the best ways, and the showdown at the end of the film is terrific. And if you're looking for sleazy sex and violence along the way, Nightmare certainly delivers.
88 Films: the last frame in this shot
But let me stop beating around the bush and answer your #1 question: does 88's version feature the missing footage from the old Dutch VHS release, as detailed by movie-censorship? Yes! Mostly! That shot above is the infamous shot of the killer behind the kid in the house everyone was asking about, and that Code Red put up on their storefront. Here it is, in HD for the first time, looking great. And yes, the extra shots of the babysitter being stalked and the extra stuff at Gatsby's bar is all in here as well. The shot of the kid walking up to the house is also longer. It features absolutely everything in Code Red's cut, plus these long missing bits.

But having examined things a little closer with user Trampled on the forums, there is a bit of footage still missing. In the babysitter scene, some of the shots are restored as I described above, but there's also a bit where the kids come that is still missing. Then, the bar room stuff is 100% restored, but the last shot of the killer behind the kid seems to be missing some final frames... movie-censorship shows his hands on the kid's neck, whereas this one cuts out just as the killer's fingertips reach his neck. Of course, that shot is missing entirely from Code Red's blu, and almost all of it is restored on 88's. But there is still a smidgen missing.
Severin's deleted scene goes this much further
And now Severin's release?  We're told on the back of the case that theirs is "scanned from the internegative and various foreign print sources to create the most complete version ever assembled."  And, well... it's basically the 88 cut.  It's six seconds longer because they've added Tom Savini's credit back to the opening titles.  That's the only difference, though I suppose technically, that does make it the most complete version ever assembled.  It has all the footage that 88 restored, but it's still missing the babysitter bit and those last remaining frames of the killer's hand at the kid's neck.  Except, they have gone and recovered that footage and included it as two deleted scenes, with an explainer stating the footage was "cut from all 35mm pre-print and print elements we were able to track down around the world. It was likely excised from the film before release in most territories but somehow the video masters... contained an earlier cut."  The first scene is fairly substantial, but the killer's hand bit is down to a difference of just ten additional frames.  But here they are now, finally on disc, if only as VHS-sourced extras.
And the transfers are fairly different, too. Different but pretty equal in the case of the original two blus. It had been assumed for a long time that 88 Films was just going to use Code Red's transfer, which they created, to release in their market... until they announced they were making their own, which is visibly pretty different. And now that Severin's remastered the film in 4k, Nightmare's been given another fresh face.  Let's take a look.
1) 2014 Code Red BD; 2) 2015 88 Films BD;
3) 2023 Severin BD; 4) 2023 Severin UHD.

It's hard not to notice the differences in color timing, so let's start with that. In general, Code Red's transfer leans towards purple and 88's leans towards green. Which was better tended to vary depending on the shot, but Severin consistently finds the happy medium, with the most natural, balanced colors.  Framing-wise, both previous blus are full 1.78:1, which Severin finally mattes down to a proper 1.85:1.  But the differences don't stop there, as we find some substantial shifts within those frames (horizontally in the first set, vertically in the second). What's the title of the film the killer's walking past in the second set of shots? Only Code Red knows for sure. What's also interesting about that is 88 and Severin's framing matches Code Red's older DVD release, as Simon M. memorably posted on the AVManiacs forum. Which is truer to the director's vision? I don't know for sure, but Code Red's blu is the outlier, so I'm going to guess everybody else is basically right.
1) 2014 Code Red BD; 2) 2015 88 Films BD;
3) 2023 Severin BD; 4) 2023 Severin UHD.

And how about print damage? You may remember when 88 Films released the first screenshots of their new transfer as compared to Code Red's [see the original comparison I posted on Twitter on the right], their screenshot had cleaned up all the ugly green emulsion spots that had dirtied the film (or at least used a different source print that didn't have that damage on it). But since we got their complete transfer, we see it has some of its own.  Look at the shots above. Is the white spot to the left of the lamp really preferable to the green spot on the mom's shoulder?  Well now Severin has the least, but there are still flecks and plenty of flickering.  It very much still feels like old film.  And that's mostly a good thing anyway, especially when it comes to the more natural film grain and increased resolution of the new 4k.  Code Red's is the softest, with 88 and Severin hanging pretty close in terms of crispness and detail, especially when comparing the 1080p blus.

Both of the older discs had solid LPCM mono tracks.  Severin switches it up to DTS-HD, and also adds a 5.1 remix (in DTS-HD as well).  But the best news here is that they've finally added English subtitles, which all previous editions lacked.
And when it comes to extras, it's all good news. Code Red's is really loaded with an audio commentary by star Baird Stafford and the make-up artist Cleve Hall, on-camera interviews with Stafford, Hall, distributor Tom Ward, producer Bill Milling, effects artist Ed French, and co-star Mik Cribbon. It also has the full 96 minute(!) interview with director Romano Scavolini subtitled (the same interview that was on Code Red's previous DVD, but spoken in Italian with no English subtitles). And there's two different Nightmare trailers.

88 Films doesn't have quite as much, but what it has is virtually all new... especially rewarding for those of us who double-dipped. Their stand-out extra is an all new audio commentary by producer Bill Paul. He's wonderfully free about his opinions and has great, specific memories - you definitely don't want to miss this commentary. They've also got a segment on 42nd St. When I originally heard 88 was including a featurette on the locations of Nightmare, I was imaging them finding all those wild Florida spots, but instead this just feels like deleted scenes from Calum Waddell's 42nd Street Memories. At least the killer did go to 42nd St in the movie for a couple of minutes, so it kinda syncs up, and I'd rather have this than not. 88 also has a booklet including text interviews with Scavolini and Stafford, one trailer, some bonus trailers for other 88 releases and reversible artwork, so it's a very nice package. Oh, and I said "virtually all new," because they also include a two minute interview with Tom Ward, which is actually just a clip taken from Code Red's feature.
And now Severin?  They've got the best extras package of all.  First, they've retained both legacy commentaries: Code Red's and 88's.  And they've added all new interviews with Romano Scavolini (72 minutes long!  And why yes, he does delve into the childhood origins of the 19th century Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard), a 40 minute 'making of' documentary with interviews with 21st Century Distribution's Arthur Schweitzer, Mik Cribben, production supervisor Simon Nuchtern, Bill Milling and editor Jim Markovic.  Plus it includes excerpts from Code Red's interviews with Baird Stafford, Ed French and Cleve Hall.  They also have separate on-camera interviews with Tom Savini (to definitively clear up the mystery of his involvement) and makeup artist Robin Stevens.  There's a new locations tour video with host Michael Gingold, an open matte version of the peep show scene (yes, for the reason you're guessing), an art gallery, the aforementioned deleted scenes and both Nightmare trailers.
Escape To Entebbe
And that's before we even get to disc 3!  This one's starts us off with the feature-length documentary Damaged: The Very British Obscenity of David Hamilton-Grant.  Now, you might be looking back at the film's credits trying to remember who David Hamilton-Grant is... was he a co-producer or something?  No, he's a British distributor who went to jail for releasing Nightmare uncut on VHS during the "video nasty" days.  This doc tells his whole story, and yes, Nightmare is featured in it prominently.  Then, we also get four vintage short films Hamilton made: three roughly hour-long softcore sex flicks and a short (racist?) parody of General Idi Amin Dada: a Self Portrait.  I can't say I was terribly interested in the sex flicks, and we've wondered pretty far afield of Nightmare by now, but the little Dada short is worth the watch.  And I appreciate the preservation effort.

Anyway, Severin's release also includes an 8-page booklet with notes by Nathanial Thompson, reversible artwork and an embossed slipcover if you order it directly from the label.  Or you could splurge for their fancier package, which also includes an all-new novelization of the film by Gingold and a Severin t-shirt.
So, it was a bit of a weird, frustrating choice between the two blu-rays.  Code Red had more and better extras, but 88 Film's cut had the extra footage. And the transfers were pretty much a tie.  So it was a real hard call trying to pick one or the other, and hardcore fans were left wanting both.  But Severin has cleaned up the mess, now definitively offering the best edition of the longest cut with the best extras, and even on a higher gen format.  Super duper hardcore fans may still want the previous blus for the exclusive remaining extras, but honestly, I wouldn't bother.  All the important stuff has either been ported over, or replaced with better HD interviews.  And unless somebody discovers lost negatives with those deleted scenes in a warehouse someday, I'd say this is the last, best edition we're ever going to get of Nightmare.  It almost justifies the outrageous price Severin is charging for it.  😛