Release Date(s)1986 (April 28, 2020)
Studio(s)Omega Entertainment/Lightning Video (Arrow Video)
- Film/Program Grade: B-
- Video Grade: B+
- Audio Grade: B+
- Extras Grade: C+
Going straight to video in the US, 1986’s The Wind (aka The Edge of Terror) blended a mix of psychological thriller, European horror, and American slasher, but was mostly forgotten upon its initial release. Directed by Nico Mastorakis (Blood Tide, Island of Death), it offered much more than the plethora of genre titles surrounding it, but has been mostly unseen for decades.
Famous mystery author Sian Anderson (Meg Foster) is looking to get away and finish her latest book without the distractions of the world or her current boyfriend John (David McCallum). She heads to the remote town of Monemvasia in Greece for inspiration and solitude, taking residence in a house owned by the difficult but sincere Elias (Robert Morley). Upon her arrival, he warns her of the incredibly strong winds during the night, which make it dangerous to trek outside, as well as his wayward handyman Phil (Wings Hauser). One evening Sian sees Phil burying something, later discovering it to be the body of Elias, making it abundantly clear that Phil is a homicidal maniac. Cut off from the world, Sian must do all that she can to stay away from Phil, but not before he toys with her by cutting off the power, severing the phone lines, and stalking her endlessly.
While the elements of The Wind are perceived to be run of the mill, they’re actually better than many films of their ilk, at least for a good portion of the film. Meg Foster is a strong female character who enjoys the company of a man, but doesn’t regard him as a necessity, focusing more on her work when she needs to. She looks after herself and is put to task when Phil sets his deadly sights on her. Meanwhile, Wings Hauser is quite effective at wielding a sickle and spouting random dialogue, fully selling his deranged though mildly sympathetic killer. Meanwhile, Mastorakis manages to turn the tension without resorting to cheap scares. Unfortunately, this pace can’t be kept up and as newer elements and outside characters are introduced, the film suffers, barreling towards an unsatisfactory conclusion wherein nature steps in to help.
Once Sian arrives in Greece, the film hits the ground running and gets right into the action. It breezes by, even when the film’s unnecessary turn is taken. The character of Kesner (Steve Railsback) steps in as an outsider and is in and out of the film quickly, serving little to no purpose. Yet even flawed, The Wind is still a fine if imperfect thriller. It’s a bit more sophisticated than the norm, relying less on sleaze or unlikable characters, but more so on tension and performances.
Arrow Video brings The Wind to Blu-ray utilizing a new 2K restoration from the original 35 mm camera negative in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. It’s a strong presentation, if not a tad soft. Grain levels are attenuated well, allowing for a light film-like sheet without appearing noisy. Detail is abundant in both high and low light level settings. The color palette doesn’t offer a vast variety of lush hues, but the colors that are present come through well. Skin tones appear natural, blacks are deep, and brightness and contrast levels are satisfactory. The image is also stable and clean.
The audio is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD and English 2.0 LPCM with optional subtitles in English SDH and Greek. Both audio tracks exhibit the same qualities outside of the amount of speaker space that they take up. Dialogue exchanges are clear, with occasional overdubs standing out a bit more than usual. Sound effects have decent impact while the score propels the surrounding speakers in the 5.1 mix. There isn’t much in the way of ambiance, but the elements have plenty of depth to them.
The following extras are also included:
- The Director’s Chair: Nico Mastorakis – Blowing the Wind (HD – 28:17)
- The Sound of the Wind (HD – 50:50)
- Alternate Opening Credits (HD – 2:21)
- Original Trailer (HD – 3:53)
- 2020 Re-Issue Trailer (HD – 1:55)
- Nico Mastorakis Trailer Gallery (HD – 34:15)
- Lobby Cards Image Gallery (HD – 12 in all)
- Stills Image Gallery (HD – 24 in all)
Blowing the Wind is a featurette dedicated to Nico Mastorakis speaking about his work and his career. The Sound of the Wind is the complete soundtrack set to stills from the film. The Alternate Opening Credits feature the film’s alternate UK title The Edge of Terror. The Trailer Gallery includes trailers for Blind Date (aka Deadly Seduction), Sky High, The Zero Boys, Glitch!, Nightmare at Noon, Bloodstone, Grandmother’s House (aka Grandma’s House), Hired to Kill, In the Cold of the Night, The Naked Truth, and .com for Murder. Also included is a 24-page insert booklet with cast and crew information, Tourist Traps and Vacations from Hell: Grecian Holiday Nightmares in the Cinema of Mastorakis by Kat Ellinger, and transfer information.
Most won’t consider The Wind a hidden gem, but for those looking for a thriller with a number of genre influences and managing to be mostly effective, Arrow Video’s Blu-ray release—complete with a fine transfer and a decent extras package—is definitely worth your time.
– Tim Salmons