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Saturday, March 18, 2017

'Death Passage' DVD: Urban Legend Tale from the Outback Darkside

The latest addition to the horror section of the breaking glass pictures DVD catalog awesomely melds subgenres of this art form. The aptly named "Death Passage" (nee "Lemon Tree Passage"), which hits real and virtual store shelves on March 21 2017, revolves around the real-life urban legend of the ghost of Lemon Tree Passage Road in Australia.

The following YouTube clip of the theatrical trailer for "Passage" is very true to the film. It provides an accurate sense of the story and has a plethora of fleeting glimpses of the horror that awaits teens who venture where they should fear to tread.

Teen American backpackers are enjoying a day bickering on a beach in Australia when a chance encounter with two slightly older locals leads to a fast friendship that leads to "The Blair Witch Project" horror sans nauseatingly jerky handheld camera shots.

Our trio of Yanks sharing a hackneyed ghost story around a campfire prompts their hosts to ridicule the practice of telling tall tales in such a setting and brag that Aussies only tell true accounts. They then share the story of the the ghost of nearby Lemon Tree Passage Road.

The documented real-life story is that a group of teenagers joyriding in a car cause the death of a young motorcyclist/family guy who lacks blame for the incident. The rest of the story is that this incident leads to the equally real practice of teens driving down the same road at 111 m.p.h. to prompt the ghost to chase them to the end of that route. The manifestation of that pursuit is a motorcycle headlight suddenly appearing in the road behind the car and just as rapidly disappearing at the end of the road. The prevalence of this practice prompts local authorities to do what they can to deter these new drivers from this reckless behavior.

The skeptical Americans calling bullshit prompts an initial ride down the aforementioned road. This leads to these tourists experiencing the suddenly appearing headlight. Their short-lived satisfaction with this proof leads to a second trip into the woods, which is when the fun/terror really begins.

The first creepy moment occurs when the stereotypical oaf of the group is left by the side of the road while the rest of the Scooby gang tries to recreate their earlier experience. Suffice it to say that said lout being placed in the middle of the danger zone does not end well for him.

The ensuing terror is much more psychological than knife-wielding and incorporates past victims of the area. Some members of the group wandering off and/or becoming captives makes sense when all is said and done in a very satisfying conclusion. This result further arguably allows our restless spirit to find peace. One spoiler is that the demon motorcyclist is not a park ranger in a costume who wants to scare away visitors so he that can search for buried bank loot in peace.

The usual copious breaking DVD extras include an actual YouTube video that purports to show the real aforementioned spook, an alternative ending that is even more satisfying than the selected one, cast interviews, and footage of rehearsals.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Passage" is welcome either to email me or to connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.