DVD Rating: ****1/2

Reviewed by: Richard Mellor

Read Scott Macdonald's film review of Shrooms

There's a school of thought which says that a bad DVD always has good extras, and vice versa - perhaps in a bid to boost sales after poor reviews or cinema turn-out, perhaps to try and defend the product and show the effort made in its conception. Whatever the reason, the theory certainly holds true in the case of Shrooms.

A rather confused, over-stylised piece of celluloid that suggests magic mushrooms, Ireland and closed young offenders' homes don't make for a good holiday, Shrooms' digital offerings merit much more acclaim. In addition to the usual trailer, there's a veritable feast of extras, footage that, in total, clocks up more minutes than the film itself.

Copy picture

Deleted scenes are always a major attraction, helping viewers to understand a director's mindset and adding more depth to the characters. It's fascinating to see here various moments which director Paddy Breathnach left on the cutting-room floor - although one might contend that every Shrooms scene ought to have been canned. Two alternative endings make up the offering.

Elsewhere on the bonus front there's an option of watching the film with Breathnach's ertswhile, wry commentary explaining his decisions, interviews with every main cast members - the young Americans much less infuriating out of character - and some un-narrated 'behind the scenes' footage as a couple of episodes are shot. This latter documentary has the effect of rather de-sensitising the horror - bloodied, broken limbs become painted prosthetic plastic, and gashed groins packets of red ink behind implausibly thin linen.

With the original cinematic trailer also available for viewing pleasure, Shrooms' DVD package is certainly substantial, even if its contents do feel like a somewhat hastily gathered cluster of gifts, an attempt to induce a few more impulse sales buys. In truth, few DVDs offer so much additional material, and Shrooms ought to be commended for its bulk.

Reviewed on: 12 May 2008
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Product Code: CDR52170

Region: 2

Ratio: 16:9

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1

Extras: Bonus footage, Outtakes, Deleted scenes, Behind the scenes, Cast and Crew interviews, Director's commentary, alternative ending

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