New UK DVD stalwarts Cryptkeeper laid down the gauntlet early on with their proud support of the independent genre scene by releasing some of the coolest special editions in the UK market (with 'Dead Next Door', 'Bloodletting' and 'Hardcore Poisoned Eyes'). They took the gamble and submitted all three to the Victorian censors at the BBFC whom welcomingly passed all three uncut. But when Cryptkeeper licensed their latest title for release they knew that in no way would the censors even think of classifying this film, let alone offer any cuts whatsoever. That film is 'Scrapbook'.

'Scrapbook' is a low budget insular piece that looks into the mind of a serial killer and his unlucky victim. The scrapbook of the title is one that twisted Leonard (Tommy Biondo) has been working on for some time, it's a collection of polariods and pieces of deranged memorabilia that he's built up from years of brutal slayings. You see, Leonard is hoping that his actions will one day make him famous with delusional dreams of appearing on the TV chat show circuit. His victim this time round is the luckless Clara (Emily Haack) who he delights in degrading at every opportunity - beating, raping and torturing her over and over again. Each act of horrific violence portrayed graphically onscreen pulling you into the horror of it all unflinchingly shaking your senses to the core.


'Scrapbook' is without a doubt one of the most brutal and horrifying films ever released...period. In fact I doubt there has ever been a film so scarily close to the bone in perfectly depicting the real terrifying intensity of the psyche of a serial killer. Firstly, kudos must go to Tommy Biondi for not only writing such an explosive storyline but for his performance in the lead psycho role. But it is the stunning performance by lead Emily Haack in the role of poor Clara that must be applauded with great respect. The many graphic scenarios of humiliation must have been somewhat soul destroying at times as she willingly participated in such detailed portrayals of human humiliation. I would expand on the explicitness of some scenes but this would detract from the impact of viewing the film for those that have never seen it before, but you may want to note that the images here accompanying this review are by no means the worst things that you'll see in this movie. Director Eric Stanze (who some readers will know from his earlier production 'Ice from the Sun') does a great job in capturing the insular atmosphere of the brooding terror.

I could wax lyrically for ages about just how jaw-droppingly stunning this film is but I wont. All I would say is that if you think you've got the stomach to sit through this one then waste no time in doing so. Powerful, provocative and gut wrenchingly disturbing - the must see independent horror movie of the year.

Final kudos must of course go to the brilliant team at Cryptkeeper who whilst most other DVD companies would shy away from releasing such a controversial movie they went ahead and done just that. Even more significant is the fact that they chose (wisely) to bypass the stranglehold of the BBFC (who without doubt would have rejected the film outright) and released it onto the market fully uncut and unrated. While this may not be such a big deal to some of our US and European counterparts I can assure you it's quite something for a company here in the UK. Cryptkeeper we salute you!


As ever with Cryptkeeper releases we are delivered a lovely special edition DVD that they don't bother to make a song and dance about (when they really should!) The full screen print is good throughout which is what you would expect from a recent production such as this but there is also some very welcome extras here too.

First there's the usual DVD bonus suspects in the form of the stills gallery and promotional trailers. There's also a cool preview reel for the forthcoming gory shocker 'Savage Harvest', which looks to be a change of pace from director Stanze who with this one is brining us an out and out splatter rampage flick (I'll look forward to catching this one!) But perhaps most welcomingly included here is the short documentary 'Poverty Row Shocker' which looks at the creation and behind the scenes of Scrapbook's production. Not only does it give you a fascinating insight into low budget film making but thankfully lets you see the crew away from the intensity of the finished production. There's some delightful insight into the leads Biondo and Haack that only adds to your respect to their commitment and talent rounding off this tasty package from the Cryptkeeper team.

'Scrapbook' is a brutal and intense rollercoaster ride but I must warn you not even think about watching this film if you think you may be offended. makes 'I Spit On Your Grave' look like a Disney production. Classic - essential viewing!

Review by Alan Simpson

Released by Cryptkeeper
Region - All (PAL)
Not Rated - Uncut
Ratio - original full screen
Extras :
Behind the scenes documentary, trailers, 'Savage Harvest' preview, stills gallery.