Deadly Friend appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. I didn’t expect much from the transfer, so I was pleased by the pretty positive results.
Sharpness was usually good. A little softness affected wider shots, but any lack of definition was typical for films of this one’s era. Overall clarity appeared solid.
I saw no jagged edges or moiré effects, and edge haloes remained absent. Print flaws also failed to cause issues, so I saw a couple of small specks but nothing more than that.
With a fairly natural palette, the colors of Friend worked pretty well. Though they occasionally showed some “80s murkiness”, I thought the hues generally came across as full and concise.
Blacks were mostly dark and firm, and low-light shots offered reasonable clarity. No one will view this as a demo film, but given the era in which it was made, the end result satisfied.
Similar feelings greeted the decent DTS-HD MA monaural soundtrack of Friend.
Audio quality seemed dated but fine, with speech that appeared reasonably natural and concise, with minimal edginess.
Music presented more than adequate range and depth, and effects showed good clarity and accuracy. As with the picture, nothing here excelled, but the soundtrack held up well enough.
A few extras fill out the disc, and Hey Sam, Nice Shot provides a nine-minute, 26-second interview with actor Kristy Swanson. She discusses her role, her performance and aspects of the shoot. Swanson offers a decent selection of observations.
Written in Blood runs eight minutes, 11 seconds and brings a chat with writer Bruce Joel Rubin. He covers the adaptation of the source novel as well as elements of his screenplay/rewrites and the production. This turns into another generally informative reel.
Next comes Robots, Ramsey and Revenge, a five-minute, two-second piece with effects artist Lance Anderson. He examines the execution of the movie’s BB character along with gore scenes. We find a short but reasonably informative piece.
In addition to four trailers and five TV spots, the disc concludes with Samantha’s Symphony, an eight-minute, 23-second interview with composer Charles Bernstein. He tells us about his music for Friend and gives us some good notes.
Wes Craven’s follow-up to A Nightmare on Elm Street, 1986’s Deadly Friend turns into a forgettable stab at horror. The movie shows some potential but it fails to find an interesting way to tell the story. The Blu-ray comes with generally good picture and audio as well as a few bonus materials. Craven fans will want to check out Friend for its historical value, but they shouldn’t expect much from it.