PULSE Blu Ray Review

The fear of technology is nothing new. 1988 PULSE, mined a rich vein that included THE TERMINATOR, RUNAWAY and many a Sci Fi authors worst nightmares. However the domestication and alienation of youth, added a new dimension. Bill Rockland (Cliff De Young) is living in a quiet suburb with his new wife (Roxanne Hart). But things light up when his son(Joey Lawrence) arrives for a vacation. First there is the electric spark that ruptured a gas pipe and nearly killed Bill’s son. Then the scolding water of a shower almost killed his wife. Add to this the noises at night, the sound of machines talking maybe. Surely a coincidence but then something sinister could be driving it.

You can see why this was a hit on the VHS realm! The simple fact is, horror is more powerful when it is more personal. PULSE plays exclusively to this idea. Through a childs eye, we see the destructive force of electricity and technology. It might succeed a lot more than it fails but, as the amazing Lee Gambin video essay alludes to, it is much more than just a creature feature (albeit the creature is the inanimate electricity). The film is a swipe at American confidence. Post Chernobyl, post 5 mile island. Pre 9/11 America was drowning in fears of the effects of rampant technology. The fear of the device to simplify become devices to kill. Imagine when automation comes in. That is going to create hell on earth…


1080 p does the video shop roots justice by not losing that 80s glowing shine. That also means we get flat light and makeup density with light. But overall it is a night transfer.


Amanda Reyes could be said to be on the nose mostly with her work here. Tech, America, Sex, Youth, Fears. Its all there. As is detail. In my humble opinion, to much detail frankly but there is alot of it and it is worth it for someone. Lee Gambin piece is excellent and so much more worth your time than a load of other, dull essays. He is getting to be up there with some of the greats. His and Nisbet are the future.


  • Limited Edition O-Card slipcase [2000 copies]
  • 1080p presentation on Blu-ray
  • LPCM 2.0 audio
  • Optional English SDH
  • Brand new audio commentary by author and film historian Amanda Reyes
  • Tuning in to Tech Horror – video essay by writer and film historian Lee Gambin
  • Limited Edition collector’s booklet featuring a new essay by film scholar and author Craig Ian Mann; and an article on the film by filmmaker Adrián García Bogliano (Dark Phases) [2000 copies

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