Thursday, November 26, 2015

CORRUPTION (Vinegar Syndrome Blu-ray) - The Black Friday Special Release with a Turkey-Sized Surprise

Vinegar Syndrome gets filth. They understand the raunch and the seedy underbelly of film better than most boutique distro companies, but there’s a thing that happens when a company understands that a piece of adult cinema is not dirty; it’s a work of art to be appreciated. Sure we all know that there’s a glut of porn out there that simply wants to bring you to climax. They have their place and utility, but when you come across a movie like Corruption directed by Richard Watkins aka Richard Mahler for this release starring my personal favorite adult film star, Jamie Gillis, you have to realize that it is a piece of film noir to be appreciated. Savored. Given the proper respect, transfer and restoration. We’ve seen Vinegar Syndrome put out double and triple feature Peekaramas on DVD and even one on Blu-ray. We’ve also seen them give us exquisite jam-packed packages like Sex World with just a little something more. For their annual Black Friday sale, VS has provided a stunning Blu of Corruption and what’s more? There’s an Easter egg ripe for the de-shelling and devouring that is sure to wet your palette for an upcoming release and it ain’t even Easter! It’s an answer to that Thanksgiving wishbone you just split with your siblings on turkey day.

Before we go into this release, this is the Vinegar Syndrome rundown for Black Friday. It’s important to pay attention here because you’ll notice some items selling out, some pre-orders not to be missed and a bunch of special notes that will help make your budgeting a bit easier for the year to come.

Here are the notes from Vinegar Syndrome:

Our site is now in Black Friday prep mode...

Our annual BF sale begins this Friday, November 27th and ends on Monday the 30th.

Here's some info for VSBF first timers:

1. Most all releases will be discounted 50% off of MSRP (a $24.98 blu-ray will be $12.49).

2. Last year our BF sale began at a pre-determined time and our site crashed. We learned from that mistake. This year there's no countdown and the best we can say is that sometime on Friday, November 27th in the AM (EST) the splash screen will be removed and the sale will begin!

3. Just like last year, we will be selling Yearly Packages. Pay one lump sum and receive every 2016 Vinegar Syndrome, Etiquette Pictures and ExploitationTV release at your doorstep on a monthly basis. Limited editions, special editions -- they are all included. The price will be based off our 2016 tentative release schedule w/ a 50% discount. If we put out fewer releases than predicted, we will refund the difference. If we release more, congratulations, you won. Fyi, 2015 package buyers made out like bandits are received three blu-rays for free!

Please note: we will have a limited number of Yearly Packages available for both U.S. and International customers. International customers will need to pay a little extra to cover the higher shipping cost.

Two Yearly Package editions will be available:
Yearly Package (Completionist)
Yearly Package (Blu-ray only)

4. In the event we run out of certain products, most will still be available for backorder and you'll be notified at checkout time. We do not ship partial orders. Shipping will be slightly delayed on orders containing backordered products. That said, we have plenty of stock so this shouldn't be an issue.

5. We will work overtime to make sure orders ship out as quickly as possible.

6. Expect the unexpected.

7. Lastly, a bit of advice... It's highly likely that the following limited edition releases will sell out during this sale (so snag one early):


This is the Vinegar Syndrome site URL:

This is the Vinegar Syndrome Facebook Page:

You have been warned.

Now on to Corruption…

The dirty underbelly of business, sexual fantasy and the deprivation of love and sexual gratification collide in this unique offering from director Roger Watkins. This isn’t Corruption from 1968 starring Peter Cushing released by Grindhouse Releasing last year on Blu-ray. This is an adult feature from 1983 released during the end of the golden age of the porn chic cinema perfection. It displays all the characteristics that cinema fan want in a proper, narrative adult feature with a story line that is filled with mystery and intrigue while laying on plenty of sensual poundings all with a high-brow flair that gives maximum production value to exquisite sleaze.

There are remarkable performances by all actors and actresses, but I’m so used to Jamie Gillis going total goofball or perve that his serious performance here shows his depth as an actor that may have often been missed by lesser directors. Roger Watkins directed ten films, one of which you are clearly familiar though perhaps not under the name Roger Watkins. We’ll get to that one in just a bit. The Pink Ladies, Midnight Heat and Her Name is Lisa all have merit and combine elements prevalent in Corruption with bits of crime thriller, debauch and passionate irreverence for sexual norms.

While this may be a more complete adult film, it certainly doesn’t lack in offering sex scenes you’d expect with a more artistic twist. The music is varied ranging from Harlem Nocturne style jazz ensemble to classical organ fugues and adagios. You’ll be familiar with some of these accompaniments (New York Nights, Boris Godonov, Adagio, Passaglia). Then there are the synth hits, stings and new wave rock segues that complete the early 80’s package. While I can’t place all the music, some of these are from popular cult movies of the period. It completely adds to the sinister nature of many of the passionate moments that range from ordinary pound outs to metaphor dripped, Jess Franco homages while daring to touch on Carpenter level tension. James Flamberg’s music is intense. There’s an element of burlesque here, of showmanship that really transcends most of the adult fair you may be used to. For those of you who stay away from the “hard stuff” this is your chance to see how adult cinema could be integrated as an artistic medium rather than a 42nd Street spank movie (nothing wrong with those mind you, but this is clearly a gem). That isn’t to say that this movie isn’t filled to the brim with hot sex scenes, but the guts in between, score and composition of scenes offers a more full bodied experience.

This is a beautiful transfer. It’s a clean print with minimal to no dust or deterioration. It’s nearly pristine and has rich blacks and appropriate color saturation. It’s what you expect from Vinegar Syndrome in terms of their Blu-ray releases. Even if you’ve picked up and enjoyed some of the grindier qualities of the Peekarama and Drive-In Collection for content, this gives you both a pleasing movie and a standard of quality that makes VS one of the leaders in their field. The extra package is nice including a pressbook gallery, trailer and interview with Larry Revene, cinematographer for Corruption and other Watkins pictures. The Revene interview gives you a nice perspective on this release and Watkins approach to filmmaking. In particular I love the Revene discusses the use of color in each room. These choices give Corruption a disctinctly Argento/Italian feel that is unique to this adult feature. It’s almost hard to believe we aren’t watching a Wakefield Poole movie with the artistic approach to eroticism.

Now here’s the kicker… you know Roger Watkins. In fact you’ve demanded a release of his hit Blu-ray as cult cinema fans for some time. That’s where the Easter egg comes into play.

Last House on Dead Street in its raw form is included on the disk, but you’ve got to find it! I’m simply letting you know it’s there, it’s a nice preview of what can be done when a label has will do put out a release, and it is the perfect tease for all you Victor Janus nuts (because Victor Janus IS Roger Watkins!).

Note that that this is not the the final restored version of Last House on Dead End Street. It’s a 2k scan of an uncut 35mm theatrical print. There’s a little color correction but otherwise kept it pure grindhouse. The full release will be coming soon and using better film elements.

When it’s available we will post the link to this title. You won’t want to miss it or any of the other Vinegar Syndrome Black Friday offerings.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Dead Air: Episode 100 - The Condemned 2 (2015) / The Hallow (2015)

This week on the #podcast , Jeff (@DeadAirJeff), Jesse (@DestroySuperman), and Chad (@HorrorMovieBBQ) talk about movie selection, Jesse's hatred for wrestling, Chad's hatred of most things, and what's on the schedule for the rest of 2015.

There are also TWO featured reviews this week: WWE Films' THE CONDEMNED 2, and the Irish creature feature, THE HALLOW.

Oh yeah, and this is the 100th Dead Air show, so we'll probably reminisce a little. 

Q&A will be open, so come and hang out. Ask them whatever you want. Really... Anything. They'll answer it.

If you can't make it to the live show, use the hashtag #DeadAirPodcast on Twitter and tweet your questions before the show.

Direct Download the mp3:

Leave Us A Voicemail:
(724) 888-3323

Email Us:
DeadAirHorrorPodcast (at) gmail (dot) com.

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iTunes listeners: Please take a moment to leave us a rating/review

The Dead Air Horror & Genre Podcast is brought to you by GenreWatch,The Liberal Dead, and Horror Movie BBQ. Be sure to visit the sites for more great content!

Looking to order any of the titles we discussed on this show? Head on over to Amazon for the best prices and help support our show.

And, as always, if you want to drop us a line to let us know what you think of any of the movies discussed tonight, or you just want to give us feedback on the podcast in general, please send an email to DeadAirHorrorPodcast (at) gmail (dot) com.

Check out this episode!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Dead Air: Episode 99 - Bone Tomahawk (2015)

This week on the #podcast , Jeff (@DeadAirJeff) and Chad (@HorrorMovieBBQ) talk about facial hair, Cannon Films, Werner Herzog, and BONE TOMAHAWK. 

If you can't make it to the live show, use the hashtag #DeadAirPodcast on Twitter and tweet your questions before the show.

Direct Download the mp3:

Leave Us A Voicemail:
(724) 888-3323

Email Us:
DeadAirHorrorPodcast (at) gmail (dot) com.

Listen Live on Friday Nights:

Check Out Back Episodes:

Support the show by shopping at Amazon:

Like us on Facebook:

Subscribe via iTunes:

iTunes listeners: Please take a moment to leave us a rating/review

The Dead Air Horror & Genre Podcast is brought to you by GenreWatch,The Liberal Dead, and Horror Movie BBQ. Be sure to visit the sites for more great content!

Looking to order any of the titles we discussed on this show? Head on over to Amazon for the best prices and help support our show.

And, as always, if you want to drop us a line to let us know what you think of any of the movies discussed tonight, or you just want to give us feedback on the podcast in general, please send an email to DeadAirHorrorPodcast (at) gmail (dot) com.

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Breeders (Olive Blu-ray)

There’s a strange tide coming in. Movies that are nearly completely devoid of plot and focus on max gore, max T and A and max splatter are making their way to Blu-ray, looking fantastic and providing movies new life. While I can’t say that I’ve seen Breeders in quite some time, I do remember the VHS, big box cover quite well and if that’s the last time you got to check it out, then you will be in for a total shock. This release looks pretty great in HD as provided in the Blu-ray released by Olive Films.

Let’s make no mistake about it. Breeders has a detective story that plays out in the background as if it were a screen for so much gore and so many naked beauties. It isn’t exactly a “deep” movie. What you see is what you get, but it certainly isn’t boring. Every scene seems to provide some level of perfect gratuitous imagery that is the stuff of adolescent fantasy. It’s literally a balancing act between gratuitous boobs and gratuitous violence in every other scene. You almost get the feeling like you’re watching a highlight reel. Breeders uses the complete runtime of the movie to stimulate libido and gore button.

The cover art for this releases preserves the traditional artwork though not the Wizard Video image you’ve come to adore. There’s a trailer included though no other extras. Given it’s cult status especially among the VHS collectors, some kind of art featurette would have been fitting.  Wizard releases draw a crowd and the Wizard video fanatics are more likely to purchase if they feel the nostalgic connection to the packaging or a feature on the disc. While I would find it hard to believe that we could ever see a release look nearly as good as this transfer, you’ll have to live with the lack of extras.

This is a great pickup for fans of schlock gore and boob fests. In need of intellectual stimulation from your Horror movie? Probably best to sit this one out. All others… this is a pleasant vacation into a time when the budget was used for the things we love to see on screen.

From Olive:

Fearing that their city is the target of a serial rapist, Manhattan Detective Dale Androtti (Lance Lewman, Riot On 42nd Street) finds an unlikely ally in Dr. Gamble Pace (Teresa Farley, Bad Girls Dormitory) when they are teamed up to investigate the brutal crimes. Their suspicions, unbelievable as they may seem, will lead them to a terrifying discovery that an alien life form is impregnating women to reproduce his species.

The terrifying Breeders, written and directed by Tim Kincaid (Mutant Hunt) co-stars Frances Raines (Disconnected) and Natalie O’Connell (Bad Girls Dormitory).

Monday, November 2, 2015

Mexico Barbaro (Dark Sky DVD)

Wow was Mexico Barbaro interesting. I must admit that I had my doubts about this one with the recent rash of anthology films coming out and most of the trying to pack way too many stories into their runtime. I was relieved that that issue didn’t happen with this one, and that should calm your first fear that this is just another anthology slapped together to provide a vehicle for a bunch of short movies that shouldn’t be in the same movie. Dark Sky has a history of putting out quality material and finding unique Horror that can appeal to both the mainstream fan and the more experienced Horror nut.

Mexico Barbaro is fresh. It focuses in on Mexican dark fantasy and legend for its source material for short, horrific tales. Now the quality varies in terms of storyline between each. Some are better and really grabbed my attention and some played out like the short story equivalent of slow burn walk through the desert, but each one had the same quality. Each one looked similar providing a feel of continuity. This continuity is often lacking in modern anthologies, no wrap story or completely different shooting styles, flavors or subject matter. Mexico Barbaro may not have a solid wrap story (and believe me I though of a couple that would work), but it gels well across all the tales.

There’s seduction and sexuality mixed with perverse sexuality that borders on completely disgusting in the Stuart Gordon’s Society sense of the word “disgusting”. There’s a feel of supernatural undertones in some stories while others are in your face. In short, this movie flows nicely providing a varied experience between stories that keeps you feeling fresh for the runtime.

If it wasn’t for some pretty terrible CG in the scene featured on the cover (the Day of the Dead makeup is phenomenal) I would have been all in. Still, this in and of itself does not destroy the movie, but it detracts from a visually stunning segment that really didn’t need digital blood to make it great. Of course there is another story that feels as though it is mimicking the shunting from Society in it’s strange, ectoplasmic grotesqueness. Absolutely practically effected and completely icky. There’s balance.

You can pick up Mexico Barbaro now. It has subtitles, a great cover and some really unique stories.

From Dark Sky:

Eight Mexican directors unite to create tales of the most brutally terrifying Mexican traditions and legends to vividly shocking life. MEXICO BARBARO presents haunting stories that have been woven into the fabric of a nation’s culture, some passed down through the centuries and some new, but all equally frightening. Stories of boogeymen, trolls, ghosts, monsters, Aztec sacrifices and of course the Day of the Dead all come together in urban and rural settings to create an anthology that is as original as it is familiar and as important as it is horrifying.

The directors represented in this anthology film are Jorge Michel Grau (We Are What We Are, The ABCs of Death), Isaac Ezban (upcoming Fantastic Fest award winner The Incident), Laurette Flores, Ulises Guzm├ín, Edgar Nito, sound designer Lex Ortega (Here Comes the Devil, Frankenstein’s Army), Gigi Saul Guerrero (El Gigante, Choose Your Victim), and Rue Morgue Mexico coordinator Aaron Soto.

The eight short films, all presented uncut and uncensored, present a range of themes and styles – but all are nerve-shattering examples of Mexico’s vital and world-renowned horror film industry. There’s a modern take on Hitchcock’s Rear Window, a tale set in a strip club on the Day of the Dead, a rash of corpse stealing, ancient savage Mexican traditions, and decomposing dolls, among other gleefully grisly goings-on.

Bloodsucking Bastards (Scream Factory Blu-ray)

Is 2015 the year of the Horror Comedy? I can’t help but think that most of the truly special releases this year have made me laugh almost as much as they’ve tweaked scare nerve. Bloodsucking Bastards came up on my radar a few months back when Scream Factory announced they would be releasing it on Blu-ray. I hadn’t previously heard of it, and I had not been anticipating its release for any extended period of time. I walked into it with a Blu-ray box and a prayer, and my experience was completely positive. The Horror Comedy is one of 2015’s greatest assets and this feature is one of the greats.

You guessed it. Bloodsucking Bastards is about vamps, or at least that’s the Horror element. I want to take a big leap here and put my cojones on the line. Bloodsucking Bastards is the Office Space of the Horror Comedy world. It has a completely lovable cast with which any office/desk jockey can identify easily. The workplace dynamic feels real in a socially critical, over the top sort of way much the same way Office Space perfected. Understanding the strange corporate hierarchy and the complete BS that goes along with the business decisions quite well (my day job is spent in an office), this movie will resonate with those of you who toil daily, looking for a break and trying to find the red stapler at the end of the interoffice memo.

I didn’t stop laughing through the whole movie mostly due to a strong cast that was able to execute their comedy schtick well. Franz Kranz made me laugh all throughout Cabin in the Woods and he continues to do so here. What was strange is having not read the synopsis, I didn’t fully realize that there would be vamps (though it is obvious to everyone else) which added to the strong reveal in the film. I am not giving anything away here. Sometimes I like to go into a movie completely blind, reading very little about and perhaps checking out the cover art when announced. So the comedy element works, but does the Horror side get equal time? Not exactly. It’s more of a comedy than a Horror film, but that doesn’t stop Bloodsucking Bastards from pouring on the gore in the last act. The vamp effects are fine though not necessarily my preferred vamp makeup.

This new release movie features a reverse still of the movie as well as an extra package that includes a Behind the Scenes reel and audio commentary.

I strongly recommend Bloodsucking Bastards. It represents what has been working for movies like Gravy, Deathgasm and Cooties this year with Horror movies going for maximum entertainment to provide crossover appeal with audiences who may not like the juicy gore but need a laugh. Scream Factory excels at find this kind of movie and releasing it. Cockneys and Zombies was a great find and the aforementioned Gravy is brilliant (just released in October).

You can order Bloodsucking Bastards from Scream Factory now.

From Scream Factory:

An action-packed vampire comedy in the vein of Office Space and Shaun of the Dead, Bloodsucking Bastards stars Fran Kranz (Cabin in the Woods) as Evan Sanders, a dutiful and overworked employee stuck at a soul-killing corporation with his beautiful girlfriend, Amanda (Emma Fitzpatrick, Significant Mother), and his slacker best friend Tim (Joey Kern, Beneath). Evan's world begins to crumble when Amanda dumps him and his boss, Ted (Joel Murray, God Bless America), hands his coveted promotion to his nemesis Max (Pedro Pascal, Game of Thrones). But just when Evan's convinced that life couldn't bite any harder, his office mates start going through disturbing changes… and bodies begin to pile up. Evan must find a way to stop the evil brewing amidst the cubicles and water coolers, win back Amanda, and rescue his workplace pals before his life and career go from dead-end... to just dead.

Bonus Features

Gag Reel
Behind The Scenes (Bloodsucking Bastards On Set)
Audio Commentary With Dr. God Comedy Troupe Including Director Brian James O'Connell, Producer/Actor Justin Ware, Writer/Actor Sean Cowhig, Actor Neil W. Garguilo and Actor David F. Park

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Lavalantula (Alchemy DVD)

What evil lurks in the heart of Lavalantula? Guys, I’m afraid of spiders. Spider movies are one of the only Animal Attack subsets that freaks me out to the point of giving me solid heebie jeebies for an entire evening as well as preventing me from sleeping. The larger the spiders get, the more petrified I become. Of course there is a limit. I think back to movies like Big Ass Spider, Camel Spiders, Giant Spider Invasion and for the most part those just make me laugh or… make me wish we used better computer generation in our creature creation.  I suppose that begs the questions, did Lavalantula scare me or did it make me laugh?

Let’s be clear about one thing. Lavalantula is with SyFy CG spiders set on fire (or covered in lava). These aren’t the tarantulas of King of the Spiders or the strange hybrids from Arachnophobia. These spiders are huge, computer generated to the max and they do some pretty funny things. Perhaps the best thing to look out for when watching Lavalantula is to enjoy how the spiders don’t seem to be walking on the ground. We should probably disclaim all of this by saying that you don’t watch a movie like Lavalantula for its realism. You watch it for the former actors of Police Academy being killed and running away from a fairly hilarious giant monster in the Hollywood hills.

Of course there is a softer side to this creature feature movie. Steve Gutenberg’s performance is quite touching. It’s those damn eyes! He’s still got it; that same emotive expression that locks you into falling in love with him just as he had in the Police Academy series. It was great to see various members of the cast reunite to die at the hands of completely outlandish perpetrators.

Lavalantula was the immediately follow up to Sharnado 3 in the SyFy channel lineup that went over extremely well. While it isn’t my favorite of the SyFy channel’s monster mashup movies, it has heart, humor and is a fun time. That doesn’t mean it’s a great movie, but if you enjoy the SyFy channel’s output of computer generated monster movies, this one will definitely resonate well.

From Alchemy:

After a dormant volcano erupts miles outside of Los Angeles, something within the molten hot lava is awakened. Birthed from the bowels of the Earth itself, arachnid-like creatures with an obsidian-black exoskeleton swarm out. One man, Colton West, a washed-up, former A-list action star, suddenly finds himself the real life hero as he’s forced to use his on screen characters’ know-how to save the entire city from being victims to the most horrifying villians you couldn’t write any better.

HolidazeBlog Halloween Challenge Day 31: Best Halloween Album

My costume this year was Home J. Simpson. I had a donut, a uranium rod and a can of Duff beer as well as a white shirt and jeans ensemble with pillow under my shirt for girth. Everyone asked me why I didn’t do something “Horror”. In my mind Home is Horror as part of one the longest running Horror Halloween yearly episodes in the Tree House of Horror segments.

As of writing this I’m exploring being Tom Atkins/Dr. Challis from Halloween III complete with skull mask but I still haven’t found a suitable jacket. I have a shirt and khakis, but I think the jacket seals it. Moustache will be included. 

HolidazeBlog Halloween Challenge Day 30: 2014 Halloween Costume

Last year I was the monster from Tobe Hooper’s The Funhouse using a suit jacket and a mask from Trick R Treat Studios. My daughter loved and was truly frightened by it. Shortly afterward she started playing with the mask and loved how creepy it was. Definitely a fun costume but hot, hard to see in and sweaty.

HolidazeBlog Halloween Challenge Day 29: 2013 Halloween Costume

I was supposed to be one of the robots from Halloween III, but I never could find the grey suit. The electrical parts in the chest are easy, but the grey suit is very important. I instead donned a werewolf mask and gloves. It’s a near duplicate of the werewolf mask we had and played with as kids, so it actually holds some meaning for me. We picked it up in Disney World when I was a kid, but since has become a regular appearance at Party City.

HolidazeBlog Halloween Challenge Day 28: Underrated Character

Annie from Halloween is completely underrated and seems to only exist as comic relief to many, but she really is one of the first lines of defense in helping to save Laurie Strode’s life. Without Annie babysitting across the street from Laurie, Laurie simply gets killed by Michael Myers plain and simple. Myers has no reason to stall, go across the street and kill Laurie’s friends. He can just go straight to work. That’s all due to Annie’s babysitting job. Furthermore, Annie is able to foil one of Myer’s traps (the locked laundry room door) even in the face of strange obstacles.

She has one hell of a bod (Nancy Loomis… please be reading this and know that you are definitely a hottie … even in Halloween III). That man’s dress shirt, underwear combo is super sexy, she has the greatest hair. I think I dated a girl once because she absolutely looked like Annie (and she was super nice too). Funny enough I also dated someone who looked like Linda (though she was not nice and totally not as cool as PJ Soles).

Also, Annie gives us a really fun sing song “Oh Paul” that was apparently written by the late Debra Hill. For me that helps me to remember Debra Hill and also provides a humorous offset to a rather long, campy kill that still has me check the back seat of my car (even though I’d already be dead the minute I checked and found a Shatner masked piece of pure evil in the back seat). 

HolidazeBlog Halloween Challenge Day 27: Favorite Goosebumps Cover

Shocker… I didn’t really read Goosebumps. I sort of glanced at them, but for me it was always Fear Street. I adored Fear Street. The covers were exciting and creepy and I truly hope we get a movie adaptation of that series.

If I must give you a Goosebumps cover, it’s Welcome to Dead House.

If I can give you a Fear Street cover, it’s Halloween Party or Cheerleaders or maybe even Silent 

And my favorite kids Horror book cover is Haunted Planet (someday I’ll tattoo this on me)

HolidazeBlog Halloween Challenge Day 26: Best Death Scene


Scene one is PJ Soles/Linda’s death in the first Halloween. You see her topless, it’s somewhat funny but elongated and disturbing combined with a solid Michael Myers, silent finish.

Scene two comes from Halloween IV, when the “trustworthy” boyfriend tries to fist fight Myers only to have his head separated from his body. Brady gets his and it's icky and you almost feel bad for him.

Scene three is from the Lonesome Death of Jordy Verril when Jordy kills himself. Truly heartbreaking, ironic and freaky.

Scene four is from the faux trailer for Thanksgiving where we find a person cooked as a turkey (and then some very questionable sexual antics).

Scene five is Ally's death in Sleepaway Camp II. I hate this death. It's like watch your wife die (she is my "star wife" after all.

That’s all we’ll list for now. This is the equivalent of having the WOPR play itself in tic tac toe.

HolidazeBlog Halloween Challenge Day 25: Walking Dead Character

Carol. Carol is hot. Carol is a badass who gets shit done, and she was my favorite character even before she left the prison and became the born leader/psychopath she is today.

Of course it doesn’t help that I have a total star crush on her. I even saw her in person at a Horror con and couldn’t approach her. Man, I’ve talked to Jordan Ladd and Danielle Harris,but I could talk to Carol?

Each season she evolves and she’s completely quotable. Between the “look at the flowers scene” and the “cookies” scene we have enough juicy memes to fill a social network.

HolidazeBlog Halloween Challenge Day 24: Favorite Halloween Cartoon

It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown which feels so obvious I barely want to type that. Yes, I love one of the most popular Halloween cartoons, and I’m not afraid to admit it. Of course in recent years the Simpson Treehouse of Horrors episode that spoofs the Great Pumpkin almost take precedent over the original literally becoming one of my favorite cartoons to quote.

Second to both of those would have be the Simpsons Treehouse of Horror segment, Easy Bake Coven. The one where the world is introduced to first caramel cod… and of course we find out Marge and her sisters are really witches.

When Homer yells, “they’re in my hair” about bats that Witchy Marge let’s loose I almost breakout in tears of laughter. 

HolidazeBlog Halloween Challenge Day 23: Favorite Mask

My favorite mask is one that I do not yet own, but I will someday. I am a novice mask collector. I buy the cheap stuff at Halloween and put it away for a rainy day, and I pick up one or two good ones a year. Every Monster Mania I try to grab a new Jason mask to complete my set from various movies. I am in love with Trick R Treat Studios and old Don Post… but these are not my favorites. I collect them all, but not the big one.

The big one is Tor Johnson. When I was a kid we used to go to a friend’s house and play some pretty wild games of tag and tackle, one of which involved a rather large, latex bulbous mask. The thing was sooooo big. Way too big for our little kid heads, but man did it smell like Halloween after a good sweat. That was a Tor mask. Probably not an original, but definitely an early version. This was probably around 1986.

Fast forward to seeing Ed Wood many times over and falling in love with movie. At the end we learn that Tor Johnson had a successful mask crafted in his likeness and that’s when the pieces finally fit. This was somewhat before the internet was a thing and so I waited. I never did find the mask in the wild but I figured someday.

Then I started looking on ebay, and I found various versions all of them a bit pricy. Of course there’s a new one out there that looks just great, but I’m really wanted one of the originals. Someday. I can’t wait to put it on and chase the kids around the house like my friend’s dad did when we were kids. 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Black Cats (Arrow Blu-ray/DVD) - Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key and The Black Cat

The Black Cats from Arrow Video is just a strange collection. Not that the pairing is completely unnatural; both movies originate with the classic Poe tale of terror, The Black Cat, but when Arrow first announced this set, I have to admit I was confused. Why wasn’t Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key paired with The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh aka Blade of the Ripper? That seemed like the normal partner. Both movies by Sergio Martino. Both movies star the ever lovely Edwige Fenech, and Your Vice is a sequel to Strange Vice. Meanwhile we have Fulci’s The Black Cat. I adore this movie. It is often attacked for being a solid mess of a movie, but I think the story is clear, the acting is fantastic and the score is perhaps the best music to write to next to the House on the Edge of the Park score.  What I’ve come to realize after watching both movies in this double feature is that the connection between Fulci and Martino is strong and almost a strong connection can be found in the foundations of both features over the relationship between the Martino pictures put together.

The Black Cat is a clearly a Poe driven story, more clearly related to the source material than Your Vice. It’s heavy on graphic violence and strange, unique death scenes which are pure Fulci. Combined with almost out of place supernatural imagery and a psychic storyline, you can almost find The Black Cat a home in the Gates of Hell trilogy rather than as a standalone adaptation. It’s true that Fulci takes liberties with the original Poe story which works out deliciously for fans. At times you’ll feel as though you are wandering through the movie, unled, exploring the movie as a detective in a near cop drama, but the moments of pure Fulci madness, eccentricity and exploitation will bring you back to center. It is clearly a Horror picture, and unlike its counterpart in this set, features a cat as a vehicle for the story and an antagonist prominently.

Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key on the other hand is a beautifully crafted Martino Giallo. There’s no mistaking the quality in this storytelling for the somewhat slam danced work in Fulci’s The Black Cat. It is a clear case of yellow storytelling with a pragmatic killer creating psychological attacks on completely innocent victims with a flair for the whodunit or who will do it, detective style.  It’s a movie for which I have been longing to see on a Blu-ray for quite some time. The previous DVD went out of print some time ago, and was fetching over $40 for a release that holds no water compared to the gem that Arrow has delivered. Of course I am an Fenech nut. I adore her work whether it is comedy, Giallo or even adult fare. Something about her is simply mesmerizing; her feline eyes and go-go hair with a genuine, classic sense of full bodied beauty. She’s clever and she can play the killer just as easy as she can play a victim.

So where do The Black Cat and Your Vice meet? Of course the Arrow box set finds their common core at the source material as adaptions of a Poe story, but where they really connect is in their pure Italian horrific nature, story elements and aesthetic. Both movies have elements of pure Italian exploitation that really sell each picture especially the erotic bits in both movies. The scores are undeniably beautiful featuring premiere composers, genre favorites known for their ability to woo an audience into a dark fantasy world. Both movies look delicious, shot beautifully and edited well (Tomassi does a fantasic job on The Black Cat as he does with all his Fulci efforts).

Both releases look beautiful, the transfers preserving film grain, good color saturation and deep blacks. Arrow delivers as usual. You’d expect that for any Arrow release, but what you gain for each release separately is an extra package that is well thought-out and complete. This is a set limited to 3000. That means you have to grab it now before it goes out of print. It is in cased in a handsome box that holds two separate Blu-ray boxes and a rather hefty booklet filled with essays and a detailed history of adaptations of Poe’s story. Each release comes as a separate Arrow Blu-ray which means you get all the benefits of an individual offering in a nice set. That means reversible artwork. That means that each movie has its own set of features rather than being crushed onto a single disc. The making of featurette on Your Vice is tremendous as is in the new interview with Sergio Martino. Definitely must watch material. On the Black Cat side, Stephen Thrower (a favorite of mine) offers his insight into the creation of the picture. What’s more is that you get a new commentary from Chris Alexander for the Black Cat disc. I love Alexander’s insight into Italian cinema and his essay included in the booklet is also a welcome addition. I’ve included the full list of extras below. There’s a lot to check out and definitely a strong release for fans of somewhat more obscure Italian Horror (I’ll get nailed for saying “more obscure” by true fans for sure).

I can’t recommend this release enough especially since Your Vice is OOP otherwise. The Black Cat was released previously by Blue Underground, a fine edition, but this is clearly an upgrade. Both movies are excellent examples of their respective directors’ style and substance while being non-traditional retellings of a classic Horror tale and given the Arrow treatment.

You can order your copy now while they last. Remember only 3000 were produced. You need to get on this.

From Arrow:

Synopsis: Edgar Allan Poe’s celebrated story The Black Cat has provided the inspiration for numerous films over the years. But few adaptations are as stylish as those offered up by the twin Italian titans of terror, Sergio Martino and Lucio Fulci.

In Martino’s classic giallo Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key, teacher Oliviero (Luigi Pistilli, A Bay of Blood) finds himself under suspicion for murder when one of his students – and mistress – is found brutally murdered. As more bodies start to pile up, the arrival of Oliviero’s attractive niece (Edwige Fenech, Five Dolls for an August Moon, All the Colours of the Dark) brings with it complications of its own.

In The Black Cat, from that “other” Godfather of Gore, Lucio Fulci (Zombie), Scotland Yard Inspector Gorley (David Warbeck, The Beyond) find himself summoned to a sleepy English village to investigate the recent murder of a young couple. With no obvious signs of entry at the murder scene, Gorley is forced to start considering the possibility that his suspect may not be human…
Finally together on Blu-ray and in stunning new 2K restorations from the original camera negatives, fans can enjoy the double-dose of terror that is Edgar Allan Poe’s Black Cats – Italian-style!


  Limited Edition boxed-set (3000 copies) containing Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key and The Black Cat
  Brand new 2K restorations of the films from the original camera negatives
  High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
  Original Italian and English soundtracks in mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-rays)
  Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtracks
  Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtracks
  Limited Edition 80-page booklet containing new articles on the films, Lucio Fulci’s last ever interview and a reprint of Poe’s original story

  Through the Keyhole – a brand new interview with director Sergio Martino
  Unveiling the Vice – making-of retrospective featuring interviews with Martino, star Edwige Fenech and screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi
  Dolls of Flesh and Blood: The Gialli of Sergio Martino – a visual essay by Michael Mackenzie exploring the director’s unique contributions to the giallo genre
  The Strange Vices of Ms. Fenech – film historian Justin Harries on the Your Vice actress’ prolific career • Eli Roth on Your Vice and the genius of Martino
  Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin

  Brand new audio commentary by filmmaker and Fangoria editor Chris Alexander
  Poe into Fulci: The Spirit of Perverseness – film historian Stephen Thrower on Fulci’s Poe-tinged classic
  In the Paw-Prints of the Black Cat – a look at the original Black Cat locations
  Frightened Dagmar – a brand new career interview with actress Dagmar Lassander
  At Home with David Warbeck – an archive interview with The Black Cat star
  Original Theatrical Trailer

  Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin

My Favorite Martian (MPI DVD)

I used to watch My Favorite Martian on network TV when it went into syndication and was in reruns during the daytime while I was sick. It was that, the Price is Right or the Incredible Hulk. Isn’t it funny how two out of three of my sick day shows involved Bill Bixby even if I didn’t realize it at the time. In fact, it’s been quite some time since I’ve had the chance to enjoy My Favorite Martian, but MPI has given us a chance to check it out in a complete package with some nice extras.

First off, what you may not remember about this show is just how lovable the characters are. That’s not to say they are pristine cookie cutter 1960’s characters you’ve seen a thousand times, but Bixby and Walston have a magic relationship that is very natural. There’s a protective spirit that is reciprocated by both characters. It’s the reason you get 107 episodes instead of one a season. Of course My Favorite Martian comes in the beginning of the Sci-Fi TV craze, post-Twilight Zone but before more serious efforts that would become scarier, less humorous. One might even say that My Favorite Martian could be construed as the natural continuation of a Twilight Zone episode with it’s abundance social criticism, quite subversive.  I always compare My Favorite Martian to Lost in Space because they are both Sci-Fi comedy shows, but really My Favorite Martian is closer to a show that came much later, Mork and Mindy; a show about true friends with Science Fiction elements to drive the story.

Often times distro companies will release a set like this without giving thought to packaging or additional features. It’s simply enough to get the catalog title in viewers hands and not spend the time to transfer extras (ported over from previous releases or not). With My Favorite Martian we get the entire series in a three case set, multiple discs (not completely crammed into minimalist space) and actual hours of extra features.

Extras include:

Behind the Scenes Home Movies
Original Cast and Sponsor Commercials
Spaceship Miniature Test Footage
Ray Walston Promotional Game Show and Talk Show Appearance
Let's Talk to Lucy- Long Lost 1964-65 radio show interviews with Bill Bixby and Ray Walston talking to Lucille Ball
Photo Galleries and Comic Strips
Original Soundtrack Music Album
Vintage Program Sponsor Billboards and Closing Credits
Animation and Effects Reel
Lost Jack Chertok Production TV Pilots
The Man in the Square Suit
The Reluctant Eye

Fans of the series can order My Favorite Martian now. If you’re new to the series but fond of retro TV programming from the early years of comedic, Sci-Fi programming, this is a must pick up. It’s safe to say that fans of Lost in Space must apply. Enjoy this set. Enjoy the theme song and continuous play option. Marathon a Martian.

From MPI:

Collector's Set of the Beloved Fantasy Comedy, Packed With Rare Extras, Comes to DVD for the First Time From MPI on October 20, 2015

It's out-of-this-world laughs with the original 1960s supernatural sitcom smash. The fantasy-themed comedy series that led the way for such hits as 3rd Rock From the Sun and ALF arrives in its entirety for the first time on DVD. MY FAVORITE MARTIAN: THE COMPLETE SERIES will be available from MPI on October 20, 2015.

Originally airing on CBS-TV from 1963 to 1966 (and debuting in the top 10 in its premiere season), MY FAVORITE MARTIAN marked the beginning of television's fascination with fantasy-themed comedy series. It stars Bill Bixby (The Courtship Of Eddie's Father, The Incredible Hulk) as newspaper reporter Tim O'Hara and Ray Walston (South Pacific, Fast Times at Ridgemont High) as the perfectly human-looking Martian whom Tim discovers and passes off as his Uncle Martin. Pamela Britton (TV's Blondie) plays their snoopy landlady, Lorelei Brown.

This complete series collection features all 107 complete, unedited, digitally remastered episodes from the show's three seasons, along with hours of special features.

Among many beloved TV actors who make guest appearances in MY FAVORITE MARTIAN: THE COMPLETE SERIES are Linda Evans, Marlo Thomas, Alan Hale Jr., Gavin MacLeod, Jamie Farr, Stafford Repp, Richard Deacon, Madge Blake, Bernie Kopell, Butch Patrick, Henry Gibson, Allan Melvin, Michael Constantine, Pat Priest, David White and Madge Redmond.

Nominated for three TV Land Awards and remade both as an animated series and as a feature film starring Christopher Lloyd and Jeff Daniels, MY FAVORITE MARTIAN remains an audience favorite, and this complete collection makes it available to both longtime fans and a new generation of viewers.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Army of Darkness (Scream Factory Blu-ray) - Hail to the Blu-ray!

Let’s talk about one of the most jam packed releases of the year. While I have heard a few criticisms of this release, I truly think Scream Factory did a fantastic job on Army of Darkness as a whole set. You get three discs, four different versions of the movie including the original theatrical, the Director’s Cut, the International Cut and the TV version. After watching all of them there are subtle differences that make this the perfect set for a connoisseur of this series and the inclusion of each version is not simply to pad the set. If that doesn’t lock you in to picking up the set, the extra sure will. Let’s walk through this thing, discuss some concerns from viewers and reviewers alike and then talk about why you should disregard those and take the plunge.

I have the Screwhead release of Army of Darkness now. It looks fine, and I really don’t know if a new version of something similar, with minimal extras or lack of unique versions of the film would have got me interested in another release of Army of Darkness, but this isn’t an ordinary release. What gets you good about this release is that Scream Factory took the time to get the four versions in the set, knowing that Army of Darkness, Evil Dead and Sam Raimi fans are a bit… hungry… for special editions. The set is fits handsomely into one case and comes with a slip cover with new artwork as well as reversible artwork featuring one of the original covers/posters. Each disc contains extras. Let me say that a different way… each disc contains A SHIT TON of extras. That’s the metric measurement used when a disc exceeds expectation and simply blows you away. Think of this release as the great hording of extras and featurettes that is sure to exceed the runtime of the movie by at least double.

There are four different version of the movie in this set including the theatrical cut, the Director’s cut that is longer and features a unique ending, the international cut and then a 4:3, TV release of the movie. Is this overkill? The word overkill does not exist to the Evil Dead/AOD fan. The fans of the works of Raimi simply have one word in their vocabulary: MORE. This works perfectly into this release of Army of Darkness, offering as many versions as one might hope to find in a release.

I know that some folks are upset about a missing “wall jump” scene in the theatrical cut. Is it missing? Yes. Is it a second of your life that you’ll never get back? Guys… I’m not a purest. I’m a movie watcher. A horror lover. I am not happy that a blip of a scene could be missing from a release, but let’s put it in perspective. If you just played the Army of Darkness drinking game ahead of time, you’d have already missed the scene taking shots! In all seriousness this is not a major flaw except to a select few who truly want to nitpick an otherwise solid release. It is noticeable if you’ve seen the damn movie a thousand times, but truthfully, it’s a small blip. I’m not worried about it and my understanding is that there may be a replacement program in the works (though I haven’t seen any notification of how that would work). I would prefer to watch this version than the other release in my collection of AOD. If this is a problem for you, you can probably try to piecemeal something together in terms of an alternate release, but I’d say that it’s not worth wasting your time. Go with this one. Also, the scene in question appears on each of the other cuts… so it’s still there. It’s just a ghost on the theatrical cut.

While we’re on issues involving criticism of this particular release, some folks don’t like the cover art. I prefer the original release artwork for this release. I don’t always and quite often I adore Scream Factory’s choice of art. The new artwork as pictured online is better in person. I know that sounds crazy, but it looks much better when you have it in your hand and can see how the light hits it. I noticed the same thing on the new The Brood artwork from Criterion. Folks were slamming the new Brood artwork; I adored it but in person it has depth. I encourage those of you who dislike the new art choice for AOD should give it a shot in your hands before completely trashing it. It may grow on you.

Perhaps the most impressive extra is the full length making of feature filled with interviews from all the major players in the movie. It’s highly entertaining, informative and filled with great footage. You’ll understand better how this movie was marketed, why it didn’t succeed upon its initial release and how it became a cult sensation. It also seemed to make me understand better the need for Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell to keep buried further sequels to the franchise. You get a clip of the original ending, something truly awesome to behold. This is very unique for fans who grew up watching it in the theater or on TV. I’m curious as to who prefers it. I feel like a bad Horror fan enjoying the theatrical cut the best. You also get the original opening and deleted scenes… WITH COMMMENTARY. It’s nice to have the context for something of this nature. Why was something changed or not included?

The KNB feature on disc 2 is great for effects nerds. It’s great to see that team working on an earlier project which goes hand in hand with the Creating the Deadites Featurette and the vintage Making of featurette.  Some of this footage gets roped in with the full length making of feature.

As a happy coincidence, I had the chance to enjoy Army of Darkness on 35mm this past weekend at the Exhumed Films 24 Hour Horrorthon. Exhumed doesn’t announce their lineup ahead of time, and it was the final movie of the night. It went over well, and while I had to duck out a little early, I stayed until the true battle against the deadites began. It was a great looking print, and having just watched four different versions from Scream Factory, I left the theater thinking just how happy I was that Scream did such a great job with the release. Yes, I said that to myself in my head. I hope the attendees of the Horrorthon get in on this one. It’s a good year to be the king, baby.

Now go prep thy self for Ash vs. Evil Dead.

You can order Army of Darkness from Scream Factory now

From Scream Factory:

Bound in human flesh and inked in blood, the ancient "Necronomicon" – the Book of the Dead – unleashes unspeakable evil upon mankind in director Sam Raimi's (Darkman, Drag Me to Hell) outrageously hilarious third chapter in his Evil Dead Trilogy.
Back to do battle with the hideous "Deadites," Bruce Campbell returns to the role of Ash, the handsome, shotgun-toting, chainsaw-armed department store clerk from S-Mart's housewares division. Demonic forces time warp him – and his '73 Oldsmobile – into England's Dark Ages, where he romances a beauty (Embeth Davidtz, The Amazing Spider-Man) and faces legions of the undead. Can Ash save the living from the evil dead, rescue his girlfriend, and get back to his own time?
Bonus Features

DISC ONE (Theatrical Version, 81 min.) – 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.78:1), DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 & 2.0
NEW Medieval Times: The Making Of "Army Of Darkness" Featuring Interviews With Star & Co-Producer Bruce Campbell, Actors Marcus Gilbert, Ted Raimi, Timothy Quill, Richard Grove, Bill Moseley, Patricia Tallman And Angela Featherstone, Director Of Photography Bill Pope, Editor Bob Murawski, Production Designer Anthony Tremblay, Composer Joseph Lo Duca, Costume Designer Ida Gearon, Special Make-Up Effects Artists Howard Berger, Tony Gardner, Robert Kurtzman, And Greg Nicotero, "Pit Bitch" Performer And Effects Artist William Bryan, Mechanical Effects Artist Gary Jones, First Assistant Director John Cameron, Visual Effects Supervisor William Mesa And Stunt Coordinator Christopher Doyle (96 min.)
Original Ending
Original Opening With Optional Commentary By Sam Raimi And Bruce Campbell
Deleted Scenes With Optional Commentary By Sam Raimi And Bruce Campbell
Theatrical Trailer
TV Spots
Home Video Promo

DISC TWO (Director's Cut, 96 min.) – 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.78:1), DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 & 2.0
Audio Commentary With Director Sam Raimi, Actor Bruce Campbell And Co-Writer Ivan Raimi
NEW Additional Behind-The-Scenes Footage From KNB Effects (55 min.)
Vintage Creating The Deadites Featurette (21 min.)
Vintage "Making Of" Featurette
Extended Interview Clips With Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell And Robert Tapert

DISC THREE (International Cut, 88 min.) – 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.78:1), DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 & 2.0
NEW 4K Scan Of The International Inter-positive
Television Version With Additional Footage (90 min., Standard Definition (1.33:1), DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0)
Theatrical Trailer
NEW Still Galleries With Rare Behind-The-Scenes Photos From Production Designer Anthony Tremblay, Visual Effects Supervisor William Mesa And Special Make-Up Effects Artists Tony Gardner And KNB EFX, Inc. (Over 200 Stills)
NEW Still Gallery Of Props And Rare Photos From The Collection Of Super Fan Dennis Carter Jr.
NEW Storyboards For Deleted Or Alternate Scenes

Vintage The Men Behind The Army Featurette (19 min.)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Horror Network (Wild Eye Releasing DVD)

The Horror Network is a rather strange little anthology film. It has not real connective tissue and feel like an thrown together bunch of short films from aspiring filmmakers. There isn’t one particular focus or direction and the stories are disjointed. While they aren’t exactly bad stories, they are quiet. They feel somewhat longwinded, uneventful and underenthusiastic, playing on more cerebral Horror elements that are supposed to touch you deeper in the mind then in the butt buzzer. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a stand out story, and while I appreciate the efforts of each of the filmmakers and the effort to put out a combined, Horrific picture, I found nothing to love and nothing memorable.

That being said, I encourage fans of independent Horror to give it a shot and perhaps take it at a different angle. Watch a story, stop, walk away and try to think on it. Don’t allow the portmanteau amalgam to control you’re viewing experience. These stories are probably much better as separate short films, enjoyed slowly rather than in tandem. That won’t make them any more auditory and you’ll still have to let the shorts get inside your brain to appreciate them, but this might be just what it takes to appreciate The Horror Network.

Points of note: The tale that involves the cover artwork used by Wild Eye has some fun effects. Appreciate them. The tale with the Bible verses strewn throughout is almost unwatchable because of the constant inserts with Bible quotes. I get what the intent was, but it wasn’t for me at all.

You can pick up The Horror Network now. While comparisons are made to Creepshow and Tales from the Crypt, be wary. This is most likely closer to the more recent Tom Holland anthology picture, meant to be a TV show and slapdash put together to destroy young minds; of course I’d say The Horror Network has more to offer the viewer in terms of substance and doesn’t pander to the suckered in Horror fan.

From Wild Eye:

Serial killers, ghostly phone calls, inner demons, otherworld monsters and creepy stalkers collide in this frightening anthology. Five of horror's most promising new directing talents join forces to pay homage to classic horror like Creepshow, Tales From the Crypt, V/H/S and The ABCs of Death, and weave an unforgettable, disturbing tapestry of terror.