Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Official Site: http://magnetreleasing.com/stagefright/
Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stagefrightthefilm
Monday, April 21, 2014
Synopsis from Redemption/Kino:
Returning to his country estate with his new bride, English nobleman Sir Richard Fordyce finds himself under suspicion from angry locals for the rape and brutal murder of a young girl. Despite Sir Richard's professed innocence, a growing hysteria unfolds, as strange and even supernatural events begin to occur around him.
With no one to turn to and his new wife threatening to shoot him, Sir Richard begins to question his own guilt... and sanity!
This Redemption disc comes out on DVD this time around, but looks very good. It's an HD Master from 35mm archival elements. The cover is exciting and warmly gothic. The disc itself contains one extra, but it's a good one, an interview with Robert Hartford-Davis from 1968 (the year Corruption was released if you're keeping track). AR: 1.66:1.
The Black Torment isn't as gratuitous as Hammer or as "to the point" as Amicus. It is distinctly British and might be in better company surround by Dead of Night though on the lighter side of terrifying, perhaps spook-worthy is a better term. Good for dark and stormy evenings. Perhaps a good fit with The Univited (one of my favorite spooky stories). It's a completely different movie from Corruption's gonzo mess-fest, but both features having something distinct to offer. If you prefer the haunts and the spookies, go for The Black Torment.
The Black Torment will be released April 29th. Order a copy now.
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Synopsis from Redemption Films:
Like any good Franco picture, this one is filled with voluptuous women, lesbians, nuns, complete with pure go go bodies and primo pubic hair crested genitalia. It is intentional. You are supposed to go through cycles of supreme erotic elation that, when cast against the violent torture during the witch tests, seems to unsettle you just a bit more. One minute your ready to forget the movie for some heavy petting with your significant other, the next you'll be waiting for the screams of pain and fear to stop. It's not precisely scary save for the historic concept that this kind of thing may not have been completely without place. In that sense it is a more cerebral picture. We discuss Franco as though he is a merchant of filth, but that's not entirely true. Yes, he knows what his audience wants and has made his share of overly erotic softcore pornography, but a movie like Demons balances that with strong performances no matter how overacted or melodramatic. In this instance we see that his use of balance, of bouncing between extreme pleasure and pain is more like a game of sexual domination the cinema.
Franco's Demons is newly mastered in HD from 35mm elements. It contains optional German and English subtitles, an interview with Franco, six minutes of deleted material and two trailers for Demons as well as a host of others.2.35:1 1920x1080p The picture is good overall with clarity, unsmeared by an overzealous DNR finger and perfectly grained. It's a great looking cover and the disc itself features a simple, easy to use menu with few options.
Those familiar with Franco's films especially those who enjoy his pictures will find this to be on par with some of his greatest films, and is this happens to be one of my favorites along with Virgin Among the Living Dead (also available through Redemption). It happens to also be one of my favorite if not my most beloved of nunsploitation films. The Devils is fantastic, but I find this to be more my speed. It beats up Killer Nun. It's an enjoyable witchhunter picture as well though I'm not entirely certain if I think it stands up against Mark of the Devil or Witchfinder General. It's simply not gory and it does lack familiar faces (not like Mark with Udo Kier and Witchfinder with Price).
I may not be a Franco expert, but I like what I like, and Demons is a true standout from movies I've seen in his expansive catalog.
Demons will be available April 29th. Order your copy now and enjoy the hot steamy debauch.
Friday, April 18, 2014
Synopsis from Anchor Bay:
Kennedy Jamieson (Julia Benson, Stargate Universe, That Burning Feeling) has waited her whole life for her perfect wedding. Engaged to the charming Ryan Harris (Peter Benson, The Killing, Arrow), it looks like her dream is about to come true. Except for one thing - the young couple hasn’t had a chance to celebrate their respective bachelor/bachelorette parties. Ryan’s best man Chet (Kyle Cassie, True Justice, Lost Boys 2: The Tribe) books a remote cabin in the woods to throw them a “Jack and Jill” party that they’ll never forget. It doesn’t take long before things take a horrifying turn as members of the group are brutally picked off one by one. Kennedy and Ryan had planned for the celebration of a lifetime – but how long will that lifetime last?
Death Do Us Part is average. It has a rather shiny cover that actually had me curious. Well, the curiosity didn't killer this viewer, but it surely made me more skeptical about judging movies by their covers even if it is with a positive twinge. Maybe the 80's truly have returned. The disc does include a Behind the Scenes feature if you find yourself interested enough to check er out.
Death Do Us Part hits April 15th. Order your copy now.
Next, it's on to the featured review of Oculus...
Is this another win for Blumhouse? Is the movie scary at all? Why are the reviews so split? Most of all, is it worth your time?
All of these burning questions will be answered... Oh, and don't worry, there are no spoilers here, so you can listen without fear if you haven't seen the film yet.
iTunes listeners: Please take a moment to leave us a rating/review, and we will share it on an upcoming podcast!
And, as always, if you want to drop us a line to let us know what you think of Oculus, or you just want to give us feedback on the podcast in general, please send an email to podcast (at) liberaldead (dot) com.
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Synopsis from RaroVideo:
Lucio Marcaccini’s only film, Hallucination Strip is a psychedelic trip with a social commentary. Bud Cort, in his debut performance, plays Massimo Monaldi, a student involved in political protests and juvenile delinquency. When Massimo steals a valuable tobacco box, he quickly becomes tangled in a dangerous web between the police and the mafia. Culminating in an extended and elaborately choreographed party sequence, underscored with an excellent soundtrack by Albert Verrecchia, Hallucination Strip excels with it’s not-so-subtle mix of sex, drugs, religion, politics and corruption.
With a radiant score that tickles the brain with novelty, Hallucination Strip exciting and refreshing and parts way with formula to provide a story that feels fresh. Bud Cort, the aforementioned legendary hero of my youth, isn't quite the funny guy he was in Harold and Maude, but it's a pleasure to watch him create a completely different character. A cool hipster, rebel with eyes on hedonism and a distaste for control. In some ways he really is the hero I grew up with, loving unconditionally though not full of heart and with a pouting disrespect for authority that leads to trouble, drama and drives the story home.
Raro's release is a special one featuring their characteristic packaging of which I am a tremendous fan. Slip sleeve and insert with more traditional and psychedelic artwork. The booklet inside that accompanies the release includes a brief history of director Lucio Marcaccini whose filmmaking experience was rather short lived and limited to Hallucination Strip. The contents quickly shifts to the perspective of some of the actors including Bud Cort who gets star treatment. From there we encounter a short history of LSD complete with a factual lesson, anecdotal evidence from Hollywood and an eye into some of the visuals provided in H.S. It is an HD transfer from a 35mm negative digitally remastered. 1920 x 1080 at 23.976. 1.85:1 in Italian with English subtitles. Stereo audio. The extras include both the English and Italian trailers and an interview with the film editor.
You can order a copy of Hallucination Strip now, but make sure to watch it unfettered (not ripped out of your skull) once before indulging your drug tooth. The last 20 minutes are worth the wait especially with your super sonic lysergic glasses on (or at least if memory serves).
Visit RaroVideo http://www.rarovideousa.com/ for all their new releases and keep an eye out for their tremendous flash sales on Facebook.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Synopsis from RaroVideo
An astute mix of classic Italian crime and giallo, Duccio Tessari’s Death Occurred Last Night is a dark slow burning murder mystery. A mentally handicapped woman is kidnapped and sold into sexual slavery, sending her distressed father and a jaded police detective on the hunt for clues in Milan’s underworld. Tessari (THE BLOODSTAINED BUTTERFLY) keeps a tight rein on the action, focusing on the characters and their collective desire for justice and revenge. An unforgettable, disturbing and fascinating thriller.
I urge you not to sit down to DOLN and expect an Argento or Martino picture. Duccio Tessari did Puzzle and The Bloodstained Butterfly, but he was more over noted for his involvement in the founding of the spaghetti western genre. He co-wrote a Fistful of Dollars, and this type of feature wasn't exactly a regular occurrence in his forty plus movie filmography. He was make movies well in advance of this, and Death Occurred Last Night is a competently shot feature with real intrigue, balance and although not riveting, it will certainly keep your attention over its 98 minute run time.
RaroVideo's transfer looks great from a 35mm negative. 1920 x 1080 @ 23.976 1.75:1. It's in Italian with English subtitles and has linear stereo audio. Plenty of grain and the preservation didn't go over the top with the DNR. It isn't a smeared painting of a mess. It's crisp and tight. The extras include both the Italian and English theatrical trailers. The interview with Chris Alexander is a treat. Alexander does quite a few of these introductions and brief summations on other titles. He'll help to put the picture in perspective. While he's the editor of Fangoria, Gorezone and Delirium magazines, it is in this capacity that I find his work most valuable. If you're new to Italian cinema or giallo, make sure to pay attention to this special feature. The booklet, also written by Alexander, reinforces his points and fleshes out the cinematic landscape during the early 70's as well as provides a nice well-rounded background on DOLN. It's handsome. The cover art for both the slip and the insert are perfect and traditional.
Death Occurred Last Night isn't necessarily the best starter movie when it comes to delving into the world of giallo, but once you've seen a few it will fill in the spaces between early Bava and movies like Bird with the Crystal Plumage and Deep Red. RaroVideo fanatics, another good one. Nothing wasted and everything you've come to expect from this boutique distro company. It's great to see such care taken with a film that is considered a cult fan favorite. It's a great age when movies like this are being taken care of quite well and even given the royal treatmet.
You can order Death Occurred Last Night now! Pre-order it. Also available on DVD.
Enjoy RaroVideo's titles HERE.
Friday, April 11, 2014
The only fear I have now... is of strange weighted devices and kitchen timers. The only suspense throughout the whole thing was based around this very combination of objects. I'm not entirely sure that it's something I'm afraid of or something I now have a strange correlation between. Some nice effects. An cast that gets the job done, but didn't emotionally attach me save for the child actors. A good looking film with a few Poltergeist moments and perhaps a hint of The Gate here or there (just flash pan moments and not little demonic creatures coming out of a hole in the backyard mind you). Yeah, the folks with the silvery/reflective contacts can be a bit creepy in any movie especially when Blumhouse backs it. That's definitely part of the 65% I dug. Not hating the characters goes a long way too. Why bring apples and water bottles to a war with a haunted mirror? Fuck if I know, but it makes for some gruesomeness.
I would like to mentions something... pay attention to the audio in this. While the score isn't always solid, there's some great use of booming sound to create a feeling of near nausea midway through the flick.
I dislike writing up movies that I'm not completely stoked for so this is going to be a short one. Do not watch this on acid or other hallucinogens. In fact you may not even want to see this one drunk or stoned because it's all over the place. Yes, there's a workable plot but an unsatisfying finish. For everything you sit through, for all the chaos, you demand order when you leave the theater. If you don't get the order you either feel cheated or thirsty. I'm thirsty for a cohesive entertaining ghost story right now after just going to see a supernatural flick in the theater. That probably means Oculus didn't do its job. Slowly build me into a strange, sensory disturbed way and then fail to "reset" me? That's just mean. Seems like the reviews have been overly positive thus far, and I'll probably give it another watch on home video. I did really enjoy Mike Flanagan's Absentia.
Oculus is out now. I'd love to know what ya'll think, and I'm positive there are those among you who will truly enjoy Oculus. You'll even call it one of the best movies of the year. It's far from that for me, but it's also not the worst thing I've seen this year. It's a great date movie. You're significant other will cuddle you. Plenty of lighthearted scares with a few choice jumps scares to tie the whole thing together. One of 'em got me good. I had to do the whole "adjust the leg so I don't look like I actually jumped for the folks behind me". I crack myself up at times. The rest of the audience said, "It was better than Devil's Due" and they didn't like the ending, and these were a bunch of guys talking about the movie Funny Games (probably the remake).
If there's one thing I came away from Oculus with it was the concept that we should watch movies now, occasionally, with the perspective that the movie we are watching is a remake of another movie from long ago whether it actually is a remake or not. I imagined what Oculus would have been in it's original 1970's look starring Oliver Reed with a great big ol' mirror in an English mansion in the countryside with his overdressed kids and a house with way too much dark wood inside. Lots of violin and cello music in the themes. Plenty of upward looking camera angles to convey Reed as some sort of monster and his children, grown up played by David Warner and maybe Karen Black or Shelly Duval in the female lead. I imagine that "original" movie. In that version I get a bleak finish but I get a FINISH. A big ol' THE END.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
You read the title of this review right? You saw the name in the title?
Let’s take a giant reptile movie and combine it with a fish movie. That’s it. Jurassic Park meets Godzilla meets Jaws or other reasonable giant monster/freak of nature facsimile. We’re talking about the perfect rendition or carbon copy of a SyFy original feature in name, plot, acting and perhaps even in computer generated monster though I must admit that the great P Rex did look slightly above the pixelated skyscraper featured on SyFy. I was entertained. I was not shocked or awed or surprised. No plot twist could amend my feelings toward P. Rex and I probably could have garnered all the love I would have from the trailer. That’s not to say I didn’t have fun with Rex, but I had a small hope that it would live up to surprise Science Fiction, Giant Monster hit, Big Ass Spider! Now that was a truly unique vision of the monster movie built for a wider audience than the SyFy original crowd.
If you enjoy Poseidon Rex from the perspective of a monster movie-aholic… one who does not care about development of character, plot, can live without gore, can enjoy a glancing gaze at a scantily clad hottie femme actress then no harm will come to you and your dollars can be considered well spent. Horror fans looking for something unique… this ain’t it. Science Fiction fans who think… a lot… this may not be your cup of Oolong. I mean or maybe it’s a nice way to escape from thinking about wormholes and warp drives.
April 18th this one will make it to ITunes and into theaters, so you have some time to prepare for the next composite monster amalgam.
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Synopsis from Xlrator:
In the third installment of the hit Nazi Zombie action-horror franchise, OUTPOST: RISE OF THE SPETSNAZ, we discover the horrifying origins of these supernatural soldiers as they battle the most ruthless and notorious of all military special forces: the Russian Spetsnaz
The whole thing is a cross between Men Behind the Sun, a less funny Dead Snow and maybe Frankenstein's Army (though in all fairness the original Outpost predates F.A.). If those movies interest you then you'll you standing a fighting chance to enjoy this release. Do not expect the absolute mind-fuck of Men Behind the Sun, the ingenuity of Dead Snow or perhaps the solid creature creation of Frankenstein's Army, but even if Rise attains part of the power of any one of those three movies, you'll be entertained.
You can order Outpost: Rise of the Spetsnaz now. Available on Blu-ray and DVD.
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
The most original, groundbreaking sitcom to ever hit television is back with a whole new level of hilarity and outrageousness! Join Adam (Adam Green), Joe (Joe Lynch), Laura (Laura Ortiz), Corri (Corri English), Oderus Urungus (GWAR's Dave Brockie), and Lance Rockett (Twisted Sister's Dee Snider) as they deal with zombies, werewolves, a suicidal horror icon, a cursed videotape, a psychotic 11-year-old girl and so much more!
Monday, April 7, 2014
Synopsis from Xlrator:
HOLY GHOST PEOPLE is a Southern Gothic thriller about a teenager searching for her lost sister in the Appalachian Mountains, where she encounters a snake-handling religious cult and eventually learns the truth about her sister's fate.
There are some very realistic settings and some very impressive performances that help create an image of what it might be like in certain sanctuaries. It's beautifully shot, well acted, it suffers only from a slight misdirection that sends down an ordinary path when Holy Ghost People doesn't want to be ordinary.
I recommend Holy Ghost People to fans of religious based horror. If you're a fan of Serpent and the Rainbow or The First Power, The Believers or The Mist, Holy Ghost People will have something scary to offer you if only for a short bit. Whether you've been enjoying the strange cult like feel of True Detective or read the morning news where the misguided find their salvation in their own demise, Holy Ghost People will seem familiar and feel will make you question that which is all around you.
You can order Holy Ghost People now.
Synopsis from Vinegar Syndrome:
After her boyfriend is brutally murdered in a sting operation, special agent Gillian Kaites is implicated in the slaying and is sentenced to prison. While behind bars, she discovers a shocking web of corruption and begins to plot a bloody revenge in this action and T & A filled Troma classic from director by Eric Louzil (CLASS OF NUKE ‘EM HIGH Pts. 2 & 3) and producer by Lloyd Kaufman (THE TOXIC AVENGER)! Trailer:
The whole thing is riddled with humor from some atrocious but appropriate performances by the police and prisoners alike. There's plenty of skin, perfectly 80's softcore sexy. This is a solid first effort from Louzil that displayed that he had all the hallmarks of the quintessential Troma director. His brief directorial career, making 13 films is stocked with the same type of sexploits and over the top gonzo effects fests mentioned here though his later works focus on what's beneath the clothes. And um... plot... who needs plot! You'll be familiar with the formula if you enjoy WIP movies, and you won't care. What makes it stand out is its intentional laughs as opposed to the unintentional ones of older releases in the subgenre.
This release is loaded with extras. There's a newly recorded commentary track with Louzil, video interview with Llloyd Kaufman and a theaterical trailer. Perhaps the only strike against one of my favorite Vinegar Syndrome releases of the year is the picture quality. I imagine that the original print wasn't a beautiful one seeing as it is a Troma release, but despite it's 2k scan, you feel like your watching a DVD that might be only somewhat better than a VHS release. It comes from a blow-up negative (I'm not entirely certain if that would play into the quality). It is the original negative, and as such this keeps in line with the overall production line from Vinegar Syndrome. This is the first time I've mentioned the quality of a V.S. release in the negative. I'm glad that the content of the disc and film itself more than makes up for it. I suppose you cannot correct flawed source material. The film is definitely worth preserving, and for that we are grateful.
You can order your copy from DiabolikDVD now.
Sunday, April 6, 2014
- Grindhouse Releasing's The Swimmer Blu-ray
- Troma's Return To Nuke Em High Vol 1 Blu-ray
- Kino/Redemption's L'Immortelle Blu-ray
- RJL/Image Entertainment's Tom Holland's Twisted Tales DVD
- Scream Factory's Slumber Party Massacre Blu-ray
- Universal's The Bag Man Blu-ray
- RJL/Image Entertainment's Odd Thomas Blu-ray
- RJL/Image Entertainment's Sparks DVD
- And More!
Next, it's on to the featured review of Contracted...
Does it deliver on the gross-out moments? Why does Chris think that Eric England is one of the best upcoming horror directors? More importantly, do the guys recommend the movie?
All of these burning questions will be answered... Oh, and don't worry if you haven't watched it yet... Spoilers are saved for last, in a separate section, so you can listen without fear.
iTunes listeners: Please take a moment to leave us a rating/review, and we will share it on an upcoming podcast!
And, as always, if you want to drop us a line to let us know what you think of Contracted, or you just want to give us feedback on the podcast in general, please send an email to podcast (at) liberaldead (dot) com.
Synopsis from Vinegar Syndrome:
William Margold stars as ‘The Senator,’ who, despite being married, agrees to impregnate a beautiful CIA agent. As complications ensue with the senator’s ability to ‘perform’, his wife and associates become increasingly suspicious of his affairs, resulting in a myriad of bizarre plot twists and revelations.
Carlos Tobalina has a rather extensive adult feature filmography though I am not familiar with his body of work. This release comes to us from the mid-70's nearly six years after Tobalina directed his first work Infrasexum. This is a more mature release that comes from a time when adult entertainment was allowed to tell stories that went beyond sex comedies or over the top drive-in features. What I may not necessarily appreciate about Tobalina's effort is that it isn't quite screwball enough which is to say its humor is not concise. It is dragged out though it is obvious that movies of this time were very helpful in developing the sex comedy stylings for early 1980's efforts. It's subtle. Slowburn... for a comedy anyway. There will be plenty of familiar gags;the old fellated banana never gets old and is memorable as the slip and fall from a banana fill in adult entertaiment.
You can order Marilyn and the Senator now. Available April 8th. Check out that very reasonable price point!