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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

A PILE OF PULSING PINIONS: Recent Dark Fantasy, Horror and Cult Blu-ray and DVD Releases Opined En Masse

It's been an exceptionally busy September over here at Castle Terror. There's been a beautiful glut of amazing releases, and I want to tell you about them all. I think it's time to do a roundup of all the goodies I've been enjoying. Tell you which ones to pickup, which ones I'd skip and which ones could be Halloween viewing favorites. These are our quick and dirty reviews. Any questions feel free to ask. We'll make sure to let you know what kind of audience would enjoy them. I hope this potpourri format is an opportunity for some of our regular readers to into some new releasing companies. Cross pollinate your dark sensibilities, my pretties!


LADY IN WHITE

There's a ghostly, supernatural beauty in the Lady in White that is brilliant for Halloween, centered around Halloween and is underappreciated. Maybe it's because Lady in White has been hiding away without the benefit of HD for quite some time. We're glad to have it out now. This is a soft focused, whispy effects driven tale of characters that inspire a sense of melancholy, longing and inspire a sense of innocence lost. You might prepare a tissue box if you're given to fits of empathy.

The disc is splendid. A solid transfer that captures much of the soft focus well. The colors are rich and black levels seem crisp. What surprised me about this release was the robust extra package that seems to almost dwarf the reputation of the move itself. That's not to say the movie is of low quality or doesn't have it's cult following. It certainly does, but Scream Factory has given this picture a history, two separate, elongated  versions (a Director's Cut and then a LONGER Director's CUT) and the theatrical version. For folks who have not had the opportunity to see the film before you now have so many ways to see it, so much history built to support the release and Director, LaLoggia's own words to give the previous finite audience for this movie, a huge new base.

While Lady in White trails off in the middle, not as strong as the opening through the second act, it rebounds for an unforgettable finish. Don't allow yourself to get lulled by some of the mid-film detective work. It's a ghost story after all. It's spooky. It's not scary.

You can order your copy now via Scream Factory or DiabolikDVD:
https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/film-horror/lady-in-white
Or
http://www.diabolikdvd.com/category/Horror-[sl]-Thriller/Lady-in-White-(Scream-Factory)-(Blu~Ray).html

From Scream Factory:

The ghosts of the dead can't rest without the help of the living in this terrifying horror film that's "one of the most intelligent and riveting ghost stories since Poltergeist" (LA Weekly). Starring Lukas Haas (Inception, Transcendence), Len Cariou (Blue Bloods), Alex Rocco (The Godfather) and Katherine Helmond (Soap, Who's the Boss), Lady In White is presented here in both its director's cut and the never-before-released extended director's cut.

Frankie Scarlatti (Haas) lives in a small town with a deadly secret. For a decade, a serial child killer has eluded police, and the death toll continues to rise. Then, one night Frankie gets locked in his school and witnesses the ghost of the first victim being murdered. Now, aided by the girl's restless spirit, Frankie takes it upon himself to bring her assailant to justice. But in a town with no strangers, the killer may be closer than he knows.

DISC ONE: DIRECTOR'S CUT (HD, 117 min)

 Introduction By Frank LaLoggia
 Audio Commentary With Frank LaLoggia
 Behind-The-Scenes Footage With Introduction By Frank LaLoggia
 Deleted Scenes With Introduction By Frank LaLoggia
 Extended Behind-The-Scenes Footage – Production And Post-Production
 Promotional Short Film
 Theatrical Trailer & Alternate Trailer
 TV & Radio Spots
 Behind-The-Scenes Photo Montage
 Extended Photo Gallery

DISC TWO: EXTENDED DIRECTOR'S CUT (HD, 126 min) & ORIGINAL THEATRICAL CUT (HD, 113 min)



RAISING CAIN

When I was a kid I remember the commercials for Raising Cain quite well. Lithgow. Talking to himself in a car in a child's voice, taunting himself. I would rent it after a few years, and didn't find it more than a split personality psycho drama. Not much in the way of blood or gore. Great music. I loved Lithgow's performance. This was a very youthful interpretation of the movie. One that said, you need to show me the excess. I want the grue!

Fast forward to a more refined Doc Terror; one who understands who Brian DePalma is. One who has seen and loved Dressed to Kill. I am, of course, obsessed with over the top gratuity. I want the blood to jump off the screen and onto my shirt, but I also can appreciate intensity. I understand the value of tension and slow building psychosis. I also have a family. Lithgow's performance is more than a divided maniac talking to himself in a car. His character is built from the real fiber of a father and husband complete with points of weakness. When he goes gonzo, it's humorous at first until it it's pure beautiful Lithgow oozing insanity. It's the same performance you'd later enjoy when he played Trinity in Dexter (though Trinity was more sophisticated).

What's more is watching Raising Cain reminds me of why I love DePalma. My mind wanders to Sisters and Dressed to Kill. I dare say Raising Cain could be a poor man's Dressed to Kill, not quite having the full blown cast or suspense levels to illicit the jumps and the uneasy in my chest but still effective.

Both the theatrical and Director's cut look great. The Director's Cut tones down the over the top nature of the theatrical release and provides a slightly different perspective on the film. Personally I'll stick to the original theatrical, enjoying the bat shit lite Lithgow, less sophisticated. It's a pretty release with new and original cover art present as well as a slew of interviews. Both the video essay and featurette on the second disc help to show how the Director's Cut evolved, a process that is fascinating, a must watch extra.

You can order your copy now via Scream Factory or DiabolikDVD:
https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/film-crime/raising-cain-collector-s-edition
Or
http://www.diabolikdvd.com/category/Horror-[sl]-Thriller/Raising-Cain-(Scream-Factory)-(Blu~Ray).html

From Scream Factory:

When Jenny cheated on her husband, he didn't just leave...he split.

From master of terror Brian De Palma comes this stylish psychological thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final frame.

Carter Nix (Lithgow) is a respected psychologist, loving husband and devoted father who decides to take a year off to help raise his daughter. Carter's wife Jenny is pleased to have her attentive husband home – at first.

When Carter shows obsessive behavior toward their daughter, Jenny becomes concerned, and to complicate matters, Jenny's old flame re-enters her life. But nothing can prepare her for the emergence of Carter's multiple personalities, and a fiendish plot to recreate the infamous experiments of his deranged father.

DISC ONE:

 Theatrical Version Of The Film
 NEW Interviews With Actors John Lithgow, Steven Bauer, Gregg Henry, Tom Bower, Mel Harris And Editor Paul Hirsch
 Original Theatrical Trailer

DISC TWO:

 Director's Cut Of The Film Featuring Scenes Reordered As Originally Intended
 NEW Changing Cain: Brian De Palma's Cult Classic Restored Featurette
 NEW Raising Cain Re-Cut – A Video Essay By Peet Gelderblom




RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD

Here is one of my go-to October movies. It's actually just a go-to Horror movie in general. It's perfect for any mood. Need gore? Check. Skin? Check. Humor? Check. One-liners that are unforgettable and intrinsic to the zombie and Horror movie history? Check? James Karen? Klu Gulagar? Thom Matthews?  Linnea Quigley? The effects are perfectly 80's and perfectly practical. The performances are tongue and cheek and more tongue again. Return of the Living Dead is chicken soup for the Horror movie lover's soul. All the cliches we say about loving Horror movies can be said about ROTLD. For those reasons, you should buy this release, enjoy this release and put it on your mantel as a time honored tradition as if it were a family heirloom. That's what I would tell you without going into the juicy bits about this release. This shouldn't be a secret to you, but Scream Factory gave us a full loaded casket of a release with new and classic artwork, extras that fill up the Uneeda Medical Supply co and a full release of the movie with original soundtrack (with one omission due to rights issues). Let's dig in a bit.

Scream Factory has been doing these crazy release packages as of late. Two different slip covers, posters and of course the feature itself. I happened to pick this one up because I love all the new artwork, but the release you'll be purchasing now will only have two artwork options, the new artwork on the front done by our man Graham Humphreys and the original artwork (or one version I should say). There are two discs filled to the brim. The transfer is just great, and I saw no issue that would detract from the release. I own several versions of the movie from both the US and UK. I believe all to be competent, but this looked damn good and would make a nice upgrade for a quality junkie.

4 commentaries people. With as many times as I watch this movie per year, a little variety is always helpful. Not enough? Work print. That's right. Work print. It's what you have before the movie has all the flash and finish and solid edits made to the movie that make it look like a movie. It's low quality. It's raw. It's a different way to watch the movie, though I'm not sure if you'll find the experience wholly enjoyable. Of course if that's not doing it for you, you can always use the zombie subtitle feature. I mean... not many releases have that. It's important to note that some of these features will have been available on previous releases (depending on which release you previously enjoyed). There are clearly two new commentaries not previously available on any other version.

Of course there are TV spots, trailers, galleries... that's stuff seems hardly worth mentioning on a release except that with a movie of this popularity there's just a lot of material to enjoy.

There's a music featurette which of course is damn important given the popularity of the soundtrack and the issues that have plagued previous releases of the film regarding the soundtrack specifically. There are slight modifications to the soundtrack in the usage of music. As noted below by Scream Factory, "Dead Beat Dance" by The Damned could not be included due to rights issues. You'd think this is a problem, but quite honestly, it's not like the song goes unreplaced in the movie and the replacement song is damn good! Need to hear it badly? Listen here:


The song that replaces it in the movie is "Young, Fast Iranians" by The Straw Dogs and is just good solid punk.


See! Mikey likes it! Let's move on. Yes you can find a release, outside of the US that would have the original track restored, but it honestly is lacking the rest of this package. Hell, get em both. I did. Like I said before, this is a movie to be cherished, collected. Various editions of the release only seek to cement its legacy and our love for it further.

Then there are ALL the interviews... all the effects featurettes... and a little documentary called MORE BRAINS! That's a full lengthy doc that goes on FOREVER and will make you an expert on the film. I cannot tell you how happy I am that Horror's Hallowed Grounds is included that spotlights filming locations as they appear now as hosted by Sean Clarke! Big fan of his and the show.

Are you excited to own another copy of Return of the Living Dead? You should be. Make sure to get the Trioxin slurries out and forget those James Karen Pathmark commercials. Watching this movie is not a costume. It's a way of life. Scream Factory nails it!

Available to order from Scream Factory and DiabolikDVD.

From Scream Factory:

On his first day on the job at a medical supply warehouse, poor Freddy (Thom Mathews) unwittingly releases toxic gas from a secret U.S. military canister, unleashing an unbelievable terror. The gas reanimates an army of corpses, who arise from their graves with a ravenous hunger... for human brains! And luckily for those carnivorous cadavers, there is a group of partying teens nearby, just waiting to be eaten!

Bonus Features

DISC 1:

NEW 2K Scan Of The Interpositive
NEW Audio Commentary With Gary Smart (Co-author Of The Complete History Of The Return Of The Living Dead) And Chris Griffiths
 NEW Audio Commentary With Actors Thom Mathews, John Philbin And Make-up Effects Artist Tony Gardner
Audio Commentary With Director Dan O'Bannon And Production Designer William Stout
Audio Commentary With The Cast And Crew Featuring Production Designer William Stout And Actors Don Calfa, Linnea Quigley, Brian Peck, Beverly Randolph, Allan Trautman
The Decade Of Darkness – Featurette On '80s Horror Films (23 minutes)
Theatrical Trailers
TV Spots
Still Gallery – Posters, Lobby Cards, Movie Stills And Behind-The-Scenes Photos
Still Gallery – Behind-The-Scenes Photos From Special Make-up Effects Artist Kenny Myers' Personal Collection
Zombie Subtitles For The Film
In Their Own Words – The Zombies Speak
DISC 2:

NEW The FX Of The Living Dead With Production Designer William Stout, FX Make-up Artists William Munns, Tony Gardner, Kenny Myers And Craig Caton-Largnet, Visual Effects Artists Bret Mixon And Gene Warren Jr. And Actor Brian Peck (Expanded Version) (30 minutes)
NEW Party Time: The Music Of The Return Of The Living Dead With Music Consultants Budd Carr And Steve Pross And Soundtrack Artists Dinah Cancer (45 Grave), Chris D (The Flesh Eaters), Roky Erickson, Karl Moet (SSQ), Joe Wood (T.S.O.L.), Mark Robertson (Tall Boys) Plus Musicians Greg Hetson (Circle Jerks) And John Sox (The F.U.'s, Straw Dogs) (Expanded Version) (30 minutes)
NEW HORROR'S HALLOWED GROUNDS – Revisiting The Locations Of The Film
The Return Of The Living Dead Workprint – Includes 20 minutes Of Additional Footage (In Standard Definition)
More Brains: A Return To The Living Dead – The Definitive Documentary On The Return Of The Living Dead (120 minutes)
A Conversation With Dan O'Bannon – His Final Interview (28 minutes)
The Origins Of The Living Dead – An Interview With John A. Russo (16 minutes)
The Return Of The Living Dead – The Dead Have Risen – Interviews With Cast Members Clu Gulager, James Karen, Don Calfa, Brian Peck, Thom Mathews, Beverly Randolph, Linnea Quigley And More… (21 minutes)
Designing The Dead – Interviews With Writer/Director Dan O'Bannon And Production Designer William Stout (15 minutes)

Product Note
For our new transfer, we went back to the original audio tracks to create a new soundtrack. Unfortunately, one song – “Dead Beat Dance” by The Damned – could not be cleared for inclusion on our release. However, the rest of the soundtrack will contain the audio as heard during the film’s original theatrical run.



VENOM

Hello Grindhouse classic! Blue Underground knows how to find and preserve pictures that need love and Venom is clearly one of those. It's raw with plenty of tension. How could it not be? Klaus Kinski is the aggressor/kidnapper, and I believe uncomfortable, violent maniac is his middle name.

Please understand that this is a fairly simple, straight forward movie. It's slow at times, low on the gratuity but filled to the brim with 70's filmmaking and ambiance. You take a strong cast of character actors and throw together in an animal attack movie with a bit of a twist. It's slow through the second act and while it opens and closes strong, there are moments through the middle that need more Black Mamba. Also, any scene involving the snake... not exactly scary. There's an element of humor here that seems to epitomize a number of the animal attack flicks of this period. This is not the funniest (nor is it intentionally funny), but you'll find yourself chuckling at times. It's okay to laugh. Klaus Kinski can't get you now.

Blue Underground always does a great job at making their releases look great. It even has a nice extra a package though nothing extravagant. The essay booklet by Mike Gingold is a must read.

Order Venom now from Blue Underground or DiabolikDVD:
http://www.blue-underground.com/product.php?product=268
http://www.diabolikdvd.com/category/Horror-[sl]-Thriller/Venom-(Blue-Underground)-(DVD-[sl]-Blu~Ray-Combo-All-Region).html

From Blue Underground:

Behind the drapes... Between the walls... In your bed...
It was supposed to be the perfect crime: the sexy maid (Susan George of STRAW DOGS), a psychotic chauffeur (Oliver Reed of THE BROOD) and an international terrorist (the legendary Klaus Kinski) kidnap a wealthy ten-year-old boy from his elegant London townhouse. But they didn't count on a murdered cop, a desperate hostage siege, and one very unexpected houseguest: a furious Black Mamba, the most lethal and aggressive snake known to nature. It can attack from ten feet away. Its bite brings excruciating death. And it is on the loose. Now, terror knows no antidote... and the ultimate in slithering mayhem is VENOM.

Sterling Hayden (THE KILLING), Nicol Williamson (EXCALIBUR) and Sarah Miles (BLOW-UP) co-star in this gripping suspense thriller based on the novel by best-selling author Alan Scholefield and directed by Piers Haggard (THE BLOOD ON SATAN'S CLAW). VENOM has been newly transferred in 2K High Definition from its negative and features some very real - and extremely deadly - Black Mambas!


Audio Commentary with Director Piers Haggard
Theatrical Trailer
TeaserTrailer
TV Spots
Poster & Still Gallery
BONUS Collectable Booklet featuring new writing by Fangoria Editor Michael Gingold




CARNIVAL OF SOULS

Possibly one of the best releases on Blu-ray of the year. Carnival of Souls may have seen more releases than any friggin movie other than maybe Night of the Living Dead. I know it had hit the public domain for a time. It was on every box set. I think I have six different versions of this release, but I can assure you that watching this movie on Blu-ray is special. Have the Criterion DVD? Hell, that was great too, but I fell in love with this movie because of this superb release.

What's to love? A haunting movie with supernatural elements that isn't overly obvious. Now maybe you've seen movies that have been influenced by Souls and thus can almost anticipate the twist. It's influence is wide from a story perspective and in terms of its aesthetic. The music is haunting. The look of all the otherworldly characters is creepy and the whole thing is generally unsettling. Spooky good!

Watching the additional scenes provided on the release was my first foray into the expanded world of Carnival of Souls. I used to take this movie as a cheap, 60's ghostie. The supplemental package for this one really drove home the importance of the release and how the film came to be. Enjoy the making of docmentary and the look at Salt Lake City where it was filmed (I had no idea it wasn't filmed in California).

Carnival of Souls is available now from the Criterion Collection:
https://www.criterion.com/films/607-carnival-of-souls

From Criterion:

A young woman in a small Kansas town survives a drag race accident, then agrees to take a job as a church organist in Salt Lake City. En route, she is haunted by a bizarre apparition that compels her toward an abandoned lakeside pavilion. Made by industrial filmmakers on a small budget, the eerily effective B-movie classic Carnival of Souls was intended to have “the look of a Bergman and the feel of a Cocteau”—and, with its strikingly used locations and spooky organ score, it succeeds. Herk Harvey’s macabre masterpiece gained a cult following on late-night television and continues to inspire filmmakers today.

Disc Features
New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
Selected-scene audio commentary featuring director Herk Harvey and screenwriter John Clifford
New interview with comedian and writer Dana Gould
New video essay by film critic David Cairns
The Movie That Wouldn’t Die!, a documentary on the 1989 reunion of the film’s cast and crew
The Carnival Tour, a 2000 update on the film’s locations
Excerpts from movies made by the Centron Corporation, an industrial film company based in Lawrence, Kansas, that once employed Harvey and Clifford
Deleted scenes
Outtakes, accompanied by Gene Moore’s organ score
History of the Saltair Resort in Salt Lake City, where key scenes in the film were shot
Trailer
PLUS: An essay by writer and programmer Kier-La Janisse
New cover by Edward Kinsella


THE WALKING DEAD SEASON 6 

If ya'll are looking for this guy right here to tell you why to get into the most popular zombie show in the history of the genre now that we are at season six, the comics have been going on for years and Darryl Dixon is a household name, you'll need more than this site and commentary on Season 6 of the Walking Dead to find your long lost, Horror loving soul. I won't spoil anything, but if you are one of those folks who is waiting to binge this fucker on Netflix or waiting till right before Season 7 kicks off to watch this, then you may want to skip below and just enjoy the shit. I may ruin something inadvertently. I would not want that.

The Walking Dead Season Six is out on Blu-ray. It's a mighty fine season that develops the characters you've come to love, and in the end will force you to make a personal decision. I think this decision says a lot about who you are as a Horror fan. Who did Negan kill? Answering this actually probably defines some element of your personality. It's like a goddamn Facebook quiz.  I'm not exactly sure what it's trying to say, mind you (like Mickey Knox is Natural Born Killers).

Main things to focus on if you are interested in picking up the physical release, on Blu-ray of TWD Season 6 are the extras. They are robust and geared toward fans of the characters and effects as well as providing deleted scenes and commentaries. You won't get this kind of stuff on demand or on Netflix.

Here's the full list.

Extras include Ep 616 - Last Day on Earth - The Extended Version, The Making of The Walking Dead, In Memoriam, 601: Out of the Quarry, Guts & Glory,, The Death of Nicholas, Strength in Bonds, Negan: Someone to Fear, The Face of Death: Iconic Walkers. Commentaries and Deleted Scenes.

Order your copy now. Season 7 premieres ever so soon:
https://www.amazon.com/Walking-Dead-Season-6/dp/B01DQ3LX0S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1475550002&sr=8-1&keywords=THE+WALKING+DEAD+SEASON+6

From Anchor Bay:

Season Six starts with Alexandria s safety shattered by multiple threats. To make it, the people of Alexandria will need to catch up with our survivors hardness while many of Rick's people will need to take a step back from the violence and pragmatism they've needed to embrace. These reversals won t happen easily, or without conflict. But now Rick's group is fighting for something more than survival...They're fighting for their home, and they will defend that at any cost, against any threat, even if that threat comes from within.

Special Features:
Deleted Scenes
Inside THE WALKING DEAD
The Making of THE WALKING DEAD
6 Featurettes:
In Memoriam
601: Out Of The Quarry
Guts & Glory: The Death Of Nicholas
Strength In Bonds
Negan: Someone To Fear
The Face Of Death: Iconic Walkers Of The Season




A HOUSE IS NOT A HOME 

I'm not going to spend too much time on A House Is Not A Home. The production quality is just  too pretty. No atmosphere for a movie that is supposed to be dark and scary. It’s actually very light in terms of shooting, and that makes it difficult to take serious, especially as an independent release that has the ability to use it's lack of budget as an excuse for feeling raw or even overly dark. It's just the opposite and that destroys anything the film tries to create.

The cast overacts and some of this dialogue draws the parallel between addiction and the supernatural elements in the film too direct to be believed.  You basically spend the entire movie with the subtext being rundown your throat.

 There’s a particular strong bit of “phantom” writing in red/blood early on that looks quite good, but that’s about as good as it gets. The effects do not stand out otherwise.

While I don't want to outright say that the movie is without redeeming value, you might find value in seeing what Richard Grieco has been up to (or the assorted other B listers whose faces on the cover).

Order your copy now:
https://www.amazon.com/House-Not-Home-Richard-Grieco/dp/B01G24WHCQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1475550178&sr=8-1&keywords=A+HOUSE+IS+NOT+A+HOME

From Deinstitionalized:

Ben and Linda Williams move their family to a new town and into a dream home as a last ditch effort to save their troubled marriage. Despite the good intentions, none of the family members can shake the feeling that something isn't quite right in their new home. Their unimaginable fears are realized when things inside the house take a supernatural and sinister turn. Ben and his family flee for their lives, but it's too late. An ancient evil traps the family in the house's ever-changing labyrinth. The Williams must come together as never before to fight for their family, their lives and to escape an evil more powerful and evil than they could ever imagine. Stellar performances by Richard Grieco (21 Jump Street), Bill Cobbs (A Night at the Museum), Aurora Perrineau (Jem and the Holograms, Equals), Eddie Steeples (My Name is Earl), Gerald Webb (Marvel's Agent Carter, Battle of Los Angeles), Melvin Gregg (vine celebrity 3.7 million followers) and Emmy winner Diahnna Nicole Baxter (Scandal, Trueblood) anchor the audience to their seats making them feel the family's terror.

Extras:

Director/Producer/Cast Commentary Track, Behind the Scenes Footage, Interviews.




SUMMER CAMP 

At first Summer Camp seems like a typical infection movie. Standard fast zombie/28 days later effects that are not all that great especially when the cover names drops one of the most effective Horror films of all time (The Conjuring). The production value is otherwise strong. The atmosphere is good. When it finally builds some of the action sequences are intense enough to cause tension and excite. I suppose what I'm trying to say is that the whole thing is just blase. It's middle of the road safe Horror without challenge or hook.

You end up feeling like you’re watching a not-funny, poor man’s Cabin Fever. The ending actually makes up for most of the shortcomings in the movie, so if you can stick it out through the generic everything that makes up Summer Camp, you might be pleasantly surprised. The ending works perfectly, makes you laugh and cringe at the same time and then actually have a strong emotional response.  That's what I would expect from the producers of Annabelle an The Conjuring.

No real extras to speak of.

Order your copy now:
https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Camp-Digital-Diego-Boneta/dp/B01G2FHUAO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1475552920&sr=8-2&keywords=summer+camp

From Lionsgate:

FOUR AMERICAN COUNSELORS AT A EUROPEAN SUMMER CAMP MUST DEAL WITH THE OUTBREAK OF A RAGE-INDUCING PLAGUE AMONG THE CHILDREN THEY ARE SUPERVISING.





GODZILLA 1984 

Yes, I'm glad to have Godzilla 1984 aka Godzilla 1985 in my collection. It looks great. It is absent of extras, but it has a movie that most Kaiju fans are excited to have at home. Section 23 has done a great job with all their releases of Godzilla movies, and this is not exception.

Unless of course your one of the few fuckers like myself who is pissed that it isn't the American version with Raymond Burr added, alternative scenes, story and music and didn't include even a mention of that release since that isn't the Toho release.  I am a bitter Blu-ray fan when it comes to Godzilla 1984. Even calling it Godzilla 1984 pisses me off because I grew up with it as Godzilla 1985, but alas, this is NOT my Godzilla movie. This is the original release of the movie before it was amended for the US audience. In a sense it is more pure than the version I enjoyed growing up, and in theory I should find no flaw with it.

After first being exposed to Godzilla 1985 during Creature Feature week on Fox 5 WNYW circa 1986-87, I fell in love with the movie. I taped it off TV and enjoyed everything from the lovable yet brilliant characters to the big rubber monster looking rough and tough and ready to breath radioactive death on Tokyo. I cry at the end of the movie. After seeing it on 35mm recently I still cry. The music pull my heartstrings and Godzilla's cry is haunting.

All of that seems to have been taken from me with this release. The Dr. Pepper commercials, the station bumper for Creature Feature week, the additional plot points and even my beloved, fuzzy Raymond Burr... gone. Of course that's all nostalgia, right? All of the reasons that I am "upset" with the release are deeply personal and hold no impact to the fact that the release is quite solid. In fact, I actually appreciated the expanded story offered me by watching an unadulterated version of the movie.

I am far from a convert. I want my Godzilla 1985, but I will be okay. I think I still have my VHS tape of the original airing back in the 80's and if not, there's always this:




Order your copy now:
https://www.amazon.com/Return-Godzilla-Blu-ray-Hashimoto-Koji/dp/B01FZ8I7R4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1475550266&sr=8-1&keywords=GODZILLA+1984




HAMMERS FILMS - THE TWO FACES OF DR. JEKYLL/THE GORGON

I'm a bit of a Hammer Horror nut. I can appreciate almost any title from the immense library from across the pond. I typically don't discriminate. I'll just as soon watch The Snorkel as a I will enjoy Curse of Frankenstein. The Two Faces of Jekyll and The Gorgon as a double feature release by Mill Creek puts me in a unique position. One of the films is done to perfection. I was happy with movie, transfer and despite the lack of extras any Hammer Blu-ray a choice opportunity. The other film... is a rarity; a Hammer film a truly did not enjoy and found minimal redeeming quality in. Let's dig in.

The Gorgon is one of my favorite Hammer Horror pictures. I first encountered it on Turner Classic Movies some years back and was particularly taken by its color, creature creation and quality of story. it's nice that a story taken from Greek mythology can translate into a Horror tale quite easily without feeling like you're watching a sword and sandal picture.

On the other hand, The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll was a first time watch for me. It's not a particularly strong story that simply regurgitates the Jekyll myth without strong cast, director or aesthetic that many of the Hammer Horror releases carry as their signature. As a pairing with The Gorgon, it works solely to balance out the strength of one half of the bill.

I can't help but feel that The Gorgon should be listed on the left hand side of the Blu-ray cover to give it "top billing".

The quality of The Gorgon is strong. It's a good transfer. Jekyll is so so, but it truly could be because of the actual original film itself being less visually impress that I'm not particularly impressed with the look. Both releases look clean without dust or scratching. Black levels seems fine especially for someone who isn't exactly a snob for such things. The double feature cover art is fitting, but that's all you're going to get. No extras. Not alternate cover. This is a bare bones Mill Creek release that has quality on its side, but doesn't go the extra mile as a fan favorite release.

My advice? Pick it up for The Gorgon. Tolerate Jekyll so you can call yourself a completist when watching Hammer Horror.

Order your copy now:
http://www.millcreekent.com/hammer-films-double-feature-volume-one.html

From Mill Creek:

For more than four decades, Hammer Films’ unique blend of horror, science fiction, thrills and comedy dominated countless drive-ins and movie theaters. Enjoy this impeccable collection from the darkest corners of the Hammer Imagination!

The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll
(1960) – Color – 89 minutes – Not Rated
Starring: Paul Massie, Dawn Addams, Christopher Lee, David Kossoff, Norma Marla, Francis De Wolff

Absorbed in research directed towards freeing the two natures of man, Dr. Jekyll degenerates in to Mr. Hyde, a vengeful maniac. While Hyde wants revenge against a gambler whom his wife is in love with, Dr. Jekyll, takes steps to do away with his evil self.


The Gorgon
(1964) – Color – 83 minutes – Not Rated
Starring: Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Richard Pasco, Barbara Shelley, Michael Goddliffe, Patrick Troughton

In a rural village, a series of murders have been committed where each victim was turned into stone. A local professor investigates and finds an evil Gorgon haunting a nearby castle and in search of more victims.



HAMMER FILMS - THE REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN/THE CURSE OF THE MUMMY’S TOMB

Two of the classic monster revivals spawned by Hammer Studios yielded sequels and now they join forces on Blu-ray from Mill Creek. We are always lucky to have Blu-rays have Hammer titles and the gap is steadily closing as to which releases from that Silver Age of Horror have not been released on the format. I collect them all. I even go across the pond to pick up Studio Canal releases when they are available. For these two titles, we have a fitting pairing in that they are the immediate followups to the initial revivals in both the Frankenstein and Mummy stories. Just like our previous look at another set in the Mill Creek double feature releases of Hammer titles, one of these is strong and one is weak. To my surprise, the weak title starred Peter Cushing!

The Revenge of Frankenstein looks... well... bad. I didn't want to believe it to be true, but after scanning through the  web a bit, the general opinion is that it lacks umfph. The black level look mildly desaturated, color not vibrant. There even appears to be mildly distracting digitization. If I had to guess it would be that the print provided wasn't exactly in great condition. It needed fixing. It may even have been mildly damaged, though not overly scratched or incomplete. The subsequent correcting and fading of the print, didn't give it that contrasty, pop that I love to see in Hammer Horror.

The Revenge of Frankenstein has never been a particular favorite of mine save for some of the "gory bits". The third act saves the whole picture and Cushing is Cushing. I could watch him read on film and be satisfied with his performance. After the strength of the initial Frank picture, The Revenge tried to bring back the Doc and the Monster in a way that would near mirror the original story. Luckily the films that would follow became completely bat shit crazy, adopting stories that were original, filled with fresh monster imagery and violence as well as more Cushing. They're over the top, Revenge is more subdued. I think if the transfer was better I might be able to forgive that glaze that falls over my eyeballs through the second act, but I had higher hopes.

The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb not only has an almost comical, self parodizing title, but it's story is cookie cutter monster. You'd think that I would find that boring especially since I was just laying into Revenge for being a regurgitation of Curse of Frankenstein, but I find Curse of the Mummy's Tomb hilarious and fun. I expect nothing from it and it brings a story that can be tolerated with classic Hammer overacting, Mummy look and back story. Michael Carreras had directed some of the less popular Hammer titles from the mid 60's, but he is also known for having produced some of the biggies. He's no Terence Fisher or Freddie Francis, but he does a competent job. This is the second movie in the Mummy revival from Hammer.

The transfer of Curse is just fine. Not complaints. No extras either as is the case with both features on this release and is simply the Mill Creek way. The artwork is preserved in standard double feature presentation. There is no reverse artwork.

Order your copy now:
http://www.millcreekent.com/hammer-films-double-feature-volume-two.html

From Mill Creek:

For more than four decades, Hammer Films’ unique blend of horror, science fiction, thrills and comedy dominated countless drive-ins and movie theaters. Enjoy this impeccable collection from the darkest corners of the Hammer Imagination!

The Revenge of Frankenstein
(1958) - Color - 90 Minutes - Not Rated
Starring: Peter Cushing, Eunice Gayson, Francis Matthews, Michael Gwynn

Peter Cushing reprises his famous role as Baron Victor Frankenstein in this horror classic. Rescued from the guillotine by his devoted crippled assistant Fritz, the Baron relocates and becomes Dr. Stein. Under the guise of charity work, he continues his gruesome experiments, this time transplanting Fritz's brain into his latest creation: a normal, healthy body.


The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb
(1964) - Color - 81 minutes - Not Rated
Starring: Terence Morgan, Ronald Howard, Fred Clark, Jeanne Roland, George Pastell, Jack Gwillim

An American showman and financier disrupts the coffin of a mummified pharoah and finds it empty. The mummy has escaped to fulfill the dreadful prophesy and exact a violent and bloody revenge on all those who defiled his final resting place.



BASKET CASE 2 

The original Basket Case will make you jump all the way into a New York City dumpster, close the lid and making you either act like Belial or pray for morning.  You know the old story... guy's brother lives in a basket that he carries around with him after being separated from him surgically. Of course the little fella in the basket is pissed, has a bad temper and likes to splatter people across the wall (with freshly tossed Crayola red goodness of course). Belial was a creepy looking creature of a separated twin brother. The effects used to make him move, speak and kill are offputting and memorable. That's the original movie of course. The first sequel is kind of an 80's mess of a thing. Strange part is, I love the mess.

The follow up to Frank Henenlotter's classic body Horror splat picture is a study in 80's practical effects, overuse of makeup and creative creature design that may revival the original Star Wars in terms of ingenuity. I can appreciate all that. I can also forgive so many of the story flaws that force me to watch the movie as a near music video for the visual aesthetic alone rather than a cohesive work of Horror. Hey, you can't love em all, right? Fans of the original or fans of Henenlotter will love Basket Case 2, forgive all its short comings and appreciate the mad effects geniuses that made the 80's great. If you want to be scared, this ain't the movie for you. If you're out to have a bit of fun and gross out the norms... do it!

Note for the Doc: the end sex scene sold me on this movie. You can ignore the rest of the movie if you need to, if you find it boring, if you simply cannot get into... hit up the ending and turn on some Marvin Gaye. It's not quite the Shunting sequence from Society, but it's up there with one of the great Horror sex scenes of all time. Call this one  "Belial in Love" for a subtitle.

Synapse has never let me down. Their Blu-rays are impeccable with a transfer that honors the release. The quality is superb, strong black levels and good color saturation for a vibrant, gory picture. It's a clean release without dirt or scratching. The new cover artwork by Joel Robinson is inspired. I love that guy. It's fitting for the movie, fun and an excellent, modern interpretation embodying what makes body Horror juicy good fun. Definitely check out the making of featurette that focuses in on the special effects creation. That's why you love Henenlotter movies beyond the bizarre anti-heroes and perverse fetishistic conveyance of sexual anything.

Order your copy now:
http://synapse-films.com/synapse-films/basket-case-2-blu-ray/

From Synapse:

Duane Bradley and his surgically-separated twin brother Belial return in this frightfully gory follow-up to Frank Henenlotter’s original monster movie classic, BASKET CASE. After surviving a fall from a hospital window, the two brothers become media targets. Duane’s aunt, Granny Ruth (played by world-famous Jazz singer Annie Ross), whisks the duo away to a secluded mansion, where other freaks-in-hiding live out their days away from public scrutiny. When a snooping tabloid reporter finds the location of the mutants, Duane and his new family must stand together to keep their freedom a secret. And, in all the chaos, Belial might actually find true love!

Synapse Films is proud to present BASKET CASE 2 in a beautiful high-definition transfer from the original 35mm camera negative.


Features

THE MAN IN THE MOON MASK – Interview with “Half Moon” actor, David Emge
BEYOND THE WICKER – Behind-the-Scenes Featurette from Special Effects Makeup Artist, Gabe Bartalos
Reversible Cover art with newly commissioned front piece by Joel Robinson



BASKET CASE 3 

And Synapse brings the Body Horror again with a Blu-ray release of the second followup to the classic Frank Henenlotter picture, Basket Case, Basket Case 3: The Progeny. I suppose this sequel was inevitable given the way the second one ended. You know what happens when the insane, monsterific, basketed twin brother doesn't put a rain jacket on the big guy! We end up with little creatures that are clearly meant to bend the line between creature feature Body Horror and comedy in true 80's fashion. Does it work?

It's not secret that the story line from Basket Case 2 didn't exactly light me up. It's was tolerable, but I find that that movie is simply wonderful for the creature and special effects creation. It's a visually pleasing movie. Basket Case 3 continues that same sentiment. The story line is far fetched in a non scary and non-threatening manner but serves nicely as a vehicle for the artists of 80's physical effect Horror to do their best work. I appreciate their efforts. I tolerate the narrative. I laugh at times and even allow myself to empathize with new monster parents.

Truth be told it's a forced story that takes what was a fun Horror picture in the original and bends it to near Troma proportions. This trilogy builds from a near traditional original movie to a gonzo sequel to an over-gonzo third installment.  If you like part 2, you'll like part 3. If you liked the original, didn't like part 2, then you'll probably want to distant yourself from this one as well (especially if you were cold hearted enough not to enjoy the sex scene at the end of part 2).

We have another solid transfer from Synapse that looks great. The extra package is a bit light when compared to the offering in the sequel, but at least we get some awesome new cover art that's reversible from Joel Robinson.

Order your copy now:
http://synapse-films.com/synapse-films/basket-case-3-the-progeny-blu-ray/

From Synapse:

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY!

He’s back. He’s bad. And, he’s a dad! Belial, everyone’s favorite beast-in-a-basket, is back in this sensational third film in the wildly macabre BASKET CASE horror series.

After being separated again from his conjoined twin brother Duane (Kevin Van Hentenryck), Belial finds out he’s going to be a deformed daddy! Mrs. Belial (“Eve”, played by Denise Coop) delivers a litter of bouncing baby monsters, but the blessed event turns into a nightmarish ordeal when the police kidnap the little critters. They should know it’s not safe to anger Belial! Attacking the cops in a climactic, gory rampage, everyone’s favorite mutant mauler stops at nothing to get his newborns back!

Synapse Films is proud to present BASKET CASE 3: THE PROGENY in a beautiful high-definition transfer from original 35mm vault materials.

Features

Original Theatrical Trailer
Reversible Cover art with newly commissioned front piece by Joel Robinson



TENEBRAE

Did you miss the steelbook release earlier this year of Tenebrae from Synapse? Maybe the price point is a bit above your paygrade. Maybe you don't do steelbooks. Well, Syanpse has given you the chance to get in on a the new transfer of the release, looking beyond Italian Blu-ray gorgeous.

This release features the traditional cover art and a slightly less intense extra package than the steelbook. It's a single disc, no DVD, no soundtrack. It's not bare bones mind you with a still impressive extra package. You get the an alternate opening, alt credit sequence (from its release as Unsane) and... and this one is fucking cool as Hell... the full length documentary Yellow Fever that chronicles Gialli through the genre's hey day. It's an education for the novice and a reminder and well done archive for the expert.

Tenebrae's transfer is one of the best of the year, the steelbook being in my top 5 releases of 2016 when taken together with its multi disc, superior extra package. One of the driving forces behind it making my best of list without 2016 even closing out is due to the transfer that truly wowed me, as it will impress fans of this movie. You can safely use this as a standard by which Italian Horror is treated in an HD presentation alongside Grindhouse Releasing's recent Cannibal Holocaust and Cannibal Ferox presentations.

Let's just say for a second that you've avoided Tenebrae over the years. Should you use this opportunity to check it out? Absolutely. This is the best it will look, and while I realize there is a Euro release of this title out there with some impressive artwork from our buddy Quiltface, that disc is OOP, limited and had a high price point even before it became a collector's item. If you can't make the leap to the Synapse steelbook to have a truly special release in your hands, then this is your best option. The price point is reasonable especially given the quality of the release. It's a solid Italian Horror murder mystery with the classic giallo elements in tow. From hotties on the march to a fantastic score performed by Claudio Simonetti, Fabio Pignatelli and Massimo Morante. There's a generous amount of red stuff on the screen and is one of the best Argento films released in the 80's if not one of the finest gialli released in the genre.

You will not be disappointed.

Order your copy now:
http://synapse-films.com/synapse-films/tenebrae-single-disc-blu-ray/
or you can order from DiabolikDVD:
http://www.diabolikdvd.com/category/Horror-[sl]-Thriller/Tenebrae-(Synapse-Single-Disc-Blu~Ray).html

From Synapse:


Synopsis

American mystery author Peter Neal (Anthony Franciosa) comes to Italy to promote his newest novel, TENEBRAE. Unfortunately, a razor-wielding serial killer is on the loose, taunting Neal and murdering those around him in gruesome fashion just like the character in his novel. As the mystery surrounding the killings spirals out of control, Neal investigates the crimes on his own, leading to a mind-bending, genre-twisting conclusion that will leave you breathless! Featuring an amazing synth-music score from Claudio Simonetti, Fabio Pignatelli and Massimo Morante (formerly of Italian progressive-rock band, Goblin), this all-new 1080p high-definition TENEBRAE release was created from the original uncut camera negative. Also stars John Saxon (A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET), Daria Nicolodi (Dario Argento’s PHENOMENA) and John Steiner (CALIGULA).

(PLEASE NOTE: This is a single disc BLU-RAY release and does not contain the same materials as the Limited Edition Collectible Steelbook(R) Edition of TENEBRAE from Synapse Films. This version does not come in the collectible Steelbook(R) packaging, does not contain the additional DVD format version, the CD soundtrack, or the collectible booklet. If you would like to get the Limited Steelbook(R) version of TENEBRAE that contains these additional materials, you will need to call our office at 734-494-3502 to place your order. Because quantities are now so low on the Steelbook(R) release, we have removed it from our website. At last inventory, we only had around 100 units left of this edition. Call now, if you really want the Limited Steelbook(R) version.)

All-new Synapse Films supervised color correction and restoration of a 1080p scan from the original camera negative, presented in the original aspect ratio of 1.85:1
Dual English and Italian language options with newly-translated English subtitle tracks for both
Audio commentary track featuring film critic and Argento scholar, Maitland McDonagh
Rare high-definition 1080p English sequence insert shots, playable within the film via Seamless Branching
Feature-length documentary, YELLOW FEVER: THE RISE AND FALL OF THE GIALLO by High Rising Productions, chronicling the Giallo film genre from its beginnings as early 20th century crime fiction, to its later influences on the modern slasher film genre
Original UNSANE (U.S. version of TENEBRAE) end credits sequence
Alternate opening credits sequence
International theatrical trailer
Japanese SHADOW theatrical trailer

Runtime: 101 minutes

Release Date: September 13, 2016

Language: English and Italian Language Options (Original Mono 2.0 Release Mixes)

Aspect Ratio: Widescreen 1080p (1.85:1) Presentation

Format: Blu-ray

Region: Region A




THE HORRIBLE DR. HICHCOCK 

The Olive release of The Horrible Dr. Hichcock looks pretty damn good. The cover art is the traditional poster, non reversible. The disc does not contain extras, but the price point reflects this. Collectors would want something more pn their Barbara Steele exposed HD release of a Italian Gothic Horror, but I'm afraid you'll have to settle for having the movie look good and in your collection.

Like many of the Gothic Horror pictures coming out of Europe during the 60's The Horrible Dr. Hichcock is a slow burn, atmospheric mystery with some spooky sets. I put it on par with Nightmare Castle especially for fans of Steele, but perhaps it is more forced and melodramatic. The story is more straightforward than Nightmare Castle which came out three years later. You can tell that Steele had become very comfortable in roles of this type. It is her role in The Horrible Dr. Hichcock that seemingly prepared her for Mario Caiano and Nightmare Castle.

This is not for Italian splatter heads or for folks who love 70's giallo. This is for the ones who dig on Bava and mood and know how to read a ghost story ever now and again.

Order your copy now:
http://store.olivefilms.com/Horror.65/Olive_Films.38/The_Horrible_Dr._Hichcock__Blu-Ray_.6276.html

From Olive:

From director Robert Hampton, (Lust Of The Vampire) comes The Horrible Dr. Hichcock (L’orrible segreto del Dr. Hichcock), the twisted and terrifying tale of Dr. Bernard Hichcock (Robert Flemyng, The Quiller Memorandum) whose secret desires and perverse passions lead to the death of his wife, Margaret (Teresa Fitzgerald, Class of Iron). Remarrying years later, the doctor’s new bride Cynthia (Barbara Steele, Pit and the Pendulum) is unaware that her husband intends to use her blood to reanimate the corpse of his dearly departed Margaret.





MANKILLERS

Mankillers is one funny flick. We're talking about a war movie featuring an all female fighting squad on a rampage a la Dirty Dozen that takes on the drug cartels (who are all men of course). It has all of the 80's action accouterments including a scantily clad guerilla fighting force, plenty of large guns, explosions, comedic performances due to exceptionally poorly written dialogue and a plot that solely exists to allow the demolitions team the opportunity to show off though in this instance, using as low a budget as possible. Obviously, Mankillers is built for fun and to inspire the pants of your inner teenage boy.

As with many of the Slasher//Video releases distributed by Olive it's important to remember that their releases are taken from the best possible sources available. While many distro companies set a standard that would prevent this from happenin, you'll actually be getting an HD transfer from beta tape, upconverted. I realize that sounds like a complete laugh, but there are reasons for which this type of release is important. Digitizing a release of this type is necessary to make sure the movie is archived and available. The overall product does look good... for tape. Do not expect a superior, uncompressed black, gently grainy release. Expect... exactly what you would think a tape transfer would look like... but better.

Still this is a David A. Prior movie. Make sure to enjoy it to its fullest and let it take you back.

Order your copy now:
http://store.olivefilms.com/Action___Adventure.57/Olive_Films.38/Mankillers__Blu-Ray_.6283.html

From Olive:

Disclaimer: Mankillers is presented using the best available elements provided by Slasher // Video. Not sourced from an HD Master; remastered from PAL Beta SP and upconverted to BluRay and DVD specifications. A female homage to The Dirty Dozen, Mankillers features a rag tag group of bottom feeders —murderers, thieves and other assorted miscreants — who, unless they coalesce into a lean, mean fighting machine to stop a rogue agent and the drug cartel that employs him, have the option of a prison cell or the electric chair. It’s wall-to-wall action and adventure in Mankillers. Directed and written by David A. Prior (Deadly Prey, Killer Workout), Mankillers stars Edd Byrnes (TV’s 77 Sunset Strip), Gail Fisher (TV’s Mannix), Edy Williams (The Naked Kiss), Lynda Aldon (Doctor Detroit), William Zipp (Deadly Prey), Christine Lunde (The Masque of the Red Death) and Suzanne Tegmann (Death Chase).





THE CAT PEOPLE

It took me doing some research to learn why I was supposed to enjoy Jacques Tourneur's Cat People. To be quite honest this movie has never pushed my buttons properly. Repeated viewings have left me feeling unfilled and a little bored. There's no pop. It's subtle. It's atmospherically eerie with a seductive quality that is supposed to be feel mildly sensual. Cat People's moments of suspense are well constructed and the methods by which the film arrives at moments of tension come with innovative techniques that would become Dark Fantasy staples in shooting style and method. That's all well and good. It is an exceptionally influential movie... that I do not love; that I find difficult to recommend to anyone other than students of film or style junkies. I can't help but feel just a little bad for not appreciating it as much as should; beyond the educational and pure aesthetic value of the film. When a movie is this revered, and you dislike it, you end up questioning your own value as one who recommends movies. If you don't "get" Cat People, what DO you get?

For those of you who are fans of Cat People, it is now available on Blu-ray from Criterion. That's a juicy piece of news. Criterion has done good by this classic Horror work. In a sense, I owe it to Criterion for providing this release of a movie I rather dislike because the emphasis on much of the extra material and essay is the educational and stylistic innovation that surrounds the film. It allows Cat People to be important to me in the absence of enjoying its story or visual presence. For those of you who long for this period of filmmaking and adore the producer Val Lewton, there is a full length documentary dedicated to him. It's a real treat in a addition to an archival interview with Tourneur and a interview with the cinematographer. The package is traditional Criterion.

The black levels are crisp and gorgeous. There's nothing finer than a 2k transfer of a Black and White Horror picture as done by Criterion. You live in the contrast. The supple blacks wrap the bursting whites and swaddle them in the spooky things that live in the shadows. I may not love Cat People, but I adore this transfer and the look of the movie. I can only imagine fans of the movie will be very satisfied.

Order your copy now:
http://www.diabolikdvd.com/category/Horror-[sl]-Thriller/Cat-People-(Criterion-Collection)-(Blu~Ray).html

From Criterion:

The first of the horror films producer Val Lewton made for RKO Pictures redefined the genre by leaving its most frightening terrors to its audience’s imagination. Simone Simon stars as a Serbian émigré in Manhattan who believes that, because of an ancient curse, any physical intimacy with the man she loves (Kent Smith) will turn her into a feline predator. Lewton, a consummate producer-auteur who oversaw every aspect of his projects, found an ideal director in Jacques Tourneur, a chiaroscuro stylist adept at keeping viewers off-kilter with startling compositions and psychological innuendo. Together, they eschewed the canned effects of earlier monster movies in favor of shocking with subtle shadows and creative audio cues. One of the studio’s most successful movies of the 1940s, Cat People raised the creature feature to new heights of sophistication and mystery.

Disc Features

New, restored 2K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
Audio commentary from 2005 featuring film historian Gregory Mank, with excerpts from an audio interview with actor Simone Simon
Val Lewton: The Man in the Shadows, a 2008 feature-length documentary that explores the life and career of the legendary Hollywood producer
Interview with director Jacques Tourneur from 1977
New interview with cinematographer John Bailey about the look of the film
Trailer
PLUS: An essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien

New cover by Bill Sienkiewicz



MAI-CHAN’S DAILY LIFE

What a pleasant surprise! Mai-Chan's Daily Life is a movie I had never heard of, looked like a modern artsy fartsy picture and quite frankly had me a little worried. I don't often look forward to wasting my time with modern experimental film. I just want a story. Sometimes I downright need it, and that is what I got. Redemption Films has been born again after a short slumber, releasing this gory and gorgeous  shockfest.

Mai-Chan's Daily Life feels like a modern adaptation of a Marquis de Sade tale of a tormented servant who is learning her place in life and as a maid. While it may lack the philosophical guts that a de Sade pictures affords, Daily Life makes up for it with a brutality that isn't exactly off-putting, it's exactly awesome. There's a feeling of claustrophobia and redemption in the work (and not just because Redemption put out the film). Every day our protagonist rises from a broken body to face training that isn't quite Martyrs torture, but maybe evoked a similar, dulled response from me as the viewer.

A little game that I play with modern movies of this type is to imagine who would have shot a similar film in the 70's if the story had existed. I could easily see removing it from its Asian roots to throw it to Jess Franco, soft focus and endless nude scenes balanced with off camera beating that lead to marks of Crayola red smeared on torn bodies. Daily Life is too fancy to be a Grindhouse picture or one that would have enjoyed a run on 42nd Street, but it's also not the kind of feature you'll be talking about at high tea.

The disc includes a two part documentary with behind the scenes footage. The cover artwork is modern and bold, but does not emulate previous releases for the movie nor does it address the origins of the story as a Manga. I would have liked to have seen more about the origins of the story and Waita Uziga, but I may have to search out the actual books themselves to see if they match up with the intensity of the film.

Order your copy from DiabolikDVD:
http://www.diabolikdvd.com/category/Asian-(Browse-All)/Mai~Chan's-Daily-Life:-Bloody-Carnal-Residence-(Redemption)-(Blu~Ray).html

From Kino/Redemption:

Based on the popular Manga by Waita Uziga, MAI-CHAN'S DAILY LIFE is a diabolical dark comedy that takes fetish violence to shocking new extremes. A young woman, Miyako (Akane Miyako) responds to an advertisement for a live-in maid, and is given a job alongside the playfully alluring Mai-chan (Koshi Ann). Miyako quickly learns that housecleaning is the least of her duties, as the master (Maruyama Shogo) and his wife (Roman Soako) use the maids as toys in their unbridled erotic fantasies.

Since Mai-chan possesses the uncanny ability to recover from any injury, no matter how severe, every violent desire is indulged, and Miyako soon finds herself actively involved in Mai-chan's horrific destruction (and miraculous resurrection).

Special Features: Original Trailer, “Waita’s Daily Life,” a two-part documentary of behind-the-scenes footage (31 Min.)



ASH VS. EVIL DEAD SEASON 1 

The second season of Ash vs. Evil Dead is underway, and I am watching and enjoying it. That should tell you that I watched and enjoyed the first season. I caught it on TV and now enjoyed a handsome Blu-ray of the same. For those of you who know what Evil Dead is, Army of Darkness and, most importantly, the legendary Horror icon, Ash but do not understand how it connects to the films, let's discuss briefly. Hopefully that will make the show accessible to you. The show does NOT pick up after Army of Darkness due to rights issues. It would be better to say it follows many years later the story of told in Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2. It's so far in the future that you do not need to watch the original films to appreciate it, though I don't think I need to twist most of your arms to enjoy some E.D.

Ash is witty, the show is gory and filled with practical effects as well as some well used computer generated jobbers. Bruce Campbell is back in the saddle which is the only damn character that needed to be be in the show to make it work. It does work as a show featuring a new quest by the fantastically powerful force that pumps demons into the land of the living while Ash attempts to save humanity with some trusted friends and various adversaries of a supernatural and natural type. Ash is reluctant to accept his role as savior and much of his own battle is rejecting that calling. It makes for some great humor, a main focus of the program (not unlike Evil Dead 2).

The series opens strong with a solid three episode run that gives way into some enjoyable but repetitive stories that don't quite do the trick like the first couple. The series ends strong, the story evolving and taking reasonable but surprising twists that are a pleasure to enjoy save for the final episode that didn't quite get my ghost, going a bit more over the top than I was comfortable with. I assure you that season 2 actually addresses that in the very first episode, resetting my expectations and correcting what I would deem to be shortcomings that played out in the final moments of season one.

The Blu comes with some fun extras involving Campbell and co.

Audio Commentaries include (Thanks to Blu-ray.com for saving me the typing because I couldn't seem to get a full list off the marketing materials I had):

"El Jefe": Creator/Executive Producer/Director Sam Raimi, Co-Executive Producer Ivan Raimi, Executive Producer Bob Tapert, and Executive Producer/Actor Bruce Campbell.
"Bait": Executive Producer Bob Tapert, Executive Producer/Actor Bruce Campbell, and Actors Dana Delorenzo and Ray Santiago.
"Books from Beyond": Executive Producer/Actor Bruce Campbell and Actors Dana Delorenzo and Ray Santiago.
"Brujo": Executive Producer/Actor Bruce Campbell and Actors Dana Delorenzo and Ray Santiago.
"The Host": Executive Producer/Actor Bruce Campbell and Actors Dana Delorenzo and Ray Santiago.
"The Killer of Killers": Actors Dana Delorenzo, Jill Marie Jones and Ray Santiago.
"Fire in the Hole": Actors Dana Delorenzo, Jill Marie Jones and Ray Santiago.
"Ashes to Ashes": Executive Producer/Actor Bruce Campbell and Actors Dana Delorenzo, Jill Marie Jones and Ray Santiago.
"Bound in Flesh": Executive Producer/Actor Bruce Campbell and Actors Dana Delorenzo, Lucy Lawless and Ray Santiago.
"The Dark One": Executive Producer/Actor Bruce Campbell and Actors Dana Delorenzo, Lucy Lawless and Ray Santiago.

Ash Inside the World - a hodge podge of different aspects of the TV show development and character exposition.

How to Kill a Deadite - Bruce Campbell goes through the finer points of Deadite removal.

Best of Ash - the "good" scenes from the season.

Order your copy now:
https://www.amazon.com/Ash-Evil-Dead-Complete-Season/dp/B017DYVF40/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1475551804&sr=8-1&keywords=ash+vs+evil+dead

From Starz/Anchor Bay:

“Ash vs Evil Dead,” a 10-episode, half-hour series, is the long-awaited follow-up to the classic horror film franchise The Evil Dead. The series follows Ash, the stock boy, aging lothario and chainsaw-handed monster hunter who has spent the last 30 years avoiding responsibility, maturity and the terrors of the Evil Dead. When a Deadite plague threatens to destroy all of mankind, Ash is finally forced to face his demons –personal and literal. Destiny, it turns out, has no plans to release the unlikely hero from its “Evil” grip. The cast is led by Bruce Campbell as Ash Williams, Lucy Lawless as Ruby a mysterious figure who believes Ash is the cause of the Evil outbreaks, Ray Santiago as Pablo Simon Bolivar, an idealistic immigrant who becomes Ash’s loyal sidekick, Dana DeLorenzo as Kelly Maxwell, a moody wild child trying to outrun her past and Jill Marie Jones as Amanda Fisher, a disgraced Michigan State Trooper set to find our anti-hero Ash and prove his responsibility in the grisly murder of her partner. The series is executive produced by Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, and Bruce Campbell, the original filmmakers of the franchise, and Craig DiGregorio (“Chuck”), who serves as executive producer and showrunner.




JEKYLL and HYDE … TOGETHER AGAIN

I was hoping for something funnier that had more Horror elements included. Young Frankenstein comes to mind, but I should have realized from the cover art and cast that that was not going to be the case. Jekyll and Hyde... Together Again simply didn't do it for me. It was bland with some funny moments that borrowed heavily from successful sex comedies. Without powerful actors to develop the concept or deliver perfect comedy, well... I'm afraid I didn't laugh. I also didn't find much in the way of Horror elements to appreciate. You might as well be looking at a mad scientist picture rather than specifically limiting the story to Jekyll/Hyde.

I think fans of the movie will be happy with Olive's transfer which looks nice. The cover art is traditional (no reverse). No extras.

Order your copy now:
http://store.olivefilms.com/Comedy___Slapstick.58/Olive_Films.38/Jekyll_And_Hyde__Together_Again__Blu-Ray_.6282.html

From Olive:

The Robert Louis Stevenson classic is turned on its ear, or in this case its funny bone, in the Jerry Belson (TV’s The Odd Couple) directed Jekyll and Hyde … Together Again.  While researching a drug that would make surgeries obsolete, Dr. Daniel Jekyll (Mark Blankfield, Robin Hood: Men in Tights) inadvertently discovers a substance that unleashes the animal that lives inside every man. Using himself as a guinea pig, Jekyll reverts from his shy, self-effacing, serious self to the hyper-sexual, party-‘till-you-drop alter ego, Mr. Hyde. Jekyll and Hyde … Together Again, written for the screen by Monica Johnson, Harvey Miller, Jerry Belson and Michael Leeson, co-stars Bess Armstrong (High Road to China) as Mary, Jekyll’s loving fiancée; Krista Errickson (Little Darlings) as Ivy, Hyde’s lusty paramour; and Tim Thomerson (Near Dark) as Jekyll’s smarmy colleague Dr. Knute Lanyon.




THE CONJURING 2

The Conjuring. A movie that unexpectedly scared many people and made a significant profit off a fairly low budget production. It was directed by James Wan who has a history of creating good Horror. He creates characters that you can trust or that will scare you or with which you can identify on some level making them instantly perfect for your sympathy allowing access to your cynical heart strings. Now we have a sequel that follows the Ed and Lorraine Warren on another adventure into paranormal investigation balancing faith with science in an effort to save families from the forces that would hurt them from beyond the grave or beyond this world. The Conjuring 2 is now available on Blu-ray and the power of this feature on the small and large screen most likely will not be matched this year. This is your October movie right here. 

On this Scooby Doo esque outing we follow the Warrens to England to examine the Enfield Poltergeist. This is a well documented, true occurrence in which a family who is down on their luck experiences an extreme supernatural attack, prolonged with seemingly no known cause. The Warrens are flown in from America as agents of the Catholic church to examine the situation to make a determination as to whether the church should send in its strike team to intervene. Is it a hoax? What is causing the incidents that are tearing a family to ribbons? Can the Warrens save the day and solve the mystery? I assure you there is not old man Withers behind the mask in The Conjuring 2.

Thoughts:

I enjoyed both the original Conjuring and the sequel equally, not one more than the other. That means that I am giving the sequel exceptionally high marks given my love for the first film.James Wan has his detractors in much the same way that Eli Roth has his detractors. These are folks that will hate everything he does, even if they haven't yet seen the movie. Beware of these people. Beware still these folks telling YOU not to see The Conjuring 2.  If you did not enjoy the first movie, you probably won't enjoy the sequel. I have met folks who did not enjoy the original movie, and while I find that surprising, I suppose some people can't get into it. Both Conjurings have a similar way of telling their story, effects are executed in the same style, look and feel  of both pictures are the same and even some of the plot points and the character development show commonality between movies. This is not a problem at all. This is a good sequel that follows a team we love on an adventure that thrills and chills and screams to high heaven of all the spookiness we fear (or maybe hope) really exists in the world. I almost think of these pictures as modern day, elongated serials that continue tales of the superheroes of the psychic world. Despite having common elements they are separately exceptional modern Horror films.

Housecleaning i.e. the shit that is obvious but bares mentioning or notes:

  • The cast is strong. All performances are exceptional and believable while maintaining heart and a sense of fun (That's right... FUN). This movie has jokes. Enjoy them. You're allowed to laugh ya know.
  • The effects are a balance of practical and CG. It's a healthy balance, and the effects work quite well. The CG is necessary. This is not a gory movie. It's not a bloodbath, but there is still ingenuity in the way that violent imagery is displayed on screen, creatively and not altogether obvious giving the film the same sense of style that made the original picture so successful. 
  • If you feared that James Wan's foray into the auto action genre was going to leave him worse for wear, forgetting how to create a Horror picture, consider your fears unnecessary.
  • This is not a sequel to Annabelle. This story does not involve that movie or a continuation of that story line from the original Conjuring. No need to draw comparison to the movie Annabelle. I'm not sure if folks were even doing that, but hey, I'm always surprised.
  • I'm always taken with how they make these movies look perfectly period. The set design, clothing and set dressing is really quite special allowing you to be completely immersed in a work of fiction that has a brilliant history behind it. This is the kind of thing that Ti West did so well in House of the Devil that made me love that movie. Wan just ups the game in that regard.
  • There is what appears to be a nod toward the slender man's look in one of the manifestations of the supernatural force. It's absolutely perfect and got me each time. Whether it was influenced by the slender man or not, it looked friggin great.
  • This ain't your typical possession movie. Don't expect that. Do not expect to have to deal with the same near parody "power of Christ compels you" storytelling you've come to see in wide release Horror as of late. 
  • The music is effective. Enjoy it especially toward the end of the picture. I think I've been spoiled on soundtracks for movies like It Follows and Starry Eyes lately. This one didn't quite have the impact I wanted.
  • Yes, we get a glimpse of Amityville in this one. Yes it is fucking awesome. Remember, the house is back on the market kiddies. 
  • One the main manifestations of the supernatural force is a creepy nun. This reminded me of some Italian Horror from the late 70's, early 80's. It absolutely got me. Over and over again. while it initially seemed like a common modern Horror image it quickly evolved into something that almost resembled Mr. Barlow from Hooper Salem's Lot.. but in a habit.
  • Wilson goofs on Elvis as if he was Andy Kaufman. It is special and adds that comic relief that is a must in Horror while providing a heartwarming moment. There are quite a few tender moments. They all made me mooshy.
  • We had a good sized crowd for a 10 o'clock showing. Everyone jumped and laughed at themselves. No applause at the end. I kind of wanted applause. 

A friend mentioned that one criticism was that this movie is all jump scares and no substance. THIS needs to be addressed. There is nothing wrong with the use of a jump scare or multiple jump scares in a Horror movie. We all know what a jump scare is. It's the scare where something is suddenly on screen or moves in forward direction toward the audience often accompanied by a loud noise that causes the audience to jump. Horror is built on this. Not all Horror movies have these types of scares, but there's an effective way to use this tactic, and then there's the shitty use of it that involves the dreaded cat behind the curtain. If the jump scare is used properly it will come out of a plot contextualized moment using the villain to scare the audience providing the cardio stimulating POP. Using constant faux jump scares or the repeated use of cats or other non-plot/villain based jump scares is taxing and ruins movies. It's not wrong to have one or two fake moments of dread. These can allow the audience to be put off guard to allow them to be "had" at the appropriate moment. A movie that repeatedly uses scares that come from a scary villain or ghost is appropriate especially when the villain is hidden in plain view or when the lighting is low.

That being said, The Conjuring 2 has a healthy number of appropriate jump scares, but it also contains a general sense of dread and a well developed eerie mood that that perpetuates a feeling of unease and terror in the audience throughout the picture. The jump scares used in the movie are pure James Wan. He's shown us time and time again that he knows how to make an auditorium leave their seats and float, gasping and squealing like a tea kettle. He uses the same tactics he used in Insidious and the original Conjuring. He uses them in unique ways, and also a few new tricks up his sleeve. To say that this picture is all jump scares and no substance suggests the viewer didn't pay attention to the movie which is filled with some beautiful effects and claustrophobic moments, should remove their head from their cellphone to see what is actually on the screen or stop going to see James Wan movies because most likely, the viewer simply does not like Wan's brand of Horror. There's more here. Am I getting a little snooty? Yep. You don't have to like the movie. I really don't care if you do, but you can't accuse this movie of following a low budget porno format in which the movie shows some dialogue and then a jump scare, dialogue, jump scare... repeat (as bad porn might follow the dialogue/fuck fest/dialogue/fuck fest pattern). That is an inaccurate representation of what is on screen.

I can't wait for you to see this movie and enjoy it. It will do well at the box office, and I hope it outdoes the original Conjuring because a third movie in the cycle (as long as it involves Wan) will be a truly special story. The Warrens have got plenty mileage in them for a series of pictures; here's to a long line of Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson creating special Horror moments while showing us all how to love each other a bit more.

Support some excellent Horror, keep America strong, watch Horror movies especially this one this week and for the weekends to come. I think I'd like to watch this one a second time on the big screen, and I hope to podcast this one soon. When Jeff Konopka and I podcasted the original on Dead Air, we both had crazy shit happen that scared the piss out of us.

The Blu-ray release features nice featurettes on the making of the movie, the haunting on the actual set as well as a focus on the score and deleted scenes. The deleted scenes added very little value to the movie as a whole. Nothing lost here. It's a good modern Blu-ray with great blacks and beautiful picture. The audio has loud bursts that startle so be cautious with that expensive home entertainment system.

Order your copy now:
https://www.amazon.com/Conjuring-2-Blu-ray-Digital-HD/dp/B01H4FJOA0/ref=sr_1_sc_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1475551318&sr=8-2-spell&keywords=conjurin+2

From Warner:

The supernatural thriller brings to the screen another real case from the files of renowned demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren. Reprising their roles, Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson star as Lorraine and Ed Warren, who, in one of their most terrifying paranormal investigations, travel to north London to help a single mother raising four children alone in a house plagued by malicious spirits.

- The Enfield Poltergeist: Living The Horror
- The Conjuring 2: Hollywood#s Haunted Stage
- Crafting the Conjuring
- Creating Crooked
- Sounds of Scary
- Deleted Scenes
Includes UltraViolet so you can enjoy the film on many different compatible devices. MUST ENTER REDEMPTION CODE BY 2019-12-31 TO REDEEM ULTRAVIOLET OFFER. DOES NOT INCLUDE iTUNES FILE.
(Note: Some review notes used from previous Doc Terror review of The Conjuring 2).




FENDER BENDER 

When Scream Factory eluded that it was going to throw its hat into the ring by making a feature Horror film, I kind of expected a monster movie at first. That was me being hopeful. Instead we got a slasher. That's not necessarily a bad thing mind you, but slasher film has a history that would suggest that they are money grabs without novelty and recycle themselves to infinity. I like to think I can keep an open mind, and gradually, as we learned more about the release, I became intrigued. The story sound modern enough that it could not recycle the best of 1981 plot points. The look of the killer was strong. It sort of reminded me of the The Collector with an almost steampunk meets Torso mask.

I was ready to give it a shot, and it was good. Not my favorite slasher film, but it had a cohesive modern story that had a few scares and moment of tension. The kills were somewhat ordinary, but they were appropriate to the story and were not so over the top to render the movie unbelievable. Of course I typically like the kills in my slasher movies to be so gonzo that they really are exercises in special effects artistry, but I can forgive that when the movie actually has a story to tell. Aside from the modern style of story telling and unique story elements (involving cell phones and insurance), Fender Bender is a fairly unoriginal slasher tale. All performances were okay. Not great. Just okay. They were not laughably bad which is important in this genre. I can't say I care for our lead.

All of that probably sounds rather lackluster right? Like I'm not going to recommend the Blu-ray hard, right? Well I am. I am going to say that this is a must pick up disc. The reason is in the extra features. This Blu-ray includes a splatter reel of slasher films put out by Scream Factory. I recommend watching this before the movie. As a trailer reel junkie, I'm really glad they decided to include this on the disc. You watch that first. Then... you should watch the VHS edition rather than the full, pretty HD version. It looks like a taped off TV version f the movie that has a bumper and tape distortion and imperfections that make it feel perfectly 80's Fans of the "grindhouse experience" put out by other distro companies, this is the VHS junkie equivalent. I hope to see more of this on other Scream Factory releases especially any of their own movies. Guys, the bumper... is... perfect.

Scream Factory has a good first effort in terms of an original picture. Let's support this and get a few more out of them.

Order your copy now:
https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/film-horror/fender-bender

From Scream Factory:

THERE ARE NO ACCIDENTS.

He stalks the streets. Remorseless. Brutal. Bloodthirsty. When his prey is at its most vulnerable, he appears. And when night falls and all is quiet… he strikes. Prepare for the next driving force in horror… Fender Bender, "a scary, suspenseful slasher [that'll] keeps you on pins and needles throughout" (Bloodydisgusting.com)!

Seventeen-year-old Hilary has just received her driver's license… only to have her first accident shortly thereafter. Innocently exchanging her personal information with the remorseful stranger behind the wheel, Hilary returns home for a quiet evening with friends. But when the man she so readily handed all of her information to reveals himself to be something much darker and sinister than she could imagine, Hilary finds herself in a head-on collision with terror.

From writer/director Mark Pavia (Stephen King's The Night Flier), Fender Bender is an intense crash-and-slash thriller that brings you back to a time when the boxes on the shelf at your local video store beckoned you with masked, knife-wielding maniacs and a twisted sense of morals.

INCLUDES DIGITAL COPY REDEEMABLE FOR STREAMING OR DOWNLOAD
Digital Copy Expires October 4th, 2017.

Bonus Features

"Retro VHS" Version Of The Film In Which You Can Watch The Film In A Re-created Mode That Takes You Back To The 1980's And The Heyday Of VCRs
"Slashback" Trailer Reel – A Collection Of Vintage Scream Factory-branded Slasher Previews
Director's Commentary
Producer's Commentary
Behind-The-Scenes Featurette
Original Trailer And TV Spot



THE THING

I'd like for you to take a new look at The Thing as remade by John Carpenter. We've seen this movie so many times, enjoyed this movie so many times, been horrified and astonished by this movie so many times that it has simply become the house in which we live. We are too familiar with the movie. We take it for granted no matter how much we appreciate it, and even though our best intention is to always love it, too often The Thing is simply a vehicle for our love of Horror and not admired for its own presence. What I'm asking for you to do is to date The Thing again. To fall in love with The Thing again and make your romance fresh as if you were going to some hokey religious marriage counseling retreat. How do you do that with a movie? Well that best way to do that is to rewatch it, by yourself, trying to wipe all expectation from your mind, but unfortunately that's a bit difficult short of hypnosis or brain damage. I think I have a way to do it. It's actually quite simple, but it will also be time consuming.

I want you to buy the Scream Factory disc and then watch every extra. I want you to appreciate the old and new artwork.  Watch the trailer and the TV spots. Listen to the commentaries... all of them, but do so while NOT watching the movie. Basically take in every piece of this new edition without actually watching the movie. Absorb the history and the craft of the filmmaking. Fall in love with each piece of the movie individually, but ignore the story totale. You are going to save that for your "wedding night". Once you've allowed yourself to become familiar with ever piece of this beast of a set, go back and watch the movie knowing more than you did before. That's the dating and the courtship. Marry it. Consummate your marriage. Reconnect viscerally and with new presence of mind with a truly great Horror picture.

I am not going to address folks who have not seen The Thing. You know who you are. You know what you MUST do. This is a great remake. This is a great practical effected performance by driven artists who understood their craft and can truly be called nightmare makers. The Thing has a powerhouse cast of  A and B actors who are completely perfect for their roles. Horror fans to this day, no matter how many movies this fellas are in, identify the actors as the characters from The Thing, by the name of the character and not by their stage name. The score from Ennio with its history and rumors and its simple synth hit atmosphere is bigger than the sum of its meager few notes. it's all about those damn bass notes and a light melody made up of a few held treble keys.

The extra package is complete. It is full. It has it all. I have listed the Scream Factory posting of all included goodies. Beyond the commentaries and the trailers and the TV spots there is some real meat and potatoes here. A full length documentary. A visit with the men of Outpost 31 in a 51 minutes featurette that focuses on a well loved band of characters. There is a featurette on the sound design of The Thing and the the visual effects (which is not solely limited to time spent with Rob Bottin). You get the TV cut of the movie! That's the way I originally saw it, and though I am in love with the full version in all its glory, it's alternate versions that really bring something nostalgic and historic to the table.

Oh and about that transfer.. Dean Cundey supervised it. Nuff said. As an owner of a previous version of this movie, I can say safely that this one is superior to the previous region A release. Savor it.

Order your copy now:
https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/film-horror/the-thing-collector-s-edition

From Scream Factory:

Horror master John Carpenter (Halloween, Escape From New York) delivers "a masterful exercise in claustrophobic suspense… [with] elaborate special effects [that] set a high standard for films that followed" (TV Guide). Kurt Russell's iconic and tense performance drives this chilling version of the classic The Thing.

In the winter of 1982, a twelve-man research team at a remote Antarctic research station discovers an alien buried in the snow for over 100,000 years. Soon unfrozen, the form-changing alien wreaks havoc, creates terror… and becomes one of them.

Bonus Features

DISC ONE:

NEW 2K Scan Of The Interpositive Supervised And Approved By Director Of Photography Dean Cundey
NEW 4.1 Audio Mix Created From The Original 70MM Six Track Dolby Stereo Soundtrack (5.1 Audio Mix Also Included)
NEW Audio Commentary With Director Of Photography Dean Cundey
NEW Audio Commentary With Co-producer Stuart Cohen
Audio Commentary By Director John Carpenter And Actor Kurt Russell
Teaser Trailer (1 minute)
Theatrical Trailers (U.S. And German) (5 minutes)
TV Spots (1 minute)
Radio Spots (2 minutes)
Still Gallery (Behind-The-Scenes Photos, Posters And Lobby Cards) (15 minutes)

DISC TWO:

NEW Requiem For A Shape Shifter – An Interview With Director John Carpenter In Conversation With Filmmaker Mick Garris (28 minutes)
NEW The Men Of Outpost 31 – Interviews With Keith David, Wilford Brimley, David Clennon, Thomas Waites, Peter Maloney, Richard Masur And Joel Polis (51 minutes)
NEW Assembling And Assimilation – An Interview With Editor Todd Ramsay (11 minutes)
NEW Behind The Chameleon: The Sights Of THE THING – Interviews With Visual Effects Artists Peter Kuran And Susan Turner, Special Make-up Effects Artist Rob Burman, Brian Wade And Stop Motion Animators Randall William Cook And Jim Aupperle (25 minutes)
NEW Sounds From The Cold – Interviews With Supervising Sound Editor David Lewis Yewdall And Special Sound Effects Designer Alan Howarth (15 minutes)
NEW Between The Lines – An Interview With Novelization Author Alan Dean Foster (16 minutes)
NEW Back Into The Cold: A Return To The Shooting Locations Of THE THING – An Animated Photo Gallery Narrated By Todd Cameron Of Outpost31.com
NEW The Art Of Mike Ploog Gallery (12 minutes)
John Carpenter's The Thing: Terror Takes Shape – A Documentary On The Making Of THE THING Featuring Interviews With John Carpenter, Kurt Russell, Special Effects Make-up Designer Rob Bottin, Legendary Matte Artist Albert Whitlock Plus Members Of The Cast And Crew (80 minutes – SD)
Network TV Broadcast Version Of THE THING (92 minutes – SD)
Outtakes (5 minutes – SD)
Vintage Featurettes From The Electronic Press Kit Featuring Interviews With John Carpenter, Kurt Russell And Rob Bottin (13 minutes – SD)
Vintage Featurettes – The Making Of A Chilling Tale And The Making Of THE THING (14 minutes – SD)
Vintage Product Reel – Contains A Condensed Version Of The Film With Additional Footage Not In The Film (19 minutes – SD)
Vintage Behind-The-Scenes Footage (2 minutes – SD)
Annotated Production Archive – Production Art And Storyboards, Location Scouting, Special Make-up Effects, Post Production (54 minutes – SD)




CARRIE 

I love the new cover art for the Scream Factory release of Carrie on Blu-ray. It's one of my favorite scenes. The look is pure comic book. The color palette is simple but scary. Carrie White has eyes that jump off the cover, as a car barrels down toward her, the school on fire in the background, the blood almost protecting her. I appreciate the original poster and cover art, and you certainly have the option to display that as it is provided by Scream Factory on the reverse, but I don't think I'll be switching any time soon.

I saw Carrie taped off TV when I was a kid. I didn't fully understand the opening shower scene, but I knew that Sissy Spacek was a tremendous actress who could get me to cry for her. I could feel ultimate sympathy for her. I think I would take that feeling of isolation, loneliness and unchecked anger to heart in high school. I didn't have telekinetic powers, but I wanted them. Years after my first viewing I can recall spending the night at my grandmother's house. She let me watch the movie, uncut. She had no idea quite how ar the rabbit hole went, but I was given a modest education in adult feature films that day. The R rating showed it self easily. I knew that I would always want to see more, the R Rating meant you got the WHOLE story.

No commentary tracks for Carrie? I found that somewhat odd, but I also prefer interviews to commentary tracks, and this disc has a well constructed web of interviews with nearly everyone involved. Actors, editor, DOP, casting director, director... It's an impressive list of folks who took the time out to be a part of this release with quite a few of the interviews being newly conducted. Of course my beloved Pino Donaggio does a new interview for the release. There's even a look at the musical adaptation of Carrie. I missed the local performance at the college around the corner from my house when they put it on, but it was nice to see what it was all about.  There's even a shooting location visit with Horror's Hallowed Grounds. You guys know what a big fan of that series I am.

The summation of many of the interviews from the performers is that Carrie was a labor of love by rookie actors who were cutting their teeth on a Horror movie (the way so many do) with an accomplished Director. I don't think the cast new that Stephen King would become the Master of Horror in the next decade. While the adaptation of Carrie may not necessarily be altogether faithful to the source material, the film that was created had its own life and breath. It menstruated for the first time in front of us all and learned the birds and the bees on the big screen. It plugged us up... with fear.

This is a new 4k scan of the original negative. It is transferred to impress. It conveys DePalma's vision in perfect detail. DePalma has been seeing the love from Criterion and Scream Factory with a couple different releases recently. Dressed to Kill was stunning and Raising Cain was given a powerful release, perhaps more powerful than it deserved. Phantom of the Paradise, delivered by Scream, is a personal favorite release of mine, but Carrie... Carrie has been given a treatment that rivals them all, even the Criterion Dressed to Kill (Criterion often seen as the gold standard of Blu-ray releases).

Wanna have some fun? Check out the Carrie franchise trailer reel. Remember that Scream Factory has been busy releasing the sequel and another adaptation done in the 2000's.

Order your copy now:
https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/film-horror/carrie-collector-s-edition

From Scream Factory:

Based on the best-selling Stephen King novel, this "absolutely spellbinding horror movie" (Roger Ebert) has become a pervasive, pop-culture touchstone for anyone who's ever wanted to get even. Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie deliver Oscar®-nominated* performances and John Travolta and Amy Irving are terrific in this ultimate revenge fantasy that has become one of the all-time great horror classics, and is now, finally, offered as a definitive, two-disc Collector's Edition Blu-ray!

At the center of the terror is Carrie (Spacek), a high school loner with no confidence, no friends... and no idea about the extent of her secret powers of telekinesis. But when her psychotic mother and sadistic classmates finally go too far, the once-shy teen becomes an unrestrained, vengeance-seeking powerhouse who, with the help of her "special gift," causes all hell to break loose in a famed cinematic frenzy of blood, fire and brimstone!

Bonus Features

DISC ONE:

NEW 4K Scan Of The Original Negative
Original Theatrical Trailer (HD)
Carrie Franchise Trailer Gallery
DISC TWO:

NEW More Acting Carrie – featuring interviews with Nancy Allen, Betty Buckley, William Katt, Piper Laurie, Edie McClurg and P.J. Soles (20 minutes)
NEW Writing Carrie – an interview with screenwriter Lawrence Cohen (29 minutes)
NEW Cutting Carrie – an interview with editor Paul Hirsch (25 minutes)
NEW Shooting Carrie – an interview with director of photography Mario Tosi (15 minutes)
NEW Casting Carrie –an interview with casting director Harriet B. Helberg (16 minutes)
NEW Bucket of Blood – a new interview with composer Pino Donaggio (24 minutes)
NEW Horror's Hallowed Grounds – Revisiting The Film's Original Locations (11 minutes)
Acting Carrie – Interviews With Actors Sissy Spacek, Amy Irving, Betty Buckley, Nancy Allen, William Katt, Piper Laurie, Priscilla Pointer and P.J. Soles And Art Director Jack Fisk And Director Brian De Palma (43 minutes)
Visualizing Carrie – Interviews With Brian De Palma, Jack Fisk, Lawrence D. Cohen, Paul Hirsch (41 minutes)
A Look At "Carrie: The Musical" (6 minutes)
TV Spots
Radio Spots
Still Gallery – Rare Behind-The-Scenes Photos, Posters And Lobby Cards
Stephen King And The Evolution Of Carrie Text Gallery




PSYCHO IV 

Psycho IV The Beginning serves a tremendous purpose. It is not one that the filmmakers could be aware of when it was originally created, but it offers something powerful now. It connects the dots quite well between the movies and the TV show, Bates Motel. Of course it was not intentional, and really I'm grasping at academic straws here, but there's something fun about imaging that the movies and the TV show tie ever so well with connective tissue in the final film installment in the original series as directed by Anthony Perkins. We have a handsome Blu-ray from Scream Factory that is sure to interest new fans of the story of the Bates family.

The first time I watched Psycho IV I laughed. It was on HBO and it had been released on a few years earlier. I was not taken with it, but my sisters both seemed interest in the psychological profile of Norman Bates. I think they love Olivia Hussey. I wouldn't fall her for her until watching the adaptation of Stephen King's It which started a love affair with her that would lead me to Black Christmas among other movies. I laughed off the fourth installment as a cheap attempt to cash in on the original. There was something about the radio broadcast vehicle for telling the story that didn't seem serious to me.

This time around, the first time I had given the film a chance since that viewing on HBO, was a much better experience. I still think there's a bit of cheese in the radio DJ format that allows us access to Norman Bates, but the flashback scenes detailing the evolution of Norman and the reveal of his troubled relationship with his mother is horrifying. All performances are solid but especially Henry Thomas' portrayal of young Norman Bates he gives Freddie Highmore a run for his money. Interesting enough I also didn't realize that Thomas played Elliot in E.T. Olivia Hussey does crazy as only crazy can. Her beauty has always stunned me but especially when balanced with true madness that is balanced with a mother's love that has hints of homicidal tendencies and incest on top.

The commentary track has Hussey, Thomas and Horror director extraordinaire Mick Garris and Garris also gives a behind the scenes interview. The disc isn't overly filled with extra content, but it has a few choice gems to provide back story and perspective on the release. It has a good looking transfer.

Order your copy now:
https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/film-horror/psycho-iv-the-beginning

From Scream Factory:

Before The Terror Can End, See How It All Began

Anthony Perkins, Henry Thomas and Olivia Hussey star in this chilling prequel to the classic Hitchcock thriller.

A seemingly rehabilitated Norman Bates (Perkins) is drawn to a late night radio show where the host (CCH Pounder, Tales From The Crypt Presents: Demon Knight) encourages him to share his views on the topic of matricide. Reliving his childhood, Norman recounts his trials of a young boy (Thomas, Ouija 2) living with his widowed schizophrenic mother (Hussey, the original Black Christmas). These haunting memories are more than just disturbing visions of the past; they threaten to rekindle his killing urge in this spine-tingling thriller directed by Mick Garris (The Stand, Masters of Horror).

Bonus Features

NEW Audio Commentary With Director Mick Garris, Actors Henry Thomas And Olivia Hussey
NEW The Making Of Mother – An Interview With Make-up Effects Artist Tony Gardner
Rare Behind-The-Scenes Footage From Director Mick Garris
Photo Gallery Of Rare Photos From Mick Garris




THE DEAD ROOM

The Dead Room is the latest collaboration between Scream Factory and IFC Midnight. IFC Midnight historically either puts out exceptionally strong, scary releases or finds really inaccessible titles that are definitely indie but may lack proper Horror sensibilities.

The Dead Room is more straight forward, less adventurous and certainly not as challenging as some of the previous releases by IFC Midnight. This works in its favor, providing easy to enjoy scares that follow a recycled story that works. It has a few strong scenes though nothing shocking. The effects are actually okay. Your dealing with a supernatural tale with demonic origins, ever the popular villain these days. What works about this one? No friggin possessed babies in this one! That thread is as used up as the zombie genre (only the genre zombie actually had original stories that comes out of the undead baddies searching for brains).

The Dead Room isn't my favorite of the IFC releases, but it's certainly watchable.

Order your copy now:
https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/film-horror/the-dead-room

From Scream Factory/IFC:

Step inside the Dead Room, where something sinister guards a home's horrifying secrets. Inspired by a 1970s urban legend, this atmospheric nerve-shredder follows two scientists (Jed Brophy and Jeffrey Thomas) and a young psychic (Laura Petersen) as they travel to the countryside to investigate mysterious occurrences at a remote farmhouse. Skepticism quickly turns to terror as the researchers' presence unsettles a seriously angry demonic presence possessing the home. Upping the white-knuckle suspense with visceral camerawork and unsettling sound design, The Dead Room creates a sense of palpable danger lurking in every corner and hallway.


TALES OF HALLOWEEN 

My first experience with Tales of Halloween left me feeling only partially satisfied. I ranked and rated each of the stories in the ten part anthology only to find that five of them were worth my time and only three of those were very strong Halloween Horror entries. The rest were flawed. Either too long or disjointed, some bad performances or shitty special effects. Some of the stories were just too damn artsy to work for holiday Horror. I can't tell if Tales of Halloween was overhyped for me or whether I simply had watched some really solid Halloween Horror directly before watching this one, but I was left feeling hollow. Even the wrap around story featuring a favorite actress of mine, Adrienne Barbeau didn't dial me up. Luckily for me I gave the whole shebang a second chance. I knew that there was more too it than I had originally gotten. The second time definitely left me feeling much better about the release. Epic has put out a truly special release of this new Halloween Horror anthology that has quickly become much beloved and accepted by hardened genre nuts and casual viewers alike. If you're a Blu-ray nut or a physical media aficionado, this is going to be a treat for you.

The latest viewing of the entire set including extras was much more positive. I would say I thoroughly enjoyed seven of the ten tales and only one of the remaining three left a bad taste in my mouth for being too long, too cerebral and all over the place. While the rest of the entries in the series felt concise and fun, the one bad apple was worth skipping (for a second time). That would be Ding Dong. It's a shame because I usually love Luck McKee's work. My favorite is still Neil Marshall's Bad Seed. This is perfect Halloween viewing and has consistently led me to believe that Marshall should handle the film adaptation of the "pumpkins come to life as monsters" comic book, Blood and Gourd.

There's something in Tales of Halloween for everyone. It works well within its limited budget as a whole and each story is well crafted to be part of a powerful anthology. I am still not in love with the wrap story, feeling that there could be a more character driven story to tie the whole thing together. Get Barbeau some screen time and really play on the DJ tale in much the same way as the wrap story in Dougherty's Trick R Treat had a cohesive thread running through all the entries. Mind you that's one director creating a tale of a town rather than multiple directors smashing their stories together separately, but that doesn't mean the movie couldn't have taken some notes.

This release of the movie has 4 whole discs AND trading cards! The packaging is handsome and feels very full in your hand. It's almost a book of a Blu-ray.  I love that you get a CD of the soundtrack and that we get a full disc of extra content including a pile of extra stories from the directors. Some are better than others, but it's like getting a sequel without the wrap story with a somewhat lower production value than the movie itself. You also get some individual features for stories in the main movie.

This one is in my top five of Blu-ray releases of the year. It's perfect for Halloween, collectible and embodies the best of Halloween Horror while showcasing some of the genres best independent filmmakers. Blood. Guts. Tricks. Treats. Some scares and plenty of fun!

Order your copy now in time for HALLOWEEN!
http://talesofhalloweenmovie.com/shop/product/details/4402/tales-of-halloween-brspecial-collectors-edition-bd-dvd-set?r=

From Epic:

4 DISC COLLECTOR'S EDITION
OVER 6 HOURS OF CHILLS AND THRILLS
Includes exclusive starter set of trading cards!

Contents:
- Blu-Ray of the Feature (Region Free)
- DVD of the Feature (Region Free)
- CD of the Soundtrack
- DVD of Bonus Features (Region Free)
Exclusive Shorts:
Brain Death (21 minutes) - directed by Neil Marshall
The Halloween Kid (7 minutes) - directed by Axelle Carolyn
Boilly (:30 seconds) - directed by Lucky Mckee
Thirsty (14 minutes) - directed by Andrew Kasch
Hot Rod Worm (4 minutes) - directed by Andrew Kasch and John Skipp
No Rest for the Wicked (15 minutes) - directed by Ryan Schifrin
The Evil (5 minutes) – directed by Mike Mendez
Video Diaries:
2-3 Video Diaries for each segment of the anthology, featuring interviews with the directors, cast, and crew, and sneak peeks behind-the-scenes on set.
Total Run Time: Approximately 60 minutes, Stereo/Mono Audio
Additional Bonus Materials:
Deleted Scene / Grim Grinning Ghost - directed by Axelle Carolyn
Anatomy of a Scene / Friday the 31st - directed by Mike Mendez
Fun Facts / pop-on video commentary for selected segments
Photo Gallery / Behind-The-Scenes of Bad Seed
Storyboards / Ding Dong
Three Audio Tracks: 5.1, 2.0, Commentary
Three Subtitle Tracks: French, Spanish, English
Soundtrack Listing:
Tales of Halloween Main Title - Lalo Schifrin
Sweet Tooth - Christopher Drake
The Night Billy Raised Hell - Bobby Johnston
Trick - Joseph Bishara
The Weak and the Wicked - Austin Wintory
Grim Grinning Ghost - Christian Henson
Ding Dong - Sean Spillane
This Means War - Michael Sean Colin
Friday the 31st - Joseph Bishara
Limbchoppalooza! - Edwin Wendler
The Ransom of Rusty Rex - Christopher Drake
It’s Not a F*****g Kid! - Christopher Drake
He Will Never Leave You - Christopher Drake
Bad Seed - Christian Henson
Tales of Halloween - Jimmy Pyscho




NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEB 

Night of the Living Deb is a Horror Comedy that focuses on zombies and romance. ... Did that sound at all familiar to you? Yes, we are talking about the same story elements that made Shaun of the Dead successful, and I think it's safe to say that you can draw any number of parallels between NOTLB and SOTD. Shaun is definitely the better movie, funnier and captures the best of the zed makeup and kills. On the other hand, Night of the Living Deb is actually pretty good. It's got moments of humor that really work, performances that are solid and it actually has enough Horror elements to prevent it from being an outright parody of the zombie genre.

The Zom Rom Com (Zombie Romantic Comedy for you squares) has been attempted ever seen the success of Edgar Wright's wildly successful cult phenomenon. Most feel forced, way too lighthearted or rely on shitty computer generated effects leaving the zombie film lovers feeling cheated. Zombie fans love George Romero and all his practically effected satire. The interaction between our two leads, the romance, really works which is how Deb becomes a more solid entry in the genre. That doesn't mean that our lead, Deb, doens't have her issues. She borders on annoying with her brand of humor. She saves the performance from going full Fran Drescher by pulling back. She doesn't quite go over the top.

Order your copy now:
https://www.amazon.com/Night-Living-Blu-ray-Maria-Thayer/dp/B01HE7QI16/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1475549743&sr=8-2&keywords=NIGHT+OF+THE+LIVING+DEB

From MPI

After a girls' night out, endearingly awkward Deb wakes up in the apartment of the most attractive guy in Portland, Maine. She's thrilled, but can't remember much of what got her there. Pretty boy Ryan only knows it was a mistake and ushers her out the door...into a full-scale zombie apocalypse. Now, a walk of shame becomes a fight for survival as the mismatched pair discovers that the only thing scarier than trusting someone with your life is trusting them with your heart.





THE PERFECT HUSBAND 

The Perfect Husband is a fairly straight forward tale of a husband going out of his mind. It's actually quite normal for Artsploitation who is my go-to label when I want to have my mind fucked with. This isn't as over the top as I'm used to seeing from them which isn't exactly what I wanted to see from this label. When I sit down to watch Artsploitation movies, I want my brain to hurt a little afterward. I want to be disgusted by the makeup or feel like I need to wash my brain out.

The Perfect Husband involves a long lead up to madness that eventually climaxes in a strong, homicidal rage by the titular husband. When he goes nuts, he's pretty damn good. It just takes you awhile to get there. The story is somewhat ordinary; we've seen this before and that means that there's very little to stand out. There's a distinct absence of gore and the movie is even light on the blood. There's nothing shocking. The ending does redeem a somewhat ordinary film with the husband's better half getting a wee bit icky (without giving too much away).

This release feels like an American movie and much less an independent, modern Italian Horror picture. Lucas Pavetto has been creating dark fantasy pictures for about ten years though none that I've had the chance to enjoy just yet. Perhaps this offering from Artsploitatoin will open up a new audience for him. The movie is shot quite well, and Pavetto definitely knows how to get a strong performance out of his actors.

Order your copy now:
http://www.artsploitationfilms.com/film/the-perfect-husband/

From Artsploitation:

Viola (Gabriella Wright) and Nicola (Bret Roberts) are going through a difficult period. The couple and their marriage are strained by a termination of pregnancy that has overwhelmed them unexpectedly. To overcome this crisis, they decide to spend a weekend in an old cottage in the woods,. But what was supposed to be a romantic weekend suddenly turns into a deadly nightmare as seething suspicion, maddening paranoia and blind rage explodes around them.



THEATRE OF BLOOD

When I was in eighth grade I made my confirmation at church. That seems to be a strange way to start out a review of Theatre of Blood, but I assure you there is a connection. My adult confirmation partner was a family friend who truly was an amazing person. She got me, and she was quick to reinforce my interests in Horror or music. She suggested on more than one occasion that I would like this quirky little Vincent Price movie called Theatre of Blood. She knew just how much I love the Abominable Dr. Phibes as well as other Price films.

When I finally made my confirmation we threw a little party, and I received a very special gift from my partner. Usually you'd get a cross or a bible, something religious as a gift. She got me Theatre of Blood on VHS. I watched it, and sure enough became a life long fan of the movie. It was and still is a disgusting, cerebral Horror picture with plenty of novel  kills and a thrilling multi-faceted performance by Price. I watched it quite often especially enjoying Price all dolled up as a groovy hairdresser complete with perm.

Twilight Time has released Theatre of Blood on Blu-ray, limited to 3000 and given a rather handsome package. The transfer is clearly better than the VHS release I received some years ago. I always enjoy Twilight Time's restoration and transfer. They find good copies of the film. This release is clean, unscratched and has good black levels. I didn't have any issues with the release as a casual Blu-ray collector who specializes in Horror releases.

I made sure to check out the commentary track by Nick Redman and David Del Valle. I first became familiar with Del Valle's commentaries on other classic 60's Horror releases especially his work on other Vincent Price work including The Fly. Del Valle and Redman share stories about the release and also provide some historical context for the movie itself. One of my favorite trends in Horror Blu-ray releases involves the inclusion of the isolated movie score track as an audio option. Theatre of Blood's audio track balances between frightening, standard Horror and super swinging groovy post-60's hipster bop music. Definitely eclectic.

Make sure to pick up Theatre of Blood before it sells out.

Order your copy from Screen Archives now:
http://www4.screenarchives.com/title_detail.cfm/ID/31957/THEATRE-OF-BLOOD-1973/

Theatre of Blood (1973), directed by Douglas Hickox, offers the one and only Vincent Price in a role both madcap and touching. He plays a Shakespearean actor determined to wreak vengeance on the critics who fail to appreciate his genius, killing them in a series of set-piece murders based on scenes from Shakespeare. Diana Rigg plays Price’s Cordelia-like daughter, and a lineup of British thespian legends incarnate the critics, including Robert Morley, Jack Hawkins, Harry Andrews, Arthur Lowe, Robert Coote, Michael Hordern, Dennis Price, Ian Hendry, and Coral Browne.

LANGUAGE: English
VIDEO: 1080p High Definition / 1.66:1
AUDIO: English 1.0 DTS-HD MA
SUBTITLES: English SDH
1973 / Color
104 MINUTES
RATED

Special Features: Isolated Score Track / Audio Commentary with Film Historians David Del Valle and Nick Redman / Original Theatrical Trailer

Limited Edition of 3,000 Units


HARDCORE

Knowing nothing about Hardcore, a movie directed by Paul Schrader starring George C. Scott, I didn't quite know what I would be getting myself into. Something about the synopsis sound perfectly appealing. Gritty. It had all the makings of a movie about the grindhouse cinema and 42nd Street mystique of the 70's. It's no secret that I regularly review adult features on DOCTERROR.COM , but I also like to delve into movies that provide a time capsule to the 70's. In this case a movie that takes place during the 70's and also casts a spotlight on the darker side of the porn industry during that period. I'd almost draw parallels between 8mm.

Twilight Time brings Hardcore to Blu-ray, limited to 3000 copies, and offers the viewer a powerful emotional experience that allows the viewer to be completely immersed in the world of porn during the 70's. George C. Scott's performance is heartbreaking. He is aggressive and sad, he is a nervous wreck and a force to be reckoned with. A man hunts his daughter down, hopeless but determined. Along the way you get to see his reaction to adult cinema and the seedy underbelly that is attracted to the movie houses of the period. Hardcore isn't a dirty movie mind you. It actually goes out of its way to only convey the tragic hunt and brief look at what may or may not be an industry that was underregulated and corrupt. Do not expect the People vs. Larry Flynt in terms of naughty bits on screen.

The release has two separate audio commentaries, an isolated score track (again, one of my favorite trends in Blu-ray extras). The transfer is solid and while I had not had the chance to previously enjoy the film on another format, I can safely say that this movie looks damn good. I think fans of the picture will find this a respectful release.

Don't go into Hardcore thinking it's a lighthearted romp into the sex industry. It's difficult to watch at times and a movie that requires emotional investment. Well done, Twilight Time.

Order your copy now from Screen Archives:
https://www.screenarchives.com/title_detail.cfm/ID/31954/HARDCORE-1979/

From Twilight Time:

Writer-director Paul Schrader’s brilliant, horrifying Hardcore (1979) follows the grim pilgrimage of a Calvinist Midwestern businessman (the great George C. Scott) searching for his vanished daughter in the scuzzy subculture of the West Coast porn industry. In his effort to trace the girl, he joins forces with a young hooker (Season Hubley) he hopes will help; their growing emotional relationship is the beating heart of this harrowing film. Shot by Michael Chapman, and with a score by Jack Nitzsche.

LANGUAGE: English
VIDEO: 1080p High Definition / 1.85:1
AUDIO: English 1.0 DTS-HD MA
SUBTITLES: English SDH
1979 / Color
108 MINUTES
RATED R

Special Features: Isolated Score Track / Audio Commentary with Writer-Director Paul Schrader / Audio Commentary with Film Historians Eddy Friedfeld, Lee Pfeiffer, and Paul Scrabo / Original Theatrical Trailer

Limited Edition of 3,000 Units





ONES BELOW 

Magnet really does know how to find strong movies to distribute. Even when a picture doesn't quite do it for me, I know that I'll be able to find an audience for one of their releases. In this instance we are here to talk about The Ones Below. This is a psychological thriller that embodies some Horror elements and using baby Horror as a jumping off point for a tale that may hit close to him for many viewers.

What I appreciate about this particular movie is that it isn't initially apparent how it will address the baby in the story. Too often we see babies possessed or stories involving ghosts, but in this instance, we have a whole new baddie. Normal people. In part we watch a mother breakdown, losing her mind as she becomes ever paranoid thinking that a young couple is out to get her child. On the other, we are given clues that would suggest that either she isn't crazy at all or that some other supernatural tales is about to unfold. It makes for a nice mystery leading up to a reveal that I found moderately disturbing even in its lack of gratuity.

The cast is strong and the tension is very real though the movie is slow through the middle. The pacing kills some of the energy that may have otherwise given the audience a high intensity jolt rather than a slow ride to uncomfortable panic.

Parents and parents-to-be, this one can be hard to watch. It'll get to you if you keep an open mind and allow yourself to identify with the protagonists.

From Magnolia:

A young affluent couple expecting their first child hits it off with the new couple that moves in downstairs, until a dinner party between them ends in a shocking accident. The new friends suddenly find themselves at odds and a reign of psychological terror begins. Starring Clémence Poésy (Harry Potter series) and David Morrissey ("The Walking Dead").

Order your copy now:
https://www.amazon.com/Ones-Below-Cl%C3%A9mence-Po%C3%A9sy/dp/B01H8T8ZUC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1475549253&sr=8-2&keywords=ones+below





BLOODSTAINED BUTTERFLY 

The Bloodstained Butterfly from Duccio Tessari sure is a slow burner. It more than qualifies as a giallo, and as reputation for having a strong score and good performances as well as being simply beautiful. It just isn't an exciting movie. It has all the typical elements that make up a strong piece of an Italian Thriller, but to call it Horror, even though it clearly is a giallo, would not quite be accurate. It's really giallo-lite.  I only say this to you because I want to set the appropriate expectation. Quite often movies of this type are filled to the brim with creative, bloody kills and boundless naked bodies cover the lens with their dirty pillows. Instead we almost end up with a courtroom procedural film. The performances may be good, but they aren't powerhouse enough to keep my eyes full open. To put it bluntly and not to be mean, The Bloodstained Butterfly was a bit dull.

That being said and all the negativity aside, this is a great release for fans of the movie and for those of you who would like to enrich and expand your minds. Arrow did a great job with the release.The disc features both traditional and newly commissioned artwork as well as a booklet with over 30 pages of content. Exciting for me personally is a visual essay by Troy Howarth, a great guy and a strong writer. I own several of Howarth's books; he specializes in giallo having written a series on the subject that is a must read for fans of Italian Horror.

If you're new to giallo, don't start with this one. It doesn't pack the punch of the some of the more popular releases and will not give an accurate representation of the genre even if the women are gorgeous and the score is unforgettable.  Fans of the genre who are looking for something to further their knowledge, this might be a great way to jump into some of the more subdued pieces.

Order now from DiabolikDVD:
http://www.diabolikdvd.com/category/Horror-[sl]-Thriller/Bloodstained-Butterfly-(Arrow-US)-(DVD-[sl]-Blu~Ray-Combo).html

From Arrow:

Directed by Duccio Tessari (Death Occurred Last Night, A Pistol for Ringo), The Bloodstained Butterfly melds the lurid giallo traditions popularised by Dario Argento and Mario Bava with courtroom drama, resulting in a film that is as concerned with forensic detail and legal process as it is with grisly murders and audacious set-pieces.

When a young female student is savagely killed in a park during a thunderstorm, the culprit seems obvious: her lover, TV sports personality Alessandro Marchi (Giancarlo Sbragia, Death Rage), seen fleeing the scene of the crime by numerous eyewitnesses. The evidence against him is damning… but is it all too convenient? And when the killer strikes again while Marchi is in custody, it quickly becomes apparent that there’s more to the case than meets the eye…

Starring 70s heartthrob Helmut Berger (Dorian Gray, The Godfather: Part III) alongside genre mainstays Evelyn Stewart (The Psychic, The Case of the Scorpion’s Tail) and Carole André (Colt 38 Special Squad), and featuring a score by Gianni Ferrio (Death Walks at Midnight), The Bloodstained Butterfly is presented uncut and in a sumptuous new 4K restoration that allows this unique and haunting thriller to shine like never before!

SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS

Brand new 4K restoration of the film from the original camera negative
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
Original Italian and English soundtracks in DTS-HD MA mono 1.0
Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
New audio commentary with critics Alan Jones and Kim Newman
Murder in B-Flat Minor, a new visual essay on the film, its cast and crew by author Troy Howarth
New career retrospective on director Duccio Tessari
Original Italian and English theatrical trailers
Gallery of original promotional images
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin
Limited edition 36-page booklet illustrated by Tonci Zonjic, containing writing by James Blackford, Howard Hughes and Leonard Jacobs

Duration: 99 minutes

Language: Italian / English

Subtitles: English / English SDH

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1





VIOLENT SHIT 

I am really very impressed by the Reel Gore release of the remake of Violent Shit. There are a ton of interviews with various folks who were either on screen, behind the scenes or who can provide historical context for the remake including a history of the Violent Shit series. It also comes with a making of featurette. The limited edition release has a soundtrack CD that includes some recycled Simonetti as well as a DVD and Blu-ray. This beats the trend of including an isolated soundtrack track, making this soundtrack junkie very happy. The actual physical copy is most impressive with a booklet (not a media book) release that features plenty of stills and artwork.

Now as a movie, I must admit to being underwhelmed. Violent Shit has been reborn as a giallo. It's not nearly as violent as the original series and not nearly as gory. It's beyond heavy on the dialogue. While the ending lays on the gratuity thick, it doesn't make up for the rest of the movie being one reat big talk box. There's simply too much down time with long scenes of conversation that truly do not take the film in any meaningful direction.

The original is still king, but I will say that I enjoyed the look of the killer in the remake. I'm glad they took a slightly different approach with the whole movie to differentiate from the original series, but it should have tried to exemplify the title as the original series certainly did. There's no challenge in the movie. Nothing nearly as shocking as the scenes of extreme violence in the original. It doesn't even compare to many modern indie, ultra realistic splatter films that focus all too much on realism over good clean gore fun.

Fans of the original, I think you'll be disappointed if you expect that same level of intensity. Fans of giallo, this is a nice modern take on the genre though it doesn't quite compare to movies like Amer and Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears. If you simply come to this movie as a Horror fan or as a fan of Italian Horror in general, you may be able to look past its heavy handed use of shots of conversation to enjoy some of the climax. One thing is for certain, Reel Gore Releasing knows how to put out a Blu-ray! What a package!

Order now from DiabolikDVD:
http://www.diabolikdvd.com/category/Horror-[sl]-Thriller/Violent-Shit-The-Movie-(ReelGore-US-Release)-(CD-[sl]-DVD-[sl]-Blu~Ray-All-Region).html

From ReelGore:

Rome is shattered by a series of gruesome murders that paint the Eternal City deep red. The suspicion grows that these atrocious crimes are connected with the return of one of the most heinous serial killers of our time - Karl the Butcher.

“The relentless Karl the Butcher, beloved and best known to gorehounds and German Underground aficionados has been revamped and re-envisioned; his trademark brutality in the likes of the distinctly German independent VIOLENT SHIT now remade into an equally ghastly giallo featuring a Claudio Simonetti soundtrack. VIOLENT SHIT — THE MOVIE is an homage to both the original’s 25th anniversary and the producer’s love of Italian horror and blends German gore movies with the ”mastery of Italian horror.” The film stars Italian genre mainstay Giovanni Lombardo Radice as “the devil incarnate, who masterminds Karl the Butcher’s evil murder spree.” Italian directors Enzo G. Castellari (INGLORIOUS BASTARDS) and Luigi Cozzi (CONTAMINATION) have cameos in the movie, as well as Lucio Fulci’s screenwriter Antonio Tentori and SUSPIRIA’s Barbara Magnolfi.” -Fangoria

DVD NTSC  All Region
Blu-Ray All Region
CD plays music

Video: 1,78:1 (16:9) Full HD 1080p

Audio: German, English,

Subtitles:  English,French, Spanish subtitles

Duration: 82 min. - Uncut Version


BONUS FEATURES:

MAKING OF THE MOVIE by Director LUIGI PASTORE

THE HISTORY OF VIOLENT SHIT – Interview with Producer STEVE AQUILINA

TRIBUTE TO LILLI CARATI – The Last Interview                      

INTERVIEWS with members of the cast – VINCENZO PEZZOPANE, MICHELA FORESTA, DANIELA CICCONE, ERIKA KAMESE

WORLD OF STARS - INTERVIEWS with members of the cast – GIOVANNI LOMBARDO RADICE, ANTONIO ZEQUILA - & Producer STEVE AQUILINA and Director LUIGI PASTORE

TRAILERS and SLIDESHOW



OBSERVANCE 

Observance is definitely an Artsploitation film, coming from outside the United States and offering a unique perspective on the struggle of a man losing his mind. This release comes to us from Australia and focuses on the elements that made Polanski's The Tenant so successful, a feeling slow descent into madness with claustrophobic chaser. There are plenty of gruesome effects and moments of perfect tension.

Joseph Sims-Dennett has directed two other movies and all seem to have a dark fantasy focus. This is a very complete tale of psychological Horror that focuses on a man at his lowest point trying to adapt and reconcile his inner struggle by continuing his day to day life as a P.I. As with many Artsploitation films, Observance is challenging to the audience, in this instance providing a vehicle for the viewer to lose his ever loving mind.

While this release is powerful, it may be inaccessible for some folks who are lookin for a more straight forward Horror film. As with most psychological Horror movies, you aren't often left feeling great when the whole thing slams to a finish. Be prepared not to feel top notch when Observance comes to a close.

It's a very nice look modern HD feature on Blu-ray.

Order your copy now:
http://www.artsploitationfilms.com/film/observance/

From Artsploitation:

Atmospherically creepy and visually unnerving, Australia’s Joseph Sims-Dennett’s startling feature film debut follows Parker, a young man in the grip of grief following the death of his young son, his marriage on the rocks and nearing bankruptcy, but who reluctantly returns to work as a private investigator. His assignment it to observe a woman from an abandoned apartment, and as her watches bizarre happenings surrounding her, he slowly becomes aware that the derelict building he is in has a dark presence which slowly threatens to consume him. A frightening horror tale of a man spiraling into madness and reminiscent of Roman Polanski’s THE TENANT, Hitchcock’s REAR WINDOW, and the works of David Cronenberg and David Lynch.



ATROZ

Atroz was not my necessarily my cup of tea. It conveys its story through a series of video tapes found by police in Mexico that display graphic acts of torture and violence. It's not torture porn. It's a series of violent acts offered in a found footage way that has minimal story line and maximum carnage. When watching these movies whether it's an August Underground flick or a Guinea Pig picture, I find them difficult to get through. I appreciate them. I praise them for their special effects and makeup prowess, but ultimately I can't say that I would rewatch them and would recommend them to a limited audience. Atroz is one of those movies. It's in great company and a rather popular genre as of late.

I'm going to recommend Atroz to supreme gore fiends that love to admire hardcore, brutal gore. If you need plot in your movie, this is NOT your movie, but I also do not mean any disrespect to the filmmakers here. You have created a beautiful violent movie. You're effects guys have done a great job, and really capture the essence of realistic over the top violence. I'm impressed. I'm shocked. I'm happy. You guys are up there with one of the masters, Fred Vogel, in terms of your powerhouse effort.

Unearthed releases independent movies with extreme violence as the trademark of the label. I love what they're doing and want you to support them especially if this is your thing, but there's another great reason to pick up Atroz and movies like it from Unearthed. The packaging on these releases is off the hook. This set includes 3 discs: a DVD, Blu-ray and the CD soundtrack. The booklet style set up of the release is quickly catching on and offers a release that feel substantial. You can tell Unearthed cares about their product and isn't just throwing out Blu-rays in plastic cases with minimal artwork. These cases are works of art that hold works of violent as fuck works of beautifully violent art. Your dollar is well spent.

Order from DiabolikDVD now:

From Unearthed:

The most graphic and goriest film, ever made in Mexico!

Atroz/Atrocious is a film that portrays the story of two serial killers. After the pair are arrested for causing a traffic accident, the police confiscate some videotapes. These tapes contain brutal murders and tortures that show human wickedness, their background, paraphilia, and the psyche of these murderers. Juarez, tracks down the tapes, one by one to piece together the horrific crimes of the two killers, only to show them, they are in a deeper pool then they believed to be

CD Soundtrack
DVD NTSC
Blu-Ray


DER BUNKER

Der Bunker may be the strongest release to come out of Artsploitation this year. Here we have a movie that isn't Horror, but has unusual elements that make this future cult classic. It's challenging, taking aim at the family environment and a rather peculiar one at that. It's bold. It's pure and perfect Artsploitation material and embodies the labels title quite well.

My first instinct was to peg this as an homage to a John Waters movie albeit from Germany. The German aspects made distinguish what might be consider normal slightly difficult given a unique set of cultural mores an taboos to decipher. It turns out that people are alike all over and that I quickly grasped the subtle differences in our family culture. That lasted just long enough to allow the subdued insanity to settle in. What family raises a child to be president of the United States? I mean sure it's a noble goal, one that probably is attempted by blue bloods and folks with bank roll bigger than whole inner city project buildings. Of course I should add the caveat that would surely make this more than just a little eccentric a dream... the son is German. It's this kind of oddity that makes Der Bunker fun; it's a true oddball of a release that plays at humor and has moments that inspire discomfort.

This isn't a Horror picture, so go in with that in mind. While Artsploitation does Horror well and more than a few folks who discover them leave their website with full wallets, but they also find movies that are challenge viewers in other ways and with other genres. Der Bunker is madness with a shocking ending. It also has somewhat enjoyable characters with unique flaws that will allow you to empathize with them as your uttering the question, "what the fuck am I watching?"

Like John Waters and David Lynch flicks? Go for it! I'd also say if you enjoyed Amelie or Delicatessen this one is right for you as well.

Order your copy now:
http://www.artsploitationfilms.com/film/der-bunker/

From Artsploitation:

With his surrealistic and dark, yet strangely heart-warming approach towards an unusual family’s world, DER BUNKER’s director Nikias Chryssos may well be the nephew of John Waters and the illegitimate son of David Lynch and Luis Buñuel. A student rents a windowless room in a bunker home nestled deep within a forest. Here, instead of finding tranquility for his studies, the young man becomes increasingly involved in the dramas of his landlord’s family. They include the stern father, his wife (whose swollen leg almost takes a life of its own) and their precocious 8-year-old son Klaus who, despite being German and "learning-challenged," is being home groomed to become the President of the United States. Initially friendly and welcoming, the situation becomes increasingly bizarre. A funny, visually arresting and a bit unsettling modern fairy tale.




THE NEON DEAD 

Oh how excited I am for you to watch The Neon Dead. This release from Wild Eye Releasing isn't for everyone mind you. It's an indie Horror flick that has baddies that have a zombie feel (though they are NOT zombies). The effects are gonzo, over the top and unrealistic. I mean that in the best way possible because they surely are a strength. I do not always love the movie that Wild Eye chooses to distribute, but they are always trying to find an audience for an eclectic assortment of Horror. That's admirable, and this movie fits right in my box.

What's to love? These evil creatures that come to attack an unsuspecting protagonist are some kind of supernatural entity, like a demon with glowing eyes and the appearance of a modern Tombs of the Blind Dead Knight. The overacting is humorous and offers plenty of tongue in cheek moments to keep you laughing while you're waiting for the next kill. There's a little Ghostbusters in the movie, but not nearly as much as is advertised. Hell, The Neon Dead even includes a solid flashback, back story giving the whole tale some depth. I was particularly fond of the music used in the movie which is an homage to video game of the 80's (and those faux video games may even make a cameo).

The Neon Dead is one of my favorite low budget flicks of the year, but for many Horror fans it may take some effort to actually get around the budget to enjoy it. If you like your Horror pretty with shimmer and Hollywood flare you may not dig this one.  For those of you who choose not to take your Horror movies too seriously, love over the top effects and enjoy strange demonic, zombie hybrid creatures, you have a winner here.

Do not confuse this with Neon Demon. Please don't do that. I can't imagine there's great crossover potential between the two movies.

Order your copy now:
https://www.amazon.com/Neon-Dead-Various/dp/B01G24WLEA/

From Wild Eye:

An unemployed college graduate hires two paranormal exterminators to combat a monster infestation in her new home. But their prodding into an evil out of their depth unleashes an ancient demon.  He and his army of monsters quickly overrun the home, intent on possessing every human they make contact with.





THE DEVILS FOREST

I am not going to tell you that I hate found footage movies. I do not. I do not like The Devil's Forest; of that I am certain. It isn't the shaky cam or lack of production value or that I even believe that it's a cash grab (many of these found footage flicks feel like they are just that). Simply put... NOTHING FUCKING HAPPENS. The entire movie is one long journey into the woods with random night scenes thrown in to try and find something scary for the audience. You won't like the characters enough to want them to escape the titular forest.

There are a few shitty scenes involving some fake blood that I could have put together at Party City. The ending goes full Blair Witch (the original). The opening even conveyed an initial reason to go into the woods that didn't sound terrible. So some folks got lost in the woods, and I got lost watching the movie. Over an hour of my life wasted. Please do not make the mistake I did by attempting to sit through the whole movie waiting for something redeeming. I truly hate writing reviews like this, but since I watched it, and I was sent it to review, I felt like I should warn you.

You can order your copy now:
https://www.amazon.com/Devils-Forest-Maria-Simona-Arsu/dp/B01HDHAA5M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1475547916&sr=8-1&keywords=THE+DEVILS+FOREST

From ITN:

Based on true events. Rachel Kusza and her team of filmmakers travel to Transylvania to document the Hoia Baciu forest. A forest with a dark history of strange occurrences, ghost sightings and countless cases of missing people. After entering the forest, the film crew were never heard from again. After searching for the film crew for two years, Howard Redman (Rachel's teacher) found the crews camera buried in the snow. Before taking his own life, Redman uploaded the footage to the internet. It shows the crews dark and horrific journey into the woods; it shows why locals refuse to enter and it shows that you can never escape your past. This video is widely referred to as The Devil's Forest. Bonus features include: Trailer.




THE INVOKING 3 - POLTERGEIST DIMENSION

I know what you're thinking. The Invoking 3... how the fuck did we get to a part 3? I'll tell you that I watched at least the second one and was not all that taken with it. I bet you think I'm going to shit all over this one, right? The cover alone would suggest that I'm going to strongly dislike it with hair-in-the-face ghost number 32 on the cover. That subtitle, Poltergeist Dimensions, is a mashup of a Paranormal Activity title and a The Conjuring 2. In fact that alone made me believe that I somehow I was going to be watching a parody movie; some kind of shitty Horror comedy. And that simply isn't the case. Truth is I enjoyed The Invoking 3 much more than I though I could.

It's an anthology story with a pile of shorts thrust together with no real wrap story. I enjoyed each of the stories though none of them were truly perfect including some element of modern Horror filmmaking or storytelling of which I was not a fan. Whether it was bad CG or super loud screaming or the strange ghostly appearances in mirrors that are the modern day equivalent of a black cat jumping out, I was somehow able to enjoy each tale in spite of those flaws that prove to be minor inconveniences. Each story was shot well, solid and worked well within its budget.

I'm curious to hear what ya'll think about this one. Warning: some stories have subtitles.

Order a copy now of this surprisingly good October viewing:
https://www.amazon.com/Invoking-Paranormal-Dimensions-Alice-Kremelberg/dp/B01HDHA9JO/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1475550927&sr=8-7&keywords=invoking

From Ruthless:

Synopsis:

Hundreds of disturbing paranormal events occur every year. Most of these terrifying encounters go unreported - until now. Enter the disturbing world of Invoking 3: Paranormal Dimensions where the undead come to wreak havoc upon the living. Grim Reapers, evil poltergeists, satanic forces and conjured spirits will feed off your fear and drag you into the abyss of waking nightmares.

Note from the Doc: WHAT? No trailer? Guys, try to sell this anthology. I really dug it. The first two movies in the series got trailers. C'mon!

THE WAILING 

I truly enjoyed The Wailing. It's a Korean Horror movie set in modern times that focuses on the possession of a child and her family's attempt to save her. Sounds like an all too familiar story doesn't it? If this movie had been shot in the United States I'd say yes, but this Asian Horror movie. It doesn't have the same set of stereotypes, shooting flaws and lack of originality that we've been forced to deal with as major release, Hollywood Horror tries to grab the cash with both hands on demonic possession flicks involving children for years. Instead a strong cast backs up a novel twist on the possession tale involving various attempts to free the child  using spiritual ritual that resembles an exorcism rite of a fanatical, fringe belief system.

The Wailing has violent moments that are strong but does not rely on vomit and gratuity to sell the evil on screen. The family we follow who is forced to deal with the possession of their child feels very real. They are flawed. They are believable especially the father who is beside himself and yet on a mission to make things right. The aggressive performance by his daughter in the film is far from comical and will leave you feeling just as hopeless as the characters on screen. Both the individual at the root cause of the possession and the Shaman who tries to save the little girl offer strong performances that are unique characters, the likes of which I really haven't seen before on screen.

You'll think you know how The Wailing is going to end, but I'm fairly certain you'll be wrong. The whole movie can be difficult to watch at times, but that's truly part of its strength. It's a long movie, but it never feels it.

Available at DiabolikDVD:
http://www.diabolikdvd.com/category/Asian-(Browse-All)/The-Wailing-(Blu~Ray).html#

From Well Go:

Synopsis:
In this unbelievably tense supernatural thriller, a foreigner’s mysterious appearance in a quiet, rural village causes suspicion among the locals - suspicion which quickly turns to hysteria as the townspeople begin killing each other in brutal outbursts for seemingly no reason. As the investigating officer watches his daughter fall under the same savage spell, he agrees to consult a shaman for answers - unknowingly escalating the situation into something far more dangerous.






HIGH NOON

High Noon is a classic, and you surely don't need me to tell you all about it. It's not our usual fare, but it is a movie of which I am quite fond. I love Westerns especially ones from the 50's and 60's. They remind me of John Carpenter movies or I should say that John Carpenter takes so much from them that I learned to appreciate the genre through him. With this release we welcome in Olive Signature, a high end division releasing well known titles with maximum effort on extras, restoration and transfer.

Being very familiar with Olive's run of the mill releases, I can tell you that this is clearly a step up in all facets. The film looks great with strong black levels, uncrushed and rich. The package itself isn't the standard Blu-ray case. It is closer to a Criterion release though to compare the two distro companies would be unfair to Olive Signature. Criterion is the gold standard. The extra package is solid and is a stark contrast from Olive's usual extra offering ie they rarely includes extras. Check out the full list below.

To tie High Noon into the Doc Terror world, if you dig John Carpenter movies, you know that they borrow heavily from classic siege pictures. High Noon isn't quite that, but it focuses on the big bad guys coming to town and a lone hero ready reluctantly ready to take them on. I'd most closely compare it to Halloween if you took out the babysitter and her friends. Myers vs. Loomis. The Killer Gang vs. Kane. It's something to think about even if it truly isn't a direct influence of the JC picture.

From Olive:

Mastered from new 4K restoration
“A Ticking Clock” – Academy Award-nominee Mark Goldblatt on the editing of High Noon
“A Stanley Kramer Production” – Michael Schlessinger on the eminent producer of High Noon
“Imitation of Life: The Blacklist History of High Noon” – with historian Larry Ceplair and blacklisted screenwriter Walter Bernstein
“Ulcers and Oscars: The Production History of High Noon” – a visual essay with rarely seen archival elements, narrated by Anton Yelchin
“Uncitizened Kane” – an original essay by Sight and Sound editor Nick James
Theatrical trailer

The myth and poetry of the old west come alive in Fred Zinnemann’s (Julia) classic western, High Noon (1952). One of the great treasures of the American cinema, the film stars the legendary Gary Cooper as lawman Will Kane, a marshal who stands alone to defend a town of cowardly citizens against a gang of killers out for revenge. Engaged in the fight of his lifetime, Kane stands to lose everything when the clock strikes noon – his friends, his honor, and his Quaker bride, played by Grace Kelly in one of her first screen roles. Unfolding in real time, the tension builds as we race ever closer to the climactic duel from which the film takes its name. For his career-defining role, Cooper would go on to win the Oscar® for Best Actor. High Noon’s stellar cast also includes Lloyd Bridges (Try and Get Me), Thomas Mitchell (It’s a Wonderful Life), Katy Jurado (Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid), Otto Kruger (Saboteur), Lon Chaney (The Wolf Man), Henry Morgan (Strategic Air Command), Jack Elam (Hannie Caulder) and Lee Van Clef (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly). High Noon won a total four Academy Awards including Best Editing, Best Score (Dimitri Tiomkin, The Old Man and the Sea) and Best Song, “Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin’,” written by Tiomkin and Ned Washington and sung by Tex Ritter. High Noon also received Oscar® nominations for Best Picture (Stanley Kramer, producer), Best Director (Fred Zinnemann) and Best Screenplay (Carl Foreman).

YEAR: 1952
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH (with optional English subtitles)
TOTAL RUNNING TIME: 85 mins.
RATING: N/R
ASPECT RATIO:  1.37:1 Aspect Ratio; B&W
AUDIO: MONO

Coming to DVD and Blu-ray September 20th.





DAUGHTER OF DRACULA 

You know how I roll with Jess Franco movies. Either I love them with all their moments of gratuity and exploitation balanced with Gothic Horror elements playing on old legends to build modern stories of terror, accessible to the arthouse crowd and sleazoids alike. The resurgence of Redemption Films offers their second release Daughter of Dracula. What wants to be a vamp tale inspired by the 60's powerhouse of Hammer Studios comes off as a naughty excuse for a skin flick with fangs. That's not exactly a bad thing mind you, but it's not the way I enjoy Franco best.

The movie looks beautiful. I collect Redemption titles because they have solid transfers of obscure titles. They don't often contain many extras as is the case with Daughter of Dracula, but they preserve traditional cover imagery. Tim Lucas of Video Watchdog fame does the commentary track for this release. Tim is exceptionally knowledgeable and his commentaries are important. If you have any desire to better understand this movie or the cinema of Franco as a whole body, make sure to enjoy this track. The disc also contains the trailer and "safe scenes". Those are scenes that would be used in place of some of the naughty ones to be used in more conservative markets. You typically see this kind of thing on hardcore pornography that could pass for a feature film. I suppose that says as much about Daughter of Dracula as knowing that it was directed by Jess Franco.

It just so happens that I watched Count Dracula's Great Love the same afternoon as I watched Daughter of Dracula. Two Spanish Horror films with famous directors that have erotic elements and vampires. Daughter of Dracula could never match the power of a Paul Naschy fronted feature. In fact Count Dracula's Great Love was an X rated feature packed with naughty bits, more naughty material than Daughter of Dracula. Perhaps my dislike for the Franco title is that it doesn't quite go far enough in terms of violent or sexual content especially when juxtaposed with a Naschy film.

Fans of Redemption titles will not be disappointed with the quality of this disc or the extras. This is a strong Franco release especially if you are more forgiving than I in terms of your acceptance of his entire film catalog. Casual Drac and vamp fans, this may be a hard sell for you.

Available from DiabolikDVD:
http://www.diabolikdvd.com/category/Browse-All-Titles/Daughter-of-Dracula-(Jess-Franco-[sl]-Redemption)-(Blu~Ray).html#

From Kino/Redemption:

Synopsis: In the early 1970s, cult filmmaker Jess Franco—inspired by the Hammer horror films being made in the UK—revisited the iconic monsters of yesteryear, placing them in the castles and crypts of the Spanish countryside, and bracketing the thrills with scenes of frank eroticism. Daughter of Dracula was inspired by Sheridan LeFanu’s “Carmilla” (which was also the source of Hammer’s lesbian vampire trilogy), but as one might expect, Franco’s version was unlike any treatment the story had yet received. When the nude body of a murdered woman washes onto the beach, a police inspector (Alberto Dalbés) and a reporter (Fernando Bilbao) focus their attention on the castle of Count Max Karlstein (composer Daniel White) and his niece (Britt Nichols, The Demons), a beautiful woman who appears to be wrestling with an ancestral curse.

Special Features: English Subtitles, Audio commentary by film historian Tim Lucas, Alternate “safe” footage (less sexually explicit), Original theatrical trailer