Sunday, December 21, 2014

Nightmare On Elm Street Retrospective: Episode 04 - A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)

In this episode, Jeff (@Jeff_FOTD), James (@DrHorrorSexy), and Jesse (@DestroySuperman) head back to Elm Street to discuss Renny Harlin's entry into the series, A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master.

Topics include: The film's production history, its themes and critical reception, and its place in the franchise and pop culture.

Download the MP3 Directly here 

Subscribe Via iTunes

iTunes listeners: Please take a moment to leave us a rating/review**  
**(James will give you a reacharound)

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

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

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

Check out this episode!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Lord of Illusions (Scream Factory Blu-ray) - Cliver Barker and Scream Factory Together Again

I remember In the Mouth of Madness always being paired up against Lord of Illusions. Not sure if it was because of similar release dates or whether they just appeared in the same issue of Fango, but I watched them both and compared them even though they had nothing to do with one another. In the Mouth of Madness won out for me. It is, for the most part, the scarier movie and so I would down play the importance of Lord of Illusions even through my love for Clive Barkers fiction and some of his previous film adaptations (I do love me some Rawhead Rex). Lord of Illusions took a back seat for many years, and gradually I didn't give it much thought. When Scream Factory announced that Lord of Illusions was coming to Blu-ray I again compared it to In the Mouth of Madness which was unfair. It was bred into me. Both movies have seen a Blu-ray release with in the last year and now was a chance to re-explore Lord of Illusions, hopefully with a fresh head free of the John Carpenter film that seemed to have latched on to all my memories involving Lord of Illusions.

Quantum Leap was a great show. For all that I remember of Scott Bakula (rhymes with Dracula), you'd think that more would have come from other cinematic endeavors beyond Quantum Leap, but it's Lord of Illusions and Quantum Leap for me. Bakula does a great job in Lord of Illusions, but I can't help but think that at any moment through the dark and sorted tale that he's going to flash backward or forward into another body, another time and a new episode. In other words, I have problems separating him from his signature show. This happened to me with Sarah Michelle Gellar. She's always Buffy to me. It makes most movies or roles difficult to believe because, in the back of my mind, she's going to break out into "Give Me Something To Sing About" from Once More with Feeling. This could be a good reason to why I often felt that In the Mouth of Madness was the superior movie. Sam Neil could be anyone. He could go to Jurassic Park. He could try to find his wife only to discover what she had become was something of legendary psychological movie mayhem.

Lord of Illusions starts and ends strong. In fact the end of this picture unnerves me in the way that a Clive Barker adaptation should unnerve you. Think of Hellraiser and how the concepts in that movie from pain and suffering to unrelenting torment beyond this life with origin in what would appear to be a child's game. When the end of Lord of Illusions hits I tense up. My feet are planted firmly on the floor, and I wait for the big reveal (not to be named here for fear of spoiling a nearly perfect climax). The opening intrigues me too, both the imprisonment sequence and the illusion act. After that, the hunt and detective work feels plain Jane. I lose focus through the middle of the film and Lord of Illusions becomes ordinary for a bit while Clive Barker pieces together plot points. This is the kind of thing that works better in a novel or short story. It's the kind of glue that filmmakers have trouble with and often times the reason why we hear viewers proclaim that they like the book better. In this instance we are talking about Barker adapting his own story, The Last Illusion. I haven't explored it in years, but as with most Barker tales, I remember enjoying it (everything up to Everworld actually).

I always though that our big bad guy's look was subpar. It felt phony when I was a kid, but it really is better than I remember it. The movie suffers from early computer generated effects that are indicative of the time in which it was released. It's movies like Lord of Illusions that guided me opinion away from CG and toward the practical effects I adored from the 80's.

With Lord of Illusions you are getting a nice extra package that features both the theatrical and director's cut of the movies. The transfer is beautiful (as it was with Nightbreed from Barker). The commentary track is from Barker himself. I think it's great that Barker is working hand in hand with Scream Factory to help give his directorial efforts new life. There's strong horror here. We have new cover art on the front that is more in line with the contents of the movie though if you prefer the original artwork all you need do is flip the reverse of the cover. This is a Collector's Edition.

Contents include:

--- DISC ONE ---
  • Theatrical Cut of the Film
--- DISC TWO ---
  • All NEW High Definition Transfer of Clive Barker's Director's Cut of the Film
  • Commentary by Director Clive Barker
  • "A Gathering of Magic" Featurette - Original Behind the Scenes Footage
  • Unseen Rare Behind the Scenes Footage "Illusion of Reality" - Vintage Interviews and UNSEEN On-Set Footage Provide a Fascinating Look into the Making of the Film
  • Deleted Scenes with Clive Barker Commentary
  • NEW Interview with Storyboard Artist Martin Mercer
  • Photo Gallery
It's nice to know that with age we can appreciate things in a different way. We do not have to pit movies together especially two completely different movies like Lord of Illusions and In the Mouth of Madness that really have no common nexus at all. Lord of Illusions turns on late in the movie and when it does I urge you to keep breathing. Each step toward the end of the movie is a step toward how real horror works and despite a slow middle, perhaps the pacing helped to build the mystery and tension that is the thing of pure illusion. Scream Factory absolutely must continue this pairing with Barker. Let's get Rawhead Rex on Blu-ray (I don't care who owns the rights).

Lord of Illusions is available now from Scream Factory. 

Synopsis From Scream Factory:

From best-selling author and celebrated director Clive Barker comes a supernatural thriller that rips apart the boundaries between sanity and madness, and between the art of illusion and the terrifying forces of magic.

Scott Bakula (Quantum Leap) portrays Harry D’Amour, a private detective visiting Los Angeles on a routine investigation. Harry gets more than he bargains for when he encounters Philip Swan (Kevin J. O’Connor, The Mummy), a performer whose amazing illusions captivate the world. But are they really illusions? Harry isn’t so sure as he is thrust into a nightmare of murder, deception and terrifying assaults from the dark beyond. Famke Janssen (X-Men, Taken, Hemlock Grove) and Daniel von Bargen (Crimson Tide, The Faculty) also star.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Nightmare On Elm Street Retrospective: Episode 02 - A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)

In this episode, Jeff (@Jeff_FOTD), James (@DrHorrorSexy), and Jesse (@DestroySuperman) continue the Nightmare On Elm Street Retrospective series with an in-depth discussion of 1987's Fan-Favorite, A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.

Topics include: The film's production history, its themes and critical reception, and its place in the franchise and pop culture.

Download the MP3 Directly here 

Subscribe Via iTunes

iTunes listeners: Please take a moment to leave us a rating/review**  
**(James will give you a reacharound)

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

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

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

Check out this episode!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Nightmare On Elm Street Retrospective: Episode 02 - A Nightmare On Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985)

In this episode, Jeff (@Jeff_FOTD), Shawn (@TheLiberalDead), James (@DrHorrorSexy), and Jesse (@DestroySuperman) continue the Nightmare On Elm Street Retrospective series with an in-depth discussion of 1985's A Nightmare On Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge.

Topics include: The film's production history, it's themes and critical reception, and its place in the franchise and pop culture.

Download the MP3 Directly here 

Subscribe Via iTunes

iTunes listeners: Please take a moment to leave us a rating/review**  
**(James will give you a reacharound)

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

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

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

Check out this episode!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Nightmare On Elm Street Retrospective: Episode 01 - A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)

In this episode, Jeff (@Jeff_FOTD), Shawn (@TheLiberalDead), and Jesse (@DestroySuperman) kick off the Nightmare On Elm Street Retrospective series and discuss the first film in the franchise, 1984's A Nightmare On Elm Street.

The guys talk about their background with the series, their feelings about it, and of course, they discuss the first film in depth.

Download the MP3 Directly here 

Subscribe Via iTunes

iTunes listeners: Please take a moment to leave us a rating/review** 
**(James will give you a reacharound)

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

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

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

Check out this episode!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Dead Air: Episode 66 - The Babadook (2014)

This week on the show, Jeff (@Jeff_FOTD) and Jesse (@DestroySuperman) tell you why Christmas Evil is great, why The Pyramid is stupid, and why you should seek out Predestination as soon as possible (hint: it's awesome)... They also talk about Director Jennifer Kent's impressive debut feature, The Babadook.

Of course, there's also the usual banter, and the guys talk about plans for future shows; including a possible live show at the end of the month.

Download the MP3 Directly here 

Subscribe Via iTunes

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

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

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

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

Check out this episode!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Dead Air: Episode 65 - The One About Nothing In Particular

This week on the show, Jeff (@Jeff_FOTD) and Jesse (@DestroySuperman) catch up and fill you in on what's in store over the next few weeks.

Also included with the usual goofing off is conversation about INTERSTELLAR, the NIGHTBREED Director's Cut, NIGHTCRAWLER, and a lot more.

If streaming isn't your thing, you may Download the MP3 Directly here or Subscribe Via iTunes.

iTunes listeners: Please take a moment to leave us a rating/review, and we will share it on an upcoming podcast!

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

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

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

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Slaughter Hotel (Raro Video Blu-ray) - Come for the Slaughter, Stay for the Sexy

When I hear that Klaus Kinski is in a movie I expect him to be the focus of the movie in some way, and while I can remember clearly seeing his face many times throughout the Slaughter Hotel he isn’t the star. The star? Super sexy bodies. Slaughter Hotel is not a creepy picture or a scary horror movie. It is a seductive tease or at its best an erotic nightmare complete with fascinating score and plenty of filler between the bodies (the filler being dialogue of course). Fernando Di Leo creates another visually interesting piece of early 70’s cinema that is macabre but not terrifying. I’m more familiar with De Leo’s western and crime wave work, but he certainly can put together a competent thriller. Raro Video offers a new HD transfer of this under appreciated 70’s scare sex flick.

Sure there’s gore, but not as you would know it today. It isn’t Blood Feast from the 60’s and it certainly epitomizes what would become quite common in the foreign horror market screened on 42nd Street. It’s actually more daring in its depiction of graphic sexual exploits than it is in its gore sequences. Perhaps the most misleading feature of this movie is that it takes place in an asylum. Asylum or mental institution feel like a very loose ascription to the actual setting in the movie. It is certainly more frightening to say that a killer wanders the halls of a looney bin or a crazy house, but let’s face it, Slaughter Hotel is just that… more of a hotel or a resort or a sanitarium. The picture could use more grit and grime to go along with its more alluring bits.

The cover art on the Blu-ray itself features a still from the movie and the slip cover and booklet inside feature a more traditional Giallo eseque poster cover. The whole thing screams of Bava from the killer to the shot set up and the choice of color palate. The cloaked killer complete with mask reminds me of a trench-coated, fedora wearing masked man in Blood and Black Lace. Sure it’s a common trope circe 1970, but I can think of no more fitting tribute to Bava’s classic than to emulate his work.

Rosalba Neri and Klaus Kinski are the two names with which I am most familiar though as previously stated, I think Kinski is underused. Neri on the other is not underused and is a pleasure to watch on screen. It’s a skin fest so you can either look for daring, heartfelt performances or you can be realistic and realize that this is trash cinema, done to perfection and made to create a feeling of near surreal visual intoxication using the female form, some red paint and some daring faces.

The booklet that accompanies the release is written by Chris Alexander. As many of you know I love his commentaries, introductions and brief essays especially on Raro releases. Best quote of the booklet, “The plot, such as it is, involves this bevy of lonely disturbed ladies, laying around masturbating (in ultra close up on many occasions, with spread labia’s [sic]  that most assuredly belong to stunt vaginas)”. Stunt vaginas. I need to remember that term for my Vinegar Syndrome reviews. Also I always thought the plural of vagina was vagina (not vaginas), but I will use my poetic license with genitalia as I see fit.

Extras include Lady Frankenstein’s Memoirs, Asylum of Fear, Deleted Scenes, the aforementioned booklet, new and improved English subtitle translation (if you’re reading the subtitles you’ve missed the point of the movie) and a trailer. It’s a new HD transfer from the original 35mm negative. 2.35:1 AR.

I had a very strange connection with Slaughter Hotel, one that may not feel all at once obvious. I felt like I was watching Carnival of Souls, in color with proactive shots and scantily clad actress in place of dark, contrasty specters. Do not expect to be scared. Do expect to be seduced. Bring tissues and an open mind to this artsy skin flick.  After reading Chris Alexander’s essay, I realized that this would be something akin to a Jess Franco or Jean Rollin picture only Italian instead of Spanish or French. The difference being that it isn’t as fancy as a Rollin picture, not as pretty. It isn’t as obvious or schlocky as a Franco sleazer. It’s somewhere in the middle.

You can order Slaughter Hotel now from Raro Video.

Synopsis from Raro:
The longer exclusive uncut version of this movie, that we have released, has no audio in some very short segments of the English dubbed version-not due to a technical problem, but because we used a master that had scenes that were never used in previous releases and/or screenings. We, at Raro, decided to add some of these parts as extras in the special features. But, in order to give you access to this rare and longer uncut version, we left some short silent scenes in the English dubbed version.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Shock Waves (Blue Underground Blu-ray) - Beneath the Living... Beyond the Blu-ray

My first experience with Shock Waves had left me asking for more. I didn’t understand why this had become a cult fan favorite, and I was frankly a little bored. That was several years ago before I had watched and learned to enjoy Jean Rollin movies. Before I had scene Oasis of the Zombies by Jess Franco. Movies that were quiet and thought-provoking that showed their budget but had a certain amount of sexy camp to them. I think I get it now. Shock Waves is more subtle and demands your complete attention. It’s not the kind of film you can watch in the background and expect to get a whole lot out of. You have to pay attention to the Nazi zombies (a trope which is more common today but perhaps not done nearly as well). Then of course there’s the back story… the prospect of what it took to make this movie. The context for its existence and how it came to be. Once you full understand that, it is quite reasonable to assign credit to Shock Waves and to allow to transcend the semi-schlock fest, quiet but daring nature that it has come to symbolize. And yeah, the cover/poster art is pretty cool too. Blue Underground has released this 1976, Ken Wiederhorn zombie classic on Blu-ray with all the trimmings and even a sexy embossed cover!

Synopsis from Blue Underground:

Beneath The Living... Beyond The Dead... From The Depths of Hell's Ocean!

In the dark days of World War II, the Nazi High Command ordered its scientists to create a top secret race of indestructible zombie storm troopers - un-living, unfeeling, unstoppable monstrosities that killed with their bare hands. They were known as The Death Corps. No member of this horrific SS unit was ever captured by the Allied Forces - and, somewhere off the coast of Florida, they have survived...

Peter Cushing (STAR WARS), Brooke Adams (INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS) and John Carradine (THE BOOGEY MAN) star in this suspenseful and genuinely creepy shocker co-written and directed by Ken Wiederhorn (RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD PART II). One of the great horror "sleepers" of the 1970s, SHOCK WAVES has been freshly transferred and fully restored in High Definition from the only known surviving materials!

As stated before, my first impression of Shock Waves was not good. It was during a time when I was watching all 300 movies that Fangoria featured for their 300th issue, and from what I can gather from my analysis of my final rundown of all the films watched, more subtle horror definitely took the brunt of my criticism. If it didn’t pop or have something truly special to offer, I didn’t necessarily give that movie a positive review. Add in that the version I was watching was not beautiful, was not restored and was considerably more faded than the Blue Underground release and you might imagine how the eye gets tired. We’re talking about a movie that was shot on 16mm, and if not handled properly, these films seem look washed out and the quality lacking. That is not the case with the Blue Underground release. BU has clearly taken every step to provide the proper transfer of Shock Waves with film grain and deeper blacks. No DNR massacre here.

Peter Cushing is quite good as the proprietor of a out-of-order resort on a remote island that is the former experimental lab of the Nazis. It’s not his best role or most iconic, but his eyes can be mean (just remember his role in Star Wars). John Carradine is a treasure and even though nothing will top his performance in The Howling, he plays a salty boat captain with ease. The Nazi zombies themselves are simple but effective especially when rising out of the water to begin their assault on the ignorant, shipwrecked tourists. There could be a thousand of them, but really only a few zombies used in the entire picture (the interview extras are a must for this release). The underwater shots are really unique to the zombie subgenre. How often do you see zombies underwater? The makeup isn’t overdone; the simplicity actually adding to the believability as does the goggles worn by the zombies; living human eyes can ruin the undead experience. The goggles definitely help add to the realism even if they seem costumey at first. Imagine Shock Waves without the iconic goggled boogeymen. The ghost ship itself… ominous and seemed to make me want to rewatch Death Ship (something I though might not happen any time soon as it’s another slow and quiet movie).

This disk is packed with extras and all of them really help cement the necessity of Shock Waves. I needed convincing. The filmmakers convinced me! There’s an Audio Commentary for director/writer, Ken Weiderhorn, makeup designer Alan Ormsby and filmmaker Fred Olen Ray. Producer/cinematographer Reuben Trane is interviewed in Nazi Zombies on a Budget. Composer Richard Einhorn made me yearn for a copy of the Shock Waves score in his interview. Really! Pay attention to this score; it’s like a road map for successful synth scores that will come in the years following this release. Luke Halpin and Brooke Adams are interviewed. The disc also contains a theatrical trailer, TV Spot, Radio Spots and Poster/Still gallery. The movie itself comes from a new transfer and fully restored in HD from the only known surviving materials. I get the feeling that we are very lucky to have this disc in our presence. The reverse includes a chapter menu and photo still from the movie.

If you have seen Shock Waves and wonder why everyone thinks this movie is so damn good, pick up this release and give it a whirl. It’s a game changer. If you’re a fan of Shock Waves, Blue Underground deserves a thank you or Christmas card because they really cared for this release. Before you watch Dead Snow or Dead Snow 2, get in touch with a quiet, creeper in Shock Waves (best enjoyed earlier in the evening since it’s a bit on the quiet side).

You can order Shock Waves now from Blue Underground!

or through DiabolikDVD

Audio Commentary with Co-Writer/Director Ken Wiederhorn, Make-Up Designer Alan Ormsby and Filmmaker Fred Olen Ray
Nazi Zombies On A Budget - Interview with Producer/Cinematographer Reuben Trane
Notes For The Undead - Interview with Composer Richard Einhorn
Sole Survivor - Interview with Star Brooke Adams
From FLIPPER To SHOCK WAVES - Interview with Star Luke Halpin
Theatrical Trailer
TV Spot
Radio Spots
Poster & Still Gallery
English SDH, French, Spanish
85 Mins
Not Rated
Region Code: ALL

Midnight Review: Pretty Peaches (Vinegar Syndrome Blu-ray) and the Carlos Tobalina Double Feature Peekarama!

After having seen the Peekarama double feature of Pretty Peaches 2 and 3 from Vinegar Syndrome I felt like I was missing something. I had not as of yet seen the original that started it all. What did it start? I didn’t even understand the importance of it. While Water Power may have been an early innovator in the pioneer or enema cinematography, Pretty Peaches excels at providing a punchline to this seemingly filth act. Not only is Pretty Peaches a funny movie that deals with some very serious subjects and maybe even usurps a line of good taste, it makes acceptable what may previously have been taboo though the adult film industry had covered much ground by 1978. I can say without a doubt that I have never enjoyed watching enema bag related smut nearly as much as with Pretty Peaches. Actually, I have never enjoyed it or tolerated it. Don’t call me a prude. The fail is on the filmmakers who saw to making these movies feel dirty… as in unclean… unsanitary… as in you might get shit in your moth while watching it. Of course there’s more to Pretty Peaches than just the infamous bathroom scene. Vinegar Syndrome gave the trilogy new life and has given us the first and most important feature the royal treatment. When Vinegar Syndrome does Blu-ray, you buy it. After reading this review, make it your mission to pick them all up. If you need convincing, the Pretty Peaches disc should suffice as an example worthy release.

Not into water sports because you think the butt is a “naughty area”? Well I promise there’s more to Pretty Peaches than meets the brown eye. The opening is funny with a strong set up that is very cinematic. Remember that movies like Pretty Peaches came about during an era when pornos told a story and were as much for the mind as they’re for squeezing the libido. You’ll get a kick out of the actors and actresses right from the start in some pretty strange costuming and in some unique situations.

I want to be completely honest and let you know that just by looking the cover, I wasn’t entirely interested in Pretty Peaches save for my experience with the sequels. This is actually one of the few times that this has happened. Usually, even with the double feature releases, the Vinegar Syndrome releases entrance me and play upon some childlike, sneak peak at the “back room” at the video store nostalgia. The lead actress’ haircut actually turns me off completely… that is of course until her sense of humor and acting wowed me. Even at it’s most debauched Pretty Peaches tries to keep things fun. One of the openings scenes features our heroine getting into a car accident, being saved by two passerby and then, innocently of course, watching the two men take advantage of her unconscious, scantily clad self. Last time I checked… that was rape. No consent. That would put it on par with a roughie in my mind and later scenes in the movie that explore bondage and S&M seem to have that same un-PC feel. I welcome it, and think it was done in both instances as a humorous device and to explore different fetishes. It made me moderately uncomfortable at first. In fact the whole picture kind of does that even through the incestuous end (just wait to see how that happens).  Granted Pretty Peaches is tame by most standards, but that’s part of its charm. It allows you to enjoy the forbidden safely without feeling like a sex criminal. Consider it the gateway drug of a harder XXX.

I like to think of Pretty Peaches an adult film that can challenge its audience rather than simply a spank movie or a sexy comedy with hardcore action. It’s daring (the sequels are much less daring). Alex deRenzy has a long history peddling dirty movies. He started in 1970 and we’ve reviewed his movies before, but it is clear that Pretty Peaches is his masterpiece. That being said, he has 190 films in his arsenal (per IMDB) which leaves us with so many gems to uncover. We hope to see more from Vinegar Syndrome in the future. DeRenzy knows how to tell a story while telling your body how to respond with his expert casting and craftsmanship. This is a new 2K restoration from 35mm elements. It includes an interview with director deRenzy himself and with film historian, ted Mcilvenna to put the whole thing into context. The disc also includes three bonus trailers.

Note: DTS-HD Master Audio Mono, 1.85:1 OAR

This is a limited edition of 1,500 (so act fast)

Extra includes:

+ Blu-ray & DVD Combo Pack | Region Free | DTS-HD Master Audio
+ Restored in 2k from 35mm archival elements
+ Archival interview with Alex deRenzy
+ Interview with film historian Ted Mcilvenna
+ Multiple deRenzy theatrical trailers

You can order Pretty Peaches now from Vinegar Syndrome.

and also available through DiabolikDVD:

Synopsis from Vinegar Syndrome:

After attending her father’s wedding, innocent Peaches crashes her jeep in the forest only to awake with complete amnesia. She is quickly rescued by two manipulative men who hope to sell her back to her family for a hefty ransom. Their adventures introduce Peaches to a crazy doctor with very unusual treatment methods, a sleazy sex show promoter and more, but nothing helps. Poor Peaches doesn’t know what to do…until she remembers Daddy!

But wait… there’s more!


I also want to spend some time talking about the latest Peekarama double feature. I don’t want to spend a whole lot of time about it, but rather want to introduce it to you so you can assess whether it’s your cup of semen. It features two orgy pictures from Carlos Tobalina. When I say orgy pictures, I mean that they are nearly completely entombed with elaborate groups sex scenes that go on forever, involve minimal plot and offer little variety save for a host of ladies and gents in what might be thought of as a pre-MTV music video editing job of uglies bumping away fiercely. Do not mistake this quick mention as a condemnation, but it simply isn’t my style. I prefer long drawn out humorous storylines that involve the complete removal of all taste.

Fantastic Orgy and Champagne Orgy could be interchangeable in story, look and actors. Fantastic Orgy is more like a best of reel though it is lovingly restored in 2K from camera negatives  by Vinegar Syndrome. Champagne Orgy is a rather long orgy that seems to cover much ground. I suppose the names say it all. It’s quite clear what you’re getting yourself into with this double feature.  All performances are standard, the look for both movies is good but it lacks the depth or humor that you might find in other similar pictures of the period. That’s not Tobalina’s style really so I’ll chock my lack of enthusiasm for this release up to a differing of tastes. 

Champagne Orgy does have a remarkable ginger that I found completely entrancing and may actually take the whole value of the disc square on her shoulders. Fantastic Orgy will have plenty of familiar faces for you to ogle. This double feature is available now from Vinegar Syndrome. Both are from 1978 and presented in 1.85:1 OAR.  As always the Peekarama series includes the traditional cover/poster art on in a double feature format on the cover. It’s one of my favorite package designs. The value of this disc is archival as much as it is essential for the collector of Tobalina’s work.

Synopsis Fantastic Orgy from Vinegar Syndrome – A young female sex filmmaker collects the best erotic moments from Carlos Tobalina’s films. Featuring the hottest stars of the 70’s

Synopsis Champagne Orgy from Vinegar Syndrome – After a long day’s shoot, Carlos Tobalina invites his friends over for a champagne party, only to find them engaged in the most extensive orgy ever filmed.

Peekarama available now:

or from DiabolikDVD:

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Amicus Portmanteau Double Feature: Tales from the Crypt and Vault of Horror (Scream Factory Blu-ray)

I am an impassioned Amicus fan. It makes me critical of all portmanteau movies (anthology horror pictures). It means that I wrap myself up with horror celebrities as if they were warm blankets and am allowed to view four to five tales of horror in a row told by master story tellers with updated settings to keep the cost down. Think of the Monkey’s Paw revisited or go to your favorite EC comic and turn the page. You will find the horror I speak of in abundance. No single company tells short tales as well as Amicus regardless of time period, acting troupe or budget. Like I said, I’m a fan. That makes the Scream Factory Blu-ray release of the double feature presentation of Tales from the Crypt and The Vault of Horror Important to me. It means I beckon for them to consider Asylum, Torture Garden and of course, my beloved, Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors.

I own the MGM double feature DVD of these two movies and the picture quality is an upgrade to be sure, and for that I am grateful. I’m also happy to have the chance to enjoy a more violent cut of The Vault of Horror, but despite my enthusiasm over parts of this release I am left slightly bewildered. My expectation for this release should have been set at the time of press release. The only real extra to speak of was supposed to be the uncut version of The Vault of Horror. This nearly did not happen at no fault of Scream Factory, but our hero company came through. They have delivered The Vault of Horror as promised. Uncut.  This is not a problem nor is the alternate title card edition that shows the Tales from the Crypt 2 name. I saw this first at a 35mm screening at the Exhumed Films Horrorthon a few years back. It’s a pleasure to own.

So where are the extras for Tales from the Crypt? This is arguable one of the most important releases in anthology horror history from a prominent horror studio that has spawned countless books about it. You mean to say we couldn’t get a film historian to talk about each entry (no matter how bland). No stills? No theatrical trailer? Nothing from the Peter Cushing Society of Beloved Followers (made up society to be sure)? Just give me something to go along with one of the most important releases of our age.

Scream Factory gave me a beautiful version of the films and a long lost uncut versions of The Vault of Horror. Versions. This is a two disc set. Disc 1 includes The Vault of Horror theatrical (1.85:1 AR) and The Vault of Horror open matte uncut version (1.33:1 AR). Disc 2 includes Tales from the Crypt (lonely Tales from the Crypt with little more love that some stills on the reverse of the cover) and Vault of Horror … again… this time uncut (1.85 AR). Please understand that all these versions are interesting, but for a movie that should be considered as a good (not great) sequel to a pivotal anthology horror release, I’m surprised we didn’t get more.

The reverse artwork for Vault is so cool. I do love seeing it. The stills on the reverse for Tales are also interesting. I should have pulled out my Album of Modern Horror and sent them the still that terrified me as a kid so they could include it.

From a content perspective, Tales from the Crypt is important. It has a wrap story that is perfectly orchestrated, simple and to the point (you can anticipate the twist). Each story is mapped to coincide with a classic Tales from the Crypt comic book tale and adapted to feel comic book like. You can sense the individual frames in the story (almost like Creepshow would use years later with clever lighting and framing). The actors are perfect caricatures of people you know and those are archetypes that represent Biblical sins whether they be infidelity, murder, greed. I cannot offer you a favorite story among the five because it always changes. It’s Christmas time, so right now And All Through the House is on my mind. It’s actually quite terrifying once you get past the red orange blood (my favorite of the period) and start listening to the Christmas organ music in the background. The evil Santa is realistic and insane. Joan Collins… is hot and pure demon shit! I often discuss this story and reference the modern HBO adaptation. I find this to be far superior and urge all horror fans to seek it out. There are a host of classic horror acts that make an appearance from Peter Cushing to Patrick McGee. If you’re familiar with the period than you’ll see faces you absolutely cannot place but have seen before. Tales from the Crypt was directed by Freddie Francis who also directed Scream Factory’s recent release of The Doctor and The Devils.

Vault of Horror is good. It isn’t better than Tales from the Crypt, but it has good gross outs, clever plot twists and a strong cast. The wrap story doesn’t quite hold up to Tales from the Crypt, but the original music is brilliant (Tales had Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor by Bach which is perfect use of this classic horror staple). Terry Thomas who you may remember from AIP’s the Abominable Dr. Phibes is in Vault as is Tom Baker… you know… Dr. Who. It was directed by Roy Ward Baker who is a horror legend in his own right working for Hammer before doing Vault and Asylum for Amicus.

My favorite Tale from Vault of Horror has got to be The Neat Job which pits Terry Thomas against Glynis Johns (my favorite role of Johns’ was as the evil mother in The Ref). You watch Johns try so hard to conform to the obsessive compulsive neatness of Thomas that eventually it drives her to a very strange act. The tension is biting, and you have to laugh at yourself for getting so worked up over a story that ends with precision comic timing (that’s how the best Tales from the Crypt stories work throughout all of their fictitious legacy).

This is a handsome set of two must own horror classics. The gore in Vault is for the trained eye, but nonetheless it’s more fun to see the naughty bits your not supposed to enjoy and the HD upgrade is noticeable if you own the previous releases. Yes, I want more extras for Tales from the Crypt, and I hope some day we get an Amicus collection that treats each movie in their catalog to meat and potatoes, but Scream Factory delivered on the key point here, the uncut Vault release. It’s for the fans of Amicus, and they did right by a movie that may be considered more obscure or at least less loved than Tales.

You can order Tales from the Crypt and Vault of Horror now from Scream Factory (perfect holiday viewing, my fiends).

also available through our friends DiabolikDVD:

Synopsis from Scream Factory:

Tales From The Crypt
When five unwary travelers with dark hearts stumble into a series of catacombs, they find themselves in a cavern with no way out. But the horror’s only just begun as a mysterious figure appears to reveal to each person the shocking events that will lead to their well-deserved, untimely – and unavoidable – demise. Starring Joan Collins (Empire Of The Ants), Peter Cushing (Horror Of Dracula), Patrick Magee (A Clockwork Orange) and Sir Ralph Richardson (Rollerball), and directed by Freddie Francis (The Creeping Flesh), Tales From The Crypt is the original, gets-right-under-your-skin creepfest!
Vault Of Horror
Available uncut for the first time on home video! Five unsuspecting hotel guests step into an elevator, which leads them into an underground vault. Trapped with no way out, each guest shares a gruesome tale of an encounter with death. But as the stories unfold, the men begin to suspect that their presence in the vault is no coincidence, and that the only way out…is death. Starring Tom Baker (Doctor Who), Denholm Elliott (Raiders Of The Lost Ark), Curt Jurgens (The Mephisto Waltz) and Michael Craig (Mysterious Island), this ferociously entertaining film is a worthy sequel to Tales From The Crypt! Includes unrated and theatrical versions.

CHRISTMAS EVIL (Vinegar Syndrome Blu-ray Review) - You Better Watch.. This Blu-ray!

I reviewed Christmas Evil last year for a The Moon is a Dead World’s “The Gory Gifts of Christmas” which you can check out HERE: The concept behind the The Moon is a Dead World’s celebration was to get a mystery movie in the mail complete with some holiday cheer in the form of candy or hot cocoa. It was an absolute treat to have the opportunity to watch and review Christmas Evil last year, and it’s a treat to revisit it a year later. Much of what I said holds true, so I’ll be offering up new comments about the Vinegar Syndrome release. Of course it’s always confusing to see it listed as “You Better Watch Out” mostly because I’m more familiar with the Christmas Evil imagery and poster/box cover art. I love both titles, and it almost provides peace of mind that we see it as Christmas Evil as Silent Night Deadly Night 3 uses You Better Watch Out as its subtitle.

While Christmas Evil predates Silent Night Deadly Night by about four years, the parallels between it and several of the installments in the SNDN series are pretty telling. One might call Christmas Evil influential, opening up the genre to some very clever killer Santa kills even if they follow formula slasher ideals. It seems that if you cross imagery of Santa Claus with sexuality or murder, somehow, little kids get fucked up in their brain holes and suddenly want to murder all the naughties rather than fuck all the hotties. Personally if I a hot mommy with a garter belt poking out as my Santa tried to put presents under her “tree”, I’d be more inclined, in the truest Oedipal way, to want to stick my pecker in a gift wrapped box or better yet…a stocking (aka Christmas jerk sock). Well… maybe it’d be better if I caught someone else’s mother for to suggest anything else about my own dear mama might put you on the goddamn naughty list and get you piece o’ coal straight up your ass (you’d have a diamond sooner than you’d think).

As mentioned earlier, Silent Night Deadly Night 3 was subtitled Better Watch Out!!! (and if you’re as confused as I am with the damn slush fest of a movie, you’ll include the “You” in front of it). That doesn’t mean that these two movies are comparable in storyline, quality or even in watchability. SNDN3 is atrocious. Christmas Evil is damn good, slow moving fun with a surprise ending that I’m not spoiling for all the good girls and boys, but my advice to you would be to keep believing in Santa Claus. If you always try to be on the “Nice” list then you can’t get killed by psychological damaged kids with firm belief systems drunk on the magic of Christmas. Also note that this one goes under the name Terror in Toyland. That’s just ridiculous and wholly inappropriate. It would be a much better subtitle for Silent Night Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker.

Do I think Silent Night Deadly Night writers and directors are watching Christmas Evil trying to steal ideas? No, but it’s interesting to see from which traditions, phrases and images that we pull our most scary and controversial scenes and naming conventions. Hell, the Silent Night, Deadly Night naming convention is closer to Silent Night Evil Night (aka Black Christmas) or Silent Night Bloody Night aka Night of the Dark Full Moon.

The best reason for the modern day viewer to watch Christmas Evil (other than a desire to see sexy suggestive scenes with juxtaposing fat man in red suit imagery) is the acting styling of Jeffrey DeMunn… you remember him right? The last time you saw him a walker was opening up his stomach like it was a present on Christmas morning (hint: he was Dale). In the first year that DeMunn started making movies he showed up in this gem. He’s not the killer Santa, but he goes a little crazy. He’s come along way, and I can assure you that you’ll find his performance more comedic than heart wrenching.

Make sure to watch for the beautiful painted van completed with Sleigh image on the side as ridden by our homicidal St. Nick, giving gifts, thieving, killing and spreading general merriment. It’s the kind of creepy that kidnappers would only dream of if they were less focused on using candy as bait for kids and more interested in getting children in bulk to follow their van like rats behind a pied piper. Hey look kids… there’s Santa in that unmarked van giving out presents… that’d get ‘em moving.

While Synapse was responsible for the DVD transfer, Vinegar Syndrome now gets the chance to at the Blu-ray. They’ve provided some unique cover art which I enjoy though I would have preferred the use of the traditional poster art. Synapse also used original artwork leaving me to wonder if there was an issue using the traditional “santa poster”.  I’m glad that Vinegar Syndrome features the alternate title on their cover. I would have liked an alternate cover art option on the reverse, but again, there could be a bigger reason why this was left off. The Blu-ray comes complete with DVD in this combo set, perfect for putting the kiddies in the back seat of the SUV with the onboard DVD player or watching on Hi-Def with the Yule Log.

The Vinegar Syndrome release boasts a new 4K restoration from 35mm elements. Granted the version I watched for my project with The Moon is a Dead World wasn’t the Synapse but appeared to a be a rip from another source to save expense (this was just a fun project so it looked like a VHS rip). The result is a crisp picture that maintains the quality level of the period with appropriate grain; a Vinegar Syndrome hallmark; their Blu-rays are always gorgeous.  The extras are similar to the extra package provided on the Synpase package including a commentary with director Lewis Jackson and a commentary with the infamous master of filth, John Waters. The deleted scenes are included (the Synapse was a director’s cut). You also get archival interviews with director, Jackson and actor Brandon Maggart. Theatrical trailer, actor screen tests, storyboards gallery and vintage test screening comment cards included.

You can order Christmas Evil now from Vinegar Syndrome. Maybe buy To All a Good Night as released by Scorpion Releasing as well for the perfect double feature for your Christmas horror loving giftee.

Tune in tomorrow (11/28/2014) for Vinegar Syndrome's HUGE Black Friday sale to pick up this item!

Can't wait? Go to DiabolikDVD and support this release:

Synopsis from Vinegar Syndrome:

When he was a boy, Harry idolized Santa Claus, but one Christmas Eve, he witnessed something horrifying that forever shattered his innocent understanding of Santa. Now an adult, Harry wants to embody the pure Santa Claus he grew up loving. He works at a toy factory and keeps records of who’s been naughty and nice, but the spirit of Christmas isn’t what it used to be and he can’t take it. So, garbed in his red suit, Harry decides that the only thing he can do is to become Santa himself and make all of the naughty townspeople pay…in blood! Vinegar Syndrome is proud to present Lewis Jackson’s cult favorite Christmas Evil newly restored in 4k and on blu-ray for the first time!

NTSC All Region DVD
Blu-Ray All Region

Director: Lewis Jackson
94 minutes / 1980 / Color / 1.85:1

Features Include:

+ Blu-ray & DVD Combo Pack | Region Free | DTS-HD Master Audio
+ Restored in 4k from 35mm archival elements
+ Commentary track with Lewis Jackson
+ Commentary track with Lewis Jackson & Brandon Maggart
+ Commentary track with Lewis Jackson & John Waters
+ Archival video interviews with Lewis Jackson & Brandon Maggart
+ Original theatrical trailer
+ Deleted scenes & screen tests
+ Storyboards & comment cards gallery

MST3K Turkey Day Marathon and Sale!

Are you ready for tomorrow's MST3K Turkey Day Marathon? We certainly are. We've stuffed it with the tastiest riffs and most delectably bad movies we could find. Plus there are brand-new Joel segments to make the meal complete. All in all, this is an MST3K feast worth giving thanks for.
WHEN TO WATCH: Thursday, November 27th (Thanksgiving Day) @ 9am PST
WHY TO WATCH: Because it's more fun than fighting with your uncle over the last slice of cranberry sauce.
Don't forget -- there's a lot more #MST3K fun to be had at Check out the latest MST3K titles on sale. Every qualifying order ships with a set of 5 limited-edition MST3K coasters. You can also enter for a chance to win a collectible Steve Seck “Where’s Servo” poster. And you can whet your appetite for the marathon by taking a peek at the trailer.
Featured MST3K Titles
MST3K: The Turkey Day CollectionMST3K Volume XXVIMST3K Volume XXVMystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie
MST3K: The Turkey Day Collection - Pre-Order NowMST3K Volume XXVI - Save 50%MST3K Volume XXV - Save 40%Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie - Save 33%
Buy Now
Limited Edition Coasters
 Limited Edition Coasters 
Check Out the Sale

Trick or Treat Studios - Black Friday / Cyber Monday Sale!- 20% Off All Items!

From Trick or Treat Studios regarding their Black Friday sale:

Black Friday / Cyber MondaySale - 20% Off All Items!
Use Coupon Code  TOTSBF

Hard to believe that Halloween 2014 has past and Thanksgiving and Christmas is upon us.  But it is never too late to start thinking about Halloween 2015 and what better way than to make sure that a Trick or Treat Studios Masks, Costumes or Props are under the tree this year.  And to help you in this quest, we are jumping into to the Black Friday / Cyber Monday shopping craze.

Starting now through Cyber Monday we will be having a 20% Off Sale.  That's right, save 20% off on all items now throughMonday.  Just use Coupon Code TOTSBF then click the "Verify" button and your discount will be applied.

Thank you for all your support and have a great Thanksgiving and a very Merry Christmas!

Halloween 2014 Lineup
Licensing Preview
We've been incredibly busy this year in the Licensing arena and we can't wait to show you what we've got lined up for 2015!

So here is a sneak peek at all our properties for the 2015 season!

Here is our list of new products from our amazing licensed properties for the 2015 season:
  1. American Horror Story
  2. The Walking Dead
  3. Trick r Treat 1 and 2
  4. Amityville - The Awakening
  5. House of 1,000 Corpses
  6. Lord of Salem
  7. Rock n Roll lineup which includes Motorhead, Rob Zombie, Judas Priest, Alice Cooper and the Misfits
  8. Devil's Rejects
  9. The Haunted World of El Superbeasto
  10. Killer Klowns From Outer Space
  11. Nightbreed
  12. Land of the Dead
  13. Mad Monster Party
  14. Corpse Bride
  15. Iron Giant
  16. Frosty the Snowman
  17. Dead Silence
  18. London After Midnight
  19. House of Horrors
  20. King Kong
  21. Mars Attacks
  22. Garbage Pail Kids
  23. Bela Lugosi as Dracula
  24. JAWS
  25. An American Werewolf in London
  26. Clash of the Titans
  27. Rocky
  28. Fulci - Zombie
  29. EC Comics - Tales From the Crypt, The Haunt of Fear and The Vault of Horror