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Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Flesh and Blood Show (Redemption/Kino Blu-ray) - One of the Best Blu-ray Releases of the Year

I know. I know. I titled my movie review with an obvious opinion. A bold statement. One of the best Blu-ray releases of the year? Absolutely. I have to say that I may have seen Pete Walker's The Flesh and Blood Show, but until watching this Redemption/Kino disc, I haven't really SEEN it for the superb film that it is. I suppose that's saying a lot for a movie called The Flesh and Blood Show. Let's just say that the disc looks brilliant with grain and scratches without heavy handed smear or correction. It's an excellent transfer that preserves the grit, the beautiful voluptuous, the drip red Crayola crazy blood, solid storytelling and absolutely fun cinematography and editing choices. I pretty much gave away the rest of the review in this introduction, but I stand by this release. We haven't even talked about the 3-D yet! So I gave away the review in the title. That's probably a great reason to check it out in and of itself.

Synopsis from Redemption:

Billed as "An Appalling Amalgam of Carnage and Carnality," Pete Walker's The Flesh and Blood Show is an homage to the blood-splattered, sex-smeared theatre known as the Grand Guignol. Still haunted by an especially tragic production of Othello, a seaside theatre reopens its doors as a groovy musical revue, only to have several of its performers fall victim to the deadly curse.

Trailer:


The Flesh and Blood Show is classic Pete Walker from 1972. It features some early premonitions of what will come of the slasher genre while paying proper respect to the gore classics of Herschell Gordon Lewis in the mid-60's. You might describe it as the perfect drive-in movie or at least among the greats. It has just enough story to keep you entertained in between make out sessions, but not enough story to let you lose your place while fondling your popcorn. The blood is drippy gooey tremendous. You know I'm partial to the Crayola red blood of the 60's and 70's. I like it thick and creamy and ultra red. It really stands out in HD. I'm not sure that Walker kept the shots bleak so that the red of the carnage would pop but that is precisely the effect it has. Did I mention it is bound and gagged with beautiful naked men and women in various states of infidelity, carnality and sensuality. These are the pin-up go-go dancers of my dreams. This is Walker at his most naughty, perhaps least serious and conclusively most exploitative. All that and he still manages to tell a story.

The disc is an HD release from the original 35mm negative. 1.78:1 1920 x 1080p. It's in both color and black and white which definitely keeps the eyes interested. Perhaps the most fantastic extras on the disc are two separate movie finales shot in both anaglyphic 3-D and stereoscopic (bring your own glasses). Comparing the 2-D version of the film's end with the novelty endings is a real treat and perhaps one of the best extras I've seen on a disc since the inception of this site. Of course, having a set of glasses show up with the release would have helped sell this disc as the key release of 2014, but it's still great. Can you imagine having Redemption or Walker branded glasses? Totally boss.  Does the 3-D really add anything to the movie? Nope. But watching the anaglyphic version is trippy without the specs on. Of course there's an interview with Walker that will help set the stage for the movie. He's an interesting fella to be sure, and you can really get a feeling for the time in which he worked as well as his intentions for this aptly named feature. The disc also includes a trailer.

Redemption's decision to pursue the Pete Walker titles was a solid one in keeping with their previous releases including the Rollin collection, Bava and Franco releases. Walker fits in nicely. You can also check out our review of Frightmare coming soon.

Order The Flesh and Blood Show now! Release March 18th!

-Doc Terror

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