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25 April 2017

Arrow Video USA renovates HOUSE: TWO STORIES (Review)

New World's best horror comedies were the first two entries in the HOUSE series.  In HOUSE, blocked writer Roger Cobb inherits the spooky mansion from his aunt where his son mysteriously vanished the year before.  He soon finds himself tormented by nightmares, killer swordfish, and ghouls as he tries to unravel the house's mysteries.  William Katt, George Wendt, and Kay Lenz star.  In HOUSE II, Jesse inherits the temple-like mansion where his parents were brutally murdered twenty-five years before.  He discovers that the house was built by his cowboy great grandfather who was buried with a Mayan crystal skull that opens different dimension within the house with evil forces eager to take the skull back to harness its power.  Arye Gross, Jonathan Stark, Lar-Park Lincoln, Amy Yasbeck, Bill Maher, John Ratzenberger, and Royal Dano star.

REVIEW LINK: Arrow Video USA (US) Region A/B Blu-ray (DVD Drive-in)

HOUSE: TWO STORIES Blu-ray specs:
  • Disc One (HOUSE):
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 widescreen
    • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English LPCM 2.0 stereo and 1.0 mono
    • Optional English subtitles
    • Audio commentary with director Steve Miner, producer Sean S. Cunningham, actor William Katt and screenwriter Ethan Wiley
      "Ding Dong, You’re Dead! The Making of House" brand new documentary featuring interviews with Steve Miner, Sean S. Cunningham, Ethan Wiley, story creator Fred Dekker, stars William Katt, Kay Lenz, and George Wendt, composer Harry Manfredini, special make-up and creature effects artists Barney Burman, Brian Wade, James Belohovek, Shannon Shea, Kirk Thatcher, and Bill Sturgeon, special paintings artists Richard Hescox and William Stout, and stunt coordinator Kane Hodder
    • Vintage Making-of Featurette
    • Stills Gallery
    • Theatrical Trailers
  • Disc Two (HOUSE II):
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 widescreen
    • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and LPCM 1.0 mono
    • Optional English SDH subtitles
    • Audio commentary with writer-director Ethan Wiley and producer Sean S. Cunningham
      "It’s Getting Weirder! The Making of House II: The Second Story" brand new documentary featuring interviews with Ethan Wiley, Sean S. Cunningham, stars Arye Gross, Jonathan Stark, Lar Park Lincoln, and Devin DeVasquez, composer Harry Manfredini, special make-up and creature effects artists Chris Walas, Mike Smithson, visual effects supervisor Hoyt Yeatman, and stunt coordinator Kane Hodder
    • Stills Gallery
    • Theatrical Trailer
  • Sixty-page book "The House Companion"
  • Reversible Covers

23 April 2017

The Film Detective stalks THE VAMPIRE BAT (Review)

Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, and Melvyn Douglas star in the Poverty Row chiller THE VAMPIRE BAT.  A European village is terrorized by the deaths of residents drained of all their blood.  Could it have something to do with the mysterious experiments conducted by the local mad scientist in the nearby hilltop castle?

REVIEW LINK: The Film Detective (US) Region ALL BD-R (DVDCompare)

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.33:1 pillarboxed fullscreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono
  • Optional English SDH subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by filmmaker Sam Sherman
  • "Becoming the Son of Melvyn Douglas" interview with Gregory Hesselberg

22 April 2017

Arrow Academy takes in CINEMA PARADISO (review)

Arrow Academy breathes new life into Giuseppe Tornatore's Academy Award-winning, tear-jerking, coming of age story  CINEMA PARADISO in which an altar boy finds escape from his humdrum life in post-war Sicily through the magic of cinema.  Philippe Noiret stars.

REVIEW LINK: Arrow Academy/Arrow Video USA (US) Region A Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

CINEMA PARADISO Blu-ray specs:
  • Disc One:
    • 124 minute Theatrical Cut
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 widescreen
      • Italian LPCM 1.0 mono and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
    • Optional English Subtitles 
    • Audio Commentary by director Giuseppe Tornatore and academic Millicent Marcus
    • "Dream of Sicily" documentary by Giuseppe Tornatore
    • "The Bear and the Mouse" interviews with director Giuseppe Tornatore and actors Philippe Noiret and Salvatore Cascio
    • "The Kissing Scene" featurette
    • Theatrical Trailer
  • Disc Two:
    • 173 minute Director's Cut 
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 widescreen
      • Italian LPCM 2.0 stereo and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
      • Optional English subtitles
    • Director's Cut Trailer
  • Booklet featuring new writing on the film by Italian cinema expert Pasquale Iannone, illustrated with original archive stills

20 April 2017

Sony Pictures remembers YOUTH IN OREGON (review)

Frank Langella, Billy Crudup, Christina Applegate, Mary Kay Place, and Josh Lucas star in this comic drama about an eighty year old man who announces that he will be taking a trip to Oregon to end his life by assisted suicide.  His son-in-law reluctantly drives him and his wife across the country with side trips in an attempt to delay his mission.

REVIEW LINK: Sony Pictures (US) Region 1 NTSC DVD (DVDCompare)

  • 16:9 anamorphic 2.35:1 widescreen
  • English Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Optional English, English SDH, French, and Spanish subtitles

Arrow Video resurrects CALTIKI, THE IMMORTAL MONSTER (review)

An archaeological expedition in Mayan ruins near Mexico city after a volcanic eruption is terrorized by the resurrection of the goddess Caltiki, a prehistoric creature that grows exponentially with exposure to radiation and feeds on human flesh.  The film was started by Riccardo Freda (THE HORRIBLE DR. HICHCOCK) and finished by cinematographer/special effects maestro Mario Bava.

REVIEW LINK: Arrow Video (US) Region A/B Blu-ray/Region 1/2 NTSC DVD (DVD Drive-in)

  • Blu-ray:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 widescreen
    • English and Italian LPCM 1.0 mono
  • DVD:
    • 16:9 anamorphic 1.66:1 widescreen
    • English and Italian Dolby Digital 1.0 mono
  • Optional English subtitles for the Italian track and English SDH subtitles for the English track
  • Audio Commentary by film historian Tim Lucas
  • Audio Commentary by film historian Troy Howarth
  • "From Quatermass to Caltiki" discussion with critic Kim Newman
  • Alternate Full Aperture Version
  • "Riccardo Freda, Forgotten Master" interview with critic Stefano Della Casa
  • "The Genesis of Caltiki" interview with filmmaker Luigi Cozzi
  • Archival Introduction
  • US Theatrical Trailer
  • US Opening Titles
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Diabolique Magazine's Kat Ellinger and Roberto Curti (ITALIAN GOTHIC HORROR FILMS, 1957-1969) included with the first pressing only

Anchor Bay finds a home for LION (review)

The Academy Award-nominated Australian film LION tells the true story of Saroo Brierley, a young boy who grew up Indian but was separated from his family when he boarded a decomissioned train that took him sixteen hundred miles from home.  Adopted by an Australian couple, Saroo grew up in Tasmania only to begin an obsessive and emotionally wrenching journey to find his birth mother twenty years later.  Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, David Wenham, and Nicole Kidman star.

REVIEW LINK: Anchor Bay (US) Region A Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

LION Blu-ray specs:
  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 widescreen
  • English and French DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Optional English SDH, French SDH, and Spanish subtitles
  • "Never Give Up" Music Video by Sia
  • Behind the Scenes Interview Gallery
  • Deleted Scenes

18 April 2017

Maison Rouge recruits ELSA FRAULEIN SS (review)

With morale at an all-time low in the middle of WWII, the Reich appoints Elsa as the colonel and brothel madam of a train of females sent to entertain the troops and root out any traitors in this French slice of Nazisploitation starring Malissa Longo, Oliver Mathot, and Patrizia Gori.

REVIEW LINK: Maison Rouge/Screenbound (UK) Region 2 PAL DVD (DVDBeaver)

  • 16:9 anamorphic 1.66:1 widescreen
  • English and French Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Previews

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