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27 May 2016

Arrow Video USA is HIRED TO KILL (review)

George Kennedy, Jose Ferrer, Oliver Reed and Brian Thompson star in Nico Mastorakis' quirky action thriller HIRED TO KILL.  A soldier of fortune is hired to pose as a gay fashion designer and lead an army of women disguised as fashion models into a dictatorship to bust out a leftist rebel and start a revolution.

REVIEW LINK: Arrow Video USA (US) Region ALL Blu-ray/Region 0 NTSC DVD combo (DVD Drive-in)

HIRED TO KILL Blu-ray/DVD combo specs:
  • Blu-ray:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 widescreen
    • English LPCM 2.0 stereo and Dolby Digital 5.1
  • DVD
    • 16:9 anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen
    • English LPCM 2.0 stereo and Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Optional English SDH subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by editor Barry Zetlin
  • "Hired to Direct" interview with director Nico Mastorakis
  • "Undercover Mercentary" interview with actor Brian Thompson
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Stills Gallery
  • BD-ROM and DVD-ROM: Original "Freedom or Death" Screenplay (.pdf)
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
  • Fully-illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing by critic James Oliver

26 May 2016

Arrow Video USA dives into BLOOD BATH (review)

Roger Corman co-produced this Yugoslavian thriller (with English dubbing supervised by Francis Ford Coppola) that began life as the crime film OPERATION TITIAN that was recut and rescored for US television as PORTRAIT IN TERROR before Jack Hill and Stephanie Rothman were variously hired to utilize scenic footage from the film for a horror film that mutated into the vampire thriller BLOOD BATH and its television expansion TRACK OF THE VAMPIRE.

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

BLOOD BATH Limited Edition Blu-ray specs:
  • Disc One:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 widescreen presentations of OPERATION TITIAN (a 2K reconstruction with standard definition inserts) and PORTRAIT IN TERROR
    • English LPCM 1.0 mono
    • Optional English SDH subtitles
  • Disc Two:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 widescreen presentations of BLOOD BATH and TRACK OF THE VAMPIRE
    • English LPCM 1.0 mono
    • Optional English SDH subtitles
    • "The Trouble with Titian Revisited" visual essay by Tim Lucas on the versions of OPERATION TITIAN and BLOOD BATH (81 minutes)
    • Interview with actor Sid Haig
    • Archival Interview with director Jack Hill
    • Still Gallery
  • Double-sided fold-out poster featuring original and newly commissioned artworks
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Dan Mumford
  • Limited edition booklet containing new writing on the film and its cast by Anthony Nield, Vic Pratt, Cullen Gallagher and Peter Beckman

25 May 2016

Vinegar Syndrome opens the STOREFRONT THEATRE COLLECTION VOL. 1: THE PO-NO (review)

Vinegar Syndrome brings contemporary viewers a taste of the Los Angeles storefront theaters of the early seventies.  While chains like The Pussycat Theatre were showing 35mm films, the storefront theatres were showing no-budget 16mm films on a projector screen to an audience in folding chairs.  These twelve features and two shorts offer a sampling of the grungy, down-and-dirty works cast and crewed by largely unknowns apart that also showcase a couple future stars at their lowest and cheapest including John Holmes, Ric Lutze, Rene Bond, and Sandy Dempsey.

REVIEW LINK: Vinegar Syndrome (US) Region 0 NTSC DVD (DVD Drive-in)

STOREFRONT THEATRE COLLECTION VOL. 1: THE PO-NO DVD specs:
  • Twelve films and two shorts on three dual-layer DVDs
  • 4:3 non-anamorphic 1.33:1 fullscreen
  • English Dolby Digital 1.0 mono
  • Disc One:
    • Short film "Girl Acrobatics"
    • "Homer - The Late Comer" (1970)
    • "Erotic Point of View" (1972)
    • "Mondo Porno" (1971)
    • "Sex Before Marriage" (1970)
  • Disc Two:
    • Short film "Orgy in the Woods"
    • "Swinging Playboys" (1970)
    • "Suckula" (1973)
    • "The Big Snatch" (1972)
    • "The Erotic Adventures of Hercules" (1971)
  • Disc Three: 
    • "Shot on Location" (1972)
    • "The Touch" (1972)
    • "Carnal Go-Round" (1970)
    • "All American Hustler" (1972)

23 May 2016

Omnibus Entertainment gazes into THE MIRROR (review)

In this British example of the found footage genre, a trio of flatmates buy a cursed mirror off of eBay in order to take on the James Randi paranormal challenge and win one million dollars.  Outfitting the apartment and themselves with cameras, they hope to capture evidence of the paranormal but the mysterious happenings turn out to be more than they can handle.

REVIEW LINK: Omnibus Entertainment/Film Movement (US) Region 0 NTSC DVD (DVDBeaver)

THE MIRROR DVD specs:
  • 16:9 anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen
  • English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
  • English Closed Captioning
  • Start-up Trailers

Simply Media tends THE GINGER TREE (review)

Samantha Bond (007's Moneypenny) plays Scottish girl Mary who goes to Manchuria to marry a dashing but cold-blooded English soldier only to have an affair with a Japanese military attache.  When her husband throws her out, she travels to Japan only to discover more hardships as an outcast considered no better than a concubine.

REVIEW LINK: Simply Media (UK) Region 2 PAL DVD (DVDBeaver)

THE GINGER TREE DVD specs:
  • Four episodes on two dual-layer DVDs
  • 4:3 non-anamorphic 1.33:1 fullscreen
  • English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo

20 May 2016

LionsGate gets into a STANDOFF (review)

Laurence Fishburne and Thomas Jane face off in a STANDOFF.  When an orphaned girl accidentally photographs a professional hit, she flees to the safety of a remote farmhouse and must rely on a injured but resourceful ex-soldier to protect her.

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

STANDOFF Blu-ray specs:
  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.40:1 widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Optional English, English SDH, and Spanish subtitles
  • Making-of featurette
  • Start-up Trailers

18 May 2016

LionsGate investigates MISCONDUCT (review)

Josh Duhamel and award-winning actors Al Pacino and Anthony Hopkins star in this twisty thriller about a lawyer who is sucked into a world of corruption, kidnapping, and murder when he takes on an amoral pharmaceutical CEO.

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

MISCONDUCT Blu-ray specs:
  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.40:1 widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Optional English, English SDH, and Spanish subtitles
  • "The Making of MISCONDUCT"
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Trailer
  • Previews
  • Digital Download Code
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