Labels

88 Films (55) Acorn Media (20) AGFA (2) American Genre Film Archive (3) Anchor Bay Entertainment (15) Apprehensive Films (1) Arc Entertainment (1) Ariztical Entertainment (1) Arrow Academy (9) Arrow Films (112) Arrow Video (106) Arrow Video USA (76) ArrowDrome (9) Artificial Eye (25) Artsploitation Films (2) Autonomy Pictures (1) Ballyhoo Motion Pictures (1) BBC (24) BD-R (6) Believe Limited (2) Big World Pictures (11) Black House (2) Blu-Ray (604) Blue Underground (17) Bounty Films (3) Brain Damage Films (1) Breaking Glass Pictures (52) BRINKvision (1) Britcom (16) British Film Institute (BFI) (5) Broadgreen Pictures (3) BTB Productions (1) Cameo (1) Camera Obscura (1) Canteen Outlaws (10) Cartoon Network (1) Casa Negra (2) CBS (9) Celebrity Video Distribution (1) Chelsea Films (7) Cinedigm (7) Cinema Epoch (1) Cinema Libre (15) Cleopatra Films (2) Code Red DVD (84) Comedy Central (5) Comparison Review (16) Criterion Collection (3) Cult Epics (12) Cult Movie Forums (5) Dario Argento (5) Dazzler Media (1) Digital Download (1) Disney (5) Documentary (3) Docurama (1) Dorado Films (1) Drafthouse Films (3) Drive-in Collection (19) DVD Drive-In (773) DVD-R (15) DVDBeaver (812) DVDCompare (232) Elite Entertainment (1) Embrem Entertainment (1) Empire Pictures (9) Entertainment One (32) eOne (1) Etiquette Pictures (2) Eureka Video (32) Exhumed Films (1) Exile Media Group (1) Exploitation TV (1) Facets Video (2) Feature Resources (1) Film Chest (6) Film Detective (The) (8) Film Movement (67) Film Movement Classics (10) FilmBuff (2) Filmrise (1) Films2C (1) First Run Features (1) Five Door Films (1) Flatiron Films (1) Found Footage (1) Fremantle Media (1) Frightfest (5) Full Moon Entertainment (34) Garagehouse Pictures (4) Garden Thieves Pictures (1) Gay/Lesbian Interest (71) Giallo (11) Global Film Initiatve (The) (9) Gorgon Video (5) Gravitas Ventures (1) Grindhouse Releasing (9) Guerilla Films (1) Halo Park (1) Hello Film (Germany) (1) Horizon Movies (1) Hulu (1) Hutson Ranch Media (1) Icarus Films (1) Icon Entertainment (6) IFC Films (4) Image Entertainment (8) Impulse Pictures (17) Inception Media Group (5) Independent Distribution (1) IndiePix (3) Indomina Films (5) Intervision Picture Corp. (28) Isis (1) Italian Horror (27) ITN Distribution (2) Jess Franco (21) Jezebel Films (3) Jinga Films (7) Kat Scratch Cinema (5) Katarina's Nightmare Theater (37) Ketchup Entertainment (1) Kino Lorber (64) KL Studio Classics (3) Leomark (1) Lightyear Entertainment (2) Limited Edition (45) LionsGate (48) Lovelockandload (8) Lucio Fulci (3) Magnet Releasing (3) Magnolia Pictures (8) Maison Rouge (3) Maltauro Entertainment (2) Manoel de Oliveira (1) Maria's B-Movie Mayhem (11) Mario Bava (3) Marty Gross Films (1) Masters of Cinema (9) Matchbox Films (1) Metrodome Pictures (1) MGM (10) Michael Perez Entertainment (1) Midnight Releasing (2) Mill Creek Entertainment (3) Millennium Entertainment (1) Moderncine (1) Momentum Pictures (15) Mondo Macabro (20) Monster Pictures (10) MPI Home Video (6) Mr. Bongo (4) MTI Home Video (13) MVD Visual (55) MVM (4) MYA Communications (1) National Geographic (1) NBC (1) New Wave Films (1) New Yorker Films (2) Nordic Noir (21) NoShame Italy (1) Not-on-DVD Reviews (2) Nucleus Films (9) Olive Films (13) Omnibus Entertainment (10) On-site Review (1) Onar Films (2) Oscilloscope Laboratories (4) Outsider Pictures (3) Ozploitation (2) Pacific Entertainment (1) Palisades Tartan (18) Panik House (5) Parade Deck Films (1) Paramount Pictures (21) Paul Naschy (2) Peekarama Big 2 Unit Show! (43) Phase 4 Films (1) Pollygrind (1) Polyscope Media Group (2) Private Screenings (1) QC Cinema (6) Quiet Village Films (1) Radley Metzger (3) RAM Releasing (1) Random Media (3) Raro Video Italy (6) Raro Video USA (44) Redemption Films (25) Reel Gore Releasing (1) Retromedia (12) Review Archive (46) Revolver Entertainment (17) RLJ Entertainment (12) Rooster Teeth (1) Ruthless Studios (3) Sazuma (1) Scorpion Releasing (109) Scream Factory (101) Screen Media (2) Screenbound (5) Second Run DVD (43) Second Sight (9) Severin Films (71) Sexploitation Signature Series (1) SGL Entertainment (1) Shameless Screen Entertainment (12) Shout Factory (131) Showbox Media Group (3) Showtime (1) Simply Media (34) slasher films (35) Slasher Video (2) Soda Pictures (1) Something Weird Video (2) Sony Entertainment (6) Sony Pictures Classics (2) Spaghetti Western (2) StarVista (2) Starz (1) Strand Releasing (72) StudioCanal (1) Sundance Selects (1) Syfy (1) Synapse Films (35) Tartan Video (1) Tempe Digital (2) Tidepoint Pictures (1) Time Life (3) Tinto Brass (6) TLA Releasing (7) TNT (1) Tomcat Films (1) Tribeca Film (1) Troma Films (5) Twentieth Century Fox (6) Twilight Time (1) Umbrella Entertainment (2) Uncork'd Entertainment (1) Unearthed Films (2) Universal Pictures (4) VCI Home Video (10) Vega Baby (2) Vertigo Films (1) Vestron Video (4) VHShitfest (3) Vial of Delicatessens (1) Vicious Circle Films (3) Videonomicon (2) Vinegar Syndrome (182) Vivendi Entertainment (7) VS Direct (1) Warner Archive (8) Warner Home Video (2) Well Go USA (18) Whacked Movies (1) Wild Eye Releasing (18) Wolfe Video (22)

29 June 2012

Chelsea Films presents Zentropa's ID:A (review)

From Zentropa, the producers of MELANCHOLIA, comes the Danish thriller ID:A.  A young woman wakes up in a French stream with no memory and a bag full of several million Euros.  On the run from gun-toting thugs, she makes her way back to Denmark; however, the discovery of her real identity raises even more questions than it answers.

REVIEW LINK: Chelsea Films (UK) Region 2 PAL DVD (DVDBeaver)

ID:A DVD specs:
  • 16:9 anamorphic 2.35:1 widescreen
  • Danish/French/English Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 stereo
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Theatrical Trailer

28 June 2012

MVM stalks THE VICTIM (review)

From Monthon Arayangkoon, the director of THE HOUSE - also from MVM - comes the Thai horror shocker THE VICTIM (Phii khon pen).  Aspiring actress Ting finds instant fame working for the police re-enacting crimes as a murder victim for the media; however, when she immerses herself in the role of a recently murdered actress, the woman's spirit and other dark forces start to stalk her.  That, however, isn't even the beginning of the weird twists this film takes.

REVIEW LINK: MVM (UK) Region 2 PAL DVD (DVDBeaver)

THE VICTIM DVD specs:
  • 16:9 anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen
  • Thai Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
  • Optional English subtitles

22 June 2012

THE SHADOW OF DEATH (Gav Chuckie Steel, 2012)

When she runs out of weed, Nancy (Sophia Disgrace) calls her aging skater-wannabe ex-boyfriend Dan (Dan Carter-Hope, THE WAKE) to replenish her supply. Dan calls his supplier Marley (Charlie Bore) to score some drugs in hopes of scoring with Nancy. Since Marley is currently kicking it in the Devil’s Jump forest, a stretch of terrain that is supposed to be little used but seems fairly busy today. Dan needs a ride to get there, so Nancy leans on dependable roommate Deb (Corinna Jane) to give them a ride. Deb in turn drags along nerdy third roommate Jamie (Jane West). As soon as they arrive, they are greeted with a bloodcurdling scream; nevertheless, they press on in search of the ganja. Dan quickly gets them lost and they take shelter from a sudden rainstorm in a shack (with décor by the Blair Witch presumably). They tell ghost stories, the most prescient being about a killer priest Father Malone (Stewart Dakers) who dons a hooded cloak (and a pair of tights over his face) to butcher those he believes are sinners. Hmm, could he be the assailant that is slashing his way through the forest’s visitors? When Dan goes outside to relieve himself and does not come back, the girls’ only hope may be “Super Special Cop” Craven (Dan Bone), a local nutter who likes to don his killed-in-the-line-of-duty father’s police gear to hunt druggies and devil worshippers.
Opening with a folksy Pentangle-ish title track over idyllic shots of the woods, THE SHADOW OF DEATH isn’t really that original of a slasher film, nor even as a slasher parody. The film name-checks DELIVERENCE and SCREAM, and features a HALLOWEEN poster in the background of one shot (the ghostly little girl may be an obscure reference to ghost children of THE FOREST), but the film also brings to mind James Bryan’s endearingly inept slasher DON’T GO IN THE WOODS with its introduction of random hikers, cyclists, bird-watchers, and the like in order to quickly and gorily kill them off (albeit with a smaller body count). The stalk and kill sequences are conventionally shot and lacking in suspense, but it’s the “meat” of these scenes that viewers care about and the film. In addition to the usual machete-to-the-head shots, stabbings, and decapitations, there are some novel kills including a death by bong, a bit involving binoculars and a tree branch, an eye-plucking, a typically messy evisceration by hunting knife, and a particularly wince-inducing impalement on a splintered sapling. The reversal during the finale is predictable but effective nonetheless – sort of calling to mind the obscure slasher THE REDEEMER – and could just have easily worked in a more serious slasher.
 
The three female leads are likable. Disgrace’s acerbic Nancy softens up later in the film, and it is becomes harder to peg any one of the three (stoner, enabler, nerd) as “the final girl.” Lip-ringed Jane is sympathetic as the enabler of the dysfunctional trio, and the focus of a self-contained black and white horror sequence in the form of a nightmare she relates during the “ghost story” session (one almost wonders if it was scripted as such or excerpted from an earlier work by the director, or at least a test-run for him). Carter-Hope and Bone play it broad, but not so much as to be off-putting (considering the disparate elements of this “everything but the kitchen sink” conglomeration). The end credits feature a special thanks to Slyvia Soska whose DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK (available on DVD in the UK through Bounty Films) – co-written and directed with her sister Jen – made a film festival splash recently.
 
The HD videography – captured on the Panasonic HDC-SD60 1080i camcorder – sports creative framing, but the colors make for a queasy viewing experience (possibly intentional). Highlights are often blown-out, and the super saturation of the forest greens and color gels as well as the sometimes murky contrasts suggest this has less to do with the original shooting and more with the application of preset color filters (the screener disc’s artifact-y quality may not represent the final product). A film-look type filter has also been added, so there are often artificial scratches and emulsion digs running through the frame. The effect adds little when viewed on the small screen, but it might add to the atmosphere – although I doubt it will ever look convincing – on festival screens with some added softness from the enlargement of digital projection. Although the end credits specify the make and model of camera, the audio recording device (the nifty-looking Zoom H4n 4-track digital recorder), the scoring and mixing software, it only states that it was edited on an iMac (I’m assuming he used Final Cut Express or Final Cut Pro rather than iMovie since he sprung for Pro Tools for the sound editing). The stereo mix on the screener disc has clear dialogue (usually an issue with low budget films), typically exaggerated sound effects during the stalk-and-slash scenes, and the music is well-mixed (the main title song in particular comes through atmospherically).
 
These days, pretty much anyone with access to even a consumer HD camera can round up some friends and run around the woods (and they do) and offer the result up for distribution. As far as the script is concerned, THE SHADOW OF DEATH may be thrown together (certain character bits seem like they could have been better explored and integrated); but the shooting seems to have been very well thought-out, suggesting that the director’s future work will be worth checking out should he get more ambitious with the scripting and usage of available locations and other resources. THE SHADOW OF DEATH has not yet secured distribution in the UK or stateside.
THE SHADOW OF DEATH Website
THE SHADOW OF DEATH on Facebook
THE SHADOW OF DEATH at IMDb

21 June 2012

Fremantle Media presents THE SHAKESPEARE COLLECTION (review)

Fremantle Media presents THE SHAKESPEARE COLLECTION featuring four major, faithful televised adaptations.

First up is Trevor Nunn's avant-garde production of MACBETH starring Ian McKellan and Judi Dench.  DRACULA A.D. 1972's Christopher Neame woos a forbidden love in ROMEO AND JULIET on disc 2.  Disc 3 features Kenneth Branagh's production of TWELFTH NIGHT with his Renaissance Theatre Company (made the year before he broke into cinematic Shakespeare with HENRY V).  Finally, Patrick Magee chews scenery as KING LEAR

REVIEW LINK: Fremantle Media (UK) Region 0 PAL DVD (DVDBeaver)

THE SHAKESPEARE COLLECTION DVD specs:

  • 4:3 non-anamorphic fullscreen for all four films
  • English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
  • 4-disc set

18 June 2012

Koch Lorber and Jezebel Films get PERMISSIVE with THAT KIND OF GIRL (review)

Groupie Suzy Superscrew hits London and she'll do anything to make it big with the Scottish band Forever More in PERMISSIVE, directed by Lindsay Shonteff (NIGHT AFTER NIGHT AFTER NIGHT), in the first half of this double bill.  In the second half, Austrian au pair becomes THAT KIND OF GIRL when she sleeps around London's beat scene in FANNY HILL director Gerry O'Hara's VD-scare film.  Both rare seedy films have been brilliantly restored by the British Film Institute.

REVIEW LINK: Koch Lorber/Jezebel Films (US) Region 0 NTSC DVD (DVD Drive-In)

PERMISSIVE/THAT KIND OF GIRL DVD specs:
  • 4:3 non-anamorphic fullscreen for both films (OAR)
  • English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono audio for both films
  • Both films digitally restored by the British Film Institute

14 June 2012

FilmBuff and MPI plot A NECESSARY DEATH (review)

From director Daniel Stamm (THE LAST EXORCISM) comes the DVD debut of his earlier faux-documentary feature A NECESSARY DEATH.  Gilbert, a young L.A. Film Conservatory decides to do his thesis project on suicide and searches for an interview subject who is ready to actually commit the deed on camera.  He finds the perfect candidate in Matt, a young British immigrant who has an incurable brain tumor.  Despite misgivings of his crew (as well as the filmmaker documenting the making of his controversial documentary) and the potential legal trouble, Gilbert presses on.  As Gilbert and his crew get to know Matt (and vice versa) neither side is sure that they can go through with the their side of the project; but ambition, financial troubles, jealousy, and manipulation may lead to a more deadly finish than any of them had anticipated.  Several years in the making, A NECESSARY DEATH intelligently uses the faux-documentary genre conventions while nicely balances drama, black comedy, and suspense.

REVIEW LINK: FilmBuff/MPI Media Group (US) Region 1 NTSC DVD (DVDBeaver)

A NECESSARY DEATH DVD specs:
  • Original 1.33:1 Fullscreen Aspect Ratio (inside 16:9 frame)
  • English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
  • Audio Commentary by director Daniel Stamm
  • Audio Commentary by actor/producer G.J. Echternkamp and actors Valerie Hurt and Matt Tilley
  • 35 minutes of deleted scenes
  • Alternate Ending
  • Two Trailers for the film

13 June 2012

MTI and Tino Struckmann in NORMANDY (review)

Writer/director/actor Tino Struckmann (CHAINED: CODE 207) mounts an ambitious WWII period piece set in France (but shot in Tennessee and Alabama) with NORMANDY.  Captain Klaus Mueller is injured on the Russian Front and transferred to Normandy where he reunites with his fiancee Klaudia; however, a sadistic Gestapo agent comes between them and threatens their lives even as the Allied Forces are storming the beaches.

REVIEW LINK: MTI Home Video (US) Region 1 NTSC DVD (DVDBeaver)

NORMANDY DVD specs:
  • 16:9 anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen
  • English Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 stereo
  • English Closed Captioning
  • Trailer
  • Trailers for other MTI DVD releases
More MTI Home Video reviews at Update the Tags: MTI Home Video.

12 June 2012

Arrow Films makes a CLONE from a WOMB (review)

DOCTOR WHO's Matt Smith and DARK SHADOWS' Eva Green star in this sci-fi thriller.  Rebecca (Green) reconnects with her childhood friend and first love Tommy (Smith), but their love affair is cut short when he is killed in a road accident.  She decides to use his DNA to create a clone and carry it in her womb.  She soon learns of the prejudices that others have towards "copies" and now must hide the truth of Tommy's origin from others as well as her son (even as he is growing up and becoming more and more like her lost love).

REVIEW LINK: Arrow Films (UK) Region 2 PAL DVD (DVDBeaver)

CLONE DVD specs:
  • 16:9 anamorphic 2.35:1 widescreen
  • English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
  • Inside CLONE documentary
  • Trailer
More Arrow Films reviews at Update the Tags: Arrow Video.

Guerilla Films and other ACTS OF GODFREY (review)

Victor (Iain Robertson) arrives at the Oakley Court hotel (former Hammer Horror House) for an assertiveness seminar, but he is only one puppet in the games of the omniscient Godfrey who has special plans for his guests; however, even Godfrey's plan are subject to the turns of fate (involving con-men and gangsters).

REVIEW LINK: Guerilla Films (UK) Region 0 PAL DVD (DVDBeaver)

ACTS OF GODFREY DVD specs:
  • 16:9 anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen
  • English Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 stereo
  • Cast and Crew Interviews
  • Behind the Scenes

04 June 2012

MVM enters THE HOUSE (review)

News reporter Shalinee looks into the murder of a woman by her physician husband and discovers that the house where they lived was previously inhabited by two other doctors who had also murdered their wives.  As apparitions terrorize and warn Shalinee to stay away from the house, her husband starts to be bedeviled by paranoid fantasies of his wife's betrayal with one of her co-workers.  Will Shalinee and her husband become the next victims of THE HOUSE?


REVIEW LINK: MVM (UK) Region 2 PAL DVD (DVDBeaver)


THE HOUSE DVD specs:
  • 16:9 anamorphic 2.35:1 widescreen
  • Thai Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Theatrical Trailer

    01 June 2012

    The Global Film Initiative presents STREET DAYS (review)

    Middle-aged heroin addict Checkie is entrapped by the police to set up Ika, the teenage son of one of his former classmates (now a politician) in a drug bust.  Although he is reluctant to betray his old friend, the police promise to help him and his wife with their crippling financial worries; but Checkie becomes even more conflicted when Ika himself goes to extreme ends to help Checkie and his family in this black comedy from Georgia.


    REVIEW LINK: The Global Film Initiative (US) Region 0 NTSC DVD (DVDBeaver)


    STREET DAYS DVD specs:
    • 16:9 anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen
    • Georgian Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
    • Burnt-in English subtitles
    • About The Global Film Initiative
    • PDF Discussion Guide
    More Global Film Initiative reviews at Update the Tags: The Global Film Initiative.

    The Global Film Initiative presents THE TENANTS (review)

    When three hoods move in to his neighborhood, Valter has to worry about his own manhood as well as his family's safety in THE TENANTS (OS INQUILINOS).

    REVIEW LINK: The Global Film Initiative (US) Region 0 NTSC DVD (DVDBeaver)

    THE TENANTS DVD specs:
    • 16:9 anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen
    • Portuguese Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
    • Burnt-in English subtitles
    • About The Global Film Initiative
    • PDF Discussion Guide
    More Global Film Initiative reviews at Update the Tags: The Global Film Initiative.
    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...