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31 December 2016

DVDBeaver Blu-ray/DVD of the Year 2016 Picks are Up!

is up with contributions from Parallax View's Sean Axmaker, cinemacom.com's Simón Cherpitel, SilverBlueSnow's Rossa Crowe, film historian Stuart Galbraith, Adam Lemke, Gregory Meshman, LensViews' Leonard Norwitz, critic Jonathan Rosenbaum, DVDCompare's James-Masaki Ryan, Per-Olaf Strandberg, Arrow Films' James White, and myself among others highlighting some of the best releases in a year rich with physical media representations of great films in handsome special editions (and some where just the film being available in itself is enough).

28 December 2016

LionsGate gets lost in THE SEA OF TREES (review)

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

THE SEA OF TREES Blu-ray specs:
  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.40:1 widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Optional English SDH and Spanish subtitles
  • "The Sea of Trees: A Story of Beauty and Tragedy" featurette
  • Previews
  • Digital HD Copy Code

27 December 2016

Severin Films documents THE KILLING OF AMERICA (review)

Long unseen in the US, THE KILLING OF AMERICA is the brutal, unflinching study of violence in the USA detailing all iterations of the new "age of mass murder" from assassinations to serial murderers, snipers to thrill killers, and more in shocking detail.

REVIEW LINK: Severin Films (US) Region ALL Blu-ray (DVD Drive-in)

THE KILLING OF AMERICA Blu-ray specs:
  • English Version:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.33:1 fullscreen
    • English LPCM 2.0 mono
    • Optional English and English SDH subtitles
    • Audio Commentary by director Sheldon Renan
  • Japanese Version:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.33:1 fullscreen
    • Japanese LPCM 2.0 mono
    • Optional English and English SDH subtitles
  • "The Madness is Real" interview with director Sheldon Renan
  • "Cutting the Killing" interview with editor Lee Percy
  • Interview with Mondo Movie historian Nick Pinkerton
  • Theatrical Trailer

Artsploitation feeds VAMPYRES (review)

Jose Ramon Larraz's seventies lesbian vampire classic gets a remake from Spanish countryman Victor Matellano.  A motorist and three campers happen upon a country house inhabited by two women with a taste for sex and blood-drinking. 

REVIEW LINK: Artsploitation Films (US) Region 1 NTSC DVD (DVD Drive-in)

VAMPYRES DVD specs:
  • 16:9 anamorphic 2.35:1 widescreen
  • English Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 stereo
  • Optional English, English SDH, and Spanish subtitles
  • Making-of
  • Interview with actress Caroline Munro
  • Trailer
  • Previews

26 December 2016

Wild Eye Releasing resurrects JONAH LIVES as THE OUIJA POSSESSION (review)

Bored teenagers hanging out in their parents basement disrespect the rules of the spirit board and inadvertently summon back to life the body and vengeful spirit of Jonah who pursues them and his murderers in a gory night of slaughter.

REVIEW LINK: Wild Eye Releasing (US) Region 0 NTSC DVD (DVDCompare)

THE OUIJA POSSESSION DVD specs:
  • 16:9 anamorphic 2.35:1 widescreen
  • English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
  • Trailer
  • Previews

23 December 2016

Well Go USA gets BAKED IN BROOKLYN (Review)

REVIEW LINK: Well Go USA (US) Region A Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

BAKED IN BROOKLYN Blu-ray specs:
  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.78:1 widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
  • Optional English SDH subtitles
  • Trailer
    Previews

22 December 2016

Scream Factory is dreaming of a BLACK CHRISTMAS (Review)

A killer is stirring all through the house on the night before Christmas as a group of sorority sisters deal with obscene phone calls and the disappearance of one of their own in this Canadian horror classic from director Bob Clark (who would later direct the family-friendly A CHRISTMAS STORY).  Olivia Hussey, Margot Kidder, Andrea Martin, John Saxon, Kier Dullea, Lynne Griffin, and Art Hindle star.

REVIEW LINK: Scream Factory/Shout! Factory (US) Region A Blu-ray (DVD Drive-in)

BLACK CHRISTMAS Blu-ray specs:
  • Disc One:
    • New 2K scan from the original negative
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 widescreen
      • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, 2.0 stereo, and 2.0 mono
      • Optional English SDH subtitles
    • Audio Commentary by director Bob Clark
    • Audio Commentary by actors John Saxon and Kier Dullea
    • Audio Commentary by "Billy" voice actor Nick Mancuso
    • Audio Interview with director Bob Clark (26 minutes)
    • Optional English SDH subtitles
  • Disc Two
    • 2006 HD Master
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.78:1 widescreen
      • English Dolby Digital 5.1
    • "Film and Furs: Remembering Black Christmas with Art Hindle"
    • "Victims and Virgins: Remembering Black Christmas with Lynne Griffin"
    • "Black Christmas Legacy" documentary
    • 40th Anniversary Panel at FanExpo 2014
    • "On Screen!: Black Christmas" TV special
    • "12 Days of Black Christmas" featurette
    • "Black Christmas Revisited" documentary
    • Archival Interviews with Olivia Hussey, Art Hindle, Margot Kidder, Bob Clark, and John Saxon
    • Midnight Screening Q&A with Bob Clark, John Saxon and Carl Zittrer
    • 2 Scenes with Alternate Audio
    • Alternative Title Sequences
    • Still Gallery
    • Original Theatrical Trailers
    • Original TV and Radio Spots
  • Reversible Cover
  • Collector's Slipcover


Vestron Video and LionsGate dig up RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD 3 (review)

Romeo and Juliet gets a flesheating twist in the third film in the RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD series.  Curt and his girlfriend Julie discover that his father is involved in mysterious experiments involving Trioxin and the reanimation of the dead into bio-weapons.  When Julie is killed in a motorcycle accident, Curt resurrects her with the Trioxin and inadvertently unleashes a zombie epidemic on the city.  Melinda Clarke (THE O.C.), J. Trevor Edmond (PUMPKINHEAD 2), Kent McCord (ADAM-12), and Sarah Douglas (SUPERMAN) star.

REVIEW LINK: LionsGate/Vestron Video (US) Region A Blu-ray (DVD Drive-in)

RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD 3 Blu-ray specs:
  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 stereo
  • Optional English SDH subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by director Brian Yuzna
  • Audio Commentary by actress Melinda Clarke and visual effects supervisor Thomas C. Rainone
  • Interview with actress Melinda Clarke
  • Interview with actor J. Trevor Edmond
  • Conversation between director Brian Yuzna and writer John Penney
  • Interview with production executive David Tripet and editor Christopher Roth
  • Interview with effects artists Steve Johnson and Chris Nelson, and filmmaker Anthony Hickox
  • Storyboard and Stills Galleries
  • Two Trailers

Vinegar Syndrome dons SILK SATIN AND SEX to TURN ON WITH KELLY NICHOLS (Review)

In this double bill from Lawrence Talbot, Jessie St. James gives her lingerie models advice on landing a man through effective sale in SILK SATIN AND SEX while Kelly Nichols reveals the ancient secrets of successful sexual relationships in TURN ON WITH KELLY NICHOLS.

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

SILK SATIN AND SEX/TURN ON WITH KELLY NICHOLS DVD specs:
  • Silk Satin and Sex (1983):
    • 16:9 anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen
    • English Dolby Digital 1.0 mono
    • Theatrical Trailer
  • Turn On with Kelly Nichols (1984)
    • 4:3 non-anamorphic 1.33:1 fullscreen
    • English Dolby Digital 1.0 mono

20 December 2016

Vinegar Syndrome nips at JACK FROST (Review)

A serial killer becomes the world's most pissed-off snow cone in the nineties slasher JACK FROST.  After an accident with a truck transporting a government biological experiment, serial killer Jack Frost finds himself with the power to freeze and unfreeze at will, allowing him to invade the town of Snowmonton to exact revenge against its residents.

REVIEW LINK: Vinegar Syndrome (US) Region ALL Blu-ray/Region 0 NTSC DVD (DVD Drive-in)

JACK FROST Blu-ray/DVD combo specs:
  • Blu-ray:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 widescreen
    • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
  • DVD
    • 16:9 anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen
    • English Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 stereo
  • Optional English SDH subtitles
  • Director's Introduction
  • Audio Commentary by director Michael Cooney
  • "Happy Scary" interview with actor Scott MacDonald
  • "Shooting Frost" interview with cinematorapher Dean Lent
  • Reversible Cover
  • Limited Edition available directly from Vinegar Syndrome includes a lenticular slipcover. 

19 December 2016

Second Run grants THREE WISHES FOR CINDERELLA (review)

REVIEW LINK: Second Run (UK) Region 0 PAL DVD (DVDBeaver)

THREE WISHES FOR CINDERELLA DVD specs:
  • 4:3 non-anamorphic 1.37:1 fullscreen
  • Czech Dolby Digital 1.0 mono
  • Optional English subtitles
  • An Appreciation by Michael Brooke
  • Original Trailer
  • 2015 Release Trailer
  • Essay Booklet by Tim Lucas

14 December 2016

Film Movement explores THE QUIET EARTH (review)

The New Zealand eighties post-apocalyptic cult classic THE QUIET EARTH hits Blu-ray from Film Movement.  Waking up in a seaside motel, scientist Zac Hobson discovers that he is apparently the last man on Earth after the catastrophic failure of "Project Flashlight."  No sooner does he declare himself president and then God of the planet than he discovers that he is not the last person on Earth and that the catastrophe that killed all of the other people on the planet is about to happen again.

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

THE QUIET EARTH Blu-ray specs:
  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Audio Commentary by scientist Neil Degrasse Tyson and film critic Odie Henderson
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Previews
  • Essay Booklet by Teresa Heffernan

12 December 2016

LionsGate cheers up JOSHY (Review)

Four months after the abrupt and tragic end of his engagement, Joshy invites his best friends to what was meant to be his bachelor party.  Drowning themselves in sex, drugs, and partying, the five men try to avoid confronting the problems in their personal lives that are eating away at them.

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

JOSHY 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
  • Audio Commentary by writer/director Jeff Baena, producer/actor Adam Pally, and actor Thomas Middleditch
  • Previews

Maltauro Entertainment warns NEVER OPEN THE DOOR (review)

An already tense Thanksgiving dinner in a cabin in the woods is crashed by a dying man who warns the guests "Never Open the Door" in this black and white homage to the works of TWILIGHT ZONE/ALFRED HITCHCOCK HOUR director John Brahm (grandfather of the film's producer).

REVIEW LINK: Maltauro Entertainment (US) Region ALL Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

NEVER OPEN THE DOOR Blu-ray specs:
  • 1080p24 MPEG-2 1.78:1 widescreen
  • English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
  • Optional English SDH subtitles
  • Interview with actress Jessica Sonneborn
  • Interview with director Vito Trabucco
  • Interview with producer Christopher Maltauro
  • Photo Gallery
  • Trailer
  • "For Maggie" featurette

08 December 2016

LionsGate presents Jackie Chan's SKIPTRACE (review)

Jackie Chan stars as a cop pursuing Hong Kong's notorious drug kingpin "The Matador" who gets sidetracked pursuing an American conman (Johnny Knoxville) who is on the run from the Russian mob and The Matador's men when he inadvertently witnesses a murder.  The pair travel across Russia, Mongolia, and China in a series of slapstick adventures and action sequences.  From director Renny Harlin.

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

SKIPTRACE Blu-ray specs:
  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.40:1 widescreen
  • English/Mandarin DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Optional English, English SDH, and Spanish subtitles.
  • Audio Commentary by director Renny Harlin
  • "When Jackie Met Johnny" featurette
  • Previews

05 December 2016

Simply Media laughs with Spike Milligan's Q VOLUME 1 SERIES 1-3 (review)

Spike Milligan's revolutionary sketch comedy series comes to DVD from Simply Media, compiling the surviving episodes of series 1 an the complete series 2 and 3 in a three-disc set.

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

Q VOLUME 1 SERIES 1-3 DVD specs:
  • The surviving episodes of series 1 and complete series 2 and 3 on three dual-layer DVDs
  • 4:3 non-anamorphic 1.33:1 fullscreen
  • English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
  • Optional English HoH subtitles

02 December 2016

Criterion compiles the TRILOGIA DE GUILLERMO DEL TORO (review)

Criterion combines in a sumptuous boxed set Guillermo del Toro's three pre-CRIMSON PEAK works of Gothic horror: the Mexican CRONOS in which an antiques dealer becomes infected with vampirism through an alchemical device, the Spanish THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE in which a young boy discovers the dark secrets of a remote orphanage during the Spanish civil war, and the Spanish PAN'S LABYRINTH in which a young girl discovers a portal to an underground kingdom that offers escape from her war torn childhood.

REVIEW LINK: Criterion Collection (US) Region A Blu-ray (DVD Drive-in)

TRILOGIA DE GUILLERMO DEL TORO Blu-ray specs:
  • Cronos (1997):
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.78:1 widescreen
    • English/Spanish DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Surround
    • Optional English subtitles
    • Optional Spanish or English opening voiceover
    • Audio Commentary with director Guilermo del Toro
    • Audio Commentary with producers Arthur H. Gorson and Bertha Navarro and co-producer Alejandro Springall
    • "Geometria" short (6:53)
      • Interview with director Guillermo del Toro (6:27)
    • "Welcome to Bleak House" featurette (10:14)
    • Interview with Guilermo del Toro (17:36)
    • Interview with cinematographer Guillermo Navarro (12:36)
    • Interview with actor Ron Perlman (7:25)
    • Interview with actor Federico Luppi (5:25)
    • Stills Gallery
    • Theatrical Trailer (1:29)
  • The Devil's Backbone (2001):
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 widescreen
    • Spanish DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
    • Optional English subtitles
    • Audio Commentary with director Guillermo del Toro
    • Introduction by Guillermo del Toro
    • "Summoning Spirits" interview with Guillermo del Toro
    • "Spanish Gothic" interview with Guillermo del Toro
    • "Designing THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE" interview with Guillermo del Toro
    • "¿Que es un fantasma?" featurette
    • "Director’s Notebook" interactive feature
    • Deleted Scenes with optional audio commentary by Guillermo del Toro
    • "A War of Value" interview with scholar Sebastiaan Faber
    • "Sketch, Storyboard, Screen" featurette
    • "Del Toro's Thumbnails" interactive bonus view feature
    • Theatrical Trailer
  • Pan's Labyrinth (2006):
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 widescreen
    • Spanish DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 7.1 tracks
    • Optional English subtitles
    • Audio Commentary with director/writer Guillermo del Toro
    • Director's Introduction
    • "Del Toro and Funke" interview with Guillermo del Toro and writer Cornelia Funke
    • "Director's Notebook" interactive feature
    • Documentaries:
      • "The Power of Myth"
      • "Pan and the Fairies"
      • "The Color and the Shape"
      • "The Melody Echoes the Fairy Tale"
    • Interview with actor Doug Jones
    • Ivana Baquero Audition
    • Prequel Comics
    • Video Comparisons
    • Trailers and TV Spots
  • 100-page hardcover book featuring an introduction by author Neil Gaiman, essays by critics Michael Atkinson, Mark Kermode, and Maitland McDonagh, production notes, and original sketches by Guillermo del Toro and illustrators Carlos Giménez and Raúl Monge.

Arrow Video USA tunes in to CREEPSHOW 2 (review)

George A. Romero and Stephen King return - if only on paper - for CREEPSHOW 2 directed by DAWN OF THE DEAD cinematographer Michael Gornick.  In "Old Chief Woodenhead" a cigar store Indian comes to life to avenge his slaughtered shopkeepers.  In "The Raft", a quartet of celebrating high school grads is trapped in the middle of a remote like by a flesh-eating oil slick.  In "The Hitchhiker" a woman in a hurry runs down a hitchhiker who refuses to die no matter how many times she runs him over.

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

CREEPSHOW 2 Blu-ray specs:
  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, LPCM 2.0 stereo, and LPCM 1.0 mono
  • Optional English SDH subtitles
  • Audio Commentary with director Michael Gornick; moderated by Perry Martin
  • "Poncho’s Last Ride" interview with actor Daniel Beer
  • "The Road to Dover" interview with actor Tom Wright
  • "Screenplay for a Sequel" interview with screenwriter George A. Romero
  • "Tales from the Creep" interview with actor and make-up artist Tom Savini
  • "Nightmares in Foam Rubber" documentary
  • "My Friend Rick" interview with special effects artist Howard Berger
  • Behind-the-Scenes Footage
  • "Image Gallery" slideshow
  • 2 Theatrical Trailers
  • TV Spot
  • BD-ROM Content: Original Screenplay
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork
  • Limited Edition containing "Creepshow 2: Pinfall" a booklet featuring the never-before-seen comic adaptation of the unfilmed Creepshow 2 segment by artist Jason Mayoh and a collector’s booklet featuring a new writing on the film by Michael Blyth.

Lionsgate resurrects Vestron Video and C.H.U.D. II: BUD THE CHUD (review)

The CHUDs are loose again in this eighties teen comedy sequel to the original cult classic.  When prankster Steve and nerd Kevin lose a corpse meant for their biology class lecture, they rope best friend Katie into helping them steal a replacement body from the town's disease control center.  What they do not realize is that the corpse is a test subject for the CHUD enzyme to create super soldiers which has the unfortunate side effect of spreading communicable cannibalism.

REVIEW LINK: Vestron Video Collector's Series/LionsGate (US) Region A Blu-ray (DVD Drive-in)

C.H.U.D. II: BUD THE CHUD Blu-ray specs:
  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.78:1 widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono
  • Optional English SDH subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by director David Irving
  • Interview with actor Gerit Graham
  • Interview with actress Tricia Leigh Fisher
  • Interview with effects artist Allan Apone
  • Stills Gallery
  • Video Trailer
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