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31 August 2012

MTI is trapped in a COFFIN (review)

Jack Samms returns home from a business trip to find his house invaded by sack-masked Trick who shows him video proving that his wife Rona and her lover Sean have been buried alive.  They have only seventy-five minutes of oxygen and will die unless Jack pays up.  When the police investigating Sean's disappearance connect him to Jack's wife, Jack becomes a suspect in their disappearance while he is trying to outwit Trick to save them.  Kevin Sorbo and Bruce Davison also star.

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

  • 16:9 anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen
  • English Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 stereo
  • Audio Commentary by director's Kipp Tribble and Derik Wingo
  • Behind the Scenes
  • Actor Patrick Barnitt's Video Diary
  • Trailer
  • Additional MTI Home Video Trailers
Additional MTI Home Video reviews at Update the Tags: MTI Home Video.

Second Run debuts Adoor Gopalakrishnan's MAN OF THE STORY on DVD (review)

Epic in scope but intimate in focus, Adoor Gopalakrishnan's MAN OF THE STORY covers forty years of India's history as experienced by Kunjunni.  Abandoned by his father and raised by his grandmother when his mother falls ill, Kunjunni is initially frightened by the changing social and political landscape of India.  Leaving home for college, he soon sheds his feudal familial roots to fight for social change and embrace new ideas and movements whenever the old ones become too rigid and oppressive.  His broadening political awareness also allows him to come to terms with the deep-seated emotional pain of his family life.

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

MAN OF THE STORY (Kathapurushan) DVD specs:
  • 4:3 non-anamorphic 1.33:1 fullscreen (original aspect ratio)
  • Malayalam Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Interview with Adoor Gopalakrishnan
  • Liner Notes Booklet by Suranjan Ganguly

28 August 2012

Kino and Redemption Films adopt the TWO ORPHAN VAMPIRES (review)

Louise and Henriette are the "blind angels" of the Glycines Orphanage, but the Mother Superior and kindly Sister Martha do not realize that the two girls are actually vampires who can only see at night and hunt the nearby graveyard for human and animal victims.  When a kindly eye doctor decides to adopt the orphans and take them back to Paris with him, the city provides the pair with bigger adventures (and cemeteries), but also bigger dangers for humans and from others of their own kind.  Tina Aumont (TORSO), Natalie Perrey (LIPS OF BLOOD), and Brigitte Lahaie (GRAPES OF DEATH) also star.

REVIEW LINK: Kino Lorber/Redemption Films (US) Region ALL Blu-Ray (DVD Drive-In)

  • 1080P AVC-encoded widescreen 1.78:1 aspect ratio
  • French and English LPCM 2.0 audio tracks
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • "Memories of a Blue World" retrospective documentary by Daniel Gouyette (40 mins)
  • Interview with Jean Rollin (20 mins)
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Jean Rollin Trailer Show
  • Liner Notes Booklet by VIDEO WATCHDOG's Tim Lucas.
More Jean Rollin reviews at Update the Tags: Jean Rollin.

    27 August 2012

    Vertigo Films spends A NIGHT IN THE WOODS (review)

    When Brody (and his camera), his girlfriend Kerry, and her "cousin" Leo head out to Dartmoor's Wistman's Wood for a camping trip and fail to heed the warning about the legend of the huntsman.  It seems that he stalks and hangs sinners, and this groups dysfunctional brand of sexual shenanigans and mind games make them very tasty targets in this "found footage" horror pic from the makers of BRONSON and MONSTERS.  Scoot McNairy (MONSTERS), Anna Skellern (THE DESCENT 2), and Andrew Hawley star.

    REVIEW LINK: Vertigo Films/Momentum Pictures (UK) Region 0 PAL DVD (DVDBeaver)

    • 16:9 anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen
    • English Dolby Digital 5.1
    • Optional English SDH subtitles
    • Making-of Featurette
    • Trailer
    More Momentum Pictures reviews at Update the Tags: Momentum Pictures.

    Zombie wedding crashers in eOne's [REC] 3 (review)

    It's Clara and Koldo's wedding day, and not even an outbreak of rabid, demonic zombies (including members of their own family) is going to keep the young lovers apart.  Brandishing chainsaws and swords, the two (and a handful of survivors) hack, saw, and slash their way through the possessed hordes EVIL DEAD-style in Paco Plaza's [REC] 3: GENESIS (Plaza's co-director on the first two films is helming the fourth installment as a prequel).

    REVIEW LINK: Entertainment One (UK) Region 2 PAL DVD (DVDBeaver)

    REC 3: GENESIS DVD specs:
    • 16:9 anamorphic 2.35:1 widescreen
    • Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 stereo
    • Optional English subtitles 
    • "Preparing a Bloody Wedding" featurette
    • Outtakes
    • Deleted Scenes

    24 August 2012

    Ethan Hawke gets SINISTER (in UK theaters October 16)

    Ethan Hawke stars in a new supernatural thriller from the producers of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY and INSIDIOUS.  Crime writer Ellison (Hawke) moves his family into a house that is the scene of the latest crime he is investigating - the unsolved brutal murder of a suburban family - he discovers 8mm film of the murders in the attic, and begins to believe that the same unidentified assailant in the film may still be in the house and is stalking him and his family.

    LINK: SINISTER's UK Facebook page.
    LINK: SINISTER's Tumblr page.

    23 August 2012

    Scorpion Releasing takes in a double bill of THE HEARSE and BLOOD OF DRACULA'S CASTLE (review)

    Scorpion Releasing presents a Crown International double bill.  Trish Van Devere (THE CHANGELING) plays a young woman who inherits an old house from her long dead aunt, but apparitions and slamming doors are the least of her problems when a mysterious hearse and its scarred driver starts stalking her on the roads at night in THE HEARSE.  In BLOOD OR DRACULA'S CASTLE, a cheesecake photographer and his fiancee inherit Falcon Rock castle, but it already has tenants: the Count and Countess Dracula and they would find it very inconvenient to relocate with their deformed servant, creepy butler, psychopathic werewolf, and dungeon full of nubile blood donors.  Alex D'Arcy, Paula Raymond, and John Carradine star.

    REVIEW LINK: Scorpion Releasing (US) Region 0 NTSC DVD (DVDBeaver)

    • 16:9 anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen transfers of both films
    • THE HEARSE transferred from a brand new HD master of the original negative
    • First ever widescreen transfer of the werewolf version of BLOOD OF DRACULA'S CASTLE
    • Audio Interview with THE HEARSE author William Bleich
    • THE HEARSE Theatrical Trailer
    • Katarina Leigh Waters interviews BLOOD OF DRACULA'S CASTLE stuntman/production manager John "Bud" Cardos
    More Scorpion Releasing reviews at Update the Tags: Scorpion Releasing.

    Anchor Bay rates on THE AGGRESSION SCALE (review)

    TWIN PEAKS' Ray Wise and Dana Ashbrook reunite in this violent HOME ALONE meets RAMBO thriller.  Wise plays a crime boss facing conviction for murder who has forty-eight hours to skip the country; however, fifty-thousand dollars of his ill-gotten gains have vanished while he was in jail and he sends his hitman on a kill list to eliminate anyone who might have taken the money.  They work their way down the list towards accountant Bill, his new wife Maggie, her sullen daughter Lauren, and his seemingly autistic teenage son Owen.  This last job seems like it should be the easiest, but the hitman don't realize is that young Owen is severely emotionally disturbed - scoring 99.5 on the aggression scale (used for measuring aggressive behavior with the potential to cause physical or psychological harm to others) - he has a special hatred of bullies of any kind.

    REVIEW LINK: Anchor Bay (UK) Region 2 PAL DVD (DVDBeaver)

    • 16:9 anamorphic 1.80:1 widescreen
    • English Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 stereo

    22 August 2012

    Arrow Films ventures into THE FIELDS (review)

    After his hothead father points a shotgun in his partygirl mother's face, young Stevie is sent to spend a couple weeks with his father's parents on their farm while his parents try to fix their relationship.  With Charles Manson and his girls splashed all over the news, Stevie starts to get nervous when a group of California hippies start hanging out in the area and someone or something starts a series of increasingly violent attacks on the farm.  Is it the hippies or does something else lurk in the mysterious cornfields behind the farm?  Tara Reid and Cloris Leachman star.

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

    THE FIELDS DVD specs:
    • 16:9 anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen
    • English Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 stereo
    More Arrow Films reviews at Update the Tags: Arrow Video.

    Raro Video sets sail on WAVES OF LUST (review)

    Before CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST and THE HOUSE ON THE EDGE OF THE PARK, Ruggero Deodato dabbled in the giallo genre with the sexy, sleazy jet-set thriller WAVES OF LUST (Ondata di Piacere).  John Steiner (TENEBRAE) and Elizabeth Turner (BEYOND THE DOOR) play a sadomasochistic wealthy couple who meet their match when they are individually and jointly seduced and manipulated by carefree youths Silvia Dionisio (MURDER OBSESSION) and Al Cliver (ZOMBIE).

    REVIEW LINK: Raro Video USA (US) Region 0 NTSC DVD vs Raro Video (IT) Region 0 PAL DVD (DVDBeaver)

    WAVES OF LUST DVD specs:
    • 16:9 anamorphic 1.84:1 widescreen
    • English and Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
    • Optional English subtitles
    • "Erotic Tsunami" documentary
    • Deleted Scenes from the English version
    • Ruggero Deodato TV spots with commentary 
    • Liner Notes Booklet (by yours truly!)
    More Raro Video reviews at Update the Tags: Raro Video.

    19 August 2012

    A Vacation Massacre in Raro Video's MADNESS (review)

    Eurocult greats Joe Dallesandro (ANDY WARHOL'S DRACULA) and director Fernando Di Leo (TO BE TWENTY) meet up in MADNESS.  Dallesandro plays an escaped criminal in search of his hidden loot, which happens to be buried under the fireplace of a couple's country vacation cottage.  When the couple and the wife's sexy sister arrive, Dallesandro puts them through a hellish weekend of beatings, rape, and murder.  Lorraine de Selle (CANNIBAL FEROX) also stars.

    REVIEW LINK: Raro Video USA (US) Region 0 NTSC DVD (DVD Drive-In)

    MADNESS DVD specs:
    • 16:9 anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen
    • Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
    • Optional English subtitles
    • Director's Biography
    • Director's Filmography
    • Liner Notes Booklet
    More Raro Video reviews at Update the Tags: Raro Video

    15 August 2012

    MGM plans OPERATION BIKINI (review)

    Tab Hunter, Scott Brady, Frankie Avalon, and Jody McCrea head to the South Pacific to destroy a sunken submarine in AIP's WWII drama OPERATION BIKINI (which is definitely NOT part of AIP's BEACH PARTY series).

    REVIEW LINK: MGM (US) Region 1 NTSC DVD-R (DVD Drive-In)

    • 16:9 anamorphic 1.66:1 widescreen
    • English Dolby Digtial 2.0 mono

    Retromedia visits the BIKINI DRIVE-IN, now uncut and uncensored (review)

    Fred Olen Ray takes us back to the drive-in with some added nineties T&A in BIKINI DRIVE-IN.  When topless sunbather Kim inherits a run-down old theater, she learns that she has to pay the bank $25,000 by Monday or lose the drive-in.  What's worse is that a greedy real estate developer wants the land for himself.  Kim, her friends, and the son of the land developer decide to take the drive-in away from its recent family fare and back to the grindhouse with a quadruple feature starring bodacious Dyanne Lynne (Michelle Bauer, THE TOMB). 

    REVIEW LINK: Retromedia (US) Region 0 NTSC DVD (DVD Drive-In)

    • 4:3 non-anamorphic 1.33:1 fullscreen (original aspect ratio)
    • English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
    • Audio Commentary track with director Fred Olen Ray and star Richard Gabai
    • Nite Owl Theater Collection
    • Vintage Drive-In Intermission Spots

    09 August 2012

    Dolph Lundgren runs a PENTATHLON for Anchor Bay UK (review)

    In PENTATHLON, action star Dolph Lundgren plays Eric Broger, an East German Olympic athlete who is injured while escaping to America.  His life falls apart in the land of opportunity and he is soon flipping burgers.  With the encouragement of his boss, he starts training again to compete for the Pentathlon for America this time.  Unfortunately, his former German coach (David Soul) is now a Neo-Nazi planning an explosive surprise for a world peace rally, and he wants his former student to be his special guest.  Lundgren's version of ROCKY, this film went straight to video in the US and the UK, but it really is an entertaining combination of real drama, action, and some intentional (and unintentional) comedy.

    REVIEW LINK: Anchor Bay (UK) Region 2 PAL DVD (DVDBeaver)

    • 16:9 anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen
    • English Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 stereo
    • Theatrical Trailer

    07 August 2012

    Arrow Films hunts LESBIAN VAMPIRE WARRIORS (review)

    Ar is a teenage vampire slayer who stalks the streets at night defending her town against blood-sucking vampires.  She maintains a friendship with a family of friendly vegetarian vampires, including Max, a girl vampire who has never tasted human blood.  When an evil vampire breezes into town consuming weaker vampires to become more powerful, Ar has more incentive to band with the vegetarian vampires against him when she discovers that her long-missing sister is his apprentice.

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

    • 16:9 anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen
    • Chinese Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
    • Optional English subtitles
    More Arrow Films reviews at Update the Tags: Arrow Video.

    Arrow Films investigates a PARANORMAL INCIDENT (review)

    When six Pepperdine University students decide to search for "paranormal activity" in the infamously haunted Odenbrook Sanitarioum, you know it's not gonna end well (if it did, why the hell would we be watching it).  Two days later, five of the students are missing and the third is covered in their blood; but there are no bodies and only their video footage remains.

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

    • 16:9 anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen
    • English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
    • Trailer
    More Arrow Films reviews at Update the Tags: Arrow Video.

    06 August 2012

    Code Red presents a BLOOD MANIA in the LAND OF THE MINOTAUR (review)

    In Code Red's latest Maria's B-Movie Mayhem release - hosted by Maria Kanellis - it's Donald Pleasance vs Peter Cushing in the LAND OF THE MINOTAUR where a pagan cult kidnaps tourists to sacrifice to the Minotaur in modern-day Greece.  In the co-feature BLOOD MANIA, POINT OF TERROR's Peter Carpenter once again tangle with beautiful and deadly women in a plot involving bedridden wealthy invalids, nympo daughters, and a large inheritance.  Maria De Aragon (STAR WARS) and Playmates Vicki Peters and Reagan Wilson also star.

    REVIEW LINK: Code Red Releasing (US) Region 0 NTSC DVD (DVD Drive-In)

    • 16:9 anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen
    • English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
    • Audio Commentary on BLOOD MANIA by director Robert Vincent O'Neill and actress Leslie Simms
    • Interview with BLOOD MANIA actress Vicki Peters
    • BLOOD MANIA Trailer
    • Optional MARIA'S B-MOVIE MAYHEM hostess segments by Maria Kanellis
    • Code Red Trailers
    More Code Red reviews at Update the Tags: Code Red Releasing.

      03 August 2012

      Code Red watches THE BABYSITTER and exposes THE TOPLESS STORY (review)

      In THE BABYSITTER, middle-aged prosecutor George Maxwell gets a new lease on life when short-skirted babysitter Candy Wilson comes into his life, but the girlfriend of a murderer he plans to put behind bars is out to blackmail him.  Previously available on DVD from a terrible eighties video master, THE BABYSITTER (rated X upon its 1969 theatrical release through Crown International) has been lovingly restored from the original 35mm camera negatives.  In THE TOPLESS STORY, high-strung fashion designer Nathanial Pierson jets off around the world and discovers topless bathing.

      REVIEW LINK: Code Red Releasing (US) Region 0 NTSC DVD (DVD Drive-In)

      • 16:9 anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen
      • English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
      • Theatrical Trailer
      • "Injustice to THE BABYSITTER" featurette
      • Code Red Trailers
      More Code Red reviews at Update the Tags: Code Red Releasing.

      01 August 2012

      Code Red has a GHOSTKEEPER (review)

      Code Red have rescued the obscure 80's Canadian chiller GHOSTKEEPER for its thirtieth anniversary with a special edition DVD.  Jenny, Marty, and Chrissy escape a boring New Year's Eve party at a ski resort to go exploring the mountains.  When one of the snowmobile's crashes, they take shelter in a creepy old hotel where they encounter the Wendigo!

      REVIEW LINK: Code Red (US) Region 0 NTSC DVD (DVDBeaver)

      GHOSTKEEPER DVD specs:
      • 16:9 anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen
      • English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
      • Audio Commentary by director Jim Makichuk and actors Murray Ord and Riva Spier (moderated by Jeff McKay)
      • Interview with cinematographer John Holbrook
      • Interview with actress Georgie Collins
      • Code Red Trailers
      More Code Red reviews at Update the Tags: Code Red Releasing.