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31 December 2020

Kino Lorber takes aim at STRAIGHT SHOOTING (review)

Harry Carey is the original "good bad man" cowboy turned by a pair of hazel eyes in John Ford's feature film debut STRAIGHT SHOOTING in which cattlemen go to war with homesteaders over the land in this 1917 western.

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

STRAIGHT SHOOTING Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.33:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen
  • Music DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo
  • English Intertitles
  • Audio Commentary by film historian Joseph McBride, author of "Searching for John Ford: A Life"
  • "Hitchin' Posts" fragment of a 1920 John Ford film preserved by the Library of Congress
  • "Bull Scores a Touchdown" video essay by film critic Tag Gallagher
  • Essay booklet by film critic Tag Gallagher

Indiepix hits the town with THREE COMRADES (review)

After being chewed out for their flagging performance in a slow economy, three young phone salesmen hit the town for drinks, but their increasingly aggressive behavior spirals out of control into a climax of violence in this Russian look at toxic masculinity.

REVIEW LINK: Indiepix (US) Region 0 NTSC DVD-R (DVDCompare)

THREE COMRADES DVD-R specs:

  • 16:9 anamorphic 1.78:1 Widescreen
  • Russian LPCM 2.0 Stereo
  • Burnt-in English Subtitles
  • Theatrical Trailer

28 December 2020

Second Run goes GHOST HUNTING (review)

Filmmaker Raed Andoni places an ad in a Ramallah newspaper seeking former prisoners of the Moscobiya Dentention Centre for a film project in which they will reconstruct the centre from memory in which they will reenact and confront their experiences.

REVIEW LINK: Second Run (UK) Region ALL Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

GHOST HUNTING Blu-ray specs: 

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.78:1 Widescreen
    • Arabic DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and LPCM 2.0 Stereo
    • Optional English Subtitles
    • Interview with director Raed Andoni
    • Booklet featuring an essay by Gareth Evans

27 December 2020

Cineventures' Best of 2020 Blu-ray and DVD List

With over two hundred reviews this year and even more worthy product, it was hard to narrow down my favorites to just ten. The two top ten releases consist of films making their Blu-ray debut while worthy upgrades are listed among the honorable mentions.

TOP TEN EXPLOITATION:

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

TOP TEN ARTHOUSE/MAINSTREAM: 

HONORABLE MENTIONS: 

Paramount Pictures accepts MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - THE COMPLETE SERIES (review)

Long before the overblown Tom Cruise franchise, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE was a fun television series in which a team tackled operations involving disguises, manipulation, and impersonation in order to foil military coups, nuclear war, and syndicate warfare.  Peter Graves, Leonard Nimoy, Martin Landau, Lynda Day George, Barbara Bain, Peter Lupus, and Greg Morris star.

REVIEW LINK: Paramount Pictures (US) Region ALL Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE: THE ORIGINAL TV SERIES Blu-ray specs:

  • Seven seasons on fourty-six BD50 Blu-ray discs
  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.33:1 pillarboxed fullscreen
  • English DTS-HD Master 5.1, French and German Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono Audio
  • Optional English SDH, French, and German subtitles

 

18 December 2020

Paramount Pictures hits the waves with HAWAII FIVE-0: THE COMPLETE SERIES (review)

Hit the waves with new millenium's McGarrett and Danno in the 2010-2020 reboot of HAWAII FIVE-0 when Navy SEAL Steve McGarrett assembles a team with a New Jersey detective, an ex-cop fired for corruption, and an academy graduate to take on the island's most dangerous criminals and international terrorists.

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

HAWAII FIVE-0: THE COMPLETE SERIES DVD specs: 

  • Ten complete seasons on fifty-nine dual-layer DVDs
  • 16:9 anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen
  • English Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 Surround Audio
  • French Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround on season one
  • Optional English SDH Subtitles on all seasons 
  • Optional French subtitles on season one
  • Optional Spanish subtitles on seasons one through four
  • Optional Portuguese subtitles on seasons one through six
  • Thirteen episode commentaries with the cast and crew
  • Deleted, extended, and alternate scenes for several episodes
  • Gag reels for every season
  • Season overview featurettes
  • Additional featurettes on effects, stuntwork, etc.
  • Original series episode "Hookman"
  • Exclusive bonus DVD featuring "Looking Back: The Cast Celebrates 10 Seasons" ten part featurette,
    "Celebrating 50 Years of Hawaii Five-0", "All for One" music video, "Ohana" music video

 

88 Films and Jackie Chan battle SHAOLIN WOODEN MEN (review)

Jackie Chan plays a mute young monk in a Shaolin temple who is dismissed as hopeless until he trains under a prisoner monk, not realizing that the man is the leader of a deadly group of bandits who will wreak vengeance upon the temple unless he can use the man's own fighting skills against him.

REVIEW LINK: 88 Films (UK) Region B Blu-ray (DVD Drive-in)

SHAOLIN WOODEN MEN Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
  • Mandarin DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono, Cantonese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono, Cantonese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono (alternate mix), and English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by Asian cinema expert Brandon Bentley
  • Audio Commentary by Hong Kong cinema experts Mike Leeder and Arne Venema
  • "Rick Baker on Shaolin Wooden Men" interview
  • "Shaolin Chamber of Death: How Trans-Global Pictures brought Jackie Chan to Britain"
  • Hong Kong Theatrical Trailer
  • English Theatrical Trailer
  • Japanese Theatrical Trailer
  • Japanese TV Spot
  • Further Attractions
  • Reversible cover with brand-new artwork from R.P. "Kung Fu Bob" O'Brien and alternative Hong Kong poster artwork
  • The first pressing includes a limited edition slipcover, set of 4 double-sided art cards, and A3 foldout poster.

88 Films resurrects the Dragon with Jackie Chan's NEW FIST OF FURY (review)

THE BIG BOSS/FIST OF FURY producer/director Lo Wei handpicked Jackie Chan to be the next Bruce Lee which proved to ber a bad fit in spite of Chan going on to become a martial arts superstar.  In this early effort NEW FIST OF FURY, Chan plays a Taiwanese street thief who may be the only hope of avenging the Dragon's death at the hands of Japanese occupiers.

REVIEW LINK: 88 Films (UK) Region B Blu-ray (DVD Drive-in)

NEW FIST OF FURY Blu-ray specs:

  • 1976 Mandarin Cut (2 hours):
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
    • Mandarin and English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
    • Optional English Subtitles
    • Audio Commentary by Asian cinema expert Brandon Bentley and artist/Hong Kong cinema expert R.P. “Kung Fu Bob” O’Brien
    • Audio Commentary by Hong Kong cinema expert Andrew Staton
  • 1980 Cantonese Cut (82 minutes):
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
    • Cantonese and English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
    • Optional English Subtitles
  • Hong Kong Theatrical Trailer
  • English Theatrical Trailer
  • Reversible Cover with original Hong Kong poster artwork and brand-new artwork from R.P. “Kung Fu Bob” O’Brien
  • The first print run includes a slipcover with brand-new artwork from R.P. “Kung Fu Bob” O’Brien and an extensive booklet by Bruce Lee Historian and Martial Arts movie reviewer for Martial Arts Illustrated and World of Martial Arts magazines Andrew Staton.

Scorpion Releasing mounts P.O.W. THE ESCAPE (review)

David Carradine takes a Chuck Norris roll as a colonel who takes a unit into Vietnam to rescue prisoners of war who will officially be declared "missing in action" if they do not survive in this Cannon war pic from the makers of AMERICAN NINJA.

REVIEW LINK: Scorpion Releasing (US) Region A Blu-ray (DVD Drive-in)

P.O.W. THE ESCAPE Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo
  • Optional English SDH Subtitles
  • Interview with director Gideon Amir
  • Interview with screenwriter James Bruner
  • Interview with stunt coordinator Steve Lambert
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Scorpion Releasing Trailers

Exclusively available from Ronin Flix.

Scorpion Releasing sounds the alarm for DEF-CON 4 (review)

After launching a nuclear missile in the midst of a conflict between the US and the USSR, an American satellite station flight crew find their ship repogrammed to head back to an Earth they no longer recognize in this Canadian post-apocalyptic pic from New Wold Pictures.

REVIEW LINK: Scorpion Releasing (US) Region A Blu-ray (DVD Drive-in)

DEF-CON 4 Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English SDH Subtitles
  • Interview with composer Christopher Young
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Scorpion Releasing Trailers
  • Reversible Cover


07 December 2020

Montage Pictures captures THE PAINTED BIRD (Review)

A young boy wanders a hellish Eastern European landscape in search of his parents in the brutal Czech drama THE PAINTED BIRD based on the novel by Polish author Jerzy Kosinski (BEING THERE).

REVIEW LINK: Montage Pictures/Eureka Video (UK) Region B Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

THE PAINTED BIRD Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.40:1 Widescreen
  • Czech DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • "11 Colours: The Making of The Painted Bird" making-of documentary (125 mins) 
  • Stills Gallery
  • The first 1,000 copies come with a limited O-card slipcase and a collector’s booklet featuring an essay on the film by Jason Wood

04 December 2020

88 Films celebrates NEW YEAR'S EVIL (review)

Cannon Films rings in the New Year with this eighties slasher in which a popular music DJ is hosting a New Year's Eve music show when she begins receiving phone calls from a psychopathic killer who promises to kill one victim at midnight in each time zone and that she will be the final victim.  HAPPY DAYS' Roz Kelly and HARDBODIES' Grant Cramer star.

REVIEW LINK: 88 Films (UK) Region B Blu-ray (DVD Drive-in)

NEW YEAR'S EVIL Blu-ray specs:

88 Films visits GRANDMOTHER'S HOUSE (review)

Visit GRANDMOTHER'S HOUSE where "she'll love you to death" in this eighties thriller about two orphans sent to live with their grandparents who have have some deadly secrets of their own.

REVIEW LINK: 88 Films (UK) Region ALL Blu-ray (DVD Drive-in)

GRANDMOTHER'S HOUSE Blu-ray specs:

Arrow Video resurfaces with HE CAME FROM THE SWAMP: THE WILLIAM GREFÉ COLLECTION (review)

From deep in the Everglades comes Florida's homegrown exploitation director William Grefé and seven of his films plus a feature-length documentary on his work.  In STING OF DEATH, a mutant, man-sized jellyfish stalks teenagers. In DEATH CURSE OF TARTU, an expedition in the Everglades runs afoul of an ancient Indian witch doctor.  In THE HOOKED GENERATION, a group of drug-runnings kidnap a couple who witness them massacre the Coast Guard.  In THE PSYCHEDELIC PRIEST, a Catholic school teacher drops out after drinking an LSD-laced Pepsi and goes on a road trip frought with danger. In NAKED ZOO, a writer and gigolo preys on wealthy older women including Rita Hayworth.  In MAKO: JAWS OF DEATH, an outcast forms a mystical relationship with sharks and turns them loose on anyone who would hurt them.  Finally, in WHISKEY MOUNTAIN, two couples head deep into the North Carolina mountains in search of treaure... but they are not alone.

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

HE CAME FROM THE SWAMP: THE WILLIAM GREFÉ COLLECTION Blu-ray specs:

  • Disc One:
    • Sting of Death (1966):
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.78:1 Widescreen
      • English LPCM 1.0 Mono
      • Optional English SDH Subtitles
    • Death Curse of Tartu (1966):
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.78:1 Widescreen
      • English LPCM 1.0 Mono
      • Optional English SDH Subtitles
    • Audio Commentaries on both films by director Bill Grefé, moderated by filmmaker Frank Henenlotter
    • New introductions for both films by director Bill Grefé
    • Theatrical Trailers for both films
    • "Beyond the Movie: Monsters a-Go Go!" interview with author/historian C. Courtney Joyner
    • "The Curious Case of Dr. Traboh: Spook Show Extraordinaire" interview with monster maker Doug Hobart
  • Disc Two:
    • The Hooked Generation (1968):
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.33:1 Fullscreen
      • English LPCM 1.0 Mono
      • Optional English SDH Subtitles 
      • Behind the Scenes Footage
      • Still Gallery
    • The Psychedelic Priest (1971):
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.33:1 Fullscreen
      • English LPCM 1.0 Mono
      • Optional English SDH Subtitles
    • Audio Commentaries on both films by director Bill Grefé, moderated by filmmaker Frank Henenlotter
    • New introductions for both films by director Bill Grefé
    • "Beyond the Movie: That's Drugsploitation!" interview with film historian Chris Poggiali
    • "Beyond the Movie: The Ultimate Road Trip" interview with film historian Chris Poggiali
  • Disc Three:
    • Naked Zoo - Director's Cut (1970):
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
      • English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 Mono
      • Optional English SDH Subtitles 
      • Still Gallery
    • Naked Zoo - Barry Mahon Cut (1970):
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
      • English Dolby Digital 2.0 Moon
    • Mako: Jaws of Death (1976):
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
      • English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 Mono 
      • Optional English SDH Subtitles
      • Super 8 Digest Version
      • Theatrical Trailer
      • Original Promo
      • CBS Promo
      • Behind the Scenes Segment
      • Still Gallery
    • Audio Commentaries on the director's cut of NAKED ZOO and MAKO: JAWS OF DEATH by director Bill Grefé
    • New introductions for both films by director Bill Grefé
    • "Beyond the Movie: That's Sharksploitation!" interview with film historian Michael Gingold
    • "The Aquamaid Speaks" audio interview with actress Jennifer Bishop, conducted by Ed Tucker
    • "Sharks, Stalkers, and Sasquatch" audio interview with screenwriter Robert Morgan
  • Disc Four:
    • Whiskey Mountain (1977):
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.55:1 Widescreen
      • English LPCM 1.0 Mono
      • Optional English SDH Subtitles
      • Audio Commentary by director William Grefé
      • Introduction by director William Grefé
      • Theatrical Trailer
      • Radio Spot
      • TV Show Excerpt
    • "They Came from the Swamp: The Films of William Grefé" 2016 documentary
    • Deleted Scenes
    • "On Location: Grefé in Miami" archival locations visit with director William Grefé
    • "Crown Jewels" documentary featurette on distributor Crown International
    • Short film "Bacardi and Coke Bonanza '81"
    • Bonus Trailer Gallery
  • A fully illustrated collector’s booklet featuring an extensive, never-before-published interview with William Grefé and a new foreword by the filmmaker
  • Reversible poster featuring newly commissioned artwork by The Twins of Evil
  • Reversible sleeves featuring newly commissioned artwork for each of the films by The Twins of Evil.

 

Vinegar Syndrome warns SOMETIMES AUNT MARTHA DOES DREADFUL THINGS (Review)

The American Film Genre Archive and Vinegar Syndrome rescue this Florida-shot rarity about a pair of sexually ambiguous jewelry thieves on the run.  While child-like Stanley runs around with girls and draws attention to them, Paul dresses up as the neighborhood's kindly Aunt Martha who murders anyone who sees too much or asks too many questions.

REVIEW LINK: American Genre Film Archive (US) Region ALL Blu-ray (DVD Drive-in)

SOMETIMES AUNT MARTHA DOES DREADFUL THINGS Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English SDH Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by queer film historian Evan Purchell and AGFA’s Bret Berg (2020)
  • Bonus Movie "The Drag Queen's Ball" (1970)
  • Shorts:
    • "Gay-in III" (1970)
    • "Caught in the Can" (1970)
  • Trailers:
    • "Lusting Hours"
    • "My Third Wife George"
    • "Sins of Rachel"
    • "Gay Liberation"
    • "The Queen"
  • Reversible Cover
  • The first 1,500 copies ordered directly from Vinegar Syndrome come with a special limited edition embossed slipcover

 

Vinegar Syndrome plays DEADLY GAMES with Santa (review)

Ten year old Thomas has a high IQ and an active imagination.  When Christmas Eve comes, he decides to use his genius and high tech gadgets to catch Santa when he arrives at midnight to deliver presents. Unfortunately, this Santa is a deranged maniac bent on murder in this brutal French eighties precursor to HOME ALONE.

REVIEW LINK: Vinegar Syndrome (US) Region ALL UltraHD 4K/Region ALL Blu-ray (DVD Drive-in)

DEADLY GAMES Blu-ray specs:

  • UltraHD 4K:
    • 2160p24 HEVC H.265 1.85:1 Widescreen (HDR10)
  • Blu-ray:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
  • French DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • "Forbidden Toys" interview with director René Manzor
  • "To Become a Man" interview with actor Alain Musy
  • "Simon Says Roll Sound" 1990 behind the scenes featurette
  • "Synapses" 1981 animated short film by René Manzor
  • Bonnie Tyler: "Merry Christmas" music video
  • Photo Slideshow (with audio commentary by director René Manzor)
  • "Storyboard-to-Scene" comparisons
  • "Pre-Trailer Model Shots" footage (with audio commentary by director René Manzor)
  • Theatrical Trailers:
    • French
    • Italian
    • English
  • French Teaser Trailer
  • 2 French TV Spots
  • Reversible Cover
  • Available in a Limited Edition with an embossed slipcover designed by Tom Hodge via the Vinegar Syndrome website (limited to 5,000 copies)

 

Blue Underground rebirths DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS (review)

A young honeymooning couple stranded at an off-season resort in Ostend become the prey of a beautiful vamp who may be Countess Elizabeth Bathory herself in Harry Kumel's arty lesbian vampire film DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS starring LAST YEAR IN MARIENBAD's Delphine Seyrig and DARK SHADOWS' John Karlen.

REVIEW LINK: Blue Underground (US) Region ALL 4K UHD/Region ALL Blu-ray/CD Combo (DVD Drive-in)

DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS UHD/Blu-ray/CD Combo specs:

  • UHD:
    • 2160p HEVC 1.66:1 Widescreen
  • Blu-ray:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 Widescreen
  • English Dolby Atmos, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 1.0 Mono
  • French DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 Mono
  • Optional English HoH, French, Spanish, and English (for French dub) subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by co-writer/director Harry Kümel, moderated by filmmaker David Gregory
  • Audio Commentary by actor John Karlen, moderated by journalist David Del Valle
  • Audio Commentary by author Kat Ellinger
  • "Locations of Darkness" interviews with co-writer/director Harry Kumel and producer Pierre Drouot
  • "Playing the Victim" interview with actress Danielle Ouimet
  • "Daughter of Darkness" interview with actress Andrea Rau
  • Trailers:
    • U.S. "Daughters of Darkness" Theatrical Trailer
    • International "Promise of Red Lips" Theatrical Trailer
    • French "Les Lèvres Rouges" Theatrical Trailer
    • 4 Radio Spots
  • Alternate U.S. Main Titles
  • Poster & Still Gallery
  • CD Soundtrack (22 tracks)
  • Reversible Cover
  • Booklet with an essay by Michael Gingold
  • Lenticular slipcover included with the first pressing

 

Umbrella Entertainment shelters from THE LAST WAVE (Review)

Richard Chamberlain stars as a Sydney lawyer assigned to defend five Aboriginal men from a murder charge, but a series of increasingly vivid nightmares has him fearing that he has come into contact with an ancient power and is seeing visions of a coming world cataclysm in Peter Weir's follow-up to PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK.

REVIEW LINK: Umbrella Entertainment (AUS) Region ALL Blu-ray (DVD Drive-in)

THE LAST WAVE Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English HoH Subtitles
  • "Riding the Wave" interview with producer Jim McElroy on The Last Wave
  • "Lighting the Cave" interview with director of photography Russell Boyd
  • "Richard Chamberlain: In Conversation with Paul Harris" video interview
  • "David Gulpilil: Walkabout to Hollywood" 1980 documentary excerpt
  • "David Stratton on The Last Wave" 2010 interview
  • Still Gallery
  • Trailer with Brian Trenchard-Smith commentary from "Trailers from Hell"
  • Theatrical Trailer

Masters of Cinema takes in a ISHIRŌ HONDA DOUBLE FEATURE: THE H-MAN + BATTLE IN OUTER SPACE (review)

The director of GODZILLA and MOTHRA took a break from big monsters for this pair of science fiction films.  In THE H-MAN, H-bomb tests create a flesh-melting radioactive creature that makes its way from the sea towars Tokyo.  In BATTLE IN OUTER SPACE, aliens attack the Earth and the World Council sends two teams to the moon to destroy the enemy's base before they destroy the world.

REVIEW LINK: Eureka Video/Masters of Cinema (UK) Region B Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

ISHIRŌ HONDA DOUBLE FEATURE Blu-ray specs:

  • Disc One - H-Man:
    • Japanese Version:
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen 
      • Japanese LPCM 2.0 Mono
      • Optional English Subtitles
      • Audio Commentary on the Japanese version by authors and Japanese sci-fi historians Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski
        • Audio Commentary on the Japanese Version by film historian and writer David Kalat
      • Still Gallery
    • American Version:
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
      • English LPCM 2.0 Mono
      • Optional English HoH Subtitles
  • Disc Two - Battle in Outer Space:
    • Japanese Version:
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen 
      • Japanese LCPM 2.0 Mono
      • Optional English Subtitles
      • Isolated Music and Effects Track
      • Audio Commentary by film historian and writer David Kalat
      • Still Gallery
    • American Version:
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
      • English LPCM 2.0 Mono
      • Optional English HoH Subtitles 
      • Audio Commentary by authors and Japanese sci-fi historians Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski
  • Limited to 2,000 copies.
  • Comes with an O-Card slipcase featuring new artwork by Darren Wheeling and a collector’s booklet featuring essays by Christopher Stewardson and Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp (Midnight Eye).

29 November 2020

Film Movement Classics shelters in RAINING IN THE MOUNTAIN (review)

A Buddhist temple is the setting for intrigue as an Abbot is about to name his successor and other parties attempt to get their hands on a priceless scroll in King Hu's final feature film.

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

RAINING IN THE MOUNTAIN Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
  • Mandarin LPCM 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by critic and Asian cinema expert Tony Rayns
  • "Treasure of the Spirit" video essay by Chinese-language film expert and author Stephen Teo
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Trailers
  • 20-page booklet with a new essay by New York Asian Film Festival Executive Director Samuel Jamier

 

27 November 2020

88 Films clones a REPLICANT (Review)

It's two times the Van Damme when "The Muscles from Brussels" plays a serial killer and the genetic clone teamed up with detective Michael Rooker to track him down in REPLICANT from Hong Kong action director Ringo Lam.

REVIEW LINK: 88 Films (UK) Region B Blu-ray (DVD Drive-in)

REPLICANT Blu-ray specs:

  • Numbered Limited Edition of 3,000 Copies (no standard edition repress)
  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and LPCM 2.0 Stereo
  • Optional English HoH Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by film journalists Dave Wain and Marty Budrewicz
  • "Transfixed by the Light" feature-length interview with cinematographer Mike Southon
  • "Looking Back" archival interview with actor Jean-Claude Van Damme
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Comes with a reversible cover, numbered slipcover, A3 foldout poster, and collector's booklet featuring text interviews with screenwriter Lawrence Riggins and camera operator Ross Clarkson.

Vinegar Syndrome conjures NECROMANCER (review)

When drama student Julie is raped by a trio of frat brothers and threatened into silence, a friend takes her to a sorceress who offers up a demonic form of vengeance.  When Julie realizes that people are really dying, she tries to stop the spell but the price of damnation comes with the NECROMANCER's services.

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

NECROMANCER Blu-ray specs:

88 Films and Jackie Chan become karate ghostbusters in SPIRITUAL KUNG-FU (review)

Jackie Chan is a monk who becomes a "karate ghostbuster" when a quintet of ghosts teach him a lost style of fighting in order to take on a deadly clan leader in SPIRITUAL KUNG-FU.

REVIEW LINK: 88 Films (UK) Region B Blu-ray (DVD Drive-in)

SPIRITUAL KUNG-FU Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
  • Cantonese, English, and Mandarin DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
  • Alternate Cantonese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono track with alternate music cues
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by Hong Kong cinema experts Mike Leeder and Arne Venema
  • "Rick Baker on Spiritual Kung Fu" interview
  • "Fighting Style" archival interviews with filmmakers Jackie Chan, Stanley Tong and Sammo Hung
  • Scenes from the Korean Version
  • Alternate Shot from the Mandarin Cut
  • Hong Kong Theatrical Trailer
  • English Theatrical Trailer
  • Japanese Theatrical Trailer
  • Comes with a reversible cover
  • The first 2,000 copies include a Limited Edition Slipcase, set of 4 double-sided art cards, A3 foldout poster

20 November 2020

Flicker Alley sculpts WAXWORKS (review)

A down-on-his-luck poet meets a pretty girl and gets a job writing fantastic stories to promote the grisly backstories of historical figures at a waxworks museum, but Jack the Ripper may prove only too real for the author and his lady love in Paul Leni's culmination of the German Expressionist cinematic movement.

REVIEW LINK: Flicker Alley (US) Region ALL Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

WAXWORKS Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.33:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen
  • Ensemble Musikfabrik score in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0 Stereo
  • Richard Siedhoff score in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0 Stereo
  • English Intertitles with optional subtitles in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish
  • Audio Commentary by film and arts critic Adrian Martin
  • "In Search of the Original Version of Paul Leni’s Das Wachsfigurenkabinett​" interview with Julia Wallmüller of teh Deutsche Kinemathek
  • Kim Newman on "Waxworks"
  • "Rebus-Film Nr. 1-8" Paul Leni animated shorts
  • 31-page collector’s booklet featuring "Paul Leni: A Career Cut Sadly Short" by Philip Kemp, "Waxworks: Three Times a Romance" by Richard Combs, "Waxworks: The Restoration" by Julia Wallmüller, viewing notes, and Blu-ray credits

 

Eureka Video and Masters of Cinema summon MOTHRA (Review)

When an expedition to an atomic testing island discovers natives and foot-high faeries, an unscrupulus businessman steals them to exploit them in a traveling show.  Unfortunately, the faeries are protected by the fiersome goddess MOTHRA who makes a beeline for Tokyo in this classic kaiju from the director of GODZILLA.

REVIEW LINK: Eureka Video (UK) Region B Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

MOTHRA Blu-ray specs:

  • Japanese Version:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
    • Japanese LPCM 2.0 Mono
    • Optional English Subtitles
    • Isolated Music and Effects Track
    • Audio Commentary by film historian and writer David Kalat
  • English Version:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
    • English LPCM 2.0 Mono
    • Audio Commentary by authors and Japanese sci-fi historians Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski
  • "Kim Newman on MOTHRA" interview
  • Still Galleries
  • U.S. Teaser Trailer 
  • U.S. Theatrical Trailer
  • Limited edition of 3,000 copies with a hardbound slipcase, reversible poster featuring the film’s original US and Japanese poster artwork, and a 60-page collector’s booklet.

Second Run bids GOODBYE, DRAGON INN (review)

On the night that a Taipei second run cinema is set to close its doors for good, the final screening of the night draws out more than just the ghosts of the past in director Tsai Ming-Liang's award-winning arthouse drama.

REVIEW LINK: Second Run (UK) Region ALL Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

GOODBYE, DRAGON INN Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
  • Mandarin/Taiwanese/Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and LPCM 2.0 Stereo
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • Interview with director Tsai Ming-Liang
  • "Madame Butterfly" 2009 short film
  • 20-page booklet featuring new essays by curator and critic Tony Rayns, plus a personal appreciation by filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul

19 November 2020

Vinegar Syndrome digs up CEMETERY OF TERROR (Review)

Halloween night tricks turn deadly when a group of medical students steal the body of a recently dead Satanic serial killer for a gag in the Mexican supernatural slasher CEMETERY OF TERROR.

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

CEMETERY OF TERROR Blu-ray specs: 

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
  • Spanish DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono and Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by director Rubén Galindo Jr.
  • Audio Commentary by The Hysteria Continues
  • "Digging Your Own Grave" 2020 interview with director Rubén Galindo Jr.
  • "South of the Border Horror" 2020 interview with actor René Cardona III
  • Reversible Cover
  • The first first 3,000 copies ordered directly from Vinegar Syndrome include a limited edition embossed slipcover.

88 Films gets stabby with MOON IN SCORPIO (Review)

Three Vietnam vets and their girlfriends are in for a deadly voyage on the high seas when there is a MOON IN SCORPIO.  Obscure eighties slasher starring Britt Eklund, John Phillip Law, Lewis Van Bergen, Robert Quarry, Jillian Kesner, and April Wayne, directed by Gary Graver.

REVIEW LINK: 88 Films (UK) Region B Blu-ray (DVD Drive-in)

MOON IN SCORPIO Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English HoH Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by co-producer Fred Olen Ray
  • Audio Commentary by The Hysteria Continues, The Slasher Loving Podcast
  • Audio Commentary by film journalists Matty Budrewicz and Dave Wain 
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Reversible Cover
  • The first pressing of 3,000 copies includes a limited edition slipcover, foldout poster, and booklet notes on director Gary Graver by Andrew Rausch.

Vinegar Syndrome guesses WHODUNIT? on the Island of Blood (review)

A group of talentless hopefuls with stars in their eyes head to an island to make a movie, but someone’s slashing the competition in WHODUNIT? also known as ISLAND OF BLOOD and SCARED ALIVE.

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

WHODUNIT? Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono and Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English SDH Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by The Hysteria Continues
  • "Blood & Sweaters" interview with actor Terence Goodman
  • "Dying for the Opportunity" interview with actor Jim Piper
  • "Containing the Excitement" interview with actress Marie-Alise Recasner
  • "Cutting a Long Story Short" interview with editor Hari Ryatt
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Reversible Cover

 

Vinegar Syndrome bids you to REST IN PIECES (review)

"Their dream house brought them together...Their neighbors are tearing them apart!" when Jose Ramon Larraz gets as mainstream as he ever could in REST IN PIECES, on Blu-ray from Vinegar Syndrome.

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

REST IN PIECES Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 and Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
  • Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English SDH Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by film historians Kat Ellinger and Samm Deighan
  • "Piece by Piece" interview with actor Scott Thompson Baker
  • Reversible Cover
  • The first 3,000 copies ordered directly from Vinegar Syndrome come with a limited edition embossed slipcover.

 

Cult Epics gets "plucked" by DEATH LAID AN EGG (review)

Jean-Louis Trintignant, Gina Lollobrigida, Ewa Aulin, and Jean Sobieski tear each other apart... "then see what they do with the pieces" in Giulio Questi's completely bizarre giallo DEATH LAID AN EGG in which an industrialist plots to murder his chicken farm heiress wife to be with her younger cousin.

REVIEW LINK: Cult Epics (US) Region ALL Blu-ray (DVD Drive-in)

DEATH LAID AN EGG Blu-ray specs:

  • Director's Cut:
  • Giallo Cut:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
    • English and Italian LPCM 2.0 Mono
    • Optional English Subtitles
  • "Doctor Schizo and Mister Phrenic" 2002 short by Giulio Questi
  • "Giulio Questi: The Outsider" interview with director Giulio Questi
  • A Movie Review by Antonio Brushini
  • English Theatrical Trailer
  • Italian Theatrical Trailer
  • Reversible Cover
  • Slipcase with the first 1,000 copies.

 

16 November 2020

Eureka's Masters of Cinema molds WAXWORKS (review)

A down-on-his-luck poet meets a pretty girl and gets a job writing fantastic stories to promote the grisly backstories of historical figures at a waxworks museum, but Jack the Ripper may prove only too real for the author and his lady love in Paul Leni's culmination of the German Expressionist cinematic movement.

REVIEW LINK: Eureka Video (UK) Region ALL Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

WAXWORKS Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.33:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen
  • Ensemble Musikfabrik score in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0 Stereo
  • Richard Siedhoff score in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0 Stereo
  • English Intertitles with optional subtitles in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish
  • Audio Commentary by film and arts critic Adrian Martin
  • "In Search of the Original Version of Paul Leni’s Das Wachsfigurenkabinett​" interview with Julia Wallmüller of teh Deutsche Kinemathek
  • Kim Newman on "Waxworks"
  • "Rebus-Film Nr. 1-8" Paul Leni animated shorts
  • 31-page collector’s booklet featuring "Paul Leni: A Career Cut Sadly Short" by Philip Kemp, "Waxworks: Three Times a Romance" by Richard Combs, "Waxworks: The Restoration" by Julia Wallmüller, viewing notes, and Blu-ray credits
  • The first 2,000 copies come with a limited O-Card slipcase

Second Sight rises with DAWN OF THE DEAD (review)

There's no more room in hell, and now DAWN OF THE DEAD has been resurrected in a definitive high definition Blu-ray and separate 4K UHD package with all three cuts of the film, commentaries, documentaries, interviews, soundtrack CDs, and limited edition books featuring new writing on the film and the original novelization.

REVIEW LINK: Second Sight (UK) Region B Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

DAWN OF THE DEAD Blu-ray specs:

  • Disc One - The Theatrical Cut:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
    • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, 2.0 Stereo, and 1.0 Mono
    • Optional English HoH Subtitles
    • Audio Commentary by director George A Romero, effects artist Tom Savini, and associate producer Christine Forrest
    • Audio Commentary by film historian Travis Crawford
  • Disc Two - The Cannes Cut:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
    • English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 Mono
    • Optional English HoH Subtitles
    • Audio Commentary by producer Richard P Rubinstein 
  • Disc Three - The Argento Cut:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
    • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, 2.0 Stereo, and 1.0 Mono
    • Optional English HoH Subtitles
    • Audio Commentary by actors Ken Foree, Scott Reiniger, Gaylen Ross, and David Emge 
  • Disc Four:
    • Documentaries:
      • "Zombies and Bikers"
      • "Memories of Monroeville"
      • "Raising the Dead: The Production Logistics"
      • "The Dead Will Walk"
    • Interviews:
      • "The FX of Dawn with Tom Savini"
      • "Dummies! Dummies!" interview with actor Richard France
      • "The Lost Romero Dawn Interview" archival interview
    • Super 8 Mall Footage (with optional archival audio commentary by Robert Langer or new audio commentary by Ralph Langer)
    • "Document of the Dead" 1998 Special Edition Cut
    • "Document of the Dead" The Definitive Cut"
      • Audio Commentary by director Roy Frumkes
    • Trailers, TV Spots, Radio Spots
      • 3 US Trailers
      • 2 German Trailers
      • 3 US TV Spots
      • 2 UK TV Spots
      • 3 US Radio Spots
  • Discs Five:
    • The Goblin Soundtrack CD
  • Discs Six and Seven:
    •  Dawn of the Dead: A De Wolfe Library Compilation
  • Comes in a rigid box with lid, featuring the original iconic artwork
  • A 160-page hardback book featuring 17 new essays, an archive article and George A Romero interview, original marketing, artwork and merchandise images, and behind-the-scenes stills
  • "Dawn of the Dead: The Novelisation" book by George A Romero and Susanna Sparrow (with exclusive artwork).

02 November 2020

Eureka crosses swords with THE BRIDE WITH WHITE HAIR (review)

Before BRIDE OF CHUCKY and FREDDY VS. JASON, Hong Kong director Ronnie Yu first made a name in the West with the visually-dazzling Hong Kong fantasy THE BRIDE WITH WHITE HAIR in which starcrossed lovers are caught between a ruthless clan and a demon cult.  Lesley Cheung and Brigitte Lin star. 

REVIEW LINK: Eureka Video (UK) Region B Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

THE BRIDE WITH WHITE HAIR Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
  • Cantonese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and LPCM 2.0 Stereo, English LPCM 2.0 Stereo, English LPCM 2.0 Stereo, and Mandarin DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by Asian film expert Frank Djeng of the NY Asian Film Festival 
  • Audio Commentary by director Ronny Yu
  • Audio interview with editor David Wu by Frank Djeng
  • Interview with director Ronny Yu by Frank Djeng
  • Interview with actor Joe Tay
  • Interview with screenwriter Jason Lam Kee To
  • Interview with composer Richard Yuen
  • Archival “making of” featurette
  • THE FIRST 2,000 COPIES come with a Limited Edition O-Card slipcase featuring new artwork by Darren Wheeling and a 27-page collector’s booklet featuring film credits, "Between Two Worlds: The Bride With White Hair in Context and Beyond in Context and Beyond" by James Oliver, "The Icon with Early Retirement: The Films of Brigitte Lin" by Travis Crawford, viewing notes, and Blu-ray credits.

Film Movement butters up MR. TOPAZE (review)

Peter Sellers' first and last directorial effort casts him as the idealistic teacher MR. TOPAZE whose naivete makes him vulnerable to the schemes of a local politician and his mistress.  From the play by Marcel Pagnol.  Herbert Lom, Nadia Gray, Leo McKern, Billie Whitelaw, and Michael Gough co-star.

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

MR. TOPAZE Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
  • English LPCM 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English SDH Subtitles
  • Abigail McKern Remembers Her Father, Leo McKern inteview
  • "The Poetry of Realism" video essay by Kat Ellinger
  • "Let's Go Crazy" 1951 short with Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Bonus Trailers
  • Booklet

 

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