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31 August 2020

Lionsgate from Romans to RETALIATION (Review)

When Irish demolition worker Malky comes into contact with a face from his traumatic childhood, his world starts to spin out of control and retribution becomes the only thing on his mind.  Orland Bloom stars.

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

RETALIATION Blu-ray specs:
  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.40:1 Widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Optional English SDH and Spanish Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by co-writers/co-directors Ludwig Shammasian and Paul Shammasian
  • "Brutality and Honesty: The Making of Retaliation" featurette
  • Also from Lionsgates

Eureka Video fears THE MAN WHO LAUGHS (review)

Conrad Veidt replaced Lon Chaney when Universal mounted their follow-up to THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE-DAME with THE MAN WHO LAUGHS in which a traveling freak is drawn into royal intrigue in the court of Queen Anne.

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

THE MAN WHO LAUGHS Blu-ray specs:
  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.21:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen
  • Berklee Silent Orchestra Music Score LPCM 2.0 Stereo
  • Original 1928 Movietone Score LPCM 2.0 Mono
  • English Intertitles
  • "Kim Newman on Paul Leni" author and horror expert
  • "The Face Deceives" video essay by David Cairns and Fiona Watson
  • "Paul Leni and The Man Who Laughs" visual essay by film historian and author, John Soister
  • Still Galleries:
    • Behind the Scenes
    • Costume and Make-up Tests
    • Exhibition and Trade Ads
    • Posters and Heralds
    • Memorabilia
  • 35-page collector's booklet featuring writing on the film
  • The first 2,000 copies include a limited O-card slipcase.

28 August 2020

88 Films gets slashed by SCHIZOID (review)

Klaus Kinski (CRAWLSPACE) plays a psychologist whose therapy group are falling victim to a scissor-wielding killer in the eighties Cannon thriller SCHIZOID. Donna Wilkes (ANGEL), Marianna Hill (MESSIAH OF EVIL), and Craig Wasson (BODY DOUBLE) co-star.

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

SCHIZOID 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 Mondo Digital’s Nathaniel Thompson and film historian Troy Howarth  
  • Extended Interview with writer/director David Paulsen from Mark Hartley’s "Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films"
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Reversible Cover
  • LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS: The first pressing of 3,000 copies comes with a limited edition slipcover and liner notes booklet by Matthew Edwards - featuring an interview with actress Flo Lawrence, aka Flo Gerrish.

Severin Films spotlights SHINING SEX (review)

Beings from another dimension use Lina Romany to deliver the ultimate STD to those who have knowledge of their existence in Franco's explicit, oddball "sci-fi" sex film SHINING SEX.

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

SHINING SEX Blu-ray specs:
  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by NaschyCast's Rod Barnett and Franco expert Robert Monell 
  • "In the Land of Franco, Part 3" 2020 locations visit by Stephen Thrower and Antonio Mayans
  • "Shining Jess" 2020 interview with writer Stephen Thrower
  • "Silent Running - Soundtracks and Tricks from the Films of Jess Franco" Interview with sound mixer Gérard Kikoïne
  • "Franco at Eurociné" 2020 interview with company head Daniel Lesoeur
  • "Franco-Philia: French Director Christophe Gans on the Life and Times and Films of Jess Franco"
  • "Very NSFW Outtakes" hardcore reel
  • Theatrical Trailer

88 Films takes flight with PIRANHA II: THE SPAWNING (review)

James Cameron made his inauspicious debut with a sequel to Joe Dante's PIRANHA in which the mutant strain have grown wings and attack a Jamaican resort. From the producer of such ripoffs as TENTACLES and BEYOND THE DOOR.

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

PIRANHA II: THE SPAWNING Blu-ray specs:
  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono
  • Optional English SDH subtitles
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Reversible Cover
  • Limited edition gloss O-card slipcover and double-sided A3 foldout poster

Network resurrects THE WOMAN IN BLACK (Review)

Before the Hammer/Daniel Radcliffe film of the same name, Susan Hill's gothic novel THE WOMAN IN BLACK was adapted for a Christmas season television event that scarred the minds of many a child in 1989.  A London lawyer is sent to a coastal village to settle an estate and discovers that the deceased and the village locals are being haunted by a spectral woman whose appearances herald the deaths of children.

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

THE WOMAN IN BLACK Blu-ray specs:
  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.37:1 pillarboxed widescreen and 1.78:1 widescreen versions
  • English LPCM 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English HoH Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by critic/author Kim Newman, filmmaker Mark Gatiss, and actor Andy Nyman
  • Still Gallery
  • Liner Notes Booklet

Second Run offers TENDERNESS (Review)

An alienated young man flees the countryside for the city and becomes emotionally and sexually entangled in the cruel psychological games of an older couple in the Slovakian character drama.

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

TENDERNESS Blu-ray specs:
  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 Widescreen
  • Slovak LPCM 1.0 mono
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • "On TENDERNESS" 2020 Slovak Film Institute documentary
  • "Hura" 1989 short film
  • 20-page booklet by film critic Peter Hames

Film Movement corrupts L'INNOCENTE (review)

Luchino Visconti's final film looks at nineteenth century hypocrisy when Tullio is unfaithful to his wife Giuliana with widowed young countess Teresa and only begins to desire his wife again when she has an affair of her own.  Giancarlo Giannini, Laura Antonelli, Jennifer O'Neill, Massimo Girotti, and Marc Porel star.

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

L'INNOCENTE Blu-ray specs:
  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
  • Italian LPCM 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • "Reframing L'INNOCENTE" visual essay by Ivo Blom
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Film Movement Trailers
  • Booklet by Dan Callahan

21 August 2020

Severin Films resurrects THE BEAST MUST DIE (review)

A millionaire hunter gathers guests at his country home for a very different kind of game: hunting a werewolf.  Think you can guess who the beast is?  Watch for The Werewolf Break!  Peter Cushing and Calvin Lockhart star.

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

THE BEAST MUST DIE Blu-ray specs:
  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 Widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English SDH Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by director Paul Annett moderated by Jonathan Sothcott
  • "And Then There Were Werewolves" audio essay by Troy Howarth
  • "Directing the Beast" interview with director Paul Annett
  • "Philip Nutman Interviews Milton Subotsky" audio recording
  • "Audio Notes of Max J. Rosenberg" audio recording 
  • Theatrical Trailer (with optional audio commentary by writers Kim Newman and David Flint)

Vinegar Syndrome violates THE ELEVENTH COMMANDMENT (review)

A failed seminary student wrongfully committed to an insane asylum by his greedy uncle puts aside "Thou shalt not kill" in favor of THE ELEVENTH COMMANDMENT in this eighties thriller from the director of I DISMEMBER MAMA.

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

THE ELEVENTH COMMANDMENT Blu-ray specs:

The first 2,500 copies ordered directly from Vinegar Syndrome include an embossed slipcover designed by Earl Kessler Jr.

Vinegar Syndrome exposes THE NAUGHTY VICTORIANS (review)

Respectable Alice loses her maidenhead to lecherous schoolmaster Jack but gains enough erotic experience to pay him back in kind in the sendup of Victorian Erotica THE NAUGHTY VICTORIANS.

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

THE NAUGHTY VICTORIANS Blu-ray review:
  • Blu-ray:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
    • English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 and Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
  • DVD:
    • 16:9 anamorphic 1.85:1 Widescreen
    • English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English SDH Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by author & professor Dr. Laura Helen Marks
  • Hard Theatrical Trailer
  • Soft Theatrical Trailer
  • Alternate French Title Sequence
  • Archival Still and Article Gallery
  • Reversible Cover
The first 2,000 copies ordered directly from Vinegar Syndrome
include a special limited edition embossed slipcover designed by Earl Kessler Jr.

Vinegar Syndrome breaks up BEST FRIENDS (review)

Jesse and Pat are home from the army and taking a road trip with their girlfriends, but something is not right with Pat, and his jealousy turns from aggression to violence in this lowkey seventies drama from the director of YOUNGBLOOD.

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

BEST FRIENDS Blu-ray:
  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English SDH Subtitles
  • "Making Friends" interview with director Noel Nosseck
  • "Movies and Travel" interview with cinematographer Stephen M. Katz
  • "Educate Yourself" interview with editor Robert Gordon
  • "A Lifetime of Music" interview with composer Rick Cunha
  • Reversible Cover

The first 2,500 copies ordered directly from vinegarsyndrome.com/collections/vinegar-syndrome/products/best-friends">Vinegar Syndrome
come with an embossed slipcover designed by Earl Kessler Jr.

20 August 2020

Kino Lorber is taken into CONFIDENCE (review)

In Nazi-occupied Hungary, the wife of a resistence member is forced to act as wife to another resistance fighter in an effort to stay hidden in plain sight. Mistrust and suspicion turns into something more intimate that will affect theri other relationships in Istvan Szabo's Academy Award-nominated film.

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

CONFIDENCE Blu-ray specs:
  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
  • Hungarian DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • "The Central Europe of István Szabó" 
  • "Remembrance of Production Designer József Romvári, directed by Sophy Romvari" interview
  • Kino Repertory Theatrical Trailer for "Mephisto", "Colonel Redl", and "Confidence"
  • Booklet with introduction by István Szabó and essay by film critic Bilge Ebiri

12 August 2020

Mondo Macabro serves up SEVEN WOMEN FOR SATAN (review)

Is the last-living descendent of the evil Count Zaroff also a psychosexual killer?  Only his butler knows for sure in the French fantastique film banned in France SEVEN WOMEN FOR SATAN, written, directed, and starring Michel Lemoine.

REVIEW LINK: Mondo Macabro (US) Region ALL Blu-ray (DVD Drive-in)

SEVEN WOMEN FOR SATAN Blu-ray specs:
  • Theatrical (85 minutes) and Extended (90 minutes) Versions 
  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 Widescreen
  • English and French DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • "Formidable!" interview with actor/writer/director Michel Lemoine
  • "Movie Memoirs" interview with assistant director/actor Robert de Laroche
  • Deleted and Unused Scenes
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • More from Mondo Macabro
  • Reversible Cover
  • Liner Notes Booklet by Pete Tombs
Red case edition limited to 1,000 copies available directly from Mondo Macabro.

Mondo Macabro revels in SINS OF THE FLESH (review)

Benoit is a spoiled rich kid who is also a voyeur who channels his impotence into violence.  When he meets a car thief and a girl on the run from her lecherous stepfather, they form an unholy trio out for money, kicks, and possibly some murder in this French sex film from Claude Mulot (THE BLOOD ROSE).

REVIEW LINK: Mondo Macabro (US) Region ALL Blu-ray (DVD Drive-in)

SINS OF THE FLESH Blu-ray specs:
  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 Widescreen
  • English and French DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • "La Charnelle" interview with actress Anne Libert
  • "My Nights with Claude" interview with sound editor Gerard Kikoine
  • "Adventures with Alpha France" interview with distributor Francis Mischkind
  • "Profession: Movie Maker" interview with assistant director Didier Philippe-Gerard
  • Alternate Title Sequence: "Les émotions secrètes d'un jeune homme de bonne famille"
  • Alternate Video Title Sequence: "Nevro"
  • French "Les Charnelles" Theatrical Trailer
  • English "Sex Without Love" Theatrical Trailer
  • "More from Mondo Macabro" Promo Reel 
  • Limited edition contents: reversible cover with brand new are by Justin Coffee on one side and old school VHS art on the other, a full color booklet with brand new writing about the film by Pete Tombs, and a set of postcards featuring original ad art.
Limited red case edition available directly from Mondo Macabro.

Arrow Video recovers the BLOODSTONE (review)

A honeymooning couple, a taxi driver, a thief, and a psychotic wealthy collector are all thrown together in the quest for India's stolen BLOODSTONE in this eighties action comedy from producer Nico Mastorakis.

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

BLOODSTONE Blu-ray specs:
  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen 
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and LPCM 2.0 Stereo
  • Optional English SDH Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by director Dwight H. Little
  • Audio Commentary by journalist Bryan Reesman
  • "Keeping It to Myself" interview with producer/co-writer Nico Mastorakis 
  • "From Bollywood to Bloodstone" audio essay on Bollywood actor Rajinikanth by Indian cinema expert Josh Hurtado
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • 2020 Re-release Trailer
  • Image Gallery
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Mark Cunliffe

05 August 2020

Arrow Video paints a BLACK RAINBOW (review)

Rosanna Arquette plays a medium who suddenly develops the cursed gift of prophecy when she predicts a violent murder, catching the attention of an ambitious reporter and the killer in Mike Hodges' undeservedly forgotten supernatural thriller.  Jason Robards and Tom Hulce also star.

REVIEW LINK: Arrow Video USA/MVD Visual (DVD Drive-in)

BLACK RAINBOW Blu-ray specs:
  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and LPCM 2.0 Stereo
  • Optional English SDH Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by director Mike Hodges
  • Audio Commentary by film historians Kat Ellinger and Samm Deighan
  • "Message in a Bottle: The Making of BLACK RAINBOW" retrospective documentary with director Mike Hodges and producer John Quested
  • EPK Interviews:
    • actress Rosanna Arquette
    • actor Jason Robards
    • actor Tom Hulce
  • EPK Featurettes:
    • 8 Minutes
    • Disaster
    • Seeing the Future
    • Behind the Rainbow (making-of)
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Reversible Cover
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: booklet featuring new writing on the film by author Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, Mike Hodges and more illustrated with stills

Vinegar Syndrome collects THE SEVERED ARM (review)

There's a psycho killer loose with an axe, and he's taking an arm... and an arm... and an arm... in THE SEVERED ARM, a seventies chiller most widely seen on television in cut form.  See it here uncut from the original negative.

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

THE SEVERED ARM 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
  • "Severing the Past" interview with actor Vince Martorano
  • "A Cut Above the Rest" an interview with producer Gary Adelman
  • Reversible Cover
  • Limited edition embossed slipcover
Limited to 4,000 copies, available directly from Vinegar Syndrome.

Vinegar Syndrome declares I LIKE TO WATCH with SORORITY SWEETHEARTS (review)

Before his death at the age of thirty-three, Paul Vatelli directed over thirty X-rated films including this pair on the theme of voyeurism.  In I LIKE TO WATCH, Laura is the only one not getting any action in her aunt's fashion house thanks to a boyfriend with a lot of emotional baggage from his divorce, but both may succumb to temptation from others.  In SORORITY SWEETHEARTS, two roommates conspire to help a virgin princess roommate find her Prince Charming.

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

I LIKE TO WATCH/SORORITY SWEETHEARTS Blu-ray/DVD Combo specs:
  • Blu-ray:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
    • English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono and Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
  • DVD:
    • 16:9 anamorphic 1.85:1 Widescreen
    • English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
  • Optional English SDH Subtitles
  • Theatrical Trailer for I LIKE TO WATCH
  • Reversible cover
  • Limited edition embossed slipcover
Slipcover edition limited to 2,500 copies and available directly from Vinegar Syndrome.

Kino Lorber finds intrigue in CALCUTTA (review)

Alan Ladd finds intrigue (and Gail Russell) in CALCUTTA while navigating smugglers, robbers, and schemers while searching for the killer of his best friend.  William Bendix and June Duprez co-star.

REVIEW LINK: Kino Lorber (US) Region 1 NTSC DVD (DVDCompare)

CALCUTTA DVD specs:
  • 4:3 non-anamorphic 1.33:1 fullscreen
  • English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English SDH Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by film historian Nick Pinkerton
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Bonus Trailers 
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