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28 October 2020

Severin Films crosses the path of THE BLACK CAT (review)

Before MOTHER OF TEARS, Dario Argento protege Luigi Cozzi attempted to conclude The Three Mothers trilogy with this reflexive take about a horror director making a film about a mythical witch whose influence causes his actress wife to behave strangely and even murderously.  Urbano Barberini, Florence Guerin, Caroline Munro, and Brett Halsey star.

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

THE BLACK CAT Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 Widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English SDH Subtitles
  • "Cat on the Brain" interviews with director Luigi Cozzi and actress Caroline Munro
  • U.S. Theatrical Trailer

Severin Films resurrects PATRICK STILL LIVES (review)

The comatose telepathic killer returns in the Italian ripoff PATRICK STILL LIVES to take revenge on the patients of an upscale resort. Ultra gory and ultra sleazy from the dirctor of GIALLO IN VENICE.

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

PATRICK STILL LIVES Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 Widescreen
  • Italian DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • "C'est la Vie" interview with actor Gianni Dei
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Reversible Cover

 

Severin Films recommends SHOCK TREATMENT (review)

Alain Delon and Annie Girardot bare all for art in Alain Jessua's SHOCK TREATMENT in which an upscale rejuvination clinic has some very dark secrets to their special treatment.

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

SHOCK TREATMENT Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 Widescreen
  • English and French DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English (for French) and English SDH (for English) subtitles
  • "Alain Jessua: The Lone Deranger" interview with Bernard Payen, Curator at The Cinémathèque Française
  • "Koering's Scoring" interview with composer René Koering
  • "Director's Disorder" archival interview with director Alain Jessua
  • "Drumrunning" René Koering Selected Scenes Commentary on Three Sequences
  • French Theatrical Trailer

 

19 October 2020

Flicker Alley swelters in SPRING NIGHT, SUMMER NIGHT (Review)

A forbidden affair ruptures relationships in an Appalachian town in the long-lost regional art film SPRING NIGHT SUMMER NIGHT that once played on the grindhouse circuit with X-rated inserts as MISS JESSICA IS PREGNANT.

REVIEW LINK: Flicker Alley (US) Region ALL Blu-ray/Region 0 NTSC DVD (DVDCompare)

SPRING NIGHT, SUMMER NIGHT Blu-ray/DVD Combo specs:

  • Disc One (Blu-ray):
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 Widescreen
    • English LPCM 1.0 Mono
  • Disc Two (DVD):
    • 16:9 anamorphic 1.66:1 Widescreen
    • English Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
  • Optional English SDH Subtitles
  • "Spring Night Summer Night: 50 Years Later" retrospective
  • "I'm Goin' to Straitsville" locations revisit
  • "In the Middle of the Nights: From Arthouse to Grindhouse and Back Again" featurette about the film's distribution history
  • Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque Q&A: 17 April 2016
  • Behind-the-Scenes footage with optional commentary by writer Franklin Miller and Peter Conheim
  • Joseph Anderson Short Films:
    • "Football as it is Played Today" (1961)
    • "How Swived" (1962)
    • "Cheers" (1963)
  • Image Gallery
  • Booklet with a new essay by Ian Mantgani, Glenn Litton’s memories of director Joseph Anderson, Peter Conheim on the film’s restoration, a look at the career of distributor Joseph L Brenner, an overview of critical responses, and film credits.

 

Eureka Classics retells the ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA TRILOGY (review)

The 4K restorations of Tsui Hark's epic series on Chinese folk hero Wong Fei Hung from Eureka Video's limited edition ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA TRILOGY are back on Blu-ray in an economically-priced standard edition.  Jet Li plays the traditional doctor and martial artist whose code of honor is tested by foreign powers, violent isolationalist sects, corrupt officials, and true love in the series first three films and the Sammo Hung-directed sixth entry (Li having sat out the fourth and fifth entries).  Rosalind Kwan also stars.

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

ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA TRILOGY Blu-ray specs:
  • Once Upon a Time in China (1991):
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 widescreen
    • Cantonese LPCM 1.0 mono and 2.0 Stereo, Mandarin LPCM 2.0 Stereo, and English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
    • Optional English subtitels
    • Audio Commentery by martial-arts cinema authority Mike Leeder and filmmaker Arne Venema
    • The Legend of Wong Fei-hung Part 1
    • Interview with Yen Shi-Kwan
    • Interview with Jet Li
    • Theatrical Trailer
  • Once Upon a Time in China II (1992):
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 widescreen
    • Cantonse LPCM 1.0 mono and 2.0 Stereo, Mandarin LPCM 2.0 Stereo, English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
    • Optional English Subtitles
    • Audio Commentary by martial-arts cinema authority Mike Leeder and filmmaker Arne Venema
    • Mike Miller: Memories of Once Upon A Time in China 2
    • The Legend of Wong Fei-hung Part 2
    • An Audience with Jet Li
    • Interview with Donnie Yen
    • Theatrical Trailer
  • Once Upon a Time in China III (1993):
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 widescreen
    • Cantonese LPCM 1.0 mono, Mandarin LPCM 2.0 Stereo, and English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
    • Optional English subtitles
    • Audio Commentary by martial-arts cinema authority Mike Leeder and filmmaker Arne Venema
    • John Wakefield: Memories of Once Upon A Time in China 3
    • The Legend of Wong Fei-hung Part 3
    • Interview with Tsui Hark
    • Interview with John Wakefield
    • Behind-the-Scenes Montage
    • Theatrical Trailer
  • Once Upon a Time in China and America (1997):
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 widescreen
    • Cantonese LPCM 1.0 mono, Mandarin LPCM 2.0 Stereo, and English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
    • Optional English subtitles tracks for both the Cantonese track and Mandarin tracks
    • The Making of Once Upon a Time in China and America
    • Two Theatrical Trailers
  • Four Blu-ray discs housed in a single case, with slim cardboard packaging featuring new artwork by Darren Wheeling.

    18 October 2020

    Vinegar Syndrome grooves with OLD DRACULA (review)

    Dracula discovers "black is beautiful" when his old bride has a new change of color in the British comedy OLD DRACULA aka VAMPIRA starring David Niven, Teresa Graves, Nicky Henson, and Jennie Linden.

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

    OLD DRACULA Blu-ray specs:

    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
    • English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 Mono and Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
    • Optional English SDH Subtitles
    • "A Shot in the Dark" interview with cinematographer Anthony Richmond
    • Image Gallery
    • Reversible Cover
    • The first 2,500 copies ordered directly from Vinegar Syndrome include a limited edition slipcover designed by Earl Kessler Jr.

     

    Scorpion Releasing surfs on CALIFORNIA DREAMING (Review)

    Chicago nerd Dennis Christopher hits the California beach in search of a new surfing lifestyle in the comic drama CALIFORNIA DREAMING.

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

    CALIFORNIA DREAMING 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 John Hancock
    • Interview with actor Dennis Christopher
    • Theatrical Trailer
    • Bonus Trailers 

    Available directly from Ronin Flix.

    13 October 2020

    Eureka Classics has THIS GUN FOR HIRE (review)

    Although he had already been acting in Hollywood in second string roles for ten years, Alan Ladd became an acting legend when he was introduced in the role of icy hitman Raven in THIS GUN FOR HIRE alongside Veronica Lake in the first of four pairings.

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

    THIS GUN FOR HIRE Blu-ray specs:

    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.37:1 Fullscreen
    • English LPCM 2.0 Mono
    • Optional English HoH Subtitles
    • Audio Commentary by film critic Adrian Martin
    • Lux Radio Theater radio adaptation (episode #380; 25 January 1943) with the voices of Alan Ladd and Joan Blondell
    • The Screen Guild Theater radio adaptation (2 April 1945) with the voices of Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake
    • Theatrical Trailer
    • Stills Gallery
    • Collector’s booklet featuring new writing by film writer and journalist Barry Forshaw, and film writer Craig Ian Mann.

    Film Movement gets a bite from CARMILLA (review)

    A lonely girl living on a remote estate finds a new friend who might be a vampire in this British adaptation of CARMILLA.

    REVIEW LINK: Film Movement (US) Region 0 NTSC DVD (DVDCompare)

    CARMILLA DVD specs:

    • 16:9 anamorphic 2.40:1 widescreen
    • English Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 Stereo
    • English Closed Captioning
    • Behind the Scenes
    • Theatrical Trailer
    • Short film "Three Towers"
    • Bonus Trailers
    • About Film Movement

     

    09 October 2020

    88 Films studies under THE MASTER (review)

    THE MASTER was supposed to be Jet Li's big film but it sat on the shelf for three years, coming out only after the success of ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA.  In his real Golden Harvest debut, Li comes to Los Angeles searching for his master (Yuen Wah) who is being terrorized by a gang lead by a former pupil (kickboxing champion Jerry Trimble).

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

    THE MASTER Blu-ray specs:

    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
    • Cantonese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Cantonese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono (original), Cantonese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono (2020 remaster), English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono (export dub), and English DTS 5.1 (TV dub)
    • Optional English HoH and English subtitles
    • Audio Commentary by Hong Kong cinema experts Mike Leeder and Arne Venema
    • Audio Commentary by artist R.P. “Kung Fu Bob” O’Brien
    • 2020 interview with actor/stuntman John Kreng
    • "The Insider" interview with actor/stuntman John Kreng
    • "Crystal Clear" interview with actress Crystal Kwok
    • "The Master" interview with actor Yuen Wah
    • Hong Kong Theatrical Trailer
    • English Theatrical Trailer
    • Reversible Cover
    • LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS:  original Hong Kong poster art, a limited slipcover, A3 poster, and 4x postcards.

    Severin Films gets chomped by CRUEL JAWS (Review)

    A regatta becomes a "diner for sharks" in Bruno Mattei's shameless JAWS ripoff CRUEL JAWS in which a Florida town's tourist season gets an uninvited guest in the form of a killer tiger shark.

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

    CRUEL JAWS Blu-ray specs:

    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 widescreen presentations of the original "Mattei Cut" and the extended home video "Synder Cut"
    • English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo
    • Optional English SDH Subtitles
    • "The Great White Way: A Study in Sharksploitation by Rebekah McKendry"
    • "These Things Got Made!" interview with actor Jay Colligan
    • Theatrical Trailer

     

    88 Films battles AVENGING FORCE (review)

    The AMERICAN NINJA himself Michael Dudikoff fights American racists and becomes an AVENGING FORCE when his best friend is attacked and his little sister kidnapped by a band of rich rightwing terrorists who like to hunt humans.  Steve James co-stars.

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

    AVENGING FORCE Blu-ray specs:

    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
    • English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo
    • Optional English HoH Subtitles
    • Audio commentary with director Sam Firstenberg and actor Michael Dudikoff
    • Introduction by director Sam Firstenberg
    • Interview with actor Michael Dudikoff
    • Theatrical Trailer 
    • Reversible Cover
    • LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS: slipcover and set of four postcards.

    88 Films rallies with DRAGON LORD (review)

    Jackie Chan is in love and it hurts in DRAGON LORD in which he plays the son of a landowner who neglects his training and studies for love only to run afoul of a gang of thieves who will kill to keep their operations secret.

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

    DRAGON LORD Blu-ray specs:

    • Original HK Cut:
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
      • Cantonese DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 (Theatrical Mix), Cantonese DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 (Home Video Mix), English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (2003 Dub), and English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 (Export Dub)
      • English and English (simplified)
    • Extended "Work-in-Progress" Cut:
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
      • Cantonese DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 (Theatrical Mix)
      • English and English (simplified)
    • "The Insider" interview with production manager Louis Sit
    • "The Fall Guy" interview with actor/stuntman Mars
    • "The Master Returns" interview with actor/action choreographer Whang In-Sik
    • Behind-The-Scenes Teaser Trailer
    • Hong Kong Theatrical Trailer
    • English Export Trailer
    • Reversible Cover
    • LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS: Gloss O-Card slipcover featuring new artwork from R.P. “Kung Fu Bob” O’Brien, a foldout poster featuring artwork from "Kung Fu Bob" O'Brien, and a set of four postcards.

      Severin Films avenges AENIGMA (Review)

      A bullied girl who ends up braindead after a prank gone wrong possesses a pretty new girl to take supernatural vengeance on herclassmates in Lucio Fulci's CARRIE-meets-PATRICK eighties horror AENIGMA.

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

      AENIGMA Blu-ray specs:

      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
      • English and Italian DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
      • Optional English SDH and English (for Italian) subtitles
      • Audio Commentary by film historian Troy Howarth and Mondo Digital's Nathaniel Thompson
      • Interview with screenwriter Giorgio Mariuzzo
      • English Theatrical Trailer
      • Italian Theatrical Trailer
      • Italian Opening and Closing Credits

       

      06 October 2020

      Eureka Classics dials 976-EVIL (review)

      Freddy Krueger himself directs this infernal slice of phone terror 976-EVIL in which a school nerd makes a Satanic pact over the phone to wreak vengeance on his tormentors.  FRIGHT NIGHT's Stephen Geoffreys stars with Oscar-winning actress Sandy Dennis.

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

      976-EVIL Blu-ray specs:

      • Theatrical Version:
        • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 
        • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and LPCM 2.0 Stereo
        • Optional English HoH Subtitles
        • Audio Commentary by director Robert Englund and set decorator Nancy Booth Englund
      • Extended Home Video Version:
        • 4:3 non-anamorphic 1.33:1 fullscreen
        • English LPCM 2.0 Stereo
        • Optional English SDH Subtitles
      • Interview with special make-up effects supervisor Kevin Yagher
      • Interview with special make-up effects artist Howard Berger
      • Interview with producer Lisa Hansen
      • Still Gallery
      • Limited edition (first pressing) O-card slipcover and collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Craig Ian Mann

      04 October 2020

      Eureka Video and Masters of Cinema MADE IN HONG KONG (review)

      Mid-Autumn is a high school dropout working as a debt collector for a gangster when he becomes involved with a mentally-handicapped friend and a sick girl on a quest involving letters left behind by a girl who committed suicide in Fruit Chan's third directorial effort and first independent film that put him on the map as a talented filmmaker.

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

      MADE IN HONG KONG Blu-ray specs:

      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
      • Cantonese LPCM 1.0 Mono
      • Optional English Subtitles
      • Interview with director Fruit Chan
      • Interview with producer Doris Yang
      • Interview with line producer Daniel Yu
      • Interview with Marco Muller, former director of the Locarno Film Festival
      • Collector’s booklet featuring new writing by film historian Alexandra Heller-Nicholas & Tony Rayns; Fruit Chan’s director’s statement from the film’s original 1997 press release; and an interview with director Fruit Chan from 2017, after the film’s restoration
      • Limited edition collector's slipcover (first print run only)

      Second Run mourns with VITALINA VARELA (review)

      A woman arrives in Lisbon from Cape Verde to reunite with her husband who has been away working for twenty years only to discover that he died days before in Pedro Costa's VITALINA VARELA, the story of a woman's isolation in a foreign country and her attempts to find closure and rejoin the world of the living.

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

      VITALINA VARELA Blu-ray specs:

      • 1080i50 MPEG-4 AVC 1.37:1 pillarboxed fullscreen
      • Portuguese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and LPCM 2.0 Stereo
      • Optional English and Portugeuse subtitles
      • Introduction by Chris Fujiwara
      • Interview with director Pedro Costa by Maria Delgado at the ICA Cinema, London
      • "Pedro Costa: Companhia" short film about Costa’s installation exhibition at the Serralves Museum, Porto in 2018
      • 4 Teaser Trailers
      • 24-page booklet featuring writing on the film by Daniel Kasman

      03 October 2020

      Universal Pictures is IRRESISTIBLE (review)

      A hotshot Democratic Party strategist thinks he can turn the tide of the American heartland towards voting Democrat when a video of a farmer and former marine standing up for illegal immigrants goes viral.  He convinces the farmer to run against the incumbent for mayor, but his Republican Party rival turns up, and the town becomes the focus of a media frenzy in this political comedy from Jon Stewart.

      REVIEW LINK: Universal Pictures (US) Region ALL Blu-ray/Region 1 NTSC DVD (DVDCompare)

      IRRESISTIBLE Blu-ray/DVD Combo Specs:

      • DISC ONE (Blu-ray):
        • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 Widescreen
        • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
      • DISC TWO (DVD):
        • 16:9 anamorphic 1.66:1 Widescreen 
        • English Dolby Digital 5.1
      • Optional English SDH, French, and Spanish subtitles
      • Deleted/Extended Scenes
      • Gag Reel
      • Featurettes:
        • "An Irresistible Story" making-of
        • "Campaign Comedy: The Cast of Irresistible"
        • "Taking the Lead: Jon Stewart"
      • Digital Copy Code

       

      The Film Detective confesses THE SIN OF NORA MORAN (Review)

      Sentenced to death in the electric chair for murder, Nora Moran offers no defense or mitigating circumstances to her crime, but others discover that THE SIN OF NORA MORAN is something entirely different and infitinely more tragic in this Pre-Code drama starring THE MUMMY's Zita Johann.

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

      THE SIN OF NORA MORAN Blu-ray specs:

      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.37:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen
      • English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
      • Optional English SDH Subtitles
      • "The Mysterious Life of Zita Johann" interview with film collector Samuel M. Sherman
      • Booklet with an essay by Samuel M. Sherman

       

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