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21 December 2021

Cineventures' Best of 2021 List

TOP TEN MAINSTREAM/ARTHOUSE RELEASES:

    • A WOMAN LIKE EVE available separately from Amazon.
    • THE DEBUT available separately from Amazon.
    • THE COOL LAKES OF DEATH available separately from Amazon.
  • VIY/SVETO MESTO, Eureka (UK) Region B Blu-ray, limited edition no longer available from Amazon
    • single disc standard edition without SVETO MESTO also available at Amazon
  • CELIA, Second Run (UK) Region ALL Blu-ray, available from Amazon
  • MALCOLM, Umbrella Entertainment (Australia) Region ALL Blu-ray, available from Amazon


TOP TEN CULT RELEASES:

    • PERDITA DURANGO 4K UHD/Blu-ray, available from Amazon
    • PERDITA DURANGO Blu-ray, available from Amazon
    • DAY OF THE BEAST 4K UHD/Blu-ray, available from Amazon
    • DAY OF THE BEAST Blu-ray, available from Amazon
  • 99.9, Cult Epics (US) Region ALL Blu-ray, available from Amazon
  • IREZUMI, Arrow Video (US) Region ALL Blu-ray, available from Amazon


HONORABLE MENTIONS:
For giving a boxed set to a martial arts filmmaker more inconsistent than Godfrey Ho:

For Synapse Films improvements on DEMONS US mono track and the restoration of English stereo soundtrack to DEMONS 2:

    • 4K UHD also available from Amazon

For making such godawful films look so, so good:

  • SHE FREAK, American Genre Film Archive (US) Region ALL Blu-ray, available from Amazon

15 December 2021

Eureka and Joseph Kuo wreak CINEMATIC VENGEANCE! (review)

Fiercely-independent Taiwanese filmmaker Joseph Kuo's alternately shoddy, epic, quirky, and never dull martial arts oeuvre gets a mammoth overview in the eight film set CINEMATIC VENGEANCE!

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

CINEMATIC VENGEANCE! Blu-ray specs:

  • Disc One:
    • The 7 Grandmasters (1977):
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
      • Mandarin, Cantonese, and English LPCM 1.0 Mono Audio Options
      • Optional English Subtitles 
      • Audio Commentary by Asian film expert Frank Djeng and martial artist/filmmaker Michael Worth
    • The 36 Deadly Styles (1982):
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
      • Mandarin and English LPCM 1.0 Mono Audio Options
      • Optional English Subtitles
      • Audio Commentary by action cinema experts Mike Leeder and Arne Venema
  • Disc Two:
    • The World of Drunken Master (1979):
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
      • Mandarin, Cantonese, and English LPCM 1.0 Mono Audio Options
      • Optional English Subtitles
      • Audio Commentary by Asian film expert Frank Djeng and martial artist/filmmaker Michael Worth
    • The Old Master (1979):
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
      • Mandarin, Cantonese, and English LPCM 1.0 Mono Audio Options
      • Optional English Subtitles
      • Audio Commentary by action cinema experts Mike Leeder and Arne Venema
  • Disc Three:
    • Shaolin Kung Fu (1974):
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
      • Mandrin and English LPCM 1.0 Mono Audio Options
      • Optional English Subtitles
      • Audio Commentary by action cinema experts Mike Leeder and Arne Venema
    • The Shaolin Kids (1975):
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
      • Mandarin and English LPCM 1.0 Mono Audio Options
      • Optional English Subtitles
      • Audio Commentary by action cinema experts Mike Leeder and Arne Venema
  • Disc Four:
    • 18 Bronzemen (1976):
      • Japanese Version:
        • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
        • Mandarin LPCM 1.0 Mono
        • Optional English Subtitles
        • Audio Commentary by Asian film expert Frank Djeng and film writer John Charles
      • Hong Kong Version: 
        • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen (with SD inserts)
        • Mandarin and English LPCM 1.0 Mono Audio Options
        • Optional English Subtitles
    • Return of the 18 Bronzemen (1976):
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
      • Mandarin and English LPCM 1.0 Mono Audio Options
      • Optional English Subtitles
      • Audio Commentary by Asian film expert Frank Djeng and film writer John Charles
  • Comes in a limited edition hardbound case featuring newly commissioned artwork by Darren Wheeling with a 60-page booklet featuring new writing on the films included in the set by James Oliver, illustrated with archival imagery and materials, as well as a set of 8 facsimile lobby cards.

Second Sight exposes SESSION 9 (review)

The inner lives of a group of abestos removal workers start to unravel under the stress of working overtime on an underbid job in a notoriously haunted asylum in the 2001 horror sleeper classic SESSION 9 starring Peter Mullan and David Caruso.  From the director of THE MACHINIST.

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

SESSION 9 Blu-ray specs:

  • Disc One:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
    • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
    • Optional English HoH Subtitles
    • Audio Commentary by co-writer/director Brad Anderson and co-writer/actor Stephen Gevedon
    • Audio Commentary by The Projection Booth's Mike White and author Jed Ayres
    • "Return to Danvers: The Secrets of Session 9" documentary
    • "The Haunted Palace: The Ghosts of Danvers Hospital" documentary
    • "Horror's Hallowed Grounds: Session 9" location visit hosted by Sean Clark
    • 5 Story-to-Screen with optional audio commentary by director/co-writer Brad Anderson
    • Deleted Scenes and Alternate Ending with optional 2001 audio commentary by director/co-writer Brad Anderson
    • Theatrical Trailer
  • Disc Two:
    • "The Darkside" interview with co-writer/director Brad Anderson
    • "Mike's Session" interview with actor Stephen Gevedon
    • "Back to the Bat" interview with producer David Collins and director of photography Uta Briesewitz
    • "Invisible Design" interview with production designer Sophie Carlhian
    • "The Sound of Dread" interview with composers Robert Millis and Jeffery Taylor
    • "A Twisted Collage: Alexandra Heller-Nicholas on Session 9" visual essay
  • Comes in a rigid slipcase with new artwork by Christopher Shy, a softcover book with new essays by Charles Bramesco, Simon Fitzjohn and Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, and 6 collectors' art cards.

10 December 2021

Eureka Classics faces a DUEL TO THE DEATH (review)

A Chinese scholar monk and a Japanese samurai compete in a swordplay competition unaware that forces behind the scenes are attempting to "trim down" the competition for what will become a DUEL TO THE DEATH.  From the director of A CHINESE GHOST STORY.

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

DUEL TO THE DEATH Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
  • Cantonese and English LPCM 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by Asian film expert Frank Djeng, NY Asian Film Festival
  • Interview with screenwriter Manfred Wong
  • Interview with actor Norman Chui Siu-keung
  • Interview with actress Flora Cheung
  • Alternate English Opening/Closing Credits
  • Still Galleries
  • Hong Kong Theatrical Trailer
  • 2000 U.S. Home Video Trailer
  • The first 2,000 copies come with an O-Card slipcase featuring new artwork by Darren Wheeling and a collector's booklet featuring 31-page booklet including "Ninja Snaps: On Ching Siu-Tung, Wirework and More..." by James Oliver and Frank Djeng's "The Masterpiece That Few People Know: Ching Siu Tung’s Duel To The Death" (originally published as the liner notes for the Tai Seng laserdisc release).

07 December 2021

Masters of Cinema exposes THE LOVE OF JEANNE NEY (review)

After her diplomat father is murdered by revolutionaries during the Crimean civil war - one of whom may be her lover - Jeanne Ney returns to Paris and appeals to the protection of her uncle and her blind cousin.  Her lover is not the only person who follows her to Paris, however, and she is about to be plunged into another web of murder and deceit in G.W. Pabst's THE LOVE OF JEANNE NEY.

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

THE LOVE OF JEANNE NEY Blu-ray specs:

  • German Version (106 minutes):
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.37:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen
    • Music (Bernd Thewes score) LPCM 2.0 Stereo
    • German Inertitles with English Subtitles
  • American Version (86 minutes):
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.37:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen
    • Music (Andrew Earle Simpson score) LPCM 2.0 Stereo
    • English Intertitles
  • "Too Romantic, Too Ghastly" video essay by film historians David Cairns and Fiona Watson
  • Collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Philip Kemp

30 November 2021

Sony praises OUR LADIES (review)

The choir of Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour in the Scottish Highlands are ready for a day of sex, drugs, and... sex when they take a day trip to Edinburgh for a concert in this musical sex comedy.

REVIEW LINK: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (US) Region ALL Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

OUR LADIES Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.39:1 Widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Optional English, English SDH, and French subtitles

Sony hits back with NEVER BACK DOWN: REVOLT (review)

Immigrant Anya gets lured into a trafficking operation while trying to fight to pay off her brother's debts and she will need the help of her fellow prisoners to revolt against their captors.

REVIEW LINK: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (US) Region ALL Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

NEVER BACK DOWN: REVOLT Blu-ray specs: 

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.00:1 Widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Optional English, English SDH, French, Korean, Mandarin (Simplified), Mandarin (Traditional), Portuguese, and Spanish subtitles
  • Trailers

23 November 2021

Shudder takes on PSYCHO GOREMAN (review)

A ruthless, violent, intergalactic alien warrior is now the plaything of a spunky little girl in PSYCHO GOREMAN.

REVIEW LINK: Acorn Media (UK) Region ALL Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

PSYCHO GOREMAN 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 director Steven Kostanski
  • "One-on-One" interview with director Steven Kostanski
  • Interviews with the Cast
  • Interview with actor Adam Brooks
  • "Kortex: A Konversation"
  • "The Music of PG"
  • "Fight Choreography"
  • "Filming the Paladin Fight"
  • "Miniature Magic"
  • "Inside the Creature Shop"
  • "Fight Pre-Viz"
  • "PG vs Pandora"
  • Concept Art Gallery
  • Trading Cards Gallery
  • Behind the Scenes Photo Gallery
  • Startup Trailers

21 November 2021

Second Sight consumes SWALLOW (review)

Young Hunter discovers starts to crack under the pressure of being the perfect housewife, driven to consuming foreign objects that threaten her health while leading her down a path to personal freedom in SWALLOW.

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

SWALLOW Blu-ray specs:

20 November 2021

Masters of Cinema stands off with THE GREAT SILENCE (review)

Jean-Louis Trintignant and Klaus Kinski star in the bleakest of Italian westerns ever created.  When an amnesty is granted against Utah outlaws, bounty hunters scramble to collect rewards on remaining criminals with an emphasis on DEAD than ALIVE.  A distraught mother and a desperate widow hire mute gunman Silence to avenge the innocent.

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

THE GREAT SILENCE Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
  • English and Italian LPCM 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by author Howard Hughes and filmmaker Richard Knew
  • Audio Commentary by filmmaker Mike Siegel
  • Audio Commentary by director and Spaghetti Western aficionado Alex Cox, recorded live at the Hollywood Theatre, Portland
  • "Austin Fisher on THE GREAT SILENCE" interview with the author of "Radical Frontiers in the Spaghetti Western: Politics, Violence and Popular Italian Cinema"
  • "Cox on Corbucci" interview with filmmaker Alex Cox
  • "Western, Italian Style" 1968 documentary on Italian westerns including prime behind the scenes footage from THE GREAT SILENCE
  • Alternate "Happy" Ending with optional Audio Commentary by filmmaker Alex Cox
  • Alternate "Ambiguous" Ending
  • Italian Theatrical Trailer
  • English-language Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Galleries:
    • "Filming Silenzio"
    • "Promoting Silenzio"
    • "Silenzio in Pictures"
  • The first pressing of 3,000 copies comes with a collector's booklet featuring new writing by Western expert Howard Hughes, an O-card slipcase, a reversible poster featuring the film’s original artwork, and a set of 4 facsimile lobby cards.

17 November 2021

Acorn Media investigates THE BROKENWOOD MYSTERIES: SERIES 7 (review)

City transplant Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Shepherd and crew are back in series seven of THE BROKENWOOD MYSTERIES investigating brutal murders among the quirky citizens of a small New Zealand town with plenty of secrets and suspects.

REVIEW LINK: Acorn Media (UK) Region 2 PAL DVD (DVDCompare)

THE BROKENWOOD MYSTERIES: SERIES 7 DVD specs:

  • Six feature-length episodes on three dual-layer DVDs
  • 16:9 anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen
  • English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
  • Optional English HoH Subtitles
  • Behind the Scenes
  • Photo Gallery

Eureka unearths EARLY UNIVERSAL VOL. 2 (review)

EARLY UNIVERSAL VOL 2 provides another survey of the studio's begginings and their strategies for competing with the majors.  They take on the epic in 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA with exotic settings and landmark special effects techniques.  In THE CALGARY STAMPEDE, the studio's western hero Hoot Gibson is falsely accused of murder and goes on the run.  In WHATEVER HAPPENED TO JONES?, the studio's comedy star Reginald Denny becomes entangled in a madcap farce as a groom-to-be who makes the mistake of joining a late night poker game that gets raided.

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

EARLY UNIVERSAL VOL. 2 Blu-ray specs:

  • Disc One:
    • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1916):
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.33:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen
      • Orlando Perez Rosso score LPCM 2.0 Stereo
      • English Intertitles
      • "Kim Newman on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea"
  • Disc Two:
    • The Calgary Stampede (1925):
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.33:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen
      • Chris Tin score LPCM 2.0 Stereo
      • English Intertitles
      • Audio Commentary by professor and film scholar Jason A. Ney
    • Whatever Happened to Jones? (1926):
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.33:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen
      • Anthony Willis score LPCM 2.0 Stereo
      • English Intertitles
      • Audio Commentary by film historian and writer David Kalat
  • Limited Edition O-Card Slipcover (first 2000 copies)
  • 27-page Collector's Booklet

05 November 2021

Severin Films sculpts AN ANGEL FOR SATAN (review)

In her last Italian horror film, Barbara Steele plays an heiress who comes under the malevolent influence of a cursed statue sculpted in the likeness of her lookalike ancestress an becomes AN ANGEL FOR SATAN.

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

AN ANGEL FOR SATAN 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 audio) subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by actress Barbara Steele, moderated by film historian David Del Valle and Severin Films' David Gregory
  • Audio Commenary by film historian Kat Ellinger
  • "The Devil's Statue" inteview with actor Vassili Karis and film historian Fabio Melleli
  • "Barbara and Her Furs" 1967 short film by Pierre Andro, with optional Partial Audio Commentary by actress Barbara Steele
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Extended Trailer
  • Collector's Slipcover

Severin Films sheds light on FRANCO NOIR (review)

Before he became known as the master of erotic horror, Jess Franco dabbled in the mainstream in various genres including Film Noir.  In DEATH WHISTLES THE BLUES, a criminal mastermind retired into a respectable false identity is haunted by a dead man.  In RIFIFI IN THE CITY, a guilt-ridden police inspector wants to avenge the murder of a young police informant at the hands of a gangster masquerading as a politician in a South American nation.

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

FRANCO NOIR Blu-ray specs:

  • "Death Whistles the Blues" (1964):
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.78:1 Widescreen
    • Spanish DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
    • Optional English Subtitles
  • "Rififi in the City" (1963):
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.78:1 Widescreen
    • Spanish DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
    • Optional English Subtitles
  • "Franco Noir" interview with Stephen Thrower, author of "Murderous Passions: The Delirious Cinema of Jesús Franco"

American Genre Film Archive and Bleeding Skull take rooms at BOARDINGHOUSE (review)

When a New Age, New Wave, speedo-wearing yuppie inherits a haunted house, he decides to turn it into the ultimate bachelor pad by putting an ad out for beautiful and unattached women to be boarders.  Unfortunately, he has just gifted the malevolent spirit in the house with a supply of new victims in BOARDINGHOUSE, a shot-on-video from the eighties that actually achieved theatrical release on 35mm film.

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

BOARDINGHOUSE Blu-ray specs:

  • Disc One:
    • 35mm Theatrical Cut (88 minutes):
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
      • English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 Mono
      • Optional English SDH Subtitles
      • Partial Audio Commentary on the theatrical cut by AGFA + Bleeding Skull’s Joseph A. Ziemba & John Wintergate and Kalassu
      • Audio Commentary on the theatrical cut by actor Maryel McKinley, moderated by Sean King and Mike Justice
    • Original Home Video Cut (98 minutes):
      • 1080i60 MPEG-4 AVC 1.33:1 Fullscreen
      • English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 Mono
      • Optional English SDH Subtitles
    • 35mm Theatrical Trailer
    • Home Video and TV Spots
  • Disc Two:
    • Alternate 1984 "Psycho Killer" Home Video Cut (98 minutes):
      • 1080i60 MPEG-4 AVC 1.33:1 Fullscreen
      • English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 Mono
      • Optional English SDH Subtitles
    • Unreleased 1989 film "Sally and Jess" (94 minutes):
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.33:1 Fullscreen
      • English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 Mono
      • Optional Englsih SDH Subtitles
      • Audio Commentary by filmmakers Kalassu and John Wintergate, moderated by Sean King
      • On-Set Footage
    • Six Music videos from Kalassu & John Wintergate
  • Reversible Cover
  • The first 4,000 copies ordered directly from Vinegar Syndrome come with a special limited edition embossed slipcover.

Vinegar Syndrome chuckles with THE LAUGHING DEAD (review)

A priest takes a group of tourists South of the Boarder to observe the Day of the Dead festivities in a village outside Oaxaca; however, little do they realize that this year, the Mayan God of Death is planning a special celebration involving human sacrifices.  Written and directed by horror novelist S.P. Somtow.

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

THE LAUGHING DEAD Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo
  • Optional English SDH Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by writer/director Somtow Suharitkul
  • "Unholy Assembly: Crafting The Laughing Dead" documentary with director Somtow Sucharitkul, producer Lex Nakashima, actress Premika Eaton, actor Tim Sullivan, cinematographer David Boyd, associate producer/second unit director Michael Deak, costume designer Shellagh Hannigan and transportation/pa Ron Ford
  • Reversible Cover
  • The first 5,000 copies ordered directly from Vinegar Syndrome come with a special limited edition embossed slipcover designed by Robert Sammelin.

Arrow Video is petrified in the MILL OF THE STONE WOMEN (Review)

A young journalist doing a story on a windmill with a macabre carousel of female statues becomes embroiled in lust and jealousy in the early Italian horror film MILL OF THE STONE WOMEN.

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

MILL OF THE STONE WOMEN Blu-ray specs:

  • DISC ONE:
    • Italian Version:
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 Widescreen
      • Italian LPCM 1.0 Mono
      • Optional English Subtitles
    • English Export Version:
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 Widescreen
      • English LPCM 1.0 Mono
      • Optional English Subtitles
      • Audio Commentary by film historian Tim Lucas
    • "Mill of the Stone Women & The Gothic Body" visual essay by author and critic Kat Ellinger
    • "Turned to Stone" newly-edited featurette containing archival interviews with actress Liana Orfei and film historian Fabio Melelli
    • "A Little Chat with Dr. Mabuse" archival interview with actor Wolfgang Preiss
    • Alternate Opening Titles:
      • UK “Drops of Blood” Titles
      • German Titles
    • US Theatrical Trailer
    • German Theatrical Trailer
    • Image Galleries:
      • Posters
      • Stills and Lobby Cards
      • German Pressbook
      • US Pressbook
  • DISC TWO:
    • French Version:
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 Widescreen
      • French LPCM 1.0 Mono
      • Optional English Subtitles
    • US Theatrical Version: 
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 Widescreen
      • English LPCM 1.0 Mono
      • Optional English SDH Subtitles
  • Limited edition packaging with:
    • reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Adam Rabalais;
    • an illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Roberto Curti, an in-depth comparison of the different versions by Brad Stevens, and a selection of contemporary reviews;
    • a foldout double-sided poster featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork by Adam Rabalais;
    • and six double-sided, postcard-sized lobby card reproduction artcards.

Arrow Video slithers with THE SNAKE GIRL AND THE SILVER-HAIRED WITCH (Review)

Reunited with her birth family, a young orphan discovers a mysterious older sister who she starts to suspect is really a snake, and a silver-haired witch who turns her dreams into nightmares in this classic manga adaptation from the director of the GAMERA series.

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

THE SNAKE GIRL AND THE SILVER-HAIRED WITCH Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
  • Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 Mono
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by film historian David Kalat
  • "This Charming Woman" interview with manga and folklore scholar Zack Davisson
  • Image Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • The first pressing includes an illustrated collectors' booklet featuring new writing by Raffael Coronelli.

Arrow Video shops with the PHANTOM OF THE MALL (review)

The opening of a brand new shopping mall is besieged by destruction and death in this eighties horror comedy featuring the introductory appearance of Pauly Shore.  From the director of DEATHMASK and SCARED STIFF.

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

PHANTOM OF THE MALL: ERIC'S REVENGE Blu-ray specs:

  • DISC ONE:
    • Theatrical Cut:
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
      • English LPCM 2.0 Mono
      • Optional English SDH Subtitles
      • Audio Commentary by director Richard Friedman, moderated by filmmaker Michael Felsher
      • Audio Commentary by disc producer Ewan Cant and film historian/author Amanda Reyes
    • Audio Interviews with composer Stacy Widelitz and associate producer Robert J. Koster, conducted by Michael J. Felsher
    • "Shop Til’ You Drop!: The Making of PHANTOM OF THE MALL" making-of documentary
    • "The Vandals Go to the Mall" interview ith Joe Escalante of the punk band "The Vandals"
    • Alternate and Deleted Scenes from the TV Cut
    • Trailers:
      • Domestic Theatrical Trailer
      • International Theatrical Trailer
    • Image Gallery
  • DISC TWO:
    • Television Cut:
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen (with standard definition inserts)
      • English LPCM 2.0 Mono
      • Optional English SDH Subtitles
    • "Phan Cut" composite version:
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen (with standard definition insets)
      • English LPCM 2.0 Mono
      • Optional English SDH Subtitles
  • Limited edition packaging comes with:
    • a 60-page fully-illustrated perfect-bound book featuring new writing on the film by Brad Henderson and original press kit extracts;
    • reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Justin Osbourn;
    • a large foldout double-sided poster featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork by Justin Osbourn;
    • and six postcard-sized lobby card reproductions.

Synapse Films remasters DEMONS and DEMONS II (review)

DEMONS bust through the screen - this time in 4K - in Syanpse's special limited edition Blu-ray and 4K UHD sets of Lamberto Bava's DEMONS and DEMONS 2 in which the audience of a movie theater and the residents of a high-tech apartment building are trapped with a supernatural infestation of demonic proportions.  From producer Dario Argento.

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

DEMONS I AND II Blu-ray specs:

  • DISC ONE - Demons (1985):
    • International English Version:
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 Widescreen
      • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0 Stereo
      • Optional English SDH Subtitles
      • Audio Commentary by critics Kat Ellinger and Heather Drain, co-hosts of the Hell's Belles podcast
      • Audio Commentary by director Lamberto Bava, special effects artist Sergio Stivaletti, and actress Geretta Giancarlo, moderated by Mike Baronas, Art Ettinger, and Mark Murray
    • Italian Version:
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 Widescreen
      • Italian DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0 Stereo
      • Optional English Subtitles
    • US Theatrical Version:
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 Widescreen
      • English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
      • Optional English SDH Subtitles
    • "Produced by Dario Argento" visual essay by author and critic Michael Mackenzie
    • Archival Special Features:
      • "Dario’s Demon Days" interview with writer/producer Dario Argento
      • "Defining an Era in Music" interview with composer Claudio Simonetti
      • "Dario and His Demons: Producing Monster Mayhem" interview with writer/producer Dario Argento
      • "Splatter Stunt Rock" interview with stuntman Ottaviano Dell’Acqua
    • Italian Theatrical Trailer
    • International English Theatrical Trailer
    • US Theatrical Trailer
  • DISC TWO - Demons 2 (1986):
    • English Version:
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 Widescreen
      • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0 Stereo
      • Optional English SDH Subtitles
      • Audio Commentary by film historian Travis Crawford
    • Italian Version:
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 Widescreen
      • Italian DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0 Stereo 
      • Optional English Subtitles
    • "Together and Apart" visual essay by author/critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas
    • Archival Special Features:
      • "Creating Creature Carnage" interview with special makeup effects artist Sergio Stivaletti
      • "The Demons Generation: Roy Bava Discusses a Legacy in Lacerations" inteview with director's son Roy Bava
      • "Screaming for a Sequel: The Delirious Legacy of DEMONS 2" interview with director Lamberto Bava
      • "A Soundtrack for Splatter" interview with composer Simon Boswell
    • Italian Theatrical Trailer
    • International English Trailer
  • Limited to 6,000 copies including a slipcover featuring new artwork by Juan José Saldarriaga and Chris MacGibbon, a reproduction of the original movie ticket from Demons, a special Demons 2 birthday party invitation, fold-out poster of Demons artwork from Wes Benscoter, and reversible cover art.

Also available on 4K UHD:

Severin Films vows RETRIBUTION (Blu-ray)

When a suicidal artist is brought back from the brink of death, he brings with him another spirit intent on taking revenge on his murderers in the eighties horror flick RETRIBUTION.

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

RETRIBUTION Blu-ray specs:

  • Disc One (R-rated Version):
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
    • English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo
    • Optional English SDH Subtitles
    • "Writing Wrongs" interview with co-writer Lee Wasserman
    • "Shock Therapy" interview with actress Leslie Wing
    • "Angel's Heart" interview with actress Suzanne Synder
    • "Santa Maria, Mother Of God, Help Me!" interview with actor Mike Muscal
    • "Settling the Score" interview with  composer Alan Howarth
    • "Visions of Vengeance" interview with special effects artist John Eggett
    • "The Art of Getting Even" interview with effects artist Barry Fahr
    • "Living in Oblivion" interview with production designer Robb Wilson King
    • "Bingo" 1973 student film with optional commentary by director Guy Magar
    • Still and Poster Gallery
    • Theatrical Trailer
    • Promo Reel
  • Disc Two (Unrated Version):
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
    • English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo
    • Optional English SDH Subtitles
    • Audio Commentary by director Guy Magar, moderated by David Gregory
  • Disc Three (CD):
    • Soundtrack by Alan Howarth (14 tracks)
  • Reversible Cover
  • Slipcover
  • 24-page booklet featuring an introduction and essay by director Guy Magar, as well as an essay on the score by Randall D. Larson.

Severin Films ventures BEYOND DARKNESS (review)

Travel BEYOND DARKNESS with Joe D'Amato and the director of TROLL 2 when a priest and hs family move into a mansion haunted by an executed child killer and Salem witches.

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

BEYOND DARKNESS Blu-ray specs:

  • Disc One (Blu-ray):
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 Widescreen
    • English and Italian DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
    • Optional English SDH subtitles (for English) and English subtitles (for Italian)
    • "Beyond Possession" interview with director Claudio Fragasso
    • "The Devil in Miss Drudi" interview with screenwriter Rossella Drudi
    • "Sign of the Cross" interview with actor David Brandon
    • Theatrical Trailer
  • Disc Two (CD): 
    • Soundtrack by Carlo Maria Cordio (17 tracks)

21 October 2021

Acorn Media and Shudder hunt MONSTRUM (review)

Reports of a beast murdering hunters and farmers on a remote mountain unsettle the kingdom, but is it a real monster or a court intrigue to undermind the king?

REVIEW LINK: Acorn Media (UK) Region ALL Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

MONSTRUM Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
  • Korean DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo
  • Optional English Subtitles

Masters of Cinema serenades JOHNNY GUITAR (review)

Joan Crawford's ego and vanity combined with director Nicholas Ray's stubbornness created one of the most singular, explosively-overheated westerns of all time in JOHNNY GUITAR in which Sterling Hayden's titular hero plays second fiddle to the battle between two women (Crawford and THE EXORCIST's Mercedes McCambridge).

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

JOHNNY GUITAR Blu-ray specs: 

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 Widescreen
  • English LPCM 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English HoH Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by film scholar Adrian Martin
  • Introduction by critic Geoff Andrew, author of "The Films of Nicholas Ray: The Poet of Nightfall"
  • Video Essay by critic Tony Rayns
  • "Never is a Long Time" video essay by film historian David Cairns
  • "Stranger" interview with director's wife interview Susan Ray
  • 1995 archival introduction by filmmaker Martin Scorsese
  • Alternate Opening Credits
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • The first 3,000 copies come in a limited edition hardbound slipcase with a 60-page illustrated collector's book featuring two new essays by western expert Howard Hughes, and an archival interview with director Nicholas Ray.

Scream Factory makes a DEADLY FRIEND (review)

The girl next door turns deadly when a boy genius saves her life by transplants his super-intelligent robot's brain into her body and she goes after those who wronged her in Wes Craven's DEADLY FRIEND.

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

DEADLY FRIEND Blu-ray specs: 

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English SDH Subtitles
  • "Hey Sam, Nice Shot" interview with actress Kristy Swanson
  • "Written in Blood" interview with screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin
  • "Samantha's Symphony" interview with composer Charles Bernstein
  • "Robots, Ramsey, and Revenge" interview with special make-up effects artist Lance Anderson
  • 5 Theatrical Trailers
  • 5 TV Spots
  • Reversible Cover
  • Slipcover included with the first pressing

18 October 2021

Kino Lorber gets caught up in a WHIRLPOOL OF FATE (review)

In his film debut, Jean Renoir showcases his muse wife in this surrealism-tinged melodrama about an orphaned girl who escapes the clutches of an alcoholic uncle into danger involving poachers, gypsies, and angry mobs into the arms of her first love.  Tragedy threatens to strike when her past catches up with her.

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

WHIRLPOOL OF FATE Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.33:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen
  • Anton Coppola Score DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo
  • French Intertitles
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by film historian Nick Pinkerton
  • Bonus Trailers

Acorn Media and Shudder unleash THE POWER (review)

Growing up with a crippling fear of the dark, orphaned Val starts her first shift at an East London hospital on the very night that a series of mandatory blackouts due to a miner's strike are beginning.  In the dark, she discovers that she is not alone, and that something angry and evil wants possession of her body and soul in this British horror film.

REVIEW LINK: Acorn Media (UK) Region ALL Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

THE POWER 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 writer/director Corinna Faith, cinematographer Laura Bellingham, and actress Rose Williams
  • Photo Gallery

17 October 2021

Second Run comes of age with CELIA (Review)

What a young girl in 1950s Australia fears more than the communist threat are monsters from a storybook who may be not so imaginary in the dark coming of age story CELIA.

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

CELIA Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
  • English LPCM 2.0 Mono
  • "Celia's World" documentary by writer/director Ann Turner
  • Interview with writer/director Ann Turner
  • "There's Something About Celia" film historian Alexandra Heller-Nicholas in conversation with Maria Lewis at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image
  • Image Gallery
  • 24-page booklet with essays by film historian Micahel Brooke and academic Professor Joy Damousi

American Genre Film Archive discover WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?

The dawn of drag cinema hits Blu-ray in this collection of the films of Los Angeles' Gay Girls Riding Club with homages to NEVER ON SUNDAY, WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?, THE ROMAN SPRING OF MRS. STONE, and ALL ABOUT EVE.

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

WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? AND THE FILMS OF THE GAY GIRLS RIDING CLUB Blu-ray specs:

  • Short Films:
    • "Always on Sunday" (1962)
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.33:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen
      • Music DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 Mono
    • "What Really Happened to Baby Jane?" (1963)
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.33:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen
      • English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 Mono
      • Optional English SDH Subtitles
      • Audio Commentary by queer film historian Evan Purchell and AGFA’s Bret Berg (2021)
    • "The Roman Springs on Mrs. Stone" (1963)
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.33:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen
      • English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 Mono 
      • Optional English SDH Subtitles
    • "Spy on the Fly" (1967)
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.33:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen
      • English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 Mono
      • Optional English SDH Subtitles
  • Feature film "All About Alice" (1972)
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.33:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen
    • English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0
    • Optional English SDH Subtitles
    • Silent Outtakes (10:09)
  • The first 2,500 copies ordered directly from Vinegar Syndrome include a special limited edition embossed slipcover.

Cult Epics tunes into the frequency of terror with 99.9 (review)

A paranormal talk show radio host may have stumbled upon proof the supernatural when she investigates the mysterious accidental death of her child's father in this Spanish horror film from the director of IN A GLASS CAGE.

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

99.9 Blu-ray/DVD Combo specs:

  • Blu-ray:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
    • Spanish DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and LPCM 2.0 Stereo
    • Optional English Subtitles
    • Interview with director Agustí Villaronga
    • "The Making of 99.9" 1997 documentary
    • Isolated Score by Javier Navarette
    • Theatrical Trailer
    • Agustí Villaronga Trailers
  • DVD:
    • 16:9 anamorphic 1.85:1 Widescreen
    • Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 Stereo
    • Optional English Subtitles
    • Interview with director Agustí Villaronga
    • "The Making of 99.9" 1997 documentary
    • Isolated Score by Javier Navarette
    • Theatrical Trailer
    • Agustí Villaronga Trailers

04 October 2021

Second Run seeks out THE LIGHTHOUSE (Review)

Returning to the war zone that is her Armenian birth village, Lena tries to convince her grandparents to come back to Russia with her, but they are reluctant to leave.  She too finds it difficult to leave for practical reasons as well as the emotional pull of the past in the feature debut of Maria Saakyan.

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

THE LIGHTHOUSE Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
  • Armenian/Russian LPCM 2.0 Stereo
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • "Farewell [Proshchanie]" 2003 short film by Maria Saakyan
  • "Surviving Memories" visual essay by Alessandro Luchetti and Manuela Lazic
  • 2 Theatrical Trailers
  • 28-page booklet featuring an interview with the director as well as essays by writer/curator So Mayer and film historian Vigen Galstyan.

03 October 2021

Second Run and THE FIFTH HORSEMAN IS FEAR (review)

Forbidden from practicing medicine by the Nazi occupation, an elderly doctor risks his own safety when he reluctantly treats a gravely wounded resistance fighter in this film noir-styled Czech New Wave psychological drama.

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

THE FIFTH HORSEMAN IS FEAR Blu-ray specs: 

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
  • Czech LPCM 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by The Projection Booth podcast featuring Kat Ellinger, Jonathan Owen, and Mike White
  • Two Lost Sequences from the 1968 American and Italian Release Versions:
    • Alternate Italian Opening Sequence
    • Brothel Sequence
  • "Žalm" 1966 poetic short film by the renowned Czech filmmaker Evald Schorm
  • 24-page booklet with new writing on the film by Jonathan Owen and an appreciation by filmmaker Dominik Graf

Umbrella Entertainment gets to know MALCOLM (review)

When he is fired from his job doing tram maitenance after testing out one of his fantastic inventions, autistic Malcolm must lease out a room in his mother's house to pay the bills.  He ends up with an ex-con and his girlfriend and becomes fascinated with their life of crime in this quirky Australian comedy starring Colin Friels, Lindy Davies, and John Hargreaves.

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

MALCOLM 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 producer/director Nadia Tass and writer/producer David Parker
  • "A Quieter Time" interview with writer/producer David Parker
  • "Malcolm" at the AFI Awards
  • "Where Was It Filmed?"
  • "NFSA Malcolm Car"
  • Popcorn Taxi Q&A with producer/director Nadia Tass and writer/producer David Parker
  • Interview with actor Colin Friels
  • SBS Movie Show Interview with actress Lindy Davies
  • David Parker and Nadia Tass Archival NFSA Interview
  • "More Malcolm Gizmos"
  • Theatrical Trailer

Umbrella Entertainment shudders from THE GIANT CLAW of THE WEREWOLF (review)

In this pair of Cold War chillers from producer Sam Katzman and director Fred F. Sears, a giant mutant bird creature terrorizes cities with THE GIANT CLAW while a mountaintop town shudders under the terror of THE WEREWOLF.

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

FRED F. SEARS DOUBLE FEATURE Blu-ray specs:

  • The Giant Claw (1957):
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.78:1 Widescreen
    • English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
  • The Werewolf (1956):
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
    • English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono

29 September 2021

Vinegar Syndrome tells a DEVIL STORY (review)

Honeymooners stranded in the middle of nowhere encounter a shotgun-toting deformed killer and an ancient Egyptian mummy in this French piece of eighties fantastique.

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

DEVIL STORY Blu-ray specs: 

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
  • English and French DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 Mono
  • English and French Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English SDH and English Subtitles
  • "Once Upon a Time... DEVIL STORY" documentary
  • "Launois Story: Once Upon a Time... Bernard" interview with director Bernard Launois
  • Selected Scenes Audio Commentary by director Bernard Launois
  • 1984 TV Coverage
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Reversible Cover
  • The first 5,000 copies ordered directly from Vinegar Syndrome come with a special limited edition embossed slipcover designed by Earl Kessler Jr.

Vinegar Syndrome digs a SHALLOW GRAVE (review)

Four Catholic schoolgirls bound for Spring Break in Fort Lauderdale may just end up in a SHALLOW GRAVE when they witness a murder in a small Georgia town.

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

SHALLOW GRAVE Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 and Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English SDH Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by director Richard Styles
  • Audio Commentary by The Hysteria Continues!
  • "Looking for Magic" interview with director Richard Styles
  • "A Visual Storyteller" interview with producer George Edward Fernandez
  • Reversible Cover
  • The first 5,000 copies ordered directly from Vinegar Syndrome come with a special limited edition embossed slipcover designed by Earl Kessler Jr.

Vinegar Syndrome sharpens Troma's BLADES (review)

Just when you thought it was safe to put, a bloodthirsty killer lawnmowier starts mowing down golfers in the eighties horror comedy BLADES from Troma and Vinegar Syndrome.

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

BLADES 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 director Thomas R. Rondinella and writer William R. Pace
  • "Fore! Warning: The Making of Blades" making-of documentary
  • Still Gallery
  • Reversible Cover
  • The first 5,000 copies ordered directly from Vinegar Syndrome come with a special limited edition embossed slipcover designed by Earl Kessler Jr.
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