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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
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