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27 April 2022

Arrow Video is TWISTING THE KNIFE: FOUR FILMS BY CLAUDE CHABROL (review)

Claude Chabrol takes on a more playful tone in TWISTING THE KNIFE: FOUR FILMS BY CLAUDE CHABROL.  In THE SWINDLE, Isabelle Huppert and Michel Serrault are smalltime con artists who get in over their heads with money launderers.  In THE COLOR OF LIES, an art teacher becomes an instant suspect in a small village when he is the last to see a young student alive.  In NIGHTCAP, Huppert is back as the seemingly kind but possibly murderous chocolate empire heiress.  In THE FLOWER OF EVIL, generations of a French family find themselves embroiled in past crimes and modern perversity.

REVIEW LINK: Arrow Video (US/UK) Region A/B Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

TWISTING THE KNIFE: FOUR FILMS BY CLAUDE CHABROL Blu-ray specs: 

  • Disc One - The Swindle:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 Widescreen
    • French LPCM 2.0 Stereo
    • Optional English Subtitles
    • Audio Commentary by film critic Barry Forshaw and author Sean Hogan
    • "Chabrol’s 'Soap Bubble'" visual essay by Catherine Dousteyssier-Khoze, author of "Claude Chabrol: The Aesthetics of Opacity"
    • "Film as a Family Affair" interview with director Claude Chabrol's stepdaughter and assistant director Cécile Maistre-Chabrol
    • Behind the Scenes
    • "A Conversation with Isabelle Huppert"
    • Introduction by film scholar Joël Magny
    • Selected Scene Commentaries by director Claude Chabrol
    • Theatrical Trailer
    • Image Gallery
  • Disc Two - The Color of Lies:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 Widescreen
    • French LPCM 2.0 Stereo
    • Optional English Subtitles
    • Audio Commentary by critic Barry Forshaw and author Sean Hogan
    • "Nothing is Sacred" visual essay by film critic Scout Tafoya
    • Behind the Scenes
    • Introduction by film scholar Joël Magny
    • Selected Scene Commentaries by director Claude Chabrol
    • Theatrical Trailer
    • Image Gallery
  • Disc Three - Nightcap:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 Widescreen
    • French DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and LPCM 2.0 Stereo
    • Optional English Subtitles
    • Audio Commentary by film critic Justine Smith
    • "When I Pervert Good..." visual essay by film critic Scout Tafoya
    • "Isabelle Huppert, héroïne chabrolienne" interview with the actress by critic Serge Toubiana
    • "Une demi-heure avec Dutronc" interview with actor Jacques Dutronc
    • Behind the Scenes
    • Screen Test for actress Anna Mouglalis
    • Introduction by film scholar Joël Magny
    • Selected Scene Commentaries by director Claude Chabrol
    • Theatrical Trailer
    • Image Gallery
  • Disc Four - The Flower of Evil:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 Widescreen
    • French DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and LPCM 2.0 Stereo
    • Optional English Subtitles
    • Audio Commentary by film critic Farran Smith Nehme
    • "Behind the Masks: Remembering Claude Chabrol" appreciation by Agnès C. Poirier, author of "Left Bank: Arts, Passion and the Rebirth of Paris 1940-1950"
    • "Parfums de La fleur du mal" Behind the Scenes
    • Interview with co-writer Catherine Eliacheff
    • Introduction by film scholar Joël Magny
    • Selected Scene Commentaries by director Claude Chabrol
    • Theatrical Trailer
    • Image Gallery
  • 80-page collector's booklet of new writing by Sean Hogan, Brad Stevens, Catherine Dousteyessier-Khoze, Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, and Pamela Hutchinson
  • Limited edition packaging featuring newly commissioned artwork by Tony Stella

19 April 2022

Unearthed Classics resurrects PREMUTOS: THE FALLEN ANGEL (review)

Before Satan, Premutos was the first fallen angel.  He had the power to create life, but only from the flesh of the dead.  When a young man discovers a buried book, he discovers that he is the son of Premutos, destined to bring his father back to Earth and unleash an army of the dead in Olaf Ittenbach's German gorefest PREMUTOS: THE FALLEN ANGEL.

REVIEW LINK: Unearthed Films (US) Region ALL Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

PREMUTOS: THE FALLEN ANGEL Blu-ray specs:

  • The Director's Cut:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.78:1 Widescreen
    • German DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and LPCM 2.0 Stereo
    • Optional English Subtitles
  • Original Cut:
    • 480i60 MPEG-4 AVC 1.33:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen
    • German or English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
    • Optional English Subtitles
  • Making-of documentary
  • "Olaf Ittenback: The Early Years" documentary
  • Trailer
  • Bonus Trailers
  • Bonus Soundtrack CD
  • Reversible Cover
  • Slipcover

Eureka Classics lands a KNOCKABOUT (review)

Jackie Chan's and Sammo Hung's "little brother" Yuen Biao steps into the lead in KNOCKABOUT in which a pair of brothers who make their living by theiving and con jobs find a martial arts teacher who turns out to be a villain.  Sammo Hung directs.

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

KNOCKABOUT Blu-ray specs:

  • Hong Kong Version:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
    • Cantonese and English (classic dub) LPCM 1.0 Mono
    • English (newer dub) DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 
    • Optional English Subtitles
  • Export Version:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
    • English (classic dub) LPCM 1.0 Mono
    • Optional English (home video mix) LPCM 1.0 Mono
  • "Heavy Hitter" interview with actor/director Sammo Hung
  • "Above the Law" interview with actor Bryan “Beardy” Leung Kar-yan
  • "Monkey Magic" interview with Grandmaster Chan Sau Chang
  • Deleted Scene Used as a Teaser for the Japanese Release
  • Hong Kong Theatrical Trailer
  • Comes with a reversible cover
  • The first 2,000 copies come with a limited edition O-card slipcase featuring new artwork by Darren Wheeling and a 31-page collector's booklet featuring "The Third Brother: Mixing Things Up with Yuen Biao and Knockabout by James Oliver and an excerpt from the original Golden Harvest Knockabout sales flyer.

15 April 2022

Unearthed Classics revels in TOKYO DECADENCE (review)

A young prostitute's attempts to gain control of her life after a visit to a fortune teller leads her to sexual degradation and near-madness in Ryu Murakami's TOKYO DECADENCE.

REVIEW LINK: Unearthed Films (US) Region ALL Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

TOKYO DECADENCE Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 Widescreen
  • Japanese and English LPCM 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • Promotional Featurette
  • Japanese Theatrical Trailer
  • German Theatrical Trailer
  • Trailers

Arrow Video investigates TO SLEEP SO AS TO DREAM (Review)

A private detective and his young assistant become entangled in a bizarre kidnapping of the daughter of an actress by villains who may have stepped out of her unfinished silent serial in Kaizo Hayashi's love letter to Japanese silent cinema TO SLEEP SO AS TO DREAM.

REVIEW LINK: Arrow Video (US/UK) Region A/B Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

TO SLEEP SO AS TO DREAM Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.37:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen
  • Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 Mono
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by Japanese film experts Tom Mes and Jasper Sharp
  • Audio Commentary by director Kaizo Hayashi and actor Shiro Sano
  • "How Many Eggs? Actor Shiro Sano Talks" interview
  • "Talking Silents: Benshi Midori Sawato Talks" interview
  • Midori Sawato Performs "The Eternal Mystery" exclusive benshi performance
  • Restoration Documentary Short
  • Fragments from Japan's Lost Silent Heyday
  • Japanese Theatrical Trailer
  • English-language Re-releae Trailer
  • Image Gallery
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by David Downton
  • The first pressing includes an illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Aaron Gerow.

American Genre Film Archive contracts a PATHOGEN (review)

Emily Hagins was twelve years old when she conceived her feature film debut PATHOGEN and fifteen when it was screened at the Alamo Drafthouse.  When a nanochip intended to cure cancer that has the side effect of raising flesh-eating zombies gets into the water system, five grade school students must fight for their life as their neighborhood is taken over by the walking dead.

REVIEW LINK: American Genre Film Archive (US) Region ALL Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

PATHOGEN Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080i60 MPEG-4 AVC 1.33:1 Pillaboxed Fullscreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo
  • Optional English SDH Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by director Emily Hagins and Bleeding Skull's Annie Choi
  • Cast and Crew QA from the 2006 Theatrical Premiere
  • "Zombie Girl: The Movie" feature-lenght making-of documentary by Justin Johnson, Aaron Marshall, and Erik Mauck
  • "Party Killer" short film directed by Emily Hagins
  • Reversible cover.
  • The first 2,500 copies ordered directly from Vinegar Syndrome comes with a slipcover.

11 April 2022

Acorn Media and Shudder room with SUPERHOST (Review)

A pair of lifestyle vloggers book a stay at a "lifechanging" AirBnB and get the hostess from hell in SUPERHOST.

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

SUPERHOST 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 Brandon Christensen
  • Behind-the-Scenes of SUPERHOST
  • "Shooting in a Pandemic"
  • Bloopers
  • "SUPERHOST Visual FX"
  • Behind the Scenes Photo Gallery
  • "Scaredycats" shorts

Actresses duel to the death in Unearthed Films' 2LDK (review)

A pair of actresses sharing an apartment are after the same role and the same man in Yukihiko Tsutsumi's "duel to the death" 2LDK.

REVIEW LINK: Unearthed Films/MVD Visual (US) Region A Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

2LDK Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.78:1 Widescreen
  • Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and LPCM 2.0 Stereo
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by actresses Maho Nonami and Eiko Koike
  • "Making of 2LDK" documentary
  • "Duel Production Briefing"
  • Video Message for the Theater Audience
  • Tokyo International Fantastic Film Festival Interviews
  • Premiere Screening Interviews
  • Screening at Kudan Kaikan Interviews
  • Photo Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Trailers

Vinegar Syndrome goes behind bars with REFORM SCHOOL GIRLS (review)

When a young woman joins the REFORM SCHOOL GIRLS, she is at the mercy of a sadistic matron, a mercilles warden, and a butch gang run by Plasmatics singer Wendy O. Williams in Tom DeSimone's campy take on the women-in-prison genre.

REVIEW LINK: Vinegar Syndrome (US) Region ALL Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

REFORM SCHOOL GIRLS 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 writer/director Tom DeSimone, moderated by humorist Martin Lewis
  • Audio Commentary by queer film historian Elizabeth Purchell
  • "So Young, So Bad, So What" four-part making-of documentary
  • "Pat Ast Superstar" interview with theatrical producer Alan Eichler
  • "Ode to Wendy" interview with author and critic Breanna Whipple on the life and career of actress Wendy O. Williams
  • Video footage from the play "Women Behind Bars"
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • Reversible Cover
  • The first 5,000 units ordered directly from Vinegar Syndrome includes a special limited edition embossed slipcover designed by Earl Kessler Jr.

03 April 2022

Arrow gets entagled in LIES AND DECEIT courtesy of Claude Chabrol (review)

 "Too often overlooked and undervalued, Claude Chabrol was the first of the Cahiers du Cinema critics to release a feature film and would be among the most prolific. The sneaky anarchist of the French New Wave, he embraced genre as a means of lifting the lid on human nature. Nothing is sacred and nothing is certain in the films of Claude Chabrol: anything can be corrupted, and usually will be."

REVIEW LINK: Arrow Video (US/UK) Region A/B Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

LIES AND DECEIT - FIVE FILMS BY CLAUDE CHABROL Blu-ray specs:

  • Disc One - Cop au vin:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 Widescreen
    • French DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 Mono
    • Optional English Subtitles
    • Audio Commentary by film critic Ben Sachs
    • Interview with film historian Ian Christie
    • "Claude Chabrol at the BFI" 1994 interview with director Claude Chabrol at the National Film Theatre, conducted by film historian Ian Christie
    • "Claude Chabrol, Jean Poiret & Stephane Audran in Conversation" 1985 Swiss TV interview for "Special Cinema"
    • Introduction by film scholar Joël Magny
    • Selected Scene Commentaries by director Claude Chabrol
    • Theatrical Trailer
    • Image Gallery
  • Disc Two - Inspector Lavardin:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 Widescreen
    • French LPCM 1.0 Mono
    • Optional English Subtitles
    • Audio Commentary by film critic Ben Sachs
    • "Why Chabrol?" interview with film critic Sam Wigley
    • Introduction by film scholar Joël Magny
    • Selected Scene Commentaries by director Claude Chabrol
    • Theatrical Trailer
    • Image Gallery
  • Disc Three - Madame Bovary:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 Widescreen
    • French LPCM 1.0 Mono
    • Optional English Subtitles
    • Audio Commentary by film critic Kat Ellinger
    • "Imagining Emma: Madame Bovary on Screen" visual essay by film historian Pamela Hutchinson
    • Introduction by film scholar Joël Magny
    • Selected Scene Commentaries by director Claude Chabrol
    • Theatrical Trailer
    • Image Gallery
  • Disc Four - Betty:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 Widescreen
    • French LPCM 1.0 Mono
    • Optional English Subtitles
    • Audio Commentary by film critic Kat Ellinger
    • "Betty, from Simenon to Chabrol" visual essay by French cinema historian Ginette Vincendeau
    • Interview with Georges Simenon translator Ros Schwartz
    • Introduction by film scholar Joël Magny
    • Selected Scene Commentary by director Claude Chabrol
    • Theatrical Trailer
    • Image Gallery
  • Disc Five - Torment:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 Widescreen
    • French LPCM 2.0 Stereo
    • Optional English Subtitles
    • Audio Commentary by film critics Alexandra Heller-Nicholas and Josh Nelson
    • "On Henri Georges Clouzot" interview with director Claude Chabrol about filmmaker Henri Georges Clouzot
    • Interview with producer Marin Karmitz
    • Introduction by film scholar Joël Magny
    • Selected Scene Commentary by director Claude Chabrol
    • Theatrical Trailer
    • Image Gallery
  • Comes in limited edition packaging featuring newly commissioned artwork by Tony Stella and a fully-illustrated 80-page collector's booklet of new writing on the films by film critics Martyn Conterio, Kat Ellinger, Philip Kemp, and Sam Wigley plus select archival material.

02 April 2022

Eureka chills and thrills with THREE MONSTER TALES OF SCI-FI TERROR (review)

THREE MONSTER TALES OF SCI-FI TERROR showcase the forgotten Universal horrors, casting Lon Chaney Jr. as a MAN-MADE MONSTER, crushing entire towns and people with THE MONOLITH MONSTERS, and clawing coeds with MONSTER ON THE CAMPUS.

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

THREE MONSTER TALES OF SCI-FI TERROR Blu-ray specs: 

  • Disc One:
    • Man-Made Monster (1941):
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.37:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen
      • English LPCM 2.0 Mono
      • Optional English HoH Subtitles
      • Audio Commentary by author Stephen Jones and author/critic Kim Newman
      • Production Stills Gallery
      • Artwork and Ephemera Gallery
    • The Monolith Monsters (1957): 
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.00:1 Widescren
      • English LPCM 2.0 Mono
      • Optional English HoH Subtitles
      • Audio Commentary by film historians Kevin Lyons and Jonathan Rigby
      • Production Stills Gallery
      • Artwork and Ephemera Gallery
      • Theatrical Trailer
  • Disc Two:
    • Monster on the Campus (1958): 
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.00:1 Widescreen and 1.33:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen Versions
      • English LPCM 2.0 Mono
      • Optional English HoH Subtitles
      • Audio Commentary by author Stephen Jones and author/critic Kim Newman
      • Production Stills Gallery
      • Artwork and Ephemera Gallery
      • Theatrical Trailer
  • The first 2,000 copies come with a limited edition O-card slipcase and a collector's booklet featuring new writing on the films included in this set by film scholar Craig Ian Mann.

Second Run hops a COACH TO VIENNA (review)

In the closing days of World War II, two fleeing German soldiers of the Czech occupation force a woman to take them to the Austrian border.  Little do they suspect the the woman has just buried her husband who was executed by the Nazis and she is planning to take them off course in search of revenge.

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

COACH TO VIENNA Blu-ray specs: 

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
  • Czech/German LPCM 1.0 Mono
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by Projection Booth podcast film historians Mike White, Samm Deighan, and Kat Ellinger
  • "It's Not Always Cloudy [Není stále zamračeno]" 1949 semi-documentary graduation film, co-directed by Karel Kachyňa and Vojtěch Jasný
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Image Gallery
  • 20-page booklet featuring a new essay on the film by author and Czechoslovak cinema specialist Jonathan Owen
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