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31 March 2024

Radiance Films investigates THE FACTS OF MURDER (review)

 When a wealthy housewife is murdered, a detective must discover whether her death was a robbery gone wrong or something more sinister involving a range of suspects from the respectable to the seediest of Rome's underbelly in this giallo noir from Pietro Germi.

REVIEW LINK: Radiance Films (US) Region A/B Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

THE FACTS OF MURDER Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.37:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen
  • Italian LPCM 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • Interview with Pietro Germi expert Mario Sesti 
  • "The Man With the Cigar In His Mouth" 1997 documentary by Mario Sesti about Pietro Germi featuring interviews with his colleagues and collaborators including Mario Monicelli, Claudia Cardinale, Stefania Sandrelli, Giuseppe Tornatore among others 
  • "What's Black and Yellow All Over? All Shades of Italian Film Noir" visual essay by Paul A. J. Lewis 
  • Comes with a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork and a limited edition booklet featuring writing by Pasquale Iannone on the hybrid nature of Italian cinema. 
  • Limited Edition of 3000 copies, presented in a full-height Scanavo case with removable OBI strip leaving packaging free of certificates and markings.

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29 March 2024

Second Run rebels with JERZY SKOLIMOWSKI: WALKOVER, BARRIER, DIALOGUE 20 40 60 + SHORT FILMS (review)

Jerzy Skolimowski brought to the screen Poland's very own version of the "angry young man" played by himself in WALKOVER as a boxer who must choose between a safe future and a shiny prize.  In BARRIER, Jan Nowicki is a student who quits medical school and romances a tram operator only to be swallowed up by his own escape from reality.  In the experimental portmanteau DIALOGUE 20-40-60, Skolimowski, Peter Solan, and Zbynek Brynych each explore love and relationships using the same dialogue script.

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

JERZY SKOLIMOWSKI: WALKOVER, BARRIER, DIALOGUE 20 40 60 + SHORT FILMS Blu-ray specs:

  • Disc One - Walkover (Walkower):
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 Widescreen 
    • Polish LPCM 2.0 Mono 
    • Optional English Subtitles 
    • Audio Commentary by film historian Michael Brooke 
    • Introduction by critic, curator and scholar Michał Oleszczyk
  • Disc Two - Barrier (Bariera):
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 Widescreen 
    • Polish LPCM 2.0 Mono 
    • Optional English Subtitles 
    • Audio Commentary by film historian Michael Brooke 
    • Introduction by critic, curator and scholar Michał Oleszczyk
  • Disc Three - Dialogue 20 40 60 (Dialóg 20-40-60):
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 Widescreen 
    • Slovak LPCM 2.0 Mono 
    • Optional English Subtitles 
    • Short Films:
      • "The Menacing Eye [Oko wykol]" (1960) 
      • "Little Hamlet [Hamleś]" (1960) 
      • "Erotyk" (1961) 
      • "Your Money or Your Life [Pieniądze albo życie] (1961)
  • Collector's booklets for each film by David Thompson.

25 March 2024

Severin Films feeds THE SCAVENGERS (review)

Cut off from their comrades, a troop of Confederate soldiers lead by a sadistic captain invade a town that serves as a Union relay spot to commandeer a cache of gold and have a good time at the local brothel.  Refusing to believe that the war is over and the South has surrendered, the captain and his men brutalize the Union lieutenant, his wife, and her maid to find the location of the gold before things escalate into an all-out massacre in this western roughie from Bob Cresse and Lee Frost.

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

THE SCAVENGERS Blu-ray specs:

  • Unrated "Hot" Version (104 minutes):
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
    • English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
    • Optional English SDH Subtitles
    • Audio Commentary on the unrated version by Vinegar Syndrome's Joe Rubin, Severin Films' Andrew Furtado and Temple Of Schlock's Chris Poggiali
  • R-rated Version (94 minutes):
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
    • English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
    • Optional English SDH Subtitles
  • Theatrical Trailer - R-rated Version 
  • Theatrical Trailer - Hot Version
  • "Our Family Album" promotional program replica booklet as well archival marketing programs printed on the reverse of the cover sleeve.

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Severin Films wears a HOT SPUR (review)

It's "91 minutes of Freudian fury" when an abused stable boy abducts the wife of a cruel rancher and uses her to bait the ranch hands into a bloody trap.  A classic "roughie" from Lee Frost and Bob Cresse.

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

HOT SPUR Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.37:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English SDH Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by Vinegar Syndrome's Joe Rubin, Severin Films' Andrew Furtado and Bob Cresse friend/former Something Weird general manager Tim Lewis
  • Recently-discovered audio discussion on director Lee Frost/producer Bob Cresse by producer David F. Friedman and Something Weird founder Mike Vraney
  • "Hollywood's World of Flesh" 1963 Lee Frost/Bob Cresse feature
  • "The Casing Director" 1968 short film starring Bob Cresse, directed by David F. Friedman
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Teaser Trailer

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24 March 2024

Raro Video resurrects DEATH OCCURRED LAST NIGHT (review)

A desperate father implores a police commissioner to find his missing daughter who has the body of a twenty-five year old and the mental age of a child who may have fallen into the hands of pimps in this thriller based on the novel by Giorgio Scerbanenco.

REVIEW LINK: Raro Video/Radiance Films (UK) Region ALL Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

DEATH OCCURRED LAST NIGHT Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.71:1 Widescreen
  • English and Italian LPCM 1.0 Mono
  • Optional English HoH and English Subtitles
  • Video Introduction by Fangoria editor Chris Alexander
  • Video Essay by Francesco Massaccesi (narrated by Howard S. Berger)
  • English Export Trailer
  • Limited edition of 3,000 copies including a reversible sleeve featuring artwork based on original posters and the 12-page booklet "Death Occurred Many Times: The Thrillers of Duccio Tessari" by David Sodergren.
     

21 March 2024

Radiance Films celebrates the second coming of MESSIAH OF EVIL (review)

When the moon turns red and peoples' eyes start to bleed, the Dark Stranger will return to Point Dume and bring about a flesh-eating nightmare in the seventies counter-culture horror classic MESSIAH OF EVIL from the writers of AMERICAN GRAFFITI and the future director of HOWARD THE DUCK!

REVIEW LINK: Radiance Films (US/UK) Region ALL Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

MESSIAH OF EVIL Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
  • English LPCM 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by critics and horror experts Kim Newman and Stephen Thrower 
  • Archival interview with co-writer/director Willard Huyck by Mike White from the Projection Booth Podcast 
  • "What the Blood Moon Brings: MESSIAH OF EVIL, A New American Nightmare" documentary exploring the film in the context of American independent cinema of the 70s, as well as examining the film's allegiance to several subgenres of horror 
  • Visual essay on the American Gothic by critic Kat Ellinger 

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19 March 2024

Eureka Classics hires BODYGUARD KIBA (review)

Before he was THE STREET FIGHTER, Sonny Chiba was BODYGUARD KIBA, a martial artist attempting to redeem himself and his school and getting caught up with gangsters and drug dealers in two separate adventures.

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

BODYGUARD KIBA 1 and 2 Blu-ray specs:

  • Disc One - Bodyguard Kiba:
    • Japanese Version: 
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen 
      • Japanese LPCM 2.0 Mono 
      • Optional English Subtitles 
      • Audio Commentary by action cinema experts Mike Leeder and Arne Venema 
    • U.S. Version: 
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen (with standard definition inserts) 
      • English LPCM 2.0 Mono 
    • "Talking Chiba" interview with action choreographer and director Kenji Tanigaki 
    • Japanese Theatrical Trailer
  • Disc Two - Bodyguard Kiba 2:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen 
    • Japanese LPCM 2.0 Mono 
    • Optional English Subtitles 
    • Audio Commentary by action cinema experts Mike Leeder and Arne Venema 
    • "Kiba or Chiba" interview with Japanese film experts Tom Mes and Jasper Sharp 
    • Japanese Theatrical Trailer
  • The first 2,000 copies include an O-Card slipcase featuring new artwork by Chris Malbon and a collector's booklet featuring new writing by Jasper Sharp.

18 March 2024

Acorn Media investigates THE MADAME BLANC MYSTERIES: SERIES 3 (review)

British antiques dealer Jean White settles in the French village of Sainte-Victoire where she becomes entangled in various mysteries thanks to her expertise and penchant for getting into trouble.

REVIEW LINK: Acorn Media (UK) Region 0 PAL DVD (DVDCompare)

THE MADAME BLANC MYSTERIES - SERIES 3 DVD specs:

  • The Christmas Special and Six Episodes on two dual-layer DVDs
  • 16:9 anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen
  • English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
  • Optional English HoH Subtitles
  • Picture Gallery
     

Severin Films finds love and death under a BLOODMOON (review)

The girls of St. Elizabeth's private school are disappearing one by one from lover's lane.  Are they running away with their boyfriends as everyone believes or can they be found six feet under in this classic Australian slasher.

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

BLOODMOON Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English SDH Subtitles
  • Playable with or without theatrical "Frightbreak"
  • Audio Interview with actor Leon Lissek, conducted by NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD's Mark Hartley
  • Interview with actress Christine Amor
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • "Fright Break" Trailer

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08 March 2024

Arrow Video peeks INSIDE THE MIND OF COFFIN JOE (review)

Brazil's own all-in-one horror filmmaker/TV horror host/underground filmmaker/cult leader/pop culture boogeyman Jose Mojica Marins and his alter ego Zé de Caixao/Coffin Joe get a loving tribute in a ten film set overview of his career including the Coffin Joe trilogy and a selection of films involving drug addicts, scheming lovers, messianic madmen, cannibals, and more when you peek INSIDE THE MIND OF COFFIN JOE.

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

INSIDE THE MIND OF COFFIN JOE Blu-ray specs:

  • DISC ONE - At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul: 
    • 1080p24 AVC MPEG-4 1.37:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen 
    • Portuguese LPCM 1.0 Mono
    • Optional English Subtitles 
    • Audio Commentary by writer, director and star José Mojica Marins, filmmaker Paulo Duarte and film scholar Carlos Primati 
    • "Coffin Joe's Sadean Underworld" video essay by film scholar Lindsay Hallam 
    • "Damned: The Strange World of José Mojica Marins" 2001 documentary by André Barcinski and Ivan Finotti 
    • "Bloody Kingdom" 1950 short film by José Mojica Marins with non-optional director's commentary 
    • Excerpts from early works by José Mojica Marins:
      • "The Adventurer's Fate"
      • "My Destiny in Your Hands"
    • Trailers 
  • DISC TWO:
    • This Night I'll Possess Your Corpse:
      • 1080p24 AVC MPEG-4 1.37:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen 
      • Portuguese LPCM 1.0 Mono
      • Optional English Subtitles 
      • Audio Commentary by writer, director and star José Mojica Marins, filmmaker Paulo Duarte and film scholar Carlos Primati 
      • Theatrical Trailer 
    • The Strange World of Coffin Joe:
      • 1080p24 AVC MPEG-4 1.37:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen 
      • Portuguese LPCM 1.0 Mono
      • Optional English Subtitles 
      • Audio Commentary by writer, director and star José Mojica Marins, filmmaker Paulo Duarte and film scholar Carlos Primati 
      • Alternate Ending with optional audio commentary by writer, director and star José Mojica Marins 
      • Theatrical Trailer 
    • "Eccentric of Cinema" retrospective with author Stephen Thrower
    • "On Tonight’s Horror Show!" video essay by film scholar Miranda Corcoran
  • DISC THREE:
    • The Awakenings of the Beast:
      • 1080p24 AVC MPEG-4 1.37:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen 
      • Portuguese LPCM 1.0 Mono
      • Optional English Subtitles 
      • Audio Commentary by writer, director and star José Mojica Marins, filmmaker Paulo Duarte and film scholar Carlos Primati 
      • Alternate "O Ritual dos Sádicos" Opening Titles 
      • Theatrical Trailer 
    • The End of Man:
      • 1080p24 AVC MPEG-4 1.37:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen 
      • Portuguese LPCM 1.0 Mono
      • Optional English Subtitles 
      • Audio Commentary by writer, director and star José Mojica Marins, filmmaker Paulo Duarte and film scholar Carlos Primati 
      • Theatrical Trailer 
    • "The Strange Mind of Coffin Joe" interview with author Guy Adams 
    • "A Woman for Joe: The Gender Politics of Coffin Joe" video essay by film scholar Alexandra Heller-Nicholas 
  • DISC FOUR:
    • When the Gods Fall Asleep: 
      • 1080p24 AVC MPEG-4 1.37:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen 
      • Portuguese LPCM 1.0 Mono
      • Optional English Subtitles 
    • The Strange Hostel of Naked Pleasures: 
      • 1080p24 AVC MPEG-4 1.37:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen 
      • Portuguese LPCM 1.0 Mono
      • Optional English Subtitles 
      • Theatrical Trailer 
    • "The Demonic Surrealism of Coffin Joe" interview with scholar and filmmaker Virginie Sélavy 
    • "Delirium, Surrealism, and Vision" interview with author Jack Sargeant 
    • "Apostle of Evil" interview with "Embodiment of Evil" co-writer Dennison Ramalho 
    • "Mojica in the Snow: Tonight I Incarnate at Sundance!" archival footage 
    • "A Blind Date for Coffin Joe" short film by Raymond "Coffin Ray" Castile 
  • DISC FIVE:
    • Hellish Flesh: 
      • 1080p24 AVC MPEG-4 1.37:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen 
      • Portuguese LPCM 1.0 Mono
      • Optional English Subtitles 
      • Theatrical Trailer 
    • Hallucinations of a Deranged Mind: 
      • 1080p24 AVC MPEG-4 1.37:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen 
      • Portuguese LPCM 1.0 Mono
      • Optional English Subtitles 
      • Audio Commentary by writer, director and star José Mojica Marins, editor Nilcemar Leyart, filmmaker Paulo Duarte and film scholar Carlos Primati 
      • Theatrical Trailer 
    • "Aesthetics of Garbage: José Mojica Marins, a Complicated Icon" interview with filmmaker Andrew Leavold 
    • "Beyond Good and Evil" video essay by film critic Kat Ellinger 
  • DISC SIX - Embodiment of Evil:
    • 1080p24 AVC MPEG-4 1.78:1 Widescreen 
    • Portuguese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and LPCM 2.0 Stereo 
    • Optional English Subtitles 
    • Audio Commentary by producer Paulo Sacramento and co-screenwriter Dennison Ramalho 
    • "Learning from the Master" interview with screenwriter Dennison Ramalho 
    • "Fantasia Film Festival Premiere Footage" 
    • "Apprenticeship of Evil" interview with screenwriter Dennison Ramalho 
    • Official Making Of 
    • Experimental Making Of 
    • Deleted Scenes with commentary by director José Mojica Marins 
    • "Visual Effects: Purgatory" featurette with commentary by director José Mojica Marins 
    • "Storyboards" featurette with commentary by director José Mojica Marins 
    • Theatrical Trailer 
  • Comes in a slipcase with: 
    • "Coffin Joe: Against the World!" an illustrated collector’s book featuring new writing by Tim Lucas, Carlos Primati, Jerome Reuter, Amy Voorhees Searles, Kyle Anderson, and Paula Sacramento; 
    • reversible sleeves featuring newly commissioned artwork by Butcher Billy; 
    • double-sided foldout poster featuring newly commissioned artwork by Butcher Billy; 
  • 12 postcard-sized double-sided art cards.

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06 March 2024

MVD Visual gets caught CUTTING CLASS (review)

THE STEPFATHER's Jill Schoelen is a high school student being menaced by a killer and she can't figure out who is more dangerous: the new guy who just got out of an institution for murder (THE BLOB's Donovan Leitch) or her increasingly unstable and violent boyfriend (SE7EN's Brad Pitt in his first major role) in the late eighties slasher CUTTING CLASS.

REVIEW LINK: MVD Visual (US) Region ALL 4K UltraHD/Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

CUTTING CLASS 4K UltraHD/Blu-ray Combo Specs:

  • Disc One (4K UltraHD):
    • Unrated Version:
      • 2160p24 HEVC 1.85:1 Widescreen (HDR10)
      • English LPCM 2.0 Mono and Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
      • Optional English Subtitles 
    • Theatrical Trailer
  • Disc Two (Blu-ray):
    • Unrated Version: 
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen 
      • English LPCM 2.0 Mono and Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo 
      • Optional English and Spanish Subtitles 
    • R-rated Version: 
      • 16:9 anamorphic 1.85:1 Widescreen (NTSC) 
      • English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono 
    • "Un-Cutting Class" interview with lead actress Jill Schoelen 
    • "Donovan Makes the Cut" interview with actor Donovan Leitch 
    • "Find The Killer and Win" VHS Video Store Retailer Promo (SD) 
    • Kill Comparisons: Unrated VS. R-rated Versions 
    • Theatrical Trailer 
    • Bonus Trailers
  • Reversible Clover
  • Foldout mini-poster
  • Collector's slipcover 

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04 March 2024

Acorn Media teams up with DARBY AND JOAN: SERIES 1 (review)

When retired British nurse Joan Kirkhope (Greta Scacchi) discovers that her husband (John Waters) who was supposed to be on business in Spain has been found dead in the Queensland Outback, she heads down under to retrace his steps and literally runs into retired cop Jack Darby (Bryan Brown) and the two wind up getting involved in various mysteries as they try to discover what happened to her husband.

REVIEW LINK: Acorn Media (UK) Region 0 PAL DVD (DVDCompare)

DARBY AND JOAN - SERIES 1 DVD specs:

  • Eight episodes and two dual-layer DVDs
  • 16:9 anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen
  • English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
  • Optional English HoH Subtitles
  • Behind the Scenes
     

02 March 2024

Synapse Films whips up a BLOOD FEAST (review)

Fuad Ramses moves his family to France to capitalize on the American diner fad in Paris.  Business is not moving so Fuad takes a second job as a nightwatchman in a museum where the spirit of the goddess Ishtar beckons him to provide a feast of human flesh to resurrect her.  Soon, his college coed daughter's best friends are disappearing and Fuad is cooking up a storm for a very special party in this remake of the Herschell Gordon Lewis classic.

REVIEW LINK: Synapse Films (US) Region ALL 4K UltraHD (DVDCompare)

BLOOD FEAST 4K UltraHD specs:

  • 2160p24 HEVC 2.40:1 Widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Optional English SDH Subtitles
  • Indiegogo Promotional Teaser 
  • Theatrical Trailer 
  • "Making of" featurette 
  • Chilli Con Curtis "Tonite" Music Video 
  • Red Carpet Premiere 2018 
  • Scare Cam 
  • Slipcover

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