Friday, April 29, 2016

Scream Factory Presents 'The Funhouse Massacre' On BD/DVD June 7th, 2016

THE FUNHOUSE MASSACRE (2015) 

Starring Jere Burns and Scottie Thompson, with Special Guest Star Robert Englund


Murder is all part of the show. On June 7, 2016, Scream Factory presents the home entertainment debut of The Funhouse Massacre on Blu-ray and DVD, complete with extras including commentary with director Andy Palmer, producer Warner Davis and actors Clint Howard and Courtney Gains. The Funhouse Massacred premiered at the Horrorhound Weekend Convention Film Festival and won Best Film and Best Special Effects.


On Halloween night, a group of the United States’ most notorious serial killers escape from Statesville Asylum and descend upon a giant funhouse whose theme is based on their different reigns of terror. The unsuspecting carnival patrons think that the carnage created at the park is just part of the show… until they become part of the main attraction. The only people left to stop the killers are a rag-tag group of college kids, a clueless deputy (Ben Begley, The Hungover Games) and the local sheriff (Scottie Thompson, Skyline, Before I Wake), who seems to have a strange attachment to the leader of the maniacs, the silver-tongued devil “Mental Manny” (Jere Burns, Justified, Angie Tribeca).


This chilling thriller features supporting turns by horror icons Clint Howard (Evilspeak, The Lords of Salem), Courtney Gains (Children of the Corn, The ’Burbs) and A Nightmare on Elm Street’s Robert Englund as the warden.


Special Features:

- Audio Commentary with director Andy Palmer, producer Warner Davis and actors Clint Howard and Courtney Gains
- Popcorn Talk’s Video Commentary with director Andy Palmer and co-writers/co-stars Ben Begley and Renee Dorian (Blu-Ray only)
- A Day on the Set
- Production Diaries
- Theatrical Trailer

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

CHRISTINA (1984) in eye-popping HD from Intervision on May 31st!

CHRISTINA (1984) 

Label: Intervision Picture Corp.
Release Date: May 31st 2016 
Region Code: Region-FREE
Duration: 91 Minutes
Rating: Not Rated 
Video: 1080p HD Full Screen (1.33:1)
Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo Region: All
Director: Paco Lara
Cast: Jewel Shepard, Ian Sera, Enrique Johnson

Synopsis: Famed B-movie vixen Jewel Shepard (HOLLYWOOD HOT TUBS, RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD) stars as Christina Von Belle, the insatiable young heiress known as 'The Playgirl Of The Western World'. But when Christina is kidnapped by a ruthless squad of lesbian commandos (led by Euro-starlet-turned-porn-queen Karin Schubert of BLUEBEARD and BLACK EMANUELLE), she is forced to submit to a shocking ordeal of carnal degradation. For a frightened girl bound by more than desire, is there any limit to the ecstasy of the depraved? IanSera (PIECES) and former Miss Bahamas Josephine Jacqueline Jones (BLACK VENUS) co-star in this sumptuous sex saga from writer/producer Harry Alan Towers (LOVE CIRCLES, VENUS IN FURS, 99 WOMEN), now re-mastered in luscious high-definition for the first time ever! 


 

Don’t go in the Basement After Dark … Cult, ’80s, B-Movie Rarity VAMPIRES (1986) on DVD May 10th

VAMPIRES (1986) 
Label: Film Chest Media Group
Rating: Not Rated
Duration: 80 Minutes
Release Date: May 10, 2016

At a prestigious, all-girls, prep school, things go terribly awry in the underground, horror flick Vampires, resurrecting on DVD May 10 from Film Chest Media Group.


Originally filmed as the second part of the 1989 cult anthology classic Fright House, this would be the last film of Len Anthony (Murderous Intent, Document of the Dead). Principal cinematographer Ernest Dickerson went on to shoot Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing and direct several episodes of AMC’s iconic horror series The Walking Dead. With a unique spin on the vampire genre, full of camp, heavy synth music and thought-provoking horror, Vampires is the perfect timestamp of ’80s, schlock cinema.


An eager, young student, Ione (Orly Benyar, Fright House, Ninja Academy) is excited to begin the next chapter of her life when she is awarded a scholarship to attend the prestigious art school at the Abadon estate in New England … Which happens to have a distant history of working with the criminally insane. Soon after arriving on campus, she begins to realize something is amiss with the student body. When some classmates go missing – and no one can seem to account for their whereabouts – Ione decides to investigate.


While searching for clues, Ione encounters Dr. Charles Harmon (Duane Jones, the doomed hero from the horror classic Night of the Living Dead, Ganja and Hess, To Die For), who tells her about Madeline Abadon (Jackie James, Over the Brooklyn Bridge, Fright House) and her quest to suck the youthful energy from students in order to gain immortality.  Charles is then encumbered with the harrowing task of disarming Madeline and her “mad scientist” machine … But will he be able to end the demonic foray on campus before it’s too late?


Vampires is presented in full screen with an aspect ratio of 4 x 3 and original sound.


About Film Chest Media Group:

Founded in 2001, Film Chest Media Group offers high-quality content for a wide variety of production and distribution needs, boasting one of the world’s largest libraries (10,000+ hours) of classic feature films, television, foreign imports, documentaries, special interest and audio—much of it restored and digitized in HD. Headquartered in Bridgeport, Conn., with offices in New York City, the company also produces and distributes collector’s DVD sets. Visit us online: www.filmchestmediagroup.com






Saturday, April 23, 2016

BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR (1989) (Blu-ray Review)

BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR (1989) 

Label: Arrow Video 
Region: Free
Rating: 18
Duration: 97 Minutes
Audio: PCM 2.0 Stereo with Optional English Subtitles 
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (1.78:1) 
Director: Brian Yuzna
Cast: Jeffrey Cobs, Bruce Abbot, Claude Earl Jones, David Gale, Fabiana Udenio, Mel Stewart

The events of Brian Yuzna's lunatic sequel to Re-animator begin eight months after the events of the first movie with both Dr. Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs, From Beyond) and Dr. Dan Cain (Bruce Abbott) working as medics in Peru where a bloody civil war is raging around them. The steady stream fresh corpses proves ideal for West and his continued experiments in reviving the dead with his green, glowing re-agent serum. When the medical camp is overrun by enemy soldiers the duo are forced to abandon their South American endeavor and return to Arkham, Massachusetts where they resume their former careers as doctors at Miskatonic University Hospital, where Dan seems content in making terminal patients comfortable during their finals days, while West just sort of wrings his hands with delight waiting for them to pass, at which point he can use their corpses as test subjects for his coveted re-agent serum.   


Both Dan and Herbert West live together in a house on the property of the local cemetery which seems appropriate, though the two once again make for combative housemates, not exactly seeing eye to eye on things. West is conveniently able to pilfer body parts from the Miskatonic University morgue, which is where he finds Dr. Hill's severed head and Meg's heart among other medical artifacts saved from the Miskatonic Massacre, Meg being Dan's former love interest from the first movie. West steals the heart and uses it to coerce Dan into helping him create a body from human parts, which when finished they will give life to by using the re-agent serum. This experimentation takes place in the basement of the home, a space that shares a wall with a cemetery crypt next door, which is where West conveniently disposes of his failed creations, which will come back to haunt him during the final moments of the movie. 

Meanwhile, back at Miskatonic University the aptly named Dr. Graves (Mel Stuart) has himself become obsessed with the work of the late Dr. Hill (David Gale, Ritual), and while using some of the re-agent serum found at the crime scene from the first movie is able to re-animate Hill's head, who then sets about exacting revenge on West, beginning by using his diabolical hypnotic powers to force Grave to sew a pair of bat wings to the sides of his severed head, which enables him to fly around. This has always brought to mind the winged skull mascot of the thrash band Overkill, and if the notion of a bat-winged severed head flying around seems a bit on the silly side that is because it certainly is. While the first movie was darkly comedic this one amps the comedy up quite a bit and goes right off the deep end of demented.

Also figuring into the story is police officer Lt. Leslie Chapham (Claude Earl Jones) who harasses both Dan and Herbert whom he holds responsible for the re-animation of his dead wife nine months earlier. As Dan and West were the only survivors of the Miskatonic Massacre he knows that deep down they had something to do with it. His quest for deranged justice results in him becoming one of Dr. Hill's re-animated minions, joining the ranks of the formerly undead. This time around Dan has a new love interest, another doctor named Francesca Danelli played by Fabiana Udenio, who was a face I knew, but it took me awhile to place her as Alotta Fagina from Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997), her inclusion seems a bit jammed-in there but it's not ruinous.

The movie comes to a head with the completion of their Bride, a corpse stitched together from various cadavers, with the heart of Dan's beloved Meg within it, they inject it with re-agent and the re-animated bride arises, just as the winged head of Dr. Hill and his re-animated minions lay siege to the house, leading up to a fevered finale with a cat fight between the Bride and Francesca, but when Dan rejects the affections of the creature she rips out her own heart and begins to fall apart quite literally. There's some very cool Screaming Mad George created freaky looking creatures that have been kept hidden away in the crypt which come after West he and the others take refuge from Dr. Hill's mind-controlled minions in the crypt, which brings this weird and gory sequel to a proper close. This sequel solid, maybe a bit on the absurd side, with more comedic and slapstick moments than the Stuart Gordon original, but a worthy and gory entry with a nicely over-the-top performance from Jeffrey Combs as the beloved Dr. Herbert West, a sweet slice of '80s gore cinema loaded with humor. 

Audio/Video: Bride of Re-animator arrives on Blu-ray from Arrow Video in both the R-rated and unrated versions - both running at 97 minutes in length. Both versions are new 2K scans with the unrated coming from a 35mm 
Composite Master Positive Print and the R-rated version coming from a second generation intermediate interpositive. I would definitely give the unrated version the edge over the R-rated version with a nicely managed grain field and more saturated colors. There's a nice sharpness to the image but it is marred by some strange and over powering set-lighting and the inclusion of cuts scenes which aren't up the same standards, but overall this is a very pleasing presentation on Blu-ray from Arrow Video that easily advances the previous DVD versions. 
The PCM Stereo 2.0 audio on the set sounds awesome, with Richard Band's almost criminal Bernard Hermann-esque score coming through with some real power, both dialogue and sound effects are nicely balanced and clean sounding. Optional English subtitles are provided. 


Arrow Video have above and beyond for the fans of the movie, first offering new 2K restorations of both the R-rated and unrated versions of the movie, plus the inclusion of three audio commentaries, including a brand new one with director Brian Yuzna moderated by David Gregory of Severin Films, the director right from the start reveals the influence of schlock-master William Castle on the movie with the floating head of Dr. Hill. I have not listened to the commentary with Yuzna, Combs and the special effects team yet, but the commentary with Combs and Abbott is a great listen, the two have a great chemistry onscreen and on the commentary, coming across as humorous, the two are always questioning the why and how of the absurd sequel.  

The disc also has two brand-new Severin Films produced featurettes, beginning with the 10-minute 'Brian Yuzna Remembers Bride of Re-animator' with the director remembering the origins of the sequel, unused story idea,making Society before getting to the sequel, the hurried start to the movie and selling the movie to Troma for distribution under the banner of 52nd Street Films, in addition to the critical and fan reception to the movie. 

The 15-minute 'Splatter Masters: The Special Effects Artists of Bride of Re-animator' features interviews with the many talented special effects creators who worked on the movie including Robert Kurtzman of KNB, Screaming Mad George, Tony Doublin, John Buechler and Brian Yuzna, these are great, I always love hearing about the creation of these '80s practical effects, it begins with Yuzna recalling the work on Stuart Gordon's Dolls, and is peppered with loads of behind-the-scenes footage.  

Other extras on the set included an archival making of featurette offering some great behind-he-scenes footage of the movie being made along with the set-up of the great gore gags, eight minutes of deleted scenes, a theatrical trailer, and a behind-the-scenes reel

Special Features:
- Brand new 2K restoration of the R-rated version (97 Mins) HD
- Brand new 2K restoration of the Unrated version (97 Mins) HD
- Brand new audio commentary with Brian Yuzna
- Audio Commentary with Brian Yuzna, star Jeffrey Combs, visual effects supervisor Tom
Rainone and the effects team including John Buechler, Mike Deak, Bob Kurtzman, Howard Berger and Screaming Mad George
- Audio Commentary with stars Jeffrey Combs and Bruce Abbott
- Brian Yuzna Remembers Bride of Re-animator – brand new featurette in which the director looks back at the making of the first Re-animator sequel (10 Mins) HD
- Splatter Masters: The Special Effects Artists of Bride of Re-animator – Brand new FX featurette with a wealth of behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with Robert Kurtzman of KNB, Screaming Mad George, Tony Doublin and John Buechler (15 Mins) HD
- Getting Ahead in Horror – archive making-of featurette (24 Mins) HD
- Deleted Scenes (10 Mins) HD 

- Theatrical Trailer (2 Mins) HD 
- Behind the Scenes Reel (15 Mins)  

- Original Stereo 2.0 audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Newly commissioned artwork by Gary Pullin
- Limited Edition Collector’s Booklet

This release from Arrow Video is stacked from top to bottom, it really goes above and beyond for this gore-soaked sequel, offering new 2K restorations of both the R-rated and unrated versions of the movie with the usual sweet Arrow Video design and packaging. As a sequel the Bride of Re-Animator is fun, gory and wonderfully nutty, a step down from the original but a totally fun watch, and this is the definitive version to own. 3.5/5

EMELIE (2015) (Blu-ray Review)

EMELIE (2015)
Label: Dark Sky Films
Release Date: May 3rd 2016 
Region Code: A
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 82 Minutes
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1 
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (2.40:1) 
Director: Michael 
Cast: Sarah Bolger, Joshua Rush, Carly Adams , Thomas Bair, Susan Pourfar, Chris Beetem

Synopsis: As their parents head out for a date in the city, the three young Thompson children – Jacob, Christopher, and Sally – immediately take to their new babysitter Anna (Sarah Bolger, Into the Badlands, Once Upon a Time), who seems like a dream come true: she’s sweet, fun, and lets them do things that break all of their parents’ rules. But as the night creeps along and Anna’s interactions with them take on a more sinister tone, the kids slowly realize that their caretaker may not be who she claims to be. Soon it’s up to big brother Jacob to protect his siblings from the increasingly nefarious intentions of a very disturbed woman whose weapon is trust, and whose target is innocence.


Husband and wife Joyce (Susan Pourfar) and Dan (Chris Beetem) are good parents who on the night of their anniversary set out to rekindle the romance with a dinner away from the kids, leaving their three young children at home with a new babysitter named Anna (Sarah Bolger), who they found in a pinch since their usual sitter had graduated from braces and is now a horny teen with a night life of her own. What we know right from the start is that the new sitter is not who she seems, her real name is Emelie and she has not ended up on this family's doorstep by accident this night, this is a babysitter with a dark and deadly secret. The three children are pre-teen Jacob (Joshua Rush), middle daughter Sally (Carly Adams) and the hyperactive youngest Christopher (Thomas Bair). Anna puts on a great show for the parents before they leave for the evening, setting them at ease with her charm and easy rapport with the kids, but once the parents are out of the home things begin to get weird, beginning with Jacob walking in on Anna in the bathroom where she is sitting on the toilet, asking the young boy to fetch her a tampon before inserting it in his presence, yeah, that's not right. 

That is just the beginning of the wrongness about to be unleashed upon this family over the course of a few hours, we still have some gun play, a night of amateur porn and kid abduction to deal with. The movie looks great, a stylishly shot thriller with a bold and enigmatic performance from Bolger as the bad babysitter who lights up the screen with her wrong ways. She at first wins over the kids with her anarchic to a degree, though she loses some faith when she encourages the kids to feed Sally's beloved pet hamster to Christopher's python, which is about the time the oldest of the children senses something is very off about the new babysitter, his new found strength is an annoyance to her and a cat and mouse game ensues as Christopher sets out to deprive the babysitter of what she is really after this night. 

The movie is creepy and tense with loads of atmosphere and a story that is well executed with no dead space, this is more thriller than horror movie but it is punctuated by some violence, for instance when the usual babysitter stops by and threatens to ruin things for the bad babysitter she is dispatched in a very violent way, which is good stuff. 

When you think about it there is not a lot new under the sun with Emelie (2015), we've seen similar stories in various iterations through the years but this won me over with style and performance, a solid cat and mouse babysitter thriller with a standout performance from Sarah Bolger that is both scary, seductive and intense, this one comes highly recommended. 4/5 

SUBMERGED (2015) (Blu-ray Review)

SUBMERGED (2015) 

Label: Scream Factory I IFC Midnight 

Release Date: May 3rd 2016
Region Code: A
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 98 Minutes 
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1 with Optional English Subtitles 
Video: 1080p HD Wscreen (2.35:1) 
Director: Steven C. MIiler
Cast: Giles Matthey, Caleb Hunt, Cody Christian, Denzel Whitaker, Rosa Salazar, Jonathan Bennett, Mario Van Peebles, Talulah Riley, Tim Daly, Willa Ford

Synopsis: In Submerged, Jonathan Bennett (Mean Girls) stars as an ex-soldier turned bodyguard hired to protect a young woman. But while cruising with a group of friends one night, their stretch limo is run off the road and into the water by a gang of ruthless kidnappers — who then dive in to finish the job. Suddenly it’s sink or swim, as the bodyguard must fight to keep the vehicle from becoming a watery grave.

Steven C. Miller has been pumping out some decent horror-thrillers for a few years now after his debut feature film - the micro-budget high energy zombie movie Automaton Transfusion (2006), and this thriller might be his most accomplished entry to date, though I do love his remake of Silent Night, Deadly Night, a movie which comes up short when compared to the weird original, but is a fun slasher watch just the same. 


Submerged (2015) starts with a high-tech limousine plunging into a deep canal, the driver Matt (Jonathan Bennett) is trapped in the front with a young woman named Jessica (Talulah Riley), who is the daughter of his wealthy employer and also Matt's love interest in the story. Trapped in the back of the limo are a group of Jessica's somewhat annoying friends who begin to panic and argue amongst themselves as the limo begins to take on water and the air begins to thin. 


The movie narrative flashes back throughout which gives us some back story prior to the plunge into the water, we find out that Matt is a former Army Ranger and a bad ass in hand to hand combat. The group were at a nightclub earlier in the night when they were engaged in a fight with some locals, Jessie's dad is a local businessman who just cut hundreds of job in the area, which puts a target on his his daughter's head. After leaving the club the group are attacked by two armed gunmen in a SUV and run off of a bridge which then plunges into a canal, where the limo sinks to the bottom and begins to take on water, all the while being slowly dragged out to the open ocean by the undercurrent of the tide. 


Miller's movie is tightly knit and well-spun, the claustrophobic panic and action keep things moving along at a brisk pace, the back story is kept to minimum and the underwater action takes a front seat, with only a few narrative flashbacks involving Matt's brother slowing down the pace. The drama and action in the limo is fun as the cast begin to panic and throw around accusations all the while they have to deal with the fact they they are trapped in a limo underwater being dragged out to sea and running out of air,, which is a scary scenario. Miller amps up the threat by sending down a team of scuba-diving assassins to further complicate things for the occupant. 


The cast does a fine job throughout capturing the panic of the situation, most are not of the likable variety in my opinion, and none are too developed, but they get the job done well enough. We also have appearances from Tim Daly of the TV show Wings as Jessie's father and Mario Van Peebles of Jaws: The Revenge (1987), who unfortunately does not have a Jamaican accent in the movie. Submerged is tightly woven, well-shot and a decent thriller> While it didn't truly wow me with action and suspense it was a good watch, a movie I could watch with my wife who hates horror and one that didn't bore me. 3/5


 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

SCREAM FACTORY™ PRESENTS MANHUNTER [COLLECTOR’S EDITION] FEATURING OVER 2 HOURS OF NEW BONUS CONTENT ON BLU-RAY MAY


MANHUNTER (1986) 

This May 24 from Scream Factory comes Manhunter [Collector’s Edition], a killer Blu-ray release of one of the most unnerving serial killer movies ever made. With more than 5 hours of bonus content, including over 2 hours of new interviews, this greatly anticipated release is a must-have for fans.

Tom Noonan (Heat, Robocop 2), Joan Allen (The Bourne Legacy), Dennis Farina (Get Shorty), Kim Greist (Brazil) and Stephen Lang (Avatar) co-star in this gripping thriller from director Michael Mann (Heat, Miami Vice) and adapted from the novel Red Dragon by Thomas Harris.

The first film to feature the iconic character Hannibal Lecktor, Manhunter follows former FBI profiler Will Graham (William Petersen, To Live and Die in L.A., CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) as he reluctantly returns to his old job to track a horrific serial killer known as the "Tooth Fairy." But in order to get into the mind of this maniac, Graham must face another: Lecktor (Brian Cox, X-Men 2, Red), the imprisoned psychiatrist whose own insanity almost cost Graham his life… and whose insights into the "Tooth Fairy" could prove as dangerous as the killer himself.

Manhunter [Collector’s Edition] includes the new interviews The Mind of Madness – an interview with William Petersen, Courting a Killer – an interview with actress Joan Allen, Francis is Gone Forever – an interview with actor Tom Noonan, The First Lecktor – an interview with actor Brian Cox, The Eye of the Storm – an interview with director of photography Dante Spinotti, and The Music of MANHUNTER – including interviews with composer Michel Rubini, Barry Andrews (Shriekback), Gary Putman (The Prime Movers), Rick Shaffer (The Reds) and Gene Stashuk (Red 7).

Manhunter [Collector’s Edition] Bonus Features:


Disc 1: Theatrical Version (HD)

Two hours and 50 minutes of new bonus content!
· NEW The Mind of Madness – an interview with William Petersen (18 minutes)
· NEW Courting a Killer – an interview with actress Joan Allen (16 minutes)
· NEW Francis is Gone Forever – an interview with actor Tom Noonan (22 minutes)
· NEW The First Lecktor – an interview with actor Brian Cox (40 minutes)
· NEW The Eye of the Storm – an interview with director of photography Dante Spinotti (36 minutes)
· NEW The Music of MANHUNTER – including interviews with composer Michel Rubini, Barry Andrews (Shriekback), Gary Putman (The Prime Movers), Rick Shaffer (The Reds) and Gene Stashuk (Red 7) (42 minutes)
· Theatrical Trailer
· Still Gallery

Disc 2: Director’s Cut (HD with Standard Definition inserts)
· Audio Commentary by writer/director Michael Mann
· Director’s Cut (Standard Definition)
· The Manhunter Look - A Conversation with cinematographer Dante Spinotti (10 minutes)
· Inside Manhunter with stars William Petersen, Joan Allen, Brian Cox and Tom Noonan (18 minutes)