Tuesday, December 31, 2013

DVD Review: THE SNAKE GOD (1970)

Label: Mondo Macabro
Region Code: 1 NTSC
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 95 Minutes
Video: 16:9 Widescreen (2.35:1)
Audio: Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 with Optional English Subtitles
Director: Piero Vivarelli
Cast: Nadia Cassini, Beryl Cunningham, 
Evaristo Marquez, Sergio Tramonti
Tagline: Sex, voodoo and two beautiful women on a search for sensual liberation.

Abandoned by her rich industrialist husband on a remote Caribbean estate, Paola meets Stella, a beautiful local girl who is an adept of a hidden voodoo cult. The two women become inseparable, sharing their most intimate secrets. All goes well until Paola demands that Stella take her to one of the voodoo ceremonies that she attends every week. There Paola falls under the spell of Djamballa, the powerful snake god, from whose powerful magic there is no escape.

While not as lurid as some of the exotic-erotic Italian productions from schlockmeister Joe D'Amato (Sex and Black Magic, Exotic Malice) this gorgeous South American travelogue from the 70's does offer up some stunning sights, namely the curvy beauty of Nadia Cassini (Starcrash) and the thick slice of ebony delight Beryl Cunningham.

The film hits most of the usual exotic notes without digging too deeply into the sexual taboo and racial stereotypes we've come to associate with this particular brand of exploitation cinema, in fact it's pretty damn tame by comparison, skirting the expected sleaze in favor of some deeply sensual ebony on ivory eroticism, that Beryl Cunningham is quite a stunner.

Not familiar with director Piero Vivarelli's other works but I was impressed with the visual aesthetic and atmosphere of the film, he definitely has an eye for detail and composition. The South American locations are framed very nicely, the colors are vivid, and he definitely knew how to capture beautiful women on film, no doubt. Not a lot of substance here but a fun exotic detour with some decent performances and a whole lot of tropical lust and a tiny bit of voodoo. 

DVD: Mondo Macabro bring The Snake God (1970) to DVD for the first time in the US with a very nice transfer from the film negative. The color reproduction is great with a fine layer of film grain, crisp details and decent black levels. 
The Italian Dolby Digital mono audio handles Augusto Martelli's fantastic Afro-Cuban score and the dialogue quite nicely. Optional English subtitles are provided.

Special features include a trailer, text bios, extensive production notes, a Mondo Macabro trailer reel and a fourteen minute interview with the director Piero Vivarelli who touches on why he became a filmmaker, experiences with Lucio Fulci and his love of smoking weed. Mondo Macabro do it again, another slice of 70's cinema with a great transfer and some nice extras, very nice. .

Special Features:
- Interview with director Piero Vivarelli (14:25)
- Extensive production notes
- Original Trailer (3:32)
- Mondo Macabro Previews (7:43) 

Verdict: I was expecting a bit more naughtiness coming into the title but just the same I did enjoy the erotic delights of The Snake God (1970), a gorgeous slice of 70's exotic-erotica featuring the sensual delights of the Cuban beauty Beryl Cunningham and American ex-pat Nadia Cassini. 3 Outta 5 

Sunday, December 29, 2013


1. MANIAC  - when I found out a remake of the depraved 80's slasher was on the way my first instinct was 'fuck that' but gotta say that this creepy and brutal entry that made my skin crawl, truly excellent.
2. EVIL DEAD  - another remake, wtf. This was brutal and unrelenting and was one of the best theater going experiences I had in 2013, awesome. 
3. THE CONJURING - a first-rate creepy chiller with some genuine scares, another great theater experience, quality haunter that made me jump a few times. 
4. V/H/S/2 - was not a fan of the first V/H/S entry, the sequel amps up the thrills with a bit more creativity and way better execution, loved the doomsday cult segment 'Safe Haven' directed by Timo Tjahanto (The ABCs of Death) and Gareth Huw Evans (The Raid) and Jason Eisner's 'Slumber Party Alien Abduction' was great fun, the wrap-a-around still blows. 
5. JOHN DIES AT THE END - any entry from Don Coscarelli (Bubba Ho-Tep, Phantasm) is a cause for celebration in my opinion and this acid-tinged slice of surrealism was a blast - give this guy more money Hollywood! 
6. JUG FACE  - a well crafted indie about simple wood folk worshiping a Lovecraftian demon that lives in the bottom of a muddy pit. Thrown in a little incest and you have one of the best surprises of the year. 
7. ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE - Jonathan Levin's shelved slasher
finally gets a region 1 release after sitting in a vault for six years, the aesthetic falls somewhere between The Virgin Suicides and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake, a hypnotic slice and dicer.
8. INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 2 - Seriously, this film and it's predecessor feel like an unofficial remake of the Poltergeist series and I am totally okay with that, poor voice-dubbing aside this was a blast, not perfect but a great theater experience with a fun crowd. 

9. THIS IS THE END - I love this comedy crew and I laughed non-stop, one of the year's best comedies with some fun apocalyptic gags.
10. SIGHTSEERS - Ben Wheatley up to this point was an interesting film maker but I wasn't in love with what I'd seen (Kill List, Down Terrace). This one was different, the humor worked for me and the interactions of this demented murderous couple pleased me to no end, quite a wonderful love story. Looking forward to his new one A Field in England (2013) in the near future, I'm a believer.  

BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO - this one appealed to my arthouse tendencies but didn't wrap up satisfyingly, unfortunately. 
GRABBERS - a fun, drunken romp streaming on Netflix, watch it

When it came to dragging myself to the cinema to support horror in 2013 I fell pretty short of the mark and have not yet watched MAMA, WORLD WAR Z, YOU'RE NEXT, CARRIE, and THE PURGE yet somehow I managed to watch TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D (GROAN)...


1. SCREAM FACTORY! - maybe a bit of a cheat, but hands down the bulk of my most anticipated re-issues in 2013 came from Shout! Factory horror imprint Scream Factory and their outstanding slate releases this past year. What a year with four John Carpenter classics in 1080p, Tobe Hooper's space-vamp epic LIFEFORCE and THE FUNHOUSE, Stuart Gordon's gooey classic FROM BEYOND, the camp-slasher classic THE BURNING, Don Coscarelli's PHANTSM II, a fantastic VINCENT PRICE COLLECTION plus bringing TERRORVISION, THE VIDEO DEAD and THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN to Blu-ray for the first time. What a banner year and I've chosen to recognize their body of work over a singular title which would have been just too difficult. What's to come in 2014? Read our preview of Scream factory's 2014 roster HERE
2. ARROW VIDEO: Arrow's Brian DePalma re-issues this past year have been fantastic with awesome new special features from Fiction factory and sweet 1080p presentations. If you love DePalma you need to pick-up DRESSED TO KILL, BLOW OUT and THE FURY - these are must-own editions and there's more to come in 2014 - read about it right HERE
3. THE TELEPHONE BOOK (Vinegar Syndrome) - Vinegar Syndrome's 1080p edition of this kinky slice of art house cinema is gorgeous, an oddball sexpoitation film that's both cute and smutty. 
4. HOW TO SEDUCE A VIRGIN (Mondo Macabro) - Jess Franco's wild-eyed orgy of lurid depravity and lesbian delights starring Euro-cult goddesses Lina Romay, Alice Arno and Tania Busselier plus a sweet transfer, drool. 
5. THE HOT NIGHTS OF LINDA (Severin) - a deeply satisfying slice of 70's voyeuristic sleaze with all the depravity and eroticism you've come to expect from Jess Franco and this Severin Blu-ray is double-stuffed with extras.
6. ZOMBIE FLESH EATERS (Arrow Video) - a gorgeous edition with some fantastic special features, a gut-munching, eye-gouging slice of 1080p from gore-master Lucio Fulci.

7. POSSESSION (Second Sight) -  this video nasty is a taut, paranoid psychological thriller with horrific elements, an uncomfortable watch from start to finish. A phenomenal Blu-ray with some great value-added extras, 
8. STREET TRASH (Synapse) - a true cult classic, this is a nasty slice of 80's splatter-comedythat looks stunningly good in 1080p from Synapse.
9. CORRUPTION (Grindhouse Releasing) - it's Peter Cushing as you've never seen him before in this surgical proto-slasher, a first-rate edition from Grindhouse Releasing, a stunner.

10. MANIAC COP 2 (Blue Underground) - a kick-ass revenger with supernatural elements and brutal deaths plus a fantastic action-slammed finale that's engulfed in flames, a sweet 1080p presentation. 


HALLOWEEN (Anchor Bay)
BODY DOUBLE (Twilight Time)


As 2013 winds down we look forward to what's coming in the new year from our favorite genre film distributors here at the Mausoleum. UK-based distributor Arrow Video have for years assembled quality titles with sweet transfers, new artwork and interesting special features. They've celebrated the careers of Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci, George A. Romero, Mario Bava and Brian DePalma just to name a notable few, plus rescued many an obscure and scuzzy b-movie from the dirty vaults of horror cinema, they've always been a class act.

I must admit that since the inception of Shout! Factory's horror imprint Scream Factory here in the US I've been hard-pressed for cash to purchase import titles from Arrow and others (Second Sight, Shameless) and my import collection has suffered for it. Unfortunately the sad truth is I only have so much in the budget for movies, somehow I have to feed the mouths and keep the lights on and something had to give. However, I do love Arrow Video, in fact they are the only reason I went region-free a few years back and they continue to be one of my favorite distributors, and 2014 looks to be a great year once again. 

It's great to see Arrow continue their brilliant series of Mario Bava and Brian DePalma Blu-rays in 2014. Arrow have been on a DePalma jag this past year the way that Scream Factory have championed John Carpenter , it's just fantastic stuff. 2014 will also see the release of some euro-eroticism from Tinto Brass, Jack Hill's Pit Stop (1969), Larry Cohen's The Stuff (1985) and the Southwest thriller White of the Eye (1987) which are among my most anticipated titles going into the new year, check out the sweet steelbook editions of Phantom of the Paradise (1974) and White of the Eyes (1987) - wow.

Read on and check out the releases through March 2014 with street dates, artwork and special features plus Amazon pre-order links... 

HELLGATE (1989) 

Release Date: January 27th 2014

Format: Dual Format Blu-ray + DVD
Cast: Ron Palillo, Abigail Wolcott, Carel Trichardt
Director: William A. Levey


SYNOPSIS: Legends abound of ‘The Hellgate Hitchhiker’. So the story goes, a beautiful young woman was once brutally defiled and murdered by a biker gang. Now, returned from the dead, she wanders the roadside luring unsuspecting motorists to their doom…

Refusing to heed the warnings of locals, a group of college friends set out on a cross-country road trip looking for fun and frolics. But they get much more than they bargained for when they wind up in the abandoned mining town of Hellgate and hemmed in by hordes of the undead!

Providing gore and gags in equal measure, Hellgate recalls the good old days of early 90s fright flicks and challenges other gleefully twisted flicks such as Re-animator and Return of the Living Dead for sheer grisly delirium!
-Limited edition Blu-ray [1000 Copies]
-High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of the main feature
-Road to Perdition, B-Movie Style: An extensive interview with Hellgate director William A. Levey
-Alien Invasion, Blaxploitation and Ghost-Busting Mayhem: Scholar, Filmmaker and fan Howard S. Berger reflects on the intriguing film career of William A. Levey
-Video Nasty: Kenneth Hall, writer of the Puppet Master series, speaks about the direct-to-video horror boom that allowed Hellgate to become a classic of the cassette rental era
-Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
-Collector’s booklet featuring writing on the film by Lee Gambin, illustrated with original artwork and stills

Region: B/2
Rating: 18
Cat No: FCD850
Duration: 91 mins
Language: English
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio: Mono
Colour: Colour


Release Date January 27th 2014
Format: Dual Format Blu-ray + DVD
Cast: Julius LeFlore, RCB, Roddy Piper
Director: Donald G. Jackson, R.J. Kizer

SYNOPSIS: With the 20th Century drawing to a close, nuclear war has wiped out civilization as we know it. The embattled human race’s last remaining hope lies with one man and his loaded weapon.

Sam Hell may be an ex-con, but he also happens to be one of the last surviving fertile men on the planet. Now, under the custody of a group of feisty female fighters, Sam finds himself enlisted on a mission to impregnate a harem of beauties. Sounds cushy enough, but the ladies in question are prisoners of Frogtown – home to a gang of mutant (and ill-mannered) amphibians!

Starring wrestler-turned-actor Rowdy Roddy Piper, known to John Carpenter enthusiasts for his body-slamming and bubblegum-chewing antics in They Live, Hell Comes to Frogtown is unashamedly a B-movie through and through with more guns and girls than you can shake a frog’s leg at.
-Limited Edition Blu-ray [1000 copies]
-High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation
-Original uncompressed stereo 2.0 PCM audio
-Grappling with Green Gargantuans: Wrestling icon "Rowdy" Roddy Piper speaks about his leading man turn in Hell Comes to Frogtown
-Amphibian Armageddon: Actor Brian Frank remembers his role as Commander Toty
-Creature Feature Creator: Effects wizard Steve Wang reveals the secrets behind Hell Comes to Frogtown's mutant manifestations
-Extended Scene
-Original Trailer
-Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Jeff Zornow
-Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by author and critic Calum Waddell

Region: B/2
Rating: 15
Cat No: FCD849
Duration: 87 mins
Language: English
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio: 2.0 PCM
Colour: Colour


Release Date: February 10th 2014
Format: Dual Format Blu-ray + DVD
Cast: Anna Ammirati, Patrick Mower, Max Parodi
Director: Tinto Brass

SYNOPSIS: One of the sunniest of Tinto Brass’s erotic comedies, this sets its breezy tone from the opening scene in which Lola (Anna Ammirati) cycles around a small Po Valley town in a flapping skirt that leaves nothing to the imagination.

But it’s the 1950s, and her baker fiancée Masetto (Max Parodi) is determined that Lola remains a virgin until their wedding night. However, she is equally set on establishing whether or not he’s a good lover before they tie the knot. His dough-kneading technique seems promising, but how can she be sure without an expert to compare him with? In short, can Masetto live up to the erotic ideals professed by Lola’s mother’s lover (Patrick Mower)?

Fortunately, the outwardly innocent town turns out to be a hotbed of licentiousness, with opportunities for voyeurism and maybe more around every corner – all in the interests of self-improving research, of course.

- New High Definition digital transfer
- Newly commissioned artwork
- Collector’s booklet
More to be announced!

Region: B/2
Rating: 18
Duration: TBC
Language: English
Subtitles: TBC
Aspect Ratio: TBC
Audio: TBC
Colour: Color

CHEEKY (2003) 

Release Date: February 10th 2014
Format: Dual Format Blu-ray + DVD
Cast: Yuliya Mayarchuk, Jarno Berardi, Francesca Nunzi
Director: Tinto Brass

SYNOPSIS: When free-spirited beauty Carla (Yuliya Mayarchuk) moves to London, her search for a flat leads to a lesbian seduction by estate agent Moira (Francesca Nunzi), much to the horror of Carla’s boyfriend Matteo (Jarno Berardi) still stuck in their native Venice. And then he discovers a cache of letters from an ex-boyfriend, accompanied by a highly revealing and very public photograph of her…

Ravishingly shot in two of the world’s great cities, bouncily scored by Pino Donaggio, and crammed with wall-to-wall nudity and casual sexual flings, Cheeky is as lighthearted as its title suggests, but it’s subtler and more philosophical than the average sex romp.

In particular, it’s a genuinely moving look at problems arising when a desire to remain scrupulously faithful collides with the lure of baser instincts. Carla genuinely loves Matteo, but how can she reassure him when he spots temptation around every corner?
-High Definition Blu-ray and Standard Definition DVD presentation of the film uncut and in widescreen for the first time!
-Optional English and Italian audio
-Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian audio
-Featurette on the film with director Tinto Brass
-Original Trailer
-Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly designed artwork by -The Red Dress
-Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic and author Maitland McDonagh, illustrated with original
archive stills.

Region: B/2
Rating: 18
Cat No: FCD761
Duration: 91 mins
Language: English/Italian
Subtitles: English/English SDH
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 (16x9)
Audio: 2.0 mono
Colour: Colour


Release Date: February 7th 2014
Format: Blu-ray
Cast: Paul Williams, William Finley, Jessica Harper
Director: Brian De Palma

SYNOPSIS: Brian De Palma’s inspired rock’n’roll fusion of Faust, The Phantom of the Opera and The Picture of Dorian Gray boasts an Oscar-nominated score by Paul Williams, who also stars as an evil record producer who not only steals the work of composer/performer Winslow Leach (William Finley) but gets him locked up in Sing Sing – and that’s not the worst that happens to him along the way.

Few revenge scenarios have ever been so amply justified, but the film is also constantly aware of the satirical possibilities offered by the 1970s music industry, exemplified by Gerrit Graham’s hilariously camp glam-rock star. Jessica Harper (Suspiria) appears in her first major role as the naïve but ambitious singer, on whom Winslow secretly dotes.

Prodigiously inventive both musically and visually, this is one of De Palma’s most entertaining romps, not least because it was so clearly a labour of love.

The edition feature a bumper crop of extras but it will also include a very special newly filmed 70 minute interview where renowned director Guillermo del Toro interviews Paul Williams! See the full specs below and pre-order your copy on SteelBook: http://bit.ly/1h9LhtM or Blu-ray: http://bit.ly/1h9Lb5k now!

-High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the feature, available in the UK for the first time!
-Uncompressed Stereo PCM / 4.0 DTS-HD Master Audio options
-Isolated Music and Effects soundtrack
-Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
-Paradise Regained: A 50-minute documentary on the making of the film featuring director Brian De Palma, producer Edward R. Pressman, the late star William Finley, star and composer Paul Williams, co-stars Jessica Harper and Gerrit Graham and more!
-All new 72-minute interview with Paul Williams by Guillermo del Toro
-The Swan Song Fiasco: A new video piece exploring the changes made to the film in post production
-Archive interview with costume designer Rosanna Norton
William Finley on the Phantom doll!
-Paradise Lost and Found: Alternate takes and bloopers from the cutting room floor
-Original Trailers
-Radio Spots
-Gallery of rare stills including behind-the-scenes images by photographer Randy Black
-Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by The Red Dress [Amaray release only]
-Limited Edition SteelBook™ packaging featuring original artwork [ SteelBook only]
-Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by festival programmer Michael Blyth and an exploration of the film’s troubled marketing history by Ari Kahan, curator of SwanArchives.org, illustrated with original stills and promotional material.

Region: B
Rating: 15
Duration: 92 mins
Language: English
Subtitles: English SDH
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio: 2.0 PCM Stereo, 4.0 DTS HD Master Audio
Colour: Colour


Release Date: February 24th 2014
Format: Dual Format Blu-ray + DVD
Cast: Lea Lander, George Eastman, Riccardo Cucciolla
Director: Mario Bava

Following difficulties in his career Mario Bava happened across an idea that would enable him to compete with the younger directors lighting up the Italian box office such as Dario Argento and Sergio Martino.

Rabid Dogs begins as $70,000 of wages are being transferred when the Ajaccio gang hit. With a hail of bullets in a quick raid they speed off in their waiting getaway car. Tough, violent and realistic, Bava’s film ramps up the tension and doesn’t stop as hostages are added and the film builds to its dizzying finale.

Unfolding in real time, a rare device seen only in earlier films such as High Noon and 12 Angry Men yet totally unheard of in Italian cinema at the time, Rabid Dogs is a singular film in Bava’s filmography and one of the greatest crime films of the period.

- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of two versions of the film; ‘Rabid Dogs’ – Bava’s original version posthumously completed from his notes & ‘Kidnapped’ – the re-edited, re-dubbed and re-scored version, supervised by Bava’s son and assistant Lamberto Bava and producer Alfredo Leone
- Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing on both versions
- Audio Commentary with Bava biographer and expert Tim Lucas
- End of the Road: The Making of Rabid Dogs – A documentary featurette including interviews with Lamberto Bava, Alfredo Leone and star Lea Lander
- Original Trailer
- Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Stephen Thrower, a history of the multiple versions of the film from Semaforo Rosso to Rabid Dogs to Kidnapped by Peter Blumenstock, illustrated with original stills and posters
Much more to be announced!

Rating: 18
Duration: TBC
Language: TBC
Subtitles: TBC
Aspect Ratio: TBC
Audio: TBC
Colour: Color

THE STUFF (1985) 

Release Date: March 10th 2014
Format: Dual Format Blu-ray + DVD
Cast: Michael Moriarty, Andrea Marcovicci, Garrett Morris
Director: Larry Cohen

Are you eating it …or is it eating you?

The Stuff is the new dessert taking supermarket shelves by storm. It’s delicious, low in calories and – better still – doesn’t stain the family carpet… What’s not to like?! Well, for a start it has a life of its own, and we’re not talking friendly live bacteria…

Young Jason seems to be the only one who doesn’t love The Stuff – in fact he won’t go anywhere near it, after having seen the pudding crawling around the fridge one night. What’s more, everyone who eats The Stuff has started acting really weird… Now, teaming up with wise-cracking industrial saboteur “Mo”, Jason must put a stop to The Stuff and the organisation behind it or face a gooey, gloopy demise.

Coming courtesy of horror auteur Larry Cohen (director of the It’s Alive series and scribe behind the Maniac Cop trilogy), The Stuff is a titillating treat for the taste-buds which blends elements of films such as Street Trash with the straight-up B-movie flavour of The Blob. So grab a spoon and dig on into The Stuff – the taste that delivers… much more than you bargained for!

- New High Definition digital transfer
- Newly commissioned artwork
- Collector’s booklet
More to be announced!

Rating: 15
Duration: TBC
Language: English
Subtitles: TBC
Aspect Ratio: TBC
Audio: TBC
Colour: Color


Release Date: March 17th 2014
Format: Dual Format Blu-ray + DVD
Cast: Meiko Kaji, Hoki Tokuda, Makoto Satô
Director: Teruo Ishii

Synopsis: From Teruo Ishii “The King of Cult”, Blind Woman’s Curse (also known as Black Cat’s Revenge) is a thrilling Yakuza film featuring eye-popping visuals, sensational fight sequences and the gorgeous Meiko Kaji (Lady Snowblood, Stray Cat Rock), in her first major role.

Akemi (Kaji) is a dragon tattooed leader of the Tachibana Yakuza clan. In a duel with a rival gang Akemi slashes the eyes of an opponent and a black cat appears, to lap the blood from the gushing wound. The cat along with the eye-victim go on to pursue Akemi’s gang in revenge, leaving a trail of dead Yakuza girls, their dragon tattoos skinned from their bodies.

A bizarre blend of the female Yakuza film and traditional Japanese ghost story, with a strong dash of grotesque-erotica (the same movement was a sensibility of Edogawa Rampo whose works were adapted by Ishii in Horrors of Malformed Men), Blind Woman’s Curse is a delirious mash-up of classic genre tropes, of which Ishii was no stranger, having directed everything from Super Giant films to Biker movies!

- New High Definition digital transfer
- Newly commissioned artwork
- Collector’s booklet
More to be announced!

Region: B/2
Rating: TBC
Duration: TBC
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: English
Aspect Ratio: TBC
Audio: TBC
Colour: Colour

PIT STOP (1969) 

Release Date: March 31st 2014
Format: Dual Format Blu-ray + DVD
Cast: Brian Donlevy, Richard Davalos, Ellen Burstyn
Director: Jack Hill


SYNOPSIS: The most dangerous game ever devised, to pit man against man, flesh against steel – the figure-8 race! Jack Hill (Coffy, Foxy Brown) follows up Spider Baby, once again teaming up with Sid Haig (House of 1000 Corpses) in one of his greatest roles for this action-spectacular crash-o-rama!

Richard Davalos (East of Eden) stars as Rick Bowman, a street punk who winds up in jail after a street race goes wrong. Bailed out by race promoter Grant Willard, Davalos is put in the deadly track where he comes up against Haig’s maniacal winner Hawk Sidney. Featuring an outstanding supporting cast including Brian Donlevy (The Quatermass Xperiment) in his last film appearance, Ellen Burstyn, billed as Ellen McRae (The Exorcist) and Beverly Washburn (Spider Baby) Pit Stop is one of Hill’s lesser known films but arguably his greatest.

Filmed on a real figure-8 track, Hill and his crew were able to capture gripping real-life car wreck scenes lending the film a brilliant sense of realism. You’ve never seen a motion picture like this before – can you take it?

- New High Definition digital transfer
- Newly commissioned artwork
- Collector’s booklet
More to be announced!

Region: B/2
Rating: TBC
Duration: TBC
Language: English
Subtitles: TBC
Aspect Ratio: TBC
Audio: TBC
Colour: Color


Release Date: March 17th 2014
Format: Blu-ray 

Cast: Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake, Robert Warwick
Director: Preston Sturges


SYNOPSIS: Director John L. Sullivan (Joel McCrea) is one of Hollywood’s hottest talents, with an uncanny gift for getting audiences rolling in the aisles. But he’s dissatisfied: he wants to abandon comedy for Serious Statements, and buys the rights to celebrated social-realist novel ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?’

To make his masterpiece as realistic as possible, Sullivan naturally has to understand how the book’s downtrodden characters must have felt, so he takes to the road as a hobo, is taken under the wing of a failed actress (Veronica Lake), and learns several valuable home truths about the importance of not patronising his audience.

Writer-director Preston Sturges had an inspired run in the 1940s, turning out some of the funniest American comedies ever made (The Lady Eve, The Palm Beach Story, The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek). Sullivan’s Travels is one of his best: not just hilarious but also truly wise.

- -New high definition digital transfer
- Newly commissioned artwork
- Collector’s booklet
More to be announced!

Region: B
Duration: TBC
Language: English
Subtitles: TBC
Aspect Ratio: TBC
Audio: 2.0/5.1
Colour: B+W


Release Date: March 24th 2014
Format: Dual Format Blu-ray + DVD
Cast: David Keith, Cathy Moriarty, Alan Rosenberg
Director: Donald Cammell


SYNOPSIS: A serial killer is on the loose in and around the small community of Globe, Arizona, and housewife Joan White (Cathy Moriarty) gradually comes to suspect that her opera-loving hi-fi engineer husband Paul (David Keith) might know more than he’s letting on…

So far so familiar, but in the hands of British visionary Donald Cammell (who wrote and co-directed Performance with Nicolas Roeg), the film becomes a dazzling kaleidoscope of images and ideas, spanning everything from Apache folklore, desert landscapes and stylish murder set-pieces that recall Dario Argento to a painfully vivid dissection of the emotional fissures undermining a modern marriage. It’s all set to an equally eclectic score co-written by Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason.

Described by the distinguished critic David Thomson as “one of the great secret works in cinema”, White of the Eye is one of the most bizarre and unforgettable thrillers ever made.

- New High Definition digital transfer
- Newly commissioned artwork
- Collector’s booklet
More to be announced!

Region: B/2


Release Date: February 24th 2014
Format: Blu-ray
Cast: Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson, John Cassavetes
Director: Don Siegel


“I gotta find out what makes a man decide not to run. Why all of a sudden he’d rather die.”

SYNOPSIS: So muses hitman Charlie (Lee Marvin) after his high-priced victim Johnny North (John Cassavetes) gives in without a fight. Obsessed with the answer, Charlie and his hot-headed associate Lee (Clu Gulager) track down Johnny’s associates, and uncover a complex web of crime and deceit involving his femme fatale girlfriend Sheila (Angie Dickinson) and ruthless mob boss Jack Browning (Ronald Reagan in his last screen role).

Loosely inspired by the Ernest Hemingway story, and directed by Don Siegel (whose many other taut, efficient thrillers include Dirty Harry and the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers), The Killers was commissioned as the very first ‘TV movie’, but was given a cinema release because of its violence – although a cast like that really belonged on the big screen in the first place.

- New High Definition digital transfer
- Newly commissioned artwork
- Collector’s booklet
More to be announced!

Region: B



Label: Tidepoint Pictures
Duration: 56 Minutes
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0
Video: 16:9 Widescreen 

Director: Naoki Yoshimoto
Cast: Ayumi Kakizawa, Masaya Adachi, Mutsuko Yoshinaga, Ko Murobushi

Synopsis: It incorporates a physical acting style that draws heavily from butoh, a form of Japanese dance. A young woman suffering strange hallucinations and physical ailments discovers that she is the descendant of an ancient line of European vampires, and she and her boyfriend are soon captured by older vampires and drawn into the darkness.

Sanguivorous (2009) really comes off as a weird, otherworldly bit of arthouse creepiness and for good reason, it originally toured with a live music accompaniment as more of a a multi-media art piece than a slice of cinema, so true to it's avant-garde roots it's a bit hard to digest. The story is very skeletal so there's not a lot to latch onto other than the creepy imagery and strange atmosphere, which it captures very nicely but I just could not commit to it, even at just 56 minutes in length it bored me. 

It's strength is the surreal imagery, particularly a creepy scene featuring Japanese butoh dancer Ko Murobushi who appears as the head vampire in an extended performance sequence showered in blood, it's a very striking image but this slice of experimental vampirism was definitely not for me even though I commend it for trying something different. 1.5 Outta 5 

Friday, December 27, 2013

DVD Review: 12 DISASTERS (2013)

12 DISASTERS (2013) 

Label: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Region Code: 1 NTSC
Rating: R
Duration: 90 Minutes
Video: 16:9 Widescreen (1.78:1)
Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1
Director: Steven Monroe
Cast: Magda Apanowicz, Ed Quinn, Roark Critchlow, Ryan Grantham

Originally aired on the Syfy network as '12 Disasters of Christmas' this TV movie is pretty awful. I love schlocky movies and have been accused of having poor taste in cinema by my wife on a daily basis yet I have never been able to sit down and enjoy any of the Syfy produced pieces of shit that seem to have quite a following.

This one concerns a young woman named Jacey (Magda Apanowicz) who is bequeathed a ring by her grandmother who informs her that the end of the world is upon us and that the young girl is the "chosen one" just before a giant icicle falls from the sky and impales her through the chest. This part was actually a pretty fun start but was unfortunately the last thing I enjoyed about the entire film, mind you that was only five minutes in and we still had eighty-five more to go, ugh. Soon after the small town of Calvary is plagued by mass bird deaths, waters running red, earthquakes, a sub-zero cold snap, volcanoes and a pine tree ripping tornado... and an invisible dome has formed over the town cutting them off from the rest of the world.

The story borrows elements from Stephen Kings 'The Dome' and his short story 'The Mist', most obviously a religious nut who believes a human sacrifice must be performed to save the town from the end of days. Throw in a little Lord of the Rings flavor, a bit of Luc Besson's The Fifth Element (1997) and the ridiculous notion that the ancient Mayans authored the '12 Days of Christmas' carol to warn future generations about the impending doomsday and you have yourself quite a mess of a film, an mind-numbing ninety-minutes of bad movie making.

I was a bit surprised to see 12 Disasters was directed by Steven R. Munroe who directed the pretty decent I Spit on Your Grave (2010) remake, I can only assume he had a mortgage payment due or a severe drug habit to feed. 12 Disasters (2013) is just a bad film and there's not enough 'so bad it's good' in the world to make me sit through this again. Anchor Bay should be commended for truth in advertising as the generic artwork and font on the DVD 
screams lame Syfy TV production from start to finish, avoid. 1.5 Outta 5



Label: Pop Twist
Region Code: Region FREE
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 106 Minute
Video: 16:9 Widescreen
Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0
Director: Jason Figgis
Cast:  Emily Forster, Catherine Wrigglesworth, Justine Rodgers

A pandemic virus is decimating the adult population of the world, the afflicted grown-ups are losing they're minds and slipping into a weird state of dementia before death. Nine months later teenagers and children are the only survivors of the new plague. This is director Jason Figgis' apocalyptic version of the classic Lord of the Flies story, set in the melancholic city of Dublin, Ireland. Our main characters are sisters Evie (Catherine Wrigglesworth) and Fran (Emily Forster) move from house to house preferring to keep to themselves while scavenging for food and shelter, steering clear of other groups of juveniles in the area. When we finally meet-up with others we can see why - it's pretty grim and desperate out there and the neighbors aren't always a friendly bunch.

As a doomsday movie the scale quite small, there are very few establishing shots setting-up a larger world view, we're tightly focused on a small group of survivors and the teenage drama that's unfolds, only in this post-apocalyptic reality petty jealousies and rivalries can easily turn deadly.

The young cast are excellent, for a micro-budget film a poor cast can be the death knell but there are no such issues here, very strong performances. Through flashback we see the disintegration of the parents who at first exhibit flu like symptoms and then signs of dementia, some of these scenes are quite affecting as the children grasp to hold onto their mothers and fathers as they slip away into insanity, it can powerful stuff.

A few concerns you might wanna be aware of before plunging into this one sight unseen. Due to the micro-budget origins the scope of the film is very small - we just don't get a lot of world building on display. It's a bit of a slow burn and and the sudden finale left me cold. While it lacks a visceral punch it does have some multi-layered performances from a promising young cast, preferring to skip the usual gore and ultra-violence for a genuine sense of dread and tension, but at the end of the day this is a apocalypse-drama that for me doesn't have a lot of rewatch value. 2 Outta 5

Sunday, December 22, 2013


Hands down Shout! Factory classic horror imprint Scream Factory were my top horror label in 2013 with gorgeous restored editions of classic 80's horror titles with vintage and brand new special features. 

Picking a favorite from the bunch would be difficult - there's just too much fun stuff! I would give a special shout out to the crew at Scream for bringing the John Carpenter love in 2013 with definitive 1080p editions of Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) The Fog (1980), Prince of Darkness (1987) and the long out-of-print horror anthology Body Bags (1993). Hopefully these re-issues are not just pleasing legions of die-hard Carpenter fans but turning the next generation onto these fantastic films. Hope to see more John Carpenter love from Scream going forward, though their are none on the 2014 slate as of yet.

Scream also delved into deluxe Blu-ray box set editions this past year with the release of The Amityville Trilogy and the superb Vincent Price Collection, The Price multi-set is truly one of the best boxes of the year and I hope we see a second volume down the line. 

Separate from box sets and the Carpenter titles I have a great fondness for their gorgeous editions of Stuart Gordon's ooze classic From Beyond (1986), the camp-slasher class The Burning (1981) and Tobe Hooper's space-vampire epic Lifeforce (1986).

Before we go into what's been announced for 2014 let's have a look at what Scream Factory have unleashed upon the world so far beginning with their initial release of Halloween II (1981) and beyond. Click the "REVIEW" link next to the title to see our reviews!

Halloween II
Halloween III
Terror Train
The Funhouse
They Live
The Island
Death Valley
Deadly Blessing 
The Nest 
TerrorVision/The Video Dead 
Phantasm II (REVIEW
From Beyond (REVIEW)
Vampire Lovers (REVIEW)
The Burning 
Town that Dreaded Sundown (with The Evictors as a bonus movie on the DVD only) 
Lifeforce (REVIEW)
The Howling (REVIEW)
Dead Souls (REVIEW)
The Fog (REVIEW)
The Incredible Melting Man 
Swamp Thing *
X-ray / Schizoid double feature (REVIEW
Dark Angel (REVIEW)
Q: The Winged Serpent (REVIEW)
Cockneys vs. Zombies *
Scanners II & Scanners III (REVIEW)
Day of the Dead (REVIEW)
Psycho II (REVIEW)
Prince of Darkness (REVIEW)
The Amityville Trilogy Box Set (REVIEW
All Night Horror Marathon (What’s the Matter with Helen, The Vagrant, The Godsend, The Outing) (REVIEW)
The Vincent Price Collection (REVIEW
Chilling Visions: 5 Senses of Fear *
All Night Horror Marathon 2 (Cellar Dweller, The Dungeonmaster, Contamination 7, Catacombs) (REVIEW)
Body Bags (REVIEW)
Assault on Precinct 13 (REVIEW)
Night of the Comet (REVIEW)
Eve of Destruction
The Horror Show *
Saturn 3*
TV Terrors (Are you in the House Alone? / The Initiation of Sarah)*
The Beast Within *
Crawlspace *
* denotes a title missing from my collection, damn!

Alright, so obviously most of us are gonna have holes in our collection. Scream Factory don't exactly make it easy to keep up with their output with what is surely one of the most aggressive release schedules of any genre label - it's truly dizzying. 

Onto what's to come from Scream Factory in 2014 we begin with the remake of 1942's Cat People starring the very sexy Natassia Kinski! Where able I have provided artwork and edition details - Amazon pre-orders can be found at the bottom of the post. 

CAT PEOPLE (1982)  (1/21) 

The 1982 feline flick (with Nastassja Kinski, sex, violence and a great David Bowie single) arrives on Blu for the first time with all-new extras 

A remake of the 1942 Jacques Tourneur horror/noir classic, Cat People stars Nastassia Kinski as Irena, a beautiful young woman who discovers love for the first time only to find that the experience brings tragic consequences. The tremendous passion of this girl’s first romantic love is so strong, however, it bypasses the chaos around her – including the extraordinary demands of her brother (Malcolm McDowell, A Clockwork Orange) – as it pushes her on to her own bizarre destiny. Written and Directed by Paul Schrader (Hardcore, American Gigolo, Affliction), this erotic fantasy about the passion and terror surrounding this first love also stars John Heard (C.H.U.D.), Annette O’Toole (48 Hrs.), Ruby Dee (Do The Right Thing) and Lynn Lowry (They Came From Within).

Bonus features:
- New interviews with writer/director Paul Schrader, Nastassja Kinski, Malcolm McDowell, John - Heard, Annette O’Toole, Lynn Lowry and composer Giorgio Moroder
- Theatrical Trailer
- Still Gallery
- TV Spot 


The Beast Of Hollow Mountain
Based on an idea by the legendary special effects wizard Willis O’Brien (King Kong, Son Of Kong, The Lost World), The Beast Of Hollow Mountain is a classic creature feature. An American rancher living in Mexico is staying near Hollow Mountain, an impenetrable swamp where, stories have it, dwells a living prehistoric Tyrannosaurus Rex!

The Neanderthal Man
A mad scientist uses his new serum on his housekeeper, turning her into an ape-woman. Like most crazed scientists, he then tries the serum on himself, creating…The Neanderthal Man! Robert Shayne (How To Make A Monster) and Beverly Garland (It Conquered The World, The Alligator People) star in this harrowing creature feature.


Boris Karloff, the greatest horror star of all time, takes center stage in this “menagerie of horrors” (Motion Picture Daily) that “spins out shock after shock” (Boxoffice). Like a deadly potion bubbling with eerie mansions, secret experiments and a warning never to look in the basement, this is “pure haunted-house hokum all the way” (Los Angeles Times)!

An English scientist entertains a young American visitor, serving up tea, terror and a beautiful daughter – who is soon torn between her father’s evil ways and her need to protect the man she loves from a diabolical end.
DARKMAN (2/18)

The 1990 Sam Raimi cult classic gets the full on ‘Scream’ treatment with all new extras including a brand new interview with actor LIAM NEESON! 

More extras to be announced in January, The reverse cover will be the original theatrical key art. 


It’s Halloween night and Angela is throwing a party…but this is no ordinary Halloween party. Everybody’s headed to Hull House, a deserted funeral home, formerly the home of a mass murderer. But when the partygoers decide to have a séance, they awaken something evil...and these party crashers have a thirst for blood. Now it’s a battle for who can survive the night in Hull House.

William Gallo (Crash), Amelia Kinkade , Cathy Podewell (Dallas), Jill Terashita (Sleepaway Camp III) and Screen Queen Linnea Quigley star in this ‘80s splatter-fest directed by Kevin S. Tenney (Witchboard).
Bonus features:
- NEW commentary with Director Kevin Tenney and actors Cathy Podewell, Hal Havins, Billy Gallo and FX artist Steve Johnson!
- NEW interviews with cast and crews including director Kevin Tenney, writer/producer Joe Augustyn and actress Linnea Quigley
- Audio Commentary With Director Kevin Tenney, Executive Producer Walter Josten and Producer Jeff Geoffray
- Promo Reel
- Video Trailer
- Theatrical Trailer
- TV and Radio Spots
- Still Galleries
And much more…

VISITING HOURS / BAD DREAMS Double Feature (2/18)

In the mid-1970s the members of the love cult Unity Fields sought “the ultimate joining” by dousing themselves with gasoline and committing mass suicide. A young girl blown clear of the fiery explosion was the only survivor. Thirteen years later, Cynthia (Jennifer Rubin, Screamers) awakens from a coma inside a psychiatric hospital with only buried memories of that horrific day — but now her fellow patients are each being driven to their own violent suicides. Has the sect’s leader (Richard Lynch, Deathsport) returned to claim his final child? Bruce Abbott (Re-Animator) co-stars in the intense shocker Bad Dreams from director Andrew Fleming (The Craft) and producer Gale Anne Hurd (Punisher: War Zone, The Incredible Hulk).

Academy Award®–winner Lee Grant (Best Supporting Actress in 1975 for Shampoo) stars as outspoken TV journalist Deborah Ballin, whose crusade against domestic violence enrages a creepy loner (a truly disturbing performance by Michael Ironside, Scanners) in Visiting Hours. He brutally attacks the anchorwoman in her home, but Ballin survives and is hospitalized. Her assailant is enraged; he is haunted by a horrific childhood trauma . . . and now he has hidden himself inside the hospital to finish what he started. Can anybody — including her concerned boss (William Shatner), a frantic nurse (Linda Purl, Happy Days) or Deborah herself — stop the psycho’s killing spree before it reaches sick new extremes?


It’s called a Ouija Board and it’s been used for thousands of years to communicate with the souls of the afterworld. For beautiful Linda Brewster (Tawny Kitaen, Bachelor Party), it brings the playful ghost of a dead ten-year-old boy. But when the friendly spirit develops a sudden taste for violent murder and demonic possession, Linda’s boyfriend (Todd Allen, Django Unchained) and her former lover (Stephen Nichols, House) must race to destroy the ferocious portal of the damned.

Kathleen Wilhoite (Road House) and Rose Marie co-star in this chilling thriller from Kevin S. Tenney (Night Of The Demons).

Bonus features:
- NEW Audio commentary with Writer/Director Kevin Tenney and actors Stephen Nichols, James W. Quinn, and Kathleen Wilhoite
- NEW Interviews with cast and crew including writer/director Kevin Tenny, actors Tawny Kitaen, J.P. Luebsen, James Quinn
- Audio Commentary With Writer/Director Kevin Tenney, Executive Producer Walter Josten And Producer Jeff Geoffray
- The Making of WITCHBOARD
- Still Gallery
- Theatrical Trailer
- TV Spots
And much more…


When Trish (Michele Michaels) decides to invite her high school girls’ basketball teammates over for a slumber party, she has no idea the night is going to end with an unexpected guest– an escaped mental patient and his portable power drill – crashing the party in the cult classic, The Slumber Party Massacre.

No artwork or extras announced for the following 2014 releases as of yet...


This original interpretation comes from artist Nathan Thomas Milliner (The Burning, Day of the Dead) and is officially approved from the Director of the film, Robert Hiltzik. (He was also directly involved in the creative process.) 

As always, the original theatrical key art will be on the reverse side (the knife-in-the-sneaker one you all know). Production on extras have just begun and we'll have full details to report to you as to what they are in mid-March.

DEADLY EYES (Summer 2014) 

Directed by Larry Fessenden (The Last Winter, Wendigo), the story concerns six high school seniors find themselves on rowboat in a middle of lake attacked by man-eating fish. The twist? They must decide who must be sacrificed as they fight their way back to shore.

When a group of young friends commemorating their high school graduation take a trip to the remote Black Lake, their celebration turns into a nightmare. Trapped in a leaking boat with no oars, the teens face the ultimate test of friendship and sacrifice during a terror-stricken fight for survival when they find something is living beneath the surface.

Daniel Zovatto (Innocence), Bonnie Dennison (Stake Land, Third Watch), Chris Conroy (Sorority Row) and Mark Margolis (Breaking Bad) star in this highly suspenseful and bloody thriller.

EVIL SPEAK (1982) 
FINAL EXAM (1981) 

Fans of early 80s school-themed horror films are in luck with this news. The college campus slasher film FINAL EXAM (1981) and the satanic revenge epic EVILSPEAK (1982) starring Clint Howard will both be making their debuts on Blu-ray both for the first time this Summer!

These titles have been with Code Red - another long-time cult film home entertainment company - for some time and we are pleased that we were able to make a deal with them for these two guilty pleasures.

Expect the same extras that were on the prior Code Red DVD releases to be imported over. More details on street date and if any more extras are planned will be revealed in the new year.

Collector's Edition Blu-ray 

Brian DePalma's classic 1974 film PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE will get a new HD release sometime in the later half of the Summer! 

There you have it - the titles that have been announced so far from Scream Factory - it's a glorious thing! What's your most anticipated release? 


Happy Friday guys! Fans of 80s horror, grindhouse and women-in-prison films are in for a special treat as we are releasing the rare and long-lost 1985 exploitation film HELLHOLE this Summer on Blu-ray & DVD for the very first time this Summer!

Those of you who have seen this film know what fun it is. And a great cast of cult film & TV favorites highlight the wild shenanigans including Mary Woronov (Rock n Roll High School, Night of the Comet), Ray Sharkey (The Idolmaker, Wiseguys), Marjoe Gortner (Earthquake, Starcrash, Food of the Gods) and Judy Landers (BJ & The Bear, Vega$, The Love Boat).

Pre-order links should go up in sometime in March. Any extras we may have will be announced sometime in April.

RAVENOUS (1999) 

RAVENOUS - the 1999 cannibal film starring Guy Pearce, David Arquette and directed by Antonia Bird - will be coming to blu-ray for the first time come this June with all-new extras planned! 

No other details to report at this time. But check back here in next few months for more updates on this exciting project. The original theatrical poster key art will be used as artwork (as seen here). 


We're thrilled to be introducing DEAD SHADOWS - a suspenseful, F/X-ladened new sci-fi thriller from France - to U.S. & Canada audiences on DVD & Blu-ray this Spring! 

Synopsis: A young man’s parents were murdered on the same day the Halley comet was visible from Earth. Eleven years later, a new comet lights up the sky, but as the night goes on, people begins to transform into horrible creatures. (Imagine The Thing, Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Lifeforce all crossed with each other and you get the idea.)

The film streets on 4/22 and will contain its original French language track (with English subtitles) along with an English-dubbed track option. More details - including film clips and extras - will emerge in the next couple of months. The red-band trailer has already been available for some time. Check it out athttp://www.deadshadows.com/deadshadows.com/TRAILER.html