Tuesday, December 23, 2014

THE CLAIRE SINCLAIR SHOW (2014)

THE CLAIRE SINCLAIR SHOW (2014) 
Label: Cult Epics
Release Date: January 13, 2015
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 75 Minutes
Video: Fullscreen Aspect Ratio (1.33:1)
Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0 
Director: Nico B
Cast: Claire Sinclaire, Bunny Yeager 

SYNOPSIS
The Erotica Channel presents the CLAIRE SINCLAIR SHOW hosted by Playboy’s Playmate of the Year, Bettie Page clothing spokes model, and the Star of the Las Vegas show PIN UP. The first Two episodes features “CLAIRE ON CLAIRE”, everything you wanted to know about Claire and BUNNY YEAGER’S “LAST SITTING” in which Claire interviews and is being photographed by the original Bettie Page photographer Bunny Yeager, in her last shoot and on camera interview.

"Claire on Claire" (23 Minutes) features the pin-up star interviewing herself, which is a pretty novel idea and fun. She goes into her early life growing up in the "ratchet areas" of California and how she ended up coming into pin-up modelling and becoming a Playboy Playmate and landing her own show on the Vegas strip before becoming the spokes model for the Bettie Page clothing line. She describes life at the Playboy Mansion as pretty much a country club for older men, way to ruin the illusion! The episode closes with some fun outtakes and flubs from the filming of the episode. 

The second episode is "Bunny Yeager's Last Sitting" (25 Minutes) featuring Claire Sinclair pin-up photographer Bunny Yeager who worked with Bettie Page creating some of the most iconic shots of the pin-up queen. Unfortunately it's marred by some bad audio recorded in a gallery with the sound bouncing of the walls and echoing. The episode is extended and features more of the tasty HD Nude Shoot not seen during the original broadcast on The Erotic Channel. 

The episode is spliced with footage from what turns out to be Bunny Yeager's last nude photo shoot with Claire Sinclair prior to her death earlier this year. The behind-the-scene video is presented in both HD and a grainier super 8mm footage shot by Nico B.. These are my favorite shots of Sinclair, love the grainy retro aesthetic of the images and she has quite a body, pin-up perfection.  There's a very cool rockabilly guitar score from Danny B. Harvey who in recent years has played with Wanda Jackson and Nancy Sinatra, it's pretty damn good, check him out at www.dannybharvey.com

During the interviews Bunny speaks about creating Bettie Page's wardrobe for the classic shots, the resurgence and influence of her photography with Page, Sinclair is maybe not the best interviewer but she's a a genuine fan and it shows through. 

Bonus features on the disc include the Original Super 8 films with Bunny and Claire Sinclair shot by Nico B., the grainy super 8mm footage gives the entire thing a vintage patina and it looks great - though  must say that the  HD short footage captures her porcelain skin quite nicely, which is something lost on the 8mm footage. 

There are also two Claire Sinclair introductions for the Erotic Channel showings of the films BETTIE PAGE BONDAGE QUEEN (2 Minutes)  and VIVA (3 Minutes) 

SPECIAL  FEATURES
- Original Super 8 films with Bunny & Claire shot by Nico B (7 Minutes)
- The Erotica Channel Introduction for BETTIE PAGE BONDAGE QUEEN (2 Minutes)
by Claire 
- The Erotica Channel Introduction for VIVA (3 Minutes) by Claire 
- Uncensored HD Nude Shoot with Claire and Bunny

VERDICT
Coming into this I had no idea who Claire Sinclair was and I found it to be pretty entertaining watch and while the Bunny Yeager interview was light on substance and marred by poor audio I found the Nico B. super 8mm footage of the shoot to be quite a treat. Not a lot of substance here but I found Claire Sinclair to be quite easy on the eyes and not difficult to endure in the least, a very sexy lady and if you're a fan of contemporary pin-up this could be a fun watch. 

SWEET AND PERVERSE MILLY (1990)




SWEET AND PERVERSE MILLY (1990) 

Label: One 7 Movies
Region Code: Region FREE
Rating: XXX
Duration: 80 Minutes
Video: Full Frame (1:33:1)
Audio: Italian Dolby Digital Mono with Optional English Subtitles
Director: Christopher Clark
Cast: Milly D'Abbraccio, Joanna Lin, Cindy Torn

SWEET AND PERVERSE MILLY (1990) is a straight up x-rated entry from One 7 Movies starring Italian porn actress Milly D'Abbraccio that has the slutty Milly exploring the US "in search of big cocks for my hungry pussy". That's about the entire story and what unfolds for the next eighty-minutes is a very loosely connected string of sex vignettes beginning with an extended solo shower scene and then straight into a raunchy escapade in a limo featuring the always eager Milly with mouthfuls of cocks and a few too many too-close for comfort penetration shots ending with Milly's ass being frosted before she pisses into a cup... for better or worse we never do find out what happened to that cup of piss.

So we have a painfully threadbare plot with bucket loads of raunchy sex - which I guess is about par for porn. Preferring the artful eroticism of Radley Metzger and Tinto Brass I must confess I don't find most adult films as entertaining as I did when I was watching late night softcore on cable as a teen but I can appreciate them to a certain base degree. Sometimes you just wanna fast forward to the good stuff and tug one out and to that end this one is jammed front to back with plenty of spank material if that's what your craving.

There's the orgy scene, a threesome with Milly being finger cuffed before taking it up the backside, some girl on girl carpet-munching and even a hermaphrodite on hermaphrodite scene, which may not be your taste but c'mon, that's just never boring. All in all a pretty raunchy sex romp with not an an ounce of artful pretension to distract from the base pleasures onscreen.

On a personal note Milly D'Abbraccio doesn't do it for me, she's just not my type. I can appreciate her nice build and what a willing slut she is but that short-cropped orange hair wasn't doing it for me, maybe good for a quick wank but after that cannot see revisiting this one again. 

Kino Lorber Announces its January Studio Classics Releases: RIVER'S EDGE, FOXES, AT THE EARTH'S CORE & MORE!

Kino Lorber Announces its January Releases on its Kino Lorber Studio Classics Label Including River's Edge, Foxes, The Falcon and the Snowman and At the Earth's Core
Four star-studded Hollywood hits by top directors including Adrian Lyne and John Schlesinger, and featuring Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper, Sean Penn, Jodie Foster, Doug McClure, Peter Cushing and more to make their Blu-ray debuts on January 13


Kino Lorber is proud to announce its January releases on its Kino Lorber Studio Classics label: RIVER'S EDGE, cult filmmaker Tim Hunter's chilling portrait of disaffected youth starring Keanu Reeves, Crispin Glover and Dennis Hopper; Adrian Lyne's FOXES, a powerful drama starring Jodie Foster about a group of troubled and wild girls in early '80s San Fernando Valley; John Schlesinger's gripping Cold War-era thriller THE FALCON AND THE SNOWMANstarring Timothy Hutton and Sean Penn; and the sci-fi classic AT THE EARTH'S CORE, starring Doug McClure and Peter Cushing.


These acclaimed, star-studded Hollywood classics come to Blu-ray and DVD on January 13th, with individual SRPs of $29.95 for the Blu-ray editions and $19.95 for the DVD, except for AT THE EARTH'S CORE, which is available on Blu-ray only, with a SRP of $29.95.

RIVER'S EDGE also features audio commentary by director Tim Hunter, and the original theatrical trailer. FOXES includes audio commentary by director Adrian Lyne and an on-camera interview with star Sally Kellerman. AT THE EARTH'S CORE features audio commentary with director Kevin Connor, an on-camera interview with star Caroline Munro, an on-camera interview with director Kevin Connor, and more.






FOXES (1980) 

Release Date: January 13, 2015
1980/Drama/106 mins/Color/1.85:1/Rated R
Director: Adrian Lyne
Cast: Jodie Foster, Cherie Currie, Scott Baio, Sally Kellerman, Randy Quaid

Synopsis: Two-time Oscar winner Jodie Foster (Silence of the Lambs) shines in this intimate, astonishing and powerful film from director Adrian Lyne (Fatal Attraction) that takes you on a teenage rock 'n' roll filled trip through the fast lane in the San Fernando Valley. Jeanie (Foster) has a lot to cope with... her mom (Sally Kellerman, Back to School) is divorced and desperate; her friends abuse drugs, her friend Annie (Cherie Currie, Wavelength) wants to run away from her abusive father and the only ones she can lean on is her three best friends. Lyne's feature film debut features an amazing soundtrack by Giorgio Moroder (Flashdance) including the megahit "On the Radio" sung by Donna Summer. Co-starring Scott Baio (Zapped!) and Randy Quaid (Kingpin).

Bonus Features:
- Audio Commentary by Director Adrian Lyne
- On-camera interview with actress Sally Kellerman
- Original Theatrical Trailer

THE FALCON AND THE SNOWMAN (1985) 

Release Date: January 13, 2015
1985/Drama/131 mins/Color/1.85:1/Rated R
Director: John Schlesinger
Cast: Timothy Hutton, Sean Penn, Pat Hingle, Joyce Van Patten, Lori Singer
Synopsis: Timothy Hutton (Ordinary People) and Sean Penn (Mystic River) deliver superb performances in a true-story spy thriller that is scathing, arresting and laced with white-knuckle excitement. From legendary director John Schlesinger (Midnight Cowboy) and writing great Steven Zaillian (Schindler's List) comes a film that blows the lid off the modern-day American dream in this riveting story of two young men of privilege, money and ambition who end up selling government secrets to the Russians. Christopher Boyce (Hutton) works a low-level job at a defense plant where he uncovers documents that prove that the C.I.A. is secretly coercing foreign governments. He confides in his friend, Daulton Lee (Penn), a reckless drug dealer and user, who convinces him to sell this information to the Soviets for big bucks. Lee boldly cuts a deal with the KGB, but soon the stakes spin out of control as the Soviets up the ante. Lee descends further into drug abuse, and the C.I.A. prepare to take the informants down.

Bonus Features:
- Original Theatrical Trailer


AT THE EARTH'S CORE (1976) 
Release Date: January 13, 2015
Science Fiction/89 mins/Color/1.85:1/Rated PG
Director: Kevin Connor
Cast: Doug McClure, Peter Cushing, Caroline Munro, Cy Grant
Synopsis: They're in it Deep now! Murderous monsters, scantily clad prehistoric playmates and telepathic pterodactyls inhabit the center of our world in this colorful fantasy-adventure about a manned "drill-craft" boring its way to the center of the Earth! Starring sci-fi superstars Doug McClure (The Land That Time Forgot), Peter Cushing (Nothing But the Night) and Caroline Munro (Maniac), this subterranean chiller is the most endearingly whimsical entertainment on - or under - the planet's surface! There's more than lava at the Earth's core. There's also Pellucidar: an underground empire where gargantuan pterodactyls torture and enslave all humanoids - including the lovely Dia (Munro). But all that could change when a surface-dwelling scientist (Cushing) and an American businessman (McClure) drive their powerful "Iron Mole" straight into Pellucidar... stirring up a great deal more than dirt, rocks and lava! Wonderfully directed by sci-fi specialist, Kevin Connor (The People That Time Forgot).

Bonus Features:
- Audio Commentary by Director Kevin Connor
- On-camera interview with star Caroline Munro
- On-camera interview with director Kevin Connor
- Original Theatrical Trailer and More


RIVER'S EDGE (1986) 

Release Date: January 13, 2015
Drama/99 mins/Color/1.85:1/Rated R
Director: Tim Hunter
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Crispin Glover, Dennis Hopper, Ione Skye, Daniel Roebuck, Joshua John Miller, Roxana Zal
Synopsis: Based on the horrifying real-life murder of a young California girl, this powerful portrait of deadly, disaffected teens stars Keanu Reeves (The Matrix), Crispin Glover (Back to the Future), lone Skye (Say Anything...), Daniel Roebuck (The Fugitive) and Dennis Hopper (Blue Velvet). On the bank of a river lies the naked body of a brutally murdered young girl. At the nearby high school, Samson (Roebuck) brags to Matt (Reeves) and his friends about how he killed her. Drunk and stoned, the doubting teens trudge to the river and discover that he isn't lying. And oddly, they decide to protect Samson behind a loyal wall of secrecy. Tormented with guilt, Matt questions their silence... and suddenly finds himself in a troubling position: should he do what he thinks is right, or should he keep quiet and live with this demon for the rest of his life? Cult director Tim Hunter (The Saint of Fort Washington) helmed this haunting and chilling tale about disillusioned youth.

Bonus Features:
- Audio Commentary by Director Tim Hunter
- Original Theatrical Trailer

ZOMBIE KILLERS: ELEPHANT’S GRAVEYARD COMING 2/3/15 TO BD/DVD


ZOMBIE KILLERS: ELEPHANT’S GRAVEYARD (2014) 

Release Date: February 3, 2015
Run Time: 104 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Video: Widescreen (2.40:1) 1080p
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 with Optional English SDH, Spanish Subtitles 

The rural town of Elwood has always been a “bubble” against the backdrop of an organism-based epidemic where infected humans don’t die, instead they roam to spread the infection in a grisly, horrific way. Those who escape must survive—by any means necessary. But at what price?

On February 3, 2015, Anchor Bay Entertainment presents Zombie Killers: Elephant’s Graveyard, an exciting survival thriller about a fallen world that’s provocative as it is chilling. Written and directed by B. Harrison Smith and with a stellar genre cast including Billy Zane (Electrick Children, Titanic, Dead Calm), Dee Wallace (E.T., The Howling), Mischa Barton (“The O.C.,” Walled In), Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp, Satan’s Playground), and Brian Anthony Wilson (Law Abiding Citizen, Limitless), Zombie Killers: Elephant’s Graveyard is presented in an unrated version on Blu-ray™ and DVD with an SRP of $26.99 for Blu-ray™ and $22.98 for DVD. Pre-book is December 31, 2014.

In the film, the "Zombie Killers" are a small band of young adults, trained by military vet Seiler (Zane), who have sworn to protect the town and aim for the head if anything threatens Elwood's last survivors.

Bonus features on Zombie Killers: Elephant’s Graveyard Blu-ray™ and DVD include the behind-the-scenes featurettes “Bloodbath and Beyond,” “The Look of Zombie Killers: Elephant’s Graveyard,” and “Zombie Killers: Elephant’s Graveyard Behind the Scenes.”


ANCHOR BAY ENTERTAINMENT DARES YOU TO ENTER THE... FEAR CLINIC (2014) on 2/10


FEAR CLINIC (2014) 

Step Into The Fear Chamber Starting February 10, 2015 on Blu-ray™ and DVD


Label: Anchor Bay Entertainment 
Release Date: February 10, 2015
Duration: 95 Minutes
Rating: R
Video: Widescreen 2.40:1 1080p
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 with Optional English SDH, Spanish Subtitles
Director: Robert G. Hall
Cast: Robert Englund, Fiona Dourif, Corey Taylor, Angelina Armani, Thomas Dekker

After terrifying audiences from coast to coast – Closing Night Event at ScreamFest 2014 Los Angeles and Opening Night Screening at 2014 New York City Horror Film Festival – Fear Clinic, the latest excursion into unrelenting terror will be released on Blu-ray™ and DVD on February 10, 2015 by Anchor Bay Entertainment. The highly anticipated shocker stars horror icon Robert “Freddy Krueger” Englund, Fiona Dourif, Angelina Armani, Thomas Dekker, as well as Stone Sour and Slipknot lead vocalist Corey Taylor in his acting debut, and is directed by Robert G. Hall (Lightning Bug, Laid to Rest, ChromeSkull: Laid To Rest II).

With blood-chilling special effects by award-winning FX creators Robert Kurtzman and Steve Johnson, Fear Clinic will take viewers on an unforgettable journey into the very soul of terror itself.

Co-written by Hall and Aaron Drane, the film is based on the critically acclaimed and fan favorite 2009 FEARnet.com series. When trauma-induced phobias begin to re-emerge in five survivors a year after their horrifying tragedy, they return to the “Fear Clinic,” hoping to find the answers they need to get cured.

Dr. Andover (Robert Englund), a fear doctor who runs the clinic, uses his “Fear Chamber” to animate their fears in the form of terrifying hallucinations. However, the good doctor soon begins to suspect that something more sinister may be at work, something that yearns to be more than just an hallucination...

Bonus features on Fear Clinic Blu-ray™ and DVD to be announced.

Sci-Fi Thriller 'ALIEN RISING' starring Lance Henriksen on DVD 1/20



SCI-FI THRILLER
ALIEN RISING STARRING LANCE HENRIKSEN AND JOHN SAVAGE

Breaking Glass Pictures and Pathfinder Films are partnering for the release of Dana Schroeder's sci-fi thriller Alien Rising starring Lance Henriksen (The Terminator, Aliens), Brian Krause (Charmed, Another World) and John Savage (The Deer Hunter, Hair). Alien Rising is the story of a savvy ex-homeland security agent and martial arts expert is forced to a remote island to help the military unlock the secrets of an extraterrestrial technology. Alien Rising will be released DVD January 20, 2015.

Lisa Morgan (Hathaway) is an ex-homeland security agent and highly competent martial artist who gets drawn into the nefarious plans of the egomaniacal Colonel Cencula (Henriksen). He runs a top-secret research facility, buried in an extinct volcano on an uncharted tropical island. Cencula plans to use alien technology to build an army of drone soldiers. Morgan becomes an unwitting accomplice to the rogue Colonel's plans until she discovers the true nature of the research. She must stop him from succeeding at all cost.


Alien Rising - Official Trailer


'NEKROMANTIK 2' (1991) coming to BD/DVD from CULT EPICS 2/10


NEKROMANTIK 2 (1991) 

Label: Cult Epics
Release Date: February 10th 2015
Duration: 104 Minutes
Video: Color Full Screen 1.33:1
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo/Dolby Digital 5.1 German with English subtitles
Region Code: A/1
Rating: Not Rated
Director: Jorg Buttgereit
Cast: Monika M., Mark Reeder, Daktari Lorenz

Synopsis: From director Jorg Buttgereit comes Nekromantik 2, the gore horror sequel to his 1987 classic Nekromantik. Monika (Monika M.) is a beautiful necrophiliac who lives alone in Berlin. By day she works as a nurse. By night she prowls through cemeteries while searching for fresh corpses. When she reads about the suicide of Rob (Nekromantik's Daktari Lorenz) she finds his grave to dig up his body and brings it home. Mark (Mark Reeder) lives across town and makes his living dubbing "sex films". After meeting Monika, romance blossoms and they fall in love. But all is not well in Monika's world. Her relationship with Mark begins to falter and she has to make a final choice between loving the living or the dead.

Officially banned in Germany for years upon release, Cult Epics is proud to present Nekromantik 2, Uncut and Uncensored in a new High Definition transfer.

Limited Edition of 5000 copies that includes Nekromantik Collectible Artwork by Johnny Ryan & Nekrophilia photo of Beatrice M.

Special Features:
- New Director's Approved HD transfer (taken from the original 16mm negative)
- New Introduction by Jorg Buttgereit (2014)
- Audio Commentary by Jorg Buttgerei, co-author Franz Rodenkirchen, and actors Monika M. and Mark Reeder
- The Making of Nekromantik 2
- Still Photo Gallery
- JB Trailers
- Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
- Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2011) Live
- 20th Anniversary Live Concert performed by Monika M. and Friends - Video (2011)
- A Moment of Silence At the Grave of Ed Gein, Short film by Jorg Buttgereit (2012)
- Half Girl - Lemmy, I'm A Feminist, Music video by Jorg Buttgereit (2014)
- LIMITED EDITION 2000 (DVD) copies
- Includes Nekromantik 2 Collectible Artwork by Johnny Ryan
-  Nekrophilia photo of Monika M.





CHRISTMAS EVIL (1980)

CHRISTMAS EVIL (1980) 
Label: Vinegar Syndrome
Region Code: Region-FREE
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 94 Minutes
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio Mono 
Video:  1080p Widescreen (1.78:1) 
Director: Lewis Jackson
Cast: Brandon Maggart, Jeffrey DeMunn, Dianne Hull, Andy Fenwick, Brian Neville, Joe Jamrog

When Harry (Brandon Maggart) was just a young boy he experiences a rather traumatic event on Christmas Eve. While trying to sneak a peek of jolly old St. Nick leaving gifts under the Christmas tree what he ended up with was an eyeful of the bearded fat man doing a bit more than just kissing his mommy. Poor Harry didn't realize that the man in the Santa suit was his kinky father having a fun with mom, confused and frightened by what he saw Harry runs off to his room before cutting himself with a shard of glass from a broken snow globe. 

Now thirty years later Harry works at the Jolly Dream toy factory but still carries the mental scars of that awful night.  In the years since Harry has styled himself into a neighborhood Santa Clause of sorts, his home is plastered with Christmas decorations and he sleeps in Santa pajamas. Harry regularly goes onto the rooftop of his apartment with a pair of binoculars to spy on the neighborhood kids. Peeping through their windows he documents who's naughty and nice in a  set of ledgers labeled "naughty" and "nice". A kid looking at Penthouse magazine in his room ends up in the naughty book while another young girl observed taking out the trash is noted as good. 


Weird though he may be Harry seems like a well meaning guy and enjoys his job at the factory making toys for the boys and girls of the world.  Sure, he's odd but he seems mostly harmless at first. Harry's older brother Phil (Jeffrey DeMunn, THE BLOB) notices Harry is becoming more obsessive and weirder as Christmas approaches, he tries to reel him back into reality but it's a losing battle and only Harry descends further into madness as Christmas approaches. 

He finally snaps on Christmas Eve, now fully delusional and dressed in a Santa suit Harry sets about rewarding the good boys and girls in the neighborhood and punishing a few of the naughty adults who corrupt the true spirit of Christmas. In the process he leaves behind a small body count and a mob of towns folk armed with torched and pitchforks chase him through the streets before we come to a very surreal finale, one that the film is rightfully most remembered for. 


I think this film is often confused for the more bloody and cynical Santa slasher SILENT NIGHT DEADLY NIGHT. Both movies deal with a young men traumatized as kids who grow up into a delusional and homicidal Santa, this one is more of a character study along the lines of TAXI DRIVER or HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER. As the film moves along we witness Harry's  break from reality and the tragic aftermath. Maggart is pretty great and does a fine job portraying the descent into madness all the while keeping Harry a sympathetic character. There's something about his eyes that conveys so much, he really does carry the film on his shoulders, there's just so much that could have gone wrong here but he holds it together. 

While there are a handful of deaths none are overly graphic or gory and this might not satisfy the gore hounds but if you enjoy a demented slow-burn with a very strange finale there's some fun to be had here. There are a few times where the film does drag a bit but I find myself returning to this one every Christmas season and it's great to see it get a new restoration with loads of extras from Vinegar Syndrome. 


BLU-RAY:
Vinegar Syndrome have gone back to archival 35mm elements for this new transfer and the source material looks very nice with just a few blemishes and minor white speckling along the way. The new 4K restoration is mighty fine with accurate skin tones, decent black levels and vibrant colors. The cinematography is a bit on the hazy side so the image is not the sharpest but  the grain is managed quite nicely and the detail is far superior to previous releases and improves the image in all the expected areas. The print used bears the original title of YOU BETTER WATCH OUT, which is probably a more appropriate title but doesn't carry with the same exploitative cache. 

The English language DTS-HD Master Audio Mono does a fine job exporting the audio chores with a clean and nicely balanced presentation. 


Onto he extras we have three audio commentaries featuring director Lewis Jackson who is joined separately by actor Brandon Maggart and cult film director John Waters. The commentary with John waters is quite amusing, some might say that his interest in this cult-film resurrected it from obscurity. The king of bad taste is a true champion of the film and at a few points seems to stop commenting just to sit back and enjoy the film. 

Sourced from the previous releases are interview with director Lewis Jackson and star Brandon Maggart coming in just under fourteen minutes in length, the interviews cover the spotty distribution of the film and the cult status. The Tromatic interview with Maggart is conducted at what appears to be his  kitchen table and he is joined by Troma's Sgt. Kabukiman which is just weird. 


Also on the disc are nearly a half hour of screen tests, deleted scenes, original theatrical trailer, storyboard comparisons and my favorite, a collection of hilarious comment cards from early screenings of the film


SPECIAL FEATURES:
- BD/DVD Combo Pack
- Restored in 4k from 35mm archival elements
- Commentary track with Lewis Jackson
- Commentary track with Lewis Jackson and Brandon Maggart
- Commentary track with Lewis Jackson and John Waters
- Archival Video Interviews with Lewis Jackson (7 mins) 

- Archival Video Interviews with Brandon Maggart (7 mins)
- Original Theatrical Trailer (2 mins)
- Deleted Scenes (7 mins) 

- Screen Tests (26 mins)
- Storyboards (4 mins) 

- Comment Cards Gallery (3 mins) 

VERDICT:
CHRISTMAS EVIL may not the blood and guts fueled Santa slasher I think most might expect - and the artwork suggests - but it's definitely one of the most demented Christmas stories out there and it just happens to be a damn good film. Vinegar Syndrome are a very naughty label but I am pretty sure they're on Harry's good list this year with the definitive release of CHRISTMAS EVIL. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

In The House Of Flies, a new thriller coming January 20th, features Henry Rollins as the voice of the killer

"...Succeeds in delivering an atmosphere of sustained tension."
- Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter

In the House of Flies tells the story of young lovers whose lives are inadvertently changed forever. An innocent couple suddenly find themselves abducted. By whom? For what purpose? Alone, isolated and locked in an undisclosed suburban basement, Heather and Steve find themselves pawns in a mad man's mind game. Starring Henry Rollins as the voice of the killer.

In the House of Flies was an official selection of the British Horror Film Festival and spent 3 weeks on the iTunes Top 50 when it was first released via digital formats. It also received tremendous praise from the press.

"Flicks this intense are few and far between these days."
Dread Central
"I cannot praise this film enough."
Ain't It Cool News




Bonus Materials:
- 45 minute Behind The Scenes Documentary
- Spanish Premiere Archival Footage
- Deleted Scenes
- Trailers
- Director & Writers Commentary

MUCK arrives from Anchor Bay Entertainment 3/17 on DVD/BD

 
ANCHOR BAY ENTERTAINMENT
       WADES INTO THE...
MUCK


The Race for Survival Begins March 17, 2015 on Blu-ray™ and DVD;
Limited Theatrical Engagement starts Friday, March 13th!


This St. Patrick’s Day, Anchor Bay Entertainment invites fans for a little bit’o the green and a LOT of the red with MUCK, a chiller seething with the greatest fear of all: that nowhere is safe! The directorial debut of Steve Wolsh, who also wrote and produced, MUCK reads like a bloody love letter filled with just the sort of jolts horror fans have been waiting to hear – and see! 

Shot in state-of-the-art 4K Ultra HD resolution, MUCK is packed with old-school effects, shocks – and yes, breasts – that stick with you, creating terror with effects and stunts without the use of CGI. MUCK arrives Tuesday, March 17th – uncut, uncensored, and unrated – available on  Blu-ray™ for $26.99 and $22.98 for the DVD. Pre-book on February 11th.

For fans who like their 4K horror on the big screen, MUCK will also have a limited theatrical engagement starting Friday, March 13th.

After narrowly escaping an ancient burial ground, long forgotten and buried underneath the marshes of Cape Cod, a group of friends emerge from the thick, marshy darkness, tattered and bloody, lucky to be alive. They have already lost two of their friends in the marsh, presumably dead. They stumble upon an empty Cape Cod vacation house alongside the foggy marsh and break in to take shelter. Whatever was in the marsh is still after them and soon after one of them goes for help, the rest of the group learns that the evil in the marsh is not the only thing that wants them dead. Something worse, something more savage, was lying in wait just outside the marsh, in the house. What happens next is unspeakable horror that cannot be unseen. These unlucky travelers spend their St. Patrick's Day trapped between two evils forcing them to fight, die, or go back the way they came.

Featuring Kane Hodder (Hatchet, Jason Voorhees in four of the Friday the 13th films), Lachlan Buchanan (“Pretty Little Liars”), Puja Mohindra (Foreign), Bryce Draper (Bound) and YouTube Sensation Lauren Francesca (iwantmylauren), MUCK is throwback horror at its best.




SCREAM FACTORY™ PRESENTS 'THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA' ON BLU-RAY FEBRUARY 17, 2015


SCREAM FACTORY™ PRESENTS
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
ON BLU-RAY FEBRUARY 17, 2015

Get ready, Freddy. Scream Factory is going to the opera! A Blu-ray release of The Phantom of the Opera,including several bonus features, has been announced for release on February 17, 2015.

Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm StreetGalaxy of Terror, Freddy vs. Jason) assumes the classic role of The Phantom in this shocking, nerve-jangling retelling of Gaston Leroux's timeless tale of music, madness and murder.

An aspiring opera singer finds herself transported back to Victorian-era London – and into the arms of a reclusive, disfigured maestro determined to make her a star. The silver-throated Christine (Jill Schoelen, The Stepfather) enjoys success through the arrangements of her new lover (Englund)... until she realizes that he has been committing unspeakably grisly murders in her honor and won't stop until he's completed his masterpiece... in blood!

Also starring Bill Nighy (I  Frankenstein, Shaun of the Dead, Underworld), Alex Hyde-White (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade), Terence Harvey (From Hell) and Molly Shannon (SNL, Superstar), directed by Dwight H. Little (Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, Marked for Death, Rapid Fire) and featuring make-up effects by Kevin Yagher (A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, Face/Off), this “darker spin on…The Phantom of the Opera is the one to watch” (HorrorCultFilms.co.uk)!

Shout! Factory, LLC is a diversified multi-platform media company devoted to producing, uncovering, preserving and revitalizing the very best of pop culture. Founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos have spent their entire careers sharing their music, television and film favorites with discerning consumers the world over. Shout! Factory’s DVD and Blu-Ray™ offerings serve up feature films, classic and contemporary TV series, animation, live music and comedy specials in lavish packages crammed with extras.  Shout’s audio division boasts GRAMMY®-nominated box sets, Broadway cast albums, new releases from storied artists, lovingly assembled album reissues and indispensable “best of” compilations.  In addition, Shout! Factory maintains a vast digital distribution network which delivers video and audio content to all the leading digital service providers in North America.  Shout! Factory also owns and operates Timeless Media Group, Biograph Records, Majordomo Records, HighTone Records and Video Time Machine. These riches are the result of a creative acquisition mandate that has established the company as a hotbed of cultural preservation and commercial reinvention.  Shout! Factory is based in Santa Monica, California. For more on Shout! Factory, visit shoutfactory.com

Special Features:
- Audio Commentary with Director Dwight H. Little and actor Robert Englund
- Behind The Mask: The Making of “The Phantom Of The Opera,” featuring new interviews with Director Dwight H. Little, Actors Robert EnglundJill Schoelen, and Alex Hyde-White, Screenwriter Duke Sandefur, Special Make-Up Designer Kevin Yagher, Special Make-Up Effects Artists John Carl BuechlerEverett Burrell and John Vulich, and Composer Misha Segal
- Theatrical Trailer

Sunday, December 14, 2014

GRADUATION DAY (1981)

GRADUATION DAY (1981) 

Label: Vinegar Syndrome
Region Code: Region-FREE
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 96 Minutes
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio Mono 
Video: 1080p Widescreen (1.85:1) 
Director: Herb Freed
Cast: Christopher George, Ruth Ann Llorens, Michael Pataki, Vanna White, Patch McKenzie, Linnea Quigley 


Ann Ramstead (Patch McKenzie) is a young woman in the armed forced who returns to the small California town where she was raised to bury her younger sister Laura (Ruth Ann Llorens), who promptly dropped dead after winning a high school track meet. George Michaels (Christopher George) is the over-driven track and field coach an he draws some criticism for pushing Laura, and the other student athletes, a bit too hard to win. With senior graduation fast approaching the student and staff try to carry on but when someone donning a fencing sword and mask arrives on the scene and starts bumping off the track team the week leading up to graduation is marked with the bodies of dead teens.  

The film doesn't stray far from the tried and true slasher formula of the era, we have a group of teens and a demented masked killer murdering them for reasons unknown, with no shortage of suspects to choose from. Could it be the hard-driving coach, Principal Guglioni (Michael Pataki), the creepy truancy officer or maybe even the older sibling of the fallen track star... or maybe someone far more obvious!

The high school setting is pretty great and feels plenty authentic with rowdy track meets, a rollicking roller skate party, plus horny teens and a rocking soundtrack with plenty of hard driving eighties cheesiness from the band Felony, you just gotta love that twin-neck guitar! 

Sure, the story is a bit hackneyed but we do have a great cast, which includes the venerable Christopher George (CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD) as the track coach and he chews up the scenery quite nicely. Patch McKenzie as the older sibling is quite capable too but disappears for a large stretch before returning for the final moments for a damn decent final stretch. Her scenes at home with her grieving mom and asshole stepfather are fun to watch, the dad is a complete and total jackass - the whole thing reminded me of the Strode family dynamic from HALLOWEEN: THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS. 

Being a slasher film the kills are pretty important, and they are fun but the execution is not the greatest, though I do give the crew high marks for creativity, a few of the deaths involve a fencing sword and my favorite would be the football tipped with the fencing sword and thrown for a touch down in the death zone, that was awesome, but just know going in that the deaths are a bit tame. 

B-movie queen Linnea Quigley (THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD) shows up in a small role as a teen who lusts for a goofy lounge-lizard music teacher, her inclusion provides some fun nudity during a pretty great stalk and slash scenario. She's not the only one, there's also some fun nudity in the locker room. The film definitely musters up a a few tense moments and some decent atmosphere which make this cheesy slasher quite a bit of fun. 

The identity of the killer is not the best kept secret despite the plethora of red herrings thrown upon us, it's pretty much given away during the opening scene, but that didn't stop me from enjoying it. Generic though it may be it won me over with the creative kills and general eighties goofiness. One thing that went a long way towards saving it for me was the unique style of editor Martin Sadoff who punched up a few of the sequences with some disorienting editing tricks. 
  
BLU-RAY
GRADUATION DAY (1981) has been afforded a new 4K restoration from 35mm elements from the cult-cinema archivist at Vinegar Syndrome and the end result is quite satisfying. Presented in the correct aspect ratio - for the first time - we can now enjoy this 80s slasher the way it was meant to be seen. The grain structure is nicely managed with accurate skin tones and vibrant color reproduction with a pleasing amount of depth clarity. There's some white speckling throughout but overall the 35mm answer print used for the restoration is in fantastic shape. 

The DTS-HD MA Mono does a decent job exporting the dialogue, score and effects of the film with some minimal hiss and pop, you will no doubt be rocking out to the sweet eighties sounds of rockers Felony all night long. No subtitles are provided.

Onto the extras we have the option of two commentaries, one with Producer David Baughn and a second with The Hysteria Continues Podcast crew who know a thing or two about slasher films. At this point I have only listened to the Hysteria Continues track and can conform that is both fun and informative and I highly recommend fans of slashers subscribe to their podcast. 


There are also thirty-minutes of interviews with director Herb Freed, actress Patch McKenzie, producer David Baughn and editor Martin Sardoff, plus the original theatrical trailer. 

SPECIAL FEATURES:
- BD/DVD Combo Pack
- 4K Restoration from the Editor’s 35mm Answer Print 
- Video interview with Director Herb Freed (12 Minutes) HD
- Video interview with Star Patch Mackenzie (9 Minutes) HD
- Video interview with Producer David Baughn (12 Minutes) HD
- Video interview with Editor Martin Sadoff (7 Minutes) HD
- Commentary track with Producer David Baughn moderated by Elijah Drenner (12 Minutes) HD

- Commentary track with The Hysteria Continues
- Original Theatrical Trailer (2 Minutes) 


VERDICT:

While there are quite a few better crafted slashers with gorier kills but this one is just so eighties and goofy I cannot help but love it, plus we have Christopher George classing it up. A fun high school slasher and recommend for fans of slasher whodunits. Vinegar Syndrome have done a great job cleaning this up and presenting it with some entertaining extras with superior audio and video - this is the definitive edition of this one. Great to see Vinegar Syndrome branching out from the vintage porn and restoring a few cult horror films. The Christmas cult-classic CHRISTMAS EVIL is available now and the b-movie masterpiece DON'T GO N THE WOOD in 2015. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

THE BELIEVERS (1987)

THE BELIEVERS (1987) 
Label: Twilight Time
Region Code: ALL
Rating: R
Duration: 114 Minutes
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0 with Optional English Subtitles
Video: 1080p Widescreen (1.85:1)
Director: John Schlesinger 
Cast: Robert Loggia, Martin Sheen, Helen Shaver, Harley Cross, Jimmy Smits, Elizabeth Wilson
SYNOPSIS: 
Director John Schlesinger (Midnight Cowboy, Marathon Man) ventures elegantly into supernatural territory with The Believers (1987), the tale of Cal Jamison (Martin Sheen), a recently widowed police psychologist forced to deal with a series of ritualistic child murders apparently perpetrated by a malevolent rogue branch of a Caribbean cult religion. As the cult’s connections to corporate oligarchs begin to emerge, the lives of Cal and those around him—particularly his vulnerable young son (Harley Cross)—are put at terrible risk. Also starring Helen Shaver, Robert Loggia, and Jimmy Smits, and atmospherically shot by the great Robby Müller, cinematographer/partner of Wim Wenders, Lars von Trier, and Jim Jarmusch.

THE FILM: 
I remember watching THE BELIEVERS on late night cable TV as a teen and enjoying it
quite a bit. More than anything it made me wary of my mom's coffee maker and the possibility that it might someday kill me because at the top of the film a woman named Lisa Jamison (Janet-Laine Green) is fatally electrocuted by a faulty coffee maker right in front of her husband Cal (Martin Sheen) and her young son Chris (Harley Chris). Watching it now I was less traumatized by the scene of electric death and more jadedly amused at how overwrought the sequence seemed. Not as jolting as I remember but it does move the story along, the now grieving widow moving from Minnesota to New York City to start a new life. Cal is now working as a therapist for the NYPD treating cops traumatized in the line of duty. Enter an attractive and recently divorced landlady Jessica Halliday (Helen Shaver) who takes a liking to Cal and a romance blossoms much to the chagrin of his son who still grieves for his dead mother. 

A series of ritualistic child murders plague the city, at the first crime scene we meet undercover officer Tom Lopez (Jimmy Smits) on the verge of a nervous breakdown,
screaming about a Santeria cult and their strange powers. At about the same time Cal and his son are enjoying a day at Central Park when Chris stumble upon a brutal animal sacrifice, nearby he finds decorative shell which he keeps to himself and soon strange things begin to happen around the Jamison home. 

What unfolds afterward hints at the elite and powerful aristocrats of the city may be sacrificing their own children to ensure their place in high society, much like ROSEMARY'S BABY we see that the corrupting influence of the occult permeates all facets of society, no one is safe and no one is above suspicion, which makes for an effective and creepy paranoid thriller. 

Martin Sheen as the cop psychiatrist is easy to get behind, a strong father dealing with grief while starting a new relationship. Harley Chris as the son manages to not be too annoying as kid actors are prone to be and Helen Shaver as the new love interest does a fine job.

Then we have Jimmy Smits as the undercover cop fallen prey to the cult, he's unhinged the moment he arrives onscreen and only unravels further as the film moves on. Then we have the intimidating Robert Loggia as Lieutenant Sean McTaggert, whom is feeling increasing pressure to find the culprits behind the child murders, even when Loggia is a good guy he is still a scary presence onscreen, such a menacing face. 

The occult baddies in the film are embodied by wealthy tycoon Robert Calder (Harris Yulin) and cult priest Palo (Malick Bowens), a creepy figure who uses the occult to enthrall, corrupt and curse throughout the film - a few of his scenes gave me the shivers.

After the overwrought beginning the film settles into a slow methodical build-up of occult tension and paranoia before diving off the deep-end with the revelation of just how far the influence of the cult extends and the result is a tiny bit over-the-top, not ruining it for me but it definitely detracting from it. 

Directed by John Schlesinger with a screenplay by future TWIN PEAKS co-creator Mark Frost the attractive cinematography from Robby Müller - there's a solid creative team behind the camera. While I enjoyed the heart of the story of a father pulled into the occult activities of the elite and powerful the bookend whammy of that overwrought electrocution and nutty ending do bring it down a few points. Nonetheless, I do give THE BELIEVERS a recommend, it's a tense and paranoia infused occult thriller with a great cast, definitely a film deserving of some attention. 

BLU-RAY:
The Blu-ray from Twilight Time presents the film in the original widescreen aspect ratio with a nice layer of natural film grain with some moments of fine detail and clarity. Color reproduction looks great and skin tones are mostly natural looking. Black levels are decent and the source material is near flawless with the exception of some minor white speckling throughout. The crisp master provided by 20th Century Fox should please fans through and through. 

The English DTS-HD MA 2.0 manages audio duties nicely with well balanced dialogue, effects and J. Peter Robinson's score, it's a good stereo mix with no one element overpowering the other. Optional English SDH Subtitles are provided. 

The disc includes and the original theatrical trailer, MGM 90th Anniversary trailer and the usual isolated music score highlighting the music of J.Peter Robinson. 

VERDICT:
Maybe not quite the supreme occult thriller I remembered from my youth but still a creepy occult cinema entry with some strong performances and troubling imagery. The new HD upgrade looks and sounds fantastic and fans of the film should enjoy it. This release is limited edition release of just 3000 units and is available exclusively from www.screenarchives.com