Thursday, July 28, 2016

THE BOY WHO CRIED WEREWOLF (1973) (Blu-ray Review)

THE BOY WHO CRIED WEREWOLF (1973) 
Label: Shout! Factory
Region Code: A

Duration: 93 Minutes
Audio: English DTS-HD MA Mono with Optional English Subtitles
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (1.85:1)
Director: Nathan H. Juran
Cast: Kerwin Mathews, Elaine Devry, Scott Sealey, Robert J. Wilke, Bob Homel, Susan Foster, Jack Lucas, George Gaynes, Loretta Temple, David S. Cass, Sr.



Synopsis: Richie Bridgestone’s parents are getting a divorce, but that’s the least of his problems at the moment. Richie is hoping his parents will reconsider and on a visit to his father ’s secluded cabin, he witnesses his dad being attacked by a werewolf. Much like the tale of the boy who cried wolf, no one in the town will believe Richie’s claims that his father will change into a werewolf at the next full moon.

The Boy Who Cried Werewolf marks the final pairing of actor Kerwin Matthews and cult director Nathan Juran (Attack of the 50 Foot Woman), the movie concerns a young boy named Richie (Scott Sealy) who's parents are going through a divorce. His father Robert (Kerwin Mathews) and mother Sandy (Elaine Devry) love the boy, but his mother is a career driven woman of the 70s and things just are not working out for the couple, though the love between them is clearly evident throughout the movie. Dad takes Ritchie up to a cabin in the mountains for a weekend for some father/son bonding. While walking through the woods Richie is attacked by a werewolf, his father defends the boy, beating the werewolf off with a cane, being bitten on the arm in the process. The beast falls down a hill and is impaled on a wooden sign post, dying. 


The boy tells the police that it was a werewolf who attacked them, an accusation which his father denies and of which there is no evidence as the werewolf has resumed human form upon dying, but the boy is insistent. While the grown-up refuse to believe his fantastical story Richie must contend with the fact that his loving father has been bitten by a werewolf and is transforming into a hairy beast each full moon.

The werewolf deign in this one is cool, definitely more of a 1950s man in a mask stuff along the lines of Lon Chaney Jr.but with a nice twist, this werewolf has an elongated  snout which was something new at the times, pre-dating Joe Dante's The Howling by nearly a decade. The transition is still staged through old school time lapsed photography just like the old Universal werewolf movies, and the overall effect is slightly dated and sort of comedic, the werewolf has oddly streaked hair and the transformation process recalls the dog-to-human transformation in Disney's The Shaggy Dog (1959) which made me laugh, but I did like the creature design and that the movie opens up and within seconds you see the werewolf full on howling at the moon, very few movies reveal themselves so quickly, and I liked it. 



The movie does have a certain TV movie sort of charm about it, as it is not not too stylishly shot, the camera set-ups are pretty basic,and while the score from Ted Stovall (his only credited score) is at times dramatic and careens wildly like a old Universal horror theme it is also a bit cheesy and anemic at times, very uneven, but the good stuff id really good.



I brought up Disney's The Shaggy Dog before and the movie is a PG horror film that is largely devoid of blood and gore, the violence is mostly implied, but also a bit dark for a kiddie movie. The werewolf has the tendency to rip the heads from his victims bodies, which in one memorable scene he inexplicably buries with a shovel in the basement of the cabin for unknown reasons, which is just once of the strange things about this weird movie. Another wacky element is the arrival of a band of hippie Jesus freaks who figure into the story who bare witness to the hairy beast and do attempt to drive the evil from Richie's dad. 

The cast is decent, the actors playing mom and dad are good, you buy into their rocky relationship, you know they love their son, you can feel that they want to be a family again, and I think that dramatic element is yet another reason this one reminded me of a family friendly Disney movie like The Shaggy Dog. 


The Boy That Cried Werewolf is a fun relic from the 70s that fans of kiddie horror should look into, it may not be a top-notch werewolf movie but it is a strange and charming kid friendly horror entry from the 70s that is now available in HD for the very first time on any digital format from Scream Factory. 

The Boy Who Cried Werewolf arrives on Blu-ray from Scream Factory marking the first time it has ever appeared on any digital home video format, which is always exciting. The 1080p image looks fantastic, framed at 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio and sourced from what looks to be a theatrical print judging by the cigarette burns I viewed throughout marking the reel changes. While this may not be an ideal source compared to an original negative or interpositive the results here are simply wonderful. Colors are vibrant and there is a nice layer of fine film grain that is nicely managed. Black levels are mostly good with only a few minor exceptions, there is very little print damage to note, a few small scratches, the aforementioned cigarette burns and some white speckling do pop up but overall this is outstanding. 



The DTS-HD MA Mono audio does the job nicely if unremarkably, with dialogue and effects nicely balanced in the mix. The uneven but fun music score from composer Ted Stovall also sounds good. Optional English subtitles are included. 

The only extras on the disc are a theatrical trailer for the movie which is a double-bill trailer for the serpentine horror film Sssssss (1973) plus a gallery of promotional, photographs and stills from the movie. An audio commentary from a horror historian would have been cool, but with a movie like The Boy Who Cried Werewolf I am just happy to have in on Blu-ray with a nice A/V presentation. 

Special Features: 
- Original Theatrical Trailer (2 Mins) 
- Still Gallery (4 Mins) HD 

Scream Factory rescue yet another slice of 70s horror from obscurity with a very fine release of The Boy Who Cried Werewolf on Blu-ray, marking the first time this one has seen a release on a digital home video format. The movie is a bit on the hokey side of werewolf cinema but it does have a certain 70s charm and I have a fondness for movies from my birth year, very pleased to add this to the collection.


 

BITE ( 2015) (Blu-ray Review)

BITE ( 2015) 
Label: Scream Factory 
Release Date: August 2nd 2015 
Region Code: A
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 89 Minutes
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1, DTS-HD MA 2.0 with Optional English Subtitles
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (2.35:1) 
Director: Chad Archibald
Cast: Denise Yuen, Elma Begovic, Jordan Gray, Lawrene Denkers, Annette Wozniak


Synopsis: While on her bacherlorette party getaway, bride-to be Casey (Elma Begovic) gets a seemingly harmless bite from an unknown insect. After returning home with cold feet, Casey tries to call off her wedding… but before she's able to, she starts exhibiting insect-like traits. Brought to the breaking point by both her ongoing physical transformation and her wedding anxiety, Casey succumbs to her horrifying new instincts. As her metamorphosis becomes complete, the bugged bride and all who cross her path discover that everything can change with a single bite. Directed by Chad Archibald, Bite is an altogether new breed of terror. A disturbing and intense film that has caused an international sensation at top genre film festivals, this is one movie that horror fans can really sink their teeth into.

This slice of body-horror opens in Costa Rica where young bride-to be Casey (Elma Begovic) and her gal pals Kristen (Denise Yuen) and Jill (Annette Wozniak) are on a bacherlorette getaway, they're partying and having a good time> When a local tells them of a nearby hot springs they take a detour and Casey takes a dip only to be bitten by some unseen creature beneath the surface of the tranquil waters. The wound is small but proves to be transformative in the worst sort of way for the young woman who quickly begins to change into a bug-queen.


This is a fun slice of Cronenbergian body horror, one swollen with gooey special effects and some awkward sex, which is an element that brought to mind the recent body horror entry Contracted (2013), which this shares a vibe with. When Casey comes back to her life in the U.S. we get the distinct vibe that she has cold feet about the impending wedding with her fiance Jared (Jordan Gray). A lot of her doubt seems to be centered around the fact that she does not want to have children, and Jared makes it crystal clear that he does want kids when he brings home an antique baby chair - which is none to subtle. Also adding strain to the relationship is that Jared's cold shrew of a mom (Lawrene Denkers) makes no attempt to mask her hatred of Casey, the old crow is dripping with acidic-venom, both figuratively and literally in this particular movie. 


Casey's transformation begins with a horrible skin condition that increasingly worsens, there's also some augmented hearing which begins to drive her a bit buggy. As the transformation progresses she becomes a little more  twitchy in her movements, craning her neck like an insect, her movements a little bit jerky. That nasty bite on her leg begins to get infected and swell with puss, during a brief sexual encounter with Jared it erupts in a geyser of creamy fluid, really gross stuff that should please fans of those pimple-popper videos that are so popular on YouTube, this movie is definitely not for squeamish.

Director Chad Archibald also directed nightmare-man movie The Drownsman (2014) and the alien-abduction movie Ejecta (2014) neither of which I loved, in fact when I reviewed Ejecta I wrote "
save your hard-earned cash for something with a bit more bite"... well here you go! Bite is a tightly knit and well-crafted slice of body horror with top-notch special effects and a near perfect execution with an effective horror score from composer Steph Copeland (Ejects, Antisocial) - there's nothing I did not love about this movie. 

Bite arrives on Blu-ray from Scream Factory looking solid, framed in scope 2.35 widescreen the colors are vivid and the image has some nice depth and clarity about it. The English DTS-HD MA 5.1 is crisp, immersive and well balanced. Extras on the disc included a audio commentary with Writer/Director/Producer Chad Archibald plus, five mini making-of docs, a theatrical trailer and a sleeve of reversible artwork and a slipcover. 

Special Features

- Audio Commentary From Writer/Director/Producer Chad Archibald
- Behind-The-Scenes Documentary: Make-Up (6 Mins) HD 
Behind-The-Scenes Documentary: On Set (6 Mins) HD 
- Behind-The-Scenes Documentary: Fantasia Film Festival (6 Mins) HD 
- Behind-The-Scenes Documentary: Chad's Wedding (5 Min) HD 
- Behind-The-Scenes Documentary: Dominican (6 Mins) HD 
- Theatrical Trailer (1 Min) HD 
- Reversible Sleeve f Artwork 

Bite (2015) is an engaging horror story with some awesome and unnerving transformative practical special effects work . Actress Elma Begovic does good work as the party girl turned bug queen, her character has way more depth than I would have anticipated, which serves pulls you further into her gooey and transformative story, one loaded with enough gooey visual special effects to please even the hardened horror fans. Bite comes highly recommended, one of my favorite watches of the year so far. 

Friday, July 22, 2016

Pioneer Motion Pictures Debuts New Teaser for Pitchfork Emmy Nominee Glenn Douglas Packard Makes Directorial Debut With New Slasher Film

Pioneer Motion Pictures has unleashed a new teaser and poster for the new slasher film Pitchfork.  The first film from Emmy-nominated choreographer Glenn Douglas Packard, Pitchfork kicks off a new franchise of horror, sending a broken and misshapen beast on a rampage fueled by secrets and betrayal. 

Co-written by Packard and executive producer Darryl F. Gariglio, Pitchforkpresents a new monster for the ages, joining the pantheon that has terrified audiences for decades as mutilated bodies pile up in their wake.  Daniel Wilkinson stars as the titular Pitchfork, joined by Brian Raetz, Lindsey Nicole, Ryan Moore, Celina Beach, Keith Webb, Sheila Leason, Nicole Dambro and Vibhu Raghave.


Having recently shared a life-changing secret with his family, Hunter recruits his friends to come with him from New York to the farm where he grew up as he faces his parents for the first time.  As the college students enjoy the fresh air of Michigan farm country, an older, more dangerous secret slowly emerges.  While Hunter navigates a new place within his conservative family, a vicious creature from their past descends on the farm, putting the unsuspecting city kids in mortal danger.  

Pitchfork (Official Teaser)
Pitchfork (Official Teaser)

Pitchfork will world premiere in 2016.

CAT IN THE BRAIN (1990) THREE-DISC LIMITED EDITION BD/CD (Blu-ray Review)

CAT IN THE BRAIN (1990) 
THREE-DISC LIMITED EDITION BD/CD 


Label: Grindhouse Releasing
Region: Region-FREE
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 
Audio: English and Italian DTS-HD MA Mono 1.0 with Optional English Subtitles
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (1.66:1) 
Director: Lucio Fulci, 
Cast: Lucio Fulci, David L. Thompson, Malisa Longo, Jeoffrey Kennedy, Brett Halsey


Synopsis: Acclaimed Italian horror maestro Lucio Fulci, director of ZOMBIE and THE BEYOND , stars in this blood-soaked epic as a director being driven insane by his own movies. Fulci is thrust into an ultra-violent nightmare of death and depravity where murder and madness consume his sanity in a vortex of violence. 

I love the opening of Lucio Fulci's psycho-gore shocker Cat In The Brain (AKA Nightmare Concert) with director Lucio Fulci playing a version of himself, an aging horror director plagued by the grisly visions of his own horror movies, which is visualized by a cat eating away at his brain while he types away on typewriter, a striking and somewhat comically disturbng image which sets the tone for this wildly uneven but fun slice of self-aware horror from the Italian master of gore. 

As stated Fulci plays a fictionalized version of himself, years of making horrific movies have taken a toll on his psyche with the walls between what is real and what is a movie breaking down for the poor guy. Fulci's unsure of what is real and what is coming from his own imagination, to that end he begins to see a psychiatrist (David L. Thompson), a weird sort of doc who tells the director that he's having a mental crisis of some sort, brought on by years of macabre imagery. Unbeknownst to Fulci the doc is up to no good, and begins murdering a series of young women around the area, all the while trying to pin it on the increasingly discombobulated Fulci, who begins to believe that he has committed the murders with no memory of having done it. 

The movie is comprised of various recycled bits from previous Lucio Fulci productions, notably the movie Touch of Death starring Brett Halsey as a murderous creep/cannibal. I remember when I first watched Cat In The Brain years ago, I only had a few of Fulci's more popular movies under my belt at the time and I sort of hated it, sure it had loads of gore and nudity, but the patchwork of scenes and newly shot connective tissue felt forced and poorly assembled. Watching it now I can appreciate the movie a bit more, I see what Fulci was going for with some commentary on movie violence and what if any ill effect these images might have on viewers, including the director himself. It possibly also acts as a commentary of Fulci's own career and how he was received by critics, but it still feels rough and slapdash to me. In my mind Cat In The Brain is lower tier in the Fulci canon but it is also a fun gore movie loaded with non-stop gore and nudity, though most of it culled from other movies... and were not talking about his more polished efforts, he's not pulling clips from The Beyond, The Psychic or Zombie, this is his late era stuff, movies that were cash-strapped and low-budget. The movie serves as a sort of late era highlight reel of his career, one that is loaded with low-budget gore and nudity, which is always fun, regardless of how I feel about the movie as whole. 

I love the post-modern approach Fulci employed with Cat In The Brain, beating Wes Craven to the ironic-horror punch by a few years, but it is choppy, cheap and uniformly poorly acted. Fulci knows his way around a camera but he's not so great in front of one, but there is something charming about this movie, the way that Fulci turned the camera round on himself, and on that level I had a lot of fun revisiting this one, which is primed with some sweet cheap gore including cannibalism, chainsaw massacres, beheadings, hammers to the skull and much much more. 

Audio/Video: The Grindhouse Releasing two-disc Blu-ray edition of Cat In The Brain presents the movie uncut with a new HD restoration framed in widescreen 1.66 and it look the best it has ever looked on home video. The movie is piece meal by design, borrowing lengthy scenes from various sources and stitched together via some new 16mm shot footage that very loosely brings it all together. As expected the varying sources make for an uneven viewing experience with varying degrees of grain and clarity, overall the end product is very watchable and benefits from a more natural grain field and some improved clarity, the source material itself looks nice with very few blemishes of any kind aside from some white speckling.

Audio options include viewer's choice of Italian or English DTS-HD MA 1.0 Mono with optional English subtitles. The track is clean and free of hiss, considering the varying sources the audio does not fluctuate too noticeably from scene to scene. The mix of Fabio Frizzi score, dialogue and horrific sound effects are nicely balanced. 

Disc one is set aside for the uncut version of the movie, the only advertised extras on the first disc are the American and Italian trailers for the film, plus there is an Easter Egg tucked away of Luci Fulci signing at a table for fans, which I presume to be from 1996 NYC Fangoria Weekend of Horrors. 

Onto disc two, which is also a Blu-ray, Grindhouse have stuffed it with a smorgasbord of Fulco goodies, including new interviews with composer Fabio Frizzi, screenwriter Antonio Tentori, cinematographer Sandro Grossi and poster artist Enzo Sciotti. Each is fascinating, I particularly loved the interviews with poster artist Enzo Sciotti who shows off some of his early sketches for his posters, plus a few of his classic finished pieces, the interview ends with him painting the skull from the Evil Dead 2 poster he did All the new interviews are in Italian with the exception of composer Fabio Frizzi who speaks at length about his work scoring film for Lucio Fulci. Fans of Frizzi will enjoy the eight-minute Frizzi footage of the composer performing the main theme for Cat In The Brain.  

Fulci is well represented during two interviews, one a radio interview from 1987 and the other is a video interviews tat has been split into two forty-minute segments, once covering his work for television and the other about his work in the horror and thriller genres. 

Finishing up the bonus content on disc two we have a five minute appreciation from actors Jeoffrey Kennedy, Sacha Maria Darwin, and Malisa Longo, a poster and still gallery and footage from Fulci's Q+A at the 1996 NYC Fangoria Weekend of Horrors, which was his only horror convention appearance in the US..Tucked away within the filmographies are trailers for The Beyond (1981), Silver Saddle (1978), Magistrate (1967), Roy Colt and Winchester Jack, Return of the Fly (1959), Hot Rod Rumble (1957), plus a series of outtakes from the Brett Halsey interview discussing his movies Beatrice Cenzi and Esmeralda Bay. There's also a trailer reel of Grindhouse releasing trailers for The Beyond, Pieces, Pigs, Cannibal Holocaust, Cannibal Ferox, The Tough Ones, Massacre Mafia Style, Gone With The Pope, Scum Of The Earth, An American Hippie In Israel, Corruption, The Swimmer, The Big Gundown and I Drink Your Blood. 

This three disc set also includes a bonus CD containing the original score from Fabio Frizzi plus a live version of the main theme from 2015 recorded during the Frizzi and Fulci tour stop in L.A. from 2015. The disc comes housed in its own cardboard slipcase   Packaging extras include a few goodies that are limited to the first 3000 copies including a embossed glow-in-the-dark slipcover, which is pretty cool! This may not be one of my favorite Fulco movies but I love the Enzo Sciotti artwork for it. Also limited to just 3000 is a mini postcard sized portrait of Lucio Fulci. Also included is a 20 Page Booklet with liner notes by Fulci's daughter Antonella Fulci, David J. Schow, director Eli Roth and a fascinating piece by Martin Beine who details the recycled movies that Fulci pulled from to create Cat In The Brain. The booklet is chock-full of awesome, including poster artwork and stills from the movie, plus there is a sleeve of reversible artwork housed in a Criterion-style clear case. . 

Disc 1
- HD digital restoration of the original UNCENSORED DIRECTOR'S CUT
- Presented with English and original Italian language soundtracks

- Italian Trailer (2 Mins) HD 
- U.S. Trailer (2 Mins) HD 
- Easter Egg: Lucio Fulco table signing at 1996 NYC Fangoria Weekend of Horrors (4 Mins) 

Disc 2
- Have a Nice Vacation, Doctor Fulci! - Interview with screenwriter Antonio Tentori (27 Mins) HD 
- A Nightmare in the Brain - Interview with cinematographer Sandro Grossi (28 Mins) HD 
- Frizzi and Fulci - Interview with composer Fabio Frizzi (31 Mins) HD 
- Fabio Frizzi Live in Hollywood October 2nd 2015 (8 Mins) HD 
- Painter of Nightmares - Interview with  poster artist Enzo Sciotti (18 Mins) HD 
- Antonio Tentori Interviews Lucio Fulci - 1987 Radio Broadcast (16 Mins) HD 
- Lucio Fulci Interview Rome, July 27th 1995 - The Television Years (41 Mins), Genre Terrorist (40 MIns) 
- Interview with Breti Halsey - Living La Dolce Vita (46 Mins) 
- Memories of Fulci with actors Jeoffrey Kennedy, Sacha Maria Darwin, and Malisa Longo (5 Mins) 
- Gallery of Stills and Poster Art, plus Lucio Fulci's heroic appearance at the 1996 NYC Fangoria Weekend of Horrors (24 Mins) 
- Lucio Fulci and Brett Halset Bios and Filmographies
- Grindhouse releasing Trailers (34 Mins) HD 
- Easter Egg: Luci Fulci Video Interview Outtakes (2 Mins) 
- Easter Egg: Brett Halsey Video Interview Outtake (1 Mins) 

Disc 3
Bonus CD: The original soundtrack by composer Fabio Frizzi (15 Tracks) 

Packaging Extras 
- 20 Page Booklet with Liner notes by Antonella Fulci, David J. Schow, Eli Roth and Martin Beine
- Chilling GLOW-IN-THE-DARK slip cover - Limited to first 3000 copies
- Mini portrait of Lucio Fulci - suitable for framing - Limited to first 3000 copies

Another gorgeous and definitive slice of gore cinema from Grindhouse Releasing, one that any self-respecting cult cinema sicko will absolutely want to have in their collection. Cat In The Brain is not among my most loved of Fulci's filmography but this sweet three-disc edition is jam-packed with more cool extras than any self-respecting Fulci fan can live without, yet another must-own release from Grindhouse Releasing!

Friday, July 15, 2016

H.P. LOVECRAFT'S LURKING FEAR (1994) (Blu-ray Review)

H.P. LOVECRAFT'S LURKING FEAR (1994) 
Label: Full Moon
Region Code: Region-FREE
Rating: R
Duration: 77 Minutes
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen 
Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Digital  2.0 
Director: C. Courtney Joyner
Cast: Jon Finch, Blake Adams, Ashley Laurence, Jeffrey Combs

Synopsis: The town of Leffert's Corners has been plagued by unearthly beings for decades, and now there is only a few people left, including the local priest and a woman traumatized by the death of her sister. But when John Martense turns up to claim his illicit family fortune, with bad guys in pursuit, the last stand had become a lot more complicated.... What everyone is not aware of are the humanoid creatures lurking underneath the holy grounds! Based on the writings of H P Lovecraft.


Full Moon's mid 90s adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's Lurking Fear strays far from the macabre source material, even ham-fisting a crime plot into the proceeding with the introduction of an ex-con named John Martense (Blake Adams) who returns to his childhood home of Lefferts Corner to recover a buried cash of money, which was buried in the local cemetery by his ate father with the help of the local mortician Knaggs, played by the odd-looking character actor Vincent Schiavelli of Better Off Dead. 


Digging up the buried loot proves to be more difficult than originally planned when a trio of violent gangsters arrive in Leffert's Corner also intent on recovering the buried money, which is rightfully theirs. Mobster Bennett (John Finch) shows up along with his seductive femme fatal Ms. Marlowe (Allison Mackie), and henchman Pierce (Joseph Leavengood). They each descend upon the small village at about the same time but none of them realize that Lefert's Corners is infested with cannibalistic creatures that dwell below the ground, and on the day they show up the town's few remaining survivors have planned an all out assault on the grotesque creatures. B-movie icon Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator) shows up as the wry Dr. Haggis, then we have Hellraiser's Ashley Laurence as the ass-kicking Cathryn and the town Priest (Paul Mantee), who seems intent on martyrdom.


The movie begins with a bang-up intro with two sisters in a mansion with a bay, they're besieged by the long-fingered flesh eating creature who have taken up inside the walls of the dilapidated place, when one is snapped in half and dragged through a hole in the wall  to her death, the surviving sister is Cathryn (Laurence) who becomes obsessed with avenging her sibling. It's a good atmospheric set-up, but unfortunately the disjointed movie fails deliver anything near as good after the opening credits. 


A lot of the movies failure in my mind has to do with the large cast, all played by mostly capable actors, aside from a wooden lead from Adams, but they're undefined and their motivations are shallow and rote, they're just rough sketches of characters. Poor Jeffrey Combs is criminally underused, and they're are just too many damn characters to invest in, they're here for canon-fodder and the characters are streched too thin and poorly written. 


The cannibalistic creatures are nicely designed and look creepy onscreen but are glimpsed sparsely, these white-eyed deformities are awesome, I only wish we had more of them onscreen. Watching the movie I could not help but think if the story had just stuck to the original source material a bit more, if they hadn't of crow-barred in the crime plot, and stuck with the small town horror of the source material, that this could have been something special, but this is largely forgettable despite the kernel of a good idea, the inclusion of Jeffrey Combs and some very cool creature effects. 


The same source material was used for the movie Bleeders (1996) which also strays from the source but had a more solid story, defined characters  and creepier atmosphere. Originally Stuart Gordon (From Beyond) was slated to direct this as a period piece for Empire Pictures, I can only imagine what we missed out on there, surely it would have been better than what we ended up with, which is not awful, but a middle of the road '90s horror entry.  


Lurking Fear arrives on Blu-ray from Full Moon framed in 1080p HD widescreen looking crisp and clean, the image has some nice sharpness and clarity with pleasing moments of fine detail. The movies original aspect ratio is 1.33:1 full frame, what we have hear is a re-framed image, and taking that into consideration I think they did a good job, the picture doesn't feel cramped, though I wish they would have included both the original full frame and widescreen versions of the movie for the sake of completeness. Again FM go the lossy audio route with Dolby Digital Surround 5.1 and Stereo 2.0, of which I preferred the stereo option, there are no subtitles. Dialogue, score and effects are rendered clean and crisp, no issues with the audio, but it would have benefited from a DTS-HD MA upgrade. 


Extras on the Blu-ray begin with an audio commentary from director C. Courtney Joyner who offers a detailed commentary about the making of the movie. There's also a vintage Videozone featurette with on-set interviews from Jeffrey Combs, Ashley Laurence, Allison Mackie, and director C. Courtney Joyner with some cool behind-the-scenes video. There's also four minutes of deleted scenes without any sync sound or subtitles,  apparently those elements have been forever lost, plus there's a selection of FM trailers. 


Special Features: 

- Audio Commentary with Director C. Courtney Joyner
- Videozone (Making of Lurking Fear) (7 Mins)
- Deleted Scenes w/o dialogue, just music (4 Mins)
- Theatrical Trailer (3 Mins)
- Teaser Trailer (1 Mins) 

Lurking Fear missed the mark for me despite some interesting elements, strong creature design, and a decent cast. It's a poor Lovecraft adaptation and the story is too heavy on cast and a clumsy script. The mix of crime with the  Lovecratftian doesn't marry well onscreen, however, if you're a Full Moon completist I have to say the new HD image looks quite nice, just wish FM would opt for lossless audio on their Blu-rays releases.  



Monday, July 11, 2016

Reel Gore Releasing's MASKS (2011) on BD/DVD/CD Combo in September

MASKS (2011) 
Blu-ray/DVD/CD Combo 

Label: Reel Gore Releasing
Release Date: September 13th 2016 
Region Code: Region-FREE
Rating: Unrated 
Duration: 109 Minutes
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen Anamorphic (2.35:1)
Audio: German DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround with English and Spanish Subtitles
Director: Andreas Marschall
Cast: Michael Balaun, Lucyna Bialy, Lisa Blaschke, Franziska Breite, Zübeyde Bulut, Nico Ousman Corr

In her quest for fame, drama student Stella gets caught in the grip of a mysterious and deadly stage school.


Stella longs to be an actress. When she is accepted to a private school in Berlin, her dream seems to come true. But there is something wrong with the "Matteusz Gdula-Institute". In the seventies, the school's founder, Matteusz Gdula, practiced a learning style that promised to let students shine by driving them to their mental limits. In the end his method was banned, as mysterious deaths occurred during his lessons and Gdula committed suicide. At night, Stella hears eerie sounds in the corridors of the school. A fellow student disappears. Stella suspects that behind the closed door to the abandoned, forbidden wing of the school lurks a bloody secret. A secret that kills the students...










First 3000 copies include:

- CD - Original Soundtrack
- Collectible Blu-ray/DVD Slipcase and Sleeve
- 24 Page Booklet.

Special Features:

- EXCLUSIVE ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK CD
- BEHIND THE SCENES
- DELETED SCENES
- MUSIC VIDEO CLIP
- TRAILER
- SLIDESHOW



Introducing Olive Signature

This announcement has been hard to keep a secret, because we think it will make a lot of film fans very happy. Introducing Olive Signature, a new series of DVD/Blu-ray titles for the loyal Olive Films fan. Highlighting cult favorites, time-honored classics, and under-appreciated gems, each Olive Signature edition boasts a pristine audio and video transfer, newly designed cover art, and an abundance of exciting bonus material. Coveted editions of the films you know and love, Olive Signature is our gift to the many fans, aficionados, and cinephiles who hold these films near and dear.
For release on September 20th, we proudly present the first two Olive Signature titles: High Noon and Johnny Guitar.
HIGH NOON
  • Mastered from new 4K restoration
  • “A Ticking Clock” - Academy Award-nominee Mark Goldblatt on the editing of High Noon
  • "A Stanley Kramer Production" - Michael Schlessinger on the eminent producer of High Noon
  • “Imitation of Life: The Blacklist History of High Noon” - with historian Larry Ceplair and blacklisted screenwriter Walter Bernstein
  • “Ulcers and Oscars: The Production History of High Noon” - a visual essay with rarely seen archival elements, narrated by Anton Yelchin
  • “Uncitizened Kane" - an original essay by Sight and Sound editor Nick James
  • Theatrical trailer
The myth and poetry of the old west come alive in Fred Zinnemann’s (Julia) classic western, HighNoon (1952). One of the great treasures of the American cinema, the film stars the legendary Gary Cooper as lawman Will Kane, a marshal who stands alone to defend a town of cowardly citizens against a gang of killers out for revenge. Engaged in the fight of his lifetime, Kane stands to lose everything when the clock strikes noon – his friends, his honor, and his Quaker bride, played by Grace Kelly in one of her first screen roles. Unfolding in real time, the tension builds as we race ever closer to the climactic duel from which the film takes its name. For his career-defining role, Cooper would go on to win the Oscar® for Best Actor. High Noon’s stellar cast also includes Lloyd Bridges (Try and Get Me), Thomas Mitchell (It’s a Wonderful Life), Katy Jurado (Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid), Otto Kruger (Saboteur), Lon Chaney (The Wolf Man), Henry Morgan (Strategic Air Command), Jack Elam (Hannie Caulder) and Lee Van Clef (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly). High Noon won a total four Academy Awards including Best Editing, Best Score (Dimitri Tiomkin, The Old Man and the Sea) and Best Song, “Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin’,” written by Tiomkin and Ned Washington and sung by Tex Ritter. High Noon also received Oscar® nominations for Best Picture (Stanley Kramer, producer), Best Director (Fred Zinnemann) and Best Screenplay (Carl Foreman).
YEAR: 1952
GENRE: WESTERN
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH (with optional English subtitles)
LABEL: OLIVE FILMS
TOTAL RUNNING TIME: 85 mins
RATING: N/R
VIDEO: 1.37:1 Aspect Ratio; B&W
AUDIO: MONO

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JOHNNY GUITAR
  • Mastered from new 4K restoration
  • Introduction by Martin Scorsese
  • Audio commentary with historian and critic Geoff Andrew
  • "Tell Us She Was One of You: The Blacklist History of Johnny Guitar” - with historian Larry Ceplair and blacklisted screenwriter Walter Bernstein
  • “Is Johnny Guitar a Feminist Western?: Questioning the Canon” - with critics Miriam Bale, Kent Jones, Joe McElhaney and B. Ruby Rich
  • “Free Republic: The Story of Herbert J. Yates and Republic Pictures” - with archivist Marc Wanamaker
  • A critical appreciation of Nicholas Ray with critics Miriam Bale, Kent Jones, Joe McElhaney and B. Ruby Rich
  • “My Friend, the American Friend” - Nicholas Ray biographical piece with Tom Farrell and Chris Sievernich
  • "Johnny Guitar: The First Existential Western" - an original essay by critic Jonathan Rosenbaum
Johnny Guitar stars Oscar® winner Joan Crawford (Best Actress, Mildred Pierce) as Vienna, a saloon owner with a sordid past. Persecuted by the townspeople, Vienna must protect her life and property when a lynch mob led by her sexually repressed rival, Emma Small (Oscar® winner Mercedes McCambridge, Best Actress, All the King’s Men), attempts to frame her for a string of robberies she did not commit. Enter Johnny Guitar (Sterling Hayden, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb), a guitar-strumming ex-gunfighter, who once was — and perhaps still is — in love with Vienna. With the leads at their operatic best, the table is now set for an epic showdown in this one-of-a-kind western from director Nicholas Ray (Rebel Without a Cause). A bizarrely veiled allegory for the McCarthy-era Red Scare, Johnny Guitar was misunderstood upon its initial release. One of the most original takes on the western genre — the women are far tougher than the men — Johnny Guitar is praised by fans, filmmakers, and critics alike as groundbreaking. Boasting superb supporting performances, Johnny Guitar features Ernest Borgnine (Marty), Scott Brady (The China Syndrome), Ward Bond (The Searchers), Paul Fix (To Kill a Mockingbird), Royal Dano (The Outlaw Josey Wales) and John Carradine (Stagecoach). Notably, Johnny Guitar’s indelible title song was a collaboration between the Academy Award-winning composer Victor Young (Around the World in Eighty Days), and co-writer and songstress Peggy Lee.
YEAR: 1954
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH (with optional English subtitles)
TOTAL RUNNING TIME: 110 mins
RATING: N/R
VIDEO: 1.66:1 Aspect Ratio; COLOR
AUDIO: MONO
Preorder on DVD or Blu-ray.