Sunday, May 24, 2020

Sukiyaki Western Django: Collector's Edition Available on Blu-ray on June 16th from Film Rise

Sukiyaki Western Django: Collector's Edition
Available on Blu-ray on June 16th

Takashi Miike redefines the spaghetti Western withan epic tale of blood, lust, and greed starring Hideaki Ito, Yusuke Iseya, Kaori Momoi and Quentin Tarantino

FilmRise is proud to present special collectors editions of Sukiyaki Western Django on DVD, Blu-ray, and digital formats on June 16th. The film is presented in 5.1 DTS-HD MA, 2.0 DTS-HD MA and 5.1 Surround, 2.0 Stereo. 
Famed Japanese auteur Takashi Miike, best known for cult classics Audition, Ichi the Killer and The City of Lost Souls, redefines the spaghetti Western with Sukiyaki Western Django, an epic tale of blood, lust and greed starring Hideaki Ito, Yusuke Iseya, Kaori Momoi and Quentin Tarantino. 

Two clans battle for a legendary treasure hidden in a desolate mountain town. One day, a lone gunman, burdened with deep emotional scars but blessed with incredible shooting skills, drifts into town. Two clans try to woo the lone gunman to their sides, but he has ulterior motives. Dirty tricks, betrayal, desire and love collide as the situation erupts into a final, explosive showdown.
Bonus Materials
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the main feature in 2.35:1 aspect ratio
  • Audio: English 5.1 Surround, 2.0 Stereo
  • English and Spanish Subtitles
  • Sukiyaki Western Django : Extended Cut (HD, 159:57, with Optional Japanese Subtitles)
  • Making of Featurette (SD, 52:37, In Japanese with English Subtitles
  • Deleted Scenes (SD, 06:37)
  • Sizzle Reel (SD, 03:12)
  • Promotional Clips (SD, 02:58)
  • US and Japanese Theatrical Trailers and TV Spots (SD)
  • Sales Points
  • Talented ensemble cast including Hideaki Ito, Yusuke Iseya, Kaori Momoi and Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction)
  • From acclaimed legendary cult film director Takashi Miike (Ichi the Killer, 13 Assassins, Audition)

THE HUNT (2020) arrives on Digital 5/26 and Physical 6/9

THE HUNT (2020) 



Label: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment 
Region Code: A
Rating: R
Duration: 90 Minutes 

Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (2:39.1) 
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1,English Dolby Digital 2.0,French Canadian and Latin American Spanish DTS Digital Surround 5.1 with Optional English Subtitles 
Director: Craig Zobel 
Cast: Ike Barinholtz, Betty Gilpin, Justin Hartley, Glenn Howerton, Emma Roberts, Ethan Supleeand Hilary Swank

Synopsis: In this subversive satire, a group of elites gather for the very first time at a remote Manor House to hunt ordinary Americans for sport. But the elites' master plan is about to be derailed because one of The Hunted, Crystal (Betty Gilpin, GLOW), knows The Hunters' game better than they do. She turns the tables on the killers, picking them off one by one as she makes her way toward the mysterious woman (Hilary Swank, Boys Don't Cry) at the center of it all.

Special Features: 
- CRAFTING THE HUNT - Filmmakers and cast discuss how costumes and props were used to highlight the political commentary of this slaughterous thriller.
- DEATH SCENE BREAKDOWNS – THE HUNT’s talented special effects and make-up teams give you an inside look on how they carried out some of the goriest death sequences.
- ATHENA VS CRYSTAL: HUNTER OR HUNTED? – Go behind the scenes to check out the intense training and choreography actresses Betty Gilpin and Hilary Swank had to master in order to execute this epic fight scene.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

The New Kids (1985) available on Blu-ray on June 29th 2020 from 101 Films


Label: 101 Films
Region Code: B
Rating: 18 Cert. 
Duration: 98 Minutes
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (1.78:1) 
Audio: English Dual Mono PCM with Optional English Subtitles 
Director: Sean S. Cunningham (Friday the 13th
Cast: James Spader (Sex, Lies, and Videotape), Lori Loughlin (Full House), Shannon Presby (Five Mile Creek

On June 29th 101 Films will release Sean S. Cunningham’s tense and violent horror-thriller The New Kids (1985), title 014 on the 101 Films Black Label. 

A key entry in the 1980s wave of juvenile delinquency movies, The New Kids features early performances from Lori Loughlin and James Spader, the latter in a particularly memorable role. This edition marks a first release for the film in the UK since a VHS release under the title Striking Back in 1988, and includes brand new interviews with director Sean S. Cunningham and writer Stephen Gyllenhaal, a commentary with film critics Sean Hogan and Jasper Sharp, and a limited edition booklet with new writing on ‘80s gang movies and Sean S. Cunningham’s career. 

Limited Edition version comes with booklet and slipcase, limited to 3000 copies 

After their parents die in a car crash, two all-American teens, Loren (Shannon Presby) and Abby (Lori Loughlin) go to live with relatives in a small Florida town. But trouble begins when members of a vicious gang, led by Dutra (James Spader), bet on who’ll be the first to seduce the innocent Abby. When she spurns their obscene advances, the thugs embark on a sadistic campaign of vandalism, arson and assault. The savagery escalates until Loren must defend himself and his sister in a brutal fight to the death in a carnival midway. It’s The New Kids... trying to make it in this town just might kill them! 

Brand New Extras 

- Interview with director Sean S. Cunningham 
- Interview with writer Stephen Gyllenhaal 
- Commentary with film experts Sean Hogan and Jasper Sharp
- Limited edition booklet: Includes ‘80s Gang Violence Movies and The New Kids by Jon Towlson and Pushing the Envelope: Sean Cunningham by Barry Forshaw 

Friday, May 22, 2020

We Summon the Darkness (2019) comes to Blu-ray and DVD 6/9


Label: Lionsgate

Region Code: A
Rating: R
Duration: 91 Minutes
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (2.39:1)
Audio: English 5.1 DolbyTrueHD, English 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio with Optional english Subtitles
Marc Meyers
Cast: Alexandra Daddario, Keean Johnson, Maddie Hasson, Amy Forsyth, Logan Miller, Austin Swift, Johnny Knoxville

The dark-humored horror-thriller We Summon the Darkness comes to Blu-ray and DVD June 9th from Lionsgate. This film is now available on Digital and On Demand. This 2019 Fantastic Fest fan favorite stars Alexandra Daddario, Keean Johnson, Maddie Hasson, Amy Forsyth, Logan Miller, Austin Swift, and Johnny Knoxville. The We Summon the Darkness Blu-ray and DVD will be available for the suggested retail price of $21.99 and $19.98, respectively.

Synopsis: On the way to a heavy metal concert, Alexis (Alexandra Daddario) and two girlfriends hear a news report of a local murder believed to be tied to a series of satanic killings. After the show, the girls invite three guys to join them at the estate owned by Alexis’s father, a fire-and-brimstone preacher (Johnny Knoxville). What starts as a party suddenly turns dark and deadly in this devilishly entertaining thriller that mixes tongue-in-cheek humor with nail-biting suspense.

Special Features:
- “Envisioning Darkness” Featurette
- Commentary with Director Marc Meyers and Writer Alan Trezza

Thursday, May 14, 2020

SATANICO PANDEMONIUM (1975) (Mondo Macabro Blu-ray Review)


Label: Mondo Macabro
Region Code: Region-FREE
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 90 Minutes
Audio: Spanish PCM 1.0 Mono with Optional English Subtitles 
Video: 1080P HD Widescreen (1.85:1)
Director:  Gilberto Martinez Solares
Cast: Cecilia Pezet, Enrique Rocha, Delia Magana,Clemencia Colin, Veronika Con K, Amparo Furstenberg

In the Mexican nasty-nun entry Satanico Pandemonium (1975) - truly one of the best movie titles ever - Sister Maria (Cecilia Pezet) is a goodly God-loving nun at a convent in the Mexican countryside, during what appears to be the time of the Inquisition. As the film opens she is picking flowers in the forest when she is approached by a sinister-looking man (Enrique Rocha) who appears to her in the nude. Frightened she flees back to the safety of the convent, but the image of the man haunts her. 

She prays but the man holds a strange sway over her, and she has visions of him, often appearing with an apple in hand, which is appropriate as it turns out the man is Satan himself. He later appears to her inside the convent disguised as one of her sister nuns, seducing her before revealing himself for what he is, and thus the evil has been planted within her. As her inherent goodness ebbs away she finds herself committing sinful blasphemies, first stabbing another nun with a pair of scissors, gleefully watching another nun hang herself, and then raping a a sickly adolescent boy before stabbing him to death, and then setting fire the cottage, burning both him and his grandmother alive to cover up her awful crime.

This is a strange film, it has a arthouse style that brought to mind something along the lines of Pasolini (Salo). The way the nun spirals into Satanic madness is fantastic, but even near the start of the film she's already a bit strange, acting on her  Catholic guilt with self-flagellation and wrapping her torso in a thorny cilice that draws blood. After giving into the satanic lesbian temptation, she moves onto raping  and stabbing that kid to death, strangling the suspicious Mother Superior, and eventually leading her entire convent into the arms of the Devil, and doing it all with a lot of not-unappreciated nudity, Cecilia Pezet being quite easy on the eyes. It's a film that's hitting all the nunsploitation touchstones, but doing it in a dreamy  atmospheric way, managing to be distasteful but artier and less vicious than something like Alucarda (1977). 

The film is well-shot and looks fantastic, the Gothic imagery abounds and the blasphemy is deliciously sinful with some cool Italian-style colored lighting that adds to the overall atmosphere, making this film an unforgettable bit of nasty-nun fun.       

Audio/Video: Santanico Pandemonium (1971) arrives on region-free Blu-ray from Mondo Macabro, presenting the film in 1.85:1 widescreen in 1080p HD. We get two viewing options, one is a 4K scan sourced from pre-print elements and a 2K scan of a 35mm theatrical print. A text blurb indicates that the there was a "slight optical blemish" on certain reels of the 4K scan source, resulting in Mondo Macabro requesting a new scan from the licencor, but the only element not to have the optical issue was a theatrical print. That said, the theatrical print is in fantastic shape, and comparing the versions I think it's a bit of a toss-up to which I prefer. The 4K pre-print scan features tighter details, stronger clarity and more vivid colors, but the skin tones looks a bit cool at times. What I like about the theatrical print is the strong blue push, I like the aesthetic of it, though I have no idea which is closer to the original theatrical exhibition. The pre-print also version has warmer skin tones, and occasionally stronger primaries, but some of the darker scenes can be a bit muddy. The end result is that I am finding it hard to declare one version better than the other, their both inconsistent, but both are pleasing to varying degrees. There are pros and cons to both, but I give the edge to the 4K pre-print scan. Check out the comparison of the two versions of the film at the bottom of the review, where I have compared 24 screenshots.    

Audio comes by way of Spanish DTS-HD MA mono 1.0 with optional English subtitles. There's some age-related limitations to the fidelity but overall this is a clean and well-balanced audio presentation.  

Extras begin with a brand new audio commentary with Samm Deighan and Kat Ellinger of The Daughters of Darkness Podcast, and it's fantastic. They point out that the film is a bit out of the ordinary for the prolific director, and how interesting it is that he doesn't seem to be coming at with a political agenda or particular morality, stating what sets it apart from other nunsploitation entries f the era and how it skirts both exploitation and arthouse.

We also get a set of archival extras with a 15-min interview with writer/co-director Adolfo Martinez Solares who is the son of the director. recounting what it was like working with his father, and that this was the of film he worked on with his father after graduating college, and how the satanic themes of the film deeply affected him, being a believer in God and the Devil. It apparently weighed on him so heavily that he vowed to never to work on films with witchy or satanic themes. He also touches on other Mexican horror films, including his father's Santo films, and tells some interesting cast stories from the making of the film. 

The second of the archival interviews is a 14-min interview with Nigel Wingrove of Redemption Films who talks about his love of nunsploitations films, making his own still-banned in the UK nunsploitation film Visions of Ecstasy (1989), After that he got into distributing cult films instead of making them, with his label really helping bring the seminal nunsploitation films to the forefront. There's clips from The Sinful Nuns of Saint Valentine (1972), Alucarda (1975), Satanico Pandemonium, and Wingrove's own films, including the aforementioned Visions of Ecstasy (1989) and Sacred Flesh (2000). 

The disc is buttoned up with a 14-min Mondo Macabro trailer reel, which is always a blast to watch. The single-disc release arrives in a standard keepcase with a one-sided sleeve of artwork featuring that bonkers painting of a nun ripping off her habit to reveal the grinning devil beneath, love that artwork!  

Special Features: 
- Brand new 4k transfer from a film negative.
- Two different versions of the film, 4K scan of pre-print materials and a 2K scan of a 35mm positive print 
- Exclusive interview with writer/co-director Adolfo Martinez Solares (14 min) 
- Audio commentary from Samm Deighan and Kat Ellinger
- Exclusive featurette on nunsploitation with Wingrove of Redemption Films(11 min)
- Mondo Macabro Trailer Reel (14 min) 

Mondo Macabro's release of Satnanico Pandemonium (1975) is a devilish bit of awesomeness, offering two presentations, a terrific audio commentary, and a cool set of archival extras, what's not to love? If you're into Mexican horror, nunsploitation or just wildly demented world cinema you need this Blu-ray in your life, it's fantastic.   

Top: 4K Scan of Pre-Print Elements
Bottom: 2K Scan of 35mm Theatrical Print