Tuesday, December 23, 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 

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) 

- 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

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. 



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. 


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. 

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

- 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) 

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. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014



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. 
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. 

- 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) 


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


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
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.

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. 

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. 

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

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

COLLAR (2014)

COLLAR (2014)
Label: unearthed Films
Region Code: 1 NTSC
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 77 Minutes
Audio: English Dolby Digital 4.0
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen (1.85:1)
Director: Ryan Nicholson
Cast: Nick Principe, Momona Komagata, Ronald Patrick Thompson, Aidan Dee, Wolfgang Meyer, Mackenzie Murdock

Welcome to depraved world of Vancouver-based director Ryan Nicholson and his latest effort COLLAR (2014). Set in a rather ugly place inhabited by an enormous homeless man named Massive (Nick Principe) who prowls the streets pushing along a shopping cart decorated with a duct tape pentagram - not a person to be be messed with.

As the streets go dark the neighborhood scum come out in force, those unfortunate enough to cross Massive's path don't usually live long enough to regret it - unless you happen to be a woman - in that case he chains you with a dog collar and repeatedly rapes you. A prostitute in the wrong place at the wrong time encounters Massive who does just that. All the while a pair of opportunistic dirt bags capture the assault on camera and do nothing to help. These two have graduated from funding bum fights to documenting Massive's seemingly unstoppable crimes spree with dreams of somehow making it big with their footage. 

The whore is spared death when a drunken bum stumbles upon the scene, she escapes while Massive destroys the bum before eating his heart - that's right, not just a Satanic murderer, he is also a cannibal. Swearing revenge the whore returns with her pimp with hopes of putting a hurting on the Devil worshiping bum - a big mistake. Also on the scene are a pair of cops investigating an assault who themselves fall prey to unstoppable cannibal. What we end up with is a small group of people converging onto the neighborhood and the ensuing string of ultra-violent rape and murders. Massive has quite an appetite for violence and fortunately for him - and unfortunate for everyone else - there's no shortage of fresh meat for pleasure and eating. 

Fans of story driven horror probably aren't going to get a lot from this but the gore hounds and lovers of depraved filth are in for a treat with generous amounts of uncomfortable nudity, ultra-violence and bloody practical effects. Never one to pull away from a good gore gag Nicholson offers up a series of truly gruesome carnage with jaws and heads ripped-off, a brutal broken-bottle neck stabbing and a whole lot of unsavory stuff thrown-up on the screen including a sweet back-breaker wrestling move with a intestine spewing finish.

Not a lot of character or story building here but there is a cast of colorfully disgusting characters to watch be defiled and destroyed. We do get a glimpse into the past of Massive who was sexually abused by a priest in his youth and would appear to suffer from a mental illness of some sort. While the rapist/murderer is not exactly a sympathetic character Principe does convey some true emotion through the mute character using body language and facial expression when he's not brutalizing one victim after another.  

A damn fine looking film with solid cinematography that captures the gritty aesthetic with some small amount of polish but you can almost smell the piss the air when watching it. Adding to the atmosphere is a very cool dark electronic score from PROTECTOR 101 whom offer up a fantastic main title theme with a vintage John Carpenter vibe. 

Director Ryan Nicholson has created a nasty treat for the exploitation fans with a steady stream of offensive and gruesome imagery ripe with cannibalism and rape. This mean-spirited film is probably not for the average horror fan but a definite recommend for fans of low-budget exploitation along the lines of HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN, STREET TRASH and RUN! BITCH RUN!

There is currently a INDIEGOGO campaign to fund the sequel to director Ryan Nicholson's slasher film GUTTERBALLS - check it out HERE