Thursday, January 29, 2015


Jack the Ripper will be available on DVD in mid February
Exclusively at and Amazon!


Label: Full Moon 
Duration: 74 Minutes
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 
Director: Jess Franco 
Cast: Lina Romay, Klaus Kinski, Josephine Chaplin, Herbert Fux, Andreas Mannkopff

In the annals of international cult, horror and fantasy filmmaking, the name Jess Franco is royalty. The controversial Spanish-born auteur directed over 200 remarkable films in his 60 year career before his death in 2013, sculpting a body of dangerous, dark, erotic and generally outrageous descents into personal, obsessive and entertaining excess.

Now, Full Moon is thrilled to be able to honor the legacy of Jess Franco with our new DVD series, "The Jess Franco Collection." Working in partnership with legendary exploitation film producer Erwin C. Dietrich, Full Moon's "The Jess Franco Collection" features 10 titles culled from that golden period of collaboration between Dietrich and Franco, all of them featuring transfers struck from a brand new HD master and each release loaded with special features.

Starting with Franco's violent 1976 masterpiece JACK THE RIPPER, Full Moon will release a new Franco title every month to DVD. Each beautifully designed and packaged DVD will feature on its spine, a piece of a "puzzle" that, when put together with the entire 10-unit set, will create an exclusive portrait of Jess Franco designed by artist Ryan Brookhart.

"I'm excited to be able to bring this awesome collection to the fans," says Full Moon founder and equally storied genre film producer/director Charles Band.

"My WIZARD home video imprint was among the first in North America to distribute Franco's films in the early 1980s and it makes perfect sense that Full Moon should be the ones to now release these beautiful new transfers of some of Jess' most effective pictures to domestic DVD."

Special Features:
- Audio Commentary with Producer Erwin C. Dietrich
- Rare Deleted Scene
- Ripping Yarn: Restoring JACK THE RIPPER
- Franco, Bloody Franco: Audio Interview with Jess Franco (French w/English Subtitles)
- Original Theatrical Trailer


SLAVES (no English track, only English subtitles available)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015



Label: Anchor Bay Entertainment 
Release Date: February 3, 2015
Duration: 104 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Video:: Widescreen (2.40:1) 1080p
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 with Optional English SDH, Spanish Subtitles
B. Harrison Smith

Cats: Billy Zane, Dee Wallace, Mischa Barton, Felissa Rose, Brian Anthony Wilson

We have the small rural community of Elwood, a walled-in community serving as a haven for uninfected humans at a time when most of the world is overrun by hordes of black-goo spewing infected zombies. The community are lead by a retired Army surgeon named Doc (Brian Anthony Wilson) and a man named Seiler (Zane), who leads a group of young men and women known as "the zombie killers" who provide security for the community and patrol the surrounding areas for food and supplies.

The community is also home to a religious zealot named Lia (Felissa Rose) who as with most of her ilk love to point out the moral shortcomings of others, it just wouldn't be the apocalypse without one. Rose does a damn decent job portraying the amped-up bible thumper who loves to rile up the good people of Elwood. 

The film offers up an unusual amount of character based interactions for a zombie film, but there's some good zombie make-up effects throughout, the practical stuff looks mighty good, but the digital effects are Syfy worthy, meaning not so grand. Hordes of zombies off in the distance are one thing, but a stampede of infected deer and leaping killer fish are quite another. Smith's script is more ambitious than his modest budget will effectively allow, and sometimes you just have to cut back when a few decent ideas stretch your budget and abilities to the point of laughability, which is what happened. 

Not enough to completely ruin the movie but enough to make me start picking apart other smaller things that maybe I wouldn't have if the poor effects didn't draw so much attention to themselves. One of those things being how much paintball is front and center in this film right from the beginning till the very end. It begins with some truly awful voice over narration from Doc at the top of the film with an overly long montage of paintballers right through to the very end. Not sure is the San Diego Dynasty  were financing the film or not but it would not surprise me in the least, I get it, you love paintball, you want to show off your awesome paintball arena and cool gear, but don't shove it down my throat for the entire film, this is paintball propaganda with a smattering of zombies and a lot of melodrama. . 

Many will recognize Felissa Rose from the slasher classic SLEEPAWAY CAMP as the religious nut of the bunch and she does a decent job, I have a lot of love to Mrs. Rose but she's not fantastic but I love her just the same. Then we have Billy Zane who or a brief moment had an a-list career for all of five minutes before settling into a career in d-grade movies that are forgettable. He's got a bit of a Western tinge to his performance that I liked, but there no heart in his autopilot performance. Horror veteran Dee Wallace appears for about a minute in a role that adds some heart to the film, but it's very brief appearance and in just one of several facets of the film that should have been excised from the movie, including a strange fracking-origin of the plague that was unnecessarily convoluted and not fully realized, they're going for an environmental message but it's muddied and unnecessary. . 

There's a more than average character moment quotient throughout the film, a bit too much for my simple tastes honestly.  With all the melodrama and character building I was seriously starting to yearn for some damn zombie carnage, which we do get in very small doses but never to the point where I was satisfied. . 

I give the filmmakers a lot of credit for their technical ability, you can see there's some skill behind the camera with numerous panoramic shots highlighting the scenic beauty of the surrounding area and creative use of what I assume are drones for aerial cinematography that mimic more expensive crane shots they are getting the most bang for their buck here, it never fails to amaze me what can be done with high-end consumer grade digital cameras these days. 

Not an awful film, I enjoyed the character-based storytelling to a degree but I was hoping for a more satisfying finale given that the carnage was few and far between, that combined with the poor digital effects did dampen my overall enjoyment of the film. This might be a passable weeknight rental but otherwise this has zero rewatch factor. A competent zombie film, just not my cup of tea.  



Label: Synapse Films
Release Date: April 12th 2015
Run Time: 95 Minutes
Language: English 

Color Widescreen Anamorphic 2.35:1
DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround 
Region A
Rated R
Director: Colin Eggleston
Cast: John Hargreaves, Briony Behets, Mike McEwen

Attempting to resurrect their failing marriage, Peter (John Hargreaves, THE ODD ANGRY SHOT) and Marcia (Briony Behets) set out on a camping trip to a deserted stretch of the Australian coastline hoping a long weekend in the sunshine will help them patch their differences. They are a careless couple, littering the countryside with garbage, shooting guns and even driving away after wounding a kangaroo with their automobile. Their callous disregard for the environment soon becomes apparent when the animals start to seek vengeance. Marcia and Peter have proven themselves to be destroyers of nature. Will the animals allow them to leave or will they too be destroyed? From the writer of ROAD GAMES and RAZORBACK comes this "spooky little gem" (Premiere Magazine), presented in a high-definition transfer from original vault materials with a re-mastered DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround soundtrack created by Synapse Films.

Bonus Features:
- Audio Commentary from Producer Richard Brennan and Cinematographer Vincent Monton
- Motion Still Gallery Featuring an Audio Interview with Actor John Hargreaves
- Theatrical Trailer



Label: Impulse Pictures
Release date: April 12th 2015
Run Time: 111 Minutes
Language: English 

Color Full Screen 1.33:1 
Dolby Digital Mono
Not Rated
Director: Various
Cast: Kandi Barbour, Aunt Peg, Vanessa Del Rio

Their place in history is undeniable. Hardcore 8mm stag films introduced explicit human sexuality to the public. Predating every other moving picture home format, these inauspicious productions provided not only a window to a whole other world, but also immediate relief for those not fortunate enough to make their fantasies into reality. Thousands of these underground movies were made between the 1960s and 1980s, and sold in the back of sex magazines or distributed to the almost 60,000 private "peep show" booths located in adult stores in most major cities. Impulse Pictures is proud to present 42ND STREET FOREVER® - THE PEEP SHOW COLLECTION VOL. 9, a new, continuing series of salacious 8mm shorts, re-mastered from original film prints. This collection features fifteen classic "loops" with titles like "Horny Cowgirls", "Disco Bitch", "A Schoolgirl's Dream", "Lesbian Tongue", and more. Watch for adult film stars Kandi Barbour, Aunt Peg, CJ Laing, and Vanessa Del Rio in these raunchy rarities!

Bonus Features:
- Liner Notes from Cinema Sewer Editor, Robin Bougie



RABID (1977) 


“The appeal of horror is beyond politics. It’s accessible to political criticism, but the appeal is very direct – right into the viscera, before it gets to the brain. And you don’t have politics in the viscera.” -Cronenberg on Cronenberg, first published in 1992 by Faber and Faber Limited

Arrow Video is thrilled to announce the release of David Cronenberg’s much lauded horror classic Rabid (1977) which will be available on dual format Blu-ray & DVD both as an amaray and Steelbook from 16th February 2015. This new edition will mark the Blu-ray world premiere for Rabid, which served as the follow up picture to Cronenberg’s debut 1975 feature Shivers,continuing to explore the themes of viral diseases, yet upping the ante, the scale, the gore levels and the threat by unleashing the venereal terror on the whole of downtown Montreal.

This fresh release will include a host of exciting extra features including audio commentaries with both director David Cronenberg and William Beard, author of The Artist as Monster: The Cinema of David Cronenberg. This disc will also feature brand new interviews, most notably with famed director (and Rabid executive producer) Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters, Twins) and his co-producer Don Carmody.

Other extras include the featurette Make-up Memories in which make-up artist Joe Blasco recalls how the film’s various gruesome effects were achieved and Raw, Rough and Rabid: The Lacerating Legacy of Cinépix - a featurette which looks back at the early years of the celebrated Canadian production company.

Alongside this, the disc will also include the David Cronenberg episode of The Directors, a 1999 documentary on the filmmaker, containing interviews with Cronenberg, Marilyn Chambers, Deborah Harry, Michael Ironside, Peter Weller and others.

The reversible sleeve will feature both original artwork and a newly commissioned cover art by Nat Marsh. The collector’s booklet features new writing on the film by Kier-La Janisse, reprinted excerpts of Cronenberg on Cronenberg and more, illustrated with original archive stills and posters

First come the Shivers… then, you turn RABID! Celebrated Canadian cult auteur David Cronenberg (The Fly, Videodrome) followed up his startling debut feature length proper Shivers with this tense and gory thriller which expands upon the venereal disease theme of that film, this time unleashing it on the whole of downtown Montreal – with terrifying consequences.

When beautiful Rose (adult film star Marilyn Chambers) is badly injured in a motorcycle crash, Dr. Keloid, who is in the process of developing a revolutionary new type of skin-graft, seizes the opportunity to test out his as yet unproven methods. The surgery appears successful and Rose seems restored to full health. But all is not as it should be – Rose has been transformed into a contagious blood-sucker, endowed with a bizarre, needle-like protrusion in her armpit with which she drains the blood from those unfortunate enough to be in her vicinity.

An important landmark in the early career of Cronenberg, Rabid sees the director returning to the viral theme of his earlier work but on a much larger (and more assured) scale – where the infection has shifted from the confines of a single apartment block to the expansive shopping centres and motorways of Canada’s second largest city.

Special Features
· New High Definition Digital Transfer
· High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of the feature
· Original mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
· Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
· Audio Commentary with writer-director David Cronenberg
· Audio Commentary with William Beard, author of The Artist as Monster: The Cinema of David Cronenberg
· Archive interview with David Cronenberg
· Brand new interview with executive producer Ivan Reitman
· Brand new interview with co-producer Don Carmody
· Make-up Memories: Joe Blasco Remembers Rabid – A short featurette in which Blasco recalls how the film’s various gruesome effects were achieved
· Raw, Rough and Rabid: The Lacerating Legacy of Cinépix – Featurette looking back at the early years of the celebrated Canadian production company, including interviews with author Kier-La Janisse and special makeup artist Joe Blasco
· The Directors: David Cronenberg – A 1999 documentary on the filmmaker, containing interviews with Cronenberg, Marilyn Chambers, Deborah Harry, Michael Ironside, Peter Weller and others
· Original Theatrical Trailer
· Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Nat Marsh
· Collector’s Booklet featuring new writing on the film by Kier-La Janisse, reprinted excerpts of Cronenberg on Cronenberg and more, illustrated with original archive stills and posters.

Release Date: Monday 16th February 2015
Certificate: 18
Language: English (English SDH Subtitles)
Running Time : 91 minutes
Region: B/2
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio: 1.0 Mono

Arrow Films (UK) to release Day of Anger, Blind Woman's Curse, and Mark of the Devil in the US via MVD Entertainment Group

MVD Entertainment Group announces the distribution of Arrow Video in North America with a host of cult titles receiving deluxe treatment in video, audio, supplements and artwork. Arrow's global reputation as one of the finest labels in the world has come about through consistent high quality product and a focus on fan-based products always at its core. This includes a major investment on restoring original material through modern techniques as well as pioneering packaging solutions and newly commissioned artwork for each release.

Arrow launch titles include Tonino Valerii's Spaghetti Western Day of Anger [I Giorni dell'ira, aka Gunlaw] starring genre icons Lee Van Cleef and Giuliano Gemma; Michael Armstrong's bloody and brutal critique of state-funded religious corruption Mark of the Devil in a director-approved release; and the thrillingly bizarro yakuza-samurai-ghost story-horror hybrid from Teruo Ishii, Blind Woman's Curse (1971, also known as Black Cat's Revenge). Future releases include films never-before-released on DVD and/or Blu-ray from European and Japanese cult directors.

The launch l kicks-off with North American Blu-ray premieres of Mark of the Devil on March 17th, followed by Blind Woman's Curse on March 24th and Day of Anger on March 31st.

DAY OF ANGER (Blu-ray / DVD)
When Sergio Leone turned Lee Van Cleef into a major star with For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, the actor sensibly stayed in Italy to make several more spaghetti westerns, including this one from Leone's former assistant Tonino Valerii that genre aficionados rank amongst the best ever made. Giuliano Gemma plays street cleaner Scott Mary, relentlessly bullied by the people of the small town of Clifton. When legendarily ruthless master gunfighter Frank Talby (Van Cleef) rides into town, Scott seizes the opportunity to lift himself out of the gutter, and possibly even surpass Talby's own skills. But what is Talby doing in Clifton in the first place? This lively, intelligent western, notable for the chemistry between its charismatic leads, some memorable action set-pieces (including a rifle duel on horseback that has to be seen to be believed), and a jazzy Riz Ortolani score, is presented here in an exclusive high-definition restoration from the original Techniscope negative.


A thrilling Yakuza film featuring eye-popping visuals, sensational fight sequences and the gorgeous Meiko Kaji (Lady Snowblood, Stray Cat Rock), in her first major role. Akemi (Kaji) is a dragon tattooed leader of the Tachibana Yakuza clan. In a duel with a rival gang Akemi slashes the eyes of an opponent and a black cat appears, to lap the blood from the gushing wound. The cat along with the eye-victim go on to pursue Akemi's gang in revenge, leaving a trail of dead Yakuza girls, their dragon tattoos skinned from their bodies. A bizarre blend of the female Yakuza film and traditional Japanese ghost story, with a strong dash of grotesque-erotica (the same movement was a sensibility of Edogawa Rampo whose works were adapted by Ishii in Horrors of Malformed Men), Blind Woman's Curse is a delirious mash-up of classic genre tropes, of which Ishii was no stranger, having directed everything from Super Giant films to Biker movies!

Once proclaimed as "positively the most horrifying film ever made", Mark of the Devil arrives in a director-approved edition featuring a new restoration of the feature. A bloody and brutal critique of religious corruption, Mark of the Devil sees horror icon Udo Kier (Flesh for Frankenstein, Suspiria) play a witchfinder's apprentice whose faith in his master (Herbert Lom) becomes severely tested when they settle in an Austrian village. Presided over by the sadistic Albino (a memorably nasty turn from Reggie Nalder), the film presents its morality not so much in shades of grey as shades of black. Written and directed by Michael Armstrong, who would later pen Eskimo Nell, The Black Panther and House of the Long Shadows, this classic shocker has lost none of its power over the years. 



Release Date: February 10th 2015 
Region Code: A
Rating: R/PG13
Duration: 103 Minutes / 99 Minutes 
Audio: DTS-HD MA Stereo
Video: 1080P Widescreen (1.85:1)
Director: Robert Bierman, Neil Jordan 
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Jennifer Beal, Maria Conchita Alonso, Daryl Hannah, Peter O’Toole, Steve Guttenberg, Beverly D’Angelo, Jennifer Tilly, Peter Gallagher, Liam Neeson

Synopsis: Teetering on the edge of sanity, volatile literary agent Peter Loew (Nicolas Cage) tries to find purpose in his life through a cutthroat work ethic and a hedonistic night life. But when an encounter with a mysterious beauty leaves Loew convinced that he is turning into a vampire, his behavior turns positively outrageous. - SCREAM FACTORY 

Peter Loew (Nicolas Cage) is a literary agent in the big city struggling to maintain his sanity after his girlfriend has left him, now depressed he regularly seeks the counsel of a shrink (Elizabeth Ashley), who notes Pete's increasingly erratic behavior. The struggle to keep his sanity about him becomes more difficult when he meets a mysterious woman named Rachel (Jennifer Beals) at a nightclub. Back at his apartment she reveals herself to be a vampire and sinks her fangs into his neck, the next day believing himself to be a vampire he is overcome by delusion and madness.

Even at this early stage in his career Nicolas Cage was no stranger to quirky performances, but this might be the first time we saw him go full-on crazy with a stunner of an oddball performance, one that still stands out as one of his most bizarre taking on an accent that sounds like Ted "Theodore" Logan channeled through a Brit, very weird stuff and a choice that calls attention to itself. Cage seems to be aiming for more of Dwight Fry's Renfield more so than any incarnation of a vampire, hunched over and bug-eyed, heightened by the fact that the rest of the cast are playing this very straight. Are they playing it too straight or is her just too weird, regardless the outcome is a off kilter black comedy with Cage completely unhinged.  

A subplot of the film has Peter tasking his secretary Alva (María Conchita Alonso) with finding a missing document in the office archives, when she is unable to produce the document Peter torments the woman with verbal condemnation. So upsetting is the experience that she calls-in sick the next day, but Peter pays her a visit with an apology and fake sympathy, encouraging her to return to work only to flip the switch once she's back at the office.  When the secretary confides in her brother of the torments she suffers at work he sets off to avenge his sister's mistreatment by the increasingly dangerous would-be vampire. 

As the film comes to conclusion we find a deranged Peter running through the streets of the city raving like a lunatic, covered in blood and wearing plastic vampire fangs while carrying on a conversation with multiple figments of his imagination, possibly having murdered several people. 

VAMPIRE'S KISS struggles to find a consistent tone meandering back and forth from dark comedy to a more serious character study of a man suffering from the effects of insanity. Cage gives a completely unrestrained performance which can be both engaging and sort of off putting from once scene to the next. Honestly this is a bit of train wreck of a film but once I bought into it I actually enjoyed myself but I can only imagine I am in the minority, this is a hard sell of film, so uneven and muddled. 

Synopsis: Daryl Hannah, Peter O’Toole, Steve Guttenberg, Beverly D’Angelo, Jennifer Tilly, Peter Gallagher and Liam Neeson star in this hilariously haunting comedy! When a castle-turned-hotel owned by Peter Plunkett (O’Toole) falls on hard financial times, he comes up with an idea to turn the place into a tourist attraction by billing it as Europe's most haunted castle. But just when it seems he'll have to give up the ghost, some real phantoms show up — and they're none too thrilled about being exploited. - SCREAM FACTORY 

Peter Plunkett (Peter O'Toole) the owner of a dilapidated Irish castle transforms the shabby stone-walled home into a haunted bed and breakfast in a last-ditch effort to cash in on the tourism trade before his American creditors can foreclose on the property. With the help of his colorful staff they set about creating a series of hokey haunting gimmicks and invite the first round of American tourists to stay at "the most haunted castle in Europe". Right from the start the haunted hotel opens with disastrous consequence to the dismay of the tourist, but when all seems lost it turns out this castle is actually haunted by spooks and spectres. 

Directed by the imaginative Irish director Neil Jordan (IN THE COMPANY OF WOLVES) the film had a wonderful sense of the fantastic with an amazing castle set-piece and a fun eighties cast of characters. Peter O'Toole (ZULU DAWN) is quite fun as the often drunk, somewhat suicidal showman who leads a rag tag crew of Irish housemaids and gardeners into a poorly conceived money-making scheme, the man is a legend for a reason and has charisma to spare.  

The American tourists are represented by eighties funnyman Steve Guttenberg (COCOON) and his frigid wife Beverly D'Angelo (CHRISTMAS VACATION), Martin Ferrero (THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK) as a paranormal skeptic, Peter Gallagher (AMERICAN BEAUTY) as a Priest and Jennifer Tilly (BOUND) as a raspy-voiced vixen who seriously wants to defrock that priest, pretty much the same sultry character she plays in everything. 

Add to this comedic mixture the ethereal beauty of Daryl Hannah (BLADE RUNNER) as the spirit of Mary Plunkett and her murderous husband played by the Liam Neeson (DARKMAN) who both haunt the castle, caught in a spectral loop of honeymoon murder until Guttenberg breaks the cycle, igniting a supernatural love affair. 

Quite a fun and farcical romp from the eighties with loads of sight gags and supernatural hi jinx that should appeal to fans of ensemble comedies CLUE and HAUNTED HONEYMOON, the entire cast play this one pitch perfect, a fun combination of haunted hokum and pratfall humor that is sure to make you laugh out loud. . 

HIGH SPIRITS is the far and away winner on this double feature with it's spirited mix of the supernatural and farce, worth the price of admission alone, but VAMPIRE'S KISS is not without it's own odd appeal. A weird double feature from Scream Factory who have a pretty solid reputation of cult, b-movies and horror releases, but most horror fans have a pretty well-rounded appreciation for cinema in general, and I am sure this will find an audience, HIGH SPIRITS particularly would be a great introduction to horror for your kids. 

Monday, January 26, 2015



Label: Severin Films

Release Date: February 10th 2015 
Region Code: 0
Duration: 840 Minutes

Rating: Unrated
Audio: English Dolby Digital; 2.0
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1)
Director: Jake West
Cast: Martin Barker, Sian Barber, James Ferman, Sir Graham Bright, Lavinia Carey, Alex Chandon, Tony Clarke, Kate Egan, David Flint, John Hayward, Spencer Hickman, David Hyman, Neil Keenan, C.P. Lee, Alan Jones, David Kerekes, Craig Lapper, Neil Marshall, Paul McEvoy, Marc Morris, Kim Newman, Julian Petley, Geoffrey Robertson QC, Christopher Smith, Stephen Thrower, Cathal Tohill, Carol Topolski, Nigel Wingrove


Here we have the follow-up documentary to VIDEO NASTIES: MORAL PANIC, CENSORSHIP AND VIDEOTAPE from director Jake West and producer Marc Morris. The new doc VIDEO NASTIES: DRACONIAN DAYS takes up where the first film left off, a seamless companion piece this time following the further exploits of the Director of British Board of Film Classification James Ferman following the passing of the Obscene Publications Act in 1985 by the Director of Public Prosecutions. 

This time out we have more insider accounts from BBFC examiners David Hyman, Craig Lapper and Carol Topolsky who offer some insight into what went on behind the scenes at the censor board. Topolsky herself recounts a viewing of Lucio Fulci classic THE NEW YORK RIPPER (19882), an experience so horrific for her that she was left weeping silently afterward, so upset was she by the ghastly experience, probably not meant to be funny but I snickered just a little. The late James Fermen is thoroughly represented throughout by a series vintage TV interviews and public appearances, never one to avoid the spotlight, Ferman was quite a charismatic public spokesperson. If you doubt it just watch noted critic and horror author Alan Jones recount how his own opinion of censorship being temporarily swayed following a presentation by the smooth-talking censor. 

It would be quite easy to demonize the man for much of the Video Nasty business but the film paints a somewhat uneven portrait of the man. Ferman flat out refused classification of Tobe Hooper's THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (1974) and William Friedken's THE EXORCIST (1973) but went on to pass David Cronenberg's challenging fetish film CRASH (1996) uncut into the cinema. He would later spearheaded a campaign to loosen constraints on hardcore pornography, a crusade which ended in an early retirement. I did appreciate that the doc's portrayal of Fermen does not completely demonize the censor, though some of his staff certainly raise questions about his practices and increasingly autocratic rule at the BBFC.

Having grown up during the 80s I enjoyed the freedom of uncensored cult, horror and exploitation at the video store, so censorship of film was not something I endured with horror films. It would not be until the Parent Music Resource Center (PMRC) campaigned against my music that censorship struck home. We are shown censorship in action, reaching ridiculous levels  as to restrict what an adult can view in their own home, censors cater to the whims of hysterical free press who routinely lay blame for societal violence at the feet of filmmakers. This was what happened with the murder of a two year-old James Burger by a pair of ten year old youths with a tenuous link to a viewing of CHILD'S PLAY 3 (1991) and the even more suspect connection between the Hungerford Massacre shooter and the action film FIRST BLOOD (1982). 

The Video Nasty era spawned an underground network of gore-starved horror fans who turned to trading uncensored horror tapes with each other at a time when their favorite films were being eviscerated by the BBFC censors. The doc offers fascinating archival footage of an actual raid by the authorities who come into the home of a suspected tape-trader. Here I am staring at my shelves overloaded with uncensored cult and horror films, the thought that I could be raided, my collection destroyed and possibly be imprisoned for it is just mind-boggling, it seems unfathomable to me.  

VIDEO NASTIES: DRACONIAN DAYS is essential viewing and a seamless follow-up to the first VIDEO NASTIES doc.  As with the first VIDEO NASTIES doc the first disc is only the beginning, we still have two more discs with over nine hours of content to pour over. 

Onto the second and third disc is this sprawling it follows the same set-up as the first installment, the original trailers for all 82 films designated under “Section 3” of the Obscene Publications Act by the Director of Public Prosecutions. These titles were liable for seizure and forfeiture by the police, removed from sale or hire and then destroyed; although they were ultimately not prosecuted. The existence of a "Section 3" list was discovered during the making of the original VIDEO NASTIES: THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE and is presented here with newly created introductions from noted horror authors and journalists Stephen Thrower, Kim Newman, Alan Jones, Julian Grainger, Justin Kerswell, Dr. Patricia MacCormack, Marc Morris, Kim Newman and Dr. Karen Oughton.

The intros are fantastic with the bulk of the introductions being handled by noted horror authorities Kim Newman, Alan Jones and Stephen Thrower who offer a combination of dry wit and bemusement in addition to some befuddlement with what could have lead to their inclusion on the list. Stephen Thrower has won my heart as he sings the praises for the obscure art house horror entry THE CHILD (1977),  and somehow manages to sing the praises for the snooze fests OASIS OF THE ZOMBIES (1982) and ZOMBIE LAKE (1982). Newman does not seem to be a fan of slashers but mention that  CHRISTMAS EVIL (1980) is a cut above the usual psycho Santa offering. Alan Jones gets a few choice films to intro including DAWN OF THE DEAD (1978), MARTIN (1977), DEEP RED (1975)SUSPIRIA (1977) and the first two FRIDAY THE 13TH entries. I was also pleased to see Justin Kerswell of the HYSTERIA CONTINUES podcast introducing MIDNIGHT (1982), THE PROWLER (1981)and NIGHTMARE CITY (1980). If you are any sort of slasher fan you need to subscribe to the podcast immediately. I did miss the intros from Emily Booth this time around, she was quite a presence on the first VIDEO NASTY doc. 

Both discs two and three offer the option to watch the eighty-two trailers with introduction or the option to view both the trailers and intro separately,  which I appreciated. Sometimes you just want to watch a damn decent trailer reel and another times you may just want to nerd out on the plethora of introductions that are fact-filled nuggets  of cult, horror and exploitation films. That's a mighty list of 82 films, not all are classic films but the trailers are certainly entertaining, through a combination of suspense, schlock and gore each has a charm that cannot be denied. 

Abducted (Don Jones, 1973) intro by Stephen Thrower
Aftermath, The (Steve Barkett, 1980) intro by Dr. Karen Oughton
Black Room, The (Elly Kenner; Norman Thaddeus Vane, 1981) intro by Stephen Thrower
Blood Lust (Marijan Vajda, 1976) intro by Kim Newman
Blood Song (Alan J. Levi, 1974) intro by Justin Kerswell
Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll, The (Carlos Aured, 1973) intro by Alan Jones
Brutes and Savages (Arthur Davis, 1977) intro by Dr. Karen Oughton
Cannibal (Ruggero Deodato, 1976) intro by Alan Jones
Cannibals (Jess Franco, 1980) intro by Marc Morris
Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, The (Fred Schepisi, 1978) intro by Dr. Patricia MacCormack
Child, The (Robert Voskanian, 1977) intro by Stephen Thrower
Christmas Evil (Lewis Jackson, 1980) intro by Kim Newman
Communion (Alfred Sole, 1976) intro by Alan Jones
Dawn of the Mummy (Farouk Agrama as Frank Agrama, 1981) intro by Justin Kerswell
Dead Kids (Michel Laughlin, 1981) intro by Alan Jones
Death Weekend (William Fruet, 1976) intro by Kim Newman
Deep Red (Dario Argento, 1975) intro by Alan Jones
Demented (Arthur Jeffreys, 1980) intro by Evrim Ersoy
Demons, The (Jess Franco as Clifford Brown, 1972) intro my Marc Morris
Don't Answer the Phone! (Robert Hammer, 1979) intro by Justin Kerswell
Eaten Alive (Umberto Lenzi, 1980) intro by Julien Grainger
Enter the Devil (Frank Q. Dobbs, 1972) intro by Kim Newman
Erotic Rites of Frankenstein, The (Jess Franco, 1972) intro by Stephen Thrower
Evil, The (Gus Trikonis, 1977) intro by Justin Kerswell
Executioner, The (Dominico Miceli as Duke Mitchell, 1978) intro by Evrim Ersoy
Final Exam (Jimmy Huston, 1981) intro by Kim Newman
Foxy Brown (Jack Hill, 1974) intro by Kim Newman
Friday the 13th (Sean S. Cunningham, 1980) intro by Alan Jones
Friday the 13th 2 (Steve Miner, 1981) intro by Alan Jones
G.B.H. (David Kent-Watson, 1983) intro by C.P. Lee
Graduation Day (Herb Freed, 1981) intro by Kim Newman
Happy Birthday to Me (J. Lee-Thompson, 1980) intro by Justin Kerswell
Headless Eyes (Kent Bateman, 1971) intro by Stephen Thrower
Hell Prison (Eduardo Mulargia as Edward G. Muller, 1979) intro by Karen Oughton
Hills Have Eyes, The (Wes Craven, 1977) intro by Kim Newman
Home Sweet Home (Nettie Peña, 1980) intro by Kin Newman
Honeymoon Horror (Harry Preston, 1982) intro by Julian Grainger
Inseminoid (Norman J. Warren, 1980) intro by Alan Jones
Invasion of the Blood Farmers (Ed Adlum, 1972) intro by Kim Newman
Killing Hour, The (Armand Mastroianni, 1982) intro by Dr. Patricia MacCormack
Last Horror Film (David Winters, 1982) intro by Kim Newman
Last Hunter (Antonio Margheriti as Anthony M. Dawson, 1980) intro by Alan Jones
Love Butcher, The (Mikel Ange; Don Jones, 1975) intro by Stephen Thrower
Mad Foxes (Paul Grau, 1981) intro by Stephen Thrower
Mark of the Devil (Michael Armstrong, 1969) intro by Alan Jones
Martin (George A. Romero, 1976) intro by Alan Jones
Massacre Mansion (Michael Pataki, 1975) intro by Kim Newman
Mausoleum (Michael Dugan, 1982) intro by Kim Newman
Midnight (John Russo, 1980) intro by Justin Kerswell
Naked Fist (Cirio H. Santiago, 1981) intro by Marc Morris
Nesting, The (Armand Weston, 1980) intro by Kim Newman
New Adventures of Snow White (Rolf Thiele, 1969) intro by Dr. Patricia MacCormack
Night of the Living Dead (George A. Romero, 1968) intro by Kim Newman
NightBeast (Donald M. Dohler, 1982) intro by Stephen Thrower
Nightmare City (Umberto Lenzi, 1980) intro by Justin Kerswell
Oasis of the Zombies (Jess Franco, 1981) intro by Stephen Thrower
Parasite (Charles Band, 1982) intro by Kim Newman
Phantasm (Don Coscarelli, 1977) intro by Stephen Thrower
Pigs (Marc Lawrence, 1972) intro by Stephen Thrower
Prey (Norman J. Warren, 1977) intro by  Alan Jones
Prom Night (Paul Lynch, 1980) intro by Kim Newman
Rabid (David Cronenberg, 1976) intro by  Stephen Thrower
Rosemary's Killer (Joseph Zito, 1981) intro by Justin Kerswell
Savage Terror (Sisworo Gautama Putra, 1979) intro by Dr. Karen Oughton
Scanners (David Cronenberg, 1980) intro by Kim Newman
Scream for Vengeance (Bob Bliss, 1979) intro by Kim Newman
Shogun Assassin (Robert Houston, 1972) intro by  Evrim Ersoy
Street Killers (Sergio Grieco, 1977) intro by Dr. Patricia MacCormack
Suicide Cult (James Glickenhaus, 1977) intro by Stephen Thrower
Superstition (James W. Roberson, 1982) intro by Kim Newman
Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977) intro by Alan Jones
Terror (Norman J. Warren, 1978) intro by Evrim Ersoy
Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974) intro by Kim Newman
Thing, The (John Carpenter, 1982) intro by Kim Newman
Tomb of the Living Dead (Gerardo De Leon; Eddie Romero, 1968) intro by Kim Newman
Toy Box, The (Ron Garcia, 1970) intro by Kim Newman
Werewolf Woman (Rino Di Silvestro, 1976) intro by Alan Jones
Wrong Way (Ray Williams (as Ron Kelly, 1972) intro by Dr. Patricia MacCormack
Xtro (Harry Bromley Davenport, 1982) intro by Alan Jones
Zombie Holocaust (Marino Girolami (as Frank Martin, 1980) intro by Kim Newman
Dawn of the Dead (George A. Romero, 1978) intro by Kim Newman
Zombie Lake (Jean Rollin; Julian de Laserna, 1980 intro by Stephen Thrower 

Special features on disc include a gallery of underground fanzine covers that were popular reading for gore-starved horror fans during the Video Nasty era. There's also a massively entertaining gallery of scanned VHS covers representing the original DPP 72 and DPP 82 films.

I did manage to find two Easter Eggs hidden away on the set. If you are willing to spend the time scrolling up and down the menus you will be rewarded with a short film by director Paul Whittington that was inspired by the first VIDEO NASTIES doc and a gallery of UK horror movie festival passes. If you discover more than what I have uncovered let me know!

- Fanzine Flashback: Image Gallery of 300 rare British Fanzine Covers (18 Minutes) 

- Image Gallery of Banned Video Sleeves (18 Minutes) 
- Easter Eggs: A Short Film Inspired by VIDEO NASTIES (3 Minutes)  and Gallery of Festival Passes 


VIDEO NASTIES: THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE: PART 2 is a must-own for any horror fan worth their salt or just film history buffs with an interest in censorship, these three-discs are jam-packed with content from the thorough examination of the censorship on through to the massive collection of rare cult, horror and exploitation trailers. It does not get any more essential than this set right here, definitely an an early contender for release of the year.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

EXISTS (2014)

EXISTS (2014)
Label: Lionsgate
Release Date: February 3rd 2015 

Region Code: 1 NTSC
Rating: R
Duration: 102 Minutes
Video: Anamorphic Windscreen (1.78;1)
Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1 with Optional English Subtitles

Cast: Chris Osborn, Dora Madison Burge, Roger Edwards, Denise Williamson, Samuel Davis, Brian Steele
Director: Eduardo Sanchez

Three dudes and their lady friends drive to a cabin out in rural East Texas for a weekend of debauchery at a cabin in the woods, where else? The cabin belongs to one of the dudes uncles who previously warned them to stay away for reasons unknown, but if everyone listened to warnings we would not have many scary movies. The group are armed to the teeth with an arsenal of GoPro cameras, smart devices and video equipment to capture all the righteous partying out at the cabin. Once they arrive we're treated to all the GoPro Mountain Dew fueled dude-type shenanigans you've come to expect from shows like MTV's Ridiculousness and legions of millennial YouTubers. 

While there they begin to hear the bloodcurdling cries from an animal somewhere in the woods Chris, the stoner of the group, decides it was be Bigfoot and sets about documenting his amateur crypto-quest to find the hairy beast. He doesn't have to wait very long, the damn thing makes it's presence known on his first trip into the forest. Spooked by noises Chris returns to the cabin where later that night Bigfoot terrorizes the group, snorting and banging on the walls of the cabin, scaring the bejeezus out of everyone before destroying their only mode of transportation. 

In the morning with few other options one of them volunteers to mountain bike his way to an area where they can get cell phone reception and call for help. With the GoPro equipment strapped to his bike and helmet he makes a run for it. Through the miracle of GoPro we are treated to a pretty tense chase scene through the woods with the agile creature chasing down the mountain biker. Afterward that Sasquatch returns to the cabin in pursuit of the others in an all out night time assault that drives the group into the basement while the Bigfoot tears apart the cabin. I give the filmmaker props for creating some good tension and atmosphere, there are quite a few white knuckle moments throughout. 

Director Eduardo Sanchez (THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT) is mining some familiar ground here with a group of kids out in the woods who find themselves in danger, this time with the Bigfoot thrown into the mix. He certainly doesn't stray from the established tropes of found footage, we have a typical set-up of kids in the woods, the annoying use of night vision, some jittery cam and lots of running and screaming but none of that detracted from my enjoyment, this is just big, dumb Bigfoot fun and I can appreciate that.

I thought the entire cast was decent with stoner Chris being the focus for me, he's just a guy that's easy to like. The script offers plenty of eye-rolling moments of poor judgement and characters making poor decisions but for the most part I was keyed into the movie and on board for a kids go into the woods, kids encounter Sasquatch, kids get dead, run for life type of film.. 

What it does have going for it are some fun set-pieces and the fantastic creature design. I was expecting the creature to be just out of sight for the duration of the film, and it does start off that way but we do actually get up close and personal with the beast.  So much so that the creature does get a few small character moments, nothing too corny, just enough to understand why the creature is targeting the group of kids.

It's been quite a few years since I've stumbled across a decent Bigfoot film, and this one delivers the goods and then some. As a found-footage film this is pretty standard stuff but as a Bigfoot films this is right up there with ABOMINABLE (2006) and the cock-shredding insanity of NIGHT OF THE DEMON (1984), EXIST is a fast-paced beast of a Bigfoot film I can get behind. 
The disc from Lionsgate includes an audio commentary from director Eduardo Sánchez and writer Jamie Nash, fifteen minutes of deleted scenes including an alternate opening and ending, a thirty-minute making of featurette and a cool featurette about the design and creation of the Bigfoot creature. There has not been a Blu-ray announced for the film but the DVD does include a UV digital copy and it is available in HD on Amazon instant video to own or rent. 

Special Features

- Audio Commentary by director Eduardo Sánchez and writer Jamie Nash
- Deleted Scenes (15 Minutes)
- 21 Days In The Woods: Behind The Scenes Of "Exists" (30 Minutes)
- Bringing Big Foot To Life (10 Minutes) 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Label: Vinegar Syndrome
Region Code: region Free
Duration: 2 Minutes
Rating: XXX
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen (1.85:1)
Audio: English Dolby Digital Mono 
Director: Alex deRenzy
Cast: Desiree Costeau, John Leslie, Joey Silvera, Juliet Anderson

Alex DeRenzy's x-rated comedy PRETTY PEACHES stars then newcomer Desiree Costeau as the titular character Peaches. At the start of the film she's driving the wedding of her father to the sexy black nymphet Lilly (Flower) in Nevada. She stops off at a podunk gas station where she sends the locals into a horny frenzy with her super-short shorts, the attendant is so damn aroused by the short-haired cutie that he sniffs the seat she was sitting in just hoping for a whiff of her supreme naughty bits. 

Peaches arrives late to the ceremony but just in time to see the vows and after downing a few shots the drunken Peaches  gets behind the wheel of her Jeep before driving off the road and into the scrub brush and falling to the ground unconscious where she is found by Kid (Joey Silvera) and Terry (Ken Scudder), two of them men from earlier at the gas station. In a pervy attempt to assist the woman in distress they decide to loosen her clothing before Kid has sex with her unconscious body. 

When she comes to a few moments later questioning just what happened to her we discover that a bump on her noggin has caused amnesia, now confused and unable to remember who she is or even her name, the pair of low lifes take her to a doctor whom oddly practices his chosen profession in a public restroom. In an effort to he her regain her memory the freaky doc performs an enema that ends up being quite a water show leaving the doc unconscious on the floor. That's the magic of this film, somehow it manages to make something so completely filthy into something fun, somehow it works. Seems an off choice to start your porn-comedy with rape and an enema yet somehow I am entertained by it all. 

Kid and Terry are willing to let are willing to let Peaches stay at their place with the one caveat that she must find a job, and what job would is better suited for the curvy Peaches than a dancer. Somehow the dance audition turns into a impromptu live sex show with an army of dildo-donning carpet munchers using and abusing the poor naive Peaches who is chained to a table and left in a fit of tears, again, something that could have been very dark again played for laughs, a lot of it has to do with peaches reactions to these situations, she's played for laughs as a bit of a wide-eyed bimbo. 

Not surprisingly as the film pays out the attractive and naive Peaches finds herself involved in still more sexual misadventures while trying to recover her lost memories, leading to the oiled-up orgy at the end with a surprise twist of incest! 

Pretty Peaches covers some dark subject matter including the distasteful areas of rape, enemas and incest, all of which could have potentially dragged it down, but, through the performances of Costeau and the playful touch of director deRenzy it manages to create just the right mix of adult mischievousness with just the right amount of tongue in cheek humor.

Coming from the golden age of porn the film does set-up a fun storyline of Peaches trying to recover her memories but doesn't carry it through all that well - this is pretty silly stuff - but the incest tinged finale made me laugh quite a bit. The cast is great, particularly Desiree Costeau as Peaches who plays it for cute laughs with a mixture of pouty faced sexuality and bubbly personality, it certainly doesn't hurt that she has a wonderful body with perky breasts and gorgeous curves from the head to toe. Additionally we have the character of the new step mom played by Flower with some great comedic delivery and playful sex scenes. 

The DVD from Vinegar Syndrome features a new 2K restoration from 35mm archival element and sports a natural layer of fine film grain and with it some very nice fine detail. Skin tones are natural looking and the color reproduction and black levels are solid. Vinegar Syndrome offered the film as a limited edition Blu-ray back in October, The picture quality is fantastic, this is yet another sterling presentation from Vinegar Syndrome.

The English language Dolby Digital Mono audio sounds great for what it is, offering a nice balance of dialogue, score and the sweet sounds of fornication. Due to the limitations of the source material there are changes in the audio quality from scene to scene but overall there are no issues to speak of. 

The disc includes a handful of special features including the only known video interview with director Alex deRenzy recorded sometime before his death in 2001, for twenty minutes the director fondly looks back on his early career and sharing stories of making a few films including briefly mentioning Pretty Peaches. 

There's also an eleven-minute interview with film historian Ted Mcilvenna who shares stories of his friend Alex deRenzy offering some fun insights and analysis of his films. Lastly there are a selection of deRenzy trailers for Baby Face II, Pretty Peaches II and Femmes de Sade. 

Special Features:- Dual-Layer DVD-9 | Region Free | 16:9 Anamorphic | MONO
- Restored in 2k from 35mm archival elements
- Archival interview with Alex deRenzy (19 Minutes)
- Interview with film historian Ted Mcilvenna (11 Minutes)
- Baby Face II Trailer (4 Minutes) 

- Pretty Peaches II Trailer (4 Minutes) 
Femmes De Sade Trailer 94 Minutes) 

Verdict: A solid disc from Vinegar Syndrome from start to finish and quite a fun watch. Pretty Peaches was my first encounter with deRenzy and I am looking forward to watching more from the late director of humor-tinged-smut.