Thursday, July 25, 2019




Well, it's been over a month since the last installment of The Epitaph capsule reviews, so it's good to be back with a fresh batch of genre cinema for you horror-loving fans with some spare cash! This time around we've got a little bit for everybody coming from one of our favorite labels, Scream Factory, who offer-up some vintage 40's Universal horror, an 80's stalker thriller starring the lovely Morgan Fairchild, millennial cannibalism from Eli Roth and a visually stunning video game adaptation from Christopher Gans. 

Label: Scream Factory
Region Code: A
Rating: Unrated 
Duration: 66 Minutes 
Audio: English DTS-HD MA Mono with Optional English Subtitles
Video: 1080p HD Full Frame (1.37:1) 
Director: Jacques Tourneur
Cast: Dennis O'Keefe, Margo, Jean Brooks, Isabel Jewell, James Bell

The 1940s horror cult classic The Leopard Man (1943) gets a brand new 4k scan of the original nitrate camera negative courtesy of Scream Factory who have been killing me with their string of vintage Universal and Hammer horror films this year! This is another team-up with producer Val Lewton (The Body Snatcher, Bedlam, The Ghost Ship) and Jacques Tourneur, the director of the original Cat People. When a leopard - but what looks to actually be a black panther - escapes during an ill-conceived publicity stunt it launches a string of savage deaths around a small border town, the deaths look to be the maulings of the wild feline, but questions linger, is this the work of a leopard or a serial killer? This sleek murder mystery has a shadowy noir look about it, balancing suspense, horror and some good old fashioned dread throughout the film. It's the sort of judiciously executed movie that proves sometimes less is more, with the first victim, a young girl, being attacked behind a closed door to the terror of her mother and brother. Though the audibly horrific attack is unseen by us a trickle of blood begins to pool from beneath the door, it's so effective and creepy. The film is noted as possibly the first film ever about a serial killer, and while it's not as well recognized as some of Val Lewton's stuff it's an absolute stone-cold serial-killer classic. The new 4K scan looks phenomenal, the 1.37:1 fullframe image is presented in gorgeous 1080p HD with a healthy amount of grain and fine detail throughout, and contrast and black levels are rock solid for a film of this vintage. Audio comes by way of English DTS-HD MA Mono 2.0 audio with optional subtitles. Extras include a vintage audio commentary with filmmaker William Friedkin (The Exorcist) plus a new commentary with filmmaker/film historian Constantine Nasr, both of which are excellent, plus a trailer for the film and an extensive image gallery. I definitely recommend this for fans of vintage mystery and horror films, love seeing these Val Lewton produced classics getting new life on Blu-ray! 

Special Features:

- NEW 4K scan of the original nitrate camera negative
- NEW Audio Commentary with filmmaker/film historian Constantine Nasr
- Audio Commentary with filmmaker William Friedkin
- Theatrical Trailer (1 min) HD 
- Still Gallery (9 mi) HD


Label: Scream Factory
Region Code: A
Rating: R
Duration: 104 Minutes 
Audio: English DTS-HD MA
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (2.35:1) 
Director: David Schmoeller
Cast: Morgan Fairchild, Michael Sarrazin, Vince Edwards, Andrew Stevens, Colleen Camp, Kevin Brophy

The 80's stalker-thriller The Seduction stars Morgan Fairchild (in her big screen debut) as popular L.A. anchorwoman Jamie Douglas who finds herself stalked by an admirer named Derek (Andrew Stevens, 10 to Midnight). While she politely  rebuffs his advances he quickly becomes increasingly obsessed with the TV personality, secretly watching her and making her life a living hell. This is a solid thriller from the 80's, one that was addressing the issue of stalking when not many other films were, but it's bit tame for exploitation-loving tastes. That aside, I will say it is well acted by all parties and Fairchild is a stone-cold stunner, her turn as not-so-helpless victim there at the end was a fun stuff, turning the tables on her stalker. The film arrives on Blu-ray from Scream Factory with a 1080p HD image framed in 2.35:1 widescreen, looking solid if not offering perfection. We get an English DTS-HD MA Mono audio track with optional subtitles, plus about an hour and half of extras including brand new interviews with both Morgan Fairchild, Andrew Stevens and Producer Bruce Cohn Curtis. Not a real gripper for me but a solidly made 80's thriller from director David Schmoeller who made this in-between his seminal supernatural slasher Tourist Trap (1978) and the Klaus Kinski creeper Crawlspace (1986). 

Special Features:
- NEW “Beauty and Strength” Interview with Actress Morgan Fairchild (22 min) HD 
- NEW “The Seducer” Interview with Actor Andrew Stevens (11 min) HD 
-  NEW “Flashbacks” – Interview with Producer Bruce Cohn Curtis (22 min) HD 
-  Audio Commentary with Producer Irwin Yablans, Bruce Cohn Curtis and Writer/Director David Schmoeller
- “Remembering The Seduction” featurette featuring interviews with Bruce Cohn Curtis, Irwin Yablans, David Schmoeller, Actress Colleen Camp, Actor Kevin Brophy and Associate Producer Tom Curtis (11 min) HD 
- “Remembering the Locations and Production” featurette with Bruce Cohn Curtis and Location Manager Charles Newirth (11 min) 
-  “Remembering The Seduction and The Law” featurette (8 min) HD
- Original Theatrical Trailer (2 min)
- TV Spot (1 min) HD 
- Still Gallery (5 min) 

Label: Scream Factory
Region Code: A
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 101 Minutes
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1 with Optional English Subtitles
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (2.40:1)
Director: Eli Roth 
Cast: Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy, Daryl Sabara, Kirby Bliss Blanton

The Green Inferno (2013) from Eli Roth, the director Hostel (2005) and Cabin Fever (2002), is an homage to the gut-munching cannibal films of the 70's and early 80's, stuff like the grisly Cannibal Holocaust (1980) and the tit-on-a-meat-hook Cannibal Ferox (1981). He does good work bringing the the flesh-stripping charms of those films into the modern age with a group of really annoying student activists flying to Peru to protest the deforestation of a big-bad oil company. They more or less do what they set out to do and hop on a plane back to the U.S. only to crash-land deep in the Peruvian jungle and, irony of ironies, fall prey to the bloodthirsty indigenous people they came there to protect! I make no bones about loving this movie, it's a fun throwback, and should be viewed as such, with a group of reprehensible westerners falling prey to their own idiocy and hunger of the cannibals who capture them. We have some excellent and gory practical make-up effects from the legend himself, Greg Nicotero (The Walking Dead), with no shortage of grisly grue and geysers of blood throughout the gritty film, making this a gory delight. I don't care that the character are not fleshed out to any deep degree, it's a damn cannibal film and what we get is on par with what I'd expected coming into it, and not much else.  The film arrives on 2-disc Blu-ray/CD Collector's Edition from Scream Factory sporting the same transfer as the previous Universal release, which was already solid, with a English DTS-HD MA Surround 5.1 audio track with optional English subtitles. The release comes housed in a standard Blu-ray keepcase with a reversible sleeve of artwork featuring a fantastic new illustration from Devon Whitehead that is repeated on the slipcover that accompanies it. I do believe this is a first for Scream factory, they've included a 28-track CD soundtrack of the film composed by Manuel Riveiro (The Stranger), which is something I would love to see them continue with select releases going forward. The Blu-ray is packed with extras, including everything from the previous Universal release, plus new interviews with the director, cast and crew. The Green Inferno is a grisly and fun throwback to the cannibal films of yesteryear, a ton of fun for those inclined to enjoy such things, and I most certainly do, this comes highly recommended.   

Special Features:
- Includes The Exclusive Original CD Soundtrack By Manuel Riveiro: CD Track Listing: 1. Opening Titles 2. Justine
3. In the Pastry Shop 4. Go Ahead 5. The Jaguar by the River 6. Intervention 7. The Plane Crash 8. Lost in the Jungle 9. Someone Is Coming 10. The Tribe 11. The First Sacrifice 12. The Banquet 13. "I'm Really Sick" 14. A Night in the Cage 15. The Virgin 16. Run Samantha Run 17. I Don't Remember 18. The Suicide 19. The Plan 20. Poor Funny Boy 21. The Flight 22. A Dangerous Place 23. A Girl for a Ritual 24. Tribe at War 25. The Good Child 26. Back Home 27. The Big Green (Bonus Track) 28. Running Across the Jungle (Bonus Track)
- NEW Into The Green Inferno – An Interview With Co-writer/Producer/Director Eli Roth (50 min) HD 
- NEW Uncivilized Behavior: Method Acting In The Green Inferno – Featuring Interviews With Actors Lorenza Izzo, Daryl Sabara, And Kirby Bliss Blanton (35 min) HD 
- Behind The Scenes Footage – Nearly An Hour Of Never-Before-Seen Footage
- Audio Commentary With Co-writer/Producer/Director Eli Roth, Producer Nicolás López, And Cast Members Lorenza Izzo, Aaron Burns, Kirby Bliss Blanton, And Daryl Sabara
- Behind-the-Scenes Footage (55 min) HD  
- Making-of Featurette (16 min)HD
- Lorena Izzo Featurette (1 min) HD)
- Meet the Villagers Featurette (1 min) HD
- Amazon Jungle Featurette (1 min) HD
- Movie Gallery (5 min)HD
- Behind the Scenes Gallery (13 min) HD
- Village Construction Gallery(3 min)HD
- Storyboards and Makeup Test Gallery (6 min) HD
- Publicity Gallery  (1 min) HD
- Theatrical Trailer (2 min) 
- TV Spots (2 min) 

Label: Scream Factory
Region Code: A
rating: R
Duration: 125 Minutes
Audio: English DTS-JD MA Surround 5.1 with Optional English Subtitles
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (2.35:1) 
Director: Christopher Gans
Cast: Radha Mitchell, Sean Bean, Laurie Holden, Deborah Kara Unger, Kim Coates, Tanya Allen, Alice Krige, Jodelle Ferland

I am not currently or have ever been a big gamer, the last game I obsessed over for a short while was Tony Hawk Pro Skater on the original Playstation, before that it was Goldeneye on the N64 system, and everyone once in a while I'll play Mortal Combat or Call of Duty n the XBOX One with my son, but it's never been an addiction, i was always way more into playing Galaga or Spyhunter in the arcade at the mall, that was my gaming heyday, y'know, because I'm an old fart! Horror has always been my jam though, but the Silent Hill games have always eluded me, and when this movie adaptation arrived in the cinemas in 2006 I just couldn't be bothered to go see it. Anyway, that's the long way of saying this new Blu-ray release is my first time watching the film, and I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed it. Directed by Christopher Gans (The Brotherhood of the Wolf) the film is creepy with surreal imagery, set in town that was deserted years earlier after an apocalyptic disaster, a coal-fire burning beneath the town's streets. A mother's sleepwalking young daughter is drawn to the town, so she of course takes her there, and weird shit happens, including the appearance of deformed creatures and nightmarish knife wielding faceless nurses, and the hulking menace known as Pyramid Head. Even creepier than all the monstrosities populating this nightmarish ghost-town is a cult leader, played by the ethereal Alice Krige (Ghost Story) who sent shivers up my spine. I dig this adaptation a lot, but it has some issues, like the fact that it runs for over two hours, and the circa'06 CGI is not doing it any favors, but there's no denying that this is a visually stunning film, even if I think the story is a but muddled and confusing.  The 2-disc Blu-ray Collector's Edition from Scream Factory presents the film in 1080p HD framed in 2.40:1 widescreen with a solid DTS-HD 5.1 audio track that really takes advantage of the surrounds to create a wholly immersive experience, optional English subtitles are provided. We get well over three-hours of archival and new extras, plus a reversible sleeve of artwork including a new illustration by Devon Whitehead that looks cool as hell. Glad I finally caught up with this one, it's not gonna top any best of the 2000's lists for me, but if you're a bigger fan than myself this release it packed with extras and looks and sounds great.   

Special Features:
Disc One:  
-NEW Audio Commentary With Cinematographer Dan Laustsen
- Theatrical Trailer (2 min) HD 
Disc Two:
- NEW Interview With Director Christophe Gans (26 min) HD 
- NEW A Tale Of Two Jodelles – An Interview With Actress Jodelle Ferland (26 min) HD 
- NEW Dance Of The Pyramid – An Interview With Actor Roberto Campanella (37 min) HD 
- NEW Interview With Makeup-Effects Artist Paul Jones (31 min) HD 
- Path Of Darkness: The Making of Silent Hill Six-Part Documentary (63 min) 
- The Making Of Silent Hill Vintage Featurette
- On Set Interviews And Behind-The-Scenes Footage (15 min) 
- Poster Gallery (3 min) 
– Photo Gallery ( 7 min) 

Thanks for checking out the latest installment of The Epitaph, always appreciative of the support! Do me a favor and let me know what you think about the shorter capsule reviews, do you prefer it to the longer more in-depth reviews, do you care one way or another, let me know, and go buy some movies!