Saturday, April 30, 2022

TOKYO DECADENCE (1992) (Unearthed Films Blu-ray Review)


Label: Unearthed Films
Region Code: A
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 112 mins
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (1.66:1)
Audio: Original Japanese and English Dub LPCM 2.0 Stereo with Optional English Subtitles
Director: Ryu Murakami
Cast: Miho Nikaido, Yayoi Kusama and Sayoko Amano

Tokyo Decadence (1992) is directed by author Ryu Murakami, who wrote the novel that Takashi Miike's Audition was based on, it tells the story of 22-year old college student Ai (Miho Nikaido, Henry Fool) who works as an escort for the wealthy with a specialty in S&M. She makes a living working on the fringes of Tokyo's S&M scene, servicing the needs of wealthy businessmen and mobsters who either want to dominate, be dominated, or be humiliated.

She's a consummate professional and adapts to her clients kinks with ease, moving from the dominating kink of a businessman and his wife to stuff like pissing in a bowl for a urine drinker and the erotic asphyxiation a client who gets off on it - y'know, the usual stuff. Personally though she is in crisis, still pining away for a guy who dumped her and then went on to become quite successful. She consults a fortune teller (Yayoi Kusama) tells her she is in a dangerous place, and that she must do three things to safeguard herself. She must place a telephone directory under her television set; stay away from any art galleries in the east; and to have someone craft her a ring from a pink stone, all of which she does. Afterward she teams-up with a dominant prostitute named Saki (Sayoko Amano) on a series of threesome jobs, and they start hanging out. Saski is a bit if a self-assured party girl who likes to binge on drugs, and whom Ai admires and wants to be more like.

The first half of the film works mostly as a series of sexual vignettes with the film is anchored by a quite strong turn from Nikaido as the outwardly strong but inwardly conflicted sex worker. The second half explores the inner workings, her longing for her former lover, and the duality of her identity. I certainly enjoyed the kinkier first half of the film more so than the latter, I didn't hate it, I just was less in tune with it, and I don't think it's as successful in capturing the inner struggle the character is suffering through as it needs to be. That said, it's a stylish, hypnotic, and sexually tense with a woozy drug-fueled finale that felt quite surreal.

Audio/Video: Tokyo Decadence (1992) arrives on Blu-ray fully uncut from Unearthed Films in 1080p HD framed in 1.66:1 widescreen. Colors look natural throughout, black levels are decent, and the clarity and depth, while not eye-popping, are solid. Audio comes by way of both original Japanese an English dubbed 2.0 stereo PCM with optional English subtitles. The Japanese audio sounds terrific, well-balanced with depth, the score from Ryuichi Sakamoto (The Last Emperor) sounds terrific. The English-dub sounds okay, it isn't as dynamic, but it'll do if you're subtitle adverse.

Extras are a bit disappointing, we get an archival 8-minute Featurette that seems to be mostly footage from the film with a few interviews at the end, the German and Japanese Trailers and a still gallery. The single-disc release arrives in a clear Viva keepcase with a reversible sleeve of artwork and slipcover, both the wrap and slip are branded with the Unearthed Classics logo and numbered, this being number seven in the series.

Special Features:
- Featurette (9 min)
- Stills Gallery
- Japanese Theatrical Trailers (2 min)
- German Theatrical Trailer (2 min)

Screenshots from the Unearthed Films Blu-ray:

Friday, April 29, 2022




“Tenebre is a brilliant piece of self-reflexive cinema.” - Slant Magazine

Italian horror master Dario Argento elevates the giallo genre to new heights with 1982’s Tenebrae, a darkly humorous and notoriously grisly murder-mystery that many consider to be one of his finest works.  Now, Synapse Films, in conjunction with Arrow Video, makes this gory suspense classic available for the first time on UHD in a new 4K restoration for Tenebrae’s 40th anniversary!

American mystery author Peter Neal (Anthony Franciosa, Death Wish II) comes to Rome to promote his newest novel, Tenebrae. A razor-wielding psychopath is on the loose, taunting Neal and murdering those around him in gruesome fashion just like the character in his novel. As the mystery surrounding the killings spirals out of control, Neal investigates the crimes on his own, leading to a mind-bending, genre-twisting conclusion that will leave you breathless!

Co-starring John Saxon (A Nightmare on Elm Street), Daria Nicolodi (Phenomena), John Steiner (Caligula) and featuring beautiful cinematography by Luciano Tovoli (Suspiria), this stunning all-new 4K restoration includes hours of extras and, for the first time ever, the alternate U.S. theatrical cut, Unsane. 

Dario Argento’s Tenebrae will be presented in a three-disc 4K UHD/Blu-ray 6000 piece Limited Edition boxed set nationally distributed by MVD, along with an additional strictly limited 2000 piece “variant” cover ONLY available from the Synapse Films website and our friends at Diabolik DVD. 
- New 4K restoration from the original camera negative
- Limited edition packaging with newly commissioned artwork by Wes Benscoter (6000 unit version) and original Italian art (2000 unit “variant” cover)
- Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring writing on the film by filmmaker Peter Strickland and Argento biographer Alan Jones, an interview with cinematographer Luciano Tovoli and a new, in-depth analysis of the film by critic Ashley Lane 
- Fold-out double-sided poster featuring original Italian and Japanese poster art
- Six double-sided, postcard-sized lobby card reproduction artcards

- 4K (2160p) UHD Blu-ray™ presentation in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible) in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio
- Original Italian and English front and end titles and insert shots 
- Restored original DTS-HD MA lossless Italian and English 2.0 mono soundtracks 
- English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack 
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack 
- Audio commentary by authors and critics Alan Jones and Kim Newman 
- Audio commentary by Argento expert Thomas Rostock 
- Audio commentary by Maitland McDonagh, author of Broken Mirrors/Broken Minds: The Dark Dreams of Dario Argento 
- Yellow Fever: The Rise and Fall of the Giallo, a feature-length documentary charting the genre from its beginnings to its influence on the modern slasher film, featuring interviews with Dario Argento, Umberto Lenzi, Luigi Cozzi and more 
- Being the Villain, a newly edited archival interview with actor John Steiner 
- Out of the Shadows, an archival interview with Maitland McDonagh 
- Voices of the Unsane, an archival featurette containing interviews with writer/director Dario Argento, actresses Daria Nicolodi and Eva Robins, cinematographer Luciano Tovoli, composer Claudio Simonetti and assistant director Lamberto Bava 
- Screaming Queen, an archival interview with Daria Nicolodi 
- The Unsane World of Tenebrae, an archival interview with Dario Argento 
- A Composition for Carnage, an archival interview with Claudio Simonetti 
- Archival introduction by Daria Nicolodi 
- International theatrical trailer 
- Japanese “Shadow” theatrical trailer 
- Alternate opening credits sequence
- “Unsane” end credits sequence 
- Image galleries 

- 4K (2160p) UHD Blu-ray™ presentation in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible) in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio
- The re-edited 90-minute U.S. version, specially recreated for this release from the new 4K restoration of the full-length 101-minute version, exclusive to UHD 
- Two audio options: a recreation of the original theatrical experience, complete with jump cuts and sudden audio shifts, and a new, more seamless edit created for this release, both in restored DTS-HD MA lossless English 2.0 mono 
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing 
- Original “Take Me Tonight” stereo EP recording, performed by Kim Wilde 

- High Definition Blu-ray™ (1080p) presentation in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio
- All the same content as Disc 1 

Synapse Films will be making a special limited edition “variant” slipcover version, limited to only 2000 pieces, featuring the classic image from the original Italian Renato Casaro one sheet poster art on the slipcase and an alternate booklet cover image.  This edition will be available exclusively from the Synapse Films website ( and from Diabolik DVD ( Retail price and contents remain the same as the nationally distributed version.

Pre-order variant from Synapse Films -

Pre-order variant from DiabolikDVD -

Synapse Films will be releasing this set throughout North America on July 26, 2022.  Suggested Retail Price (SRP) for the Synapse Films set is $64.95 USD.

While we are sharing assets and working in conjunction with Arrow Films on the product, we have specific requirements for street dates and announcement info with MVD, our U.S. distributor. For now, we’re setting the proposed street date as July 26, 2022. This could change slightly, but we will strive for this date as best we can.

TENEBRAE (3-DISC LE 4K UHD (2 4K UHDs/1 Blu-ray))  

ITEM#: SFD0209  
UPC CODE: 654930323298  

Wednesday, April 27, 2022



Label: WBHE
Region Code: A
Duration: 76 Minutes 
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1 with Optional English Subtitles 
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (1.78:1) 
Director: ‎Matt Peters, Milo Neuman
Cast:  Matt Ryan, Ray Chase, Robin Atkin Downes, Grey DeLisle Griffin, Camilla Luddington

In the DC Showcase short Constantine: The House of Mysterey Matt Ryan (Constantine, Legends of Tomorrow) reprises his live-action and animated role as John Constantine, the Hellblazer. Following the events of Justice League Dark: Apokolips War Constantine has somehow ended up in a Groundhog Day time-loop in the eerie House of Mystery with no recollection of how he got there. There he finds his thought-dead lover Zatanna (Camilla Luddington) alongside friends Jason Blood/Etrigan (Ray Chase), Negaral (Robin Atkin Downes, The Strain) and Chas (Damian O'Hare, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl), plus two adolescent children he has with Zatanna. Unfortunately for him this wonderful new reality has a bad habit of transforming into a nightmare as his friends and family transform into flesh-ripping demons in an endless loop of carnage! The R-rated gore and carnage is quite delightful, not sure how true it is to the mythos of John Constantine/Hellblazer, but as a bloody bit of animated mayhem I was quite entertained. 

Extras come by way of the three previously released DC Showcase animated shorts; we get the 16-min The Losers which runs about sixteen-minutes, a story about a rag tag group of WWII searching for missing scientist on a South pacific island that is inhabited by dinosaurs. Next up, the 16-min Blue Beetle cartoon that is a delightful throwback to the goofy superhero toons of the 60's and early 70's. This one includes appearances from Captain Atom, The Question, Nightshade and baddie Doctor Spectro. It's super-goofy with a cool retro animation vibe. The last short is the 18-min Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth, an adaptation of the Jack Kirby 70'as property about a teenage boy set in a post-apocalyptic future inhabited by waring factions of humanoid animals. Think The Planet of the ApesHell Comes to Frogtown by way of Thundarr the Barbarian and you'll know what to expect, its a pretty great short and one I watched several times. 

We also get a new featurette; the 16-min DC Showcase: One Story at a Time featurette with producer Rick Morales and directors Matt Peters & Milo Neuman, discussing the origins of the DC Showcase and how it allows creators to explore the deeper-diving DC catalog in a short feature presentation. 

Special Features: 
- DC Showcase: Kamandi The Last Boy on Earth! (18 min) 
- DC Showcase: The Losers (16 min) 
- DC Showcase: Blue Beetle (16 min) 
- DC Showcase: One Story at a Time (Featurette) with producer Rick Morales and directors Matt Peters & Milo Neuman (16 min) 

Screenshots from the WBHE Blu-ray: 


Blue Beetle cartoon that is a delightful throwback to the goofy superhero toons of the 60's and early 70's. This one includes appearances from Captain Atom, The Question, Nightshade and baddie Doctor Spectro. It's super-goofy with a cool retro animation vibe.