Monday, October 31, 2022

Phil Tippett's 'MAD GOD' critically acclaimed masterpiece arrives on Blu-ray, DVD and digital Dec 5th


SAY YOUR prayers to Mad God – a dazzling, delirious, and dystopian masterpiece directed by two-time Academy Award-winning artist, animator, and filmmaker – the legendary Phil Tippett (Star Wars, Jurassic Park, RoboCop, Starship Troopers).
The most watched Shudder premiere of 2022 – and certified fresh with a 92% rating – this critically-acclaimed and mind-blowing chef-d'oeuvre was 30 years in the making and has earned plaudits around the globe for its creative genius, cinematic originality, and inspired grit.

Having collected five awards, including Winner of 2021 Fantasia Film Festival’s Most Ground-breaking Film and Best Animated Feature and the 2021 Sitges Award for Best Visual Effects – this expertly crafted and exquisitely imagined Shudder Exclusive is now set to delight fans with its release on Blu-ray, DVD and digital on 5 December 2022, courtesy of Acorn Media International. 

Equipped with a gas mask and a crumbling map, the Assassin, an iron-clad humanoid, descends into a rusty, peril-laden underworld of grime, blood, tortured souls, decrepit bunkers and unsettling monstrosities forged from the most primordial horrors of the subconscious mind.

As the stealthy invader meanders through the labyrinthine post-apocalyptic wasteland on a mysterious mission, going deeper and deeper into the nightmarish realm, he eventually reaches his destination… the heart of this grotesque tower of torture.  But what awaits him there?  

Crafted by the world's pre-eminent stop-motion animator, every set, creature, and effigy in this macabre masterpiece is hand-crafted and painstakingly animated using traditional stop-motion techniques. 

The result? A striking, haunting, halogenic, and hellish stop-motion spectacle unlike any other. 

Descend into unimaginable depths and get ready to meet your maker, Mad God – a gorgeously gruesome cinematic frenzy that deserves every ounce of praise it receives. 

• Commentary with Phil Tippett and Guillermo del Toro
• Cast & Crew Commentary
• Interview with Mad God Writer/Director Phil Tippett
• Mad God Influences & Inspirations
• Maya Tippett’s “The Making of Mad God”
• Maya Tippett’s “Worse Than the Demon”
• Academy of Art University & Mad God
• Behind-the-Scenes Montage
• Behind-the-Scenes Photo Gallery

Title: Mad God Blu-ray Release Date: 5 December 2022
Cat.No: AB2065 RRP: £19.99
Cert: 18 Running Time: 84 minutes
Also available to download and keep from 5 December 2022
Title: Mad God DVD Release Date: 5 December 2022
Cat.No: AV3720 RRP: £15.99
Cert: 18 Running Time: 84 

MURDER IN BLUE WORLD (1973) (Cauldron Films Blu-ray Review)

aka Una Gota de sangre para morir amando
aka A Drop of Blood to Die Loving
aka Clockwork Terror 

Label: Cauldron Films
Region Code: Region-Free
Rating: Unrated 
Duration: 97 Minutes
Audio: Spanish or English PCM 2.0 Dual-Mono with Optional English Subtitles 
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (2.40:1)
Director: Eloy de la Iglesia
Cast: Sue Lyon, Christopher Mitchum, Jean Sorel

Murder In A Blue World (1973) could easily be dismissed as a knock-off of Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange filtered through the transgressive queer eye of Spanish director Eloy de la Iglesia (Cannibal Man), and it is truly that, but it's also quite a bit more. Set in a dystopian near future that favors perfection and productive members of society David (Chris Mitchum, Angel of Death) is a member of a black leather-clad gang with red helmets that routinely maraud the city. At the start of the film de la Iglesias pays a pretty dang direct home to A Clockwork Orange with the whip-wielding gang, who ride around in a yellow dune buggy, breaking into a home and brutalizing and tormenting a family (who are about to watch a TV airing of A Clockwork Orange), then raping the mothers offscreen. Afterward David has an altercation with the gang's leader and is beaten and tossed out of the gang. Later while sitting on the edge of a river he witness a attractive young woman dumping the corpse of a naked man into the water, He follows her home and discovers that she is a killer-nurse named Ana (Sue Lyon, Crash!), whom he begins to blackmail. Ana works for a doctor named Victor (Jean Sorel, Perversion Story), who is running a government sponsored brainwashing clinic meant to reform habitual law breakers through electro-shock therapy... so, you can see why this is often dismissed as ACO knock-off, right?  

Anyway, while the Kubrick influence is pretty overt, heck it even stars the striking Susan Lyon who starred in Kubrick's version of Lolita, de la Iglesia infuses the film with thought provoking touches, a homosexual subtext, and a killer-nurse serial killer, plus it's quite stylishly shot to have a cool retro-futuristic sci-fi bent that is more near future dystopian than distant-future utopia. We see Ana dress up in various disguises and wigs to prowl the city for victims, bedding young men, and then while cuddling in post-coital bliss she stabs them in the heart with a scalpel, her reasoning never quite becoming clear, but it's an interesting addition tot he story. Eventually the gang catch-up with David and beat him bloody, he is picked-up by the authorities and after healing he is sent to Victor's clinic for re-programming, where he is intercepted by Ana, with the film coming to a feverish and bloody finale that will have you scratching your head and stroking your chin in pontification of it's merits. It's a interesting watch, it has a dystopian sci-fi look about it that feels a bit on the giallo side, set in a bright future-world that somewhat prefigures the setting of Argento's Tenebrae minus the whodunit element, but also similarly stylishly made with cool minimalist design and decor, and of course the obvious lifts from A Clockwork Orange. 

Audio/Video: Murder In A Blue World (1973) makes it's worldwide Blu-ray debut on a region-free disc from Cauldron Films in 1080p HD widescreen (2.40:1), this is a 2K restoration of the Spanish Producer's cut from the negative, and it looks great. The source shows some minor blemish and scratches, faint vertical lines and white speckling, but is generally in fantastic shape with fine film grain and plenty of fine detail. Colors are robust and depth and clarity are outstanding. Audio comes by way of either Spanish or English PCM 2.0 dual-mono with optional English subtitles. Both options are clean and well-balanced, sounding appropriately vintage 

Extras kick-off with a brand new Audio Commentary by Film Historian Kat Ellinger who does good work talking about the fim's poor reception in Spain were it was labeled A Clockwork Orange knock-off, dubiously dubbed A Clockwork Tangerine by elitist critics at the time. She also digs into the themes and homosexual subtext, noting that at this time no one else in Spain no one was really making genre films, much less a dystopian sci-fi film. It's a solid track that offers a lot to anyone wanting to dig deep inti this flick, and she steadfastly argues that this is much more than the AOC knock-off it's often cited as being. 

We also get a 20-min newly edited Archival 2008 International Man of Cinem: interview with Chris Mitchum, the son of screen legend Robert Mitchum, who talks about his rising star after getting cast in Summertime Killer by the producers after his turn in Big Jake alongside John Wayne, and how Wayne's conservative political views not only got the Duke blackballed in Hollywood, but he as well, for co-starring with Wayne, at which point he started working abroad. He also details some if his work in Europe and Asia, including the insane way they shot films in Thailand at that time. He also dishes a bit on his H-Bomb co-star Olivia Hussey and unprofessional behavior under the influence of her manager. 

The 12-min Dubbing in a Blue World - Interview with Ben Tatar, features the long time dubbing-director who dubbed over 250 Spanish films from '68-'77 while working for producer Sidney W. Pink. He explains the difference between word-syncing (what he did) and sentence-syncing, the process of adaptation, and how he worked with the dub actors. He also gets into Jackie Gleason derailing his film career. and some of his more notable dubbing gigs, working for the likes of Eloy de la Iglesia, Paul Naschy and others Juan Piquer Simon. 

Also included is the alternate UK VHS Cut of the film under the title Clockwork Terror that runs 97-min in standard-def with lossy audio - which will help you appreciate the new 2K restoration. We also get a new 15-min Video essay by Film Scholar Dr Xavier Aldana Reyes that explores the films themes. Disc extras are finished up with a 3-min Image Gallery of poster artworks, home video releases and lobby cards under various titles. The single-disc release arrives in a clear keepcase with a two-sided, non-reversible sleeve of artwork featuring the fantastic illustrated original movie poster. 

Special Features: 
- 2K restoration of the Spanish Producer's cut from the negative
- Brand New Audio Commentary by Film Historian Kat Ellinger
- Newly edited Archival 2008 International Man of Cinema: An Interview with Chris Mitchum (20 min)
- Dubbing in a Blue World: Interview with Ben Tatar (12 min) 
- Video Essay by Film Scholar Dr Xavier Aldana Reyes (15 min) 
- Clockwork Terror: UK VHS Cut of the film in standard definition (97 min) 
- Image Gallery (3 min) 

Screenshots from the Cauldron Films Blu-ray: