Monday, March 27, 2017

80s sci-fi/horror classic CREEPOZOIDS (1987) comes to Blu-ray April 11th

Full Moon presents
The Blu-ray premiere of cult B movie classic

Your Flesh Will Crawl Right Off Its Bones!

From legendary cult filmmaker David DeCoteau (PUPPET MASTER III, SORORITY BABES IN THE SLIME BALL BOWL-O-RAMA) and producer Charles Band (RE-ANIMATOR) comes one the most beloved B-horror/fantasy films of the 1980s: CREEPOZOIDS!

Blending key elements of genre hits MAD MAX and ALIEN (while also incorporating elements of Band's PARASITE and METALSTORM) but produced on a tenth of their budgets, CREEPOZOIDS tells the tale of five Army deserters who wander the post-apocalyptic, post-industrial LA landscape seeking shelter from an increasingly toxic environment and poisonous rain. They end up in an abandoned laboratory where they explore, have sex and eventually run afoul of a cavalcade of genetically engineered creatures including mutant rats, a monstrous baby, a massive, bloodthirsty H.R. Giger-esque beast…and something even more malevolent.

Co-starring adult film superstar Ashlyn Gere – appearing here as Kim McKamy - and horror movie legend Linnea Quigley (RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, TROPHY HEADS), CREEPOZOIDS is a fun, weird and bloody trash classic and appears here for the first time on Blu-ray, remastered and restored from the original 35mm camera negative and armed with a new 5.1 surround sound mix. Your flesh will crawl right off its bones!

CREEPOZOIDS is available on Special Edition Blu-ray for the first time on April 11th. Special features include the original trailer and a vintage Videozone behind-the-scenes featurette.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

THE CREEPING GARDEN (2014) (Blu-ray Review)


Label: Arrow Academy

Region Code: Region-FREE 
Rating: Exempt
Duration: 81 Minutes 
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (2.35:1) 
Audio: English LPCM Stereo 2.0 with Optional English SDH 
Director: Tim Grabham, Jasper Sharp
Cast: Mark Pagnell, Heather Barnett, Bryn Dentinger

Synopsis: The Creeping Garden is an award-winning feature-length creative documentary exploring the extraordinary world of the plasmodial slime mould as revealed through the eyes of the fringe scientists, mycologists and artists who work with them. Long overlooked by biologists, in recent years this curious organism has become the focus of much research in such areas as biological-inspired design, emergence theory, unconventional computing and robot engineering, much of which borders on the world of science fiction. The film transports us from the laboratory into its natural habitat, depicting these otherworldly lifeforms using startling time-lapse macro-cinematography to reveal hidden facets of the world around us.

Here we have something unusual, a documentary about a mysterious creature known as the "slime mould", which is part plant, part animal, it's not a fungus but it does reproduces through spores, it's a weird creature. A festering blob with creepy tendrils crawling at a snail's pace along the rotted woods of the forests. Honestly, this is a doc which on paper sounds about as interesting as watching paint dry, which was my initial impression, but in the hands of co-directors Tim Grabham and Jasper Sharp, it comes across with vivid imagery and a menacing undertone that I was not expecting. Tim Grabham is not a director I am familiar with, but Jasper Sharp was a name I knew well, as a noted Japanese cinema historian, who has written liner notes for many of Impulse Pictures' Nikkatsu erotic films collection, so it was sort of cool to see him be a part of this, glad to see a fellow lover of Asian smut have some other interest, it gives me hope, haha. 

The film approached the topic with a weird aesthetic, the ambiguous facts are presented by a series of amateur scientist who combs the woodlands in search of their primordial ooze of choice, the slime mold. There are also scientist and musicians who seek to unlock the mysteries of the goo through music and emotive robotic faces, it's fringy-stuff, but cool. I particularly enjoyed a tour of a fungarium, with a vast library of spores, molds and fungus, which sounds like it would have been nirvana for Egon from Ghostbusters.  

The science is not difficult to follow, it is presented in basic terms, and I love the tone, the doc is filled with stunning macro/time lapse photography of the various slime molds, the images are creepy, the unearthly blobs pulsating, the tendrils reaching out in search of a food source, and it seems that captive slime molds prefer oats as their food source. No one seems to know what these things are, what their place in the environment is, what their purpose it, but there's a select few out there, both professional and amateurs, who seem truly obsessed with the slime. Also cool is a look at turn of the naturalist F. Percy Smith, who aside from being an early slime mold pioneer was also a pioneer of an early version of time lapse photography, something he called “time magnification”, which we get to see, very cool.  

The directors have created something unique, a fringe science doc that feels more like science fiction, the movie has a creeping menace about it, the subject and visuals seem like something from the '78 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, particularly that scene on a rainy San Francisco morning when the red buds on the plant leaf, the tendrils reaching out, beginning their eventual replication/replacement of the human race. Another very cool analog to that Philip Kaufman film is the otherworldly and alien electronic score from composer/producer Jim O’Rourke (Sonic Youth) , which like the Body Snatchers score from Denny Zeitlin, it sets an alien and menacing tone, I was half expecting this doc to end with a reveal that these slime molds were somehow diabolical brain parasites. I also love some TV footage from the 70s, with a newscaster announcing the discovery of weird alien blobs in someones backyard, which are of course, turn out to be slime molds, but what was thought to have possibly been some alien life form descended from the sky, not unlike the pods from invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Audio/Video: The hypnotic 2014 doc arrives on region-free Blu-ray from Arrow Academy, framed in the original widescreen scope aspect ratio (2.35:1), the cinematography looks wonderful, those macro-time lapse images of the pulsating plasmodial ooze look crisp and stunning in HD, fine detail is abundant, colors are robust. The English LPCM Stereo 2.0 uncompressed audio sounds crisp and clean, with the eerie Jim O'Rourke score coming through nicely. Fans of the score will be keen to snatch up the 3-disc limited edition which also includes a CD of the soundtrack. 

This release is loaded with extras, beginning with an Audio commentary by directors Tim Grabham and Jasper Sharp, a still gallery and the US theatrical trailer. There are also a series of shorts and featurettes, which if you enjoyed the main feature are pretty cool, including a short film documenting the creation of the aforementioned biocomputer music system, which brought to mind a scene from Close encounters of the Third Kind. there's also further exploration of the fungarium, with a large puff ball and a bighorn sheep skull encased in bone-devouring slime mold, plus a 2-min featurette about the eating habits of slime mold, who seem prefer oats, toenails, and weed.    

There are also three short films, two 1-min shorts using macro photography, and a 9-min mini doc about a project aimed at enabling the severely motor impaired to create music. Finishing up the extras we have a 3-min  animation of Angela Mele incredibly detailed illustration which play during the end credits which you can watch without text. We were only sent a disc copy for the purpose of review, but retail versions comes with a sleeve of reversible artwork and a collector's booklet.  

Special Features: 
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
- Original 2.0 Audio (Uncompressed on the Blu-ray)
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
- Audio commentary by directors Tim Grabham and Jasper Sharp
- Biocomputer Music, a short film by Grabham on the first biocomputer music system, allowing a two-way musical dialogue between man and slime mould (6 min) HD 
- Return to the Fungarium, a featurette revealing further treasures of the fungarium at Kew Gardens (3 min) HD 
- Feeding Habits of Physarum, a featurette on the feeding preferences and dislikes of slime moulds (2 min) HD
- Three cinema iloobia short films: Milk (2009)(1 min)HD, Rotten (2012) HD and Paramusical Ensemble (2015)(9 min)HD 
- Angela Mele’s animated slime moulds (3 min) HD 
- Gallery (46 Images) HD 
- US Theatrical Trailer (1 min) HD 
- Reversible sleeve featuring two pieces of original artwork
- THE CREEPING GARDEN SOUNDTRACK [Limited Edition Exclusive]
Bonus CD containing the rearranged soundtrack to The Creeping Garden by legendary producer and musician Jim O’Rourke
- FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet containing writing on the film by Jasper Sharp

This hypnotic doc sucked me in with it's menacing science fiction tone and the wonderful cinematography which transcends the usual science doc in terms of odd content and unusual visuals, The Creeping Garden (2014) is well-worth seeking out for fans of oddball science docs who can appreciate the arthouse/sci-fi aesthetic. 4/5 

THE ENTITY (1982) on UK Blu-ray May 15th from EUREKA!

Eureka Entertainment in the UK is bringing the traumatic supernatural shocker THE ENTITY (1982) to Blu-ray on May 15th. It looks pretty slim on extras, with only a trailer, but the artwork is marginally better than the US release from Anchor Bay, which doesn't even have a start-up menu, at least the Eureka release has a trailer. This is a film deserving of more pomp, we need some new damn extras!  No mention in the press release if this is a new scan of the film, will update after my inquiry is answered. 

THE ENTITY (1982) 

A Story So Shocking, So Threatening, It Will Frighten You Beyond All Imagination!

Label: Eureka!
Region Code:
Starring: Barbara Hershey, Ron Silver, David Labiosa, George Cole 
Director: Sidney Furie
Release Date: May 15th 2016 
Rating: 18 Certificate 
Duration: 119 minutes
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (2.35:1)

Eureka Entertainment to release THE ENTITY, the ultimate story of supernatural terror starring Barbara Hershey, on Blu-ray from 15 May 2017.

Academy Award nominee Barbara Hershey stars as Carla Moran, a hard-working single mother who, one terrible night is raped in her bedroom by someone – or something – that she cannot see. Met with sceptical psychiatrists, she is repeatedly attacked in her car, in the bath, and in front of her children. Could this be a case of hysteria, a manifestation of childhood sexual trauma, or something even more horrific?

Now, with a group of daring parapsychologists, Carla will attempt an unthinkable experiment: to seduce, trap and ultimately capture the depraved spectral fury that is The Entity. Eureka Entertainment is proud to present this ground-breaking horror on Blu-ray.

Special Features: 
- Gorgeous 1080p presentation of the film
-  Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
- Trailer

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Demonic Possession Thriller 'HOLY TERROR' Descends on the NoHo 7 for its World Premier

“The Devil is Real”

Synopsis: Believing their deceased son isn't at peace, Molly and Tom ask a medium to make contact. But after they invite a vengeful demon to cross over, the couple must enlist the help of a disgraced priest to attempt a dangerous exorcism.

Holy Terror is a film from production house CineRidge Entertainment, the same production company behind Samurai Cop 2 (2015). Holy Terror was developed by writer and director Rich Mallery (Sociopathia, 2015). As well. the film stars: Mel Novak (Game of Death), Vida Ghaffari (“The Mindy Project”), Kristine DeBell, Lisa London, Kelly Reiter and many more! Now, a release date has been announced for the film, including a Video-on-demand launch and World Premiere, in Los Angeles.

The film’s story involves an exorcism gone very wrong. A family have lost their son, but they still want to make contact. Once they bring in the help of a medium, they connect with their deceased son. But, they also make contact with a malicious demon. This demon crosses over and possesses their daughter, leaving everyone vulnerable to further possessions.

Holy Terror is slated for a theatrical launch in Los Angeles. The film will show at the Laemmle NoHo 7, on March 28th, 2017; film reviewers are invited to attend. Following the theatrical release, the film will be available through Amazon Prime, on April 1st, 2017. Horror film fans, in the United States, will be able to see this exciting feature as Holy Terror receives a wide release. Director says of the film and its release: “Holy Terror works on deep psychological levels...and this is a completely different type of film!” And, audiences are encouraged to attend, later this month.

The film’s Facebook fan page:

DON'T BE BAD, A real American Horror Story comes to theaters this April.

DON'T BE BAD (2015) 

Studio: Uncork'd Entertainment
Cast: Luca Marinelli, Alessandro Borghi, Roberta Mattei, Silvia D'Amico, Alessandro Bernardini

Director: Claudio Caligari

In Theaters April 7th and on VOD May 23rd.

Synopsis: Vittorio and Cesare are “brothers for life”. A life of excess: nights at the disco, powerful cars, alcohol, and drugs. Searching for a new life, Vittorio meets Linda, and in order to save himself, distances himself from Cesare, who is spiraling out of control. But their bond is too strong, and when they meet again Vittorio tries to help his friend find work and live a normal life, with hope of a brighter future together.

Don't Be Bad | Official Trailer

'THE CONTROL GROUP' Begins Its Fiendish Experiments on VOD, Digital HD and DVD from Wild Eye Releasing


Wild Eye Releasing has announced the North American Cable and Digital HD release of Peter Hurd's The Control Group. Starring Brad Dourif (Child's Play, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, The Lord of the Rings) as a mad scientist, The Control Group follows kidnapped coeds as they attempt to escape from his grasp. Writer-director Peter Hurd's debut feature is now available on cable and digital platforms, including iTunes, Dish Network, Vudu, Xbox, Google Play, and YouTube.
A DVD release is planned for May.

Five college students wake up in an abandoned, locked-down insane asylum - with no idea how they got there and no means of escape. They discover that they are the subjects of secret experiments, but these tests have awakened something that cannot be explained by science. The group must now fight to escape both the human and supernatural threats if they are to survive and break out of their prison.
The Control Group (Official Trailer)
The Control Group (Official Trailer)


IFC Midnight's A DARK SONG (2017) Coming April 28th

A DARK SONG (2017) 

IFC Midnight announces the April 28th release of Liam Gavin's A DARK SONG in select theaters, on VOD, and via digital platforms in the U.S.  It has screened at such prestigious festivals as Sitges, the London Film Festival, Fantastic Fest and the Morbido Film Festival.  Prior to its April 28th release it will screen at the Boston Underground Film Festival on March 23rd and the Chattanooga Film Festival on April 7th.

Official Synopsis
An unholy alliance between two damaged souls leads them on a disturbing descent into the depraved realms of black magic. Sophia (Catherine Walker) is a grieving and desperate woman with a secret. Joseph (SIGHTSEERS’ Steve Oram) is an anti-social, alcoholic expert in the occult who reluctantly agrees to help her. Holed up in a remote cabin amidst the desolate wilds of Northern Wales, the two embark on a grueling six-month series of dark rituals that will push them both to the physical and psychological breaking point. The debut feature from rising horror auteur Liam Gavin sustains an air of quietly creeping dread as it builds towards one hell of a payoff.