Friday, July 24, 2015

Kino Lorber Releases the Fantasy-Adventure and Award-Winning Cult Festival Hit 'Patch Town', a film by Craig Goodwill

PATCH TOWN 

Coming to DVD August 11th packed with special features including an interview with the director, behind-the-scenes featurette, the original award-winning short film that inspired the feature, and more!

Kino Lorber announces the release of Craig Goodwill's fantasy-adventure Patch Town, coming to DVD August 11th with a SRP of $29.95 and packed with bonus features including a behind-the-scenes featurette, casting sessions, animatic, outtakes, the trailer, an interview with the director, and "Patch Town", the award-winning short film that inspired the feature.

A hit at festivals, Patch Town won the Best Feature Award at Canadian Film Fest, and was an Official Selection of Fantasia-fest and the Moscow International Film Festival. Kino Lorber released Patch Town theatrically, opening in New York earlier in 2015.

In Patch Town's dark modern fairy tale, newborn babies are plucked from cabbage patches, turned into plastic dolls, and sold as playthings in a nightmarish, oppressive society. Jon (Rob Ramsay), a discontented factory worker slaving away on a baby-harvesting production line, uncovers a secret from his past that sends him searching for his long-lost mother (Zoie Palmer). As Jon embarks on his journey with his loving wife Mary (Stephanie Pitsiladis), the sinister Child Catcher (Julian Richings) and his diminutive beet-munching henchman (Ken Hall) throw a wrench into his plans.

An eye-popping fantasy-adventure, quirky comedy, and rousing musical rolled into one, Patch Town"combines Soviet-era iconography, Eastern European folklore and Western consumer-culture critique with a dash of song and dance" (Peter Debruge, Variety).

PATCH TOWN
Director: Craig Goodwill
Genre: Fantasy
DVD Street Date: August 11, 2015

1.78:1, 16x9 | 83 minutes | English | 5.1 Surround | Color

Bonus Features:
- "Patch Town", the award-winning short film that inspired the feature
- Animatic
- Behind-the-Scenes Featurette
- Casting Sessions
- Interview with the Director
- Outtakes
- Trailer

'FRIGHTMARE', 'DEMONOID', 'BLUE ICE' & 'NIGHTMARE WEEKEND' Making Blu-ray Debuts from VINEGAR SYNDROME thsi Fall!

FRIGHTMARE (1983) 

In September Vinegar Syndrome will be bringing the odd French/American co-production splatter film NIGHTMARE WEEKEND (1986) to Blu-ray/DVD in a brand new (and much brighter) 2K restoration! 

Then in October they will be releasing the Blu-ray debuts of Norman Thaddeus Vane's FRIGHTMARE (1983) and Alfredo Zacharias' DEMONOID (1981) (featuring both the domestic and international cuts of the film!). 

Also slated for October is Phillip Marshak's supremely weird hybrid of detective drama, film noir, light sci-fi, hardcore sex and Nazisploitation, BLUE ICE (1985).

'THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY' Makes Its BD/DVD Debut September 29th from Shout! Factory

THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY
Critically-Acclaimed Fantasia Makes Its BD/DVD
Debut September 29th from Shout! Factory

Dripping with sumptuously surreal imagery, the critically acclaimed The Duke of Burgundy is a deliciously twisted tale of erotic obsession. Written and directed by Peter Strickland (Berberian Sound Studio), this romantically lush yet darkly humorous film will make its Blu-ray and DVD debut September 29th from Shout! Factory, in partnership with Sundance Selects. A mesmerizing ode to Giallo and European art house cinema, The Duke of Burgundy features a lush chamber pop score by Cat’s Eyes and comes loaded with bonus features, including an interview with director Peter Strickland, audio commentary track with Peter Strickland, deleted scenes, a Cat’s Eyes music video, Peter Strickland’s short film Conduct Phase and more!

In a crumbling European estate, butterfly researcher Cynthia (Sidse Babett Knudsen, Borgen, After The Wedding) and her lover Evelyn (Chiara D’Anna, Berberian Sound Studio) repeatedly enact a sadomasochistic role-playing game, with Cynthia as the stern mistress and Evelyn her subservient slave. But as the lines between fantasy and reality begin to blur, and Cynthia grows increasingly uneasy with Evelyn’s insatiable appetite for punishment, their relationship is pushed to the limit.

The Duke of Burgundy Bonus Features:
· Interview with director Peter Strickland
· Audio Commentary track with director Peter Strickland
· Deleted Scenes
· Cat’s Eye Music Video
· Peter Strickland’s short film Conduct Phase
· Still Gallery
· Theatrical Trailer

'MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE' & 'MOSQUITO' on Blu-ray 10/13 from SYNAPSE FILMS@!

Synapse Films October 2015 New Releases

MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE (1966) 


Label: Synapse Films
Release Date: October 13th 2015
Region Code: Region-FREE 
Duration: 74 Minutes
Rating: Not Rated 
Video: Full Screen 1.33:1 
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono Region: All
Director: Harold P. Warren
Cast: Tom Neyman, John Reynolds, Diane Mahree, Hal Warren, Jackey Neyman

Synopsis: Mike (Harold P. Warren) and Maggie (Diane Mahree), on a road trip with their daughter and family dog, take a wrong turn in Texas and become trapped at a weird lodge inhabited by a polygamous pagan cult. They soon find themselves in the middle of a power struggle between caretaker Torgo (John Reynolds), cult leader The Master (Tom Neyman), and two warring factions of the Master's wives. As the family tries to escape, the worshipers of Manos decide their fate...

MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE, the sole directorial effort of Texas fertilizer salesman Harold P. Warren, perplexed even the most jaded Drive-In audiences and was deemed by many the worst movie ever made. Nearly lost, the original 16mm Ektachrome film elements have been finally unearthed and lovingly restored by Ben Solovey to create the definitive version of this accidental masterpiece. There's no other movie like MANOS... now in HD with picture and sound unseen since 1966.

Bonus Features:
- New 2K restoration
- Audio Commentary
- Hands: The Fate of MANOS Featurette
- Restoring the Hands of Fate Featurette
- FELT: The Puppet Hands of Fate Featurette
- Manos: The Hands of Fate: Grindhouse Edition (Blu-ray ONLY Bonus)


MOSQUITO (1995) 
20TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION
Label: Synapse Films
Release Date: October 13th 2015
Region Code: region-FREE
Duration: 92 Minutes
Rating: R 
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (1.78:1)
Audio: English DTS 7.1 HD with English SDH, Spanish, French, German Subtitles
Director: Gary Jones
Cast: Gunnar Hansen, Ron Asheton, Steve Dixon, Rachel Loiselle, Tim Lovelace

Synopsis: Science-fiction becomes horrifyingly real for a park full of innocent campers, as a hideous horde of mutated mosquitos viciously attack without warning! A band of survivors flees the bloodthirsty swarm in a death-defying attempt to warn the world of the mosquito menace. Led by a brave young couple and a resourceful government agent, the group realizes their only hope is to take on the bloodthirsty bugs in an explosive final showdown! A chilling blend of sci-fi, humor and old-school horror, MOSQUITO is a tour de force of terror. Starring genre icon Gunnar Hansen (the original "Leatherface" from THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE) and the late, great Ron Asheton (founding member of the punk rock band, The Stooges), MOSQUITO is a gore-drenched tale made with traditional stop-motion and practical effects!

Bonus Features:
- Audio Commentary
- Bugging Out! - The Making of MOSQUITO
- Deleted/Extended Scenes
- Behind-the-Scenes Footage
- Still Gallery
 - Theatrical Trailer



Wednesday, July 22, 2015

ROLLER BOOGIE (1979)

ROLLER BOOGIE (1979) 


Label: Olive Films
Region Code: A
Rating: PG
Duration: 104 Minutes
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (1.85:1)
Director: Mark L. Lester
Cast: Linda Blair, James Van Patten, Mark Goddard, Beverly Garland


While I could never roller skate to save my life and I loathed disco music I must say that this is a fun slice of throwaway Seventies entertainment, a corny time capsule from a time when satin shirts, huge headphones, knee-high socks and the bubbly beat of disco ruled the landscape. 

Roller Boogie stars Linda Blair (The Exorcist) as bratty Terry Barkley, a flute-blowing musical prodigy in sunny California surrounded by snobbish friends who just don't understand her. One fine day down at the Venice Beach Boardwalk she meets a young roller skater named Bobby James (Tim Bray),  but she won't give the poor guy the time of day despite his best efforts. That all changes when Bobby later saves Terry from a skating accident at the local roller rink, a happening place for rollers called Jammers. 

Now intrigued by the young man Terry offers to pay Bobby to teach her how to roller skate, which the horny young man is only too happy to so. Bobby hopes to mold the foxy young lady into his partner in time for the upcoming roller disco contest at Jammers. Unfortunately the mafia is coercing the owner of roller rink to sell, now the contest - and Bobby's Olympic skating dreams - might just go up in smoke if the disco-loving teens cannot find a way to save the day. 

This slice of roller boogie confection has all the goofy charm of an episode of Scooby-Doo with mobbed-up bad guys and corny seventies fashions set to the non-stop sounds of that sweet disco music, not to mention plenty of fun choreographed roller-routines which are executed pretty well, it made me sort of jealous.

The acting is pretty awful across the board, even from the very capable Linda Blair, who at this point in her career was probably loaded with a nasal cavity full of rock candy. As someone who vehemently does loathes disco music I must say that I did sort of enjoy watching this, disco music reminds me of my mom, who I am quite sure loved this movie. It's a fun slice of disco corniness loaded with copious amounts of standard teen-love conventions such as lovers from the opposite side of the tracks, parents who just don't understand, friends who are snobbish, and some truly golden-brick dialogue from Blair who at one point screams at her Valium popping mother, "So what, I'm a musical genius! Whatta drag! Whatta bummer!". Not a good movie, but an pretty enjoyable bad movie if you are into such things.

The movie arrives on Blu-ray from distributor Olive Films with a solid HD transfer framed in the original widescreen aspect ratio with some very nice sharpness and clarity to it. Color reproduction is solid through and through, the garish 70s fashions pop off the screen and the skin tones look good, a very nice transfer. The English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono sound mix is just good enough, clean and well balanced, but the mono mix is flat and the disco soundtrack is not all that it could have been.There are no subtitle options, and no extras to speak of, a pretty standard bare bones release from Olive Films. 2/5

CLASSIC HORROR 4 MOVIE COLLECTION (1951-1961)

CLASSIC HORROR 4 MOVIE COLLECTION (1951-1961) 

Label: Mill Creek Entertainment
Region Code: 1 NTSC
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 313 Minutes
Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo 
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen, Fullframe
Director: Arch Oboler, John Brahm, Leslie Kardos, Anthony Bushell
Cast: Vincent Price, Victor Jory, Christopher Lee, Eva Gabor, John Emery, Yvonne Monlaur

Mill Creek Entertainment have licensed four somewhat scarce movies from the Columbia Pictures catalog and released them as a 2-disc horror movie collection that's priced just right for the budget-minded collector's out there.

FIVE (1951) 
B/W - 93 Mins -  Not Rated - Fullscreen 


Starring: William Phipps, Susan Douglas, James Anderson, Charles Lampkin, Earl Lee

We start off with the very strong Five (1951), a post-nuclear war tale of five survivors who come together after the bombs have fall, oddly the weapons of mass destruction don't seem to have caused much distraction at all from what we see, but this weird aspect at least allows our survivors to enjoy a somewhat romanticized version of the nuclear Holocaust, able to garden and eat the wildlife, there doesn't see to be much of any radiation, though we do get a few radiation sickness issues throughout, but the threat is very small. 

The five survivors converge on a small rural home located in the Mountains, our first survivor is a young pregnant woman who was in a lead lines x-ray room at the time of the blast, she makes her way from the city into the rural countryside to the rural home where she grew up, once she arrives she discovers a man already living there, his story is that he was in an elevator on the top of the Empire State Building . A short time later two men arrive, they were employees of a bank trapped inside the vault when the bombs dropped. The four create a somewhat idyllic life for themselves for a few week, until a day trip to the beach introduces a German who has washed-up on the beach. 

The group take him back to the mountaintop home and things seem fine, but we slowly come to realize that the new arrival is a racist and looks down upon a black member of the home. This causes disharmony among the group, some more forgiving than others, as loyalties are torn the group begins to disintegrate with disastrous consequences. 

This is a pretty great character study of a small disparate group of survivors after the bombs have dropped, though the larger world views in quite unrealistic, but as a character study this is good stuff and highly recommended. 


THE MAD MAGICIAN (1954) 
B/W - 72 Mins -  Not Rated - Anamorphic Widescreen (1.85:1) 
Starring: Vincent Price, Mary Murphy, Eva Gabor, John Emery, Donald Randolph, Lenita Lane

The second feature is The Mad Magician (1954) starring horror legend Vincent Price as magician Gallico the Great, a good man turned diabolical by the corruption of those around him and his desire for revenge. This quickly assembled follow-up to the huge success of House of Wax a year earlier absolutely feels like a quick cash grab but it pulls through on the hammy charm of Mr. Vincent Price. 

On the night that the magician is about to exhibit his newest creation, The Lady and the Buzz Saw, the show is called to a stop by the magicians employer who lays claim to all of his magic inventions. Adding insult to injury the employer has stolen the suffering magician's wife years earlier -- there's only so much a man can take! 

At the end of his rope Gallico murders his employer using the very same buzz saw contraption he would steal, afterward Gallico disguises himself as the murdered man through truly impressive make-up effects to carry on his career as a magician, but his former wife, played by Eva Gabor, threatens to throw a wrench into his plans. When the movie premiered in '54 it was shown in stereoscopic 3D, unfortunately we do not get to benefit from a three-dimensional presentation on this disc, but the black and white transfer is solid, sourced from a clean print with very nice contrast. 


THE MAN WHO TURNED TO STONE (1957) 
B/W - 71 Mins - Not Rated - Anamorphic Widescreen (1.85:1) 
Starring: Victor Jory, William Hudson, Charlotte Austin, Jean Willes, Ann Doran, Paul Cavanagh

The Man who Turned to Stone (1957) concerns young women at a reformatory school where there seems to be a high mortality rate, turns out that the keepers of the school are a group of doctors from the 1800's whom have survived the centuries by draining the life from young women through a chemical bath, if the doctors fail to revitalize themselves in a timely manner they will turn into stone and cease to exist. 

When a doctor and a social worker at the school begin to question the high mortality rate after a questionable staged suicide things begin to fall apart for the immortal doctors, compounded by a growing sense of guilt and regret from within their group.  Unfortunately this one is quite a snoozer and it put me to sleep more than once as I repeatedly endeavored to watch it, which is never a good sign. 


THE TERROR OF THE TONGS (1961) 
Color - 76 Mins -Not Rated - Anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1) 
Starring: Christopher Lee, Yvonne Monlaur, Geoffrey Toone, Marne Maitland, Brian Worth, Ewen Solon

The final entry is the only color production on this two-disc set, Hammer Films production of The Terror of the Tongs (1961), an unfortunate entry which sees Hammer straying from the familiar Gothic horror to dip their toes into the Asian crime waters. It's not the first time we've seen Christopher Lee is slant-eyed prosthetics either, years later he would once again become a yellow-devil for the Eurocult pioneer Jess Franco in The Blood of Fu Manchu and The Castle of Fu Manchu. How this ended up under the category of "classic horror" is beyond me but at least the transfer is very good and there's some laugh-out loud ludicrousness to enjoy as the mostly European cast struggle or outright refuse to mask their accents. 

This is a cool collection of somewhat scarce movies from Columbia Pictures, the quality of each vary wildly but for me it is worth nine0bucjks just for the inclusion of Arch Oboler's Five (1951), having the The Mad Magician (1954) is just icing on the cake> While I didn't care for The Man Who Turned to Stone or the Fu Manch shenanigans of Hammer's The Terror of the Tongs (1961) I still give this one a minor recommend based on my enjoyment of the first half of this vintage foursome of terror and the very reasonable price point. 2.5/5

FINALS SPECS FOR' MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE' (1966) on BD?DVD 10/13 FROM SYNAPSE FILMS

MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE (1966) 

Release Date: October 13th, 2015

SPECIAL FEATURES:
• All-new 2K restoration
• Audio commentary featuring Tom “The Master” Neyman and Jackey Raye “Debbie” Neyman-Jones
• HANDS: THE FATE OF “MANOS” Featurette
• RESTORING THE HANDS OF FATE Featurette
• FELT: THE PUPPET HANDS OF FATE Featurette
• MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE 
- “Grindhouse Unrestored Version” (BLU-RAY ONLY BONUS)

NOT RATED / 1966 / 74 MINS. / COLOR / 2.0 MONO / 1.33:1/ REGION FREE
BLU PRICE: $24.95/ DVD PRICE: $19.95