Thursday, September 3, 2015

THE HUNGER (1983)

THE HUNGER (1983) 

Label: Warner Archive 

Region Code: A
Rating: R
Duration: 96 Minutes
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono with Optional EnglisH SDH Subtitles
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (2.40:1) 
Director: Tony Scott
Cast: Susan Sarandon, Cliff De Young, Dan Hedaya, Suzanne Bertish, Willem DaFoe

Synopsis: Miriam Blaylock collects Renaissance art, ancient Egyptian pendants, lovers, souls. Alive and fashionably chic in Manhattan, Miriam is an ageless vampire. Although "vampire" is not a word you'll hear in this movie based on the novel by Whitley Strieber (Wolfen). Instead, debuting feature director Tony Scott fashions a hip, sensual, modern-Gothic makeover. Catherine Deneuve radiates macabre elegance as Miriam, blessed with beauty, cursed with bloodlust. David Bowie is fellow fiend and refined husband John. In love, in life, in longing, they are inseparable. But when John abruptly begins to age and turns to a geriatric researcher (Susan Sarandon) for help, Miriam soon eyes the woman as a replacement for John. The Hunger is insatiable.


Tony Scotts moody and stylish take on Whitely Stieber's source novel is a thing of arthouse beauty, an original vision of  what the life of contemporary bloodsuckers might have been in the '80s.  Miriam (Catherine Deneuve) and John Blaylock (David Bowie) are centuries long lovers, Miriam a vampire from the time of the Egyptian Pharpahs, John her companion whom she turned during the 18th century. The film opens with a phenomenal scene of the lovers at a night club where Goth rockers Bauhaus are performing, they meet a young couple and take them to their home where they exsanguinate the clubbers while professing their eternal love for each other, is sad and wonderful, and has a fatalistic mystique about it. 

We learn that while Miriam is eternal in her youth provided she feeds once a week that her companions who she turns begin to retroactively age at an accelerated rate after three-hundred years. John grows increasingly panicked by the aging and seeks the assistance of scientist Sarah Roberts (Susan Sarandon), who has been in the news having published a book about her research into the biology of aging, she has been able to accelerate the process but have not yet reversed it. Roberts blows off John at her clinic believing him to be a nut and asks him to wait in the lobby with no plans to follow-up, during the hours long wait John ages dramatically in a well-executed series of scenes. Frustrated by being blown-off John leaves but not before Roberts spots him on the way out, later she tracks John to his shared home with Miriam in Manhattan, and there's a certain chemistry between the two women.

Afterward, in a moment of desperation John's commits a heinous murder that is hard to frogive, the murder of an innocent and one of the Baylock's only regular visitors to their home. soon after the aging progresses leaving his body near useless, what follows is a haunting revelation as we learn that Miriam's former lovers through the millennia do not die in a traditional sense, they merely wither away physically but live on, useless, she keeps each of them in lovingly tucked away in a series of coffins she keeps in her attic.

When Robert's (Sarandon) comes calling at a later date to look in on John she is told by Miriam that he has since left for Sweden to seek a cure for his illness, and the two women conversate over wine with Miriam seducing Sarah. In an erotically charged lesbian scene that has been burned into my head since my younger years, it rivals anything from Bound, which is surprising as I do not consider sarandon to be an object of sexual desire, but Deneuve on the other hand has a classic and eternal beauty. During the encounter Miriam transfuses Sarah's blood with her, infecting her with the curse of vampirysm. 

What happens next is an exploration of the forced vampirysm with Sarah's behaviours becoming more erratic which alarms her boyfriend Tom (Cliff De Young), who is also a co-worker at the lab, where Sarah begins to run tests ion her blood, discovering that there are two strains struggling for supremacy within her, he own natural blood and the infected strain from Miriam. As things transpire Sarah struggles to reconcile the her relationship with Jon who is becoming more suspicious of Miriam and the way she was turned without permission. 

Audio/Video: Tony Scott's The Hunger (1983) arrives on a long overdue HD format courtesy of Warner archives who have released this as an manufacture-on-demand format in the original (2.40:1) widescreen aspect ratio. The 2K scan looks fantastic in 1080p HD, faithfully reproducing the deep shadow and light compositions, this film is drenched is neo-noir imagery, each scene is painterly with hard shadow and angles of light slicing through it, the blacks are deep and inky and there are textured wafts of smoke permeating the air. 

We only get a DTS-HD Mono 2.0 mix on the disc, but it's solid with a good dynamic range and good separation, from the opening scenes with Bauhaus's "Bela Lugosi is Dead" on through to the more classical composition and electronic augmentation we have a top notch presentation free of any distortion, very crisp and clean. Optional English SDH subtitles are provided. 

A fantastic commentary from with director Tony Scott and actor Susan Sarandon and a theatrical trailer is carried over from the 2004 Warner Bros.DVD, missing is the extensive still galleries from that disc. The commentary is stitched together from two separate commentaries, Scott and Sarandon are not together on this one, but chime in separately. 

Special Features: 
Commentary by Susan Sarandon and Director Tony Scott
- Theatrical Trailer 

As a young kid I saw this movie on TV and didn't care for it, the stylishness of the production did nothing for me, I wanted traditional bloodsuckers and Gothic vampire lore, the contemporary setting felt cold and I couldn't appreciate how prescient the transmission of the "curse" through blood was at a time when the AIDS epidemic was in bloom. Watching it again in my twenties after I'd developed an appreciation for foreign and arthouse cinema it floored me, and remains one of my favorite vampire movies of all time. A stylish, slightly narrative-poor, slice of arthouse that is both haunting and gorgeous, with a certain amount of ambiguity that I've come to enjoy, not all of life's mysteries require definition. The Blu-ray from Warner Archive looks fantastic, and while I would have loved a new making of doc the commentary is really great. 4/5

'ZARDOZ' (1974) AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY SEPTEMBER 21ST FROM ARROW VIDEO UK


ZARDOZ (1974) 



AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY – SEPTEMBER 21ST  2015

Arrow Video is thrilled to announce the Blu-ray release of Zardoz, director John Boorman’s cerebral and eerily dystopian sci-fi tale. Released in 1974, not long after Boorman’s iconic Deliverance, Zardoz saw the director team up with Sean Connery, three years after his final official appearance as James Bond and light years away from anything either had done before.

Zardoz will debut on Blu-ray from 21st September 2015 and comes presented in a brand new 4K transfer. The disc will feature a wealth of bonus content including newly-shot interviews with key members from every aspect of the film’s production and an audio commentary by writer-producer-director John Boorman. Zardoz mega-fan Ben Wheatley (Kill List, A Field in England) also provides an on-camera appreciation recorded especially for Arrow Video.

This exciting release comes packaged together with newly commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin and a fully-illustrated collector’s booklet featuring brand new writing on the film by Julian Upton and Adrian Smith, who explores Boorman’s novelisation, plus archive interviews, all illustrated with original stills.

SynopsisL In-between the Hollywood productions of Deliverance and Exorcist II: The Heretic, John Boorman embarked on one of the strangest films ever to come from a major studio, Zardoz.

The year is 2293. Society as we know it has broken down centuries ago with the Earth’s population split into three classes: the Brutals, who work the land and are forbidden from reproducing; their overseers, the Executioners; and the highly-civilised Eternals, who are protected from the outside world by a force-field. But when an Executioner, Zed (Sean Connery, light years from James Bond), smuggles himself into their isolated paradise, he risks unbalancing the system and threatening the status quo…

Photographed by Geoffrey Unsworth (2001: A Space Odyssey, Superman: The Movie) and designed by Anthony Pratt (Excalibur), dystopian science-fiction has rarely looked so beautiful – or been so odd – as it appears in Zardoz.

Special Features
· New 4K digital restoration by Twentieth Century Fox, supervised and approved by John Boorman
· High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentation
· Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
· Audio commentary with writer-producer-director John Boorman
· Brand new interviews with Boorman, actor Sara Kestelman, production designer Anthony Pratt, special effects creator Gerry Johnston, camera operator Peter MacDonald, assistant director Simon Relph, hair stylist Colin Jamison, production manager Seamus Byrne, and assistant editor Alan Jones Newly filmed appreciation with director Ben Wheately (Kill List, Sightseers, A Field in England)
· Theatrical trailer
· Radio spots
· Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin
· Collector’s booklet containing new writing on the film by Julian Upton and Adrian Smith, plus archive interviews, illustrated with original production stills

Specs
Release Date: September 21st 2015
Certificate: 15
Language: English
Running Time: 105 minutes
Region: B
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1


'Queen Crab' Rises from the Deep, Wild Eye Frees the Beast on DVD/VOD September 29th

QUEEN CRAB (2015) 

Wild Eye Releasing has announced the September 29th DVD and VOD release of Queen Crab.  The latest film from cult auteur Brett Piper (They Bite, The Screaming Dead, Raiders of the Living Dead) Queen Crab is a loving, action-packed tribute to the classic days of practical stop-motion animation, evoking the days of Ray Harryhausen creature features.  


 A meteor crashes into a quiet lake in the remote countryside, awakening a centuries-old beast.  She emerges from the deep and tears through a nearby town and its inhabitants. The humans must fight for their lives and stop this Queen Crab before she can hatch an army of babies that will overrun the entire world.







TOBE HOOPER'S 'EATEN ALIVE' (1977) AVAILABLE ON BD/DVD 9/21 2015 FROM ARROW VIDEO

EATEN ALIVE (1977) 


AVAILABLE ON BD/DVD – SEPTEMBER 21st 2015

Arrow Video is thrilled to announce the Blu-ray release of Eaten Alive, director Tobe Hooper’s grizzly and grimy follow-up film to his genre defining The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Set in the atmospheric Louisiana bayou, Eaten Alive was reputedly inspired by the activities of Texan serial killer Joe Ball and boasts a cast that includes a suitably sleazy performance from Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund.

Tobe Hooper’s 1977 grindhouse nasty will debut on Blu-ray from 21st September 2015 and comes presented in a brand new 2K transfer of the film. The disc will feature a wealth of bonus content including both newly shot and archival featurettes and an exclusive and new interview with Hooper himself.

This exciting release comes packaged together with newly commissioned artwork by Gary Pullin and a fully-illustrated collector’s booklet featuring brand new writing on the film by Brad Stevens, illustrated with original stills.

Synopsis
Nearly a decade before he donned Freddy Kruger’s famous red and green sweater, horror icon Robert Englund delivered a supremely sleazy performance in Eaten Alive – another essay in taut Southern terror from Tobe Hooper, director of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

Deep in the Louisiana bayou sits the ramshackle Starlight Hotel, destination of choice for those who like to check in but not check out! Presided over by the bumbling, mumbling Judd (and his pet croc which he keeps in a large pond out front), the patron of this particular establishment may seem like a good-natured ol’ Southern gent – but he has a mean temper on him, and a mighty large scythe to boot…

Oozing atmosphere from its every pore (the entire film was shot on a sound-stage at the famous Raleigh Studios, which lends it a queasy, claustrophobic feel) Eaten Alive matches The Texas Chain Saw Massacre for sheer insanity – and even draughts in Chain Saw star Marilyn Burns as the terrorised woman-in-peril, alongside William Finley and Mel Ferrer.

Special Features
- Brand new 2K transfer from the original camera negative
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
- Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Audio commentary with co-writer and producer Mardi Rustam, make-up artist Craig Reardon and stars Roberta Collins, William Finley and Kyle Richards
- New introduction to the film by director Tobe Hooper
- Brand new interview with Hooper
- My Name is Buck: Star Robert Englund discusses his acting career
- The Butcher of Elmendorf: The Legend of Joe Ball - The story of the South Texas bar owner on whom Eaten Alive is loosely based
- 5ive Minutes with Marilyn Burns - The star of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre talks about working on Eaten Alive
- The Gator Creator: archival interview with Hooper
- Original theatrical trailers for the film under its various titles Eaten Alive, Death Trap, Starlight Slaughter and Horror Hotel
- US TV and Radio Spots
- Alternate credits sequence
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gary Pullin
- Collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film, illustrated with original archive stills and posters

Specs
Release Date: September 21st 2015
Certificate: 18
Language: English
Running Time: 91 minutes
Region: A/B/ 1/2
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio: Mono 1.0

MORE 'PEEPSHOW' AND 'THE FARMER'S DAUGHTER' FROM IMPULSE PICTURE ON 11/10

THE FARMER'S DAUGHTER (1976) 

Label: Impulse Pictures

Release Date: November 10th 2015 
Duration: 61 Minutes 
Video: Color Not Rated Full Screen (1.33:1)
Audio: Japanese Dolby Digital Mono with English subtitles
Region Code: 0
Director: Zebedy Colt
Cast: Spalding Gray, Gayle Leonard, Susan McBain, Nancy Dare, Jon Black

Synopsis: An innocent afternoon of spying on their parents having sex (and then forcibly sexually assaulting the farm hand) turns even more vile for three daughters when escaped convicts pick their farm to hide from the cops! A horrifying, hardcore afternoon of assault, torture and incest follows as the convicts take advantage of the entire family, culminating in a shocking, perverted game of Simon Says and a weirdly mixed and edited final montage. This film is the very definition of hardcore, and one of the most eyebrow raising films in the Impulse Pictures library!


One of the more notorious hardcore roughies of the 1970s, THE FARMER'S DAUGHTERS is a controversial classic. A sick, uncomfortable viewing experience that's a grizzly pornographic take on the home invasion LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT style of horror film... an uncomfortable viewing due to its sleazy and socially irredeemable content, (Ian Jane, Rock! Shock! Pop!). Also notable for starring Spalding Gray (SWIMMING TO CAMBODIA), in one of his three rare hardcore pornography roles, as one of the convicts.


Bonus Features:

- A Sneak-Peek at Impulse Pictures' 42nd Street Forever: The Peep Show Collection Series
- Chapter Selections


42ND STREET FOREVER: THE PEEPSHOW COLLECTION VOL. 13

Label: Impulse Pictures
Release Date: November 10th 2015 
Duration: 113 minutes In English
Video: Color Not Rated Full Screen (1.33:1)
Audio: English Dolby Digital Mono 
Region Code: 0 
Director: Various
Cast: Chris Cassidy, Tina Russell, Susan Nero, Sharon Mitchell

Synopsis: Thousands of these underground movies were made between the 1960s and 1980s, and sold in the back of sex magazines or distributed to the almost 60,000 private peep show booths located in adult stores in most major cities.


Impulse Pictures is proud to present 42ND STREET FOREVER - THE PEEP SHOW COLLECTION VOL. 13, a new, continuing series of salacious 8mm shorts, re-mastered from original film prints. This collection features fifteen classic loops with titles like Son of Quasimodo, Vibrator Vixens, Dad is at It Again, Wicked Loving, After School Fun and more. Watch for adult film stars Chris Cassidy, Tina Russell, Susan Nero, and Sharon Mitchell in these raunchy rarities!


Bonus Features:

- Each loop individually selectable, or watch entire disc with Play All function
- Liner Notes from Cinema Sewer Editor, Robin Bougie

Tinto Brass' 'THE VOYEUR' (1994) on Blu-ray 10/13 from CULT EPICS


THE VOYEUR (1994) 

Label: Cult Epics
Release Date: October 13th 2015
Duration: 104 Minutes
Video: Color Widescreen Anamorphic (1.78:1)
Audio: English, Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo with English subtitles
Region: All
Rating: Not Rated
Director: Tinto Brass
Cast: Franceso Casale, Katarina Vasillissa

THE VOYEUR based on the famous erotic novel (Luomo che Guarda) by Alberto Moravia, tells the story of Eduardo Dodo, who in public is a professor of French literature but in private a desperately lovesick cuckold, married to the ever-more-elusive Sylvia. His life is shattered, when he becomes an onlooker rather than a participant in life. Those around him, though, seem to be living life to the fullest. His bedridden father has a scantily clad nurse, his students have unending sexual fun, sometimes in his presence, and even the public beach has become an orgy ground. Through a series of small revelations, Dodo slowly comes to realize who his rival is, the discovery, rather than destroying his marriage, strengthens and renews it.


Erotic filmmaker Tinto Brass is here at the height of his powers, crafting an unforgettable fable of sexual desire. The music by Riz Ortolani is seductive, the set designs are sumptuous, and the photography is as stunning as Hitchcock's, and the lead performers, Franceso Casale and Katarina Vasillissa (a Polish photomodel) are eye-catching. Cult Epics presents in New High Definition the Uncut version with both the Italian language track, and the newly mixed English language track.

Bonus Features:
- New Restored High-definition Transfer
- Interview with the Director (2007)
- HD Trailers
- Photo Video Gallery


Bruno Mattei WIP Movie 'THE JAIL' (2006) on DVD 10/13 from INTERVISION


THE JAIL (2006)  

Label: Severin Films
Release Date: October 13th 2015
Duration: 98 Minutes
Video: Color Widescreen (1.78:1) 

Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo 
Region Code: 1
Director: Bruno Mattei
Cast: Yvette Yzon, Dyane Craystan, Jim Gaines

Synopsis: For his second-to-last film, the late writer/director Bruno Mattei returned to the genre that established his reputation as a true Maestro of EuroSleaze: When a group of women are sentenced to a jungle hellhole prison known as The House of Lost Souls, they'll enter a sweaty nightmare of sadistic guards, menacing lesbians and rampant nudity. But Mattei -- here under his alias Vincent Dawn -- also packs his final babes-behind-bars saga with enough degradations, perversions, jaw-dropping violence and over-the-top performances to set all-new standards of genre depravity. Yvette Yzon (ISLAND OF THE LIVING DEAD), Dyane Craystan (ZOMBIES: THE BEGINNING) and Jim Gaines (ROBOWAR) star in this Philippines filth-fest produced by Giovanni Paolucci (MONDO CANNIBAL), now presented uncut and uncensored for the first time ever in America!

Bonus Features:
- Acting For Bruno: Featurette with Yvette Yzon and Alvin Anson
- Prison Inferno: Featurette with producer Giovanni Paolucci and screenwriter Antonio Tentori
- Trailer