Thursday, January 29, 2015

FULL MOON LAUNCHES 10-FILM 'THE JESS FRANCO COLLECTION' BEGINNING WITH 'JACK THE RIPPER' (1976)

Jack the Ripper will be available on DVD in mid February
Exclusively at FullMoonStreaming.com and Amazon!

JACK THE RIPPER (1976)  

Label: Full Moon 
Duration: 74 Minutes
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 
Director: Jess Franco 
Cast: Lina Romay, Klaus Kinski, Josephine Chaplin, Herbert Fux, Andreas Mannkopff

In the annals of international cult, horror and fantasy filmmaking, the name Jess Franco is royalty. The controversial Spanish-born auteur directed over 200 remarkable films in his 60 year career before his death in 2013, sculpting a body of dangerous, dark, erotic and generally outrageous descents into personal, obsessive and entertaining excess.

Now, Full Moon is thrilled to be able to honor the legacy of Jess Franco with our new DVD series, "The Jess Franco Collection." Working in partnership with legendary exploitation film producer Erwin C. Dietrich, Full Moon's "The Jess Franco Collection" features 10 titles culled from that golden period of collaboration between Dietrich and Franco, all of them featuring transfers struck from a brand new HD master and each release loaded with special features.

Starting with Franco's violent 1976 masterpiece JACK THE RIPPER, Full Moon will release a new Franco title every month to DVD. Each beautifully designed and packaged DVD will feature on its spine, a piece of a "puzzle" that, when put together with the entire 10-unit set, will create an exclusive portrait of Jess Franco designed by artist Ryan Brookhart.

"I'm excited to be able to bring this awesome collection to the fans," says Full Moon founder and equally storied genre film producer/director Charles Band.

"My WIZARD home video imprint was among the first in North America to distribute Franco's films in the early 1980s and it makes perfect sense that Full Moon should be the ones to now release these beautiful new transfers of some of Jess' most effective pictures to domestic DVD."

Special Features:
- Audio Commentary with Producer Erwin C. Dietrich
- Rare Deleted Scene
- Ripping Yarn: Restoring JACK THE RIPPER
- Franco, Bloody Franco: Audio Interview with Jess Franco (French w/English Subtitles)
- Original Theatrical Trailer


FULL MOON JESS FRANCO COLLECTION TITLES: 

JACK THE RIPPER
BARBED WIRE DOLLS
BLUE RITA
LOVE CAMP
SEXY SISTERS
SLAVES (no English track, only English subtitles available)
MARQUISE DE SADE (aka DORIANA GREY)
WOMEN FROM CELLBLOCK 9
VOODOO PASSION



Wednesday, January 28, 2015

ZOMBIE KILLERS: ELEPHANT’S GRAVEYARD (2014)

ZOMBIE KILLERS: ELEPHANT’S GRAVEYARD (2014)

Label: Anchor Bay Entertainment 
Release Date: February 3, 2015
Duration: 104 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Video:: Widescreen (2.40:1) 1080p
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 with Optional English SDH, Spanish Subtitles
Director: 
B. Harrison Smith

Cats: Billy Zane, Dee Wallace, Mischa Barton, Felissa Rose, Brian Anthony Wilson

We have the small rural community of Elwood, a walled-in community serving as a haven for uninfected humans at a time when most of the world is overrun by hordes of black-goo spewing infected zombies. The community are lead by a retired Army surgeon named Doc (Brian Anthony Wilson) and a man named Seiler (Zane), who leads a group of young men and women known as "the zombie killers" who provide security for the community and patrol the surrounding areas for food and supplies.

The community is also home to a religious zealot named Lia (Felissa Rose) who as with most of her ilk love to point out the moral shortcomings of others, it just wouldn't be the apocalypse without one. Rose does a damn decent job portraying the amped-up bible thumper who loves to rile up the good people of Elwood. 

The film offers up an unusual amount of character based interactions for a zombie film, but there's some good zombie make-up effects throughout, the practical stuff looks mighty good, but the digital effects are Syfy worthy, meaning not so grand. Hordes of zombies off in the distance are one thing, but a stampede of infected deer and leaping killer fish are quite another. Smith's script is more ambitious than his modest budget will effectively allow, and sometimes you just have to cut back when a few decent ideas stretch your budget and abilities to the point of laughability, which is what happened. 

Not enough to completely ruin the movie but enough to make me start picking apart other smaller things that maybe I wouldn't have if the poor effects didn't draw so much attention to themselves. One of those things being how much paintball is front and center in this film right from the beginning till the very end. It begins with some truly awful voice over narration from Doc at the top of the film with an overly long montage of paintballers right through to the very end. Not sure is the San Diego Dynasty  were financing the film or not but it would not surprise me in the least, I get it, you love paintball, you want to show off your awesome paintball arena and cool gear, but don't shove it down my throat for the entire film, this is paintball propaganda with a smattering of zombies and a lot of melodrama. . 

Many will recognize Felissa Rose from the slasher classic SLEEPAWAY CAMP as the religious nut of the bunch and she does a decent job, I have a lot of love to Mrs. Rose but she's not fantastic but I love her just the same. Then we have Billy Zane who or a brief moment had an a-list career for all of five minutes before settling into a career in d-grade movies that are forgettable. He's got a bit of a Western tinge to his performance that I liked, but there no heart in his autopilot performance. Horror veteran Dee Wallace appears for about a minute in a role that adds some heart to the film, but it's very brief appearance and in just one of several facets of the film that should have been excised from the movie, including a strange fracking-origin of the plague that was unnecessarily convoluted and not fully realized, they're going for an environmental message but it's muddied and unnecessary. . 

There's a more than average character moment quotient throughout the film, a bit too much for my simple tastes honestly.  With all the melodrama and character building I was seriously starting to yearn for some damn zombie carnage, which we do get in very small doses but never to the point where I was satisfied. . 

I give the filmmakers a lot of credit for their technical ability, you can see there's some skill behind the camera with numerous panoramic shots highlighting the scenic beauty of the surrounding area and creative use of what I assume are drones for aerial cinematography that mimic more expensive crane shots they are getting the most bang for their buck here, it never fails to amaze me what can be done with high-end consumer grade digital cameras these days. 

Not an awful film, I enjoyed the character-based storytelling to a degree but I was hoping for a more satisfying finale given that the carnage was few and far between, that combined with the poor digital effects did dampen my overall enjoyment of the film. This might be a passable weeknight rental but otherwise this has zero rewatch factor. A competent zombie film, just not my cup of tea.  

OZPLOITATION CLASSIC 'LONG WEEKEND' (1978) ARRIVES ON BLU-RAY 4/12 FROM SYNAPSE FILMS

LONG WEEKEND (1978) 

Label: Synapse Films
Release Date: April 12th 2015
Run Time: 95 Minutes
Language: English 

Color Widescreen Anamorphic 2.35:1
DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround 
Region A
Rated R
Director: Colin Eggleston
Cast: John Hargreaves, Briony Behets, Mike McEwen

Attempting to resurrect their failing marriage, Peter (John Hargreaves, THE ODD ANGRY SHOT) and Marcia (Briony Behets) set out on a camping trip to a deserted stretch of the Australian coastline hoping a long weekend in the sunshine will help them patch their differences. They are a careless couple, littering the countryside with garbage, shooting guns and even driving away after wounding a kangaroo with their automobile. Their callous disregard for the environment soon becomes apparent when the animals start to seek vengeance. Marcia and Peter have proven themselves to be destroyers of nature. Will the animals allow them to leave or will they too be destroyed? From the writer of ROAD GAMES and RAZORBACK comes this "spooky little gem" (Premiere Magazine), presented in a high-definition transfer from original vault materials with a re-mastered DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround soundtrack created by Synapse Films.


Bonus Features:
- Audio Commentary from Producer Richard Brennan and Cinematographer Vincent Monton
- Motion Still Gallery Featuring an Audio Interview with Actor John Hargreaves
- Theatrical Trailer


42nd STREET FOREVER: THE PEEP SHOW COLLECTION VOL. 9 on DVD 4/12 from IMPULSE PICTURES


42nd STREET FOREVER: THE PEEP SHOW COLLECTION VOL. 9

Label: Impulse Pictures
Release date: April 12th 2015
Run Time: 111 Minutes
Language: English 

Color Full Screen 1.33:1 
Dolby Digital Mono
Not Rated
Director: Various
Cast: Kandi Barbour, Aunt Peg, Vanessa Del Rio

Their place in history is undeniable. Hardcore 8mm stag films introduced explicit human sexuality to the public. Predating every other moving picture home format, these inauspicious productions provided not only a window to a whole other world, but also immediate relief for those not fortunate enough to make their fantasies into reality. 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. 9, a new, continuing series of salacious 8mm shorts, re-mastered from original film prints. This collection features fifteen classic "loops" with titles like "Horny Cowgirls", "Disco Bitch", "A Schoolgirl's Dream", "Lesbian Tongue", and more. Watch for adult film stars Kandi Barbour, Aunt Peg, CJ Laing, and Vanessa Del Rio in these raunchy rarities!

Bonus Features:
- Liner Notes from Cinema Sewer Editor, Robin Bougie


DAVID CRONENBERG CLASSIC 'RABID' ON DUAL FORMAT BD/DVD 2/16 from ARROW VIDEO UK

PRAY IT DOESN'T HAPPEN TO YOU!

RABID (1977) 



**GLOBAL BLU-RAY PREMIERE **

“The appeal of horror is beyond politics. It’s accessible to political criticism, but the appeal is very direct – right into the viscera, before it gets to the brain. And you don’t have politics in the viscera.” -Cronenberg on Cronenberg, first published in 1992 by Faber and Faber Limited

Arrow Video is thrilled to announce the release of David Cronenberg’s much lauded horror classic Rabid (1977) which will be available on dual format Blu-ray & DVD both as an amaray and Steelbook from 16th February 2015. This new edition will mark the Blu-ray world premiere for Rabid, which served as the follow up picture to Cronenberg’s debut 1975 feature Shivers,continuing to explore the themes of viral diseases, yet upping the ante, the scale, the gore levels and the threat by unleashing the venereal terror on the whole of downtown Montreal.

This fresh release will include a host of exciting extra features including audio commentaries with both director David Cronenberg and William Beard, author of The Artist as Monster: The Cinema of David Cronenberg. This disc will also feature brand new interviews, most notably with famed director (and Rabid executive producer) Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters, Twins) and his co-producer Don Carmody.

Other extras include the featurette Make-up Memories in which make-up artist Joe Blasco recalls how the film’s various gruesome effects were achieved and Raw, Rough and Rabid: The Lacerating Legacy of Cinépix - a featurette which looks back at the early years of the celebrated Canadian production company.

Alongside this, the disc will also include the David Cronenberg episode of The Directors, a 1999 documentary on the filmmaker, containing interviews with Cronenberg, Marilyn Chambers, Deborah Harry, Michael Ironside, Peter Weller and others.

The reversible sleeve will feature both original artwork and a newly commissioned cover art by Nat Marsh. The collector’s booklet features new writing on the film by Kier-La Janisse, reprinted excerpts of Cronenberg on Cronenberg and more, illustrated with original archive stills and posters


Synopsis
First come the Shivers… then, you turn RABID! Celebrated Canadian cult auteur David Cronenberg (The Fly, Videodrome) followed up his startling debut feature length proper Shivers with this tense and gory thriller which expands upon the venereal disease theme of that film, this time unleashing it on the whole of downtown Montreal – with terrifying consequences.

When beautiful Rose (adult film star Marilyn Chambers) is badly injured in a motorcycle crash, Dr. Keloid, who is in the process of developing a revolutionary new type of skin-graft, seizes the opportunity to test out his as yet unproven methods. The surgery appears successful and Rose seems restored to full health. But all is not as it should be – Rose has been transformed into a contagious blood-sucker, endowed with a bizarre, needle-like protrusion in her armpit with which she drains the blood from those unfortunate enough to be in her vicinity.

An important landmark in the early career of Cronenberg, Rabid sees the director returning to the viral theme of his earlier work but on a much larger (and more assured) scale – where the infection has shifted from the confines of a single apartment block to the expansive shopping centres and motorways of Canada’s second largest city.

Special Features
· New High Definition Digital Transfer
· High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of the feature
· Original mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
· Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
· Audio Commentary with writer-director David Cronenberg
· Audio Commentary with William Beard, author of The Artist as Monster: The Cinema of David Cronenberg
· Archive interview with David Cronenberg
· Brand new interview with executive producer Ivan Reitman
· Brand new interview with co-producer Don Carmody
· Make-up Memories: Joe Blasco Remembers Rabid – A short featurette in which Blasco recalls how the film’s various gruesome effects were achieved
· Raw, Rough and Rabid: The Lacerating Legacy of Cinépix – Featurette looking back at the early years of the celebrated Canadian production company, including interviews with author Kier-La Janisse and special makeup artist Joe Blasco
· The Directors: David Cronenberg – A 1999 documentary on the filmmaker, containing interviews with Cronenberg, Marilyn Chambers, Deborah Harry, Michael Ironside, Peter Weller and others
· Original Theatrical Trailer
· Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Nat Marsh
· Collector’s Booklet featuring new writing on the film by Kier-La Janisse, reprinted excerpts of Cronenberg on Cronenberg and more, illustrated with original archive stills and posters.

Specs
Release Date: Monday 16th February 2015
Certificate: 18
Language: English (English SDH Subtitles)
Running Time : 91 minutes
Region: B/2
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio: 1.0 Mono

Arrow Films (UK) to release Day of Anger, Blind Woman's Curse, and Mark of the Devil in the US via MVD Entertainment Group

MVD Entertainment Group announces the distribution of Arrow Video in North America with a host of cult titles receiving deluxe treatment in video, audio, supplements and artwork. Arrow's global reputation as one of the finest labels in the world has come about through consistent high quality product and a focus on fan-based products always at its core. This includes a major investment on restoring original material through modern techniques as well as pioneering packaging solutions and newly commissioned artwork for each release.

Arrow launch titles include Tonino Valerii's Spaghetti Western Day of Anger [I Giorni dell'ira, aka Gunlaw] starring genre icons Lee Van Cleef and Giuliano Gemma; Michael Armstrong's bloody and brutal critique of state-funded religious corruption Mark of the Devil in a director-approved release; and the thrillingly bizarro yakuza-samurai-ghost story-horror hybrid from Teruo Ishii, Blind Woman's Curse (1971, also known as Black Cat's Revenge). Future releases include films never-before-released on DVD and/or Blu-ray from European and Japanese cult directors.

The launch l kicks-off with North American Blu-ray premieres of Mark of the Devil on March 17th, followed by Blind Woman's Curse on March 24th and Day of Anger on March 31st.

DAY OF ANGER (Blu-ray / DVD)
When Sergio Leone turned Lee Van Cleef into a major star with For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, the actor sensibly stayed in Italy to make several more spaghetti westerns, including this one from Leone's former assistant Tonino Valerii that genre aficionados rank amongst the best ever made. Giuliano Gemma plays street cleaner Scott Mary, relentlessly bullied by the people of the small town of Clifton. When legendarily ruthless master gunfighter Frank Talby (Van Cleef) rides into town, Scott seizes the opportunity to lift himself out of the gutter, and possibly even surpass Talby's own skills. But what is Talby doing in Clifton in the first place? This lively, intelligent western, notable for the chemistry between its charismatic leads, some memorable action set-pieces (including a rifle duel on horseback that has to be seen to be believed), and a jazzy Riz Ortolani score, is presented here in an exclusive high-definition restoration from the original Techniscope negative.

BLIND WOMAN'S CURSE (Blu-ray / DVD)

A thrilling Yakuza film featuring eye-popping visuals, sensational fight sequences and the gorgeous Meiko Kaji (Lady Snowblood, Stray Cat Rock), in her first major role. Akemi (Kaji) is a dragon tattooed leader of the Tachibana Yakuza clan. In a duel with a rival gang Akemi slashes the eyes of an opponent and a black cat appears, to lap the blood from the gushing wound. The cat along with the eye-victim go on to pursue Akemi's gang in revenge, leaving a trail of dead Yakuza girls, their dragon tattoos skinned from their bodies. A bizarre blend of the female Yakuza film and traditional Japanese ghost story, with a strong dash of grotesque-erotica (the same movement was a sensibility of Edogawa Rampo whose works were adapted by Ishii in Horrors of Malformed Men), Blind Woman's Curse is a delirious mash-up of classic genre tropes, of which Ishii was no stranger, having directed everything from Super Giant films to Biker movies!


MARK OF THE DEVIL (Blu-ray / DVD)
Once proclaimed as "positively the most horrifying film ever made", Mark of the Devil arrives in a director-approved edition featuring a new restoration of the feature. A bloody and brutal critique of religious corruption, Mark of the Devil sees horror icon Udo Kier (Flesh for Frankenstein, Suspiria) play a witchfinder's apprentice whose faith in his master (Herbert Lom) becomes severely tested when they settle in an Austrian village. Presided over by the sadistic Albino (a memorably nasty turn from Reggie Nalder), the film presents its morality not so much in shades of grey as shades of black. Written and directed by Michael Armstrong, who would later pen Eskimo Nell, The Black Panther and House of the Long Shadows, this classic shocker has lost none of its power over the years. 

Cult-classic INVADERS FROM MARS (1986) on Blu-ray 4/7 from Scream Factory

INVADERS FROM MARS (1986)

Cannon Pictures Classic Available April 7th, 2015 from Scream Factory

Famed horror director Tobe Hooper’s 1986 re-make of the classic thriller film Invaders from Mars is a space-age creature feature crawling with horrifying hordes of Martians hell-bent on stealing your soul – as well as your planet!

Making its Blu-ray debut on April 7th, 2015 from Scream Factory, Invaders from Mars comes loaded with bonus features, including an all-new audio commentary from director Tobe Hooper, the new retrospective The Martians Are Coming!-The Making of Invaders from Mars, which features interviews with director Tobe Hooper, actor Hunter Carson, special creature effects artists Alec Gillis and Gino Crognale, and composer Christopher Young; galleries for the original storyboards and original production illustrations, and more! As an additional bonus, fans who order their copy from ShoutFactory.com will have their order shipped two weeks early.

Little David Gardner's starry-eyed dreams turn into an out-of-this-world nightmare when invaders from the red planet land in his backyard and unleash their hostilities on unsuspecting earthlings! Paralyzed with fear as the aliens take over the minds of his mother, father and even his classmates, David must somehow find a way to stop them- before they turn the whole human race into brain-dead zombies!

Showcasing special effects from John Dykstra (Star Wars) and the creations of Stan Winston (Aliens), and starring Karen Black (House Of 1,000 Corpses), Hunter Carson (Paris, Texas), Timothy Bottoms (Rollercoaster), Louise Fletcher (Flowers In The Attic), James Karen (The Return Of The Living Dead) and Bud Cort (Harold And Maude), this thrilling remake is a must-own for horror fans.

Invaders from Mars Bonus Features
- New audio commentary with director Tobe Hooper
- The Martians Are Coming! - The Making of "Invaders from Mars", an all-new retrospective featuring interviews with director Tobe Hooper, actor Hunter Carson, special creature effects artists Alec Gillis and Gino Crognale, and composer Christopher Young
- Theatrical Trailer
- TV spot
- Original Storyboards
- Original Production Illustration Gallery with commentary from artist William Stout.
- Still Gallery