Monday, July 28, 2014

THE PERFECT HOUSE (2012)

THE PERFECT HOUSE (2012) 
Duration: 84 Minutes
Rating: Unrated 
Audio: English Dolby Digital Stereo
Video: Widescreen
Director: Kris Hulbert, Randy Kent
Cast: Felissa Rose, Jonathan Tiersten, John Philbin, Monique Parent, Dustin Stevens, Andrea Vahl

Having just poured through the special features on the new  SLEEPAWAY CAMP Blu-ray I was drawn to this indie horror anthology by the inclusion of Felissa Rose and Jonathan Tiersten who both starred in that camp horror classic and feature prominently in the interviews on the disc. 

What we have here are three short anthology stories with a wrap-around, a very traditional set-up for the format. The wrap-around segment REAL ESTATE features a young couple looking for a new home - they arrive at what appears to be the titular Perfect House and are greeted by a sultry real estate agent (adult film star Monique Parent) in a short skirt who shamelessly flirts with the husband making suggestive comments while laying on a bed - it's very strange. I kept thinking what would I do if I were n that situation - it would be so uncomfortable. The couple love the home but the real estate agent says that the basement is usually a deal breaker and leads the couple to the basement where she points out a few of the houses more peculiar features which leads us on a journey into the stories past and three tales of terror unfold. 

First up is THE STORM - a twisted tale of a family taking shelter in the basement during a powerful storm. The power is out and the basement is lit my a candle where a mother, father, brother and sister sit around a candle waiting out the storm which is howling away in the background. We start to see that this is not a happy group of kin and there are dark family secrets tearing this family apart - additionally there's something in the basement hacking them up one by one. This is a good start to the film that sets a tone in a settings that is effective with some brutal violence, it's nicely done but felt a bit too short - even for an anthology entry. 

Onto CHIC-KEN we have Jonathan Tiersten as John Doesy who abducts, tortures and kills young men and woman from his quiet neighborhood. Knocking them unconscious he keeps them in cages in his basement workshop where he dispatches them like clockwork except for one young woman (Holly Greene) whom has been kept captive for five years to bare witness to his depraved deeds and for the occasional rape release. Tiersten is tolerable as the sadist but the delivery of his monologues are so monotonous - what saved this for me was Greene as the captive who both antagonizes her captor and pleads for the release of death. Some decent low-rent gore including an eyelid peeling with this one but at the end of the day this women-in-cages slice of exploitation is pretty mediocre. 

The meat of the production is DINNER GUEST starring Felissa Rose (SLEEPAWAY CAMP) and Jonathan Philbin (THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD). A family of five are summoned to a neighbors house for a dinner when things turn ugly as the discussion turns to the return of his prized weed whacker which he loaned the father some time ago. Dinner quickly turns into each of the family members tied down and tortured by the man who bares a passing resemblance to Gunnar Hansen at times. Pretty much just a series of torture set pieces as he puts each f the family members through a series of life and death games. Felissa Rose shows some decent acting chops as the screaming/grieving mothers who must watch as her family is decimated before her eyes but can do little to stop the madness unfolding. A lot of violence and screaming but very little tension - with so little build-up or character development I find it hard to care about these characters. 

At the end the wrap-around concludes and there's a brief prologue that would indicate a dark force inhabiting the home that attracts a certain type of murderess home buyer which does little to sweeten by opinion of the film. 

There are a lot of dark subject matter explored but directors Kris Hulbert and Randy Kent don't handle it a bit too bluntly.  It just feels ham-fisted and thrown on screen without a lot of thought going into it and if the execution were just a bit more considered and measured each of these segments would have a deeper impact on me, but it doesn't and at the end of the day I was not impressed. 

It would be hard to properly judge the video quality as the screener sent for review as it was a non-anamorphic DVD-R with choppy video - my viewing felt like I watching a streaming video with a poor internet connection, it was a chore to sit through. No extras on the screeners but retail versions have a commentaries, interview, behind-the-scenes stuff and more.  

As a low budget production this is not awful but the material needed to be fleshed out more - the script needed another pass to maybe get a bit more meat out of it. If I were to evaluate the film based purely on the onscreen violence this would get decent marks but it only scratched the surface of what this could have been with a more thoughtful approach. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

TRANCERS (1984) The Ultimate Edition Blu-ray

TRANCERS (1984) 
The Ultimate Edition Blu-ray 
Label: Full Moon Features
Region Code: Region FREE
Duration: 76 Minutes
Rating: PG-13
Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo and 5.1 Surround
Video: HD Widescreen
Director: Charles Band

Cast: Tim Thomerson, Helen Hunt, Michael Stefani, Art La Fleur, Telma Hopkins


In TRANCERS (1984) we have Jack Deth (Tim Thomerson, DOLLMAN) who is a grizzled, chain-smoking Trooper from the year 2247. Troopers are a specialized police force tasked with tracking down Trancers who are weak willed people that have been "tranced" by master-criminal Martin Whister (Michael Stefani) who "trances" victims into zombie-like slaves. It is assumed at the start of the film that Whistler died during a previous encounter with Deth but his zombie disciples still plague the citizens. These "trancers" appear normal until they are triggered and become violent killers. Deth has encounters a trancer at a diner and but his loose cannon tactics have angered his superiors. He quits only to be summonsed back into service after it is discovered that Whistler has traveled through time to the year 1985 with plans to wipe out the ancestors of the ruling Council. 

I do love how time travel is achieved in the film - a serum is ingested that allows the conscious mind to travel back through one's own bloodline and inhabit the body of an ancestor - that's awesome and I am surprised it hasn't been used elsewhere. In Whistler's case he has traveled "down the line" and into the body of Weisling  - a Lt. in the LAPD circa 1985. Whistler plans to systematically eliminate the blood relatives of the 2247 City Council members and he seems to be succeeding as only one Council member survives in the future. Deth is given a baseball card to assist in identifying the surviving councilman's ancestor in 1985, a down on his luck baseball player named Hap Ashby (Biff Manard). Deth arrives in the past in the body of his ancestor Phil Denton, a journalist who loves the ladies - his latest conquest is Lena (Helen Hunt, AS GOOD AS IT GETS). I've never thought of Hunt as a very attractive woman but she's not without her charm as what I can only say is an ill conceived punker. Jack is attacked by a mall Santa who turns out to be a trancer. He kills the trancer in front of a crowd of kids and alarmed parents and he and Lena flee the mall. Whistler as Lt. Weisler arrives on the scene and sends out an APB on Jack for the murder of the store Santa. Definitely a film that will forevermore be on my Christmas to-watch list, this was fun stuff, "Security, we've got trouble at the North Pole."

Trancers is definitely more a sci-fi action film than horror and while the budget is low I admired the films futuristic elements. Thomerson is definitely channeling Bogart as a noir styled gumshoe from the future on the set of a low-budget BLADE RUNNER. Deth has a small assortment of gadgets including the "long second" wrist watch which enables him to slow down time for a very brief period. Let me just say the scenes of slow-mo are not quite up to par with bullet-time from the the MATRIX but I enjoyed it.

Trancers is a fun science fiction actioner with a fun cast that is topped off by the awesome Tim Thomerson who has a certain charm not unlike Tom Atkins (HALLOWEEN III), an acerbic detective with no shortage of Eastwood styled one-liners.


Blu-ray: The new remastered Blu-ray from Full Moon presents the film in 1080 HD in an attractive 1.78:1-framed aspect ratio. Not sure if this is sourced from the original negative but there is a heavy layer of film grain and with it some noise and minor print damage. A few small qualms aside this is quite an attractive presentation and the sci-fi film has never looked better.

Audio options include English Dolby Digital stereo and an unimpressive 5.1 surround sound mix - typically FM have opted to not include a lossless audio option - there are no subtitles. 

Onto the extras we have an entertaining audio commentary with director Charles Band and star Tim Thomerson who are in my eyes the FM equivalent of sitting down to listen to John Carpenter and Kurt Russell.  There's also a Ballyhoo Motion Pictures produced making-of documentary with new interviews from Charles band, Tim Thomerson and writers Danny Bilson and Paul De Meo (THE ROCKETEER).

There are also vintage interviews with Tim Thomerson, Helen Hunt, and Megan Ward and a still gallery featuring TIME COPS poster art and the Eternity Comic TRANCERS covers. A neat addition is the TRANCERS: CITY OF LOST ANGELES (1988) segment from the Pulsepounders anthology - a short film that fills in the gap between the first film and the sequel. 

Finishing up the extras we have trailers for TROPHY HEADS, OOGA BOOGA, GINGERDEAD MAN VS EVIL BONG, UNLUCKY CHARMS, PUPPET MASTER, PUPPET MASTER 2, and PUPPET MASTER 3. 

Special Features: 
- Audio Commentary by Tim Thomserson and Charles Band
- Daniel Griffith's Trancers Featurette CYBERCRIME: THE MAKING OF TRANCERS (14:27) HD
- Rare Interview with Tim Thomerson, Helen Hunt, and Megan Ward (1:59) HD
- Complete Trancers: City of Lost Angels Segment from the Pulsepounders Trilogy ((24:29) HD
- Rare Stills Gallery (1:37) HD
- Rare Full Moon Trailers


A fun sci-fi entry from Full Moon starring the always enjoyable Tim Thomerson that's worth the upgrade with sweetened PQ and a fun assortment of value-added extras - an easy recommend for fans of low-budget fun. 

Three new slices of Eurocult from ONE 7 MOVIES in September

CRAZY DOG (2012) 
Label: One 7 MoviesRelease Date: September 9th 2014 
Run Time: 83 Minutes In Italian - Subtitled In English
Color Widescreen 1.85:1 Dolby Digital 5.1 Region 0
Production year: 2012
Director: David Petrucci
Stars: Giuseppe Schisano, Marco Bonetti, Gian Marco Tavani, Myriam Catania, Tinto Brass, Franco Nero


Twenty years ago Marco's father was brutally murdered by a coldblooded serial killer known as the Crazy Dog. Since then he has been ceaselessly trying to unveil the chain of events that have resulted in dad's death. Marco contacts Raul Chinna, a well-known criminologist that has made the Dog's bloody legacy his very own field of expertise. As soon Marco and Chinna start to recall the past, they both have to face the fact there is another man obsessed by the murders of Crazy Dog: David Moiraghi, a journalist who's been working for decades on the serial killer. As the truth starts slowly to emerge from the mists of time, Marco has to acknowledge that there is maybe something more that links professor Chinna and Moiraghi. The thin line between truth and fiction starts slowly to blur while Marco is forced once again to face his worst nightmares all over again.

PRINCE OF THE NIGHT (1988) 

Label: One 7 Movies
Release Date: September 9th 2014 

Not Rated Run Time: 93 Minutes
In Italian and English Color Widescreen 1.77:1
Dolby Digital Mono Region 0
Production year: 1988
Director: Augusto Caminito
Stars: Klaus Kinski, Christopher Plummer, Donald Pleasence, Barbara De Rossi, Yorgo Voyagis


Helietta Canins (Barbara De Rossi) requests the help and knowledge of professor Paris Catalano (Christopher Plummer) to help her to get rid of all the rumors still surrounding her luxurious venetian mansion. According to the legend, Helietta's grandmother has been abducted by the mighty Nosferatu himself (Klaus Kinski). But when Professor Catalano discovers in the basement of Helietta's palazzo the vampire's crypt, he realizes that there could be some terrible truth to all rumors about the existence of an unholy undead in Venice.

TOP MODEL (1987) 

Label: One 7 Movies
Release Date: September 9th 2014
Not Rated Run Time: 95 Minutes
In Italian - Subtitled In English Color Full Screen 1.33:1
Dolby Digital Mono Region 0
Production year: 1987
Director: Mario Gariazzo


Stars: Florence Guerin, Marino Mase, Martine Brochard, Stefano Sabelli, Adriana Giuffre

Nadine (Florence Guérin) is a breathtaking and astonishingly sensual fashion photographer who gets lured into accepting a lingerie photo-shoot in the villa of the mysterious Victor Schneider. After the models and the crew leave the villa, only Nadine and Victor stay behind. As the night shrouds the villa with its thick shadows, Victor offers Nadine a weird proposal. Would she dare to put her own life at stake in a chess game? If he win, she loses every right over her body and life. If Nadine does, Victor will kill himself. Thus begins a long night of sex, lust, desire, fear and death.

CURTAINS (1983)

CURTAINS (1983)
Label: Synapse Films
Region Code: A
Rating: R
Duration: 90 Minutes 
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio Mono, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 with Optional English Subtitles
Video: 1080p Widescreen (1.78:1) 
Director: Jonathan Stryker
Cast: John Vernon, Samantha Eggar, Lesleh Donaldson, Lynne Griffin



CURTAINS is a true slasher classic from the land of bacon and maple syrup starring John Vernon (CHAINED HEAT) as pompous film director John Stryker and Samanatha Eggar (THE BROOD) stars as Samantha his aging muse who just cannot seem to nail the mental state of 'Audra', the lead part in Strker's next film'. She is such a method actor that she has herself committed to an asylum so she can research the role - only she and Stryker are aware that she is not crazy... not yet anyway While there she soaks up the insanity but when she awakens to find that her screaming roommate has been lobotomized she thinks that maybe this was not such a smart move on her part. Her own sanity starts to crumble and she becomes non-responsive during Stryker's regular visits. Instead of informing the doctors that this was just research for a role he stops visiting. Afterward he announces via the trades that he will be auditioning for the role of 'Audra'. 

Hoping to land the role are comedian Patti O'Connor (Lynne Griffin, BLACK CHRISTMAS), seasoned actress Brooke Parsons (Linda Thorson, TV's THE AVENGERS),  dancer Laurian Summers (Anne Ditchburn), musician Tara DeMillo (Sandee Currie), and professional ice-skater Christie Burns (Lesleh Donaldson, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME). That's only five, the sixth unfortunate young woman is stabbed to death before she can make it to the audition. This first kill is a lot of fun - not only do we get some kinky sex but a prescient waking nightmare with some echoes of Argento's DEEP RED with a creepy doll! 


Once Samantha discovers that Stryker is recasting the role of 'Audra' she escapes from the asylum showing up at the mansion which causes a bit of friction as she and Stryker trade barbs back and forth. Things heat-up as the Stryker puts each of the actresses through auditions playing mind-games with each which they suffer through intent on landing a role worth killing for. The smooth talking director ends up bedding several of the actresses which further enrages his former lover Samantha, pretty soon thereafter the actresses are murdered one by one by someone wearing a creepy old hag mask which leads up to a shocker finale. 


A particular scene that has stuck with me through the years since I initially saw this on TV is the surreal ice skating sequence, a very weird scene which has an almost Lucio Fulci nightmare quality about it. Christie the skater is performing a routine on a frozen when the killer in that frightful hag mask skates up in slow-mo and slashes Brook with a razor-sharp sickle - it's a classic scene and one that you must see as the description I offer does not do it justice in anyway.


One of the other memorable scene is the final cat and mouse chase through a prop room with some cool Mario Bava-esque lighting with a few good moments of pulse pounding suspense, ll of which leads up to a champagne toast and a shocker ending which does feel like it was tagged on - because it was. . 

The set-up for each kill is pretty decent with some nice suspenseful moments even if the kills themselves are pretty bloodless. The film was a very troubled production with more than one director and at times can feel a bit piece meal with some glaring plot holes and sub plots that are not followed through on - including a possible co-conspirator who is only glimpsed once. Somehow the film manages to overcome these issues with a prevailing sense of dread and suspense - the original director Richard Ciupka wanted to make an art house psychodrama while the producer Peter R. Simpson - who took over the production when Ciupka was removed from the project - wanted to do more of a straight-up slasher film. And you can feel the it as they try to marry to the two together but it results in some strange tonal shifts. 


Considering how long the production went on for including re shoots many months later the performances throughout are strong. For starters we have character actor John Vernon as the pompous, mind-fucking director and Samanatha Eggar as the unhinged actress - if you've seen her in Cronenberg's THE BROOD you know she does crazy just right, plus she has a lot of presence. After that we have a nicely vulnerable performance from Lesleh Donaldson as the ice skater and a pretty good turn as comedian turned actress from Lynne Griffin from BLACK CHRISTMAS. 


Considering the schizophrenic shifts in tone I was quite entertained by CURTAINS and seeing it again restored on Blu-ray was a blast - not a perfect film but a perfectly entertaining slasher that I would place on par with HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME or APRIL FOOL'S DAY as a not-too-gory slice of cinema with some great atmosphere and a tagged-on shocker ending.


Blu-ray: Synapse present CURTAINS in HD widescreen in the original aspect ratio which has remastered in 2K resolution from original vault materials which sat  virtually untouched for over thirty years. Previous the films was only available on a budget DVD set from Echo Bridge which looked awful.The new restored transfer is a stunner. Colors are vibrant, there's a nice layer of film grain with some decent fine detail and a level of clarity that is beyond what I could have imagined for this one. 

Audio option include the original mono mix and a new DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 option. Glad they included the original mono for the purists but I'm quite a fan of the newly created 5.1 which exports the sound effects and the Paul Zaza (MY BLOODY VALENTINE) score to the surrounds with the dialogue kept to the front, creating a nice atmospheric presentation. There are English subtitles provided on the disc. 

Onto the extras we have brand new retrospective featuring interviews with Director Richard Ciupka, Stars Lesleh Donaldson and Lynne Griffin, Editor Michael MacLaverty, Special Make-Up Effects Creator Greg Cannom, and Composer Paul Zaza. This Red Shirt Pictures produced extras is fantastic with some great discussions about the troubled production and on-set anecdotes. We also have a vintage making-of featurette with some cool behind-the-scene video on the set of the film before the director was yanked off the production - this is exclusive to the Blu-ray version.

There are two commentary options on the disc, the first is with actresses Lesleh Donaldson and Lynne Griffin moderated by Edwin Samuelson as the ladies reminisce about their experiences on set and making the film. The second is not a scene specific commentary but actually two separate audio interviews with producer Peter R. Simpson and star Samantha Eggar conducted via telephone for The Terror Trap website which play over the film. The audio quality is not the greatest but both offer some decent insights, particularly Simpson who speaks at length about his relationship with Ciupka and the problems on the troubled production. The interviews end at just under an hour and do not play for the entirety of the film. 

Special Features
- THE ULTIMATE NIGHTMARE: THE MAKING OF “CURTAINS” – An All-New retrospective featuring interviews with Director Richard Ciupka, Stars Lesleh Donaldson and Lynne Griffin, Editor Michael MacLaverty, Special Make-Up Effects Creator Greg Cannom, and Composer Paul Zaza (35:52) HD
- CIUPKA: A FILM-MAKER IN TRANSITION - Vintage documentary short featuring rare, behind-the-scenes footage from the making of "CURTAINS" (165:09) HD (Blu-ray Exclusive)
- Audio Commentary with Stars Lesleh Donaldson and Lynne Griffin
- Audio Interview with Producer Peter R. Simpson
- Audio Interview with Star Samantha Eggar
- Theatrical Trailer (1:44) HD 

Synapse have continually raised the bar for hi-def transfers and their release of CURTAINS is a stunner - after years of cruddy home video viewings I dared not dream we would see such a loving restoration. This just might be the release of the year for slasher fans who have long suffered with inferior versions of the beloved title. Coming up next from Synapse is the Blu-ray restoration of the classic American/Canadian slasher classic PROM NIGHT (1980)!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

THE COMPLETE BLIND DEAD SAGA (1971-1976)

THE COMPLETE BLIND DEAD SAGA (1971-1976)

4-DISC SET
Label: Blue Underground 
Release Date: July 29th 2014
Audio: English Dolby Digital Mono, Spanish with English Subtitles on Spanish Versions
Video: 16:9 Widescreen (1.66:1), (1.85:1) 
Duration: 541 Mins
Rating: Not Rated
Region Code: 1
Director: Amando de Ossorio
Casts: Lone Fleming, Cesar Burner, Maria Elena Arpon, Joseph Thelman, Tony Kendall, Fernando Sancho, Frank Brana, Maria Perschy, Barbara Rey


TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD (1971) 

In 1971, director Amando de Ossorio created what horror fans worldwide consider to be Spain's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. In Ossorio's nightmare vision, a legion of Knights Templar - executed horsemen whose eyes had been pecked out by crows - rise rotting from their graves, hunting only by sound in a quest for human flesh. The BLIND DEAD saga begins here, as a modern-day tourist trip to the ruins of the Templar monastery unleashes a frenzy of lesbian desire, sexual violence and the unholy onslaught of the eyeless undead! 

Spanish director Amando de Ossorio stumbled onto something quite interesting with TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD when he crafted this chilling tale of the Knights Templar - a mythic group of knights who drank blood  and the sacrificed virgins to Satan. The locals grew tired of their wicked ways and captured them before putting them to death but not before their eyes were pecked-out by birds - a very nice touch - and thus we have the legend of the Blind Dead. 


Centuries later a young couple on vacation when they are joined by the wife's cute college roommate who is also a former girl-on-girl lover. Sounds like something from a seventies era porn but things turn sour when the friend becomes flirtatious with the man. In a jealous fit the girlfriend unwisely jumps off a train in the middle of nowhere spending the night in the creepy ruins of a monastery where - of course - the Blind Dead are buried. As night sets in she starts up a campfire inside the monastery and before you know it the dreaded blood-sucking Knights arise. It an awesome scene drenched in fog as their bony hands rise-up from the ancient graves - a very macabre and creepy scenario. As you might imagine the comely lass meets an unfortunate end and eventually the woman's boyfriend and the woman come searching for her and are themselves pursued by the undead specters while getting themselves mixed-up with a clumsy police investigation while seeking the aid of a rapey smuggler and his bitchy lady friend. 


What I love about this one is the fantastically simple design of the Blind Dead - it's quite effective. They're cloaked skeletal specters who drink the blood of their victims combining elements of both mummies and a bit of the blood thirst you would associate with vampires. Even the horses they ride are undead which is just super cool, loved the reverbed echoes of  the galloping horses, it's has a surreal and eerie quality to it. The film is dripping with atmosphere complimented by a score that does a great job of sending chills down your spine accentuating the very slow-paced death scenes.  


This one has a simple horror premise steeped in Gothic chills with some creepy atmosphere and effective set pieces. This first film definitely sets the tone for the entire series and features many of the recurring themes such as lesbian tinged entanglements, the occasional rape and the skeletal specters of doom cutting quite a unsettling figure. One element unique to this entry is idea that the victims of the Blind Dead are resurrected an drain blood of others which does not carry over to any of the sequels. I would say that by quite a margin this is my preferred entry in the franchise - a truly creepy tale of the undead. 


The disc features he alternate extended Spanish cut of the film titled LA NOCHE DEL TERROR CIEGO and it's the preferred version with an additional 14 minutes of gore and sleaze cut from the American presentation. Both versions receive Dolby Digital mono audio treatment with the Spanish version having English subtitles. There are also a gallery of stills, the theatrical trailer and  a bizarre alternate opening sequence titled REVENGE OF THE PLANET APE with voice over that preposterously attempts to cash in on the popularity of THE PLANET OF THE APES!  


Special Features:

- TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD (English and Spanish Versions)
- Alternate Opening Sequence - REVENGE FROM PLANET APE
- Theatrical Trailer
- Poster and Still Gallery

RETURN OF THE EVIL DEAD (1973)
In this second startling film in the BLIND DEAD series, writer/director Amando de Ossorio returns to the horrific origin of the depraved Templar: heretic knights whose eyes were burned out by medieval vigilantes to prevent them from finding their way back from Hell. Now on the 500th anniversary of their execution, the blind horsemen rise from their tombs to wreak bloody revenge on the town that condemned them. Tony Kendall (WHEN THE SCREAMING STOPS), Frank Brana (PIECES) and Lone Fleming (TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD) star in this chilling sequel that rocked the EuroHorror genre!


The first sequel begins much like the first with a flashback sequence as the ancient order of the Knights Templar sacrifice a young woman and feast upon her blood before they are sentenced to death and have their eyes burned out. The origin story is slightly tweaked but it's pretty much the same as the first with a few embellishments.  This time out on the 500th anniversary of their death they rise up from the spooky tombs and lay siege to the nearby village. True to what most sequels do this one amps it up with a few more deaths and a siege scenario which creates a different kind of tension than the first film. It loses a few points as it's not  as chilling but it's still effective. There's a larger cast this time around too and a bit more character development with largely useless sub plots involving a corrupt mayor and his cheating wife who falls for the guy setting up the fireworks at the festival - very silly stuff. 


We have a bit more blood and some nudity layered on top of this one but the Blind Dead just are not as creepy as in previous entry which was a disappointment. They do play up that the skeletal specters are blind and that if you are careful you can sneak around them but most everyone falls victims to the swords of the Blind Dead from foolishness or folly.The NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD-esque siege-element is a nice touch which creates some decent tension among the characters with a tiny bit of humor. I do love it when the scuzzy mayor sends a young girl out as bait to distract the Blind Dead. This one has some decent characters and adds the element of a village idiot who might be the cause of the Blind Dead uprising - it depends on which version you watch.  This one is my second favorite entry in the series, though it loses some of the atmosphere the siege elements and quickened pulse rate make up for many of it's shortcomings. 


Again this disc features an alternate Spanish version that just about four minutes longer with English subtitles. I prefer the English dubbed version of this one as the Spanish video is not the best.  Extras on the disc include a theatrical trailer and still gallery. 


Special Features: 

- RETURN OF THE EVIL DEAD (English and Spanish Versions)
- Theatrical Trailers
- Poster and Still Gallery

THE GHOST GALLEON (1973)
In what many fans consider the most surprising of the four films in the series, Maria Perschy (CASTLE OF FU MANCHU) and Jack Taylor (EUGENIE) star in writer/director Amando de Ossorio's chilling tale about a boatload of stranded swimsuit models who discover a mysterious ghost ship. But this phantom galleon carries the coffins of the satanic Templar, eyeless zombies who hunt humans by sound. Even if these frightened lovelies can survive their own forbidden desires, will they escape the insatiable hunger of the BLIND DEAD? 


Maybe the strangest entry in the series is THE GHOST GALLEON featuring a pair of swimsuit models stranded at sea on a small pleasure boat during an ill conceived publicity stunt gone wrong. With their boat taking on water the girls happen upon a ghost ship and board it with few options left.  
A search party comprised of a wealthy billionaire, a scientist the missing model's roommate embark on a search and rescue mission when the trio happen upon the very same unearthly ship adrift at sea.  once they're on board more Blind Dead shenanigans ensue. 


Without much explanation this one is set on a ship and not the Spanish countryside, which is pretty neat and sounds like it would have a lot of potential but the execution of the story is poor. Worse are the numerous miniature effects shots which are obviously a toy boat in the producer's bathtub - these are hilariously bad. One small saving grace would be that the Blind Dead look awesome and that the film is very well shot but a few small stylistic flourishes do not completely save this shabby entry. At times I was reminded of John Carpenter's THE FOG with the creepy fog-drenched sets and the centuries old boat adrift at sea haunted by undead creepy specters. I would find it hard to believe that John Carpenter was not at least in some small subconscious way inspired by this one, though it must be said Carpenter perfected what few redeeming qualities this one had. 

The cast here is alright - a few cuties in peril help keep you distracted and it also stars Euro-cult sensation Jack Taylor plus the ending is quite good too. A bit of a spotty production but not one without a peculiar charm of it's own. 


The disc does not feature an alternate Spanish language version of the film but does offer up a Spanish audio track, a selection of  trailers, TV and radio spots plus  poster and still gallery. 


Special Features: 

- Theatrical Trailer
- HORROR OF THE ZOMBIES U.S. Advertising: Theatrical Trailer, TV Spot and Radio Spots
- Poster and Still Gallery 

NIGHT OF THE SEAGULLS (1976)
The classic saga of the BLIND DEAD ends with the creepy tale of a remote coastal town where frightened villagers must sacrifice beautiful virgins to the blood cult of the Knights Templar. For seven nights every seven years, these eyeless zombies rise from the sea to feast on human flesh as the souls of the damned are trapped in the screams of gulls. In this final unforgettable shocker from writer/director Amando de Ossorio, the mood is darker, the fear is stronger and the hunger of the Templar more ferocious than ever before!


A doctor and his wife move to a creepy seaside village where things seems a bit off - and sure enough they are strange. Not only do the locals treat the doc and his wife rudely but every seven years they sacrifice seven women to appease the Knight Templar! Aware of the strange happenings in the village the doc is unaware of what exactly is going on and ends up interrupting a sacrifice which sends the creepy Knights into the village to suck some blood. This one was quite a chore to sit through to be honest. I fell asleep twice watching it which is not to say it's without a certain charm. There's the usual effective atmosphere and familiar touches like a pre-credit virginal sacrifice and the mistreatment of a village idiot but the story and supporting characters just did not grasp me, this is my least favorite of the series, a very weak send-off. 


Special Features: 

- Theatrical Trailer
- Poster and Still Gallery


Blue Underground have previously issued the four BLIND DEAD films in a cool limited edition coffin-shaped box which contained a bonus disc with a doc about director Amando de Ossorio. What we have here the very same discs minus the bonus disc and the nifty packaging. worth noting that these discs are not remastered editions - just repackaged and made available to those of us who were not lucky enough to snag the Coffin-shaped box. If you own that previous set you might want skip this one until a Blu-ray set comes our way. The BLIND DEAD films are worth a watch even if the quality of the entries decreases as the series rolls on - these blood drinking skeletal specters are pretty awesome.. 

"The Squad" on Blu-ray and DVD October 21 From Scream Factory

SCREAM FACTORY™ PRESENTS
THE SQUAD
ON BLU-RAY AND DVD OCTOBER 21, 2014

“**** …Remarkably atmospheric and well-crafted horror film…” – Dread Central

“****…A terrifyingly tense nightmare.” – Billy Chainsaw, Bizarre


The horror curators at Scream Factory have announced an October 21 Blu-ray and DVD release of The Squad.

All contact with a military base high in the desolate wastelands of Colombia has been lost. The authorities – believing the base to have fallen to a terrorist attack – send a nine-man squad to investigate. When they arrive, the men discover a shocking scene of carnage and only one survivor: a mute woman in chains.

Gradually the isolation, the inability to communicate with the outside world and the impossibility of escape begin to undermine the sanity of the soldiers. They start to question the identity of their enemy and the true nature of the strange, silent woman. Is she a terrorist? A victim?  Or something more sinister? Something supernatural? Paranoia takes root. Prisoners of fear and the terrible secret they share, the men abandon their humanity and turn savagely on one another.

Special Features:
Theatrical Trailer
Behind The Squad (making of)

1080p High-Definition Widescreen (2.35:1)/DTS HD Master Audio /2011/100 minutes/Not Rated

For more on Shout! Factory, visit shoutfactory.com

"The Squad" on Blu-ray and DVD October 21 From Scream Factory

'GRINDHOUSE TRAILER CLASSICS' & 'THE WILD GEESE' on DVD from SEVERIN & INTERVISION in August


GRINDHOUSE TRAILER CLASSICS VOL.1 DVD


Label: Intervision Picture Corp
STREET DATE: 08/12/14
Run Time: 130 Minutes Language: English Color
Widescreen 1.85:1 Dolby Digital 2.0
Production Year: 2013 Genre: Cult MPAA Rating: NR
Directed by: Various
Stars: Various



GRINDHOUSE cinemas could once be found in the sleaziest and run-down areas of America's grimiest cities. New York's 42nd Street was one of the most famous trash pit hangouts for denizens of the lower depths. From dusk 'till dawn the theatres would screen a mind-boggling assortment of movies featuring lashings of sex, gore and violence - and if you were lucky, you'd get all three! SEE for the first time ever on DVD in America you can now sit back and take a twisted trip back to the glory days of the sleazy 60s and 70s for a roaring rampage through a two-hour hand-picked collection of some of the most insane examples of trailer trash ever to slash and burn their way through a Grindhouse cinema projector.



MARVEL at the fact that most of the actual films themselves could never live up to the jaw dropping lunacy of these incredible trailers, some of which can today be considered true masterpieces in advertising and marketing. With their often hilarious voice-overs and mind-bending taglines, plus all the best bits from the movies themselves, they add up to one thing - sheer entertainment! BE AMAZED that Contemporary Directors such as Quentin Tarantino (GRINDHOUSE), Eli Roth (HOSTEL) and Rob Zombie (THE DEVIL'S REJECTS) have all since revisited these movies and have made their own supercharged movies relying heavily on the essence of many of these seventies Grindhouse cinema classics. Tarantino in particular has drawn a huge amount of his inspiration from these movies and trailers in many of his films, so we've included some of his favorites here - see if you can spot them!



THRILL to the fact that many of the then unknown actors and filmmakers from these choice cuts went on to much bigger and better things, so it's no surprise that these fantastic flicks have since achieved cult status, making GRINDHOUSE TRAILER CLASSICS a must-own DVD that's ideal for parties in your very own private Grindhouse...



Special Features:
- Bump 'N' Grind
- Grindhouse Poster Gallery

THE WILD GEESE DVD


Severin Films
STREET DATE: 08/12/14
Run Time: 129 Minutes Language: English Color
Widescreen 1.85:1 Dolby Digital 2.0
Production Year: 1978 Genre: Action MPAA Rating: NR
Directed by: Andrew V. McLaglen
Stars: Richard Burton, Roger Moore and Richard Harris



Screen legends Richard Burton, Roger Moore and Richard Harris star as a team of aging mercenaries hired by a wealthy industrialist for one final mission: Recruit and train a squad of desperate commandos, parachute into an unstable African nation, snatch its deposed President from a maximum security army prison, escape via the military- controlled airport, and massacre anyone who gets in their way. Getting to the target will be murder. But when the group is double-crossed, getting out alive may be impossible. Hardy Kruger (A BRIDGE TOO FAR), Frank Finlay ( THE THREE MUSKETEERS), Barry Foster (FRENZY ) and Stewart Granger (KING SOLOMON'S MINES) co-star in this blood and guts action classic, now packed with all-new Bonus Features!



Special Features:
- The Wild Geese Director - Exclusive New Interview with Director Andrew V. McLaglen
- The Mercenary - Exclusive New Interview with Military Advisor Mike Hoare
- The Last of The Gentleman Producers Documentary on Producer Euan Lloyd featuring Lloyd, Roger Moore, Joan Armatrading, Ingrid Pitt & more
- Audio Commentary with Producer Euan Lloyd, star Roger Moore, Second Unit Director John Glen. Moderated by Filmmaker Jonathan Sothcott
- The Flight of The Wild Geese -Vintage Featurette
- The Wild Geese Royal Charity Premiere Newsreel
- Theatrical Trailer