Hallow's Eve (2013/Image
Eyes Of Charles Sand
(1972 Telefilm)/The George
Sanders Saint Movies Collection
(1939 - 1941/RKO/Warner Archive DVDs)/The
Snow Queen (2005/BBC DVD)
C/B-/B-/C+/C/C Sound: C+/B-/B-/C+/C/B- Extras: C-/C-/C/D/D/C
Eyes Of Charles Sand
DVDs are now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner
Archive series and can be ordered from the links below.
another group of genre releases for you to consider for Halloween
(2013) is yet another lame killer clown horror spree, or what happens
in low budget bad horror when the makers cannot (or are too lazy) to
be original and go the Savini/Nicotero route and go for cheap clown
make-up. The script is worse and you land up rooting for the killer
for a split second until you realize he deserves an early, gruesome
death more than any mime could possibly be asking for.
say this is repetitive is an understatement, but the cast of unknowns
look bored, but not as bored as you will be when the young gal here
plays a VHS tape (the fact the machine works and the tape still plays
might mean they are haunted, but the writers never suggest anything
so original) and the recording has a bunch of tales of murder that
might be true. In the script, they are. In real life, their too
stupid to work. Maybe they should retitle this dud All
because it is as empty as a boring echo. Yawn!!!
feature length audio commentary track where the makers try to explain
what they did here and don't realize how bad this is is the only
as horrid is Henry Saine's Bounty
(2012) which starts with the concept of a collapsed world where the
title characters (there are more than one) hunt down corporate
criminals for big money. The problem is that the script is all lip
service as the writing and production cop out early on this idea,
throw in every cliched action genre idea we've seen hundreds of times
and then use the language of the reactionary 1980s to be
anti-corporate, guaranteeing total failure.
something interesting as the most sloppy use of a MacGuffin we've
seen in years, this quickly becomes ultraviolent, bloody, graphic,
dumb and pointless as well as more pro-corporate than they either
don't know or worse, do. Kristanna Loken (Terminator
and Beverly D'Angelo are very badly wasted here and Gary Busey shows
up playing up type as another wacked out goof.
Entertainment is a small; new production company trying to build a
catalog and make some name for themselves and this is the first time
we have covered them. So far, their reputation for picture, sound
and content has been consistently hideous and now I can see why. Are
they just a set up for tax write-offs? After this, you might think.
The cast was having fun in the bloopers, which is what happens when
you get bored sometimes instead of making something worth watching.
short featurette is the only extras that, combined with this mess,
shows the makers may claim to be fans of the films they are ripping
off, but they are virtually clueless in how to get around any of the
genres they tackle. Clue: looking like the films is far from
Jordan returns to vampire territory as Francis Coppola recently did
(see the review elsewhere on this site) but Byzantium
(2012) can only imitate some of the look of Interview
With The Vampire
and even rips off parts of Coppola's equally overrated Dracula
(also reviewed on Blu-ray elsewhere on this site) coming up with what
is simply a lesbian answer to his previous fang outing.
Arterton heads the decent cast of mostly unknowns, but this is all
quickly forgotten in the usual been-there-done-that way and is
surprisingly uninspired and unoriginal down to the title which refers
to two locales: an ancient one of the past and a sleazy hotel. We
get plenty of blood and gore, but they have no real story to be part
of. Another dud!
include an Original Theatrical Trailer and interviews.
January 1972, ABC shocked the TV and entertainment industry when they
broadcast a horror telefilm called The
(reviewed elsewhere on this site) and 75 million people tuned in. No
one thought there was that biog a TV audience, let alone for the new
TV movie format, but that is what happened so expectations for the
Big Three networks was that it might happen again. Within weeks, ABC
happened to have another supernatural telefilm in the wings, this
time made with Warner Television and it was hoped it could serve as a
pilot for a TV series. Reza Badiyi's The
Eyes Of Charles Sand
(1972) was from a story by Henry Farrell, whose cycle of creepy
family psychosis thrillers began with Whatever
Happened To Baby Jane?
(1962, reviewed on Blu-ray elsewhere on this site) in addition to
Hush, Sweet Charlotte
Awful About Allan
(1970) and What's
The Matter With Helen?
with Stanford Whitmore (The
on the teleplay, the tale involves a man (Peter Haskell, known lastly
for the first three Child's
films) who has inherited psychic powers when an older relative dies.
Though never full explained, we get a big book about it. Them he
starts to see bloody images that haunt him and coincided with murders
and disappearances of people.
consulting with his family and a medical friend (Adam West), he
starts to investigate on his own when a distraught woman (Sharon
Farrell of Larry Cohen's It's
(reviewed elsewhere on this site) among other horror appearances)
comes to him and hands him a valuable piece of jewelry that gives him
more visions. This leads to talking to her relatives (Barbara Rush,
Bradford Dillman) that only brings more visions.
74 minutes, it has its moments and can be creepy, plus has a decent
look, but cannot decide if it is a supernatural tale or a crime
thriller. Peter Haskell more than holds his own and many thought
this could have led to a hit show. Five years later, his appearance
as Payton Jones in the Biofeedback
episode of The
with Lindsay Wagner was intended as another pilot for another series
that never happened playing another man with extraordinary powers.
it just never happened.
of Photography Ben Colman (The
the Dan Curtis-produced The
Picture Of Dorian Gray,
the Cher film Chastity)
creates a consistent look that works and it adds to the effectiveness
of what works here. The director actually created the credits
sequences and had a big career making the same for classic TV shows.
Joan Bennett and Don Barry also star.
are sadly no extras.
Charteris' Simon Templar had big success on TV with Roger Moore (and
some say enough with Ian Ogilvy to matter) and on radio, especially
with Vincent Price, but big screen feature film success has always
eluded the character, though RKO Pictures tried a series of films
from 1938 to 1953. Three actors would play Templar and in five of
them, it was george Sanders. The
George Sanders Saint Movies Collection
(1939 – 1941) collects all five of his films and they are not bad,
if not consistent. They include:
Saint Strikes Back
(1939) goes to San Francisco and barely saves the daughter of a
disgraced police officer, then finds more twisted things going on.
This is a good entry with the first use of The Saint whistle theme
and the cast includes Wendy Barrie looking good and a pre-Batman
Saint In London
(1939) has Simon dealing with a card shark, but soon involved a
counterfeiting plot intended to do major damage to the U.K. in a
decent entry that has some good energy and a good supporting cast
putting the character back on his home turf where it was actually
Saint's Double Trouble
(1940) is one of the weak entries as Simon happens to be a twin of a
sadistic gangster (both played with mixed results by Sanders) in a
tale about robbing ancient Egyptian treasure. This never adapts well
to film, but it does have Bela Lugosi, so that helps save it a bit
but he is not on screen enough.
Saint Takes Over
(1940) a gang of 5 criminals frame Inspector Fernack (Jonathan Hale)
or a crime he did not commit, so Simon has to solve the crime to free
him. Wendy barrie shows up as a different, glamourous woman and
future Dick Tracy Morgan Conway also shows up.
Saint In Palm Springs
(1941) has Inspector Fernack have Simon keep an eye on a friend
transporting $200,000 in rare stamps, but the man is killed and
everyone wants those three stamps. Sounds like the plot to Stanley
(1963, reviewed on Blu-ray, et al, elsewhere on this site) and may
not be as good, but this is still a decent entry, but the series
never hit the commercial heights of the Charlie Chan films and
Sanders soon parted. Still, they tried and it far outdoes the horrid
Jonathan Demme Charade
all these films were made, stamp prices collapsed in the 1980s, but
the stamps here would still be desirable. Wendy Barrie shows up
again, but as a third different glamours woman!
are no extras, but you can read mmuch more about the character on
film at these manu links:
RKO double feature
Black & White Set
Color Episodes MegaSet
The above U.S. A&E DVD sets are out of print, included here for
reference and available in out of print copies and in-print overseas
copies if you have a multi-region player
(as we wait fior complete seasons on Blu-ray)
Of The Saint
Ian Ogilvy Complete Series Australian PAL DVD import set
Dutton 1989 Saint
telefilm revival Australian PAL DVD import set
Blu-ray import (Region B) with Return
Of The Saint
we have The
(2005), based on Hans Christian Andersen's story of a mother and
daughter who take in a poor girl from the streets, only for her to
take herself and the daughter to another world. Julian Gibbs'
adaption only runs under an hour and for the few Andersen works we
have seen adapted, this is the first time we've seen this one.
However, he shoots it in a way to loose fame and jitter the image to
look like it is a stop-motion animation TV special and instead, makes
this look lek a defective DVD.
as not impressed with the approach, execution, acting and the digital
work is too much and too phony. To say this is an acquired taste is
being kind and fans of the books are likely to have very mixed
reactions, be beware this is not a normal adaptation. I would just
pass unless you are a huge fan or very, very curious.
include a feature length audio commentary track by the director
trying to explain this one, a Making Of featurette and Blue
episode on Andersen.
anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on Eve
and anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Snow
should be the best two DVD performers here, but the former is a very
rough sloppy shoot, while the latter is soft on top of its obnoxious
cinematography explained above, so the worn, soft 1.33 X 1 black and
white transfer on all five Saint
films look no better or worse. That means the 1.33 X 1 color image
is the second-place winner, shot on 35mm film with a slight softness
intentionally to equate the naturalistic look of cinematography at
sadly not that much better, the 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High
Definition image transfer on Hunter
and 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on
are the visual champs by default, HD shoots with flaws, limited and
style choices throughout that help neither look great. They both
also sport DTS-HD
MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless sound mixes, but they both have
location audio limits, uneven soundfields and remarkably, the lossy
Dolby Digital 5.1 mix on Snow
is actually its equal and the default highlight (only highlight) of
that release. The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on Eve is not as well
recorded or engaging, barely making its ratings grade.
leaves the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on Eyes
not sounding bad for its age (this includes recycling select tracks
from the classic score by Henry Mancini of Wait
(1967, he sued and won) and Ron Grainier's The
(1971, based on I
in odd ways) and the five Saint
films, which are audible for their age, but have more noise,
background hiss and a lower volume than they should. With two
episodes of the original Roger Moore TV show (one black and white,
the other color) and one of Return
of The Saint
with Ian Ogilvy already out in HD on a U.K. Blu-ray sampler series
(see Retro-action elsewhere on this site), Warner is going to need to
go back and upgrade all 9 RKO Saint films for HD because they are too
important not to.
Eyes Of Charles Sand
and the George
on Warner Archive DVDs, go to this link for them and many more great