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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Monster > Creature > Science Fiction > Camp > Comedy > Satire > Death > Romance > Love > Coming Of Ag > From Hell It Came (1957/Allied Artists)/Joe Versus The Volcano (1990)/The Loved One (1965/MGM/all Warner Archive Blu-rays)/The Man In The Moon (1991/MGM)/Year Of The Comet (1999/Castle Rock/New Line/C

From Hell It Came (1957/Allied Artists)/Joe Versus The Volcano (1990)/The Loved One (1965/MGM/all Warner Archive Blu-rays)/The Man In The Moon (1991/MGM)/Year Of The Comet (1999/Castle Rock/New Line/Columbia/MGM/both Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-rays)

Picture: B+ Sound: B/B+/B/B+/B+ Extras: C-/C+/C+/C+/B Films: B

PLEASE NOTE: The Man In The Moon and Year Of The Comet Blu-rays are now only available from our friends at Twilight Time, are limited to only 3,000 copies and can be ordered while supplies last, while From Hell It Came, Joe Versus The Volcano and The Loved One are now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series. All can be ordered from the links below.

Along with new and classic releases and Blu-ray and the boom of new 4K releases, the number of online-only and limited edition exclusive Blu-rays continues to flow. Here's five more for you to know about that are all pleasant surprises....

Dan Milner's From Hell It Came (1957)

Groot this is not! From Hell It Came (1957) is B-Movie gold and features a giant tree monster that attacks people. Obviously shot on a shoe string budget, the film was intended originally to play on an Allied Artists double feature bill at the drive-in. While the monster itself isn't very impressive and the plot not too innovative in its slasher-style formula, there's a lot to like about this film including its great production design and fun score.

Directed by Dan Miner, From Hell It Came stars Tod Andrews, Tina Carver, Linda Watkins, John McNamara, and Gregg Palmer.

Wrongfully sentenced to death and brought back to life as a killer tree creature, Tabonga, comes back to life and kills a bunch of natives of a South Seas island savagely. It's up to a team of scientists on the island to find a way to stop this supernatural creature before they're next!

The black & white film looks incredible for its age on Blu-ray disc in crisp black and white with a 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a fine-sounding DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless (48kHz, 24-bit) track that brings the film to life like never before. Warner Archive is one of the leaders in restoring older and obscure films like this and much like either other recent release, The Valley of Gwangi (reviewed elsewhere on this site), they've done an impressive job of making a film shot six decades ago look like it was shot last week.

Special Feature...

Original Trailer (in HD)

While light on extras, this is a nice release for classic monster movies fans, myself included.

John Patrick Shanley's Joe Versus The Volcano (1990)

On screen romantic duo Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan's first outing (later films included Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail) is the Spielberg/Kennedy/Marshall-produced Joe Versus The Volcano (1990) which was directed by John Patrick Shanley (Moonstruck) and was a big-budget bomb at the time. Romantic and heartwarming, this romantic comedy has lots of laughs and grand cinematic scope to go along with it. While some elements a bit dated (it was shot all in-studio at a time when that was uncommon), this new presentation from Warner Archive is an improvement over previous releases and is only available in this online release on disc this time around.

Joe Versus The Volcano stars Lloyd Bridges, Robert Stack, Abe Vigoda, and Dan Hedaya to name a few. The most notable bit of acting in the film, however, is from the young and charming Meg Ryan, who steals the show as three very different characters, all of which easy for Tom Hanks to fall in love with.

Joe (Hanks) has a dead end job and a less than stellar life. When he hears from a doctor that he only has a few months left to live, a billionaire (Bridges) tracks him down and presents to him an unusual proposition: to throw himself into a volcano in exchange for getting a taste of what it's like to be rich. Along the way, he meets some incredible people, falls in love, and sails on an unforgettable adventure across the sea.

Presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.40:1 and a lossless English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit) lossless track, the film looks and sounds fine for the Blu-ray format. The cinematography by Stephan Goldblatt (Lethal Weapon) looks fine of disc with a wide variety of colors and sets spreading across the film.

Special Features...

Behind the Scenes


Music Video

Reminding me in some ways of Romancing The Stone, this is a film that I hadn't seen in a while and didn't mind revisiting.

Tony Richardson's The Loved One (1965)

Director Tony Richardson's The Loved One (1965) gets a remastered Blu-ray edition exclusively available from the good people at Warner Archive. A picture that ''aims to offend everyone'', this odd-ball comedy takes aim at the funeral business and, though a bit dated, offers a funny take on the booming Hollywood studio system of the time.

The Loved One stars Robert Morse, Jonathan Winters, Anjanette Comer, Rod Steiger, Dana Andrews, Milton Berle, James Coburn, John Gielgud, and Roddy McDowall to name a few.

The film centers around Whispering Glades - a funeral home in Los Angeles. The staff there take their role in life - and death - very seriously, wanting to make the funeral process as beautiful and meaningful as possible as many such places do.

This at least is the outward perception of the organization, and the life goal of Whispering Glades make-up artist, Aimee Thanatogenous (Comer), whose professional goal is to become the first female embalmer. In her mind, beauty trumps all else. She catches the eye of Dennis Barlow (Morse), who recently arrived in Los Angeles from Britain, and who is at Whispering Glades to arrange the funeral of his uncle, Sir Francis Hinsley (Gielgud). Dennis does whatever he feels he needs to to gain the favor of Aimee, but he has three problems: the strict rules of owner Reverend Glenworthy (Winters), the rivalry of embalmer Mr. Joyboy (Steiger), and the shame of now working himself at The Happy Hunting Ground pets' memorial home. That's right, a funeral for celebrity animals and pets.

Presented in 1080p high definition with a black and white transfer that has a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and a lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono (96kHz, 24-bit) track, for a film of this age, really looks great on Blu-ray disc in this remastered edition from Warner. There are a few elements of grain but overall the image doesn't feel compressed or compromised.

Special Features...

Trying to Offend Everyone

Theatrical Trailer

A funny film that holds up despite some dated elements, it might not be for everyone, but those interested should check it out.

Robert Mulligan's The Man In The Moon (1991)

Reese Witherspoon has in her daring debut film, The Man in The Moon (1991), a coming of age drama directed by Robert Mulligan (To Kill A Mockingbird). The film stars Sam Waterston, Tess Harper, Gail Strickland, Reese Witherspoon, Jason London, and Emily Warfield. Similar to films like Stand By Me, I found this is a charming and realistic story with an interesting setting in a unique time in American history.

The film takes place in Rural Louisiana in the summer of 1957 - a time where Elvis was King. At 14, Dani (Witherspoon) is coming of age and breaking out of her shell. Her older sister is beautiful, smart, and off to Duke in the fall whilst her mom's pregnant with number four, and an overprotective father. One day, Dani meets 17-year-old Court Foster (London), his widowed mom, and two little brothers move into the vacant farm next door. Court and Dani get along in more ways than one and Dani ends up with the discovery that not everything in life goes the way that you want it to.

Presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and a lossless English 2.0 DTS-HD (Master Audio) MA Stereo track (with Pro Logic surrounds (a latter-years use of Dolby old A-type analog theatrical noise reduction system), the film looks and sounds great on disc especially considering its age and budget. The new HD transfer is definitely worth the upgrade and has few imperfections.

Special Features...

Isolated Score Track

Original Theatrical Trailer

Collectible insert booklet with Julie Kirgo essay

Another great release from Twilight Time!

Peter Yates' Year Of The Comet (1992)

Acclaimed Director Peter (Bullitt, Breaking Away, Suspect) Yates' 1992 romanic thrill-ride Year of the Comet gets the deluxe Blu-ray treatment from Twilight Time in this limited edition release. The film stars Penelope Ann Miller, Tim Daly, Louis Jourdan, Art Malik, Ian Richardson, Ian McNeice, and Julia McCarthy.

Centering around the discovery of a very old (and valuable) wine (bottled during the appearance of the Great Comet of 1811), Margaret Harwood (Miller) is sent to retrieve it so it can be sold at auction. Oliver Plexico (Daly) is assigned as her travel guide/bodyguard for the trip. However, other people desperately want the bottle and will stop at nothing to get it no matter what it takes!

The film has beautiful production design and some very cool sequences, namely one where a helicopter crashes that is definitely impressive. The pace is a little slow at times, and I'd definitely classify it as ''chick flick'', there's enough for both parties to get enjoyment out of this film on a date night.

Presented on Blu-ray disc with a 1080p high definition transfer and a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and a lossless English 2.0 DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) Stereo with Pro Logic surrounds (another latter-years use of Dolby old A-type analog theatrical noise reduction system), the presentation is up to disc standards and looks and sounds better than previous releases on lesser formats.

Special Features...

Isolated Music Track with a score by Hummie Mann

Original Theatrical Trailer

Collectible insert booklet with Julie Kirgo essay

The film has a sort of cult following and fans will be particularly happy with this one.

To order The Man In The Moon and Year Of The Comet limited edition Blu-rays, buy them and other great exclusives while supplies last at these links:




and to order any of the Warner Archive Blu-rays, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- James Lockhart



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