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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Supernatural > Demonic Possession > Adventure > Action > Pirates > Cable TV > Revenge > Dinosaurs > The Black Room (2017/MVD Visual/Cleopatra Blu-ray)/Black Sails: The Complete Fourth Season (2017 Final Season/Starz/Anchor Bay Blu-ray set)/Death Wish 2 (1982) + Death Wish 3 (1985/MGM/Cannon/Umbrella

The Black Room (2017/MVD Visual/Cleopatra Blu-ray)/Black Sails: The Complete Fourth Season (2017 Final Season/Starz/Anchor Bay Blu-ray set)/Death Wish 2 (1982) + Death Wish 3 (1985/MGM/Cannon/Umbrella Region Free Import Blu-ray)/The Lost World (1925/First National/Flicker Alley Blu-ray)/The Slayer (1982/MVD Visual/Arrow Blu-ray w/DVD)/Supernatural: The Complete Twelfth Season (2016 - 2017/Warner Blu-ray Set)/The Zodiac Killer (1971)/Effects (1980/AGFA Blu-rays w/DVDs)

Picture: B/B+/B/B/B+ & B-/B+/B+ & B- Sound: B/B+/B/B-/B+ & B-/B+/B+ & B- Extras: C+/B/B/B-/B/B/B Main Programs: C/C+/B & C+/B/B/C+/B & C+

PLEASE NOTE: The Death Wish 2 + 3 Import double feature Blu-ray is now only available from our friends at Umbrella Entertainment in Australia, which can play on Blu-ray players and can be ordered from the link below.

Here's a new big set of genre releases for your consideration, including some notable B-movies and the remarkable restoration of a landmark silent classic...

The Black Room

The new indie horror film, Director Rolfe Kanefsky's The Black Room (2017), borrows elements from other famous horror movies including Hollow Man, plus franchises in the same genre such as Insidious, Poltergeist, House, and others, yet isn't original or interesting enough to stand on its own.

These invisible demons at first sexually satisfy you before they possess you which is odd as there's some weird invisible rape scenes that bring back Hollow Man memories in the first act, and then things just get more cheesy and ridiculous from there. The digital FX are clunky and non realistic, and even though it's nice to see her in a film again, Natasha Henstridge (Species, John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars), still looks fantastic but there isn't much for her to do here with what she's given. In short, this is just like every other 'Possessed House' movie you've seen before.

The Black Room also features Lin Shaye (star of Ouija, Insidious, and the first person on the list for any paranormal movie nowadays), Dominique Swain (Lyne's Lolita remake), Augie Duke (The Badger Game), James Duval (Donnie Darko), and Scream Queen Tiffany Shepis (Tales of Halloween).

Paul and Jennifer move into their new house that seems like the stuff of dreams... until they discover the Black Room in the creepy cellar and slowly realize that they aren't alone in the house, but have a new demonic roommates! Claiming other victims to the house as well, Paul and Jennifer soon become victims to the unstoppable force... will they be able to survive?

Presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and a lossy, English Dolby Digital 5.1 track, the film was shot digitally with the RED epic camera and looks fine on Blu-ray disc, however the sound leaves something left to be desired. The film has an overall professional look but isn't stylized enough to be groundbreaking.

Special Features include...

Commentary with Director Rolfe Kanefsky and star Natasha Henstridge

Deleted / Extended Scenes

Behind the Scenes

Bloopers / Outtakes


Worth a one time watch, maybe. But is too silly to be scary.

Black Sails: The Complete Fourth Season

The Starz series Black Sails, which serves as a sort of prequel to the classic Robert Louis Stevenson novel Treasure Island, continues to bring a more R-rated approach and swashbuckling adventure to the Pirates life in a more gritty and dramatic light than the Disney Pirates of the Caribbean series.

The show is a bit underrated with some impressive production design and a decent cast to boot with Toby Stephens (13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi), Luke Arnold (INXS: The Michael Hutchence Story), Toby Schmitz (Newton's Law), Hannah New (Maleficent), and Jessica Parker Kennedy (The Secret Circle), Tom Hopper (Merlin) and Ray Stevenson (Rome) as the iconic pirate BlackBeard.

In its Fourth and Final Season, the series finds Flint and his rowdy crew doing battle in the West Indies, whilst making hard choices and reaching a triumphant conclusion to their journey at Skeleton Island, which leads directly into the Treasure Island storyline.

Ten episodes make up Season 4, which are entitled XXIX - XXXVIII. Figure out the Roman Numerals yourself.

The presentation here is top notch for the Blu-ray format and brings us the show in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and a nice sounding, lossless DTS-HD (MA) Master Audio 5.1 track, the show looks and sounds loads better on Blu-ray than it did on the original HD broadcast even. The show's exotic locations are highlighted in HD, along with the gorgeous cinematography that has a very cinematic feel.

A digital UV copy is also included.

Special Features...

"Inside the World of 'Black Sails'" featurette

"Creating the World" featurette

"Roundtable: Women in Piracy" featurette

"Roundtable: The Legends of Treasure Island" featurette

"Roundtable: Fearless Fans" featurette

An epic conclusion to the series, Black Sails is worth checking out if you like swashbuckling action!

We also reviewed...

Season One


Season Two


Death Wish 2/Death Wish 3

Get ready for a double dose of Charles Bronson badassery with uncut HD presentations of Director Michael Winner's Death Wish 2 (1982) and Death Wish 3 (1985). This double feature Blu-ray set is a part of Arrow's Cannon Classics series, highlighting some of the studio's most unusually extraordinary films. If you're a fan of these films, they are highlighted in the great documentary on Cannon Films that you must see entitled Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films (2014), which is reviewed elsewhere on this site and is also available from Umbrella.

Also starring Jill Ireland, a very young (and nearly recognizable) Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix Trilogy) along with Deborah Raffin, and Ed Lauter to name just a few. In Cannon tradition, the sex and violence is way over the top and Bronson shines as the vigilante/architect Paul Kersey and his relentless thirst for blood.

In many ways the Grandfather of John Wick, the Taken trilogy, or even The Crow, Death Wish 2 is most certainly a revenge movie at its core. Centered around Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson) who moves to Los Angeles with his daughter (Robin Sherwood) after the events of the first film and set in the 'modern time' of the '80s. After his housewife and his daughter are raped and murdered at the hands of a gang who targets him, Kersey is once again forced to become a vigilante that seeks vengeance by taking each member out one by one in brutal manner. Unlike the original, in which he hunts down every criminal he encounters, here Kersey only pursues his family's attackers.

Death Wish 3 takes the action to New York and is an interesting spin on the story, while throwing back some of the same vibes from the original. Paul Kersey (Bronson) arrives back in New York City and is forcibly recruited by a crooked police chief to fight ugly street crime caused by a large gang terrorizing the neighborhoods. The result is a hard boiled bloodbath but doesn't quite match the momentum or 'wow factor' of its predecessor.

Presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and a 2.0 dual Mono DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless track, the presentation on both discs looks pretty good with the Unrated Director's cut restored in HD. There's some grain here and there but due to the age and condition of the source, it's passable. The bonus DVD with older cuts of the film are in standard definition.

Special Features...

Contains both the theatrical and unrated cuts of Death Wish 2


Death Wish 2 Trailer

Death Wish 2 TV Spot version 1

Death Wish 2 TV Spot Version 2

Death Wish 3 Trailer

Death Wish 3 TV spot

Interviews with cast members Alex Winter, Robin Sherwood, screenwriter David Engelbach and Todd Roberts, son of producer Bobby Roberts.

Extended interviews from Mark Hartley's ELECTRIC BOOGALOO ACTION II: 52 minute making-of featurette with Behind the Scenes footage of Death Wish 3, Runaway Train and House.




These films are fun to revisit and look nice on Blu-ray disc. The series has gained new curiosity interest in the wake of Eli Roth's upcoming remake of Death Wish starring Bruce Willis.

The Lost World (1925)

Movies with giant monsters in them, including dinosaurs, continue to be big hits and something people of all ages love, but they had to start somewhere. Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was so talented, he not just created one of the most successful detectives and protagonists in the history of fiction, he wrote a hit fantasy novel called The Lost World and the then-huge Hollywood movie studio First national took it on to make it into a big film. By 1925, it was released and remains one of their biggest hits before Warner Bros. (a smaller studio until The Jazz Singer (1927) was a massive hit) bought them out.

Wallace Berry is Professor Challenger, out to find the unfindable in any expedition that sounds like it might bear fruit. When he finds convincing evidence form a credible source that dinosaurs might still exist in an unknown part of the wild, its off he and his crew go (including female lead Bessie Love) in search of proof. Needless to say they get more than they bargained for and it also leads to some of the most important, landmark and groundbreaking visual effects in early cinema history that lasted well into the late 1980s!

In the past, the film was only available in short, choppy, chopped and weak copies. The original 10-reel version was destroyed by the studio with plans to do a sound remake (though it was newbie studio RKO would would eventually make King Kong in 1933) so a complete version of the film has been missing for nine decades (!!!), but Flicker Alley, Blackhawk Films and Lobster have managed to reconstruct the film as best they could from no less than EIGHT different film prints to give us the most complete version since the late 1920s. Often, the film was also seen in bits and pieces (some would think it was a short if they did not know better) and as a joke about how the effects have dated as even stop-motion animation slowly improved since its release (think stop and go motion and then digital as well), so the lack of a version this complete all this long, long time that it will not be as easy to trivialize the film directed by Harry O. Hoyt in the first place.

On the plus side, it is more involving than you would expect and not only are some parts tinted and others toned, some clever combinations of both are on display here showing how ambitious this was it its time. Some of the proper coloring is making its debut here for the first time since its early release. On the downside, a very racist/stereotypical character (bordering on the truly sickening) was part of the film and has been left in as originally seen, but it is hard to get through the parts featuring this really awful African American stereotype.

As for the actual reconstruction, I have a few minor complaints, starting with the music score sounding too contemporary. Also, we find out in the audio commentary that many stills are the only remains of some scenes. Why not include brief samples while the title cards run where they would have appeared as motion footage? This reminded me of the way Lang's Metropolis (1926) was reconstructed years ago (newly found footage was added a few years ago to further complete the longer version, both reviewed elsewhere on this site) and I am very happy another really important key film has been pretty well saved for the most part and under sometimes horrendous circumstances, this is another real labor of love by people who love, understand ands care about true cinema, the arts and our film heritage. Yet, this is the norm with Flicker Alley, Lobster and Blackhawk, so be sure to catch this latest great of many key film offerings.

As noted, eight different film prints of variously edited versions were used to compile what we see here, usually from the only surviving footage of the film, near miraculous and makes one angry that the film was THIS LOST to begin with (no pun intended), but you can now see in many shots (even where scratches were printed into second, third, fourth and so on copies of the film) how good the cinematography is and how remarkable the stop motion animation is. Even more remarkable, this looks better effects wise than most of the bad, dated-upon-arrival digital visual effects we've seen over the last few decades, including on several films that made Summer 2017 one of the worst in Hollywood history. Time to get back to basics studios!

I should add that some of the color looks incredible and will surprise you, though this is otherwise a black and white film, though not totally so as some of the bad footage (without its tinting) would suggest. The PCM 2.0 Stereo of the new, recently recorded music score sounds, good, if not spectacular (no 5.1 or 7.1 or 11.1 sound, for instance), but its fine for what it is. I just did not think it matched the film as well as it could have. It even plays better without it for me, a person who likes watching silent films without ANY sound. On that level, it actually still works.

Extras include a high quality, well illustrated booklet on the film with tech details and Essay "The Lost World: Secrets of the Restoration" by Serge Bromberg of Lobster Films, while the Blu-ray disc adds Deleted Scenes: Restored outtakes from a 1925 original nitrate transfer of The Lost World, R.F.D., 10,000 B.C. (1917), a short film directed by Willis O'Brien for producer Thomas Edison, The Ghosts of Slumber Mountain (1918) short film written and directed by Willis O'Brien in a new 2K restoration by the Dinosaur Museum and Creation (1930), an unfinished film directed by Willis O'Brien that nonetheless convinced Merian C. Cooper to hire O'Brien for King Kong (1933).

Fox later remade the film to some success in 1960 and you can read more about it at this link....


The Slayer

An obvious inspiration on Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street and previously only available on home video in truncated or full screen versions, The Slayer (1982) lands on

Blu-ray disc from Arrow in grand fashion for the first time ever. This eerie and gory slasher fest is a fun little time capsule of a film, even if it does follow the typical slasher storyline.

The Slayer stars Sarah Kendall, Frederick Flynn, and Carol Kottenbrook with direction by J.S. Cardone (8mm 2).

A group of friends go vacating on an island for the ultimate weekend getaway, but as a vicious storm limits their fun on the island, troubled artist Kay is haunted by her childhood nightmares of a demonic assailant and having freaking delusional daydreams in the process. Is she just imagining things or is the Monster real and actually killing and overstepping the boundary between nightmares and reality?

The film does a good job of building a creepy and tense atmosphere as the rain threatens to keep its characters indoors, where some places (including the creepy basement) aren't meant to be explored. The film is plenty gory, reminded me of the first two original Friday the 13th films in a way, with one great daydream involving Kay kissing her boyfriend's severed head next to her in bed and a few other great kills as well. It also reminds me a bit of early Jason in that you don't see the Killer throughout, just mainly lower body/ POV shots, which is always more effective.

The presentation on this disc is pretty stellar with a new restoration from a 4K scan of the original camera negative that presents the film in 1.78:1 and the original Mono Audio (Uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray) track that makes the film sound like new. Also included, as per usual with Arrow releases is the standard definition DVD version in lesser quality, that still looks better than previous releases of the film on disc.

As per usual, Arrow supplies an incredible list of extras, which include:

Audio Commentary with writer/director J.S. Cardone, actress Carol Kottenbrook and executive in charge of production Eric Weston, moderated by Ewan Cant.

Audio Commentary with The Hysteria Continues

Isolated Score Selections and Audio Interview with Composer Robert Folk

Nightmare Island: The Making of The Slayer - documentary featuring interviews with J.S. Cardone, Carol Kottenbrook, Eric Weston, producer William Ewing, director of photography Karen Grossman, camera operator/2nd Unit DOP/still photographer Arledge Armenaki, special creature and make-up effects creator Robert Short and 'Slayer' performer Carl Kraines.

Return to Tybee: The Locations of The Slayer - featurette revisiting the shooting locations on Tybee Island, Georgia.

The Tybee Post Theater Experience - join the audience of the Tybee Post Theater (one of the film's key locations) for this very special home-town screening of The Slayer! includes event introduction, feature-length audience reaction track and post screening Q&A with Arledge Armenaki and Ewan Cant.

Still Gallery

Original Theatrical Trailer

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Lee Gambin

A fun film for slasher fans and a great save on Arrow's part. It's always great to see a film that was once thought to be lost or incomplete saved and given the deluxe Blu-ray treatment as seen here.

Supernatural: The Complete Twelfth Season

It is a rare case nowadays that a show can last twelve seasons, but here we are with Supernatural successfully making it through the gate. Full of the demonic mischief that fans have come to expect, the show trudges along at its normal pace and continues to center around the Winchester Brothers on their paranormal quests with no sign of the end in sight.

Season 12 picks up with Sam (Jared Padalecki) kidnapped by British Men of Letters member Toni Bevell (Elizabeth Blackmore); and Dean (Jensen Ackles) in shock at the sight of his mother, Mary (Samantha Smith), who was thought to be dead. Castiel (Misha Collins) is forced to partner up with Crowley (Mark Sheppard) to search for the vessel-jumping Lucifer (Rick Springfield) as his plans start to take a deadly hold. As Lucifer begins to possess more and more powerful and influential people to get the results that he wants, the hunters are wrongly accused, framed, and arrested. Leaving only Mary and Castiel to turn to an unlikely source to help save them our heroes and set things right.

Other notable guest stars for this season include Rick Worthy and Alicia Witt.

23 Episodes make up this season which includes Keep Calm and Carry On, Mamma Mia, The Foundry, American Nightmare, The One You've Been Waiting For, Celebrating the Life of Asa Fox, Rock Never Dies, Lotus, First Blood, Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets, Regarding Dean, Stuck in the Middle (With You), Family Feud, The Raid, Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell, Ladies Drink Free, The British Invasion, The Memory Remains, The Future, Twigs & Twine & Tasha Banes, There's Something About Mary, Who We Are, and the Season Finale - All Along the Watchtower.

Presented commercial (and network watermark) free and in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and a lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 track, this is the ideal way to watch the series. Besting the presentation of the original television broadcast in every shape and form, the episodes look nice on Blu-ray with saturated colors and details that weren't as evident as they were on (HD)TV.

A digital UV copy is also included.

Special Features include...

The Winchester Mythology: Mary Winchester

The Winchester Mythology: Clash of the British Men of Letters

The Winchester Mythology: The Hunters Life

Supernatural 2016 Comic-Con Panel

Audio Commentaries

Deleted Scenes

Gag Reel

A hit with audiences and critics, Supernatural continues to air on the CW with a thirteenth season on the way.

Last but not least are two low-budget horror films worth knowing more about....

The Zodiac Killer / Effects

After a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2015, AGFA (The American Genre Film Archive, and not to be confused with the German film stock company of the same name) purchased a 4K film scanner to create new digital transfers of titles from the Something Weird library. The first two releases are covered here in this double review, The Zodiac Killer (1971) and Dusty Nelson's Effects (1980) in these fun releases.

Director Tom Hanson's The Zodiac Killer (1971) is a fun look at the infamous serial killer that is a far cry from the more accurate (and dramatic) David Fincher version. Reminding me in the some ways of the recent (and also nicely restored) Severin release, Drive-In Massacre (1977), this '70s slasher has a low budget feel mixed with a nostalgic feel that makes it a fun watch. I would definitely suggest cult film lovers check this not so well known film out.

The Zodiac Killer stars starring Hal Reed, Bob Jones, and Ray Lynch to name a few.

Rather going a more mysterious route with the Zodiac, this version takes you into his psyche as based on the still-unsolved "Zodiac" murders from 1966 - 1969. Part true story, part fiction and equal parts elaboration and sick humor, you've never quite seen this angle on the Killer before.

Take a look behind the scenes with the 1980 film, Effects, which stars a handful of George Romero's friends (including SFX legend Tom Savini) in a slasher movie within a movie. Effects has a drive-in movie feel and a nice nostalgic look that makes it a fun little time capsule. While a small group of filmmakers are making a slasher movie, some unexpected terror happens to them in real life.

Effects stars Joe Pilato (Day of the Dead), Tom Savini (Dawn of the Dead), Susan Chapek (Lorenzo's Oil), John Harrison (Tales From The Darkside: The Movie), and Debra Gordon (Sorority Row).

Presented in 1080p high definition with a 1.33:1 full frame (for Zodiac) and 1.78:1 (for Effects) 4K restoration (in the case of Effects, the last 35mm print in existence) and English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono (48kHz, 16-bit) lossless sound, there's no doubt that these films have never looked or sounded as good as they do here with these startling new transfers despite minor film flaws they could not do away with. While it could only benefit from a 2160p transfer, for films of this nature (and low budget), this version of Zodiac serves the viewer well and these two films are great examples for how restorations can be done on disc right. The transfer on Effects has a lot of film noise on it as its original source was damaged, but considering its low budget and its age, it looks pretty good with its imperfections only adding to the experience in this reviewer's opinion.

Special Features for The Zodiac Killer are as follows:

Interview with director Tom Hanson conducted by Chris Poggiali of Temple of Schlock

Bonus film: Another Son of Sam (1977)

Collection of tabloid-horror trailers from the AGFA archive

On-camera interview with director Tom Hanson and producer Manny Nedwick

Audio Commentary with director Tom Hanson and producer Manny Nedwick

Collectible color booklet with liner notes

Special Features for Effects are as follows:

Archival commentary track with John Harrison, Dusty Nelson, and Pasquale Buba

After Effects documentary with optional commentary track

Beasite - short film

UBU - short film

Liner notes by Joseph A. Ziemba of AGFA and Bleeding Skull!

I'm definitely looking forward to seeing more AGFA releases in the near future!

To order the Umbrella Death Wish 2 & 3 import Blu-ray, go to this link for it and other hard to find releases at:


- James Lockhart & Nicholas Sheffo (Lost World)



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