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Category:    Home > Reviews > Thriller > Drama > Crime > Invasion > Psychological > Murder > War > Horror > Mystery > Anthology > Possession > Bushwick (2017/RLJ Blu-ray w/DVD)/Cat's Eye (1985/MGM-UA/Umbrella Import Blu-ray)/Children Of The Corn (1984/MVD Visual/Arrow Blu-ray)/The Devil's Rejects (2005/Lionsgate/Umbrella Import Blu-ray)/Esca

Bushwick (2017/RLJ Blu-ray w/DVD)/Cat's Eye (1985/MGM-UA/Umbrella Import Blu-ray)/Children Of The Corn (1984/MVD Visual/Arrow Blu-ray)/The Devil's Rejects (2005/Lionsgate/Umbrella Import Blu-ray)/Escape Room (2017/Lionsgsate DVD)/Fallen (2016/Sony DVD)/Fox With The Velvet Tail (1971/Mondo Macabro Blu-ray)/The Green Slime (1968/MGM/Toei/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Lycan (2017/MVD Visual DVD)/Murder By Decree (1978/Umbrella PAL Import DVD)/Popcorn (1991/Synapse Blu-ray)/Spider (1991/Mondo Macabro Blu-ray)/Suffer Little Children (1983/InterVision DVD)/Wish Upon (2017/Orion/Broadgreen Blu-ray w/DVD)



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



PLEASE NOTE: The Murder By Decree DVD, Cat's Eye and Devil's Rejects Blu-ray Imports are now only available from our friends at Umbrella Entertainment in Australia, the DVD can only play on Blu-ray and DVD players that can handle the PAL DVD and Blu-rays can play on all players worldwide, while the Green Slime is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series. All can be ordered from the links below.



Here's a good group of films to get you in the spirit of Trick or Treating for the Halloween 2017 season...



Bushwick


It is something that does not happen often enough, but the Cary Murnion/Jonathan Milott film Bushwick (2017) is one of the big independent cinema surprises of the year, a feature that if it had bigger distribution and a big advertising budget, could have been a big surprise hit.


The somewhat under-appreciated Dave Bautista (SPECTRE, the Guardians Of The Galaxy franchise) plays a man who seems to know what is going on when madness greets those suddenly arriving in the New York neighborhood of the title, but we get there first with a couple arriving to visit home via the subway. After a big shock, the female half of the couple (Brittany Snow, who is really good here and is yet another underrated actress) has to think quick as shootouts turn up nowhere, gun battles are followed by dead bodies, military helicopters and a street sense of Kafka hits her instantly. What is going on here? Is it a terrorist attack, a sudden war? Civil War? Something else? Alien invasion?


It is a character study of people and their neighborhood with implied throughout about society today and the state of the U.S. in particular, but even without all that considered, it is just a smart thriller like we rarely see anymore. Bautista co-produced this and it is yet another smart move in one of the quickest-rising careers in cinema today. With choices like this, he is the next Vin Diesel and they ought to work together. I won't say anything else as not to spoil the fine writing and directing, but the sooner you see this film the better, because when it finally finds an audience, everyone will be talking about it.


This is also as much a horror film as an action film, but best of all, it is a mystery picture that rarely hits a bad note and reminded me of Carpenter's best films in the street (They Live, Assault On Precinct 13) at times in the best way. I will stop there, but if you go out of your way for it, I don't think you'll be disappointed.


The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer was shot on HD and is easily one of the best features shot in the format all year with great camerawork, impressive form and a consistency we do not see enough today. This is matched by a healthy well-recorded DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix that is also smart and imaginative.


Extras include a Photo Gallery, Poster Gallery and an informative Making Of featurette.



Cat's Eye


After the success of the feature film of Stephen King's Creepshow (1982) and from the director of 1983's Cujo (who also makes a cameo in the film), Lewis Teague, comes another King Anthology film, Cat's Eye (1985). The suspense thriller's strong cast includes an early performance by Drew Barrymore only a few years after her breakout role in Spielberg's E.T. and co-stars James Woods (Cronenberg's Videodrome, reviewed elsewhere on this site), Alan King, Kenneth McMillan, and Robert Hays to name a few. The stories are adapted from King's short stories Quitters, Inc., The Ledge, and The General.


Following a stray cat who narrowly survives a deadly encounter with Cujo and roams from place to place as a wraparound story. The short stories seen from the cat's perspective include an unusual intervention at a smoker's clinic, a penthouse ledge, and a mystery surrounding a young girl (Barrymore) and her bedroom. If you haven't seen this cult classic in a while, it has aged much over the years and still remains a fun entry in King's massive filmography.


Presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.40:1 (shot in real anamorphic 35mm J-D-C Scope by legendary Director of Photography Jack Cardiff) and a nice sounding 2.0 DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless Stereo track, the film looks fine on Blu-ray disc. Similar to a current American release of the film on Blu-ray disc, this version updates the film to HD and brings it to life in more clarity than previous standard definition releases.


Special Features include...


Interview with Actor Robert Hayes and Animal Trainer Teresa Ann Miller


Theatrical Trailer


Reversible Cover with alternate Cover Art


This release is followed by another Stephen King related release Blu-ray disc this month...



Children Of The Corn


Based on the short story of the same name from author Stephen King, Children of the Corn (1984) is a cult classic horror film that is finally getting the deluxe HD treatment that it deserves thanks to Arrow video. A member of the same sub-genre as Village of the Damned and its sequel Children of the Damned, Children of the Corn is a franchise that, despite its many direct to video sequels, has somehow been overlooked for a heavy handed Hollywood reboot (as of the time of this writing) but this original film is still a favorite amongst horror fans. Looking back, however, there isn't anything necessarily groundbreaking in Corn in terms of its filmmaking, cinematography, and certainly not its primitive digital effects. Though it's strongest assets are its creepy story, production design and chilling score.


The film stars Terminator star Linda Hamilton, Peter Horton (thirtysomething), R.G. Armstrong, John Franklin, Courtney Gains, and Robby Kiger. The film is directed by Fritz Kiersch, who didn't go on to direct anything else too notable afterwards.


The film centers around a young couple (Hamilton and Horton) who are romantically traveling cross-country together, but things go south when they get stranded in a creepy small town called Gatlin, where a demonic cult of children holds reign with not a single adult in sight. Under the possession of Cult Leader Isaac and Malachi, the couple must fend for their lives in this literal hell on earth!


Presented in 1080p high definition, the film has never looked better than this 2K HD restoration form the original camera negative. Presented in its original widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and a clear, lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 mix, the film looks and sounds great on Blu-ray. Some noticeable grain here and there, the low budget film has been restored nicely in this recommendable release.


Special Features include...


Brand new audio commentary with John Sullivan of childrenofthecornmovie.com and horror journalist Justin Beahm


Audio commentary with director Fritz Kiersch, producer Terrence Kirby and actors John Franklin and Courtney Gains


Harvesting Horror: The Making of Children of the Corn retrospective piece featuring interviews with director Fritz Kiersch and actors John Franklin and Courtney Gains


It Was the Eighties! interview with actress Linda Hamilton


Return to Gatlin - brand new featurette revisiting the film's original Iowa shooting locations


Stephen King on a Shoestring - an interview with producer Donald Borchers


Welcome to Gatlin: The Sights and Sounds of Children of the Corn - an interview with production designer Craig Stearns and composer Jonathan Elias


Feeling Blue - an interview with the actor who played "The Blue Man" in the fabled excised sequence


Theatrical Trailer


Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gary Pullin


First pressing only: Collectors booklet featuring new writing in the film


Double sided Poster with the original theatrical and the new poster art by Gary Pullin.



If you're a fan of the film then you won't want to miss this special edition Blu-ray that really looks better than previous versions. For more on the film, here's our coverage of the older, now obsolete Anchor Bay Blu-ray...


http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/9049/Children+Of+The+Corn+(1984/Anchor+Bay+Blu-ray


and the old DiviMax DVD...


http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/1530/Children+Of+The+Corn+(Divimax



The Devil's Rejects


The second entry in Rob Zombie's film career and the follow-up to his debut film House of 1,000 Corpses, The Devil's Rejects (2005) follows the psychopathic Firefly family who are reunited in a vast desert landscape. Inspired by the 1970s exploitation genre that's a signature of Zombie's filmmaking style, Rejects brings back returning cast members (and horror icons) Bill Moseley (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2) as Otis, Sheri Moon Zombie (Zombie's 31) as Baby, and Sid Haig (Spider Baby) as mean clown Captain Spaulding.


Also featured in the film are several other big names in cult cinema including William Forsythe (Raising Arizona), Ken Foree (Romero's Dawn of the Dead), Michael Berryman (Craven's The Hills Have Eyes), Danny Trejo (Machete), the late Matthew McGrory (Big Fish), P.J. Soles (Halloween), and Tom Towles (Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer) to name a few.


Umbrella did a similar Blu-ray release of House of 1,000 Corpses earlier in the year (reviewed elsewhere on this site) which, much like this release, is a tad better looking than the American HD release. Lionsgate hasn't released an updated version of the film since its initial release in 2005, which were the early days of the Blu-ray format. For a film as popular as this one, it's surprising that a mega-special edition or box set of the film hasn't surfaced.


After the success of their killing spree in the first film, The Firefly Family (Moseley, Zombie, Haig) are on the run from the police who are hot on their trail. Shacking up in an hotel in the center of the desert, they continue to be their horny, foul-mouthed, devious selves while taking in a new cast of victims. Little do they know but Sheriff Wydell (Forsythe) has a plan to take the Firefly family down, and isn't too far from doing just that.


Presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.77:1 and an English DTS-HD HR (High Resolution) 6.1 lossy mix, which doesn't sound too far off from the previous American disc with its lesser, regular DTS-ES 6.1 discrete lossier mix. As for presentation, the film looks and sounds up to standards on Blu-ray disc with a great soundtrack and inventive sound design that creates a fun throwback to a time where shock movies reigned supreme.



Special Features...


Bloody Send-Up


Matthew McGrory Tribute


Buck Owens: Satan's Got to Get Along Without Me


Mary the Monkey Girl Commercial


Captain Spaulding's Xmas Commercial


Otis' Home Movies


Deleted Scenes


Blooper Reel


Make-Up Test and The Morris Green Show


These extras, aside from the Deleted Scenes, are a little different than the Lionsgate Blu-ray with the commentary track noticeably missing.


Until a more definitive version of the film comes out, this edition of The Devil's Rejects from Umbrella is worth importing for hardcore Rob Zombie enthusiasts. While a third series in the film has been rumored by Zombie for years, the feature has yet to come to fruition, including no final studio so we'll see.



Escape Room


Having spent a lot of time in big cities, I can assure you that 'escape rooms' are a real thing that you can do with a group of your friends and not a good idea for those who are claustrophobic. You basically get locked into a tight, unescapable space with only clues that you and your friends have to discover and solve in order to get out.


Taking that same formula but mixing it with an angle similar to the Saw films, is the new horror/thriller Escape Room (2017), directed by Will Wenick. Full of pretty unknown faces, the film isn't gritty or scary enough to make the thrills of the first Saw film, or as gory or 'in your face' as any of its lacking predecessors to consider it a worthy opponent.


Escape Room stars Bill Flynn, Evan Williams, Annabelle Stephenson, Elisabeth Hower, and Dan Johnson.


Tyler (Williams) turns 30 and his girlfriend Christen (Hower) decides to get him tickets to a new Escape Room attraction in hopes of spicing up his celebration, but what began as a innocent birthday girl soon turns deadly, as this LA hosted Escape Room doesn't allow its losers to come out the other end... without consequences.


This isn't too be confused with a Russian horror film that also came out this year called Escape Room, that has a bit more star power with Skeet Urich (Scream), Sean Young (Blade Runner) and directed by Peter Dukes.


Presented in standard definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 track, the compressed version of the film holds up to DVD standards, but lacks the definition it could have in HD. Some loss of resolution is evident in darker areas of the film but that also comes with the limitations of the format.


Special Features include...


Director's Commentary


Deleted Scenes


Bloopers


Trailer Gallery



Fallen


Fallen (2016) is a essentially a recycled Twilight with a dash of Harry Potter and it doesn't care to be right out in the open about it. Constrained by its budget and lack of chemistry between any of its young model-looking leads, the film is based on a bestselling young adult fantasy novel of the same name by author Lauren Kate.


While I haven't read the novel, some reviewers online have stated that this adaptation is not too far off from the book, however, the studio must not have felt this worthy of a $100-200 million budget. A critical and financial flop, Fallen is a movie geared to entertain pre-teens than adults but to the rest of us - a hard watch. Surprisingly, the book came out in 2009 which was the height of Twilight's fame, so I'm a little surprised it took this long for a film adaptation to take place. The film plays out more TV movie than serious fantasy adaptation with a cast of overly pretty faces and lacking in creativity and fun.


Fallen stars Addison Timlin, Jevermy Irvine, Harrison Gilbertson, Daisy Head, Joely Richardson, and Hermione Corfield to name a few. The film is directed by Scott Hicks (Hearts in Atlantis).


Luce (Timlin) ends up landing in a reform school for misfit and eclectic teenagers that sure. Living a pseudo high school existence, she gets the hots for two hunky guys, Daniel and Cam, and can't choose which one she likes the best. Melodrama ensues as her fragmented memories spell out a century long love story that involves christianity and reincarnation.


Presented in standard definition DVD with an anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio of 2:40.1 and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 track, the film looks fine for DVD but isn't anything too shockingly impressive in terms of clarity when comparing to Blu-ray. No digital copy.


Special Features...


The Making of Fallen


Lauren Kate: The Author's Blessing


Meet the Fallen



Overall, Fallen is a film adaptation that's too ambitious or its budget and lacking in many ways.



Fox With The Velvet Tail


Beyond Erotica Director Jose Maria Forque's The Fox with a Velvet Tail (1971), which is also known as In The Eye of The Hurricane, is a dated but fun murder mystery/giallo film. Thanks to a pristine 4K restoration on Blu-ray disc thanks to Mondo Macabro, the film has never looked better and is certainly a fun little time capsule piece for lovers of obscure foreign cinema.


To no surprise there is no shortage of beautiful scantily-clad women in this film, but if you're expecting a lot of nudity, then you may be surprised to find that this film has hardly any. Using the same framing tricks that the Austin Powers films used, where different objects in the frame cover up private parts, it's pretty humorous to the great lengths the filmmakers went to in order to plan these shots out.


The Fox with a Velvet Tail stars AnalĂ­a Gade, Jean Sorel, Rosanna Yanni, Tony Kendall, Maurizio Bonuglia, and Julio Pena. This rare Spanish giallo film starring Italians centers around a recently parted married couple and a series of bizarre incidents that suspiciously happen to the woman and her new lover after on a beautiful vacation they talk together. Could these devious acts be committed by the hands of her broken hearted ex-husband? Nothing is as it appears in this odd tale of love, lust, betrayal, and murder.


Presented in 1080p high definition with a 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a great sounding English LPCM Mono track, this is an impressive 4K transfer from the original 35mm film negative (with no sign of grain or artifacts!) and a good candidate for the new 4K UHD format down the line. There's even some interesting underwater photography during one scene that comes across surprisingly clear. The film reminds me even a bit of the forgotten Robert Zemeckis' film What Lies Beneath (2000) with Michelle Pfieffer and Harrison Ford, in that in the third act the heroine is one step ahead of her attackers.


Filmed in the exotic Mediterranean, the film has beautiful locations, a psychedelic soundtrack, and creative cinematography that comes across here in stunning clarity. There's two audio options for either the original Italian language track (with English subs) or the dubbed English version. Both feature newly created English subtitles.


Special Features include...


Audio commentary by Troy Howarth


So Sweet, So Perverse documentary


Original Trailer


Alternate scenes


New artwork from Justin Coffee


The restoration here is commendable and fun for genre fans to revisit, especially in this nicely produced release. The film is a little on the long side but has more character development and intelligent than you may expect. It's bittersweet ending is commendable as well as it could have gone an easier storytelling route.



Green Slime


Kinji Fukasaku's wacky space thriller The Green Slime (1968) is not a great film, but is still a fun film, an unintentionally hilarious film, a film with a great use of color, ambitious use of models, leaves no stone unturned in creating its only half-convincing outer space world and goes on form beginning to end as if it had a bigger budget than 2001, Forbidden Planet or a Star Wars sequel.


However, the Japanese pop culture films of the 1960s just had that energy from other space film from various studios to their giant monster pictures. Originally released theatrically by MGM, Warner Archive issued the film on DVD and it was a hit, one we reviewed a few years ago at this link...


http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/12135/Creepy+Creature+Double+Feature,+Volume+One


While that DVD was fine for the format, this Blu-ray is spot-on color-wise and is from a nice (set of?) 35mm print(s, and/or negative(s)) that really beings out the ambition of the models, sets, production design and costumes that will make you want to run out to an antiques store and buy old space toys. Luciana Paluzzi, the villianess in the James Bond film Thunderball (1965, reviewed elsewhere on this site) is the female lead, a medical gal whose talents will soon be very needed when the killer creatures (as deadly as a cosplay party) show up to kill the crew on a space station.


Robert Horton and Richard Jaeckel are a few of the familiar actors amongst a cast of mostly unknowns with a screenplay co-written by William Finger, who further evolved Batman after Bob Kane created him. Charles Fox (whose music includes work on the Linda Carter Wonder Woman TV series, et al) co-composed the score here. The result is a fun romp you can get more into in this much-improved release. If you like old Godzilla movies or the old, original Ultraman TV series, this film is for you.


The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer can show the age of the materials used a little bit with some softness here and there, but this is far superior a transfer to all previous releases of the film or clips I've seen of it. Shot in ToeiScope and issued in MetroColor here in the U.S., the color limits only enhance the campy charm (Eastman Kodak was more likely used than Fuji, but that was starting to change by then) and Toel developed the film in their own lab, so it has a unique look indeed. Nice to see it looking so good.


The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix may show some flaws and age in the recording, including in the dubbing for this English-only track, but it is very clear for its age otherwise and is another pleasant surprise here. An Original Theatrical Trailer is sadly the only extra, but that's more than the DVD had.



Lycan


Who doesn't love a new mediocre werewolf movie full of blood and guts? This low budget horror flick Lycan (2017) doesn't bring new much new to the genre that hasn't been done before but isn't without some fun gore. Directed by Bev Land, the film uses a Blair Witch-style formula mixed with the slasher narrative centering around the Talbot County Werewolf, a Lycan who is stalking the backwoods of Georgia looking for its next victims.


Lycan stars Dania Ramirez, Alina Puscau, Gail O'Grady, Vanessa Angel, Kalia Prescott, Jacke Lockett, and Parker Croft to name a few.


Six college students sign up for an interesting group project that involves hunting down the Talbot County Werewolf. While it's all fun and games at first, they soon get picked off one by one and soon realize that this werewolf legend is in fact, true.


The film is presented on standard definition DVD with a 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix that's fine for the format. Compressed with colors that would be better displayed in HD, the film is mixed and looks pretty good for the most part. Its modern rock soundtrack has a few painful tracks to the ears, but it adds to the flashy stylized style it's going for. The filmmakers were smart in using drone shots to make the film feel bigger and add to the production value, but ultimately has a rocky script with tacky dialogue that's a bit hard to chew.


Special Features include...


Interviews with the Cast


Interview with Director Bee Land


Interviews with key crew members


Panel Discussion with Producers and Writer


Trailer



If you're itching for some new werewolf action with plenty of pretty girls to look at, then Lycan isn't all bad but nothing that will necessarily be remembered by cult fans in the near future.



Murder By Decree


If you ask who are the greatest filmmakers ever to come out of Canada, the short list should always include David Cronenberg, James Cameron, the SCTV gang from there and Bob Clark, who could do comedies (Porky's and A Christmas Story are two of his biggest hits) and has also made some of the greatest horror films ever including the comical Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things, Deathdream (finally coming to Blu-ray) and the direct inspiration for Carpenter's Halloween: the original Black Christmas (1974). So imagine if Clark could do a Jack The Ripper film, or a Sherlock Holmes film, you'd imagine it would be really good. With Murder By Decree (1978), he did both and managed to land two of the greatest actors of all time as the detective leads: Christopher Plummer as Holmes and James Mason as Dr. Watson. Was it a hit, yes, but not as huge as it could or should have been. I reviewed the film in tis U.S. DVD debut about 15 years ago as one of this site's first reviews, hoping it would get rediscovered, as you can see here...


http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/23/Murder+By+Decree


Now, after a serial killer cycle, several horror cycles, more Holmes revivals and even a nice group of really smart TV shows, it still has not received its due or rediscovery. I was hoping someone would issue it on Blu-ray, especially because it looks good and still authentic to the period about 40 years later and counting. Instead, Umbrella Entertainment has issued it in an import DVD on the PAL video format that is sharper than the old U.S. NTSC format and not only does it look better than the U.S. DVD, but this might just be a new print with less noise, grain that is just fine and an anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image that reveals details I have not seen in eons.


The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is passable and you can hear the good music score by Carl Zittrer and Paul Zaza that always rings true and is not overdone. This also has some suspenseful, smart sound editing to go with its recordings, meaning a lossless version would sound better if restored correctly. Donald Sutherland, Susan Clark, David Hemmings, Anthony Quayle (Strange Report), Frank Finlay and Sir John Gielgud round out the ever-remarkable cast (how much would the equivalent talent cost today? Way more than you'd think.) and this remains still one of the best Sherlock Holmes films (not counting all the great Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce films to give the others more room) ever made. That is why I recommend it as enthusiastically as I did then.


There are sadly no extras, but maybe someday.



Popcorn


Definitely an inspiration to Wes Craven's Scream films, Popcorn (1991) is a lesser thought of cult horror film that's a pretty fun movie to eat literal popcorn too. The film centers around a group of film students who decide to hold an all-night horror movie marathon at a theater that is about to be torn down in a last ditch effort to save their cinema club. Making the show fun, they decide to use marketing gimmicks from the past like 3D, odor-vision, and elaborate costumes that play along with the B-Horror Movies on-screen.


They end up having a huge turn-around thanks to the creative thought and fun movies. However, as innocent and fun as these film students' intentions may be, they are soon in fear of their lives as a psycho-manic, with an odd tie to the theater, emerges from the shadows. This devious psycho-manic, who also happens to be a filmmaker known as Lanyard Gates (who made a fictional film called 'The Possessor' in the movie), not only haunts Maggie's (Schoeln) dreams but has returned to seek his revenge. As the Horror Movie Marathon begins, the bodies start to pile up as nobody is safe from Gates' wrath.


Popcorn stars Jill Schoelen (The Stepfather), Malcolm Danare (Christine), Dee Wallace (Red Christmas, The Howling, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial) and Tom Villard (One Crazy Summer). The film is directed by Mark Herrier (who worked on Bob Clark's Porky's, which isn't surprising considering some of the humor here) and Alan Ormsby. There's a little bit of Nightmare on Elm Street's influence felt in some moments, especially with some of Lanyard's puns and supernatural acts of murder.


Taking a page from Darkman, Laynard Gates steals faces and is somehow able to wear them and pass as the person he is imitating. Overly cheesy with a subplot involving the Killer's connection to the Protagonist, there's a few scenes that are more hammy than scary, especially when revealing his murderous plot.


This new 2K scan of the original 35mm camera interpositive is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc in its original 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio is pretty impressive on Blu-ray disc. Presented in DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 7.1 (as supervised by Synapse films), the sound mix has never been clearer. The soundtrack of the film dates it severely, with several gut wrenchingly cheesy tracks. They would have been better off going with just a score. Overall, the film has never looked better than it does here.


Special Features include...


Audio Commentary with Director Mark Herrier, Stars Jill Schoelen, Malcolm Danare, and Special Makeup Effects Artist Mat Falls


Midnight Madness: The Making of Popcorn featuring interviews with Director Mark Herrier, Stars Jill Schoelen, Derek Rydall, Dee Wallace, Malcolm Danare, Ivette Soler, and Elliott Hurst,


Special Makeup Effects Artist Mat Falls, Composer Paul Zaza, and Distributor Executive Jonathan Wolf (55 mins, HD)


Electric Memories - An Interview with Actor Bruce Glover


Original Theatrical Trailer, Television Trailer and TV Spots


Still Gallery


Blu-ray reversible cover art by Chris MacGibbon


There was a steel book edition of this film with an identical disc that was only available online through Synapse in a limited edition run and also included a nice insert booklet with linear notes in it as well. Hardcore Popcorn fans will want to try to hunt that edition down. However, this release is fine too.


Popcorn isn't perfect and shows its age in its music and some of its filmmaking choices, but it not a bad cult film to revisit, especially on this nice Blu-ray release from Synapse.


For more on the film, here's our look at the older DVD...


http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/3161/Popcorn+(1991



Spider


Russian Director Vasili Mass's Spider (1991) is an experimental horror-thriller with some fantasy elements used to explore it's psycho-sexual themes. Eloquently shot and presented for the first time in HD, this artistic feature isn't for everyone, as it has many surrealistic dream sequences and a mix of primitive stop motion animation in certain segments. An allegory for sexual awakening, the film is very visual and literal in some moments but never short of creativity.


Vita, a pretty young girl, poses as the Virgin Mary for a controversial artist for a painting that he is doing. She soon finds herself hallucinating around his paintings and has a terrible dream about him becoming a spider that night in her dreams. Exploring some controversial themes in its storytelling, especially for the time, Spider dives into the psyche with a sense of eroticism to accompany its weirdness.


Remastered in 4K from its original 35mm film elements to great success, the film looks stunning in 1080p high definition. The original 1.33:1 full frame aspect ratio has been preserved and a new LPCM mono track with new Russian subtitles rounds out a solid presentation. You can tell that Mondo Macabro spent a lot of time on this restoration as the image is nearly flawless with even minimal grain.



Special Features...


In-depth interview with director Vasili Mass


Archival footage from the set of the film


Mondo Macabro previews


Brand new cover art by Gilles Vranckx



Suffer, Little Children


InterVision Corp specializes in digging up horror/exploitation gems of the past and remastering and retooling them for today's modern audience. This odd little gem, Suffer, Little Children (1983) is a short on video micro budgeted film will plenty of shocks to keep you up at night. In the safe vein as The Exorcist, the film centers around a mute child who arrives at a children's home and terrorizes and enthralls the other children in the home with her supernatural (and demonic) abilities.


While not as charming as Severin's excellent remaster of Cathy's Curse (1977) that came out earlier in the year, but certainly in the same 'demonic children' subgenre, Suffer Little Children is a fun watch if you like no budget horror movies that don't hold back despite their limitations.


A film of this nature doesn't really need a HD release, as it wouldn't really make much of a difference considering the source material. The film is presented on standard definition DVD with a 1.66:1 full frame presentation and a lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 track. The film doesn't look great, but isn't supposed to, as it's ripe with compression issues, static, and other artifacts that are common for shooting on dated video. For what it is and what they had to work with here, the transfer is fine and almost adds to the effect of the film.


Special Features...


School of Schock - an interview with Director Alan Briggs


Seducing the Gullible - An interview with Legend of UK 'Nasty' Era Fanzine Critique John Martin


Trailer



If you pick up this disc, definitely check out the extras as there is an interesting little story that surrounded the film before it was released. Due to the way it was marketed, many people were convinced that the children in the film were actually harmed and their deaths covered up. After seeing the film, they obviously realized that the film is obviously a glorified 'school project'.



Wish Upon


Finally, we have this new teen angsty version of Wishmaster (only without the fun characters and cameos) with a mix of The Ring, with the similarly-titled Wish Upon (2017). This stylish and nicely produced feature is interesting on a filmmaking level with direction by John R. Leonetti (the first Annabelle) but nothing too new or thrilling otherwise. Wish Upon uses the classic 'genie in a bottle'/ 'be careful what you wish for' formula that worked for Aladdin with rising star Joey King (Going in Style, Independence Day: Resurgence) in the lead, who is fine for the role. The film co-stars mostly unknowns Sherilyn Fenn, Elisabeth Rohm, the return of actor Ryan Phillippe (54), and Shannon Purser.


Claire Shannon (King) is an average girl trying to survive high school. When her Dad (Phillippe) gives her a weird antique music box, everything in her life starts to change. She is granted seven wishes from the music box and she of course ends up getting those wishes granted... with unusual and supernatural consequences. But what happens when those wishes run out?


Presented in 1080p high definition Blu-ray with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.40:1 and a nicely mixed DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless track (and Spanish DTS 5.1), both versions of the film look and sound up to Blu-ray standards. Also included is a standard definition DVD of the film with a lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital mix. While it's nice to have both versions of the film in one set, the DVD couldn't hold up against the Blu-ray, which is miles more impressive and clear.


No digital UV copy.


Special Features:


Unrated (91 min.) and Theatrical (90 min) cuts of the film.


"I Wish: The Cast Share What They Would Wish" - Featurette


"Attic Tour with Joey King" - Featurette


"Directing Darkness: John Leonetti and Cast Talk About Developing a Horror Film" - Featurette


"Motion Comics: Lu Mei's Curse and Arthur Sands Reveal The Stories Behind The Previous Owners Of The Box" - Featurette



To order either of the Umbrella import Blu-rays or DVD, go to this link:


http://www.umbrellaent.com.au/


...and to order The Green Slime Warner Archive Blu-ray, go to this link for it and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


http://www.wbshop.com/



- James Lockhart & Nicholas Sheffo (Bushwick, Slime, Decree)

https://www.facebook.com/jamesharlandlockhartv/


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