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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Supernatural > Demonic Possession > Thriller > Mystery > Vietnam > Zombie > Vampire > Canada > Mons > Before I Die (2016/Parade Deck)/Bleed (2016/both MVD Visual DVDs)/Deathdream (1974/Blue Underground Blu-ray w/DVD)/Ghastlies (2016/Camp Motion Pictures Blu-ray w/DVD)/J.D.'s Revenge (1976/MVD Visual/A

Before I Die (2016/Parade Deck)/Bleed (2016/both MVD Visual DVDs)/Deathdream (1972/Blue Underground Blu-ray w/DVD)/Ghastlies (2016/Camp Motion Pictures Blu-ray w/DVD)/J.D.'s Revenge (1976/MVD Visual/Arrow Blu-ray w/DVD)/Limehouse Golem (2016/RLJ Blu-ray)/Rememory (2017/Lionsgate Blu-ray)/Teen Wolf: Season Six, Part 2 (2017/MGM DVD Set)/Woodshock (2017/Lionsgate Blu-ray)



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



The low budget supernatural thriller Before I Die (2016), the debut feature by The Brothers Freeman, is a 'spiritual obsession'/semi-supernatural/nihilist movie that just isn't scary. Painfully slow moving and longer than it should be (about thirty minutes too long) with a cast of unknowns (some of which are better than others) and a storyline that's hard to follow, this isn't a film you will want to watch 'before you die'.


The film stars Robert McKeehen, Audrey Walker, Danny Bruno, and Robert Blanche.


A small Northwest town in the middle of nowhere has a strange spiritual connection to it. When a new pastor takes over, he finds that the town is a bit 'culty' and is up to no good. Of course, they attend meetings with creepy Eyes Wide Shut-inspired masquerade masks.


Presented in anamorphically enhanced standard definition with a 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track, the film looks fine for being low budget on DVD. Surprisingly not too much visual noise, even in darker scenes, however an HD update would help matters. The score to the film is too synth - and not necessarily in a good way and takes some of the scare out of it.


The only extra (under the audio options on the main disc menu) is a Director's Commentary by The Brothers Freeman. Though listed on the back of the DVD cover, there is no Behind The Scenes Gallery to access.



Bleed (2016) is a supernatural flick that is a mix of M. Night Shymalan, The Blair Witch Project, and Rosemary's Baby. Shot surprisingly well, stylized, but not without some lame digital effects, Bleed isn't a total bore with a moderately fast pace, some decent acting, and lots of time-lapse shots. That being said, there isn't anything particularly new here but that doesn't mean its completely terrible.


Bleed stars Chelsey Crisp, Riley Smith, Michael Steger, Lyndon Smith, Britany Ishibashi, and is directed by Tripp Rhame.


What starts as a promising new life for a few couple who are married and pregnant, they soon join some harebrained friends who are brought to burned out creepy prison to go ghost hunting 'for a reason.' There are other supernatural (and natural) forces at work here as well...


Presented in anamorphically enhanced standard definition with a 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossless English Dolby Digital 5.1 track, the film doesn't look terrible on DVD but lacks the detail it would otherwise in HD.


The only extra features are cast interviews.



One of the greatest horror films you've likely never seen is back, Bob Clark's enduring Deathdream (1972 aka Dead Of Night, The Night Walk, The Night Andy Came Home) which is about family, war, the horrors of war, is set in Vietnam and is a zombie film. Years ago, we reviewed the great Blue Underground DVD release at this link...


http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/2103/Deathdream+(1972/Horror/Canadian/Blue+Undergro


Now the film has been upgraded and restored from the original 35mm camera negative, and though the older DVD looked good, this is better here in DVD and now Blu-ray which especially brings out its atmosphere and creepiness. Since that last release, a few things have changed. We have more unnecessary wars, Bob Clark was killed in a horrible car accident that should have never happened and there was a boom just ending in zombie films and TV series. Seeing it again thus offered all kinds of new perspective, including that this is not a film merely about Vietnam, what it has to say is as important as ever, the directing, writing and acting are as effective as ever and despite the huge success of that zombie cycle, not all zombie films got their due.


As a result, Deathdream is now the most underrated zombie film ever made (something I pretty much felt at the time anyhow), Clark continues to be vindicated as one of the best horror genre masters of all time and the many films made on the subject since are no match for this one, which you can put up there with Romero's films the way you keep GoodFellas with The Godfather films. Needless to say its great the film has been further saved and preserved.


The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image on the Blu-ray is the biggest improvement, allowing us to see more layers of the many dark scenes, resulting in a more involving viewing experience. Even on the anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 DVD, you can see the print is new, Video White is much cleaner and authentic (the older transfer now has a slight yellow/orange tint that indicates print age and/or a photochemical internegative source) and color range is improved overall. Maybe its because of his comedies, but Clark was better at building atmospheres with his Directors of Photography (Black Christmas, Murder By Decree, et al) and this Blu-ray in particular is great at showing that.


The original theatrical monophonic sound has been further cleaned up and is presented on the Blu-ray in a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix that is as good as the film will likely ever sound. Sure, it shows the budget and age limits of the production, but that also loans it to playing as authentically of its time and makes the horror more convincing. The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on the DVD is not as good, not as improved as the last DVD, but is passable.


All the extras from the DVD are repeated here and include two audio commentaries hosted by Blue Underground's David Gregory: one with Clark, the other with Alan Ormsby. You also get alternate opening titles, a 10-minute piece on special effects make-up artist Tom Savini's early years making his debut with this film, a stills gallery split into five subsections, the original theatrical trailer that is the long kind that you should watch after seeing the film, a twelve-minutes-long on-camera interview with actor Richard Backus called Deathdreaming and an extended ending that works better but was not in good enough shape to add to the feature print.


Then we get new extras including a reversible cover, a nicely illustrated booklet on the film including informative text and an excellent essay by Travis Crawford, while the discs add new pieces including A Recollection with Star Anya Liffey and Writer/Make-Up Artist Alan Ormsby, Notes For A Homecoming - Interview with Composer Carl Zittrer, Flying Down To Brooksville - Interview with Production Manager John 'Bud' Cardos and a student film by Ormsby.


Now that's the way to treat a great film, especially one so underrated, smart, chilling and a MUST SEE for all serious film and especially Horror fans. Bob Clark was a great filmmaker, as great as anyone ever to come out of Canada or otherwise and Deathdream is as haunting as ever. Don't Miss it!!!



The new no budget monster movie, Ghastlies (2016), attempts to be a throwback to '80s horror gems like Demons, Ghoulies, and Critters, but doesn't live up to its cool cover art. Instead, the movie spends way too much time focused on bad characters, bad jokes, and each of the (too many) characters deliver lengthy dialogue. Shot on a shoestring budget, Ghastlies is ghastly to watch unless you enjoy intentionally bad movies.


Pure Evil. Bite Sized. Four sorority sisters go on a weekend getaway and while at first everything is fine and dandy, they soon encounters little ghouls that slash and kill them one by one. Following the slasher/monster formula the film would have been more effective had it been shot more than an '80s movie and with better effects than the laughable ones here.


Presented in 1080p high definition with a 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio, the film looks and sounds as good as it can on Blu-ray. The original soundmaster mix isn't listed on the Blu-ray or online so I'm guessing its nothing beyond the standard 5.1 mix here. The film doesn't have an interesting color palette or much style to it, but isn't unwatchable. Also included is the standard definition anamorphically enhanced DVD with similar yet compressed technical specs.


Special Features...


Going Ghastlies FX Featurette


Tomb Talks Tubular Footage


They're Ghastlies Music Video


Ghastlies should have taken a few notes from Robert Rodriguez on making a modern genre movie look old fashioned if that was the goal here. With no good effects or good performances, there isn't much here to recommend.



One of the better Blaxploitation films is J.D.'s Revenge (1976), a horror/action flick like no other that is fine independent filmmaking, even by today's standards. Before the trend was really popular, this cult film laid down some of the groundwork for the sub genre and centers around a timid Law Student who gets possessed by a 1940s gangster named J.D.! Soon, the possessed Law Student gets trigger happy and goes on a killing spree of revenge.


J.D.'s Revenge is directed by Arthur Marks (Friday Foster) and stars Glynn Turman (Cooley High) and Academy Award-winner Louis Gossett Jr. (An Officer and a Gentleman) in an early role.


This Blu-ray/DVD combo pack features the film in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and a great sounding PCM 1.0 Mono sound mix. Restored in 2K from the original film elements exclusively for this release, the film looks fantastic even on anamorphically enhanced standard definition DVD, which has similar but compressed features. If you take a look at the original trailer which is on the disc and then at the remastered transfer, your jaw will drop in how close of attention Arrow has done in restoring this film.


Special Features include...


Original theatrical trailer


Arthur Marks trailer reel


Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Sean Phillips


FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector's booklet containing new writing by Kim Newman, author of Nightmare Movies


Alternate Opening Titles


Trailers



The film has its detractors, but restored so well, now you can judge for yourself.



Before the times of Jack the Ripper there was The Limehouse Golem (2016) - a vicious serial killer that stalked the city of streets of London in the 18th Century. Part Sherlock Holmes mystery, yet not afraid to shy away from gore, the film is pretty entertaining and looks pretty nice on disc as well. The film stars Bill Nighy, Olivia Cooke, Douglas Booth, Maria Valverde, and Eddie Marsan.


Horrific murders pop up all around London with no motive haunts Scotland Yard Inspector Kildare (Nighy) who feels that the Killer is setting him up. Leaving cryptic messages in the blood of his victims and ruthless in his execution, Kildare soon finds a witness (Cooke) who helps him in stopping the murders before more happen and getting this Golem exposed.


Presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and a nice sounding DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless track, the film looks and sounds up to standards with the Blu-ray format with close details in costume and production design. RLJ also delivers top rate home presentations of their films and this edition is no exception!


Special Features and Technical Specs:


Behind-the-scenes featurettes


The cast


Locations


The period look



The scenes where the audience is forced to witness some of the Golem's murders are interesting, with his voice being altered. If you're a fan of murder mysteries and films like From Hell (reviewed on Blu-ray elsewhere on this site), then you may want to give this one a watch. I found it to be pretty entertaining.



Peter Dinklage, who is best known for his large role on HBO's Game of Thrones, stars in this interesting Sci-Fi/ Drama, Rememory (2017) from director Mark Palanksy (Penelope, Netflix's Unfortunate Events). While it has a concept similar to something Philip K. Dick would come up with, the only sci-fi element is really the machine itself, with everything else grounded in reality.


What if you could erase a painful event from your past? A scientist named Gordon Dunn (Donovan) has created a device where that is possible. However, what at first feels like an innovative scientific breakthrough soon turns out to be a complete disaster. Memories come flooding back to the subject (and sometimes hallucinations) with disastrous consequences. Soon, the device's creator, Dunn, ends up murdered in an odd fashion. Peaking the interest of a painted model maker (Dinklage) who had some success with the device, he soon plays film noir detective and attempts to figure out who murdered Gordon Dunn. While haunted by memories of his own erased past dealing with the tragic death of his brother, Dinklage gets in over his head the deeper down the rabbit hole he goes.


The film also stars Julia Ormond, (the late) Anton Yelchin, Henry Ian Cusick, and Evelyne Brochu.


Presented in 1080p high definition with a 2.39:1 widescreen aspect ratio and an English 5.1 DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless track, the film looks and sounds pretty good on Blu-ray disc. The overall look of the film has a blue tint to it and a high end cinematic look. Some exterior shots are a bit blown out, which is supposed to be the style yet feels a little off. A digital copy is also included.



Special Features...


Audio Commentary with Writer-Director Mark Palansky and Actor Peter Dinklage


"The Memories We Keep" Featurette


Rememory starts out interesting but soon ends up feeling like an NBC crime drama. Dinklage does a fine job, but without him the film would be lacking.



While it doesn't hold too much similarity to the '80s films of the same name, MTV's Teen Wolf has been a success with teen audiences even back from the days where Twilight reigned supreme and sadly still has that teen angsty pop culture appeal that feels a bit dated. Now in its sixth and final season, the second half of season six premieres here in this nice DVD release that's sure to appeal to fans.


The show stars Tyler Posey, Dylan O' Brien, Holland Roden, Shelley Hennig, and Dylan Sprayberry.


Episodes include Said the Spider to the Fly, Raw Talent, After Images, Face to Faceless, Pressure Test, Triggers, Werewolves of London, Genotype, Broken Glass, and the finale: The Wolves of War.


Presented in standard definition with an anamorphically enhanced widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 track, the show looks and sounds equal to its original television broadcast, however obviously commercial and watermark free here on disc. Why no Blu-ray version?


Special Features include...


How Far We've Come: A Farewell to Beacon Hills


Gag Reel


While a bit light on extras, Season 6, Part 2 of Teen Wolf rounds out the show in a tidy way that works for fans but could be a bit confusing to others who haven't seen past seasons.



Kirsten Dunst, whose career has gone from big budget studio films to obscure artsy indies (like this one), returns with the surreal Woodshock (2017), directed by Kate and Laura Mulleavy. A drug movie at its core, the melodrama here is pretty thick with Dunst moping around for the entire runtime with a defeated look on her face. Almost as depressing as Dunst's other recent effort, Melancholia, which was directed by Lars Von Trier, Woodshock is an interesting from a cinematic perspective but not as profound narratively as it aims to be or thinks it is.


The film also stars Joe Cole, Lorelei Linklater, and Jack Kilmer.


A cannabis-based drug drives a mother to commit suicide and sends Theresa (Dunst) down a dark path as she attempts to deal with her massive and overwhelming guilt. Working at a shop that sells the drug, her interactions with others in this weird reality keep the plot unpredictable yet at times confusing.


Presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 with an English 5.1 DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless track, the film looks and sounds really fine on Blu-ray disc. The artsy cinematography comes across strong on Blu-ray disc with lighting and blurring effects that give across a dream-like feeling which is pretty effective. A digital copy is also included.


Special Features only offer Making Woodshock: A Mental Landscape



- Nicholas Sheffo (Deathdream) & James Lockhart

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


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