(1987/Umbrella Import Blu-rays)/Happy
(2017/Umbrella PAL Import DVD)/Initial
D: Legend 1: Awakening
(2014/Sentai Blu-ray w/DVD Set)/Kadaicha
Prey double feature
(1984/Umbrella PAL Import DVD)/Mayhem
(2017/RLJ 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray Set)/Not
(2008/Umbrella Import Blu-ray)/Probability
PAL Import DVDs)
Ultra HD Picture: B+ Picture: B+/B/B-/C+ & C/C &
C+/B/B/C/B-/B Sound: B+/B/B-/B/B & C+/B+ & B/B/B/B-/B
Extras: D/B/D/C-/C/C/B/D/D/C Main Programs: C+/C+/C+/B+/C &
for the Mayhem
releases, all the releases in this review are imports now only
available from our friends at Umbrella Entertainment and can be
ordered from the link below.
a strong new set of genre films, many exploitation pieces, worth
knowing about, but we start with one that's the most mainstream...
Gibson and (a young) Robert Downey Jr. star in Director Roger
(1990), a film that Michael Bay wishes he made that no doubt had an
influence on him. Sporting impressive cinematography by the amazing
Roger Deakins, the money is on the screen as they say as the film
looks fantastic on disc with wide lenses that make the movie feel
huge. Great performances all over the map but a screenplay that asks
you to bend the rules of logic, this movie is a perfect example of a
film also stars Nancy Travis, Ken Jenkins, and David Marshall Grant
to name a few.
(Downey Jr.) is a wacko pilot who loses his last straight job as a
helicopter traffic reporter by getting after an incident on the job.
He soon gets recruited to for the CIA airline in Asia where he goes
up against Government soldiers, drug dealers, and a witty pilot
(Gibson) to whom he is constantly at odds with on a covert and
corrupt CIA airtight organization at the height of Vietnam.
film is presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen 2.35:1
aspect ratio and a 5.1 DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless track with a
clear presentation. The film has a great soundtrack with many
classic tunes you'll recognize (even if they weren't released yet at
the time the film takes place) and plenty of explosions and gunplay
to give your home entertainment system a workout.
extras (or menu even for that matter.)
a different take on the film, try our coverage of the U.S. Blu-ray at
find out more about the forgotten, failed TV series version here...
(1987) lands on Blu-ray in this great new release from Umbrella. The
giant killer crocodile movie was definitely an inspiration to Lake
but is very Australian and over the top. Aiming to be the 'Jaws' of
Killer Croc movies, Dark
is pretty fun and is restored nicely in this Blu-ray release.
film stars John Jarratt (Wolf Creek), Max Phipps, Burnam Burnam,
Nikki Coghill, David Gulpilil, John Jarrat, and Ray Meagher with
direction by Arch Nicholson. The film centers around a a group of
hunters in the Australian Outback that are on the cusp of capturing
an exceptional creature. Setting to relocate the breeding grounds,
these hunters put their lives on the line against the deadly crocs.
in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.77:1 and
a nice sounding, but lossy 2.0 English Dolby Digital track, the film
certainly has never looked or sounded as good as it does here. The
synth soundtrack is very John Carpenter-esque and all in all, the
transfer looks pretty clean and is restored nicely.
Commentary with Actor John Jarratt and Executive Producer Antony I.
Ginnane-A Bicentenary with Bite: Revisiting 'Dark Age' - Panel
discussion with film historians Lee Gambin, Alexandra
Heller-Nicholas, Emma Westwood and Sally Christie - Uncut Not Quite
Hollywood Interviews with John Jarratt and Antony I. Ginnane
1986 documentary with Grahame Webb, author of 'Numunwari', the book
which inspired the film
and Home Video trailers
Gallery including rare press and promotional material.
it's no Jaws,
there's some fun moments in Dark
the make it worth tracking down if you're a fan of Ozploitation... or
killer crocodile movies.
more on the film, here's
our earlier Blu-ray coverage...
new thriller Happy
(2017) is a fast paced and interesting flick that centers around a
drifter whose struggling with alcoholism and is unwilling attendance
in a brutal redneck spectators sport akin to a gladiator arena. Set
in the dirty and desolate desert, Happy
isn't too bad of a film if you're into films that explore the
brutality of human nature.
film stars Ken Lally, Kenny Wormald, and Martin Dingle Wall to name a
few. The film is directed by Joe Dietsch and Lucian Gibson.
in standard definition PAL format import DVD with an
anamorphically enhanced widescreen
aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and a lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital track, the
presentation is up to standards with the format but nothing too
incredible. The film is shot and color-timed well, with a greenish
tint throughout that reminds me of a David Fincher film.
you're into movies like The
Most Dangerous Game,
and films of the like then you may want to give this disc a spin.
is a local racer practicing one night, until he becomes a witness to
a impromptu late night race between a rival team and a mysterious
white Trueno 8-6. Turns out the rival team is the Akagi Red Suns and
after eating the dust of the mysterious ghost racer, they are hell
bent on revenge and challenge the local team, the Akina Speeders in
attempt to smoke out the mysterious driver. Little did Koichi know
the mysterious ghost racer is closer than he knows, his gas attendant
Takumi Fujiwara. But when the pride of the local team is on the
stakes, will Takumi race to protect his friends?
D: Legend 1: Awakening
(2014) has Takumi
Fujiwara as your ordinary high school boy/tofu delivery boy, but
underneath his innocent face he is the son of a legendary racer and
has blood of a pro-racer. Even among his friends, his father has
secretly passed along his driving skills. Only Takumi isn't into
racing (or so he says) and because of his late night driving, his
local team's reputation now threatened by a real pro racing team,
those Akagi Red Suns, who can't believe a mysterious ghost racer beat
them and believe he is one of the locals. However, the only thing
that gets Takumi more hotter and bothered than his car (and racing)
is his girl friend Mogi.
was a racing anime about fast cars and even faster drivers, though it
also exists as a live action version and a series, a series made into
a movie and brought back to inspire late night impromptu illegal
racing and car lovers, however like any good driver knows, it's not
the car but all about the driver and his skills.
1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image represents a mix of
color and artwork that is on the soft side and not one I'm a big fan
of on the Blu-ray, made softer and worse on the
anamorphically enhanced DVD also included. Better is the DTS-HD MA
(Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix (lesser, lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on
the DVD) that really kicks and plays well, if not the most state of
the art, it is not bad. Extras
Australian films from the '80s, Kadaicha
(1988) and Innocent
(1984) both land on disc together in this new double feature on one
PAL Import standard definition DVD from our friends at Umbrella, who
never fail to find unique films to add to their library. Hard to
find for a long time, both films are of so-so quality but weren't
recorded on the best film stocks to begin with. They are both fun,
even if they aren't quite cult classics.
which was directed by James Bogle (Whitely)
and is also known as Stones
some residents suddenly discover their homes have been built on top
of a sacred graveyard that has a curse surrounding it. Soon this
group have to battle together to take on the undead! The film stars
Zoe Cardies, Tom Jennings, and Eric Oldfield and has kind of a
vibe but, ya know, with a lot of Australian accents.
is all about finding love in the wrong places as a woman discovers
that her husband is actually a serial killer that has a passion for
killing prostitutes. Once his wife witnesses him in action, she
calls the authorities and gets him put away. Now that she has
brought this murderer to the spotlight, what consequences come with
film stars P.J. Soles (of Carpenter's Halloween,
'n' Roll High School
fame), Kit Taylor, Grigor Taylor, John Warnock, and Susan Stenmark to
name a few. Out of these two, I'd say this one is the better one.
films are presented in muddy standard definition with full frame
aspect ratio and 2.0 English lossy Dolby Digital mixes. They both
seem to be shot on a video format as there isn't anything impressive
about the transfers here. Innocent
is shot and directed interestingly, namely the scene where P.J. Soles
discovers that her husband is a killer. She sees in his reflection
him pulling out a switch blade and readying the kill that is matched
with a nicely close up of her wide eyed looking through the window at
him. An interesting little movie that's almost a nod to Hitchcock.
Back on Innocent Prey: A Conversation with P.J. Soles
a fun disc with two forgotten films.
Joe Lynch (The
Knights of Badassdom
and collaborator with Hatchet
filmmaker Adam Green) brings us his action packed new horror comedy
(2017), which should have gotten the spotlight that the similar
themed James Gunn-produced Belko
stood in last year. (Belko
is reviewed elsewhere on this site). Using the office as a
battleground setting for survival, Mayhem
stars Steven Yuen (Glen from The
and Samara Weaving (Ash
vs the Evil Dead)
and should be at the top of your watch list.
also stars Steven Brand, Caroline Chikezie, Kerry Fox, and Dallas
Cho (Yuen) has worked his way up the ladder at his corporate desk job
as a lawyer for a major firm. However, he hasn't gotten that way by
being a push-over but rather by being a ruthless businessman. One
particular bad day, David ends up the victim of a rare virus that
releases human inhibitions and causes its victims to act out their
primal instincts... without any social repercussions. Soon, the
entire office building is infected by the virus (and the building
surrounded by a SWAT team) as violence spreads like wildfire. With
the help of a former client that at first isn't too fond of him
(Weaving), David ends up battling his way to the top floor of the
building, where he must face off with the cocaine-infused big boss
and nine executives in order to get justice for his unlawful firing.
succeeds in many ways that The
did not. It's more brutal, doesn't hold back from violence and
nudity, and features a great performance by Steven Yuen - certainly
showing him as a capable actor outside of The
Filled with many memorable sequences, Mayhem
is a refreshing journey for horror fans who like films like Battle
not to mention other noticeable inspirations. In a way, Mayhem feels
like a zombie movie without quite being one.
presents the film in stunning upscaled 2160p HECV/H.265, HDR (10;
Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image with a
widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and a great sounding English DTS-HD
MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless track - both of which reach high
standards for the format. Character details and violence are more in
your face down to imperfections not-noticeable on the also included
1080p Blu-ray version. The film is very well shot and has several
epic moments that are captured well on the format.
MAYHEM: The Making of the Film"
length audio commentary with director Joe Lynch, Director of
Photography Steve Gainer & Editor Josh Ethier
Art of David Cho
is a pleasant surprise and a film that I definitely enjoyed. Looking
forward to seeing more from Director Joe Lynch in the future!
(2008) is a great documentary
on Ozploitation Cinema lands on this packed Blu-ray release from
Umbrella. The film features several great interviews and clips from
some of the craziest and outrageous genre films ever produced.
from such landmark Australian films such as Stone,
and the Mad
trilogy to various selections from popular sub-genres such as Kung
Fu, smut, horror films, and much more, Not
directed by Michael Hartley, should be at the top of every
cinephile's watch list.
film features interviews with Quentin Tarantino, Dennis Hopper, Jamie
Lee Curtis, and Barry Humphries to name just a few of the many here.
in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.77:1 and
sound mixes in both 2.0 and 5.1 lossy Dolby Digital. The disc looks
and sounds fine throughout but may have some problems playing in some
American Blu-ray players even though it's listed as all region.
over 9 hours of extra features on this packed Blu-ray release which
Commentary from Ozploitation auteurs
lost interview: Chris Lofven
word with Bob Ellis
Tarantino and Brian Trenchard-Smith interview
red carpet footage
interview with Director Mark Hartley
Bazura Project segment
Ozploitation trailer reel
D. Lamond: CONFESSIONS OF AN R-RATED FILMMAKER
Franklin on-set interview
Bourke's NOON SUNDAY reel
McKENZIE: OGRE OR OCKER documentary
ALVIN PURPLE documentary
SHOOT A MAD DOG documentary
stills and poster gallery
an Original theatrical trailer.
more on this film, including links to our coverage of some of the
films featured, try this link...
for good measure, Umbrella's great restoration on Blu-ray of The
Man From Hong Kong,
one of the best OzPloitation films ever...
by the Italian Horror Mastermind Dario Argento (Suspiria,
and directed by Maurizio Lucidi, comes the low budget Nazi-centric
starring Henry Silva. Set in Norway and centers around a team of
Allies who blow up an underground Nazi factory where the Germans have
taken a crashed Spitfire that contains a new radar system with cruel
in standard definition with an
widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1, the picture here is discolored and
jumps from reds to greens to blues throughout most of the film and is
pretty distracting. As this is probably due to the original source
material, I was hoping for a better looking transfer here. The sound
mix is in a standard lossy Dolby Digital English 2.0 Mono track.
too special about this film unless you're a diehard Argento fan that
wants to see everything he ever did.
(1973) is a great concept for a film that could easily be rebooted or
remade in a modern way. The premise is an isolated island where some
of America's most horrible convicts are dumped and left unsupervised.
The only rule is that they can't get off the island but they have to
stay on it. In this world, where nobody, even the most criminally
insane, are left in check... who could possibly survive?
are sold as sex slaves under the iron clad rule of Bobby (Sean
Kenney) who rules the camp. Of course, none of these scumbags like
to take orders from one another, and soon a liberation for women's
freedom stakes out as its man vs. woman on an island where anything
film stars Tom Selleck, Don Marshall, Ena Hartman, Phyllis Davis, and
Roger Mosley, Selleck's future Magnum,
in standard definition DVD with an
anamorphically enhanced widescreen
aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and a 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono track, the
presentation is fine for DVD, especially with this being an older
film. It could obviously benefit in HD and hopefully will be in the
is fun if you like films from the era, but is a better concept that
movie in execution, despite the skills Rothman has that she's
displayed in helming films like The
(reviewed elsewhere on this site). No doubt this will be a curio,
there's plenty of girl power in this action packed double feature
from Umbrella that highlights Grindhouse cinema flicks of yesteryear:
(1972) and TNT
(1974). I love releases like this because it gives films like these
a chance to flourish. Even though it would be cooler if they were in
HD, the standard definition transfers are passable as these films
were made on a shoestring budget anyway.
- Directed by Eddie Romero in conjunction with Roger Corman's New
World Pictures label, the film is a remake of the classic story The
Most Dangerous Game
and centers around a foreign correspondent who is kidnapped and used
for prey in this man vs woman epic. The film stars Sid Haig, Pat
Woodell, and John Ashley.
- she's a one mama massacre squad! This blaxploitation epic features
the no holds barred heroine TNT Jackson (Jeanie Bell - who was one of
the first black Playboy Playmates) who, much like Shaft
and James Bond, doesn't mind mixing a little bit of sex in with her
butt kicking. This movie is fun from frame one and pure silliness
that would be offensive to many if it was made today.
film centers around TNT Jackson, who goes to Hong Kong in search of
her missing brothers. After facing off against drug dealers,
rapists, and armed robbers, you won't believe some of the action in
this fun flick! The film also stars Stan Shaw, Pat Anderson, Ken
Metcalfe, and Chiquito.
films are presented in standard definition with full frame aspect
ratios and lossy 2.0 English Dolby Digital Mono track that look and
sound fine for the format.
only extras are the original (and amusing) theatrical trailers for
more on Jackson,
try this link...
order any of the
Umbrella import Blu-rays and/or DVDs, go to this link for them and
many more hard to get titles:
Ricky Chiang (Initial