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Category:    Home > Reviews > Fantasy > Speculation > Horror > Slasher > Supernatural > Science Fiction > Drugs > New Wave > Animation > W > Curse Of The Mayans (2016/Cinedigm DVD)/Insidious: The Last Key (2017/Sony Blu-ray)/Liquid Sky (1987/Vinegar Syndrome Blu-ray)/Path Of Blood (2013)/Unearthed & Untold: The Path To Pet Sematary (2015/b

Curse Of The Mayans (2016/Cinedigm DVD)/Insidious: The Last Key (2017/Sony Blu-ray)/Liquid Sky (1987/Vinegar Syndrome Blu-ray)/Path Of Blood (2013)/Unearthed & Untold: The Path To Pet Sematary (2015/both Synapse Blu-rays)

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

And now for more horror and thriller releases...

So 2012 came and went and there wasn't any end day prophecy that went down... or was a silent war started without us dumb humans knowing?

In Curse of the Mayans (2016), a group of reptilian lizard men lay await to wage a centuries old battle with humanity. When a group of underwater explorers uncover a Mayan temple that's laid dormant and discover the prison where these aliens are being held, they are soon met with a fate worse than death.

The film stars Carla Ortiz, Olga Fonda, and Steve Wilcox to name a few and is directed by Joaquin Rodriguez.

The film is presented in standard definition with a widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy English Dolby Digital 5.1 track, both of which play fine for the format. The film isn't shot terribly and attempts to mimic the look of a major Hollywood production. What it's missing is a more effective cast and a few recognizable names or two to give the film a boost.

No extras.

Reminiscent of The Decent films (a bit too much), Curse of the Mayans has a few cool creature moments but is nothing groundbreaking.

Lin Shaye returns to the Insidious franchise in this spooky fourth installment, Insidious: The Last Key (2017), that easily bests the previous two sequels. Centering around the origin of Shaye's character Dr. Elise Rainer and her troupe of paranormal investigators. This time she goes back to the haunted house she grew up in an effort to confront her past and to help a tormented customer.

All of the usual tropes of the franchise are present here (which includes plenty of jump scares) but this film directed by Adam Robitel has a bit more heart and creepiness factor to it, that makes it almost as good as the first film.

The film also stars Josh Stewart, Javier Botet, Spencer Locke, and Caitlin Gerard.

Presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and a English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless track, the film looks and sounds up to standards on Blu-ray. The film is pretty dark throughout but the blacks have been appropriately crushed and the image is very clear and constant, with no visible issues. A digital UV is also included.

Special Features include...

Alternate Ending

8 Deleted Scenes

Franchise Recap: "Dive Into the Insidious Universe"

Three Featurettes:

"Becoming Elise"

"Going Into the Further"

"Unlocking Keyface"

While I'm sure the Insidious franchise will return, at least it hasn't run out of too much steam, mostly thanks to the minds at Blumhouse studios.

Vinegar Syndrome presents Director Slava Tsukerman's Liquid Sky (1982) for the first time in HD. A bizarre and brightly colorful Sci-Fi/Drug/Comedy, the film centers around some invisible aliens in a UFO who come to earth searching for heroin. They land on top of a apartment building that happens to be inhabited by a drug dealer and her fashion model roommate. The aliens discover something better than heroin: human pheromones created in the brain during orgasm... and they soon use the model to mine for this pheromone. To put it shortly, this film is a little out there...

The film stars Anne Carlisle, Paula E. Sheppard, Susan Doukas, Otto von Wernherr, Bob Brady, and Elaine C. Grove.

Presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and a great sounding DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) Mono lossless track, the low budget film has been superbly restored for HD. The synth soundtrack is front and center and compliments the time that the film was made. Even the dated low budget effects don't look half bad and there's plenty of detail on background and skin textures, even in this neon colored world. A standard definition DVD with a compressed presentation is also included, though doesn't look as good obviously as the Blu.

Special Features include...

Audio Commentary track with Slava Tsukerman (director)

Interview with Slava Tsukerman

Interview with Anne Carlisle (actress)

Director's introduction

"Liquid Sky Revisited" (2017) - 50 minute making-of documentary

Q&A from a 2017 Alamo Drafthouse Yonkers screening with: Slava Tsukerman, Anne Carlisle and Clive Smith (co-composer)

Isolated soundtrack

Never before seen outtakes

Alternate opening sequence

Behind the scenes rehearsal footage

Multiple trailers

Still gallery

Cover artwork by Derek Gabryszak

If you're looking for a out there Sci-Fi drug movie with bizarre '80s fashions, then Liquid Sky could be the cult film you're looking for.

At the end of the 16th century, with the war is over, however various Samurai now wander the land as Ronin looking for jobs where ever they can in Japan and beyond... however there is a mysterious path that has said to reward any Samurai with glory and purpose. Only thing is that no one has ever returned from the path ...and what swordsman could pass up on a path that no warrior has ever returned from in the animated Path Of Blood (2013)

Kazuo is a wandering ronin from battle to battle, it seems like all a samurai wants is to die in battle with honor ...but without war, a samurai loses all his purpose. Kazuo hear about a mysterious mountain path which no one ever has return from and he believes it is the best place to test his blade, but it is only too late for him to discover the dangers on the path, rogue samurai, ninjas and a fallen lord from the previous war.

This was a movie for all samurai lovers in the animated style of South Park of 2-D paper cutouts animation (guess that saves on special effects, blood and actors). This film is all about blood, gore and dismemberment. The plot was thin and it basically covers all the stereotypes of samurai and ninjas, then runs barely over an hour.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image is as good as it could be for the type of animation chosen, but that is still limited, as is the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix that tends to have a limited soundfield and tend towards the front speakers. Extras are where this release really excels and include The Making of Path of Blood, a short film, promotional trailer, 'video game' inspired trailer and image gallery.

Finally we have Unearthed & Untold: The Path To Pet Sematary (2015) a low budget documentary that gives us a look at the as of yet untold behind the scenes look at the classic Mary Lambert film Pet Sematary (1989), written by Stephen King (in both film and book form). Don't expect to see any clips from the actual film in this doc, as the filmmakers cleverly work their way around showing actual clips by using animated segments, behind the scenes imagery, and some rough looking home video footage shot by Maine locals. I guess directors John Campopiano and Justin White (who interview themselves in the film) didn't want to risk getting sued by Paramount. At any rate, while it would have been more entertaining with the actual film footage, there's still a lot to absorb in this 97-minutes-long documentary that's a enjoyable watch for King fanatics thirsty for more information.

The doc features interviews with director Mary Lambert (best known for her Music Videos from that time), stars Denise Crosby, Dale Midkiff, Miko Hughes, Brad Greenquist, Andrew Hubatsek, Susan Blommaert, the Berdahl twins, Michael Lombard, Heather Langenkamp, and others.

While King's ultra-successful book Pet Sematary seems like a no-brainer to be transformed into feature film today, it wasn't so easy to get it made. After years of trying, Paramount decided to take the risk and in turn created one of the creepiest films of all time. Bringing the production to Stephen King's home in Maine, the small town got the Hollywood treatment and many locals got a chance at fame.

Presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen presentation of 1.78:1 and a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit) lossless mix, the presentation is up to Blu-ray quality. A few stills used in the film have some pixelation issues, however many of the interviews are pretty clear and the overall look isn't bad. Nothing fantastic in terms of presentation here but nothing that alters the outcome of the doc either.

Special Features include...

Audio Commentary with Creators John Campopiano & Justin White

Podcast Commentary with Creators John Campopiano & Justin White

Edited / Alternate Scenes

Video Interview with Creators John Campopiano & Justin White

"PET TALES - From the Cutting Room Floor" featurette

PET SEMATARY Location Photo Compilation

Documentary Poster Art Concepts

Rare On-Set Video Footage from Rhonda Carter

Documentary Sizzle Reel

Promotional Trailer

Reversible Art Design by Alexandros Pyromallis

Clearly a documentary film made by fans for fans, Unearthed and Untold sheds some light on the interesting production of Pet Sematary since Paramount seems to not be keen on outputting a worthy Blu-ray edition with more satisfying extras at this time.

- Ricky Chiang (Blood) and James Lockhart



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