Trilogy (1970 -
1974/MVD/Arrow Blu-ray Set)/Debt
(2018/MVD DVD)/Return Of
The Swamp Thing (1989/MVD
(1972/Turbine Blu-ray w/DVD)/Seijun
Suzuki: The Early Years V. 2
(1957 - 1961/MVD/Arrow Blu-ray Set)
B/B-/D/B & B-/B- & C+/B Sound: B/B-/C-/B & B-/C+/B
Extras: B/C/C/B/C+/B Films: B/C/C-/C/C/B
B B- C+ B
set is limited to only 1,500 copies!
now for our latest onslaught of genre films...
Blu-ray for the first time in grand fashion. These Toho horror films
are highly reminiscent of Hammer Films and center around the classic
monster Dracula. It's interesting to see a Japanese version of the
character and the films utilize a lot of similar gothic imagery that
you would expect. Even considering the age of the films now, they
all hold up surprisingly well from a visual perspective on Blu-ray
films in the set are The Legacy
of Dracula: The Vampire Doll
(1971), and Evil
(1974) and are all worth your time, especially when seen in
in 1080p High Definition and presented in 2.35 X 1, transferred from
original film elements Uncompressed Mono 1.0 PCM audio. Also
included on the discs are the original Japanese soundtracks with
optional, newly translated English subtitles.
Newman on The
a new video appraisal by the critic and writer
sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matt
PRESSING ONLY: Collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film
by Japanese film expert Jasper Sharp.
Adkins stars as a broke martial artist who takes on a job with the
mob in The
Debt Collector (2018).
Directed by Jesse V. Johnson (The
the film isn't too bad but not entirely original either. Following
in the footsteps of a Guy Ritchie-esque mob/action film, the film is
slick and not without some cool stunt pieces but still comes across a
film also stars Essam Ferris, Louis Mandylor, Vladimir Kulich, and
his karate dojo about to close and his apartment about to be evicted,
French (Adkins) ends up doing some dirty business to pay the bills.
Working for the mob, he goes from house to house with other shady
guys to bust those who owe. Of course, he quickly gets in over his
definition with a 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy Dolby
Digital 5.1 track, the transfer is typical of the DVD format. Colors
are compressed and a bit murky when watching on a 4K TV, but
shouldn't look too bad on a 1080p or lower television. The film is
nicely shot with Los Angeles as the primarily backdrop. The score is
a bit generic and adds a cheapness to the overall feel of the film.
Overall, a standard and passable presentation.
Features, only Deleted Scenes.
in Pittsburgh on a shoestring budget, the high concept film Night
(2018) channels the zombie, action, and alien genres. With a plot
similar to a high budget Hollywood film, the film makes a lot of
mistakes that lots of low budget films do: too much dialogue, bad
lighting, and a sound edit in need of more work.
aliens attack, a virus is omitted into the city, and infecting its
victims into raving zombie maniacs. A small group of survivors haul
up together but (much like Night
of the Living Dead)
end up soon facing the inevitable as the warehouse gets infected.
in an anamorphically enhanced widescreen
aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and a 2.0 stereo mix, this shot on video
feature has an icky and highly flawed transfer. The color timing is
way off, many shots go in and out of focus and times in the film
where yelling occurs is blown out in the sound mix.
Feature: Behind the Scenes.
Thing is one of the more overlooked DC Comics' character and also one
to have a comic book film series before it was 'cool'. The follow-up
to the Wes Craven original, The
Return of Swamp Thing
(1989) continues with Dick Warlock's portrayal of the creature which
is fun and quite heroic. This hammy sequel, co-starring Heather
as the plant obsessed love interest, the film is pure cheese from
frame one but like other genre films in this era, however, the film
still manages to have some heart behind it and looks great in this
new HD master.
film also stars Louis Jourdan, Sarah Douglas, Ace Mask, and Monique
Arcane (Locklear) visits her mad uncle Dr. Anton Arcane in his
laboratory, where he is experimenting illegally with genetic
mutation. Soon, she encounters the infamous Swamp Thing (Warlock)
who is hell bent on fighting these creations. Along the way the two
find action and love as they battle against Dr. Arcane's inhuman
in 1080p high definition with a widescreen 1.85:1 widescreen aspect
ratio and a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix, the film has
been restored in HD for the first time. The original 2.0 track is
also included on the release. There's no doubt that this is the best
that this film has looked on home video as this restoration is pretty
clean and detailed considering the age of the film. Also included is
a standard definition anamorphically
with similar, but compressed specs, including lossy Dolby Digital
Audio commentary from Director Jim Wynorski, Composer Chuck Cirino
and Editor Leslie Rosenthal
Interview with Director Jim Wynorski (HD)
Interview with Editor Leslie Rosenthal (HD)
Interview with Composer Chuck Cirino (HD)
Interview with Lightyear Entertainment Executive Arnie Holland (HD)
commentary from Director Jim Wynorski (from 2003)
Theatrical Trailer (New HD Transfer from original 35mm materials)
Promotional TV Clips (SD)
TV Spots (SD)
Greenpeace Public Service Announcements (SD)
Promo Reel (SD)
Gallery (accompanied by Chuck Cirino's film score)
not quite as good as the original, this sequel has lots of laughs and
is an interesting and fun popcorn muncher to say the least.
(1972) is an early, cheap film the later director of Animal
American Werewolf In London
and other comedy and horror hits made with future make-up auteur Rick
Baker as a goofy comedy that took the idea of a 'man in an
ape/gorilla suit' to its goofy, slap-happy end. A counterculture
time capsule of its time, the film is barely 80 minutes and has every
bad joke, lame visual gag and other attempts at humor that hardly
ever work. Landis is the one wearing the suit!
we have a new Blu-ray/DVD
set of the film so you can see it for yourself. If you are in a dumb
mood (very dumb mood?), you might be more amused than you should be,
but it is basically a one-joke film, though it knows it. Does work
better as a time capsule, though.
film was shot block style 1.33 X 1, but the 1080p Blu-ray only offers
it at a 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image and not the
1.33 X 1 image the DVD has. The result is the Blu-ray looks good,
but shows some slight flaws and softness throughout, but I wonder if
a 1.33 X 1 version (which could have fit on the same disc) would have
looked better. The DVD is softer, but I like the framing a little
better and the visual humor is clearer in that version.
Blu-ray has both English and German DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono
lossless sound, but the audio is old and has been compressed a bit.
I bet this could be clearer, even if we had to deal with some tape
hiss, et al. The DVD has English and German lossy Dolby Digital 2.0
Mono sound that is slightly less clear than the Blu-ray options.
include exclusive new introduction by creator John Landis, Exclusive
newly shot interview with John Landis (approx. 41 min.), Vintage
audio commentary by John Landis & Monster Maker Rick Baker (from
the 2001 Anchor Bay DVD), Trailers
clip: John Landis on SCHLOCK, Original trailers (theatrical release,
title, the original German 35mm trailer, and a new transfer of the
German version) and Original 1970s radio spots.
conclude with a second Blu-ray movie set from acclaimed Japanese cult
director Seijun Suzuki (Youth
of the Beast,
who has had several titles released in America and restored in HD in
recent years. Many of which are now in the catalog of the esteemed
Criterion Collection label (and reviewed elsewhere on this site).
This new collection from Arrow video (the second volume in the
series) compiles his early crime and action films from 1957 to 1961
Suzuki: The Early Years V. 2.
set includes: Eight
Hours of Terror
Sleeping Beast Within
Man with a Shotgun
(1961). These films have never before been available on home video
in the US before and are a must see for fans from the Nikkatsu
catalog as Suzuki continued his look early on into criminals, secrets
and the darkness of this particular underworld.
in 1080p high definition Blu-ray with various aspect ratios of 2.35:1
and 1.33:1, all of the films have their original Japanese LPCM Mono
audio tracks with newly translated English subs. There no doubt this
is the best that these films have looked and they have all aged quite
commentary by critic and author Jasper Sharp on Smashing the 0-Line
Rayns on the Crime and Action Movies - the critic and historian
discusses the background to the films, their place within Suzuki's
career and the talent involved with them
sleeves featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham
illustrated collector's book featuring new writing by Jasper Sharp
Nicholas Sheffo (Schlock)