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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Monster > Creature > Supernatural > Demon > Cult > Science Fiction > Murder > Post Apocalyptic > Ex > A Taste Of Phobia (2017/Artsploitation DVD)

Dagon (2001/Blu-ray)/The Endless (2017/DVD/both Umbrella Entertainment Region Free Imports)/Followers (2017/MVD/SKD DVD)/Future World (2018/Lionsgate Blu-ray)/The Gore Gore Girls (1972/MVD/Arrow Blu-ray)/A Taste Of Phobia (2017/Artsploitation DVD)

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

PLEASE NOTE: The Region Free Dagon Blu-ray and The Endless DVD imports are now only available from our friends at Umbrella Entertainment in Australia, can play on all disc players and can be ordered from the link below.

Here's our latest gang of horror thrillers...

Inspired by a short story by H.P. Lovecraft and from the director of Re-Animator and From Beyond Stuart Gordon comes the highly underrated Dagon (2001). Akin to the Cthulhu mythos, Dagon is a atmospheric and creepy film that definitely captures the tone of a Lovecraft story as best as one can on film. After years of not being available in HD, Dagon is suddenly available on both this new Umbrella 'Beyond Genres' Collector's Edition and an American release from Vestron/Lionsgate. While we haven't reviewed the Vestron edition yet, on the surface the only noticeable difference is the addition of a few extras.

Dagon stars Ezra Godden, Francisco Rabal, Raquel Merono, Macarena Gomez, and Brendan Price.

Paul Mash (Godden), his girlfriend (Merono), and friends get shipwrecked when their boat crashes into some rocks off the Spanish coast. Paul goes to a nearby village town to seek help... but is instead abducted by a group of mutant sea creatures... and finds out that their high priestess (Godden) has eternal plans for him.

The film is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless track. As this is the first time the film has been available on Blu-ray, it is certainly a welcome upgrade from the standard definition DVD that was available previously.

Special Features include...

A Making-of featurette which features some candid B-roll and BTS footage

Interviews with Macarena Gomez, Stuart Gordon, Raquel Merono, Ezra Godden

Interviews from the set: Stuart Gordon, Julkio Fernandez, Raquel Merono, Ezra Godden, Francisco 'Paco' Rabal

Trailer, Teaser, TV Spots

Though perhaps a bit ambitious for its budget and the time in which it was made (some of the CG digital effects are very dated), Dagon captures the Lovecraftian spirit and is a bizarre gory, and macabre little movie that's fun to check out again especially in HD. Let's hope more Stuart Gordon films find their way onto Blu-ray soon!

Also trying to emulate H.P. Lovecraft is Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead's The Endless (2017) now also offered by both Umbrella Entertainment, but as a DVD. We recently reviewed the U.S. Blu-ray release at this link...


Well, though some ideas (mysterious forces, death worship) and designs here are interesting, the makers get lost in trying to give this meaning, quiet suspense that never builds up and a storyline that never adds up or convinced me the tale it is trying to convey. At least they were trying to be smart and a little ambitious, but it is ultimately very forgettable. Be very awake and don't operate heavy machinery if you decide to see it.

The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image is softer than I expected, though I was only so impressed with the 1080p on the U.S. Blu-ray, while the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 fares better, but only by so much. Unlike that Blu-ray, this DVD offers no extras.

A micro budgeted indie horror flick in the same vein as Defriended and Paranormal Activity is the found footage flick Followers (2017). The film examines how easy it is to stalk people through the internet and murder them essentially as it centers around Brook and Caleb - a couple that loves to post excessively about their personal lives (This is a real thing btw called a 'social media couple'. Barf.) and they soon become the target of a murder plot.

The film stars Amanda Delaney, Justin Maina, Ariel Hines, and Dalia Kaissi.

When Caleb and Brook go on a weekending anniversary camping trip and log offline, two filmmakers decide to stalk them and make a film of their own on how internet stalking.

The film is presented in an anamorphically enhanced 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo mix. As the film was shot on a shoestring so the quality isn't the greatest and there doesn't seem to be much color work done here. This makes the film seem a bit more 'real', however it obviously has been miraculously edited so it takes away any natural feeling it may have had.

The only extras are trailers for other SKD films.

The film has an interesting idea but is bogged down by bad acting and being too well crafted to be considered 'raw footage'. Had they not gone for a full out found footage look and swapped back and forth between that style and a cinematic narrative it would have been more interesting.

Future World (2018) is a direct-to-video post apocalyptic film and stars James Franco (who also co-directs), Mila Jovovich, Lucy Liu, Snoop Dogg, and Suki Waterhouse. The film is a shameless Mad Max rip-off and has some elements of other stronger films of the like too, but doesn't quite achieve the production value or cinematic craftsmanship that say... George Miller brought to Fury Road. I'm sure Future World sounded good on paper, but the final execution is average at best.

A boy wanders the desert wasteland in a dark future to find a cure for his dying Mother (Liu), but along the way is ambushed by a motorcycle gang lead by a yellow-toothed James Franco, a sexy robot that wants to be human (Waterhouse), and a drug addicted mad woman (Jovovich).

The film is presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix, the film looks and sounds great on the Blu-ray format. It features a barren desert setting for the lot of the film and while it could be improved in the 4K UHD format if it has the definition, it still looks fine here. A digital copy is also included.

Special Features include...

BTS Featurette

Trailer/Trailers for other Lionsgate films

Don't let the decently cut trailer fool you, despite some decent actors being involved, Future World is pretty dull and painful to watch. It should also be noted that this is NOT to be confused with the hit 1976 film Futureworld, an underrated sequel to the original hit feature film Westworld (1973, both reviewed elsewhere on this site) and definitely tied to the hot new hit HBO TV series.

Arrow has been releasing and remastering many Herschell Gordon Lewis films over the past year (many of which are reviewed elsewhere on this site), but none have been as renowned as The Gore Gore Girls (1972) - a relentless drive-in splatter feast that's a true blast from the past. Also included is the bonus feature This Stuff'll Kill Ya! (1971), which is another 'Hicksploitation film' in the same Lewis vein as others. Both films are silly exploitation fun but not particularly 'good' in any real sense of filmmaking. The gore is primitive and other the top and not all of the female victims are particularly eye-popping. Still, there's a lot of charm here and it's fun to look back on these films and enjoy them for what they are.

Several Go-Go Girls are the bloody victims of a merciless killer out for blood in The Gore Gore Girls, and it's up to Private Investigator Abraham Gentry to solve the case. The best kill is early on in the movie where a woman gets murdered while blowing a gum ball and then the Killer dismantles her. This killer doesn't simply just murder women... he rips their bodies to pieces in the process as part of his sick games! A fun flashback movie, there's plenty of boobs and gore to satisfy in this outing. The film stars Frank Kress, Amy Farrell, and Hedda Lubin.

In the ridiculous This Stuff'll Kill Ya!, a redneck con artist sets himself up as a preacher in a small Deep South town to run his moonshine distillery and flees when people start getting suspicious and a federal agent gets hot on this trail. The film stars Jeffrey Allen, Tim Holt, and Gloria King, to name a few.

The films have both been remastered in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and a standard PCM Mono audio mixes. While the presentation are visually pleasing (though not too high on detail), the other presentations here are not quite as impressive as others released by the company likely due to the condition of materials, with the mono track a bit noisy. Still, this is likely the best the film can look and it's certainly a step above previous releases on lesser formats.

Special Features include...

Introductions to the films by H.G. Lewis

Audio commentary on The Gore Gore Girls with H.G. Lewis

Audio commentary on This Stuff'll Kill Ya! with camera operator and Lewis biographer Daniel Krogh

Author Stephen Thrower on The Gore Gore Girls

Regional Bloodshed - filmmakers Joe Swanberg and Spencer Parsons on Lewis' legacy as a pioneer of regional indie filmmaking

Herschell Spills His Guts - H.G. Lewis discusses his career post-Gore Gore Girls and his further adventures in the world of marketing

This Stuff'll Kill Ya! Trailer

and a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork by The Twins of Evil

Fourteen filmmakers from all over the world unite for A Taste Of Phobia (2017), this gross-out anthology film that centers around different phobias and how they affect the mind. If you're squeamish or don't like excessive and brutal gore, then this film is definitely NOT for you. But for those of us that quite enjoy the artistry behind such work, this is a flick worth checking out for the effects alone.

Some of the phobias on display here include Caetophobia (fear of hairs), Henophobia (fear of virgin girls), coprophobia (fear of feces), mysophobia (fear of being lost), asterophobia (fear of celestial objects), mageirocophobia (fear of cooking), and oneirophobia (fear of dreams).

The film is presented in an anamorphically enhanced standard definition on DVD with a 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track. Nothing too special in terms of presentation but the sound and presentation looks and sounds as good as expected for a lower budget.

The Special Features here are surprisingly good and include...

Behind the Scenes Featurettes


Photo Gallery

Special Effects Featurettes

Extra Episode: Achluophobia

and a trailer

While some of the shorts are better than others, this is a cool idea and I think it turned out pretty good for what it is. It could be interesting to see this same concept done with some higher profile filmmakers in tow.

To order either of the Umbrella import Blu-ray and/or DVD releases, go to this link for them and other hard to find releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo (Endless) and James Lockhart



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