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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Samurai > Surrealism > Thriller > Japan > Murder > Terrorism > Human Trafficking > Australia > Horro > Bloody Spear At Mount Fuji (1955*)/Goldstone (2016/MVD/Lightyear Blu-ray)/The Ninth Passenger (2018/Lionsgate DVD)/The Rake (2018/MVD Visual DVD)/What Have They Done To Your Daughters? (1974/*both MVD

Bloody Spear At Mount Fuji (1955*)/Goldstone (2016/MVD/Lightyear Blu-ray)/The Ninth Passenger (2018/Lionsgate DVD)/The Rake (2018/MVD Visual DVD)/What Have They Done To Your Daughters? (1974/*both MVD/Arrow Blu-rays)



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



And now for more thrillers of all kinds....



Simply put, if you're a fan of Japanese cinema or culture, then you owe it to yourself to check out Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji (1955), a film praised by critics and filmmakers alike (even Akira Kurosawa loved this film) and directed by the infamous auteur Tomy Uchida.


Taking place during the Edo period, the film follows a Samurai and his two servants as they meet various strange and new characters during an epic journey. Winner of the prestigious Blue Ribbon Award, this little known classic has finally got the update it deserves thanks to Arrow.


Presented in 1080p high definition and a 1.37:1 full frame aspect ratio, the black and white film looks surprisingly clear considering its age. Paired with a LPCM Mono 1.0 mix in Japanese with newly translated English subtitles, this is a very nice restoration.


Special Features include...


Brand-new audio commentary by Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp, recorded exclusively for this release


Interview with Yauska Uchida, son of Director Tomu Uchida


Interview with Kazunori Kishida, publicist for Toei Studios


The Vagrant Filmmaker, French Film critic and programmer Fabrice Arduini discusses Uchida


Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Corey Brickley


and FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic and filmmaker James Oliver.



An 'Outback Noir', the murder-mystery Goldstone (2016) is an interesting semi-low budget flick that touches upon the subject of human trafficking. Winner of several prestigious awards including the Australian Film Critics Association, Goldstone is an interesting film to check out if you're a fan of films grounded in realism and intrigue.


The film stars Aaron Pedersen, David Wenham, David Gulpilil, Kate Beahan, and Jacki Weaver.


Once a frontier town, Goldstone is now a desolate, but when Detective Jay Swan crosses paths with a young local cop named Jason, the two end up working together to overcome a complete crime... a crime that involves human trafficking, land rights, and corruption.


Goldstone is presented in 1080p high definition with a 2.39:1 widescreen aspect ratio and an English 5.1 Dolby Digital lossy audio mix (instead of a lossless track), both of which are at a high standard for the format. The film is mainly shot against a desert-like landscape, so a lot of the colors are natural and not too overly stylized.


Special Features...


Featurettes:

Detective Jay Swan

Alex Russell as 'Josh Waters'

Jacki Weaver as 'The Mayor'

Ivan Sen - Writer/Director/Editor/Composer/DOP


The Corruption of Goldstone


The Indigenous People of Australia


and Trailers


The film is nicely made and is certainly worth a watch but its slow pace may deter some.




Terror sets sail!


From an Executive Producer of It Follows comes the tired low budget horror flick The Ninth Passenger (2018), which is another play on many common horror tropes. The squeaky clean cast of attractive faces include Jesse Metcalfe, Veronica Dunne, Alexia Fast, and Corey William Large.


Directed by Corey William Large, The Ninth Passenger follows eight college students who reluctantly go on a luxury yacht which, surprise surprise, they end up getting terrorized by the maniacal ninth passenger!


The film is presented in anamorphically enhanced standard definition with a 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy English 5.1 Dolby Digital audio mix. The compressed image is too dark at night, especially during some of the night shots of the yacht on the water. Regardless, the film looks as good as to be expected for the aging format.


No extras... just previews for other Lionsgate releases.



The Rake (2018) is a new creature feature from filmmaker Tony Wash (The Muck) and is an interesting and gory new film that doesn't hold back. While it may not be cult classic material, there's plenty of brutality to enjoy in his indie and the acting, creature effects, and production value all aren't half bad.


When Ben and Ashley were just kids, they witnessed the gruesome murder of their parents right before their eyes. Twenty years later, they are reunited and Ashley feels that the presence of 'the Rake' - the entity responsible for the death of their parents.


As Ashley and her brother both have bizarre visions and encounters with this Rake creature, many around them turn up dead. The brother and sister duo and others must escape the clutches of the Rake as it attempts to materialize itself into our reality. But how can they escape this unstoppable being?


The film stars Shenae Grimes, Joe Nunez, Izabella Miko, Joey Bicicchi, Rachel Melvin, and Stephen Brodie.


Presented on anamorphically enhanced standard definition DVD with a 2.40:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital audio mix. As expected with DVD, the transfer is heavily compressed despite the film actually being shot very well. Shadows aren't pure black as they would appear in a 1080p transfer but more muted. It would be nice to see an HD release of this in the future to compare.


The only Special Feature is a Trailer.


While the first act is a bit slow (after the intense opening), The Rake proves to be an interesting new entry and one that shouldn't be overlooked and I was especially impressed by the ending. I'm excited to see Tony Wash's next film, Skeletons in the Closet (2018) which will be released soon.



Finally, a sequel to What Have You Done to Solange? (1972, aka La polish chide aiuto), the Massimo Dallamano film, What Have They Done To Your Daughters? (1974), gets remastered in 2K High Definition in this very nice presentation from Arrow.


The film stars Giovanna Ralli (Cold Eyes of Fear), Claudio Cassinelli (The Suspicious Death of a Minor), Mario Adorf (The Bird with the Crystal Plumage), and Farley Granger (Strangers On A Train).


The Italian giallo features a motorcycle riding killer whose keen to cover up an elaborate mystery centered around prostitutes and high society secrets. A police inspector (Cassinelli) and a District Attorney (Ralli) get caught in the center of this elaborate plot are try to dodge death themselves.


The film is presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and both the original Italian PCM Mono track (with English subtitles) and a dubbed English PCM 2.0 Mono track. The soundtrack is lively and sounds great here as does the top notch 2K restoration of the image, which has removed lots of age and wear.


Special Features include...


New audio commentary by Troy Howarth, author of So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films


Masters and Slaves: Power, Corruption & Decadence in the Cinema of Massimo Dallamano, a new video essay by Kat Ellinger, author and editor-in-chief of Diabolique Magazine


Eternal Melody, an interview with composer Stelvio Cipriani


Dallamano's Touch, an interview with editor Antonio Siciliano


Unused hardcore footage shot for the film by Massimo Dallamano


Italian theatrical trailer


Image gallery


Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Adam Rabalais


and FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Michael Mackenzie.



- James Lockhart

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


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