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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Exploitation > Cannibalism > Torture Porn > Murder > Supernatural > Demonic Possession > Giallo > Absurd (1981)/Anthropophagus (1980/both Severin Blu-ray)/Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977/Warner/Shout! Factory/Scream Factory Blu-ray Set)/First Purge: A Nation Reborn (2018/Universal 4K Ultra HD Blu-r

Absurd (1981)/Anthropophagus (1980/both Severin Blu-ray)/Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977/Warner/Shout! Factory/Scream Factory Blu-ray Set)/First Purge: A Nation Reborn 4K (2018/Universal 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/The Pyjama Girl Case (1997/MVD/Arrow Blu-ray)

4K Ultra HD Picture: A- Picture: B+/B+/B+/B+/B Sound: B Extras: B/B/B+/B/B Films: B/B/C+/C+/C+

The onslaught of Halloween 2018 releases has begun, so here are five of those entries for you to know about for starters...

Severin Films continues their great restorations of Joe D'Amato classics in these exciting new Blu-ray editions of his films Anthropophagus (1980) and its unofficial follow-up Absurd (1981), both of which star George Eastman. If you're looking for extreme gore and insane mind bending Italian horror, then look no further than these two 2K remastered editions.


A renowned 'Video Nasty' which spawned several sequels, Anthropophagus is the story of a man who becomes a cannibalistic monster! When a group of unknowing tourists take a boat to a remote island, they find that most of its inhabitants are missing. Soon, they find a hidden room in the big mansion on a hill, and an ancient diary, which gives them clues to the source of the terror - the Anthropophagus Beast... an entity who will even eat his own entrails to feed his undying hunger!

Special Features include...

Don't Fear The Man-Eater: Interview with Writer/Star Luigi Montefiori a.k.a. George Eastman

The Man Who Killed The Anthropophagus: Interview with Actor Saverio Vallone

Cannibal Frenzy: Interview with FX Artist Pietro Tenoglio

Brother And Sister In Editing: Interview With Editor Bruno Micheli

Inside Zora's Mouth: Interview with Actress Zora Kerova


and Reversible Wrap


This movie is just downright nuts and a fantastic slasher film in its own right. George Eastman stars as a serial killer who goes on a random killing spree and ends up at the home of a babysitter and two children.. one of which is bedridden. It has plenty of great gore scenes including one where a woman's head is stuffed in a oven... this is not a film to be missed!

Absurd also stars Annie Belle, Katya Berger, Charles Borromel, and Edmund Purdom.

Special Features include...

Rosso Sangue: Alternate Italian cut (with optional English subtitles)

The Return of the Grim Reaper: Interview With Actor / Writer / Co-Producer Luigi Montefiore (George Eastman)

D'Amato on Video: Archive Interview With Director Aristide Massaccesi

A Biker (Uncredited): Interview With Michele Soavi


First 2,500 copies includes Bonus CD Soundtrack

and Reversible Wrap

Both films have been remastered in 2K from their original camera negative and look and sound far better in 1080p than previous releases. The films have been released overseas on Blu-ray but this is the first time that they are available in the states. When comparing the two releases, the Severin versions have more image clarity.

If you're new to the works of Joe D'Amato, be sure to check out Beyond The Darkness, which is also available on Blu-ray from Severin and is reviewed elsewhere on this site.

Scream Factory is one of the leaders in restoring cult classics and giving them the deluxe treatment on disc and they are also no stranger to The Exorcist film series. After releasing The Exorcist 3 (1990) last Halloween, this Halloween they are giving us a new 2K restoration of Director John Boorman's Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977). Packed with new extras, this is one release that horror fans won't want to miss this Halloween season!

Linda Blair returns in the role of Regan that made her an icon in the original Exorcist film. The sequel also stars James Earl Jones, Max Von Sydow, Louise Fletcher, and Richard Burton.

There are two versions of the film in this collector's edition version. Both the original 117 minute theatrical cut and the 102 minute original home video cut.

It's been four years since little Regan was possessed by the evil demon and while the demon was thought it be long gone... it is becoming apparent that it was just lying dormant when all hell breaks loose! A Vatican investigator (Burton) and a research specialist (Fletcher) team up to help cleanse Regan's soul!

Presented in sharp 1080p high definition transfer with its original 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio, the film looks and sounds fantastic here on disc. Paired with a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless track (the 1973 film was 6-track stereo) that reassures the unnerving score by Ennio Morricone is still as effective today as it was then. This definitely an improvement over the prior release of the film on the Blu-ray disc from 2014 from Warner Bros.

Special Features...

Disc One - Theatrical Cut:

Audio Commentary with director John Boorman

Audio Commentary with project consultant Scott Bosco

What Does She Remember? - an interview with actress Linda Blair

An interview with editor Tom Priestley

Disc Two - Home Video Cut:

New Audio Commentary with Mike White of The Projection Booth blog

Teaser Trailer

Theatrical Trailer

Still Galleries - Color and B&W Stills, Behind-the-Scenes, Deleted Scene photos, Posters and

Lobby Cards

and reversible cover art

While not as strong as the original classic film, Heretic is a decent sequel and definitely worth checking out in this new collector's edition!

Gerard McMurray's The First Purge: A Nation Reborn (2018) is an interesting prequel that answers the question of how this whole Purge business started in the first place. The film takes the broad concept and makes it an action vehicle for Y'lan Noel, who is actually a pretty decent actor. The film is pretty topical and it's scary to think that something like this could happen with the way things are going now politically. Let's just hope that this remains a fantasy...

The New Founding Fathers of America test the boundaries of sociology with their violent Purge experiment, which takes place in New York. For one night of the year, participants can take to the street and cause as much havoc as they want without legal action as murder is deemed legal. Paid and chipped, the participants act out and of course all hell breaks loose. Meanwhile, behind the scenes of Founding Fathers, all sorts of political debauchery goes down that is almost as violent as the Purge experiment itself.

The First Purge also stars Marisa Tomei, Lev Scott Davis, Siya, Rotimi Paul, Joivan Wade, and Lauren Velez.

The film is presented in a 2160p HEVC/H.265, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image and a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and a great sounding English DTS-X 11.1 lossless track as well as a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 7.1 mix. Also included is the 1080p Blu-ray version of the film with similar audio and visual specs. While both transfers look pretty good there is a slight bit more clarity in the 4K UHD image, even for a film as dark as this one.

A digital copy is also included.

Special Features...

Deleted Scene

A Radical Experiment featurette

Bringing the Chaos featurette

and The Masks of The First Purge featurette

While not quite as interesting as the first Purge film, this prequel will no doubt satisfy fans of the series as it's not as bad as it could have ended up being. No doubt Blumhouse's involvement helped that.

Finally, another giallo film to add to its vast library, Arrow Films presents The Pyjama Girl Case (1997), directed by director Flavio Mogherini (Delitto passionale), which is an odd Italian murder mystery. Fused with appropriate levels of nudity and violence, the film centers around the case of a young woman found dead on a beach by a little girl.

The film stars Ray Milland, Dalila Di Lazzaro, and Michele Placido, plus, was even inspired by a real unsolved case that happened in Australia.

The new 1080p high definition transfer here is very nice and presents the film in its original 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a PCM 1.0 Mono sound mix in both dubbed English and Italian language tracks w/newly translated English subtitles. The film hasn't aged too bad as this 2K restoration from the original camera negative proves.

The soundtrack is a little dated but fun with high pitched sync mixed with a few original songs made for the film itself. Overall, the film is artfully shot and is presented very nicely here for its audience.

Special Features...

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

New video interview with author and critic Michael Mackenzie on the internationalism of the giallo

New video interview with actor Howard Ross

New video interview with editor Alberto Tagliavia

Archival interview with composer Riz Ortolani

Image gallery

Italian theatrical trailer

and reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Chris Malbon

- James Lockhart



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