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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Horror > Thriller > TV Movie > Kidnapping > Terror > Science Fiction > Camp > Biography > Comedy > Sat > Bad Ronald (1974/Lorimar/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Mandy (2018/RLJ Blu-ray)/Queen Of Outer Space (1958/Allied Artists/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Scarlet Diva (2000/Film Movement Blu-ray)/Schlock (1973/MVD

Bad Ronald (1974/Lorimar/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Mandy (2018/RLJ Blu-ray)/Queen Of Outer Space (1958/Allied Artists/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Scarlet Diva (2000/Film Movement Blu-ray)/Schlock (1973/MVD Visual/Arrow Blu-ray)



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



PLEASE NOTE: The Bad Ronald and Queen Of Outer Space Blu-rays are now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.



Up next are five of the wilder, sometimes wildest, genre films around. We are revisiting three of them as well...



We start with a new upgrade for Buzz Kulik's Bad Ronald (1974), a film with an interesting story and constant following, made more interesting by the fact that it is one of the most popular TV movies of all time, especially from the early days of such productions. Warner Archive discovered this in the best way possible when they issued the Lorimar Television telefilm on DVD and it sold like crazy. We reviewed that DVD here...


http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/8994/Bad+Ronald+(1974/Warner+Bros.+Archive+Collectio


Now they have issued it on Blu-ray and it is a huge improvement in playback. I was not impressed with the DVD transfer, though even that looked better than the YouTube clip and tapings from on-air showings. However, this was shot on 35mm film like all Lorimar productions and as expected, this looks great! Several TV movies Blu-rays (Dan Curtis' Dracula, Dark Night Of The Scarecrow, Duel (all reviewed elsewhere on this site), Night Stalker, Night Strangler, Trilogy Of Terror) have already demonstrated that the makers of TV movies were shooting the professionally as if they might be seen on a big screen, even if they did not necessarily make it to one (some saw European theatrical releases, et al). Blu-ray and their large, loyal have more than vindicated these often highly underrated works.


With the great cast and performances clearer than ever, you can really appreciate how good the work is here and there are three ways you can take the film: 1) you don't get it or care, 2) as the serious drama about pain and loss it is with creepy twists and/or 3) some parts that can be taken as unintentionally funny due to the age of the film, including that such voyeuristic thrillers where not as common then or some of this becomes a bit campy. No matter, it is a well-made film that can go more than a few rounds with similar such releases of the last 30 years or so and is a must-see for all serious movie, TV, thriller and horror fans.


The 1080p 1.33 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer (centered in a 1.78 X 1 frame rarely shows the age of the materials used, with color and some detail better than even I expected. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix of the old TV mono is also warmer and a bit clearer that the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on the DVD. It is a simple soundtrack, but the Fred Karlin music score holds up well and enhances the narrative well.


There are sadly again NO extras, but maybe if Warner Archive starts making 4K Blu-rays...



Nicolas Cage gives an incredible performance in one of the year's best films, Mandy (2018), directed by Panos Cosmatos, who has a bright filmmaking future ahead of him. The film starts out a tad slow but around the middle of the second act picks up and doesn't let you go until the final scene. Both a love story and a revenge story, Mandy also features a final haunting score by Oscar nominated composer Johann Johannsson (Sicario, The Arrival).


Mandy also stars Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache, Bill Duke, and Richard Brake.


1983 A.D. Red Miller (Cage) and Mandy Blood lead a simple life together as outsiders but are soon met with a tragic end when they are visited by a cult of sadist bikers. At the head of the cult is Jeremiah Sand, a man who challenges Red and the two must face off in a life or death duel.


The film is presented on Blu-ray disc with a 2.40:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a sharp DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix. The film looks as good as it can in the 1080p format and I'm anxiously awaiting the 4K release. The film has very unique and stylish cinematography that gives it a surreal and otherworldly feel... almost as if you were seeing this film in a dream.


Special Features include...


Behind The Scenes Featurette


Deleted and Extended Scenes


Mandy is much more than an art film but a truly enjoyable cinematic ride. I would definitely recommend it to genre fans!



As campy and hilarious as ever, Edward Bearns' Queen Of Outer Space (1958) is back after a decent DVD release, has been issued in an upgraded Blu-ray disc by Warner Archive with Laurie Mitchell in the title role and Zsa Zsa Gabor as the 'brilliant' scientist committed to keeping her in power and their world superior to all others. We originally laughed until our stomachs hurt when we covered the DVD edition at this link...


http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/12748/Il+Sorpasso+(1962/Criterion+Blu-ray+w/DVD)/Que


I have to give Allied Artists credit for putting out the effort and money to imitate MGM's Forbidden Planet (1956, reviewed elsewhere on this site and also issued by Warner years ago on Blu-ray) in look, uniforms (did they rent them?) and color. Then it gets wackier, as you could imagine. No matter how bad it gets, and it does get awful, you cannot stop watching, laughing and/or be stunned that you are actually watching something a company actually spent money on and expected to be a hit. It was a big undertaking for the newly minted company early on, but shows their intent to compete as best they could with the big studios and definitely with the smaller competition. Gabor passed away since we last reviewed it and it certainly captures her at her early best.


So better playback is the top reason to get this and the 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image might have some slight flaws at times and slight color variation, but the transfer shows how impressive the color cinematography really is. From the DeLuxe lab, it is worthy of the MetroColor on Forbidden Planet (which was also issued in other color print formats including Ansco and DeLuxe, believe it or not) continues the striking similarities. DVD simply cannot capture the more advanced color schemes, but Blu-ray can and so it is one of those great cases that unless you've seen it in a good film print, it is like never having seen it before.


The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix is a nice improvement over the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on the DVD, warmer and a little fuller for a better idea of the original theatrical mono sound. You can ever hear Gabor's iconic voice better!


Extras repeat the feature length audio commentary track by film scholar Tom Weaver with Mitchell and an Original Theatrical Trailer. Fun release!



Asia Argento's first feature film exposes the dark side of the film industry and is no doubt a brave subject for her to tackle right out of the gate. Semi auto-biographical, The Scarlet Diva (2000) is a hypnotic piece of filmmaking that is at times sexy and other times cringe-worthy. This film is non-rated and tackles some dark and heavy subjects and doesn't shy away from drug abuse, violence, and nudity.


Now with the #Metoo movement is making headlines (and we won't go into Argento's accounts), what I can say is that this film is perhaps becoming even more relevant with age. I saw it for the first time back when it came out on DVD and have to say that this presentation is much improved. Film Movement Classics really has done a fine job with this new and detailed release.


The film also stars Daria Nicolodi, Selen, Jean Shepard, Herbert Fritsch, Joe Coleman, and Vera Gemma.


Presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and a nice sounding English LPCM 2.0 track, both of which are a vast improvement over the dated standard definition DVD version. Now since this is a true independent film, it was shot on MiniDV Standard Definition, which wasn't a crazy notion at the time (you'll remember 28 Days Later was also shot on this way outdated format amongst other films). In this regard, this is the definitely the best that this film can look here in upscaled HD.


Special Features...


Two audio commentaries by Asia Argento - the original commentary from 2002 and an updated commentary (2018)


Looking into the Eye of the Cyclops with Joe Coleman featurette


On-camera interview with Asia Argento


The Making of Scarlet Diva featurette


2018 theatrical re-release trailer


Original release promos


Full color insert booklet with a new essay by Kier-La Janisse


and Reversible Cover Art


I am a fan of Asia Argento's and defiantly think this is her best work. However, it's not exactly an easy watch.



A LOVE STRANGER THAN KING KONG!


John Landis (An American Werewolf in London, The Blues Brothers) is known for his sharp cinematic style and witty humor. His first film, Schlock (1973), shows the promise of the great director to come with its unique blend of horror and comedy. Teaming up with SFX mastermind (then rookie) Rick Baker, the two created Schlocktropus - an ancient ape-man that was frozen for 2 million years and has now found himself in modern day (the 1970s). As the monster rampages and kills several people, he stops and falls in love with a blind woman.


The film stars John Landis, Harriet White, Saul Kahan, Joseph Piantadosi and a fun cameo by the late and great Forrest J. Ackerman of Famous Monsters of Filmland Magazine.


Carrying a brand of humor that could be best compared to the work of Mel Brooks, this comedy is a great time capsule piece and available for the first time on Blu-ray in this awesome new edition from Arrow Video that's definitely worth picking up.


Remastered in 4K from the original camera negative, the film is presented in its original 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio and clear sounding English lossless LPCM Mono mix. The print has been nicely restored and has barely shown age thanks to the good people at Arrow Video, using the master that debuted overseas.


Special Features include...


Audio commentary by writer/director John Landis and makeup artist Rick Baker


New video interview with author and critic Kim Newman


Birth of a Schlock, a 2017 video interview with John Landis


Archival video interview with cinematographer Bob Collins


1972, 1979 and 1982 US theatrical trailers


US radio spots


Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys


and FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Joe Bob Briggs.


For more on the film, try this link...


http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/15189/Bloodthirsty+Trilogy+(1970+-+1974/MVD/Arrow+B



To order either of the the Warner Archive Blu-rays, Bad Ronald and Queen Of Outer Space, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


http://www.wbshop.com/



- Nicholas Sheffo (Bad, Queen) and James Lockhart

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


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