(1981/Ladd/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Night
Of The Virgin (2016/MVD
(1973/De Palma/Criterion Blu-ray)/Spirits
Of The Air, Gremlins Of The Clouds
(1989/Umbrella Region Free Import Blu-ray)/Torso
(1973/MVD Visual/Arrow Blu-ray)
B/B/B/B+/B+ Sound: B/B/C+/B+/B+ Extras: C+/C-/B/B/B
Of The Air...
Import Region Free Blu-ray is now only available from our friends at
Umbrella Entertainment in Australia and can play on all Blu-ray and
4K Blu-ray players, while Looker
is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive
series. All can be ordered from the links below.
now for more horror thrillers, three of which have distinct
reputations, the three with single-name titles...
start with a film that was not originally a hit, but has gained a
following sine it hit cable and home video. The late Michael
Crichton (author of Jurassic
wrote and directed this unusual thriller, Looker
which is finally finding its way onto Blu-ray disc in this newly
remastered version. While it's pretty dated in many respects to
today's standards (the technology of analog TV in particular), the
film has some interesting forward thinking ideas, and decent
performances that allow you to look past some of its more glaring
Albert Finney as plastic surgeon Dr. Larry Roberts, who starts to
notice that his already beautiful female clients are starting to turn
up dead. Each one obsessed with having a perfect image, Roberts does
some investigating which leads him to a secret agency known as
Digital Matrix, which has some advanced technology that is being used
to hypnotize these women into selling things on television
commercials. Why did they need such specific surgery to begin with?
How does possibly secret new technology fit into it all?
film also stars James Coburn, Susan Dey, Dorian Harewood, and Tim
Rossovich to name a few.
film has been remastered and presented in 1080p high definition with
a 2.40:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a nice sounding English DTS-HD
MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo lossless mix (originally Dolby System
A-type analog theatrical sound, their still new surround technology).
The film has been cleaned up considerably from previous releases and
have nice color elements for the disc. The sound is pretty good
considering the time and budget of the film. Overall, a nice upgrade
Camera Introduction and Feature Length Commentary by Michael Crichton
Scene (As Used in Network Television Version, should have stayed in
doubt the film influenced the likes of James Cameron, Cronenberg's
and is also part of a cycle of film bashing consumerism gone wild
Larry Cohen's The
and others. Looker
deserves to be rediscovered and is worth going out of your way for,
no matter its flaws or limits.
Roberto San Sebastian's Night
of the Virgin
(2016) is a frantic and bizarre horror film that mainly takes place
in a creepy apartment building. Part art house film and part horror,
an intriguing (but familiar) plot gets lost in the chaos of it all,
with the movie feeling at the end of the day that its main concern is
shock over substance.
weird looking guy named Nico (Javier Bodalo) is at a New Year's Eve
Party and destined to lose his virginity. However, he happens across
the wrong woman, an attractive mature woman named Medea, who praises
a Nepalese Goddess named Naoshi. Once her jealous boyfriend arrives
at her apartment and attempts to thwart Nico's plan of getting laid,
weirder and weirder things start to become unearthed at the
apartment, and Nico realizes the twisted plan that Medea has in store
film also stars Ignatius Farray, Miriam Martin, Rocio Suarez, and
in standard definition with a 2.40:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a
2.0 Spanish language stereo mix (with English Subtitles), the film is
pretty dark overall and it feels like there's a lot of detail missing
here that would be evident in a HD transfer. Still, for the aging
format, it's a passable presentation.
Features include two trailers for the film and trailers for other
films from Cleopatra.
up is a new upgrade of a highly underrated murder thriller, Brian De
(1973), which is the first of the kinds of films he became most known
for and remains one of the best. First issued by Criterion in the
old 12-inch LaserDisc format decades ago, they upgraded it for DVD
release as one of their earliest anamorphically enhanced DVDs and
now, 16 years later, a new Blu-ray upgrade supervised by De Palma
film stars the late, great Margot Kidder as conjoined twins who were
eventually separated, but all is not well and apparently, one of them
may be a serial killer. We know we're in for a creepy time with the
opening childbirth credits accompanied by an original music score by
the legendary Bernard Herrmann, but first, we get some unexpected
comedy that turns out to be a bit ironic. From there, the story
moves at a good pace as we see a growing relationship that seems
healthy enough between Kidder and Lisle Wilson, an African American
in what seems like a very progressively good. Then the twists and
years and counting, the film is as effective as ever, relevant as
ever and challenging as what De Palma continued to make, up there
(all reviewed elsewhere on this site) The film deserves a wider
audience and this new upgrade will help that cause. Supported by
actors Dolph Sweet, Jennifer Salt, Charles Durning, Barnard Hughes,
Olympia Dukakis and Bill Finley, all well-recognized actors, you
should put Sisters
high on your catch-up and.or revisit list. It is that good!
is the second time we've had the pleasure of Sisters
being released on Blu-ray, the first being four years ago from Arrow
U.K. (see link below at the end of this coverage) with a similar 1.85
X 1 transfer, but there are more differences in the two versions than
expected and I should add that I like both transfers.
what might seem a repeat of the the U.S. version of De Palma's The
(U.S. Twilight Time transfer with natural grain (also reviewed on
this site and now out of print) versus later U.K. edition with newer,
high definition digital scan), the
1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer is from a new
4K scan with De Palma's involvement, usually has great color, looks a
little better in motion and is no longer missing a credit the Arrow
U.K. version was (the bit about no similarities between persons
living or dead you usually get in opening or closing credits) though
the old Criterion DVD showed the opening credits at 1.66 X 1
windowboxed, then continued to play at a zoomed-in 1.85 X 1.
Sometimes, this is a little darker or not as colorful as the Arrow
version, but I like the color on both overall despite the
differences. We'll have to see this in a 4K Blu-ray edition at 2160p
down the line to see how both compare to that.
old DVD with its small-sounding, lossy Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono, was
said to be sourced from an optical soundmaster, but this new
Criterion is claiming to be from a magnetic soundmaster, still
monophonic but if preserved correctly, would sound better than
optical with better dynamic range. The PCM 1.0 Mono here is an
improvement from the previous DVD, but it still has some slight
background hiss, slight harmonic distortion and though clear,
slightly dated and with Herrmann's music lacking punch. Yet, the
Arrow U.K. edition also sporting PCM 1.0 Mono has a warmer, richer
sound and Herrmann's score is richer, warmer and has more bass.
Maybe De Palma thought that was too much, but I prefer it that way.
Too bad they cannot find a stereo copy of Herrmann's score, then they
could create a second stereo track for those so inclined.
repeat the old Criterion DVD extras, but add none of the Arrow U.K.
ones, so we get a well-illustrated
booklet on the film (it was a paper foldout in the DVD) including
informative text and an essay by critic Carrie Rickey, excerpts from
a 1973 interview with De Palma on the making of the film, and a 1973
article by De Palma on working with composer Bernard Hermann, while
the Blu-ray disc adds a brand new 2018 interview with actor Jennifer
from 1970 by actor Margot Kidder on The
Dick Cavett Show
that are new here, plus interviews from 2004 with De Palma, actors
William Finley and Charles Durning, and producer Edward R. Pressman,
Audio from a 1973 discussion with De Palma at the AFI, a couple of
Galleries that also include press book and poster art of the film's
release and Radio Spots.
more on the Arrow U.K. Blu-ray, go to this link...
the director of The
Alex Proyas, comes his debut feature that's surrealistic and highly
of the Air, Gremlins of the Clouds
(1989). The post apocalyptic film centers around a stranger (Norman
Boyd) who helps a highly religious brother (Michael Lake) and his
sister (Melissa Davis) build a plane and fly out of the desert.
photographed, this Australian film is interesting to look back on and
enjoy, especially in this nicely done presentation. The film also
stars Rhys Davis. This critically celebrated film is part of
Umbrella's new Beyond Genres label, which also features The
(These films have been reviewed elsewhere on this site.)
film has been restored in 2K from the original 16mm film master and
is presented in its original 4 X 3/1.33 X 1 full frame aspect ratio.
Paired with a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix, the film
looks and sounds fantastic here. While the look of the film has a
yellow/orange color to it thanks to the desolate desert landscape,
there's no doubt that the film has been restored nicely here with
appropriate levels of grain and detail as per the 16mm format.
Commentary with Director Alex Proyas
with Cast Members Michael Lake and Rhys Davis
Song Music Video
a 2018 Trailer
Director Proyas has made some bizarre films as of late (Gods
anyone?), this shows his impeccable style and stylistic chops were at
one point much stronger than they are today. This film undoubtedly
got him the job for The
which is easily his best work, and is definitely worth checking out
in this newly restored edition from Umbrella.
we have Italian splatter king Sergio Martino's Torso
(1973), also known as I
corpi presentano tracce di violenza carnale,
is a hardcore slasher film that is finally getting the presentation
it deserves on disc thanks to Arrow Video.
Tarantino and Eli Roth both think that this film is Martino's
masterpiece and they may be right (although I do love All
the Colors of the Dark),
as this film is a blueprint for the emerging slasher genre at the
time of its release. Packed with exotic locations and more nudity
and violence that most can handle, Torso
is blood and guts cinema at its finest!
murders start happening on a college campus, and four girls retreat
to an isolated weekend away from it all. What they don't know is
that a giallo murderer has followed them and has plans for them to
meet his knife!
stars Suzy Kendall, Tina Aumont, Luc Merenda, John Richardson,
Roberto Bisacco, and Ernesto Colli.
film has been remastered in 1080p high definition from the original
source material and is presented in its original 1.66:1 aspect ratio
and paired with two LCPM audio tracks (English Dubbed and original
Italian language track with subtitles). The presentation is pretty
impressive considered the age of the film and is definitely a step up
above previous releases on DVD.
note on the mix is that the English audio track on the original,
longer cut has some portions of the English audio missing. English
audio for these sections was either never recorded or has been lost.
As such, these sequences are presented with Italian audio, subtitled
footage from its U.S. Torso
release in color with the different release credits (though the
footage is shockingly rough with colorful dots all over suggesting it
is 35mm Fuji film with Fujirot)
audio commentary by Kat Ellinger, author of All
the Colours of Sergio Martino
video interview with co-writer/director Sergio Martino
video interview with actor Luc Merenda
video interview with co-writer Ernesto Gastaldi
video interview with filmmaker Federica Martino, daughter of Sergio
video interview with Mikel J. Koven, author of La
Dolce Morte: Vernacular Cinema and the Italian Giallo Film
Abertoir International Horror Festival Q&A with Sergio Martino
and English theatrical trailers
sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Adam
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new
writing on the film by Adrian Smith and Howard Hughes.
Of The Air...
Import Region Free Blu-ray, go to this link for it and other hard to
find titles at:
to order the Looker
Warner Archive Blu-ray, go to this link for it and many more great
web-exclusive releases at:
Nicholas Sheffo (Sisters)