With The Gods: The Last 49 Days
(2018 Blu-ray w/DVD*)/The
House That Never Dies: Reawakening
(2017/DVD/*both Well Go Blu-ray)/Maniac
(1980/remastered/Blue Underground Limited Edition Blu-ray/CD
(2017/Film Movement Blu-ray)/The
1937/MGM/Warner Archive DVD)
B+ & C+/B/B+/B+/C+ & B- Sound: B+ & C+/C+/B+/B-/C+ &
B- Extras: C/D/B+/B/C- Films: A-/B+/B+/B+/B & C+
DVD is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner
Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.
for a group of wilder genre films going back quite a ways...
Three Guardians of the afterlife return for the trail of Kim
Soo-hong, the brother of their last paragon, Kim Ja-hong. Their
purpose is to help souls move on to the afterlife and judge if they
lived a good life and deserve to be reincarnated in the next life,
but things are more complicated this time round with the fact that
Kim Soo-hong was murdered and in order to help him, the 3 guardians
must uncover their own secret past and how they came to be in Kim
With The Gods: The Last 49 Days
Three Guardians of the Afterlife return ...but were they always the
Three Guardians? This time they are given two tasks, one Guardian
must escort the spirit of So-hong through Hell to be tested by the
various Gods. While the other two Guardian must get an Earth deity
God to return to the afterlife, but the Earth Deity reveals a far
greater secret, that he was also a former Guardian ...and he know
their past which has been sealed away. A 1,000 years ago the
Guardians were morals and their story will be key in the final trial
is a continuation to Along
With the Gods: The Two Worlds,
picking up right where the first movie left off. While it still had
amazing special effects and graphics, this time the story seem to
focused more on the Guardian Spirits story than of the mortal
character. It gives insight into the Asian cultures and beliefs of
reincarnation and karma.
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image and DTS: X 11.1 lossless
soundtrack are very impressive in combination, the money in the
screen and offering solid playback. It's not the best ever, but
offers demo moments just the same. Extras include character intros,
production documentary and trailers.
He's husband is the Chief foreman in renovating a hundred year old
mansion on the hill to be their new home, House 81. Unaware of it's
haunted past, all who lived have met strange and mysterious ends. A
tragic tale death and murder, as they uncover a tomb filled with baby
skeletons and it's dark secrets, she begins to have visions of the
past and she sees the ghost of the child in Joe Chien's The
House That Never Dies: Reawakening
He (Joan Chen) is a surgeon and a woman of science and her husband is
a contractor. After moving into a haunted mansion she begins seeing
strange visions/hallucinations as if she and her husband once lived
in the mansion a hundred years ago. A sad tale of a powerful general
and his wife, after years of unable to conceive a child the general
takes a second wife ...but the house 'doctor' used forbidden alchemy
in sacrifice infants in an unholy ritual. The spirits continue to
take hold of Doctor He's mind through her fears, paranoia and jealous
as she watches her husband work along side his beautiful female
assistant. Soon, Doctor He is unable to tell what is real and what
is a dream. She is lure into a nightmare by the ghost of her dead
daughter she lost years ago... is she trying to drag her to hell
...or warn her of some greater danger?
movie tells the tale of two stories, a doctor and her husband and
their past lives. A tragic death of woman and a spirit that has been
trapped in house since it's beginning and won't leave until it gets
what it wants.
anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image looks as good as it can in the
old format, but the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 is a little lacking,
whether it us the way this was recorded and/or the old audio format.
new 4K restoration of Bill Lustig's Maniac
(1980) is one of most impressive releases of the year. Having seen
this film in several different formats, its incredible how pristine
it looks here in this new transfer. As with their recent release of
Lucio Fulci's Zombie
(reviewed elsewhere on this site), Blue Underground has pulled all
the stops and created a worthy presentation of one of their star
titles that features two Blu-rays for the film and its many extras,
the soundtrack CD, a great insert booklet, and a 3D lenticular cover!
Frank Zito as Frank, Maniac
is a truly unique horror slasher that crafts a very creepy serial
killer that feels very real yet you oddly feel bad for. Stalking the
streets of New York, the killer collects the scalps of female victims
(mostly prostitutes) for his own sadistic purposes and isn't afraid
to kill anyone else that's in his way. A tortured soul at the same
time, this deeply disturbed individual starts up a relationship with
a gorgeous photographer by a stroke of luck, but can't keep the
monster within him at bay...
also stars Joe Spinell, Kelly Piper, Tom Savini, Caroline Munro,
Abigail Clayton, and Rita Montone. Savini also did the effects for
the film, which still hold up, and crafted himself a pretty unique
way of going out.
film has been restored in 4K, however is presented here in 1080p high
definition on Blu-ray disc with its original widescreen aspect ratio
of 1.85:1 and several different audio tracks in DTS-HD MA (Master
Audio) 7.1, DTS-HD 2.0, and lossy Dolby Digital 2.0. The film was
originally shot on a shoestring budget and 16mm film, but this is
definitely the best it will likely look until a 2160p update here is
an actual 4K disc in the future.
- Returning to the Scene of the Crime with William Lustig
- MANIAC Outtakes Featurette
Commentary #1 with Co-Producer/Director William Lustig and
Co-Producer Andrew W. Garroni
Commentary #2 with Co-Producer/Director William Lustig, Special
Make-Up Effects Artist Tom Savini, Editor Lorenzo Marinelli, and Joe
Spinell's Assistant Luke Walter
and the Killer - Interview with Star Caroline Munro
Death Dealer - Interview with Special Make-Up Effects Artist Tom
Notes - Interview with Composer Jay Chattaway
Men - Interview with Songwriters Michael Sembello (Flashdance)
and Dennis Matkosky
Trailers, TV Spots, Radio Spots
Robbie: Maniac 2 Promo Reel
Joe Spinell Story
CD - MANIAC Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Jay Chattaway
Collectable Booklet with new essay by author Michael Gingold
the Elijah Wood remake isn't terrible (reviewed elsewhere on this
site), nothing beats the original Maniac,
and this is certainly a great way to revisit it thanks to a stellar
release from Blue Underground. For more on the film, try our
coverage of the previous Blue Underground Blu-ray...
high profile lawyer, Shigemori is to be a defense attorney to a
murder robber case of Misumi. And while they already have a
confession, what should be a simple quick open and shut case,
Shigemori senses there is more to what everyone is saying. As he
gets more and more involved with the case he discovers discrepancies
between the evidence and the stories, the suspects and victims. Who
is telling the truth and who is lying ...but what if everyone is
lying, how is he to find the truth?
Shigemori is the defense attorney to Misumi, he is accused of
murdering and robbing his former factory boss, but he is also an
ex-convict for two murders thirty years ago. Shigemori's goal is to
help get a reduced sentence, but then discovers evidence and the
possibility of conspiracy with the victim's wife trying to collect
life insurance, but the case then get even complicated when daughter
of the victim comes forward to testify that she has raped by her
father and Misumi killed her father to protect her. Finally, in
mid-case, Misumi suddenly reverse his plea, threatening a mistrial.
But the truth is... You'll have to find out by seeing the film, but
Masaharu Fukuyama and Koji Yakusho are fine as the leads.
film is a court case drama with intense moments and sudden twists. A
case in which everyone is lying ...but for different reasons. The
lawyers only cares about evidence which can benefit their clients,
the police serves the law but not justice, and the Judge cares more
about his reputation than the truth.
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image looks fine throughout,
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is limited as this is a
dialogue-based soundtrack. Otherwise, the combination plays fine.
include making of the movie, messages from the cast, bonus short
they made Universal's 1931 Dracula
and became super stars, Bela Lugosi and Todd Browning (Freaks)
(1929), which was also remade in 1937 by a very different director
George B. Seitz (The
Exploits of Elaine).
Warner Archive presents this double feature DVD with both versions
for a unique double feature.
1929 version stars Conrad Nagel, Leila Hyams, Margaret Wycherly,
Helene Millard. It also features Holmes Herbert, who was in the same
character Sir Roscoe Crosby in that version as well.
1937 version stars Holmes Herbert, May Whitty, Elissa Landi, Lewis
Stone, and Madge Evans.
Wales is determined to trap his killer by staging a seance using a
famous medium. Many of the 13 seance participants had a reason and a
means to kill, and one of them uses the cover of darkness to kill
again. When someone close to the medium is suspected she turns
detective, determined to uncover the true murderer.
films are presented on standard definition DVD and are in black and
white with their original 1.33:1 full frame aspect ratios and lossy
Mono 2.0 Dolby Audio tracks. They are a bit compressed but that goes
along with the Blu-ray format. The 1929 version looks a bit rough as
I suspect this is probably the best print of the film that still
exists. The 1937 version looks a bit sharper, but both of them could
use a 4K or 2K restoration on a superior format but the best results.
The audio too is likely as good as it gets, both of which have some
hiss on the track that resonates throughout. It doesn't particularly
take away from the film though.
only extra is a trailer for the 1937 version.
are both interesting takes on the same story, and I would be
interested in seeing someone attempt to remake this now, especially
if it retained a period setting.
Warner Archive DVD, go to this link for it and many more great
web-exclusive releases at:
Ricky Chiang and James