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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Horror > Thriller > Action > Drama > Sex > Vampires > British > Spanish > Erotic > Lesbianis > Alien (1979/Fox 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray 40th Anniversary Edition)/Blood Hunger: The Films Of Jose Larraz (Whirlpool (1970)/Vampyres (1974)/Coming Of Sin (1978)/Limited Edition*)/Replicas (2018/L

Alien (1979/Fox 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray 40th Anniversary Edition)/Blood Hunger: The Films Of Jose Larraz (Whirlpool (1970)/Vampyres (1974)/Coming Of Sin (1978)/Limited Edition*)/Replicas (2018/Lionsgate Blu-ray w/DVD)/Strip Nude For Your Killer (1975/*both MVD/Arrow Blu-rays)

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

Next up are a series of horror classics, many in new upgraded editions, and a new entry...

We start with one of the greatest films of all time, Ridley Scott's Alien (1979), a film that manages to be one of the greatest science fiction AND horror films ever made, endlessly imitated with more prequels and sequels than it ultimately needed, now becoming one of the classic films to get a 4K Blu-ray disc release early on. It is a 40th Anniversary Edition release and we have covered the film twice before, once on DVD and then on Blu-ray, a Blu-ray included here. You can start reading about the film at this link if you are unfamiliar with it...


The 4K disc has the isolated music tracks and audio commentaries of the also-included Blu-ray and that repeats all the extras made for the film to date. The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image on the regular Blu-ray holds up for that format and is just fine, while we get the same DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix audio upgrade was made, but that is no problem. It is a plus that the sound is encoded with D-BOX subwoofer bass signals for those who have that motion chair format at home. So the big new addition is the 4K transfer.

Not long after I posted the big review above, a small videophile controversy erupted that some shots on the Blu-ray were not as good as a few on the 1080i D-VHS D-Theater high definition videotape, dark scenes with the colors of light from the computer on the Nostromo ship more realistic and vivid than the Blu-ray. I agreed with the few samples I saw, but it was not extensive, shocking or awful either as Alien is a very visually complex film and has aged very well as a result. I knew any 1080 HD format was not enough to handle the film.

The 2160p HEVC/H.265, HDR (10+; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition 2.35 X 1 image here puts those differences to rest, offering plenty of demo shots and many scenes that would never be possible to look as good as they do here vs. 1080 HD. However, there are still moments where we get slight crushing in the Video Black and shadows along with slight softness here and there. As this is HDR 10+ and not Dolby Vision with 12-bit color and more image-specific capacities, the two cuts of the film here must be off of the older-but-solid HD masters or Fox just did not want to go through the time, trouble or money for Dolby Vision.

Either way, this is the best I have seen the film for the most part since I saw the 70mm blow-up print way back in the day and demonstrates the film's power to shock, build suspense and be as effective as any film of its kind in cinema history. With a few rough spots, it is also one of the best-looking films on the market in any disc format and one every serious film fan should own. It is also the only way to really see and enjoy the film outside of a pristine film print.

Can't wait for the next three sequels in 4K!

Next is a new box set, Blood Hunger: The Films Of Jose Larraz (Whirlpool (1970)/Vampyres (1974)/Coming Of Sin (1978), a Limited Edition of which only 2,500 units will be produced. Arrow exposes the provocative work of Spanish Director Jose Larraz in this very nice box set that highlights three of his most infamous exploitation works, now remastered in HD.

Whirlpool (1970) - a twisted tale of exploitation, the film follows a porno photographer who has a fare bit of clients - and a twisted Aunt. When he meets an innocent English girl, she soon becomes corrupted by them. The film stars Karl Lanchbury, Vivan Neves, and Pia Anderson.

Vampyres (1974) - Very unnatural ladies. The plot is paper thin, but essentially two lesbian vampires kill and ravish men and women to satisfy their unnatural thirsts. The film stars Marianne Morris, Anulka Dziubinska, and Murray Brown.

The Coming of Sin (1978) - Another lesbian tale, this time centering around a gypsy servant girl who falls for a female artist. However, the gypsy girl has fantasies of a naked man on horseback, which soon becomes a reality, and a bizarre love triangle ensues from there.

There's no doubt that these films are all pure exploitation and erotic fantasies, and I would compare them to the work of Jess Franco in terms of lurid content mixed with horror violence. While they're not for the general American movie going public, they are certainly interesting works on their one and films that cinephiles should certainly check out.

The films have been remastered from their original film elements in 1080p high definition with varying specs per disc: Whirlpool is in 1.66:1 full frame with a LPCM Mono mix (black and white). Vampyres is in 1.85:1 widescreen with a LPCM Mono mix, and The Coming of Sin is in 1.85:1 widescreen with a LPCM Mono mix only. The presentations are all top notch and look great considering the rarity of these sources and the age of the films.

Special Features include...

Newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx

Collectible box

80-page perfect bound book featuring new writing by Jo Botting, Tim Greaves and Vanity Celis


Original US Theatrical Cut

Brand new audio commentary by Tim Lucas

Obsessive Recurrence: The Early Films of Jose Larraz - author and critic Kim Newman reflects on the recurring themes and underlying obsessions linking together the early productions of Jose Larraz

A Curious Casting - actor Larry Dann on the strange story behind his casting in Whirlpool

Deviations of Whirlpool - featurette comparing the differences between the US Theatrical Cut and a previously circulated, alternate cut of the film

Extract from an archival interview with Jose Larraz

Image Gallery

and Original US Theatrical Trailer


Brand new audio commentary by Kat Ellinger

Brand new interviews with producer Brian Smedley-Aston, actors Marianne Morris, Anulka Dziubinska, Brian Deacon, Sally Faulkner, makeup artist Colin Arthur and composer James Kenelm Clarke

Reimagining Vampyres - a brand new interview with Larraz's friend and collaborator Victor Matellano, director of the 2015 Vampyres remake

Extract from an archival interview with Jose Larraz

Jose Larraz and Marianne Morris Q&A at 1997 Eurofest

Image Gallery

and Trailers


Spanish and English language versions of the feature

Brand new audio commentary by Kat Ellinger and Samm Deighan

Variations of Vice: The Alternate Versions of The Coming of Sin - exploitation expert Marc Morris on the strange and scandalous release history of Jose Larraz's most censored film

Remembering Larraz - author and filmmaker Simon Birrell shares his fond and extensive memories of his long-time friend and collaborator Jose Larraz

His Last Request (2005, 27 mins) - short film by Simon Birrell made under the guidance of Jose Larraz and starring Spanish horror legend Jack Taylor

Extract from an archival interview with Jose Larraz

Image Gallery

and an Original Spanish Trailer

For more on the earlier Blu-ray of Vampyres with options the new version foes not have, try this link...


What if after you died, your brain was planted inside of a robot? What if your loved ones could be brought back from the dead as clones? The thriller Replicas (2018), starring Keanu Reeves, asks just these questions and more. Mixing sci-fi themes along with themes of resurrection seen in films like Frankenstein or even Pet Semetary, Replicas isn't exactly a completely original, and not up to par with other recent films starring Keanu, but isn't as bad or predictable as expected.

Replicas also stars Alice Eve (Star Trek: Into Darkness), Thomas Middleditch (HBO's Silicon Valley), Emily Alyn Lind, and Emjay Anthony. The film is directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff (Traitor).

Keanu Reeves stars as William Foster, a brilliant neuroscientist, who is on the verge of creating a technologically advanced method of resurrecting a dead brain and implanting it into the fresh body of a robot. After relocating and starting a new chapter of this controversial experiment, he finds himself in a heartbreaking car accident that kills his family. Left with nothing but his grief, Keanu decides to bring his family back the only way he can, by resurrecting them through technology. Soon, he and his scientific partner (Middleditch) end up resurrecting them as clones... but will they be the same as when they were alive?

Lionsgate has done a fine job with this 1080p Blu-ray transfer, which presents the film in its original 2.40:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 mix, both of which are of a fine quality for Blu-ray disc. The film does have some bad digital effects moments (namely the robot freaking out at the beginning), but considering that's it on the lower end budget-wise, the film has decent production design.

Also included is a standard definition DVD with an anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio of 2.40:1 and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. Compressed compared to the Blu-ray, the film looks fine on the aging format. Also included is a digital copy.

Special Features include...

Audio Commentary with Director Jeffrey Nachmanoff and Executive Producer James Dodson

"Imprint Complete: The Making of Replicas" Featurette

and Deleted Scenes

I found Replicas to be a fun film and worth checking out, especially thanks to this nice Blu-ray presentation from Lionsgate.

And finally, another upgrade to a recent horror genre Blu-ray release we were not expecting.

Continuing the resurgence of Italian giallo films from yesteryear being remastered and re-released on Blu-ray, Arrow comes out with one of the crown jewels: Strip Nude For Your Killer (1975), which is directed by Andrea Bianchi (Burial Ground). The film stars the gorgeous Edwige Fenech in the lead (with a short haircut no less), whom you also don't want to miss in the also recently released All The Colors of the Dark, which is out on Blu-ray courtesy of Severin Films (reviewed elsewhere on this site). Clad with nudity and violence, Strip Nude For Your Killer is a colorful and experimental giallo and also one of the sleaziest in history!

Strip Nude For Your Killer also stars Nino Castelnuovo, Femi Benussi, Solvi Stubing, Amanda, and Franco Diogene.

A fashion model is killed during an abortion and soon after, a killer dressed in a black leather motorcycle suit starts murdering models and photographers. Who is behind these crimes and what's the motive?

The film has been remastered in 2K from the original camera negative, and bests the previously released version of the film on Blu-ray from Blue Underground several years ago. The film has a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1 (original ratio was 2.39:1, so it has been slightly adjusted here) and original LPCM lossless mono Italian (with optional English subtitles) and English soundtracks, bring out the lush sound mix like never before. There is an option to view the opening of the film in a slightly more tinted blue that adds a bit more atmosphere to the sequence. Overall, colors and lush and nice with comfortable levels of saturation and contrast.

Special Features include...

New audio commentary by HORRORPEDIA.com's Adrian J. Smith and David Flint

Sex and Death with a Smile, a new video essay by author and critic Kat Ellinger on giallo and sex comedy icon Edwige Fenech

A Good Man for the Murders, a newly edited video interview with actor Nino Castelnuovo

The Blonde Salamander, a new video interview with actress Erna Schurer

The Art of Helping, a new video interview with assistant director Daniele Sangiorgi

Jack of All Trades, a new video interview with actor and production manager Tino Polenghi

Two versions of the opening scene: tinted and untinted viewing options

Original Italian and English theatrical trailers

Image gallery

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 critic Rachael Nisbet.

Also, check out our previous review of the Blue Underground edition of Strip Nude For Your Killer


- Nicholas Sheffo (Alien) and James Lockhart



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