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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Supernatural > Demonic Possession > Thriller > Mystery > Psychological > Sexploitation > Comedy > Nemesis 2, 3 & 4 (1995, 1996/Blu-ray*)/New York Ripper (1982/Blue Underground Blu-ray w/CD & DVD)/Rock Paper Scissors (2019/Lionsgate DVD)

American Horror Project, Volume Two (1970 - 1977/Arrow Blu-ray Set*)/Blood Paradise (2018/Artsploitation Blu-ray)/Critters Attack! (2019/Warner Blu-ray w/DVD)/Mojin: The Worm Valley (2018/Well Go Blu-ray w/DVD)/Nemesis 2, 3 & 4 (1995, 1996/Blu-ray*)/New York Ripper (1982/Blue Underground Blu-ray w/CD & DVD)/Rock Paper Scissors (2019/Lionsgate DVD)

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

Here is a wide-ranging new set of horror releases of all kinds, usually exploitation...

Arrow Video's second volume in the American Horror Project series is a slam dunk for indie horror fans as three unique indie films are remastered and presented in grand fashion on Blu-ray disc. While they don't have too much in common except the theme of revenge, these unique films all teleport you to a surreal and very different horror world than the norm.

The limited edition box set includes:

Dream No Evil (1970) - John Hayes' film is the oldest in the set and the most realistic of the bunch. Following the exploits of a young preacher and his beautiful assistant, two nomads who travel with a bizarre church-like cult in the desert. The woman starts to lose her mind along the way and soon becomes quite dangerous. The film stars Edmond O'Brien, Brooke Mills, Marc Lawrence, Michael Pataki, Paul Prokop, and Arthur Franz.

Dark August (1976) - Martin Goldman's psychedelic thriller follows the exploits of a vengeful Grandfather who puts a curse on a man named Barry that handicapped his daughter in a freak car accident. Barry soon starts to feel the supernatural effects of the hex that has been put on him and soon must seek psychic help to combat it. The small and intimate film stars its two writers JJ. Barry and Caroline Barry with Kim Hunter, Kate McKeown, Frank Bongiorno, and William Robertson.

The Child (1977) - A Innkeeper faces off with a young girl who has supernatural abilities and the ability to the communicate with the dead. She soon uses her dark powers to take revenge on those who are responsible for her mother's death. The Child is directed by Robert Voskanian and Robert Dadashian and stars Laurel Barnett, Rosalie Cole, Frank Janson, Richard Hanners, Ruth Ballan, and Slosson Bing Jong.

All three of the films are new 2K restorations from the original film elements and feature original uncompressed PCM Mono audio mixes that are perfect for '70s micro budget films of this nature. The widescreen aspect ratios differ on The Child, where there are both 1.37:1 and 1:85:1 presentations. The other two films are in standard 1.85:1 widescreen. This is definitely the best presentation you'll find of these releases on the market and each have vibrant colors and equally competent sound mixes. The soundtrack for The Child, as mentioned in the extras, has a very unique and creative approach that is definitely outside the box and unique.

Special Features include:

Reversible sleeves for each film featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork by The Twins of Evil

American Horror Project Journal Vol. II - limited edition 60-page booklet featuring new writing on the films by Stephen R. Bissette, Travis Crawford and Amanda Reyes

Dream No Evil - Filmed appreciation by Stephen Thrower

Dream No Evil - Brand new audio commentary with Kat Ellinger and Samm Deighan

Dream No Evil - Hollywood After Dark: The Early Films of John Hayes, 1959-1971 – brand new video essay by Stephen Thrower looking at Hayes' filmography leading up to Dream No Evil

Dream No Evil - Writer Chris Poggiali on the prodigious career of celebrated character actor Edmond O'Brien

Dream No Evil - Excerpts from an audio interview with actress Rue McClanahan (The Golden Girls) discussing her many cinematic collaborations with director John Hayes

Dark August - Filmed appreciation by Stephen Thrower

Dark August - Brand new audio commentary with writer-director Martin Goldman

Dark August - Brand new on-camera interview with Martin Goldman

Dark August - Brand new on-camera interview with producer Marianne Kanter

Dark August - The Hills Are Alive: Dark August and Vermont Folk Horror – author and artist Stephen R. Bissette on Dark August and its context within the wider realm of genre filmmaking out of Vermont

Dark August - Original Press Book

The Child - Filmed appreciation by Stephen Thrower

The Child - Brand new audio commentary with director Robert Voskanian and producer Robert Dadashian, moderated by Stephen Thrower

The Child - Brand new on-camera interviews with Robert Voskanian and Robert Dadashian

The Child - Original Theatrical Trailer

and The Child - Original Press Book

Patrick von Barkenberg's Blood Paradise (2018) is a Swedish production that wants to have it both ways, be sexy, but have S&M while also having murder and limited mystery as people start stabbing each other in the back and we know too much. Thus, there is plenty of blood and violence, but next to no suspense or mystery and it goes on and on and on and on for 84 very long minutes where it is as if they are not shooting with a script and don't know what they want to do.

The actors look bored and nothing here is very memorable as the criminal happenings seem connected to a writer or a book or the like, it is not intriguing and/or very original. What little you have not seen before, you're better off skipping. Don't know what the point of all this was, but this is one 'paradise' very lost.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer is an HD shoot that does not impress too much and looks generic too often, but is somehow more stable than other HD shoots on the list, but why the film is stuck with lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 sound makes no sense and makes a problematic film harder still to watch.

Extras on both disc versions include Delete Scenes: Blood Sex Dream (2:00); Fly (1:30); Latex Dreams (2:30); Tractor and Sheep (2:30) and Music Videos Dreamer by Baby Yaga (4:30) and You and Me by Baby Yaga (4:00). Yes, its that kind of release.

Because anything made since the 1980s suddenly needs a sequel, prequel, revival, remake or 'reimagining' here comes Bobby Miller's Critters Attack! (2019) with only a few amusing moments and none of the wild humor that at least made the first film memorable. Dee Wallace Stone shows up (sending up her E.T. Role while expecting us to recall her horror cred by being in The Howling) and is not enough in a film that does not know what to add to the 'cannon' of this series.

At least the digital CGI work is limited, but this otherwise plays like a cheap package deal that had no real reason to be made, except... its there and they have the rights. The title creatures should at least be outrageous and funny if not terrifying and this 89 minutes romp fails at that too. Yawn!

The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on the Blu-ray is nothing impressive and even looses the look the first film had, to the extend that it did, being an HD shoot and with some motion blur it should not have, a larger problem on the 1.78 X 1 on the anamorphically enhanced DVD even softer and harder to watch.

The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on the Blu-ray sometimes has soundfield issues and does not take full advantage of the newest audio possibilities. The DVD's weaker, lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 is even less effective.

Extras include three featurettes: Engineering Gore; Designing Critters, Critters: An Out-of-this-World Experience and The Critter Ball and a Scene Specific Commentary with Director Bobby Miller and a Critter (ooohhhhh, kay).

Feixing's Mojin: The Worm Valley (2018) is the unnecessary sequel to the first film that was enough of a hit that the makers are trying again to equal the commercial success of the first film (which was not a big hit in the U.S and was not impressive to this writer) and is filled with all kinds of (eventually) surreal images that become repetitive quickly and at the cost of story or character development.

That is apparently not the point as the would-be hero goes to a sacred tomb and it is guarded by the deadly creatures we encountered before, but there is not enough of them either (the CGI is lame), so we get 111 minutes that are too self-impressed and start many things it cannot seem to finish. Guess you have to have liked the first film like our other writer did (see link below), but all in all, this quick rehash is for big fans only.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on the Blu-ray can be a bit soft because there is far too much CGI visual work in this HD shoot, so expect phoniness occurrently throughout, while the anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image is even softer and worse, so stick with the Blu-ray. Can't imagine a 4K edition.

The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) Mandarin 5.1 lossless mix on the Blu-ray fares better and is actually a mixdown from the original 11.1 theatrical sound mix, plus it apparently has the D-BOX motion bass feature meant to go with moving mechanical chairs. The DVD is stuck with a weaker, lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 that is passable at best.

Extras include trailers for this and other Well Go releases.

For more on the original film, try this link:


MVD Rewind Collection captures for the first time on Blu-ray, the Nemesis film series. We reviewed the first film a few months back (review elsewhere on this site), and now the three sequels are together on Blu-ray in one collectible set and packed with archival featurettes. All of the films are directed by Albert Pyun, who directed the first Nemesis film as well as the failed 1990 Captain America film and Cyborg (both reviewed elsewhere on this site). Bodybuilder Sue Price stars in all three Nemesis sequels.

Nemesis 2: Nebula (1995) - A genetically tampered superwoman is sent back in time to protect her from a group of killer robots. The film also stars Chad Stahelski, Tina Cote, Earl White, and Jahi J.J. Zuri.

Nemesis 3: Time Lapse aka Prey Harder (1996) - Evil cyborgs are back, this time it's up to a mutant warrior to save the day. The film also stars Tim Thomerson, Norbert Weiser, Sharon Bruneau, and Debbie Muggli.

Nemesis 4: Cry of Angels aka Death Angel (1996) - A time-traveling assassin (Price) kills the wrong man and soon after his associates put a ransom on her head. The film also stars Andrew Divoff, Bianka Copikova, Nicholas Guest, and Norbert Weisser.

The films are certainly inspired by everything from Blade Runner, Terminator, and Roger Corman films, however, don't exactly hold up to today's standards. The digital effects are primitive and the acting is pretty stale, but there's a level of appreciation for some of the hard work that obviously went into making these films. However, they aren't very memorable at the end of the day or really recommendable unless you're a fan of low budget direct - to - video sci-fi movies.

All three films are presented in 1080p high definition in their original widescreen aspect ratios (Nemesis 2 & 3 Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1, Nemesis 4 Aspect Ratio: 2.20:1) and audio mixes in 2.0 stereo, which is fine considering these are low budget productions that went straight to video. This is likely the best these films have ever looked as MVD Rewind has done a nice job of remastering these films.

Special Features include:

Albert Pyun talks Nemesis 2 (SD, 30:39)

Albert Pyun talks Nemesis 3 (SD, 17:00)

Albert Pyun talks Nemesis 4 (SD, 19:38)

Original Theatrical Trailers for all three films

and a Collectible Mini-Poster

Nemesis is an all but forgotten series that you likely wouldn't have seen before unless you hung out in a lot of video stores in the '90s or just happened to catch them on late night TV. While they aren't completely original and certainly borrow from stronger films, but they are enjoyable to look back on.

For more on the first film, try this link:


Much like their releases this past year of Maniac and Zombie (reviewed elsewhere on this site), Blue Underground pulls out all of the stops and remasters another classic Italian splatter film, Lucio Fulci's The New York Ripper (1982), which has never looked or sounded better than it does in this exciting new 4K master release. The film stars Jack Hedley, Almanta Suska, Howard Ross, Andrea Occhipinti, and Alexandra Delli Colli.

The New York Ripper is a modern re-imaging of the Jack the Ripper murders only set in '80s New York City. It centers around a killer that stalks women and likes to quack like a duck while doing so, leaving bizarre clues behind. The Killer tortures the police while remaining anonymous and killing left and right all over the city. The New York Ripper features many of Fulci's trademarks including over the top gore, a focus on sexuality and nudity, surrealistic lighting, and high production value. Having seen all of his films, I can safely say that this is one of his finest works.

As mentioned above, The New York Ripper has been remastered in 4K and is presented here in 1080p high definition Blu-ray with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and sound mixes in English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 7.1 and English DTS-HD Master Audio Mono lossless mixes as well. There are also soundtracks Italian (with English subtitles), French, and Spanish. The overall look of the film is more colorful than past releases and has had extensive color correction work done to it that's mostly an improvement. Also included is a standard definition DVD with similar, but compressed features and the original soundtrack CD with the score from the film.

Special Features include:


Audio Commentary with Troy Howarth, Author of Splintered Visions: Lucio Fulci and His Films

The Art Of Killing - Interview with Co-Writer Dardano Sacchetti

Three Fingers Of Violence - Interview with Star Howard Ross

The Second Victim - Interview with Co-Star Cinzia de Ponti

The Broken Bottle Murder - Interview with Co-Star Zora Kerova

"I'm an Actress!" - 2009 Interview with Co-Star Zora Kerova

The Beauty Killer - Interview with Stephen Thrower, Author of Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci

Paint Me Blood Red - Interview with Poster Artist Enzo Sciotti

NYC Locations Then and Now

Theatrical Trailer

Poster & Still Gallery

Collectable Booklet with new essay by Travis Crawford

Reversible sleeve

and a 3D Lenticular Slipcover

For more on the film, read our earlier coverage of the older Blu-ray edition here:


Last and often least is Tom Holland's Rock Paper Scissors (2019 and not by the actor now playing Spider-Man) manages to cast and waste Michael Madsen and Tatum O'Neal of a serial killer supposedly cured (sure) and his release from a medical facility coincides with a new set of murders by apparently a serial killer like the cured man. Is it him, a copycat or someone trying to frame him for some kind of revenge against him or as a cover to kill? Add someone wants to interview the cured one for a book and you get tired, slow pretension and zero suspense as exciting as looking at a bunch of rocks.

The idea it is connected to a book or writer always seems a bad cliche at this point and when the movie is so dumb, who would watch it who might actually read books? The makers cannot paper over how this portrays the mentally ill in a very bad light either, so it is just more exploitation not worth your time unless you really like this kind of thing. I expect most will not.

The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image is HD shot and has its share of flaws and some motion blur, with nothing special about its look. Could have been better. The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 is a bit better, yet it could have been recorded better on the shoot at times.

Unsurprisingly, a trailer is the only extra.

- Nicholas Sheffo (Blood, Critters, Mojin, Paper) and James Lockhart



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