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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Comedy > Zombie > Monster > Environment > Murder > Slasher > Supernatural > Fantasy > Surrealism > Li > Dead Don't Die (2019/Universal Blu-ray)/Hellraiser (1987) and Hellraiser II: Hellbound (1988/MVD/Arrow Blu-rays)/The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2017/Umbrella Region 4 Import PAL DVD)

Dead Don't Die (2019/Universal Blu-ray)/Hellraiser (1987) and Hellraiser II: Hellbound (1988/MVD/Arrow Blu-rays)/The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2017/Umbrella Region 4 Import PAL DVD)

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

PLEASE NOTE: The Don Quixote Import DVD is now only available from our friends at Umbrella Entertainment in Australia, can only play on 4K, DVD and Blu-ray players that can handle Region 4-locked PAL DVDs and can be ordered from the link below.

These horror and fantasy films have their own strange senses of humor and are now out on home video....

Jim Jarmusch throws his hat into the zombie film ring with The Dead Don't Die (2019) pairing Bill Murray and Adam Driver as small town police who happen upon a few dead bodies that have similar, but strange common denominators. Soon figuring out they are the undead, they race to figure out how to stop this. A local business nerd (Caleb Landry Jones), samurai sword-welding coroner (Tilda Swinton), fellow cop (Chloe Sevigny) and other locals, et al, make this amusing and it gets more deconstructive than it probably should, but the genre has become overused, abused and the film gets itself into a corner it cannot get out of.

Cheers to its constant tributes to Romero's first Dead film and appearances by Iggy Pop, Carol Kane, the RZA, Steve Buscemi, Danny Glover, Rosie Perez, Tom Waits and oddly even Selena Gomez makes this one of the more interesting releases of the year. No, it does not work all the time, but there is enough here to make it worth a good look, though I wished it had come up with something new.

Extras include Digital Code and three clips promoting the films release.

Previously available in the ultimate (now out of print) Hellraiser Scarlet Box Set from Arrow Video that was released in 2016, the first two Hellraiser films are now available in single disc editions for those that missed out on that previous set. At the time of this writing, however, Arrow's version of Hellraiser 3 is only in the set. This is the third time the company has released the first Hellraiser film individually as it was also put out in a single disc steel book edition last year. These two new individual releases have new artwork on both, but are the same in terms of extras and content.

Clive Barker's horror masterpiece, Hellraiser (1987), is a very violent and surreal genre film that has been imitated but never surpassed. Much like the Nightmare on Elm Street, the first Hellraiser is so bizarre and unique that is captured the imagination of '80s moviegoing audiences everywhere and spawned many mixed sequels. The best sequel of the bunch, Hellraiser: Hellbound (1988), is a direct sequel to the first film and also penned by Barker (although Tony Randel took over as director for this and the third film.)

The Hellraiser films, if you've somehow never seen them, bring hell to life on film and center around Pinhead (Doug Bradley) who has a pain addicted army of demons known as Cenobites, that find a way to pull souls from our reality by way of a puzzle box. The first two are fantastic and the third one isn't all bad, however watch films #4 and beyond at your own risk as they get progressively tired and stale without the involvement of the original filmmakers.

Hellraiser stars Ashley Laurence, Andrew Robinson, Clare Higgins, Sean Chapman, and Simon Bamford to name a few.

Hellraiser: Hellbound stars Doug Bradley, Clare Higgins, and Ashley Laurence as returning cast members and also features Kenneth Cranham, Imogen Boorman, and William Hope.

In the first film, Frank (Chapman) opens a puzzle box from hell that lets loose Pinhead and his army of Cenobites, and gets sucked into their hellish torture chamber, but when Frank's brother (Robinson) and his wife Julia (Higgins) move into his old house, Julia (who had an affair with Frank) ends up brining him back to life. Stuck in the middle of it all is Kirsty (Laurence), whose character is the only one sensical enough to piece together things before its too late...

In Hellbound, Kirsty (Laurence) is committed to a mental institution after the events of the first film, where she meets Dr. Channard (Cranham), who has great interest in her story. Determined to save her dad from hell, Kirsty ends up back in a similar predicament as the first film, only this time Channard and Julia (Higgins) have plans of their own.

Hellraiser extras include:

Audio commentary with writer-director Clive Barker

A second feature length audio commentary with Barker and actress Ashley Laurence

Leviathan: The Story of Hellraiser - brand new version of the definitive documentary on the making of Hellraiser, featuring interviews with key cast and crew members

Being Frank: Sean Chapman on Hellraiser - actor Sean Chapman talks candidly about playing the character of Frank Cotton in Barker's original

Soundtrack Hell: The Story of the Abandoned Coil Score - Coil member Stephen Thrower on the Hellraiser score that almost was

Hellraiser: Resurrection - vintage featurette including interviews with Clive Barker, actors Doug Bradley and Ashley Laurence, special make-up effects artist Bob Keen and others

Under the Skin: Doug Bradley on Hellraiser

Original EPK featuring on-set interviews with cast and crew

Draft Screenplays [BD-ROM content]

Trailers and TV Spots

Image Gallery

and reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx

Hellraiser: Hellbound extras include:

Audio commentary with director Tony Randel and writer Peter Atkins

A second feature length audio commentary with Randel, Atkins and actress Ashley Laurence

Leviathan: The Story of Hellbound: Hellraiser II - brand new version of the definitive documentary on the making of Hellbound, featuring interviews with key cast and crew members

Being Frank: Sean Chapman on Hellbound - actor Sean Chapman talks about reprising the role of Frank Cotton in the first Hellraiser sequel

Surgeon Scene - the legendary excised sequence

Lost in the Labyrinth - vintage featurette including interviews with Barker, Randel, Keen, Atkins and others

and Under the Skin: Doug Bradley on Hellbound: Hellraiser II

These are two classic horror films and some of the best work of Clive Barker's long and interesting career. Just in time for the Halloween season, the first two Hellraiser films are essential viewing and these two releases from Arrow look and sound better than any other version currently on the market (until an inevitable 4K UHD version is released in the future.)

Finally and I mean finally, we have Terry Gilliam's The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2017) that is the director's 13 feature film and took about 25 years to finish after many disastrous starts (some of which were shown in the amusing documentary Lost In La Mancha) finally settling on Adam Driver as frustrated filmmaker Toby, who cannot get a film made the way he wants on location when he meets a man (the unstoppable Jonathan Pryce, a (maybe THE) Gilliam veteran) who believes he is Don Quixote.

That leads to Toby switching gears and going all out to make a film with him about that Man from La Mancha and of course, nothing goes as planned. Running over two hours, Gilliam leaves no stone unturned on the book, story, myth and even has references to his previously failed efforts to make this film. It also gives him a chance to go into familiar Python fantasy territory from years ago and fans should be pleased.

Unfortunately, at over 2 hours, it becomes a bit obvious at times and the time it took to get the film finished certainly has taken its tool on the results. Its great Gilliam finally did finish it (though he still lost all rights at some point recently and we still do not know the conclusion of that real life twist), but here it is and now, you can judge for yourself. Stellan Skarsgard and Olga Kurylenko lead the supporting cast.

There are sadly no extras, though maybe an updated Lost In La Mancha could be released and on Blu-ray.

The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Dead is an HD shoot that lo0oks good and consistent, with some good shots and maybe more digital work than any other Jarmusch film ever, though it is not overdone, while the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix has its share of music (including the classic song of the title played way too often) is dialogue/jokes-based, but is fine otherwise and has a consistent enough soundfield.

Both Hellraiser films have been remastered in 2K high definition approved by director of photography Robin Vidgeon, and feature widescreen aspect ratios of 1.85:1 and Uncompressed PCM Stereo 2.0 and lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 sound mixes respectively. Both films have been considerably cleaned up here and even the darker scenes (to which there are many) don't lose too much detail in the blacks. The sound mixes are fantastic and definitely improve upon the many releases of these films from the past in previous incarnations.

Finally, the anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on Quixote is also an HD shoot for the most part (some of the footage seems to be 16mm) and also looks good and consistent, so much so that I wanted to see a Blu-ray, but the PAL format serves the image well, while the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 is well recorded and mixes. Gilliam has been consistent with good sound on his films and this is no exception. I'll be curious to hear this lossless at some point.

To order the Don Quixote Umbrella import DVD, go to this link:


- Nicholas Sheffo and James Lockhart (Hellraiser)



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