Be Afraid Of The Dark
(1962/Film Detective Blu-ray)/From
Beyond The Grave
& Furious present: Hobbs & Shaw 4K
(2019/Universal 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Fearless
(1966/MGM/*all Warner Archive Blu-rays)/Watch
Me When I Kill
Ultra HD Picture: B+ Picture: B Sound: B-/C+/C+/B/B-/B-
Extras: B/B-/C-/D/C/B- Films: B/C/B-/D/B-/B-
Be Afraid Of The Dark,
Beyond The Grave
Blu-rays are now only available from Warner Bros. through their
Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.
for a group of usually fine titles (in time for this Halloween
season) that includes several we are revisiting and one new one we
would have been better without....
Be Afraid Of The Dark
(1973) has always been one of the best, most favorite TV movies ever
made and when Warner Archive released the Lorimar-produced gem on DVD
years ago, fans celebrated including yours truly when I covered that
release at this link...
turned out to be so popular, Warner Archive has issued it in a
remarkable Blu-ray edition totally restored, looking and sounding
better than anyone during its original broadcast could have ever
imagined and delivering the impact the creepy haunted house film was
always capable of. I love the look, the cast, the script, the terror
implied and it has aged better than you could imagine. Original and
not trying to imitate much of what we've seen before, it was
ambitious during the original peak and cycle of telefilms and holds
its own against many classics of the time on the big and small
screen, including choice episodes of TV horror.
filmmakers could take some tips from this one, using its limited
money and impressive talent and knowing what to do with it all. That
brings me to director John Newland, who I did not get into the last
time, but should go into briefly now. A director on TV classics like
Man From U.N.C.L.E.,
Of The Game,
he also directed several theatrical film releases and even more TV
movies, yet he is still best known as the host and often director of
and its several revivals.
with shows he worked on and series like Way
with Roald Dahl, it was one of the mystery/horror anthology shows in
the early days of TV that competed with Rod
Serling's The Twilight Zone
It has been issued on DVD several times (see elsewhere on this
site), but had its share of great episodes that sometimes get
forgotten in the shadow of the other shows. Newland was an
underrated master of suspense and mystery and Don't
Be Afraid Of The Dark
is a later work that adds to the legacy and testament of how good he
was. Its great to see the film get this treatment and have this
success. I hope it leads to more of his work finally seeing the
light of day on Blu-ray.
include two feature length audio commentary tracks: one by Amanda
Reyes and the other by Steve ''Uncle Creepy'' Barton, screenplay
writer Jeffrey Reddick and writer/scholar Sean Abley.
Hall, Sr.'s Eegah!
(1962) stars his son Arch Hall Jr., who made his way around B-movies
at the time and is not that bad, as a Rock singer looking for fun and
a hit when people start to get hit in the head by a prehistoric man
out to kill anything or anyone he does not understand, played by the
late, beloved Richard Kiel. Kiel landed up with the bigger career
playing the killer henchman 'Jaws' in Roger Moore's two biggest Bond
Spy Who Loved Me
among other spy films, Arthur Hiller's Silver
and two of the most interesting monsters on the old Kolchak:
The Night Stalker
would-be Everly Brother has to take on the creature when his
girlfriend and her father are kidnapped by him, so as her absence
from the soda shop is absolutely intolerable, he'll have to fix that
no matter what!
many 'worst films of all time' lists, it is bad, but often a hoot and
now that it has been restored, you can see everything that has gone
wrong even more and the result is you laugh harder. I have seen it
here and there over the years, including on the Elvira DVD we covered
as part of that series years ago on DVD, so it is a curio that keeps
gaining an audience. This new Blu-ray, despite being limited to only
1,500 copies, will only help that cause and all fans of the film will
want to grab a copy before it is too late. Nice that the disc offers
include the 1993 lampooning of the film by the Mystery
Science Theater 3000
TV series in its full length entirety, interview with lead Arch Hall
Jr. and interview with MST3K
creator Joel Hodgson.
also previously reviewed on DVD, Kevin Connor's From
Beyond The Grave
is an Amicus Studio anthology film that Warner still has rights too,
featuring several stories that play better here on Blu-ray than they
did on the older DVD. Helping things are improved cinematography
here and a great cast that includes Ian Bannen, Diana Dors, Peter
Cushing, Ian Ogilvy (already a horror veteran and future Simon
Templar on Return
Of The Saint),
Nyree Dawn Porter (The
David Warner (Time
Leslie-Anne Down and Donald Pleasance (Halloween)
make it more of a pleasure to revisit as Cushing runs an antiques
store and everything he knowingly sells is supernaturally cursed. It
is the different ways they are cursed that makes this more
is the underrated, lower-budget producer of horror movies in the U.K.
that still managed to attract some of the best talent around to make
films with them and the films often hold up very well. In this case,
since I saw it last on DVD (reviewed in a box set of similar films
from Warner elsewhere on this site) among several included and the
several times I have seen it over the years, this one surprised me by
having a new impact and richer feel seeing it on Blu-ray. I'll
explain more in the tech section, but outside of a really good film
print, this is the only way to see the film and really enjoy what
they made here. Its the kind of horror film we don't see enough
only extra is the Original Theatrical Trailer.
& Furious present: Hobbs & Shaw 4K
(2019) is a spin-off of a franchise that continues to make a ton of
money, but in the morbid shadow of the loss of one of its main leads,
Paul Walker. Not that there is not plenty of other talented persons
in the films, but without him, none of this would have ever happened.
Now the films just become silly two-hour ads for a bunch of new cars
with classic ones added for good measure to celebrate car culture
with so-so action scenes and scenarios that take a good bit of
suspension of disbelief to enjoy. Go to this spin-off and it becomes
two characters that apparently dislike each other from the previous
films, Like Hobbs (extremely overpaid non-actor with limited hits aka
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, a piece of the rock serious film fans
could do without) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham who can act and at
least do convincing fight sequences, but tends to do his better films
in the U.K.), are forced to work together (one of the most played out
cop/buddy film cliches) when a deadly killer (the underrated Idris
Elba, once lauded to play James Bond, playing a villain here where he
outacts one of the leads and keeps stealing scenes) is on the loose
and has to be stopped.
ton of money was spent on the film, almost everything that is but the
vapid screenplay that has zero originality, energy, intelligence or
sense of anything resembling fun. Add that this runs on and on and
on and on and on and on and on and on for almost 2 hours and 20
minutes and this pure torture test is the worst of many bad
blockbuster films in 2019 and definitely so bad, it is up there with
the worst of the last few decades. Talents like Ryan Reynolds and
the inarguable Helen Mirren even show up, but all they can do is get
their paycheck because no one or nothing can save this inane
catastrophe that makes the Marvel Comics movies (many of which I have
enjoyed) look like Francois Truffaut's priceless series of
autobiographical pure cinema classics!
is too short to explain how bad this is, but like an ultraviolent
train wreck, it just keeps happening and never quits until the (if
you have not bailed) merciful end credits. The music is awful,
cinematography dull, acting highly questionable, action badly
choreographed (though you know you are in trouble when the cars and
motorcycles are more interesting and give better performances than
some of the cast!) and to say it is all predictable is an
the early use of split screen, which you rarely see used and very
rarely well, letting us know that the title characters are
'different' and showing us shallow differences like 'one has a
motorcycle, the other has a car' and other brilliant contrasts that
will not require a rocket science degree from MIT. I also caught a
few British references U.S. audiences might miss including Statham's
character as a reference to the great actor Martin Shaw, who made a
splash on the violent, controversial U.K. hit TV series The
or the way the opening seems more like the opening of another U.K.
hit series The
with Roger Moore and Tony Curtis, both exercises in Shakespearian
deep thought versus this!
enough about losing three hours of my life to this horrid mess. If
you really like the cars or either of the leads, you might like this,
but I thought every frame pure visual NyQuil. See it at your own
the press release, extras include Digital Copy, plus (as the press
& STATHAM: HOBBS & SHAW - Why this film duo works so well
together on and off the set.
OF A FIGHT SCENE WITH DIRECTOR DAVID LEITCH - From script, to
storyboard, to finally arriving on set and working with cast and
crew, this piece will illustrate the progression of fight scenes
from concept to execution.
ACTION - Any film featuring Jason Statham or Dwayne Johnson is sure
to be action packed and feature some over-the-top fight scenes. For
the film, each fight sequence was carefully choreographed and shot
ahead of time for the actors to use in training and ultimately in
shooting the scene.
BAD GUY* - Fans can explore what makes the ultimate baddie, as well
as Brixton's backstory, casting Idris Elba, special effects for his
cyber features and what makes him tick.
SISTER* - This piece will highlight Vanessa Kirby as Hattie Shaw -
she may be Deckard Shaw's little sister, but don't be fooled, she's
equally capable of kicking just as much ass as he does.
FAMILY TREE* - This character piece will highlight the extended
family of the Hobbs heroes. From Hobbs' daughter, mother and
brothers, take a high-energy, behind-the-scenes look at their time
MATRIARCH* - With her brief appearance in HOBBS & SHAW,
audiences are reminded of the matriarchal might of Helen Mirren as
mother Shaw. This piece will feature Mirren in her return to the
FRIENDS - Featuring hilarious moments with the cameos featured in
the film, this piece will showcase some of the best moments from
their days on set.
ACTION* - The elevator scene in the trailer - yes, you know the one.
This is just one of the crazy stunts in the film - now fans can see
how it was done.
SHOW AND TELL* - Along with film clips and stunt vis, this firsthand
look at some of the key sequences in the film will peel back the
layers of the stunt process.
IT IN THE FAMILY: A CONVERSATION WITH ROMAN AND DWAYNE* - In this
intimate conversation, Roman Reigns and Dwayne Johnson discuss their
personal relationship, coming from a long lineage of wrestlers, and
what it's like to be working side by side on a project so close to
FURY* - Dwayne reveals the inspiration behind one of the film's key
scenes - his grandfather!
AND HOBBS: LOVE AT FIRST BITE* - We know how important family is to
Dwayne Johnson, and his French Bulldog Hobbs is no exception. In
this fun piece, fans can learn more about Dwayne and man's best
COMMENTARY WITH DIRECTOR DAVID LEITCH
Exclusive to Digital, 4K Ultra HD & Blu-ray
Fearless Vampire Killers
(1966) was the first time the later-controversial director worked
with a major Hollywood studio, but once he completed the film under
its original title, Dance
Of The Vampires,
MGM took it out of his hands, recut it and gave it a new title that
was meant to mirror Kubrick's Dr.
(1965) by having a funny subtitle they hoped would be catchy.
Polanski was furious, disowned the film and never got to get his
original cut back together. As it stands, it is still a remarkable
film visually and as a spoof of vampire films, still tops anything
Mel Brooks did and is even more effective than Love
At First Bite
(1979), though I would argue the underrated Old
(1974) was better than it got credit for (and we're still waiting for
the Ringo Starr/Harry Nilsson musical film Son
(1974) to get restored and
reissued no matter what).
and Jack MacGowran play two men trying to infiltrate the castle of a
fiendish vampire Count (Ferdy Mayne) without detection, discovering
all kinds of secrets and another closed world of luxury, elites and
sexy women within his world. This includes a sexy woman (Sharon
Tate, who is good here) gaining the interest of many a man and can
the duo save her or even save themselves being a pair of dolts?
Alfie Bass leads the rest of the supporting cast and despite not
being what Polanski wanted, it is still a very atmospheric comedy and
has its moments, though I have a feeling his original cut of the film
was better and would have made this both a bigger hit and maybe a
way, the actors are fine, the film looks great and the music is also
terrific, so if you like this kind of comedy or are a horror fan, the
script leave no tomb-stone unturned and isa a must see for diehards
of the genre.
include an alternate opening with more animation, the earlier version
of the Original Theatrical Trailer with an earlier logo and cleaver
10-minutes-long vintage promo featurette Vampires
we have one of the more interesting giallos from the original cycle
of such bloody thrillers from Italy, Antonio Bido's
Me When I Kill
(1977) where a dancer (Paolo Tedesco) witnesses the first of what
will be many brutal murders by a serial killer who no one can seem to
find or stop, so she immediately turns to her boyfriend (Corrado
Pani) for help, but that just puts both of them in grave danger as
the killer slays men, women and anyone else in his way.
are technical reasons this stands out from the many films in the
cycle kno0wn for its high use of blood and rich color, but there are
other differences including not the usual amount of nudity
(especially female), a mystery that is very well thought out and just
the ambition of the screenplay to add to this kind of filmmaking by
doing something a bit different while still being a giallo. The
acting is solid and it is very well paced to take advantage of all
the suspenseful possibilities.
has issued a really impressive Blu-ray edition here that does justice
to all the work here and allows the film to take its place high on
the shelf of all the major giallo films. It may have even helped
give the cycle a longer life.
an Isolated Music-Only Track, Original Theatrical Trailer, T.V. Spot,
and Radio Spots, Feature Length Audio Commentary by Film Historian
and Author, Nathaniel Thompson, UK Interview with Academic Mikel
Koven on WATCH ME WHEN I KILL, Three short films from director
Antonio Bido: Danza
Im Judischen Museum, Berlin
Marionette and BONUS CD SOUNDTRACK (BLU-RAY RELEASE ONLY) of the
amazing film score by prog-rockers Trans-Europa Express!
for playback performance, where I can say all the discs look good for
their formats, starting with the 2160p HEVC/H.265, 2.35 X 1 Dolby
Vision/HDR (10+; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition
image on Shaw
looking just a little better than the rest of the entires here.
Unfortunately, it is a mixed 'victory' as this is one of the least
exciting Dolby Vision releases to date because the way the film is
shot is so unimaginatively that it is far from demo material in any
case. The regular 1080p 2.35 X 1 Blu-ray is even more boring and has
a flatter look with less depth and color range. At least it does not
have as much motion blur as I expected.
comparison, we have the 1080p 1.33 X 1 digital High Definition image
transfer on Afraid
that was shot in 35mm film for TV and had a so-so DVD release.
Though a few minor can show the age of the moments in rare, very
brief spots, this looks great for its age, has excellent, even
exceptional color and joins Classic TV movie Blu-rays like Bad
Night Of The Scarecrow,
as part of a growing number of stunning releases that play very well,
can look great and even have demo moments..
1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image on Grave
is also an improvement on the DVD version to the point that you get a
whole new appreciation for the great work here by the great Director
of Photography Alun Hume, B.S.C., whose work includes episodes of the
TV spy classic The
and several Bond films from the 1980s. He has to give this film
several looks for each of the sub-tales (this is an anthology) and
yet also have them tie into the antiques shop run by Cushing, which
is not as easy as it looks. The result is the film plays better than
it did for me on DVD or ever before because I can see what Hume and
Director Kevin Connor pulled off here. They have to keep the
segments separate, but not too much, yet still have them al be
atmospheric as the genre requires. Outside of a great film print,
this is the only way to really see and enjoy the film.
1080p 1.66 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Eegah
can absolutely can show the age of the materials used since this is a
low budget film, but this is far superior a transfer to all previous
releases of the film which obviously were sloppy, poor and from bad
materials. This new 4K scan has some flaws, but also some better
moments than I expected and was shot on 35mm Eastman
Color/Kodak film. Turns out it is a saving grace that the stocks
held up as they have, so now, it is even funnier to watch because you
can see the corniness more vividly. Nice job all around.
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image on Vampire
looks great too, originally shot on 35mm film in real anamorphic
Panavision, with great labwork by MetroColor, so you can see the
atmosphere and richness Polanski and company intended down to the
impressive cinematography and it allows the comedy to be even funnier
like a Mel Brooks film. Even if this is not totally the cut Polanski
wanted, it is certainly the look and it is like no other film in
either the horror or comedy genre, especially when seen on this great
leaves the 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on
sometimes showing the age of the materials used, but this is far
superior transfer to all previous releases of the film on home video
thanks to a terrific 4K scan of the original camera negative and it
is also because this is a very rare film in what stock it was shot
on. It was all filmed on 35mm full color negative film from the
Gevaert film company from Belgium. In 1964, they merged with Agfa in
Germany and have been together ever since, but have not explicitly
made movie film in years. They were also the last two film producers
to use their own developing chemicals for color film before everyone
surrendered to Kodak chemistry because it became so popular and
dominated the industry (it still does), but Gevaert was the last to
surrender. As a result, you get a color pallet that is not only
different from Agfa, but even Kodak, 3M/Ferrania and Fuji which gives
this film a unique atmosphere and make for a special visual
experience. Though Agfa spun off its German lab in the 1990s, a
failed move which caused its German plant to be closed and torn down,
Gevaert still makes film at their Belgian plant to this day. Nice.
for sound, Shaw is not only the only new film and stereophonic film
here, but both disc version have Dolby Atmos 11.1 (Dolby TrueHD 7.1
for older systems) lossless sound, so yes, it is the sonic champ by
default and not. Unfortunately, it lacks character and is one of the
most forgettable 12-track movie mixes I have heard to date, so yawn
and move on.
rest of the films are all here in DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono
lossless mixes and were monophonic releases and the Afraid
TV movie is monophonic too as TV had not added stereo yet. Though it
has post-production dubbing, it sounds like it is from magnetic
soundmasters down to Billy Goldenberg's creepy, underrated music
score. It actually sounds better than the sound on Eegah
(expected) and Grave
(sounding a little more compressed than expected, though still better
than the DVD), but as good as Vampire
(in Italian and English). The music and character of all five older
films really holdup and will impress genre fans and specific fans of
order any or all of the Warner Archive Blu-rays covered above, go to
this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at: