Next Door (1984/Severin
(2019/MVD/Cleopatra Blu-ray w/CD)/Hard
Lang/Film Movement Blu-ray set with Tiger
of Eschnapur and
B/B-/C/B/C+ Sound: B-/B-/C+/C+/C+ Extras: B-/C-/D/B/D
next are some films that try to challenge the audience, even if it
within genre, save one that does not try much and a few you should
start with Penelope Spheeris' The
Boys Next Door
(1984) with Charlie Sheen in what is his first big screen movie work
and Maxwell Caulfield (Grease
two streetwise goofs in Hollywood who do not fit in and are as
careless as can be. The film opens with an odd montage of serial
killers, so we are supposed to believe these two will follow in their
footsteps, but it becomes a failed analogy that trivializes actual
killings and cuts into some of what the film actually offers.
the guys go on a spree of destroying things, nearly killing a few
people early on and even kidnapping someone's dog. As they get into
more criminal trouble and decide to run away from their hometown,
then they start stealing and the violence increases, including a
notable sequence where they land up at a gay bar and decide to take
advantage of the one gay man who assumes they are gay to get money,
et al, from him. Eventually, they move on to assault and murder, but
they never exactly come close to being serial killers.
being an interesting time capsule of Los Angeles and hollywood at the
time, the actors give two of their most interesting performances
ever, including of damaged and toxic masculinity. The screenplay is
by Glen Morgan and James Wong, who later helped Chris Carter bring
The X-Files to life, but it is far form their most polished
work, yet better than some of their disappointing work after that
series ran too long and folded. Christopher McDonald (Thelma &
Louise) and Patti D'Arbanville are among the supporting cast who
makes this a better film. A curio everyone should see once, it may
not be perfect, but The Boys Next Door deals with issues Hollywood
still has trouble grappling with.
include a feature length audio commentary with Director Penelope
Spheeris and Actor Maxwell Caulfield, Blind Rage - Interview
with Stephen Thrower, Author of Nightmare USA, Both Side of the
Law - Interview with Actors Maxwell Caulfield and Christopher
McDonald, Give Us Your Money - Interviews with Street Band
Performers Texacala Jones and Tequila Mockingbird, Caveman Day
- Cinemaniacs Interview with Director Penelope Spheeris and Actor
Maxwell Caulfield, Tales from the End Zone - Interview with
Actor Kenneth Cortland, The Psychotronic Tourist - The Boys
Next Door, Alternate Opening Title Sequence & Extended Scenes
(Silent) and an Original Theatrical Trailer.
Trek alums William Shatner and Jeri Ryan star in the forgettable
low budget satanic thriller The Devil's Revenge (2019).
Directed by Jared Cohn (Evil Nanny), who has done his fair
share of direct to video schlock, this film is nothing original or
new and not without many cringe-worthy moments of acting, especially
from William Shatner, whose hamming it up as per usual. Poor Jeri
Ryan tries here, but she can't break through a screenplay that
doesn't offer her many challenges.
film also stars Jason Brooks, Jackie Dallas, and Ciara Hanna.
couple archaeologists go cave hunting and one of them, John (Brooks),
finds a relic and a portal to Hell. After they flee the cave, John
is overcome with demonic visions that soon start to affect his
personal life with his wife (Ryan) and family. He goes into a deep
study and discovers that the relic must be destroyed before the Devil
can resurface his revenge.
CD soundtrack of the film's score is also included.
only extras are a Slideshow and a Trailer.
you're looking for Shatner going up against the Devil, you should
check out Robert Fuest's The Devil's Rain (1975), which is
available from disc from Severin Films and reviewed elsewhere on this
site. This film plays it a bit safe and is more concerned with
flashy images and typical filmmaking tropes than making something
(2019) is the latest straight-to-video Dolph Lundgren feature to come
out in the last few months and sadly, it continues a trend where he
looks particularly bored, the scripts are really bad and the action
is as badly written and edited as delivered. This time, he is an old
INTERPOL member trying to get together with his estranged wife and
child when an old enemy brings henchmen to go after all of them...
because gold is buried on their property!?!?!!?
K.... This thousandth would-be Die
on a budget is just lame and will be the longest 86 minutes you've
sat through in a while. The kind that you might start to doze off
until the surrounds kick in. Lundgren can still be good in genre
but he is way too out of it here and maybe the title should be 'hard
night falling asleep' or the like.
are unsurprisingly no extras.
Lang's Indian Epic
(1959) is the last large-scale production of the great director's
long and influential career, a big production he originally intended
to lens in the early 1920s, but it fell through and he moved onto
other classics like Dr.
Mabuse: The Gambler,
After an amazing run of films in Hollywood, though two versions of
the tale were already filmed (the second by the Nazis he left behind
at the beginning of WWII), new producers entered the picture with the
rights the the long screenplay by now ex-wife Thea Von Harbou to be
produced in color.
as two separate films, The
Tiger of Eschnapur
it harkens back to the serials of the silent era in its pacing,
though such Hollywood chapter plays would be edited into longer
releases overseas as in Germany, thus the form this one takes and has
the famous adventurer plot of a man form a more modern civilization
going to another country (usually 'exotic' as it is here) and finding
more than expected. Paul Hubschmid is a German architect going tot
he city in India of the title to build for the Prince (Walther Reyer)
who runs it all.
the builder fall for a sexy dancer (Debra Paget, stealing most of her
scenes without trying) the Prince intends to be with and is in love
with. Conflict ensues, but other matters include people out for the
Prince, the holy men who are less tolerant of what is about to
happen, killer tigers on the loose and more surprises. Running 203
minutes, it was not only Lang's last mega-film, but likely the last
epic of any kind to be shot in the older academy aperture narrow
vision block style frame he preferred over any widescreen formats.
Without realizing it, the makers were at the end of a filmmaking era
in several ways.
film has some problems from actors playing roles they are not the
ethnicity of, some fakeness in the sets (though like The
Wizard Of Oz,
that's the way it was produced and is part of its Fantasy genre
affiliation) and some sloppy visual effects that were bad then. Add
a few cliches and you can see why despite being a solid film to watch
even with its flaws, it is not remembered among Lang's very best.
The problem is that Lang made so many great films, some of them have
become too forgotten in the shadow of other classics, which is why it
is so important this film was restored to its former visual glory
because even a flawed Lang film is superior to most such productions
you'd see today and it struck me how much better this was than the
thousandth CGI/live-action fest that no one remembers in a year if
actors give it their all, all the sets are built to the hilt, Lang
has some serious darkness visually and in the melodrama of the film
and that it was made outside the Hollywood Studio System and still
works for its age is impressive in itself. I had seen bits and
pieces of this film a very long time ago, but never looking this
great and in its entirety. Lang never lost his edge as a director
all the way to the end of his career and this restored Indian Epic
shows how unstoppable he really was. Get this and take the time away
from everything to see it at least once and be ready for some
surprises, a few shocks and even some fun. You won't be sorry.
include a 20-page booklet with an essay by film scholar Tom Gunning,
while the discs add a set of feature length audio commentaries by the
great film historian David Kalat (who has recorded some of the best
such tracks around and does so again here), The Indian Epic
documentary and "Debra Paget, For Example", a video
essay by filmmaker Mark Rappaport that is good, but gets a little of
the path towards the end.
Benjamin Naishtat's Rojo
(2018) which has in its background, the mid 1970s Dirty War in
Argentina that led to a military dictatorship. With that looming but
not always discussed, a man named Claudio (Almodovar alumni Dario
Grandinetti) is waiting at a restaurant for his wife that he likes,
though she does have a habit of being late for whatever reasons. A
stranger is furious he has to wait for a table when Claudio has one
and has not ordered yet.
an extraordinary exchange where the disruptor is thrown out, his wife
arrives and they eat. When they leave, they are attacked by him and
more insanity ensures, but heightened. From there, the story has
several twists and turns, including a private detective (Alfredo
Castro) investigating where the man 'disappeared' including how and
are some very good, palpable, honest scenes here with some great
acting, editing and lensing of the story that makes this work more
often than most such films I have seen lately. Still, there are bad
notes and a few flaws that stop this from being a home run, but I was
still pleasantly surprised and if you like this kind of film, you
should definitely give it a look.
are no extras, but anything would have been nice.
for playback quality. The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition
image on Door is shot on 35mm film and looks good for its age,
but does still show its age and has grain that pegs it to film stocks
of the time. This looks as good as it can look in the format and is
very color correct. The DTS-HD MA
(Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix is also as good as it will ever
get for this theatrical monophonic release, but it holds up well
considering its age. At this point, mono was rare for feature films,
so it tells us how low the budget must have been.
Devil's Revenge is presented in 1080p high definition with a
2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio and an English 5.1 Dolby Digital mix,
both of which are standard to the format. The film isn't terribly
shot for being low budget, but the sound design and editing at times
is a bit hokey and flashy for the sake of being flashy. Colors
aren't oversaturated or stylized, but pretty normal for the most
part. Overall, this is a loud and obnoxious film that you can't
exactly fall asleep to. (Even though you might try...).
1080p 1.33 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on both Indian
films looks very color consistent and has been restored as well as
possible. Both films were shot on Eastman Kodak 35mm negative
(though I wondered if Lang might have wanted Agfa or Ansco film), but
best of all, the film was issued in better 35mm prints in the
three-strip Technicolor format and this looks like a print like that
often. Color impresses throughout and though there are imperfections
at times, it looks solid overall with some demo shots. Though the
film was apparently a stereo release, the sound here is DTS-HD MA
(Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless form whatever surviving materials
existed when this was restored. It still sounds fine, but cannot
escape its age or what was lost in the lack of stereo. It also looks
like the film may have never had Technicolor prints released in the
U.S., but we'll see what we find out later as the film gets
anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on Falling is very soft
and has softness issues throughout that have nothing to do with any
kind of style chosen. The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image on
Rojo is sometimes soft, but color and style are more
consistent. Both films offer lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes, but the
Spanish Rojo track is more imaginative and smarter, plus a
little more palpable than that of Falling.
Nicholas Sheffo and James