Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Urban > Thriller > Crime > Drugs > Action > Horror > Supernatural > Haunted > Giallo > Italy > Gangster > Black and Blue (2019/Sony Blu-ray)/The Courier (2019 Blu-ray*)/House By The Cemetery (1981/MVD/Blue Underground Blu-ray/CD Limited Edition Set)/Iguana With The Tongue Of Fire (1971**)/Matriarch (2018

Black and Blue (2019/Sony Blu-ray)/The Courier (2019 Blu-ray*)/House By The Cemetery (1981/MVD/Blue Underground Blu-ray/CD Limited Edition Set)/Iguana With The Tongue Of Fire (1971**)/Matriarch (2018 DVD/*both Lionsgate)/Yakuza Law (1969/**both MVD/Arrow Blu-rays)

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

These thrillers cross several genres, but are all worth you hearing about and knowing about...

We start with a bit of a surprise, Naomie Harris (the current Miss Moneypenny in the Daniel Craig/James Bond films, plus an Oscar nominee for Moonlight, all on 4K disc and reviewed elsewhere on this site) plays a rookie police officer in her hometown of New Orleans in Deon Taylor's Black and Blue (2019) back in her hometown to protect and serve. Years after Hurricane Katrina, there are ways the city has never recovered, but its trying to rebuild and do its best.

Out with another cop as her partner has plans and she substitutes at the last minute when he is asked to take a sudden second shift, she lands up witnessing (along with her body cam) a murder that turns out to tie some of the police and DEA with major drug dealers in the area. Catching her witness this, they try to kill her and the chase begins.

Barely playing theatrically, this is mostly going straight to home video, et al, but has so much more going for it including Harris showing how easily she can carry a feature film, good supporting turns but Tyrese Gibson and Frank Grillo among a very solid cast with a smart script and some real suspense that even overrides a little predictability. The film is also trying to make some statements about a few important things and does better than many a genre film. But it is ultimately Harris who shines and whose star both continues to grow and deserves to.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer is an impressive HD shoot that has better lighting and editing than many feature films I have suffered through of late. That is matched by a decent DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix that does not overdue music and handles its dialogue well.

Extras include Digital Copy, while the disc adds Deleted Scenes and two Making Of featurette clips: Line Of Fire and Be The Change In The Big Easy.

Former Bond girl, Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace), leads this new action packed thriller The Courier (2019), which is full of interesting fight choreography and a script that often sputters. Set across one night, Kurylenko is a Courier who delivers a deadly package that's meant to kill the eyewitness of a murder that a one eyed Gary Oldman (with an eyepatch) committed. The Courier decides to defend the eyewitness instead of obeying her orders, and just taking the money. As she goes on a run with the kid, she attempts to leave a complex but soon comes face to face with all of Gary Oldman's thugs. Can we make her way through an army of armed thugs and their drones? It won't be easy.

The Courier has tons of violence and a few interesting fight scenes. If anything, it shows that Olga Kurylenko isn't just another pretty face but is an impressive physical actor as well. While some scenes echo the John Wick franchise, the final result isn't nearly as entertaining as those films. Gary Oldman seems pretty bored throughout the whole movie and doesn't do much besides drink, yell at his daughter, and listen to records.

The film also stars Dermot Mulroney, Amit Shah, and William Moseley.

The Courier is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of Lionsgate in a 1080p high definition transfer with a 2.39:1 widescreen aspen ratio and an English 5.1 DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless mix, both of which are of the norm for a film of this nature. While it[s not a terribly low budget movie (there are some big names here and some expensive looking sequences), it isn't to the budget of something like John Wick or even the Crank films. The film is nicely shot, however, and looks fine here. A digital copy is also included.

No extras.

The Courier is a bit better than most direct to video action movies. Olga Kurylenko does a great job and really holds the weight of the movie on her shoulders. Gary Oldman is just here for the paycheck and that's a bit of a shame. While I don't want to spoil too much, I will say there is a particularly bad visual effect involving Oldman's face towards the end of the feature.

At any rate, The Courier is a fine one time watch if you're itching for some female driven action.

From the brilliant Italian gore master, Lucio Fulci, who directed The Beyond, Zombie, and plenty of other horror masterpieces, comes a new re-release of his classic The House By The Cemetery (1981). On par with some of their other great new restorations including Maniac and Fulci's Zombie (reviewed elsewhere on this site), Blue Underground has crafted a packed limited edition release that celebrates The House By The Cemetery with tons of new extras, a new 4K restoration, and collectible packaging.

The film stars Catriona MacColl, Paolo Malco, Ania Pieroni, Giovanni Frezza, and Silvia Collatina. The plot centers around a family that moves into a haunted house that has within it many dark secrets under the mad doctor Dr Freudstein. As murders and bodies start to pile up, the sinister (and hellish) secret of the house and its history becomes frighteningly apparent as the new tenants discover what horrors lie in the basement...

The House by the Cemetery is presented in 1080p high definition with a 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio and and two English dubbed audio tracks, one is in DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless and the other is in DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) Mono lossless sound. There's also an original Italian sound mix in DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) Mono lossless only with optional English subtitles. The overall look of the film is a bit rough and likely always will be. This is a low budget foreign production and Blue Underground has certainly done the best they can with the film elements. There appears to be a bluer tint to many scenes that pops out from the previous versions on disc. More detail is evident overall in this 4K restoration that offers the best quality a Blu-ray can handle.

Special Features include:


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

Deleted Scene

Theatrical Trailers

TV Spot

Poster & Still Galleries


NEW House Quake - Interview with Co-Writer Giorgio Mariuzzo

NEW Catriona MacColl Q&A

NEW Calling Dr. Freudstein - Interview with Stephen Thrower, Author of Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci

Meet the Boyles - Interviews with Stars Catriona MacColl and Paolo Malco

Children of the Night - Interviews with Stars Giovanni Frezza and Silvia Collatina

Tales of Laura Gittleson - Interview with Star Dagmar Lassander

My Time With Terror - Interview with Star Carlo De Mejo

A Haunted House Story - Interviews with Co-Writers Dardano Sacchetti and Elisa Briganti

To Build a Better Death Trap - Interviews with Cinematographer Sergio Salvati, Special Make-Up Effects Artist Maurizio Trani, Special Effects Artist Gino De Rossi, and Actor Giovanni De Nava


The House by the Cemetery Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Walter Rizzati, placed on a separate CD.


Illustrated collectible booklet featuring a brand new essay by Michael Gingold

Reversible sleeve

and 3D lenticular slipcover (First Pressing Only)

This limited edition set is simply a must own for any and every Lucio Fulci fan. For more on the film in our coverage of the previous Blue Underground Blu-ray edition, see this link:


While it was released around the same time as Argento's The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, comes a different kind of giallo that's gory and perverse. Available on disc for the first time with a crystal clear new 2K transfer from the original camera negative, Riccardo Freda's The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire (1971).

The film stars Luigi Pistilli, Dagmar Lassander, Anton Diffring, and Valentina Cortese.

A vicious murder in Dublin calls to alert John Norton, a tough as nails ex-cop, who jumps on the case. Tracking a limousine and refused claims by the Ambassador, who was sleeping with the woman before she died, Norton soon becomes romantically involved with the Ambassador's step daughter, while murderous hell breaks loose on the streets.

The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire is presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1:85:1 and an uncompressed English dubbed and original Italian Mono 1.0 tracks. This edition of the film sports a new 2K restoration from the original camera negative that's certainly the best that the film has looked since its initial release in theaters. Also on the disc are newly translated subs, titles, and credits.

Special Features include:

New audio commentary by giallo connoisseurs Adrian J. Smith and David Flint

Of Chameleons and Iguanas, a newly filmed video appreciation by the cultural critic and academic Richard Dyer

Considering Cipriani, a new appreciation of the composer Stelvio Cipriani and his score to The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire by DJ and soundtrack collector Lovely Jon

The Cutting Game, a new interview with Iguana's assistant editor Bruno Micheli

The Red Queen of Hearts, a career-spanning interview with the actress Dagmar Lassander

Original Italian and international theatrical trailers

Image gallery

Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys

and a Collector's Booklet featuring new writing on the film by Andreas Ehrenreich

Scott Vickers' Matriarch (2018) is a pretty creepy film I must admit. A young couple that are expecting get into a car accident and take refuge in a nearly farm house. Only problem is that the tenants of the farm house are a crazy psychotic family bent on trapping and tormenting the couple and stealing their newborn baby. This twisted low budget romp isn't perfect but was far better than I was expecting.

The film stars Charlie Blackwood, Scott Vickers, Julie Hannan, and Briony Monroe.

Matriarch is presented on standard definition anamorphically enhanced DVD with a widescreen aspect ratio 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital audio mix. The film has a nice look to it despite its lower budget. The image is (of course) compressed and not as impressive as an HD transfer. Still it looks fine for DVD.

No extras except the Trailer for the film and a few other trailers for other Lionsgate features.

Finally, we end with another Video Nasty from back in the day, Yakuza Law (1969) features a grisly glimpse into the life of early Yakuza Gangs in a way that will make most viewers' stomachs turn. Shocking still to this day, the film features many brutal acts of violence and paints an intense picture of what it would be like to live in this twisted time and be a member of his wild gang.

Directed by Teruo Ishii, Yakuza Law tells the story of how the Yakuza came to be over the Edo, Taisho, and Showa periods in Japan. I liked how it goes through the samurai vengeance period to a more modern 1960s period and showed that the times didn't change as much as one would think.

Yakuza Law is presented in 1080p high definition with a 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1.0 Mono Japanese mix with optional English subtitles. The film is very cinematic and looks incredible here despite its age.

Special Features include:

New audio commentary by author and critic Jasper Sharp

Erotic-Grotesque and Genre Hopping: Teruo Ishii Speaks, a rare vintage interview with the elusive director on his varied career, newly edited for this release

Image gallery

and a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Jacob Phillips.

If you like Yakuza-centered films, then this is a recommendation for sure.

- Nicholas Sheffo (Blue) and James Lockhart



 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com