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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Biography > Filmmaking > Horror > Exploitation > Martial Arts > Monster > Werewolf > Thrille > Blood & Flesh (2019/Al Adamson/Severin Blu-ray)/Fist Of Fear Touch Of Death (1980/Film Detective Blu-ray)/Hunter's Moon (2019/Lionsgate DVD)/Maniac 4K (1980*/**)/Mommy & Mommy 2: Mommy's Day (1995, 19

Blood & Flesh (2019/Al Adamson/Severin Blu-ray)/Fist Of Fear Touch Of Death (1980/Film Detective Blu-ray)/Hunter's Moon (2019/Lionsgate DVD)/Maniac 4K (1980*/**)/Mommy & Mommy 2: Mommy's Day (1995, 1997/VCI Blu-ray w/DVDs*)/Mystery Of The Wax Museum (1933/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Zombie 4K (1979/Fulci/*all MVD/**both Blue Underground 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays)

4K Ultra HD Picture: A-/A Picture: B-/B/B/X/C & C-/B/X Sound: B-/B/B/A-/B-/C+/A Extras: B-/C+/D/B/C+/B/B Films: B-/C+/C-/B-/C+ & C/B/A-

PLEASE NOTE: The Fist Of Fear Touch Of Death Blu-ray is limited to only 1,500 copies, while Mystery Of The Wax Museum is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.

Up next are a few classics of the horror genre upscales, plus some cult items, a legendary B-movie filmmaker and a new film trying to find an audience...

David Gregory's Blood & Flesh: The Reel Life & Ghastly Death Of Al Adamson (2019) tells the fascinating and ultimately sad story of the B-movie filmmaker, who kept trying to become a filmmaker no matter his lack of skill or talent, but with enough love of it all until he had an unexpected hit, then got to reissue all his previous films until they all made money. That includes the infamously bad Dracula Vs. Frankenstein and other not so great films that now have enough of a cult following, Severin Films is issuing them all in a big Blu-ray box set of which this single will be included.

We also get his biography, a look at the industry then and now, his private life and the last turns where he suddenly started to believe aliens might be on earth (a big 1970s thing) and made the mistake of hiring a man who eventually killed him. Running 101 minutes, it always has something to add worth seeing and hearing about until the unfortunate conclusion, but unlike too many soulless directors who have no idea what they are doing and do not care, as shown by their work, Adamson did care and that does show when there was more of a love of movies. It could not be more timely.

The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image has all kinds of film and video footage from various vaults, plus stills, new footage and clips of Adamson's films, so quality can vary, but it is edited well. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 and 2.0 Stereo lossless mixes are fine, but most of the new audio is stereo and older audio monophonic, including the bonus film included. Again, this too is well edited.

Extras include Outtakes, Beyond The Earth promo reel, Original Theatrical Trailer, the Adamson feature film The Female Bunch, featurette The Bunch Speaks Out and other trailers.

A product of the 'Bruce-ploitation' movement, which occurred after the real Bruce Lee died in 1973, several films came out to drive-ins and theaters. The films featured actors that looked like Lee, had names too close to his, and acted like him, or films that used actual footage of Lee from past projects to help carve out a new narrative, surprisingly these films were very popular at the time.

Originally premiering in drive-ins in 1980, this comedy/satire/action extravaganza called First of Fear Touch of Death centers around a 1979 World Karate Championship, where martial artists fight one another to claim the title of 'successor to the Bruce Lee legacy'. The main character of the film is Fred Williamson, whose a ladies man that's confident he can claim the title.

The film is a fun and zany watch and a nice little time capsule piece. I wouldn't take it as a serious piece of work by any means, but a product of its time that's from Aquarius Pictures, a renowned film studio that also put out Doctor Butcher: M.D.

Directed by Matthew Mallinson, comprised mainly of mockumentary style fake interviews, the film is hosted by Oscar nominee Adolph Caesar, martial artists Fred Williamson and Ron Van Clief, George Lopez, Richard Barathy, Bill Louie, Ron Harvey, and Aaron Banks.

Fist of Fear Touch of Death is presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and an English audio mix in English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 (48 kHz, 16-bit) lossless Mono sound. Despite being a 4K restoration from the original 35mm camera negative, the transfer isn't going to necessarily knock your socks off. The source material for these negatives are obviously not in perfect condition as there are plenty of dust marks and emulsions.

Special Features include:

Special liner note booklet written by Justin Decloux and Will Sloan, hosts of The Important Cinema Club podcast.

Interviews with stars Ron Van Clief, Fred Williamson, Director Matthew Mallinson, producer Terry Levine, and script writer Roy Harvey

and Original Trailers (standard definition).

Thomas Jane and Jay Mohr star in the home invasion/werewolf thriller, Hunter's Moon (2019), which features a cast of a few other familiar faces as well including Amanda Wyss (Tina from the original A Nightmare on Elm Street) and Sean Patrick Flannery (Boondock Saints). Despite these fun faces from the past, the film sadly doesn't have much to offer and ends on a completely ridiculous and head scratching note. The werewolf itself, revealed finally at the climax, isn't much to howl at either.

A family of three teen girls and their parents (Mohr and Wyss) move to a fancy house in the middle of nowhere. Not soon after they move in, the parents leave the teenage girls alone in the house, where the oldest coaxes the two sisters into drinking booze and having a 'party'. Soon three guys show up with the intention of breaking into the house, while a sheriff (Jane) is also on the property. Things get really confusing when the boys break in and a werewolf shows up out of nowhere...

The film also stars Katrina Bowden, Lexi Atkins, and India Ennenga.

Hunter's Moon is presented on anamorphically enhanced, standard definition DVD with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and a lossy English 5.1 Dolby Digital mix, both of which are the norm for the format. The film is a bit compressed as to be expected, but otherwise looks and sounds fine.

No extras except for trailers for other Lionsgate releases.

I'm a bit disappointed in this one as it had an interesting cast to play with. Goes to show that a werewolf film can be pretty stale unless in the right hands. This one doesn't seem to even try hard and was more concerned with attempted rape sequences and tiresome character archetypes. If you're expecting the underrated Thomas Jane to show up as or turn into a werewolf, I hate to tell ya, but that doesn't happen either.

While not as famous/renowned as Lucio Fulci's Zombie (arriving in the 4K format at the same time, see below) and a very different type of film, Bill Lustig's Maniac (1980) also gets the 4K UHD treatment from cult label, Blue Underground. (Which isn't a huge surprise to horror fans in the know as Blue Underground IS Lustig's company after all.)

Remade with Elijah Wood with mixed results a few years back, the ORIGINAL Maniac here is an essential slasher and has never looked better than it does in this eye popping, throat slashing 4K transfer!

Starring Joe Spinell as Frank, Maniac is a truly unique horror slasher that crafts a very creepy serial killer that feels very real yet you oddly feel bad for. Stalking the streets of New York, the killer collects the scalps of female victims (mostly prostitutes) for his own sadistic purposes and isn't afraid to kill anyone else that's in his way. A tortured soul at the same time, this deeply disturbed individual starts up a relationship with a gorgeous photographer by a stroke of luck, but can't keep the monster within him at bay...

Maniac also stars Kelly Piper, Tom Savini, Caroline Munro, Abigail Clayton, and Rita Montone. Savini also did the effects for the film, which still hold up, and crafted himself a pretty unique way of going out.

Maniac is presented in 2160p HEVC/H.265, Dolby Vision/HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and several great audio tracks in English Dolby Atmos 11.1, English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1, and DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo lossless sound. There are also Spanish and French language tracks on the disc in lossy Dolby Digital 2.0. This isn't a film that you would necessarily expect to see on 4K UHD and here it is with a slightly sharper image overall and a broader range in colors. If you're a hardcore fan and have seen the film a bunch of times then you'll undoubtedly notice the overall difference in clarity.

The break-down and special features for the set are as follows:


Audio Commentary #1 with Producer/Director William Lustig and Producer Andrew Garroni

Audio Commentary #2 with Producer/Director William Lustig, Special Make-Up Effects Artist Tom Savini, Editor Lorenzo Marinelli, and Joe Spinell's Assistant Luke Walter

Theatrical Trailers / TV Spots / Radio Spots


MANIAC Outtakes

Returning to the Scene of the Crime with William Lustig

Anna and the Killer - Interview with Star Caroline Munro

The Death Dealer - Interview with Special Make-Up Effects Artist Tom Savini

Dark Notes - Interview with Composer Jay Chattaway

Maniac Men - Interview with Songwriters Michael Sembello and Dennis Matkosky

The Joe Spinell Story

Mr. Robbie: Maniac 2 Promo Reel

and MANIAC Publicity / MANIAC Controversy.

Never let her tuck you in!

Renowned on VHS, Mommy and Mommy 2: Mommy's Day (1995, 1997) get a three disc 25th anniversary Blu-ray edition courtesy of VCI. Starring Patty McCormack (Oscar nominated actress for The Bad Seed) as the sinister 'Mommy' along with Jason Miller (The Exorcist), and '80s scream queen Brinke Stevens, the low budget films have a surprisingly strong cast. The films are written and directed by best-selling mystery writer Max Allan Collins (Road To Perdition, Air Force One).

When her darling Jessica Anne (Rachel Lemieux) is snubbed an award at school, her Mommy (McCormack) decides to strike back violently and kills her elementary school teacher. When the Police step in, things start to escalate as Mommy continues her murderous streak. Told through the eyes of Mommy's little girl, Jessica Anne, Mommy ends up dating an investigator without her knowing. Of course, the Police are wise to Mommy's evil motives as her and her daughter play a game of cat and mouse and must constantly evade them. However little Jessica Anne may not even be able to trust Mommy for too long when she goes completely unhinged!

The film feels frighteningly real and like something that could actually happen or that you would see on a true crime show. While a bit dated, Mommy is still entertaining and surprisingly fun for being a bare bones independently made film.

The sequel, Mommy 2: Mommy's Day, sees many of the stars from the first film return to the sequel that takes place just after the original. Mommy is in jail and about to get a lethal injection, when she pulls a stunt and gets out of it. Now living with her aunt (Brinke Stevens), Jessica Anne isn't legally aloud to see Mommy and that makes Mommy very angry. As she roams the streets a free woman, somehow, she goes on another killing spree and puts her daughter in the middle, again. Not quite as interesting as the first film, the sequel still brings back a lot of the same story beats, but has one too many twists that are just downright silly.

This set features one Blu-ray and two DVDs in this 'wide-scream double feature'. The Blu-ray has both features presented in 1080p high definition with 1.78:1/1.80:1 widescreen aspect ratios and a linear PCM 2.0 Stereo track. The features don't look too good at all here really, which only a slight bump from the also-included standard definition, anamorphically enhanced DVD that also features both films, just in a more compressed manner.

There isn't a lot of detail or definition in the image despite the films being shot on 35mm. The films weren't shot bad per-say and are a product of the past in a time where VHS was the intended output. Still, this is pretty embarrassing for an 'upscale' to Blu-ray on the account of both films that it looks so rough and fuzzy here in HD. If original 35mm camera elements do still exist, the films could definitely use a proper restoration.

Special Features, which are presented in standard definition on a third DVD include:

Leonard Maltin on Mommy

Original Trailer


Mommy PBS Documentary

Mommy's Day: Patty McCormack interview by Max Allan Collins

The Making of Mommy - A Documentary by J. Rigler

and Reversible Cover Art.

A product of the VHS era, the Mommy movies are a fun double feature that will make you yearn for the days when you could take a trip to a '90s era video store.

Michael Curtiz's Mystery Of The Wax Museum (1933) may be the oldest film on the list, but even without the freedom to be as graphic as most horror films today, it remains a surprisingly effective, atmospheric and creepy thriller with Lionel Atwill as the wheelchair-bound 'artist' making life-sized and lifelike wax statues of human beings, et al, and Fay Wray (the original King Kong the same year) as the gal he starts to become way too interested in as some creepy secrets are about to be reveals. Add a sassy Glenda Farrell (still in pre-Hollywood Code mode) and a solid supporting cast that also includes Frank McHugh and it is an underrated classic long overdue for rediscovery and the equal of the 1953 3D remake House Of Wax with Vincent Price (reviewed on Blu-ray 3D/2D elsewhere on this site, which included the older, low-def, unrestored version of this film).

One of the better films in Curtiz's long career, it is as rich and dark as if it were shot in black and white, making it one of the great early color triumphs in horror thrillers and I already liked the film. Now that I can really see it and enjoy the performances, it is much more of a satisfying experience and pleasure to watch. Its great Warner Bros. got together with UCLA and The Film Foundation to save it and that Warner Archive has issued such an excellent Blu-ray of it. Ge tis and add to to your Universal Monster movies, German Expressionist horror classics, original Island Of Lost Souls, White Zombie and any other film from that era that will fit on your shelf.

The 1080p 1.33 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer can show the age of the materials used, but this is far superior a transfer to all previous releases of the film as noted, being a thorough restoration of the film with two surviving prints (the original nitrate camera negatives gone) and this turned out to not only be one of the biggest of all hit films partly or totally using the old dye-transfer, two-strip Technicolor format, but the last one ever made before the full color range three-strip version of the format took permanent hold. It looks great, you can see subtle color differences not seen in many decades and is now one of the best examples of the two-strip format anywhere on home video. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix is as restored as possible, but shows its age and sonic limits, though I had not problem hearing any of the dialogue. Missing frames and even dialogue have been restored for the first time in probably half a century!

Extras include nice featurette with Wray's daughter Remembering Fay Wray, feature length audio commentary track by film scholar Alan K. Rode, a second feature length audio commentary track by restoration expert/film scholar Scott MacQueen and Restoration Featurette with before and after comparisons on all the hard work that went into saving the film, with more excellent insight by MacQueen.

And finally...

''We are going to eat you!'' is the classic tag-line for Italian king of gore, Lucio Fulci's Zombie aka Zombie Flesh Eaters (and several other names.) The classic Italian horror film is a follow-up to George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead and arguably Fulci's best film. It also has some of the most unique looking zombies to ever grace the silver screen, including the one on the film's poster and marketing material, which has been recreated in The Walking Dead and is a very familiar image to hardcore horror fanatics.

In Zombie, a group of strangers including a New York reporter (Ian McCulloch) helps a woman (Tisa Farrow) on a rescue mission to find her father. But they soon end up on an island where the dead once again walk the earth and a Doctor (Richard Johnson) faces an uncharted epidemic! This cult classic also stars Al Cliver, Auretta Gay, and Steania D'Amario.

There are so many great sequences in this film such as the 'splinter in the eye' scene, the shark scene, and the overall look and style of the production design and special effects make it a classic. If (by some chance) you have never seen this film, consider yourself a fan of horror, and are a fan of zombies, then this is one you don't want to overlook!

Zombie is presented in a 2160p HEVC/H.265, Dolby Vision/HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image widescreen aspect ratio of 2.40:1 (original aspect ratio is 2.39:1) and several great audio tracks in English (dubbed) Dolby Atmos (English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mixdown for older systems), English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1, and its original Italian language track in DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) Mono and Italian DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 7.1 (with English subtitles) lossless tracks and even a lossy French Dolby Digital Mono track.

There is a noticeable jump in detail and quality even when compared the Blu-ray version. I'm sure Lucio Fulci never imagined that his film would be seen in clarity like this, which isn't a complaint by any means. The colors overall are more vibrant and there's more to see in the image overall in the tiny details.

The break-down and special features for the set are as follows:


Audio Commentary #1 with Troy Howarth, Author of Splintered Visions: Lucio Fulci and His Films

Audio Commentary #2 with Star Ian McCulloch and Diabolik Magazine Editor Jason J. Slater

When The Earth Spits Out The Dead - Interview with Stephen Thrower, Author of Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci

Theatrical Trailers/ TV Spots/ Radio Spots/ Poster & Still Gallery

and Guillermo del Toro Intro


Zombie Wasteland - Interviews with Stars Ian McCulloch, Richard Johnson & Al Cliver, and Actor/Stuntman Ottaviano Dell'Acqua

Flesh Eaters on Film - Interview with Co-Producer Fabrizio De Angelis

Deadtime Stories - Interviews with Co-Writers Elisa Briganti and (Uncredited) Dardano Sacchetti

World of the Dead - Interviews with Cinematographer Sergio Salvati and Production & Costume Designer Walter Patriarca

Zombi Italiano - Interviews with Special Make-Up Effects Artists Gianetto De Rossi & Maurizio Trani and Special Effects Artist Gino De Rossi

Notes on a Headstone - Interview with Composer Fabio Frizzi

All in the Family - Interview with Antonella Fulci

and Zombie Lover - Award-Winning Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro talks about one of his favorite films

There are several other great Lucio Fulci titles on the market now that have been remastered in HD and look fantastic. Most notably are Blue Underground's releases of House by the Cemetery, The New York Ripper (both next due on 4K disc) and The Beyond (on disc currently from Grindhouse releasing). Several titles are available from Severin Films as well, including The Devil's Honey. Note this set and the Maniac 4K editions do not include regular Blu-ray editions or the CD that was part of the triple sets we covered a little while back, so diehard fans will have to get those separately where available, as reviewed elsewhere on this site.

To order The Mystery Of The Wax Museum Warner Archive Blu-ray, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo (Blood, Wax) and James Lockhart



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