(2019/Al Adamson/Severin Blu-ray)/Fist
Of Fear Touch Of Death
(1980/Film Detective Blu-ray)/Hunter's
& Mommy 2: Mommy's Day
(1995, 1997/VCI Blu-ray w/DVDs*)/Mystery
Of The Wax Museum
(1933/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Zombie
(1979/Fulci/*all MVD/**both Blue Underground 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays)
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-
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.
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
& 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
include Outtakes, Beyond
promo reel, Original Theatrical Trailer, the Adamson feature film The
Bunch Speaks Out
and other trailers.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
liner note booklet written by Justin Decloux and Will Sloan, hosts of
The Important Cinema Club podcast.
with stars Ron Van Clief, Fred Williamson, Director Matthew
Mallinson, producer Terry Levine, and script writer Roy Harvey
Original Trailers (standard definition).
Jane and Jay Mohr star in the home invasion/werewolf thriller,
(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
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.
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...
film also stars Katrina Bowden, Lexi Atkins, and India Ennenga.
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
extras except for trailers for other Lionsgate releases.
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
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.)
with Elijah Wood with mixed results a few years back, the ORIGINAL
here is an essential slasher and has never looked better than it does
in this eye popping, throat slashing 4K transfer!
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...
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.
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
break-down and special features for the set are as follows:
ONE (4K UHD)
Commentary #1 with Producer/Director William Lustig and Producer
Commentary #2 with Producer/Director William Lustig, Special Make-Up
Effects Artist Tom Savini, Editor Lorenzo Marinelli, and Joe
Spinell's Assistant Luke Walter
Trailers / TV Spots / Radio Spots
to the Scene of the Crime with William Lustig
and the Killer
- Interview with Star Caroline Munro
- Interview with Special Make-Up Effects Artist Tom Savini
- Interview with Composer Jay Chattaway
Interview with Songwriters Michael Sembello and Dennis Matkosky
Joe Spinell Story
MANIAC Publicity / MANIAC Controversy.
let her tuck you in!
on VHS, 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
as the sinister 'Mommy' along with Jason Miller (The
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Features, which are presented in standard definition on a third DVD
Maltin on Mommy
Patty McCormack interview by Max Allan Collins
Making of Mommy
- A Documentary by J. Rigler
Reversible Cover Art.
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.
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
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
with Vincent Price (reviewed on Blu-ray 3D/2D elsewhere on this site,
which included the older, low-def, unrestored version of this film).
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,
and any other film from that era that will fit on your shelf.
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!
include nice featurette with Wray's daughter Remembering
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.
are going to eat you!'' is the classic tag-line for Italian king of
gore, Lucio Fulci's Zombie
(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
and is a very familiar image to hardcore horror fanatics.
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
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
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.
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.
break-down and special features for the set are as follows:
ONE (4K UHD):
Commentary #1 with Troy Howarth, Author of Splintered
Visions: Lucio Fulci and His Films
Commentary #2 with Star Ian McCulloch and Diabolik Magazine Editor
Jason J. Slater
The Earth Spits Out The Dead
- Interview with Stephen Thrower, Author of Beyond
Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci
Trailers/ TV Spots/ Radio Spots/ Poster & Still Gallery
Guillermo del Toro Intro
- Interviews with Stars Ian McCulloch, Richard Johnson & Al
Cliver, and Actor/Stuntman Ottaviano Dell'Acqua
Eaters on Film
- Interview with Co-Producer Fabrizio De Angelis
- Interviews with Co-Writers Elisa Briganti and (Uncredited) Dardano
of the Dead
- Interviews with Cinematographer Sergio Salvati and Production &
Costume Designer Walter Patriarca
- Interviews with Special Make-Up Effects Artists Gianetto De Rossi &
Maurizio Trani and Special Effects Artist Gino De Rossi
on a Headstone
- Interview with Composer Fabio Frizzi
in the Family
- Interview with Antonella Fulci
- Award-Winning Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro talks about one of his
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,
New York Ripper
(both next due on 4K disc) and The
(on disc currently from Grindhouse releasing). Several titles are
available from Severin Films as well, including The
Note this set and the Maniac
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.
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,