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Category:    Home > Reviews > Mystery > Drama > Murder > Crime > British TV > Horror > Voodoo > Martial Arts > Slasher > Exploitation > Thri > Agatha Raisin: Series 2 (2018/Acorn DVD)/Blood Tide (1982/Arrow*)/Dynamo (1978/with DVD/*both MVD Blu-ray)/Gutterballs (2008/Unearthed Blu-ray)/Parts You Lose (2019/Umbrella PAL Import DVD)/Zombi Chil

Agatha Raisin: Series 2 (2018/Acorn DVD)/Blood Tide (1982/Arrow*)/Dynamo (1978/with DVD/*both MVD Blu-ray)/Gutterballs (2008/Unearthed Blu-ray)/Parts You Lose (2019/Umbrella PAL Import DVD)/Zombi Child (2019/Film Movement DVD)

Picture: B/B+/C & C-/B/B-/B- Sound: B/B+/C-/B/B-/B- Extras: C/B/B/C/D/C+ Main Programs: B+/C/C/C/C+/C+

PLEASE NOTE: The Parts You Lose Import DVD is now only available from our friends at Umbrella Entertainment in Australia, can only play on Blu-ray, 4K and DVD players that can handle the PAL DVD format and can be ordered from the link below.

Here are some new thrillers, from the classy to the exploitive...

Based on M.C. Beaton's best selling mystery novels, Agatha Raisin is about an over the hill PR executive who retired from London to Cotswolds, however where ever she goes she finds herself in another bizarre mystery murder and along with her friends they solve what the police fail to solve. Agatha Raisin: Series 2 (2018) offers three more puzzles for her and you) to solve.

Agatha Raisin is an over the hill PR witch doctor who can sell anything and make it into a profit, however she spends more time as a private detective solving murders than working. She often solves the murder through gossip and unorthodox methods and along with her posse of friends more often annoy the police by solving the murder before they do. But because she does solve the cases she is somewhat famous (and the town celebrity) so the police cannot stop her or her friends from interfering on the investigation scenes.

She is accompanied by James and Sir Charles who serve as her love interests (who fight over her constantly) and at they times sleep with other women to get insider information, Bill is a Japanese British man is her inside man with the police, Roy is Agatha's gay best friend, and along with Gemma and Sarah they serve as Agatha's gossip girls in weeding out all the town gossip.

This was another British murder mystery series, but it was like a cross between Martha Stewart and Scooby-Doo, never really understood why the bad guys always had to explain their reasons for killing after they get caught. It was comical to watch a bunch of gossiping old ladies solve a murder case with an inept police task force.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image and the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 sound are as good as they can get for the older format and up to Acorn's higher-than-many standards. Extras include Agatha Raisin: Behind the Scenes, Agatha Asks and trailers.

Episodes include:

The Wizard of Evesham - Agatha suspects a salon's hairstylist is secretly blackmailing rich women, but when he is found dead, who really killed him?

The Fairies of Fryfam - Agatha goes for a getaway vacation in a town that believes in fairies, but suddenly find herself frame for theft and murder.

The Curious Curate - The new town curate is found murdered and turns out to be a thief and gigolo who has been targeting rich women and Agatha's friend Sarah is the prime suspect.

Blood Tide (1982, aka Demon Tide) is a dark voodoo horror film featuring James Earl Jones in a sinister role. The film takes place on a Greek Island where a treasure hunter (Jones) unearths an ancient sea monster in hibernation. In turn, the sacrificing of virgins becomes once again necessary and a strange cult emerges. A young couple, Neil and Sherry (Jose Weller and Lila Kedrova), also arrive on the island in search of Neil's missing sister, Madeline, who isn't the same as she used to be, as she has been brainwashed upon discovering a cave.

The film also features Lila Kedrova, Mary Louise Weller, Martin Kove, and Lydia Cornell with direction by Richard Jefferies (1988's Scarecrows). It is written by Nico Mastorakis (Island of Death, The Wind).

Blood Tide is presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and an original uncompressed mono audio mix. Richard Jeffries utilizes underwater photography in some scenes that are heavily reminiscent of Jaws, however, the monster here isn't as terrifying. This is a nice scan and there's lots of detail in the image here, however, there's a bit of noise in the total blacks in some of the night scenes.

Special Features include:

Brand new audio commentary with director/co-writer Richard Jefferies

Newly-filmed interview with producer/co-writer Nico Mastorakis

Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys

and FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Mike Gingold

Blood Tide has an interesting plot and a fine performance by James Earl Jones, but is a bit campy though it tries real hard to be serious. It has a little bit of a H.P. Lovecraft vibe and should have gone more in that darker and more profound direction.

Bruce Li (not the actual Bruce Lee, pronounced 'lee' by some and 'lie' by others, the latter to distinguish between the two with no insult intended) stars in the classic film Dynamo (1978), the film is part of the Bruceploitation film movement, in which there were close to a hundred films. When Bruce Lee tragically died, the Hong Kong film market mourned his loss by making him immortal in countless features starring different Bruce Lee clones that do their best to mimic the legendary master's work. This particular clone, Bruce Li, has been hailed by many as being the best of the bunch and this film, Dynamo, is a lot of fun to watch.

The film also stars Feng Ku, James Griffith, Mary Han, Steve Sandor, and James Griffiths.

The film acknowledges Bruce Lee's actual death using some archival footage near the beginning, which I found pretty cool. The plot is pretty simple. A badass martial artist is cast to be a Bruce Lee lookalike. At first he is hesitant, but after getting in fights with multiple dudes and prevailing, he becomes more confident. Let's face it, this movie is more about the fight scenes than anything else and in this regard, it certainly delivers!

Dynamo unfortunately looks a bit rough here, despite being advertised as a 'new 2K restoration of the original 35mm English print' with a not very detailed transfer. The film is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35 X 1 and a LPCM 2.0 mono mix with English dubs and with optional English subtitles. There's also a Spanish language track too, which I was surprised to not see the native language mix.

The image isn't too clear and particularly looks bad in darker moments and the sound is at times peaking and a bit distorted. While one can't expect too much for a film of this nature, this still is a lackluster presentation. Compression issues are more evident in the DVD version, which is also included in the mix, but that comes to be expected. Some signs of print scratches and wear, but all in all, a better scan needs done here. Though watching a film like this in bad quality seems appropriate, I was still expecting a sharper image and better overall. Yikes.

Special Features:

Dynamo: 16mm Alternate Version

Audio Commentary

Dirty Kung Fu featurette

Drawing Dynamo featurette


and Insert booklet with linear notes by Michael Worth

Ryan Nicholson's Gutterballs (2008) gets a second life on Blu-ray courtesy of Unearthed Films. A graphic play on the I Spit on Your Grave revenge formula, the film takes place mainly in a bowling alley where a woman is graphically gang raped by a group of jerky jocks. The next night, a crew of (most the same) horny foul mouthed jerks (responsible for that incident) return to the same bowling alley, only this time a vicious masked killer takes revenge by brutally murdering them in horrific ways. Could it be the woman who was assaulted... or someone else?

The film stars Nathan Witte, Mihola Terzic, Candice Lewald, Trevor Gemma, Scott Alonzo, Nathan Dashwood, Dan Ellis, and Ryan Nicholson.

The film is definitely a member of the 'underground' film movement and has more graphic and extreme violence than most cult movie fair. In short, there's lots of nudity, bad language, and intense gore. While the plot has more than one holes and some of the acting is iffy at times, the underground film succeeds in being a graphic dark gore fest that will make most gag. There aren't any relatable characters here and some of the dialogue will be a bit crude to today's standards, especially if you're delicate on the transgender issue. (In that regard, this film is a bit dated.) A second film was planned, Gutterballs 2: Balls Deep, but Nicholson tragically died in 2019 before it could be completed.

Gutterballs is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 (original aspect ratio is 1.78:1) and an audio mix in English LPCM. The film was obviously shot on video of some kind with a lower budget and so with that taken in consideration, it looks fine on Blu-ray, which I believe this is its first time in HD. If you're a fan of the film then getting this edition is a no brainer as the image is substantially better than previous editions.

Special Features:

Commentary with the late Director Ryan Nicholson

Behind the Balls: Making of Gutterballs

Photo Gallery

and Pin-etration edition

The Parts You Lose (2019) is an interesting thriller that fell under the radar last year for reasons unknown... as it's not too bad. The film has a strong cast with Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Birds of Prey), Scoot McNairy (Batman v Superman) and a great child actor Danny Murphy. The film is directed by Christopher Cantwell (the underrated TV series Halt and Catch Fire).

The thriller revolves around a kind deaf child (Murphy), whom by chance finds an escaped convict (Paul) hiding outside his snowy home. The boy gives the injured criminal shelter in secret in the family's barn and the two form an unlikely bond. However, once the police get involved and his family discovers their son's dangerous new friend, things come to a heated conclusion.

The Parts You Lose is presented here in standard definition on DVD with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and a nice sounding lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital surround mix. The film is nicely photographed and produced, however, compression issues native with the format intrude.

No extras.

Finally, the 2019 French award winning drama, Zombi Child, is an interesting slow burner based on a true life account of a zombified persons as a result of Haitian voodoo. The film is an interesting exploration into the young female psyche and some great scenes involving voodoo rituals I'd compare to VVitch (reviewed elsewhere on this site).

The film stars Louise Labeque, Wislanda Louimat, and Katiana Milfort with direction by Bertrand Bonello. A teenage girl Fanny (Labeque) makes friends with Melissa (Louimat), who moved from Haiti to France after the 2010 Haiti earthquake. It is revealed that Melissa's family is associated with voodoo culture.

Zombi Child is presented here in standard definition on DVD disc with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and a lossy French 5.1 surround mix with English subtitles. The film was obviously shot digitally and could be enhanced with a 1080p presentation to avoid some of the compression issues here evident in the aging format.

Special Features:

Bonus Short Film Child of the Sky, Directed by Philip Montgomery (16 min)

Trailers for other Film Movement films

and a feature length audio commentary by the Director Bertrand Bonello

To order The Parts You Lose Umbrella import DVD, go to this link for it and other hard to find releases at:


- Ricky Chiang (Agatha) and James Lockhart



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