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 > Science Fiction > Horror > Comedy > Monster > Documentary > Cable TV > Mystery > Exploitation > Japan > Supe > Automation (2019/Epic Blu-ray)/Barge People (2019/DVD*)/Cursed Films (2020/Blu-ray/*both RLJ)/Human Monster (1937/VCI**)/Inferno Of Torture (1969/Arrow/**both MVD Blu-rays)/The Specials (2000/La La La

Automation (2019/Epic Blu-ray)/Barge People (2019/DVD*)/Cursed Films (2020/Blu-ray/*both RLJ)/Human Monster (1937/VCI**)/Inferno Of Torture (1969/Arrow/**both MVD Blu-rays)/The Specials (2000/La La Land Blu-ray)

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

Now for all kinds of genre releases you might be interested in...

We start with a Sci-Fi/Slasher film, Automation (2019), a fun low budget romp starring scream queens Elissa Dowling (Rootwood) and Sarah French (Blind) who are great here. A workplace robot named AUTO goes from mild mannered to deadly when he hears that he may be deactivated. Protecting the only woman he loves, Jenny (Dowling), and eliminating everyone else that stands in his way, including his own creator!

Automation also stars Sadie Katz, Parry Shen, Graham Skipper, and Jeff Rector with direction by Garo Setian.

The fun thing about Automation is that it's mainly a guy in a robot costume for most of the time, which is such a classic Hollywood trope. Comparisons to Robocop or Splice are inevitable, but this film somehow manages to feel fresh besides borrowing from others in the same vein.

Automation is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and audio mixes in lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo. The film is fine throughout as the film mainly takes place in a lab. There are some interesting color schemes at play with some digital effects here and there. The Blu-ray presentation is up to standards with no glaring issues.

Special Features are loaded on this release and include:

Audio Commentaries

Deleted Scenes

Alternate Scenes


Behind The Scenes featurette

Writing the Screenplay featurette

Building ''Auto'' with Evil Ted

Auto's Voice - An Interview with VO Artist Jim Tasker

and Bonus Interviews

Automation is a fun throwback to '80s robot movies and features some fun indie actors to boot. Definitely worth checking out in this nice Blu-ray release that's packed with extras!

Inspired by John Carpenter films and maybe a bit of H.P. Lovecraft, The Barge People (2019) is a decent lower budget creature feature that has some pretty neat looking monsters. Debuting on disc courtesy of RLJE and streaming on Shudder, this is a fun newer slasher creature feature to watch that fans of '80s horror will gravitate to.

Set in Britain, two sisters and their boyfriends go to a barge for a relaxing weekend and instead discover, despite being warned, that a clan of mutant bloodthirsty Barge People are killing anyone they come in contact with. Mainly following your normal slasher storyline, there's plenty of gore and weirdness when the Barge People attack.

The film is directed by Charlie Steeds and stars Kate Davies-Speak, Carl Andersson, Mark McKirdy, Makenna Guyler, Natalie Martins, Matt Swales, and Kane Surry.

The Barge People is presented in anamorphically enhanced, standard definition on DVD with a 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy English 5.1 Dolby Digital audio mix. The transfer has some native compression issues that are normal with the format. The film itself is surprisingly well shot with a highly cinematic look and interesting color themes throughout. All in all, a fine presentation for SD.

No extras.

The Barge People isn't going to win any awards for originality, but it's a fun watch and has some fun gore moments.

Director Jay Cheel presents Cursed Films (2020) - a five part Shudder original series that explores some of the most unique disasters and bizarre events to ever cross film production. This first season focuses on the 'cursed' makings of The Omen (1976), Poltergeist, The Exorcist, The Crow, and Twilight Zone: The Movie. The documentary series questions the fate of these films and if they were really 'cursed' by some evil forces amongst us?

The series features Phil Nobile Jr., Mitch Horowitz, Ryan Turek, April Wolfe, and Hector Avalos to name a few.

While these cases have been public knowledge for many years, this show does a nice job of presenting the facts in a documentary style manner with interesting interviews that offer new perspectives. These cases aren't exactly things that the studios are anxious to be publicized so it's interesting to get some insight on some of these classic films like never before.

The most shocking is The Twilight Zone: The Movie case, which is why it was smart for the filmmakers to end the season highlighting it. The Crow story is quite sad too with the passing of Brandon Lee and an insightful interview from actor Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes) mentions a character he was to play in the film that was never fully shot out due to Lee's sudden death.

Cursed Films is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with a 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix, both of which are an improvement over the streaming presentation on Shudder. This is a nice looking disc that's definitely welcome in any genre fan's collection.

Special Features: Director's Audio Commentary for All 5 Episodes

Cursed Films is an interesting and well made series that is worth checking out especially if you're a fan of the classic genre films that it examines.

Bela Lugosi stars in the 1937 horror film, The Human Monster aka The Dark Eyes of London, which is presented on Blu-ray disc for the first time thanks to VCI. Directed by Walter Summers (Footsteps in the Sand, 1939), the film is from the legendary writer Edgar Wallace, who was very renowned at the time for writing high concept pulp material. The film also stars Hugh Williams, Greta Gynt, Edmon Ryan, Wilfred Walter, and Alexander Field.

The Human Monster in this film is in the shape of a doctor played by Lugosi who collects the insurance off men murdered by a disfigured resident of the home for the blind. A Scotland Yard Inspector becomes wise to his scheme and the two face off.

The Human Monster is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray with a black and white full frame MPEG-4 AVC codec and a 1.37:1 pillar boxed aspect ratio and an audio mix in PCM Mono, both of which are of the norm for the format. Considering the age of the film, this presentation isn't terrible. In fact, it's a miracle the film looks this good considering it's a low budget production. Still, the image could have more contrast and be a bit more detailed, but all things considered it doesn't look too bad here. Definitely a step above previous releases.

Special Features include:

Audio Commentary by Gary D Rhodes

Audio Commentary by David Del Valle and Phoef Sutton

Original US Re-Issue Theatrical Trailer

Scared to Death Trailer (in color and Lugosi's only full color film!)

White Zombie Trailer (VCI Blu-ray reviewed elsewhere on this site)

Photo Gallery

Perhaps one of the lesser known Lugosi films, it is defiantly a chilling performance from the vampiric master and remains a fun watch, especially now in HD.

Certainly not a film for the squeamish, Inferno of Torture (1969) is presented in HD courtesy of Arrow Video. A film by Teruo Ishii (Horrors of Malformed Men, Orgies of Edo), this violent and perverse film centers around women who are tattooed and tortured in a western brothel where women are treated inhumanely.

The film stars Teruo Yoshida, Asao Koike, Yumiko Katayama, and Haruo Tanaka.

Inferno of Torture is presented in nicely here in 1080p high definition with an MPEG-4 AVC codec and an original widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and a Japanese LPCM 2.0 Mono mix with English subtitles. It has been nicely restored here in HD and is up to par with other Arrow releases.

Special Features:

Audio Commentary by Japanese cinema expert Tom Mes

Erotic Grotesque Nonsense & the Foundations of Japan's Cult Counterculture - a condensed version of Jasper Sharp's Miskatonic Institute lecture


Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork by Jacob Phillips

and FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Chris D.

Lastly, Director Craig Mazin's The Specials (2000) is a low budget comedy/superhero film that's fun to look back on now as many of its principal cast members have gone on to have successful careers in the superhero genre. Namely, Director James Gunn, whose responsible for the excellent Guardians of the Galaxy series, here he is in front of the camera as a member of the dysfunctional superhero team 'The Specials' alongside many notable faces including Thomas Haden Church (who went on to star in the Hellboy reboot and as well as the Sand Man in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3), Rob Lowe (Parks and Recreation), Judy Greer (Jurassic World), Jamie Kennedy (Austin Powers), Jordan Ladd (Death Proof), Paget Brewster (Criminal Minds), Kelly Coffield (In Living Color), and a cameo by Melissa Joan Hart (Sabrina).

If you're looking for a superhero movie with action packed superhero sized material, however, this is NOT the movie for you as this is more of a comedy/drama where the main characters happen to be wearing superhero costumes. The film has been remastered in a new 2K scan and presented here for the first time in this limited edition Blu-ray in honor of its 20th Anniversary.

The Specials is a group of superheroes that each have their own unique powers that have aided humanity for over a decade. When they finally get their own toy line, they end up clashing with each other as their egos get in the way. Bashing heads and temporarily disbanding, the group deals with the problems they have with one another in order to regroup and remain strong.

The Specials is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and two nice sounding audio tracks in lossless English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 and English LPCM 2.0 Stereo mixes. This is the time the film has been offered in high definition and this new 2K scan from an interpositive is definitely a nice way to see it. The colors are nicely balanced and the fact that it was shot on film ups the production value.

Special Features:

Theatrical Trailer

Moro's Magic: The "Specials" effects featurette

Audio commentary with Director Craig Mazin, Writer/Actor James Gunn, Producer Mark A.Altman and Visual Effects Supervisor Mojo recorded in 2000

Audio commentary with Writer/Actor James Gunn and Actress Paget Brewster recorded in 2005

Deleted scenes

Wedding Video

Toy Commercial

and Behind the scenes photos

The Specials is interesting in the fact that it's a superhero movie without hardly any superhero special effects. Aside from the costumes and makeup on a few characters, the film is mainly a character comedy/drama that is funny and interesting. Obviously shot on a low budget and with a few dated jokes that might be offensive to some by today's standards, The Specials is a fun and entertaining comedy.

- James Lockhart



 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com