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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Monster > Creature > Shark > Supernatural > Serial Killer > Child > Demonic Possession > Deep Blue Sea 3 (2020/Warner Blu-ray w/DVD)/House By The Cemetery 4K (1981) + New York Ripper (1982/Blue Underground*)/Mikey (1992/*all MVD Blu-ray)/Z (2019/RLJ Blu-ray)

Deep Blue Sea 3 (2020/Warner Blu-ray w/DVD)/House By The Cemetery 4K (1981) + New York Ripper (1982/Blue Underground*)/Mikey (1992/*all MVD Blu-ray)/Z (2019/RLJ Blu-ray)

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

Here's our latest group of horror films, including two remarkable 4K upgrades...

The first Deep Blue Sea was a fun Hollywood thrill ride full of fun characters and sharks that were bad CG, but at least brought some surprise kills. The cast featured the likes of Thomas Jane, Samuel L. Jackson, LL Cool J, and others and is honestly one of the best killer shark films of the past few decades.

The second and now this third installment simply steal the name and go off and do their own thing with terrible results. Why Warner Bros. (a company that owns HBO, which is known for amazing content) even greenlit these past two sequels is beyond me. No stars, not even B-movie names. The plots are weak. Characters are weak. Ultimately, it feels like they filmed a first draft screenplay here. You would think that they would have learned from the bore-fest that was Deep Blue Sea 2 (reviewed elsewhere on this site) aka 90 minutes of my life I'll never get back, but once again some curious fans of the original will be suckered into watching this trash the world over.

The film stars Nathaniel Buzolic, Emerson Brooks, Bren Foster, Reina Aoi, Alex Bhat, and Siya Mayola.

An island mostly submerged in water known as Little Happy is being monitored by a group of Aquatic scientists. It doesn't take long until three bull sharks come and attempt to gobble them up.

Deep Blue Sea 3 is presented in 1080p on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec and a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and an English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix. There is also an anamorphically enhanced, standard definition DVD with similar but compressed tracks and a lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital mix. The film was shot digitally and looks and sounds okay considering it's on the lower budget spectrum. The digital sharks look completely fake throughout as if they hired some people that worked on Sharknado and recycled their animation.

Special Features:

Deep Blue Sea 3: Fight to the Death

and Sinking Sets and Sharks: Making Deep Blue Sea 3

Deep Blue Sea 2 and 3 could have been cheeky and fun direct to video sequels. They could have brought back LL Cool J (I'm sure he's not THAT expensive), the original film's director, or some other names, and played with the killer shark format more. People want to see a good killer shark movie! Look at Meg, The Shallows, 47 Meters Down, etc. Obviously, none of them touch the impact of the original Jaws, but people are okay with a film that doesn't reach that height as long as it's fun to watch. They could have went further with the violence because its direct to video too, and the sequels could have somewhat made sense together plot wise.

Instead, we get two slapped together films that could be named something else with completely forgettable characters, and lame action that tarnish the name of a good movie. This is just lazy work, plain and simple.

From the brilliant Italian gore master, Lucio Fulci, who directed The Beyond, Zombie, Demonia, The Devil's Honey, and plenty of other horror masterpieces, comes the 4K Ultra HD release of his classic films The New York Ripper (1982) and The House By The Cemetery (1981) from the good folks at Blue Underground.

The House By the Cemetery 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 New York Ripper is a modern re-imaging of the Jack the Ripper murders only set in '80s New York City. It centers around a killer that stalks women and likes to quack like a duck while doing so, leaving bizarre clues behind. The Killer tortures the police while remaining anonymous and killing left and right all over the city. The New York Ripper features many of Fulci's trademarks including over the top gore, a focus on sexuality and nudity, surrealistic lighting, and high production value. Having seen all of his films, I can safely say that this is one of his finest works.

Both films are presented in 2160p HEVC/H.265, Dolby Vision/HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image scanned from the original 35mm camera negatives & other materials and widescreen aspect ratios of 2.39 X 1, and audio mixes in lossless English Dolby Atmos, a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mixdown for older systems, and Italian DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono mixes. The transfers are in tradition with Blue Underground's high standards and are presented in a new 16-Bit color restoration, and so they are very sharp.

It seems that both films have a cooler blue tone to them now than they did previously, which is a nice compliment and makes the colors pop a bit more. One would have to wonder with Mr. Fulci himself would think of seeing his films in this much clarity. I'm sure he would approve. They are also packed with extras.

Special Features for House by the Cemetery:

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

Deleted Scene

Theatrical Trailers

TV Spot

Poster & Still Galleries

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 Brigan

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

House Quake - Interview with Co-Writer Giorgio Mariuzzo

Catriona MacColl Q&A

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

Special Features for The New York Ripper include:

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

Theatrical Trailer

The Art Of Killing - Interview with Co-Writer Dardano Sacchetti

Three Fingers Of Violence - Interview with Star Howard Ross

The Second Victim - Interview with Co-Star Cinzia de Ponti

The Broken Bottle Murder - Interview with Co-Star Zora Kerova

"I'm an Actress!" - 2009 Interview with Co-Star Zora Kerova

The Beauty Killer - Interview with Stephen Thrower, Author of Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci

Paint Me Blood Red - Interview with Poster Artist Enzo Sciotti

NYC Locations Then and Now

Theatrical Trailer

and Poster & Still Gallery

Two classic must own horror films that look and sound better than ever. Be sure to upgrade to these editions if you are a hardcore Fulci fan with a 4K home setup. You won't be disappointed.

A bit dated in many ways, the psycho kid slasher movie, Mikey (1992). Brian Bonsall (Blank Check, Family Ties), brutally murders his step family. When a new family adopts the little psychopath, they soon find herself in a deadly predicament. One minute, he's an innocent kid and then the next he's a twisted killer. Things get more complicated when Mike gets a crush on his new mom and babysitter and starts to videotape his evil acts to catch their attention (that he blames on others.) The film follows the normal slasher movie formula for the most part although it does have a bit of an unsettling third act. The early '90s film gets a new life on disc here thanks to MVD Visual as part of their MVD Rewind Collection.

The film also stars Ashley Laurence (Hellraiser), Josie Bissett (Melrose Place), Mimi Craven (A Nightmare on Elm Street), John Diehl (A Time To Kill), Whit Hertford (A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child) and Lyman Ward (Ferris Bueller's Day Off).

Mikey is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with a codec of MPEG-4 AVC and an original widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 (original aspect ratio, 1.85:1) and two English audio mixes in LPCM 2.0 Stereo (48kHz, 16-bit) and lossy English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (320kbps). The original quality of the film is very high end, but there are a few moments where film dirt and lines are still present.

Special Features:

NEW Feature Length Making of Documentary: ''The Making of Mikey'' with star Brian Bonsall, Director Dennis Dimster-Denk, Editor and Producer Natan Zahavi and Director of Photography Thomas Jewett

NEW ''Mikey: Anatomy of a Scene'' with Director Dennis Dimster-Denk

Theatrical Trailer

and a Collectible Mini-Poster

Mikey is a fun psychotic kid film, but nowadays a security camera or forensics would have exposed this child killer before he gets as far as he does. It is nice to see some horror movie starlets in this early '90s horror flick, however, which makes it worth revisiting in this collector's edition. If you like movies like The Good Son or The Omen films, this is the audience that Mikey will cater to. There's definitely no way that this movie would be green-lit today in its current form.

Finally, from Shudder and RLJ comes Z (2019) which is a 'child has an imaginary friend that's really a killer' genre much like The Boy series (only in that the 'friend' is a doll). From the creator of Still/Born, Z is nicely produced and a smaller more psychological brand of horror. While it may seem more of the same, the film surprisingly isn't terrible, and its star Keegan Connor Tracy is very convincing in the lead role as the Mother.

The film stars Jett Klyne, Sean Rogerson, Sara Canning, and Stephen McHattie.

A young child starts to see a strange imaginary friend named 'Z', who starts to become violent and messes with the young boy's mind. His concerned Parents seek treatment, however, upon her Mother dying and going through old tapes, the boy's Mother (Tracy) remembers that the spirit attached itself to her at a young age and has come back. As her life starts to spiral out of control, the Mother must save her son by pretending to forge a friendship with the demonic 'Z,' but will this imaginary friend change her drastically and completely ruin her life?

Z is presented in 1080p high definition with an MPEG-4 AVC Codec and a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and is paired with an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz) mix, both of which are of the standard for Blu-ray. The film is nicely shot and the Video Black comes across nicely here in this transfer.

No extras.

If you like films centering on the supernatural and possession, then this is worth checking out!

- James Lockhart



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