(2020/Well Go Blu-ray)/Cruel
In Dinosaur Valley
Season Two (2019/Electric
DVD Set)/Pale Door
(1980/*all Severin Blu-rays)
B-/B-/B-/C+/B-/B- Sound: B-/C+/C+/C+/B-/C+ Extras:
C-/C/C/D/C/C Main Programs: C-/C+/C/C/C/C
for a new set of B-movies, old and new, plus another fantasy TV
start with a film that was especially lame, Edward Drake's Broil
(2020) which has some family members trying to poison the grandfather
of the family, but some kind of 'secret' might cause all of this to
backfire (it is a 17-year-old gal who is most interested in doing
this) and then the goofy script throws in everything but the kitchen
sink, and they almost likely did that. Is it supernatural suddenly
or are some of the people here mentally ill?
script, what there is of it, never adds up and we land up caring less
about anything here, while the acting is not that great and all more
slightly exaggerated than it should have been. When it is all over,
after 90 lame minutes, only the filmmakers might know what they were
trying to say or do here. Yawn!
Mattei's Cruel Jaws
(1995) is a very belated Jaws-wanna
be, but such films somehow keep getting made, despite the original
Spielberg film (now in a decent 4K edition) being widely available.
We will likely never see a Jaws
To The Future II jokes
notwithstanding) but the first film (and the first two sequels, we
gather) will always have a following and sooner or later, someone
will get the bright idea to do a take-off, legalities or not.
one was shot in South Florida and has some good shots, but they are
not enough to offset how bad the film can get, though Mattei can
obviously direct and he is not concerned with gore or blood
(especially evident in the more uncut of the two versions here) and
though Florida is having all kinds of troubles (esp. since this was
made) they have not allowed the environment to be destroyed
if interested, see it for the half-baked acting, better scenes and to
see how much they ripped of the original film(s) and got away with
it. At least there are no bad digital effects here, though expect
plenty of stick footage of sharks that does not match the rest of the
E Lemick's Massacre In
Dinosaur Valley (1985)
has a paleontologist going into the jungle, knowing cannibals and
deadly animals abound, but that does not strop this Italian
production form letting the expert go dumb in his travels and all
hell breaks loose. A part of the cannibal cycle of the time, it is
also part of the cycle of 'natives' films that becomes more obviously
racist and stupid every day and is also an action film on some odd
level, so it is just not flesh eating.
no relief as the 89 minutes here just get dumber, the editing
sloppier and story more and more empty and unlikely. We don't really
get any dinosaurs either, but you know those budget limits. The
actors are truly bad, if it is acting we are even getting from many
of them. Still, it has some kind of following and it is hard to
believe cheap, wacky films like this were still being produced by the
mid-1980s, but here it is.
Outpost: Season Two
(2019, not to be confused with Outlander)
is the latest (and late for that matter) entry in TV series dealing
with magic, fantasy and battles, usually plastered with more digital
visual effects than a bakery is with cake frosting. Made in Europe,
the look is all you've seen before with dialogue you've heard before
and fights you have seen before, but not as good as the best. As
this reached a second season and a few other such shows are still
lensing, there is apparently some audience for this kind of thing
left, but that would be for devoted fanboys (and gals) only.
this could have been worse and is not a jokey and tired as it might
have been, but this genre is played out and this may be among the
last such shows that get made, even if the Lord Of Te Rings TV
version gets produced. It is confusing to start watching this one
without starting with the debut season, so if interested, you might
want to get both and binge on them.
B. Koontz's The Pale Door
(2020) wants to mix the Horror and Western genres as a crooked gang
picks a 'ghost town' that happens to be run by witches (guess they
got a bad map?) and they have to fight to survive, but this is miles
away from From Dusk Till
Dawn, so don't expect
anything that exciting or witty. At least the cast is trying to give
good acting performances, but the director seems lost, cannot infuse
this with enough energy to work and you might feel pale after
watching all 96 minutes of this one. Oh well.
is Sisword Gautama Putra's Primitives
(1980) that is part of a cycle of cannibalism films that started in
the 1960s and were ultra-cheap to make. This is just as cheap and
bloody and gross, though you only get so much of a storyline as three
anthropology students just pick up and go into the jungle, despite
their college educations telling them that there might be cannibals
in Indonesia, the 89 minutes look and feel very cheap throughout and
never fail to be dumb for whomever may find that entertainment (it is
not for children, of course) and of all things, in a move that shows
genres crossing, martial arts actor Barry Prima shows up in a move to
try to break the obvious monotony. To bad that did not help. For
fans of the cycle only.
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image on Broil is a
weak HD shoot that has its share of flaws and is a sloppy, lousy
shoot overall. I would have lowered by letter grade if it had been
any worse, so don't expect much here either.
1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers on all three
Severin releases are low budget affairs and show their age, but these
are new HD masters (Massacre is from a 4K master) and they
look about as good as they ever will. You know it took some serious,
hard work to make these look this good, but that's been what Severin
has been delivering constantly, so no surprise there.
1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Door
is almost the best-looking release here, but still misses some of the
color range of the older Severin films at times. Other times, it
looks generic, so only expect so much here.
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Outpost is also an
HD shot series with plenty of digital effects, but it could have been
worse and this is probably the best it can look on what is now such
an old format.
for sound, Broil
are both presented in DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes,
but they both sound like the multi-channel sound was an afterthought
or they just did not have the money or known how to make these sound
good. Broil has a few spots that are on the dull side too.
three Severin films are here in DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 lossless
mixes, but Cruel
was a belated Dolby A-type theatrical mono Dolby System theatrical
release, so it is Stereo with Pro Logic surrounds, while the other
two are monophonic from their original mono theatrical outings. They
show their sonic limits for their age and low budgets, including
obvious dubbing in many cases, but they sound as good as they ever
leaves the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on the Outposts
episodes which should have at least been 5.1, but decoded well enough
in Dolby Pro Logic and are passable at best.
for extras, Outpost has none, Broil only has a trailer
for it and other Well Go releases, Door has an audio
commentary track, editing featurette and Making Of featurette and the
three Severin discs all have Original Theatrical Trailers and more.
Cruel Jaws adds a second, more violent version from Japan of
the film and Behind The Scenes featurettes The
Great White Way and These Things Got Made!
Massacre adds Italian Credits, Deleted & Extended Scenes
reel and two interviews on camera with Michael Sopkiw (Valley Boy)
and Co-Writer Dardano Sacchetti (Lost In Brazil) and
Primitives rounds it all out with an Alternate Title Sequence
and two interviews of its own: Producing Primitives (with
Producer Gope T. Samtani) and Way Down In The Deep Jungle
(with screenwriter Iman Tantowi).