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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Supernatural > Vampires > Action > Thriller > Superhero > Science FictionMonster > Outer Space > Last Starfighter (1984/Universal**)/Prodigal Son: Season One (2019/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Warning From Space (1956/**both MVD/Arrow Blu-rays)

Amityville Harvest (2019*)/Beckman (2020/Universal DVD)/Blade 4K (1997/Marvel Comics/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/G-Loc (2020/*both Lionsgate DVDs)/King Kong (1976/Umbrella Region B Import Blu-ray)/Last Starfighter (1984/Universal**)/Prodigal Son: Season One (2019/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Warning From Space (1956/**both MVD/Arrow Blu-rays)

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

PLEASE NOTE: The Prodigal Son Blu-ray is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive collection and can be ordered from the links below.

Up next are more genre releases, including upgrades on three older favorites, the latest (belated) would-be entry in a sort-of series and some new items...

A Vampire movie in disguise of an Amityville film, The Amityville Harvest (2020) is a low budget spook show that never quite hits the mark beyond normal vampire faire. The premise is pretty interesting - a camera crew ends up going to and interviewing a Vampire at his spooky mansion - which holds some history behind it. Therein, a lot of unusual things start to happen... they can't capture his image or voice on video and many of the crew members start to fall under the Vampire's spell. It's only a matter of time before the crew becomes a ghoulish snack for the Vampire and his minions. The film stars Sadie Katz, Paul Logan, Kyle Lowder, Eileen Dietz, and Julie Ann Prescott. It is directed by Thomas J. Churchhill.

The Amityville Harvest is presented in anamorphically enhanced, standard definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. There are compression issues as evident on other films of the format. The movie was shot on video and looks most professional. There are a few shots that are a bit boring and some of it that shows it was a bare bones production, despite their being four or five indie studios shown at the head of the film.

Special Features? Only a Trailer.

The Amityville Harvest sounds good on paper, but the execution is a bit dicy. The film is certainly low budget and makes a few amateur mistakes therein that showcase it. There are few moments of creativity that make it worth a watch, but I feel like this was a different film that the Amityville title was slapped on for marketing purposes.

Aaron Beckman (David A.R. White) was a former hitman who got out of the game. Saved by a preacher he is now a man of god and of peace, but when his adopted daughter gets kidnapped by a cult, he will have to rely on his old skills and former connection to find her, but what will do, what will he be willing to do to get her back and to get his revenge?

In Beckman (2020), the retired hitman for the underworld, but when he was at death's door, he saved by a dying preacher he gave up his gun and live the quiet life. Barely a year later he takes in and saves a runaway girl Tabetha to become his adopted daughter, but the past has a way of catching up to both of them, his 'daughter' turns out to be from running from a cult she was in and they take her back. Now, Beckman will do anything to get her back and has to fight other assassins and bounty hunters ...but is it worth the cost of his soul and breaking his vow to never kill again?

This movie was like a mix of the movies John Wick and Taken (including their sequels) but with a lower budget. A hitman on revenge and killing a lot of people to get his daughter back. The film had plenty of fight scenes, shoot outs and a lot of one liners. Only difference was the surprise twist ending, by NOT killing the last boss (he killed everybody else) only then was he able to save his daughter (which was oddly the most unrealistic part of the movie). William Baldwin and Jeff Fahey also star.

The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image and lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 sound mix are as good as they can be for this older format, but play well enough, but a Blu-ray would be nice at some point. Extras include commentary with writer/director, Making of Beckman: Faith and Hope Amidst the Storm and bloopers.

Next is a hit that is now a classic in many ways. Blade 4K (1997) became the first-ever hit theatrical feature film of any Marvel Comics character (James Cameron's Spider-Man project might have beat it, but it never made it) and at the time, it looked like Director Stephen Norrington was going to be the next big director, but that fizzled. However, Wesley Snipes was on a roll and was excellent as the half-human/half-vampire 'daywalker' vampire hunter with revenge on his mind and a trying past.

An influence on The Matrix films and one of the few interesting, early uses of CGI that has not always aged well, but works in its narrative context and was surprising in its time, it was technically innovative in a few other ways we'll get to in a minute, but most of all, its energy, action, great music score, editing and extensive use of martial arts is a combination that holds up well as Blade goes after Deacon Frost (Stephen Dorff in a fine performance) and this should have resulted in a long-running series instead of only three films that did not connect well with each other.

It turns out the vampires are now well-organized, using the latest technology and are preying on humans at night as they mix it up with illegal business dealings. Blade is out there on the hunt, seeming alone, but has the backing of mechanical wizard and the very wise Whistler (Kris Kristofferson in perfect casting) to help him bring down the unknown gang. The film holds up and was ahead of its time in several ways (Snipes almost played Black Panther, but when they could not get that one off the ground, he and Stan Lee discussed Blade and this series happened instead) and its success surprised everyone at the time. I was glad.

So now we have the new set from Warner with a new 4K upgrade and the older Blu-ray, as well as extras worth revisiting. It is also one of the few Superhero films made between the mostly bad ones and the now mostly huge and successful ones that are big hits and usually liked by fans and critics that are gritty (the Thomas Jane Punisher, also now in 4K) that were realistic and gritty (with some humor) that the studios seem to be afraid to make, unless directed by Christopher Nolan.

Now for the tech performance, which is just as important in this case. The 2160p HEVC/H.265, 2.35 X 1, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image is a new 4K scan from the original elements, 35mm negative apparently and it looks great all around for the most part, save the older CGI digital effects, but some of them were done to be funny and most to advance the narrative. The film was shot on 35mm Kodak color negative, but with a new kind of lighter anamorphic scope lens that was new at the time, but made the cameras easier to move around, so the action was faster.

Now, everyone wants to use Hawk Scope lenses and for good reason. They look as good as the best on the market (from Panavision, Todd-AO 35, J-D-C Scope, Arri-Scope, 2.35 Research, some older lenses you might experiment with and even Clairmont Scope, as Clairmont supplied the cameras for this film.

You can cheat by using regular lenses, whether you shoot on film (Super 35 or techniscope gives you a fake, albeit weaker scope image) or HD (ditto on the often weaker appearance in most instances as of this posting) which has happened before and especially since Blade, but there is nothing like the real thing and this film was very groundbreaking in that respect too. I'll add that some shots are so good, they exceed my final rating, so expect some great demo material in 4K too.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image on the regular Blu-ray is fine for its age and the format, but it cannot compete with the 4K, especially in the Video Red, Black and White senses and the new scan can be as impressive as the 35mm print I saw in its original theatrical release, all new and fresh itself.

Then there is sound. As Sony was introducing 8-track sound with its SDDS/Sony Dynamic Digital Sound format (which I always liked better than old Dolby Digital) and was one of the three digital formats for theaters at the time, Dolby and DTS tried launching 6.1 formats. Dolby had EX, but the back channel was not separate and discrete, but DTS ES had that going for it and Blade was one of the ket feature films to introduce and push that format. It is exclusively on the Blu-ray only, but you can hear how ambitious it was and is in its DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 6.1 ES lossless mix here. They also pushed the envelope on the first sequel (read more about that at the link below) and that makes the films sonically unique.

Especially because the sound is definitely there, Warner has upgraded that amazing soundtrack to lossless Dolby Atmos 11.1 (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 for older systems) and the results are a new take that includes a little more punch, clarity and impact for the action in the film. There are a few points where there are slight sonic limits that give the sound of the film away, but the soundmaster is mostly in amazing shape and fans of the film will really want to go out of their way to hear it this way.

Extras include Digital Copy, while both discs add Cast & Crew audio commentaries and the older Blu-ray offers an Original Theatrical Trailer and featurettes La Magra, Designing Blade, The Origins Of Blade: A Look At Dark Comics and The Blood Tide.

For more on this film and its first sequel, you can look at our coverage at these links:

Blade DTS DVD Import


Blade II Blu-ray


True Blood star Stephen Moyer stars in the Lionsgate Sci-Fi feature G-Loc (2020) which is now available on DVD. While the story and overall quality of the film isn't bad, G-Loc can't escape its overly ambitious story aided by mediocre digital effects. The film is high concept, however, and not quite as bad as one might expect.

G-Loc also stars Casper Van Dien (Starship Troopers), Emily Haigh, Tala Gouveia, Alan Wallace, and veteran actor John Rhys-Davies (Lord of the Rings). The film is directed by Tom Paton (Stairs, Pandorica).

Moyer stars as Bran Marshall is a young man who has fled from Earth through The Gate to find a new home on Rhea. Things aren't so easy when the early human settlers of Rhea have decided that they will no longer accept incoming refugees from Earth, and Bran is forced to team up with a Rhean woman (Gouveia) to stop her ship from killing thousands of Earth Refugees.

The film is presented in anamorphically enhanced standard definition on DVD with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and a lossy English 5.1 Dolby Digital mix. The film has a cinematic look despite its lower budget and feels like a bigger production on the Earth set scenes as opposed to those that take place in space which rely on more digital trickery to pull off. Compression issues are evident and I'm sure the film looks much better in HD than it does here.

Special Features: The Making of G-Loc and a Trailer Gallery

King Kong is one of Hollywood's most infamous characters and still a favorite of many genre fans is this 1976 version, which still holds up after all of these years. Finally available in HD, even though it is a Region B disc, is this nice new transfer from Umbrella that will hold us over until the inevitable American HD release. While limited to the effects of the time, this practical King Kong won several awards for its groundbreaking special effects and its dramatic performances, however criticized for its differences to the original. It was also a bigger hit than many remember.

The film stars Jessica Lange (who was bashed at the time for her performance), Jeff Bridges, Charles Grodin, and John Randolph to name a few with direction by John Guillermin (The Towering Inferno, the 1978 Death On The Nile), who also went on to direct the less successful King Kong Lives in 1986 with Linda Hamilton.

A research ship is sent to explore an island rumored to be rich in oil, paleontologist Jack Prescott (Bridges) sneaks aboard, having heard strange rumors he can't ignore. During the massive journey, the crew rescues Dwan (Lange), who is the sole survivor of a shipwreck. (instead of being a struggling actress as in the original) When they arrive, they find the natives who fear a humungous ape named Kong. The natives kidnap Dwan and sacrifice her to Kong, although the pesky Americans plan to port Kong back to the mainland, and show him off in an exhibit in an attempt to cash in on the mystical creature. They underestimate the monster's love for Dwan and it ends up causing havoc in New York City just to find her.

The script (by Lorenzo Semple, Jr.) is different in many ways to the landmark original film and different from Peter Jackson's more recent Hollywood version. While Jackson made some interesting choices and in my opinion, made an interesting film, I still feel that there are some aspects to this 1976 version that makes it a classic. Although the film has been bashed over the years by some critics, there is just something so cool about seeing a guy in a Kong suit crashing models and getting shot by model airplanes that the CGI in Peter Jackson's version can't replicate. The end sequence is more brutal than any other version with Kong getting bloody by the incoming fire power. The scale of this film and all of the extras involved in some of the sequences is still a big accomplishment and makes for interesting genre cinema.

King Kong is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix, both of which look fine on disc and is a vast improvement over the original SD DVD version that was previously available. There is more detail overall in the image and the scope of the film is captured better in HD.

Special Features:

Making of Featurette

Deleted Scenes

and a Trailer

Presented on Blu-ray with beautiful packaging is the Arrow release of The Last Starfighter (1984), which is a genre favorite. Remastered and looking better than ever, fans will certainly want to pick up this special edition set. Similar in story to movies like Tron and Flight of the Navigator, The Last Starfighter centers on an average teen named Alex (Lance Guest) that plays a video game at the trailer park he lives in and becomes a high scoring champion. One night, a man shows up and brings him into the world of the video game which happens to be a real intergalactic war.

As Alex comes to grips with his new calling, he becomes an hero. Directed by Nick Castle (Halloween), the film also stars Robert Preston, Dan O'Herlihy, Catherine Mary Stewart, Barbara Bosson, and Norman Snow. While the film doesn't have the production power of Star Wars, it has some interesting characters and practical effects. Of course the visual effects are dated and really stick out as so on a release with this sharp an image. The acting overall is pretty solid and there's a lot of interesting ideas and creativity at play here that makes the film definitely worth checking out again.

The Last Starfighter is presented on 1080p Blu-ray with an MPEG--4 AVC (31.94 Mbps) codec and an anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio of 2.40:1 and paired with audio mixes in Uncompressed PCM2.0 Stereo, 5.1 DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless and 4.1 audio. Some notes on this release, this is a 4K scan of the original negative and features a 4.1 mix originally created for the film's 70mm release – never included on previous home video formats!

Special Features include a brand new audio commentary with Mike White of The Last Projection Booth podcast Archival audio commentary with director Nick Castle and production designer Ron Cobb Heroes of the Screen - archival featurette Crossing the Frontier: The Making of The Last Starfighter - archival 4-part documentary Image Galleries Theatrical and Teaser Trailers Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matt Ferguson Limited Edition O-Card (first pressing only) Limited Edition Reversible Poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork (first pressing only) Collector's Booklet featuring new writing by Amanda Reyes and sci-fi author Greg Bear's never-before-published Omni Magazine article on Digital Productions, the company responsible for the CGI in The Last Starfighter (first pressing only).

The Last Starfighter is a fun genre film that I'm surprised hasn't seen a remake or sequel in recent years. It certainly has a lot of imagination behind it and some fun moments of comedy and '80s modern life seen in some of Spielberg's films of the time.

Malcolm Bright (Tom Payne) is a disgraced former FBI profiler who now works for the police helping them to solve murders. However, his unique insight comes from his 'father' who also so happens to be 'The Surgeon' the serial killer. While he and the police catch murderers, Malcolm must also deal with his own personal demons and repressed memories, what really happened and was he part of those murderers? But as his memories begin to return, is the reason he is so good a profiling criminal because he is the really the same as those serial killer, like his father ...a murderer at heart?

In Prodigal Son: Season One (2019), Malcolm Bright has night terrors and can't sleep, at night he needs to be chained to the bed just so he can't hurt himself. He works as a profiler for the police, he gets into the mind of serial killers to help Captain Gil and his team of detectives solve high profile murders/serial killers for New York's elite. However, his greatest fear is that he and his family live in the shadow of his father, The Surgeon, a serial killer/former world class doctor in which has been locked away for 20 years in a psychiatric hospital (in which he still consults with cases). His mother is an alcoholic rich socialite trying to find a way back into New York's social elite, his sister is the young beautiful and ambitious news reporter who reports murder cases. However, his father being a genius and a serial killer, even behind bars, is he continuing to orchestrate murders and manipulate Bright? Malcom fears his father trained him to become the next serial killer, and perhaps he is more like his father than he knows?

This series is a psychological murder thriller, the main characters sees ghost and his own repressed memories, he both hates his serial killer father and yet yearns for his love. As the character tries to solve cases and remember his past, each case seems bring back more memories and blames his father why he is psychologically damaged. At first, it seemed like his greatest foe would be his own father, but what there was even a bigger serial killer out there? If both of them are to survive, they must work together. Lou Diamond Philips and Michael Sheen also star.

Episodes include:

Pilot - Malcolm is brought in to consult a case in which the serial killer is copying his infamous father 'The Surgeon"

Annihilator - The police discovers an entire family murdered and the dead patriarch has live snakes in his body.

Fear Response - Malcolm must uncover a killer who wants revenge for social experiment that ended up with someone dead.

Designer Complicity - A celebrity is found murdered and clues point to a stalker, but Malcolm suspects there is someone else.

The Trip - A gangster is found murdered, but the suspect has close ties with detective Dani in which she doesn't believe he did it.

All Souls and Sadists - A man is stabbed over a hundred times to death and the police thinks it is the wife, but is the wife protecting the son... or is it the other way around?

Q&A - Malcolm discovers a junkyard with several bodies and the murderer escapes, but discovers he may have ties with his father and maybe his father's 'disciple'.

Family Friend - As Malcolm chases after the 'Junkyard Killer', the killer remember Malcolm's past and he is somehow connected to him.

Pied-A-Terre - The police discovers a dead body and uncovers a secret polyamorous society for the rich and powerful, Malcolm goes undercover.

Silent Night - The Chief of Detectives is found murdered with a dead hooker, Malcolm investigates with a former disgraced detective but ends up getting kidnapped.

Alone Time - As the Police search for Malcolm, Malcolm plans his escape, unaware he is locked up in a secret tunnel beneath his own mother's home.

Internal Affairs - Malcolm gets psychologically profiled to see if he is fit to work with the police, but he turns the table when he reveals it is a trap to catch profiler who kill cult members because of their own past.

Wait and Hope - Malcolm and the police must catch a killer who is mimicking the revenge killings based on 'The Count of Monte Cristo'.

Eye of the Needle - Malcolm investigates a murderer who maybe a former victim of his father and now want him to kill 'The Surgeon' or he will kill more in his name.

Death's Door - As 'The Surgeon' lies at death's door on the operating table, he has nightmares, but what does a serial killer dream to be a nightmare?

The Job - Malcolm is reunited with his old high school friend in a high-profile robbery and homicide, and they were once known as 'The Bad Seeds'.

Stranger Beside You - Malcolm and the police must discover who is a murderer when a baby's life hangs in the balance.

Scheherazade - A ballet dancer is murdered in a middle of a socialite party, but all the suspects are in the ballet company, and everyone is trained to hide their emotions.

The Professionals - Eve, Malcolm's girlfriend is found murdered, but then the murder is caught and he is then murdered too. Bright is framed becomes the primary suspect and he goes on the run.

and Like Father... - Malcolm and his entire family is being set up, framed for murder (including his father). His father however knows who it is and says the only way they can save themselves is for them to kill him first.

The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers look really good an d are shot very well, more top rate than expected, while the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes are almost as impressive and well recorded and mixed well. There are no extras.

Finally, Arrow Video has unearthed a bizarre and quite fun 1950s Japanese sci-fi flick, Warning From Space (1956) that is from Toho, the infamous studio that brought you Godzilla, that turns out to be the country's first full color science fiction film of any kind, in this new edition that's presented in HD with two different cuts of the film. This is definitely worth checking out if you're a retro sci-fi fan like myself, and is similar in a lot of ways to the classic The Day The Earth Stood Still. The film stars Toyomi Karita, Keizo Kawasaki, Isao Yamagata, Shozo Nanbu, Mieko Nagai, and Kiyoko Hirai; the film is directed by Koji Shima.

In Warning From Space, star shaped one-eyed aliens make contact and warn the citizens of Earth. Will the people of Tokyo be able to work together with these strange beings (who can also shape shift) to help save Earth from hitting a flaming planet?

Warning From Space is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with a MPEG-4 AVC codec and a full frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and a Japanese LPCM Mono mix with optional newly translated English subtitles. Due to the condition of the print there are some photochemical issues that forever remain such as a slight flicker and some density fluctuation, but overall the film is certainly watchable. If anything, it kind of adds to the experience. Warning From Space definitely has some of the most bizarre aliens I've seen in any film - the unique star shaped aliens with one eye in the center. As we usually think of aliens being more humanoid in appearance, I found this to be an interesting spin - even though they look kinda silly.

Special Features: Brand new commentary by Stuart Galbraith IV, author of Monsters Are Attacking Tokyo!, First-ever HD transfer of the American release version of the film, including a newly restored English dub track, Theatrical trailers, Image galleries, a reversible sleeve featuring newly commissioned artwork by Matt Griffin, First pressing only: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring an essay on artist Taro Okamoto by Japanese art historian Nick West, and an essay on the production of the American edit of the film by David Cairns. That adds up to another amazing, collectible release of a key film by Arrow.

To order the King Kong (1976) Umbrella import Blu-ray, go to this link for it and other hard-to-find titles at:


and to order the Prodigal Son Warner Archive Blu-ray, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo (Blade 4K), Ricky Chiang (Beckman, Son) and James Lockhart



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