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Category:    Home > Reviews > Fantasy > Drama > Monster > Romance > Telefilm > Swords > Battles > Black Magic > Large Frame Format > Italy > Bermuda Depths (1978/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Hercules and the Captive Women (1963/Film Detective Blu-ray)/Monster Hunter 4K (2020/Sony 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Mortuary Collection (2019*)/Reckon

Bermuda Depths (1978/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Hercules and the Captive Women (1963/Film Detective Blu-ray)/Monster Hunter 4K (2020/Sony 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Mortuary Collection (2019*)/Reckoning (2021/*both RLJ Blu-rays)/Shogun's Joy Of Torture (1968/MVD/Arrow Blu-ray)

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

PLEASE NOTE: The Bermuda Depths Blu-ray can only be ordered from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series. All can be ordered from the link below.

Here's a wild new group of genre releases...

First, if you're looking for some odd nostalgia involving The Bermuda Triangle then you may want to check out The Bermuda Depths (1978), which is a sort of love story involving a giant aquatic turtle and a pair of young lovers. Gorgeously photographed but a bit dated and weird at times, The Bermuda Depths has a new 4K remaster here in this limited Warner Archive Collection release.

The telefilm (on TV in the U.S., theatrically issued overseas) features Leig McCloskey, Carl Weathers (the Rocky films), Connie Sellecca (later of TV's Greatest American Hero), Burt Ives, and Julie Woodson with direction by Tsugunobu Kotani.

The Bermuda Depths is presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and an English: DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono (48kHz, 24-bit). Originally presented on television as a movie of the week, there is also that alternate version of the film on here as well.

Special Features:

Both the 1.33 X 1 US Broadcast Television Version and the 1.85:1 International Theatrical Version

and a New Feature-Length Audio Commentary by Author / Film Historian Amanda Reyes (Are You in the House Alone? A TV Movie Compendium: 1964 - 1999) and Kindertrauma co-founder Lance Vaughan.

Vittorio Cottafavi's Hercules and the Captive Women (1963, aka Hercules Conquers Atlantis, 1961) arrived during the peak of sword and sandals films coming from Italy (et al) and has actor Reg Park replacing iconic Steve Reeves as the title hero for the first time in this big debut production that is one of the extremely rare such films to be shot in a large-frame format. Technirama (aka Super Technirama 70) was used on films like Spartacus, the original Pink Panther, Zulu and El Cid.

An evil queen with conquest plans, shape-shifting creature, lustful seductions, death traps and other sometimes surreal surprises await the strongest man (or is that god?) in this romp that has a little more to it than most such films, but is still a formulaic continuation of the series. Guess the idea was to launch Park as well as possible under the circumstances, but I never thought he was as convincing in the role as Reeves. He tries to show more humor and reactions, but less is more for these kinds of films and he never really, totally looks the part despite having a build at the time that was far more uncommon than it is today (he later was an advocate for the bodybuilding boom of the 1970s that led to so many getting ripped today. He is not awful in the action sequences, but he has his fans and this is a must-see from this original big-screen series of Hercules films from the same makers. That they got to use

The 1080p 2.20 X 1 digital High Definition image has some good detail and depth, but the 4K scan from the original camera negative shows that the negative is missing some frames and the color has faded a bit, which the people remastering the film for this release try to fix and avoid as much as possible. However, being shot in the Technirama format, created by Technicolor, it would be released in the dye-transfer, three-strip Technicolor process. The color here is not always on that level, plus the image has a few other minor flaws. Under better circumstances, this could have been the best looking film here, but it is only occasionally so.

The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless soundmix is dubbed (and redubbed?) showing flaws and sonic limits, but this was typical of most Italian films of the time. At least the elements are in good shape for what they are.

Extras include an illustrated booklet with a nice essay by C. Courtney Joyce, while the disc adds the 1992 edited, non-widescreen, unrestored version as spoofed on Mystery Science Theater 3000, an intro on this by MST3K co-star Frank Conniff, feature-length audio commentary track by Tim Lucas and the fine documentary Hercules and the Conquest of Cinema.

Monster Hunter 4K (2020) came out around the time movie theaters were beginning to reopen during the pandemic and was kind of lost in the shuffle of things. Now available on the 4K UHD and Blu-ray formats, the film is based on a hit video game and stars action superstar Milla Jovovich and directed by her husband Paul W.S. Anderson (Resident Evil series, Event Horizon). The film is a perfect fit for the pair, and offers a fun and brainless adventure with plenty of action, imagination, and cool looking creatures.

Also in the film is the great Ron Pearlman, Tony Jaa, (the now blacklisted) T.I., and Meagan Good.

Lt. Artemis (Jovovich) is transported to another world along with her military team by way of a freak storm. In this new and very different world, large monsters are king and ships that look like they would be piloted by pirates surf sand dunes and not the sea. As her team dwindles and the fight for survival begins, Lt. Artemis must train with a Warrior (Jaa) in order to become a Monster Hunter and take down the incoming monstrous threats common to this new world.

The film is presented in 2160p ultra high definition with an HEVC / H.265 presentation with HDR, a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and audio mixes in lossless English Dolby Atmos and English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit) for older systems. This film is full of loud action and spectacle and so its a nice disc to test out a home entertainment system on. Also included is a 1080p high definition Blu-ray version that looks fine for the format and has similar sound specs, however in the image department falls short of the 4K.

Monster Hunter is a fun popcorn muncher of a movie and is a pretty fine adaptation of a video game if you ask me. The 4K UHD presentation is crisp and noteworthy and the film itself is certainly worth checking out if you're a genre cinema fan.

Clancy Brown stars in the Shudder original film, The Mortuary Collection (2019), which has jumped from streaming and onto Blu-ray disc. The anthology horror film has a bunch of different horror flavors and centers around a Mortician (Brown) who tells a young woman (Caitlin Custer) various stories centering around cause and effect moral tales.

The film also stars Christine Kilmer, Jacob Elordi, and Ema Horvath. It is written and directed by Ryan Spindell (50 Stages of Fright).

Some of the stories of The Mortuary Collection include a beautiful woman whose also a thief gets eats by a monster hiding behind a mirror, a young handsome frat boy ends up hooking up with a college girl and refuses to use protection, getting himself pregnant in the process, a husband and him mentally absent wife must choose whether to feed her pills that will grant her forever sleep, and a slasher of sorts where a babysitter murderer stalks. The film tends to be a bit too long at points and kind of drags, but the production design, effects, and acting are pretty top notch. The ending you kind of see coming but its appropriate given the story arc.

The most effective story of the bunch is likely the one centered on the Frat Boy getting pregnant, the special effects are pretty impressive, and it’s a nice short in and of itself.

The Mortuary Collection is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and an MPEG-4 AVC codec with a strong audio mix in a lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 mix. The film is quite colorful and is very crafted and creatively shot. The presentation on disc here is fine with nothing that sticks out as an issue.

Special Features:

Director's Audio Commentary

14 Extensive Behind-the-Scenes Segments

Featuring the Cinematography, Costumes, Art Department, Locations, Props, Hair & Make-Up, Special Effects, Sound, Stunts, and Visual Effects of THE MORTUARY COLLECTION

In-Depth Conversations with Director and Writer Ryan Spindell, the Actors, and Crew of THE MORTUARY COLLECTION

and Deleted Scenes

The Mortuary Collection is worth a watch and has colorful cinematography and decent performances all around. Clancy Brown plays a character akin to The Tall Man in the Phantasm series that keep the story going. Some moments drag, but the horror filmmaking technique here is strong.

Neil Marshall (Game of Thrones, Hellboy, The Descent) directs this interesting dark witchy tale The Reckoning (2021), which is produced by Shudder. The stylistic film takes place in the plague in 1600s England, where a young new mother (Charlotte Kirk) is forced to bury her husband who has hung himself due to (accidentally) getting ill from the plague. Upon his death, a Squire comes to collect the rent and tries to entrap the young lady and her baby daughter. When the woman doesn't comply with his sexist demands, he calls her a witch, and she is apprehended and her baby taken from her. Once imprisoned, she must face the demons of her past under torture and confront a Witchfinder in an attempt to get her daughter back from the evil Squire and not die from the plague in the process. Luckily, she's a bit tougher than she seems.

The Reckoning is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and an audio mixes in lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1. The film is beautifully photographed and it comes across nicely here on Blu-ray. The image is clear and as detailed as Blu-ray allows, and yet a definite improvement over the streaming option.

The only extra are Deleted Scenes.

Neil Marshall isn't a bad filmmaker and it is admirable that he took on different roles behind the scenes to tell this tale. The sets and overall production design here is pretty impressive and come across nicely on disc. Overall, I'd recommend this film.

And finally, from the twisted mind of director Teruo Ishii (Orgies of Edo, Horrors of Malformed Men) comes another sick Japanese torture film that isn't for the faint of heart. Shogun's Joy of Torture (1968) which is an anthology film of sorts with three stories that are based on true documented cases set against the backdrop of the Tokugawa shogunate. This film is a great example of Japanese exploitation and how elaborate and messed up the minds of some can be.

The film stars Teruo Yoshida, Yukie Kagawa, Naomi Shiraishi, and Fumio Watanabe.

Shogun's Joy of Torture is presented in 1080p high definition with an MPEG-4 AVC codec and a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35 X 1 and an original uncompressed mono PCM audio mix audio mix in Japanese with optional English subtitles. The film has been nicely restored here and features a new high definition presentation that bests previous versions.

Special Features:

Audio commentary by Japanese cinema expert Tom Mes

Teruo Ishii: Erotic-Grotesque Maestro - an exclusively newly filmed interview with the author Patrick Macias

Bind, Torture, Thrill - author and critic Jasper Sharp discusses the history of torture in Japanese exploitation cinema

Original Theatrical Trailer

Image gallery

Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Jacob Phillips

and FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Mark Schilling.

You can order The Bermuda Depths Warner Archive Blu-ray by going to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo (Hercules) and James Lockhart



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