O'Nine Tails 4K
(1971/MVD/Arrow 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray)/A
Day Of Judgment
Of The Lost Gold
(1980/*all MVD/Severin Blu-rays)
Ultra HD Picture: A- Picture: X/B-/B/B/B-/B Sound:
A-/C+/C+/C+/B-/B- Extras: B/C/C/C/D/C+ Films: B/C/C+/C+/D/C
for some interesting, independent thrillers, including some classics
and a few more unusual than expected...
O'Nine Tails 4K
the iconic Italian director's second film after this quite successful
first outing: The
Bird with The Crystal Plumage
(reviewed elsewhere on this site on various formats, including the
new 4K edition from Arrow we just reviewed), and remains a fan
favorite. This is the first time that the film is seeing a 4K
remaster and it looks and sounds better than previous versions I can
attest. This isn't my favorite Argento film, but it is still a
pretty good one. His later work such as Suspiria,
are much more colorful and violent than this earlier one, which feels
a bit different in terms of cinematography. His attraction to
killers is no different, however, but you can tell he was still
finding his style footing with this one.
film stars Karl Malden, Catherine Speak, James Franciscus, Pier Paolo
Capproni, and Rada Rassimov.
film centers on a newsman (Franciscus) who works with a blind but
brilliant puzzle solver (Maiden) to catch a giallo killer whose
connected to a pharmaceutical company's top secret experimental
research projects. Once they get in the case a bit too deep, they
themselves become a target!
commentary by critics Alan Jones and Kim Newman
an interview with co-writer/director Dario Argento
Writer O' Many Tales,
an interview with co-writer Dardano Sacchetti
an interview with actress Cinzia De Carolis
an interview with production manager Angelo Iacono
pages for the lost original ending, translated into English for the
Italian, international and US theatrical trailers
collector's booklet featuring an original essay on the film by Dario
Argento, and writing by Barry Forshaw, Troy Howarth and Howard Hughes
double-sided poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork
by Obviously Creative
double-sided, postcard-sized lobby card reproduction artcards
packaging with reversible sleeve featuring originally and newly
commissioned artwork by Obviously Creative.
is a great set to go with the terrific 4K set Arrow just did on Bird
with The Crystal Plumage
and they have a similarly loaded 4K set on Argento's Deep
coming up, so be expecting that next.
Day Of Judgment
(1981) has a slasher on the loose on a small town in the South in the
1930s, though the film is very heavy on churches and Bible quotes
that do not always have any relevance to the thin plot. Made by a
cast of unknowns regionally from a small production company that got
a few films made, I had seen this film decades ago under odd
circumstances and it is not just another slasher film from the
slasher cycle. Instead, it is a pro-Christian propaganda film aimed
at younger viewers warning them to repent or else!
someone forgot to tell the makers to repent from sloppy filmmaking as
this 97 minutes of condescending filmmaking with break in between for
some blood and horror, is just not that good and there is a reason
its release stayed regional. It is just not that good, but a time
capsule of such propaganda before it became more sophisticated,
leading to the ultra-right wing domestic politics, brainwashing and
baiting that we have now messing up the country and much more.
may be flawed, dated and a time capsule of bad filmmaking, bad ideas
and bad politics, not to even cover bad religious practices, but is
just deadly dull with its flat acting, bad editing and is not that
memorable save being insulting and sneaky as a work of insulting
one's intelligence and arrogant at that. And this could have even
include two featurettes: The
author Stephen Thrower and Tales
with filmmaker Worth Keeler and Writer Thom McIntyer.
(1971) tries to do Hitchcock's Suspicion (et al) as a giallo with
Carroll Baker as the fourth wife of a rich man (Michael Craig) whose
previous three have died of supposedly natural causes. He is
actually a killer, is it all a coincidence or is something wilder
going on here?
film has nice locales, is shot nicely and has a good pace thanks to
its director, best known for his remarkable classic thriller Horror
(see our coverage of the film finally saved and restored for Blu-ray
elsewhere on this site) so it fits well with other psychological
thriller giallos we've seen before and even if it is not the best of
them, it is still pretty good and the supporting cast is a plus.
despite so many thrillers like this being made at the time, including
in Techniscope, this one somehow did not get picked up by a
distributor in the U.S. at the time and that is like leaving money on
the table. I thought it was ambitious and at least smart without
condescending to its audience, something I cannot say about most
thrillers we suffer through now, so its arrival on Blu-ray and making
its English-language premiere on this disc is great news for serious
include an Original Theatrical Trailer, Deleted Scene and featurette
with film scholar Carols Aguilar.
Of The Lost Gold
(1982) shows that all imitators of Raiders
Of The Lost Ark
(1981) were not medium to big budget imitators that looked
fake-on-arrival. Made in the Philippines (the film actually takes
place there in the plot, instead of the country standing in for
another locale, fictional or otherwise) then moves to other locales.
Starting in 1945 as WWII is ending, a group of Japanese Imperialists
are transporting very valuable gold holding on foot in the jungle
when they are attacked. The gold never makes it back to Japan,
liberated or not.
forward to the modern day and a guide (Hollywood veteran Stuart
Whitman, never one to turn away from a genre film) is hired to help
find and recuperate the treasure that has only skyrocketed in value.
Woody Strode plays a man hired to help him and Harold Sakata (Oddjob
from the 1964 James Bond classic Goldfinger)
is again a villain. Add actor Edmund Purdom, Laura Gemser from the
film and Glynis Barber from the hit U.K. TV show Dempsey
and you've got a curio that has been talked about for decades.
do not remember seeing it before and certainly not with this nudity
and bloodletting (the violence is as fake as the fight scenes, but
still...) and I can say it is not great, but keeps coming up with
crazy little moments and unintentionally funny bits that makes it
worth a look if you like exploitation films. Cheers to the actors
trying to make this work to no avail, but it reminds us of how much
more vibrant independent B-movie productions were at the time.
include outtakes from the Machete
documentary (reviewed in its entirety elsewhere on this site) and
In The Jungle
on-camera interview with Director Alan Birkinshaw.
You can tell from the title and box art that this is a low budget
rip-off and the result after watching it is just about as bad as it
sounds. This is low budget attempting to be high budget, and the
result is a painfully tacky genre movie that doesn't even make time
to create its own interesting dinosaurs, it rips off the Spielberg's
dinosaur designs to a painful degree. The raptors and other
dinosaurs look like a Playstation 2 rendering and nothing close to
being polished. The acting is painfully bad and while this story
would allow a change for a wide variety of fun characters instead
wastes it's time with heavy exposition. A few nice drone shots
though so points there?
story centers on a group of hunters who pay top dollar to hunt down
dinosaurs. Soon they get picked off one by one until only the strong
survive. All in all, the story could work with a bigger cast and
better special effects. I feel like there's a good movie hidden
within this screenplay, but it just didn't translate well onscreen.
film stars Tarkan Dospil, Motown Maurice, Joston Theney, and Antuone
Torbert. The film is directed by Hank Braxtan.
is like a Jurassic
fan film got wrong. If you don't mind special effects akin to
Birdemic only with dinosaurs then you may enjoy this tough watch. It
has an interesting concept, but the execution is as 'stinky' as T-rex
we have filmmaker John Russo's Midnight
(1980) based on a novel he wrote. A long associate of George Romero
and Tom Savini, it is really one of the last indie horror products of
the 1970s and has its style, as well as essentially becoming another
odd attempt to revisit Texas
Chain Saw Massacre
territory. That's a shame, because the Satanic beginning promises to
deliver some real creepy moments throughout the film, but the later
part of the film never recaptures that in theme or atmosphere, so
what then works in between is the tale of two friends in a van (John
Hall, C. Anthony Jackson) on their way to take a cross-country trip
from North of Pittsburgh to California, when they pick up a female
hitchhiker (Melanie Verlin).
joke around, go shoplifting and we have some nice, amusing moments,
then they take the wrong turn and get captured by the Satanists by
driving up the road where they live. A police officer (Hollywood
legend Lawrence Tierney) also gets involved, but the film loses its
flow as soon as they take that ill-fated turn. It is very smoothly
made otherwise and easily matches more expensive such films, looking
better than most such HD shoots now, so it will remain a curio.
Ampas from Romero's Martin
include a Radio Spot, Original Theatrical Trailer, Isolated Score
Selection with audio commentary by Composer Mike Mazzai and four
interview featurettes: Making
(John Russo), Producing
(Samuel W. Sherman), Midnight
(John Ampas) and Small
for playback performance. Cat
O'Nine Tails 4K
is presented in 2.35 X 1, 2160p on 4K Ultra HD disc with Dolby
Vision, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition
image and the restored original lossless PCM 2.0 Mono Italian and
English soundtracks, all of which paint a beautiful restoration and
image on the 4K UHD format. If you're a fan of the film you will
want to pick up this definitive edition as the image bests previous
Blu-ray releases in terms of image clarity and color spectrum.
was shot in two-perf Techniscope and issued in 35mm Technicolor
prints, just like The
which is here in a decent 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition
transfer in a new 2K scan of the original 35mm negative. It does a
pretty good job of approximating a
dye-transfer, three-strip Technicolor version of the film, though
maybe 4K would have put it more on par with Bird
it is better than several Techniscope films where the transfer was
badly mis-transferred and/or tampered with after the fact. The
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix is a little rough and
as good as it is likely to be in English, but the Italian version is
so low in volume and with a few other issues that I would say be
careful of high volume playback and volume switching.
are both here in 1080p
1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers that can show the
age of the materials used from their new 2K transfers, but Judgment
is a bit softer and rougher, just not that well shot or edited and
nothing any transfer can do will fix that. It is at least color
has some nice shots throughout and has aged well, The
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mixes also show their age
is rougher than it should be, but again, a lack of experience and
some sloppy work cannot be fixed once it is baked in. Invaders
has some dubbing and just has dated sound often, but at least it is
not as rough.
1080p 1.66 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Midnight
again looks surprisingly good with nice detail, a new 4K scan that
shows how professional this shoot was. Color is also very consistent
and narrowly edges out all but Tails
as the best presentation visually of all the releases here. The
sound is usually well recorded, so we get both DTS-HD
MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo and upgraded 5.1 lossless mixes, but the
5.1 is not too convincing, especially when some of the sound elements
sound flat, dull and even monophonic. Otherwise, this plays well for
an independent production of its time.
is presented in anamorphically enhanced, standard definition with a
widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix.
The transfer looks about as good as it can on DVD with some
compression issues evident. I don't think an HD production would
help the lackluster effects much, but maybe make them look even worse
Nicholas Sheffo and James Lockhart (4K, Hunt)