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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Comedy > Japan > Science Fiction > British TV > Horror > Western > Baby Assassins (2021/Well Go Blu-ray)/Chocky: The Complete Series (1984 - 1986/Via Vision PAL Import DVD Set)/Eraser: Reborn (2022/Warner Blu-ray)/God Told Me To 4K (1975 aka Demon/MVD/Blue Undergroun

Baby Assassins (2021/Well Go Blu-ray)/Chocky: The Complete Series (1984 - 1986/Via Vision PAL Import DVD Set)/Eraser: Reborn (2022/Warner Blu-ray)/God Told Me To 4K (1975 aka Demon/MVD/Blue Underground 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Murder At Yellowstone City (2022/RLJ Blu-ray)

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

PLEASE NOTE: The Chocky Import DVD set is now only available from our friends at Via Vision in Australia, can only play on 4K, DVD and Blu-ray players that can handle the PAL DVD and can be ordered from the link below.

These genre releases are a blast from the past, even if they are new productions...

Two high school assassins, upon graduation, discover they must now get part time jobs and live together as roommates and pretend to have a 'normal' life as their cover. But can they hide their true nature and skills when they run into problems?

In Yugo Sakamoto's Baby Assassins (2021, originally a Japanese telefilm) Chisato (Akari Takaishi) and Mahilo (Saori Izawa) are two Japanese high school assassins, that's all they know is how to kill ...and they are lazy and bored. And now they have to face their greatest challenge ever, to fit into society and be 'normal'. As they interview for part time jobs, they struggle not to get annoyed by their co-worker and not kill their bosses. When the yakuza invades their 'normal' (questionably) lives, all bets are off the table.

This was just an action-packed movie about two female high school assassin fight and kick Yakuza butt. They try to fit into a 'normal' life, but whenever they run into problems their solution is just kill them and let the cleaning man clean it up later. After finally landing a job in a maid cafe, the Yakuza show up to destroy everything they worked for and... you'll have to see the film for the rest. Extras includes trailers.

Chocky: The Complete Series (1984 - 1986) has three sets of half-hour show based on the books by author John Wyndham, whose other books inspired classics like Village Of The Damned and Day Of The Triffids. Aimed more towards a family/child audience, Matthew (Andrew Ellams) is a normal, happy, healthy young boy with a caring family when he starts acting odd and starts to seeming talk to himself. Instead, he is being visited by the title character, an alien force that talks to him and appears as a light source. When things get bad early, his parents take evasive action to get him protected and saved, with the government quickly intervening.

So successful was this for the great, sadly defunct Thames Television, that they created a sequel series called Chocky's Children and in a great coup of casting, landed both actors Ed Bishop (Gerry Anderson's U.F.O., Kubrick's 2001) and Jeremy Bullock (For Your Eyes Only, Boba Fett in the original Star Wars sequels) in major roles that kept the story going nicely. The final series, Chocky's Challenge, lacked the energy, pace, excitement and budget of the previous two sets and the show was finished, but it is worth a good look for what was the tail-end of such creative, innovative British TV that began with the likes of Dr. Who, SuperMarionation and much more.

Obviously some of the technology has dated, but it can also be charming to watch, so those interested will definitely want to give it a look.

Extras (not listed anywhere on the packaging or the website listing for the DVDs) include stills galleries for all three seasons on each respective disc, plus text interviews with one of the principles of each season, including lead Andrew Ellams on DVD One, Michael Crompton on DVD Two and 'Chocky' voice Glynis Brooks on DVD Three, who did that voice for the entire series. I like how you can select specific questions and see the answers.

From the director of the forgettable Deep Blue Sea 3, comes another needless sequel that nobody asked for: Eraser: Reborn (2022) which quietly sneaks onto Blu-ray disc from Warner Bros. The film is quite a predictable bore, although it looks and sounds big budget, I guess some valued crew members owed the studio a favor. It's almost as if the movie stars stand-ins, the acting is so silly and bored. The plot is familiar and it mainly seems like a feature length procedural police drama more than anything. At least that's how I would compare the performances and overall feel, despite some flashy color correction.

The film stars Dominic Sherwood (Shadowhunters), Jacky Lai (V-Wars), McKinley Belcher III (Marriage Story), and Eddie Ramos (Animal Kingdom).

A U.S. Marshall (Sherwood) is tasking with 'erasing' people, or erasing their personal records to save them and give them a new identity. A crime boss' wife (Lai) steals some of his valued possessions, gets him killed, and gets apprehended by the police. They then erase her and the Marshall is tasked with protecting her as they flee to Africa. Both another gangster is hot on their trail and will stop at nothing to get her.

Special Features (per the press release):

The Warrior and the Witness: The Making Eraser: Reborn: Go behind the scenes on set in Capetown, South Africa for an all-access look at the fast-paced filmmaking approach used to capture the action-packed tale of a witness on the run and the agent tasked with keeping her alive. Includes Interviews with the filmmakers, cast and crew.

Larry Cohen's God Told Me To 4K (1975, aka Demon) is one of the late, great, innovative, independent genre director's best films and we reviewed the previous Blue Underground Blu-ray edition years ago at this link:


Blue Underground has reissued the film as a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray set and that includes a new 4K scan of the original 35mm negative of the film that has aged very well and is a creepy and unexpected as ever. Tony Lo Bianco is the cop who has to investigate why people are killing other people out of nowhere, then say the title of the film when they are caught.

Like Cohen's best films, the movie follows no cliches, even breaks them and comes up with new angles and ideas most filmmakers have yet to catch up with after all these decades. The look, editing, pace and suspense just keeps building and building with some wild twists and turns. One of the best horror films to get upgraded to 4K yet, it is one fo the must see/must haves for all serious film collectors and still has yet to be fully rediscovered with shocking moments that rise above my letter grade for the film. Nice to see it get such deluxe treatment.

All the extras from the older Blu-ray disc are repeated, per Blue Underground's policy, but they have added a new, second feature-length audio commentary track by film historians Steve Mitchell and Troy Howarth that makes for a nice new addition.

For my interview with Writer/Director Larry Cohen, go to this link:


Lastly, we have Richard Gray's Murder At Yellowstone City (2022) and it is the most ambitious feature film western I have seen in a while, even if it ultimately does not work. A man strikes gold and flaunts it, until he is killed. Everyone is a suspect and more murders occur. Thomas Jane is a preacher who tries to figure out who, as well as Gabriel Byrne, who might know more than he is saying. The rest of the cast is not bad, nor are the sets, but the costumes and script are more par for the course and even Richard Dreyfus showing up can only do so much.

So it is a revenge western of sorts with a murder mystery which I thought might work early on if they could get on track and try something new or different, but the makers simply do not understand the genre entirely, so it becomes a disappointment when all is said and done. At least it was not the total bore too many of these releases in the last decade or so have been, so those interested might want to give it a look just the same.

Deleted Scenes, Audio Commentary and Behind The Scenes/Making Of featurette are the extras.

Now for playback performance on all the discs. The 2160p HECV/H.265, 1.85 X 1, Dolby Vision/HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image on God Told Me To 4K has some great color, depth, detail and definition throughout with a thick look perfect for the genre, though some have noticed is it slightly different in look form the older edition, while both disc versions here use the new scan. For the regular 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition version of the film, it is about a draw. However, I just like the 4K that much better than both. Sound has also been upgraded to lossless Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 for older systems) and it is not a bad upgrade, but nothing too shocking or dramatic. The DTS HD-MA (Master Audio) 5.1 upgrade is still richer, but some might like how the Atmos opens up the original theatrical monophonic sound.

Eraser: Reborn is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1, and a lossless, English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit). Though the film looks and sounds like a bigger budgeted project, there isn't anything really new or inventive in the filmmaking.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Baby can be a little on the weak and plain side, despite some consistency and the Japanese DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix can be audible for the most part, but the soundfield is inconsistent and has some weak moments too.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Yellowstone can be soft more than it should be throughout beyond any style choices, while the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix can be a little more hit and miss than expected.

That leaves the 1.33 X 1 color image transfer on all Chocky episodes, showing the age of the materials used, with outdoors shot on 16mm film and indoor shots on PAL analog videotape. At times, we get some analog videotape flaws including video noise, video banding, telecine flicker, tape scratching, PAL cross color, faded color and tape damage to the point that it could not overcome its age and looked a little older to me than 1970s Dr. Who/Tom Bakers episodes form a decade earlier. Sadly, the 16mm film materials are probably lost, so this might be the best this will ever look, but who knows. The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono fortunately fares a bit better and is clearer than expected.

To order the Chocky Via Vision import DVD set, go to this link:


- Nicholas Sheffo, Ricky Chiang (Baby) and James Lockhart (Reborn)



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