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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Monster > Mexico > Supernatural > Mystery > Action > Aztec Mummy Collection (1957, 58, 64/VCI)/Bloody Muscle Body Builder In Hell (2009/Wild Eye/both MVD Blu-rays)/Escape The Field (Blu-ray)/Lockdown (DVD/both Lionsgate 2022)/Sniper: Rogue Mission (2022

Aztec Mummy Collection (1957, 58, 64/VCI)/Bloody Muscle Body Builder In Hell (2009/Wild Eye/both MVD Blu-rays)/Escape The Field (Blu-ray)/Lockdown (DVD/both Lionsgate 2022)/Sniper: Rogue Mission (2022/Sony Blu-ray)

Picture: C/B-/B/B-/B+ Sound: C/B/B/B-/B+ Extras: C+/B/C+/C-/D Films: C/C-/C/D/C+

Here's one of the stranger sets of genre releases of late...

Mexico's Aztec Mummy films are brought together in one Blu-ray set, The Aztec Mummy Collection (1957,) from VCI. These are fun for a B-movie horror fan like myself that loves old monster schlock, however, the transfers are a bit rough still despite being presented in 1080p. The set contains three films: Curse of the Aztec Mummy (1957,) The Robot vs. the Aztec Mummy (1958) and Wrestling Women vs. the Aztec Mummy (1964.) All of these movies were shot simultaneously without a break in 1957 and released one after another. The plots are pretty paper thin, but they mostly revolve around the Aztec Mummy that guards a treasure they hope to unearth. The Mummy faces many foes - all that hope to score his ancient fortune.

The films are presented in black and white 1080p with a 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio and an lossy, English-dub Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono mix. The transfers look a bit rough and I'm sure the original elements weren't the best to begin with, so VCI is at the mercy fo the older elements. This is a passable presentation for someone who just wants to see the film, but is by no means a super detailed transfer.

Special Feature: A Video Essay which covers each movie in depth by Mexican film authority, Dr. David Wilt.

Bloody Muscle Body Builder In Hell (2009) is also billed as the Japanese version of Sam Raimi's Evil Dead, or at least that's what it wants to be. The low budget gore-fest has a lot of imagination and spunk behind it, but at the end of the day is cartoonish and over the top goofy with an amateur kind of indie feel.

A body builder helps his girlfriend do research on a haunted house and are soon tormented by a supernatural force within the house. The film stars Sinichi Fukazawa.

The film has a shot-on-analog-video look and has been made to look like a cheap VHS of sorts. The 1080p high definition image on Blu-ray disc has a 1.33:1 aspect ratio, an MPEG-4 AVC codec, and audio mixes in Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 and lossless Japanese DTS-HD 2.0 Mono MA (Master Audio) sound.

Special Features:

Audio Commentary with Japanese Film Historian James Harper

Audio Commentary with Adam Green and Joe Lynch

Interview with Producer / Director Shinichi Fukazawa

Special Effects Video

Original Trailer #1

Original Trailer #2

Behind the Scenes Photo Gallery

and an Image Gallery

Escape The Field (2022) begins with a group of strangers who all wake up in an endless maze of a corn field, and have no recollection of how they got there. They are each equipped with a weapon or item of some sort and are forced to piece together puzzles in order to escape. Weird scarecrows guard certain corners and a monster of some sort kills at will hidden in the weeds. As they get picked off one by one, clues surface as to why they are there and what's at stake.

The concept is pretty big budget and sounds pretty interesting, but with a stronger cast and more stylized filmmaking, this could have been a bit better than it turned out. The filmmaking on a whole isn't awful and the film has some interesting ideas akin to an escape room type movie.

The film stars Jordan Claire Robbins, Theo Rossi, Tahirah Sharif, Julian Feder, Elena Juatco, and Shane West and is directed by Emerson Moore.

Escape The Field is presented in an MPEG-4 AVC codec, 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and a lossless DTS-HD 5.1 MA (Master Audio) mix. The film looks and sounds fine in HD on the Blu-ray format.

Special Features: Feature-length Audio Commentary and a Behind the Scenes featurette.

Michael Pare (Gone) and Bai Ling (The Crow) star in Lockdown (2022), which is a poor attempt at a jail-house ransom movie in the vein of John Carpenter's Assault on Precinct 13. The film runs at 90 minutes, but feels like 90 hours as you painfully take in horrendous acting and poor special effects. Bai Ling does what she can with the role, where she plays an imprisoned prostitute held hostage by a rapist, a serial killer, and a paranoid schizophrenic who all escape their cells at a Los Angeles police station. If you're looking for a deep character study, this film is not it, as every character is pretty one dimensional and has no depth at all. The realism of the film on a whole, including its violence, is laughable. All in all, this is just bad. Bad bad bad.

(Spoilers) The most hilarious and head scratching moment of the whole movie are the relationship between Bai Ling and the Paranoid Schizofrentic. Their phony sexual scenes in the movie are comedic and not at all dramatic as intended. This movie has some of the worse directed action sequences I've ever seen. You can tell the actors are acting in slow motion and that in the edit, they didn't even bother to speed up the actions. The bullet shots that come out of the gun are super cheap as are the bullet hits and blood sprays that are digital and so phony - there isn't even blood on the wall behind the subject who gets his ''head blown off.'' The cops in the film are useless despite training and the weapons they have on them. Various points in the movie the villains have their backs turned towards these cops who are just sitting in a chair apparently afraid of one handgun. This movie is so unbelievably unrealistic that it's like a crew of teenagers made it.

The film also stars Chanel Ryan, Mark Krenik, Bishop Stevens, and Michael Wainwright.

Lockdown is presented in anamorphically enhanced standard definition on DVD with a 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. The film looks okay on disc, but there wasn't much to look at anyway with the lot of the film taking place on just a few indoor jail sets that look worse than what you would see on TV.

The only extra is a trailer.

Lastly, Sniper: Rogue Mission (2022) may look like a direct to video action movie disaster with one quick glance at the box cover art, but the film itself is actually not too bad for a lower budget action film and for being what it is. The pulsing soundtrack also by the director, Oliver Thompson, really keeps the film moving and overall the writing isn't as bad as I expected. While this is by no means a classic or completely original, it could have been a heck of lot worse than what it turned out to be. If you like movies with sniper, lots of gunplay, and characters on the run, there are worse films to check out than this one! (That's a mild compliment.)

The film stars Chad Collins, Ryan Robbins, Sayaka Akimoto, Brendan Sexton III, and Josh Brener.

A criminal organization responsible for sex trafficking murders 9 of its 10 female prisoners. When a Sniper and CIA end up protecting the surviving victim, they must employ a rogue assassin named Lady Death to help aid them in finding and apprehending these criminals.

Sniper: Rogue Mission is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and a lossless, English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit). The film looks and sounds pretty good for the format and as mentioned the soundtrack is particularly well done by the film's director.

No extras.

- James Lockhart



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