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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Thriller > Indonesia > Supernatural > Satanism > The Vagrant (1992/Arrow/*all MVD/all Blu-ray)

Death Knot (2021/Well Go)/Dunwich Horror (1970/MGM/AIP/Arrow*)/Nightmare Symphony (2020/Diabolik*)/Lost Girl: The Complete Series (2010 - 2015/Via Vision Region Free Import Set)/Men At Work (1990/Epic/MGM/Triumph*)/The Vagrant (1992/Arrow/*all MVD/all Blu-ray)

Picture: B+ (Work: B-) Sound: B+ (Work: B-) Extras: C-/B/B/B/C/B Main Programs: C+/C+/C/B/C/B

PLEASE NOTE: The Lost Girl Import Blu-ray set is now only available from our friends at Via Vision Entertainment in Australia, can play on all Blu-ray and 4K players and can be ordered from the links below.

More thrillers and creepy stories for your consideration...

Death Knot (2021) is a creepy and atmospheric Indonesian horror film that tells the story of a a man, his sister, and her husband who return to their remote childhood home to face the sudden suicide of their mother in the woods behind the property. However, their mother also happened to be a shaman who practiced black magic. Many other suicides in the area have come to surface around the same time, all of which are linked to a small statue that is used to worship a dark deity. As the power of his ancient artifact consumes the human souls around it, the results are ghastly.

The film stars Cornelio Sunny, Widika Sidmore, Morgan Oey, Landung Simatupang, and Rukman Rosadi.

Death Knot is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and a lossless, Indonesian DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 mix with english subtitles and a lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 mix as well. The film has a nice unnerving soundtrack that is pretty effective and solid cinematography overall. There are some cool shots that play with the use of shadows nicely.

The only extra is a trailer.

Death Knot isn't bad and is nicely made. Worth checking out if you like foreign supernatural horror. Some things in this we have seen before, but the decent overall filmmaking and acting makes it better than most.

The Old Ones are coming back!

Based on the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, Daniel Haller's The Dunwich Horror (1970) lands on disc courtesy of Arrow with a new 2K restoration from the original camera negative. Produced by Roger Corman and American International Pictures, the cult hit looks and sounds great in this new 2K Blu-ray release. The film reminds me of other cult classics such as Rosemary's Baby and The Blood on Satan's Claw, or even All The Colors of the Dark. Wherein those films, a main character gets seduced down a dark cult-filled path against their own will.

The film stars Sandra Dee, Dean Stockwell, Ed Begley, Lloyd Bochner, Sam Jaffe, and Joanne Moore Jordan.

Centering on the necronomicon book of the dead (not in the same way that it is seen in The Evil Dead series,) Dr. Hentry Armitage (Begley) reads from the ancient text in an effort to open a cosmic gate to let in The Old Ones - alien gods of the past - into our realm. A young woman (Dee) is drugged and lured by the Doctor into a trap where she is used as a vessel to let in ancient cosmic evil.

The Dunwich Horror is presented in 1080p high definition on 2K Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and lossless, English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) Mono mix (48kHz, 24-bit). The film looks and sounds fine for the Blu-ray format and has been restored pretty nicely as is the norm for Arrow. The soundtrack is also noteworthy and particularly creepy and highlighted in one of the bonus features.

Instead of showing the alien gods themselves, they're signified mainly by crazy flashing colors and high winds and whispering on the soundtrack. Given the time the film was made and limitations they had, I think this is handled pretty creatively. The idea is that these alien threats can't be seen by the human eye, which gives the dated visual effect cop-out of strobing colors a bit more meaning, even if it does feel still feel a bit drawn out.

Special Features:

New audio commentary by Guy Adams and Alexandra Benedict, creators of the audio drama Arkham County

The Door into Dunwich, a new conversation between film historian Stephen R. Bissette and horror author Stephen Laws in which they discuss The Dunwich Horror, Lovecraft, and their memories of seeing the film on release

After Summer After Winter, a new interview with science fiction and fantasy writer Ruthanna Emrys, author of The Innsmouth Legacy series

The Sound of Cosmic Terror, new interview with music historian David Huckvale in which he takes a closer look at Les Baxter's score for The Dunwich Horror

Theatrical trailer / Image gallery

Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Luke Preece

and First Pressing Only: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing by film critics Johnny Mains and Jack Sargeant

The Dunwich Horror is a pretty fun '70s Lovecraft film, but suffers a bit by limitations and resources of the technology available at the time.

Nightmare Symphony (2020) is now stateside with a Blu-ray release from Diabolik DVD. The film, which is obviously inspired heavily by Lucio Fulci and Italian giallo films of the past as it proves in its graphic first kill, which is highly reminiscent of Fulci's The New York Ripper. To say the least, Nightmare Symphony is a bit heavier than your typical American horror movie and if you don't like torture films then avoid at all costs. In the film, masked killer (who wears a mask with the head of a bird; not unlike the killer in Stagefright) has a knack for killing women in brutal ways whilst a film director's worst nightmares come to fruition.

Directed by Domiziano Cristopharo and Daniele Trani and written by Antonio Tentori (Fulci's Cat in the Brain), the film also boasts an impressive soundtrack by Antony Coia and Fabio Frizzi.

Nightmare Symphony is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and an Italian DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo mix with English subtitles. As noted, the soundtrack is pretty strong and is at the front and center of the mix and the overall film style is solid and true to its inspiration.

The film has reversible cover art and a cool red Blu-ray case.

Special Features:

Behind the Scenes

Interviews with the Director and Writer

Original Soundtrack (which you can listen to on your TV and has track selection)

Teaser and Trailer.

Lost Girl: The Complete Series (2010 - 2015) lands on disc from ViaVision in a deluxe Blu-ray box set which features 18 discs of content and six seasons of material. The show reminds me a little bit of Supernatural and CW Network shows of the like, but a little more sultry. The show got its star in Australia and then moved over to the ScyFy channel shortly after. When first glance at the synopsis, you might expect this to be on late night Cinemax, but the execution is very TV-like if the concept is pretty far outta left field.

Anna Silk stars as Bo, who may look like an attractive human woman, but in reality is a succubus who feeds on the sexual energy of humans and whom is on a search to discover her true identity. All in all, the supernatural sci-fi series is pretty good and has some intriguing characters in its line-up even if some of the digital effects are dated.

The series also stars Ksenia Solo, Zoie Palmer, Rachel Skarsten, Kris Holden-Ried, Zoie Palmer, Rick Howard, and Athen Karkanis to name a few. The show is created by Michelle Lovretta and developed by Jay Firestone.

Lost Girl 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 lossless English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mixes on all episodes. All episodes are presented commercial and watermark free and look and sound fine for the format. There are 77 total episodes of the series with the Sixth Season being the shortest.

Special Features:

Interviews with Cast and Crew

Lost Girl Panels at San Diego Comicon and NY Comicon

Cast Roundtable: Sneak Peak Behind the Scenes

Inside Look at Season 4

The Final Farewell featurette

Behind the Scenes and Image Gallery

Blooper Reel

and Digital Minis.

Off of their success in Christopher Cain's Young Guns (1988; we're hearing a third one is on the way!?!) that (though few want to admit this) helped revive the Western after an almost total dry spell caused by Cimino's Heaven's Gate (1980,) save anything Clint Eastwood did, Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez re-teamed for a comedy called Men At Work (1990) which had nothing to do with the highly popular (albeit comical) pop group from Australia. They would play garbage men who could not stop goofing off and getting in trouble.

However, this 1980s 'irresponsibility-style' comedy was getting very thin and tired by the time this was made, but one big twist is that Estevez would be directing (only his second time) and does a better job than expected, particularly making Sheen look like a star in the midst of all this. Little do their characters know that something extremely more serious is going on as some very horrid men are dumping nuclear waste in a nearby waterway in barrels that are NOT made to last. Despite this angle, they still go for comedy and too much of it.

Maybe Estevez and company thought they could capitalize on certain aspects of Alex Cox's Repo Man (1984, just as that 'Brat Pack' banner was starting to form) including toxic nuclear waste and homophobia (an appropriate combination) so off the film went. The title probably confused people and helped kill it at the box office if it even had a chance, but fledgling distributor Triumph Pictures hoped it would help build their company and that did not work out.

The title is as uncreative as the screenplay, which keeps going for the obvious and everything we had pretty much seen at that point, though points for even having a films about anyone in sanitation as Hollywood movies (et al) started ignoring hard working jobs, struggling people, the poor and worse. Keith David (who is as good as anyone here,) Dean Cameron and Cameron Dye lead the cast of unknowns and it also has two name producers: Irwin Yablans (Carpenter's Halloween, Hyams' The Star Chamber, Roller Boogie, Hell Night, Tourist Trap) and Moshe Damant (Killer Klowns From Outer Space, Hyams' Timecop and Sudden Death). You can see this was not just a B-movie. Only for the most curious, but at least its back in print.

The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital high definition image can be a little rough at times beyond the look of the film, with good color and a somewhat consistent look; faithful to what I remember it looking like at the time. The PCM 2.0 Stereo has Pro Logic surrounds from its old analog, Dolby A-type noise reduction soundmaster that also demonstrates the low budget fo the film. Stewart Copeland of The Police did the score, which makes it a bit of a curio for music fans.

Extras a mini-poster, reversible cover, and (on the disc) trailers for this and several other MGM/UA titles being issued by MVD.

Lastly, Bill Paxton stars in The Vagrant (1992), which is directed by special effects master Chris Walas, who did many of the creature designs in Gremlins and collaborated with Spielberg on Raiders of the Lost Ark and David Cronenberg on The Fly and Naked Lunch. I think this film got lost in the cracks over the years and now that Arrow has put it out, it can finally get the presentation and attention that it deserves in a film that features the late Bill Paxton in a role that shows his range and versatility as an actor.

The cult film also features Michael Ironside, Marshall Bell, Mitzi Kapture, and Stuart Pankin.

An executive named Graham (Paxton) moves into a new home where an unwanted homeless man (Bell) dwells. When Graham tries to drive the man off his property, the man retaliates against him and starts playing sick mind games on him. Graham starts to lose his grip on reality as he takes drastic measures to rid himself of this menace to no avail.

The Vagrant is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and a lossless, English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit). The film has been nicely restored and looks nice on disc and has an exceptional soundtrack and sound design, which shines through on this release.

Special Features:

Vagrant Memories, a new interview with director Chris Walas

You are in Hell, a new interview with star Marshall Bell

Barfus, Homicide, a new interview with star Michael Ironside

Handling His Property, a new interview with star Colleen Camp

Theatrical trailer

Image gallery

Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Robert Hack

and First Pressing Only: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing by film critic Chris Hallock and Vagrant super-fan James Pearcey.

To order the Lost Girl import Blu-ray set, go to this link:


- Nicholas Sheffo (Work) and James Lockhart



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