(4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray*)/Ghoulies
Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas: Beyond Halloween Town by
(2023/Hardcover/Epic Ink Books)/Repligator
(1998/Visual Vengeance Blu-ray/*all MVD)
Ultra HD Picture: A- Picture: B/B/B+/B Sound: B-/B+/B+/B
Extras: B-/B-/B-/B Films: C/C+/C+/C Book: A
comes the horror releases for this Halloween season, starting with...
Bajo Ulloa's The
(1993) is a thriller drama with a good reputation, but after watching
it, I found it redundant, repetitive, predictable and offered too
much of what we had seen before. A man (Karra Elejaide) breaks into
the home of a man who restores art, shoots him, kills him and
traumatizes his young daughter for life, but this is a flashback.
Then the film switches to the present and he sees the daughter at a
bar he is working at, finds out she lives at a hospital, then kidnaps
her to hold her for ransom from the hospital!
that is a good bit to show, present and take on and this was
successful enough that it inspired a new cycle of Spanish thrillers,
but I guess the audience that paid to see this forgot what thrillers
were like and had not seen enough of them. It looks good and the
actors (unknowns in the U.S. still, though Elejaide was in a film I
had heard of before called Timecrimes)
are trying their best, but this kills suspension of disbelief early
enough and nearly becomes a spoof of itself. It is also more graphic
than I expected, but that also seems a little off and never gels with
the screenplay. Still, I can see why this could have been some kind
of it, though it never really opened in the U.S. in any big way. It
is at least different enough that the very interested might want to
check out this new release of it, especially if you are a
horror/thriller completist. Otherwise, this just did not live up to
the hype, despite some obvious talent here.
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image was shot with real
anamorphic Panavision lenses on what is credited as Eastman
Kodak color negative, but one still in the stills gallery in the
extras (likely a cheat?) actually has one of the cameras marked with
a film stock number that is actually of Fuji Color negative film.
Maybe one shot or scene in the film was shot that way, but this looks
good throughout with a new 4K scan and the PCM 2.0 Stereo sound
reproduces the advanced analog Dolby SR (Spectral Recording) noise
reduction as well as possible. Only the budget and tech limits of
what they were recoding the sound on holds
the soundtrack back. Play it back in Dolby Pro Logic or any of its
updated variants or imitators for best effect, as the combination is
include a feature-length audio commentary track by Director Bajo
Story of La
a documentary on the making of the film featuring behind-the-scenes
images and interviews with the cast and crew
Kingdom [El reino de Victor]
(1989, 38 mins); Goya Award-winning short film by Ulloa, restored in
of behind-the-scenes and promotional imagery
sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Time
Edition booklet featuring new writing on the film by Xavier Aldana
Reyes, author of Spanish
Gothic: National Identity, Collaboration and Cultural Adaptation,
and newly translated archival writing by Juanma Bajo Ulloa,
co-writer Eduardo Bajo Ulloa and an appreciation by Nacho Vigalond.
Edition Soundtrack CD featuring Bingen Mendizabal's sumptuous score
Limited Edition (only 3000 copies), presented in full-height Scanavo
packaging with removable OBI strip leaving packaging free of
you're a fan of Gremlins,
then you might want to check out the first two Ghoulies
films, which finally get stand alone releases from MVD Visual as part
of their MVD Rewind collection. The original Ghoulies
(1985) has finally been released on 4K UHD and its sequel, Ghoulies
(1988) has landed on the 1080p Blu-ray format as well, both just in
time for the Halloween 2023 season.
for its infamous poster where the green rubber monster (known as a
Ghoulie) exiting a toilet, an image that's burned into my brain since
childhood seeing the VHS tape in the horror section of many video
stores. All these years later, the films haven't lost their silly
charm and remind one of simpler times when you had to be kind and
rewind. While at first glance, you might think of the Ghoulies
as a rip-off of Gremlins
but they are much different and similar only in size alone really.
are more plentiful (Warner gave them a bigger budget?) and multiply
quickly, Ghoulies only come out a few at a time and usually resort to
puking vile or killing their victims in inventive ways rather than
simply munching them out of carnivorous hunger.
franchise, released under the banner of the legendary Empire Pictures
and B-Movie Super Producer Charles Band (who went from running Empire
Pictures to Full Moon Pictures), featured the special effects mastery
of the late great John Carl Buechler, who later went on to direct the
third entry in the series, Ghoulies
Go To College
(as well as slasher classic Friday
the 13th, Part 7).
centers on Jonathan (Peter Liapis) who as a child born into the
occult and black magic. Cast away and raised to be normal, he later
as an adult inherits an old mansion, which he moves in to with his
girlfriend (Lisa Pelikan). Jonathan transforms from charming
boyfriend to twisted, dark, and obsessed with the occult upon
entering the mansion. He finds a book and masters the dark arts,
experimenting on his friends, which leads to the demons known as
Ghoulies to emerge and wreak havoc!
is presented in 2160p on 4K UHD disc with Dolby Vision/HDR10 and
struck from a 16-Bit Scan of the Original Camera Negative, and
presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The film is paired
with a lossless audio mix in DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono
(48kHz, 24-bit). This is without a doubt, the best transfer that
this film has ever seen, and will likely shock longtime fans with how
crystal clear it is. It's not to be forgotten that this film has
been previously available in not the best quality over the years and
so this is a vast improvement. Also included is a 1080p Blu-ray
edition with the same audio mix, that is also better than any
previous version including the Shout Factory release from yesteryear
that is long out of print, and at one point was ridiculously priced
on the aftermarket.
(1985) Special Features
2015 Audio commentary with director Luca Bercovici
2016 Audio commentary by director Luca Bercovici moderated by Jason
Andreasen of Terror Transmission
Introduction by Luca Bercovici
Interview with Ted Nicolau
Mind Is A Terrible Thing to Waste: Interview with Scott Thomson
For The Chick Man"
interview with Luca Bercovici
Toilets to Terror: The Making of Ghoulies"
Limited Edition Slipcover (First Pressing Only)
sequel to Ghoulies
is a lot more fun than the original with much better looking creature
and special effects on the whole. More in style to Full Moon
productions of the same era, this time the Ghoulies run amok at a
traveling carnival / circus and stake up in a haunted house called
Satan's Den. The handful of Ghoulies terrorize the locals who enter
the house and hide their bodies within the haunted house themselves.
They keep things quiet at first, until one disastrous murder turns
the town wise and a few carnival workers must figure out the best way
to send them back to hell. In the process though, they resurrect a
giant Ghoulie who has quite an appetite. While the plot isn't
anything terribly special, Ghoulies
a pretty fun B movie popcorn flick to watch with friends.
by Albert Band, the film stars Damon Martin, well-known character
actor Royal Dano, Phil Fondacaro, J. Downing, and Kerry Remsen.
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
LPCM 2.0 Stereo (48kHz, 24-bit) sound mix. This is from a 2K
restoration of the original camera negative. While it's sad that
it's not on the 4K UHD format out the gate, this is still an
improvement over the previous release from Shout Factory in terms of
color and visual clarity on the whole. A few shots here are there
show some aged film that was beyond restoration, but it doesn't take
away much considering this is a low budget film.
(1988) Special Features
by Screenwriter Dennis Paoli
Toilets, More Terror: The Making of Ghoulies 2
A Magic Moon:
Interview with Dennis Paoli
Limited Edition Slipcover (First Pressing Only)
movies are pretty fun to look back on as little creature features,
and perfect for a cheesy movie night. However, aren't well
constructed classics in the same way that Gremlins
or even Critters
beautiful hardcover book by Emily Zemler is a deep dive into the
complete legacy of Disney and Tim Burton's The
Nightmare Before Christmas
(1993) in Tim
Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas: Beyond Halloween Town
(2023) from idea to production to modern day. While prior books
focused on the creation and production aspects alone, this one goes
in depth with retrospectives and even modern ways the film has been
kept alive by merchandise, Disney theme parks, and concerts. There is
even a foreword by Tim Burton himself!
168-page hardcover book features full color photos and artwork from
and inspired by the film analyzes the characters and world of The
Nightmare Before Christmas
and asks what makes them so impactful and powerful to the film that
has been a multi holiday classic.
also explores other Tim Burton animated films such as The
and a lit bit more depth exploring the body of Burton's work that
some may not be aware of. While the focus is mainly on Nightmare
itself, I think this book accomplishes a definite look at the
creation of the film and is a nice improvement on prior books in the
same vein, if for no other reason than its attractive to look at,
updated, and modernized.
myself watch this stop motion animated classic every Halloween and
Christmas season. If you are a diehard of The
Nightmare Before Christmas,
then you will definitely want to check out this very beautiful and
thorough book that is obviously made by a fan with a lot of love and
energy put behind it!
us with Repligator
fun B-movie that is just for laughs and not to be taken seriously in
any regard. From director Bret McCormick (The
is a fun nod to classic sci-fi and atomic age era drive-in flicks,
mixed with the same brand of sleaze and crude humor that you'd expect
to find in a Troma, Asylum, or Full Moon produced film.
the late Gunnar Hansem. who was Leatherface in the original Texas
and '80s Scream Queen Brinke Stevens in a cameo, Repligator
is about the wild happenings in a Area 51-style government
headquarters base where all kinds of wacky things happen. X-Ray
glasses where you can see the person next to you naked, people with
reptile heads, men who are transformed into sexy women via an odd
experiment, and etc.
film also stars Keith Kjornes, Randy Clower, TJ Myers, and Carl
is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4
AVC codec, a full screen aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and an audio mix in
lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo instead of a lossless track that would
have helped the audio, but we guess this is somehow appropriate for a
title of this caliber. The HD transfer on the whole isn't too bad
considering the source, and the film is professionally shot and lit
even if it does have a low budget.
Commentary with director Bret McCormick and Glen Coburn
Commentary with Sam Panico of B&S About Movies and Bill Van Ryn
of Drive-In Asylum
Making Of featurette
Bret McCormick Interview (2013)
Deleted Opening Scene
Bret McCormick Interview (2022)
Wynn Winberg Interview (2022)
Brinke Stevens Interview (2022)
Carl Merritt Interview (2022)
Randy Clower Interview (2022)
pair of branded 'X-Ray Specs'
your own' VHS sticker sheet
Sleeve With Original VHS Art
a 2-Sided Insert.
Nicholas Sheffo (Dead)
and James Lockhart