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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Monster > Hong Kong > Action > Crime > Mystery > ScienceFiction > Korea > Martial Arts > Space > Blue Jean Monster (1991/88 Films*)/Fear Is The Key (1972/Arrow*)/The Moon (2023/Well Go Blu-ray)/Scream Queen (2022/Visual Vengeance*)/Shaolin Plot (1977/Arrow/*all MVD Blu-rays)/Space Wars: Quest For

Blue Jean Monster (1991/88 Films*)/Fear Is The Key (1972/Arrow*)/The Moon (2023/Well Go Blu-ray)/Scream Queen (2022/Visual Vengeance*)/Shaolin Plot (1977/Arrow/*all MVD Blu-rays)/Space Wars: Quest For The Deepstar (2022/Uncork'd DVD)

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

Here's a wild mix of genre releases of old and new theatrical films....

You've likely seen Robocop (1987) and countless other revenge based action extravaganzas and now The Blue Jean Monster (1991) seeks to claim a spot on this list in this impressive new release from 88 Films. The wild action film stars Shing Fui-on (The Killers) along with Gloria Yip and Pauline Wong in this Hong Kong based production.

The film also stars Tse Wai-Kit, Kunimura Jun, and Amy Yip.

A Hong Kong lawman with big dreams is killed in a vicious shoot out and his corpse is resurrected into something more than human. Endowed with super powers and not afraid to be crude when needed, the Blue Jean Monster is a zombie cop / Terminator-style unstoppable killing machine!

Special Features include...

Man Made Monster: An Interview With Assistant Director Sam Leong

Hong Kong Trailer

Stills Gallery

Reversible Cover Art

and a Double Sided Poster.

The Blue Jean Monster may have a similar plot to other genre entries, but has enough zany moments to be memorable.

Michael Tuckner's thriller Fear Is The Key (1972) gets a U.S. Blu-ray release not long after its Australian one I just reviewed a few months ago at this link:


Barry Newman is the lead (I will not reveal any spoilers like I did before) landing up in a small town looking for trouble. Backed by a solid cast and strong pace, it is an underrated film from its time and everyone, especially serious film and action fans, should go out of their way to see it. It is one of those many fine films from the 1970s that got lost in the shuffle of so many well-made ones that you'll wonder why it was not a bigger hit.

Extras are expanded from that version and include a new (and different from the previous Blu-ray) feature length audio commentary by filmmaker and critic Howard S. Berger

  • A Different Kind of Spy Game, a new visual essay by film critic and author Scout Tafoya

  • Fear in the Key of Budd, a new appreciation of composer Roy Budd and his score for Fear Is the Key by film and music historian Neil Brand

  • Bayou to Bray, an archive featurette in which crew members look back on the making of the film

  • Producing the Action, an archive interview with associate producer Gavrik Losey

  • Original Theatrical Trailer

  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Nathanael Marsh

  • Double-sided foldout poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Nathanael Marsh

  • and an illustrated collector's booklet with new writing by filmmaker and critic Sean Hogan.

Kim Yong Hwa's The Moon (2023) is set into the near future when South Korea has made it tot he title locale and everything is going smoothly, until seven years later, a disaster. The adventure melodrama has plenty of sets, activity and sudden trouble, but the more interesting thing about the film is its imagining of the country having a space program at all. With more countries making it off the earth in one way or another, it seems more possible than ever.

Here though, the film can only repeat what we have seen in everything from Kubrick's 2001 to Howard's Apollo 13 to Scott's The Martian to other films they may not have even directly seen (Silent Running, Outland, both versions of Solaris, etc.) so you know what you are getting in advance. Not bad, but nothing much new to see here either. At least South Korea can be happy how their film industry continues to grow.

Trailers for this and a few other Well Go USA releases are the only extras, though our copy came with a nice paperboard slipcase that includes metallic ink.

Linnea Quigley, best known for cult classics such as Night of the Demons and Return of the Living Dead, is the literal definition of a Scream Queen. In fact, if I had to make a chart of them I would probably put her in the top five.

She has been in nearly 200 films over her multi-decade career in B-movie cinema. An endearing character to the horror community, it’s no surprise that fans won't be excited to get Scream Queen (2022) on Blu-ray as a new release by Visual Vengeance, just to get a Linnea movie they may not have seen and which has been considered lost. The film is admittedly not very good by even slasher movie standards, but I don't think it was necessarily supposed to be. With releases like this you simply have to enjoy them for what they are, but recommendable depends solely on your personal taste (and often times tolerance) in B movie cheese.

Shot on video on no budget, the film stars Quigley (which was probably most of their budget) as a Scream Queen named Malica Tombs who fakes her own death in a car accident after leaving the set of one of her movies upset. Crew members of the fated film start to get killed off one by one shortly after by someone who seeks to avenge Malica's death... with a chainsaw!

Special Features:

New Linnea Quigley Interview

Feature Length Audio Commentary with Writer / Director Brad Sykes

Once Upon A Time In Horrorwood: Behind the Scenes Documentary

Second Feature: Original Producer's Cut of Movie

Editor Mark Polonia Interview

Behind The Scenes Image Gallery

Linnea Quigley Image Gallery

Original Script Selects

Original Trailer

Visual Vengeance Trailers

Six-page liner notes by Tony Strauss of Weng's Chop Magazine

Collectible Linnea Quigley folded mini-poster

'Stick your own' VHS sticker set

and a reversible sleeve featuring original home video art.

Clearly made for die-hard B-movie VHS fans, Scream Queen will appeal to a certain type of audience in this bonus feature packed disc with a transfer that looks as it can on Blu-ray disc.

Huang Feng's The Shaolin Plot (1977) is an expanded revenge film with tons of fight sequences lead by Sammo Hung working under Feng for the last time before he started directing films himself, with the antagonist needing to capture a few more sacred objects, including one in a temple that will be impossible to get into and others will join in soon on both sides.

Its best to let the film explain it in full detail as you watch, but it is more fight sequences than anything else and to a fault, with limited story and plotting, which some fans and viewers will like. The action sequences can eventually become repetitive and look over-choreographed, though it is one of the more stand out Golden Harvest releases in the genre and otherwise. As a matter of fact, after all the classic martial arts films we have reviewed over the years form the period, I would recommend this above most just because it is so seamless, flaws and all. Now you can see for yourself.

Extras include two feature length audio commentary tracks: one by martial arts film experts Frank Djeng & Michael Worth, the other by action cinema experts Mike Leeder & Arne Venema

  • Alternate English credits

  • Original theatrical trailers

  • Double-sided fold-out poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Ilan Sheady

  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Ilan Sheady

  • and an illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing by Peter Glagowski.

Garo Setian's Space Wars: Quest For The Deepstar (2022) is an ambitious-for-its-low-budget space opera adventure (takes place in 2980!) that wants to be like Dune in having the characters all chase after a precious substance (a blue liquid called 'essence' is the MacGuffin here) and they landed Michael Pare as the lead. No doubt you have seen all this before, but they do not care, as any similarities are intentional and celebrated.

Running 90 minutes, they quit just about while they are sort of ahead, adding any twist or turn they can, even if it just adds on to not developing any one thing enough. The supporting cast also gives it their best, but this is for genre fans only, if that. Though this is not meant to be a total retro project, it will remind you of such films that were coming out all the time in the later 1980s into the 1990s, many of which went straight to video. I just wish it offered more, but the most curious should check it out.

Extras include a feature length audio commentary track, Original Theatrical Trailer, Deleted Scenes and Bloopers.

Now for playback performance. The Blue Jean Monster is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a full frame aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and an original Cantonese, lossless LPCM 2.0 Mono mix with English subtitles. The film has been remastered from its original negatives for this new Blu-ray presentation, which certainly bests previous releases.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image on Key is looking just a little better than the Australian Blu-ray version, showing off its fine color and cinematography just a little more. Its PCM 1.0 Mono is just not quite able to overtake the PCM 2.0 Mono on that import Blu-ray, so it is a draw of sorts. Both are enjoyable viewings, though this could stand an actual 4K disc, it is that good looking a film and the use of the scope frame is nice.

The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image on Moon was not a cheap HD shoot, so it has some visual moments here and there, but it is a little softer than I would have liked down to the CGI and not from its mere visual approach. More sets were built than expected, to its benefit, but you have seen most of its retro-modernist approach. The Korean DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is consistent with a good soundfield and decent mixing and editing, but nothing more beyond that. The combination is professional enough, but they did not go for DTS: X or Dolby Atmos for some reason.

Scream Queen is presented in 1080p high definition (upconverted) on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a full frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and a lossy, English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448 kbps). The film was shot on analog, low definition VHS videotape and the quality is of that caliber, but looks as good as a VHS transfer can look on Blu-ray disc.

The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Shaolin can show the age of the materials used, but not only is this far superior a transfer to all previous releases of the film in the few clips I have seen, but one of the best transfers of a pre-1980s martial arts import I have seen to date. Many have had age and print issues, but this one does not and the color is exceptional. Unfortunately, the 35mm color negative (Kodak? Fuji?) has not been identified, nor has the type of anamorphic lens, but they are both good and they work well. The original theatrical monophonic sound is here in Mandarin PCM 1.0 Mono that is not bad, but would have worked better as 2.0 Mono.

Lastly, the anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on Deepstar is softer than I would have liked, in part because of the limited-budget digital visual effects, but the sound is here in both lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 and lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo mixes. They sound decent and the 5.1 has a slight edge, but it is only so good, though a lossless version might sound better.

- Nicholas Sheffo and James Lockhart (Jean, Scream)



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