Saturday, April 29, 2006
Review of one of Panik House's latest releases - Tokyo Psycho
"Sachiko Kokubu plays Yumiko, the beautiful owner of a Tokyo design agency whose upscale, enjoyable life is disrupted by fear.
First, a mysterious woman summons her at dawn with no explantion. Then Yumiko receives paper scraps stitched together with piano wire that spell out an unnerving message – "I know you were meant to marry me." Finally, as Yumiko prepares for a class reunion, someone sends her a copy of her school photo drenched in blood.
That someone is the Tokyo Psycho.
Summoning a friend, Yumiko embarks on a brutal, exhilarating nightmare investigation into her tormentor, awakening long forgotten memories and facing unimaginable horrors. For all the city's crowds and commotion, she cannot hide from Tokyo Psycho."
Source: Panik House
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Right, according to Cecchi Gori, the version of Fulci's Lizard that they have is excellent quality and the right format, however it only runs 95mins, which I believe means they still have the CUT version.
- Interview with Prof. Paolo Albiero, expert on the cinema of Fulci
- Info about the different versions and cuts of the film (!)
- Bios of cast and crew.
No word on audio options yet.
This is all still TBC at the moment. Stay tuned for more updates.
Saturday, April 22, 2006
One of Italy's finest actresses, Alida Valli, has died. She was 84, and she will be best remembered for her roles in Visconti's Senso, Mario Soldati's Piccolo Mondo Antico and Dario Argento's Suspiria. Alida's real name was Alida Maria Altenburger and she was born in Pola, Italy, and as well as finding success in Italy, she was noted for her roles in Carol Reeds The Third Man and Hitchcocks The Paradine Case. Later in her career she was awarded a Lifetime Achievement "David di Donatello" (Italian Oscar) and the "Golden Lion" at the Venice Film Festival for her contribution to Italian Cinema.
Sources: Tgcom and AlidaValli.net
Friday, April 21, 2006
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Enzo Castellari's classic WWII epic "Inglorious Bastards" has been released in Japan, and a copy is on the way to be reviewed very soon. Starring Fred Williamson, Bo Svenson and Michael Pergolani, it sees 4 American GI's escaping en route to military prison due to an ambush. Instead of finding freedom, they end up volunteering to help the French Underground movement against the Nazi's. A movie I've heard loads about and looking forward to finally seeing.
Sazuma's latest foray into genre territory has seen them announce Sergio Martino's "Morte Sospetta di una Minorenne" (Suspected death of a Minor). Looks pretty interesting and anything of Martino's is always worth a look. Although Sazuma's delivery times for DVD's can be erratic, their DVD releases are always carefully put together, indeed their Limited Edition Tin release of Cannibal Ferox is a favourite of mine, so I'm looking forward to all their future releases.
2.35:1, 16:9 Anamorphic Widescreen
English and Italian Language in Dolby Digital Mono
English, German and Dutch Subtitles
Bonus Features TBA
From Sazuma's Blog:
"Almost a year has passed since our Subconscious Cruelty: Deluxe Edition has been released. But we weren’t lazy in the meantime. We came up with a concept for an entire batch of new titles which will be known as the “Italian Genre Cinema Collection“.
The first film in this series will be the rare and long sought-after 1975 Sergio Martino effort Morte Sospetta di una Minorenne aka Suspected Death of a Minor aka Too Young to Die – the perfect film to kick off a high-quality collection of Italian genre classics as it is a crossover of two of the most popular Italian genres from the 60s/70s, the giallo and the poliziesco.
As all future releases within the collection, Morte Sospetta will be transferred from its original negative into a great-looking 2.35:1 anamorphic DVD-master. Bonus features are still TBA, but we’re trying hard to come up with some interesting extras – not only for the first entry in the collection but all future titles as well.
Best possible quality will be our main objective for the collection. Apart from the perfection in specs and features, we put much thought in the packaging: Each title will arrive in a numbered digipak which will feature the same basic design (see screenshot for an unfinished layout screenshot of the back cover, incomplete with pictures from a different film and temp text) so that the entire collection will look real neat on your shelf. The only difference between the titles will be the original poster artwork on the front and the colored stripes, which are coming in a different shade for each genre: Gialli will be yellow (sure thing), a poliziesco is green, horror red, and erotic titles will be blue."
Romolo Guerrieri's "Un Detective" with Franco Nero, Adolfo Celi, Laura Antonelli and Florinda Bolkan is out on R2 DVD in Italy by Cecchi Gori DVD. It's a giallo I don't know too much about, but the cast alone should make it one to check out. Again, in Italian only, no English subs.
Year - 1969
Director - Romolo Guerrieri
Starring - Franco Nero, Adolfo Celi, Laura Antonelli and Florinda Bolkan
Format - 1:85:1
Ratio - 16:9
Audio - Italian 2.0
Subtitles - Italian
Extras - BioFilmography's
Antonio Bido's "Il Gatto dagli Occhi di Giada" (The Cat with Jade Eyes) is out now from Cecchi Gori DVD in Italy. This is an effective giallo that has had unspectacular releases from VCI and X-Rated in the past. One for Italian speakers only, as it looks like no English subs are included.
Director - Antonio Bido
Starring - Paolo Malco, Paola Tedesco, Corrado Pani
Format - 1:85:1
Ratio - 16:9
Audio - Italian 2.0
Subtitles - Italian
Extras - Interview with Antonio Bido, BioFilmography.
French DVD producers, Neo Publishing, are releasing Duccio Tessari's "L' Uomo senza Memoria" and Sergio Martino's "La Coda della Scorpione" (which has already had a R1 release from NoShame)
Year - 1974
Director - Duccio Tessari
Starring - Senta Berger, Luc Merenda
Format - 1:85:1
Ratio - 16:9
Audio - French 2.0 Italian 2.0
Subtitles - French
Extras - Profile of Ernesto Gastaldi, Interview with Luc Merenda, Photo Gallery, Booklet
Year - 1971
Director - Sergio Martino
Starring - George Hilton, Anita Strindberg
Format - 2:35:1
Ratio - 16:9
Audio - French 2.0 Italian 2.0
Subtitles - French
Extras - Audio commentary from writer Ernesto Gastaldi, Profile of Sergio Martino, Photo Gallery, Booklet
Saturday, April 15, 2006
Upcoming reviews over the next few weeks will include:
Tokyo Psycho (R1, Panik House)
Sex is Zero (R1, Panik House)
H.G. Wells The Invisible Man - The Original Series (R1, Darksky Films)
Fun with Dick & Jane (R1, Sony Pictures)
Napoleon Dynamite: Like, the Best Special Edition Ever! (R1, 20th Century Fox)
The Wedding Singer: Totally Awesome Edition (R1, New Line)
The Patriot: Extended Cut (R2, Sony Pictures)
Posted by Nick Frame at 3:13 PM
While browsing blogs such as Groovy Age of Horror and Teleport City, I came across some trashy pulp fiction that seemed too good to pass up. First up was the Nick Carter: Killmaster series that sees the titular secret agent sent out on daring top secret missions. These books had no author attached to them and were simply churned out one after the other. While definitely not great literature, they are pretty well written and most of all good fun.
I ordered “Nick Carter: Massacre in Milan” from Amazon for my first foray into the world of Killmaster. Carter is sent to Italy by his agency AXE to discover why Arab terrorists, a Nazi spy and Israeli counter-agents are fighting over oil and perhaps something more. He springs into action, with guns, gadgets and girls, its James Bond but with more sex, violence and it’s totally non-PC into the bargain. At around 188 pages it’s none too taxing but a perfect read for a long plane journey or summer reading while you’re relaxing on the beach. If you want more Nick Carter, then have no fear as around 260 novels were written and can be picked up 2nd hand from Amazon and eBay.
In addition to Nick Carter, there are other series that I’m interested in exploring, starting with Edward S. Aarons “Sam Durell” thrillers. Durell is another problem solver who works for the CIA this time and again is sent out on daring missions no-one else would accept. I choose “Assignment Nuclear Nude” to begin with, where Durell has to investigate the link between some paintings and secret nuclear plans. He is in two minds in taking the assignment until he discover that the owners of the paintings each have beautiful daughters, he finds some renewed enthusiasm. He sets off with the girls in tow and a new adventure begins. The premise sounds great and I’m looking forward to getting stuck into my first Sam Durell adventure.
Also recently ordered from Amazon is “Death is a Ruby Light” from The Baroness series by Paul Kenyon. Only 8 books were ever written and they were even more non-PC, violent with much more explicit sex. Sounds good to me!
The Baroness was “A former Vogue and Elle cover model, the Baroness is a "long-legged beauty in her thirties" who runs a model agency as a cover for her espionage missions. Her preferred weapon is the Bernadelli VB .25 caliber”. In addition “She drinks pitchers of martinis, smokes the occasional joint, drives a red Porsche, throws lavish parties in her Rome mansion and enjoys fierce but casual sex with a series of swarthy hunks, including suspected enemies she may well have to kill. Her green eyes, black hair and "explicit cheekbones" prove the perfect smokescreen. "There wasn't a line or shadow on her lovely face to show the deadly secrets that lay behind it." (Source: Wikipedia) More on this one when it arrives.
As well as reviewing cult, horror and exploitation movies for 10kBullets and Cinema Nocturna, I was asked to do some reviews for the AV Forums as well, who have one the largest discussion forums on the Internet, with over 50,000 members and around 100 registrations a day. I like all kind of cinema so it's good to review movies I've missed at the cinema or films I normally would not get round to seeing. They allocate the DVD's I receive every month, so its always interesting to see what pops through the letterbox. All in all it's interesting to write for 3 different sites and having the opportunity to review so many genres of film, however don't panic, this site is called DVD Trash for a reason and cult, horror and exploitation are still top priority.
Hustle & Flow (R2, Paramount)
Empire of the Sun: SE (R2, Warner Bros.)
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Anchor Bay are releasing "Cemetary Man" or as its better known "Dellamorte, Dellamore" on R1 DVD on June 13th:
Directed by Michele Soavi, Cemetery Man stars Rupert Everett (My Best Friend’s Wedding and the voice of Prince Charming in Shrek 2) as Francesco Dellamore, a cemetery caretaker who finds that his seemingly dead-end job has recently become a little harder. Along with his sidekick Gnaghi (Francois Hadji-Lazaro), Francesco spends his days interning corpses and his nights killing “returners” – those who have risen from their grave seven days after burial. Life changes for Francesco when he falls for a beautiful, mysterious widow (Anna Falchi). When fate intervenes, Francesco must choose between Love Eternal and the Living Dead…Ever since its release in 1994, Cemetery Man has shocked and tickled with its unique balance of the macabre and the comical. Anchor Bay Entertainment dug deep to find bonus features worthy of the film’s reputation, including:
* Widescreen Presentation (1.66:1), enhanced for 16x9 TVs
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
* Death is Beautiful: The Making of Cemetery Man featuring all-new cast and crew interviews including director Michele Soavi, star Anna Falchi and more
* Michele Soavi Bio
Proposed cover art:
So its looking good but perhaps for Euro fans, they should look at the Italian Release from Medusa which has great AV and better extras, available from Thrauma with all important English audio and subs.
Regardless you should see this film for the lovely Anna Falchi:
If that doesn't persuade you nothing will!
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Colt .38 Special Squad
Two of the great all-time European badasses go mano a mano in this brutal crime thriller from Massimo Dallamano (WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO YOUR DAUGHTERS?). When his wife becomes the latest innocent victim of a merciless Marseilles crime lord (Ivan Rassimov, of YOUR VICE IS A LOCKED DOOR AND ONLY I HAVE THE KEY), police captain Vanni (THE FRENCH CONNECTION’s Marcel Bozzuffi) goes beyond the law to form a secret squad of rogue cops, each armed with an unlicensed 38 Colt revolver. As Vanni and his vigilante crew take back the night bullet by bullet, the Marsellais joins the game by instigating a wave of violent crimes that turns the city into a deadly playground.
Released in Italy as Quelli della Calibro 38 (“Those of the 38 Caliber”), COLT 38 SPECIAL SQUAD was the last film directed by Massimo Dallamano and is a no-holds-barred poliziotteschi that’s an absolute winner on all fronts: a great cast (Rassimov and Bozzuffi tear up the town in their only screen pairing), high octane action, unflinching violence and a rousing Euro-funk score from maestro Stelvio Cipriani (DEATH WALKS ON HIGH HEELS), plus a surprise guest appearance by Grace Jones!
No Shame Films is proud to present 38 COLT SPECIAL SQUAD for the first time on DVD, uncut and restored to its original aspect ratio. Included in this 2-disc special edition is LA BIDONATA (1978), the long-lost final film by giallo specialist Luciano Ercoli. Shelved after its producer was kidnapped in Italy, the film was never released anywhere in the world and is presented now for the first time by NoShame Films, culled from the original 35 mm negative!
DISC 1: COLT 38 SPECIAL SQUAD
- Introduction by composer Stelvio Cipriani
- Always the Same Ol’ 7 Notes
- A Career spanning interview with composer Stelvio Cipriani
- Original Theatrical Trailer
- Poster and Still Gallery
LA BIDONATA (a.k.a. THE RIP-OFF) (extra)
- Introduction by director of photography Sergio D’Offizi Collectable booklet – including liner notes and talent bios
A NoShame exclusive, available for a limited time only, LA BIDONATA is LUCIANO ERCOLI's (THE DEATH BOX SET) long lost last feature film. Restored from the only existing positive 35mm print, this notorious lost film has never been exhibited anywhere in the world and boasts a cast of great Italian character actors: Walter Chiari (THE VALACHI PAPERS), Susan Scott (DEATH WALKS AT MIDNIGHT, DEATH WALKS ON HIGH HEELS), Ettore Manni (Mario Bava's RABID DOGS), ... and was shot by CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST cinematographer Sergio D'Offizi.
Next up is Convoy Busters:
“When he gets mad, Olmi really lets go!” Busted down from homicide for arresting a diamond smuggler with friends in high places, hardboiled cop Olmi (the late great Maurizio Merli, star of VIOLENT NAPLES and THE CYNIC, THE RAT, AND THE FIST) joins Rome’s emergency squad, where his extreme tactics make him a target of both the mob and the press. After killing an innocent man he mistakes for an assassin, Olmi has himself transferred to a quiet beat on the Adriatic coast. Finding love in the arms of a beautiful schoolteacher, Olmi’s carefree existence is shot to Hell after he crosses paths with a gang of vicious gun runners operating out of the local port. When Olmi takes his .45 snub-nose out of storage, all hell breaks loose under the Tuscan sun.
Known in Italy as Un Poliziotto Scomodo (“The Inconvenient Cop”), CONVOY BUSTERS features Maurizio Merli in one of his last poliziotteschi assignments. Gorgeous Olga Karlatos (KEOMA, Lucio Fulci’s ZOMBIE) and the ever-evil Massimo Serrato (THE 10TH VICTIM, AUTOPSY) costar in a fast-paced action vehicle fueled by slashed throats, charred corpses and 100% Italian machismo, directed by Stelvio Massi (EMERGENCY SQUAD, THE LAST ROUND) and with a cool Euro-Cult score by Stelvio Cipriani (38 COLT SPECIAL SQUAD).
NoShame is proud to present this rare latter day poliziotteschi in an eye-popping transfer, in its original aspect ratio with exclusive interviews with actors and filmmakers.
- Merli on Merli – a conversation with actor Maurizio Matteo Merli (son of star Maurizio Merli) - A Star Was Born – a conversation with journalist Eolo Capacci
- My Good Fella Maurizio – a conversation with actor Enio Girolami
- ER Prota – a conversation with director Enzo G. Castellari
- Bullet in the Closet – a conversation with director Ruggero Deodato
- COP ON FIRE Trailer – an upcoming poliziotteschi starring Maurizio Matteo Merli - Poster and Still Gallery
Collectable Booklet - contains CRIME STORY: THE DE FALCO SOLUTION, an original comic book short story by Maurizio Rosensweig and Diego Cajelli (Mondadori's ALTA CRIMINALITA). Set in present day Milan but inspired by the poliziotteschi subgenre of the 70s, CRIME STORY: THE DE FALCO SOLUTION delivers 16 adrenaline-fueled pages of non-stop action by two of the most prominent comic book artists working in Italy today.
Both of these look like must haves, especially with the extras on the Convoy Busters disc. Both discs should be hitting the street on June 27th.
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Just a reminder for UK folk that Takashi Miike's Master of Horrors episode "Imprint", already banned in the USA, will air on Bravo (SKY Channel 124) this Friday April 7th at 11.30pm.
Bravo have a small preview trailer available here.
Tune in then on Friday to what all the fuss is about.
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Two of my favourite animation series are coming to DVD. First up we have Mediablasters with "Voltron: Defenders of the Universe" I used to watch Voltron on Italian TV during the summer vacation and also collected the toys, so this is a nice nostalgia trip for me.
"Voltron: Defender of the Universe has been planned for 8 DVD releases, each one containing three discs, approximately 15 episodes, and as many extras as we can squeeze in. We're preparing premium special edition packaging, an aggressive video restoration process, and remixed 5.1 audio. The goal is to make Voltron look better than it has ever looked before. We'll keep posting updates here about our restoration work, so check back often!Voltron: Defender of the Universe DVD vol. 1 hits the street Fall
2006 UPCOMING RELEASES:
In addition to Voltron: Defender of the Universe, we are planning to release Hundred Beast King GoLion and Armored Squadron Dairugger XV on DVD starting next year. These releases will be completely uncut and in their original Japanese with English Subtitles. Warning: While Voltron is suitable for all ages, GoLion and Dairugger contain violence and other scenes that may be too intense for younger viewers. Please use discretion. Release dates for GoLion and Dairugger are not yet available, but they will be posted here as soon as possible."
Next up is "Pinky & the Brain" from Warner Bros. with around 660 mins of the nefarious Brain and dumb sidekick Pinky trying to take over the world. It's going to be a 4-Disc set, but extras are yet to be defined.