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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

DVD Trash: Top 10 Movies and DVD's of 2009


Getting close to the end of the year so here is the DVD Trash rundown of the best Movies and DVD/Blu-Ray releases of 2009!

Movies:

1. Inglourious Basterds
2. Watchmen
3. The Hangover
4. Martyrs
5. District 9
6. Gran Torino
7. Star Trek
8. The Hurt Locker
9. Män som hatar kvinnor (The Man who hated Women)
10.The September Issue

I've seen The Wrestler in other 2009 lists and I love it but I saw it in 2008 so it will stay on my 2008 list!

Bear in mind I've not got round to seeing everything that was released and I'll slowly catch up but honourable mentions must also go to Broken Embraces, Mesrine, Drag me to Hell, Avatar and Sherlock Holmes plus I still need to see Let the right one In, Synecdoche New York, Antichrist, The Girlfriend Experience, Thirst, Frost/Nixon!

Also like to say my guilty pleasure was G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, so many things wrong with it, but I loved seeing my all time favourite childhood toys on the big screen!

DVD's and Blu-Ray's:

1. Watchmen: DC (BD, Warner Bros.)
2. Dawn of the Dead (BD, Arrow Films)
3. Cat in the Brain: Deluxe Edition (DVD, Grindhouse)
4. The Bronx Warriors Trilogy (DVD, Shameless)
5. Agent 69 Jensen: In the Sign of Scorpio (DVD, Smirk)
6. Star of David: Hunting for Beautiful Women (DVD, Discotek)
7. The Hairdressers Husband (DVD, Severin)
8. Big Trouble in Little China (BD, Warner Bros.)
9. Night of the Creeps (BD, Sony)
10. The G.I. Joe Complete Series: Collectors Edition (DVD, Shout Factory)



Again loads more DVD's and BD's are on my wishlist and great praise has been heaped on The New York Ripper (BD, Blue Underground), Man of Violence (BD, BFI), North by Northwest (BD, Warner) and Belle de Jour (BD, Optimum). Hopefully these will join the collection soon!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

New Look for Severin Films!


Severin Films now has a new look website to enjoy!

“Severin finally has a website worthy of its films,” said Carl Daft, co-founder and CEO of Severin Films. “As our company has grown, the equally burgeoning fan and media support our releases have received has demanded we create an online destination as unique and provocative as the company itself. Welcome to Severin 2.0.”

Go check them out and order your copies of Hardware and Hanna D now!!!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Interview with Koji Shiraishi - "Grotesque"


Interview with the controversial Japanese Director, whose movie "Grotesque" has been banned in the UK! So read on....


Interview at 3:AM Magazine


Source: David F Hoenigman

Friday, November 27, 2009

DVD News: Blind Love & Groper Train from Pink Eiga

Also just released are Blind Love and Groper Train from Pink Eiga, who look to have struck gold once again with another fine set of DVD's hot on the heels from their fantastic release of Tsumugi a few months ago. Full of reviews of both very soon!

Blind Love (Amazon.com)



A blind girl falls in love with a ventriloquist by just listening to his voice. However, when she meets him, she mistakes his friend for the ventriloquist. She starts dating his friend without realizing it’s the wrong man and not the man she fell for. From the Director of “Scorpion Revenge” and “Zero Woman.” Silver Prize in Pink Eiga Film Festival 2005

Groper Train - Search for the Black Pearl (Amazon.com)



Directed by 2008 Academy Award® Winner Yojiro Takita (”Departures”)!

In 1934, the world’s largest black pearl disappears. Years later, Gohei, a dying war veteran claims to know the whereabouts of the coveted jewel. With his last breath, he utters the words “pussy print” to his wife Matsuko — and the mystery is on!

Unable to crack the mystery alone, Matsuko enlists the help of the world famous detective, Ippei, to decipher the cryptic message and track down the black pearl. However, when the investigation proves to be too complicated for even the talented Ippei to handle, the famous mystery writer Seicho Matsuki gets involved. The search turns into an all out free-for-all as each party sets its sights on the legendary black pearl.

Who will find it first?

DVD News: Zombies of the Stratosphere


New from Cheezy DVD and MVD is "Zombies of the Stratosphere" which is must for Star Trek fans as it stars Leonard Nimoy, Spock himself!

"Zombies of the Stratosphere" is for the lovers of old serials, those incredibly fun and silly episodic films that kept our parents and grandparents coming back to the theater week-after-week. Over the course of 12 episodes (plus original theatrical trailer), watch security agent Larry Martin, who can fly with an experimental rocket suit, and his cohort Bob Wilson, try to save the earth from the evil Martians. Can Larry and Bob thwart the villainous Martians plan to blast our planet out of its orbit and replace it with their own? Why are some earthlings conspiring with their dastardly plot? Not a zombie in sight... but you will find "Mr. Spock" Leonard Nimoy, who got his start right here! Produced on a miniscule budget, "Zombies of the Stratosphere" still offered a weekly injection of action and adventure in the Saturday matinee! Relying on story and creativity, the serial still delivers a punch without earth-splitting explosions, computerized special effects or tough-guy one-liners.

If your a fan of Saturday afternoon serials and dodgy acting and effects then this a keeper!

Click for the TRAILER

Friday, November 20, 2009

Blu-Ray News: Suspiria


Released on January 10th will be Suspiria on Blu-Ray from Cine-Excess in the UK, which hopefully will be a step up from the Italian release that suffered from lots of image problems and was ultimately a disappointment! Having heard from someone from Cult-Labs who has seen some of the Blu-Ray, it is meant to be looking good! Fingers crossed!

In addition, I don't like to pick out faults with new labels who are bringing, hopefully, a fantastic edition of Suspiria, but their tag line "Taking Trash Seriously" for a film that is anything but, is a little bit of insult! Anyway if the disc is great then all is forgiven!

Blu-Ray News: Italian Trash on Blu!

Blu-Ray is picking up speed in Italy now, not only Hollywood blockbusters, but now bonafide classic Italian Trash!

First we have, "Delitto al Ristorante Cinese" starring Tomas Milian and Bombolo, which has already been released by Cecchi Gori.


In January, Bud Spencer and Terence Hill hit the High Def road with "I Due Superpiedi quasi Piatti" from Koch Media Italia!

I think "Delitto al Ristorante Cinese" shall be ordered pronto to see if the step up to Blu has been met with success! How many formats will I ultimately own this film on???

New York DVD Stash!


Mondo Kims, the hands down best DVD store in NYC, was visited by myself on my recent jaunt to the Big A, and the following was purchased:

G.I Joe Complete Series: Collectors Edition

Too awesome for words!!!!

also

Night of the Creeps (Blu-Ray)
Out for Justice (Blu-Ray) Yay! Seagal on Blu-Ray!
Watchmen: Directors Cut (Blu-Ray)
Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Complete Season 1 (Blu-Ray)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Zombie Hunters vs. The Fantastic Mr. Fox

Glasgow

Over the last couple of weeks, I have attended 2 Q&A events on both sides of the Atlantic, that strictly speaking were very different but essentially the same as they both had one common theme – our love for movies! The fans make all the difference to a movies success and long term adoration so whether you attended the Glasgow Film Theatre for a "Night of the Zombie Hunters" or the New York Public Library for a "Conversation with Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach", you were in for a treat!

Glasgow was first for me with Arrow DVD, promoting their new Dawn of the Dead Blu-Ray and organiser Calum Waddell with the success of the “Italian Weekend of Terror” still resounding, worked hard to bring “Night of the Zombie Hunters” to Ireland, Edinburgh and Glasgow, celebrating George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead followed by Day of the Dead.

Along for the ride were the cool Ken Foree and the consummate Joe Pilato who followed up each screening with a Q&A and autograph signings for the fans. Apparently Glasgow crowds are the best according to Mr. Foree, who it also might interest you loves to talk about boxing while eating Chinese food until 3am with yours truly. Meanwhile, Joe P also concurred on the great crowds, but adding that when the fans bring along some pretty tasty red wine as well it's even better....you pretty much had to be there to get that one!



If you were not there then make sure you get along to the next event which could be about a certain City and it might involve some Living Dead, so keep them peepers open on DVD Trash...or go visit the following sites to be kept in the loop!

Arrow Film

Arrow Facebook Fan Page

Cult Lab Forums

If you were there, then thanks because without support these events and the cool UK DVD and Blu-Rays that Arrow produce simply cannot happen!

New York City

My second tale involves perhaps my favourite city in the world, New York, whereby while over visiting my upcoming, hipster and soon to be famous artist cousin, my love of movies was conveyed to one of her friends who consequently invited me to the NY PL for a conversation with Wes Anderson (The Royal Tenenbaums) and Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale) about their latest movie The Fantastic Mr. Fox! Too cool for school, I thought, and the invite was accepted!

While NY is famous for a myriad of movies, the Public Library, indeed the entrance itself, brings my thoughts to Ghostbusters and Ray, Egon and Peter running scared from the phantom librarian, a perfect setting to an evening all about film!

The premise was simple; Anderson and Baumbach simply sat down at the front of the stage and mused about movies for over 2 hours with them taking questions from their rapt audience at the end! Both directors were endearing, interesting and down to earth much like Ken and Joe P back in Glasgow were!



From Hollywood to Glasgow, the fans, whether up and coming film students from NYC or simply horror aficionados from Glasgow, fun and lots of it was had by all! Plus Glasgow can hold its head up high; both events drew over 300 attendees and were sold out!

Monday, November 16, 2009

RIP: The Equalizer


Very sad news as Edward Woodward has passed away, the Equalizer is no more!

More info over at the BBC

Sunday, November 15, 2009

DVD Review: Craving Desire



CRAVING DESIRE

Italy 1993
Dir: Sergio Martino
Screenplay: Sergio Martino, Maurizio Rasio, Umberto Lenzi
Starring: Vittoria Belvedere, Ron Nummi, Simona Borioni, Andrea Roncato, Serena Grandi, Hal Yamanouchi

Cert: NR
Running Time: 101 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Frame
Audio: Dolby Digital Mono Italian, Dolby Digital Mono English
Subtitles: N/A
Released: Mya Communications
Region: 0 NTSC

The Film

Skeletons like their closets. For when exhumed they are liable to collapse, shattering the surrounding silence with their spare secrets. Craving Desire opens with the disinterment of a wealthy family’s grand matriarch, as she is moved from tomb to grave. A pair of undertakers tie the yellowed shoulder blades to the ribcage, the long-buried framework now held together by thin strips of ribbon. Once they unravel there will be hell to pay; expect a few broken bones and splintered sockets.

Luigi (Nummi) would appear to be a robust example of youthful bourgeoisie with an executive job, rich fiancée (Cinzia, played with gusto by Borioni), and privileged family spurring him forward. So far, so slick, until his cousin Sonia (Belvedere) shows up at his apartment and begins to insinuate herself into his life, first casually flashing her endowments at him during breakfast, before interrupting our hapless yuppie mid-flow with his bride-to-be. Sonia’s soft, attentive charms prove to be far more appealing than Cinzia’s nitrous nagging and hedge-trimmed hair, and it is not long before Luigi is fully greased in her oily charms and ready to produce genetically-deficient offspring. He promptly dumps Cinzia and publicly declares new love, much to the disgust of his stern parents. To celebrate, our kissin’ cousins go to a nightclub and bring back a reveller, Francesca, to join them in a kinky threesome. Luigi’s once staunch foundation is disintegrating. The twine is beginning to fall apart.

As is Sonia, her motives gradually unfurling as Luigi sinks further into her seductive thrall. Once Francesca discovers a book of witchcraft belonging to her lusty hostess, the film veers from erotic soft-core thriller to something altogether more demented and unpredictable. Ricocheting between sweet sexiness and bitter, destructive desire, Vittoria Belvedere plays Sonia as a Michelin-starred bunny-boiler. A lot of the fun to be had in this pulpy slice of fiction is in seeing to what extremes she will go to in degrading her cousin’s ivory-white reputation; shoplifting, robbery, and even a spot of swinging with a woman who sports a hairstyle like the pop singer Yazz once had. The only way is no longer up for Luigi- brittle and spiritually jaundiced; he is close to breaking point.

Director Martino underlines the empty sterility of Luigi’s well-heeled lifestyle, allowing his camera to prowl through the dry, neutral tones of the character’s penthouse apartment with its décor at once nondescript and vulgar, a brashly turquoise floor exposed by the grey illumination from an ostentatious skylight. Any other colour that is present threatens the bland comfort of his existence: the ruby lips and flame hair of his boss’s wife, a temptation that would spell career suicide; the bright, flattering costumes worn by Sonia, a candy-coated cyanide pill to be greedily gulped down. Despite the character’s presentation as a spoilt rich kid, Nummi manages to imbue Luigi with enough childish naïveté to make us see him as a victim. Towards the end of the film, Sonia splays Luigi against the domed skylight, which bristles under his weight; it is as if he is being crucified on his own bourgeois livelihood, so transparent and fragile. A bubble of lofty affectation ready to be burst, Sonia strikes at its tainted root.

If her appearance rekindles a repressed attraction between the two cousins from their youth, there are other hidden fractures to be unearthed from this family vault. Craving Desire’s denouement is gloriously over-the-top, dripping with violence and macabre revelation. Sonia, clad in black PVC and high heels as a deathly dominatrix, brutally tortures Luigi and delivers a lengthy piece of exposition divulging grim childhood trauma. The skeletal spectre now hauled out of the cupboard, it can only be dashed against the ground.
A taut, twisted psycho-thriller, Craving Desire hits its mark with a bone-crunching thud.

The Disc

Presented in the original full-frame 1.33:1 aspect ratio, the transfer is, for the most part, immaculate. Neutral tones are rendered with clarity, whilst the explosions of colour are richly saturated (check out Luigi’s glowing green telephone for truly alarming kitsch value). Two audio mixes in English and Italian; both presented in Dolby Digital mono, which does not quite do justice to Natale Massare’s electro-flecked score, although the dialogue is free from surface noise. And for those purists who prefer subtitles to dubbing, there is no need to fear as the English dub is of top quality and unobtrusive, with dialogue delivered sincerely. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the disc is a little, ahem, bare-boned in terms of extras: a small documentary on Belvedere might have been nice. But maybe that’s just my own desirous craving…

Reviewed by James Kloda

BUY From Amazon.com

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

SKY+HD Movie Party



Nice idea from Sky UK if you are in the mood for some movies on TV as the cold, dark and wintry nights are drawing in!

"Sky are giving their UK high definition customers a complimentary ticket to watch Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and The Hangover on Sky Box Office HD in their homes the same week that the films are being released on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK.

It is part of the Sky+HD Party campaign, a chance to share the Sky+HD experience with friends. To help the party give customers the best experience of Sky+HD, Sky are offering their HD customers a complimentary Sky Box Office HD movie and a £10 M&S voucher.

Customers can take their pick from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Angels & Demons or The Hangover, showing exclusively from 11th – 13th December.

All customers need to do to set up their party is visit http://sky.com/hdparty and use their account number to sign up.

Customers must set up their party and get 3 or more friends to accept their invitation before 5pm on 17th November."

Halloween Hubba Hubba



Although this is basically a cult and horror movie/dvd site, I had to post this pic of Kim Kardashian, dressed as Princess Jasmin from Aladdin, because it's a movie and it's out on DVD, thats about it, just look at pretty pictures now!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

First Look: The A-Team



Looking pretty good at the moment, maybe the A-Team won't suck....

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Friday, October 23, 2009

Eva Amurri on Californication!



This show always demands your attention for it's smart writing and excellent performances...but now Susan Sarandon's daughter, Eva Amurri along with her amazing assets is simply smoking hot in Season 3 as one of Hank Moody's (David Duchovny) latest conquests! Hank is a lucky man! Eva Amurri, remember the name!

Monday, October 12, 2009

DVD Trash: The Interview!


Everyones ego needs stroked once in a while, so thankfully the Only Good Movies Blog has done just that with an interview with yours truly! It's very cool and informative movie site that deserves your attention, so go take a gander!

The Interview

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

DVD Review: Italian Sex (Sesso in Testa, 1974)



ITALIAN SEX (SESSO IN TESTA)

Italy 1974
Dir: Sergio Ammirata
Screenplay: Sergio Ammirata, Marino Onorati
Starring: Pilar Velázquez, Didi Perego, Mario Carotenuto, Toni Ucci, Lino Banfi, Sergio Ammirata

Cert: NR
Running Time: 90 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Letterboxed Widescreen
Audio: Dolby Digital Mono Italian
Subtitles: English
Released: Mya Communications
Region: 0 NTSC

The Movie

“The vernacchio is produced by the vibration of the tongue on the lips,” demonstrates the sweaty teacher to his (scantily-clad) student with gusto. If you thought the above referred to a lewd deed, you are symptomatic of the condition affecting most of Italian society according to this 1974 film- a dirty mind, or ‘Sex In The Head’ as the title literally translates. For the gentleman is referring to the creation of a certain type of fart noise, acceptable to be used in the presence of ladies and archbishops. The innuendo is apt: not only does it court a sex-addled imagination but the lip-smacking trumpeting could be seen as an auto-erotic substitute for an oral act of coitus. (If you think I’m delving too deep into the film’s unconscious, feel free to practice your own vernacchio now.) Italian Sex is thus a surreal exposé of the prurient psyche of modern life, the feisty fantasies and pulsing perversity that seep beneath a routine bit of how’s-yer-father. Homoeroticism, sex with nuns, incest, necrophilia; it’s all here in a film that would make Alfred Kinsey blush.

Similar to that prominent sexologist, sociology student Diana Tornetti (Velázquez) has decided to research the wanton desires of Italian men for her PhD dissertation. Her methodology is one of strenuous fieldwork, going undercover as a prostitute for three eventful months. Before she can be awarded her doctorate, she must relate her exploits to an academic board, comprised of a flustered vicar, a monocled aristocrat and one prudish woman who chokes violently at the mere mention of the word “enticement”, presided over by the great Italian smut star Lino Banfi. Consequently, her encounters are presented as episodic vignettes as if they were chapters from her thesis. Brimming with colourful characters and bawdy burlesque, Sergio Ammirata’s only film as director (with veteran Fernando Vacanze Per Un Massacro Di Leo providing uncredited ‘academic’ supervision) plays like an Italian version of a British sex romp; heck, it could be called Confessions Of A Post-Grad. Or Carry On Swotting.

Inevitably, the content of her thesis is hit and miss. Some sequences are very funny, if based around a single punch-line: a camp hotel waiter (played by Ammirata himself) only poses as a homosexual so that women will crave sex with him in order to cure him of his ‘deviance’; an impotent Mafioso, Frank, has to slap his women around to protect his macho image; and a decidedly ugly man, who looks like a cross between Frank Zappa and Bruce Forsyth, reveals only after he has had sex with our heroine that the money he proffered was a gift from her mother.

The film is at its best with scenes that rock with a dark undertow below the comic bounce of the carnal capers: a recent widower attempts to seduce Diana while his wife lies embalmed in a coffin next door- when she scarpers he looks at his ex and proclaims, “You’re ruining me even in death, huh? Go to hell twice.” This evidence leads our student to surmise that men take pleasure “to profane every sacred thing”. In another episode, what appears to be a traffic jam turns out to be a queue of men waiting to drill a nun; as she lifts her habit, Ammarita shoots through her legs capturing the look of nervous excitement on the punter’s face. Not only does this link voyeurism with forbidden privilege, but the camera position also reflects Diana’s desire to examine the world from a different angle, one that sprouts from the loins.

The licentious fantasy and libidinous technique on display is crystallised in the performance of Velázquez. Donning multi-coloured wigs and negligees like a hyperactive cabaret star, her energy and humour toward her predicaments is what gives Italian Sex its distinctive honours. As the horrified splutters of the judging panel transform into approving coos, the film itself further loosens up and plunges into manic surrealism: one of the clients is a deranged man in a Mickey Mouse jumper who, it is claimed, has wandered in from another film; Ms. Torrentini acts as a stage manager to a bizarre piece of physical theatre with thriving naked lesbians accompanied by wild animal noises, all watched by a horde of ageing critics, scrutinising the participants through opera glasses and taking detailed notes. Sex is a theatre of the absurd, full of exaggerated role-play, styled (and stylised) perversity, and performed with a cheeky self-awareness.

After Frank has executed his wife-beating charade, he looks into a mirror and blows a raspberry at his own spurious image. Likewise, Italian Sex irreverently trumps a cloud of spittle on the cultural portrait of a wholesome, chaste society. We all secretly enjoy a healthy vibration of the tongue on the lips.

The Disc

Presented in 1.85:1 letterboxed widescreen, the transfer is decent with colours bright and suggestive. Only minor pops and scratches evident from the source material. Contrast is good, with the stylish black and white décor of Diana’s apartment room looking particularly ravishing; however, some of the detail in the darker scenes is fuzzy. Audio-wise, the Dolby Digital mono mix is in Italian with removable subtitles in English. Some of these are riddled with grammatical errors, which add to the sense of chaos: “He took me in a desert place” (she’s not referring to bedding Bedouins). No extras, perhaps unsurprisingly for a release of a fairly niche title.

Reviewed by James Kloda

BUY FROM AMAZON.COM

Monday, October 05, 2009

Too many DVD's?


An article from the Guardian by Charlie Brooker certainly struck a chord with me today as he describes that he now has too many unread books and unwatched DVD's, basically they are going to outlive him. I really do not know if I will ever get through my unwatched pile...anyway read on and see what you think!

"I'm fairly certain I recently passed a rather pathetic tipping point, and now own more unread books and unwatched DVDs than my remaining lifespan will be able to sustain. I can't possibly read all these pages, watch all these movies, before the grim reaper comes knocking. The bastard things are going to outlive me. It's not fair. They can't even breathe.... READ MORE

Thursday, October 01, 2009

DVD Competition - Win Vinyan & Just Another Love Story on DVD

NOW CLOSED - WELL DONE TO THE WINNERS!

Coming from Revolver Entertainment on October 5th are "Vinyan" and "Just Another Love Story"

We have 3 copies of each up for grabs, so all you have to do is send an email to dvdtrash@another.com with "DVD Competition" in the subject line to be in with a chance to win!

Vinyan (Buy now from Amazon or out in Cinemas October 2nd Nationwide in the UK)



Based on one of the biggest disasters of the century, VINYAN follows Paul (Rufus Sewell – The Illusionist) and Jeanne Belhmer (Emmanuelle Béart – 8 Femmes) who like many other parents of their time journey to Thailand in search of their son, lost during the Tsunami of 2004. Glimpsing a boy who looks like Joshua in video footage from a village of orphaned children on the Thai-Burmese border, Jeanne becomes convinced that her son was kidnapped by traffickers.

Unwilling to shatter his wife’s last hope, Paul remains sceptical as she throws their money at a sinister smuggler who promises to take them by boat into pirate-infested waters to find their son. As they continue their quest through the dark jungle, the traumatized couple is pulled into a primeval hell created by their own obsessions and mutual desperation for some sense of closure.

Vinyan is a stylized, intense journey through the emotional pain of losing a child set against the visual vibrancy of the Thai jungle. The feature is written and directed by Fabrice Du Welz (Calvaire). Vinyan is a Michael Gentile and Film 4 production in association with Wild Bunch and Backup Films.

Just Another Love Story (Buy now from Amazon)



Bornedal’s signature style, combining stark realism with surreal violence, stars ANDERS W. BERTHELSEN, REBECKA HEMSE and NIKOLAJ LIE KAAS (Angels and Demons). In this jaw‐dropping thriller, Jonas (BERTHELESEN) is restless living his own suburban fairy tale life, only to find an escape from the trap of routine in the most unlikely of places. But when the past catches up with him he is utterly unprepared for the horrifying consequences. Like Hitchcock meets WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING, with gruesome results.

Monday, September 28, 2009

DVD Capsule Review: Return of the Gladiator (1971)



Return of the Gladiator
(Il Ritorno del gladiatore più forte del mondo)

DVD released: May 19th, 2009
Approximate running time: 86 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Letterboxed Widescreen
Rating: NR
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English, Dolby Digital Mono Italian
Subtitles: N/A
DVD Release: Mya Communication
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95

The Movie:

Rome, 310 A.D. The Roman Empire is beginning to collapse, and Proconsul Tullius Valerius (Albert Farley) fears that provincial governor Gaius (John Barracuda) has been secretly working with those Germanic barbarians seeking to end Roman rule. Valerius then orders to former gladiator Marcus (Brad Harris) to go undercover and investigate this situation. In Gaius' territory also lives Lycia (Maria Pia Conte), the beloved of Marcus. Gaius soon learns of Marcus' plans, and has him captured and unfairly accused of murder. Led to believe that Marcus is guilty, Lycia turns against him, and Gaius condemns the gladiator to be pulled apart by teams of horses.

Bitto Albertini (Yellow Emanuelle) directs this average Peplum epic that although no great shakes, will definitely let you while away an afternoon snoozing in front of the TV without needing to pay too much attention to the plot! Throw in some unintentional comedy and dodgy acting and you have yourself some classic Italian Peplum action!

The Disc:

The 2.35:1 image is fine and in good condition, with very little in the way of any print damage. The mono Italian and English audio are both fine, but I recommend Italian with English subs for a more enjoyable presentation with the English dub none too clever! Once again no extras for a fairly rare title is perhaps not surprising!

BUY from Amazon.com

DVD Capsule Review: Revenge of the Crusader (1964)




DVD released: April 28th, 2009
Approximate running time: 90 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Letterboxed Widescreen
Rating: NR
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Italian
Subtitles: English
DVD Release: Mya Communication
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95

The Movie:

Seriously wounded in a skirmish with a group of bandits, Count Sigfrido of Treviri (Alberto Lupo) is taken to the nearby castle of the Duke of Brabant, where he is tended by Duke’s daughter Genoveffa (María José Alfonso). The two gradually fall in love and marry shortly after. Once back in Treviri, Sigfrido leaves for the Crusades and asks to his counsellor Golo (Stephen Forsyth) to look after his wife while he’s away. Attracted to Genoveffa, Golo tries to force his attentions on the Countess who rebuffs him. Golo then has her imprisoned and accused of adultery, until she is condemned to death...

This medieval epic borrows from the Peplum or Sword & Sandal movies that were being made in Italy at the time with some nice action scenes and loads of scenery being chewed by the cast. However it's a perfect Sunday afternoon movie if you fancy some swashbuckling action!

It is also interesting to note that the score was done by Carlo Rustichelli who worked on many a Mario Bava movie!


The Disc:

The 1.85:1 image is fine if unremarkable but overall in pretty good shape with no major problems to speak of! The Italian mono audio track is also very clear and concise and comes with removable English subtitles! No cracks, pops or hiss. There are no extras, but given the relative obscurity of this title, perhaps not surprising!

BUY from Amazon.com

DVD News: Bronx Warrior Trilogy



In November, UK outfit Shameless Films will release the Bronx Warriors trilogy in a fantastic tin boxset, harking back to the days of the fantastic Anchor Bay Tins, definitely a set to look out for! More specs when they are available!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

UK Blu-Ray News: Dawn of the Dead

Great news for UK horror fans - a quite fantastic package from Arrow Films! Read on...



"Ok people some breaking news here - lots of good news, one little hiccup but an interesting solution has come of it.

The Argento cut of Dawn is not going to be in HD - it's simply not up to scratch - not by a long way.

So the package is going to work as follows - we'll have the lead Blu-ray disc which will contain the theatrical cut in HD and then two DVDs - one with the directors cut and one with the Argento cut - anyone with a Blu-ray player will be able to play the DVDs which will upscale and anyone who doesn't yet have a Blu-ray player can now own the Argento cut on DVD without having to import it plus enjoy some previously unavailable extras."

The overall line-up and the extras that have been assembled should make this a rather tasty package. Here's how it looks:

Disc One (Blu Ray):

* Theatrical Cut in High Definition
* DTS HD and Stereo Audio.
* Commentary 1 with George A Romero, Tom Savini and Chris Romero.
* Commentary 2 with Richard P. Rubinstein
* Document of the Dead - the classic documentary
* Document of the Dead: The Lost Interview and Deleted Scenes
* Fan of the Dead (mad French dude goes to visit the locations!)

Disc Two (DVD):

* Director’s Cut of Dawn of the Dead
* The Dead Will Walk Documentary (the stunning 2004 documentary)

Disc Three (DVD):

* Argento Cut of Dawn of the Dead
* Scream Greats (brilliant Tom Savini documentary)
* Publicity Vault containing:

* US and German Trailers
* TV and Radio Spots
* Reviews
* Giallo Trailers (Macabre, Sleepless and House by the Cemetery)

Buy it exclusively from October 19th at HMV UK

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Trailer: Harry Brown

Wow! How good does this new flick starring Michael Caine look? Caine stars as Harry Brown as an ex marine who is fed up with today's youth causing problems where he lives and when an old friend is murdered, it's time for Harry to come to the fore!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Zombies are coming to Edinburgh too!


SUNDAY THE 25TH AT THE CAMEO PICTUREHOUSE IN EDINBURGH

http://www.picturehouses.co.uk/cinem...x?venueId=edbg

Yup, on the 25th, Cinema One at Edinburgh's LEGENDARY Cameo Picturehouse (which has the comfiest seats known to anyone) will present DAWN OF THE DEAD, with Mr. Ken Foree live and in-person, and DAY OF THE DEAD, with star Joe Pilato in attendance.

You don't need me to tell you what an INCREDIBLE double bill this is! DON'T MISS IT!

We're also gonna have some cool giveaways at this one.

I will let you all know when tickets are on sale.

So what does that leave?

Oh yeah... Ireland.

I'll have news on that one soon!

Remember: As with the Italian Terror Weekend, by supporting these screenings you help to cement future events like this, with iconic guests and a great atmosphere.

For more info head to the Cult Labs forums !

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Night of the Zombie Hunters!


Romero Fans Rejoice!

Following the phenomenal success of the sold out Weekend of Italian Terror Event at the Glasgow Film Theatre Arrow Video has teamed up with the great Cult Fiction store in Edinburgh (www.cultfictionmovies.com) to celebrate the Blu-Ray launch of DAWN OF THE DEAD.

Yes, just before Halloween, Glasgow horror buffs will be treated to NIGHT OF THE ZOMBIE HUNTERS: a delicious double bill of DAWN OF THE DEAD and DAY OF THE DEAD on the big screen on MONDAY, OCTOBER 26TH.

Once again, this will take place at the fabled Glasgow Film Theatre (www.gft.org.uk) and, once again, we will be bringing you some quality guests!

Attending the screening of DAWN OF THE DEAD will be horror icon Ken Foree - conducting an exclusive Q and A with the audience afterwards.

And for DAY OF THE DEAD we will be bringing you Captain Rhodes himself: Mr. Joe Pilato - one of fear-film's most memorable villains, live and in-person!

The show is expected to kick off at 5.30pm. Tickets will be on sale soon - I will confirm when just as soon as I know myself!

We have TWO more dates still to announce: One in Ireland and another Scottish one!

Stay tuned for more details! (Including news of a particularly gnarly aftershow party!)

Please visit: www.arrowfilms.co.uk
Please visit: www.cultfictionmovies.com

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Comics: Italian Style!










Here are some random fumetti (Italian comics) I picked from a used bookshop near where I stay when I'm in Italy and it's fair to say they don't make them like this anymore!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Book Review: Taboo Breakers



Title: Taboo Breakers
Author: Calum Waddell
Publisher: Telos
Buy it now from Amazon.co.uk

The 1980’s in the UK was a time of political unrest coupled with recession and strikes, so pretty much like 2009, however some politicians had decided that we could not think for ourselves and watch some movies that had been unleashed onto the fledgling home video market. Along with the 1984 Video Recordings Act (which has been in the news recently), some films such as Cannibal Holocaust and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre became taboo, and as a result , like anything that is banned, they became much more interesting and sought after. Calum Waddell’s “Taboo Breakers” delves deep into the background of these and many other movies in an attempt to discover why these cinematic treats stood out at the time and why they are still relevant today.

The author has chosen 18 films to scrutinise and they range from genres such as blaxploitation (Coffy) to classic XXX (Behind the Green Door) and Video Nasties (Cannibal Holocaust) to modern day shockers (Hostel).

The films covered are:

Blood Feast, Night of the Living Dead, Behind the Green Door, Fritz the Cat, The Tenderness of Wolves, Coffy, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Ilsa – She-Wolf of the SS, Candy Tangerine Man, Halloween, Cannibal Holocaust, Maniac, Nightmares in a Damaged Brain, The Plague Dogs, The Evil Dead, House of 1000 Corpses, Oldboy and Hostel.

Each film is tackled with the outline and basic plot of the movie, the controversies they caused and a very in depth analysis of the film followed by a “what happened next” detailing what the cast and crew did after the movie’s release, did they disappear or breakout to even greater success? Each chapter is then rounded off with one to one interviews with many of the main protagonists of each feature that help to give a deeper understanding of the film and what really happened behind the scenes!

If you are a fan of controversial and challenging genre movies this extremely well researched and well written book cannot fail to enlighten and entertain. We learn that despite opinion at the time these movies did leave a mark and stimulate the creativity in up and coming directors, such as Eli Roth for example, whose love of Italian genre cinema sparked him into creating Hostel. Indeed, Hostel if released during the 1980’s would surely have become a famed Video Nasty!

While horror fans will undoubtedly enjoy the chapters on Halloween or Maniac, the author’s style will seduce you into reading about another type of genre you had not considered and by the end you will be heading to Amazon to order it on DVD!

However, take note, this is not a genre movie love fest with the author spouting plaudits with the films he has chosen, he is fearless in his criticism for some films and does not hold back, but at the same time he is astute enough to pinpoint and appreciate why they came to the fore in the first instance.

A clever and analytical foray into another side of cinema but most of all a hugely enjoyable read! An essential edition to your cinema library!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Machete: 1st images of Alba and Seagal!

The resurrection of Seagal begins...I want Nico:Above the Law II after he's done Machete!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Inappropriate Soundtracks



A very funny series that I've stumbled upon, Inappropriate Soundtracks and first up we have "Philadelphia"!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Steven Seagal: Lawman

I can't wait to see this...Is there something wrong with me?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Porn for the Kids?


Well not really but the UK government for the last 25 years failed to properly enact the 1984 Video Recordings Act so technically 18 rated violent and pornographic could be sold to anyone under 18 without fear of prosecution!

The Times reported:

"The disclosure that for 25 years the Act governing the classification and sale of videos, video games and now DVDs was never brought into force is a big embarrassment to both Conservative and Labour governments.

It also leaves the industry in disarray with the classification system designed to protect the under-18s from violent and explicit material no longer officially in operation."

Click HERE to read the full article.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Ballad of GI Joe!


How excellent is this from Funny or Die, how did they get this cast to do the video:

• Alexis Bledel as Lady Jaye
• Billy Crudup as Zartan
• Zach Galifiankais as Snow Job
• Tony Hale as Dr. Mindbender
• Vinnie Jones as Destro
• Joey Kern as Tomax and Xamot
• Chuck Liddell as Gung Ho
• Julianne Moore as Scarlett
• Henry Rollins as Duke
• Alan Tudyk as Shipwreck
• Olivia Wilde as The Baroness

Fantastic stuff! I'm loving the hype GI Joe is getting at the moment, my favourite childhood 80's cartoon ever! Go see the movie as well, best popcorn flick of the summer by miles! I even won the USS F.L.A.G.G playset in a competition when I was 12! Wish I still had all the parts...




Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Cast of Machete Revealed!


OMG - What a cast for Robert Rodriguez's update from fake Grindhouse trailer to fully fledged movie, "Machete", looks pretty awesome!

  • Danny Trejo
  • Robert De Niro
  • Steven Seagal
  • Don Johnson
  • Cheech Marin
  • Jeff Fahey
  • Jessical Alba
  • Lindsay Lohan
  • Michelle Rodriguez
Seriously Seagal and De Niro, I can't wait!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Blu-Ray Review: The Ipcress File



The Ipcress File

DVD released: November 10th, 2008
Approximate running time: 107 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: 12
Sound: Dolby Digital English 5.1 & Dolby Digital English 2.0
Subtitles: English
DVD Release: ITV DVD
Region Coding: Region FREE Blu-Ray
Retail Price: £19.99

The Film

Around the time of the fledgling and successful Bond series of the 1960’s, co-producer Harry Saltzman was also involved in perhaps one of the best non-007 spy films of the era, and there were plenty of Bond rip-offs trying to cash in.

As a result we are introduced to Agent Harry Palmer, played by Michael Caine in surprisingly only his second starring role. In a way he was to become the working class James Bond, as he is gawky in appearance, wears specs and his spy world seems to amount to dull offices, paperwork and boring assignments, with only a blue Zodiac to drive rather than a gadget laden Aston Martin. To his superiors, Harry is little more than a crook and having been court-martialled from the army, they feel he is more adept to being a spy for them, as he will fit right into that world!

The plot consists of Harry trying to locate the whereabouts of a Western scientist, but upon retrieval of said scientist, it is discovered that his memory has been wiped and Harry is put swiftly on the case to discover why! Based on a novel by Len Deighton, The Ipcress File moves along at a great pace and is well written with convincing performances by Caine and in particular Nigel Green as his superior Major Dalby! While Bond movies embraced the special relationship of Britain and the US, Harry positively puts this relationship to the test with a clear dislike of American consumerism and more importantly his mistaken disposal of an US agent who was tailing him, so no Felix Leiter for this cockney boy!



In addition, both the camera work from director Sydney Furie and the cinematographer himself Otto Heller were at the time both revolutionary and extreme, with shots being tilted, low, high, at an angle...well you get the idea, but it works and adds to the puzzling nature of the film. Add a fantastic John Barry score to the proceedings and you have a crackling yet fascinating spy flick that perfectly captures a 60’s London going through many social changes with the classless Harry Palmer leading the way!

Transfer and Sound

Having previously only seen the washed out and badly framed DVD from Network, this 2:35:1, MPEG-2 1080p Blu-Ray from ITV DVD is a revelation, yet some reports were claiming the transfer was a huge disappointment. Although not stellar and perhaps not near the level of the 4K restored Bond movies, this is a fantastic effort and is probably as good as The Ipcress File will ever look! The colours are strong and vibrant with high levels of detail not previously seen and yes there is still some video noise and some grain but really nothing to worry about in a film from 1965, a fine job by ITV DVD! Also note that this BD is Region Free!



Two flavours on offer here sound-wise, with both DD5.1 and DD2.0 soundtracks available, there are very little differences between the two, with only minimal rear effects coming into play with the DD5.1 track. The dialogue is both clear and crisp with the fine John Barry score done a lot of justice. Removable English subtitles are also available.

Supplemental Material

Unfortunately only a Stills gallery and original trailer are available (both in HD). A little disappointing, given that the Network Special Edition had a 2nd disc full of interviews and documentaries!

NF

Roundtable on Vacation during August!


The Roundtable will return in September after the summer holiday period! Hopefully suntanned and relaxed!

Friday, July 31, 2009

DVD Review: Slime City Grindhouse Collection



DVD released: July 28th, 2009
Approximate running times: 81 minutes (Slime City), 75 minutes (Undying Love), 79 minutes (Naked Fear), 8 minutes (Johnny Gruesome)
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen (Slime City, Undying Love & Johnny Gruesome), 1.33:1 Full Frame (Naked Fear)
Rating: NR
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: Shock-O-Rama Cinema
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95

Shock O Rama have another great collection this month, this time slime is the name of the game to complement their recent fantastic WIP collection! Greg Lamberson's Slime City, Undying Love and Naked Fear are included on this set with a load of extras as well to complete a great bang for your buck!

Slime City

"When Alex (Robert Sabin) and his girlfriend Lori (Mary Huner) move into a New York City apartment, they fall victim to blood-thirsty supernatural forces that transform Alex into a murdering, melting monster…a hideous slime-splattered demon that cannot be stopped!"

When Alex moves into his new apartment in the Big Apple with his girlfriend, little does he know the evil that lurks there and that it is going to take over his very being! Despite it's low budget (reported to be around $35,000) appearance this is actually quite good fun despite the questionable SFX, and while not scary, definitely gives a nod to flicks like Re-Animator! Performances are fine but really this is a beer and pizza movie that gore hounds will no doubt enjoy!

Undying Love

"Undying Love - Scott Kelly tried to take his own life. Now he finds himself seduced by
a beautiful woman named Camilla who has promised his life will NEVER end! Now hunted by a detective, Scott must decide whether to battle his growing need for blood, or embrace his new unholy existence!"

Perhaps the most lacklustre title within this collection, it never quite knows what it wants to be with a vampire story that lacks in originality! The plot never quite gets going and there is not enough blood or guts to keep the audience involved, however the budget for this was virtually zero so Lamberson had very little to work with!

Naked Fear

"Naked Fear – When traumatized agoraphobic Camden (Robert C. Sabin) takes in a new roommate - who happens to be both claustrophobic and an orphan – he overlooks indications that Randy may not be what he seems. But then neighborhood lowlifes begin turning up dead. And Julie, Camden’s new girlfriend, is convinced there is something very, very off about Randy…"

Again, an 80 minute run time seems twice as long, with poor acting and it's also shot on video which in my opinion never lends itself to a decent viewing experience, coming across as cheap and half-assed! Again I think it would help if you were having a few beers or a joint as it would probably make more sense that way!

Transfer and Audio

All features except for Naked Fear (1:33:1 full frame) are presented in 1:78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen with the images at times presenting signs of softness and green tinges but thankfully no other major artifacts or problems!

Again all features are presented in clear and concise Dolby Digital Stereo, with no problems at all in hearing the bad acting that is on show here! No subtitles are available!

Extras:

Funnily enough despite what I've already stated above, the extras are where this set excels and why you might want to pick up this collection. The extras are both plentiful and interesting! First of all we have a Slime City poster and nice 3 page booklet of liner notes written by Roy Frumkes. Disc 1 houses commentaries for Slime City and Undying Love starring Lamberson, Sabin, Sweeney and Huner; we also have featurettes "Slime City: Making Slime" and "Undying Love: Making Love the Grindhouse Way" Rounding off the disc is a Shock-o-Rama Trailer Collection.

Disc 2 hosts the nine minute short "Johnny Gruesome" starring Misty Mundae and there is also making of called "Johnny Gruesome: Meeting his Maker". Also included is "Slime Heads" that has interviews with Sabin and Huner who discuss working with Lamberson. Also on Disc 2 is the commentary for Naked Fear. A great selection of extras that really give and insight into the low budget cinema world and shows Lamberson's love of what he does!

Overall

If you are interested at all in the career of Greg Lamberson then this disc is a must have for the fantastic extras that are included, indeed they are generally more interesting than the movies themselves! If you don't own the original 2006 release of Slime City, then definitely pick this set up!


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Comic-Con Costume Circus!

Comic-Con 2009: The Best Costumes





...and some of the not so good





...the weird (but imaginative)



and finally simply just hot!