Thursday, December 7, 2017

RLJE Films Acquires I KILL GIANTS for 2018 Release

Acclaimed Graphic Novel Adaptation Starring Zoe Saldana, Imogen Poots and Breakout Madison Wolfe to be Released Theatrically in 2018 

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 5, 2017 – RLJE Films, a brand of RLJ Entertainment (NASDAQ: RLJE), Umedia and XYZ Films announced today that RLJE has acquired the U.S. rights to the highly anticipated I Kill Giants, which premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival to critical praise.  Based on the acclaimed Man of Action graphic novel by Joe Kelly and Ken Niimura with a screenplay by Joe Kelly, the film was directed by Anders Walter, the Academy Award winning writer/director for the short Helium, and stars Zoe Saldana (Guardians of the Galaxy franchise), Imogen Poots (Need for Speed, That Awkward Moment), and Madison Wolfe (The Conjuring 2).  XYZ Films is handling worldwide rights on the film, which was backed by Ingenious and financed by Umedia with the participation of Having Me Films.

I Kill Giants was produced by Chris Columbus (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone), Michael Barnathan (The Help), Kyle Franke (Holidays), Joe Kelly (Big Hero 6), Kim Magnusson (Adam’s Apples), Martin Metz (Submergence), Adrian Politowski (Deep), and Nick Spicer (The Invitation).  Peter Bevan (Erased), Johanna Hogan (Maudie), Michelle Miller (“Scary Larry”), Susan Mullan (Brooklyn), Justin Nappi (All Is Lost), Mark Radcliffe (Home Alone) Xinyue Sun and Wei Zou executive produced the fantasy drama, which RLJE Films will release in theaters in 2018.

“We’re thrilled to acquire an amazing film that was so well received at the Toronto International Film Festival,” said RLJ Entertainment’s Chief Acquisitions Officer, Mark Ward.  “With the film’s talented, veteran filmmakers and an amazing cast led by Madison Wolfe and Zoe Saldana, we couldn’t be happier to share this beautiful film with audiences at large.”

I Kill Giants tells the story of Barbara Thorson (Madison Wolfe), a teenage girl who chooses to escape the realities of school and a drab family life by retreating into her magical world of Titans and Giants. With the help of her new friend Sophia (Sydney Wade) and her school therapist (Zoe Saldana), Barbara will learn to battle her Giants and face her fears – tackling the mean bullies at school, her sister (Imogen Poots) and her difficult home life and eventually her biggest dread of the unknown.

Day Of The Dead: Bloodline Coming In Early January

Released in theaters and on VOD and Digital HD on January 5th, 2018.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Showdown In Manila Coming This January From ITN Distribution


LOS ANGELES, CA – November 15, 2017 – ITN Distribution has acquired North American distribution rights to the action thriller SHOWDOWN IN MANILA starring international action star Alexander Nevsky (Black Rose). The film marks the directorial debut of Mark Dacascos (Marvel's "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.",  "Hawaii Five-0”) with a screenplay by Craig Hamann (My Best Friend's Birthday, Boogie Boy).  SHOWDOWN IN MANILA also includes Casper Van Dien (Starship Troopers, Sleepy Hollow), Tia Carrere (True Lies, Wayne's World) and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Hachi: A Dog's Tale, Memoirs of a Geisha). ITN will release the film in theaters January 19, 2018, with a Digital and On Demand release to follow on January 23, 2018.

The film follows private detectives Nick (Alexander Nevsky) and Charlie (Casper Van Dien) who live and work in Manila. A murder investigation leads them to the jungle camp of an international terrorist called The Wrath. Not trusting the police, Nick and Charlie assembly a team of daredevils to walk straight into the Wrath's lair and fight an army of his goons.

Nevsky is a former Mr. Universe and an established movie star in Russia. He is based in Los Angeles and his credits include Black Rose, Undisputed, Treasure Raiders, Somewhere and the upcoming film Maximum Impact. Nevsky represents Russia as a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

SHOWDOWN IN MANILA is produced by Nevsky through his production company Hollywood Storm and is executive produced by Andrzej Bartkowiak (Romeo Must Die) and Alexander Izotov (Moscow Heat). 

ITN Distribution President Stuart Alson negotiated the deal along with Nevsky on behalf of the filmmakers. SHOWDOWN IN MANILA is a theatrical box office hit in Russia/CIS. CineTel Films which has the film's foreign sales rights, has sold SHOWDOWN IN MANILA to 28 countries already.

GHASTLIES - Camp Motion Picture (Blu-ray Review)

Directed By: Brett Kelly
Written By: Chris Bavota
Starring: Kim Valentine, Eric Deniverville, Jessica Huether
Color/75 Minutes/Not Rated
Region A
Release Date: November 7, 2017

The Film
A spaceship interrupts some sort of Satanic sacrifice and the small creatures within devour almost everyone involved before they're captured and locked in a bunker. Five years later they're accidentally set free during a weekend getaway by a group of sorority sisters and these little guys are hungry again.

GHASTLIES is a mini creature horror movie in the tradition of Gremlins, Ghoulies and Critters and has more in common with the worst those franchises have to offer than the best. That's not to say there isn't some fun to have here with colorful and creative design of these otherworldly creatures like the green dragon wearing a fur coat, the five-eyed purple dude and the orange fleshed horned-blockhead guy, all of which feature some sharp teeth and an insatiable hunger for Earthly beings. They're without a doubt the highlight of the movie. You don't watch Gremlins hoping to see a group of rather obnoxious sorority girls (aside from Jessica Huether as the nerdy "brains instead of beauty" girl who is far from unattractive) drink in the woods and you don't put on Critters to watch a couple of bumbling bicycle cops in mismatched uniforms pump up their tires in the same woods that are supposed to be very secluded so these girls can "party as hard as they want and nobody will stop them". Their partying is quite soft and they're bothered repeatedly. There is a good bit of ghastly horror from the GHASTLIES and it is quite low rent and cheap. Sadly they puppets have very little movement of their own and what you see on screen is limited to the puppeteer shaking them around while performing an attack. I get it the budget constraints and it didn't hurt my enjoyment of these moments too much at all.

Unfortunately those scenes of campy goodness are put on the back burner for too much of the film's 75 minute run time and we spend a lot of time with characters I wouldn't want to be in the same room with. The lead Sloane is played by Kim Valentine who appears to be a good 15 years older than the rest of the girls and I'm not exactly sure why she's hanging out with them besides the fact that she was (is?) in the same sorority. It seems like a grown woman approaching middle age hanging out with kids that may not legally be able to drink. It just felt odd. Odd is better than I can say for the editing in this movie though. Did anyone pay attention to it? There are countless shots that don't match up to the ones before or after and a simple little fix would have been fine such as a guy getting chased through the woods by a Ghastly and his boxers are wet and dirty long before he ever goes to the ground. It's obvious they're dirty from a previous take and this happens continuously throughout the film or characters will be in one area and in the next cut they're somewhere else and it's obvious that parts of a previous scene were placed in another spot and it's absolutely jarring to watch. I don't want to rag on GHASTLIES too hard over this after all it is "just" a cheesy independent creature feature but this isn't difficult stuff and it honestly just came across as lazy to me.

I had fun with GHASTLIES. The little monsters have an interesting and original look despite wearing their inspirations on their sleeves, the best moments of the movie have that B-movie charm and the score even works in a cheesy pre-set Casio keyboard kind of way. But there's so many questions I'm left with. Why the need for a Satanic ritual? How did they escape being locked in the bunker? (the girl simply trips over it, never doing anything that would unlock it). Why does it take 50 minutes to make the Ghastlies the focus of the movie? Why is this middle aged woman hanging out with these kids? Why are these cops in the movie at all and why couldn't they at least get matching outfits? The good part of GHASTLIES are cute, bloody and fun but the movie is a mess to say the least.

I can't let this review go by without mentioning that the movie does have a great little GHASTLIES cartoon at the end. That sort of raises more questions to me but I'll sit back and just enjoy that little slice of animated goodness on its own.

The Audio & Video
Camp Motion Pictures gives us a beautiful Blu-ray of GHASTLIES with an anamorphic widescreen presentation that has a striking color palette including bloody reds and the Crayola box used in the design of the monsters. Detail level is great as well showing off the fuzzy and slimy nature of the creatures along with skin tones and surfaces and textures.

The Extras
An audio commentary track and a short interview with actor/creature designer/puppeteer John Migliore are the main special features. They're rounded out by a trailer for this film and a selection of trailers from other Camp Motion Pictures releases.

The Bottom Line
GHASTLIES isn't the next cult classic mini monster horror franchise and I doubt it'll spawn any sequels (though it could). It's messier than it needs to be and leaves a lot to be desired but the GHASTLIES themselves are adorable little carnivores from space and whenever they're around I couldn't help but have a good time.

GHASTLIES is available HERE

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Cult Epics Bringing Death Laid An Egg To Blu-ray

ON NOVEMBER 28, 2017

Arguably the most insanely idiosyncratic giallo ever directed, DEATH LAID AN EGG (1968) is a true wayward masterpiece of kaleidoscopic Italian counterculture cinema.  Directed by largely unsung iconoclastic auteur Giulio Questi (DJANGO KILL!, ARCANA) and starring legendary leading man Jean-Louis Trintignant (THE CONFORMIST) as a married man that may or may not be a serial killer, Gina Lollobrigida (John Huston's BEAT THE DEVIL) as his delectable yet overly domineering careerist wife, and Swedish blonde bombshell Ewa Aulin (CANDY) as his murderous double-crossing mistress, the film is the virtual giallo equivalent to Godard’s WEEKEND in terms of its crass car crash fetishism, savage anti-bourgeois sentiments, and overall anarchic spirit.  Set largely in a hi-tech automated poultry factory that breeds mutant boneless chickens.

DEATH LAID AN EGG is a socio-politically sophisticated avant-garde giallo that is more pertinent today than when it was first released in terms of its quite modern depiction of the battle of the sexes and the perils of technology. The original Italian “superbly edited” giallo version is presented by Cult Epics in High-definition and with new bonus features.

Price:                              $34.95
Street Date:                              November 28, 2017
Production Year:                     1968
Country:                                   Italy
Video run time:                 Approx. 90 Mins
Language:                                Italian language w/optional English subtitles
Aspect Ratio:                           1.78:1
Audio:                                      DTS HD-MA 5.1 Surround/Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Label:                                       Cult Epics
Distributor:                              CAV 
Blu-ray                        CE-154
BD UPC:                                 881190015490
Rating:                                     Not Rated

. HD presentation
. Original Theatrical Trailer
. Lobby Cards photo gallery

. Isolated Score by Bruna Maderna

Monday, November 13, 2017

Comet TV November Freaky Feast Giveaway

November is here and what better time to think about friends, family and feasts? This month COMET TV is dishing out all kinds of supernatural goodness!
The Friday Night Movies feature Cowboys VS Dinosaurs and Vampires! Who knew Cowboys could kick the undead’s butt as well as prehistoric reptiles? Then we have the Jeff Bridges classic Starman and head into Deep Space!
There are also classics like Teen Wolf, Mystery Science Theater 3000 and each week on COMET TV there’s a different theme! Vampires! Ghosts! Werewolves! Oh My!

On Thanksgiving Day, COMET TV has The Freaky Feast Movie Marathon featuring Superbeast, The Incredible Melting Man, Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf, The Video Dead, The Beast Within and Creature. Tune in for perfect pass-the-cranberry-sauce scenery.
And we want to give you the opportunity to have a Freaky Feast of your own all month long! The COMET TV November Freaky Feast Pack is perfect for a Horror-iffic gathering!

The Comet TV November Freaky Feast Pack has:
1 -Limited Edition Teen Wolf T-shirt: Get ready to Howl! This shirt sports the classic Teen Wolf logo on the front and is perfect for letting your inner freak fly. Whether you’re playing basketball or just letting your beard grow in, we got you covered! Literally, I mean… It’s a shirt. Hello!
2 -Limited Edition COMET TV Condiment Bottles: How can you have a feast without the accoutrements? These condiment bottles are just the thing for adding that secret sauce at any Freaky Feast!
8 -COMET TV Table Place cards: Haven’t you always wanted to tell your friends, “You’re a beast!” Now you have a chance, in a nice subtle way. These place cards are perfect for that elegant classy touch at your next Freaky Feast. Featuring aliens, robots, and more!
1 -COMET TV Collectable Card: You’ll get one of four collectable COMET TV cards featuring Teen Wolf, Once Bitten and more.
BUT… You can’t have a feast without candy! You’ll also get an assortment of gummy brains, hearts, livers as well as some candy blood bags and even a wax fang or two!

Rules And How To Enter
-Giveaway open to the US Only
-Send an email to titled "Comet TV November Giveaway" and tell me what your Thanksgiving movie watching traditions are (this includes the whole Thanksgiving weekend!) and include your name and address!
-Winner will be selected on November 26th

About COMET TV - November 2017

Thursday, November 23 starting at 10A/9C
Thanksgiving Day (November 23, starting at 10A/9C), COMET TV is cranking up the heat in the kitchen with Freaky Feast Movie Marathon featuring Superbeast, The Incredible Melting Man, Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf, The Video Dead, The Beast Within and Creature. Tune in for perfect pass-the-cranberry-sauce scenery.
Superbeast (1972) 
starting at 10A/9C
Incredible Melting Man (1978) 
starting at NOON/11C
Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf (1985) 
starting at 2P/1C
The Video Dead (1986) 
starting at 4P/3C
The Beast Within (1982) 
starting at 6P/5C
Creature (1985) 
starting at 8P/7C
November Weekly Themes
Airing weekdays at 4P/3C throughout November, check schedule at
Werewolves (11/6 – 11/10) 
Vampires (11/13 – 11/17) 
Ghosts (11/20 – 11/24) 
Interplanetary Romance (11/27 – 12/1)
Teen Wolf (1985) 
Monday, November 13 at 6P/5C 
Saturday, November 25 at 10P/9C
Teen Wolf Too (1987) 
Monday, November 13 at 8P/7C 
Saturday, November 25 at MIDNIGHT/11C
Friday Primetime Movie 8P/7C 
Saturday Encore Presentation 8P/7C
Cowboys VS Vampires (2013) 
Friday, November 10 at 8P/7C
Starman (1984) 
Friday, November 17 at 8P/7C 
Monday, November 27 at 4P/3C
Deep Space (1987) 

Friday, November 24 at 8P/7C

Friday, November 10, 2017

KILL BABY KILL (Blu-ray Review) - Kino Classics

Directed By: Mario Bava
Written By: Romano Migliorini, Roberto Natale, Mario Bava
Starring: Giacomo Rossi Stuart, Erika Blanc, Fabienne Dali
Color/83 Minutes/Not Rated
Region A
Release Date: October 10, 2017

The Film
Mario Bava is the Godfather of Italian horror and perhaps genre cinema in general. He made a huge splash with gothic horror films during the 1960s including the chilling slow burn ghost story KILL, BABY... KILL! This 1966 film stars Giacomo Rossi Stuart as a doctor summoned to a small Italian village to perform an autopsy on a recently deceased woman but finds that superstition and fear run deep among the population of this village and that the spirit of an undead girl and madness are the reason.

KILL BABY KILL is another fine example of Bava's mastery behind the camera. From his ability to create mood and atmosphere using the centuries old villas and colored gel lighting to the cinematography which he did partially himself along with frequent collaborator Antonio Rinaldi and was how he cut his teeth in the film industry before getting a chance to direct his own films, he oozes style and ability. Bava's attention to detail even went as far as finding exactly the right person to play the role of Melissa, the vengeful spirit and when he couldn't find a girl that fit his vision he cast a young male with these striking and protruding eyes. His storytelling here is simple, and Giacomo Rossi Stuart proves to be a capable and likable protagonist who investigates the strange dealings of the village and their fear of a ghostly apparition. His relationship with Erika Blanc provides a deeper and more personal motivation for the character to find out the true nature of this village's fear and the duo have strong chemistry.

It's all about the visuals though and Bava provides plenty of them. From Melissa's stony eyed gaze as she peered through windows at her next victim to the graveyard swing shot from her point of view as the camera plays with the audience. And there's something to be said about how effortlessly creepy the bouncing ball scenes are particularly as the child's toy bounces through an open door and across a corpse awaiting autopsy. The film brings chills in very simplistic ways but that is just a testament to Bava's ability as the film is never boring despite its methodical pace. This small world we're brought into a long with Stuart's Dr. Eswai is both mad and engrossing from the crowd that frequents the bar and the inn to the reverse gravediggers who want to buy bodies in a hurry as opposed to the typical characters we see digging them up and the haunting Baroness Graps, there's always something or someone worth paying attention to.

The 60s were the decade that Mario Bava became a name. He made three of his best films in the first half of the decade and while KILL BABY KILL isn't the film that Black Sabbath (1963), Black Sunday (1960) or even The Whip And The Body (1963) are, it is a fine example of a gothic chiller and a genuinely well made and effective horror film. Bava spent time in just about every genre you can think of but his gothic horror films may be his finest work. Or maybe they're second to this gialli... I'll let you decide for yourselves but be sure not to overlook KILL BABY KILL.

The Audio & Video
Kino Lorber delivers KILL BABY KILL on Blu-ray with a new 2K scan taken from 35mm film elements. The 16x9 anamorphic widescreen transfer retains the film's grain structure and there's no signs of digital noise reduction or edge enhancement. There's speckling throughout but it never becomes intrusive or excessive. Colors are strong with deep black levels and detail is definitely improved over previous DVD releases of the film. This release features Italian and English Dolby Digital mono audio mixes. There's no hiss or distortion but some light organic, natural background noise is present. Both audio tracks sound very good and I have no real complaints about them.

The Extras
-Audio Commentary With Tim Lucas author of the be-all end-all Mario Bava tome All The Colors Of The Dark
-"Kill Bava Kill" - A 2007 documentary on the production of the film with Mario Bava's son Lamberto Bava who served as Assistant Director on the film. This was previously unreleased and clocks in at 25 minutes and is a tour of shooting locations and filled with good memories from the production.
-German title sequence with alternate footage
-Interview with actress Erika Blanc
-International theatrical trailer
-TV Spots

The Bottom Line
Mario Bava is one of the greatest cult filmmakers of all time and his horror output can stand up to any other director's filmography and KILL BABY KILL is a strong part of his catalog and should be a strong part of your collection - Highly recommended.

KILL BABY KILL is available HERE