Friday, May 27, 2016

TRASHY LADY - Vinegar Syndrome (Blu-ray Review)

Directed By: Steve Scott
Written By: Steve Scott, Will Kelly
Starring: Ginger Lynn, Harry Reems, Amber Lynn
Color/85 Minutes/X
Region FREE
Release Date:

The Film
Dutch Siegel is a gangster who just lost his lady and with the big gangster's convention coming up he needs to find a new one to have by his side. The new girl working at the speakeasy immediately catches his eye and he decides that young Katherine will be his new woman. The only problem being that she's an innocent small town girl and one of the city's top gangsters can't be seen with a sweet girl so he hands her over to Rita who is the main squeeze of jailed gangster Louie to roughen up Katherine and teach her how to act like a tough broad.

TRASHY LADY is a period piece taking place during the height of gangster culture and prohibition, the 1920s. Never for a second did I question that this film is being made on sets or a soundstage. Director Steve Scott really brings the audience into the time period with solid production value and good screenplay. It's not every smut film that I make mention of a good screenplay but this one deserves mention. The cast also deserves mention because they're pretty good. Yes, there is some hammy moments and overacting but the acting is head's and shoulders above the average porno. Ginger Lynn is adorable as the small town girl and becomes downright sexy as she goes through the lessons taught to her. Harry Reems and his legendary mustache is more likable than I would expect. The rest of the cast including Amber Lynn, Herschel Savage and Bunny Bleu are all good as well.

Once the action starts it keeps coming fast and furious with everything from sex with the paper boy to lesbian action with a hotel maid and Rita getting it on in Jail. And that my dear viewer is of course the most important thing here. I deeply appreciate the costume work, the sets that don't look as cheap as they probably should and that Steve Scott's direction is great (good enough to earn him a nomination for the XRCO awards, one of 6 nominations for TRASHY LADY) but without some hot and heavy action, and plenty of it, TRASHY LADY wouldn't be nearly as special. And it's special. Ginger Lynn, as I said, is fucking gorgeous, easily one of the sexiest ladies in adult film history and her co-stars in this film are no slouches either. This is one hell of a sexy flick and plenty entertaining on top of that.

The Audio & Video
Vintage porn is not supposed to look this good. It's supposed to be grainy and damaged, full of scratches and debris showing its rough history and age. It should give you that sticky, grimy feeling, right? It's not supposed to have a sharp look and a clean transfer. It shouldn't have high levels of detail and a natural and vivid color palette. That is unless Vinegar Syndrome has something to say about it with a new 2K scan from the original 35mm camera negative. TRASHY LADY looks stunning. And the DTS-HD Master Audio mono mix sounds great - It's crisp and crystal clear, not muddy and without any hissing or crackling. There's no background noise or other distortions. What a world we live in when 30 year old porn can look and sound this good.

The Extras
The package of extras put together for this release may not be the most plentiful but there's some landmark stuff in here!

-The First Ever Audio Commentary by Director of Photography Tom Howard moderated by filmmaker David McCabe
-Audio Commentary by co-star Herschel Savage and XRCO co-founder Bill Margold
-Bonus Steve Scott Feature Film - COMING WEST (1971)
-Reversible Artwork

The Bottom Line
Vinegar Syndrome's Blu-ray release of TRASHY LADY is nothing but pure fucking class. Highly recommended!

TRASHY LADY is available HERE

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

VENOM (Blue Unedergound) - Blu-ray Review

Directed By: Piers Haggard
Written By: Robert Carrington, Alan Scholefield
Starring: Klaus Kinski, Sterling Hayden, Nicol Williamson
Color/92 Minutes/R
Region FREE
Release Date: May 31, 2016

The Film
A sickly boy is left alone for the first time with his grandfather and their maid who has plans to kidnap the boy with her boyfriend who is an international terrorist and the crazed chauffeur. The plan goes awry when the boy's new pet snake is mistakenly swapped out for a deadly Black Mamba that is on the loose in the London townhouse. Matters are only made worse when the police cordon off the street leaving the criminals to barricade themselves inside as the deadly reptile continues its rampage and the boy desperately needs his medicine.

VENOM is a killer snake horror film held within a suspenseful crime thriller. What started as a somewhat troubled production (detailed in the booklet included in this release) turns into a tight and tense film helmed by Piers Haggard (The Blood On Satan's Claw). Haggard constructs a film that is downright claustrophobic as any room could be a room of death and any move could be your last. The terror of the world's most dangerous and deadly snake is only amplified by the hot headed and crazed chauffeur played by Oliver Reed. Klaus Kinski as Jacmel the terrorist isn't any more likable than Reed but his character is the antithesis to Reed, giving a cool, calm and collected performance with just an underlying hint of that classic Kinski crazy. Kinski and Reed play off of each other with true grace. Susan George's supporting role of the maid completes the trio of baddies and she adds just enough sex appeal to spice the film up a bit. Sterling Hayden is comforting not only to the young sick boy who is his grandson but to the viewer as he's a very soft spoken elderly man that brings the viewer back to a younger age. The main cast is rounded out by a smart and rock solid performance by Nicol Williamson as the head policeman on the case.

The film was based on a best selling novel by Alan Scholefield with minimal changes. The screenplay keeps things moving to a violent and shocking finale and though the majority of the film takes place within one location we move about locations around the house as the police form their plan which gives the audience a breath of fresh air that our captive victims aren't privy to. The film relies on this tension and suspense as opposed to graphic on screen shocks and special effects. Director Piers Haggard has gone on record saying he wishes he would have had more snake horror and while that would have made VENOM a bit exciting, it would also have called for more throwaway characters and would have turned this remarkably tight thriller into a straight forward horror film that we've seen plenty of times before.

VENOM skillfully incorporates a mini creature feature type horror film within the pages of a sadly underrated thriller that makes use of actual Black Mambas.

The Audio & Video
The biggest praise I can give to Blue Underground's Blu-ray of VENOM is that it looks strikingly natural. The 16x9 anamorphic widescreen transfer features strong detail and a color scheme that looks like a nice film print. Skin tones are fleshy and there's minimal digital noise. Nothing looks artificial and its just simply naturally beautiful in HD. The English Audio comes with three options, a lossless 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio surround mix, a 2.0 DTS-HD stereo mix and a 5.1 Dolby Digital surround option. I chose to listen to the 2.0 DTS-HD mix as I prefer keeping the mix as close to the original mix as possible and it didn't disappoint. The sound is crisp and crystal clear. There's no hiss (wink) or other distortions and no background noise. The score never overpowers dialogue but compliments the feel of the film. English, French and Spanish subtitles are available.

Please Note: Screen grabs have been taken from the DVD version of the film and do not reflect the Blu-ray's HD presentation.

The Extras
-Audio Commentary with Director Piers Haggard
-Theatrical Trailer
-Teaser Trailer
-TV spots
-Poster and Still Gallery
-Collectible Booklet by Fangoria Editor Michael Gingold

The Bottom Line
VENOM is an underrated film that deserved more attention than it received prior to this release but now that is has a collector's edition Blu-ray from Blue Underground it is more deserving of that attention than ever.

VENOM is available HERE

Monday, May 23, 2016

WHERE THE DEVIL DWELLS - Midnight Releasing (DVD Review)

Directed By: Marc-Andre Samson
Written By: Marc-Andre Samson
Starring: Walter Pena, Scott Anthony Leet, Alexis Raben
Color/81 Minutes/Not Rated
Region 1
Release Date: April 12, 2016

The Film
Lenard Vasquez, son of the infamous serial killer "The Butcher" Oren Vasquez (Walter Pena) has just been released from the psychiatric hospital and must remain under house arrest and monitored by a very strict and tough sheriff. Lenard beings to suffer from signs and visions that may be of a Satanic cult. Lenard hires a local student to help him with errands and perhaps unravel the mystery of the cult but a bad situation gets worse when Lenard's father who was long thought dead turns up in his life wanting to kill again.

WHERE THE DEVIL DWELLS wisely sets the film in 1989 when the fear of Satanic cults was at its peak in modern America. The film relies on solid performances from our core cast and some increasingly dark imagery that adds to the film's psychological effectiveness. WHERE THE DEVIL DWELLS doesn't feature an abundance of blood and gore with only a couple of more graphic moments which are well done. Director Marc-Andre Samson has extensive credits in the visual effects department on massively popular and successful films and television series and that comes as no surprise as some of the most impressive aspects of the film are it's visuals - from the Satanic music video to the zipper mouthed bondage mask worn by The Butcher, WHERE THE DEVIL DWELLS makes use of interesting visuals to take the place of perhaps cheaper gags.

WHERE THE DEVIL DWELLS is a very well done indie film, leaving the viewer wanting more of what we've seen but not depriving us of the good stuff. It's like a good appetizer, you want more, but what you've already been served was enjoyable.

The Audio & Video
Midnight Releasing's DVD looks and sounds solid. The picture has decent sharpness and clarity with proper colors. The English audio is presented with a 5.1 Dolby Digital surround mix that is strong and steady. Levels don't fluctuate or suffer from any damage.

The Extras
-Deleted Scenes

The Bottom Line
WHERE THE DEVIL DWELLS succeeds with its solid performances and creepy visuals.


Saturday, May 21, 2016

PEELERS - Press Release May 2016



Contact Seve Schelenz
Tel: 604.889.4805

May 16th 2016 - Independent Horror Feature Film PEELERS to have CANADIAN PREMIERE at SHOCK STOCK FILM FESTIVAL, London, Ontario (May 27th-29th).

The makers of the Independent Cult Horror Feature SKEW (2011) step it up a bloody notch as they continue their amazing festival run with follow-up horror flick PEELERS.

PEELERS - What starts out as the last hurrah on the closing night of an infamous small-town strip club, quickly turns into a night of bloodshed when a crew of coal miners shows up and with them a deadly contaminant. Former baseball player and current club owner, Blue Jean Douglas has decided to hand over her bar to a new owner and leave town for good. But Blue Jean's plans are thwarted when she discovers the magnitude of the epidemic that has been unleashed. With victims piling up, Blue Jean must step up to the plate to protect her family, her friends, and her bar before it's too late and she loses everything she holds dear.

PEELERS destroys the cliche stripper horror sub-genre by giving us a story packed with exciting twists, baseball, strippers of unusual talent, and a strong female lead. What's being described as "Rodriguez meets Tarantino" and "Not just a great indie film, but destined to be one of the funniest films of 2016", has Director/Producer Seve Schelenz pretty stoked about giving fans a whole new ball game of horror.

Want more carnage?


Thursday, May 19, 2016

ALL NIGHT AT THE PO-NO (Vinegar Syndrome) - DVD Review

USA/Various Years
Color/Over 12 Hours/X
Region FREE
Release Date: April 26, 2016
3 DVD Set

The Films
ALL NIGHT AT THE PO-NO features a dozen hour long stag reels and a pair of shorts for good measure. Everything from the light hearted to the rough and tumble is featured here and you'll laugh, cringe, possibly cry and definitely enjoy. Just don't get caught using your wee-wee like Pee-Wee. Here's a rundown on the films...

1. Girl Acrobatics- This is probably the first time you've seen a man get head while doing a hand stand... that's pretty awesome. He also gets mad that the girl has a dildo and shows her she doesn't need it next to the fire. Amen brother.

2. Homer The Late Comer - A film editor that looks like a cross between Joe Spinell and Booger from Revenge Of The Nerds lives with his momma and dreams of a better sex life. Luckily for him he gets some action on a nasty green couch with a girl that has a dirty butthole. She was attractive before that. This is serious smut comedy.

3. Erotic Point Of View - Ever see a woman yodel into a dildo? You will here. Plus see possibly the first ever point of view experiment in porn with a blind character. It's not only interesting, it's historic!

4. Porno Mondo - A "sex documentary" on the industry filled with plenty of action and some entertaining interview clips. Watch this one for the awesome XXX theater and bookstore location footage from a bygone era.

5. Sex Before Marriage - A man's wedding day starts off on the wrong foot when his car breaks down but things start looking up when he fucks his way across town with everyone except his bride to be!

6. Orgy In The Woods - The second short film is exactly what you'd expect judging from the title. Sometimes judging a book by its cover is okay.

7. The Playboys - It must be nice having a bevy of beautiful women knocking on your door ready to fuck, right? Well that's the life of a playboy! Be on the look out for a young John Holmes who steals the girls away after they see his giant member and a special appearance by the boom mic operator in the mirror.

8. Suckula - A news reporter shows us footage of Dracula's sexual rampage through Hollywood as he searches for blood in all the wrong places! Everybody gets in on the action in this one.

9. The Big Snatch - A violent gang of women take revenge after one of their members is assaulted and robbed after a quickie. Their brand of revenge involves making sure they get off before getting nasty. Sex, heroin and murder... what else do you need?

10. The Erotic Adventures Of Hercules - No, not the Simpsons episode! This could have been a legendary piece of porn history in a Peplum film setting but instead it's cheap. Too cheap and is just a passable use of xxx time.

11. Shot On Location - The cast and crew of a new adult film get it on while on set, at home and everywhere in between. Then a wife comes home giving an entirely different meaning to the title.

12. The Touch - This porn infused crime film about drug trafficking is almost an actual movie... huh, how about that.

13. Carnal-Go-Round - You'll see how Alice The Hooker loves her job in a series of vignettes where she sucks and fucks for money and even brings a new girl into the fold.

14. All American Hustler - Talk about going home from a 12+ hour porno marathon on a bleak note...  We spend the last few days of a LA prostitute and her heroin addicted friend. Lots of sex, and just as much addiction. It's not as fun as porn probably should be.

The Audio & Video
Vinegar Syndrome has saved these loops from the damage and decay of time as each of these films are at least 40 years old. The picture quality ranges from scratched, spotty and rough to fairly decent but all of them feature some short of damage. I'm not complaining though as they all are perfectly enjoyable and their imperfections only add to their seediness and the dirty feeling you've come to love. While they haven't gone through extensive restoration they've been newly scanned from the original 16mm negatives. Like the picture the audio quality is high and low but usually it's better than not. There's some background noise and crackling and popping but it's steady, clear enough and has a quality mix.

The Extras
You just watched over 12 hours of vintage XXX stag loops... do you really need extras? Wash your hands and get some sleep!

The Bottom Line
Didn't you hear me? Wash your hands and get to bed! Oh, you don't own this yet? Well what are you waiting for? This is a must own for vintage porno collectors.


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

DARK (2015)

Directed By: Nick Basile
Written By: Elias, Nick Basile
Starring: Whitney Able, Alexandra Breckenridge, Michael Eklund
Release Date: June 7, 2016

Have you ever had a really bad blind date with someone that is absolutely miserable to be around? Or maybe you're in any other social situation with a person that drains you mentally just by their presence and you really can't do anything about it? That is what it was like watching DARK. It was a 93 minute disaster of a date with someone that gets on your last nerve and pisses you off and the only solace is that you can see the end in sight.

Whitney Able stars as Kate, and we'll follow her through the blackout of New York City in 2003. Kate's relationship with her girlfriend Leah (Alexandra Breckenridge) is strained and Kate is mentally damaged for reasons never fully disclosed to the viewer. As the power goes down in the city Kate begins to freak out and decides to go to the local bar who is serving drinks by candlelight and pick up a guy but when he decides not to go home with her she freaks out and leaves and the freak out continues through the rest of the night as she has a run-in with a drunk neighbor who breaks in and uses the bathroom. She smashes her radio and tries to run away down the fire escape and freaks out again.

DARK is merely a series of events that the audience isn't given any real reason to care about or truly know about. Kate is a miserable character and despite our sympathy for whatever problems she may be going through she never gives any reason for us to care about her. The movie is disconnected and choppy with no organic flow. The entire thing is a mess that only gets messier as it goes along. The performances were decent but the writing and direction are awful. Don't let Joe Dante being attached as an executive producer fool you into wasting your time on this one.

That's it. I'm done with this movie.

Friday, May 13, 2016


CANNES, May 13, 2016 – Minds Eye Entertainment, in association with Bridgegate Pictures and VMI Worldwide, have financed and green lit a six-picture production slate of sci-fi, action and thriller films.  Minds Eye Entertainment will distribute the films in North America, while VMI Worldwide will distribute the titles internationally.  The six films will also be shot for the new Barco Escape three-screen, panoramic theatrical format, which fully surrounds audiences and offers the ultimate immersive cinema experience.  Portions of the films will also be shot in Virtual Reality.
Kevin Dewalt, CEO of Minds Eye Entertainment, made the announcement today at the 69th Cannes International Film Festival. 
“Minds Eye Entertainment's strength has always been to deliver exceptional production value with a talented cast at managed costs,” said Dewalt. “It's a natural progression for us to now finance and produce multiple pictures concurrently to manage budgets wisely without sacrificing first class crews and talented art departments across six films.  I am delighted to partner with VMI led by Andre Relis and Bridgegate Pictures’ Guy Griffithe on this new venture."
The first production under the deal is the sci-fi thriller THE RECALL written by Reggie Keyohara III (SEND IN THE CLOWNS) and Sam Acton King.  When five friends vacation at a remote lake house, they expect nothing less than a good time, unaware that planet Earth is under an alien invasion and mass-abduction.
The six-picture slate will be produced by Kevin Dewalt (FORSAKEN, THE TALL MAN) and Danielle Masters (FORSAKEN, WOLFCOP) and will be executive produced by Guy Griffithe (WTF: WORLD THUMBWRESTLING FEDERATION, SCHOOL SPIRITS), Andre Relis (WAR PIGS, THE PERFECT WEAPON) and Frank White (THE TALL MAN, FACES IN THE CROWD).
“We are honored to start this collaboration with such a prolific, accomplished producer as Kevin Dewalt,” said Andre Relis, president of VMI Worldwide.  “We believe this partnership with Kevin, who has a proven track record working with respectable talent in a variety of commercial and independent films, will only strengthen VMI’s continued growth, while delivering attractive, talent-driven projects to the international marketplace.  We are confident this partnership with Minds Eye Entertainment will bring great success to both companies.”
"We look forward to this exciting partnership,” said Bridgegate Pictures CEO Guy Griffithe. "The alliances we have formed will allow us to be at the forefront of some of the newest and greatest technology to give consumers a unique and captivating film experience.” 
"We are excited to have Minds Eye Entertainment on board for this new slate of movies that will be created and distributed in Barco Escape," says Barco Escape Chief Creative Officer Ted Schilowitz.   "These films join our fast-growing slate of movies that will release in the new format, as filmmakers continue to explore the creative boundaries of the cinema experience through Barco Escape. We're looking forward to bringing our exhibitor partners the kind of sci-fi, action adventure, and suspense movies through Minds Eye that we believe are a perfect fit for Escape and will appeal to audiences worldwide.”   

About Minds Eye Entertainment 
Established in 1986, Minds Eye Entertainment is located in Regina, Saskatchewan and is one of Canada’s most prolific independent production and distribution companies, internationally recognized for its commitment to distinctive film and television product and expertise in navigating international co-production and financing. Recent credits include: THE TALL MAN (Jessica Biel), FACES IN THE CROWD (Milla Jovovich), LULLABY FOR PI (Rupert Friend, Clemence Poesy, Forest Whitaker), Stephen King’s DOLAN’S CADILLAC (Christian Slater) and FORSAKEN (Kiefer Sutherland, Donald Sutherland, Brian Cox and Demi Moore). For more information about Minds Eye Entertainment, please visit

About Bridgegate Pictures
Bridgegate Pictures Corp operates as an integrated film company out of Corona, California. The company engages in the development, financing and production of media products including feature films for worldwide distribution in the theatrical, broadcast and digital markets. Bridgegate specializes in commercial driven independent films that are star driven and have worldwide appeal.

About VMI Worldwide
VMI Worldwide is an international sales, film finance and production company based in Los Angeles, California. Founded in 2010 by Andre Relis, Some of VMI Worldwide’s past titles include HELLION starring Aaron Paul and Juliette Lewis, WICKED BLOOD, starring Abigail Breslin and Sean Bean, GALLOWWALKERS with Wesley Snipes, and WHY STOP NOW starring Jesse Eisenberg, Melissa Leo and Tracy Morgan. VMI Worldwide has cultivated an extensive network of long-term, direct relationships with the top networks, distributors and releasing companies around the globe. In the past 3 years, VMI has moved heavily into in-house production on titles including WAR PIGS starring Dolph Lundgren and THE PERFECT WEAPON starring Steven Seagal.

HOUSE OF AFFLICTIONS - Wild Eye Releasing (DVD Review)

Directed By: Anthony M. Winson
Written By: Anthony M. Winson
Starring: Michelle Darkin Price, Stefan Boehm, Penelope Butler
Color/90 Minutes/Unrated
Region 1
Release Date: February 23, 2016

The Film
Kate Beckley was one of England's best selling authors with her series of crime novels but it has been years since she's released a new book while dealing with the death of her young daughter. Now attempting to write a new book in a new house Kate is haunted by strange figures and visions along with other strange occurrences which become more and more violent with each passing night.

HOUSE OF AFFLICTIONS has a decent premise, at least one that I find interesting. A house that holds on to the grief and bad feelings of the events that happen within its walls and manifests that energy into evil is a decent set up for a haunted house horror film. Unfortunately the movie has zero style or pizazz. The acting is wooden and feels like everyone was doing green screen acting with little to no experience. The writing is cliche'd and generic as hell but it's probably the strongest point of the film in that it is a coherent story.

The movie could have at least been okay with good direction but there's nothing going on here. There's awkward framing, a lack of sound design that would have added some much needed production value and many of the scary moments feel like very rough rehearsals as opposed to final takes. I'm not familiar with Anthony M. Winson who wrote and directed the film but according to his IMDB page he has 8 directing credits prior to HOUSE OF AFFLICTIONS and with that sort of experience I really expect better quality and more style.

HOUSE OF AFFLICTIONS feels like an amateur project lacking style, substance and sadly, passion.

The Audio & Video
Wild Eye Releasing gives us a solid DVD featuring a 16x9 anamorphic widescreen transfer that looks and sounds as good as the production of the movie will allow. HOUSE OF AFFLICTIONS has a distant and thin sound and that is reflected here but it is relatively clear sounding and the levels are steady and the mix is well done. The picture is clean and has solid color reproduction with decent detail for a standard definition release. The darker scenes suffer a bit from blocking but overall the DVD has solid A/V qualities.

The Extras
-Alternate Ending
-Deleted Scenes

The Bottom Line
I love Wild Eye Releasing and respect them endlessly for releasing underground and obscure genre films but this one just doesn't work for me.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

REGRESSION - Anchor Bay (Blu-ray Review)

Spain, Canada/2015
Directed By: Alejandro Amenabar
Written By: Alejandro Amenabar
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Emma Watson, David Thewlis
Color/106 Minutes/R
Region A
Release Date: May 10 2016

The Film
In 1990 a wave of fear involving Satanic cults has swept the country and in Minnesota detective Bruce Kenner (Ethan Hawke) has been assigned a case of Angela (Emma Watson) who has accused her father of ritualistic rape and torture. Her father has blocked the memories and undergoes regressive memory therapy to help him relive memories that open the door on a much bigger and deeper mystery.

Written and directed by Alejandro Amenabar (The Others), REGRESSION is an engaging psychological thriller with roots its roots planted in horror films from the 60s and 70s. The story and characters make REGRESSION the film it is and carry it so that it doesn't need to rely on shocks and scares. Ethan Hawke is dynamic and strong as detective Kenner and Emma Watson is perfect as the traumatized victim who gets our sympathy. The darkness she's dealing with and a family she can't confide in make us want to hold and shelter Angela, giving her protection from the physical and mental demons. Along with David Thewlis who is great as the psychologist on the case, the entire cast is great and make Amenabar's sometimes emotionally trying script feel real.

While REGRESSION is mainly a character and story piece, there are a few creepy scenes including flashbacks of black mass and cult rituals. These scenes aren't overly explicit but instead use atmosphere, setting and camerawork to be downright unsettling. REGRESSION has a very oppressive look and feel to it. It's dreary, cold and overcast and that helps build a sense of paranoia in Detective Kenner as the story goes along and he finds himself getting deeper into something that he may not be ready for.

When the credits began to roll I found myself satisfied with REGRESSION and the twists and turns it took. The film plays on the emotions of the viewers and it is entirely possible you'll feel betrayed or cheated by the way it plays out but that is a good thing in this case. I don't think REGRESSION was perfect as some characters come in to play as a major player but are left to do very little of any significance and the story's resolution happens abruptly and it isn't the easiest pill to swallow when it does but the problems REGRESSION has don't nearly stop it from being a well made psychological piece filled with good performances.

The Audio & Video
Anchor Bay's Blu-ray of REGRESSION has all of the bells and whistles as far as the A/V is concerned. The anamorphic widescreen 2.39:1 aspect ratio transfer is pristine. Colors are reproduced with perfection in regards to the look of the film and the black levels are super deep and inky. Skin tones are healthy with a natural flesh tone and no signs of waxiness or excessive DNR. A DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround mix handles the English audio in a dynamic and powerful mix with crystal clarity. There's no trouble with background noise, distortions or damage and there are optional English and Spanish subtitles.

The Extras
Four short featurettes are included, that unfortunately largely repeat content.

-Ethan Hawke on "Bruces Obsession"
-Emma Watson on "The Complexity Of Angela"
-The Vision of REGRESSION

The Bottom Line
REGRESSION deals with a lot of deeper issues than the surface of a psychological thriller mystery movie will show on the surface. It succeeds at being creepy and unsettling at times while being a relatively smart film.

REGRESSION is available HERE

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


Director: Pearry Reginald Teo
Writer: Josh Nadler, Pearry Reginald Teo
Starring: Ethan Peck, Natalie Hall, India Eisley
In Theaters May 13, 2016
VOD and iTunes Release Date: May 17, 2016

Thomas Kaiser has recently inherited a family estate that has been in his family for generations from an uncle he never knew and quickly finds out that the family curse has also been passed on to him and he is now forced to guard the house and the evil demons housed within its walls. While Thomas does his best to find a way to break the curse he also tries to awaken Briar Rose, a beautiful young woman kept asleep in another world that have haunted Thomas in his dreams.

THE CURSE OF SLEEPING BEAUTY is an interesting and original take on the Grimm Brothers fairytale and a far departure from the Disney story we all grew up with. Director Pearry Reginald Teo shows some flare and style throughout the picture and creates a spooky atmosphere within the walls of the old house, enhanced by the evil mannequin artwork that comes to life. That is the stuff of nightmares and reminds me greatly of something I'd have seen in an episode of Are You Afraid Of The Dark. That was an example of simple yet effectively creepy filmmaking. Aside from the evil mannequins there are a few other creepy visuals including the Veiled Demon who looks like something out of Todd McFarlane's imagination.

The film mixes fantasy and horror that at times is visually stimulating but there's too much going on for its own good. By the end of the film we're left with loose ends, characters that were around for no real reason. On top of the throw away characters that stop Thomas from really being able to develop along with the story, the performances aren't great and there's too much comic relief written into them. Ethan Peck is suitably the highly of the cast as the lead.

It feels like Pearry Reginald Teo wanted to make a stronger horror film but was forced to keep the fantasy elements lighter to cater to a younger audience.It's that problem that keeps the script from feeling anything but misguided and pulled in too many directions without being able to feel comfortable in its own shoes. THE CURSE OF SLEEPING BEAUTY is a missed opportunity at creating something that really stands out from the pack of week to week genre films but isn't without its merits.

Monday, May 9, 2016


Directed By: Nicholas Gessner
Written By: Laird Koenig
Starring: Jodie Foster, Martin Sheen, Alexis Smith
Color/91 Minutes/PG
Region A
Release Date: May 10, 2016

The Film
Thirteen year old Rynn lives in a secluded house outside of town with her recluse father who writes poetry and is often out of town. Rynn has caught the attention of the town pervert who also happens to be the son of their nosy bitch of a landlord who suspect that Rynn may be hiding a dark secret but Rynn is willing to protect her private life at all costs.

THE LITTLE GIRL WHO LIVES DOWN THE LANE has long been on my radar as a film I've wanted to see but it eluded me until now and perhaps that's a good thing given the excellent quality of this release. Young Jodie Foster carries this film on her back, giving a strong and mature performance alongside veteran Martin Sheen who is deliciously despicable as the pervert who lusts for smart teen despite having a family of his own. Alexis Smith is instantly unlikeable and someone you're ready to see get what is coming to them which is the highest praise I could possibly give her character. The cast of the film is small, with only a few other supporting characters including Mario, the loner boy who Rynn connects with and his policeman uncle who is one of the few good guys in the movie. These key players are what make the brilliantly sharp and tight screenplay by Laird Koenig which was based on his own novel, a complete success.

The story has very few major moments of impact and while those moments carry a ton of weight to them it is the subtlety in the small things, such as Rynn withdrawing money at the bank and dialogue exchanges that really build the characters and suspense. Director Nicholas Gessner creates that suspense brilliantly with a straight forward, matter of fact style that plays into the film's simplicity and relateability. There's nothing in Hollywoodland that is preventing this film from being reality and it's that relateability that puts the viewer in a protective guardian role over Rynn. We're instantly drawn to her and want to protect her from the outside world that she's largely removed herself from but keeps creeping in on her. She hardly needs our concern or guidance but it's that intense connection that makes THE LITTLE GIRL WHO LIVES DOWN THE LANE a special film.

THE LITTLE GIRL WHO LIVES DOWN THE LANE is bit difficult to describe as it is very much a suspense thriller with horror elements but it's so character driven and based around Jodie Foster's performance that you almost cheat the film of its power and importance by simply calling it a suspense thriller.

The Audio & Video
Kino Lorber gives THE GIRL WHO LIVES DOWN THE LANE it's high definition debut with a gorgeous looking Blu-ray that features a 16x9 anamorphic widescreen transfer. The film has a rich natural film look with healthy grain and no digital scanner noise. Colors are pure and black levels are deep with no signs of compression or blocking. Detail level is exceptional from skin tones and hair to textures and surfaces like clothing and dirt. The DTS-HD Master Audio mix features a fantastic mix with steady levels and a crystal clear sound. There's no background noise, crackling or popping and dialogue is perfectly balanced with music.

The Extras
-Audio Commentary w/ Director Nicholas Gessner
-Interview w/ Martin Sheen
-Conversation w/ Martin Sheen and Nicholas Gessner
-Original Trailer
-Reversible Artwork

The Bottom Line
THE LITTLE GIRL WHO LIVES DOWN THE LANE will please audiences across genre boundaries. Everyone should know about this mini masterpiece and there's not better way to see it than this release from Kino


Friday, May 6, 2016

DOLEMITE (Blu-ray Review) - Vinegar Syndrome

Directed By: D'Urville Martin
Written By: Rudy Ray Moore, Jerry Jones
Starring: Rudy Ray Moore, D'Urville Martin, Lady Reed
Color/90 Minutes/Not Rated
Region FREE
Release Date: April 26, 2016

The Film
Dolemite is getting out of prison after being set up by a rival and some crooked cops. His friend Queen Bee helps him get out and has vowed to get revenge on Willie Green and get his club back with help from his gang of kung-fu fighting women.

To put it simply DOLEMITE is classic blaxploitation and one hell of a good time. Rudy Ray Moore developed the Dolemite character previously with a series of urban comedy records with raunchy titles and racy cover art. After building a fanbase he decided to self finance the DOLEMITE film without the support of his friends who never thought it would pan out. Pan out it did and we're treated to an action packed, riot of an exploitation film filled with incredible one liners and rapping monologues many of which were made up on the spot. Rudy Ray Moore totally embodies the DOLEMITE character and Lady Reed is completely believable and commands respect as the only woman that Dolemite sees as his equal. He's a slick man and she's a bad broad and they're a badass tag team.

Blaxploitation legend D'Urville Martin made his directing debut here, one of only two feature films he would helm, but shows he can handle a picture. While his direction isn't flashy Martin competently captures all of the Karate kicking, gun shooting, and gut ripping. Martin also co-stars as Dolemite's rival Willie Green and he's obviously comfortable in front of the camera and proves to be a formidable and downright ruthless foe for Dolemite. Not to be outdone, Rudy Ray Moore also proves to be a natural in front of the camera and he oozes charisma. This is his acting debut but you can already tell that he has the Dolemite character nailed down.

You don't watch DOLEMITE for the script or the artistry, you watch it for the funk and soul, the action and the laughs. There's no rat soup eating going on here, just the start of a great series of related films starring Rudy Ray Moore.

The Audio & Video
Vinegar Syndrome have preserved this classic piece of blaxploitation with a gorgeous 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer taken from a new 2K scan and restoration from a 35mm negative. While there are still some scratches and speckling present the overall picture quality is outstanding. Detail is extremely strong especially in closeups. Skin tones are gorgeously natural and fleshy without any signs of waxiness. There's a very nice grain structure to the picture and little to no digital noise. The DTS-HD Master Audio mono track sounds excellent - as good as the picture looks the audio sounds. Dialogue and music don't fight for the foreground as they compliment each other quite well. The audio is clear and crisp with steady levels and a strong body.

The Extras
-Alternate full frame "boom mic" version of the film
-Historical Audio Commentary by Rudy Ray Moore biographer Mark Jason Murray
-"I, Dolemite" - a making-of documentary
-"Lady Reed Uncut" - interview featurette
-Locations Then and Now
-Reversible Artwork

The Bottom Line
On the day he was born his father wore a sign that said "Dolemite is here!" On the day this disc was born the definitive version was here!

DOLEMITE is available HERE

Thursday, May 5, 2016

SCREAM Season 1 - Anchor Bay (DVD Review)

Starring: Willa Fitzgerald, Bex Taylor-Klaus, John Karna
Color/10 Episodes
Release Date: May 10, 2016

The Show
The town of Lakewood is under attack by a masked killer that digs up memories of similar events that happened twenty years earlier. The targets are a group of teens and the people connected to them that may be harboring all sorts of secrets.

The SCREAM legacy started in 1996 with Wes Craven's slasher film that made being meta horror cool. The self aware nature of SCREAM wasn't exactly brand new but it was done in a time when horror needed something new and this film took the slasher film cliches from a decade earlier and exploited them in a slasher of their own as survival hinged on knowing how to survive a horror movie.

Now after three sequels SCREAM has been turned into a TV series for a new generation. I will admit that I had very low expectations for the show and little desire to ever see it. Now that I've seen it I will give credit where credit is due and say that it really wasn't that bad. That may not seem like the most glowing accolades of all time but for the complete fishy smelling garbage I expected I was pleasantly surprised by the watchability of season one.

The cast of SCREAM is attractive, even the nerdy and outcast characters are easy on the eyes. There's no surprise that everyone looks good, we're even treated to quite a few sexy lingerie scenes. Don't worry about feeling like a creep, it's pretty obvious that most of these actors are well into their 20s and not high school students. The acting is spotty and uneven with plenty of overacting and the characters are written with plenty of stereotypical upper middle class millennial kids in mind. This was one of the more obnoxious aspects of SCREAM.

SCREAM is as much a teen soap opera as it is a horror series. Relationships come and go and come, teachers and students are connected, family drama, baby mama drama, cyber bullying, it's all here and it plays as big a role as the murder mystery does. It's not as corny and overbearing as daytime soaps but it certainly has that soapy feel while the horror aspects were surprisingly more violent and gruesome than anything I thought I'd see on MTV. The cat and mouse games become a bit repetitive over the ten episodes and the police force is totally useless. There are subplots that disappear for episodes at a time along with some really awkward editing at times. The biggest flaw SCREAM has lies at its core and immediately limits how successful the show could be - We're expected to care about a lot of characters that we're given plenty of reasons to dislike or at the very most tolerate.

All that said, the revelation of the killer and the twists involved are handled decently. It's never something that easily gives away the killer's identity and later on in the series it becomes fun seeing the setup of character's deaths. As I said before the series is a very easy watch that managed to engage me just enough that I could overlook the flaws and mildly enjoy it episode to episode.

SCREAM isn't going to be a big hit with hardened and seasoned horror fans. It is geared toward an audience that is closer to their high school graduation than their 30th birthday and is more interested in the new Drake song than who the hell Wes Craven is or what he did. MTV knows that and created the show for that audience. As far as that goes I'd say they were successful even if the show really is exceedingly mediocre.

The Audio & Video
Anchor Bay releases SCREAM Season 1 on DVD with a great looking and sounding presentation. The anamorphic widescreen transfer has great detail, color and black levels. It's a spotless picture as it should be. The audio is crystal clear with no distortions or level fluctuations.

The Extras
-Deleted Scenes
-Gag Reels
-Promotional Gallery

The Bottom Line
For a show that I had little interest in and equally little faith in I didn't find myself in misery while watching it. I know I'm not the target audience for this show so I had to take it with a small grain of salt and judge it as such. I wouldn't call myself a fan but I don't think SCREAM is bad. Recommended for fans of lighter horror fare.

SCREAM Season 1 is available HERE

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

WINNERS TAPE ALL: The Henderson Brothers Story - Brainwrap Films (DVD Review)

Directed By: Justin Channell
Written By: Justin Channell, Zane Crosby, Josh Lively
Starring: Zane Crosby, Josh Lively, Chris LaMartina
Color/67 Minutes/Not Rated
Region 1
Release Date: March 23, 2016

The Film
The video store was never more popular than it was in the late 80s and the shelves were never overflowing with horror titles as they were in that same period. From the latest slasher sequel to the backyard shot-on-video feature that found distribution and made an easy buck for someone horror movies ruled the store. A couple brothers from a small West Virginia town named Michael and Richard Henderson found some of that success when their own SOV slasher movie The Curse Of Stabberman released by their own production and distribution company Cameo Video (it almost rhymes, which is good) found its way to video store shelves and made money. After their second feature Cannibal Swim Club flopped the brothers declared bankruptcy and fell off the radar until a horror movie fanatic and VHS collector from their hometown discovered these relics and got in touch with the brothers to restore the movies and create a new feature film with them all while documenting their history in an on camera interview.

So the Henderson Brothers are just characters and there's no collector turned producer named Henry Jacoby but this story could have been any one of the hundreds or thousands of SOV horror flicks that lined video store shelves being rediscovered by rabid fans today that are keeping VHS alive. It's immediately obvious that writer/director Justin Channell is a huge fan of these films as he perfectly nails the retro footage from both of the Henderson's films. The aesthetic is spot on and the jokes are funny. Actually this entire movie is hilarious. Doing a proper mockumentary requires a love for what is being riffed on and Channell's direction along with the work of co-writers Zane Crosby and Josh Lively shows that love and a genuine knack for word play.

Crosby and Lively also star as the Henderson brothers while Chris LaMartina, who may be of note to indie horror fans for his recent directorial work on films such as Call Girl Of Cthulhu and WNUF Halloween Special, co-stars as Henry Jacoby and I haven't a single bad thing to say about any of them. Crosby and Lively ham it up just enough without getting too silly and LaMartina plays the more straight forward role of superfan turned producer with a touch of comedy that is natural and makes the entire trio's performance work so well together.

This movie is obviously made for horror fans and we're even treated to a bit of blood and guts with the retro footage of the Henderson Brothers' work. Even that is well done in a truly DIY shot on video style including the blood being coughed up on every single dead body (it's science!).

I love the story of The Henderson Brothers and WINNERS TAPE ALL should end up being talked about among the best indie horror and comedy films of the year. It's that good.

The Audio & Video
The DVD release of WINNERS TAPE ALL looks great in regards to both the sit down interview footage which is sharp and clean as it should be and in the faux film footage that genuinely looks like it was shot on VHS in the late 80s. Everything is presented exactly as it should be. The audio is no different, crisp and clear, it's like the angels singing the praises of the Henderson Brothers. I have no issues with the A/V quality of this release.

The Extras
-Audio Commentary with director Justin Channell and Michael Henderson
-Interview Outtakes
-HD Restoration Demos of the Henderson Brothers' Films

The Bottom Line
I have no hesitations in highly recommending WINNERS TAPE ALL for any fans of shot on video horror and the era of VHS. It's a love letter brilliantly wrapped up in a mockumentary package and I loved every second of it.

WINNERS TAPE ALL: THE HENDERSON BROTHERS STORY is available at the following locations: Brainwrap City (DVD), VHX (VOD), IWC Films (DVD and VOD)

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

April Exploitation/B-Movie Challenge 2016 - Final Days and Wrap Up

I last talked to you about the challenge on day 27 so this final post with the challenge could be a bit long so I apologize. I'll try to fill it with some interesting stuff for sticking with me.

I didn't watch anything on day 28. I was preparing for a weekend trip where I knew sleep was going to be at a minimum so instead of trying to squeeze in a random movie that night I went to bed a couple hours early. It was worth it for the weekend.

Days 29 and 30 took me to an area I had never been to - Vandergrift, Pennsylvania. This town was familiar to me in a way at least that a decade earlier I was a big fan of a metalcore band called From A Second Story Window and they were partially from that town. That random fact out of the way it was interesting to see this town all these years later. There's really nothing in Vandergrift - it's an old mountain river town about 30 miles north east of Pittsburgh that seems to have had it's better days decades ago. While there I noticed a couple of bars and beer stores but no liquor stores, a single Salvation Army thrift store and a dollar store. There was the small grocery store that kept batteries on a hidden ramp back by the bathrooms. Thankfully the lady graciously explained to me where this ramp was when I obviously had no fucking clue what the hell she meant by "batteries are on the ramp". Thank you Mrs. Ramp Lady, I'll never forget your kindness and next time I'll know exactly where they are and shoot you a wink.

At this point you're probably wondering why the hell I'm giving you this history lesson on Vandergrift - a town you really don't give a shit about. Well my friends, there's one thing in Vandergrift that you should give many shits about - The Riverside Drive-In.

The Riverside Drive-In was opened in 2005 - I'm assuming resurrecting the bones of an older drive-in theater but I'm not totally sure. Normally they're like any other drive-in theater in the country - They play first run films in double and triple features each week, they sell their concessions and give patrons a window into a bygone era all while defying the odds by surviving another season. Two weekends a year, once in April and once in September the Riverside separates itself from all the others by hosting their Drive-In Monster-Rama event. This event features 4 horror films each night plus all sorts of other vintage programming like cartoon shorts, trailers and intermission breaks.

Yeah yeah, a drive-in hosting a vintage horror revival, not that crazy, right? Well, it's only $10. The concession stand food is absolutely delicious and incredibly fresh including homemade soups, chili, tacos, burgers and more. And the kicker is that the prices are reasonable.

So what? Cheap food and cheap movies? Well, for an additional $10 you can camp overnight at the drive-in! Yes, set up your tents, your shanty town of tarps, sleep in your car, whatever you want - camping at the Riverside is an option and it really doesn't get more fun. They even set up a hillbilly shower in the bathroom and cook your breakfast in the morning for free. I'm talking eggs, pancake, sausage and bacon piled high along with free juice and coffee. Yeah, that's all included for the $10 camping ticket. And then you can hang out relaxing at the beautiful and scenic drive-in until the next night's films or head into town for whatever you may find. Hanging out at the theater is a great way to meet some new friends who also camped especially now that camping is becoming more popular among event attendees.

This was the most fun I've had in a long time dear readers. And if you're ever able to make it to one of the events I highly suggest you make the trip.

Now onto the films themselves which were all presented in 35mm...

The first night started with Tom Savini's remake of the timeless NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. What can I say that I haven't said about this one already? This movie is a big reason I love horror. I rented it over and over as a child and I've never grown tired of it in over 20 years of loving it. It was a great way to start the night after getting our tents and shanty town set up.

That was followed up by NIGHT OF THE CREEPS which was probably the hit of the night for our group. The folks that hadn't seen it loved how ridiculously cheesy Tom Atkins was and how self aware and fun the rest of the movie is. We laughed and had a blast through this one.

1984's NIGHT OF THE COMET was up 3rd and this one had more mixed reactions from our group but I love this one as well, but probably a bit less than CREEPS and definitely below NOTLD. It's still a fun one and I highly enjoyed seeing it on the big screen. I started to doze off a bit during this one from a long day of driving through the mountains and then drinking beers so it made an easy decision even easier and I skipped the final feature which was Bill Hinzman's FLESH EATER. That movie is a piece of shit.

The next morning after waking up and getting my delicious free breakfast and coffee and beginning to feel like a human again we killed some time by going to town for an hour or so and then back to the theater to relax and get ready for the night's features.... what a night it was.

Let's say that as soon as the opening previews for the features hit so did the booze. I was wasting no time and halfway through THE MONSTER SQUAD I already was feeling it. This was easily our group's favorite movie of the weekend. Fellow Celluloid Terror contributor Shawn Wolfe and I were the most familiar with it and were loving every second of it. (Creature stole my Twinkie!) The rest of the group who had varying levels of familiarity with it all loved it.

THE LOST BOYS was next and this one was also a blast to watch with the group and with an ever growing buzz. The great thing about watching movies you've seen a hundred times at an event like this is the ability to go a bit harder on the party aspect if you want. I sure did.

By the time FRIGHT NIGHT started I was hammered, coherent but I knew I'd be feeling it in the morning. And the sky had opened up with a heavy rain. Seeing this classic while the rain pounded down on our tents and tarps gave it a very cool atmosphere even if it meant that the temperature had dropped a bit and it was getting colder.

Word on the street is that I was awake during the final feature film NEAR DARK but you can't prove that by me. I had no recollection of that movie at all and I woke up without a hangover so the party was an absolute success and the movies were a fucking blast. Get another free breakfast, pack up the gear and we're on our way home until September. This was my first experience at the Riverside Drive-In but as long as they keep doing the Drive-In Monster-Rama it certainly won't be my last.

Now for a few fun stats about this month's challenge

Films Watched - 55 (Didn't count Flesh Eater or Near Dark from the drive-in)
First Time Viewings - 45
Blu-ray - 21
DVD - 25
Stream - 1
Theater - 6
VHS - 2
Average Score - 6.65/10
Best New Films - Wild Beasts, Over The Edge, Pigs, Wheels Of Fire, Blue Ice
Worst New Films - The Legend Of Bigfoot, A Knife For The Ladies, Nukie

Monday, May 2, 2016

THE HAUNTING OF ALICE D - RLJ Entertainment (DVD Review)

Directed By: Jessica Sonneborn
Written By: Jessica Sonneborn
Starring: Juan Riedinger, Aaron Massey, Megan Hensley
Color/79 Minutes/Not Rated
Region 1
Release Date: May 3, 2016

The Film
In the 1890s a young girl named Alice is left orphaned and alone after her parents die and her uncle sells her and her older sister to a wealthy and notoriously cruel brothel owner to pay his gambling debts. Things get worse when her older sister is sold and nobody is left to protect her and she's abused and put in the mix at the brothel until she takes revenge on the owner and takes her own life as well.

Now in present day the heirs to the old brothel are hosting a party at the old house where anything goes with the girls and the drugs but Alice may still lurk within the walls of the brothel and her revenge may not be done yet.

THE HAUNTING OF ALICE D is unremarkable in just about every way. The effects are poor and have a dated and tired look to them. Predictability is a huge problem with this film, from jump scares to character and story development. ALICE D is like a book you've read ten times - you know exactly what the next page holds. It's not like a book you've read ten times in that you certainly won't be going back to this movie again, let alone nine more times.

It's also an ugly movie in the most literal sense. The film has almost no color palette as it has a washed out look of creams and grays with faded neutrality being the ruling aesthetic. We're also treated to more lens flaring than a JJ Abrams film. There's no point at all to the lens flare in this film and they get to the point where they're downright annoying.

THE HAUNTING OF ALICE D is not scary, or even sexy despite the premise. It's not interesting or even attractive to look at. It's bottom of the barrel dreck that you're better off not wasting brain space on.

The Audio & Video
The DVD from RLJ Entertainment accurately presents the movie as it was intended to look. The 2.35:1 aspect ratio is intact and the film's soft, often too soft, look that is filled with pointless and frankly distracting lens flares are all on board. THE HAUNTING OF ALICE D has a washed out color palette leaving everything feeling cold and "blah". There's nothing particularly wrong with the PQ of this DVD, as it does a good job of giving us a proper representation of a bad looking movie. The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix sounds fine. It's clean and well mixed. There's no distortions or damage. The audio isn't exactly dynamic or exciting but it gets the job done nicely.

The Extras

The Bottom Line
If you've ever wanted to see Kane Hodder and former WWE wrestler Al Snow in 19th century garb here's your chance. Otherwise you're better off skipping this one.