Thursday, July 31, 2014

Swedish Nympho Slaves (Blu-ray Review) - Ascot Elite

Directed By: Jess Franco
Written By: Erwin C. Dietrich
Starring: Lina Romay, Martine Stedil, Vitor Mendes
Color/77 Minutes/Not Rated
Region FREE
Release Date:

The Film
A father and his right hand man pay the five million dollar ransom for the return of his kidnapped daughter. When his daughter isn't returned he has the owner of a whore house kidnapped as they believe she knows the whereabouts of his daughter who may have been brainwashed.

A simple plot leads to a movie filled with tons of beautiful women, sex and violence. Also known as Die Sklavinnen (The Slaves), SWEDISH NYMPHO SLAVES is a fine example of Franco's ability to create entertaining Euro-trash. Lina Romay is great in the lead as the whorehouse owner and she looks as fine as ever. The sets and cinematography are among the best of the time for Franco and I'd go far enough to call this one of his best films of the mid to late 1970s.

The Audio & Video
Ascot Elite lives up to their name with another elite Blu-ray presentation of Jess Franco's films. SWEDISH NYMPHO SLAVES has great detail, natrual skin tones and excellent color representation. The picture is sharp and clean. The DTS-HD 5.1 German audio track is crisp and clear with no background noise. The mix is spot on and the English subs are perfect.

The Extras
-Audio interview with Jess Franco
-Still gallery

The Bottom Line
Sexploitation fans will enjoy this one as Franco brings a solid story, and plenty of the juicy stuff to the table and makes a fun piece of sleaze!


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Protector 2 (Blu-ray Review) - Magnet Releasing

Directed By: Prachya Pinkaew
Written By: Eakasit Thairatana
Starring: Tony Jaa, Rza
Color/105 Minutes/R
Region A
Release Date: July 29, 2014

The Film
Kham (Tony Jaa) is the number one suspect for murdering the head of an Elephant camp. Kham is on the run from the police, the nieces of the murdered man and a crime boss (Rza) who has plans of his own for Kham's beloved elephant which could destroy the peace talks going on in the region.

THE PROTECTOR 2 is another vehicle to showcase Tony Jaa's immense skills in various forms of martial arts. The story is present and coherent but isn't the important part. We're on an action packed ride of fight scenes, car chases and pure adrenaline. Wu-Tang Clan member and Kung-fu film afficianado Rza gets a nice role in the film and shows he has some acting ability. Hell, he even has some good action scenes as well. I'll give the movie a break on the writing as I know what Tony Jaa films are made for (it isn't to showcase the writing) but THE PROTECTOR 2 faces some serious setbacks with some incredibly hokey and poorly rendered CGI sequences that look like they belong in some sort of spoof film. They don't come close to ruining the experience but the director could have made better decisions than to fall victim to such gimmicky 3D use.

The Audio & Video
Magnet Releasing gives us an attractive Blu-ray with a 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. The picture is crisp and clean with good detail levels and natural skin tones. The English 5.1 DTS-HDMA audio track sounds good and full with a solid mix of levels.

The Extras
 -Behind-The-Scenes Featurettes: Cast & Characters, Speaking With The Director, Action & Stunts, Working in 3D

The Bottom Line
If you liked the original Protector film you'll like THE PROTECTOR 2. If you're a big fan of martial arts films then THE PROTECTOR 2 is also worth checking out.

THE PROTECTOR 2 is available HERE

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Ong Bak Trilogy (Blu-ray Review) - Magnet

Directed By: Prachya Pinkaew, Tony Jaa, Panna Rittikrai
Written By:  Prachya Pinkaew, Panna Rittikrai, Suphachai Sittiaumponpan, Tony Jaa
Starring: Tony Jaa, Dan Chupong, Petchtai Wongkamlao
Color/302 Minutes/R
Region A
Release Date: July 29, 2014

The Films
The first ONG BAK movie is little more than a showcase for Tony Jaa. Jaa is a talented fighter from a small village and has been sent to the city to recover the stolen head from a sacred Buddha statue. This turns into one fight scene after another with the odd chase thrown in for good measure. The fights are well choreographed and certainly make for an entertaining time. There's even a bit of family heartache and drama thrown in for good measure. ONG BAK just doesn't have enough substance to be considered great. Yes it is filled with action but many of the early fight scenes are so similar in tone and content that they become a bit of a bore. Luckily some fresh air blows over the film and the best fights are in the second half of the film which make ONG BAK worth a single viewing for martial arts enthusiasts.

ONG BAK 2 is a prequel of sorts, in name only. Tony Jaa again stars in this jungle action adventure period flick set centuries ago. Jaa is a young warrior, on his way to becoming leader after learning all there is to learn of the martial arts including both the "dancing" and "weapon" arts. This film is far more entertaining and prettier to look at than the original film. And while it certainly isn't a great screenplay, it does have better writing than the first which was essentially a string of fights inconsequential to the story. ONG BAK 2 is an improvement over the first but I still don't see how this series has earned cult classic status.

The final chapter in the ONG BAK trilogy picks up right where part two leaves off and adds a healthy dose of fantasy to the mix. There's much more of the same in the way of awesome fight scenes which are bloody and brutal and rather colorful and eye catching sets and costumes. The ONG BAK sequels are definitely attractive looking features. This entry features a "son of..." type story but pretty much treads the same waters that part 2 did. 

Audio & Video
ONG BAK looks fairly rough on its Blu-ray from Magnet Releasing. The film has a naturally bland color palette and the original photography on the film seems quite soft which doesn't help things. The picture is overly grainy and detail level could be much better. The Thai audio track is a 5.1 DTS-HDMA track but fails to take advantage of its capabilities. Levels are good but the mix sounds thin. English subtitles were fine.

Part two looks far superior thankfully. Detail level is strong in textures and skin tones which are healthy and natural. The picture is sharp and has a nice clarity to it which allows the much better looking photography and more vivid colors to shine.  I chose the English dub track for this film and while the dubbing sounded a corny at times the audio quality itself was quite good. Again the tracks are 5.1 DTS-HDMA and this time the track sounds much fuller. The mix is excellent and levels are steady. This is a big step up over the first disc in the set.

And as part 3 and part 2 were similar in story they're nearly identical in technical presentation. The specs are the same and the A/V qualities are equally successful. Colors are vivid and pop just enough when needed and texture and detail is strong. The sequels in this franchise almost look like comic books in motion in the best way. The English dub track again sounds excellent and is handled brilliantly. No reason to complain.

Disc 1:
-The Movements Of Muay Thai
-Behind-The-Scenes stunt footage
-Live Tony Jaa and stuntmen performance
-French rap music video with Tony Jaa
-Promo video featuring The RZA
-Making-of music video

Disc 2:
-Alternate cut of the film
-3 Making Of featurettes
-3 Behind-The-Scenes featurettes
-Interviews with cast and crew
-HDNet: A Look at ONG BAK 2
-Exclusive footage of ONG BAK 3

Disc 3:
-HDNet: A Look at ONG BAK 3
-The Making Of A Legend
-Behind-The-Scenes: Uncovering The Action
-Interviews w/ cast and crew
-Behind-The-Scenes footage

The Bottom Line
The ONG BAK trilogy has been heralded for Tony Jaa's incredible martial arts prowess and the brutal fight scenes. These are the only reasons to check out these films as the stories are largely lacking and in the case of the first film, nearly non-existant. That said, the fight scenes are certainly reason enough to give these films a chance. The ONG BAK trilogy isn't amazing by any stretch of the imagination but damn those fight scenes are fun.

ONG BAK Trilogy is available HERE

Monday, July 28, 2014

Trancers (Blu-ray Review) - Full Moon

Directed By: Charles Band
Written By: Danny Bilson, Paul De Meo
Starring: Tim Thomerson, Helen Hunt, Michael Stefani
Color/76 Minutes/PG-13
Region A
Release Date: July 16, 2014

The Film
Agent Jack Deth (Tim Thomerson) live in Angel City in the year 2247. He is currently wiping out all of the Trancers in the city left over by a major criminal known as The Whistler. Trancers are people that have been psychically manipulated in to evil henchmen. Deth finds out that Whistler isn't dead, he is alive in the year 1985. Deth has to travel back in time to inhabit the body of one of his ancestors to track down Whistler and stop his evil tyranny once and for all.

 TRANCERS is a great mix of sci-fi, action and film noir with Charles Band's B-movie flair. The acting is surprisingly great from the grizzly and tough Jack Deth to the young, care free sidekick performance from Helen Hunt who is immensely likable in her role. Also supporting roles from Art LeFleur as Jack Deth's superior and Biff Manard as a down on his luck ex-baseball player who adds some comedy to the film. TRANCERS may very well be the best Full Moon production of the mid to late 80s and certainly looks better than its B-movie origins would suggest.

The Audio & Video
Full Moon gives TRANCERS its high definition debut with pretty good success. The image quality is quite a bit sharper than its DVD counterpart giving way to increased detail levels especially in skin tones and textures. There is still a bit of softness to the film but it seems to have more to do with the original photography of the film than with the transfer of this Blu-ray. TRANCERS is also finally given the anamorphic widescreen treatment. The 5.1 surround sound audio track sounds very good with a lively and full sounding track. There's no background noise to speak of and the mix between dialogue and the great score/soundtrack is spot on.

The Extras
Special features include:
-Audio Commentary track with director Charles Band and star Tim Thomerson
-Daniel Griffith's TRANCERS featurette - A 15 minute "making-of".
-Rare interviews with Tim Thomerson, Helen Hunt and Megan Ward
-Still gallery
-TRANCERS:  CITY OF LOST ANGELS - The TRANCERS segment from "Pulsepounders" that was once thought lost. This is definitely the coolest feature on the disc. Think of it as "Trancers 1.5" or a bonus adventure of Jack Deth.

The Bottom Line
TRANCERS is one of Full Moon's longest running series and with six full length chapters, plus the short from the Pulsepounders production there's no reason not to check out this much improved Blu-ray to get started on the series. I sincerely hope they release the rest of the series on Blu-ray sooner or later.

TRANCERS is available HERE

Friday, July 25, 2014

Girls In The Night Traffic (Blu-ray Review) - Ascot Elite

Directed By: Erwin C. Dietrich, Jess Franco
Written By: Erwin C. Dietrich
Starring: Kali Hansa, Pilar Coll, Diotta Fatou
Color/72 Minutes/Not Rated
Region FREE
Release Date: April 15, 2014

The Film
This is the Jess Franco I try to stay away from. GIRLS IN THE NIGHT TRAFFIC is the story of three high class hookers who sleep together and through a series of flashbacks recount their evening with their clients the night before including putting on a sex show and role playing as a corpse. One of them is kidnapped by a pimp posing as a photographer and she ends up in a weird prison. Her friends end up in the same prison to help her get revenge.

Blah. I'll put it plainly so you can skip to the next section if you wish... this film fucking sucks. It's nothing more than a reason to show naked women on screen and while that is fun and everything it becomes like work when that is all a movie has going for it. There is another cut of the film but that is merely the X-rated hardcore cut which adds on 20 minutes of hardcore sex cut from other movies. I don't know how responsible Franco is for this as he is uncredited as a director but it has all the markings of his other shitty films so he'll shoulder half the blame and Dietrich will to. Thanks for nothing.

The Audio & Videos
We can't blame Ascot Elite for the lame film but we can tell them "job well done" on a very nice Blu-ray presentation. The anamorphic widescreen transfer is very pretty with good sharpness and clarity and vivid and natural colors. The 2.0 German audio track is mixed fine and sounds good. The English subtitles are a little goofy but they seem to be timed well enough and translated fine. 

The Extras
-Jess Franco audio interview
-Still gallery
-+ More

The Bottom
I have a hard time recommending this title for anybody at all but I suppose there are Jess Franco completeists that will want this and they'll be thankful that a dreadful film got such a competent Blu-ray release. 


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Curtains (Blu-ray Review) - Synapse Films

Directed By: Richard Ciupka
Written By: Robert Guza Jr.
Starring: John Vernon, Samantha Eggar, Linda Thorson
Color/90 Minutes/R
Region A
Release Date: July 29, 2014

The Film
Director Johnathan Stryker (John Vernon) wants to make a film called "Audra" and he and his leading lady Samantha Sherwood (Samantha Eggar) concoct a plan to have her put in a mental asylum for a short stay as a patient to prepare for the role. Stryker seemingly moves on from Sherwood who has to break out of the asylum on her own. Stryker hosts a group of actresses, including Sherwood at his home to audition for the part in "Audra". Shortly after the actresses start missing and getting killed by a psycho wearing a disturbing mask.

CURTAINS had a very troubled production. From director Richard Ciupka hoping to get fired off the project (his debut as a director) to extensive re-shoots happening almost two years after principal photography was completed that ended up replacing about a third of Ciupka's film. The producer wanted a cheap and easy slasher film and Ciupka had ideas about a psychological thriller/horror film. The final product is a weird mishmash of both ideas that somehow comes together and works for an entertaining film even if some of it just simply doesn't make sense.

While CURTAINS is messy because of the production troubles there are a couple of really great scenes including the ice skating scene and the final sequence taking up about the last 15 minutes of the film. They're filmed beautifully and make CURTAINS worth checking out on their merit alone. CURTAINS has long been an oddity that you've only been able to see on poor quality VHS and bootlegs on the convention circuit, not anymore. This release is what the actresses involved feared! We're going to see it and hopefully you'll enjoy it as much as I did.

The Audio & Video
There's good reason when Synapse Films delays a release even for only a few weeks. They're making sure the film looks and sounds as good as it can. There's a reason they could be crowned kings of the cult home video market. They just plain get it. And their new Special Edition Blu-ray of CURTAINS proves it again. The 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer got a new 2K scan from the original vault materials and it shines. Colors are vibrant and pop just a bit. Skin tones show look fleshy and natural. The picture quality is very sharp and has a light layer of grain that keeps the feel of the film photography. There a newly mixed 5.1 DTS-HDMA track and the original 2.0 Mono mix for HD and overall sound quality is excellent. Its a crisp track with no background noise and an excellent mix. I love the ice skating scene where score gets bumped to the forefront but we can still hear the skate scraping against the ice as the girl moves along. This is just a fantastic job.

The Extras
The Blu-ray features quite a few quality special features including:
-"The Ultimate Nightmare: The Making of CURTAINS" - An all new 2014 retrospective that runs over 35 minutes and documents the film's conception to theatrical release and subsequent status as a cult favorite
-"Ciupka - A Filmmaker In Transition" (Blu-ray Exclusive) - A vintage behind-the-scenes documentary on Richard Ciupka that was filmed during the production of CURTAINS
-Audio commentary track with stars Lesleh Donaldson and Lynne Griffin
-Alternate audio track with vintage audio interviews with producer Peter R. Simpson and star Samantha Eggar
-Theatrical trailer

The Bottom Line
The back cover of this release has a quote that calls CURTAINS a "Must see for slasher completists". I'll go a step farther and say that if you're even the slightest fan of slasher films you'll want to see CURTAINS it is weird, a bit disturbing and totally endearing. If Synapse Films had rushed the release and given us a bare bones release with just a passable transfer it would still be a revelation for this film and I'm sure fans would be satisfied with it but the fact that they went the extra mile and gave CURTAINS a very nice selection of special features and a brilliant A/V presentation is just awesome. The wait for CURTAINS is over and it was worth it.

CURTAINS is available HERE

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Downtown (Blu-ray Review) - Ascot Elite

Directed By: Jess Franco
Written By: Jess Franco
Starring: Lina Romay, Paul Muller, Martine Stedil
Color/87 Minutes/Not Rated
Region FREE
Release Date: November 19, 2013

The Film
A private detective gets a much needed break with a job when he's hired by a woman to take comprising photos of her husband who is a nightclub owner. Shortly after getting the photos and finishing his job he is arrested as the prime suspect for murder in the nightclub owner's death.

Franco pulls his jack-of-all-trades routine here where he writes, directs and stars as the detective in the film. He had this routine in plenty of his films but few turned out as well as DOWNTOWN. His performance is among the best he ever gave and the story is handled well. Franco does give us a few of his notorious Franco directorial moments though with more than a couple long zooms into nude genitals and awkwardly long holds on the shot even while characters are talking. More than once the zoom goes so far as to lose focus on the shot. I guess that is just Jess being Jess!

DOWNTOWN is fun though despite any drawbacks it may have. Franco's love Lina Romay stars and is good and gives a few cabaret/nightclub performances that are sexy and memorable. She was quite the woman. The rest of the cast rises above the average mid-late 70s Franco flick to help the overall quality of the picture.

The Audio & Video
DOWNTOWN was shot a big softer at times than some of Franco's other films at the time and that is evident with Ascot Elite's transfer. While there are some scenes that overly grainy or soft, the transfer is as good as it gets. The PQ has a natural film look, and it does have a good sharpness to it for the most part. Colors are nice and flesh tones are natural. There's a nice level of detail in textures as well. The German audio track is a 5.1 DTS-HDMA track with optional English subtitles. The audio quality is clear and crisp with no background noise. Levels are even and steady with a strong mix. Subtitles are nicely translated and timed well.

The Extras
-Still gallery

The Bottom Line
DOWNTOWN is a pretty decent flick from Franco and if you're looking into some of the lesser known or talked about Franco films this isn't a bad place to start.

DOWNTOWN is available HERE

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

All Cheerleaders Die (DVD Review) - Image/RLJ

Directed By: Lucky McKee, Chris Sivertson
Written By: Lucky McKee, Chris Sivertson
Starring: Caitlin Stasey, Sianoa Smit-McPhee, Brooke Butler
Color/89 Minutes/Not Rated
Region 1
Release Date: July 22, 2014

The Film
After a fight between the football team and the cheerleaders at a party leads to a nasty car chase leading to the cheerleaders crashing their car and dying. A friend of one of the girls uses witchcraft to bring them back and now the undead girls are thirsty for blood and revenge on the boys that caused their death but the captain of the football team won't let his boys go down that easy.

Okay, ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE has a simple plot that has potential for a fun horror film... but then we got the final product which starts out with over half an hour of obnoxious, catty high school drama. If I wanted to watch that shit I'd turn on MTV and see some knocked up pre-teens screaming at their boyfriend for buying them a ring from Wal-Mart or something stupid like that. Then the horror film starts, sexy cheerleaders on a rampage at their high school? This could make up for the crappy start.

Unfortunately it doesn't. The comedy comes and goes and feels forced and heavy handed and rarely works. The acting is okay which surprised me, I can't fault the cast too much. We are talking about a cheesy horror movie so they're not bad but the overall script just sucks. It feels long, and it doesn't know if it wants to be straight horror or horror comedy. Lucky McKee has become one of the biggest disappointments in the last 15 years of horror. After the amazing May, McKee hasn't made anything nearly as good and aside from The Woman nothing I'd even consider decent. ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE seemed like a good chance to return to form but it is yet another letdown.

The Audio & Video
Image/RLJ give ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE a home on DVD with average results. The transfer looks okay for standard definition. I'm sure the Blu-ray looks sharper but as for the copy I saw, colors are decent as is sharpness. Darker scenes suffer from blocking issues but it isn't overly distracting. Overall not a bad looking 2.35:1 transfer. The DD 5.1 audio track sounds fine as well. The mix works without dialogue and soundtrack needing to compete to dominate the track. There's no background noise to speak of.

The Extras
A behind-the-scenes featurette is included

The Bottom Line
A disappointing effort from an increasingly disappointing director.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Wicked Women (Blu-ray Review) - Ascot Elite

Directed By: Jess Franco
Written B: Erwin C. Dietrich, Jess Franco
Starring: Lina Romay, Moncia Swinn, Nanda Van Bergen
Color/81 Minutes/Not Rated
Region FREE
Release Date: December 10, 2013

The Film
A young woman (Lina Romay) is found naked and bloody in a mansion and is brought to a mental hospital when she won't speak a word. Her caretakers don't have the woman's recovery at the front of their mind, it certainly isn't what they're interested in. They like to get a little closer to the women in the hospital. All the while a cloaked killer is on the loose dispatching of patients at night.

WICKED WOMEN is one maniac killer away from being pretty standard Women In Prison fare with the prison switched for a mental hospital. That wouldn't be a bad thing necessarily but the addition of the murderer makes things a bit more interesting, if not a little off kilter.

WICKED WOMEN isn't a great film, it features some poor direction from Franco, including a totally out of focus shot in the opening scene of the ambulance pulling up to the house. It's always interesting seeing a Jess Franco for the first time and wondering which version of the director you'll get. The one that can direct a beautiful scene or the one that is all over the place with awkward shots and useless zooms and pans. WICKED WOMEN is an entertaining trashy film despite being a poor directorial effort from Franco.

The Audio & Video
Ascot Elite does another great job with the 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer of this film. There is a nice sharpness and clarity to the picture. Colors and flesh tones are vivid and healthy. The German DTS-HD 5.1 audio track is crisp and mixed well. The optional English subtitles are nicely translated and read well.

The Extras
-Still gallery

The Bottom Line
Franco and trashy film fans will enjoy WICKED WOMEN but it isn't one of his finest efforts. That's just the nature of Jess Franco.

WICKED WOMEN is available HERE

Friday, July 18, 2014

Ginger Snaps (Blu-ray Review) - Scream Factory

Directed By: John Fawcett
Written By: Karen Walton
Starring: Emily Perkins, Katherine Isabelle, Kris Lemche
Color/108 Minutes/Not Rated
Region A
Release Date: July 22, 2014

The Film
Ginger Fitzgerald (Katherine Isabelle) and her slightly younger sister Bridgette (Emily Perkins) are as close as close can be. They've made a pact to be together forever no matter what. They're loners, rebels even. They're annoyed by the norm and the status quo. They live in a small suburb that is currently under attack by some unknown animal that is mauling and mangling neighborhood pets. The Fitzgerald sisters' world completely changes one night when the beast attacks Ginger and she begins to transform in to a Lycanthrope. A werewolf. It's up to Bridgette to try and save her sister before the transformation takes complete hold over Ginger.

GINGER SNAPS is a horror film. There's a werewolf running around, one of our main characters is turning into a werewolf and does a bit of bloodletting of her own. It absolutely is a horror film, that is true. It is also a movie about the weird, confusing and at times horrifying stage of in your life known as puberty and the changes you go through physically, mentally and emotionally. GINGER SNAPS is equal parts puberty commentary and horror film. It works as both. Our leads are female, and there's plenty of moments that remind us of this fact but that isn't to say that males can't absolutely relate to their struggles, just without the tampons. Bridgette is forced to come in to her own and become her own person as her sister's world spirals out of control in to sex, drugs and that whole werewolf thing.

As a horror film GINGER SNAPS is fun and effective. Some of the common werewolf traits and tropes are left behind in this film. The full moon doesn't have much to do with the werewolf at all. The affliction in GINGER SNAPS is a virus, passed on like any other virus including sex. The beast is also hairless, an ugly form of the beast that you might see in Dr. Evil's zoo. The werewolf in GINGER SNAPS is still menacing and deadly. The makeup effects from Paul Jones are quite good as we see Ginger go through the transformation slowly. It's a fun ride filled with all the guts and goo that help make a monster movie so much fun. GINGER SNAPS isn't a perfect film, but it succeeds at the goal it set out with.

The Audio & Video
Scream Factory's work on GINGER SNAPS is pretty damn nice! The anamorphic widescreen 1.78:1 transfer has a healthy and natural grain structure while keeping overall picture quality quite sharp. The detail level is great in various textures (take a look at some of the fuzzier sweaters or wood planks). Colors are vivid and black levels hold up nicely. The DTS-HDMA 5.1 audio track is an excellent mix with steady levels. There's no competing between dialogue and soundtrack and there's no intrusive background noise. The mix is lively and is a joy to listen to.

The Extras
-Ginger Snaps: Blood, Teeth, and Fur - An hour long plus feature detailing the production of the film
-Growing Pains: Puberty in Horror Films - A 25 minute panel discussion on how puberty is portrayed in horror films
-Deleted Scenes with optional commentary from the director and writer
-Vintage Featurette
-Cast Audition and Rehearsal Footage
-Creation Of The Beast featurette
-Being John Fawcett featurtte
-TV Spots
-Production Design Artwork

The Bottom Line
GINGER SNAPS has been given the Collector's Edition treatment from Scream Factory complete with new artwork, a nice slipcover and tons of bonus features. Pile that on top of the great technical presentation and the fact that movie itself is good and you've got a recipe for success and multiple reasons to own this disc. 

GINGER SNAPS is available HERE

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Love Letters Of A Portuguese Nun (Blu-ray Review) - Ascot Elite

Directed By: Jess Franco
Written By: Erwin C. Dietrich
Starring: Susan Hemingway, William Berger, Herbert Fux
Color/90 Minutes/Not Rated
Region FREE
Release Date: March 25, 2014

The Film
When a corrupt priest sees Maria flirting with a boy in the forest near her home he brings the girl to her mother and orders the mother send Maria to his convent to become a nun as penance. Of course there is a fee to be paid to the priest and the church for such a service. Maria is sent, but not before her mother belittles her in front of the priest for leaving her penniless. While at the convent Maria is stripped naked, left in solitude, tortured, seduced by other girls, tortured more when she falls victim to a fever and hallucinates and did I mention she was tortured? All in the name of the lord, of course. And when she sees the priest and Mother Superior worshipping the devil she is accused to being a witch and sentenced to burn at the stake.

LOVE LETTERS OF A PORTUGUESE NUN is a fine and really unsung example of the Nunsploitation genre. Franco fits in a bit of psychological and hallucinatory horror elements to go along with the inherent sleaze that comes along with this genre. Lesbianism and Satanism run rampant in LOVE LETTERS and it makes for a damn entertaining 90 minutes of Jess Franco greatness. 

The Audio & Video
Ascot Elite gives LOVE LETTERS its Blu-ray debut with a transfer that is largely very nice. There are a few instances where colors fluctuate or the picture is a bit soft but the majority of the film is sharp and filled with vibrant colors and natural healthy looking skin tones. There's no edge enhancement or excessive DNR noticeable. The English 5.1 DTS-HD audio track sounds great and has no background noise. It is crisp and mixed perfectly so that dialogue and soundtrack compliment each other. German 5.1 DTS-HD and 2.0, Italian 5.1 DTS-HD and Spanish 2.0 tracks are also availabel with optional English or Japanese subtitles. 

The Extras
 -Featurette featuring Jess Franco, Lina Romay and Herbert Fux
-Audio interview with Jess Franco
-Still gallery

The Bottom Line
Franco tackles the Nunsploitation genre with great success. LOVE LETTERS features Franco's signature style, a bit of sleaze and weirdness and more than enough entertainment to recommend to genre fans and Franco fans alike.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Human Race (DVD Review) - XLRator Media

Directed By: Paul Hough
Written By: Paul Hough
Starring: Paul McCarthy-Boyington, Eddie McGee, Trista Robinson
Color/88 Minutes/Not Rated
Region 1
Release Date: July 22, 2014

The Film
Only one will survive. Follow the arrows or you will die. Step on the grass and you will die. Get lapped twice and you will die. Race or die. These are the rules of THE HUMAN RACE, a nasty game that 80 people of all different walks of life have awoken to find themselves a part of. These people have the unsavory task ahead of them to survive and be the last remaining racer. Failing to adhere to the rules will result in your head exploding. Of course, when there are this many people in a game of survival you must also watch out for your fellow racers. Even when the group tries to band together to figure out what is going on and why they've been forced into this situation the danger remains with one or two bad apples spoiling their attempt at beating the game. Relationships are tested and morals crumble until only one person is left and finds out that the race is just the first part in his journey to survive.

THE HUMAN RACE plays out like Death Race 2000 meets Battle Royale, with a Sci-Fi twist. While THE HUMAN RACE isn't anywhere near the perfection of Death Race 2000 or Battle Royale it is a fun film to watch as the race plays out and heads explode. There are plenty of characters to root for and hope that they can find a way out. On the other side of the same coin THE HUMAN RACE doesn't play favorite or let anybody escape the cruel fate. Everybody will suffer, some more than others.

The acting is solid throughout, and the direction has some really interesting moments that just seem like fleeting glimpses of style and are soon forgotten about. The countdown of remaining participants has a moment like this that I really liked where the race announcer says the number of survivors left and we view the action through a lens shaped like that number. It was interesting and some more creativity like that could have helped make it stand out. THE HUMAN RACE still remains to be 88 minutes of violent fun.

The Audio & Video
The anamorphic widescreen transfer from XLRator Media looks very nice on this DVD. The image is sharp and clean. Colors and details are vivid and strong. The Dolby Digital 5.1 track sounds clear and is full bodied. The mix is well done and there is no background noise.

The Extras
-Commentary with the director and cast
-Deleted scenes

The Bottom Line
THE HUMAN RACE isn't breaking any ground but it takes some classic ideas and makes an entertaining flick that allows us to turn off our brain and enjoy the ride. 

THE HUMAN RACE is available HERE

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Erotic Adventures Of Candy / Candy Goes To Hollywood (DVD Review) - Vinegar Syndrome

USA/1978, 1979
Directed By: Gail Palmer
Written By: Gail Palmer
Starring: Carol Connors
Color/174 Minutes/X
Region FREE
Release Date: July 8, 2014

The Films
Candy is a sexy college student who is becoming increasingly curious about sex. She decides to learn the hard way and throw herself upon the handsome gardener, Manuel. After her father walks in on them and freaks out he lands in the hospital. Candy's visit to her father in the hospital leads to another chance sexual encounter and then she leaves town to visit her aunt and has sex with just about every man that takes a chance at her along the way including a random guy in the park and a monk. In the sequel, Candy ends up in Hollywood, looking for her big break she falls into the hands of the sleaze ball Johnny Dooropener who whores her out to every sleazeball in town. Candy is becoming quite popular around town and believes she is getting her big break!

EROTIC ADVENTURES OF CANDY is a pretty solid little piece of smut, filled with plenty of sex and a story that works well enough to keep things going. The real gem here is CANDY GOES TO HOLLYWOOD as it is a genuinely funny piece of X-rated comedy. If there isn't tits and ass on screen then it's likely that there is something funny going on and sometimes we get blessed with both.

The Audio & Video
Vinegar Syndrome's DVD of these two features from director Gail Palmer looks pretty damn nice. There's a bit of white speckling in each film but mostly the transfers are clean and colors are strong. The 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfers maintain the original aspect ratio of each film. The mono English tracks are mixed perfectly, and free of background noise or audible hiccups.

The Extras
Each film has a trailer included

The Bottom Line
Another winner from Vinegar Syndrome with these sex filled coming-of-age comedies about young Candy.


Septic Man Is Coming

"A masterpiece of terror” –The Film Corner



New York NY - Starz Digital Media is set to release the award-winning horror film Septic Man this summer.  The film will be available On Demand and for digital download August 12 and will have a limited theatrical run on August 15.  The DVD will be available August 19.
From the creators of Monster Brawl, Exit Humanity, and 2014’s Hellmouth and Ejecta, Septic Man dazzled audiences at the 2013 Fantastic Fest where its star Jason David Brown (Exit Humanity) won “Best Actor” in a horror feature. The film also garnered a prize at Toronto After Dark 2013. 
Septic Man follows Jack, a sewage worker who is determined to uncover the cause of the town's water contamination crisis. During his investigation, he becomes trapped underground in a septic tank and undergoes a hideous transformation. He must team up with a docile Giant and confront a murdering madman in order to escape. Hailed as a “stunning” (Little Red Umbrella), “funny” (TwitchFilm), and “visceral story that will leave you shaken and desperate for a shower” (Rue Morgue Magazine), Septic Man is an odyssey into the darkest depths of gross-out horror.  
Septic Man was directed by Jesse Thomas Cook (Monster Brawl) and written by Tony Burgess (PontyPool). It co-stars Molly Dunsworth (Bunker 6, Hobo with a Shotgun) and Robert Maillet (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones).
Starz Digital Media is a leading distributor of digital and on-demand content. Starz Digital Media distributes original programming content (Starz and AMC), feature films (The Weinstein Company, Anchor Bay Films), anime (Manga Entertainment) and other filmed entertainment utilizing various business models including download-to-own/electronic sell-through, video-on-demand, pay-per-view, subscription video-on-demand and ad-supported streaming. Starz Digital Media also programs and supports numerous ad-supported broadband channels and develops games, applications and other related content from many of its properties for distribution worldwide. Starz Digital Media is a Starz (NASDAQ: STRZA, STRZB) business,

Monday, July 14, 2014

Under The Skin (Blu-ray Release) - Lionsgate

UK, USA, Switzerland/2013
Directed By: Jonathan Glazer
Written By: Walter Campbell, Jonathan Glazer
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy McWilliams, Lynsey Taylor Mackay
Color/108 Minutes/R
Region A
Release Date: July 15, 2014

The Film
In an empty room, an alien being assumes the female human identity taking on the host's physical traits. This alien being combs the streets of Scotland looking for lonely men to prey on. When a man gives into her advances he is thrown into a nightmarish existence or darkness where he is stripped and drowned. The beautiful woman continues her ways until coming upon a man with a badly deformed face who is a genuine and sweet person. He is the only person to leave that nightmare plane alive only to suffer a disgustingly mean spirited fate. It is at this point where the being begins to feel emotions and see herself as human, unsuccessfully trying to adapt to human food. She flees into the woods searching for clarity where she is attacked and nearly raped, exposing her alien body to her attacker who pursues her further into the woods with violent intentions.

UNDER THE SKIN has some great ideas going for it along with some stylish direction from director Jonathan Glazer and gorgeous cinematography. It is visually stunning at times with its bleakness and stark contrasts. Unfortunately the ideas the film introduces end up being mostly hollow aside from the most basic idea to look deeper than the surface in yourself and others.

I wanted UNDER THE SKIN to be something special. I think Scarlett Johansson gives a solid performance but it all for naught since UNDER THE SKIN fails to be anything other than an underdeveloped idea.

The Audio & Video
Lionsgate gives UNDER THE SKIN a gorgeous Blu-ray release. The transfer is pristine with bright whites that never burn too hot and ultra deep black levels with no blocking or compression issues. The little bits of flashy color pop and skin tones are nice and healthy. It's a very nice 16x9 picture. The English 5.1 DTS-HDMA audio track sounds excellent. The full bodied track is very crisp and clear with a nice mix between dialogue and score. 

The Extras
A "Making Of" featurette is the lone featuer

The Bottom Line
If you're a Scarlett Johansson fan UNDER THE SKIN is worth a rental. Unfortunately it fails to be anything more than that.

UNDER THE SKIN is available HERE

The Purge: Anarchy GIVEAWAY

Alright readers it is time for a giveaway!

 THE PURGE: ANARCHY hits theaters on July 18 and you have the chance to win some cool promo items from the movie!

The New Founders of America invite you to celebrate your annual right to Purge. The Purge: Anarchy follows an unlikely group of five citizens who, over the course of the night, are hunted across the city in a kill-or-be-killed series of survival scenarios during the annual Purge.
Check out these 5 Things To Know Before You Watch The Purge: Anarchy 

I know you're dying to find out the actual prize items are so the winner will receive

The Purge: Anarchy Prize Pack includes:
- The Purge: Anarchy Promo T-shirt (size L)
- The Purge: Anarchy Promo Flashlight

And now for the boring (but important) stuff


-The sponsors of the giveaway have made this open to US residents only (sorry international friends!)
-Contest Open until Sunday, 7/ 20, winner will be notified by email

To Enter
1.Send an email to with "PURGE CONTEST" as the subject and include your favorite fact from the 5 gifs AND you shipping address
2. Get an additional entry by tweeting to me on Twitter @celluloidterror and tell me how you would spend Purge night if it were real and use the #PurgeAnarchy

I will put all entrants into a randomizer and the name that comes out on top will win!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

42nd Street Forever: The Peep Show Collection Vol 3 (DVD Review) - Impulse Pictures

Directed By: Various
Written By: Various
Starring: Annie Sprinkle, Susan Nero, Bobby Astyr, Jamie Gillis
Color/116 Minutes/X
Region FREE
Release Date: July 8, 2014

The Film
Another selection of old 8mm stag reels here making for one hell of an evening of viewing. These films are raunchy, sleazy and almost just plain wrong. They'll have you feeling as sticky as the floors in the old 42nd Street theaters. If you lived through the days these types of short XXX films were being produced and sold through sketchy magazine ads this DVD will be a great trip down memory lane and if you're like me and missed out on the glory days of exploitation cinema then this is a great glimpse into the past and a continuing history lesson. Most of the shorts on THE PEEP SHOW COLLECTION VOL. 3 are your standard, hairy in-out, in-out affairs but then comes The Barbarian Girls to end the collection and what a fucking way to end it. Let me just say that there's no preparing for it. It will catch you off guard and smack you in the face. Be sure to stick around for it but don't say I didn't warn you.

The Audio & Video
The Impulse Pictures DVD looks as rough and gritty as the city streets where you'd be able to see films like this back in the 70s. While you may not have wanted to risk your life going to see them back then, you can now enjoy them from the comfort of your own home and in pure scratchy 70s quality. No, these prints aren't in great conditon- they're covered in scratches and imperfections, they're dirty at times and image quality is soft.I wouldn't have it any other way. This is how you need to enjoy fare such as this. 

The Extras
Liner notes from Robin Bougie, the publisher of Cinema Sewer magazine are included.

The Bottom Line
If you clicked on this review you have an interest in smut and stag films and you'll want to grab this release to not only live the dream that adults were able to live through their 8mm projector on their living room walls but to support the future releases of content such as this.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Cannibal Holocaust (Blu-ray Review) - Grindhouse Releasing

Directed By: Ruggero Deodato
Written Gianfranco Clerici
Starring: Robert Kerman, Francesca Ciardi, Perry Pirkanen
Color/95 Minutes/Unrated
Region FREE
Release Date: July 1, 2014

The Film
There are few films in the world with a reputation like CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST. Few films have been banned for their grotesque nature and brutality they show on screen yet so heavily praised for being an expertly crafted piece of cinema with a far deeper meaning than its shock cinema label will let you believe. A first time viewing of CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST will definitely leave you with a memory of the film. From the extreme violence, and gory effects to the completely real killing of animals on screen. Your stomach will turn, you'll want to look away, and perhaps you will. If you're watching the film for the first time with more than violence and shock on your mind maybe you will begin to see the true depth to CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST.

CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST is absolutely an exploitation picture. It goes all the way and back again. Ruggero Deodato was even put on trial for murdering cast members and he had to prove their existence to escape conviction. It was that believable. It is no surprise that even to this day audiences are in shock and awe over this film and may not be entirely sure exactly what is real but beyond the savages, the gunning down of natives, the extreme ways in which people are killed, the beheading and shooting of animals, the people being impaled and general jungle horror within the film, lies a single question at the end of the film - "I wonder who the real cannibals are?".

CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST is brilliant in every way. Ruggero Deodato was no stranger to the cannibal film at this time having previously made Last Cannibal World (aka Jungle Holocaust) in 1977 but this time he made something bigger than an exploitation film. The late Riz Ortolani produced a beautiful and at times haunting score for the film. The cast was pushed to their limits, literally in tears at times during the production over things they had to do. It was an all around effort by everyone involved to give 100% and make this film and although Deodato has said in recent years that he wishes he hadn't made the film I think the world of film, and perhaps in a small way the world itself would be a bit worse off if that was the case. It is true that despicable things were done in the film. Did animals need to die on screen? No, but they did. And they were eaten. It doesn't make it any less horrific but the impact it has on the viewer on a visceral level can't be measured. And that impact leads to deeper thinking and the importance the film brings.

The Audio & Video
Grindhouse Releasing gives CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST its first uncut Blu-ray ever with a stunningly gorgeous anamorphic widescreen transfer. Detail levels are incredibly strong from faces to textures of clothing and other items. Colors are simply stunning, from the lush green jungles to the brown skin of the natives and bright blue skies. Even the 16mm handheld camera footage looks very good, without question the best it ever has. Thankfully Grindhouse Releasing knows what they're doing and didn't destroy the film by scrubbing it clean. This Blu-ray is still grainy but it's a natural and attractive film grain, and not dirt and damage. The DTS-HDMA 2.0 track is in English, the natural langauge of the film, and sounds magnificent. The mix, of dialogue, score and surrounding sounds of the jungle are all handled skillfully as to compliment each other without ever becoming intrusive even at their most extreme. Levels are stable and the crispness to this audio track is just lovely. 

The Extras
I could go on and on about the special features presented here in this 3 disc set, instead I'll simply break down each disc's content.

Blu-ray disc 1:
-Original uncut version of the film
-"Animal friendly" version of the film
-Audio commentary with director Ruggero Deodato and star Robert Kerman
-Audio commentary with stars Carl Yorke and Francesca Ciardi
-Large selection of trailers for Cannibal Holocaust

Blu-ray disc 2:
-11 interviews with key cast and crew members
-Large selection of extensive still galleries
-Selection of additional Grindhouse Releasing trailers

CD soundtrack

The Bottom Line
It is official, there is no better way to watch CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST than this release unless you have a pristine 35mm copy and place to project it. I can't come up with a single flaw against this release, from the brilliant A/V quality to loads of special features and the inclusion of the entire soundtrack. This will go down as one of, if not the best release of 2014 by any company anywhere in the world. 


Friday, July 11, 2014

Bloody Moon (Blu-ray Review) - Severin Films

Directed By: Jess Franco
Written By: Rayo Casablanca
Starring: Olivia Pascal, Christopher Moosbrugger, Nadja Gerganoff
Color/81 Minutes/Not Rated
Region A
Release Date: July 8, 2014

The Film
Five years ago Miguel, a man with a disfigured face, went on a rampage at a pool party. Raping a woman and killing her in brutal fashion. Having been institutionalized and deemed reformed, Manuel has been released to the care of his sister Manuela who, along with their wheelchair bound mother, run a boarding school for young women. Shortly after opening day the bodies start piling up and Miguel is at the center of the suspicion.

BLOODY MOON isn't much in the way of art. No, Jess Franco had nothing of the sort on his mind with this slasher film that even tries its hand at adding in some qualities of the giallo film. This is purely a horror film with slicing and dicing on the brain. There are a couple of elaborate gore set pieces, the biggest and best also being the most memorable part of the film involves a giant stone mill saw. There's also plenty of sleaze here with an entire incestuous subplot. BLOODY MOON is a simple film that is trashy, gory and fun and stands up to repeated viewings.

The Audio & Video
Severin Films has done a great job restoring BLOODY MOON for Blu-ray. The video quality is quite good with natural colors and an overall strong picture quality. There's little in the way of dirt or debris. The English mono HD audio track sounds good as well. There's no background noise and the mix is spot on. Levels are steady and don't jump.

The Extras
-Franco Moon - an interview with director Jess Franco
-Theatrical trailer

The Bottom Line
Franco's take on the slasher film is entertaining and trashy. Exactly what you'd expect from the Spanish-French director making a body count film. Gory and trashy. This disc is definitely worth a look.

BLOODY MOON is available HERE

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

All Night Long / Tapestry Of Love (DVD Review) - Vinegar Syndrome

USA/1975, 1976
Directed By: Alan Colberg
Written By: Alan Colberg, Chris Warfield, Bob Chinn
Starring: John Holmes, Sharon Thorpe, Ric Lutze
Color/160 Minutes/X
Region FREE
Release Date: July 8, 2014

The Films
ALL NIGHT LONG is the first film in this double feature and the title tells you a little bit about what you can expect. John Holmes and Ric Lutze have been chosen as the two finalists for the coveted "Mascot Of The Golden Rod" the top honor for male porn stars. The only way to win the award is to finish sleeping with your predetermined path of women first, and it's going to take you all night long. The awards ceremony watches on as each woman across town has their love dens rigged with cameras and the ceremony nearly turns into a giant orgy itself! John and Ric encounter everything from a scary dominatrix to the apparent love of their life all while trying to keep up their stamina in what will end up being a photo finish.

ALL NIGHT LONG features plenty of light hearted humor, especially from the cynical man at the awards ceremony who seems unimpressed with everything and a cat fight on stage over an award. The men and their sex race also features plenty of laughs and even a "what the fuck moment" or two, such as a slow motion money shot complete with "splashing" sound effects. That was a first for me.

Then in TAPESTRY OF PASSION there is a sex killer on the loose and it is up to private detective Johnny Wadd to solve the case for the victims' gorgeous sisters and lovers. His only fee to be paid? Well sex of course. Wadd follows the clues until he comes face to face with the killer herself, The Black Widow, who runs her sex house out of the back of a newspaper. How her name or advertisements don't raise any red flags is beyond me but The Black Widow charges a mere $50 (with a money back, satisfaction guarantee!) to dominate her victims and poison them whilst fucking. TAPESTRY OF PASSION works on the back of the Johnny Wadd character. His smooth talking (among other assets) allows him to sleep with even the most suspicious of his clients along with being a viable foe for the nasty Black Widow and her henchman.

The Audio & Video
Vinegar Syndrome's double features a pair of 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfers keeping each film in its original aspect ratio. The prints look good for the most part. ALL NIGHT LONG is a bit dark and grainy at time but the majority of the film has just light speckling. TAPESTRY looks better, being sharper and cleaner overall. Both films look nice though, even at their roughest. The mono audio tracks are well mixed, with no distracting background noise. 

The Extras
A trailer for each film is included

The Bottom Line
If you're not a Vinegar Syndrome fan this double feature DVD isn't a bad way to jump on board. It features the sex and general exploitation feel that the company is becoming so popular for. If you're already on board with the company then you probably know you'll want to add this disc to your collection by this point. 

ALL NIGHT LONG / TAPESTRY OF LOVE Peekarama Double Feature is available HERE

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Jodorowsky's Dune

Directed By: Frank Pavich
Starring: Alejandro Jodorowsky, Michel Seydoux, H.R. Giger
Color/90 Minutes/PG-13
Region A
Release Date: July 1, 2014

The Film
After becoming king of the midnight movie with films such as El Topo and the absolute masterpiece The Holy Mountain, Alejandro Jodorowsky set his sights to make a film that would change the world. He wanted to adapt Frank Herbert's novel Dune. Having never read the book Jodorowsky came up with his own interpretation of the story, gathered his "spiritual warriors" that would help create it with him including artists Moebius and H.R. Giger and special effects man Dan O'Bannon and they painstakingly created the film as it would be shot, angle for angle, shot for shot in hand drawn sequences. They would use this book of Dune to shop the film around to various Hollywood studios. The problem? This was the most ambitious project ever undertaken. Studios didn't get Jodorowsky, they didn't want to give him the fifteen million dollars to make the film and Jodorowsky refused to change anything about the film. Even saying if he wants it to be twelve hours then it will be twelve hours.

That was 1975, nearly forty years later and the film Dune was not directed by Jodorowsky, or made by his team of warriors. The equally talented David Lynch was hired for the project but nothing good came of it as the studios had their way and the film sucked. JODOROWSKY'S DUNE is a gripping documentary about this film that was never made but much like the film that was never made this documentary is much more. This is 90 minutes to sit down with some of the most talented artists around, especially Jodorowsky. Listening to Alejandro Jodorowsky talk is an experience in itself. He will enlighten you, motivate you and totally captivate you. From the passion that still burns within him for a project that didn't work out four decades ago, to the satisfaction he has taken in how his version of Dune has single handedly influenced Hollywood like no other film has, produced or not.

JODOROWSKY'S DUNE is entertaining, you will laugh and smile and you will wonder why nobody was willing to roll the dice on this picture that could have made them a fortune. Or totally bankrupted them. I see Hollywood rolling the dice on films of much less significance all the time yet nobody would let Jodorowsky's creation come to fruition. And that is what Jodorowsky did, create. He did not simply make a movie, he created it. And his Dune created a lot even if it was never made.

The Audio & Video
The Blu-ray of JODOROWSKY'S DUNE from Sony is gorgeous. The film was made in in 2012 and 2013 and looks excellent from the sit down interviews to the animated sequences using the drawings from Jodorowsky's Dune book. The image is very sharp and crisp with gorgeous colors. The English audio track (sometimes subtitled for various other languages being spoken) is a DTS-HD 5.1 track and sounds equally beautiful. There's no background noise or any audible annoyances and it is a perfect mix with perfectly timed subtitles. 

The Extras
45 minutes worth of deleted scenes are included

The Bottom Line
JODOROWSKY'S DUNE may not only be the best documentary about a film never made, it may be the most important documentary on any single film ever. There's so much to love and enjoy in this film that I cannot recommend it highly enough. This is a must watch.


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Runaway Nightmare (Limited Edition Blu-ray Review) - Vinegar Syndrome

Directed By: Mike Cartel
Written By: Mike Cartel
Starring: Mike Cartel, Al Valletta, Seeska Vandenberg
Color/94 Minutes/Not Rated
Region FREE
Release Date: July 8, 2014

The Film
A pair of worm farmers get tangled up in a bizarre fight between a desert female cult and the mafia when they dig up a woman who was buried alive and bring her home to take care of her. The woman was part of the cult and was buried by the mafia. The female cult kidnaps the men, turns them into their sex slaves and then proceed to force them into their plan to steal a suitcase full of platinum from the mafia. The men have no choice but to comply since their lives are at stake... plus the whole sex slave thing isn't terrible. What ensues is a weird and wacky romp through the desert only to discover what the briefcase is actually filled with is an entirely different story than platinum.

Who the hell could come up with this? RUNAWAY NIGHTMARE is so far out there it almost comes together perfectly as some weird mash up of zany black comedy, sexploitation crime film. The acting is hammy and fits the flow of the movie and the movie moves incredibly fast as you'll be surprised how often you find yourself watching this with mouth agape wondering just what in the blue hell is going on. Somehow it all makes sense, even if it takes a wink and a nod but it really shouldn't. RUNAWAY NIGHTMARE manages to pull off some ridiculous BS in the story and make it all work for an entertaining piece of trash.

The Audio & Video
Does Vinegar Syndrome do anything without love? The limited edition, numbered out of 1,000 pieces Blu-ray looks pretty damn great for the majority of the film. There's a few instances where the photography is a bit overly grainy and soft but for the most part it's very sharp and features vivid colors and natural, fleshy skin tones. Detail is strong and the film likely has never looked better. The audio is also very clear and crisp. There's minimal background noise and the mix is quite good.

The Extras
-Audio commentary with the director
-Alternate scenes

The Bottom Line
Fans of B-movies or wacky cinema will want to check out RUNAWAY NIGHTMARE and the best way to do so is to get in on the limited edition combo pack while you still can!

RUNAWAY NIGHTMARE limited edition Blu-ray is available HERE but if you miss out on that, the standard DVD is available HERE

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Lucky Bastard (DVD Review) - Revolver

Directed By: Robert Nathan
Written By: Lukas Kendall, Robert Nathan
Starring: Don McManus, Jay Paulson, Betsy Rue
Color/94 Minutes/NC-17
Region 1
Release Date: July 1, 2014

The Film
Lucky Bastard is a porn website that hosts contests for fans and subscribers of the site to win a night with one of their stars. This scene is filmed and used for their site with a bit of mocking the amateur guy involved. Mike(Don McManus), the owner of Lucky Bastard convinces his number one girl Ashley Saint (Betsy Rue) to break her rule of no amateurs, and be the prize for this episode. Ashley is reluctant and her introduction to the winner, an awkward and somewhat creepy redhead named Dave, doesn't help things. After several awkward exchanges and a few dramatic episodes of Ashley calling the shoot off, they eventually get the two into the bedroom. Dave's premature climax puts a damper on the whole thing when he shoves Ashley and Mike has one of his assistants bring Dave home. Dave has other plans as he is the Lucky Bastard and was promised he would get to fuck Ashley Saint and is willing to kill for his prize.

LUCKY BASTARD is a found footage style horror thriller filmed through the eye of the production cameras. It is one of the few instances where the style not only makes sense for the film but actually works in the film's favor. The cast is quite good, from the leads down to Nico (Lanny Joon) the cool, but somewhat nervous cameraman. LUCKY BASTARD makes us look at the sometimes unhealthy relationship between fame and fan and the lengths some people will go to touch that fame. It also works as just a pretty decent movie about a man with a broken mind losing it for the last time and going on a nasty little rampage. It does get a bit awkward when the porn scenes are being filmed and the genitals are blurred. It just sort of cheapens the entire movie. I think it was a gamble to either make the scenes less realistic or to have to censor part of them. It really ends up being a lose-lose situation there for the director.

The Audio & Video
Revolver brings LUCKY BASTARD to DVD with a nice looking anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1) transfer. The image is sharp, clean and very crisp. The 5.1 surround track sounds great and has a quality mix. There's never any need to reach for the remote as levels are steady. A nice technical presentation overall.

The Extras
-Audio commentary with the director
-3 trailers
-Promo Reel
-TV commercial

The Bottom Line
LUCKY BASTARD is better than expected and worth a look.


Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Addicted (DVD Review) - Revolver

Directed By: Sean J. Vincent
Written By: Sean J. Vincent
Starring: Jenny Gayner, Sean J. Vincent, Thea Knight
Color/90 Minutes/Not Rated
Region 1
Release Date: June 24, 2014

The Film
A quarter century after an apparent suicide in a drug rehabilitation clinic a group decides to break in to the now abandoned facility to try and capture some of the reported paranormal goings on on film. Then, another group does the same. It doesn't take long for the evil with in to appear, along with a masked killer who seems to enjoy nothing more than strapping his victim to a table, shooting them up with needles and using a nail gun to kill them. The dark truth behind the clinic's history is exposed but will they ever be able to leave?

Let me just say that I probably couldn't tell you half of the details about THE ADDICTED because the audio recording is so fucking bad that it just sounds like very quiet mumbling. This gets even worse when the masked killer talks because apparently the director thought it was a better choice to have his dialogue recorded live through a thick mask which makes the already poor audio recording sound even more incomprehensible. Imagine trying to hear someone talk through a thick rubber halloween mask after eating an entire peanut butter sandwich sans milk. That may give you the idea.

What I was able to make out of THE ADDICTED didn't have me all that upset that I was struggling to understand the dialogue. The effects were corny and nothing exactly surprising or new and inventive happened. I did like the killer's mask as it looked like some kind of comic book version of a killer crackhead.

The Audio & Video
Revolver gives THE ADDICTED a home on DVD. The transfer looks okay, probably as good as it could ever look given the photography of the film. There's constant compression and artifacting in darker scenes. Brighter scenes fare a bit better but still don't look amazing. As I mentioned, the audio is so damn muffled thatit's near impossible to make out most of the dialogue, especially from the masked killer. I don't fault the audio issues, or really the video issues on the transfer work done as they can only work with the material they were given.

The Extras

The Bottom Line
There's nothing here I can honestly recommend spending your time on. Take a pass this one.

THE ADDICTED is available HERE