Sunday, February 24, 2019

BLUE MOVIE - Cult Epics Blu-ray Review

Directed By: Wim Verstappen
Written By: Wim Verstappen, Charles Gormley
Starring: Hugo Metsers, Carry Tefsen, Kees Brusse
Color/89 Minutes/Not Rated
Region Free
Release Date: February 12, 2019

The Film
A young man named Michael has been released from prison after five years for having sexual relations with a fifteen year old girl, an act that he has found isn't really looked down upon anymore. Michael's parole officer has set him up with an apartment in a high rise that Michael finds filled with women, much to his liking. With his sex drive going wild after so many years of not being able to touch a woman Michael takes a liking to the married women of the complex and begins to have affairs with the women leading to threesomes, and even orgies that involve most of the building.

BLUE MOVIE is extremely thin on plot, with that brief synopsis making up almost the entirety of the movie until a moment near the end where a man at the orgy is laughed at for being impotent and leaps from the balcony to his death. It's at this moment that the film shows some power as most of BLUE MOVIE seems to be celebrating sexual liberation and freedom but without much meaning behind any of it with the sexual affairs and encounters usually having little consequence for anyone involved. When a man jumps to his death over sexual humiliation we're shown how powerful the sexual encounter can be.

BLUE MOVIE never enters full on hardcore pornography but for a film from 1971 taboos are broken and walls are torn down. It also proves to be a wonderfully directed and photographed film as Jan de Bont cut his teeth on films like this before going on to photograph films like Die Hard and The Hunt For Red October and direct blockbusters like Speed and Twister. BLUE MOVIE will likely be remembered historically for breaking barriers and attacking social norms and taboos more than for being an entertaining film but even if BLUE MOVIE is a bit of a bore, there's plenty of far more fun and exciting sexploitation films out there, few have the artistic merit of BLUE MOVIE.

The Audio & Video
Cult Epics presents BLUE MOVIE on Blu-ray with a 1.37:1 full frame aspect ratio in full 1080p high definition from a new restoration and transfer from the 16mm reversal and 35mm duplicate negative done by The Eye Film Institute. While the overall image quality is perfectly fine and presentable the colors are unremarkable and detail levels are pretty good. The image is generally a bit flat but presented in an appropriately realistic manner. The picture is free of any immediately noticeable scratches, dirt/debris or other damage. The audio fares better with the lone option being a 2.0 Dolby Digital mono mix in the films native Dutch with optional English subtitles. The audio is clear, free of any distortions, damage, or background noise. The film doesn't have a dynamic soundtrack but the audio track on this Blu-ray handles it beautifully.

Please Note: Screenshots have been taken from the DVD copy of the film

The Extras
Bonus features include:
-Interview with Wim Verstappen from 1971
-Interview with producer Pim de la Parra from the 2018 Dutch Sex Wave Festival
-2018 interview with Hugo Metsers Jr.
-Eye Film Institute featurette
-Poster and photo gallery
-Scorpio Films Trailers

The Bottom Line
Cult Epics should be commended for bringing this historical piece of sexploitation to Blu-ray.

BLUE MOVIE is available HERE

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

UNINVITED Blu-ray Review (Vinegar Syndrome)

Directed By: Greydon Clark
Written By: Greydon Clark
Starring: George Kennedy, Alex Cord, Clu Gulager
Color/91 Minutes/Not Rated
Region A
Release Date: January 29, 2019

The Film
Have you ever sat there watching a movie, any type of movie, and thought to yourself "This would be so much better if a radioactive cat puked up another cat and the hairball cat attacked people viciously."? Well if you have then you're in luck! And if you haven't, why not?

Greydon Clark (Without Warning,  Satan's Cheerleaders) helms this video store era cheesefest about a crew of sleazy businessmen who invite a few sexy co-eds on to their yacht to cover their tracks only to find that the girls have found a runaway cat that they won't let go. This cat also happens to be radioactive and extremely deadly. Aside from coughing up an inner cat that maims its victim, the cat is also contagious with a poison that is spread through its salive so anything it eats becomes tainted. As the cat runs rampant and the bodies pile up tensions rise on the boat and the already thin crew begins to disolve to nothing and the threat of being stranded at sea with no food becomes a strong possibility as well. But really, the main problem is that damn puke cat.

I love that Greydon Clark plays UNINVITED straight. There's no winking at the camera despite how cheesy this all is. There's actual effort put into this cat monster that boils down to little more than a hand puppet and even the special effects look good. The cast has some real names in it with well known names like George Kennedy and Alex Cord starring along with one of my personal favorites Clu Gulager. There's real talent involved in front of the camera and behind it with Nicolas von Sternberg shooting the film. It only takes one look at his filmography and you'll probably see a dozen or more cult classics you love. And it shows here because UNINVITED is a pretty damn good looking movie.

There's not a lot to analyze here, UNINVITED is what it is. - A sometimes goofy, perhaps overly serious but always entertaining horror romp filled with dashes of crime excitement.

The Audio & Video
Vinegar Syndrome delivers UNINVITED to Blu-ray with a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer that was scanned in 4K from the original camera negative. Colors are vibrant and realistic while skin tones are healthy and natural looking without any sign of waxiness. There's a great amount of detail in closer shots of surfaces, fabrics and various textures, including the cat puppet. A DTS-HD Master Audio Mono mix handles the audio more than passably and features a really nice sounding track overall. The audio is crisp and mostly free of any background noise or imperfections.

The Extras
-Audio commentary with director Greydon Clark
-Alternate international cut of the film
-"That Darn Mutant Cat" - An interview with cinematography Nicolas Von Sternberg
-Original Theatrical Trailer

The Bottom Line
I had a lot of fun with UNINVITED and it's motley crew of characters that get slaughtered by this weird mutant cat. If that doesn't sell you on it than nothing will.

UNINVITED is available HERE