Lucio Fulci’s ZOMBIE: 4K, 3 Ways, On the Way in November

ZOMBIE_MP

If I’m not mistakes, we got a load of these posters in the NYC subways as well when the film was initially released in the US. I’d kill for a few to sell off now. Uh, figure of speech, that.

 

Yum. If you’re an old coot like me (or old enough to remember), this pair of TV ads for Lucio Fulci’s horror masterpiece, ZOMBIE. Hey, even though I was 15 at the time, they both kind of sunk into the memory like a… well, like a zombie munching on some fresh brains. I didn’t actually see the film until a few years later thanks to a friend who had it and a bunch of other horror flicks on a VHS tape he’d put together and, yeah, it was worth the wait.

Between the jump scares and general relentlessness when things got going, Tisa Farrow (Mia’s sister) getting it in the eye like Moe Greene, but slower and with a rather pointy piece of wood (ouch), a zombie versus shark scene (no pirates, sorry… but that’s a real shark!), and the classic line delivery early on: “Hey, watch out for the sail!” that kind of starts off this gore-fest in the most comic of manners before things get grim. Yes, there are slow stretches, but the film delivers all the goods when it counts from the icky to the just plain weird (conquistador zombies, ftw!).

 

 

Anyway, the fine folks at Blue Underground and MVD Entertainment Group are releasing not one, not two, but THREE 4K cover variants of the film, newly remastered in 4K and set to crawl your way on November 27, 2018. Actually, there are a whopping SIX variants total when you add in the older 2K BR and DVD versions on the BU site listed here, here, and… wait a sec… HERE. Collect ’em all!

Continue reading

Advertisements

Arrow Video November Releases: No Turkeys Here!

arrow video logoWell, November will be nice and bloody come Turkey Day and into December thanks to these three Arrow Video releases. If you’re not watching the sportsball games on that day, why not plop down on the sofa with some horror flicks to keep your eyes wide open after that high dosage of tryptophan and too much pie you’re eaten?

Here’s a look at what’s on the way:

the-initiaton_av071 THE INITIATION [Blu-ray] (11/8) SRP: $34.95

HERE’S TO BEING YOUNG… STAYING YOUNG… AND DYING YOUNG.

Marking TV star Daphne Zuniga’s debut in a leading role, The Initiation ranks among the finest of the college-based stalk-and-slash flicks – now finally restored in glorious High-Definition!

Kelly’s new sorority has a special initiation ritual in store for her – an after-hours break-in of her father’s department store. But what begins as a night of harmless college fun turns sour when, once inside the enormous mall, Kelly and her fellow pledges find themselves locked in for the night… with a deadly intruder stalking the corridors.

Arriving in 1984, The Initiation might have been late to the slasher party, but, alongside the likes of The House on Sorority Row and The Mutilator, it remains one of the stronger entries to emerge in the latter days of the slice-and-dice boom.

SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS

  • Brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • Uncompressed PCM Mono Audio
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Brand new audio commentary by The Hysteria Continues
  • Sorority Saga – a brand new interview with writer Charles Pratt, Jr.
  • Pledge Night – a brand new interview with actor Christopher Bradley
  • Dream Job – a brand new interview with actress Joy Jones
  • Extended Scene
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Original Screenplay & Production Schedule (BD -ROM Content)
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Justin Osbourn

First pressing only: Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic James Oliver

More below the jump… that’s where they belong, mua-ha-ha-haaaaa…

Continue reading

Blu-Ray/DVD Review: Contamination

Contamination MVD7368BRUp until a few years back, I’d never considered Luigi Cozzi’s sci-fi and fantasy films anything more than hilariously terrible pastiches of far better films. But getting older and mellower has made me take a fresh look and appreciate them a lot more, warts and all. I’m finding that while somewhat hampered by budgetary constraints and packed with some truly laugh-worthy visual effects, there’s an earnestness and respectable amount of passion in them that makes up for most of the inadequacies.

Yes, Star Crash still makes me cringe and the two Hercules films are more overly colorful comic book reworkings gone haywire of classic mythology. But you can clearly feel the director’s intent on making movies from the heart even as they bust your gut from unintentional and intentional laughter.

Contamination, Cozzi’s 1980 gorier “homage” to Ridley Scott’s classic Alien has gotten an excellent Blu-Ray restoration thanks to Arrow Video. Not only do you get a lovely AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer in 1.85.1 widescreen, there’s a great set of old and new interviews with the director and Maurizio Guarini of Goblin (who did the film’s score) as well as a fun look at other Italian genre flicks that swiped ideas from blockbusters. As for the film itself, as I hadn’t seen it for over 30 years, it was certainly a fun and bloody trip down memory lane as well as something of a love letter to New York City where some of the establishing shots were films.
Continue reading

Random Film of the Week(end): Malibu High

Malibu High MP 1979In the storied pantheon of “High school girl goes bad, turns to prostitution and murder to make ends meet, meets end tragically” films, Irvin Berwick’s 1979 exploitation classic Malibu High is probably the “best” of the bunch. Well, I’m not sure “best” is the proper word to use for a film this bizarre, but you genre fans know what I mean.

That cute poster on the left makes it look like a typical pre-80’s sex comedy flick packed with lowbrow laughs. But man, is it oh soooooooo misleading. Yes, there are laughs to be had here and plenty of them. But the film’s general tone straddles the line between parody and interesting attempts to be serious with breathtaking results… Continue reading

ALIEN 35th Anniversary Blu-Ray/DVD: If You’re NEW to This Flick, It’s A Must-Buy…

Alien 35 (Custom)Hmmmm. I’m not sure I need another version of ALIEN for my library, but this 35th anniversary limited edition features a a reprint of the excellent Alien: The Illustrated Story comic and all-new, collectible art cards along with the 1979 original cut and 2001 director’s cut of the film. As this is one of my favorite films of any genre, I’ll probably cave in and pick this up at some point once there’s a price drop just to add it to the other sets I have here.

Yeah, Fox is pretty much jabbing us in the wallet with this one, but the price isn’t bad if you shop around and at least the new extras are different and worth checking out if you have to have EVERY bit of memorabilia. Between this and Alien Isolation arriving on the same day, I have the feeling that a whole new set of fans will be made for this absolute classic sci-fi/horror hybrid. The cranky older fans who think this one’s a double dip with a few bonuses surely won’t be buying this re-re-re-re-release, if my poking around on a few film boards is any indication. Those geezers are just too smug to see that somewhere in the world, someone STILL hasn’t seen ALIEN and yeah, they might be wanting to get this because it’ll be their first time experiencing this still near-perfect film…

ALL THAT JAZZ & All That Jazz You Need To See, Thanks To The Criterion Collection!

Bob Fosse’s 1979 semi-autobiographical musical masterpiece finally gets the Criterion treatment and if you’ve not see it yet (or have and it’s been a while), NOW is, as they say… the TIME. This is one of those one of a kind films that while not exactly an autobiography, is about the director’s own struggles, vices and other issues, cutting very close to the truth of his wild life on many levels. Compare this to the formulaic pap most Hollywood biopics have turned into over the decades and it’s no wonder this one makes plenty of lists of people’s favorite films. Of course, it also made me never want to do more than five things at ones, kept me away from drugs and smoking, so it’s also kicking it as a cautionary tale. Yeah, I’ll get to writing up a Random Film of the Week on this one in a bit – I actually want to see this new transfer to check out how good a job was done on it first. To the backlog you go, Gideon!

Review: DEVO – The Men Who Make The Music/Butch DEVO & The Sundance Gig

MVD6055DFun fact: There are three live performances of “Uncontrollable Urge” on DEVO – The Men Who Make The Music/Butch DEVO & The Sundance Gig from 1978, 1996, and 2003 respectively and both the dynamism and choreography haven’t changed a bit. Granted, the younger DEVO was a slimmer, trimmer band way back when that first LP was released, but the more spud-like shapes of the band-mates doesn’t slow them down one bit when it comes to delivering what’s still one of their most memorable hits.

If you’re new to the band or maybe not so new but haven’t yet seen them live, this set of eyeball and ear searing old stuff will show you DEVO’s originality and rather special craft that’s kept fans around through think and thin. With a new tour and cool crowdfunding project happening, MVD is helping bring these guys to a new audience that needs to listen to something other than the radio-ready junk that sells in lower and lower numbers each year…

MVD Visual has done up a VERY entertaining DVD here that’s a combination of the long out of print 1981 VHS tape (DEVO – The Men Who Make The Music) and a complete 1996 reunion concert given at that year’s Sundance Film Festival along with two bonus DEVO clips from a pair of MVD’s other DEVO video discs. The Men Who Make The Music is a bizarre “documentary” of sorts that combines six 1978 concert tour clips, the two videos from 1976’s “The Truth About De-evolution” and three music videos (from the band’s first LP) as it spools out the story of the band dealing with music industry pressures of the time. In all the weirdness, I’m gathering the band may have been having some issues with Warner Bros. Records trying to control it to some extent… or perhaps this was all done as a send-up of this sort of thing common to the industry. In any event, it’s a hoot to see the young spuds, Booji Boy and General Boy “face off” against Rod Rooter and pretty much not follow his dopey orders to stick with those yellow jumpsuits. Continue reading

Alien Trailer: 20th Century Fox Nails This Throwback Thursday Classic You Should Absolutely Own…

 
I have no idea how many times I’ve seen ALIEN since 1979, but it’s one of my favorite films, period. I’d written about it briefly but never in depth because there have been so many other and better dissections of Ridley Scott’s classic that the only thing I have to offer is SEE IT if you haven’t. The cool thing is it’s been released in so many formats that you can find it almost anywhere for whatever you have that plays legally purchased films. Of course, 20th Century Fox wants you to buy it from them HERE, so feel free to do that if you like. Personally, I’d want to grab the first four films in either the ALIEN Quadrilogy or ALIEN Anthology box sets, but if you just want to be scared out of your wits with the best entry in the franchise, go with the first one.

And yeah, I know it’s Friday, silly. I started this post last night but the internet was hating me at home because it vanished for about an hour or so and it was after midnight by the time it came back from wherever it went.

Mad Max “Much Damage?” Clip: Writers, Here’s How To Introduce Your Hero (#1 of A Bunch)…

So, TCM making more (and better) use of its YouTube page means I get to babble about storytelling for a series of posts about one important part of a good (or even not so good) heroic movie. Forget all about Mel’s more current issues, folks. Back when this film was made, he was cool beans on a fresh plate and Mad Max was to many, his breakthrough role (at least in the USA where action fans got both barrels from this wild ride). This particular clip shows George Miller’s assured direction of always hard to shoot vehicle action and some dynamic camerawork along with excellent use of scoring and sound effects. The opening minute of this scene is pure white-knuckle action, then there’s a pause while Max is introduced and takes over the pursuit, completely changing the tone. The contrast between the Night Rider’s ranting and Max’s slow set-up works and when he breaks the Toecutter in that “chicken” match, you know it’s pretty much all over. Granted, Max goes though some breaking of his own as the film progresses, but I’ll let you catch this on TCM (Saturday, May 3 at 2am ET/Fri, May 2 at 11pm PT) and not spoil a thing if you’re now to this one…

Godzilla Toy Reveal: MTV Makes Itself Relevant Again!

Image: MTV

Image: MTV

“Raaaar! Hi Kids!” is what this new Godzilla seems to be saying with a grin on his mug. Thanks to the fine folks at MTV News, here’s a long and loving first look at the 2014 version of this classic beastie from the upcoming film by director Gareth Edwards.

The figure (coming to you from Jakks Pacific) stands a whooping 23 inches tall and with the added tail length, measures a very respectable 43 inches long. Yikes, there goes the neighborhood indeed in terms of finding a shelf at home to put this hefty plastic monster on. Other than his weird feet and manly-muscly arms, I like the new look of the big guy a lot.

Godzilla_MTV

Image: MTV

It’s also got twelve points of articulation including a mouth that opens and closes (important when pretending to chow down on citizens and scenery) and a tail that swings back and forth (also important for keeping away helicopter-sized bugs and other flying things). This massive monster might seem too scary for the wee ones (it’s made for ages 3+, parents), but we all know that boys (and girls) just ADORE dinosaurs of any size, correct?

Besides, it still can’t top the KING of inappropriate movie licensed toys geared for the wrong age group, Kenner’s 18″ ALIEN figure from 1979. I had one of those babies, boxed and all, but it got swiped by my younger brother and wrecked/tossed out eventually while I was away and I’ve been kicking myself since for not buying a few when Gimbels was closing them out at a song. Ah well… you can’t change the past, people… but you CAN get started on the room-sized diorama you’re going to fit this new HUGE Godzilla in. Good luck on that project!