Blu-Ray Review: The Zodiac Killer

Zodiac Killer BR Ha. Way back in 1970 or so, someone should have told newbie director and pizza shop maven Tom Hanson that the Zodiac Killer has a far better chance to be caught alive during a screening of Dirty Harry than dead asleep at Hanson’s eyeball-rolling (yet pretty potent on occasion) The Zodiac Killer. While the film has some genuinely scary moments in replicating some of the more infamous murders, it’s also loaded with chuckle-worthy performances and a couple of hilarious made-up deaths that might have you choking on your popcorn.

Make no mistake, ladies and gents. This isn’t a “great” film by any means. But thanks to AGFA and Something Weird Video, we have a nice 4K restoration that still retains a certain grainy, grimy charm. Well, about as “charming” as you can get in a film explicitly meant to taunt and catch a notorious serial killer.

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Blu-Ray Reviews: A Handful of Arrows for the Holidays

Ho, and Ho-Ho. It’s been quite a year here, but that’s not why I’m here babbling on my keyboard. You need some more movies to watch, I’m sitting on a stack of them that needed to get written up and this post is my way of attempting to get you to spend some of that disposable income you’re trying to hoard in that mattress. Anyway, I see your quiver is half empty there, Robin Hood. Here are six Arrow Video Blu-Rays of note to nab either direct from MVD Entertainment or your favorite video selling emporium. Lock up the kids for most of these because it’s the birds and the bees plus some bloody good and badness going on below.

Requiescant_AV022Requiescant (MSRP: $39.95): Carlo Lizzani’s 1967 spaghetti western (also known as Kill & Pray) gets a ton of mileage from its religiously-raised orphan turned dead-shot gunfighter (Lou Castel), but it’s also working a political agenda that’s somewhat fitting in this current climate of careless Trumpeting. Kicking off with a massacre of border-bound Mexicans (one of whom survives to become Castel’s priest/gunman), the movie switches gears to a rescue mission that doesn’t go exactly as planned before it drops back into weightier territory.

While mostly bloodless and only slightly comical, the film lets Castel carry the picture despite the presence of director Pier Paolo Pasolini in what’s an extended cameo as a revolutionary leader of sorts. He’s got a memorably manly visage, but Castel’s more innocent good looks and his ways with a firearm are going to keep your eyes on him throughout the film. You can choose from Italian or English versions of the film (both impeccable 2K restorations) with two interviews and a trailer rounding out the special features. Like Arrows other westerns released in the US in the past, this one’s a cult classic that comes highly recommended. Continue reading

Blu-Ray Review: Stray Cat Rock: The Collection

Stray Cat Rock_AV008As a slice of Japanese cinema of the early 1970’s, the five films that make up Arrow Video’s Stray Cat Rock Collection make for quite a quintuplet of quickly made flicks influenced by American biker films of the previous decade. Directed by Yasuharu Hasebe and Toshiya Fujita, the films feature the same cast members but are actually mostly unrelated other than in theirĀ thematic elements.

“Youth gone wild!” and “Crime Doesn’t Pay!” seem to be the orders of the day here as the series was created by Nikkatsu to compete with rival Toei’s popular Delinquent Boss films. So there’s male and female gangs, exploitative violence, not as much sex or nudity as you’d think (but it’s certainly there), a bit of slapstick, a random concert and more. While there’s plenty of seedy and salacious content, some of the trailers included advertise the films partially as comedies, which is amusing in and of itself. In other words, some viewers will need to approach this set with a wide open mind because what constitutes “comedy” here might seem a bit humorless or just plain strange outside of its home country. This is a good thing at the end of the day as expanding one’s cinematic horizons is a core reason to watch films you’ve never seen previously.

The overall tone of the films will probably seem scattershot to some viewers used to movies that stick to a certain predictable style from start to finish. For all the raging delinquency, drug use, wild dancing, sex and violence on display there’s also a lot of karmic retribution and negative actions leading to more and worse reactions for some characters. This makes the collection a really intriguing set of films that, warts and all make for some pretty cool “B” movie bliss. As usual, some excellent transfers and nice bonus material round out this Arrow Video release and make it a must for collectors. Continue reading

Shout Factory Thaws Out 1990’s Captain America (And Its Camp Awesomeness)…

I remember seeing this at a convention and being floored at how cheesy some parts were but overall, it being really fun it was to watch. Cap with those wings on his head straight out of the comic book, battling the Red Skull and a bunch of Nazi creeps worked well for what it was, but of course, Marvel buried this budget flick for ages soon afterward. It’s actually not bad at all and LIGHT YEARS better than the terrible TV series that ran for a short time in 1979. Then again, it seems that Cap has gotten better with age in terms of his film and TV appearances. The most recent flick was sheer fun from start to finish and even the video game kinda-sorta based on that flick wasn’t half bad, warts and all. Anyway, if you loved that new Cap flick and want to check out one that’s in the same vein, defintely hit up Shout Factory’s site and grab this comic book flick if you like your heroes imperfect yet still able to put a boot up the butt of the bad guys

Game of Thrones Season 2 DVD/Blu-Ray: In Case You Missed It, Don’t Duck This Time…


 

Thankfully, the fine folks at HBO who get these season sets out KNOW that not everyone likes streaming (or CAN stream) shows they missed, has a DVR or hell, just doesn’t have HBO at home for whatever reason. So yes indeed, if that’s YOU and you’re not watching Season 3 just yet, here you go. Granted, everyone else is laughing at you at this moment, but not too loudly. You’ve seen Season 1 already and KNOW where the pointy end goes… Poke, poke. *Ouch!* Poke, poke, poke… *Ouch, ouch!!*… OK, OK – I wasn’t laughing!

Humor: So, iNetvideo.com Is Having A Sale…

BIG Bunny

 

NotL_long posterBut you could really care less about what iNetvideo.com is selling because you’re looking at the picture above they posted earlier this afternoon on their Facebook page and thinking something along the lines of “MAN, THAT’S A BIG FU@#ING BUNNY!” So let me get you back on track here. Yeah, that’s pretty damn massive lagomorph. Like Night of the Lepus massive. Which just so happens to be on sale at the site as we speak. Wait, now you’re hungry? Oh, you’ve seen that picture above, aren’t vegan at all and ran so fast into the kitchen to measure that turkey pan that you ran over one or more kids and the family pet in the process? Oh, they’ll heal up nicely – just let them cry it out. Besides, that smelly old bottle of Bactine is still in the medicine cabinet behind the big pills you take every morning. “It still stings, so it still works!”, as Grandma says.Or USED to say before she went off the The Big Sky all those years back. Ah, Grandma (*sniff*)…

 

 

Later on, the kids and pet are all snoozy and healed up, things are quiet and you’re absolutely stuffed full of rabbit photo. All is right in the world… until you realize that it’s NOT Bactine at all you sprayed everyone with, but some of Gammy Gam-Gam’s SPECIAL medicine she made in the bathtub from some old potatoes and onions, eleven garlic bulbs, a can of Sterno and some grain alcohol she gets from the guys down the hall. Yeah, the ones who wear overalls and long johns all summer. Er, a little of that goes a long way and yeah, you’ll end up calling a mere sip The Time Machine because you always wake up afterwards and it’s another day that’s passed you’ve forgotten all about. Horror Express, indeed…