Monday, November 7, 2016

Movie Reviews Volume: grrrrrrrrrr.

Oooof. I've been away for a while dealing with some lame real life nonsense and it's consumed my time more than I had hoped. I've really been wanting to update this blog more but that's how it goes I guess. At the least I should update the layout here. These Halloween decorations need to come down eventually.

Something I've been wanting to do is discuss some of the movies I've received int he past few weeks. I've come home to some real winners and quite frankly, they've all been winners in one way or the other. So let's start with some fun:



From Mill Creek, you're getting some real contemporary comedy cult classics. I've seen Walk Hard before but I have never see Fired Up, Brothers Solomon or Balls Out. It's a good collection. I must admit, Balls Out didn't generate any laughter from me. Brothers Solomon was just stupid enough for me to laugh and Fired Up may have been my favorite of the four. This is one of those collections I'll rely on to make me feel better when I'm sick. It's a good collection and it does get a recommendation from me, but the next two are even better!




Some good "new classic" horror sets, also from Mill Creek. First a triple feature consisting of I Know What You Did Last Summer, the When A Stranger Calls remake, and Vacancy.  If there's one thing I love about Mill Creek the most, it's the multi packs. I personally love these kind of sets, because they'll contain at least one movie I've never seen before and for me, that was Vacancy. Gotta say, it was kind of boring to me but hey, I also love Miami Connection. But to have these on loop for a Halloween party is a pretty solid idea.

The 4 pack consisting of the first two Hostel and Hollow Man films. I like Hostel. Not as much as I love Saw though, which were always kind of friendly rivals in my mind but I thought Saw was better. That said, I like them enough to want them on my shelf. So to have them on the same set works perfectly for me. Hollow Man was, much like I mentioned previously, a movie I never saw before. Does it hold up? Yes, is it entertaining? Yes. Do I recommend it? Yes. Is this my favorite of the multi-sets? Absolutely.



Also from Mill Creek is the complete series of Sliders. And really, It's Sliders. If you need me to tell whether or not to go out and buy it, you're not thinking. This should already be on your shelf.


Mill Creek gets solid thumbs up from me. They always deliver fun stuff and the above releases are definitely worth the price tag.

From Severin Films comes BURIAL GROUND. An Italian zombie movie that has that claustrophobic feel that really makes you feel helpless.



Well, that's not all. It also features the most bizarre "child" you'll ever see...


Adult actor, Peter Bark, plays Michael, a child who at one point actually tries to kiss his mother and fondles her boobs. Yes. I'm not joking. This movie goes from weird zombie movie to weird incest in no time flat. Holy crow, guys. If you haven't seen this movie, this scene alone will either shock you or make you laugh hysterically.

Oh yes, the features:


 Full Specs:
New restored 2k scan with full shot by shot color correction
English and Italian Language Audio Tracks
Villa Parisi – Legacy of Terror: Featurette on the historic house location
Peter Still Lives: Festival Q&A with actor Peter Bark
Just for the Money: Interview with actor Simone Mattioli
The Smell Of Death: Interviews with Producer Gabriele Crisanti and Actress Mariangela Giordano
Deleted/ Extended Scenes/ Shots
Theatrical Trailer

Huh. Never had a website header actually appear with the text itself. But there you go!


This was one of those weird movies that I couldn't stop watching. The transfer was great, the sound was great and the acting and dialogue was awesomely laughable. It's very entertaining and that's coming from someone who has a hard time getting into zombie movies in general. It's a perfect addition to any collection. Great stuff and even cooler, Chris Ott of London1888 created an awesome pin for this release as well!



Now, let's talk about Arrow Video's releases.

CHUD:

I've never been a fan of CHUD. I just never got into it, I always thought it was kind of boring and lacked an entertaining story or characters. Maybe that's the appeal of this movie. Who knows, that's why people like me love Miami Connection. But, hey a story about mutant sewer people starring Daniel Stern, John Heard and Sam McMurray has to be entertaining, right?

After a solid transfer that really brings out the atmosphere, the special features and the inclusion of the Theatrical Cut, I definitely gained a higher appreciation for this movie. The transfer makes the creatures themselves look cooler, I can actually enjoy the acting and appreciate what's going on in the story. The fact is, no, it's not Citizen Kane, but man is it a lot more fun with a clearer-high definition helps the viewing experience more. Some movies benefit from it's grunginess and this wasn't one of them. Check out the special features:

•Brand new restoration from original film elements
•High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
•Original Uncompressed Mono PCM audio
•Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
•Audio commentary by director Douglas Cheek, writer Shepard Abbott, and actors John Heard, Daniel Stern and Christopher Curry
•Brand new crew interviews
•Original Theatrical Trailer
•Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Dan Mumford
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film


Solid 10/10



The Initiation was a fun movie that I fell in love with upon first viewing. I feel like the "sorority/fraternity horror" of the 80s/90s were pretty enjoyable and this is probably tied with House on Sorority Row as my favorite. It's not just a sorority movie, but it's also got mixtures of intruder movies and "weird dreams" movies that for some reason takes place at a mall at one point. Plus, Daphne Zuniga and Clu Gullager. That alone is worth it. 

Let's check out the features, shall we?

•Brand new restoration from original film elements
•High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
•Original Uncompressed Mono PCM audio
•Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
•Brand new audio commentary by The Hysteria Continues
•Brand new interview with actor Christopher Bradley
•Brand new interview with actress Joy Jones
•Original Theatrical Trailer
•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


Personally, I would have loved to see Daphne Zuniga hop on for an interview or commentary, but really this movie has long needed a bluray release so I can't let that take away from my score. Again, 10/10.





In my opinion, the blu-ray box set release of the year. If you have the money for only one blu-ray set, it should be this.



The late great Herschell Gordon Lewis was a shameless, gruesome and raw director who held NOTHING back in his films. That's what made his movies so fantastic and so appealing. With Gordon, what you see is what you get and all his movies still are talked about to this very day. If you're a fan of horror, you owe it to yourself to pick this up. Most of Herschell's movies have been released before but not with such clarity and packed to the gills with extras.

Now I know what you're thinking. It's a pricey box set. Yes, but you're not gonna own these with perfect picture and sound as well as other features and sweet extras including the following:

LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS (BOTH EDITIONS)
  • Fourteen of the Godfather of Gore’s finest attractions, newly restored from original and best surviving vault materials
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of the features and extras on 7 Blu-ray and 7 DVD discs
  • Additional 2 bonus Blu-rays featuring 1.33:1 versions of Blood Feast, Scum of the Earth, Color Me Blood Red, A Taste of Blood and The Wizard of Gore
  • Additional bonus DVD: Herschell Gordon Lewis: The Godfather of Gore documentary
  • 28-page H.G. Lewis “annual” stuffed full with Lewis-themed activities plus archive promotional material
LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS (SHOCK AND GORE EDITION ONLY)
  • Fully-illustrated 92-page art book featuring the definitive overview of the entire career of H.G. Lewis written by Stephen Thrower, with a brand new foreword by Lewis
  • 160-page paperback of the original Blood Feast novelization, written by Lewis
  • 7” vinyl single featuring select tracks from the Blood Feast score
  • 14 postcards featuring original artwork for all the films included
  • Individually handmade “super gory” eyeball
  • Shock and Gore commemorative barf bag
  • Newly illustrated packaging and books by The Twins of Evil
LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS (FEAST EDITION ONLY)
  • Newly illustrated packaging by The Twins of Evil
  • BLOOD FEAST (1963) + SCUM OF THE EARTH (1963
  • Brand new introduction to the films by director Herschell Gordon Lewis
  • Audio Commentary on Blood Feast with Lewis and producer David F. Friedman
  • Audio Commentary on Scum of the Earth by Friedman
  • Blood Feast Outtakes
  • Blood Perceptions – filmmakers Nicholas McCarthy (The Pact) and Rodney Ascher (Room 237) offer their insight on Blood Feast and the importance of Herschell Gordon Lewis
  • Herschell’s History – archival interview in which Lewis discusses his entry into the film industry including Scum of the Earth
  • How Herschell Found His Nitch – Lewis discusses more of his early work in nudie cuties and the making of The Adventures of Lucky Pierre
  • Archival Interview with Herschell Gordon Lewis and David F. Friedman from 1987
  • Carving Magic (1959) – vintage short featuring Blood Feast’s Bill Kerwin
  • Blood Feast Radio Spot and Trailer
TWO THOUSAND MANIACS! (1964) + MOONSHINE MOUNTAIN (1964)
  • Brand new introduction to the films by director Herschell Gordon Lewis
  • Audio Commentary on Two Thousand Maniacs! with Lewis and producer David F. Friedman
  • Two Thousand Maniacs! Outtakes  
  • Two Thousand Maniacs Can’t Be Wrong – Tim Sullivan (director, 2001 Maniacs) on Two Thousand Maniacs!
  • Hicksploitation: Confidential –  visual essay on the history of the American South’s representation in cinema
  • David Friedman: The Gentlemen’s Smut Peddler – a tribute to the legendary producer featuring Herschell Gordon Lewis, filmmakers Fred Olen Ray, Tim Sullivan and Bob Murawski
  • Herschell’s Art of Advertising – Lewis shares his expert opinion on the art of selling movies and how to hook an audience.
  • Trailers for Two Thousands Maniacs! and Moonshine Mountain
COLOR ME BLOOD RED (1965) + SOMETHING WEIRD (1967)
  • Brand new introduction to the films by director Herschell Gordon Lewis
  • Audio Commentary on Color Me Blood Red with Lewis and producer David F. Friedman
  • Audio Commentary on Something Weird with Lewis and Friedman
  • Color Me Blood Red Outtakes
  • The Art of Madness – visual essay on the recurring motif of mad artists as killers in horror cinema
  • Weirdsville – film Scholar Jeffrey Sconce on Something Weird
  • Lewis on Jimmy, the Boy Wonder, his 1966 children’s musical
  • A Hot Night at the Go Go Lounge! – Lewis’ 1966 dance short
  • Trailers for Color Me Blood Red and Something Weird
THE GRUESOME TWOSOME (1967) + A TASTE OF BLOOD (1967)
  • Brand new introduction to the films by director Herschell Gordon Lewis
  • Audio Commentary on The Gruesome Twosome with Lewis
  • Audio Commentary on A Taste of Blood with Lewis
  • Peaches Christ Flips her Wig! – the San Francisco performer on The Gruesome Twosome
  • It Came From Florida – filmmaker Fred Olen Ray (Scalps) on Florida Filmmaking
  • Herschell vs The Censors – Lewis discusses some of the pitfalls involving local censorship and the lengths to which angry moviegoers tried to stop him
  • Trailers for The Gruesome Twosome and A Taste of Blood
SHE-DEVILS ON WHEELS (1968) + JUST FOR THE HELL OF IT (1968)
  • Brand new introduction to the films by director Herschell Gordon Lewis
  • Audio Commentary on She-Devils on Wheels with Lewis
  • Garage Punk Gore – filmmaker and musician Chris Alexander discusses the films and music of Herschell Gordon Lewis
  • The Shocking Truth! – Bob Murawski on his lifelong love for Herschell Gordon Lewis and what he has learned from Lewis’ films
  • Lewis on his 1968 film The Alley Tramp
  • She-Devils on Wheels Radio Spot  
  • Trailers for She-Devils on Wheels and Just for the Hell of It
HOW TO MAKE A DOLL (1968) + THE WIZARD OF GORE (1970)
  • Brand new introduction to the films by director Herschell Gordon Lewis
  • Audio Commentary on The Wizard of Gore with Lewis
  • Montag Speaks – a brand new interview with Wizard of Gore actor Ray Sager
  • The Gore The Merrier – an interview with Jeremy Kasten, director of the 2007 Wizard of Gore remake
  • The Incredibly Strange Film Show: Herschell Gordon Lewis “The Godfather of Gore” – episode of the Jonathan Ross-hosted documentary series focusing on Lewis’ films, featuring interviews with Lewis, producer David F. Friedman, actor Bill Kerwin, John Waters and more
  • The Wizard of Gore Trailer
THIS STUFF’LL KILL YA! (1971) + THE GORE GORE GIRLS (1972)
  • Brand new introduction to the films by director Herschell Gordon Lewis
  • Audio Commentary on The Gore Gore Girls with Herschell Gordon Lewis
  • Audio Commentary on This Stuff’ll Kill Ya! by camera operator and Lewis biographer Daniel Krogh
  • Regional Bloodshed – filmmakers Joe Swanberg and Spencer Parsons discuss the Midwestern roots and work ethic of Lewis’ output and how The Gore Gore Girls represents the shift into transgressive ’70s cinema that would dominate the American horror landscape
  • Herschell Spills His Guts – Lewis discusses his career post-The Gore Gore Girls, why he left the film industry and his role as a leading figure in the copywriting industry
  • Gore Gore Girls Radio Spot
  • Trailers for This Stuff’ll Kill Ya! and The Gore Gore Girls



Amazing and outrageous just like the man himself. There's no more words I can use to sell this to you. If you're a true gorehound, you owe it to yourself to own this. If I could rate this a 100 out of 10, I would.

Screw it, it's my blog. I can if I want.

100/10.


-Chad

1 comment:

  1. Herschell Gordon Lewis voiced one last horror trailer for indie rockers Sex Clark Five just days before his death. His amazing classic films are available in one set. I'm very excited about this HGL collection.

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