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Mon
03
Jan

See the Dark Side of italian Cinema with Arrow Video's Giallo Essentials

Giallo Essentials

Arrow Video presents another installment of its Giallo Essentials series with three suspense-filled Italian films, beautifully packaged in this stunning yellow slipcase box set.

Riding high from the praises of the previous RED Giallo Essentials set, Arrow bumped the packaging up a notch and added a few more well-known titles to this one, as well as giving the slipcase an outer sleeve that showcases key scenes from each of the films contained.

In Massimo Dallamano’s What Have They Done to Your Daughters? (1974), Inspector Silvestri (Claudio Cassinelli) and rookie Assistant District Attorney Vittoria Stori (Giovanna Ralli) investigate the apparent suicide of a teenage girl, leading them to a sordid prostitution ring whose abusers occupy the highest echelons of Italian society.

Featuring:

Tue
28
Dec

The First Hot Stepmom Movie Finally Comes to Blu-Ray: My Stepmother is an Alien

My Stepmother is an Alien

Dan Aykroyd, Kim Basinger, Jon Lovitz, and Alyson Hannigan star in Richard Benjamin’s offbeat 1988 comedy My Stepmother is an Alien, which is finally getting a long-overdue Blu-ray release in January 2022.

Panned by critics for casting Dan Aykroyd in a romantic lead, the movie failed horribly at the box office, grossing only $13.8 million dollars of its $19-million-dollar budget. Only after it was released on home video did it find an audience (mainly young teenage boys looking to catch a glimpse of the young starlet, Kim Basinger, in her alien birthday suit).

Tue
14
Dec

The Waltons: Homecoming Plays it Safe for Holiday Special

The Waltons: Homecoming (2021)

In the 1970s, America grew nostalgic for, of all things, the Great Depression. And so they sat down in droves in front of their TV screens to watch the weekly adventures of The Waltons, a close-knit nuclear family of eight (not counting the grandparents) who lived on Walton's Mountain. And while the series was about the entire family, the central focus was driven by the narratory -- the future version of aspiring author, John Boy Walton, who was played by Richard Thomas.

Thomas puts in an appearance in this new release, The Waltons: Homecoming, a brand-new Christmas story that introduces the Walton family to a new generation. And while the cast is brand new, by necessity, the casting department and the acting performances really brings the original characters to fresh life without despoiling too much the versions that older audiences know and love.

Fri
10
Dec

Rick and Morty Fifth Season Gets Steelbook Release

Rick and Morty Season 5 Steelbook Blu-ray

I'm an animation snob. I grew up in an era when cartoonists hand-drew twenty-four frames  on celluloid to produce one second of movement, with attention given to background and basic anatomy. As the styles trended more toward the CalArts method of bean-mouthed strobe-animated characters, I felt no compunction in shunning these new shows, shows like Steven Universe, The Regular Show, and others. And while Rick and Morty didn't have quite the same lazy approach to visuals, a sort of 'guilt by association' rubbed off on it, such that my first real, true, sit-down-and-watch exposure of it came with the opportunity to review this fifth season steelbook Blu-ray collection.

Rick Sanchez is a world-weary, cynical old man who's seen it all and done it all -- on this planet and every other. He's invented science miracle devices just to see what they would do and what kind of adventures he could have with them.

Fri
10
Dec

After 25 Years, Beavis and Butt-Head Do America on Blu-ray

Beavis and Butt-Head Do America BD

Twenty-five years ago, two animated heavy-metal morons played baseball with a frog -- and MTV was off to the races in becoming more than just a music channel. The hyperactive Beavis and his dim-witted pal Butt-Head were virtual music jockeys of a sort, sitting on their couch and watching videos on their dilapidated television while offering commentary on why it was cool or why it sucked. And when they weren't doing that, they were idiotically destroying Mr. Anderson's lawn or forgetting how to pee.

Eventually, Mike Judge's creations went the path of all cultural phenomenons: the feature-length film. Beavis and Butt-Head Do America finds our heroes on a cross-country tour, kicked off by a misunderstanding. Muddy Grimes (voiced by Bruce Willis) is looking for someone to kill his wife, Dallas (Demi Moore). Mistaking the duo (who are in search of their stolen television) for the hitmen, Muddy sends Beavis and Butt-Head to Los Vegas, telling them to "do her" there.

Mon
06
Dec

Paramount releases Addams Family on Blu-ray, Short of 30th Anniversary

Addams Family Blu-ray

Barry Sonnenfeld's The Addams Family movie could not have had a better cast. While I had (at the time of it's 1993 release) doubts about the casting of Raul Julia as Gomez Addams, I was pleasantly surprised at the way he handled the role made iconic by the manic John Astin. Meanwhile, Anjelica Huston, Christopher Lloyd, Judith Malina, Carely Struycken, Christina Ricci, and Jimmy Workman all seemed to have been born for their Addams Family roles of Morticia, Fester, Granny, Lurch, and siblings Wednesday and Pugsley Addams. The big screen debut of Charles Addams's creepy, kooky characters was, visually, a success.

Tue
30
Nov

DC's Legends of Tomorrow Embrace Sitcom Status with Season Six

Legends of Tomorrow Season 6 Blu-ray

The sixth season of CW's time-travel farce DC's Legends of Tomorrow finds the storyline leaning more and more heavily into super-sitcom. The show has veered far off course from the premise of a team of expendable superheroes out to save the timeline to being a team of layabouts, some of whom have a superpower when they remember it, and John Constantine, who of all people fits into the team like a round peg into a square hole -- if the round peg were the diameter of Jupiter and the square hole was the opening to a breadbox. But hey, it gives us more Matt Ryan as the character, so there's that.

Sat
27
Nov

Snowpiercer Second Season Adds Betrayal, Murder, and Sadism

Snowpiercer Season 2

In a world where temperatures have dropped to hundreds of degrees below freezing, the last remnants of humanity remain alive aboard a passenger train that runs on a perpetual motion device, generating the heat and power needed to continue running. The train, Snowpiercer, was the brainchild of Joseph Wilford, who it was revealed in the first season did not make it aboard the train before engineer Melanie Cavill (jennifer Connelly) made the decision to close the doors and pull out of the station, leaving behind to die those who did not have a ticket or who did not otherwise get on board -- including her young daughter.

Thu
25
Nov

America's Favorite Zombie Officer Returns on 4K with Blue Underground's Maniac Cop II and III

Maniac Cop II & III

In 1988 William Lustig directed the film Maniac Cop, written by Larry Cohen, which received lackluster reviews and box office revenues at the time. But later, when released onto the home video markets, the film became a cult classic, spawning two follow up sequels which have recently made their way to a 4K release.

Two years after the first film, Lustig reassembled the cast to create Maniac Cop 2, again written by Larry Cohen and starring Robert Davi, Claudia Christian, Michael Lerner, and Bruce Campbell, with Robert Z'Dar returning as the baddie in blue.

Maniac Cop 2, which many see as an improvement on the first tale, is full of murderous mayhem, jump scares, and strippers, and continues the story of our undead detective on his mission of revenge and cleaning the streets of crime, leaving them washed red with blood.

Mon
22
Nov

Arrow Video Brings the Films of William Grefé Out of the Swamp and Into Your Home

He Came from the Swamp

If Ed Wood had lived in the bayous of Florida and dreamed of making films, his name would be William Grefé. Arrow Video collects Grefé’s exploitation films in this one spectacular box set which serves as a one stop shop to the mind behind the madness that is William Grefé.

First up from 1965 is Sting of Death, a Beach Blanket Bingo style horror tale that brings rock-and-roll obsessed teenagers face to face with a creature that dwells in the swamp and drowns as many as he can.

The 1966 horror film Death Curse of Tartu is the next feature, and it is a tale of an archaeology professor gone missing. His students take on the task of locating him, starting with the last place he was seen: an area infested with alligators, snakes, and a shapeshifting witch doctor.

Mon
15
Nov

Revenge Best Served in High Definition: "I Spit on Your Grave" Comes to 4K

I Spit on Your Grave 4K

The 1978 film I Spit on Your Grave has been talked about since the film’s creation; and now, 43 years later, Jennifer gets her revenge again in ultra-gory, High Definition, in-your-face 4K!

However, it does need to be said: “Just how many versions, cuts, and different pressings of this film do you really need?”  The answer is: just this one. Ronin Films has given us the definitive edition this year with this brand new 4K, and brings all the special features from the previous editions along for the blood-soaked ride.

Thu
11
Nov

The Concubine on DVD

Concubine

Although filmed in 2012, The Concubine is getting a new DVD release after its leading lady helped Parasite soar to the Oscars in 2020.

The plot is difficult to follow, and superficially might appeal to viewers who think, "Gosh, it's been a long time since they've made a film like Caligula."  There's a lot of uncomfortable sex in this, along with more eunuch-making than you can swing a jian at (as well as a glimpse as to how things look once one has transitioned to such a position).

Tue
09
Nov

Kung Fu Only Feels Like a CW Arrowverse Series

Kung Fu Season 1 BD

Billed as a reboot to the 1970s western series starring David Carradine, CW's Kung Fu bears little resemblance beyond the name. The tale is set in current year, and gets rolling when young Nicky Shen (Olivia Liang) discovers the real reason her mother sent her from San Francisco to China was to introduce her to someone who was husband material. Ducking out and hiding in the back of a truck, Nicky finds herself hiding out at a Shaolin monastery overseen by Pei-Ling Zhang (Kheng Hua Tan). Something about the training Nicky sees speaks to her, and she stays with the monastery for three years, only returning to San Fransciso after the temple is attacked and destroyed by Zhilan (Yvonne Chapman) who comes seeking a sword hidden there -- one of eight weapons of power that, when united, will make the bearer unstoppable.

Sun
07
Nov

Candyman Comes for White Gentrifiers

Candyman 2021

The original Candyman film starring Tony Todd was an outstanding entry into the horror/slasher genre of film. In a field that was overwhelmingly populated by white slashers (Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, Leatherface, Freddy Krueger), Candyman took the urban legends of Bloody Mary (where saying the name so many times in a mirror summons the spirit of the killer) and created a supernatural urban nightmare.

In Nia DaCosta's 2021 remake, written by DaCosta with Jordan Peele and Win Rosenfeld, Candyman is a role -- an inner city juju cast upon the next avatar of Candyman for the purpose of avenging wrongs done to the black community over centuries. Like a red shirt on a Star Trek away team, if you wear a blue shirt and a badge in this film, you're going to die. You're not only a target of Candyman's wrath but you also demonstrate (bluntly) that you deserve it. Yes, the film is that woke.

Fri
05
Nov

Scream (or So This Really Launched a Franchise?)

Scream on Blu-ray

Everyone's seen the "ghost face" mask popularized by the Scream movie franchise. And even though I've seen my share of horror films, I'm not by any means an expert. In fact, until sitting down to do this review, Scream was one of those movies that never had the opportunity to cross my path. So I'm going into it as a virgin -- that means I'm safe, right? According to the rules?

Fri
05
Nov

Yes, It's Been 25 Years Since Superman: The Animated Series

Superman Animated Series

Perhaps one is officially old when the best versions of their favorite things date back beyond twenty years. I was pleased to find that Superman: The Animated Series was getting a Blu-ray collection of all three seasons. But I did blink at the fact that it had been twenty-five years -- a whole quarter-century -- since the show had debuted on television. And while Superman hasn't really been away from the animated theater, this particular incarnation, a by-product of the success of Batman: The Animated Series, was a show that understood the character, what he was about, and was able to tell engrossing stories that challenged the hero.

Fri
29
Oct

These Monsters Have Universal Appeal in More Ways Than One!

Universal Classic Monsters 4K collection

Halloween is when the monsters all come out. And while recent years have brought us scary slashers like Freddy and Jason, or deceptively cute killer creatures like Gremlins, Critters, or Creepsters, the foundations of fright will always be the Universal Monsters -- those monsters from classic literature brought to life on the silver screen by Universal Pictures.

Wed
27
Oct

Superman and Lois Turn Smallville into Riverdale (Season One Blu-Ray)

Superman and Lois S1 BD

Superhero fans have been largely accepting of the latest CW series, Superman and Lois. And while there have been those all-too-brief, bright and shining moments (that introduction scene of Superman in his Golden Age outfit is insurpassable!), I'm too much of a Superman fan to fully fall in love with this series. And I'll tell you why.

Mon
25
Oct

Time Passes Quickly -- But Drags for the Audience -- in Shyamalan's Old

Old on Blu-ray

Based on the graphic novel Sandcastle by Frederik Peeters, this latest venture from M. Night Shyamalan is built around the idea of an isolated beach where time advances at an accelerated rate. Anyone attempting to leave suffers mysterious blackouts and winds back up on the beach, although how they get there is never explained.

Shyamalan successfully blends the relativistic passages of time for the audience. I for one know I felt I had aged 40 years by the time this film was over.

Mon
18
Oct

Bloody Violence Permeates Injustice When Superman Driven to Kill

Over the years in comics we've seen various alternate storylines that have explored the DC universe should Superman have held different values other than truth, justice and the American way (which anyone can now say, since there's no trademark on it). We've seen him raised in Communist Russia, seen him raised in Nazi Germany, even seen him raied by African gorillas, all under different Elseworlds titles.

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