Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Emmanuelle (1974) coming soon to DVD

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

On April 23rd, Optimum UK are releasing the classic Emmanuelle – the “original” soft-core porn film, onto DVD. Not currently available on English language DVD, and previously censored in the UK, the film is being released fully uncut and includes a new 30 minute interview with director Just Jaeckin and the film’s producer, as well as the original French trailer.

The film is presented in anamorphic 1.66:1 ratio and retains the soft-focus feel of the original print with a good transfer. Sadly, only the English language dub track is provided, instead of the more subtle French language track that was included on the earlier Anchor Bay US release of the film.

A full review of this film, and many of its contemporaries will follow closer to the release date.

The People that Time Forgot (1977) mini-review

Sunday, February 18th, 2007

People that Time Forgot

The People that Time Forgot (1977) was the direct sequel to the late Amicus adventure film The Land that Time Forgot (1975) and based on the book of the same name by American author Edgar Rice Burroughs.

It tells of an expedition, lead by Major Ben McBride (Patrick Wayne), thats set out to track down Bowen Tyler (Doug McClure) who was left trapped on the lost island at the end of the first film, and had put his journal and a description into a canister and thrown it into the sea. A group set out in a plane to fly over the island to look for signs of Tyler, but they are attacked by a flying creature, and forced to ditch. Three of the group head off and meet a native woman who was taught by Tyler, and tells them that he has been captured by the island’s most advanced tribe…..

The People that Time Forgot is far more exciting and enjoyable than the first film, with some a gripping storyline – unfortunately the pacing does seem very off in places, so we get some very long human vs. dinosaur sequences that really drag the film out, while some of the key plot points are hurried over. Burrough’s notions of metamorphosis and evolution that were briefly described in the first film, are simply overlooked here. Filmed on location in the Canary Islands, the film does look very good, and the advanced tribe with their pseudo-feudal-Japanese costumes are very sinister as is their mountain lair, although the soundtrack is rather sparse, certainly not as effective as the strange Mike Vickers score for At the Earth’s Core (1976).

There is an interesting mix of cast present. Patrick Wayne (who looks a lot like a young Terence Hill!) is well cast as the hero, while frequent Hammer star Thorley Walters plays well as the eccentric scientist (although they cannot recreate the superb double-bill of McClure and Cushing in Earth’s Core). Doug McClure himself gets little more than an extended cameo, but is obviously putting in some good effort. A duo of pretty girls, the very attractive Sarah Douglas and the amazingly scantily clad Dana Gillespie, look good in their roles, while the rest of the cast put on good shows – look out for several bit part Star Wars (1977) actors, and the big man, David Prowse in a small role.

An entertaining, if rather simple script, some good looking, if rather poorly paced direction and a generally solid cast make this an above average family friendly adventure film that comes recommended (although watch The Land that Time Forgot (1975) first to make more sense of it all).

The film is available on good looking DVDs in the UK/Europe and the USA from MGM. IMDB. DVD Rewind. Look out for a full DVD review later this year.

Mario Bava Collection…

Thursday, February 8th, 2007

5 of Mario Bava‘s classic movies are coming back to DVD thanks to Anchor Bay USA, including the DVD debuts of the AIP American theatrical edits for Black Sunday, Girl Who Knew too Much and Black Sabbath, which extended to completely new footage and soundtracks. All the films include trailers, and with the notable exception of Black Sunday, include subtitled Italian tracks – there are audio commentaries and interviews as well!
ABUS are also releasing Bava’s grim kidnapping movie Rabid Dogs (1974), along with the new re-edit known as Kidnapped. The boxset and this release are both due on the 3rd April.
Loads more details on the Upcoming Page.

Vampyros Lesbos (1970) mini-review

Sunday, February 4th, 2007

One of the best films from Jess Franco’s tragically short lived union with actress Soledad Miranda, Vampyros Lesbos is a bizarre female twist on the Dracula tale, even down to a female Renfield. Very sedately paced, with a lot of strange imagery coupled with some surreal jazz, the film is certainly not for all, but is recommended to Franco fans. Alongside the beautiful Miranda, Franco regulars Dennis Price and Paul Muller have parts to play, with Franco himself in one the strangest roles in the film.

The British DVD from Second Sight is very impressive, using a newly restored print and including a subtitled German soundtrack (the same as the Image R1 DVD). A still photo gallery includes some interesting shots of scenes that seemingly never made it into the film.

Editor’s note – this is the first mini-review for this blog. For films that I either do not have time to review, or plan to review fully in the future, I will post these mini-reviews, exclusive to this blog. They will not be publicised elsewhere, so keep watching the blog, or subscribe to the RSS feed so as not to miss any! In this case, I have not given the film the full Mondo Esoterica treatment, because I will be compiling reviews for a complete Soledad Miranda week later this year, including of all the released films that she shot for Franco – so stay tuned for that.

New upcoming titles, and a new look upcoming page…

Monday, January 22nd, 2007

We’ve got news on new upcoming titles from Dark Sky Films and Mondo Macabro and a new look upcoming titles page that I’ll be keeping updated with all the latest news (and rumours) from the cult DVD world.

More Franco from Severin…

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

Now here’s some more good news – Severin Films have just confirmed their April release will be this very exciting duo of Jess Franco’s 1980s works. After their very nice looking previous DVDs, these two will hopefully be highly recommended purchases for all Franco and euro-cult fans.

Details on these discs, plus the rest of Severin’s catalogue on our Upcoming Pages.

A great October for classic Horror fans…

Monday, July 24th, 2006

Well, this October is shaping up to be a good-one for fans of horror cinema. Firstly Universal are bringing out the Boris Karloff Collection with three of the missing Universal Horror pictures, plus some lesser known 1950s titles. The Inner Sanctum boxset also fills a gap in our collections. However, the lack of bonus features in these two sets is rather disappointing, instead Universal are release a duo of feature laden re-releases: Dracula (1931) and Frankenstein (1931). WB followed suit with the Hollywood Legends of Horror Collection that looks set to fill a lot of gaps, with audio commentaries for 5 of the 6 films and original trailers for them all. The latest announcement is from Columbia/Sony for a 4 film Karloff Collection and we are waiting on a list of features to be included.

It was recently announced that a collection of the Studio Canal owned Hammer Horror films will be released as part of a Hammer Ultimate Boxset in the UK, and we are waiting very excitedly on any news on whether this set will include new prints of these films, and any bonus features. October also marks the start of the Spanish Horror Collection, some exciting movies from the 1970s with Paul Naschy and more.
These releases look set to fill a lot of gaps in our collections, filled until now with bootlegs and VHS prints. We’ve got a new Upcoming DVDs section here at Mondo Esoterica and we’re going to keep you updated on all the latest news on these and other new cult DVD releases there.