Archive for the ‘DVD Reviews’ Category

Cannibal Terror (1981)

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

Released this week is Cannibal Terror from Severin.

Severin have built up a very strong reputation for releasing seriously obscure films on seriously good looking discs and this is no exception. Unfortunately there is a reason most of these films are obscure and that is that they are simply not very good. In this case a cannibal movie with only a couple of gore scenes and clearly filmed in a Spanish forest rather than a jungle.

Still, fans of the genre might well enjoy and there are many many worse films out there – Cannibal Terror

Grindhouse Trailer Classics 2

Monday, September 8th, 2008

Trailers are always a favourite of mine, and the Grindhouse era saw some of the most enjoyable and original trailers being created as producers desperately tried to make it clear to the drink and drug addled audience that their film would have more blood, breasts and/or explosions than the last one.

Put simply, this is a collection of 55 of the best of these trailers and is very enjoyable. Read the review then place an order -  it comes out tomorrow (ie. in about 7 hours…)

Sergio Corbucci Retrospective

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

Its a special week of Spaghetti Westerns this week as we look at the career of one of the genre’s real legends, Sergio Corbucci

I’ve got three all new reviews:

Hellbenders (1967)

Navajo Joe (1966) – released next week in the UK by Optimum

The White, The Yellow and the Black (1975)

Plus, the Sergio Corbucci page has had an update – and I’ve updated all five of the other reviews, including an almost completely new review of Django and The Great Silence.

Two plates of Spaghetti…

Saturday, August 16th, 2008

Two more reviews from Optimum’s upcoming Western Classics collection (due in September), and this time they are both Westerns and of the Italian variety:

Man of the East (1972) – a light hearted Terence Hill film sees him playing a post Englishman sent to the Old West by his father to be made into a man. The script needed a little tweaking but Hill is always enjoyable and this is recommended to his fans. The film is not yet released in the US but available from Scandinavia and the Netherlands, and rumoured to be due from Koch Media in Germany later this year.

The Hills Run Red (1966) – a more serious Western from the genre’s boom year, this has not the most original storyline but the script is solid as is the direction while Henry Silva gives an outstanding performance. Previously released in the US on an identical DVD.

Legend of the Lost (1957) coming to DVD 8th Sept

Sunday, August 10th, 2008

A lesser known John Wayne Sahara desert adventure is bafflingly the first release from Optimum’s Western Classics line… Still the film itself is enjoyable – provided you don’t expect any action – and Sophia Loren is always worth watching.

Check out the full review of Legend of the Lost
We’ll be reviewing more from this collection throughout August.

Euro-War!

Monday, July 28th, 2008

Newly released by Severin is that most long awaited Eurocult DVD – Inglorious Bastards, unquestionably the most over-the-top and enjoyable war film ever made. With a three disc edition, Severin have really pulled out all of the stops for what is, so far, the best DVD of the year. See the full review for more details and then go buy this DVD!

The Eurowar film was one of the more minor Eurocult genres and is very poorly served on DVD. Since a lot of people are likely to be hungry for more I thought I’d also take a look at the only other non-PD Eurowar DVD to be released in the US, the Wild East double bill of Churchill’s Leopards and Salt in the Wound – neither is sadly an all out action-fest like Bastards but both are pretty enjoyable and for the right price this two-fer is worth picking up.

Stanley Baker

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

Born in Wales in 1928, Stanley Baker grew up to become one of Britain’s best loved actors but his career declined and he died tragically young in 1976.

We pay tribute this week to this most manly of British actors with a complete new Stanley Baker biography which includes four new film and DVD reviews.

This includes Robbery (1967) – produced by and starring Baker, retelling the story of the Great Train Robbery. It is released next Monday in the UK by Optimum, the first DVD release of the film. We’ve got a first peak at the good quality (but sadly open-matte) release.

Papaya: Love Godess of the Cannibals (1978)

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

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What Mondo Macabro started, it looks like Severin have taken over – releasing really obscure European films, with great looking prints. From Joe D’Amato, Papaya (1978) has only previously been released on DVD by X-rated Kult in Germany and without any English options. As usual Severin’s release looks amazing.

The film is a rather minor affair, the slow pacing will put some off but there is quite a bit to see (of Sirpa Lane in particular!) and D’Amato shows off his directoral talents in a way he is rarely credited for. Not a film for everyone, but if you don’t mind slow pacing and a couple of rather gruesome gore scenes (pigs guts anyone?) then this will be worth picking up.

Papaya: Love Godess of the Cannibals

Icons of Adventure

Saturday, June 21st, 2008

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During their three decades of production, Hammer’s films were distributed by a number of different companies, and the rights to the DVD releases of these films generally remain with these firms. The Columbia Hammer titles have become the most sought after and for years the company saw no interest in releasing any of their titles aside from Revenge of Frankenstein.

Fortunately that policy seems to have changed with the release of the Icons of Adventure boxset containing three all new to DVD Hammer adventure films, and a re-release of ‘Devil-Ship Pirates’ with a beautiful new transfer. In yet more good news Sony today announced that a horror set will follow later in the year including Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll, The Gorgon, Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb and Scream of Fear.

I’ve got an all new review of the three new films in the box, plus an updated review of Devil-Ship Pirates – take a read at: Icons of Adventure

Theatre of Blood (1973) / Madhouse (1974)

Friday, June 6th, 2008

The early 1970s saw the decline of the gothic horror film in the face of graphic new modern horror films. Production companies desperately tried to alter their styles but keep the same formats. This MGM double-film set shows how it was possible to do it well, and do it wrong.

Starring Peter Cushing and Vincent Price, and a co-production of AIP and Amicus, Madhouse should be great, with a storyline about death on horror film sets – however the storyline is only good for about 45 minutes and the rest of the film is useless padding with loads of extra subplots that really detract. Not recommended.

In contrast, the independent British film Theatre of Blood (1973) seems at first to be nothing more than a Dr. Phibes rip-off, but thanks to an original and highly literate script, and an amazing cast of British character actors it is really enjoyable and recommended.