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19 January 2018

Redemption Films avenges THE DIABOLICAL DR. Z (review)

Jess Franco put yet another spin on his Dr. Orloff saga with this tale of a devoted daughter who avenges her professor father's death on the doctors who ridiculed his theories by brainwashing a nightclub performer named Miss Death and sending her out to seduce and kill.

REVIEW LINK: Redemption Films/Kino Lorber (US) Region A Blu-ray (DVD Drive-in)

THE DIABOLICAL DR. Z Blu-ray specs:
  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 widescreen
  • English and French LPCM 2.0 mono
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by film historian Tim Lucas
  • Theatrical Trailer

Arrow Academy seeks THE WITCHES (review)

Dino De Laurentiis hired a roster of famous Italian directors and an all-star cast for this anthology film showcasing the talents of his wife Silvana Mangano, the former Miss Rome.  She plays a glamorous actress, a flighty socialite, a Sicilian belle, a deaf-mute, and a bored housewife to nerdy Clint Eastwood in five stories by Luchino Visconti, Mauro Bolognini, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Franco Rossi, and Vittorio de Sica.

REVIEW LINK: Arrow Academy (US) Region ALL Blu-ray (DVD Drive-in)

THE WITCHES Blu-ray specs:
  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 widescreen
  • Italian DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 mono
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by film historian Tim Lucas
  • Alternate English-dubbed Version with English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 mono audio and optional English SDH subtitles
  • Reversible Cover featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: illustrated collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Pasquale Iannone and Kat Ellinger

Arrow Video investigates PHENOMENA (review)

A vicious killer is stalking girls at a Swiss boarding school.  The police are baffled but an entomologist and a girl who has discovered she can communicate with insects may be able to find the killer if he does not get to them first.  Jennifer Connelly and Donald Pleasance star in Dario Argento's horror/thriller hybrid.

REVIEW LINK: Arrow Video (UK) Region B Blu-ray (DVD Drive-in)

PHENOMENA Blu-ray specs:
  • 4K restoration of the long Italian cut
  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 widescreen
  • Italian and hybrid English/Italian audio tracks, both in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and LPCM 2.0 stereo
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by film historian Troy Howarth
  • "Of Flies and Maggots" two hour featurette with Dario Argento and other surviving cast and crew
  • English Theatrical Trailer
  • Italian Theatrical Trailer
  • Music Video directed by Dario Argento
  • Japanese Pressbook
  • Reversible Cover

16 January 2018

Montage Pictures envisions a NEW WORLD (review)

An undercover cop has risen through the ranks of a Korean gang over ten years hoping to retire when the corrupt chairman is murdered, but his cop handlers hope to use him to manipulate the outcome of the election of the chairman's successor between a flamboyant Chinese gangster and an arrogant Korean gangster, both violent and uncontrollable in this Korean thriller from the maker of THE TIGER.

REVIEW LINK: Montage Pictures/Eureka Video (UK) Region B Blu-ray/Region 2 NTSC DVD (DVDCompare)

NEW WORLD Blu-ray/DVD combo specs:
  • Blu-ray:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.40:1 widescreen
    • Korean DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and LPCM 2.0 Stereo
  • DVD:
    • 16:9 anamorphic 2.40:1 widescreen
    • Korean Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 stereo
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Previews

15 January 2018

Second Sight and THE COLOUR OF POMEGRANATES (review)

Long unseen in its original version, Sergei Parajanov's THE COLOUR OF POMEGRANATES charts the life of poet and troubador Sayat Nova through his birth, childhood, his ill-fated love of a princess, his ordination into the Armenian Christian church, and his execution by the invading Persian army in a series of wildy experimental and highly visual tableau that visualize the poet's inner world.

REVIEW LINK: Second Sight (UK) Region B Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

  • Disc One:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.37:1 pillarboxed fullscreen transfers of the restored Armenian version (79 minutes) and the Russian recut version (72 minutes)
    • Georgian/Armenian LPCM 2.0 mono
    • Optional English subtitles
    • Annotated Subtitle Commentary by academic James Steffens on the Armenian Version
    • Audio Commentary by cultural anthropologist Levon Abrahamyan on the Russian Version
  • Disc Two:
    • Sergei Parajanov's short film "Kiev Frescoes" (with optional annotated subtitle commentary by Daniel Bird)
    • "Poetry, Pomegranates and Parajanov" visual essay by Daniel Bird
    • "Pomegranates Rediscovered" Cecilia Penciarelli of Bologna Cineteca on the multi-national efort to save the film
    • "Free Parajnov!" Tony Rayns on the campaign to free Parajanov
    • "The World is a Window: The Making of the Colour of Pomegranates" documentary (76 minuts)
    • "Memories About Sayat Nova" Levon Grigoryan's documentary feature extracts from the rushes
    • "Parajanov: A Requiem" documentary (59 minutes)
  • Limited edition featuring a 114-page book featuring Martin Scorcese introduction, archive material, new writings, costume designs, storyboards and original literary script

14 January 2018

Second Run roasts THE CREMATOR (review)

Juraj Herz's alternately chilling and absurd THE CREMATOR, Kopfrkingl takes great pride in his work and espouses the virtues of cremation to potential customers.  As the influence of the Nazi party begins to seep into Czech society, the increasingly unhinged master cremator may finally find appreciation for his skills and his craft.

REVIEW LINK: Second Run DVD (UK) Region ALL Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

THE CREMATOR Blu-ray specs:
  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 widescreen
  • Czech LPCM 2.0 mono
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by Diabolique magazine's Kat Ellinger
  • The Proejction Booth Podcast with Mike White and Samm Deighan on the film
  • Short Film "The Junk Shop"
  • Introduction by The Quay Brothers
  • 16-page booklet with an essay by Daniel Bird

13 January 2018

Well Go USA pursues THE ADVENTURERS (review)

Andy Lau and Jean Reno star as master thief and relentless detective in this heist flick that takes a trio of thieves across Europe in search of three jewels that together make up a priceless treasure.

REVIEW LINK: Well Go USA (US) Region A Blu-ray/Region 1 NTSC DVD (DVDCompare)

THE ADVENTURERS Blu-ray/DVD combo specs:
  • Blu-ray:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.40:1 widescreen
    • Mandarin/English/Russian DTS:X and Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
  • DVD:
    • 16:9 anamorphic 2.40:1 widescreen
    • Mandarin/English/Russian Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 stereo
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Making-of Featurettes
  • Trailer
  • Previews
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