Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Updates for Midnight Releasing's Demon and Night of the Naked Dead on Dec. 3

Demon Link:  Demon
Night of the Naked Dead Link:  Naked Dead

Director Rob Walker’s Demon, a tightly crafted homage to ‘50s creature features, will be heading to DVD as a Brain Damage Films production from Midnight Releasing on Dec. 3.

The oh so sexy Jasmine Waltz (Lost Angeles, Cheerleader Massacre 2) stars as FBI Special Agent Nicole Diaz, who is assigned to the backwater Florida hamlet of Oro Negro — more or less as punishment for some backstory transgressions — to investigate a series of blood-draining murders.   

On the surface it seems like a demented serial killer, but what she finds is that there is some strange secret government science project that has run amok … it, a creature designed for combat, lives and hunts for just one thing — human BLOOD!

Midnight Releasing has targeted the first street date Tuesday of December (Dec. 3) as the DVD debut date for writer/direct Junius Podrug’s atmospheric horror tale, Night of the Naked Dead.

A raging storm, a mismatched couple — Emma (Emma Gruttadauria) and David (Joshua Koopman) trapped in a remote creepy Cape Code house and the sudden arrival of eerie strangers made for a night filled with terror … and the ultimate fight for survival.

VCI Entertainment Announces Jerry Warren Collection For A DVD Salute On Dec. 10

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
For film buffs the names of “Jungle” Sam Katzman, Ed Wood and Jerry Warren are synonymous with films produced on a shoestring that have risen to cult status over the years.   

Katzman once boasted that if you gave him 20 minutes worth of stock jungle footage (monkeys, lions, elephants, crocodiles, etc.) he could quickly spin it into a feature length hit … and there were quite a few, including The Ape Man (with Bela Lugosi), Jungle Raiders (Kane Richmond, with Carol Hughes as Zara, the High Priestess), Jungle Jim (starring both Johnny Weissmuller and George Reeves), etc.

Ed Wood, well, what can you say!   He has been acclaimed as the worst filmmaker ever … and yet Plan 9 From Outer Space, Glen or Glenda and Bride of the Monster endure.  No collector’s film library would be complete without one or more of these gems!

With that in mind, news arrived this week that VCI Entertainment has selected Dec. 10 as the DVD street date for its first tribute to the third caballero in this group of “illustrous” filmmakers, Jerry Warren.   

On that date look for the three-film collection being launched under the “Jerry Warren Collection” promotional banner (rumor has it that a second selection of three films will be heading home during Q1 of 2014).  Included in the DVD release of Jerry Warren Collection, Volume One are Man Beast, Curse of the Stone Hand and the late Katherine Victor’s 1966 film masterpiece, The Wild World of Batwoman.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyMan Beast was Warren’s first film.   Released in 1956 and making extensive use of mismatched stock footage (much has been made of the “missing” mountaineer over the years), this action/horror thriller stars Asa Maynor in her film debut as the leader of a Himalayan (actually filmed near Bishop, California) expedition that was put together to go in search of her missing brother, but they run smack dab into a clan of Yetis (aka: Abominable Snowmen) instead.

Both Curse of the Stone Hand and The Wild World of Batwoman showcase the talents of the aforementioned Katherine Victor.  In Curse of the Stone Hand (1964), her “co-star” was horror icon John Carradine (whose footage must have been in shot in one afternoon) — the film itself is actually a cut and paste job by Warren from three different post-war Chilean imports, with footage of Katherine Victor and John Carradine inserted to connect the plot elements (but without making sense of the storyline … a rare feat!). 

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The crème-de-la-crème in this collection is, of course, The Wild World of Batwoman (although, and let’s be honest here, a case can be made for all three as being the crème-de-la-crème of this collection).  Filmed at the height of the Batman television craze (starring Adam West and Burt Ward), Warren came up with this “salute” (rip off) to the series — and through an incredible bit of luck — he was able to cast the film with a bevy of incredibly attractive Batgirls (rumor is that they were strippers suddenly thrown out of work when the strip club they were working at was raided and closed down).  

Come for the Batgirls and don’t worry about the plot!  Well-known faces Steve Conte (who actually landed on the TV series the following year) and Steve Brodie (The Steel Helmet, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, Out of the Past, etc.) round out the cast.

To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report:  DVD & Blu-ray Release Report

Director David M. Rosenthal's A Single Shot On Blu-ray And DVD From Well Go U.S.A. On Jan. 14

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Well Go U.S.A. announced this past week that director David M. Rosenthal’s film adaptation of the Matthew F. Jones’ 1996 outdoor thriller, A Single Shot, starring Sam Rockwell (The Way, Way Back, Cowboys & Aliens, Iron Man 2, Moon, etc.) will be released on Jan. 14 as both DVD and Blu-ray product offerings.

The ARR works out to 116 days and the box office tally from the film’s limited showcase theatrical run (to raise visibility and create critical buzz) was $10,020.

John Moon (Rockwell) is a loser, broke, out of work and very much in danger of losing his wife (Kelly Reilly) and newborn child.   He’s taken to hunting deer out of season — it’s a cold, miserable and dangerous endeavor — but instead of bagging some venison, he ends up tragically killing a young woman hiding out in the woods instead.

An isolated trailer is her hideaway home, which comes with the surprise of a stash of cash … Moon’s decision is easy — didn’t see no dead girl; didn’t see no money!   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
That’s the set up.   Backwoods, a loser, an accident and money … and you can bet that alcohol, sex and violence will also figure into the equation before the final credits roll.   

Of course that is all set in motion when her convict “boyfriend,” Waylon (Jason Issacs — The Patriot, Green Zone, etc.) gets wind of Moon’s involvement.   He begins — along with his sex-addicted buddy (Joe Anderson — The Grey, Across the Universe) — to stalk the would-be “hunter” and doesn’t care who gets in his way as long as he gets justice … and the money back! 

Well Go U.S.A. has landed an intense thriller to kick-off the New Year.   No word as of yet as to bonus features.

To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report:  DVD & Blu-ray Release Report

Warner Home Video Preps Million Dollar Baby 10th Anniversary Edition For Oscar Season With A Feb. 4 Street Date

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Warner Home Video — on what seems to fits very nicely on the calendar for the run-up to the Mar. 2 Academy Awards telecast — announced this past week that filmmaker Clint Eastwood’s 2004 Best Picture-winner, Million Dollar Baby (also Best Director for Eastwood, Best Actress for Hilary Swank and Best Supporting Actor for Morgan Freeman) with be getting a “10th Anniversary” Blu-ray push on Feb. 4.

We would not be the least bit surprised if there were more Oscar promos on the way — Gravity will certainly be in this time frame as the film seems certain to be a Best Picture nominee. 

New bonus goodies for this special edition Blu-ray SKU include commentary by producer Albert Ruddy and newly-prepared featurette titled “Million Dollar Baby: On the Ropes.”   More are promised, including three additional production featurettes.

To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report:  DVD & Blu-ray Release Report
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

The Whip And The Body On Blu-ray Frm Kino-Lorber On Dec. 17

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Mario Bava’s gothic horror tale or sadomasochist “love” (lust) fest is what you take away from his 1963 film release of The Whip and the Body.   How can that be?   If you have seen the English dubbed theatrical version (about 88 minutes) you get a stylish, if somewhat confusing gothic horror flick (popular around that time).  

However, with the original Italian language cut of the film (95 minutes), you get quite a bit more information about Kurt’s (Christopher Lee) relationship with Nevenka (Daliah Lavi) … violent, lustful, erotic and sexually-charged.   

On Dec. 17 Kino-Lorber will be releasing The Whip and the Body: Remastered Edition on Blu-ray and you can choose either one … or both.   Enjoy.

To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report:  DVD & Blu-ray Release Report

The Criterion Collection Announces Its January 2014 Release Slate

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The Criterion Collection, with sales and distribution support provided by Image Entertainment, announced its first wave of Blu-ray/DVD Combo Packs for 2014 this past week.

At the top of the must-own list of selections is the Jan. 21 double-disc Blu-ray/three-disc DVD Combo Pack release of director Stanley Kramer’s all-star 1963 comedy smash, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.   

This masterpiece of an ensemble comedy — you name a comedian from the period, and they are in it — arrives with a new film transfer for both the standard theatrical release (running 159 minutes) and a faithfully reconstructed presentation of the original road-show presentation (clocking in at 197 minutes), which includes scenes not seen since the film’s initial theatrical engagement.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
As to bonus nuggets for this must-have comedy, Mark Evanier, Michael Schlesinger, and Paul Scrabo (self-styled aficionados of the film) will provide commentary, plus there is a new documentary on the film’s visual and sound effects (Oscar-winner for Walter Elliot’s work on the film), a vintage talk show (circa 1974) hosted by Kramer and featuring cast members Cid Caesar, Buddy Hackett and Johathan Winters, plus a vintage 1963 two-part “Telescope” episode revolving around the film’s theatrical press junket.

Thievery takes center stage on Jan. 14 with Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack editions of writer/director Michael Mann’s 1981 crime thriller, Thief, starring James Caan, Tuesday Weld and Willie Nelson, and French filmmaker Jules Dassin’s brilliant “French” film noir, Rififi

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyBefore Heat (1995) and Miami Vice (1984-1990), Michael Mann showed what he could do with a stylish tale of crime, criminals and deeply flawed anti-heroes.   Thief was that film and Criterion will be serving up a new film transfer, vintage commentary from filmmaker Michael Mann and the film’s star, James Caan, plus newly prepared video interviews with both of them.

As for Rififi being a “French” film noir … consider this, Dassin had come to the United States after the war, directed film noirs such as Brute Force, The Naked City and Thieves’ Highway and was then “blacklisted.”    He simply took his film noir filmmaking skills honed here and took them home.  Rififi, with an American cast, would have fit right in …  

Bonus features are limited to an interview with Dassin and set design drawings by Alexandre Trauner (twice nominated for Set Decoration — The Apartment and The Man Who Would Be King; winning for the former in 1960).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyBookending the month are Blu-ray/2 DVD Combo Pack edition of Akira Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood on Jan. 7 and a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack SKUfor writer/director Terence Davis’ 1992 throwback British 1950s “Kitchen Sink” drama, The Long Day Closes, arrives on Jan. 28.

Bonus goodies included with the Throne of Blood are commentary from film historian Michael Jeck, two different subtitle translations and a documentary on the making of Throne of Blood.

The Long Day Closes features commentary by director Terence Davies, who is joined by director of photography Michael Coulter and newly-prepared video interviews with production designer Christopher Hobbs and executive producer Colin MacCabe.

To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report:  DVD & Blu-ray Release Report

Midnight Releasing Says Jan. 14 For Filmmaker Pascal Cooper's Gone Dark

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Midnight Releasing has added actor-turned-director Pascal Cooper’s Gone Dark to its Q1’14 DVD release calendar for delivery to retail on Jan. 7.  
This no holds barred action tale proves that you can run — in this case faking your own death — but you can’t hide if the law, your daughter (played by Mary Elizabeth Pohl) and the mob are all trying to find you.    

That’s exactly what Jack (played by Cooper) is faced with when his grand plan to disappear from his past life of drugs and crime begins to unravel … the bloody body count mounts when his pursuers have orders to take no prisoners and clean up his mess!

To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report:  DVD & Blu-ray Release Report

Director Patrick McGunn's Leather On DVD Dec. 3 From Breaking Glass Pictures

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Breaking Glass Pictures has added director Patrick McGuinn’s Leather, a lyrical tale of finding the unexpected off the grid just a short car ride from the rat race of Manhattan, to its Dec. 3 DVD release slate.

Andrew (Andrew Glaszek), with his fashion designer boy-toy Kyle (Jeremy Neal) along for the ride, heads out to the Catskills to check on his later father’s property and discovers that his childhood friend — a grown man named Birch (Chris Graham) — has been living there and was mentored by (learning to live off the land) his estranged father during the final years of his life in this picturesque, but remote cabin in the woods.

What starts out as an inconvenient journey — no phones, no cable and no fancy restaurants — could end up being something very special for these two old friends.

Bonus features include outtakes and deleted scenes, a featurette titled “Making Leather Sandals” and screen tests.

To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report:  DVD & Blu-ray Release Report

Paramount Home Media Distribution Announces First Wave Of 2014 DVD and Blu-ray Product Offerings

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Paramount Home Media Distribution announced its first wave of Q1’14 DVD and Blu-ray product offerings this past week.   The action kicks off on Jan. 7 with the six-disc Blu-ray release of Star Trek: Enterprise - Season Three … also on the same date is the Showtime cable double-disc DVD release of House of Lies: Season Two.

Jan. 14 will see DVD releases for bot SpongeBob SquarePants: Patrick SquarePants and writer/director George Stevens Jr.’s 1991 Emmy-winning TV event film, Separate But Equal (starring Sidney Poitier as Thurgood Marshall … also Burt Lancaster in the final film of his long career; nominated four times for Best Actor, winning for Elmer Gantry in 1960).

Lastly, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade will be available on Dec. 17 as solo Blu-ray product SKUs (previously only available as a complete set).

To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report:  DVD & Blu-ray Release Report

Universal Studios Home Entertainment's Kick-Ass 2 Gets A Dec. 17 Street Date

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Universal Studios Home Entertainment has selected Dec. 17 for DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack editions of director Jeff Wadlow’s Kick-Ass 2, the last of the studio’s pre-Labor Day summer theatrical releases with a box office tally in excess of $25 million.   
Despite Jim Carrey renouncing the film just prior to its theatrical debut due to the violence associated with the film (did he read the script and did he give his salary back?), it still managed to pull in $28.8 million in ticket.  The ARR comes in at 123 days.

Bonus features include commentary from filmmaker Jeff Wadlow, who is joined by cast members Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, extended scenes and a trio of featurettes.   

Exclusive to the Blu-ray SKU is an alternate opening sequence with commentary by Wadlow, four additional features, including one titled “Big Daddy Returns: The Unshot Scene” (which also features commentary from Wardlow).

In other release news from Universal Studios Home Entertainment, three additional Hitchcock classics (his last three films) will be released on the Blu-ray format on the run-up to Christmas.

Streeting Nov. 5 is Topaz (1969), while both Frenzy (1972) and Family Plot (1976) check in one month later on Dec. 3.

To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report:  DVD & Blu-ray Release Report