Monday, August 15, 2016

Artsploitation Films' DVD Debut Of Filmmaker Víctor Matellano’s English-Language Vampyres Will Take Place On Sept.27

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Artsploitation Films has tagged Sept. 27 as the street date for the DVD debut of Spanish filmmaker Víctor Matellano’s English-language Vampyres, an updated homage to Joseph Larraz’s 1974 classic of the same name (and spelling).

If you thought the original was erotic, Matellano’s Vampyres has it beat by a mile.
If you thought the original was bloody, you’ve haven’t seen anything yet!   Matellano’s Vampyres takes gore and sexual eroticism to levels that Larraz could only imagine back in the early 70s.

Production values, a sweet soundtrack and some terrific f/x are combined with the seductress vampires — Marta Flich (as Eva in Omnivores) and Almudena León — to delivery a film that genre-fan’s would easily describe as a “horror dream.”  

And, in addition to their tried and true ways of seducing men to their doom, they also expand their horizons to young things in the nearby woods.    Plus, for horror affectionados the luscious, and seemingly ageless, Caroline Munro (yes, Bond Girl — The Spy Who Loved Me), maintains order at the chalet that is the feeding ground for vampires, Fran and Miriam.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Arrow Video Restores Three For The Month Of September — Including Wes Craven's The Hill Have Eyes (Sept. 27)

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Arrow Video, with domestic sales and distribution expertise provided by MVD Entertainment Group, has set three new film restorations for delivery to the Blu-ray market place during the month of September.

Leading the hit parade is a new 4K restoration — supervised by producer Peter Locke — from original film elements of the late Wes Craven’s horror masterpiece, The Hills Have Eyes.  

Who knew back then that a modestly budgeted film, shot out in the Apple Valley and Victorville (you pass by these communities when driving up to Las Vegas), would become such an iconic horror gem.   A road trip gone horribly wrong!

Bonus features include a commentary option teaming Craven with producer Peter Locke, a newly prepared video session with composer Don Peake, an alternate ending and a making-of documentary titled Looking Back on The Hills Have Eyes, which features Craven and Locke, actors Michael Berryman (Pluto), Dee Wallace (Lynne), Janus Blythe (Ruby), Robert Houston (Bobby) and Susan Lanier (Brenda), plus director of photography Eric Saarinen.
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Also on Sept. 27 is new 2K restoration (from original film elements) of director Juan Piquer Simón’s (aka: J.P. Simon) 1988 creature feature, Slugs.

They crawl, they slither … and they consume everything in their path.   Toxic waste spawned them and now its up to lowly health inspector, Mike Brady (Michael Garfield), to rally the locals and turn back the onslaught.   There’s just one problem, no one takes him seriously.

Bonus goodies include commentary from filmmaker Chris Alexander, video sessions with actor Emilio Linder, art director Gonzalo Gonzalo and production manager Larry Ann Evans.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Rounding out the release action in September from Arrow Video is the Sept. 20 2K restoration of director Brian Trenchard-Smith 1986 cult treasure from Down Under, Dead End Drive-In.

Things have gone to pot in Australia and teenage troublemakers are sentenced to hard time at the local drive-in theatre, which is where Crab (Ned Manning) and his “girlfriend,” Carman (Natalie McCurry) have found themselves.   It is, by a design, a junkie’s paradise … the plan is make everything so seemingly hopeless as to pacify the restless youth.   It works, but Crab is having not it!

Bonus features include commentary by director Brian Trenchard-Smith, a documentary titled The Stuntmen and a 1978 short film from filmmaker Brian Trenchard-Smith titled “Hospitals Don’t Burn Down.”

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Picks Sept. 27 For DVD - Blu-ray - And 4K Ultra HD Editions Of The Shallows

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, The Shallows, Ralph Tribbey
The biggest surprise of the summer has to be director Jaume Collet-Serra’s The Shallows.   A simple story, dominated by the screen performance of Blake Lively, blended with a stunning location and shark CGI work that makes the shark from Jaws seems like the sort of thing you’d see in a student film (and you know how effective Jaws was in scaring the swim shorts off of you … so The Shallows is super amazing).

If you have an eye for film, sit in the dark and watch the dancing images on the screen you occasionally come across a film where you go “WOW, how did they do that?”    The Shallows is that film for the summer of 2016.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has tabbed Sept. 27 for a three-SKU helping — a DVD edition, a Blu-ray edition and a 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack.   

The ARR is a swift-to-market 95 days and ticket sales were a tasty $54.3 million.

There is a beach that is so beautiful — and isolated — that upon seeing it for the first time in the film you can’t help but think that it is a composite; it is make believe.   The action is supposed to take place in Mexico, but the footage of this magical beach location is actually located on Lord Howe Island (in the South Pacific — draw a line between Auckland, New Zealand and Brisbane, Australia and there it is … smack dab in the middle of nowhere).

The story opens with Nancy (Blake Lively — The Age of Adaline, Gossip Girl, The Town, etc.) arriving at this isolated beach.   A backstory is quickly filled in … her mother has recently died of cancer, she’s a medical student (nice foreshadowing here) and she’s returned to this lovely place in Mexico because this is where her mother conceived her.   She’s also a surfer and the surfing is sweet.  
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, The Shallows, Ralph Tribbey

A local named Carlos (Óscar Jaenada) has given her a ride through the jungle and wishes her well.   She paddles out and joins two other locals who are enjoying the waves.   All of this takes place in the first ten minutes … it is a beautifully structured opening sequence that gives us all the information we need to know about Nancy.   

The script from Anthony Jaswinski (Killing Time, Vanishing on 7th Street) is near flawless in its economy in introducing the main character and setting the stage for what follows.

The locals call it a day, but Nancy decides to catch one last wave.   She is attacked and bitten by a great white and finds herself first atop a dead whale (when her hands dig into the rotting flesh of the whale you can’t help but squirm just a bit) and then she is able to escape to a nearby rock outcropping some two hundred yards from shore.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, The Shallows, Ralph Tribbey
About 50 yards away is a solar-powered buoy.   A rock, a buoy, her, an injured seagull (whom she names Steven … ha, ha, get it) and a very hungry and aggressive great white shark provide all of the action for the rest of the film.  

Her rock is a precarious place as the tide rises and falls, so Nancy needs to figure out a way to get to the buoy.   That seems safer!   

The last 20 minutes of The Shallows is easily the best, well-produced action sequence for all of the summer of 2016.   And you know that the summer is loaded with CGI extravaganzas, but this one is so nicely done that you can’t begin to fathom just how they were able to pull it off.   

Bonus features, which appear to be limited to the 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack SKUs, include deleted scenes and four featurettes — “How to Build a Shark,” “Shooting in the Shallows,” “Finding the Perfect Beach: Lord Howe Island” and “When Sharks Attack.”

MVD Entertainment Group Tabs Sept. 27 For The DVD Debut Of Director Christopher Ray’s A House is Not a Home

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
MVD Entertainment Group announced this past week that director Christopher Ray’s haunted house thriller, A House is Not a Home, will be making its DVD debut on Sept. 27.

In a creepy prologue we get more than just a hint of what is to come when a chilling 911 phone call concludes with the caller being swallowed up by a burst of light.   Cut to a real estate agent named Paul — played by Bill Cobbs, who was, among other things, Grandpa Booker in Wes Craven’s The People Under the Stairs — and you get more than just a sense that this particular property has some history to it.

The latest victims, oops, make that “clients,” are the Williams, Ben, the husband (Gerald Webb — Sniper: Special Ops, Zombie Apocalypse, etc.) and his wife Linda (Diahnna Nicole Baxter — Shadow Puppets) … he’s a successful architect, with some issues that will be revealed as the film progresses.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The home is beautiful and, surprisingly (tisk tisk), the price is right.   Paul is just so nice and kindly … who could say possibly say no.   We might add, the Williams have two teenage kids — Ashley (Aurora Perrineau) and Alex (Melvin Gregg) — and so this perfect family has found their perfect home.  

Now the fun can begin!   In no time Ben begins hearing things and tension builds between him and his wife (the backstory of his infidelity comes into play) … he has anger issues and she takes to drinking again.  Tension builds, sweet Ashley has on-going encounters with creepy dolls that seem to magically appear in her room and her brother, Alex, complains of being spied upon.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyAnd, if you want some real creepy stuff, the 911 phone caller (played by Richard Grieco), from the opening sequence, keeps materializing here and there.   Things progress in more and more sinister ways and the Williams finally come to the conclusion that their home is haunted and despite their best efforts (including an “exorcism”) their fate is likely sealed!  

Bonus nuggets include commentary from the cast and crew, a behind-the-scenes featurette and video sessions with members of the cast and crew.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment Targets Oct. 4 For DVD And Blu-ray Editions Of The Purge: Election Year

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The third installment in Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s lucrative The Purge film series, The Purge: Election Year, will be heading to the home entertainment arena on Oct. 4 as DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack product offerings.

The ARR is 95 days and ticket sales amounted to $78.8 million in the domestic market, which certainly means that a fourth installment will likely be in the works soon.

Bonus features include deleted scenes and a pair of featurettes — “Inside The Purge” and “Character Spotlight: Leo.”

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Selects Sept. 27 For DVD - Blu-ray - And 4K Ultra HD Editions Of Central Intelligence

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will be issuing a 4K Ultra HD edition of director Rawson Marshall Thurber’s Central Intelligence as part of its Sept. 27 home entertainment release package.

The ARR comes in at 102 and ticket sales at your local multiplex this summer were a robust $126.1 million.

Planned for release are stand-alone DVD and Blu-ray editions, with the latter including an unrated viewing option — an additional eight minutes worth of footage that was either cut for pacing purposes or to maintain a PG-13 theatrical rating.   The 4K Ultra HD version comes packaged as 4k Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack.

Agents, double-agents, spy vs. spy … poor Calvin (Kevin Hart), he’s an accountant with a special gift for unraveling even the most difficult set of accounting ledgers, which comes in really handy when a high school classmate named Robbie/Bob (played by Dwayne Johnson — who appears “digitally” in a very fun opening sequence) comes knocking at his door some 20 years after saying goodbye to that nightmare in need of his “special skill.”   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Is Bob a good guy?   Or, is he the notorious Black Badger out to obtain a set of codes that will transfer control of the United States spy satellites.   Regardless, he’s not the same Robbie from high school!!!

Judging from the domestic box office haul and the on-screen chemistry of Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson, Central Intelligence could be a comedy franchise in the making for Warner Bros.   The ending (no spoiler here) does leave that possibility open.

As to bonus goodies, there is commentary by director Rawson Marshall Thurber (We’re the Millers, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story), a gag reel, alternate scenes and a pair of featurettes — “Couch Scene” and “Dance-Off.”
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey 
Also added to the release calendar this past week by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is the “Prince Movie Collection” for delivery to Blu-ray on Oct. 4.

Director Albert Magnoli’s 1984 Purple Rain, which earned Prince an Oscar for Best Music, Original Song Score, has been given a HD restoration, as have Under the Cherry Moon and Graffiti Bridge.   Each film on Blu-ray can be purchased separately for $14.98 each, or as a boxed collection for $24.98 … that’s a twenty dollar saving.    Even if you purchased Purple Rain back in 2007 on Blu-ray, buying the full set puts you ahead of the game — Under the Cherry Moon and Graffiti Bridge are both available for the first time as Blu-ray selections.

The bonus goodies are limited to the Purple Rain SKU and include commentary from director Albert Magnoli, who is joined by producer Robert Cavallo and the late Donald E. Thorin, who served as cinematographer, plus three featurettes — “First Avenue: The Road to Pop Royalty,” “Purple Rain Backstage Pass” and “Riffs, Ruffles and a Revolution” — and eight stand-alone music videos from the film’s soundtrack.

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment Says Yes To 3D And No To 4K Ultra HD For Star Wars: The Force Awakens On Nov. 15

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment began the process of double-dipping this past week with news that a 3D Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack “Collector’s Edition” of director J.J. Abrams mega hit, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, will be available on Nov. 15.

It’s a poor marketeer who can’t find ways to sell and re-sell the same film over and over again, so 3D it is in this three-disc Blu-ray set with a companion DVD, but still no commitment at this time to the newly-launched 4K Ultra HD format by the studio.

Bonus features include commentary by Abrams, deleted scenes and five newly-prepared featurettes — “Foley: A Sonic Tale,” “Sounds of the Resistance,” “Dressing the Galaxy,” “The Scavenger and the Stormtrooper” and “Inside the Armory.”