Monday, August 22, 2016

Paramount Home Media Prepares The Twilight Zone DVD And Blu-ray Release Blitz For Oct. 11

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
You are about to enter another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind.  A journey into a wondrous land of imagination … next stop, The Twilight Zone!

Truer words were never spoken as Paramount Home Media and CBS Home Entertainment are teaming for an Oct. 11 a DVD and Blu-ray release blitz — not only of sight and sound, but selections galore — featuring all-things The Twilight Zone

So let’s get right to it!   Leading the way is the 25-disc DVD collection of The Twilight Zone: The Complete Series — all 156 episodes from the original series that debuted in October of 1959 and finishing its five-season run in June of 1964.  Each of the five seasons will also be available individually as five-disc DVD and Blu-ray sets … the SRP for individual DVD SKUs is $24.99 each for Blu-ray selections the SRP will be $59.99 each.   

Those who purchase the complete DVD collection can do so for just $79.99, saving $45.00 in the process … that’s a nice buying option for this timeless television series.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
But Paramount and CBS are not done yet!

Also available on Oct. 11 will be the DVD release of The Twilight Zone: Classic Christmas Episodes.   Included here are “The Night of the Meek” (starring Art Carney) and “Five Characters in Search of an Exit” (featuring William Windom as “The Major,” Susan Harrison as “The Ballerina” and Murray Matheson, Kelton Garwood and Clark Allen as the other “prisoners” in a strange prison).  The SRP for this unique sampling of classic The Twilight Zone episodes is just $9.99.

Four additional “sampling” options for episodes from The Twilight Zone that will be available for fans to select from on Oct. 11 are: The Twilight Zone: Fan Favorites (a five-disc DVD collection featuring 19 episodes, including “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” and “I Sing the Body Electric”); The Twilight Zone: More Fan Favorites (also a five-disc DVD collection showcasing 20 different episodes, including “Third From the Sun” and “To Serve Man”); Twilight Zone: Essential Episodes (a double-disc DVD configuration featuring a selection of 17 episodes) and Twilight Zone: Classic TV Beginnings (the first ten episodes from the series debut season are presented here).

Mill Creek Entertainment Adds Batman DVD Promotion To Its Oct. 4 DVD And Blu-ray Release Calendar

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Mill Creek Entertainment has added Batman and his sidekick Robin to its already busy Oct. 4 release calendar.   It’s a sweet collectible package that arrives on DVD under the promotional banner titled, Superhero Origins: Three Classic Serials.

Included in the mix are Bob Kane and Bill Finger’s 1939 comic book creation, Batman, in his screen debut, the 1943, 15-chapter serial titled simply Batman, directed by Lambert Hillyer and starring Lewis Wilson as the original Batman, with Douglas Croft as his sidekick, Robin.

This thrill-a-minute wartime adventure pits Batman and Robin against the evil Japanese spy (and his “zombie” minions), Dr. Daka (played by veteran character actor J. Carrol Nash), who has a death ray that could win the war for Japan!   

Next is the 1949 follow-up, Batman and Robin (also 15 suspense-filled chapters), directed by the legendary Spencer Gordon Bennet, with Robert Lowery taking over the persona of Bruce Wayne/Batman and Johnny Duncan as his sidekick, Robin.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The villain, The Wizard, is a complete unknown (only revealed in the last chapter), who has stolen a device that controls cars from a remote distance, which he (or, maybe she) can use to wreak havoc (for criminal purposes).   Half the fun is trying to guessing who The Wizard is … the other half is the cliffhanging thrills!

The last serial entry in the Superhero Origins: Three Classic Serials DVD package is director James W. Horne’s 1940, 15-chapter serial based upon the creation of writer Walter B. Gibson (aka: Maxwell Grant), The Shadow.  

An extremely popular radio and “pulp fiction” crime fighter appeared in two feature films — The Shadow Strikes (1937) and International Crime (1938) — before moving to Columbia Pictures in 1940 in The Shadow serial, starring none other than Victor Jory as Lamont Cranston (aka The Shadow), who, along with his beautiful assistant, Margo Lane (Veda Ann Borg), must battle the sinister Black Tiger through 15 thrill-packed episodes! 

Wolfe Sets The DVD Debut Of Writer/Director Matt Kugelman's Hurricane Bianca For Oct. 18

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
News arrived this past week that writer/director Matt Kugelman’s deliciously wicked comedy, Hurricane Bianca, will be making its DVD debut on Oct. 18 courtesy of Wolfe.

Richard Martinez (played by former award-winning costume designer-turned-comedian and drag queen Roy Haylock — as Bianca Del Rio on the RuPaul's Drag Race television series) wants nothing more than to be a high school science teacher and thinks that he’s about to fulfill that dream when he lands a job teaching in a small town in Texas.   He has just about as much time to write his name on the chalk board, “My name is Richared Mar …” when he’s outed and fired for being gay.

Well, you can’t have the talented Roy Haylock (he’s toured internationally with his Rolodex of Hate stand-up show and was the winner of the sixth season of RuPaul's Drag Race) being fired in the first few minutes … that makes for a very short film.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Richard doesn’t stick his tail between his legs and hit the highway, instead he reinvents himself as Bianca and applies for the new teaching vacancy.  From there on it is Bianca in full revenge mode … a force of nature, which allows filmmaker Matt Kugelman free range to let Haylock do what he does so very well and this is be the persona of insult drag queen, Bianca Del Rio!   

Funny doesn’t even begin to describe what she gets away with.   This is 81 minutes of stand-up comedy (structured as narrative) that comes packed with cameos, including RuPaul, Margaret Cho, Alan Cumming and other RuPaul Drag Race alumni.   

Playing it straight as Principal Wayne is character actor Ted Ferguson and comedian and voice actress Rachel Dratch is Deborah, the school’s vice principal, who has to keep a straight face while Bianca hurls insult after insult at her (love to see the outtakes of those two together ... maybe in the blooper reel).

Bonus features include commentary from filmmaker Matt Kugelman and a blooper reel (got be some great bits there).

Vinegar Syndrome Announces It September 2016 Release Slate

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Vinegar Syndrome announced its September release calendar this past week with four new Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack presentations and the latest DVD installment in the company’s popular Peekarama double-feature collection.   The release date will be Sept. 27.

Leading the way is director Javier Aguirre’s 1973 (domestic 1974) horror film, Count Dracula’s Great Love, starring Paul Naschy as the legendary bloodsucker.

There are two versions of the film that have been scanned and restored in 2K from the 35mm internegative.   The English-dubbed theatrical cut, which was released in March of 1974, and the original, un-cut Spanish-language (Euro-version) edition of the film (read that as more sex; more gore) are included here.

Bonus goodies include commentary featuring filmmaker Javier Aguirre, actor Paul Naschy and moderated by Angel Gomez Rivero and newly-prepared video session actress Mirta Miller (as Elke).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyNext up is a new 2K restoration (from the original 16mm film elements) of adult filmmaker Steve Scott’s 1984 adult-detective thriller, China & Silk (making its home entertainment debut), starring Ginger Lynn and Herschel Savage as “undercover” detectives.   Their drug smuggling investigation runs afoul of crime figure, Lily Chang (Kristara Barrington) … and more than gun shots are exchanged as they attempt to bring her down.

There are two separate commentary options — one featuring cinematographer Tom Howard, who is joined by filmmaker David McCabe (aka: David DeCoteau) and the second teams actor Herschel Savage and XRCO co-founder, Bill Margold.

A pair of films from writer/director Richard Casey will also be available on Sept. 27 as newly-minted Blu-ray/DVD Combo Packs (2K restorations from 16mm archival elements).  
The first of these is his 1985 slasher film, Horror House on Highway 5, which is noted having a crazed killer dressed in a Nixon mask.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Bonus features include commentary from writer/director Richard Casey, a making-of featurette titled, “Return to Horror House on Highway 5,” and the music video, ”Beach Party with Vom.”

The second film from Richard Casey getting a special showcase release from Vinegar Syndrom on Sept. 27 is his 1988 heavy metal saga, Hellbend, starring Phil Ward as rocker Lemmy, who meets the “ultimate” promoter.

Bonus features include commentary from filmmaker Richard Casey and the featurette titled, “A Little Chaos.” 

Rounding out the September release package from Vinegar Syndrome is the latest Peekarama double feature showcasing the early ‘80s work of adult filmmaker Damon Christian — Titillation (1982, starring Angelique Pettyjohn) and Eat at the Blue Fox (1983, with Herschel Savage, Ron Jeremy, Desiree Lane and Pamela Mann … among others).  

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Unearthed Films To Release A Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Edition Of Director Luciano Onetti’s Neo-Giallo Thriller Francesca On Sept. 27

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Unearthed Films will be teaming with MVD Entertainment Group for the Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack release of director Luciano Onetti’s chilling neo-giallo thriller, Francesca, on Sept. 27.

Very much in the tradition of ‘70s “Golden Era” giallo films, we find a killer, dressed in red, who is out for revenge … perhaps something religious in nature, but investigators assigned to the case, Inspector Bruno Moretti (Luis Emilio Rodriguez) and Detective Benito Succo (Gustavo Dalessanro), are having a difficult time making heads or tails of the Dante-inspired nature of the crimes.

Only when they begin to find connections to a 15-year old case involving the kidnapping of famed writer Vittorio Visconti’s (played by Raul Gederlini) young daughter, Francesca, do they begin to make headway.   Is it the missing girl who is the mysterious killer?   She is back from the dead?   Or is there more to it?

Francesca is an out-and-out modern day homage to all-things giallo … even down to an Italian-language track.   A bonus CD of the soundtrack is included.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment To Release The Legend Of Tarzan To The Home Entertainment Market Place On Oct. 11

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
With Warner Bros. Home Entertainment release moves these past few weeks it became clear that director David Yates’ The Legend of Tarzan would likely get an early October home entertainment release window.    This speculation was confirmed this past week with news that Oct. 11 has been selected as the street date for a four-SKU helping of this early summer theatrical hit.

The ARR works out to 102 days and ticket sales for this interesting spin on the Tarzan/Lord Greystoke stories, originally penned by Edgar Rice Burroughs (beginning in 1912), pulled in $124.9 million.

Planned for release are a 4K Ultra HD edition, two Blu-ray/DVD Combo Packs (one with a 3D viewing option … the premium is nine dollars) and a stand-alone DVD SKU.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment dropped the first of their $100 million-plus box office hits, Conjuring 2, on Sept. 13, which was followed by Central Intelligence on Sept. 27 — two weeks apart — so the Oct. 11 street date for The Legend of Tarzan is right in line with this skip-a-week release pattern … this leaves room for writer/director David F. Sandberg’s horror hit, Lights Out, to be available for the home entertainment market place in time for Halloween.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
True Blood’s Eric Northman, Alexander Skarsgård (Battleship, Straw Dogs, Hidden, etc.), is the new Tarzan, while Suicide Squad’s Harley, Margot Robbie (Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, The Wolf of Wall Street, etc.) is his mate, Jane.   Others in the cast include Tarantino’s favorite villain, Christoph Waltz — who plays just that, the villain — and Samuel L. Jackson as an American diplomat/detective who is out to uncover a slave-running plot being fashioned by King Leopold of Belgium.

The film stands on its own as a member of the notable Tarzan film entries, beginning with Elmo Lincoln’s Tarzan of the Apes in 1918; Johnny Weissmüller as the most famous Tarzan, starring in a dozen films; Lex Barker for five; Gordon Scott for a half-dozen and Christopher Lambert in director Hugh Hudson’s 1984 film release of Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (which is actually a pretty good double-bill with this new entry).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyAs to bonus goodies, all release version include five production featurettes — “Tarzan Reborn,” “Battles and Bare Knuckled Brawls,” “Tarzan and Jane’s Unfailing Love,” “Creating the Virtual Jungle” and “Gabon to the Big Screen” — and a PSA titled “Stop Ivory.”

In other release news this week from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Sept. 20 will see a Blu-ray promotion for three Stephen King-inspired productions getting new Hi-Def transfers.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyIncluded in the mix is director Tobe Hooper’s 1979 two-part mini-series, Salem’s Lot.   It arrives with a newly-prepared commentary track from filmmaker Tobe Hooper (he would later adapt King’s short story, The Mangler, for theatrical release in 1995).

Director Lewis Teague’s 1985 film adaptation of Cat’s Eye, starring Drew Barrymore, James Woods, Alan King, Robert Hays and Candy Clark.   Included as a bonus feature is commentary from filmmaker Lewis Teague (he also directed the film adaptation of Stephen King’s Cujo in 1983).

And the third entry in this Stephen King Blu-ray promotion on Sept. 20 is the 1990 two-part mini-series, It, directed by Tommy Lee Wallace.   The bonus feature with It is commentary from Tommy Lee Wallace, who is joined by actors Dennis Christopher, Tim Reid, John Ritter and Richard Thomas.

Arrow Video Selects Oct. 25 For The Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Release Of The Herschell Gordon Lewis Feast

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Arrow Video, with domestic sales and distribution provided by MVD Entertainment Group, has something very, very special planned for Oct. 25 — just in time for Halloween!

This would be a 17-disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack (nine Blu-ray discs and eight DVDs) showcasing 14 blood-drenched films — newly restored — from horror impresario, Herschell Gordon Lewis.   The collection is titled appropriately enough, The Herschell Gordon Lewis Feast.

What better place to begin — when describing what a marvelous collection Arrow Video has assemble here — than with his summer of 1963 micro-budget masterpiece, Blood Feast, which literally kicked off a brand new sub-genre of horror films … SPLATTER!   

Each of the Blu-ray and DVD discs in the collection are presented as double-features.  As an example, Blood Feast is teamed with the lurid teen-sexploitation/blackmail film, Scum of the Earth.   And, Lewis provides newly-filmed introductions to all of the movies in the collection.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyAs to bonus goodies for Blood Feast, there is commentary featuring Lewis and long-time producer/partner David F. Friedman, outtakes, the featurette titled “Blood Perceptions” and archival video sessions with Lewis.   Friedman provides commentary on Scum of the Earth, plus there is a short film titled “Carving Magic.”

Other double-bills in this must-owned collection are: Two Thousand Maniacs! and Moonshine Mountain (both from 1964); Color Me Blood Red (1965) and Something Weird (1967); The Gruesome Twosome (1967) is teamed with A Taste of Blood (both were released in 1967);  She-Devils on Wheels is with Just for the Hell of It (both are from 1968); How to Make a Doll (1968) and The Wizard of Gore (1970); and lastly, This Stuff’ll Kill Ya! (1971) is joined by The Gore Gore Girls (1972).

There are numerous featurettes and video sessions, plus nearly all of the film in this collection feature commentary options.   

For greater detail on each film in the collection please visit: MVD Link.

20th-Century Fox Home Entertainment Sets Independence Day: Resurgence For 4K Ultra HD (And More) On Oct. 18

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
It was a busy announcement week for 20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment as release plans for two summer theatrical hits were revealed.

Director Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day: Resurgence, the long-anticipated sequel to his 1996 sci-fi smash, Independence Day, will be landing at retail on Oct. 18 as a four-SKU selection.

The ARR works out to 116 days and domestic ticket sales currently stand at $102.6 million.

In the works are a 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack, a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack, a 3D/2D Blu-ray presentation (the premium of the 3D viewing option is ten bucks) and a stand-alone DVD edition.

Humans have adapted alien technology and now have whiz-bang fighters, a base on the moon and a space cannon that can obliterate anything in its path, but still the head of the planet’s defenses, David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum returning from the original) worries that it will not be enough.    Guess what, he’s right!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
They are back and bigger and meaner than ever.   Independence Day: Resurgence delivers what is expected by fans, a non-stop CGI feast of alien encounters, heroics and a thrilling last stand that will either mean the salvation or complete annihilation of everyone on earth.  Whew … and all delivered in exactly 120 minutes.

Bonus features — across all format SKUs — include commentary from filmmaker Roland Emmerich, a gag reel and a trio of featurettes — “The War of 1996,” “It’s Early, ABQ!” and “Another Day: The Making of Independence Day: Resurgence.”

What do you get when you take two party animals — brothers Dave (Zac Efron) and Mike Stangle (Adam Devine) — and put them in a position where they have to take “nice girls” to Hawaii … who turn out to be just like them!   
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

You get director Jake Szymanski’s over-the-top (and well outside the lines) comedy, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, which is heading to the home entertainment market place on Sept. 27 courtesy of 20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment.

The ARR is a very quick-to-market 81 days and ticket sales were a nice $45.4 million.   Planned for release are a 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack, a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack and a stand-alone DVD edition.

Dave and Mike’s sister, Jeanie (Sugar Lyn Beard) is getting married — in Hawaii — and their parents are concerned that her brothers will screw everything up.   They have a history, which we are given just a hint of, so it is incumbent upon them to bring respectable young women to Hawaii as their dates for the big wedding.   If they come alone, don’t come at all … everyone knows what will happen if Dave and Mike are left to their own devices.  

That’s the first part of the set up … the script by Andrew Jay Cohen and Brendan O'Brien, who gave us Neighbors and Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, so you know in your heart-of-hearts that they are only getting warmed up.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Next comes the dates, two women with some rough edges, Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza) and Alice (Anna Kendrick), who get wind of the brother’s special needs when a Craig’s list video (the boys were striking out in their “circle” of acquaintances) goes viral and they end up on a local talk show.   A free trip to Hawaii by just being “nice girls.”   That’s a piece of cake for these two!

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is laugh-out-loud funny as party boys meet their mirror-image match … throw in cousin Terry (Alice Wetterlund), who swings both ways, some ATV, horse stable and massage monkey business and you find yourself wanting for more ... the 98 minutes for these wedding adventures goes by way too fast!

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment Restores Director John Landis 1981 Film Release Of An American Werewolf in London For Blu-ray On Sept. 27

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has a restored presentation of director John Landis’ 1981 horror gem, An American Werewolf in London, ready for Blu-ray on Sept. 27.

This 1080p HD release features DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and Dolby Digital 2.0 for the audio choices (with subtitles provide in English, Spanish and French).

As to bonus goodies for this “35th Anniversary Edition,” actors David Naughton and Griffin Dunne provide commentary, there’s a feature-length documentary titled Beware the Moon, outtakes, storyboards, video sessions with director John Landis and makeup genius Rick Baker and a trio of featurettes — “I Walked with a Werewolf,” “Making of An American Werewolf in London” and “Casting the Hand.”

Wild Eye Releasing's The Search For Weng Weng Debuts On DVD On Nov. 8

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
What happens when legends collide?   Worlds in chaos, just imagine Batman battling Superman … oh, wait, they made a movie about that.   

OK, then how about what Wild Eye Releasing has in store for genre fans to savor on DVD this coming Nov. 8?   

Filipino acting legend, Weng Weng (aka: Ernesto de la Cruz) — all two feet, nine inches of him — meets writer, filmmaker and past owner/operator of one of the most “unique” video stores, Trash Video, in all of the world (rivaled only by California’s Amoeba trio of stores), Andrew Leavold.   

Worlds in chaos; battles of titanic proportions … perhaps, but how about his documentary, The Search for Weng Weng, as a more entertaining alternative?   Which is exactly what Wild Eye Releasing has ready on that early November street date.

Weng Weng was a little person who was not expected to live, but he proved everyone wrong, and despite his miniscule size he became proficient in the martial arts and a world-renown actor, famous for his two James Bond spoofs, For Your Height Only and The Impossible Kid.   By 34 he was no longer with us.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Cut to eclectic film affectionado, Andrew Leavold, who came across the films of Weng Weng from the 1980s while operating Trash Video and became fascinated with the actor.   What happened to him?   

The result: The Search for Weng Weng, a personal quest by the filmmaker to learn more about this “unique” actor — Agent 00!   So come along for a one-of-a-kind film adventure … and learn about this screen legend who was almost lost to time.

FilmRise Tabs Oct. 21 For Documentary Filmmaker Jason Aron's Back In Time

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
FilmRise, with sales and distribution expertise provided by MVD Entertainment Group, will deliver documentary filmmaker Jason Aron’s homage to all-things related to Marty McFly and Doc Brown, Back in Time, to the DVD market place on Sept. 13 and to Blu-ray on Oct. 21 (a Friday street date).

The three Back to the Future film adventures began attracting fans some 30 years ago and that trend continues to this day.   Jason Aron gives us a look back at the making of Back to the Future, with interviews with everyone ranging from producer Steven Spielberg, director Robert Zemeckis, writer Bob Gale and actors Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd and Lea Thompson and then he transitions nicely into a look at Doc’s fabulous time machine, the DeLorean, and other neat gizmos concocted for the sequels.