Monday, September 12, 2016

Vinegar Syndrome Announces Its Oct. 25 Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Release Slate

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Vinegar Syndrome announced its October release package this past week.   The street date selected for a quartet of Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack product offerings — plus the next DVD Storefront Theatre Collection — will be Oct. 25.

There are some really cool films in the mix, which are all in the “Halloween” spirit of things.   So let’s get right to it!

Leading the way is a new 2K restoration (from the original 35mm camera negative) of director Rick Sloane’s 1988 “creature feature,” Hobgoblins.   It will be available as a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack.

With the success of Joe Dante’s Gremlins in 1984 you knew in your heart of hearts that there would be other entries into the “little” creature horror mix.   Sure enough, the summer of 1988 brought us the ACM theatrical release and a quick to market VHS edition of Hobgoblins.   By any standard it was, is and will always be cheesy … and that’s the beauty of it.

As to bonus goodies, there’s a vintage commentary track featuring writer/director Rick Sloane (a true master of cheesy films — Vice Academy 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6), the 2009 cast reunion documentary from Sloane titled Hobgoblins: The Making of a DisasterPiece, a newly-prepared featurette titled “Hobgoblins Revisited,” a newly minted video session with Kenneth J. Hall, the Hobgoblin “creature fabricator” and a vintage featurette “Hobgoblins Invade Comic-Con.”
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Next up is a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack presentation (a new 2K restoration from the original 35mm camera negative) of director Mark Pirro’s 1988 Crown International Pictures release of Deathrow Gameshow, a black comedy homage to Schwarzenegger’s 1987 hit film, The Running Man

Bonus features include commentary featuring director Mark Pirro, who is joined by actors John McCafferty (he played the game show host, Chuck Toedan) and Robyn Blythe (she plays Toedan’s nemesis, “Gloria Sternvirgin”), the 2013 documentary from Pirro titled, Revisiting Deathrow Gameshow, and two short films from filmmaker Mark Pirro — Buns (1978) and The Spy Who Did it Better (1979).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Rounding out the Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack presentations on Oct. 25 is a two SKU Linnea Quigley “Scream Queen” promotion — three films in all.

For genre fans the name Linnea Quigley is synonymous with horror and, as she puts it in 1995 book, “skin” flicks.   She is an honor Scream Queen, having appeared in such delights as The Return of the Living Dead, Creepozoids, Night of the Demons and A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (among others).

Vinegar Syndrome has a new 2K restoration (yes, from the original 35mm camera negative) of director David DeCoteau’s 1987 TWE theatrical release of  Nightmare Sisters, which teams Quigley with fellow Scream Queen legends Brinke Stevens and  Michelle Bauer.

There are two versions of the film — the theatrical cut and a toned-down for TV edition — commentary featuring filmmaker David DeCoteau and Linnea Quigley (they have often worked together, in addition to the aforementioned Creepozoids, they also did the classic, Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama, which also featured Brinke Stevens and Michelle Bauer), there is a blooper reel and a video session with writer/producer Kenneth J. Hall.

The other Linnea Quigley Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack in the mix is the double-feature presentation of two of director David DeCoteau’s 1989 direct-to-video thrillers, Murder Weapon (Quigley co-stars with Karen Russell) and Deadly Embrace (she’s opposite Jan-Michael Vincent).
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Bonus goodies for this Linnea Quigley double-bill include commentary with her and DeCoteau for both films and DeCoteau provides newly prepared introductions to both films … which are new 2K restorations.

Rounding out the Oct. 25 release package from Vinegar Syndrome is the second installment in the company’s Storefront Theatre Collection.   This three-disc set is packed with a dozen “adult-themed” films that includes the likes of Dr. Sexual and Mr. Hyde (1971, with Suzanne Fields), Hotter Than Hell (also from 1971 and featuring “Jane Fondler” and “Elizabeth Tail”) and The Rites of Uranus (1975, with Vivian Parks).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

The Film Detective Readies A Three-Film Roger Corman Collection For Blu-ray Release On Oct. 4

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
All great things come to those who wait. 

Last November The Film Detective released on a Blu-ray a restored (from 35MM archival film elements) edition of director Roger Corman’s 1959 horror classic, A Bucket of Blood (starring Dick Miller).   

The price was right, but some may have said, “I’ll take a pass, I already have this gem on DVD.”

In May of this year The Film Detective once again returned to the market with a Blu-ray restoration of directors’ — yes, plural, directors — Roger Corman, Francis Ford Coppola, Monte Hellman, Jack Hill and Jack Nicholson’s 1963 cult film, The Terror.  

Once again there might have been collectors reluctant to replace existing DVD, and perhaps even vintage VHS copies of this early Jack Nicholson treasures — also starring Boris Karloff, Dick Miller (again), Jonathan Haze (Little Shop of Horrors) and Sandra Knight.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
In July it was Dementia 13 getting a Blu-ray restoration.   That’s a trio of Roger Corman produced films that would be, for any film affectionado hard to resist as an upgraded hi-def release. 

News arrived this week that on Oct. 4 — about one year after this Corman cycle started — The Film Detective will be offering all three films in the Blu-ray release of the Roger Corman Film Collection.   

If you haven’t jumped on this bandwagon as of yet, the time is now.   All three films — The Terror, A Bucket of Blood and Dementia 13 — on Blu-ray for the SRP of $29.98 (and that’s before discounts at retail) ... that’s a savings of fifteen bucks if purchased separately!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Arrow Video Preps Restored Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Edition Of Director Douglas Cheek’s C.H.U.D. For Delivery On Nov. 15

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Arrow Video, with domestic sales and distribution support provided by MVD Entertainment Group, has picked Nov. 15 as the street date for a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack restoration of director Douglas Cheek’s 1984 cult-status horror gem, C.H.U.D.

Of course we are talking about Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers (sewer-dwelling human mutations — perhaps a forerunner to H.G. Welles’ Morlocks), who have the munchies and anyone — or, for that matter, anything — walking the streets of New York City is now a delectable snack.

Worlds collide as photographer George Cooper (John Heard) and Captain Bosch (Christopher Curry) of the NYPD have both taken an interest in the homeless population and a sudden spat of missing person reports.    

Their separate paths of discovery will lead them to a short-cutting government official named Wilson (George Martin), who has found a solution to the problem of not being able to move nuclear waste products through Manhattan … he has taken to storing them in a place in the city’s vast sewer and abandoned subway passages.  

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyDaniel Stern gets to gnaw the scenery as a preacher who runs a homeless shelter, Kim Greist (Manhunter, Brazil) plays Heard’s wife and if you look quickly you’ll see John Goodman as one of the cops in the diner “invasion.”

Bonus nuggets for C.H.U.D. include commentary from director Douglas Cheek, who is joined by writer Shepard Abbott and actors John Heard, Daniel Stern and Christopher Curry, plus there are newly minted crew video sessions.

The Lucy Show: The Complete Series On DVD From Paramount Home Media On Nov. 15

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Paramount Home Media and CBS Home Entertainment are teaming up on Nov. 15 for the 24-disc DVD collection of The Lucy Show: The Complete Series.

All 156 laugh-filled episodes (remastered for this release), reuniting Lucille Ball with her I Love Lucy co-star, Vivian Vance, are included is this collectible set.

The series ran from 1962 for six seasons, ending in 1968, and was loaded with guest stars from the period, including Bob Hope (they co-starred in four films together), Dean Martin, Joan Crawford (of which much gossip was generated at the time) and fellow comedian Carol Burnett.   Even “Uncle Miltie” (Milton Berle) and such musical talent as Mel Tormé, Wayne Newton and Frankie Avalon found their way to The Lucy Show set.

The collection comes loaded with bonus goodies, including vintage interviews, commercials from the period and both featurettes and a documentary titled Lucy In London Revisited.

Pop Twist's Confessions Of Isabella Heads To DVD On Sept. 23

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
On Friday, Sept. 23, MVD Entertainment Group will be guiding the sales and distribution of the Pop Twist Urban DVD debut of actress-turned-writer/director Trina McGee’s sultry thriller, Confessions of Isabella, to the home entertainment marketplace.

The alluring Alexya Garcia stars as Isabella, a young woman with raw talent, but unfamiliar with the sometimes dangerous dealings of the music business.   In sort of a twist on Bob Seger’s “I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then,” Alexya crosses paths with a flamboyant producer named Antonio (Alejandro Bravo) … he can make all of her dreams come true!   They hit it off, but if she only knew how this sexual allure was going to turn out, she might have flirted just a bit and moved on.

Antonio it seems is a player, streetwise to be sure, he knows the business, but his willingness to take shortcuts proves to be a dangerous character flaw — not just for him, but for Alexya as well.   When he double-crosses rapper Pee Wee (played by Omar Angulo) things are set in motion that will turn Alexya’s dreams of a music career into a nightmare world of violence, scammers and murderous double-dealers.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Cinema Libre Targets Sept. 27 For The DVD Debut Of Writer/Director Thibault Arbre’s Now We’re Alive

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Cinema Libre has selected Sept. 27 as the domestic DVD debut date for writer/director Thibault Arbre’s haunting, Now We’re Alive.

In sort of an alternate reality, Tom (Charles Lemaire), upon turning 25 years of age visits an office complex where he will sit at one end of a room, blindfolded, while a dozen or so young women read aloud from a scripted set of phrases at the other end of the room.  When he hears the voice that is special to him, she will be his mate. 

This “utopian” near-future society’s twist on marriage is certainly one way to cut through all the messy clutter of dating and trying to find your special soul mate.  You just hear the “voice” and it’s done … well, almost.   

It works this way, Tom hears the voice and then has 30 days to hear that same voice again out in the world.   He will know it instantly and that will be that.

Now Tom has his task set before him and he tries to imagine what beautiful creature must match the “voice.”   He has quite the imagination and conjures up Jeanne (Victoria Oberli), a fantasy woman that certainly must be what the “voice” must look like — beautiful, intelligent, sexy, exotic.   Yes, Jeanne is certainly the one.

One day Tom does in fact hear the “voice” in conversation and is surprised to discover that she, Lea (Laure Haulet), isn’t anything like he has imagined.   This isn’t right.   His parents, her parents, society, they all insist that once you hear the “voice,” and then find the “voice,” the process is done … this is it.
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

So what happens to an individual who doesn’t buy into the end result?   Tom sees, hears, talks to … makes love to Jeanne.   Does she even exist?   Or is our protagonist losing his mind?   Is this what happens when the “voice” doesn’t match your reality?

Now We’re Alive is a provocative film that draws you in and makes you wonder … is all of this real, or something more?   Now We’re Alive is presented in French with English subtitles.

20th Century-Fox Home Entertainments Picks Nov. 1 As The Street Date For DVD And Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Editions Of Nine Lives

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment announced this past week that director Barry Sonnenfeld’s latest, Nine Lives, teaming Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Garner and Christopher Walken, will be available as DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack offerings on Nov. 1.

The ARR is a swift-to-retail 88 days and domestic ticket sales for this August theatrical release came in at $18.9 million.

Bonus goodies include a pair of production featurettes — “Letting the Cat Out of the Bag: The Making of Nine Lives” and “Russian for Herding Cats.”

No 4K Ultra HD For Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment's Nov. 15 Home Entertainment Launch Of Finding Dory

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Finding Dory, Ralph Tribbey
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment once again says no to the 4K Ultra HD format for its latest animated smash hit, Finding Dory, from the writing and directing team of Andrew Stanton and Angus MacLane.

Swimming home on Nov. 15 will be two Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack SKUs (one with and one without a 3D viewing option) and a stand-alone DVD edition.

The ARR works out to 151 days and ticket sales were a chart topping $482.9 million.

Although the studio might be format challenged (the only “Hollywood” studio not embracing the 4K Ultra HD format), they did get the date right for maximum sales of this animated monster.   Some of Disney’s competitors (no names, please) have been rushing their summer theatrical hits to market and not, perhaps, strategically placing some these films closer to the Thanksgiving/Christmas timeframe.

Of note, with Disney going first in picking Nov. 15 as the street date for this three-SKU array of home entertainment selections, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment now has the luxury of working around this date for its equally well-positioned collectible, The Secret Life of Pets.   
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Finding Dory, Ralph Tribbey

With Universal’s Bad Moms dropping on Nov. 1 (announced a week ago), the studio can now place the directing team of Yarrow Cheney and Chris Renaud’s animated adventures of Max and Duke, the stars of The Secret Life of Pets, either one week before (Nov. 8) or one week after (Nov. 22) Disney’s Finding Dory … it will certainly be on retailer’s shelves before Black Friday.

Perhaps the bigger question for Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment is what do they do with their two weaker summer entries that remain in inventory — the remake of Pete’s Dragon and Steven Spielberg’s The BFG?

The 151 days from Finding Dory’s theatrical debut to its availability in the home entertainment market place reflects careful planning to maximize sales.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Finding Dory, Ralph Tribbey
As to bonus nuggets (and there are plenty), two-time Oscar-winning Andrew Stanton (WALL-E, Finding Nemo), Angus MacLane and producer Lindsey Collins provide commentary and short animated film titled Piper are common to all release formats.

Exclusive to the Blu-ray product offerings are nine production featurettes and seven deleted scenes.