Monday, August 14, 2017

Arrow Video And MVD Entertainment Group Ready A Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Of Herschell Gordon Lewis’ Blood Feast For Delivery On Oct. 10

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Arrow Video, with domestic sales and distribution expertise provided by MVD Entertainment Group, will be serving up a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack edition of filmmaker Herschell Gordon Lewis’ 1963 Epicurean delight, Blood Feast on Oct. 10.

As Halloween of 1963 approached a small film production company was about to make history with the release of Blood Feast, the first “gore-fest” film from fledgling filmmaker Herschell Gordon Lewis.   

Lewis was an academic, complete with a Masters Degree from Northwestern University, but advertising and television commercial production were the gateway to a career in filmmaking.   His “graduate film school” education came in the form of a series of early 1960s sexploitation films — Living Venus, Nature’s Playmates, Daughter of the Sun, etc. — and then a four-day production shoot for Blood Feast, which is any by standard cheap and threadbare.   

But Blood Feast did have one thing going for it … blood and gore (by the buckets).    It delivered exactly what was promised.

Herschell Gordon Lewis stature as the “Godfather of Gore” would be secured within the next two years with the release of Two Thousand Maniacs! in 1964 and Color Me Blood Red the following year.   But it all began with Blood Feast!

Bonus goodies include the feature presentation of Scum of the Earth (a 1963 teenage exploitation film), commentary featuring Herschell Gordon Lewis and producer David F. Friedman moderated by Mike Grady, a vintage interview session with the late Herschell Gordon Lewis titled “Herschell’s History,” Outtakes and more.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Mill Creek Entertainment Selects Oct. 17 For The Blu-ray Release Of Night Of The Living Dead: 50th Anniversary Edition

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Mill Creek Entertainment has tabbed Oct. 17 for a Blu-ray presentation of the late George A. Romero’s 1968 horror classic (and Library of Congress selectee), Night of the Living Dead: 50th Anniversary Edition.

In other priced-to-collect selections that will also be retailer-ready on Oct. 17 Mill Creek Entertainment has in place the nine-disc DVD collection titled Horror Hall of Fame.  
Included in this 26-film collection are six films starring screen legend Boris Karloff.    

These horror selections begin with director Roy William Neill’s 1935 twist-ending horror tale, The Black Room, which features Karloff in the duel role of Anton and Gregor de Berghman, with Marian Marsh as the object of lust of the evil twin.   

Director Nick Grindé delivers the 1939 mad scientist tale, The Man They Could Not Hang, which stars Karloff as Dr. Henryk Savaard, the inventor of a life-restoring machine.   When the police barge in on a “work in progress,” Savaard is charged with murder, convicted and hanged in short order … but that’s not the end of the story!    

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyThe theme of mad scientists and death by hanging are repeated the following year, 1940, when once again director Nick Grindé teams with Boris Karloff for the film release of Before I Hang, which had Karloff as the sympathetic Dr. John Garth, who is sentenced to death for a mercy killing.   He perfects a live-forever serum moments before he is to be put to death, injects himself with it, but then the governor calls and commutes his sentence to life!!!

So you think that’s the end of it … the drug has a side effect, he becomes a Jekyll and Hyde like creature, with an impulse to kill.   The irony continues when the good doctor is released from prison when his “good deed” is revealed, but now you have a mad man loose in the world!   

The other three films starring Boris Karloff in this Horror Hall of Fame collection find Grindé and Karloff teaming again in 1940 for The Man With Nine Lives, the 1941 release of The Devil Commands (direction by Edward Dmytryk) and Peter Lorre teams with Karloff for the 1942 horror/comedy, The Boogie Man Will Get You (Lew Landers was the director).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The Vincent Price Collection — announced last week — is also included in this collection and includes The Bat, The Last Man on Earth, The Jackals, Shock and House on Haunted Hill.

Horror legend, Christopher Lee, is showcased in four films — director Terence Fisher’s 1960 Hammer Films production of The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll (with Paul Massie as the Jekyll and Hyde character); from 1961 the double-twist Hammer Films thriller, Scream of Fear, starring Christopher Lee as a bad guy, or is he a good guy (with Susan Strasberg, Ann Todd and Ronald Lewis); The Terror of the Tongs (1961 with Lee as the evil Chung King) and from 1964 director Terence Fisher teams with both Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing in The Gorgon.

And speaking of Peter Cushing, he stars in director Terence Fisher’s 1958 horror gem, The Revenge of Frankenstein.

This is just a sampling of what can be found in the Horror Hall of Fame … for more selections please find the Mill Creek Entertainment web site at

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Targets Sept.19 For Director Patty Jenkins' Home Entertainment Launch Of Wonder Woman

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Like clockwork, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment announces a flurry of TV series sets on Blu-ray and DVD a couple of weeks ago, which signaled that something “wondrous” was about to be announced (you don’t step on the lesser titles with a mega hit … that’s PR101). 
So this week we find that it will be Sept. 19 for director Patty Jenkins’ summer blockbuster, Wonder Woman, starring Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman.

The ARR is 109 days and ticket sales jumped to over $400 million this past weekend.

As for SKU configurations, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has a 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack, plus two Blu-ray editions — one will feature the traditional Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack, while the second will be a double-disc Blu-ray set featuring the combination of 2D and 3D viewing options — and finally a stand-alone DVD edition.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
As to bonus goodies, common to all home entertainment product offerings are extended scenes, a blooper reel, the five-part “A Director’s Vision” presentation featuring filmmaker Patty Jenkins — the segments are variously titled: “Themyscira: The Hidden Island,” “Beach Battle,” “A Photograph Through Time,” “Diana in the Modern World” and “Wonder Woman at War” — and five additional featurettes — “Crafting the Wonder,” “Warrior of Wonder Woman,” “The Trinity,” “The Wonder Behind the Camera” and “Finding the Wonder Woman Within.”

Exclusive to the 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray configurations is the additional featurette titled “Epilogue: Etta’s Mission.”

The Film Detective Preps Five New Film Restorations For Delivery To The DVD Marketplace On Aug. 22

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The Film Detective has five new film restorations lined up for delivery to the DVD market place on Aug. 22, including two entries from the golden age of Blaxploitation films.

The first of these is director William Witney’s 1975 film release of Darktown Strutters, starring Trina Parks (perhaps best known as “Thumper” in Diamonds are Forever) as Syreena, the leader of all-black, all-female motorcycle gang who hail from the mean streets of Los Angeles.   

When word arrives that her mother, Cinderella (Frances E. Nealy), has gone missing, Syreena embarks on one of the wildest missing person searches in the history of the City of Angels.   She crosses paths with the KKK, a mystery involving the disappearance of prominent members of the black community and a loony tunes by the name of Cross (Norman Bartold), who has developed a cloning machine and has some bizarre plans of its usage!

Make no mistake, Darktown Strutter has a unique niche in the annals of ‘70s’ Blaxploitation films … part action, part satire (heavy on race relations) with a mix of comedy that would certainly have members of today’s “PC” culture squirming in their seats.

Also on Aug. 22 is writer/director Bobby Davis’ ultra-rare Blaxploitation flick, Bad, Black and Beautiful, starring Gwen Barbie (aka: Gwynn Barbee) as Eva Taylor, a bad-ass attorney who takes on the case of a Vietnam vet named Johnny (Terry Starnes) who is accused of murder.
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

It appears that the film was shot in 1972 and then couldn’t find a distributor so it sat on the self until 1975 when it got limited distribution (perhaps only a few 35mm prints that were “bicycled” from city to city).   

In any case, The Film Detective has come up with a print and fans of the genre can now get their hands on a copy of Bad, Black and Beautiful, which combines Vietnam flashbacks, political corruption, ‘70s style Kung Fu (thank you Enter the Dragon), the mob and murder … and a trial that finds Eve seducing the judge in the courtroom to get her client off.  
Bad, Black and Beautiful is loaded with action, including a climatic shootout that rids the world of the real murderer and a most of the mob … and Eva finds her true love as the credits roll!!!

Rounding out the Aug. 22 film restorations on DVD are Cosmo Jones: The Crime Smasher (1943, directed by James Tinling and starring Frank Graham as Professor Cosmo Jones, who dreams of being a detective), New Mexico (1951, starring Lew Ayres and Marilyn Maxwell, with a pre-Perry Mason Raymond Burr, plus Robert Hutton and Andy Divine … direction by Irving Reis) and director Earl Bellamy’s 1974 film adaptation of Honore Morrow’s book “On to Oregon,” which was titled for the screen as Seven Alone.

AGFA Teams With MVD Entertainment Group For The Blu-ray Release Of Bat Pussy On Oct. 10

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
AGFA (American Genre Film Archive) will be teaming up with MVD Entertainment Group on Oct. 17 for the Blu-ray debut of the raunchy, no identity of those involved in the production (with good reason), low budget homage to Batman from 1973 titled Bat Pussy on Oct. 10.

AGFA has gotten access to the only known 16mm print of the film, which was acquired by Something Weird Video back in 1996 from an adult bookstore in Memphis, Tennessee.   A new 2K scan is promised, which will render all of those coveted VHS copies obsolete. 

The movie itself — 50 minutes in running time — is so awful that it is considered a cult treasure.   There are three characters, whose names are Buddy, Sam and Bad Pussy (the actors have never been identified, nor the filmmaker).    

The plot, what there is of it, consists of Buddy and Sam (likely short for Samantha, but who knows) having bad porn-style sex, while hurling insults at each other, which is (mercifully) interrupted from time to time by Bat Pussy bouncing down a country road on a red “hopper” ball in search of illicit porn-makers (aka: Buddy and Sam).

Bonus goodies include a commentary track from Something Weird’s Lisa Petrucci and Tim Lewis, the bonus movie titled Robot Love Slaves and shorts and “crime-smut” trailers from the vaults of Something Weird Video.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Amazon Jumps All Over Sony Pictures Home Entertainment's House Of Cards Product Launch — On DVD And Blu-ray Sept. 5

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Last week decided that it was time to announce the home entertainment release date for Rough Night, despite Sony Pictures Home Entertainment not officially announcing the Sept 5 street date for a three-SKU product offering (a stand-alone DVD edition, a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack and a 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack).

This week joined the parade in jumping the gun on the official press announcement of both Blu-ray and DVD four-disc sets of House of Cards: The Complete Fifth Season on Oct. 3.

It is something of a head-scratcher that Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is so reticent in getting the word out ahead of the mega-giant online retailer.   In any case, president Francis “Frank” Underwood (Kevin Spacey) and his power-hungry wife, Claire (Robin Wright), are back for 13 more episodes of intrigue, leaks and murder, with both the fate of the office of the president and that of the nation always in the balance.

It doesn’t appear that there any bonus goodies included with either the DVD or Blu-ray sets.

Patience Pays Off For Writer/Director Johannes Roberts’ 47 Meters Down — DVD And Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Editions Surface On Sept. 26

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Last summer Blake Lively was stranded on a rock with a killer shark doing everything possible to make her a meal in director Jaume Collet-Serra’s masterful thriller, The Shallows.   Lively’s character was enjoying an afternoon of surfing — at an incredible beach — and things went south from there.

This year, we have Mandy Moore (A Walk to Remember) and Claire Holt (as Rebekah in The Vampire Diaries), who play sisters in writer/director Johannes Roberts’ 47 Meters Down (aka: In the Deep).   They get talked into an afternoon cage-diving excursion …  and they too see things go south.

The backstory, however, is every bit as good as the film itself.   It was destined to be a direct-to-video release last summer titled In the Deep, but with the success of The Shallows and filmmaker Johannes Roberts knowing what his final product was, the film was pulled at the last minute and switched to Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios, Inc., which immediately put the home entertainment plans on hold and went back to the original title, 47 Meters Down, and then waited.    

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The film was release theatrically this year (June 16) and was an indie-smash, pulling in $43.1 million in domestic box office receipts (that’s a monster number for a non-studio distributed film).   That’s right, written off as direct-to-DVD release, 47 Meters Down pulls in over $40 million at the box office against major-studio competition.   

On Sept. 26, Lionsgate Home Entertainment (technically an Anchor Bay release) will be shipping DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack editions of THIS YEAR’s shark thriller, 47 Meters Down … the ARR comes in at 102 days.

We can’t report on any bonus features included with the home entertainment launch as Lionsgate Home Entertainment is mum’s the word on those details.