Lucio Fulci, the acclaimed “Italian Godfather of Gore” was not doing great health wise in the early 90’s so Dario Argento wanted to help him make another great film. The decided on a quasi-remake of The House of Wax. Dario was finishing up a film while doing pre-production on what would be titled The Wax Mask so it took them longer than expected to be ready to shoot. Unfortunately during this time period Fulci passed away. Dario ended up bringing in Sergio Stivaletti, a special effect artist to direct the film, while he stayed on to produce and help oversee. On a side note, this Blu-ray I am reviewing from Severin has some amazing behind the scenes interviews that talks about all this. Its quiet fascinating to say the least.
Set in 1900 The Wax Mask opens with a hooded killer murdering a young couple with a metal claw. He tears them up good rips off a hand and cuts out a heart. While he is doing this he doesn’t notice their young daughter hiding watching all of this unfold. Cut to 20 years later and the girl, Sonia is all grown up and trying to get a job at the new wax museum as a costume designer. The owner and his assistant find her beautiful and hire her on the spot.
The museum features crime scenes displayed complete with all the blood and gore intact. One of them strangely resembles her parents murder. We cut to a couple guys at a whore house betting who can spend the night in the creepy wax museum. The one man takes the bet, sneaks in and dies from what seems to be shear fright. Now the local police cannot figure out what happened, let alone who or what may have caused this, but a young reporter named Andrea seems to think the museum may have something to do with it. He goes hoping to interview the director but instead meets Sonia. The two naturally fall in love. As all of this is happening more and more people begin disappearing and the Wax Museum starts getting more and more displays. Sonia is not only sure that they are behind the disappearances, but she thinks it is also linked to the murder of her parents.
This is a different type of film. Its not standard slasher fair like we see here in the states, nor is it a Giallo film like Argento is so well known for. Its more of a classic Hammer film meets the Terminator with the House of Wax Plot used as a backdrop. Yes I said the Terminator. Now I don’t mean any of that in a bad way. This is a really underrated slow burn horror film that features an amazing score and really well done special effects. There’s plenty of blood and gore for the gore hounds, and enough twists and turns for horror and suspense fans as well.
Severin has done it again with an amazing transfer. I have a couple Blu-ray’s of this film already, but I must say this is the best transfer I have scene. The film looks and sound amazing. All the dark colors are gorgeous and never deepened with that horrible Blue tint. Everything is crisp and clear from bright fire and blood, to dark dimly lit streets. Throw in an amazing pulse pounding score booming from your speakers and you have an amazing atmospheric picture in front of you. Not only did Severin do an amazing transfer they absolutely loaded this release with Special Features.
Audio Commentary with Director/Special Effects Artist Sergio Stivaletti and Michelangelo Stivaletti
Beyond Fulci: Interviews with Producer Dario Argento, Director Sergio Stivaletti, Producer Giuseppe Columbo, Production Designer Massimo Geleng, Actress Gabriella Giorgelli and Filmmaker Claudio Fragasso
The Chamber of Horrors: Interviews with Producer Dario Argento, Director Sergio Stivaletti, Producer Giuseppe Columbo, Production Designer Massimo Geleng and Actress Gabriella Giorgelli
Living Dolls: Interviews with Producer Dario Argento, Director Sergio Stivaletti, Producer Giuseppe Columbo and Actress Gabriella Giorgelli
The Mysteries of the Wax Museum: Interview with SFX Artist Sergio Stivaletti
The Waxworks Symphony: Interview with Soundtrack Composer Maurizio Abeni
The Grand Opening: Interviews with Producer Dario Argento, Director Sergio Stivaletti and Producer Giuseppe Columbo
Wax Unmasked: Interview with Film Writer Alan Jones
Vintage Featurettes: Behind the Scenes, Special Effects, On Set with Dario Argento
5.1 and 2.0 English and Italian Audio
English with Closed Captioning, Italian with English Subtitles
This is one of the last great pieces of atmospheric horror I have seen from Italy, and this transfer just makes it all the better. Horror fans and film fans alike should view this film. Add it to your collection today.
Overall 4 out of 4 Stars!
I love creature feature movies. Love them. Big monsters I am in. Doesn’t matter if its some hokey sci-fi schlock or a masterpiece like Jaws, if a big creature is on the rampage I want to watch it. No I mention Jaws because it really is just a creature on the rampage movie, it just had a great cast of actors in it. At the end of the day it was still giant shark on the lose eating people at a beach resort. Now another reason I bring up Jaws is because it was such a hit it inspired a nice amount of rip off films. Alligator, Bloody Beach, Orca, Piranha, and the Italian masterpiece Killer Crocodile
Killer Crocodile is simply put a movie about a killer crocodile. The film actually opens hot with a couple guys fishing and complaining about the lack of bites they are getting when a giant crocodile jumps up to their boat and kills them. It pans into a very slick POV shot of the crocs mouth while some smooth Jaws rip off music plays over the credits. We then cut to a group of hippie kids taking samples of the water to try and figure out what keeps polluting it. They figure out pretty quick its man made pollution and that someone is dumping chemical waste in the water. They find traces of it and determine that its also radioactive. They take camp for the night, and that’s when the Killer Crocodile takes out on of the girls, and her little dog.
Yes this crocodile is not only a killer, but the radioactive waste he has been living in has caused him to mutate and grow to about 30 feet. Not only is it big, but its also really mean and about every 10 min or so it kills someone. At first when the group discovers it they don’t want to kill it, but after it essentially eats a dock with people on it they change their tune and bring in a local crocodile hunter to kill it. Yes, this is Jaws plot most of the way. The only thing, it’s much more entertaining.
See, bad acting, and bad score aside this is a really fun film. The crocodile, is clearly mechanical, but it doesn’t look bad at all. In fact I think it looks rather cool. The other great thing is the Croc is always on the hunt. This is not a slow burn film like a lot of these types of movie are, no this is fast pace all the way through. This thing kills someone, sometimes more than one every 10min or so ang the effects look really well.
Now, this film is clearly on the lower end of the budget but I’m willing to bet the majority went into the croc itself and the special effect, which of course are all practical. People being chewed up, bitten in half, swallowed, limbs eaten, you name it. Very bloody and more than enough to please all the gore fans out there. The POV shots of the croc coming after people as he stalks them before the killing is really slick as well and actually helps add to the suspense. Throw in that cool score and its really fun.
Out of print for years, and a popular title back in the old VHS tape trading days this classic has been picked up by the great folks over at Severin. Severin has been doing an amazing job on their transfers and this is no exception as the give it a nice collector treatment on Blu-ray. I have to say the transfer is both audio and video is amazing to the past version I have seen of this film. Everything is crisp and clear, yet because of how well they transfer the colors is loses none of its grindhouse look and appeal. It’s even loaded up with special features
The Fearless Crocodile Hunter: Interview with Actor Pietro Genuardi
It Crawls: Interview with Cinematographer Federico Del Zoppo
In the Jaws of the Crocodile: Interview with Special Makeup FX Artist Giannetto De Rossi
Of Crocodiles and Men: Interview with Actor Richard Anthony Crenna
English with Closed Captioning
Another great release by Severin that’s sure to please all the horror and exploitation fans out there. Killer Crocodile is a fun bloody time from beginning to end and needs to be seen to be believed. Pick yours up today.
Overall 3.5 out of 5 Stars!
The following 4K was provided to me by Warner Brothers for review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
In the 80’s you could make a horror movie about little demon like monsters who terrorize a sleepy town murdering people along the way and pass it off as family fun fantasy. God the 80’s were a magical time. All you had to do was make one of the little monsters adorably cute to sell toys and stuffed animals and kids would not know its scary. Yes I am talking about Gremlins. The Steven Spielberg produced classic directed by Joe Dante. It’s a staple of 80’s cinema beloved by all, and for good reason. It’s a magical film, its just really a horror movie in disguise.
I am going to hope you have seen Gremlins, but if for some really weird reason you have not I’ll give you a quick breakdown. Randall Pelzer is a hack inventor who while in a Chinatown shop buys a birthday gift for his son. The gift is a little furry Mogwai (Horror fact that translates to Devil in Cantonese). Now to be clear the shop owner wont sell it, so his grandson sneaks it out the back and sells it to Randall black market style. The little thing is friendly it just comes with three rules you must obey. Never get it wet, never feed it after midnight, and never expose it to sunlight as that will kill it. Randall takes it home and give it to his son Billy who names it Gizmo. Now lets be clear. Gizmo is without a doubt the cutest film creature in history. I mean its adorable. You cant help but fall in love with it. Hell all these years later and they still make toys of it.
Now it wouldn’t be much of a film if the rules of taking care of Gizmo were not broken. First Corey Feldman gets him wet causing him to multiply. Problem is the new ones are not friendly like Gizmo, there actually quiet mean. One of them has a large white strip of hair that resembles a mohawk. He becomes known as Stripe. Stripe moves all the clocks back so they will be fed after midnight which causes them to turn into ugly (sort of still cute I guess) monsters who begin destroying the town, and killing people. Gizmo was not fed so he goes with Billy and Billy’s girlfriend to stop these monsters.
Now I’m calling it horror, because it is, but its also very funny and charming. The film holds up perfectly to this day. The effects are still top notch, and nothing looks fake, or to corny by today’s standards. To celebrate the 35th anniversary Warner Brother is releasing this classic on 4K. And let me say it looks and sounds great.
The video is gorgeous. All the colors are as bright and crisp as can be. Now Gremlins takes place around Christmas time, and the majority is in the dark and everything just pops. The dark shots are fantastic, never once suffering from that horrible blue tint you see in some films. It’s a nice sharp dark, and the random town and Christmas lights are vibrant and really show off the variations of colors 4K can do. Gizmo looks cuter than ever, and he sounds great as well. The gremlins are a very evil, yet sneaky bunch so you can hear all of there little background noises coming from your surround sound. If you own a 4K player this is a definite pick up for the collection. Its one of the best transfers I have ever seen.
Top to bottom this is a great film. Its considered a classic for a reason. If for some reason you have never seen it, watch it immediately. If you’re a fan this really is the version to own.
Overall 4 out of 5 Stars!
The following Blu-ray set was provided to my by Warner Brother for review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
Shows change over the years, they evolve, add new characters, change direction at times, but they never change into a different subgenre. Flash added new characters but it was still a standard superhero show. Rosanne dropped Rosanne but it was still a sitcom. Heck Dallas changed every season story and plot wise but it was still a formula drama. Well DC’s Legends of Tomorrow changed completely. A few characters like Firestorm, Hawkgirl, and Captain Cold all departed throughout the years. Steel, Ava, and Constantine came right in at various times to take their places, but that was not the change. The change slowly happened towards the very end of season 2 and became fully prominent for season 4. Legends of Tomorrow, while still a superhero show at heart transformed into a situation comedy. A sitcom with heroes to be exact. Sure we still had the villain of the week, with the main bag guy storyline over the course of the season but season four was played entirely for laughs. Killer unicorns, Evil Fairy Godmothers, Magical World Land, it was a laugh a minute, and I could not have loved it more.
Season 4 takes place after the events of the teams battle with Mallus in season 3. The battle had large ramifications that unleashed different magical powered fugitives throughout time. Luckily John Constantine has joined the team not only to help them but to help stop the main big bad this season, a demon named Neron who not only wants to take over hell but has a score to settle with Constantine. With Rip out the picture the Time Bureau is under a new director, Hank Heywood (Thomas F Wilson of Back to the Future fame) who happens to be Nates estranged father. And let me say he is incredible in the role. He added such a layer of charm and comedy that he stole the entire season with his portrayal of Hank. His scenes with Nate are pure gold.
The Legends are all over the place this year. And as magic and fun are on tap each episode is a blast. Highlights of this season seem them traveling to Woodstock to battle a killer Unicorn, attending the Salem Witch Trials to battle a Fairy Godmother, facing down a Kaupe (Hawaiian demon shown as a hairy beast like caveman) who not only escapes a few episodes after capture, but goes on to be a Lucha Librea Wrestling champion. Naturally the Legends have to help the former champion to battle the Kaupe in the arena for the title. We also get to travel back to 1856 to hunt down a killer which is a puppet of Martin Stein. Throw in Richard Nixon, missing nipples, a giant octopus in the spirit of the old Godzilla films, and Ernest Hemingway helping them battle a Minotaur and you have a fabulous season
Sadly the Legends did not take part in the annual Arrowverse Crossover this year, but there absence is explained. Warner Brothers has released this set on Blu-ray, and DVD. The audio and video are gorgeous. These CW shows looks fantastic, and the Blu-ray transfers just highlight how amazing they look. They really are comic books come to life. You even get a good amount of special features along with all the episodes.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: Legendary Storytelling
Post Production Theater
The 16 One-Hour Episodes are:
The Virgin Gary
Wet Hot American Bummer
Tender is the Nate
Hell No, Dolly
Legends of To-Meow-Meow
Lucha de Apuestas
Séance & Sensibility
The Eggplant, the Witch & the Wardrobe
Terms of Service
Top to bottom this is not only my favorite of the DC shows, but my favorite show on television today. Its got a great cast, with great characters, fantastic stories and effects, and it’s a laugh riot as well. This is the pinnacle of superhero entertainment in my opinion. Pick this set up now!
Overall 5 out of 5 Stars!
I’m fortunate to not be afraid of many things. I don’t like heights, but I still can muster up the courage to head up, albeit slowly a ladder to hang Christmas ornaments. Roller Coasters also freak me out but I have so far been able to still convince my son that he has to ride them with mom because I am allergic. That should still work for another year if I’m lucky. But the one fear I cannot mask is that of Spiders. I am simply terrified of them. I don’t care if it’s a little dust spider I freak and have someone else step on it. I can even so much as look at one without getting the chills. I remember when Arachnophobia (a condition I really do have) came out and all my friends told me how funny it was. There was nothing funny about it. I could not sleep for days. I had my eyes shut through most of the last half and was still terrified. Because of that I avoided stuff like Eight Legged Freaks, Giant Spider, Lava Spider, basically anything with a spider. But when the good people at Scream Factory asked me to review a new film coming out called Itsy Bitsy I said sure. Then I saw the poster with big spider legs and thought “Ohh God no!” Still I logged on and sat down for what I knew would be a frightening time.
Its Bitsy comes out running. We see a voodoo type ceremony when a bunch of painted up cannibal looking folks cut open a web light a fire drink some blood, or poison or something of that nature while flashes of a big ass spider pop up. It was within those first two minutes I started sweating. We then fast forward and meet Kara. She’s your typical single mom raising two little kids who gets a job taking care of an elderly man named Walter. He’s a wealthy man who needs a private nurse to take care of him as he suffers from crippling multiple sclerosis. It’s a pretty good gig. Here and her kids get to live in the big guest house and the pay is fantastic. Apart from her oldest son Jessie being in full on angst from having to move and leave his friends behind everything is good. Her daughter, Cammy doesn’t mind living there at all.
Well it turns out that Walter is an appraiser and collector of antiques and oddities. One night he is brought the black egg from the ceremony we saw in the beginning. A deal was made but as the man bringing Walter the egg lost a loved one getting it he demands more money for his troubles. Walter refuses and the two have words. The man storm off leaving the egg as Kara and her family arrive and start to get settled in. Things seem a bit odd at first but tend to work out quickly. Cammy loves exploring the giant home and Jessie even bonds with Walter. In fact he begins helping Walter with all the antiques around the home.
Unfortunately things don’t stay happy as our man who brought the egg is still mad he didn’t get a bigger hunk of cash for it. He sneaks back into the hose and after panicking smashes the egg. Unfortunately it contains a giant cave spider that bites him before scurrying off. By giant I mean giant. Not hokey big like a monster movie but very big, like a few feet tall and wide. Its also mean and poisonous. Our would be robber flees to his car but is overcome by the poison and dies shortly after. Now the spider decides to stick around and begins moving from Walters house to the guest house where Kara and her family live. It also likes to go to the attic to lay hundreds of spider eggs. From there it gets even more terrifying as the family has to contend with a giant killer spider and its hatchlings.
This film scared the hell out of me. I had a hard time sitting through it actually covering my eyes and getting the chills at certain points. Let me tell you that big ass hairy spider is terrifying. I wear short to bed, and every time my blanket so much as moved I jumped out of bed thinking a spider was on me. I swear every speck of dust I saw was a killer spider. And I must say this spider is deadly. Glowing eyes, ability to split in half, fast, just horrifying.
The films looked great with a solid cast and a tight script. It moved quickly and the effects both CG and practical were great. To great as I swear that thing was real. Scream Factory has put this one out on Blu-ray following it's vod release, and the transfer looks great. They even filled it with special features
Audio Commentary With Director/Writer Micah Gallo
Audio Commentary With Director/Writer Micah Gallo And Writers Bryan Dick And Jason Alvino
The Spider: Beginnings
Itsy Bitsy: The Journey
Denise On Set
The Most Spidery Spider – Andy Dick Screen Tests For Itsy Bitsy
Overall I hated the film because it made my scared and cold, and jittery. However that is the sign of a good horror movie so I have to give it a high mark. If your scared of spiders you will be very afraid of this film and scared for days after. If your not scared of spiders you will be after watching Itsy Bitsy.
Overall 3.5 out of 5 Stars!
The following Blu-ray set was provided to me by Warner Brothers for Review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
Supergirl has come along way since its first season on CBS. Adding it to the Arrowverse on the CW really did help it, in my opinion anyway. Its gone from the villain of the week formula where Supergirl gets beaten up, then learns some lesson about her powers and wins in the rematch. I really hated that same old formula, which luckily Supergirl got away from. Its now a completely linear show. Sure you get a villain, but like Flash and Arrow it all ties into the central plot. Season 4 was one long story that brought in some new characters, a few twists and turns, and of course featured the amazing annual crossover, which was Elseworlds this season.
Season 4 of Supergirl centers around the Children of Liberty and the anti-alien movement sweeping the country. Now that aliens have been outed they are facing a rash of anti-alien hate crimes against them. The Children are a group who patrols neighborhood with an alien sniffing dog and abduct and torture aliens. At one point it is revealed they run an alien immigration center, and are able to capture Supergirl for a short time. Things get even worse for Supergirl as she refuses to reveal her identity to the President.
Now of course this wraps up (sort of) in the first act and we are reintroduced to Red Daughter, who with the help of Lex Luthor manages to frame Supergirl so he can pass himself off as a hero stopping an alien invasion. Its all a cover of course as Lex has grand plans to destroy his arch nemesis Superman on Argo.
All of Supergirl’s friends and enemies are here for this season, which is actually pretty loaded. Lex, and Lana Luthor, Braniac, Matina Manhunter, Dreamer and more. And by more I mean of course Oliver Queen, Barry Allen, Batwoman, and the rest of the Arrowverse (sans the Legend of Tomorrow this time around). Yes, Supergirl did take a quick break from fighting the Children to Help Barry and Oliver in this years crossover. Now the great thing is if you buy the Blu-ray for this season you get all 3 episodes (Arrow and Flash ones are included) which if your like me you just get them all anyway, but now you don’t have to switch discs.
This time it was Elseworlds. And it may have been the most important crossover yet. It featured the Flash from Earth-90 coming to our earth to warn us that our world was going to be destroyed by the Monitor. The Monitor has traveled to our earth to give a mysterious book to John Deegan, a crazy psychiatrist who practices at Arkham Asylum. He uses the book to rewrite the timeline. Part of this rewrite is that Oliver is now The Flash living our Barry Allen’s life, while Barry is now the Green Arrow living out Oliver’s Life. They are the only two who realize this and head to Earth 38 to get help from Supergirl and Superman. Together they travel to Gotham City and meet Kate Kane aka Batwoman. This was an amazing crossover and concludes telling us “Worlds will live, worlds will die, and the universe will never be the same” which sets up this year’s crossover “Crisis on Infinite Earths” which is not only shaping up to change the Arrowverse, but it will also mark the end of the Arrow series.
Warner Brothers has released this set on Blu-ray, and DVD, but to get the entire 3 part Elseworlds on one set is to buy the Blu-ray. The audio and video are gorgeous. These CW shows looks fantastic, and the Blu-ray transfers just highlight how amazing they look. They really are comic books come to life. You even get a good amount of special features along with all the episodes.
The Best of DC TV’s Comic-Con Panel San Diego 2018
Inside the Crossover: Elseworlds
Villains: Modes of Persuasion
BLU-RAY: 22 ONE-HOUR EPISODES + 2 FULL CROSSOVER EPISODES
1. American Alien
3. Man of Steel
5. Parasite Lost
6. Call to Action
7. Rather the Fallen Angel
8. Bunker Hill
9. Elseworlds: Hour One
10. Elseworlds: Hour Two
11. Elseworlds: Hour Three
12. Suspicious Minds
13. Blood Memory
15. What's So Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way?
16. Stand and Deliver
17. O Brother, Where Art Thou?
18. The House of L
19. All About Eve
20. Crime and Punishment
21. American Dreamer
22. Will the Real Miss Tessmacher Please Stand Up?
23. Red Dawn
24. The Quest for Peace
As I said Supergirl has come a long way from where it started, and although not my favorite of the DC Television shows its still a great watch and a must see for comic book fans.
Overall 3 out of 5 Stars!
In 1998 John Carpenter directed his last commercially successful film. Not saying other things he did were not good (I loved his episode of Masters of Horror) but sadly this was the last to turn a profit. That film was Vampires. Starring James Woods, yes the James Woods, Daniel Baldwin, and a personal favorite of mine Thomas Ian Griffith it was based off of the novel Vampire$ an offered a very different and unique take on the genre at the time. If you watch it closely you will see how heavily it has influenced the vampire films, and shows from the 2000’s on. It was a fantastic film that did huge business in the home video market as well.
Vampires stars James woods as Jack Crow. When he was just a child his mom and dad were murdered in front of him by a vampire that he was able to kill. Raised by the Catholic Church he was trained to become a vampire slayer and now leads a vampire hunting team that is funded by the Vatican. The film opens hot with Jack and his team, along with his Vatican sponsored priest raiding an old house in Mexico using harpoons to “catch” the vampires then hooking the lines to a winch to drag them out into the sunlight to burn them. It’s a great scene that really shows how different this film is trying to be. The team is able to destroy all the vampires and they head into a local motel to celebrate with the company of some hookers and alcohol.
During their festivities they are attacked by powerful vampire named Valek (Thomas Ian Griffith aka Terry Silver)who manages to kill everyone except Jack, Tony (Baldwin) and a hooker named Katrina, although he did manage to bite her. That bite as it turns out not only means she will turn into a vampire but it also gives her a psychic link to Valek which Jack uses to help track him. Valek is faster and stronger than any vampire they have faced and uses almost superhuman speed and strength to disembowel everyone in sight.
Jack and Tony take Katrina back to the Vatican where they are teamed with a priest named Adam Guiteau. He tells Jack that Valek was a priest that became possessed by demons hundreds of years ago. He possession was so strong that a special cross was used during the exorcism. It was called the Black Cross of Berziers. The exorcism failed and the end result turned Valek into a vampire, the first ever vampire if you will. Now Valek is seeking the same cross as it possesses the power to let vampires walk in the sunlight as well as making them invulnerable.
This is a fantastic film. Great acting from the entire cast, and the casting of Griffith as Valek was incredible as he is a martial artist and was able to showcase a lot of his talents during the film. Back in 1998 vampires didn’t know martial arts as much as they do now. It really added a great element to the film. Carpenter, who is one of the best directors of all time knew exactly how to film him. Throw in the acting of James Woods who is just a complete bad ass in this film and the effects by Greg Nicotero and you have a sure fire horror classic
The score is fantastic, and as this is a Scream Factory release you know it sounds great. The audio simply thunders out of your speakers. The transfer on the picture is amazing as well. Crisp and clear. The day scenes are breathtaking and the night scenes are simply ominous. I have had the DVD for years and this is just leaps and bounds above it. Its another masterpiece from Scream Factory. And its even loaded with tons of special features.
NEW Time To Kill Some Vampires – An Interview With Composer/Director John Carpenter, Producer Sandy King Carpenter, And Cinematographer Garry B. Kibbe
NEW Jack The Slayer – An Interview With Actor James Woods
NEW The First Vampire – An Interview With Actor Thomas Ian Griffith
NEW Raising The Stakes – An Interview With Special Effects Artist Greg Nicotero
NEW Padre – An Interview With Actor Tim Guinee
Audio Commentary By Composer/Director John Carpenter
Vintage Making Of Featurette
Top to bottom this is a fantastic film. Action and horror fans alike will love this release. If you’re a fan it’s a must own. If you have never seen this before you need to pick it up and add it to your collection
Overall 4 out of 5 Stars!
The following Blu-ray was provided to me by Warner Brothers for review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
Supernatural, the two brothers fighting demons came out all the way back in 2005. It was a linear show, but always featured a monster of the week. That formula, for the most part has never changed. Brothers Sam and Dean Winchester (Jared Padalecki & Jensen Ackles) were searching for their missing father who was on the trail of the yellow eyed demon that killed their mom. From there the story continued to grow until it was revealed that everything was set in motion by God himself because Dean was born to be the chosen one and the vessel for the archangel Michael so he could defeat Lucifer and stop him from bringing about the apocalypse. Catch was Sam was the vessel for Lucifer. This storyline wrapped in Season five which was supposed to be the final season, but the show had reached such levels of popularity it got a quick tacked on ending and has continued sense.
Season 14 begins the countdown to the end as the upcoming 15th season will be the end of the road for Supernatural as it comes to its close. The season starts off a few weeks since season 13 ended with Michael Still possessing Dean, while Sam is now the head of an entire group of Hunters from all over. They are searching for Dean, while Jack is trying to adapt to a life without any of his grace or powers. Michael is planning on building an army of monsters to destroy the world. He has superpowered werewolves, and vampires, and the story is interesting enough until it just basically ends as Dean is just all of a sudden free. I mean its explained, just not well in my opinion.
This season, like all the others deals with the plans for stopping Michael, as well as the new twists that pop up midway which I will not spoil for you, and of course the monster of the week. This year the tone really did go more so monster heavy. Vampires, Werewolves, Ghouls, Possessed Dolls, zombies, you name it. I really enjoyed that aspect of the season as it really was strong storytelling in that aspect. The main story line has really been flat for me since season 5 ended. I’ve felt that there was really no stake you could raise after you stop the devil. However Season 14 ends on a bang. It really is the first ending since season 4 that really sets the stage for an amazing final season. I wont go into it if you have not seen it, but if your reading this I am sure you have, and I assume you agree.
This season also features a landmark for any television show and that is its 300th episode entitled “Lebanon”. When Sam and Dean get a trove of possessed items from a pawn shop they find they have a pearl that is supposed to grant the holder a wish. Dean brings back their father from the year 2003 but this changes our timeline completely. Sam has become a lawyer running a successful firm, Dean is a serial killer, and Cass is now their enemy who happens to be investigating a change in time. It’s a fantastic stand alone episode. In fact its probably the best episode I’ve seen in the last 3 or 4 years.
It’s had to believe that this is a show that has been on for 14 years. We really have watched the characters evolve and watch as an entire world has been created. The chemistry between the actors is probably the best on television right now as they have really been a family all this time. Like I said this was by no means a favorite season of mine but it really hit a home run at the end to set up the ending.
Warner Brothers has released this on Blu-ray and it’s the only way to binge watch it in my opinion. There transfers are just out of this world. Everything is crisp and clear. Vibrant and bright when it needs to be and dark and pulsing when the tone is set. The audio booms from your surround sound, and its even got special features, along with all 20 episodes.
Supernatural Homecoming: Exploring Episode 300 (NEW Featurette)
· The Winchester Mythology: The Choices We Make (NEW Featurette)
· Supernatural: 2018 Comic-Con Panel
· Audio Commentaries with Talent & Producers
· Deleted Scenes
· Gag Reel
20 ONE-HOUR EPISODES
1. Stranger in a Strange Land
2. Gods and Monsters
3. The Scar
4. Mint Condition
5. Nightmare Logic
7. Unhuman Nature
9. The Spear
11. Damaged Goods
12. Prophet and Loss
13. Lebanon (300th episode)
15. Peace of Mind
16. Don't Go in the Woods
17. Game Night
19. Jack in the Box
Fans of the show will automatically pick this up for their collection, and rightfully so. If you have never seen Supernatural don’t start on Season 14. Go back and watch from the beginning. If you binge watch hardcore you can still be done in time for the start of the 15th and final season.
Overall 3out or 5 Stars!
Lock Up is a great movie, I’m going to say that right off the bat. I loved it. I saw it in the theatre back when I was a teenager and thought it was great. Stallone, action, adventure, you name it. It’s actually the first prison film I think I ever saw, if you don’t count Reform School Girls that is. I had the VHS, the DVD, and now its coming out on 4K, which I have as well.
In Lock Up Stallone stars as Frank Leone. He’s finishing up his stint at a very minimal security prison. He’s allowed to leave to see his girlfriend, he fixes up cars in the auto shop, he’s friends with the other inmates as well as the guards, he’s doing good. Then one night he gets woken up and dragged off to a maximum security prison run by Warden Drumgoole (Played wonderfully by Donald Sutherland) who hates Frank. Turns out Frank served time in the wardens old prison where he managed to escape and tell the news about the poor treatment there. He didn’t break out just to escape jail, he did it to visit a dying friend. He even returned without incident, but that got the Warden shipped off to Gateway, the worst prison in the state where he plans on making Frank suffer during his final months of incarceration.
Frank is treated horribly. Abused by the guards, privileges revoked. The warden even has the worst inmate there, Chink Weber (Sonny Landham) try to provoke Frank into an altercation thus getting time added to his sentence. From beatings in the cell, to beatings on the yard to solitary confinement Frank takes it all until a young inmate he befriended is murdered. He them mumbles “They want me, they got me” about 7 times and its on. And when I say on, I mean on as Stallone fights back against everyone.
I am assuming if you’re an action fan you have seen this already, hence the shorter review. As its been released before on DVD and Blu-ray your most likely wondering about the 4K transfer. Lionsgate is doing a tremendous job on their 4K releases and Push is no exception. Everything about this looks great and this 4K really shows it off. I have the DVD from years back and this is a 100% improvement. . It’s so lifelike it is scary. The audio is bellowing as well especially if you have surround sound. It’s as crisp as the Dolby you hear in the theater.
I can honestly say if you have a 4K player this is a must own for the transfer alone as it really shows off what a 4k player is capable of. Throw in the fact it's a great movie and you can't go wrong.
Overall 3.5 out of 5 Stars!
The following Blu-ray was provided to me by Warner Brothers for review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
I dig the Banana Splits. Always have. No I’m not that old to have watched them on Saturday morning. But I remember watching them on Boomerang because I was fascinated (and an older age) by the serial that aired during each episode. It was called Danger Island and featured a young Jan Michael Vincent, and was actually directed by a young Richard Donner. It was awesome. But that is for a different review. Anyway The Banana Splits were these giant Muppets (guys in costume) that were in a rock band. They would sing and do skits throughout the entire show. They were Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper, and Snorky. Created by Hanna-Barbera Productions they were a big hit during the 1968-1970 seasons. They got a revival in 2008 on the Cartoon Network, and again in 2019 only this time as a horror movie.
The Banana Splits movie takes place in present time where the show is still airing and is quiet popular. The Splits this time are actually robots as opposed to guys in costume. There biggest fan is a kid named Harley. He has a great mom, a loving brother, a duce bag dad, and basically zero friends. For his Birthday his family takes him to a taping of the Banana Split’s show. His mom gets one of her friends daughters to go with them, as Harley has no friends who want to go. Actually he seems to have no friends period. He’s incredibly excited to be seeing his heroes.
As fate would have it two things happen on this day of the tapings. The Banana Splits are getting an update downloaded into them by their creator, and a new television executive has been hired. He informs the crew that he’s cancelling the show so he can go with edgier programing. Today will be the final taping of the show. As this is going on Harleys brother is able to sweet talk one of the stagehands into getting them backstage with another group after the tapings. Things go smoothly until the Splits find out they have been canceled. They don’t really like that so they flip out and start murdering people.
They take out a few dads, some workers, the VP of course, heck they even have tons of kids locked up. There are deaths by flamethrower, hammer, car, sawing in half, lollypop, you name it. And I don’t mean off screen kills. There are very bloody and gory murders. The film definitely deserved the R rating it got. It’s a treat for horror fans looking for something different that’s for sure. The update of taking these goofy looking giant puppets and making them killer robots is a great idea. I hope they make more of these.
The film has a cheesy, almost cheap look about it, but its designed that way on purpose. It takes place on the set of a kids show nothing fancy, plus if it was a big CG fest it would not be right. It runs a short 88min, that unfortunately could have still had about 10min trimmed off it. I personally cared less about the mom and dads relationship issues as it did not do much in terms of advancing anything.
The acting was great, the effects were well done and Warner Brothers did a great job on the transfer. The audio and visuals are great. Bright in all the children’s spots and ominously dark in others. Plus the fact you hear the “Tra la la” song in your surround sound is great.
Warner is releasing this on Blu-ray on August 27 and its definitely one to pick up. The idea of turning old children’s characters into an R rated horror film was a great idea. The film is fun, and it sure as hell is different. I for one hope it hits big and they not only make a part two but possibly develop other old properties into horror films as well. I would love to see Jabber Jaw eat a beach full of people. Pick this one up
Overall 3out of 5 Stars!