The Vestron Video Collection keeps rolling along. So far every release under this banner has been excellent. In fact I cannot stress enough as to how well these are handled. From quality in the video and audio to the special features these things are great. I can only hope more of them come out. This particular one is a bit different. It’s a family film that was embraced by the horror crowd. The 1989 comedy cult classic Little Monsters starring Fred Savage and Howie Mandel.
Little Monsters stars Savage as Brian Stevenson an 11 year old who has just moved to a new town with his family. When we meet Brian he is always being blamed for everything that goes wrong around the house. His bike left in the driveway (which his dad runs over) freezer left open, melted ice cream, nothing major, just lots and lots of little things. Brian truly has done none of these and is quick to blame his little brother Eric. Eric has a theory that it’s a monster that lives under his bed. As everyone, including Brian laughs this off Brian agrees to spend the night in Eric’s room to prove monsters are not real. Problem is Brian keeps hearing mysterious noises and cant make it through the night.
After being laughed at for being scared of a “monster” Brian again goes to spend the night in Eric’s room, only this time he sets up traps. Pretty family friendly trap I may add. Essentially he rigs the legs of the bed to collapse when triggered by a sting attached to some Doritos. The trap does work and Brain catches a blue monster maned Maurice (Howie Mandel). Turns out Maurice is pretty cool. Brain quickly befriends him, and Maurice takes Brian under Eric’s bed to show him where all the monsters live. Its an entire world connected by vast staircases that lead to children’s beds. No adults, games, fast food, everything fun. The monsters go out at night and pull various pranks on humans, and at times scare them in the process for fun. Brian and Maurice become such good friends that Brian starts going with him on these prank trips at night.
Everything is going fine until Brian goes with a group of monsters who plan on scarring a baby. Brian objects to this and turns of the lights in the room to stop them. See when the lights come on the monsters turn into a pile of cloths. The problem is when the light hits Brian he shrinks a bit. Turns out Brian is slowly turning into a monster. In fact all the monsters are former children who have been turned. When Brian removes the legs from the beds and no longer goes with Maurice his little brother Eric is kidnaped by a monster named Snik to lure Brian back to their world to finish turning him into a monster. Brian gathers his friends and goes there in an attempt to save Eric.
This is a great film. It’s a family film for sure. Funny, well-acted, and just all around timeless. Howie Mandel is amazing as the goofy monster Maurice, and Fred Savage is fantastic in his role as well. This is just a good film from top to bottom. The monster makeup is extremely well done. Think of Nightbreed for kids. In fact the monsters are all done so well that this film was embraced by horror fans early on and over the years has developed a huge cult following. That’s where Vestron Comes in
Lionsgate has released this under their Vestron Video Collection banner and it is stunning. This is a fantastic transfer that really shows off how well done these monster are. The effects look fantastic on this print. Everything just pops and comes to life. It almost feels real. The audio is amazing as well and you really feel part of the monster world when having this bellow out of your surround sound. Plus its loaded with special features.
NEW*Audio Commentary with Jarret Gahan, Editor-in-Chief ofCultofMonster.com
*NEW*Isolated Score Selections and Audio Interview with Composer David Newman
*NEW*“Call Him Maurice”–An Interview with Actor Howie Mandel
*NEW*“Beneath the Bed”–An Interview with Producer Andrew Licht
*NEW*“Monsters Big & Small”–An Interview with Special Makeup Effects Creator Robert Short
*NEW*Vintage Interviews with Actors Fred Savage, Ben Savage, Special Makeup Effects Creator Robert Short, and Director Richard Alan Greenberg
“Making Maurice”–Vintage Footage of Howie Mandel’s Makeup Transformation
Vintage EPK & VHS Promo
Just as fun today as it was years ago Little Monsters is not only a fun film for families and children, it’s a great film for fans of horror as well. A simple film guaranteed to make you smile. I highly recommend picking this one up for your collection.
Overall 4 out of 5 Stars!
2002 was a big year for horror films. Dog Soldiers, Fear Dot Com, Resident Evil, and countless others came out during a quick resurgence. Although it was nice to have lots of horror back on the big screen a lot of these films came and went, and were never mentioned again. A very slight few developed cult followings and have stayed popular through the years. One of those was Ghost Ship which came out about a week before Halloween, the best time to open a horror film in my opinion. Featuring a good cast, a cool story, great special effects, and a nice budget for a horror film Ghost Ship performed well at the box office, and maintains its cult following to this day.
Ghost Ship opens hot, with one of the best openings in any horror film. It starts in 1962 and wee a group of passengers on a cruise ship all dancing and having a good time. One of the passengers is a girl named Katie. She’s much younger than everyone else and just sitting alone. The captain asks her to dance and she is having a nice time until we see a hand hit a spool lever. This sends a wire cord flying at everyone killing the entire group. Heads going off, bodies cut in half, the works. A total bloodbath from start to finish. Kate is unharmed as she is small and the wire passed right over her.
We cut to 40 years later and a salvage crew out in the ocean finds the long lost ship and decides to board it and claim it as their property. They discover the ship holds multiple boxes each containing gold bars. Unfortunately for them the ship is haunted and not only do a few of the crew perish as a result but the ship they used to board the “Ghost Ship” (which is actually called the Antonia Graza) explodes. The crew has no other choice but to try and repair the Graza and escape with the gold. Problem is the ship has many ghosts who begin to torment the salvage crew causing them to go mad an murder each other. See it turns out members of the Graza crew murdered the passengers, and the rest of the crew in order to obtain the gold. However they went crazy and began killing each other as well. Its revealed this all happened because of Jack Ferriman, an evil spirit who makes people commit sins so he can send them to hell.
This is a cool film with a very original story. Its well-acted and well made. The special effect are fantastic. The opening wire massacre scene is one of the best kill scenes in horror films. The pacing is very tight as well as the chemistry between all the actors. The film is short by todays standards, running barley 90min which is good as it fly’s right by. As all these films did back then it features a twist ending that’s sure to please.
Scream Factory has released this in a nice collectors series set with fantastic new cover art. As with all their releases the video and audio are second to none. The picture is crisp and vibrant. Everything comes alive, and as the film is mostly dark it great to see how it doesn’t suffer from that dreaded blue tint that some of these restorations have. Scream Factory has this down to a science and this one is no exception. The audio is great and the score sounds amazing coming out of your surround sound. And as its Scream Factory it even loaded with special features.
· NEW This Isn’t Real – An Interview With Actor Isaiah Washington
· NEW Dark Castle At Sea – An Interview With Producer Gil Adler
· NEW Every Body On Board – An Interview With Makeup Effects Supervisor Jason Baird
· NEW Audio Commentary With Director Steve Beck
· Max On Set: Ghost Ship Featurette
· Visual Effects Featurette
· A Closer Look At The Gore Featurette
· Designing The Ghost Ship Featurette
· Secrets Of The Antonia Graza Clips
· Mudvayne “Not Falling” Music Video
· Theatrical Trailer
This is a really good horror movie that’s not to be missed. It hold up well and is just as good today as it was almost 18 years ago. If you have never seen it it’s definitely one to check out. Good story, good gore, and good jump scares make this a must have for your collection.
Overall 3.5 out of 5 Stars!
The following Blu-ray was provided to me by Warner Brother for review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
I have always said how much I love the Arrowverse, or whatever its going to be called now that Arrow is gone. Arrow, Flash, Supergirl, all great shows. But there is own that stands head and shoulders above the rest, and that is Legends of Tomorrow. Legends is the ultimate “fun” show. What started off as a superhero ensemble (which it was fantastic at) slowly morphed its’s way into a situation comedy. Sure all the superhero tropes are there. Villain of the week, big bad that lasts the season, the fact they are superheroes on a time machine. Yes all of those elements hold true. However the Legends deal with all of this stuff on a humor note, that is just downright funny and fun at the same time.
Season 5 finds the Legends without Zari (for a while anyway) after the ripple they caused in Season 4. She has now been replaced in the timeline by her brother Behrad with no one the wiser. Gary is now working as John Constantine’s apprentice, and in the beginning Ava is now leading the team, as Legends starts after the events of the Crisis Crossover. This season we have a big bad, who then becomes another big bad. It was actually very fun the way they set it up. If you recall at the end of the Fourth season Astra resurrected a group of evil figures from history from hell in an attempt to destroy Constantine, whom she blames the death of her mother on. The Legends must travel through time to battle Bugsy Siegel, Marie Antoinette, Genghis Khan and more. As the Legends hop through time battling these villains Constantine, who has been cursed with lung cancer from Astra makes a deal to get the “Loom of Fate” to bring Astra’s mother back to life.
This turn of events sets up the main storyline of the season. It is revealed that Charlie is actually Clotho, one of the Sister of Fate and separated the loom and went into hiding so the world could have free will. This leads the Legends to be forced to stop the Sisters from getting it back and taking over the world. Along the way they must travel back to the 80’s to fight a serial killer on prom night. Battle it out in drinking games at a frat house to stop Dionysus. Stop Shakespeare from making Romeo and Juliet a superhero story, battle a zombie apocalypse and much more. Oh and because of the fact Mic has sex with his old high school sweetheart in the past we get to meet his brand new daughter in the present. As fun as all this is there is one sad piece to share.
Season 5 is the final season for Ray Parker, who Brandon Routh has done an amazing job playing for not only all 5 Legends Seasons, but from his beginning on Arrow as well. Ray marries Nora Dark, with the blessings from her father and the two leave the show to begin their life together. It’s hilarious and sad at the same time watching Ray and Nate say their good byes and plan their final mission together. Brandon Routh does go out with a bang however, as during the Crisis crossover he gets to play Superman, bringing back to life the performance he gave back in 2006 in Superman Returns. Once again he turns in a solid performance. He also gives a great comic performance as only he can in the 6th episode, Mr. Parkers Cul-De-Sac, which is a takeoff of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. Brondon Routh leaving will be a blow for the show, but I have faith the Legends can keep the fun going. The cliffhanger ending of Season 5 sets up a lot of great possibilities. And did I mention the final battle takes place to “Thong Song” yes, that song. You have to just watch it.
The Blu-ray looks and sounds fantastic. Nothing really needs to be said about the quality of Warner Brothers releases. They look and sound amazing from top to bottom, and Legends is no exception. In fact I prefer to watch these on Blu-ray as not only is this a binge worthy show, but it also benefits from the quality of these releases. The video makes the comic book story come to life, and who doesn’t want the Tong Song blaring from your speaker. Plus not only do you get special features, you get the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover on one disc. Now I didn’t mention crisis as much in this review as Legends first episode is the conclusion, and the storyline takes place after the events have already happened. But to recap let’s talk about crisis.
Crisis features all of the heroes from all the shows, this year join together to Stop the Anti Monitor from destroying all the earths. This was the most well done crossover event ever, and that’s saying a lot. I would rank this higher than any superhero film in terms of depth and story. Following a set up from the very first episode of the Flash (We see the newspaper saying he will die in Crisis) and culminating from the end of last year’s Elseworlds crossover we are witness to an event that will never happen again. In fact the creators themselves even said they would have to scale back the yearly crossovers as they could not see how to top this. We witness our earths heroes team with the Monitor to try and defeat the Anti Monitor who is going through all the multiverse’s destroying everything in his path in his goal to destroy all of humanity. Arrow, Team Flash, Batwoman, The Legends of Tomorrow, Black Lighting, and Supergirl all come together to travel through the different earths to stop him. Brandon Routh plays the iconic Superman from the movies (Earth 96)we see Burt Ward aka Robin, Kevin Conroy as Earth 99 Batman, and countless others. We even get the DC Streaming shows acknowledged like Titans, Doom Patrol, and Swamp Thing. This was an action packed monumental crossover the likes of which have never been done before. And it all works. It also brings about the death of Oliver Queen putting an end to the Arrow show that started it all.
Once again Legends stands head and shoulders above all other Superhero shows. Action packed and hilarious. Its still my favorite of all the Arrowverse shows and this season was an absolute blast. Pick this one up right away.
Overall 4.5 out of 5 Stars!
From 1981-1992 the name Vestron Video was synonymous with the home video market. Every one loved the Vestron Video releases. Countless horror titles came out that quickly became cult classics. Films like Chopping Mall, and Waxwork became VHS tapes that people waiting in line hoping to see returned so they could go home and watch them. Sadly Vestron went bankrupt, but the fine folks at Lionsgate have started remastering and re-releasing these films on Blu-ray as of late under their Vestron Video Collectors Series Line. Loaded with extras, and new artwork these releases became a collectors dream. Today is review is for the 19th release of this series, the David Cronenberg cult classic Shivers.
Dr. Emil Hobbes and his partner Rollo Linksy have been working on creating a parasite that when implanted into someone, can begin functioning as a human organ. In the beginning we see Hobbes slice open a woman’s stomach and dump some type of acid in her stomach. When he’s done he simply slits his throat. We soon meet Nick who goes to visit Annabelle (the murdered girl)and finds her dead body. That, complied with the fact Nick has stomach pains makes him leave the office to go home for the day. Unfortunately he throws up once he get to his apartment complex and pukes out a parasite that was living in his stomach. It slithers away and quickly attaches itself to a new host.
If this was not weird enough we cut to across town where we meet Roger St. Luc. Roger is a Doctor at a local clinic and just happens to be seeing one of Annabelle’s (the girl murdered by Hobbes in the beginning) lovers. He’s not only got stomach cramps like Nic, but he has a burning STD as well, in fact Roger has been seeing a lot of STD cases as of late. After a bit of good old fashioned detective work Rogers finds out that Annabelle was Dr. Hobbes guinea pig. She had been housing the parasite he was working on. Turns out said parasite was made up aphrodisiac’s and venereal disease. He knew Annabelle was essentially a tramp and by having her spread it around he could begin to turn the world into one big orgy. And seeing how Nick threw the parasite (it looks like a slimy penis) up and it found its way to the apartment buildings resident cleaning lady to live things pick up fast.
Our lovely cleaning woman attacks and rapes a delivery boy, who then goes after a mother and daughter, who them go after the complex’s security guard. One after another using their deadly tongue kisses to spread this evil Horney parasite. Eventually overtaking the apartment complex one by one. Can Roger, who is not in the heart of the sex epidemic stop the evil sex parasite? You will have to watch to find out.
This is one hell of a fun film, and clearly the original Alien did copies some aspects of this. From the great ending, to just the general insanity this is a must watch. Its definitely different, and I can honestly say, having seen it years ago that it is still a fun film. A nice amount of blood for the gore fans, and a great story for horror and exploitation fans as well. As I said Lionsgate has released this as part of the Vestron Collection, and it looks great. The picture looks the best it ever has. Everything is crisp and clear. All the colors look amazing and they are never done to blue during the darker scenes. The audio is fantastic as well. It bellows out of your surround sound and really brings the film to life. It’s even loaded with special features as well.
·*NEW*Audio Commentary with Writer-Director David Cronenbergand Co-Producer DonCarmody
·*NEW*“Mind Over Matter”–An Interview with Writer-Director David Cronenberg
·*NEW*“Good Night Nurse”–An Interview with Actress Lynn Lowry
·*NEW*“Outside and Within”–An Interview with Special Make-Up Effects Creator JoeBlasco
·*NEW*“Celebrating Cinépix”–An Interview with Greg Dunning
·Archival 1998 David Cronenberg Interview
·Still Gallery with Optional Archival Audio Interview with Executive Producer John Dunning
I highly recommend picking this one up and adding it to your collection. It’s a great film that’s sure to get a rise out of you, no pun intended. In fact Roger Ebert even said in his original review “It scares and shocks us because it’s so cleverly made.” Pick this one up today.
Overall 4 out of 5 Stars!
"Shoot”, that means an unplanned, unscripted occurrence in terms of professional wrestling, aka “Real”. The term “Work” means anything planned to happen, “Fake” Why am I telling you this? Because this review is for the new documentary Nail in the Coffin: The Fall and Rise of Vampiro. For those who don’t know Vampiro his real name is Ian Hodgkinson. He is a professional wrestler who rose to fame in Mexico and to some extent here in the states in WCW during the famed Monday Night Wars. He still wrestles on occasion but mainly acts in either a booking (setting up matches aka screenwriter) or commentator. This documentary focuses on his wrestling life but primarily on his relationship with his young daughter. Think the movie The Wrestler, only parts of it are real. Yes, parts.
This doc starts out great. We see Vampiro working in the backstage capacity at the AAA TripleMania 25 event. One of the best events in wresting history in my opinion. For wrestling fans this is gold, as it is real, and if you are familiar it was an event littered with issues. We see Vamp worrying that Johnny Mundo is starting his promo to soon, and little stuff like that. But we also see him dealing with bigger issues. A drunken wrestler (Jeff Jarrett) flinging tortillas into the crowd, and getting into verbal altercations backstage. Another wrestler injuring an opponent on purpose (Sexy Starr, a favorite of mine) and more. It’s a very great look behind the curtain of the world of wrestling.
We learn about Vampiro’s background (Which has been debated for years) growing up in Canada and traveling to Mexico where he incorporated the log hair, tattooed, punk look and became a Lucha Libre icon. For many years he was one of the largest stars in Mexican wrestling, right behind Konnan. He became very popular with the ladies as well, offering a new look they had not seen before. He traveled back to the states in the late 90’s and worked for Ted Turner’s WCW company during the height of wrestling popularity. Bringing his unique look and style as well as incorporating the punk band The Misfits, and later the rap group ICP into his gimmick. He was a top tier guy, but never made it to full main event status there. When they folded he travel back to Mexico and found a home as a commentator for what was, in my opinion, the greatest wrestling promotion ever Lucha Underground.
Vampiro became a teacher, a mentor, and more to many of this generations younger wrestlers. He also over the course of these years has suffered countless injuries. Riddled with arthritis, multiple concussions, Vampiro has essential, weather he likes to admit it or not become and old man at the age of 53. Aside from taking a toll on his body, its taken a toll on his personal life as well, and that’s where this doc comes to life.
Vamp has a daughter named Dasha. As professional wrestlers travel all of the time he was not around as much when she was growing up. Now as a young woman he is trying to reconnect, rebuild past relationship issues with her. They don’t have a bad relationship, there is just a great deal that was absent. Vamp is a single dad now and spending all the time he can with her. Its very touching to say the least. Say what you want about Vamp, and believe me a lot of wrestlers have nothing good to say, something this doc leaves out, but he’s a hell of a dad. Its not fake or put on for the camera, its real, and it’s the heart of this story. Watching Vamp tell her how he doesn’t like to physically wrestle anymore but still does as its what he knows is a very touching scene. In fact all of the scenes with the two are fantastic. See Vampiro’s story is not a cautionary tale, but it is depressing. Here is a guy who gave his body and mind to a sport he loves and now both are not in great shape, but he continues to do it. He shares all of this with her and its actually very heartwarming. As a parent I can relate to Vampiro. He is walking the line of being not only a father, but a friend as well to his daughter. A line that is a tough one to walk, but it can be done. And he is doing it perfectly. Making up for lost time, and building on the future. It’s a great story that would have been fine stand alone.
The wrestling element is here, well because Vampiro is a wrestler, and wrestling fans are going to be the core audience. But if your not a fan. Never watched, don’t know who Vamp is, this is still a very good story about a man doing right for and by his daughter. My only criticism is the pacing. The doc jumps all over the place, with very little continuity in between. The open of all the craziness at TripleMania open the documentary hot, but it would have really been during the last act of the film to really send everything home. Some wrestling fans may be mad that this is one sided, as Vampiro has provided some interesting “Shoot” interviews over the years, and this does not really touch on some of his more “interesting” stories, nor does it talk to the people who dislike Vampiro and blame him for bad things in their career. To give you an example of how influential he was in his heyday, I have read multiple autobiography’s of wrestlers, and they worked in Mexico or WCW during the late 90’s Vamp always gets at least 5 pages devoted to him. No this is more of a story of a man and his daughter reconnecting with wrestling as a backdrop. Its being compared to the movie The Wrestler starring Mickey Rourke for good reason. I can tell you that Nail in the Coffin is better. Watch it as soon as your able to.
Overall 4 out a 5 Stars!
The following Blu-ray was provided to me by Warner Brothers for Review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
Ahh Supergirl, what started off as a so so show on the CBS Network became a great show on the CW. Taking the classic DC comic character and incorporating her into the “Arrowverse” was a stroke of genius. Her character is the perfect fit, and most always one of the main focal points of the annual crossovers. The addition of Lex Luthor was amazing, as well as the incorporation of Martian Manhunter, Moon-El, Lena Luthor and more. Once the show hit the CW more and more of the comic book elements became a focal point and the show to off like a bird, no pun intended. Supergirl was heavily involved in this years Crisis Crossover (more on that later) and season 5 was another good season.
Season 5 of Supergirl, much like the rest of the Arrowverse shows this year was actually split into two parts. The first half dealing with events before the Crisis Crossover and a main villain, then the remaining episodes starting after the life changing events of Crisis. Supergirl started out this year with a lot of focus on J’onn J’onzz aka The Martian Manhunter. We find out the J’onn’s memories were actually altered regarding the Martian Civil War and his battles with Malefic, his brother. Malefic is unable to kill J’onn because of the psychic connection they both possess. So Lena Luthor, Lex’s half sister agrees to help Malefic accomplish this but of course it’s a double cross as she merely wants to harness his powers for herself, and destroy Supergirl as she knows her secret identity. As this is transpiring we are not only introduced to the usual villain of the week but to the first big bad, Leviathan. Leviathan is essentially an alien terrorist organization that sends in villains of the week to battle Supergirl. The first half of the season does come to a conclusion as the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover begins. I will cover that a bit later.
After Crisis Supergirl’s Earth has merged with Earth 1 placing her in the same earth as the rest of the Arrowverse. Its also resurrected Lex Luthor who is now a hero and founder of the DEO, Department of Extra-Normal Operations. The group that was set up to protect Earth against alien forces and Supergirl is now one of his employees. The thing is, only Supergirl and J’onn have their pre-crisis memories so they must now adjust to this new world. The problem for the second half is Lex regains his pre-Crisis memories and begins working with the forces of Leviathan to destroy Supergirl.
Due to the current Pandemic Supergirl ended early this year like the rest of the shows. Her ending did not suffer as much as the Flash’s did (His was left to much up in the air) so you get somewhat of an ending to this years season. It stopped production and aired 19 episodes as opposed to the regular 22, so some ends are still left a bit to lose even for a cliffhanger, but that was not the fault of the show or network. Other than that this was another great season. Bringing in Mxyzptlk, Toyman, Breathtaker and more. It was a strong season that had a great backstory involving Supergirl and Lena. And of course it had the amazing Crisis Crossover that changed the course of not only this show, but the entire Arrowverse as well.
Warner Brothers has released this on Blu-ray and like all there shows the video and audio transfer is impeccable. The picture quality is amazing, and it really makes this show look like a comic book coming to life. The audio is fantastic as well. Supergirl is the “Loudest” of the shows and this sounds great coming from your surround sound. All the explosions, and of course Supergirl’s flying scenes sound amazing and really help to bring this to life. Now on top of that you also get a bonus disc which is of course the Crisis on Infinite Earths Crossover.
All of the heroes from all the shows, this year join together to Stop the Anti Monitor from destroying all the earths. This was the most well done crossover event ever, and that’s saying a lot. I would rank this higher than any superhero film in terms of depth and story. Following a set up from the very first episode of the Flash (We see the newspaper saying he will die in Crisis) and culminating from the end of last year’s Elseworlds crossover we are witness to an event that will never happen again. In fact the creators themselves even said they would have to scale back the yearly crossovers as they could not see how to top this. We witness our earths heroes team with the Monitor to try and defeat the Anti Monitor who is going through all the multiverse’s destroying everything in his path in his goal to destroy all of humanity. Supergirl, Arrow, Team Flash, Batwoman, The Legends of Tomorrow, and even Black Lighting, all come together to travel through the different earths to stop him. Brandon Routh plays the iconic Superman from the movies (Earth 96)we see Burt Ward aka Robin, Kevin Conroy as Earth 99 Batman, and countless others. We even get the DC Streaming shows acknowledged like Titans, Doom Patrol, and Swamp Thing. This was an action packed monumental crossover the likes of which have never been done before. And it all works. Plus it incorporates Supergirl into the Same Earth as the rest of our heroes.
Supergirl is a show that has really evolved and gets more fun to watch every year. The effects are state of the art, as is the acting. If you’re a fan you will no doubt want to own this set. If you have never watched Supergirl this is a really good starting point as things changed after the Crisis. Pick this on up for your collection now.
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.
All the way back in 1999 a film called Deep Blue Sea opened in one of my local theaters. I went to see it not really knowing what to expect and thoroughly enjoyed it. I still remember the audience reaction when Sam Jackson got eaten by the shark. It was a really cleaver and fun film. Then, close to 20 years later Deep Blue Sea 2 came out. It was a fun film as well. Now a sequel to that is coming out, its simply titled Deep Blue Seas 3, and unlike this year’s Shark Week its actually very fun.
Deep Blue Seas 3 picks up right after the events of part 2, where the genetically enhanced intelligent bull sharks are being chased by not only the scientists, but a team of mercs as well. They have made there way to a small island called ironically enough Little Happy. There are a team of researchers there studying the climate changes causing rising waters that flood small island. It also happens to have a large fish population. One of those fish is a pregnant Great White Shark they named Sally, and she is about to give birth. The mercs tell the people at the island that the bull sharks have been killing people along the coast, they do not (at first) tell them they are the escaped babies from the lab in part 2.
Of course this leads to a natural tension between the groups. Dr Emma Collins, Shaw, Spinnaker, and Miya are all working to save the island and help the fish population. They are against the killing and capture of these Bull Sharks, even after they find out the truth about them. The other group of mercenaries, and the scientist they have along simply want these sharks eliminated. Lucas, their leader, is particularly nasty. He take pleasure in torturing the animals, as well as terrorizing the scientists on the island. I would normally say that these groups come together to stop these sharks, but even after the fact when Dr Collins finds out about the sharks origin they still don’t ever really team up.
There are shark kills, a couple of really great ones actually, and the fact that they make Sally the pregnant Great White a hero (not a spoiler don’t worry) is a great touch. Of course it doesn’t take a genius to figure out the island will start flooding during the climax adding to the tension, but that is ok. The film works well on all these cliched levels. Sure there is a bit much in terms of human conflict, as these films just need humans to be food for sharks, but it all plays together quiet well. The gore scenes are fantastic, as killer shark films go this is definitely one of the better ones, as it does not suffer from lack of budget. This looks very state of the art, and the fact that it continues the story from, part 2 already starts you being vested in the plot.
The acting is very good as well. Bren Foster is fantastic as the evil Lucas and really proves himself to be a scene stealer. Tania Raymonde is great as the (overly) sympathetic Dr Collins, and Emmerson Brooks is amazing in his role of Eugene Shaw. All of the acting is great, and everyone involved has great chemistry with one another. So when you have great special effect, great casting, and a good budget, which you need for these films you have another great entry into the franchise.
Warner Brothers has released this on Blu-ray and it looks great. The picture quality is second to none. Every water shot, every shark scene, every little wave in the ocean looks amazing. The colors are crisp and clear. The audio is fantastic as well. Not only does this have a good score, but you can hear, and almost feel every wave of the water through your surround sound.
If you like the first two films it’s a no brainer you will enjoy this one. If you simply just like Shark’s eating people movies you will definitely want to check this one out as well. I enjoyed it, and I am sure you will as well. Pick this up today.
Overall 3out of 5 Stars!
Finally a werewolf movie you can sink your teeth into, no pun intended. The werewolf genre is about as hit and miss as they come for me. I like the original Wolfman a lot, and may one or two others. The vast majority are just not entertaining to me, as no matter how you cut it, they are all the same. Shure you can point of differences, like Ginger Snaps (One I really do like) but for the most part they are all very straightforward. One however is actually very different. It’s a British film made back in 1974 called The Beast Must Die. It’s essentially a mystery movie, with a werewolf being the culprit.
The Beast must Die stars Calvin Lockhart as Tom Newcliffe. Tom is a wealthy man who has a mansion out in the middle of nowhere. He’s also an avid hunter, so avid he has people hunt him down on his estate. Sort of. He is having a new security system installed and decides to test it on himself. He has multiple guards try to capture him and kill him. Don’t worry they use blanks. It’s very reminiscent of A Most Dangerous Game. Tom, along with Pavel, the man who helped design this system need it for more than protection. Tom is convinced that werewolves are real, and invites a group of people to his mansion to find out which of them is a werewolf. See he’s done his homework on these people. Bennington, Jan, and Davina are the first three. It turns out they have been in areas where people have meet a grizzly death. Next is Paul, he’s a normal enough guy he just openly admits to eating human flesh. And rounding out the group is Dr. Lundgren (The Great Peter Cushing) he’s not so much a suspect, he just also believes in werewolves sand studies up on them and the occult.
Now the moon will be full for the next few days so Tom figures, one of them will change and he can then just go and hunt the creature down and bag it on his property. This new security system is loaded with state of the art cameras and motion detectors so he will have no problem tracking it down. Problem is when the creature first turns it doubles back and murders Pavel who was manning the cameras. This makes Tom even more paranoid as he tries to figure out who the werewolf is and now stop it from killing again.
He puts the various guest through “Werewolf Tests” like holding silver, sniffer wolfsbane, butting bullets in their mouth, the usual stuff an insane man would do. But just when you think you have it figured out your wrong. Yes, its actually had to figure out who the creature is. In fact when this played in the theaters it included a “Werewolf Break” when the film stopped for around 30 seconds or so to allow viewers to guess who the werewolf really is. It was a great concept that in my opinion more films should try. If anything they add to the campy fun of films like this.
This is a great film. I absolutely love it. Its played serious but by today’s standards its very campy. Its also very fun. The acting is amazing, especially for a werewolf film. It moves at a good pace, and I have to say the mystery is actually very hard to solve. Like in any who done it film every suspect seems like the obvious choice, but in the case of The Beast Must Die you really cant figure it out until the end, which is not only a surprise, but has a twist to it.
Severin Films has done another fantastic job with this one. The collector slipover is great, and like all of their films the transfer in terms of video and audio look fantastic. But the one thing I think sets it so far apart from other various releases of this over the years is that they included the “Werewolf Break” for the people watching it to try and guess the creature. To me that just put it completely over the top, and made a really good film, a really fun viewing as well. Oh and they also included special features.
· Audio Commentary with Director and Filmmaker
· And Then There Were Werewolves: Audio Essay by Horror Historian
· Directing the Beast: Archival Interview with Director
· Audio Interview Excerpt of on BEAST MUST DIE – Interviewed by
· Audio Interview with Producer – Interviewed by
· Original Theatrical Trailer with Optional Commentary by Genre Scholars &
This is a great film. A very unique take of not only the werewolf genre but the mystery genre as well. Its incredibly well done and a great movie to watch with a bunch of people. Then you can take the werewolf break and make your guess, because you should talk during films. Pick this one up right away.
Overall 4 out of 5 Stars!
Jesus “Jess” Franco is a notorious filmmaker to say the least. He has made well over 200 films during his career. Horror, exploitation, sleaze, he’s done it all. The majority of his work is known for its “Exoticism” if you will. His films have become legendary to horror and exploitation fans around the world. She Killed In Ecstasy, 99 Woman, Blood of Fu Manchu, Barbed Wire Dolls and more are beloved by many. Another film that makes a lot of people Jess Franco lists is 1975’s Shining Sex. It’s a very odd combination of film. Part erotica (that’s the big part) and science fiction. It’s a very unique blend, and a very unique film.
Shining Sex is the story of Cynthia. She’s an exotic dancer of sorts at a high class club. In fact the film opens with a long dance by her. She’s good, really good. So good that a couple named Andros, and Alpha and offer her some extra cash to come home with them. Little does Cynthia know they are actually aliens from another planet. Alpha infects her with a little bit of alien juice if you will and they soon take control of her. They all have sex but they also want her to simply kill a handful of people who have found out that they are actually aliens.
Cynthia does manages to be a seductive killing machine thanks in part to the weapon they load in her “woman” area. She does disappoint one time but a nice little does of electro shock takes care of that. I wish there was more I could tell you about this film but that’s about it. Not saying its bad, I actually find it rather enjoyable, it’s just much on plot. I mean the scene where Andros and Alpha take control of Cynthia has almost zero dialogue and goes on for close to 15min. The film itself run short as well, but how much can you stretch this.
Now here is what I give Franco the most credit for. This film, like a lot of his work is made cheap. This film itself had to have been made for pocket change. But you really can’t tell. Franco was a master of his craft. He could make these films on the cheap but the way he would frame every shot and hid the negative aspects was marvelous to say the least. His films felt like big productions. Unfortunately those productions were usually heavily edited. In fact Shining Sex had close to 20minutes cut from it making it impossible to understand. In Japan a version of this floated around that made the tape trading circles in the mid to late 90’s but that version was a fogged when it came to nudity. So basically what I am saying is that for the longest time the film was unwatchable, but not anymore.
Thanks to the amazing folks at Severin we are not getting Shining Sex on Blu-ray full uncut and remastered. Yes, everything her is presented in the original manor and the transfer is pristine. This is an old film that Severin has done a remarkable job with. The picture quality is amazing, especially considering the old negative they had to work with. The audio is clear as a whistle. This is a great transfer to say the least. I still say Severin needs to start selling their cover art as posters, as they make incredibly eye catching. And they also included a fantastic amount of special features.
· In the Land of Franco Part 3 – Stephen Thrower & Antonio Mayans Tour Multiple Franco Locations in Málaga, Spain
· Shining Jess – Interview with Stephen Thrower, Author of Murderous Passions and Flowers of Perversion
· Never Met Franco – Interview with Filmmaker Gerard Kikoine
· Very NSFW Outtakes
· Franco At Eurociné – Interview with Producer Daniel Lesoeur
· Commentary with Authors/Podcasters Robert Monell and Rod Barnett Trailer
· Filmmaker Christophe Gans on Franco
This is defiantly one of the strangest, yet coolest films I have ever watched. Its probably my second favorite Jess Franco film. This is a must own to say the least. A simple story that has to be seen to be believed, good acting, a great score, and its definitely something you will never see again in terms of plot Pick one up right away.
Overall 3.5 out of 5 Stars!
It’s time for another Fulci review, and this time I must admit the film was pretty cool. I have stated I am not normally a fan, but this film, Aenigma is very different than his other work. This one had a very cool supernatural story and a great amount of gore thrown in. So for this one I will simply give my review, and not a separate star rating for Fulci fans.
Aenigma takes place at an all-girls boarding school in Massachusetts. Take note, any horror film that takes place in a boarding school is bad news. One of the girls there is name Kathy. Kathy is a frumpy, loner, picked on by her classmates. She’s such an outcast that when a group of the mean girls decide to prank her, the male gym teacher goes along with it. That brings up a very interesting question, why do all girls schools have male teachers? It always leads to trouble. Anyway Kathy gets set up on a fake date with Mr. Vernon and they decide to park. She starts to come closer to him, when the other girls run out of nowhere and start laughing at her. She hops out of the car and runs away. Problem is she runs into traffic and gets hit by a car and ends up in a coma.
Now a short time later at the school a new student named Eva arrives and strange things start happening. By strange I mean people start dying. Eva quickly assimilates with the popular girls who played the prank on Kathy and we soon learn that Eva is actually being possessed by Kathy who is still in a coma. See Kathy developed some type of psychic power while in the coma and is controlling Eva to get revenge. And she does get it all right. The gym teacher, the bad girls you name it. They get punished one by one. On a weird side not we always see Kathy’s mom around, as she is a janitor at the school. Does she know about what’s going on? Well you figure it out, I mean this film has no twist ending I will tell you that upfront.
Not only does this have a cool story but it’s got amazing practical gore effects as well. I may not like the pacing in most Fulci films but his gore effects were always top notch. The best in the business for a long period of time actually, and Aenigma is no exception. Strangling’s, crushed by statues, stabbings, and sexually violated and killed by snails. Yes, you read that right, snails. The film, according to Fulci himself is heavily inspired by the De Palma horror classic Carrie.
Severin films has just rolled this out onto Blu-ray and like all of their work the transfer is amazing. The colors are clean and vibrant, and the audio is top notch. Say what you want about these Italian horror films, but there is no denying the scores are always amazing. Aenigma is no exception, as its has a truly haunting score. And that score sounds amazing coming from your surround sound. Severin is really leading the pact with there transfers on this older films. Throw in the fantastic artwork they use and you have a must have edition for collectors. They even throw in special features on these films.
· Audio Commentary with , Author of “Splintered Visions – Lucio Fulci & His Films” and Mondo-Digital.com’s
· Writing Nightmares: Interview with Screenwriter
· Italian Aenigma: Appraising Late Day Fulci
· English Trailer
· Italian Trailer
· Italian Credits
I know Zombie and the beyond are considered the best films from Fulci but I really enjoy this one the most. It’s a great revenge story with an amazing plot, score, and special effects. The acting is great and everything comes perfectly together. This is definite a must watch for horror fans.
Overall 3 out of 5 Stars!