Wednesday, March 29, 2017
MARQUISE DE SADE (a.k.a. THE PORTRAIT OF DORIANA GRAY)
Written & Directed by Jesús Franco (a.k.a. Jess Franco)
Distributed by Full Moon Entertainment
That crazy Jess Franco, he has some wild movies for sure. No matter if you are a Franco fan or not, you can't deny he was one of the hardest working film directors ever. He made his first film at age of 27 and never stopped until his last film in 2013, the year of his death at the age of 82. That is over 200 directing credits in a 55 year career. That averages to almost 4 movies a year! In fact, in 1976, the year he made MARQUISE DE SADE, he also made 9 other films. I honestly don't see how that is possible! While I could go on forever about this man's career, I'll try to focus on my current review. Here is the main plot from the Full Moon Direct website:
Lust, Sex and Death…Sisters Share Everything!
A lonely aristocrat Miss Gray has a twin sister who's in an asylum. They share a strange bond. Miss Gray is rational but frigid while her sister is insane yet feels sexual pleasure for both of them. Soon, a female reporter arrives at the mansion - Miss Gray possesses vampire like qualities and lives alone when new reporter comes to do a story on her. It appears Doriana needs to suck the life out of various men and women - in a sexual way, in order to stay young. However, she gets no sexual feelings or pleasure out of it. Those ‘feelings’ go to her TWIN sister who is locked up in an asylum. There she goes through various sexual ‘violent and sexual fits’ whenever Doriana is pleasing and killing.
I have seen a lot of Jess Franco movies before, and I have to admit they all seem to have a common theme, and that is a lot of sex and female nudity. While some of his films have some good story lines, a lot of them feel as if the plot is just there as an excuse to show the sex scenes. That is how I felt with this film. The plot here is pretty simple, a woman has sex and her twin sister feels the sensation and pleasure from it. This amounts to sex scenes where the woman is having sex, and then we see her twin sister flailing around in her bed as she experiences the feelings and then pleasuring herself because of these feelings she is getting.
Now I know some of you might be saying....but that sounds AWESOME! Ha! Well, I have to admit that it is for a the first few scenes, but after that it becomes kind of pointless without any more of a story line to back up these sex scenes.
From a technical standpoint, this film is one of the better made Franco films I have seen (although with over 200 film credits, I have to admit I've only seen a handful of his work). It had some great scenery and camerawork, and the main star Lina Romay is undeniably beautiful to look at. If you are a fan of Jess Franco's work, then you know what to expect here. If you like his other films, I'm sure you'll like this one as well.
MARQUISE DE SADE is presented here in a fully UNCUT form, which is good news for Franco fans. Full Moon has released this DVD as the latest part of their Jess Franco Collection, this being #7 in the series. If you collect all 10 DVDs, they will form a portrait of the late Jess Franco when the spines are lined up together (see photo below). This makes for a very cool collectible set.
MARQUISE DE SADE is available now from the Full Moon Direct store. Click the link below to get your copy today!
CLICK HERE to purchase the DVD
Monday, March 27, 2017
Here are this week's horror related DVD/BD's that come out tomorrow, 3/28:
* MORTUARY MASSACRE [DVD]
* WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH HELEN? [BD]
* WISHMASTER COLLECTION [BD]
* WITCHTRAP [Vinegar Syndrome BD]
* WORLD WITHOUT END [BD]
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
You might have noticed I haven't posted anything in the last few days. I'm off work for Spring Break, so will be doing some traveling and hanging out with family this week. I'll resume postings starting next week! Until, then, watch some scary movies and stay scared!
Sunday, March 19, 2017
Directed by Luciano Onetti
Distributed by Unearthed Films / MVD Entertainment Group
Giallo film fans will want to do themselves a favor and pick up a copy of Luciano Onetti's FRANCESCA asap! I knew nothing about this film going into it and was amazed I have not heard more about it. Here is the basic plot of the film from the MVD website:
It's been 15 years since the disappearance of little Francesca, daughter of the renowned poet and playwright, Vittorio Visconti. The community is stalked by a psychopath bent on cleaning the city of "impure and damned souls". Moretti and Succo are the detectives in charge of finding the killer of these "Dantesque" crimes. Francesca has returned, but she is not be the same girl they once knew.
The first thing that really impressed me with this film was the overall look of it. Although just made a couple of years ago, it has the exact look and feel of an original Giallo film from the 70's. In fact, I actually had to look up the film on imdb.com to see if this film was a re-issue of an old film or if it was a new film. I thought it was a new film, but as I watched I started to question that. Very well done by the filmmakers.
Another thing I noticed was the color of the film, very vibrant in some scenes and reminiscent of Dario Argento's work. The film also has some very good camera work, includind some impressive shots and camera angles. There is also some very creepy imagery in this film, which is always a plus in my book.
The film is a bit slow moving at times, I have to admit, but honestly I find most Giallo films are like this at some point. There are a few good kills, and a little blood, but gorehounds need to know that this is not a slasher/splatter flick by any means. It is a much more art house type of horror film, an intelligent horror film that honestly you don't see too much these days.
This was a very impressive film to me. I highly recommend it for anyone that is a fan of the Giallo subgenre.
FRANCESCA is available now from Unearthed Films and MVD Entertainment. It was released as an impressive Blu-ray/DVD/CD Limited Collector's Edition combo pack and contains the following special features:
* Behind the Scenes Featurette
* Deleted Scenes
* Interview with Lucianno and Nicolas Onetti
* Unearthed Trailer Reel
CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the Blu-ray/DVD/CD combo pack
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
WE ARE THE FLESH
Written & Directed by Emiliano Rocha Minter
Distributed by Arrow Films / MVD Entertainment Group
I have seen some strange movies in my life, but WE ARE THE FLESH ranks up there
near the top for sure. This is one of the newest releases from Arrow Video, who always puts out great films and a quality product, so I went into this one hoping for an amazing experience. I knew nothing about this film, in fact, I had never even heard of it before. I was hoping for a new, modern day classic....instead, I got a crazy piece of cinema that I am still not sure exactly what to think of it. Here is the basic plot courtesy of the MVD website:
A visionary and bizarre slice of Mexican arthouse cinema, We Are The Flesh is an extraordinary and unsettling film experience, a sexually charged and nightmarish journey into an otherworldly dimension of carnal desire and excess, as well as a powerful allegory on the corrupting power of human desire. A young brother and sister, roaming an apocalyptic city, take refuge in the dilapidated lair of a strange hermit. He puts them to work building a bizarre cavernous structure, where he acts out his insane and depraved fantasies. Trapped in this maddening womb-like world under his malign influence, they find themselves sinking into the realms of dark and forbidden behaviour. Mixing the graphic, powerful imagery of Gaspar Noe's Love and Enter The Void with the surreal, hallucinatory impact of Alejandro Jodorowsky, We Are The Flesh is a bizarre, psychedelic head trip, mixing intense, outrageously explicit imagery with a profound allegory on the nature of existence, to make this an unforgettable, boundary-pushing experience unlike anything you've ever seen.
Now I will start off by saying this film is extremely well made. It has some amazing visuals and scenery in the film. It contains some amazing camera shots and looks like a much bigger budget film than it probably actually was. That being, said, I honestly have no clue what was going on most of the time during this film. The plot is very simple, yet very complicated at the same time...if that makes any sense. There are basically only three actors in the film, and all the "action" takes place in this guy's underground hideout. So while that's basically the plot, so much stuff happens down in the hideout that it's hard to keep up with. I honestly don't know what was going on or why. At one point, the man was having the guy and girl have sex while he watched and pleasured himself as he watched. I have no clue what this was for, other than sheer shock value, as the film didn't just imply this was happening, but it graphically showed it.
After the man climaxes, he dies...but a little while later he is reborn from a womb like structure down in his cave. This isn't a figurative re-birth...he literally falls out of a womb in the wall, coming out naked and covered with slime. Hey, I told you it was weird! Now I'm sure this is some genius inspirational symbolism for something that went way over my head, but to me it was just flat out weird.
I wouldn't say this was a bad film by any means, as it was extremely well made and acted. I was really impressed that this was the director's first feature length film, so that tells me a lot about this director and the talent he has for future films. I just felt like this movie was made mainly for the shock factor (graphic sex scene) and to me, it is not one that I would want to re-visit any time soon.
Now, that being said, remember that this is my opinion and you might love this film. In fact, I read a few reviews online to see what most people thought of this film, and some people just loved it and deemed it an instant cult classic, while others were kind of on the fence about it (like me) and then some just hated it. It is really a film you need to watch for yourself and make your own opinion of.
WE ARE THE FLESH is available now on DVD and Blu-ray from Arrow Films and is being distributed in the U.S. by MVD Entertainment. Special Features include the following:
* New interviews with director Emiliano Rocha Minter and cast members Noé Hernández, María Evoli and Diego Gamaliel
* A new video essay by critic Virginie Sélavy
* Original theatrical trailer
* Two short films by Emiliano Rocha Minter; Dentro and Videohome
* Stills gallery
* High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
* 5.1 surround and uncompressed stereo 2.0 audio options
* FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic Anton Bitel, and a note from the producer on the film
* Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork
* Optional English subtitles
CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the Blu-ray
CLICK HERE to purchase the DVD
Monday, March 13, 2017
Here are this week's horror related DVD/BD's that come out tomorrow, 3/14:
* AMERICAN VIOLENCE [DVD & BD]
* ASCENT TO HELL [BD]
* CERTAIN FURY [DVD & BD]
* DEMON SEED [BD]
* DRIVE IN MASSACRE [DVD & BD]
* ELLE [DVD & BD]
* FIRESTARTER [Scream Factory BD]
* KILL GAME [BD]
* THE LOVE WITCH [DVD & BD]
* LUNG [DVD]
* THE MAN WHO COULD CHEAT DEATH [DVD & BD]
* ONE UNDER THE SUN [BD]
* THE SKULL [DVD & BD]
* THE VALLEY OF GWANGI [BD]
* Z NATION: SEASON 3 [DVD]
Friday, March 10, 2017
Recently you might have seen that the company Well Go USA released the first PHANTASM film and the new 5th film (PHANTASM: RAVAGER) on Blu-ray. That was a quite a treat, but now we are in for an even bigger treat as Well Go USA has announced they will release the entire PHANTASM series on a Special Edition Box Set coming out April 11th!
Here is a look at what will be included in the 6-disc set courtesy of Well Go USA:
The all-new bonus materials included in THE PHANTASM COLLECTION break down as follows:
Disc 1: PHANTASM
- Audio Commentary with writer/director Don Coscarelli, co-producer Paul Pepperman and visual consultant Roberto Quezada
- Additional home movie footage
- “Balls of Steel: Bob Ivy’s Stunt for the Ages - The Phantasm III Car Stunt” – This featurette shows the planning and behind-the-scenes footage of the dangerous stunt performed in the film and includes recently rediscovered material.
- “It’s Never Over: The Making of PHANTASM III: LORD OF THE DEAD” – This featurette includes interviews with Don Coscarelli, A. Michael Baldwin, Reggie Bannister, Bill Thornbury,
Gloria Lynn Henry, Stuntman Bob Ivy, director of photography Christopher Chomyn, composer/sound designer Christopher L. Stone, sphere designer/mechanical effects artist Kerry Prior, special makeup effects designer Dean Gates and Production Assistant Kristen Deem.
- Audio Commentary with writer/director Don Coscarelli and editor Norman Buckley
- Behind the Scenes Compilation
- “Death is No Escape: The Making of PHANTASM IV: OBLIVION” – This featurette includes interviews with Don Coscarelli, A. Michael Baldwin, Reggie Bannister, Bill Thornbury,
special makeup effects artist Gigi Bannister, stunt co-ordinator/actor Bob Ivy, director of photography Christopher Chomyn, composer/sound designer Christopher L. Stone, sphere designer/mechanical effects designer Kerry Prior, cameraman Justin Zaharczuk and special makeup effects artist Robert Kurtzman.
- Behind the Scenes Compilation
- Phantasm sequels Conceptual Art Gallery by Justin Zaharczuk
- “The Making of PHANTASM V: RAVAGER” featurette
- Interview with actor A. Michael Baldwin
- Interview with actress Kat Lester
- Interview with actor Stephan Jutras
- Behind the Scenes Promo with Angus Scrimm Tribute
- Phantasm V Red Credit Sequence
- “Phantasm and You” – a comic recap of the first 4 films by PHANTASM V: RAVAGER director David Hartman
- Flashback Weekend Chicago Convention Panel Discussion (2008)
- Flashback Weekend Chicago Convention Cast Panel (2014)
- Flashback Weekend concert performance by Kat Lester
- 2016 Fantastic Fest Premiere and Q&A
Also included with the collection is Phantasm Compendium, a 120-page book featuring exclusive interviews and rare, behind-the-scenes photos chronicling the history and impact of the franchise, plus a 21” x 27” reversible poster featuring the iconic original theatrical artwork.
This set looks like it will be an amazing collection! The box set will be released on April 11th, and you can pre-order your set by clicking the link below!
CLICK HERE to pre-order the PHANTASM Box Set from Amazon.com
Monday, March 6, 2017
Here are this week's horror related DVD/BD's that come out tomorrow, 3/7:
* BIGFOOT ATE MY BOYFRIEND [DVD]
* COMPULSION [BD]
* THE EYES OF MY MOTHER [DVD & BD]
* HAVENHURST [DVD]
* INCARNATE [DVD & BD]
* THE LESSON [DVD & BD]
* PULSE [BD]
* THE SHADOW PEOPLE [DVD]
* SLASHER.COM [DVD]
Saturday, March 4, 2017
Sub-genre's of horror films seem to come in waves....it was vampire movies for a while, then there was a zombie craze, and now the latest fad seems to be the killer clown film. While clowns have always had a part in horror films over the years (KILLER CLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE, IT, AMUSEMENT, etc), lately there has been a steady flow of clown films, probably ushered in by the Eli Roth produced film, simply titled CLOWN. That film had a bunch of publicity around it when it came out which got the ball rolling.
Lately we have had AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAKSHOW, the KILLJOY films, 100 TEARS, ALL HALLOWS EVE 1 & 2, THE LAST CIRCUS, and Rob Zombie's 31 just to name a few. More are on the horizon as well, such as Billy Pon's CIRCUS OF THE DEAD, which could possibly end up being the best of them all!
A new clown film has made a recent appearance, and from the looks of the trailer, this one is going to be a blast! It's called CREPITUS, and it stars genre fave, Bill Moseley as the title character. Here is the basic plot from the film's imdb page:
Seventeen year old Elizabeth and her younger sister Sam are thrust into circumstances more terrifying than life with their abusive, drunken mother when they are forced to move into their deceased Grandfather's house. Frightened beyond belief, they are forced to learn horrible things about their family history. Never mind the ghosts in the house, there is something far worse that takes an interest in them ... a cannibalistic clown named Crepitus.
Imdb.com lists the release date as October 15th of this year, but I am not sure if that is a real date or not. Stay tuned here or keep up with the official facebook page for more details and release info!
CLICK HERE to watch the Red Band Trailer
CLICK HERE to vist the CREPITUS Facebook page
CLICK HERE to visit the film's official website
Thursday, March 2, 2017
LOVE CAMP 7
Directed by Lee Frost
Distributed by Blue Underground & CAV Distributing
I have seen a lot of sexploitation and more notably, Nazisploitation films in my movie reviewing career, but somehow had never seen this 1969 gem, which actually ushered in the wave of Nazisploitation films of the 1970's. While later films of this genre might have improved upon this one, you can't deny the impact this film had on an entire decade of film. Here is the basic plot from the CAV website:
The story of LOVE CAMP 7 is based on fact! During the darkest days of World War II, two young American WAC officers volunteer to infiltrate a Nazi Love Camp on a desperate rescue mission. Once inside, they are subjected to horrifying humiliations at the hands of their captors. Can they survive long enough to complete their objective and escape with their lives intact?
Launching the Nazisploitation craze of the 1970s, LOVE CAMP 7 was the dream child of Writer/Producer/Star Bob Cresse (THE SCAVENGERS), Producer Dave Friedman (BLOOD FEAST), and Director/Cinematographer Lee Frost (THE BLACK GESTAPO). Blue Underground presents the original version of LOVE CAMP 7 in a brand-new 4K restoration from its recently discovered camera negative!
This film will probably seem pretty tame by today's standards, and probably even by standards set by later films of the 1970's in this same genre of film. I can imagine though at the time of it's release back in 1969, this was probably horribly upsetting and shocking to audiences. There are still some shocking parts to the film, but overall it is one of the tamer exploitation films I have seen.
While not horror by any means, the film does have a crazy scene at the end where the women get their revenge on the Nazi officers. I don't want to give too much away, but lets just say one of the greatest kills comes from the use of a wine bottle opener!
While these films were used mainly as an excuse for showing lots of female flesh, I never really understood how or why these types of movies were so popular. As much as I enjoy seeing these beautiful women, I don't enjoy the story line and plot aspect of them being treated as love slaves for the Nazi officers. I guess that was part of the point of these films, to make you uncomfortable. It also serves to make the ending more enjoyable when you see the women get their revenge.
The film is well made and well paced, with hardly ever a dull moment. The new transfer from Blue Underground is excellent, with a very crisp and clear picture. It looks amazing for a film that is 48 years old!
LOVE CAMP 7 is available now on a 2-disc limited edition Blu-ray/DVD combo pack from Blue Underground and CAV and contains the following special features:
• NAZITHON: DECADENCE AND DESTRUCTION
• Theatrical Trailer
• Poster & Still Gallery
• BONUS Collectable Booklet featuring The History of Nazi-Exploitation by Paolo Zelati
CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack