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    Ghost Town (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 30th, 2015

    Shout Factory has brought yet another 1980’s Empire Pictures horror film to high definition on Blu-ray. This is another one of those Schlock-O-Rama films that are best viewed with a group of friends. While it’s certainly a step ahead of some recent entries on this list, there’s plenty of fun to be had in a gathering. This release also has the advantage of just one film on the disc. Of course, I’m talking about Ghost Town, directed by Richard Governor, but did you know that Mac Ahlberg of Ghoulies and Re-Animator fame was an uncredited assistant director on the film? The man’s a pretty good cinematographer, and his eye lends itself to a better-looking shoot with more atmosphere than you might ordinarily find on these things.
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    The Legend of the Lone Ranger (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on July 20th, 2015

    Who is that masked man?”

    That’s actually a loaded question when it comes the famously troubled 1981 film The Legend of the Lone Ranger. It obviously refers to the masked former Texas Ranger who battles outlaws in the Old West, but it also applies to star Klinton Spilsbury, who never made a movie after this one. The question could also be a nod to the producers of this film suing actor Clayton Moore — who famously played the Lone Ranger on TV and film in the 1950s — to prevent him from appearing as his signature character in public. Unfortunately, none of that fascinating information is included (or even hinted at) on this bare bones Blu-ray.
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    Cellar Dweller / Catacombs (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 17th, 2015

    “The devil can touch you and leave his mark. Just so he doesn’t steal your soul.”

    You might say that the devil made them do it. Shout Factory utilizes their Scream Factory moniker to deliver another doubleheader horror-fest from the 1980’s. Many of us love to be touched by a little evil, so long as it’s some harmless fun from a horror movie. While I’m not a huge fan of having two or more films on one disc, this pretty much amounts to the same as the standard four episodes on a disc that you’ll find in many television releases in high definition.
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    The Outing / The Godsend (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 15th, 2015

    At the end of 2013 Shout Factory released a horror marathon on DVD called Scream Factory All Night Marathon. OK, so it only had four films averaging about 90 minutes each, hardly all night. But it was a nice collection of more obscure 1980’s horror that made a rather nice night in with the boys…or the girls. Two of those films have now found their way to a single Blu-ray disc and released by…you guessed it, Shout’s Scream Factory division. While I’m not a huge fan of having two or more films on one disc, this pretty much amounts to the same as the standard four episodes on a disc that you’ll find in many television releases in high definition.
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    All Quiet On The Western Front:The Uncut Edition (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 15th, 2015

    “This story is to be neither an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it. It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped its shells, were destroyed by the war” – Erich Maria Remarque

    Like most people from my generation, I suspect, I saw this version of All Quiet On The Western Front first in a high school history class. I can’t for the moment recall if it had been a world history class or American history.
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    Into the Woods: Original Broadway Production (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on December 9th, 2014

    I wish…”

    There’s no shortage of wishing (not to mention pining, longing, yearning, etc.) in some of our most beloved fairy tales. Into the Woods — the Tony-winning Broadway musical created by Stephen Sondheim and frequent collaborator James Lapine — illustrates what happens when certain characters get their storybook ending. Since there’s a big, shiny Disney adaptation on the way, it made sense for Image Entertainment to offer a performance of the stage show on Blu-ray. However, I wish…some more effort had been put into this release.
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    Duck Dynasty: Season 6 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on October 13th, 2014

    It’s that time of the year again to dust off the old hunting rifle and shake out the camouflage suits, because Duck Commander is back in action.  Duck Dynasty comes to Blu-ray on its sixth season, and I am just about certain it is time the quack pack has hung up their camo and walked away from their television careers.  The show has had a good run, but with this current season it is clear the show has run its course, and it is time the Robertson’s should make a graceful exit while their ratings are still strong.
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    Duck Dynasty: Season 5 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on June 24th, 2014

    It’s that time of the year again to dust off the old hunting rifle and shake out the camouflage suits, because Duck Commander is back in action.  Duck Dynasty comes to Blu-ray on its fifth season, and though I was a little underwhelmed with the previous season, this new release brings the show back to the backwoods charm that gained my appreciation from the start.  Yes, I still have a hard time calling this a reality series, since just about every episode and sequence seems more scripted than most hour-long dramas, but the characters are so likeable and goofy that a lot can be forgiven.
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    Crocodile Dundee / Crocodile Dundee II (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 4th, 2014

    We first came to know Paul Hogan as the “Shrimp On The Barbie” guy. He was doing television and radio ads for Australian tourism. A smart fellow, he saw that the ad character was popular and rode an enormous wave of an Australian fad that hit America in the 1980’s.. Suddenly there were Australian bands like Men At Work teaching us about vegemite sandwiches on the top of the music charts. We got steak, not shrimp, on our barbie with a chain of Australian-themed steakhouses appropriately called Outback “no rules, just right” started up by a Florida group.
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    Weekend at Bernie’s (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on May 8th, 2014

    Well, considering that there were so many different strange film ideas in the 1980s, it was only a matter of time before someone would write and produce a film about a dead guy, right? Well, you’re in luck, as two names from the period (Andrew McCarthy, St. Elmo’s Fire, and Jonathan Silverman, Brighton Beach Memoirs) fulfill your wish as Weekend at Bernie’s returns to Blu-ray.
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    Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on January 28th, 2014

    “One … two… Freddy’s coming for you, three… four… better lock the door, five… six… grab your crucifix, seven… eight better stay up late, nine….ten … Never Sleep Again.”

    Freddy is one of the more memorable monsters from the slasher era that also brought us the Halloween and Jason films. Freddy might have been born in the mind of Wes Craven, but he grew and developed in the knife-wielding hands of Robert Englund. Granted, not all of these films are equal in quality. The first and third are the best story-wise, while the last might be the most unpredictable and original.
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    Murph: The Protector (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on January 10th, 2014

    “Put it this way– Mikey was the best officer I ever knew; An iron-souled warrior of colossal and almost unbelievable courage in the face of the enemy.”

    That is a direct quote from the novel Lone Survivor and redelivered from the lips of the former president of the United States of America, George Bush. Lt. Michael P. Murphy: that is a name that has been heard more and more with the passing weeks. Surely by now we all have a moderate idea (though I hope it is more than moderate) of the man behind the name. If not, allow me the privilege of enlightening you a bit.
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    Duck Dynasty Season 4 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on January 7th, 2014

    In case you’ve managed to miss the tabloids lately, it would seem that Phil Robertson, the founder of Duck Commander, has found himself in some hot water over some comments he made in GQ magazine.  These comments managed to get him suspended from the show, but not long after, he was brought back.  I’m not here to point fingers or even add fuel to the fire. Instead I simply want to say these kinds of scandals are inevitable when a hit series is involved; this especially becomes the case when the show is reality-based.  The result that usually follows is the fans end up with the short end of the stick. 
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    All the Presidents Men (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by William O'Donnell on November 25th, 2013

    This is a film that has become a significant contribution to the very the timeline it depicts, which is that of US President Nixon being forced into resignation after the Watergate scandal. This film is an engrossing depiction of the actual reporters who used anonymous tips to help uncover a scandal so big that it rocked the entire US nation. This film was released only four years after the infamous attempt to bug the Democratic offices in Watergate, which spurred the entire course of events in this film.
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    “31 Nights of Terror” Swamp Thing (Blu-Ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on October 26th, 2013

    Welcome kids to another 31 Nights of Terror spectacular. This time, the legendary (in his own mind) Michael Durr has descended from the rafters to bring you another cult classic blu-ray presentation. This time we explore 1982 Wes Craven adaption of Swamp Thing. Shout Factory has produced an excellent blu-ray for us to watch. As with most of the Scream Factory work that Shout does, this should be quite the treat. Let us continue and go forth with one wicked green monster.
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    Shout at the Devil (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 7th, 2013

    “This story is based on a remarkable but true incident that took place in Africa in 1913 before the Great War, when the world was very different.”

    The moviemaking business was also drastically different in 1976, the year this British, pre-WWI romp was released. Today, the risk-averse film industry has made large-scale adventures like Shout at the Devil — starring big personalities trekking across even bigger locations — all but extinct. I get that greenscreens and CGI are more cost-effective. But a movie’s ability to transport its audience gets an extra jolt when we know we’re looking at the real thing.
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    “31 Nights Of Terror” House of Wax (Blu-ray 3D)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on October 4th, 2013

    There’s a saying that in the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king. No one would have expected that a one-eyed man could become the king of 3D. But that’s exactly what happened with House Of Wax. The film has become one of the definitive films in the 3D format. To look at it on Blu-ray now, it holds up quite nicely in a day where 3D has become almost passé. Still, it’s hard to believe that Warner Brothers would choose a man with only one eye to shoot their 3D film. That man was Andre’ De Toth
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    Idolmaker (Blu-Ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on August 19th, 2013

    My best work is often done behind a computer or somewhere where my face is not on display. I am not the most handsome guy despite the fact I have been described by those of the female persuasion as otherwise. But I have talent, loads of it and I am always waiting for the next moment to show it off. Perhaps I can take a cue from our movie today, The Idolmaker and use my talent to make others around me stars. Maybe I should just go shave instead.
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    Hands Of The Ripper (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 31st, 2013

    In the 1950’s and 1960’s Hammer picked up where Universal had left off. They became the studio for the very best in horror films. With names like Lugosi, Karloff and Chaney finally reaching the end of their reign, Hammer offered up the likes of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. They resurrected all of the famous Universal monsters in their own image. Now we had a new cycle of Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man and The Mummy. While the films were somewhat low-budget and released mostly through the drive-in circuit, these films made a bloody splash with horror fans all over the world.
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    Wild Deep (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 16th, 2013

    “The Earth. A world of water. Nearly three-quarters of our planet is covered in a massive blue patchwork of seas and oceans. What lies beneath the surface is an alien realm we’ve barely begun to explore. Within these depths mysterious and amazing life forms live in a beautiful but fragile world of immeasurable variety and environmental extremes. This is a journey into the Wild Deep.”

    Wild Deep is a seven-part nature series that takes us on a journey to the underwater worlds of each of the Earth’s continents.
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    That Obscure Object of Desire (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 3rd, 2013

    “I’ve changed a lot. I’m not the same woman.”

    Early on in Luis Buñuel’s surrealist gem, a mild-mannered older gentleman named Mathieu douses a beautiful, battered woman with a bucket of water as she desperately attempts to board the train he’s riding. His fellow passengers are stunned, but also understandably intrigued. What possible sequence of events could’ve led Mathieu to this cold and cartoonish gesture? It’s an irresistible hook, and Mathieu proceeds to regale the other travelers —
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    The Life and Death of a Porno Gang (Special Edition) (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by M. W. Phillips on August 29th, 2012

    “We decided to tour round Serbia. We’ll go to villages. It will be interesting to see farmers’ reactions to our sexual provocations. Sexual education for Serbs. Widening the horizons. This is our guerilla mission.”

    I like to think I am not a prude. My taste in film runs to the controversial, and I don’t shy away from extreme cinema. I think Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom and Caligula are masterpieces; A Serbian Film impressed and affected me, although I have no intention of watching it again
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    Shark Divers – Documentary Collection (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on August 2nd, 2012

    “It’s one thing to see a great white shark on television or from the safe confines of a boat. It’s another experience entirely to see the animals in their natural element. There simply is not a single creature on Earth that we’re more afraid of.”

    Man’s always had a rather natural, and healthy, fear of sharks, but it was perhaps the 1975 film Jaws that brought all of those primordial fears bubbling to the surface of our pop culture. Since then sharks have taken an almost mythic position in our culture
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    Twins Of Evil (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 24th, 2012

    “Satan has sent me Twins Of Evil.”

    Okay, it wasn’t really Satan, at least I don’t think it was. It was the folks over at Synapse who sent me the Blu-ray release for Hammer’s Twins Of Evil, and I’m pretty glad that they did. If you’re a horror fan of any worth and are old enough, you have some wonderfully frightful memories of Hammer’s run of horror films starting in the late 1950’s. Hammer pretty much began where Universal ended their celebrated cycle of horror films. Like Universal, the cycle produced a new generation of atmospheric horror films that included the classic creatures.
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    Red Scorpion (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on June 19th, 2012

    “Nikolai Petrovich Rachenko…our warrior elite…a very powerful and valuable tool…if he can be controlled.”

    It’s no secret that they just don’t make action movies like they used to. (Sylvester Stallone just shot a brawny arm into the air in protest. I see you, Sly!) These days the odds of seeing a pretty boy like Matt Damon and a perennial tough guy like Bruce Willis headlining an action flick are just about even. You’re just as likely to see Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in family fare like Journey 2: The Mysterious Island as you are in an manly romp like Fast Five. Heck, the Arnold Schwarzenegger role in the upcoming Total Recall remake is being played by…Colin Farrell.
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