Thursday, March 22, 2018

Duck You Suckers! A FISTFUL OF DYNAMITE Now Available on Blu-ray from Kino Classics!

Blu-ray Cover: SIDE A

When you hear Sergio Leone's name, it instantly conjures up memories of A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE, THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY, and perhaps even ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST. However, I expect that very few of you Vault Dwellers would have recalled Leone's A FISTFUL OF DYNAMITE (aka DUCK, YOU SUCKER), which sadly doesn't seem to get the same widespread love that his other films enjoy. But that may all change now that Kino Classics has given this oft-overlooked Spaghetti Western a fantastic, extras-packed Blu-ray!

Synopsis: From acclaimed director Sergio Leone comes his final Western--a relentlessly entertaining film that teams an Irish explosives specialist with a Mexican peasant-turned-revolutionary leader with thunderously explosive results! Starring acting giants Rod Steiger (IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT) as Juan Miranda, a cigar-chomping, salt-of-the-earth peasant with a Robin Hood heart and James Coburn (HARRY IN YOUR POCKET) as John Mallory, a dynamite-tossing Irish revolutionary who has fled to Mexico to practice his skills.

Together, they're a devilishly volatile mix of anti-establishment philosophies and violent tendencies as they attempt to liberate political prisoners, defend their compatriots against a well-equipped militia, and risk their lives on a train filled with explosives. Featuring a haunting and rousing score by iconic composer Ennio Morricone (DEATH RIDES A HORSE, NAVAJO JOE).
Blu-ray Cover: SIDE B

Disc Specs:
Rated PG | Color | 157 minutes | Region A
Video - 1080p Widescreen (2.35:1)
Audio - DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and Dolby Digital 2.0

  • NEW! Audio Commentary by Filmmaker Alex Cox!
  • Audio Commentary by Film Historian Sir Christopher Frayling!
  • Featurette: The Myth of the Revolution 
  • Featurette: Sergio Donati Remembers 
  • Featurette: Once Upon a Time in Italy (The Autry Exhibition) 
  • Featurette: Sorting Out the Versions 
  • Featurette: Restoration Italian Style 
  • Featurette: Location Comparisons 
  • 'Trailers From Hell' with Brian Trenchard-Smith.
  • Two Animated Image Galleries 
  • Reversible Cover Art 
  • 5 Radio Spots 
  • Trailers for all 5 Sergio Leone Westerns 
Kino Classics' A FISTFUL OF DYNAMITE seems to be a port of MGM's previous Blu-ray release of the film, however, the audio commentary with Alex Cox, image galleries, and Trailers From Hell segment are all brand new! A FISTFUL OF DYNAMITE is now available wherever Blu-ray discs are sold, and costs around $20! You can order yourself a copy now (to complete your Sergio Leone collection) from AMAZON, BULLMOOSE, or DIABOLIK DVD! Not too familiar with this movie? Then be sure to check out the trailer below before buying!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

STOCK YOUR VAULT: New DVDs & Blu-rays for 03/20/2018!

Vault Master's Pick of the Week!

Well Vault Dwellers, March is coming to a close, and while it came in like a lion, it seems like it is going out like a lamb. This week there's a few major studio titles (DOWNSIZING and JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE) plus some worthwhile releases from several of our favorite labels.

Arrow Academy gives Robert Altman's IMAGES its Blu-ray debut, Scorpion Releasing gives Michele Soavi's THE CHURCH a nice HD release, Well Go USA unveils their remastered ICHI THE KILLER, and Kino Lorber drops OFFERINGS on Blu-ray. It is also worth noting that Warner Archive Collection has brought the 1957 creature feature THE BLACK SCORPION to Blu-ray today as well!

While that's definitely a good mix of stuff to choose from, Shout! Factory's sister labels, Scream Factory and Shout Select, conquer this week with the Blu-ray debuts of NIGHTMARE AT NOON, ROCKULA, and THE 'BURBS (COLLECTOR'S EDITION)!

There's not much else to be excited for, but feel free to scroll down to see all of this week's new DVDs and Blu-ray discs!

Altered Hours
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

The Black Scorpion (1957)
The 'Burbs (Collector's Edition)
The Church
Ichi the Killer (Remastered Edition)
Images (Arrow Academy)
Nightmare at Noon

Archer: Season 8 - Dreamland
Duckmkan: The Complete Series
The Ghoul (1975 - Rogue Video)
H.P. Lovecraft's Two Left Arms
Legend of Demoniac
One Piece: Season Nine, Voyage Four
Prom Night Triple Feature
The Timeline Shifters: Space Marines - Season One
TNT Jackson (+ 7 Bonus Movies)
The Transparent Woman

The Strange Case of the BLUE MONKEY Crowdfunding Campaign.

Please note, my goal with this post is not to sling mud at Bill Olsen and Code Red DVD. I appreciate the efforts made by Bill's company, and plan to continue promoting their new Blu-ray releases when possible. However I do feel the need to draw attention to an unfortunate situation that I inadvertently became part of, and make sure to aid those that were affected by it.

Just over a week ago, yours truly shared THIS POST promoting a crowdfunding campaign started by Code Red DVD's proprietor, Bill Olsen, to raise money for an HD restoration of William Fruet's BLUE MONKEY. Days later, after receiving some negative feedback from people on social media (and the GoFundMe page), Bill canceled the campaign. Being one of the unfortunate donors of said campaign, I expected to be notified by Mr. Olsen at some point about the fate of my $30 pledge.

[Click image to enlarge.]
After about four days, I tried to contact Bill via private message on Facebook, sent an e-mail, and even attempted to hail him on Twitter, but to no avail. I politely inquired if my thirty dollars was going to be refunded, or if it was going to go towards the eventual Blu-ray release of BLUE MONKEY. While patiently waiting for any sort of reply, I visited the Code Red DVD thread over at the forums to see if any news could be found there.

While pouring through page after page of posts, (some of which took potshots at Code Red's head honcho) I eventually came across this exchange:

[Click on images to enlarge.]

Yep, you just read all of that correctly: Bill Olsen claimed publicly that he did not create the account and didn't have access to the $400+ that was raised before the "mysterious GoFundMe organizer" shut the whole operation down! It is odd that Bill is trying to claim immunity from the short-lived campaign, especially when he had no problem promoting it weeks ago:

EXHIBIT C - Bill promoting the GoFundMe campaign.
[Click image to enlarge.]

EXHIBIT D - Code Red DVD (presumably Bill?) retweets my BLUE MONKEY post.
[Click image to enlarge.]

So here's what I've gleaned from everything I've read online: I'm assuming someone talked Bill into trying crowdfunding to pay for BLUE MONKEY's restoration. Having never attempted it before, he chose GoFundMe instead of IndieGoGo or Kickstarter. Bill then failed to put enough information on his GoFundMe page, resulting in criticism for the unintended "shadiness" of the campaign (and for the $30 price tag for the planned Blu-ray), so he became angry, and deleted the page.

Then instead of reaching out to donors, or rectifying the situation in any manner, Bill attempted to distance himself from the entire thing. His claim that he didn't start the account or have access to the money is questionable to say the least. And even if that were true, Bill clearly supported the crowdfunding endeavor (as proven by the above Facebook post and Retweet), so you'd figure he would take the time to get things sorted out. But as far as I can tell, nothing is being done, so what are the dozen or so donors supposed to do? Contact GoFundMe and get a refund immediately!

To accomplish this you have two options:
First, go to GoFundMe's REQUEST A REFUND PAGE and click on the CONTACT US button. From there, you'll have to fill out a form filled with drop-down menus. Here's a step-by-step:
  • WHAT BEST DESCRIBES YOU? - I am a donor and I have a question about donating.
  • PLEASE SELECT THE ITEM YOU NEED HELP WITH - I would like to refund my donation. You'll get an automatically generated "answer" with two buttons beneath it. Click on the I STILL NEED HELP button.
  • Fill out the new form and follow the prompts.

Another option is to go to the REQUEST A REFUND PAGE, and click on the CONTACT US button. After that....
  • Choose the I HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT FRAUD, TRUST, AND SAFETY option from the drop-down menu. 
  • After you reach this point, click on the I STILL NEED HELP button.
  • Fill out the form and use this link for the campaign PAGE URL:
  • Answer all the questions and follow the prompts and then send in your report.

You may be asked for "proof" during this process, so feel free to share this News Vault post (and/or any of the screen grabs above) as your evidence. If all goes well, you should have the money transferred back to your account within 3 - 7 business days (or sooner). Here's hoping everyone gets their cash back, and that we eventually do get a nice shiny Blu-ray of BLUE MONKEY later on down the road!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Arrow Video's Limited Edition Release of Dario Argento's CAT O' NINE TAILS is Now Available!


Continuing their ongoing streak of excellence, Arrow Video released their long-delayed 2-Disc Limited Edition of CAT O' NINE TAILS back on March 6th! Along with their Blu-ray of BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE (available in Limited and Special Editions), Arrow need only release FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET to complete the "Animal Trilogy."

Synopsis: Following the success of his debut feature, THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE, distributor Titanus tasked writer/director Dario Argento with delivering a follow-up in short order. The resulting film, granted a greatly enhanced budget and heralded in its US marketing campaign as ''nine times more suspenseful'' than its predecessor, was THE CAT O' NINE TAILS.

When a break-in occurs at a secretive genetics institute, blind puzzle-maker Franco Arno (Karl Malden - PATTON, ONE-EYED JACKS), who overheard an attempt to blackmail one of the institute's scientists shortly before the robbery, teams up with intrepid reporter Carlo Giordani (James Franciscus - THE VALLEY OF GWANGI, BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES) to crack the case. But before long the bodies begin to pile up and the two amateur sleuths find their own lives imperiled in their search for the truth. And worse still, Lori (Cinzia De Carolis - CANNIBAL APOCALYPSE), Franco's young niece, may also be in the killer's sights…

This second entry in the so-called ''Animal Trilogy'' found Argento further refining his distinctive style and cementing his reputation as the master of the giallo thriller. Co-starring Catherine Spaak (IL SORPASSO) and Rada Rassimov (BARON BLOOD), and featuring another nerve-jangling score by Academy Award Winner Ennio Morricone (THE HATEFUL EIGHT, THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE, Sergio Leone's "Man with No Name" Trilogy), THE CAT O' NINE TAILS remains one of Argento's most suspenseful and underrated films.

Malden and Franciscus are a crime-solving team in THE CAT O' NINE TAILS!

Disc Specs:
Not Rated | Color | 112 minutes | Region A
Video - 1080p Widescreen (2.35:1)
Audio - English & Italian DTS-HD Master Audio Mono

  • NEW! 4K restoration of the film from the original camera negative!
  • Original mono Italian and English soundtracks (lossless on the Blu-ray Disc)! 
  • Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack! 
  • NEW! Audio commentary by critics Alan Jones and Kim Newman! 
  • NEW! Interviews with co-writer/director Dario Argento, co-writer Dardano Sacchetti, actress Cinzia De Carolis, and production manager Angelo Iacono! 
  • NEW! Script pages for the lost original ending, translated into English for the first time! 
  • Original Italian and international theatrical trailers 
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Candice Tripp
  • Double-sided fold-out poster 
  • 4 lobby card reproductions 
  • Limited edition booklet illustrated by Matt Griffin, featuring an essay on the film by Dario Argento, and new writing by Barry Forshaw, Troy Howarth, and Howard Hughes!
Arrow Video's Limited Edition of THE CAT O' NINE TAILS is currently available wherever Blu-ray discs are sold! This title is going for $40 - $50 at the moment, but if that's too rich your blood, a cheaper Special Edition will most likely be issued later this year. For those of you that simply must have the absolute best of everything, get yourself a copy of THE CAT O' NINE TAILS now at AMAZON, BULLMOOSE, or DIABOLIK DVD!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Adrienne Barbeau, Michael Berryman, Courtney Gains, and Other Genre Favorites Star in HELL'S KITTY!


There is a distinct lack of killer cat movies in the world Vault Dwellers. Off the top of my head all I can think of is STRAYS, UNINVITED, NIGHT OF 1,000 CATS, PET SEMATARY, TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE: THE MOVIE, and THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE! And now Nicholas Tana's HELL'S KITTY proudly joins their ranks!

Synopsis: Doug Jones (THE SHAPE OF WATER), Dale Midkiff (PET SEMATARY), Michael Berryman (THE HILLS HAVE EYES), Courtney Gains (CHILDREN OF THE CORN), Lynn Lowry (THE CAT PEOPLE), Kelli Maroni (NIGHT OF THE COMET), Ashley C. Williams (THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE), Barbara Nedeljakova (HOSTEL), Adrienne Barbeau (THE FOG), John Franklin (THE ADDAMS FAMILY, CHILDREN OF THE CORN) and a ‘Killer Klown’ team up for some "Pawplay" this March!

Based on the web series and comic book of the same name, and inspired by writer-director Nicholas Tana’s experiences living with a professedly possessed cat, HELL'S KITTY tells of a covetous feline that acts possessed and possessive of his owner around women. The results are as funny as they are frightening!

Nick (Writer/Directo Nicholas Tana), a Hollywood screenwriter, discovers his cat has become murderously possessed, and will stop at nothing to rid him of any women in his life. As his life unravels out of control, and the body count rises, Nick must find a way to have his cat exorcised of the demonic spirit haunting her.

With characters named after classic horror movie characters (Jones plays Father Damien, Berryman is Detective Pluto, Nina Kate is Dr. Laurie Strodes, Barbeau is Mrs. Carrie), and a tone reminiscent of some of the ‘80s greatest horror-comedies, HELL'S KITTY is undoubtedly the horror hiss of March!

Stills & Trailer:
(Click on images to enlarge them.)

HELL'S KITTY is now available to watch on various Video on Demand platforms (like Amazon Instant Video), and makes its DVD debut on Tuesday, March 27th! You can order a copy of HELL'S KITTY now from AMAZON or BULLMOOSE!

Roger & Julie Corman Have Sold the Entire New Horizons Library to Shout! Factory and ACE Films HK!


Ack! I got this news just before I had to head off to the day job, so I missed the opportunity of being one of the first to report it! This announcement is HUGE, because it looks like a large number of Corman flicks may finally make their way to Blu-ray Vault Dwellers!

It was announced earlier today that both Shout! Factory and China-based Ace Film HK Company Limited (henceforth known as ACE) purchased the entire New Horizons library of TWO-HUNDRED AND SEVENTY FILMS (plus an action Sci-Fi TV series) from Roger and Julie Corman. The deal gives Shout! distribution rights in North America, Europe, Australia, and Russia, while ACE will handle distribution in Asia, Africa, and South America!

Shout! Factory has already released a number of Roger Corman Cult Classics to DVD & Blu-ray in the past (e.g. BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS, PIRANHA, HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP, SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE, DEATH RACE 2000, et al.), so I'm assuming that we can expect Blu-ray and DVD releases of these newly acquired titles! On top of that, both companies are planning to license the New Horizons catalog to video on demand and streaming platforms, and are planning on remaking several Corman classics (via Shout! Studios and/or ACE Films)!

Here's what all parties involved had to say about this massive acquisition:
“We’ve been huge fans of the Cormans. Their great ingenuity and independent spirit have inspired us throughout our careers. We’ve loved working with them over the last eight years and are thrilled to now be the custodians of these beloved films, making sure that film buffs and fans everywhere discover them like we did."

“We have been fortunate to be professionally and personally associated with Roger and Julie for the past decade and the purchase of their film library means our relationships will not only continue, but accelerate."

"During the past decade our personal and professional relationships with Shout! Factory's Bob Emmer, Richard and Garson Foos, and Ace Film's Henry Luk and Adam Yuchen Ren have shown us that their independent, entrepreneurial spirit, respect for our work and creative methods of distribution and production make them especially well-suited to carry on with the New Horizons film library."
Roger and Julie signing over the New Horizons library.
(Image borrowed from Variety.)

I guess this means that Roger Corman is finally retiring from the film business, after a lengthy career of making and producing hundreds of movies and never losing a dime. While I realize the sad truth that Roger Corman is turning 92 years old in a few weeks, it is still sad to see this living legend call it quits. But on the bright side, we may finally get legit releases of various titles that have been long out of print! I'm not sure if any of the old New World Pictures-era films are part of the deal, but if they are, here's a brief list of Corman movies I'd love to see on Blu-ray:
  • GODZILLA 1985 (Long out of print American cut!)
  • MUNCHIE & MUNCHIE STRIKES BACK (Guilty pleasures from my childhood!)
  • PIN
  • THINK BIG (Trucker comedy featuring The Barbarian Brothers!)

The saga of legendary producer-director Roger Corman, recipient of a 2009 Honorary Academy Award, ranks as one of the most amazing motion picture success stories. Having produced more than 350 films and directed 60 others, his influence on American film goes far beyond his own energetic, creative low-budget movies. He is arguably one of Hollywood’s most gifted and masterful filmmakers, having launched the career of many others.

Noted for his keen ability to spot young talent, Corman’s most lasting legacy will undoubtedly be the legion of producers, directors, writers and actors he has fostered, among them: Jack Nicholson, Francis Ford Coppola, Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese, James Cameron, Ron Howard, Peter Fonda, Jonathan Demme, Gale Anne Hurd, Diane Ladd, Tommy Lee Jones, Harry Dean Stanton, Sandra Bullock, Bruce Dern, Talia Shire, Charles Bronson, Joe Dante, Peter Bogdanovich, and Sally Kirkland.

Julie Corman's career spans 45 years with New Horizons. As the producer of over 35 films she has worked with: Jonathan Demme, John Sayles, Catherine Hardwicke, Robert King, Bill Pullman, Martin Sheen, Peter Billingsley, Jon Lovitz, and Mario Van Peebles, among others. She was Chair of the Graduate Film Department at NYU.

For a more complete history of Roger Corman and his colorful career as an independent Producer and Director, I highly suggest the documentary, CORMAN'S WORLD!