Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Vault Master's Collector's Corner: My Small CAMP ARROW VIDEO PART II Sale Haul!

 

Vault Master's Collector's Corner Logo

After taking advantage at various sales from Kino Lorber, Shout! Factory, Severin Films, Vinegar Syndrome, and Amazon, I declared that I was absolutely 100% DONE collecting Blu-rays for a while. And then Arrow Video unleashed their second annual CAMP ARROW VIDEO PART II sale... Hundreds of Arrow titles have been reduced in price at their UK shop, and also over at Zavvi (which is doing a Buy One Get One deal on many discs as well!), Diabolik DVD, and Grindhouse Video! The sale ends on July 26th, so take advantage fellow collectors!

Despite spending an exorbitant amount of money throughout June, I broke down and snagged seven titles from Arrow's website (many of which were Region Free), including: BLOOD TIDE, THE CHILL FACTOR, ONE CUT OF THE DEAD (HOLLYWOOD EDITION), SCARED STIFF, THE SLAYER, TREMORS (standard edition 4K UHD), and WHITE FIRE!

I shared a few photos of my latest Arrow acquisitions over on my Instagram feed - you can view them below!


I saw BLOOD TIDE many years ago after I purchased a bargain-bin DVD of the film which featured a heavily-edited cut that looked like it was mastered from a VHS tape. Now this mostly forgotten creature feature has been lovingly restored in 4K and comes complete with a new director's commentary and interview with Writer/Producer Nico Mastorakis! Joy!

ONE CUT OF THE DEAD recently became a favorite of mine after I saw it on Shudder. If you managed to survive the first half-hour (power through it - trust me!), you'll be treated to an oft-hilarious movie that is full of heart. This release comes with a spin-off film (ONE CUT OF THE DEAD IN HOLLYWOOD) plus a variety of bonus features not found on the standard releases!

TREMORS is a perennial favorite and easily one of the best monster movies ever made! I couldn't help myself and made the (some would argue) necessary upgrade to the new 4K release, which boasts absolutely gorgeous picture and sound, plus an impressive number of newly created special features!

As for the rest, I have never seen THE CHILL FACTOR (2K restoration, new commentary and interviews, VHS workprint, et al.), SCARED STIFF (2K restoration, new audio commentary and making-of documentary, et al.), THE SLAYER (new 4K restoration, audio commentary, isolated score, making-of documentary, et al.), or WHITE FIRE (new audio commentary, new cast & crew interviews, et al.) Just from the description on the back of these discs I'm certain that I am in for quite a ride!

To see what else I've added to my ever-growing movie collection, be sure to scope out my Instagram! To keep up to date on new and upcoming genre titles on Blu-ray and 4K UHD, definitely be sure to follow The Vault on Facebook and Twitter as well!

Until next time Vault Dwellers, continue bulking up your collections to help keep physical media alive in an increasingly digital world!

Saturday, June 26, 2021

WANTED ON BLU-RAY: DEADLY FRIEND (1986)

 

Wanted on Blu-ray: DEADLY FRIEND
WANTED ON BLU-RAY:
DEADLY FRIEND (1986)


Rated R | Color | 91 minutes
 
My memories are a bit fuzzy when it comes to Wes Craven's DEADLY FRIEND, but I remember catching it on cable when I was fairly young. I recall sneaking downstairs to the living room late at night to watch something on the "big TV," but I'm not sure if this film was the reason for that. Regardless, I was excited to be watching DEADLY FRIEND because at that time I was a fledgling Horror fan that had discovered various other Craven films including SWAMP THING, THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS, and SHOCKER. (Thank you TNT's MonsterVision!)

Looking back, I didn't find DEADLY FRIEND particularly scary, but I do recollect being absolutely floored when Anne Ramsey's head exploded during the film's notorious "death by basketball" scene, and becoming smitten with Kristy Swanson. Oddly enough, my most vivid memory of watching this movie for the first (and now that I think of it, last) time was my reaction at the end: I wept. In retrospect I'm not really sure why, but I guess it was because I thought it was really sad that the lead character lost everyone close to him despite his best intentions? Maybe? I don't exactly know.

What I do know is that we are nearing the 35th anniversary of DEADLY FRIEND's theatrical release (October 10th) and Wes Craven's troubled production still has yet to make the leap to Blu-ray disc! But I have a strong feeling that will change sooner rather than later, seeing as how this title has garnered a decent cult following over the past three decades. And with all of the boutique labels raiding studio vaults these days, it's only a matter of time before DEADLY FRIEND finally gets an upgrade!

Synopsis: Based upon Diana Henstell's novel Friend, DEADLY FRIEND focuses on teenage science whiz Paul Conway (Little House on the Prairie's Matthew Labyorteaux). He and his mother (and his overprotective robotic creation B.B.) move to a new neighborhood, where he befriends the pretty girl next door, Samantha Pringle (Kristy Swanson). The two teens rapidly become close, until a series of unfortunate events occur: B.B. is gunned down by Elvira, the cranky/crazy basketball-stealing old woman that lives across the street (portrayed by Mama Fratelli herself, Anne Ramsey) and Samantha is thrown down a flight of stairs by her abusive father.

Matthew Labyorteaux and B.B. the $20,000 robotic marvel!
A young Michael Bay brainstorms on future film projects with his pal Bumblebee.

Unable to deal with losing the girl he loves, Paul swipes Samantha's comatose body from the hospital (before she's taken off of life support) and installs B.B.'s microchip into her brain. This somehow resuscitates Samantha, who acts oddly robotic (because B.B. is apparently in the driver's seat) and is eager to dole out some punishment to those that have wronged her. After murdering Poppa Pringle (Harry Marcus) exploding Elvira's skull with a basketball, and tossing a bully to his death, Paul's cyborg construct begins showing signs of regaining her humanity. But it's too little too late, and this dark love story builds to tragic end for both of its main characters.
 
Availability: After bombing at the box office, DEADLY FRIEND came to VHS in January of 1994 where it started to build a following. After VHS died off, the film would then be released to DVD in September of 2007, then in a 4-Film set with SOMEONE'S WATCHING ME!, EYES OF A STRANGER, and THE HAND in 2012. There was also a reissued standalone DVD release in 2020. The movie is also available to stream instantly on Amazon Prime Video. There's also a region free Spanish Blu-ray that may or may not be a bootleg.

Current Rights Holder: Warner Bros., so there is a slight chance that DEADLY FRIEND could become part of the Warner Archive Collection at some point! However, if I was a betting man I'd put my money on Scream Factory, seeing as how they've released SOMEONE'S WATCHING ME!, EYES OF A STRANGER, and THE HAND on Blu-ray already. Fingers crossed!

Blu-ray Wishlist:
  • Two cuts of the film: The theatrical version and a "director's cut" that removes the gory moments and restores the deleted scenes and the original ending.
  • A new 2K or 4K transfer of the film!
  • Original mono audio plus (maybe) a newly created 5.1 surround mix.
  • New audio commentary featuring cast and crew, OR a "film historian" like Troy Howarth or Lee Gambin!
  • A new Making-of Featurette or Documentary chronicling DEADLY FRIEND's bumpy path from page to screen, OR some new cast & crew interviews with screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin, stars Kirsty Swanson and Matthew Labyorteaux, and/or special f/x artists Peter Albiez and Lance Anderson.
  • Archival interviews with director Wes Craven. 
  • Deleted & Extended scenes
  • BD-ROM content: The original novel of Friend that the film is based on. 
  • Poster & Stills gallery
  • Theatrical trailer 

Kristy Swanson newly back from the dead in DEADLY FRIEND.
Makeup around eyes = killer cyborg.
 
DEADLY FRIEND was Wes Craven's first studio film, and he shot it during a particularly rough patch in his life: His marriage was ending, he was booted from directing both BEETLEJUICE and SUPERMAN IV (in retrospect, the latter wasn't such a bad thing), and became embroiled in a baseless lawsuit. Even with all that going on in his life, Wes so badly wanted to direct a non-Horror film which is why he leaped at the chance to bring FRIEND (formerly ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, A.I., and eventually DEADLY FRIEND) to the big screen.

But his original vision never had a chance. Wes added a gory nightmare-sequence to the film at the behest of producers, which got great reactions during a test screening. After that, Wes was told to add more blood and guts to the film, and to replace his ending with one that was conceived by Mark Canton, the then President of Warner Bros. Then, after committing to upping the film's body count, Craven had to battle his old nemesis the MPAA, which saddled DEADLY FRIEND with an X-rating until numerous cuts were made. (Yeesh.... what an absolute nightmare the entire ordeal must have been for Wes.)

Back in April 2014, fans of the film started a petition at Change.org (which has sadly only garnered 100 signatures) in an attempt to convince Warner Bros. to release a director's cut. Needless to say, it didn't do the trick. So here's my plea to the powers that be at the WB (and Scream Factory... perhaps?): Please breathe new life into this film! Delivering a director's cut is likely a tall order, so even if you just do a high-def restoration of the theatrical cut with some decent bonus features, I think fans will be somewhat sated. And if you won't do it for the people who adore it, then at least do it to honor the memory of Wes Craven and let his spirit rest a bit more easily. The ball's in your court Warner Bros.



For a more in-depth look what went on behind the scenes during the making of DEADLY FRIEND, I highly recommend the following video from JoBlo.com:



Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Now on Blu-ray Disc: Nothing Will Prepare You For THE HAND!

 

Cover art for Scream Factory's Blu-ray release of THE HAND!
SCREAM FACTORY DELIVERS A STELLAR BLU-RAY RELEASE OF OLIVER STONE'S CLASSIC PSYHOLOGICAL HORROR TALE!


Initially available on a stand-alone DVD from Warner Bros. (and a 4-film set featuring DEADLY FRIEND, EYES OF A STRANGER, and SOMEONE IS WATCHING ME), Scream Factory gives THE HAND a much-needed upgrade with an all-new 2K scan of the interpositive, plus multiple new cast & crew interviews! I've honestly missed out on seeing this one myself (seems like it'd go well with IDLE HANDS or DEMONOID!), so I'll definitely be picking this title up at some point! Never heard of it or on the fence about adding this disc to your collection? Then let's take a closer look at THE HAND, shall we Vault Dwellers?

Synopsis: A gifted cartoonist's life comes apart at the seams when his drawing hand is accidentally severed. Slowly, painfully, he tries to adjust ... but a terrifying evil creeps into his consciousness. And one by one, the people who stand in his way begin to die. Written and directed by Academy Award winner Oliver Stone, this spellbinder showcases a vivid central performance by Michael Caine and wonderfully ghoulish special effects by veteran macabre master Carlo Rambaldi. Stone called for more than 30 different hands to be designed, all used in different – and fantastically horrific ways.


Disc Specs:
Rated R | Color | 104 minutes | Region A
Video - 1080p Widescreen (1.85:1)
Audio - English DTS-Master Audio 2.0


Extras:

  • NEW! 2K Scan Of The Interpositive!
  • NEW! Interview With Director Oliver Stone!
  • NEW! Interview With Actor Bruce McGill!
  • NEW! Interview With Actress Andrea Marcovicci!
  • NEW! Interview With Producer Edward R. Pressman And Actress Annie McEnroe Pressman!
  • Audio Commentary With Director Oliver Stone
  • Theatrical Trailer

Scream Factory's new release of THE HAND is currently available wherever Blu-ray discs are sold, and should cost between $25 - $28! Grab yourself a copy today from AMAZON, BULL MOOSE, DIABOLIK DVD, or directly from SHOUT! FACTORY.



Monday, May 24, 2021

Joe Dante's EXPLORERS Has Finally Arrived on Blu-ray Disc!

 

Cover art for Shout Select's new Blu-ray of Joe Dante's EXPLORERS!
SHOUT SELECT KNOCKS A TITLE OFF OF MY BUCKET LIST WITH THEIR NEW BLU-RAY RELEASE OF THIS JOE DANTE CLASSIC!

Everyone seems to openly give their love to Joe Dante's GREMLINS, THE HOWLING, PIRANHA, or THE 'BURBS, while his kid-centric sci-fi film EXPLORERS goes largely unmentioned. (And if I'm wrong about that well.... good!) So it brings me great joy in sharing this news Vault Dwellers: As of May 25th, EXPLORERS is available on Blu-ray disc! Initially only available on DVD from Paramount, the movie makes its HD debut with two different cuts (sadly neither is a director's cut), deleted scenes, new making-of featurette, & more! If you're excited as I am to own this Collector's Edition release, then read on!

Synopsis: The visionary dreams of three curious and adventuresome young boys become an exciting reality in Explorers, the action-fantasy from acclaimed director Joe Dante, who combines keen humor, warmth and fantasy with unexpected twists.

In their makeshift laboratory, the boys use an amazing discovery and their ingenuity to build their own spaceship and launch themselves on a fantastic interplanetary journey. A galaxy of adventure for the whole family, EXPLORERS stars a young River Phoenix (STAND BY ME, SNEAKERS) and Ethan Hawke (TRAINING DAY, REALITY BITES).

Disc Specs:
Rated PG | Color | 106 & 109 minutes | Region A
Video - 1080p Widescreen (1.85:1)
Audio - English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Extras:

  • Includes The Home Video & Theatrical Cuts Of The Film!
  • NEW! A Science Fiction Fairy Tale: The Story Of Explorers – Featuring New Interviews With Director Joe Dante, Screenwriter Eric Luke, Star Ethan Hawke, And More! (65 min.)
  • NEW! Deleted Scenes With Optional Commentary By Joe Dante!
  • NEW! Interviews With Cinematographer John Hora And Editor Tina Hirsch!
  • Theatrical Trailer

As of tomorrow (May 25th) Shout Select's Collector's Edition of EXPLORERS will be available, wherever Blu-ray discs are sold, and should cost between $23 - $29. Treat yourself and relive the magic of this film by picking up a copy today from AMAZON, BULL MOOSE, DIABOLIK DVD, or directly from SHOUT! FACTORY. (Note: The collectible poster that Shout! was offering through their site when you ordered this movie is officially OUT OF STOCK.)



Wednesday, March 10, 2021

WHICH TEAM ARE YOU ON?! - ENTER NOW TO WIN A GODZILLA VS. KONG PRIZE PACK!

UPDATE (04/02/2021): Our GODZILLA VS. KONG-TEST ended on March 31st! The three randomly selected winners of the KING KONG VS. GODZILLA/SONS OF KONG set prize packs were Rod Chavez, Marcos Carway, and Richard Cabe! Congrats to our trio of champions - stay tuned for more cool giveaways down the road!

To celebrate the upcoming release of Adam Wingard's GODZILLA VS. KONG (in theaters and available to stream on HBO Max on March 25th!), yours truly is having a cool giveaway! Three lucky Vault Dwellers will win a copy of the original 1962 throwdown, KING KONG VS. GODZILLA, as well as a 10-Film "SONS OF KONG" DVD set which features THE APE, BELA LUGOSI MEETS A BROOKLYN GORILLA, THE GORILLA, THE APE MAN, BRIDE OF THE GORILLA, THE SAVAGE GIRL, THE WHITE GORILLA, LAW OF THE JUNGLE, WHITE PONGO, and NABONGA! The best part? It's super easy to enter!

GODZILLA VS. KONG GIVEAWAY PRIZES!
PLEASE NOTE: MY SON'S TOYS & MY "DESTROY ALL MONSTERS" POSTER ARE NOT PART OF THE GIVEAWAY!

Which Team are YOU on? - Drop us an e-mail at vault_master[at]bmoviefilmvault[dot]com with either TEAM GODZILLA or TEAM KONG in the subject line - please include your full name (no aliases please) in the body of the e-mail! There is only ONE entry per person BUT you can earn additional entries by following The Vault on our various social media platforms! If you follow/subscribe to us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Letterboxd, Patreon, Reddit, or YouTube, send us some proof (e.g. screenshots) in your e-mail entry to increase your chances of winning!

Important but boring information: This giveaway is only open to folks living in the continental U.S. (sorry Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, and rest of the world)! Three winners will be chosen at random and announced on March 31st of this year, and have a full week to respond with their mailing address. If you do not get back to us, we will choose another victor in your place. Prizes will be shipped via USPS and you will be supplied with a tracking number! If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask!

Thanks ahead of time for taking part in this giveaway everyone and may the biggest Godzilla or King Kong fan win! And don't forget to mark March 25th on your calendars for the biggest, most anticipated rematch in cinematic history!

Monday, March 1, 2021

STOCK YOUR VAULT: New DVDs & Blu-rays for 02/23/2021!

 

The B-Movie News Vault's STOCK YOUR VAULT Logo!

Vault Master's Pick of the Week for 02/23/2021 is Lionsgate's Blu-ray release of WRONG TURN (2021)!
Vault Master's Pick of the Week!
Greetings fellow collectors and welcome to another (late) installment of the News Vault's STOCK YOUR VAULT column! While February 2021 didn't hold too many surprises for us, its final week does have some titles worth noting. Let's take a closer look!

Scream Factory brought IFC Midnight's CENTIGRADE to DVD & Blu-ray, Media Blasters gives HAKAIDER a re-release, Warner Archive brings PUMP UP THE VOLUME to Blu-ray for the first time, and Darkside Releasing gave MOTORPSYCHO MANIACS (aka SEX TERRORISTS ON WHEELS) its Blu-ray debut!

Arrow Video's final release of the month is SHOGUN'S JOY OF TORTURE (their steelbook of AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON got pushed to the end of March) and Severin Films drops three new titles on Blu-ray, namely THE ATTIC EXPEDITIONS, CASTLE OF THE CREEPING FLESH, and PLAGUE TOWN!

Imprint just released a slew of Region Free titles this past Tuesday, including SORRY, WRONG NUMBER, WATERLOO, I MARRIED A MONSTER FROM OUTER SPACE, the original WAR OF THE WORLDS, and THE DUELISTS, Umbrella Entertainment added BAD BOY BUBBY to their Beyond Genres label, and Lionsgate just dropped their WRONG TURN reboot (which I chose as my pick of the week because... sure, why not?) which comes with Director's commentary, trailer, deleted & extended scenes, and making-of-featurette!

To peep out the full roster of this week's new DVD, Blu-ray, and 4K releases, continue scrolling Vault Dwellers!


NEW TO DVD & BLU-RAY
Centigrade (Scream Factory)
Hakaider (Hyper Destroyer Edition - Media Blasters)
An Horror Anthology
John Hughes 5-Movie Collection
Late Fee (Unrated)
Puppet Princess
Pure Hearted Girl Etcetera
Rage (Gravitas Ventures)
Wrong Turn (2021 - Lionsgate)


NEW TO BLU-RAY
Acrobunch: The Complete Series (Discotek Media)
The Allnighter (Kino Lorber Studio Classics)
The Attic Expeditions (Severin Films)
Bad Boy Bubby (Beyond Genres Vol. 7 - Umbrella Entertainment)
Brave 10: The Complete Series (Discotek Media)
Castle of the Creeping Flesh (Severin Films)
The Duelists (Imprint - Region 0 Import)
Fairy Tail: Final Season - Part 26
The Full Treatment (aka Stop Me Before I Kill - Indicator)
I Married a Monster From Outer Space (Imprint - Region 0 Import)
Konosuba! 2: The Complete Second Season & OVA
Lupin the 3rd: The Columbus Files
Motorpsycho Maniacs (aka Sex Terrorists of Wheels - Darkside Releasing)
The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking (Sony Pictures)
Nightbeast (Troma)
Nina of the Woods
Plague Town (Severin Films)
Pump Up the Volume (Warner Archive Collection)
Red Woods
Shogun's Joy of Torture (Arrow Video)
The Snorkel (Indicator)
Sorry, Wrong Number (Imprint - Region 0 Import)
Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season One
To Tokyo
Venus Wars
The War of the Worlds (Imprint - Region 0 Import)
Waterloo (Imprint - Region 0 Import)


NEW TO DVD
The Beast Within
Binding Souls
College Pranks
The Demon Inside
Demon Mother
From Dusk Till Dawn Trilogy
The Jungle Jim Movie Collection 3 (Umbrella Entertainment)
Kecksburg
Legion of the Night
Lord of Tears
Naked Woman Murdered in the Park
Only the Good Parts
The Phoenix Project
Saga (Bayview Films)
Scooby-Doo: The Sword and the Scoob
Shriek Pack: Flesh for the Beast & Dead Riot
Unleashed (Bayview Films)