Rare Four Flies newspaper adverts.

Scored this from Red Shirt Picture's Michael Felsher!


When Paramount originally released Four Flies they compiled these advertisements and sent them out to newspapers to choose which they wanted to have in their paper.  This is an original sheet, not a repo.  Pretty neat little piece of Argento history.

Now as to where I've been.  I was recently promoted to Manager of my store, because of this I've had very little free time, not only was I being trained, I was also training a new employee.  If that wasn't enough, I was involved in a minor car accident so I'm having to work on getting my car fixed around my new schedule.

Anyhow, I'll be updating normally now.  Check out my www.youtube.com/users/hellachrisok for more stuff.

Midnight (Arrow Video)

Midnight
Production year:  1982
Release date:  09/05/2011
Collection number: 863

I am infatuated with films about Occultism, devil worship, and possession.  I generally will watch anything involving those said things.  Somehow Midnight has evaded me throughout the years, that is until tonight.

Midnight is a film penned by John Russo who is one of the creative minds behind the classic Night of the Living Dead.  Russo is also responsible for the atrocity known as Children of the Living Dead....Let's just hope Children was a fluke.

Midnight is set up like a lot of slasher films from that era, a group of teens shockingly finds themselves being stalked by a backwoods family.  You'd think kids would quit going into the woods after all of these movies, but no.  Anyhow, I'm not sure what to think of Midnight.  It's got a lot going for it, satanists, hillbillies, and bad acting.  I still feel as if it falls flat.

Is it entertaining?  Yes.  But I feel it's one of those movies that most are either going to enjoy or despise.  I think if you were to line up all of the films Russo has been involved with this would fall somewhere between Satan Claws and Children of the Living Dead.  I realize that last statement isn't going to make some of you rush out to see it so I'll leave you with this, if you're a fan of the 80's slasher craze, it's wort checking out.

If you find the film flawed, the extras Arrow has gathered might make up for it.

DVD CONTAINS:
- Reversible sleeve with original and newly commissioned artwork
- Double-sided fold-out artwork poster 
- Collector’s booklet featuring brand new writing on the film by Stephen Thrower, author of ‘Nightmare USA’.
- UNCUT and on DVD for the first time in the UK 
- Presented in the original Full Frame 1.33:1 aspect ratio
- Original Mono Audio
- Introduction by star John Amplas
- Vampires, Rednecks and Zombies: The Fear Career of John Amplas
- Midnight at Your Door: The Shocking Sacrifices of John Russo
- Trailer 
- Easter Egg 



Horror bargains for 1-15-12

It's nice to save a little money, so here are a few ways to save while expanding your collection.

-FYE/Suncoast are having a buy one get one 50% off sale on used and new blu-rays, dvds.

-Hastings is having a buy one get one for a dollar sale on all used dvds and blu-rays.

-Amazon UK still has a number of arrow titles priced at £8.99 and under!

-Best Buy currently has the blu-ray double feature of ANOES 1 & 2 on sale for 9.99.


That's it for this week!

Dawn of the Dead (Arrow video)

Dawn of the Dead
Production year: 1978
Release date: 10/19/2009
Collection number: 689

If you were to ask horror fans what the best zombie film ever made was a majority of them would sight Dawn of the Dead as being the apex in the undead subgenre.  While the film might not be my favorite of Romero's dead movies, it's certainly one of the if not the best written, directed, and produced.

Everything about this movie works, from the music to the dialogue.  There's literally not one bad thing I can say about this film.  With that said there's also nothing new I can add to the hundreds upon thousands of reviews already out there.  So I won't go into details, if you're reading this blog you've already seen it.  In the rare chance that you haven't, quit wasting time and go buy it.




This amazing edition contains: 3 discs / 4 sleeve art options / double-sided fold-out poster 
and For Every Night there is a Dawn collectors booklet 
DISC 1 
BLU-RAY CONTAINS: Theatrical Cut in High Definition 
EXTRA: Commentary 1 with George A. Romero, Tom Savini and Chris Romero  
Commentary 2 with Richard P. Rubinstein - Document of the Dead 
Document of the Dead: The Lost Interview and Deleted Scenes - Fan of the Dead
DISC 2 
DVD CONTAINS: Director's Cut 
EXTRA: The Dead Will Walk documentary
DISC 3 
DVD CONTAINS: Argento Cut 
EXTRAS: Publicity Vault containing: US and German Trailers, 
TV and Radio Spots, Reviews, Giallo Trailers - Scream Greats


Like a few of the titles we've talked about this week, there are better transfers out there.  As far as the entire package goes, nothing really beats this release.

The arrow collection

Today's post is going to be a bit short since I've got a pretty busy day ahead of me.  I apologize, but hopefully this link makes up for it.  Amazon UK currently has the Arrow Dario Argento Neo Giallo Collection on sale for  £5.79!  (This deal ended soon after this was posted.)  This is a great deal!  After further inspection there are a handful of other titles that are on sale as well.  This is a great way to start your collection, I'll be placing my order now.

I'll leave you with a look at my collection. 


Upcoming Arrow titles for 2012

Every year Arrow releases a handful of titles in their Arrow Collection line of films, today we're taking a look at their upcoming releases for 2012.

The Lundgren classic Red Scorpion is getting dropped on 02/06/12!
On 03/05/12 and 03/09/12 they're releasing two war classics.

Who Dares Wins
- Reversible sleeve with 4 poster options
- Double-sided fold-out artwork poster
- Collector’s booklet
- High Definition Presentation of the film
- Audio commentary
- The Making of Who Dares Wins
- The Last of the Gentleman Producers
- Original Trailer
- More special features to be announced!

The Wild Geese
- Reversible sleeve with 4 poster options
- Double-sided fold-out artwork poster 
- Collector’s booklet
- High Definition Presentation of the film
- Audio commentary 
- World Premiere Newsreel Footage
- Original Trailer
- More special features to be announced!


Deadly Spawn will Invade the DVD market on 03/19/12.  This is one loaded disc!
Digitally remastered windowboxed transfer in the original full frame aspect ratio
Reversible sleeve with original and newly commissioned artwork by Craig Kraaken
Double-sided fold-out artwork poster
Collector s booklet
Two Audio commentaries
A Comic-style prequel
Alternate opening sequence with new effects and credits
In the Workshop of S/FX Director John Dods
A selection of archive TV interviews
Stills gallery
Outtake Reel
Audition Tapes
Original Theatrical Trailer


The much anticipated Demons and Demons 2 will be released on 04/02/12 and 04/09/12

Not much is known about these releases but they will each include a new sequel in comic form.

Arrow will also be giving their past House by the Cemetery release the blu-ray treatment, expect more news on this and an exact release date sometime soon.

City of the Living Dead (Arrow Video)

City of the Living Dead
Production year: 1980
Release date: 05/24/2010
Collection number: 688


City of the Living Dead is my favorite Fulci film.  I know some of you praise the Beyond in all it's violent glory, but I have always preferred The Gates of Hell to The Seven Doors of Death.

I can remember the first time I heard the name Lucio Fulci, I happened to stumble upon a review of Zombie on the House of Horrors website.  After seeing that I knew I had to have it, I bribed my mom into a trip to the local Suncoast and found a copy of it on VHS.  I probably spent 2 months of hard earned change on the thing but it was more than worth it.  By the time the credits were rolling across the screen my mind was made up, I had to own every movie this crazy bastard had made.

My next Foray into Fulci was the film we're discussing tonight City of the Living Dead.  The movie opens with a priest hanging himself.  Yeah, no joke.  This act is essentially the beginning of the end for the small town of Dunwich which just so happens to rest upon the gates of hell (which also happens to be one of the many alternative titles for the film!)  Many miles away we're introduced to a clairvoyant woman who envisions the suicide and dies instantly.  The poor woman, played by Fulci veteran  Catriona MacColl, eventually comes back to life only to find she has been buried alive.  Keep in mind I haven't spoiled the movie for you as all of this happens within the first 15 minutes of the movie!  She is saved by an eager reporter (Christopher George) and together they travel to Dunwich in hopes to close the gates of hell and stop the dead from rising!

The movie is non stop and has something for everyone, it's rich with atmosphere and has great performances from MacColl, George, Radice, and a handful of other actors you'll surely recognize if you're a fan of Italian cinema.  Fulci does a great job with the movie, effects from Gino De Rossi and a score from Fabio Frizzi tie everything together.

Zombie is usually a film I suggest to people who are looking to get into Italian horror, I feel it is the more accessible of Fulci's movies.  City of the Living Dead however is almost fanciful with it's atmosphere, loose plot, and disappearing zombies.  Was this done on purpose, or were the filmmakers just cutting corners?  The answer to that question depends on whom you speak with.


Like every Arrow release this set is loaded!
 - 4 sleeve art options
- Double-sided foldout poster
- ‘Fulci of the Living Dead’ collector’s booklet
- Set of 6 original poster art postcards
BLU RAY CONTAINS
- Theatrical Cut in Stunning High Defenition
- 7.1 Dolby Surround Sound and Stereo Audio
SPECIAL FEATURES
- Original Theatrical trailer
- Dame of the Dead
- Live from the Glasgow Theatre
- The Many Lives And Deaths of Giovanni Lombardo Radice
- Penning Some Paura - Dardano Sacchetti Remembers COTLD
- The Audio Recollections of Giovanni Lombardo Radice
- Audio Commentary with Catriona Macoll and Jay Slater
- Profondo Luigi - A Colleague’s Memories of Lucio Fulgi
- Fulci’s Daughter - Memories of the Italian Gore Meastro
- Carlo of the Living Dead - Surviving Fulci Fear
- Fulci in the House: The Italian Master of Splatter
- Gallery of the Living Dead

Even with all of that, this release does have a few downfalls.  The first issue isn't really a fault of the company, but I feel I must point it out to anyone who is considering buying this set.  The extras are all encoded in PAL which means while the feature film might work fine on your player, the extras will not.  The other issue is with the transfer, while it is damn good Blue Underground's high def presentation is superior.  This will be a turn off to those who want the best looking representation of the film.  BU's release also has different extras.  There's an easy solution however, buy both.  I did, but then again, this is one of my favorite films we're talking about.



 In closing, City of the Living Dead is an experience like no other.  Few could helm a horror picture quite like Fulci.  That's not to say the man didn't release some stinkers, but when he was on top of his game few could beat him.  This film is a gut spewing maggot hurling classic.

Martin (Arrow Video)

Martin
Production year: 1976

Release date: 06/21/10
Collection number: 891


Arrow week continues tonight with the Romero favorite Martin.  This is a film I haven't seen in years so I was more than happy to revisit it tonight.  Arrow's release of the film is easily the best available and even includes an Italian cut of the film titled "Wampyr."  I'll get more into the Italian cut later on as I'd like to focus primarily on the theatrical cut.

Martin is an interesting film.  It centers around a man who believes himself to be an 84 year old vampire.  He stalks women, he drinks blood, he confesses his crimes to an old radio show.  Martin moves in with his elderly cousin in hopes to curb his blood lust, though it proves to be somewhat unsuccessful.  Like a lot of Romero's older movies it's very complex.  It's a horror film, though it's also a study on a deranged young man.  Is he a vampire or is he just psychotic?  This question is ultimately left up to the viewer.

Though not a typical vamp film it's definitely more interesting than some that were released during this time period.  It's often overshadowed by Romero's other films and while it might have a hard time living up to Night of the Living Dead I consider it one that is not to be missed.

Included in the set
- 4 sleeve art options
- Double-sided fold-out poster
- Exclusive Collector’s Booklet
- Set of 6 original poster art postcards
DISC 1
- Theatrical Cut in 5.1 and Stereo sound
plus choice of 4:3 and 16:9 presentations
- Original Theatrical trailer
DISC 2
- Wampyr: The Italian Cut  featuring legendary Goblin Score
- European Romero Documentary
- The audio recollections of Romero, Savini, Gornick and Rubinstein
- ‘Making Martin’:A recounting documentary
- Original TV and Radio Spots
- Martin Photo Album 

I'm sure some of you are curious about how the Italian versions stacks up against the US cut.  There's not a whole lot of difference honestly, the film is cut a little different with some of the beginning train scenes appearing later in the film.  The most noticeable difference is the score, Goblin also provides the music this time around.   As far as superiority goes, I lean towards the US cut, I love Goblin but I really enjoy the subtlety of the music in the US version better.  Their score just seems...Out of place.


Martin is an interesting film, while it might not be Romero's best it's very far from his worst.  It's only real downfall was being sandwiched between the release of George's two biggest films.  Because of this it's often overlooked.  Arrow did a great job with their "Immortal Edition" and it is completely worth importing.




Battle Royale (Arrow Video)

Arrow week begins today!  Each day we will be looking at a different Arrow Video release!


Battle Royale
Production year:  2000
Release date: 12/13/2010
Collection number: 697

I wouldn't get around to seeing this much praised film until I received this blu-ray early last year.  There's no use in lying, I'm pretty much a novice when it comes to Asian cinema.  Sure, I've seen the classics...Enter the Dragon, Shogun Assassin, Gojira, but over the years I've been so engrossed with the Italian pictures I just haven't had the time to dedicate to that facet of film (something I plan on changing.)
 This set offers two versions of the film:  Theatrical and the Director's cut.  I personally prefer the theatrical version as I feel it's more tightly edited.  The director's cut offers up a few more scenes to give a little more life to some of the characters along with more gore thanks to some shoddy CGI.

The film opens with a piece of music called Dies Irae, which is very fitting as the follow 90 minutes is extremely intense.  The story breaks down like this:  In the near future teenagers are becoming more corrupt and harder to control.  The Government's solution?  Send a randomly selected HS class to a secluded island and make them fight until only one remains.  

Once it kicks off the movie rarely slows down with it's visual assault on the audience.  Suffice to say this is one I highly recommend.

Now that I've given the film my highest recommendation how does the discs themselves stack up?  Well as much as I love arrow, I'll be honest here, this isn't a set you'll break out to show off your newest home theater set up.  While the film sounds great and the two cuts of the film along with the bonus material will give you hours of entertainment, the high definition transfer leaves a little to be desired.  That's not to say Arrow didn't try, it's very possible they didn't have a lot to work with.  I guess will see once Anchor Bay gets around to releasing their version of the film later this year.

So I'm sure you're wondering what's included in this set?


DISC 1 – THEATRICAL CUT: SPECIAL FEATURES - ORIGINAL THEATRICAL TRAILER
- THE MAKING OF BATTLE ROYALE: THE EXPERIENCE OF 42 HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

DISC 2 – SPECIAL EDITION [DIRECTOR’S CUT]: SPECIAL FEATURES
- SPECIAL EDITION TRAILER
- TV SPOT: TARANTINO VERSION
- SHOOTING THE SPECIAL EDITION
- TAKESHI KITANO INTERVIEW
- THE CORRECT WAY TO MAKE BATTLE ROYALE [BIRTHDAY VERION]
- TOKYO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL PRESENTATION
- CONDUCTING BATTLE ROYALE WITH THE WARSAW NATIONAL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA

DISC 3 – SPECIAL FEATURES
- OPENING DAY AT MARU NO UCHI TOEI MOVIE THEATRE
- THE SLAUGHTER OF 42 HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
- PREMIERE PRESS CONFERENCE
- THE CORRECT WAY TO FIGHT IN BATTLE ROYALE
- ROYALE REHEARSALS
- MASAMICHI AMANO CONDUCTS BATTLE ROYALE
- SPECIAL EFFECTS COMPARISON
- BEHIND THE SCENES FEATURETTE
- FILMING ON SET
- TV SPOTS, PROMOS AND COMMERCIALS
- KINJI FUKASAKU TRAILER REEL

That's not even including the poster, art cards, booklets...I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves.








This set is still available directly through arrow.  It is limited and a little pricey.  As mentioned earlier Anchor Bay is scheduled to release the film later this year in a deluxe box set as well, though you'd be hard pressed to beat Arrow's definitive BR set.

TCM Extreme edition: Fright-Rags exclusive

Every year FRIGHT-RAGS releases multiple limited edition tees, some are limited to a certain number, others are only available for a day or so.  Most tend to sell out.

I've been lucky enough to aquire a few of these t-shirts throughout the years, today we'll be taking a look at their TCM package.


The package was available in two styles: Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.  This is where my problem started.  Depending on the time of day I might prefer one film over the other.  The stark look and realism of the first, the over-the-top zaniness and humor of the sequel.  It's a tough fucking decision. I eventually decided on the second since I liked the design a tad better.



Fright-Rags always throws in extras unique to the film, from signed posters to a vial of water from the original Crystal Lake.  This time was no exception.  Also included was a poster, sticker, a few cards, and best of all a canister containing dirt from the original TCM filming location.



Per usual (and most importantly) the shirt is of the highest quality.  The design is bright and vivid, the material of the shirt is extremely soft.

At 50 dollars it might be more than some are willing to spend on a shirt and a few bonuses.  As a horror fanatic and a collector I find these packages hard to pass up.

Elvira ThillerVideo promo posters

Today we'll be taking a look at two awesome (and seldom seen) video posters.

In the mid 80's Thrillervideo teamed up with Elvira to release a handful of films on VHS.  Most of their releases were hosted by said horror hostess, however they did release a number of titles without her.
(A full list can be found here)


Earlier I mentioned these were seldom seen, while a few google searches turned up some similar advertisements, these two in particular were no where to be found.  I have a number of video posters that have turned up similar results, if you have any info about these posters please comment!

Onto the first poster, this one is actually double-sided with one side being a poster and the other an advertisement for upcoming VHS releases.  This poster is 11" x 27" and printed on a thick glossy paper.




The next poster is single sided and slightly larger at 11" x 28"


The VHS horror boom of the 80's didn't just bring forth cool flicks, we were also spoiled with tons of cool advertisements and random promotional material.  This is just one small example of a number of items I have.  I'll certainly be showing more in future updates!







Cannibal Holocaust XT Video tin

 It's been almost two years since my last post.  I can't remember why I didn't follow through with more posts and reviews, but I've decided to change that with this year.


Cannibal Holocast
Production year: 1980

DVD release date: 06/25/2007
Collection number: #883



With this post we will be taking a look at the XT Video release of Cannibal Holocaust.  This tin is the 4th release in their Shocking Classics line.

When you pop in the dvd you're greeted with a nice XT intro video.  With the exception of that intro and the dvd menus everything else on the dvd's seem to be cultivated directly from Grindhouse Releasing's 2005 release.  Was this done in correlation with Grindhouse Releasing?  That I do not know.



Along with two loaded dvd's you get the OST, a booklet for the CD, and three nice glossy art cards.

Which is the better of the two releases?  That's a good question, we'll take a look at the Grindhouse version in a future update.  I'm personally digging this release a bit more.  The tin is big and the artwork is a very nice touch, XT went in a different direction veering away from the iconic "impaled woman" which is a welcome change.



As for the film itself, there's not a lot I can say about Cannibal Holocaust that hasn't already been said.  It was my first real foray into the Italian Cannibal sub genre.  I think a lot of people have forgotten how tough it was to get some of these films, even something so accessible as The Evil Dead was a pain to nab.  DVD really opened up the flood gates...Companies like Elite and Anchor Bay were constantly putting out great remastered editions of movies that had become impossible to see.  Many regard the 80's as the "Golden Age of Horror."  I don't deny this, however, there is a something that should be said about the 00's, it made all of those old films obtainable once more.  I can remember the day I finally tracked down a copy of Cannibal Holocaust.  It was the last over-priced copy at a now defunct Borders store.  That disc didn't leave my player for a few days, and even re watching it now it is still a grotesquely powerful film.

Whether you go with Grindhouse Releasing, XT Video, or one of the other numerous releases out there, definitely check out Cannibal Holocaust.  You will not be disappointed.