Today's Horror Highlights kicks things off with the doll, the myth, the legend: Chucky! Mezco Toyz presents a twisted version of a jack-in-the-box with this scarred Chucky Burst-A-Box. Also in today's Horror Highlights is a grindhouse extravaganza, as we cover the UK Blu-ray releases of Miss Leslie's Dolls and Who Killed Teddy Bear, starring Sal Mineo (Rebel Without a Cause), and we also have a Q&A with director Joe McReynolds for the grindhouse-inspired Inhumanity.
Scarred Chucky Burst-A-Box Details: "Introducing Mezco’s Burst-A-Box! A pop culture-infused twist on one of the most beloved, classic toys, the jack-in-the-box.
The Bride of Chucky Burst-A-Box features Scarred Chucky – the infamous homicidal doll containing the soul of a serial killer.
Approximately 14” tall when “popped”, the Burst-A-Box is a finely detailed tin music box that encases a detailed sculpt and clothed spring character.
Designed after his appearance in the film, Chucky features a scarred head sculpt and sports his signature ‘Good Guys’ overalls with a striped shirt.
Burst-A-Box: Scarred Chucky comes packaged popped-out of his tin and perfect for display in a collector-friendly window box.
Burst-A-Box Scarred Chucky is available for pre-order at:
Miss Leslie's Dolls and Who Killed Teddy Bear UK Blu-ray Release Details: Press Release: "Network presents Miss Leslie's Dolls on Blu-ray/DVD/VOD 3rd September, and Who Killed Teddy Bear on Blu-ray/VOD 17th September.
Network is proud to unveil two lesser-known drive-in gems from the golden age of American genre cinema, both restored in glorious HD and making their Blu-ray debuts in stunning multi-region releases, as well as DVD and Digital releases too.
First up, fasten your seatbelts for the deranged, lost grindhouse classic Miss Leslie's Dolls, which is being unearthed on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD for the first time on 3rd September after decades of gathering dust. Then on 17th September, the criminally underseen psychedelic 1960s noir Who Killed Teddy Bear starring Sal Mineo makes its worldwide Blu-ray and VOD debut, complete with fascinating extras.
MISS LESLIE'S DOLLS (1973)
A rare specimen from the more deranged end of the grindhouse spectrum, Miss Leslie's Dolls is a memorably demented tale of possession and transvestitism from director Joseph G. Prieto (who, under the name Joseph P. Mawra, directed the outrageous 1965 lesbian sexploitation 'documentary' Chained Girls). Believed lost for decades, it has been remastered from original film elements, especially for this release.
Stranded in the backwoods during a thunderstorm, a beautiful teacher and her three promiscuous students take refuge at a lonely house owned by the middle-aged Miss Leslie. Miss Leslie, however, is less a mild-mannered spinster and more an ax-wielding, homicidal cross-dresser intent on transferring his spirit into the nubile body of any girl foolish enough to come to visit...
Miss Leslie's Dolls has been newly scanned from one of the few surviving prints in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The restoration carried out involved careful grain management, both automated and manual removal of film dirt and damage, and correction of major instability, warping, and density fluctuations.
• 1080p HD
• Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
• Running time: 89 mins
• Certificate: 15
• Optional English subs
• Region code: ABC
• BD Cat: 7958174 & RRP: £14.99
• DVD Cat: 7954886 & RRP: £9.99
• Original release: 1973
Pre-order Blu-ray or DVD on Amazon:
WHO KILLED TEDDY BEAR (1965)
A grim police detective embarks on a one-man crusade to track down a depraved sex maniac when a nightclub dancer receives a disturbing series of obscene phone calls. Finding himself getting far too close to the victim for comfort, the hard-boiled cop must track down the unbalanced pervert before he can carry out his sick threats...
Refused certification on its original theatrical release due to its sleazy, taboo-breaking nature, this psychological crime thriller features strong performances from Sal Mineo as a bodybuilding, pornography-addicted, busboy and Juliet Prowse as a victimized nightclub hostess. Showcasing Oscar-nominated cinematographer Joseph Brun's breathtaking imagery of pre-clean-up Times Square and 42nd Street, this forgotten neo-noir masterpiece of American independent cinema still retains the power to shock and crackles with energy from its smart dialogue, electrifying performances, and groovy dance sequences.
Previously available only on DVD, Who Killed Teddy Bear has been newly scanned from one of the few surviving 35mm prints in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The restoration carried out involved careful grain management, both automated and manual removal of film dirt and damage, and correction of major instability, warping, and density fluctuations. Missing frames/sections have been reinstated from a 16mm print and the image matched as far as possible but a difference in visual quality may be occasionally noticed.
• Court Martial episode
• LSD: Insight or Insanity?
• Stills gallery
• PDF material
Court Martial: The House Where He Lived (1965)
Bradford Dillman and Peter Graves star as Captain David Young and Major Frank Whittaker of the Judge Advocate General’s office, in a series set in Europe during, and in the aftermath of, the second World War. This edition guest stars Sal Mineo and Anthony Quayle.
Written by S.S. Schweitzer
Directed by Peter Maxwell
Original ITV Transmission 2 October 1965
LSD: Insight or Insanity (1967)
Sal Mineo narrates a short film that outlines the dangers of taking LSD. Done in a typically psychedelic ‘60s style, this film combines men in white coats lecturing on drug abuse and hallucinogenic imagery to create something particularly of its time.
• 1080p HD
• Aspect ratio: 1.77:1
• Running time: 90 mins.
• Certificate: 15
• Optional English subs
• Region code: ABC
• Cat: 7958054
• RRP: £14.99
• Original release: 1965
Pre-order Blu-ray on Amazon:
Q&A with Inhumanity Director Joe McReynolds: "Joe McReynolds is the brainchild behind the gritty new grindhouse-esque thriller Inhumanity, out now from Wild Eye Releasing.
How has the feedback been from the film?
Joe McReynolds: It's been really great. When I decided to go in the direction of a stylistic 70's grindhouse film I wasn't sure how it would come across but a lot of people seemed to feel the 70's vibe and we always get great comments about the story and its originality dealing with a serial killer mystery. So yeah, it's really nice to hear that people are getting the movie from that standpoint and are enjoying it for what it is, which is fun. We hear that a lot. "It was a crazy fun movie." I like the combo "Crazy Fun."
It's a nice mix of genres. Was that intentional?
Joe McReynolds: Yes, very much so. I feel like the audience today is smart and constantly hit with so many different things in our daily lives with entertainment and social media. So I wanted to mix in some different genres and kinda keep people on their toes. It is a delicate balance, however, trying to weave together multiple genres yet maintain a certain style. I wanted to experiment with that as a filmmaker and not just give the same routine per se when it comes to genre film. I hope that it works and based on some of the feedback I have gotten I think it's coming across nicely.
How do you keep a film like this realistic? Does it come down to writing credible characters incredible situations?
Joe McReynolds: Well, I had a great cinematographer in Javier Garcia and he knew I wanted to keep things very real looking from a visual standpoint. I think it did a great job along with Kirby Tucker in getting us the lighting the film needed to feel real. Leaving some of the film darker in places and using natural light with some accents to make it look natural is an art form and Javier really is showing that he has the talent and eye for that. As far as the characters go I write what I feel seems real. If it’s a far-fetched idea as long as it is played well and is logical it creates a more realistic scene. We had some very talented people like Darcel Danielle, Diana Rose, Ford Austin, Karl Anderson, Joe Howes and of course Six Pack Sam played by Leviticus Wolfe, who had never acted in a film before and really did an amazing job for his debut performance. These very talented actors would challenge me on different things and it allowed me to defend my writing and sometimes find better, more realistic ways to say or do things. That’s how I like to direct-- I want to get the talent engaged and collaborate. Without good actors and crew, you go nowhere fast. I was fortunate to be surrounded by both. It makes my job easier.
Are our main characters different people by the end of the film?
Joe McReynolds: Yes, there are some that are changed by transformation and some by peeling back a façade that shows you their true self. You’re gonna have to watch the film to see which ones change and which ones are revealed.
Are any of the characters inspired by yourself or your own life?
Joe McReynolds: I guess all these characters have something that relates to me but I wouldn't say that one stands out as a reflection of me or who I am. I tried to make sure I didn't do that. But I may not be the best person to ask. LOL.... maybe people close to me see that differently.
How important is sound to you?
Joe McReynolds: Very!! It's fifty percent of the movie and can make or break a low budget indie film. I had Tony Longworth create an original soundtrack, which is available on iTunes, and I tell you what... Tony did a great job. He is an absolutely talented musician who really was able to capture what I wanted to do. I really wanted an Italian Horror film vibe. We bounced ideas back and forth and he created something cool and unique. And Phillip Raves who is out of Seattle did the foley and sound mixing, which I thought was well done. Javier Garcia, Gene Bautista, and I recorded the ADR and we recorded about 85% of the audio for this film. We really wanted to make sure we had the best sound we could get. It's VERY important!!
What's your favorite genre film of all time??
Joe McReynolds: Oh man!! That's not a fair question. Of all time!!!?? I am gonna cheat... Fargo, Jaws, Alien (1979), Halloween, Taxi Driver, and Pulp Fiction, of course."