Happy Monday, dear readers! We have one last group of horror and sci-fi home media releases arriving before we say goodbye to January, and I hope your wallets are prepared for just how many killer releases are heading home this weekend, because there’s a lot of great titles that are arriving this Tuesday.
In terms of new genre projects, Synchronic from Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead as well as Come Play are both headed to Blu-ray and DVD, and if the release of the Godzilla vs. Kong trailer this weekend got you hyped for some kaiju action, Arrow Video is showing some love to Gamera this week with two different limited edition sets: Gamera: The Heisei Era and Gamera: The Showa Era. Arrow has also put together one of my most anticipated home media releases ever, a brand-new two-disc special edition set for Southland Tales (featuring the Cannes cut, which I have always wanted to see) and Vinegar Syndrome is keeping busy this Tuesday with several excellent releases as well, including Fade to Black, Forgotten Gialli: Volume 1, Don’t Panic, and Silent Madness in 3D.
Other releases for January 26th include Impetigore, The AGFA Horror Trailer Show, The Curious Dr. Humpp, Family Portraits, and Ghost Light.
The AGFA Horror Trailer Show (AGFA, Blu-ray)
Unleashed from the dungeon of the American Genre Film Archive (AGFA), THE AGFA HORROR TRAILER SHOW is a senses-shattering compilation of the most spine-ripping, slime-slinging, soul-shredding horror trailers that you've never seen. Meticulously constructed by the mad scientists at AGFA to resemble an otherworldly night at the drive-in, this mixtape features rare trailers, commercials, and ephemera from the vaults -- most of which has never been seen since its original release. And it's all presented via a 2K scan from a newly struck 35mm theatrical film print of the show! Plus: The journey continues with THE AGFA HORROR TRAILER SHOW: VIDEORAGE, a full-length mixtape created exclusively for this release.
Come Play (Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, Blu/Digital & DVD)
Desperate for a friend, Oliver (Azhy Robertson), a lonely young boy who feels different from everyone else, seeks solace and refuge in his ever-present cell phone and tablet. When a mysterious creature uses Oliver's devices against him to break into our world, Oliver's parents (Gillian Jacobs and John Gallagher Jr.) must fight to save their son from the monster beyond the screen.
The Curious Dr. Humpp (AGFA, Blu-ray)
THE CURIOUS DR. HUMPP isn't a movie -- it's a rite of passage. Easily one of the most brainbreaking sensory overloads in exploitation history, the story follows Dr. Humpp and his army of grotesque monsters as they kidnap couples and drain their "blood forces of sex" to keep the doctor eternally young. Directed by the prolific Emilio Vieyra in Argentina, this movie combines artful gothic horror with unhinged sex, comic book pulp, and a talking brain in a jar. Plus a monster who plays the guitar. Basically, this is what might have happened if Mario Bava collaborated with Doris Wishman after an acid binge. AGFA + Something Weird are thrilled to present a brand new restoration of this iconic sex-horror classic, complete with a new commentary track from filmmaker Frank Henenlotter (BASKET CASE). Plus LA VENGANZA DEL SEXO, Vieyra's original "horror" cut of THE CURIOUS DR. HUMPP in its original Spanish language -- available for the first time ever on home video with English subtitles!
Fade to Black (Vinegar Syndrome, Blu-ray)
Eric Binford lives for, and if he could have it his way 'in', the movies. He works at a 35mm print depot as a delivery boy, but spends all of his free time watching classic films and collecting Hollywood memorabilia. Endlessly tormented by his colleagues, Eric drifts further and further into a dream world wherein he embodies the silver screen characters he so deeply worships. However, when the teasing pushes him too far, he snaps and literally goes into character, donning the outfits of his big screen idols and slowly but surely killing off his tormentors in outrageous recreations of his favorite film scenes...
A slasher that's profoundly infused with cinephilia and old Hollywood iconography from its first frame to its last, Vernon Zimmerman's (Bobby Jo and the Outlaw) FADE TO BLACK is an often haunting examination of the terror that can occur when fantasy and reality collide. Starring Dennis Christopher (Breaking Away, the original 'It') alongside Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler), and featuring cinematography by Álex Phillips Jr. (Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia), FADE TO BLACK is a masterpiece of psychological horror that's making its long overdue, worldwide Blu-ray debut from Vinegar Syndrome in a new 4K restoration of recently uncovered 35mm negative elements.
Forgotten Gialli: Volume 1 (Vinegar Syndrome, Blu-ray)
The giallo remains one of the most popular sub-genres in Italian & Spanish film history. But for all of the well-known and classic films the genre has spawned, so many others have been nearly impossible to enjoy since their theatrical debuts. This first entry in our 'Forgotten Gialli' series presents three rarities, none of which have ever been legally available in the U.S.
TRAUMA: Daniel, a writer seeking seclusion to work on his new book, finds himself stranded at a rural bed & breakfast run by a strange and prudish young woman and her ailing, wheelchair-bound husband who remains shut in his room all day. However, as night falls, a psychotic, razor-wielding killer begins stalking the B&B, brutally slashing the throats of its most sex-crazed guests, whose bodies and luggage then mysteriously disappear the following morning.
A satisfyingly trashy low-budget Spanish giallo, which inadvertently also ranks as one of the country's earliest proto-slashers, León Klimovsky's TRAUMA aka Violación Fatal is filled with gratuitous sex and nudity, along with bloody killings. Barely released outside of Spain, Vinegar Syndrome presents TRAUMA, on Blu-ray, in a brand new 2K restoration of its camera negative and in its longest version ever presented on home video.
THE KILLER IS ONE OF 13: A recent widow has invited a group of family friends to her large and secluded country home. However, what the guests don't know is that they've been assembled because their host suspects one of them might be her husband's killer and is intent on uncovering the identity of his murderer. As the guests begin to suspect each other, revealing long kept and sinister secrets in the process, an unknown, black-gloved killer begins bumping them off in a variety of nasty ways.
A unique Spanish take on Agatha Christie's oft-adapted novel And Then There Were None, exploitation auteur Javier Aguirre's THE KILLER IS ONE OF 13 is uncharacteristically literary-in-structure, but never skimps on its requisite bloodshed. Featuring some of Spain's top genre film stars including Patty Shepard, Jack Taylor, and Paul Naschy, Vinegar Syndrome brings this to Blu-ray, newly restored in 2K from its original negative and available in North America for the first time in any format.
THE POLICE ARE BLUNDERING IN THE DARK: A young nude-model is violently stabbed to death with a pair of scissors. It soon emerges that three other women have already fallen prey to this unknown maniac, and that all three victims have a single and unique connection: they all served as models for an eccentric photographer named Parisi. When another young woman with a date to be photographed is murdered, her journalist boyfriend decides to investigate the crimes and quickly finds himself mixed up with Parisi, who reveals that he's working on a camera capable of photographing people's thoughts!
The only film credit from 'one-and-done' director, Helia Colombo, THE POLICE ARE BLUNDERING IN THE DARK is a satisfyingly sleazy and decidedly oddball giallo rarity, filled with bloody killings, plentiful nudity, wild plot twists, and plenty of general weirdness. Unseen outside of its native Italy, Vinegar Syndrome presents this gem in a fresh, 2K restoration of its original negative and in its first official home video release anywhere in the world.
2.Newly scanned & restored in 2k from their 35mm original negatives
Gamera: The Heisei Era - 4 Disc Special Edition (Arrow Video, Blu-ray)
After laying dormant for fifteen years, Gamera was rebooted for the big screen in a smash hit trilogy masterminded by director Shusuke Kaneko, writer Kazunori Ito and SFX director Shinji Higuchi.
Trading the campy kid-friendly surrealism of the earlier films for a darker, more realistic tone and jaw-dropping innovative special effects, the Heisei trilogy are still regarded today as three of the best if not the very best kaiju films ever made.
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS:
DISC ONE GAMERA THE GUARDIAN OF THE UNIVERSE:
DISC TWO GAMERA 2: ATTACK OF LEGION:
DISC THREE GAMERA 3: REVENGE OF IRIS:
DISC FOUR GAMERA THE BRAVE:
Gamera: The Showa Era - 4 Disc Special Edition (Arrow Video, Blu-ray)
As giant monsters rampaged the Japanese cinematic landscape during the kaiju boom of the mid-1960s, Daiei Studios introduced a new character to the screen that would be embraced for generations: Gamera, the giant, flying, fire-breathing turtle, and friend of all children! Buried under the Arctic ice for several millennia, the colossal chelonian is unleashed upon Japan, leaving havoc in his wake. After becoming an unexpected box office sensation, Gamera returned several more times, leaping to the world’s defence against a motley assortment of evil creatures, from the death-ray-shooting flying terror Gyaos, to the knife-headed alien menace Guiron, to the underwater invader Zigra!
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS:
DISC ONE GAMERA THE GIANT MONSTER:
DISC TWO GAMERA VS. BARUGON / GAMERA VS. GYAOS:
DISC THREE GAMERA VS. VIRAS / GAMERA VS. GUIRON:
DISC FOUR GAMERA VS. JIGER / GAMERA VS. ZIGRA / GAMERA SUPER MONSTER:
Impetigore (RLJE Films, Blu-ray)
Feeling down on her luck and low on funds, Maya’s spirits are lifted when she discovers her family home still remains in the village she grew up in. She enlists the help of her best friend to go back to her hometown and claim her inheritance. But Maya is unaware that the people who live in the village have actually been trying to kill her to remove the curse that’s plagued them for years. In order to make it out alive, Maya must unravel the twisted truth of her past.
Silent Madness 3D (Vinegar Syndrome, Blu-ray)
When a glitch in the computer system at an asylum for the criminally insane results in the release of the wrong patient - a giant-in-stature homicidal maniac named Howard Johns who has a penchant for killing college coeds - it's up to one of the institute's top doctors to track him down. Unfortunately, it's not just Howard she has to worry about, as the administration of the asylum has decided to cover up the error to avoid bad press, going as far as to hire a duo of thugs to permanently 'silence' the good doctor. Soon enough, Howard finds his way back to the sorority house he once terrorized and sets out to murder the latest batch of nubile coeds who have taken up residence in the stately manor.
One of the few slashers produced during the short-lived, early 80s revival of 3D movies, Simon Nuchtern's (Savage Dawn) SILENT MADNESS knows exactly what audiences want, and delivers. Heavily gelled lighting and excellent use of 3-D photography, from Gerald Feil (Friday the 13th Part III), elevate the high body count drive-in classic, which stars Belinda Montgomery (TRON: Legacy), Viveca Lindfors (Creepshow), and career stuntman, Solly Marx (Phantasm II) as the the diabolical Howard Johns. Never officially released on disc and nearly impossible to see in its original scope and 3-D version, Vinegar Syndrome presents SILENT MADNESS on Blu-ray, newly restored from its original 3-D negative and presented in Digital 3-D (which mirrors the theatrical experience), Flat (2-D), and Anaglyph 3-D, which you can enjoy with your custom pair of 3-D glasses, included with this disc!
Southland Tales: 2-Disc Special Edition (Arrow Video, Blu-ray)
THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS
In 2001, writer/director Richard Kelly achieved cult status with Donnie Darko, an assured debut feature exploring deep existential questions through the lens of 80s nostalgia. Five years later, he followed up with a more ambitious and even more beguiling sophomore effort, in which forces of totalitarianism and anarchism collide against the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic, near-future world the beguiling and baffling Southland Tales.
Los Angeles, 2008. As the city stands on the brink of social, economic and environmental chaos, the fates of an eclectic set of characters including an amnesia-stricken action star (Dwayne Johnson, the Fast & Furious series), an adult film star developing her own reality TV project (Sarah Michelle Gellar, Cruel Intentions) and a police officer whose identity has split in two (Seann William Scott, TV’s Lethal Weapon) intertwine with each other and with the whole of humanity.
A darkly comic futuristic epic that speaks as presciently to our turbulent times as it did to the American socio-political climate in 2006, Southland Tales receives a fresh and timely lease of life with this new, director-approved restoration.
2-DISC LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS:
Synchronic (Well Go USA, Blu-ray & DVD)
When New Orleans paramedics and longtime best friends Steve (Anthony Mackie) and Dennis (Jamie Dornan) are called to a series of bizarre, gruesome accidents, they chalk it up to the mysterious new party drug found at the scene. But after Dennis s oldest daughter suddenly disappears, Steve stumbles upon a terrifying truth about the supposed psychedelic that will challenge everything he knows about reality and the flow of time itself.
ALSO AVAILABLE THIS WEEK:
Don’t Panic (Vinegar Syndrome, Blu-ray)
Family Portraits (Severin Films, Blu-ray)
Ghost Light (Gravitas Ventures, Blu-ray & DVD)
Solar Impact (Vision Films, DVD)