Wednesday, March 25, 2015

IT! The Terror Attacks Blu-Ray!

Finally, this 1958 low budget sci-fi gem from director Eddie Cahn makes its way to blu-ray courtesy of Olive Films.  As per usual with Olive, this will be priced high with little or no extras and restoration.  Hopefully, the MGM HD master will do justice to this beautifully starkly shot, atmospheric black-and-white sci-fi noir.  It always looked decent on DVD.  According to the specs, the film will presented in academy ratio 1.33 whereas the MGM HD channel version was zoomed into 16x9.  I assume that the original theatrical exhibition was probably at 1.85?  Whatever...  Here's how to pre-order:

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Grisly Grabs From Bava Restoration!

Arrow Films has unveiled some frame grabs from their new BLOOD & BLACK LACE 4K restoration.  I wasn't able to attend the recent Alamo Drafthouse screening in New York due to blizzard like weather conditions but I'm losing sleep over the arrival of the blu-ray release!  Click here and feast your eyes!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Restored Bava On The Big Screen At The Alamo, Yonkers NY March 5th!

This exclusive theatrical screening of Mario Bava's BLOOD & BLACK LACE (1964), the prototype giallo, promises to be a colorful and powerful experience.  The source master is Arrow Video's new 2K HD scan of the original camera negative to be projected digitally (I assume) in its original Italian language version (apologies to the Paul Frees fans who love the English dub!).  I did see a pretty ratty 16mm print years ago at the Film Forum, NYC but that's much better  to be forgotten.  The Arrow blu-ray is available for pre-orders already!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

More Blu Rays from the U.K.!

These two upcoming blu-ray releases will be of special interest to VC readers.  FLYING DEUCES (1940) has long languished in public domain limbo and the definitive restored edition remains Kino's DVD from several years back.  It will be interesting to see Network's HD restoration.  DEADLIER THAN THE MALE was previously issued on DVD by Network and should look nice in HD!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Blu Ray Gems Coming Soon From Mill Creek!

There is good news for budget minded classic cinema collectors!  Two exceptional Columbia Studio clasics will hit the blu-ray budget bins- Orson Welles' masterful and nightmarish noir THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI co-starring Rita Hayworth and Marlon Brando as THE WILD ONE, the classic big daddy-o of biker brawls!  Each will sell for $14.93 SRP but should be had much cheaper at online and mortar shops.  While both appear to be bare bones releases there is a special edition SHANGHAI available from TCM for bigger bucks while THE WILD ONE is a first-timer on blu-ray.  Mill Creek boasts that they will utilize the same 4K restoration of SHANGHAI as TCM!

Hopefully Mill Creek will continue to mine the Columbia vaults and give us more titles like Fritz Lang's THE BIG HEAT (already an OOP limited release from Twilight) and perhaps Lugosi's RETURN OF THE VAMPIRE and Hammer's REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN and much, much more!  Here's to wishful thinking!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Sunday, October 5, 2014

CRY DANGER (1951 - U.S.) Olive Films DVD

D: Robert Parrish.  After five years, ex-marine Rocky Malloy (Dick Powell), is sprung early from jail for a robbery when an alcoholic, amputee, fellow ex-marine (Richard Erdman) clears him with a fake alibi.  In hopes of getting a cut of the stolen loot, the marine tags along while Rocky remains adamant about his innocence.  Rocky looks up his cellmate’s deceptively wholesome wife (Rhonda Fleming) and moves into the same trailer park.  He tracks down the bloated Castro (William Conrad of TV’s CANNON) to demand compensation for driving the getaway car and taking the fall for the gang.  As a consolation, Castro gives him a tip on a horse that pays off big but with marked bills that only add  to the ex-con ‘s anxieties.  This sends Rocky goes on a wild goose chase to discover the origin of the cash and clear  himself while an unrelenting detective tails him.

The film’s highlights include multiple double crosses, triple-crosses, shoot-ups, a tense game of Russian roulette, eccentric dames and some competent rear projection.  Powell is ultra-smooth as the chain-smoking, black coffee guzzling Rocky, a role that fits him like a glove after playing Philip Marlowe and enough hard-boiled types.  This is an excellent but lesser known RKO noir laced with dark humor and precision rapid-fire dialog that keeps the plot moving at a swift pace.  The Olive blu-ray features a solid HD transfer from a well kept fine grain print.

Director Parrish was an ex-child actor, an editor and one of a few who helmed CASINO ROYALE (1967).  Other directorial credits include the JOURNEY TO THE FAR SIDE OF THE SUN (1969) and 1971’s  A TOWN CALLED HELL (aka A TOWN CALLED BASTARD) and some TWLIGHT ZONE episodes.  The assistant to the producer is credited to Maurice Binder who went on to design the iconic main title sequences for many a  classic 007 film.  I’m baffled by Olive Films annoying logo that features  a cyclopean buzzing bee with crackling, distorting audio.  What‘s that all about?   Why not an olive in a martini?  Olives are nice in salads too.   Previously on Republic VHS.