Inside Bray Studios – The Complete Story of Hammer’s House Studio

In 1951, Hammer Film Productions took up residence at Down Place, a derelict country house on the banks of the Thames outside Windsor, and over the following decade turned it into the most unique film studio in England. This exciting new tome from Hammer historian Wayne Kinsey and Peveril Publishing traces the studio’s history from Hammer and beyond, to its closure with plans to develop the site into housing.

Over 344 pages packed with hundreds of behind-the-scenes photos, plans and drawings, you get a virtual tour of the studio, showing how Hammer’s skilled technicians turned Down Place into a working studio, complete with a backlot of building sets that became iconic in eyes of Hammer fans. The last Hammer production made at Bray was The Mummy’s Shroud, which wrapped on 21 October 1966, but the story does not end there as an incredible amount of film, TV and music work has also taken place there since Hammer left on 19 November 1966.

It practically reinvented itself as a centre for stop motion and special model effects over the next 20 years, with Jim Danforth working on When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth there, while Gerry Anderson’s sfx team set up camp in Stage 2 for Space 1999 and Terrahawks, where lots of model and miniature work was created for Ridley Scott’s Alien. But the other stages continued to be used for for a host of genre favourites, including Trog and Rocky Horror Picture Show, which were filmed almost exclusively at nearby Oakley Court, and this book includes a complete list of the films and TV shows shot here, which, for a film location nerd like me, I found most illuminating.

There’s also three separate chapters on the 1998, 1999 and 2007 Bray Open Days that were organised by Donald Fearney and Simon Greetham with some great photos, many sent in by fellow fans, of what has now become something quite historic and never to be repeated, especially since the passing of many of those who worked at the studio.

Kinsey concludes his tour with the sad demise of the studio showing evidence of the chronic damp damage that destroyed the interior of Down Place and the redevelopment plans to save it by converting into housing. Currently, the studio has reopened to a handful of productions as the redevelopment plans are finalised, but a part of the studio has already had to be demolished because it was beyond repair and the jury is still out on the future of the main house.

ORDER DIRECT FROM PEVERIL PUBLISHING

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Iwrin Allen’s 1960s sci-fi show The Time Tunnel on HD Blu-ray in the UK

The Time Tunnel

From the golden age of TV sci-fi comes Irwin Allen’s The Time Tunnel, starring James Darren and Robert Colbert in sparkling HD

Two American scientists are lost in the swirling maze of past and future ages, during the first experiments on America’s greatest and most secret project, the Time Tunnel. Tony Newman and Doug Phillips now tumble helplessly toward a new fantastic adventure, somewhere along the infinite corridors of time…

The control of time is potentially the most valuable treasure that man will ever find. Or so believe the scientists of Project Tic-Toc. Located deep beneath the Arizona desert, the 10-year project’s focus is the feasibility of time travel.

But when the government reconsiders the project, the scientists, led by Lt General Heywood Kirk (Whit Bissell), have only 24 hours to prove their untested Time Tunnel will actually work. Determined to save the project, Dr Tony Newman (James Darren) and Dr Doug Phillips (Robert Colbert) go through the tunnel – and quickly find themselves catapulted from one historical event to another (from the sinking of the Titantic to the attack on Pearl Habor), barely escaping with their lives as their colleagues race to figure out a way to bring them back home in one piece…

The Time Tunnel

The BBC only showed 13 episodes of Irwin Allen’s third sci-fi series in 1968 as broadcasts were stopped to make way of the Olympics (held between 12-27 October 1968), and the show never returned to the BBC. Some ITV regions picked up the series in subsequent years, but other areas only got to see the full series when it was broadcast in the early 1990’s on ITV.

This new release, which features all 30 episodes presented in the original broadcast order, is produced from HD digital restoration masters created from the original negatives to ensure the best visual experience available. The seven-disc collector’s Blu-ray edition comes packed with special features and a brand new 5.1 surround sound mix, alongside the original mono audio.

SPECIAL FEATURES
• Original Unaired Pilot Episode (HD Version)
• 2002 Unaired TV Pilot
• Time Travelers TV Movie
• Cast Interviews
• Irwin Allen’s Behind-The-Scenes Home Movies – UK Edit (No Audio)
• Promotional TV & Radio Spots
• Visual Effects
• Camera Test (No Audio)
• Stills Galleries
• New 5.1 surround sound mix and original mono audio

Koch Media/Revelation Films presents The Time Tunnel on seven-disc Blu-ray from 5 November
ORDER HERE: https://amzn.to/2vv8CoV

2001: A Space Odyssey | Stanley Kubrick’s sci-fi masterpiece gets a first-time 4K Ultra High Definition UK release

2001 Space Odyssey_4K-UHD_BD

With 2001: A Space Odyssey, director Stanley Kubrick redefined the limits of film-making and cemented his legacy as one of the most revolutionary and influential film directors of all time.

This groundbreaking sci-fi from 1968 (co-written by Kubrick and sci-fi author Arthur C Clarke) first visits mankind’s prehistoric ape-ancestry past, then leaps millennia (via one of the most mind-blowing jump cuts ever) into colonised space, and ultimately whisks astronaut Bowman (Keir Dullea) into uncharted space, perhaps even into immortality. “Open the pod bay doors, HAL.”

Following this summer’s theatrical run of the unrestored 70mm print of the film, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has now released Kubrick’s masterpiece on 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) Blu-ray. For the first time since the original release, new 70mm prints were struck from pristine printing elements made from the original camera negative, with award-winning director, writer and producer Christopher Nolan (Interstellar, Inception, The Dark Knight Trilogy) working closely with the team at Warner Bros.

Building on the work done for the new 70mm prints, the 4K UHD with High Dynamic Range (HDR) presentation was mastered from the 65mm original camera negative, with the 4K UHD also including both a remixed and restored 5.1 DTS-HD master audio track, as well as the original 1968 6-track theatrical audio mix (formatted for 5.1 DTS-HD master audio).

“2001 to me is the most cinematic film that has ever been made and it has been an honour and a privilege to be able to share the film with a new generation,” say Nolan. “4K UHD allows the closest recreation of viewing the original film print in your own home. Kubrick’s masterpiece was originally presented on large format film and the deeper colour palette and superior resolution comes closest to matching the original analogue presentation.”

The Warner Bros. Home Entertainment UHD presentation of 2001: A Space Odyssey includes the feature film in 4K with (HDR), a remastered Blu-ray disc with the feature film in hi-definition, a Blu-ray disc with the special features in hi-definition, and a Digital version of the feature film. The premium packaging also includes a collectible booklet and art cards featuring iconic images from the film. Sci-fi fans can also own 2001: A Space Odyssey in 4K UHD via purchase from select digital retailers including iTunes, and Rakuten TV.

4K UHD BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES
• 4K UHD Blu-ray™ with Commentary from Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood
• Remastered Blu-ray™ with Commentary from Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood
• The Making of a Myth
• Standing on the Shoulders of Kubrick: The Legacy of 2001
• Vision of a Future Passed: The Prophecy of 2001
• 2001: A Space Odyssey – A Look Behind the Future
• What Is Out There?
• 2001: FX and Early Conceptual Artwork
• Look: Stanley Kubrick!
• 11/27/66 Interview with Stanley Kubrick [Audio Only]
• Original Theatrical Trailer
• Premium Booklet
• Art Cards

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Brand new 4k restorations of four John Carpenter classics are coming at ya!

John Carpenter has maintained his place as one of the most highly lauded directors in the realm of cult, fantasy and horror film-making for over 40 years. From the moment that HALLOWEEN broke through to audiences worldwide in 1978, Carpenter has created some of the most intense, imaginative, influential and successful films in cinema history.

STUDIOCANAL is delighted to celebrate Carpenter’s work with the announcement of brand new 4k restorations of some of his most iconic titles: THE FOG, THEY LIVE, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK and PRINCE OF DARKNESS.

UK based artist Matt Ferguson has created brand-new artwork for each film and audiences will be able to appreciate the new 4k restorations at home when all films, complete with brand new and ‘best of’ extras material, are released across Home Entertainment platforms including UHD for the very first time. A very special, 4-disc Collector’s Edition will be available of THE FOG, THEY LIVE, and ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, that will also include a copy of the film’s seminal soundtrack composed and performed by Carpenter himself.

These four cult classics also return to UK cinemas, so book your tickets now: www.johncarpenter4k.co.uk

THE FOG (1980)
Antonio Bay, California has turned a hundred years old and is getting ready to celebrate its centennial year. But as the residents of the tight-knit community begin to prepare for the festivities, a mysterious cloud of fog appears upon the shore and begins to creep its way across the town, leaving a trail of horrifying slaughter that hints at a deep, blood-soaked secret from its past. Starring Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis and Janet Leigh.
Theatrical release: From October 26th – special Halloween screenings October 31st
Home Entertainment Release: October 29th

SPECIAL FEATURES
Retribution – Uncovering The Fog: Making-of featurette
The Shape of The Thing to Come: John Carpenter Un-filmed
• Intro & Scene Analysis by John Carpenter
• Fear on Film: Inside the Fog (1980)
• The Fog: Storyboard to Film
• Outtakes
• TV Spots
• Theatrical Trailers, Photo gallery
• Audio Commentary with John Carpenter and Debra Hill
• Horror’s Hallowed Grounds with Sean Clark
• Audio commentary with actors Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins and production designer Tommy Lee Wallace

FORMATS:
3-disc Steelbook (UHD feature only, Blu-ray feature, Blu-ray extras).
4-disc Collector’s Edition (UHD feature only, Blu-ray feature, Blu-ray extras, Soundtrack)
2-disc Blu-ray/1-disc DVD

ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK (1981)
The year is 1997 and in a police state future the island of Manhattan has been turned into a maximum-security prison. The rules are simple: once you’re in, you don’t come out. But when the United States president (Donald Pleasence) crash lands an escape pod into the centre of the city after fleeing a hijacked plane, a ruthless prison warden (Lee Van Cleef) bribes ex-soldier and criminal Snake Plisskin (Kurt Russell) into entering the hazardous Manhattan and rescuing the stranded President from the twisted underworld and the demented clutches of its criminal overlord The Duke (Isaac Hayes).
Theatrical release: November 22nd
Home Entertainment Release: November 26th

SPECIAL FEATURES:
Purgatory: Entering John Carpenter’s Escape From New York – New Making Of / Retro documentary
Snake Plissen: Man of Honor
• Intro by John Carpenter
• Deleted Opening Sequence “Snake’s Crime” with Optional Audio Commentary
• Photo gallery incl. Behind the Scenes
• Original Trailers
• Audio Commentary with Kurt Russell and John Carpenter
• Audio Commentary with Debra Hill and production designer Joe Alves
• Big Challenges in Little Manhattan: Visual effects featurette
• I am Taylor – Interview with actor Joe Unger
• Audio Commentary with actress Adrienne Barbeau and DOP Dean Cundey

FORMATS:
3-disc Steelbook (UHD feature only, Blu-ray feature, Blu-ray extras)
4-disc Collector’s Edition (UHD feature only, Blu-ray feature, Blu-ray extras, Soundtrack)
2-disc Blu-ray/1-disc DVD

PRINCE OF DARKNESS (1987)
Deep in the basement of an abandoned church, once run by a sinister religious sect, lies a strange bottle of green liquid being investigated by a group of local theoretic physics students. But as the night draws on the students soon realise that the strange relic holds a dark and powerful force beyond their control. A force that could well be the essence of pure evil: the remains of Satan himself. Starring Donald Pleasence, Jameson Parker and Jason Wong.
Theatrical release: October 26th
Home Entertainment Release: November 26th (Steel-book October 29th)

SPECIAL FEATURES
• Malevolent: Unearthing John Carpenter’s PRINCE OF DARKNESS: New Making Of / Retro documentary
• Intro by John Carpenter
• Scene Analysis by John Carpenter
• Audio commentary with John Carpenter and Peter Jason
• Sympathy for the Devil: Interview with John Carpenter
• Horror’s Halloween Hallowed Grounds with Sean Clark
• Trailer
• Photo gallery

FORMATS:
3-disc Steelbook (Blu-ray feature, Blu-ray extras, UHD feature only)
2-disc Blu-ray/1-disc DVD

THEY LIVE (1988)
Obey. Submit. Consume. Watch TV. Do not question authority. Money is your god. No independent thought. No Imagination. They live. We sleep. WWF wrestler “Rowdy” Roddy Piper plays John Nada, a homeless, unemployed construction worker who discovers a pair of sunglasses that when worn suddenly reveal a world run by yuppie aliens intent on keeping the human race brainwashed and sedate with subliminal messages fed through advertising and the media. Luckily for us all John Nada is a man of action and so begins the fight-back (including perhaps the longest fistfight in cinema’s history) to save humankind.
Theatrical release: From October 26th
Home Entertainment Release: October 29th

SPECIAL FEATURES
Subversion: Exposing John Carpenter’s They Live – New Making Of / Retro documentary
• Original EPK: The Making of They Live (1988)
• John Carpenter profile
• Meg Foster profile
• Roddy Piper profile
• Intro by John Carpenter
• Audio Commentary with John Carpenter and Roddy Piper
• Independent Thoughts with John Carpenter (2012)
• Woman of Mystery: Interview with Meg Foster
• Man vs Aliens: Interview with Keith David
• Fake commercials in the film
• TV spots
• Photo gallery

FORMATS:
3-disc Steelbook (UHD feature only, Blu-ray feature, Blu-ray extras).
4-disc Collector’s Edition (UHD feature only, Blu-ray feature, Blu-ray extras, Soundtrack)
2-disc Blu-ray/1-disc DVD

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Night of the Demon (1957) | 2018’s best Blu-ray box-set release is out now!

Night of the Demon (1957)

Based on MR James’ classic tale of terror Casting the Runes and adapted for the screen by regular Hitchcock collaborator Charles Bennett, director Jacques Tourneur’s Night of the Demon is considered to be one of the seminal horror films of 20th-century cinema.

Night of the Demon (1957)

Niall MacGinnis is the politely malevolent Dr Julian Karswell, an eminent British scientist who has been dabbling in black magic (while also hosting children’s parties dressed as a clown). When rival scientist Professor Harrington (Maurice Denham), threatens to expose his nefarious activities, Karswell invokes a demon which kills him.

Night of the Demon (1957)

Dana Andrews plays the sceptical psychologist Dr. John Holden who refuses to believe Harrington’s niece Joanna (Peggy Cummins) when she suspects something demonic is at work, but he soon has good cause to think she is telling the truth when Karswell passes him a piece of parchment at London’s British Museum which may bring about his death inside four days…

Night of the Demon (1957)

Although the titular demon appears at the beginning and the end, it’s the constant level of fear throughout that makes this classic British horror such a genuinely scary chiller and remains a bona fide classic of the genre.

It was also famously referred to in Science Fiction/Double Feature (the opening track in Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Picture Show), with the witty line: ‘Dana Andrews says prunes gave him the runes…’

Night of the Demon (1957)

Released on Blu-ray for the very first time in the UK from Powerhouse Films/Indicator, Night of the Demon is presented here in four different versions (including the BFI’s 2013 2K restoration of the 96-minute version), and is accompanied by a huge array of new and archival special features., plus a double-sided poster and 80-page book. Check them all out below and then order here: https://www.powerhousefilms.co.uk/collections/frontpage/products/night-of-the-demon-le

Night of the Demon (1957)SPECIAL FEATURES:
• The BFI’s 2013 2K restoration of the 96-minute version
• High-definition remaster of the 82-minute cut
• Original mono audio
• Four presentations of the film: Night of the Demon – the original full-length pre-release version (96 mins), and the original UK theatrical cut (82 minutes); Curse of the Demon – the original US theatrical cut (82 mins), and the US re-issue version (96 mins)
• Audio commentary with film historian Tony Earnshaw
Speak of the Devil: The Making of ‘Night of the Demon’ (2007): documentary featuring interviews with actor Peggy Cummins, production designer Ken Adam and historians Tony Earnshaw and Jonathan Rigby
• Dana Andrews rare audio interview
The Devil’s in the Detail (2018): Christopher Frayling on Ken Adam
Horrors Unseen (2018): biographer Chris Fujiwara on Jacques Tourneur
Sinister Signs (2018): an analysis by critic/author Kim Newman
Under the Spell (2018): horror writer Ramsey Campbell on MR James and Tourneur
The Devil in Music (2018): a new appreciation of Clifton Parker’s score by author David Huckvale
The Devil Gets His Due (2018): film historian Scott MacQueen on the film’s release history
The Truth of Alchemy (2018) a discussion of MR James and ‘Casting the Runes’ by author Roger Clarke
Cloven In Two (2018): a new video piece exploring the different versions of the film
Escape: ‘Casting the Runes’ (1947): a radio play adaptation of James’ original story
• Super 8 version: original cut-down home cinema presentation
• Isolated music & effects track on the US theatrical cut
• Original US Curse of the Demon theatrical trailer
• Image gallery:  including rare production design sketches
• New and improved English subtitles
• Limited Edition book containing a new essay by Kat Ellinger, M R James on ghost stories, a history of the film’s production through the words of its principle creators, a profile of witchcraft consultant Margaret Murray, the film’s history with the BBFC, a look at the different versions of the film, contemporary critical responses, a look at Charles Bennett’s original scripted ending, and film credits

And here’s something from my own archives, the late Peggy Cummins (who left us aged 92 in 2017) introducing an outdoor screening of the BFI’s restoration print at the British Museum back in 2013.

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Troll: The Complete Collection | The 1980s fantasy franchise gets a Eureka Classics Limited Edition Blu-ray release

Troll (1986)

Long before a certain young wizard called Harry Potter waged a magical war against the dreaded Lord Voldemort, another youngster, also called Harry Potter, found himself battling a pint-sized dark wizard in the 1986 fantasy comedy Troll.

Troll (1986)

While critically-panned at the time, Troll has become something of a cult curiosity ever since it scored big on the home video business, where it even overtook The Goonies in rentals. Noah Hathaway from Never Ending Story fame plays the spunky hero, Harry Potter Jr, who comes under the tutelage of a white witch called Eunice St. Clair (June Lockhart of Lost in Space fame) when his sister Wendy is possessed by Torok (Phil Fondacaro) – a powerful fairy (and Eunice’s former lover) who was turned into a troll after starting a war between fairies and humans.

Troll (1986)

Small, smart, dripping with saliva, and with teeth that would keep a dentist in bridgework for life, Torok wants to transform the human world back into the grand, magical kingdom that existed many centuries ago… With just 72 hours to complete his mission, Torok creates his fairy world inside a San Francisco apartment block and starts turning its tenants, including Sonny Bono, a pre-Seinfield Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Phil Fondacaro (who also plays a friendly neighbour), into goblins, nymphs and elves. Armed with Eunice’s magical staff, Harry then heads into the alternate world to save the day…

Troll (1986)

Troll was the brainchild of two protégés from Roger Corman’s New World quickies, screenwriter and former Fangoria-editor Ed Naha and director/sfx artist John Carl Buechler. It was originally planned to be a blood-drenched R-rated horror flick set in a sleazy motel called Goblin for Corman, but got transformed into a PG-13 fantasy in the Ghoulies and Gremlins mold when it was greenlit by Charles Band’s Empire Pictures.

While it has its faults, Troll boasts some neat practical effects, but is also packed with some delightfully odd moments, including a bizarre elfin-led musical number, June Lockhart turning into her real-life daughter Anne – not to mention Moriarty’s hyperactive turn as Harry’s 1960’s music-jiving dad (also called Harry Potter) and the film within the film called Pod People from the Planet Mars which plays on a TV set during all the mischief and mayhem.

Troll 2 (1990)

In the unrelated 1990 sequel, Troll 2, produced by prolific Italian film-maker Joe D’Amato, young Joshua (Michael Stephenson) makes a connection between the local residents of a town called Nilbog (try writing it backwards?) and a fairytale he was told by his grandfather (Robert Ormsby). Realising that the townsfolk are all goblins, he tries to prevent his family from eating any food before they are turned into vegetable matter…

My word, this is really bad – and not in a good way! In fact, its downright painful to sit through such bad acting, dialogue and makeup effects. This is only for cult film masochists or Joe D’Amato completists. In 2009, Stephenson, directed a documentary about the film’s production and subsequent popularity, humorously titled Best Worst Movie, which is also included in the Blu-ray box-set, as part of the Eureka Classics series, along with the following special features…

The Making of Troll: featuring director John Carl Buechler, producer Charles Band, Writer Ed Naha, composer Richard Band and more
• Audio commentary on Troll 2 with actors George Hardy and Deborah Reed
Best Worst Movie: deleted scenes and interview footage
• Interview with Deborah Reed
• Screenwriting Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith, Michael Stephenson and George Hardy
• Fan contributions
• Monstrous – Music Video by ECOMOG
• Booklet featuring rare archival material
• Limited Edition O Card slipcase featuring artwork by Devon Whitehead

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William Castle at Columbia | These Limited Edition Blu-ray box-sets are the biz!

William Castle at Columbia

Renowned for his imaginative and eccentric marketing ploys, American film showman William Castle became synonymous with delivering lurid horror films backed-up by his trademark publicity gimmicks like Illusion-O, Percepto and Fright Breaks. Now, Powerhouse Films/Indicator are releasing eight of his classic films in two highly-collectable Blu-ray box-sets…

WILLIAM CASTLE AT COLUMBIA, VOLUME ONE features four classic fright films from the outrageous showman’s illustrious career with Columbia Pictures and presented on Blu-ray for the very first time in the UK. Containing a wealth of new and archival extras, this stunning Limited Edition Blu-ray Box Set is strictly limited to 6,000 copies. Out on 22 October 2018 PURCHASE HERE

SPECIAL FEATURES:
• High Definition remasters of all four films: THE TINGLER (1959), 13 GHOSTS (1960), HOMICIDAL (1961), MR SARDONICUS (1961)
• Original mono audio
• Two presentations of 13 Ghosts: the original ‘Illusion-O’ presentation and the alternative black-and-white version
• The Tingler audio commentary by Jonathan Rigby, author of American Gothic: Six Decades of Classic Horror Cinema, and Kevin Lyons, editor of The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Film and Television
• Homicidal audio commentary by author and film historian Lee Gambin
• Mr Sardonicus audio commentary with Daughters of Darkness’ Samm Deighan and Kat Ellinger
• Spine-Tingler! The William Castle Story (2007, 82 mins): Jeffrey Schwarz’s acclaimed documentary on Castle, featuring interviews with John Landis, Joe Dante, Roger Corman, Stuart Gordon, Leonard Maltin, Budd Boetticher, Bob Burns, David Del Valle, Fred Olen Ray and John Waters among others
• Larger Than Life: The Making of ‘Spine-Tingler’ (2007)
• Kim Newman on ‘The Tingler’ (2018): an appreciation by the critic and author of Nightmare Movies
• Scream for Your Lives!: William Castle and ‘The Tingler’
• I Survived ‘The Tingler’ (2007): an interview with actor Pamela Lincoln
• Unleashing Percepto (2007): an interview with publicist Barry Lorie
• Stephen Laws Introduces ‘13 Ghosts’ (2018): an appreciations by the acclaimed horror author
• The Magic of ‘Illusion-O’: William Castle and ’13 Ghosts’
• Psychette: William Castle and ‘Homicidal’
• Stephen Laws Introduces ‘Homicidal’ (2018)
• The Punishment Poll (2007): an interview with publicist Richard Kahn
• Taking the Punishment Poll: William Castle and ‘Mr Sardonicus’
• Jonathan Rigby meets ‘Mr Sardonicus’ (2018): an appreciation by the film historian and author of American Gothic
• Ballyhoo!: Bob Thomas recalls the time he interviewed William Castle
• Original theatrical trailers
• Trailer commentaries with Sam Hamm, Stuart Gordon and Joe Dante
• Promotional and on-set photography, poster art and archive materials
• Limited Edition box set exclusive booklets with new essays by Kat Ellinger, Dan Whitehead, Rebecca Nicole Williams and Jo Botting, archival interview materials, contemporary reviews, and film credits

WILLIAM CASTLE AT COLUMBIA VOLUME TWO features four more weird and wonderful films from the outrageous showman’s illustrious career with Columbia Pictures, all presented on Blu-ray for the very first time in the UK. Containing a wealth of new and archival extras this stunning Limited Edition Blu-ray Box Set from Indicator is strictly limited to 6,000 units. Released 10 December 2018. PRE-ORDER HERE

SPECIAL FEATURES:
• High Definition remasters of all four films: ZOTZ! (1962), 13 FRIGHTENED GIRLS (1963), THE OLD DARK HOUSE (1963), STRAIT-JACKET (1964)
• Original mono audio
• Alternative presentations of The Old Dark House – the black and white 1963 US theatrical presentation (87 mins); the cut-down A-certificate 1966 UK presentation (77 mins); and the complete uncut colour presentation (87 mins)
• Zotz! audio commentary by Diabolique Magazine’s editor-in-chief Kat Ellinger
• 13 Frightened Girls audio commentary by Daughters of Darkness’ Samm Deighan
• The Old Dark House audio commentary by celebrated horror and fantasy authors Kim Newman and Stephen Jones
• Strait-Jacket audio commentary film historians Lee Gambin and Emma Westwood
• Stephen Laws Introduces ‘Zotz!’ (2018): an appreciation by the acclaimed horror author
• Kim Newman on Ray Russell (2018): an appreciation of novelist and writer of Zotz! by the critic and author of Nightmare Movies
• 13 Frightened Girls: William Castle’s original ‘The Candy Web’ opening / closing ‘Danger Card’ messages
• 13 Frightened Girls: four alternativee opening sequences created for international release versions
• Jonathan Rigby on ‘The Old Dark House’ and ‘Strait-Jacket’ (2018): new appreciations by the author of American Gothic: Six Decades of Classic Horror Cinema
• ‘The Old Dark House’ in Eastmancolor (2018): Paul Frith, Senior Research Associate, School of Art, Media and American Studies at UEA discusses the film’s cinematography
• Joan Had Me Fired! (2018): an interview with actor Anne Helm
• On the Road with Joan Crawford (2018): an interview with publicist Richard Kahn
• Battle-Axe: The Making of ‘Strait-Jacket’ (2007, 15 mins)
• Joan Crawford Wardrobe Tests (1964, 4 mins)
• Joan Crawford – Axe Test (1964, 1 min)
• How to Plan a Movie Murder (1964, 5 mins): star Joan Crawford, director William Castle and author Robert Bloch discuss making Strait-Jacket in this vintage piece
• Super 8 version of Strait-Jacket
• Isolated music & effects track on all four films
• Original theatrical trailers
• Strait-Jacket trailer commentary with David DeCoteau
• 13 Frightened Girls original UK trailer introduction
• Alternative 13 Frightened Girls ‘The Candy Web’ trailer
• Promotional and on-set photography, poster art and archive materials
• New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
• Limited Edition box set exclusive booklets for each film with new essays by Joe Jordan, Racheal Nisbet, James Oliver and John Oliver, archival interview materials, contemporary reviews and film credits

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Night of the Creeps (1986) | The cult sci-fi zom-com gets a dual format release

Night of the Creeps

From Eureka Entertainment comes director Fred Dekker’s jokey 1980s sci-fi comedy Night of the Creeps, in a Dual Format (Blu-ray & DVD) edition as part of the Eureka Classics range.

When an alien experiment goes awry, it crashes to Earth in 1959 and infects a college student. 27 years later, his freeze-dried body is unwittingly revived by nerds Chris (Jason Lively) and JC (Steve Marshall), which releases alien slugs that turn their fellow campus students into brain-hungry zombies. Chris, CJ and Chris’ new girlfriend Cynthia (Jill Whitlow) must then team up with a troubled detective (Tom Atkins) to find a way to defeat the zombie horde…

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Presented for the first time on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK, this deluxe edition of Night of the Creeps features the original director’s cut and the following special features…

DUAL FORMAT SPECIAL FEATURES
• High-definition remaster of the director’s cut
• Original stereo soundtrack and 5.1 surround audio options, presented in PCM and DTS-HD MA respectively on the Blu-ray
• Audio commentary by writer/director Fred Dekker
• Audio commentary by actors Jason Lively, Tom Atkins, Steve Marshall and Jill Whitlow
Thrill Me: Making Night of the Creeps: an hour-long series of video pieces on the making of the film featuring new interviews with cast and crew
Tom Atkins: Man of Action featurette
• Video Interview with Fred Dekker
• Deleted Scenes
• Original theatrical ending (which I rather prefer)
• Trivia track subtitles
• Theatrical trailer
• Limited-edition booklet featuring a new essay by critic Craig Ian Mann
• Limited Edition O-Card slipcase

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Monkey Shines (1988) | George A Romero’s twisted Experiment in Fear is a cunning little beast indeed!

Monkey Shines

Drug-addled research scientist Geoffrey Fisher (John Pankow) is injecting human brain serum into monkeys, but goes too far with Ella, one Capuchin that he gives as helper to quadriplegic law student Allan (Jason Beghe), who has been left paralysed from the neck down after a road accident.

Monkey Shines

All goes well at first, as Allan and Ella bond with the help of animal trainer Melanie (Kate McNeil). But when the scientist steps up the dosage, Ella begins responding to Allan’s subconscious rages, including wanting to dispose of the girlfriend (Janine Turner) who dumped him for the surgeon (Stanley Tucci) who operated on Allan after the accident. Murder and mayhem follow as the twisted thriller builds towards a nail-biting climax. Can Allan stop the cunning critter before she fully takes over his mind?

Monkey Shines

George A Romero’s Monkey Shines is presented on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK in a Dual Format (Blu-ray & DVD) edition as part of the Eureka Classics range with the following special features…

• Limited Edition O Card slipcase
• 1080p presentation of the film on Blu-ray
• DTS-HD MA 5.1 and 2.0 audio options
• Optional English SDH subtitles
• New and exclusive audio commentary by Travis Crawford
• Audio Commentary with director George A Romero
• An Experiment in Fear – The Making of Monkey Shines: a lengthy retrospective with George A Romero, stars Jason Beghe and Kate McNeil, executive producer Peter Grunwald, and special effects legends Tom Savini, Greg Nicotero and Everett Burrell.
• Alternate Ending and Deleted Scenes
• Behind-the-scenes footage, original EPK featurette, vintage interviews and news reports
• Trailers and TV spots
• Limited edition collector’s booklet featuring a new essay by Craig Ian Mann; highlights from the film’s production notes: and rare archival material

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The Monster (2016) | This slow-burning creature feature is a tense, but flawed affair

MONSTER (2016)

Neglectful alcoholic mum Kathy (Zoe Kazan) is driving her 10-year-old daughter Lizzy (Ella Ballentine) to her ex-husband’s home when she hits a wolf, which damages her car. An ambulance crew soon arrives, along with tow car mechanic, Jesse (Aaron Douglas), who starts fixing the car when he’s attacked by a monstrous creature. When a severed arm lands on the bonnet and a severly wounded Jesse is dragged under the car, Kathy and Lizzy must work together in order to survive the night…

MONSTER (2016)

This claustrophobic two-hander horror from director Bryan Bertino (The Strangers) runs 91mins, but you have to wait for nearly 40mins before anything happens by way of action – even then it quietens down again before the final showdown. It certainly is a slow-burner, but most of the film’s running time is taken up with the kind of mother-daughter domestics that you’d expect from a weepie melodrama. It’s a bit of a drag, despite the effective man-in-a-furry-suit creature design and the engaging performances from both Ballentine and Kazan (who replaced original choice, Mad Men‘s Elisabeth Moss).

MONSTER (2016)

Still, the slow bits (and flashbacks) gave me time to wonder what this monster was, where it had come from and why attack now? At first I thought it might be a werewolf or even Bigfoot, then I wondered if it weren’t a manifestation of Lizzy’s internal anger, similar to the superb 2014 Oz shocker The Babadook, which also dealt with angst-ridden parent-child issues. Bertino doesn’t offer up any answers, which makes me think he may have missed a trick (or did I read this film all wrong?). Oh, and the pay-off (involving a large stick) is just a tad too silly after all that build-up. Lots of reviewers have given this four or five stars – I’m giving it ★★★

The Monster lurks onto DVD and Digital from Icon Film Distribution on 8 October

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