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Marlene Dietrich & Josef von Sternberg at Paramount (1930-1935) | Six stunning classics from Hollywood’s Golden Age

The collaboration between filmmaker Josef von Sternberg and actress Marlene Dietrich is one of the most enduring in all Hollywood cinema.

Tasked by Paramount bosses to find ‘the next big thing’, director von Sternberg lighted upon German silent star Dietrich and brought her to Hollywood. Successfully transitioning from the silent to the sound era, together they crafted a series of remarkable features that expressed a previously hitherto unbridled ecstasy in the process of filmmaking itself – Morocco (1930), Dishonored (1931), Shanghai Express (1932), Blonde Venus (1932), The Scarlet Empress (1934), and The Devil Is a Woman (1935).

Marked by striking cinematography, beautiful design and elaborate camerawork these vibrantly sensuous films redefined cinema of the time, while Dietrich’s sexually ambiguous on-screen personas caused a sensation and turned her from actor to superstar and icon.

Lavish, lascivious and wildly eccentric, the films Josef von Sternberg and Marlene Dietrich made for Paramount Pictures in the 1930s provide a unique testimony to Hollywood’s Golden Age.

The six films that von Sternberg made with Dietrich in Hollywood are presented here in new restorations on Blu-ray for the very first time in the UK. Containing a wealth of new and archival extras – including new appreciations, interviews, audio commentaries, rare films, outtakes and deleted audio, documentaries… and more!

Indicator/Powerhouse Film’s Limited Blu-ray Edition Box Set (6,000 units), which includes a 120-page collector’s book, is out on 26 August 2019

Morocco (1930)
Marlene Dietrich’s first American film cast her as the singer and adventuress Amy Jolly, ensnaring then being ensnared by legionnaire Gary Cooper. Brilliantly shot by Lee Garmes, whose work was nominated for an Oscar, Morocco is a film of shadows and shimmering heat, painstakingly directed for maximum effect. Marlene never looked more alluring, and sings three songs, including When Love Dies, in which she plants a kiss on a female club patron while dressed in a man’s top hat, white tie and tails. A trailblazing box-office success.

SPECIAL FEATURES
• 2K restoration
• Original mono audio
Morocco audio commentary with Daughters of Darkness’ Samm Deighan and Kat Ellinger
• Introduction by Nicholas von Sternberg, son of Josef von Sternberg
The Art of Josef von Sternberg (2019): Nicholas von Sternbergon his father’s works in painting and sculpture
The Legionnaire and the Lady (1936): Lux Radio Theatre adaptation featuring Dietrich and Clark Gable
• Image gallery

Dishonored (1931)
This spy film, based loosely on the Mata Hari story, is probably the least distinguished of Dietrich and von Sternberg’s collaborations, but its camp plot and extravagant central performance along with the director’s impressive visual style (look out for his trademark and ever-present veils, nets, smoke and fog between actors and the camera) mark it down as an offbeat gem. Victor McLaglen is badly miscast as Dietrich’s lover (and his constant teeth gritting is really annoying), but Dietrich (as the alluring agent X-27, who breaks codes with piano music) is the whole picture, and she looks truly radiant, even in her first ever non-glamorous scenes where she plays a peasant girl with her hair scraped back and totally devoid of make-up.

SPECIAL FEATURES
• 4K restoration
Original mono audio
• Introduction by Nicholas von Sternberg, son of Josef von Sternberg
Josef von Sternberg, a Retrospective (1969): feature-length television documentary by the acclaimed Belgian director Harry Kümel
I Did Why He Told Me To Do: New video essay by film historian Tag Gallagher on the Hollywood collaborations of Dietrich and von Sternberg
• Image gallery

Shanghai Express (1932)
‘It took more than one man to change my name to Shanghai Lily,’ drawls Marlene Dietrich in one of cinema’s classic lines, and so the scene is set for an atmospheric adventure that’s like Grand Hotel on rails. Lee Garmes’ amazing photography won an Oscar and Dietrich’s sultry siren is enough to make even army doctor Clive Brook’s stiff upper lip quiver and put Warner Oland’s fiendish rebel leader Henry Chang off his chow mein. My other favourite line is: ‘I wouldn’t trust you from here to the door’.

SPECIAL FEATURES
• 4K restoration
Original mono audio
• Introduction by Nicholas von Sternberg
• Audio commentary with critic and film historian David Thompson
Trouble in Hollywood: Interview with Jasper Sharp, writer and filmmaker, on the life and career of Anna May Wong
• Image gallery

Blonde Venus (1932)
Shimmeringly photographed by Bert Glennon, Dietrich plays a German café singer whose search for money to pay for her husband’s medical bills leads her into adultery in this this soapy and rather camp melodrama. One particularly memorable scene has Dietrich attired in a gorilla suit to sing Hot Voodoo, while another sees her drag up in a white tuxedo to sing I Couldn’t Be Annoyed. Herbert Marshall (The Fly) plays her estranged chemist husband, while Cary Grant is the millionaire third man who turns out to have a real heart of gold, and little Dickie Moore (Our Gang) plays her naive, but adorable son.

SPECIAL FEATURES
• 4K restoration
Original mono audio
• Introduction by Nicholas von Sternberg
• Audio commentary with film and arts critic Adrian Martin
Dietrich, A Queer Icon: Interview with So Mayer, author of Political Animals: The New Feminist Cinema, on the queer iconography and legacy of Dietrich and von Sternberg’s films
• Image gallery

The Scarlet Empress (1934)
Dietrich scorches the screen as the 18th-century Empress of Russia, Catherine the Great in this dazzling display of style. Costume, spectacle and camerawork is the order of the day here, with Bert Glennon excelling in this last department. Watch out for Sam Jaffe, who is quite amazing as the ‘mad’ Grand Duke Peter.

SPECIAL FEATURES
• 4K restoration
Original mono audio
• Introduction by Nicholas von Sternberg
• Audio commentary with writer and film programmer Tony Rayns
The Twilight of an Angel (2012): Dominique Leeb’s acclaimed French TV documentary on Dietrich’s final years
• Image gallery

The Devil Is a Woman (1935)
This is von Sternberg’s ultimate tribute to the Marlene Dietrich mystique that he himself helped to create. Dietrich’s personal favourite, the sumptuous, steamy melodrama, set in 1890s Spain, sees her playing a seductive femme fatale bewitching a string of men, including Lionel Atwill and Cesar Romero (who replaced Joel McCrea after one day’s filming). The same story was the basis for Luis Buñuel’s That Obscure Object of Desire.

SPECIAL FEATURES
• 4K restoration
Original mono audio
• Introduction by Nicholas von Sternberg
The Fashion Side of Hollywood (1935): a short compilation film of lighting and costume tests from Paramount productions, and featuring costume designer Travis Banton
Styling the Stars: New interview with Nathalie Morris, film historian and senior curator of the BFI National Archive’s Special Collections, on the costume designs of Travis Banton
If It Isn’t Pain (1935, 3 mins): excised audio of the deleted musical number from The Devil Is a Woman

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Crack in the World | The 1965 doomsday disaster classic on Blu-ray

Dana Andrews, Janette Scott and Kieron Moore star in the 1965 science-fiction thriller, Crack in the World, which is now out on Blu-ray in the UK from 101 Films.

Scientist Stephen Sorenson (Dana Andrews) is determined to blast down to the earth’s core to harness the ‘limitless clean heat of the inner earth.’ Against the advice of his fellow scientist wife Maggie (Janette Scott) and his second-in-command Dr Ted Rampian (Kieron Moore), Sorenson orders the detonation of a powerful thermonuclear device.

Unfortunately, it triggers ‘earthquakes, tidal waves, and mass destruction on an apocalyptic scale’. When the scientists try to blow a hole in the path of the crack, it doubles back, and they can only wait and hope that their world can survive a big chunk being blown out of it…

Executive produced by Philip Yordan as a follow-up to 1962’s The Day of the Triffids (which so deserves a restored release), Crack in the World is a first-rate sci-fi action thriller. A dyed-blonde Janette Scott is the heroine who loses most of her clothes in the ensuing holocaust, while her Triffids co-star Kieron Moore plays the beefy hero, and Dana Andrews suffers heroically as the doomed scientist.

But its the fantastic special effects that’s the highlight here – courtesy of Eugene Lourie, whose production design and inventive special effects make it look bigger than Ben Hur. Meanwhile, director Andrew Marton, the recipient of a special Academy Award for directing the chariot race in that very epic, keeps the action moving swiftly and devises some spectacular set-pieces (like when Scott and Moore have to scramble up a lift-shaft) that’s worthy of the Master of Disaster himself, Irwin Allen (who was dominating the TV airwaves at the time with Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and Lost in Space). Martin would later head to TV to direct a couple of childhood TV favourites, Flipper and Daktari.

The 101 Films UK Blu-ray includes a very informative audio commentary from film historian Richard Hollis and The Dark Side magazine editor Allan Bryce (I learned quite a bit — so thanks guys — now I’m hunting down a nice transfer of Krakatoa: East of Java).

 

The Colossus of New York | Beware his death ray – the cracking 1958 sci-fi lands on Blu-ray

From Eugene Lourie, the director of The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms and Gorgo comes the 1958 sci-fi The Colossus of New York, which is now out on Blu-ray in the UK from 101 Films.

Colossus is a nine-foot robot with the brain of Dr Jerry Spensser (The Wild Wild West‘s Ross Martin), a brilliant scientist, killed in a car crash, whose father (Otto Kruger) is determined that his son’s mind shall go on working for humanity. But, of course, things don’t go as planned. Mourning for his wife (Mala Powers) and child (Charles Herbert), and unwilling to be the guinea pig in his father’s psychotic project, Colossus turns homicidal and goes on the rampage at the United Nations building…

Despite a storyline not too dissimilar to The Fly (which actually came out one month later), this monochrome 1958 Franken-science-fiction certainly stands on its own and deserves cult status. It moves a cracking pace and does a hell of lot on its tiny budget; even the special effects (like the robot’s death ray) are pretty cool; while the subplot in which Jerry’s son (Charles Herbert, who was also in The Fly) befriends Colossus is rather touching. Oh, and the curious silent movie-inspired musical score is by noted composer Van Cleave of Funny Face and White Christmas fame.

Playing Colossus is an uncredited 7ft 4in actor Ed Wolff, whose fantastic get-up makes him look like a cross between Batman and Herman Munster with a glowing brain. Wolf also appeared in genre favourites The Phantom Creeps (1939) and Invaders from Mars (1953), and would follow this playing a mutated Brett Halsey in Return of the Fly (1959), before his untimely death in 1966, aged 59. Now, I wonder is anyone did an action figure of Colossus, I’d certainly have one.

The 101 Films UK Blu-ray includes a terrific audio commentary with film historian Richard Hollis and The Dark Side magazine editor Allan Bryce.

Bloody Terror: The Shocking Cinema of Norman J Warren (1976-1987) | Indicator’s frightfully fantastic box-set dedicated to the British cult horror auteur

One of British genre cinema’s most distinctive independent filmmakers, Norman J Warren made a series of horror films that were at the forefront of a new wave in British horror during the 1970s. Reflecting a period of permissiveness and fearlessness, Warren’s distinctive stylings are far removed from the Gothic conventions of Hammer Films, deliberately upped the ante in terms of sex, violence and gore to create a new breed of horror that was designed to shock for shock’s sake.

Now, five of Norman J Warren’s cult chillers are presented in new restorations on Blu-ray for the very first time in the UK, along with a wealth of new and archival extras, in a strictly limited edition box-set from Indicator (out 29 July 2019).

My review is coming soon, but here’s what’s lurking inside…

SATAN’S SLAVE (1976) – UK Blu-ray premiere
• 2K restoration, newly supervised and approved by director Norman J Warren
• Original mono audio
• Two presentations of the film: the director’s cut (89 mins); and the export version (90 mins)
• Audio commentary with Warren and screenwriter David McGillivray (2004)
• Audio commentary with Warren and composer John Scott (2019)
• Before the Blood (2019, 29 mins): Warren recalls his earliest experiences in the film industry
• All You Need Is Blood (1976, 13 mins): vintage ‘making of’ documentary, presented in High Definition for the first time
• All You Need Is Blood Outtakes (1976, 33 mins): rare and previously unseen footage shot on location
• Creating Satan (2004, 30 mins): archival documentary featuring interviews with Warren, McGillivray, actor Martin Potter, and others
• Devilish Music (2004, 13 mins): archival interview with John Scott
• Two deleted scenes with commentary by Warren
• Censoring ‘Satan’s Slave’ (2019, 16 mins): video demonstration of the cuts imposed by the British Board of Film Censors in 1976
• Original ‘U’ certificate theatrical trailer
• Original ‘R’-rated theatrical trailer
• Image gallery
• New and improved English subtitles

PREY (1977) – UK Blu-ray premiere
• 2K restoration, newly supervised and approved by director Norman J Warren
• Original mono audio
• Audio commentary with Warren and film historian Jonathan Rigby (2004)
• The BEHP Interview with Norman J Warren – Part One (2018, 60 mins): archival video recording, made as part of the British Entertainment History Project, featuring Warren in conversation with Martin Sheffield
• Keep on Running (2004, 28 mins): archival documentary on the making of Prey, featuring interviews with Warren, actor Sally Faulkner, producer Terry Marcel, and others
• On-set Footage (1977, 3 mins): rare behind-the-scenes footage with commentary by Warren
• The Bridge (1955–57, 7 mins): rare footage from Warren’s ambitious early film project about a pilot on a mission to locate a bridge in Germany during World War II, with optional director’s commentary
• Making ‘The Bridge’ (1957, 2 mins): rare and previously unseen footage with commentary by Warren
Carol (1962, 3 mins): mute test footage from Warren’s unrealised feature about teenage pregnancy and backstreet abortion, featuring Georgina Hale and Michael Craze, with optional director’s commentary
• Drinkin Time (1963, 3 mins): silent comedy short directed by Warren
• ‘Drinkin Time’ Introduction by Norman J Warren (2019, 4 mins)
• Whipper Snappers (c1977, 1 min): toy advertisement directed by Warren
• ‘Whipper Snappers’ Introduction by Norman J Warren (2019, 4 mins)
• Original theatrical trailer
• Image gallery
• New and improved English subtitles

TERROR (1978) – UK Blu-ray premiere
• 2K restoration, newly supervised and approved by director Norman J Warren
Original mono audio
• Audio commentary with Warren and screenwriter David McGillivray (2004)
• The Early Years (2019, 17 mins): Warren recalls his first films as director
Bloody Good Fun (2004, 41 mins): archival documentary on the making of Terror featuring interviews with Warren, McGillivray, actors Carolyn Courage, Mary Maude, James Aubrey and Elaine Ives-Cameron, and others
• Tales of Terror (2019, 13 mins): actor John Nolan reflects on Terror’s production
• Norman J Warren: A Sort of Autobiography (2004, 28 mins): archival interview with the director
• Four extended scenes, with introductions by Warren
• Norman J Warren Presents Horrorshow (2008, 33 mins): anthology film of five horror tales, hosted by Warren
• Daddy Cross (2011, 2 mins): trailer for a 1978 ‘lost film’, with voice-over by Warren
• Original theatrical trailer
• French theatrical trailer
• TV spot
• Radio spot
• Image gallery
• New and improved English subtitles

INSEMINOID (1981) – World Blu-ray premiere
• 2K restoration, newly supervised and approved by director Norman J Warren
• Original mono audio
• Audio commentary with Warren and assistant director Gary White (2004)
• The BEHP Interview with Norman J Warren – Part Two (2018, 67 mins): archival video recording, made as part of the British Entertainment History Project, featuring Warren in conversation with Martin Sheffield
• Norman J Warren at the Manchester Festival of Fantastic Films (2011, 62 mins): archival video recording of the director in conversation with horror author John Llewellyn Probert
• Subterranean Universe (2004, 45 mins): archival documentary on the making of Inseminoid, featuring interviews with Warren, actors Stephanie Beacham, David Baxt and Barry Houghton, and others
• Alien Encounter (2019, 6 mins): actor Trevor Thomas recalls playing the part of Mitch
• Electronic Approach (2004, 13 mins): archival interview with composer John Scott
• Original theatrical trailers
• Horror Planet teaser trailer
• TV spot
• Image gallery
• New and improved English subtitles

BLOODY NEW YEAR (1987) – UK Blu-ray premiere
• 2K restoration, newly supervised and approved by director Norman J Warren
• Original mono audio
• Audio commentary with Warren and film historian Jo Botting (2019)
• Norman’s Wisdom (2019, 29 mins): Warren discusses some of the lesser-known areas of his career, including his work in television and documentaries
• New Blood (2019, 16 mins): actor Catherine Roman warmly remembers her first film role
• The Art of Blood (2019, 15 mins): screenwriter and set dresser Frazer Pearce relates the production history of Bloody New Year
• Fights, Camera, Action! (2019, 11 mins): actor and stuntman Steve Emerson recalls his work with Warren on Terror and Bloody New Year
• Working with Warren (2019, 10 mins): interview with filmmaker and Warren collaborator Yixi Sun
• Turn Off Your Bloody Phone: Norman J Warren and the Ghost (2013, 1 min): short produced for FrightFest, starring Warren, Sun, and David McGillivray
• Original trailer
• Image gallery
• New and improved English subtitles

Scum | Alan Clarke’s brutal borstal drama still shocks 40 years on!

After the banning of their original 1977 BBC TV version, director Alan Clarke (The Firm) and writer Roy Minton (Funny Farm) set out to remake their drama, Scum. The resulting film, released now in a special UK Blu-ray edition to mark its 40th anniversary, was an even more vitriolic portrait of a corrupt and violent institution which stunned cinema audiences and caused outrage…

Scum (1979)

IN BORSTAL SURVIVAL RULES!
Young offenders Carlin (Ray Winstone), Angel (Alrick Riley) and Davis (Julian Firth) are sent to a tough British borstal in the country where they are brutalised by inmates and governors alike. After being singled out by Banks (John Blundell), the existing ‘Daddy’ on his wing, Carlin fights back, rising to the top of the prisoner heap. But for Angel and Davis life behind bars is much harder to take, especially so for Davis who takes his own life after a terrifying gang rape…

Scum (1979)

I’M THE F***ING DADDY NOW!
Roy Minton‘s script lays bare the brutal reality of British borstals, which were intended to reform young offenders, but ended up becoming breeding grounds for the next generation of hardened criminals. From the fire and brimstone governor (Peter Howell), sadistic wing head Mr Sands (John Judd) and his thuggish officers to ineffectual house master Goodyear (John Grillo) and an uncaring matron (Jo Kendall), there is not one sympathetic character amongst the staff in charge of the boys, who are so desperately in need of guidance, understanding and discipline, but end up being treated with brutal force and intimidation.

Set essentially in a boarding school with bars, Clarke’s film evokes the rebellious ‘two-fingers up at the establishment’ spirit of Lindsay Anderson’s If… (1968), and this is perfect captured in the film’s (improvised) riot scene in which the inmates vent their anger in response to Davis’ suicide. There are also shades of A Clockwork Orange in there, especially in Grillo’s greasy house master, who reminded me of Anthony Sharp’s sleazy Minister of the Interior in Kubrick’s film. Cinematically, the film is shot with a documentary flair, while its wintery exterior scenes are reminiscent of the paintings of LS Lowry.

Scum (1979)

Grim and overwhelming in its squalid sense of reality, the film is a fist in the face in terms of its foul language, racial and religious taunts (politically incorrect by today’s standards), graphic violence and male rape scene, while the acting from the young cast, including future famous faces like Mick Ford, Phil Daniels and Ray Burdis, is uniformly excellent. 40 years on, Scum still resonates (the snooker ball in a sock scene is iconic). But how much has really changed with regards to how we treat our young offenders?

The Indicator Limited Edition Blu-ray release includes the following special features…

• 2K restoration from the original negative, newly re-graded and approved by director of photography Phil Méheux
• Original mono audio
• Audio commentary with actor Ray Winstone and film critic Nigel Floyd (2006)
No Luxuries (2019, 20 mins): actor Mick Ford looks at his character of Archer
An Outbreak of Acting (2019, 16 mins): actor Ray Burdis on returning to the role of Eckersley for the feature film
Smashing Windows (2019, 12 mins): actor Perry Benson recalls the daily experiences of being on set
Continuous Tension (2019, 18 mins): director of photography Phil Méheux analyses the documentary approach of his cinematography
Criminal Record (2019, 10 mins): associate producer Martin Campbell on remaking the banned teleplay for the big screen
Back to Borstal (2019, 32 mins): executive producer Don Boyd reflects on his efforts to reinvigorate British cinema in the late 1970s
Concealing the Art (2019, 30 mins): veteran editor Michael Bradsell recalls collaborating with Alan Clarke
That Kind of Casting (2019, 22 mins): casting director Esta Charkham on the influence the Anna Scher Theatre had on production
• Interview with Roy Minton and Clive Parsons (1999, 16 mins)
• Interview with Roy Minton (2005, 20 mins)
• Interview with Davina Belling and Clive Parsons (2005, 9 mins)
• Interview with Don Boyd (2005, 13 mins)
• Cast Memories (2005, 17 mins): archive interviews with Phil Daniels, Julian Firth, Mick Ford and David Threlfall
• Original ‘U’ and ‘X’ certificate theatrical trailers
• Image gallery
• New and improved English subtitles
• Limited edition collector’s book
• Limited edition exclusive double-sided poster

Def-Con 4 | This 1980s post-apocalyptic sci-fi hasn’t aged well

Two months after the planet is ravaged by nuclear war, three astronauts stationed aboard a defence satellite – Howe (Babylon 5‘s Tim Choate), Jordan (Meatball‘s Kate Lynch) and Walker (John Walsch) – are forced to return to Earth when a hostile computer programme takes over their system.

On the ground, they encounter a lawless world where cannibalistic marauders roam and a young military despot (Kevin King) wants control of the last remaining fallout shelters. The gang’s only hope in survival lies in making an unlikely alliance with an eccentric survivalist (Nero Wolfe‘s Maury Chaykin)…

This 1985 Canadian sci-fi adventure from Roger Corman’s New World Pictures joined the wave of low-budget post-apocalyptic Mad Max 2 copycats that came out during the decade.

It’s a right bargain bin affair, with cheap production design, poor performances, a ham-fisted script and little in the way of action, excitement or anything else for that matter. And there’s nothing in the movie that suggests the atmospheric film poster bearing the skeletal remains of an astronaut in a desolate landscape ( a la Planet of the Apes).

The only redeeming feature is that the sci-fi romp features an early score from Christopher Young (who has composed of host of film genre titles from Hellraiser to the Pet Sematary reboot). Director Paul Donovan, meanwhile, went on to produce, write and direct a much more superior sci-fi, the TV series Lexx.

I’m sure it has its fans, but Def-Con 4 gets a big no from me and doesn’t really deserve a restoration. Nice packaging and artwork though.

SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
• New 2K restoration from the original 35mm interpositive
• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
• Original lossless mono soundtrack
• Optional English subtitles
Brave New World: interview with editor Michael Spence
Nemesis Descending: interview with composer Christopher Young
• Interview with author Chris Poggiali on New World Pictures
• Theatrical trailer
• Reversible sleeve featuring original artwork by Gary Pullin
• Illustrated collector’s booklet

The Holy Mountain | The German silent that launched Leni Riefenstahl’s career on Blu-ray

From Eureka Entertainment comes The Holy Mountain, the greatest of the German ‘mountain films’ and the film that launched the career of Leni Riefenstahl , digitally restored in 2K and presented on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK as a part of The Masters of Cinemas Series.

German filmmaker Arnold Fanck made this beautifully photographed Bergfilm, or ‘mountain film’, in 1926. Written in three days and nights – especially for Riefenstahl, who would go on to direct the Nazi propaganda films, Der Sieg des Glaubens (1933), Triumph of the Will (1935), and Tag der Freiheit (1935) – The Holy Mountain (aka Der Heilige Berg) took over a year to film at the Atelier Staaken studio in Berlin and on mountain locations in Switzerland, with an entourage of expert skiers and climbers.

Ostensibly a tragic love triangle romance – between Riefenstahl’s young dancer and two mountain climbers, Vigo (Ernst Petersen) and his older friend (Luis Trenker) – Fanck relishes the glorious Alpine landscape by filming death-defying climbing, avalanche dodging, and frenetic downhill ski racing.

Digitally restored in 2K, The Holy Mountain is a visual feast – and a fascinating look at the origin of a genre.

Order via the Eureka Store or Amazon

SPECIAL FEATURES
• 1080p presentation on Blu-ray, from a 2014 2K digital restoration
• Score by Aljoscha Zimmerman, available in both LPCM 2.0 and DTS-HD MA 5.1
• Original German intertitles with optional English subtitles
The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl (1993, 180 mins) – Ray Müller’s Emmy award-winning documentary on Leni Reifenstahl. In German, with subtitles.
• Audio commentary by film historian Travis Crawford
• Collector’s booklet

Two classic Amicus horror anthologies, The House That Dripped Blood & Asylum, get a limited edition UK Blu-ray release

On 29 July 2019, Second Sight Films will release Limited Edition UK Blu-ray releases of the Amicus horror anthologies – The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum. Each release will be presented in a stunning box set featuring original artwork from Graham Humphreys alongside a host of special features, including essays from horror aficionados and a collector’s booklet.

Written by Robert Bloch, 1971’s The House That Dripped Blood sees Denholm Elliott, Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Jon Pertwee and Ingrid Pitt taking centre stage in four tales of terror that unfold as a Scotland Yard’s Inspector Holloway investigates a mysterious mansion with a ghoulish history and a chilling fate for its occupants…

SPECIAL FEATURES
• Audio commentary with director Peter Duffell and author Jonathan Rigby
• Audio commentary with film historian and author Troy Howarth
• Interview with Second Assistant director Mike Higgins
A Rated Horror Film: Vintage featurette featuring interviews with director Peter Duffell and 
actors Geoffrey Bayldon, Ingrid Pitt and Chloe Franks
• Theatrical Trailers
• Radio Spots
• Stills Gallery
• Reversible sleeve featuring new artwork by Graham Humphreys and original artwork

PRE-ORDER NOW FROM AMAZON

Directed by Roy Ward Baker from another scare-tastic screenplay from Robert Bloch, 1972’s Asylum sees Robert Powell playing a young doctor attending a job interview at a secluded asylum for the incurably insane, where he hears the macabre stories of four inmates to determine which is the former head of the asylum. The all-star cast includes Peter Cushing, Charlotte Rampling, Britt Ekland, Herbert Lom, Barbara Parkins and Patrick Magee.

SPECIAL FEATURES
• Audio commentary with director Roy Ward Baker and camera operator Neil Binney
Two’s a Company: 1972 On-set BBC report featuring interviews with producer Milton 
Subotsky, director Roy Ward Baker, actors Charlotte Rampling, James Villiers, Megs Jenkins, 
Art Director Tony Curtis and production manager Teresa Bolland
• Screenwriter David J Schow on Robert Bloch
• Fiona Subotsky Remembers Milton
Inside The Fear Factory: Featurette with directors Roy Ward Baker, Freddie Francis and 
producer Max J Rosenberg
• Theatrical Trailer
• Reversible sleeve featuring new artwork by Graham Humphreys and original artwork

PRE-ORDER NOW FROM AMAZON

LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS FOR EACH RELEASE
• Rigid slipcase featuring new artwork by Graham Humphreys
• 40 page booklet with new essays by Allan Bryce, Jon Towlson and Kat Ellinger
• Reversible poster featuring new and original artwork

 

Track 29 | Nicolas Roeg and Dennis Potter’s bizarre psycho-drama gets a world Blu-ray premiere release

Freely adapted from Dennis Potter’s 1974 BBC TV play Schmoedipus, this weird psycho-drama sees director Nicolas Roeg toying with his audience as he describes the hallucinations of a mind going off the rails.

Theresa Russell (making her fourth of six films with her director husband) is Linda, the unhappy wife to Dr Henry Henry (Christopher Lloyd) who is more interested in his model trains than her. As Linda contemplates suicide, demons torment her, chiefly the vision of a strange English hitch-hiker Martin (Gary Oldman) who says he’s her long-lost son…

Oldman (doing a satanic variation on Norman Wisdom) is the dynamo that galvanises this bizarre black comedy into life. Overloaded with arthouse conceits bordering on the pretentious, this is Roeg at his most Roegish, and probably the weirdest ever film to be produced by George Harrison’s Hand Made Films. Look out for some suitably surreal supporting turns from Sandra Bernhard and Colleen Camp.

The Indicator limited edition world premiere Blu-ray release includes the following features…

• High Definition remaster
• Original stereo audio
• The NFT Interview with Nicolas Roeg (1994, 68min): archival audio recording
• Audio commentary with filmmaker and historian Jim Hemphill
Postcards from Cape Fear (2019, 18min): actor Colleen Camp on working with Nicolas Roeg
On the Right Track (2019, 10min): interview with editor Tony Lawson
An Air of Mystery (2019, 6min): interview with costume designer Shuna Harwood
Buzz and Gossip (2019, 15min): interview with sound mixer David Stephenson
• Isolated music & effects track
• Original theatrical trailer
• Image gallery
• New and improved English subtitles
• Exclusive booklet with a new essays, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and film credits

Killer Party | It’s the event to die for!

When teenage thieves Caspar (Sam Strike), Iris (Virginia Gardner) and Dodge (Brandon Micheal Hall) infiltrate a mansion dinner party, they have plans for pulling off an easy heist. Little do they know that the dinner party is actually being hosted by for a group of recovering serial killers. Once the mansion owners realise they are about to be robbed, all hell breaks loose…

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Each of our would-be thieves have their reasons for attempting one last heist to ensure a better life, but not even the best of intentions will save them from the party’s killer line-up. John Wick regular Lance Reddick carries a remarkable gravitas as the ‘recovering’ murderers’ de facto leader, YouTuber-turned-actor Kian Lawley’s cranks up a disturbing turn as the sleazy son, and Charmed‘s Julian McMahon has a whole lot of scenery-chewing fun as the family patriarch.

From the energetic camerawork and music to some imaginative feats of bloody ultra violence and the lashings of black humour, Killer Party is an event to die for!

Out on DVD and Blu-ray 27 May 2019 from Altitude Film Entertainment

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