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Lake Mungo | Australia’s answer to Paranormal Activity gets a deluxe Blu-ray release from Second Sight

Lake Mungo is one of those films where the chills come gradually rather than in short sharp shocks, just like the similarly-themed Paranormal Activity. Released back in 2008, director Joel Anderson’s documentary-style thriller has become something of a must-see, and now its set to garnered new fans with Second Sight’s deluxe Blu-ray box-set featuring new interviews with cast and crew; filmmaker fans Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, and director Rob Savage; a brand new commentary, video essays and archive material.

In the small rural town of Ararat, southwest Victoria, 16-year-old Alice Palmer (Talia Zucker) drowns while swimming with her family at a local dam. After her body is recovered and she is laid to rest, her family start to experience strange happenings in their home and become convinced that Alice has returned as a ghost. They then seek out the help of a radio psychic (Steve Jodrell), who discovers Alice kept secrets about her personal life from her family before she died. Alice’s brother Matthew (Martin Sharpe) then sets up a camera to capture his sister’s ghostly presence – and the results are quite unsettling…

Filmed in the vein of the Kiwi-made TV paranormal crime show Sensing Murder, Lake Mungo is made up of a series of interviews with Alice’s family and friends, interspersed with some arty location shots: mainly the starry night sky and a sunset-drenched countryside. The cast’s deadpan delivery of the dialogue is eerie to watch (particularly Alice’s dad David, who looks like he is going to break down and cry but never does), while the plot twists are surprising (particularly Matthew’s big admission).

But there are some rather odd moments (the mother’s obsession with breaking into her neighbour’s houses for instance feels absurd). With this in mind, I expected the film to turn on its head at one point and become a parody of the genre, in the same vein as the Australian mockumentary Angry Boys. But it doesn’t. Instead Lake Mungo takes itself deadly seriously and – despite some of the ideas being a little stretched-out – becomes one of those genuinely unsettling chillers that will have you watching the shadows in your own home long after the credits have ended. One shocking moment for me – personally – was seeing my old university tutor playing the psychic.

SPECIAL FEATURES

• Archive audio commentary by Producer David Rapsey and DoP John Brawley
• New audio commentary by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas and Emma Westwood
Captured Spirits: an interview with DoP John Brawley
Ghost in the Machine: an interview with Producer David Rapsey
A Cop and a Friend: an interview with Actors Carole Patullo & James Lawson
Kindred Spirits: Filmmakers Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead on Lake Mungo
Hosting Spirits: Filmmaker Rob Savage on Lake Mungo
Simulacra and Spirits: a video essay by film writer Josh Nelson
Autopsy of a Family Home: a video essay by filmmaker Joseph Wallace
• Deleted scenes

LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS
• Rigid slipcase
• Perfect-bound booklet with new essays by Sarah Appleton, Simon Fitzjohn, Rich Johnson, Mary Beth McAndrews and Shellie McMurdo, interview with actor James Lawson by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas plus rare behind-the-scenes photos
• Three collectors’ art cards

Dawn of the Dead (4K UHD/Blu-ray) | Could this be the definitive home entertainment release of George A Romero’s zombie masterpiece?

George A Romero fans rejoice: Dawn of Dead is getting the home entertainment release it finally deserves courtesy of Second Sight Films.

This seminal cult classic, which brilliantly mixes biting political satire and black comedy with state of the art gore effects, has been painstakingly restored and arrives in two format releases: Limited Edition 4K UHD and Limited Edition Blu-ray on 16 November 2020.

Both box-sets include three versions of the film: The Theatrical Cut, The Extended (‘Cannes’) Cut and The Argento Cut, a host of special features (see the full specs below), the previously unreleased The Lost Romero Dawn Interview, brand-now featurettes, soundtrack CDs and a collector’s book.

Now, I have had the enormous pleasure of perusing this incredible box-set and I must say it has to be the best cult film release of 2020. I know Romero/Dawn/zombie fans are already raving about it and I certainly concur. For me, the highlight is bringing all three versions together for the first time. I had never seen the Argento Cut before and I was amazed by how different (and condensed) it is from the Theatrical Cut (the version I’m most familiar with).

Then there are those extras: WOW! I had the good fortune to attend the fan run George Romero convention, Weekend of the Dead, in Manchester just before the Covid-19 pandemic shut the world down. It was great to hear and meet Christine Romero and Ralph Langer who are amongst many who share their memories of working on the film in the extras contained here. Given that this kind of convention is shut down for the foreseeable future, this box-set is the perfect opportunity to hear what they have to say. Plus, the films looking stunning (especially on my home cinema screen).

Second Sight Films – you’ve done yourself proud!

HERE ARE THE FULL SPECS

4K UHD/BLU-RAY – DISC 1: THE THEATRICAL CUT (127 mins)

  • NEW 4K scan and restoration of the Original Camera Negative. Presented in HDR10+, with a new restoration of the original OCN Optical presented in Mono 1.0, Stereo 2.0 and 5.1.
  • Commentary by George A. Romero, Tom Savini, Christine Forrest
  • NEW commentary by Travis Crawford
  • NEW optional English subtitles

4K UHD/BLU-RAY – DISC 2: THE EXTENDED (‘CANNES’) CUT (137 mins)
Produced using 4K scan of the Theatrical Cut Original Camera Negative and 4K scan of the Extended Cut Colour Reversal Internegative. Presented in HDR10+, with DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 Mono
Commentary by Richard P Rubinstein
NEW optional English subtitles

4K UHD/BLU-RAY – DISC 3: THE ARGENTO CUT (120 mins)
4K scan of the Interpositive, with DT-HD Master Audio Mono 1.0 / Surround 5.1 / Stereo 2.0
Commentary by Ken Foree, Scott Reiniger, Gaylen Ross, David Emge
NEW optional English subtitles

4K UHD/BLU-RAY – DISC 4: SPECIAL FEATURES
NEW Zombies and Bikers: with John Amplas, Roy Frumkes, Tom Savini, Christine Forrest, Tom Dubensky, Tony Buba, Taso Stavrakis (59 mins)
NEW Memories of Monroeville: A tour of the mall with Michael Gornick, Tom Savini, Tom Dubensky and Taso Stavrakis (34 mins)
NEW Raising the Dead: The Production Logistics (25 mins) With Michael Gornick, Christine Forrest, John Amplas, Tom Dubensky (23 mins)
NEW The FX of Dawn with Tom Savini (13 mins)
NEW Dummies! Dummies!: An interview with Richard France (12 mins)
• NEW The Lost Romero Dawn Interview (20 mins)
• Super 8 Mall Footage by zombie extra Ralph Langer (13 mins)
• Document of the Dead: The Original Cut (66 mins)
• Document of the Dead: The Definitive Cut with optional commentary by Roy Frumkes (100 mins)
• The Dead Will Walk: 2014 Documentary (80 mins)
• Trailers, TV and Radio Spots

LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS
AUDIO CD DISC 1 – The Goblin Soundtrack – 17 tracks including Alternate and Bonus Tracks
AUDIO CD DISCS 2 & 3 – Dawn of the Dead: A De Wolfe Library Compilation
Dissecting the Dead: a 160-page hardback book featuring 17 new essays, archive article and George A Romero interview
Dawn of the Dead: The novelisation book by George A Romero and Susanna Sparrow with exclusive artwork

Magic | William Goldman’s 1978 psychological horror heads to Blu-ray

Adapted for the big screen by William Goldman from his best-selling 1976 book, Magic is out now on Blu-ray from Second Sight Films.

Corky (Anthony Hopkins) is a shy, aspiring magician who just can’t get a break, but after he introduces foul-mouthed ventriloquist dummy Fats to his act, his star begins to rise. When his agent Ben Greene (Burgess Meredith) offers him the chance of starring in his own TV show, Corky freaks out and heads to his hometown in the Catskills. Reuniting with his old high school crush Peggy (Ann-Margret), Corky decides to elope with Peggy and leave his career behind.

But the jealous and possessive Fats will not let him go…

Director Richard Attenborough’s 1978 thriller was originally sold as as horror chiller, but there’s very little in the way of horror or chills on offer (except for one very disturbing scene set on a lake). Well, that’s what I thought when I first saw it as a 14-year-old back in 1978. With the release of the Second Sight Films Blu-ray, I thought a revisit was needed (just to see if it – and I – had matured somewhat).

Well, this ‘terrifying love story’ has and hasn’t. Anthony Hopkins is certainly effective as the tortured entertainer, but his Corky becomes as manic and out of control as Fats, that you end up losing any sympathy you may have initially had for him. Mind you, Hopkins did get a  Golden Globe and BAFTA nomination for the role (in which he had to learn how to throw his voice).

However, Fats (whose facial featues were based on Hopkins’ own likeness) is genuinely creepy (but then aren’t all ventriloquist’s dummies?) and Attenborough does his best to keep us wondering if Fats is just an extension of Corky’s suppressed thoughts or has actually taken on a life of its own?

Thankfully, the lovely Ann-Margret is on hand to bring some much needed warmth to the proceedings (and to Victor Kemper’s chilly photography) – but her Peggy is ultimately a sad figure, and Burgess Meredith is terrific as the cigar-chomping Samuel Z Arkoff-styled agent, especially in one very telling scene in which he asks Corky to make Fats shut up for five minutes. The film’s big highlight, however, is Jerry Goldsmith’s hauntingly romantic score – which I am now seeking out to add to my collection.

The Second Sight Films Blu-ray release also includes a host of very interesting special extras (below), that have been all ported over from the 2010 MPI Media Group US Blu-ray release.

SPECIAL FEATURES
Screenwriting for Dummies (2006, Blue Underground, 16mins): William Goldman looks back over the development of the film (whose original director was Norman Jewison), and talks about its cast and crew. And there’s some interesting on-set photos and footage included.
• Anthony Hopkins Spanish TV interview (6.16min): In Spanish and English
• Victor Kemper: Cinematographer (11.23min): The veteran Director of Photographer talks about his work and career, paying special attention to Magic (Includes a big spoiler, so watch the film first)
• Ann-Margret make-up test (1.19min): With some disco-style music in the background.
Fats and Friends (26.53min): Dennis Alwood, who acted as consultant to the production of Magic, takes look at the history of ventriloquism on stage and screen, and reveals how Fats scored the role over his own dummy, Dudley.
• Anthony Hopkins radio interview (3.20min): Against a background of raw dailies from Magic, Hopkins discusses his background and his career.
• Trailer (2:09min)
• 4 TV Spots (the second one got pulled from US TV for being too scary for kids)
• 3 Radio spots

Under the Shadow | Babak Anvari’s 2016 Sundance hit gets a UK Blu-ray release

Iranian director Babak Anvari’s 2016 Sundance hit Under the Shadow is loved by audiences and critics alike. Part ghost story, part social thriller with cutting political commentary, the film is already considered a genre classic and now gets a UK Blu-ray debut in a feature packed Limited Edition box set, courtesy of Second Sight.

Making his feature debut, Anvari has crafted an outstanding piece of work. It follows mother Sideh (Narges Rashidi) struggling to cope in a post-revolution, war-torn Tehran of the 1980s. After being blacklisted by the authorities from continuing with her medical studies, Sideh finds herself reduced to playing housewife and exercising to Jane Fonda work-out videos on a contraband VHS machine.

When her husband (Bobby Naderi) is called away on military service, Sideh refuses to take her daughter Dorsa (Avin Manshadi) to her in-laws despite the very real threat of a bomb attack on the city. And when one such bomb crashes through the family’s apartment block, it doesn’t so much as detonate, as bring with it something far more deadly – malevolent spirits called djinn that begin to haunt her home.

Many critics have compared Anvari’s thriller with 2014’s The Babadook, but its a very different entity indeed. While writer/director Jennifer Kent’s Aussie howler was about how grief, guilt and loneliness can manifest the monster inside us all, Under the Shadow is much more subtle affair – but one that’s not lacking in two seriously unnerving sequences.

The ‘monster’ in question in this Tehran-set chiller (that was – unsurprisingly – shot in Jordan) is an unseen malevolent force that is felt not only by Sideh and little Dorsa, but also their neighbours. But we see little of that, as everything happens behind closed doors. It’s all very much a metaphor for the country’s new world order under the Khomeini regime. And Amvari is certainly using his ghost story for some social subtext – especially with regards to the role of women following the revolution that toppled the country’s more liberal monarchy and replaced its with an Islamist republic.

Rashidi brings a wide range of emotions to her role as an educated young woman at war with her own internal demons  – she wants to rage against the machine and motherhood. And once her husband leaves, we are left pretty much with a two-hander, as Rashidi and Manshadi’s Dorsa soon come to blows over a missing doll and VHS tapes. And its their chemistry together that makes the film so engrossing to watch. I won’t reveal anything about the ending here, but I must admit I was begging to know what happens next. One final point is the Farsi language spoken throughout – it’s a wonderfully clear and melodious delight to the ear.

If you haven’t seen it yet, then do check out Second Sight’s new UK Blu-ray release, which is packed with some fantastic extras…

SPECIAL FEATURES
Two & Two: Babak Anvari’s BAFTA Award nominated short film
Escaping The Shadow: a new interview with director Babak Anvari
Within the Shadow: a new interview with actor Narges Rashidi
Forming the Shadow: a new interview with producers Lucan Toh and Oliver Roskill
Shaping the Shadow: a new interview with cinematographer Kit Fraser
• A new audio commentary with Babak Anvari and Jamie Graham

LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS
• Limited Edition of 2,000
• Rigid slipcase featuring new artwork by Christopher Shy
• Soft cover book with new essays by Jon Towlson and Daniel Bird plus behind-the-scenes photos and concept
illustrations
• Poster featuring new artwork

The House That Dripped Blood | The Amicus anthology horror UK Blu-ray is out now!

Seminal 1971 Amicus horror The House That Dripped Blood, from Peter Duffell in his directorial debut and written by renowned screenwriter Robert Bloch (Psycho), is a star-studded anthology and its out now in the UK as a stand-alone Blu-ray from Second Fight Films.

Scotland Yard’s Inspector Holloway (John Bennett) investigates an old mansion with a ghoulish history and a chilling fate for its occupants in these four tales of terror…

Method for Murder stars Denholm Elliott as a writer whose latest character seeminly comes to life; Peter Cushing and Joss Ackland are haunted by a lost love in Waxworks; Christopher Lee fears his daughter (Chloe Franks) is a witch in Sweets to the Sweet; and The Cloak finds Jon Pertwee playing a horror star who starts turning into a vampire when he buys a vintage cloak from a mysterious antique shop owner (Geoffrey Bayldon).

Following its limited edition Blu-ray release last June, Second Sight have now released The House That Dripped Blood as a standalone Blu-ray with the following 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 Peter Duffell and actors Geoffrey Bayldon, Ingrid Pitt and Chloe Franks
• Theatrical trailers
• Amicus radio spots
• Stills gallery
• Reversible sleeve featuring new artwork by Graham Humphreys
• SDH English subtitles for the hard of hearing

If you want to read more about the film, and its colourful costuming, check out my original post: https://kultguyskeep.wordpress.com/2019/07/29/the-house-that-dripped-blood-claret-and-colourful-cravats/

World on a Wire (1973) | Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s virtual reality sci-fi epic is a retro noir wet dream

world on a wire (1973)

Originally made for German TV in 1973, Rainer Werner Fassbinder‘s science-fiction thriller World on a Wire (Welt am Draht) is a frightening look into the world of virtual reality and a masterful adaptation of Daniel F Galouye’s 1964 novel Simulacron-3 (aka The Counterfeit World).

world on a wire (1973)

It centres around a highly-advanced project designed to elevate conventional computer technology to a new level by creating a virtual reality inhabited by computer-generated people or ‘identity units’.

When the head of the project dies mysteriously, Dr Stiller (Klaus Löwitsch) becomes his successor and sets out to probe deeper. Making contact with an identity unit called Einstein (Gottfried John), Stiller faces a terrible truth: that his world is actually a simulation of another world one level above…

world on a wire (1973)

Forget The Matrix and its ilk, Fassbinder’s two-part TV adaptation was way ahead of its time and has been praised as a science fiction masterpiece. Featuring some familiar faces from the director’s company of actors (Berlin Alexanderplatz‘ Brigette Mira, Tenderness of the Wolves‘ Kurt Raab, Effi Briest‘s Ulli Lommel and Ali: Fear Eats the Soul’s El Hedi ben Salem), the dystopian thriller also sports superlative production design (that probably influenced Blade Runner, and certainly has an Alphaville feel about it). So, for anyone into 1970s fashion, architecture and design, the sets, costumes, lighting and location shots are a retro noir wet dream (I know I could quite happily live in this simulated world). It might be dense in parts, made more so by the heavy German accents, but taken as instalments, World on a Wire is a revelation.

world on a wire (1973)

This new restoration, supervised by The Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation and cinematographer Michael Ballhaus (Goodfellas, The Departed), comes 46 years after its initial release and still pushes audiences to question the world around them.

It is now being released by Second Sight in a Limited Edition Blu-ray which includes a 50-page collectors booklet and a host of outstanding new special features.

SPECIAL FEATURES
• No Strings Attached: interview with assistant director Renate Leiffer
• Observing Fassbinder: tribute to photographer Peter Gauhe
• Looking Ahead to Today documentary
• On-set featurette
• Original Broadcast Recap
• The Simulation Argument: interview with Professor Nick Bostrom
• 50-page collectors booklet featuring new essays by Anton Bitel and Daniel Bird, archival 
writing by Daniel Oberhaus and Christian Braad Thomsen, stills and rare on-set photos by Peter Gauhe

The Boys in the Band (1970) | Mart Crowley’s ground-breaking queer drama still has the power to shock!

Boys in the Band (1970)

The Boys in the Band was one of earliest directorial efforts of William Friedkin (who had impressed with his 1968 adaptation of Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party, and would next helm The French Connection and The Exorcist), and it proved hugely controversial on its original 1970 release, dividing the gay community across the world. Now, the game-changing queer cinema drama is making its UK Blu-ray debut from Second Sight.

Boys in the Band (1970)

Based on the seminal 1968 Off-Broadway hit of the same name, playwright Mart Crowley adapted his own play for the big screen. The original stage cast including Kenneth Nelson, Peter White and Leonard Frey all starred in the film, one that Friedkin rates as ‘one of the few films I’ve made that I can still watch’.

Famed for its caustic wit, savage put-downs and many expletives, the film follows a group of gay men celebrating the birthday of one of their friends, Harold (Frey), amid much drunken backbiting and, as the drink flows, the evening descends even further…

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The Boys in the Band Special Edition Blu-ray is out on 11 February 2019 complete with a raft of extras, including an exclusive, brand new interview with Mark Gatiss and Ian Hallard (who resurrected the play for a sold-out run in London in 2018), commentary from Friedkin and writer Crowley, as well as features looking at the film, the play it was based on and its cultural impact and resonance in the years since it first caused controversy.

Released 50 years after its theatrical debut – a year before the Stonewall riots – The Boys in the Band still has the power to shock…

Out now on Blu-ray in the UK from Second Sight

Willard (1971) and Ben (1972) | The ‘Tear Him Up!’ cult rat horrors get a UK Blu-ray release

Willard/Ben Second Sight Box-set

The 1970s rats on the rampage cult horrors, Willard (1971) and Ben (1972) get their UK home entertainment debut in newly-restored versions complete with brand new special features on DVD and Blu-ray in a limited edition box-set, as well as individual releases, on-demand and download from Second Sight Films.

Willard

This is the *one* movie you should not see alone!
Meet Willard Stiles (Bruce Davison), a pleasant but lonely young man who lives with his nagging elderly mother Henrietta (Elsa Lanchester) in a run-down LA mansion, and has a subservient position in the company his father once owned.

On his 27-birthday, the socially awkward Willard is humiliated when he’s thrown a party where the only guests are a bunch of senior citizens, while at work, his boss Al Martin (Ernest Borgnine) continues to belittle him.

After befriending a group of rats, Willard discovers that one them (which he names Socrates) will do anything for him, while another (named Ben) proves to be somewhat of a rebel. It’s time for Willard to get even. But it’s not without a cost…

Willard

This scary horror was a huge success on its original release in 1971. Bruce Davison, who had starred in the counter-culture film The Strawberry Statement the previous year, is perfectly cast as another angry young man, the meek Willard whose suppressed internal rage against the establishment is finally given release through his friendship with Socrates, Ben and co, who are quite happy (at first) to do his bidding.

Starting off with a harmless prank, Willard’s actions take on a deadly purpose when he becomes desperate to find the money he needs to feed the ever-growing rat population in his cellar. But he hasn’t counted on the devious motives of Ben, who soon turns into a rodent version of George Orwell’s Napoleon in Animal Farm, when Socrates meets a bloody end.

Loosely based on the novel Ratman’s Notebooks by Stephen Gilbert, the film’s screenplay was by Gilbert Ralston, who wrote for countless US TV shows, including Star Trek, and helped create The Wild Wild West. He died in 1999 while battling a lawsuit with Warner Bros over the big-screen adaptation of the cult western spy spoof.

The Stiles’ Queen Anne-style house in the movie is the Higgins/Verbeck/Hirsch Mansion, which was designated a Los Angeles Cultural-Historic Monument in 1988. Among the other films shot there are William Castle’s The Night Walker (1964) and Waxwork (1988).

Sondra Lock makes one of her earliest screen roles as Willard’s potential girlfriend Joan, while this marked the 500th screen appearance for 83-year-old former silent film star Almira Sessions, who retired after making this movie.

Best line: ‘Tear him up!

Willard (1971)SPECIAL FEATURES
• New 4K scan of the original camera negative
• Audio commentary with Bruce Davison
• Interview with Bruce Davison
• Theatrical trailer, TV spot, Radio spot
• Stills gallery

 

Where ‘WILLARD’ ended… Ben begins. And this time, he’s not alone!
While investigating Willard’s murder by a band of rats, LA homicide detective Cliff Kirtland (Joseph Campanella) realises that they are becoming an organised army, and sets out to destroy them. But closely watching from his hiding place is Ben, the leader of the rats, who befriends Danny (Lee Harcourt Montgomery), a young boy with a heart condition, who finds himself in deadly peril when he follows Ben to his new home deep inside the LA sewers…

Ben

Director Phil Karlson’s is best known for his 1950s crime noir thrillers Kansas City Confidential and Hell’s Island, and the Dean Martin-starred Matt Helm adventure, The Silencers, and he’s in top form with this no-nonsense sequel that pays homage to the genre as the police pursuit of Ben through the city’s storm drains which could just as easily be a manhunt as a rat-hunt. And Karlson directs the action and its vital elements of harassed policeman (Campanella), sympathetic kid (Montgomery), and fast-talking reporter (Arthur O’Connell) with a brusque intensity against sombre, low-key settings, building steadily to an exciting fiery climax.

There’s also a strong eco horror vibe bubbling away as Ben and his band raid a local shopping mall to feed his ever-growing colony whose attacks on a hospital and a health spa turn the city into a disaster area. Having these scenes taken from the perspective of Ben and the rats only maximises the fear factor, which is stoked by O’Connell’s cries of ‘God help us if we go to war with people with guts like them’, in which his chain-smoking reporter equates the rats actions with Robert Ardrey’s 1966 Territorial Imperative – an hypothesis that described the evolutionarily determined instinct among humans toward territoriality (also also influenced Stanley Kubrick’s  2001 and A Clockwork Orange).

Adding to the radical tone informed by the cultural uncertainities of the era are the flame-throwers and guns a blazing as the police take down our anti-heroes in a climax that’s reminicisent of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (which came out the same time).

Best line: ‘Their eating us alive down there

Ben (1972)SPECIAL EXTRAS
• New HD transfer and restoration using the best surviving archive print
• Interview with Lee Montgomery
• Commentary with Lee Montgomery
• Theatrical trailers, TV & radio spots
• Stills gallery

 

 

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From Beyond (1986) | Stuart Gordon’s deranged Lovecraftian body horror

From_beyond_SlipFollowing Arrow Films’ restored release of Brian Yuzna’s Bride of Re-Animator, here’s a look back at his 1986 horror weird-o-fest, From Beyond.

Humans are such an easy prey
When two scientists, Edward Pretorius (Ted Sorel) and Crawford Tillinghast (Jeffrey Combs), invent a device that can expand the powers of the mind, they unwittingly open a door to a parallel universe inhabited by grotesque beings with an insatiable appetite for depraved sensorial experiences.

From Beyond (1986)

Having drawn on the warped imaginings of HP Lovecraft for their cult hit Re-Animator in 1985, director Stuart Gordon and producer Brian Yuzna supped from Lovecraft’s universe the following year, and ended up turning his 1934 short story From Beyond into a Day-Glo monster melange oozing with slimy hybrid creatures (part-puppet, part-animatronics) that could be suitable companions to David Cronenberg’s Brundlefly (The Fly also came out in 1986).

While Gordon and Yuzna’s body horror doesn’t reach the giddy tongue-in-cheek heights of Re-Animator; From Beyond is a gross-out sensual delight that becomes something altogether new if you watched it as being a really bad acid trip.

In 2013, Second Sight put out Blu-ray edition in the UK. Aside from the pristine print, the release hosted a delicious array of bonus features, including interviews with director Stuart Gordon, writer Dennis Paoli and actress Barbara Crampton, featurettes on the film’s editing, music and (my favourite) special effects; plus an illuminating commentary from Gordon, producer Brian Yuzna and actor Jeffrey Combs.

A Hard Day’s Night (1964) | The Beatles movie is still hard to beat 51 years on…

The Beatles' A Hard Day's Night (50th anniversary)

Soaring in their first, full-length, hilarious, action-packed film!
OK, so the 50th anniversary restoration release of The Beatles’ classic film came out last year, but I couldn’t help but share these great pics from the film which swept the world between July and October in 1964, and had its Spanish premiere on 14 September.

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