Friday, August 29, 2014

42nd Street Forever: The Peepshow Collection Vol. 4 (DVD Review) - Impulse Pictures

USA/Various Years
Directed By: Various 
Starring: Eric Boyer, Linda Shaw, Sharon Kane
Color/116 Minutes/X
Region FREE
Release Date: August, 12, 2014 

The Film
This collection of 8mm short stag films may be the most wild and sexually over the top that we've seen yet. Featuring everything from down and dirty interracial scenes that were still taboo in the 1970s, to some pregnant and group action there's a little something here for whatever desire you may have at that moment. This collection has no shortage of stars that went on to make, or already had made names for themselves within the XXX industry.

As raunchy as raunchy may get while staying within legal boundaries is a good way to describe this fourth volume of the 42ND STREET FOREVER: PEEPSHOW COLLECTION. Though, I wouldn't be surprised if something in this disc was illegal somewhere at the time of filming. Ah yes, good old fashioned wholesome American fun! Sit back with a glass of your favorite beverage and enjoy the swapping of fluids and endless tits and bush. This is sex in the 1970s after all!

The Audio & Video
Synapse Films should again be commended for saving these films and presenting them in a way that will historically significant. Never again will we have to worry about if these particular shorts have been preserved well enough to ever view again since they've been released on DVD by the Impulse Pictures label. They are silent shorts so the only sound is that of the projector running in the background but the picture quality is good. As good as low budget, porn films shot on 8mm film forty years ago will look. These are scratchy and dirty while remaining completely watchable. The nature of these films is totally in line with beaten and dirty prints and truly does add to the experience.

The Extras
The 15 shorts in the film are available to play individually or with a "play all" option. Fantastic liner notes from Robin Bougie of Cinema Sewer are included.

The Bottom Line
Synapse has done awesome work with their Impulse Pictures line and preserving these vintage short stag films. There is a historical value to these films and thanks to the fine folks at Synapse they will be preserved and available for decades to come.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

City Of Lust (2014)

Directed By: David A. Holcombe
Written By: David A. Holcombe
Starring: Margaret Grace, Jill Oliver, Derek Ryan
Color/76 Minutes/Not Rated
Region 1
Release Date: July 1, 2014

Arianna has recently moved to a new city where she works as a hair stylist in a salon full of people that hate her for one reason or another. Arianna is a shy and quiet girl, alone in her new home. She takes to calling a phone sex line for companionship. Arianna is experiencing hallucinations and nosebleeds as a result of the chemicals in the products she works with. On top of that many of the people in her life are being found murdered. Her only friend, Jackie the phone sex operator, gets closer with Arianna hoping to help her but with bodies piling up around her and a killer on the loose how much longer can she keep her sanity or life?

CITY OF LUST is billed as a modern Giallo and I guess you can get away with calling it that despite it not being an Italian production. It glazes over some of the important aspects of the genre such as the investigation into the killer's identity but it is (barely) there. In my opinion it is closer to a love letter to Italian horror in general with heavily filtered colored lighting and violent gory deaths that became the norm in Italy in the 80s. The movie is low budget as is immediately evident from the photography. It doesn't take an expert to tell that this was not made with professional quality cameras but David Holcombe still gives us a decent movie. There's a good effort put in with set design and an artistic touch to the film, mainly shown in Arianna's hallucinations. While most of the performances are okay there's a couple characters that overact badly and really ham up the film when they're on screen. The film could also use a longer script and more in depth story. As with the investigation angle to the movie, the entire story really feels glazed over. Arianna is a likable character and getting more out of her, and those surrounding her would have been good. A proper investigation would have also brought the movie to a more proper runtime.

CITY OF LUST still manages to be a decent horror movie. It isn't everything I hoped it would be but it is more than I usually expect out of a low budget horror film. If you're a big fan of Italian horror or Gialli it's worth checking out as a decent homage to them.

CITY OF LUST is available HERE

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Walking Dead season 4 (Blu-ray Review) - AMC/Anchor Bay

The fourth season of AMC's THE WALKING DEAD really brought the show from an entertaining show set in the zombie apocalypse and turned it into a must watch action-drama while setting up the best which is yet to come. Our group of survivors in Atlanta try to set up a simpler life and a bit of civilization after their battle with Woodbury. Rick has renounced his leader ship and tends to crops and raising pigs instead. Life within the prison walls is as close to ideal as the group has seen since the outbreak. Things take a turn for the worse when a pig becomes sick and a virus seems to be spreading making survival very difficult with the lack of medical supplies. As the sickness claims members in a cellblock they reanimate causing panic in the prison. Survival in the prison is in jeopardy as the outer security is also compromised as the walkers are knocking down the outer fences.

While the prison survivors fight to stay alive and keep their security while the Governor aligns himself with a new family and group using his persuasive ways to quickly gain their loyalty and become the voice of the group. The governor uses his new group to wage an attack on the prison after taking a couple members hostage. He demands the prison for his own use in exchange for the lives of the captives. When Rick refuses and one captive is killed the war between the prison group and the Governor begins again ending with the prison being overrun despite a victory in battle. The attack on the prison has left the group scattered and broken with small groups fractured off in to different directions. The small groups all fight to survive on the road, in neighborhoods while they all eventually follow signs along the railroad tracks promising salvation and safety in a place called Terminus. When the group arrives in several packs at Terminus they learn that the people running the town are not who they claimed to be.

THE WALKING DEAD stepped up every aspect of its production from acting and writing to action and emotion. Special effects and horror elements remain high as the numerous zombie scenes are bloody and gory throughout the season. The zombies continue to have a great disgusting and decayed design. I wish there was a bit more practical effects as opposed to CGI but the CGI isn't bad looking. The drama is ramped up to a level we haven't seen in previous seasons with the group split and several relationships severed. The pacing of this season is fantastic as every episode works to a bigger story and there is very little filler unlike earlier in the series. Changing the setting in the second half from the prison to the road and eventually Terminus was welcome and will have viewers on the edge of their seat with a new and dangerously exciting wild environment. Emotions and entertainment run high in this season.

The Blu-ray from Anchor Bay looks and sounds fantastic. This is an AMC show which means you're getting some of the highest TV production values available and it translates to disc. The season is spread across five discs and features a gorgeous 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer with crystal clarity and very high detail levels. Colors are vivid and pop just enough while black levels are deep. The English audio track is a 7.1 HD track with an excellent and boisterous mix. Special features are abundant with several featurettes including "Inside The Walking Dead", "The Making Of...", "Drawing insprations", "Hershel", "The Governor Is Back", "Society, Science and Survival", "Inside KNB EFX", and "A Journey Back To Brutality". Also included are audio commentaries and extended versions on several different episodes and a selection of deleted scenes.

THE WALKING DEAD is my favorite current show on television and I've grown to care about the characters and storylines in a way I simply don't with most shows. The continually improving quality of the series is making the series part of an elite class of weekly programming and I can fully understand its popularity. This Blu-ray boxset is a fantastic way of catching up on the show before the start of season 5.

THE WALKING DEAD Season 4 is available HERE

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Possession Of Michael King (Blu-ray Review) - Anchor Bay/Starz

Directed By: David Jung
Written By: David Jung, Tedi Sarafian
Starring: Shane Johnson, Ella Anderson, Cara Pifko
Color/83 Minutes/R
Region A
Release Date: August 26, 2014

The Film
After the tragic death of his wife in an accident, Michael King (Shane Johnson) sets out to make a documentary disproving the existence of God or The Devil or any sort of supernatural being. Michael interviews people from both sides including priests and a mortician who practices necromancy. He also submits himself to various rites and rituals even going as far as to take LSD to open his mind to welcome demons into his body. Michael thinks the whole thing is fun and games until he starts hearing voices telling him to kill his daughter and commit other evil acts and he slowly begins to lose his grip on his sanity and self control.

THE POSSESSION OF MICHAEL KING falls into many cliches that the demon possession genre and found footage style of film making can hold. Shane Johnson gives a solid performance and really carries the movie to make it at least watchable because it is rather boring and full of the "same old same old" that we've seen before in demonic possession horror films. There is one scene that provides a few genuine creepy moments and some tension but it quickly comes to pass without much consequence to the overall story.

THE POSSESSION OF MICHAEL KING boils down to little more than a succession of rather lame black magic rituals presented by a character that is so pompous and arrogant that you can't help but hope for the worst with him.

The Audio & Video
Anchor Bay/Starz release the film on Blu-ray (with DVD and Ultraviolet HD digital copy) with a very attractive anamorphic widescreen 1.78:1 transfer. Texture and detail level is quite good while colors are vivid with deep black levels. There's no signs of edge enhancement or excessive DNR. The audio track is a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track that has an excellent mix between score and dialogue. The track is free of any background noise and is of excellent quality.

The Extras
Extras? What extras?

The Bottom Line
If you're a die hard found footage or demonic possession fan then THE POSSESSION OF MICHAEL KING is worth a rental. As for the rest of you I'd suggest you not waste your time with a weak film and a release that doesn't supplement it with any sort of special feature, not even a trailer.


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Worm (DVD Review) - Synapse Films

Directed By: Doug Mallette
Starring: John Ferguson, Shane O' Brien, Jes Mercer
Color/94 Minutes/Not Rated
Region FREE
Release Date: August 12, 2014

The Film
In a world where people have lost the ability to dream they turn to a new product called "Fantasites" for sleep aid and to stimulate their subconcious into creating dreams. Fantasites are genetically engineered worm parasites that you drop into your ear before bed. Fantasites are all the rage, they're expensive and can be delivered right to your door. Charles is an awkward man with little to no social life. He begins using Fantasites to bring some excitement and perhaps even confidence to his life to get closer to get the girl of his dreams. Things start to spiral out of control for Charles and his new friends and his love when the government bans Fantasites over health concerns and people seek the addictive drug through illegal underground means. Charles tries desperately to get away from Fantasites and save the love of his life.

WORM is a movie I hadn't heard of until I saw that it was being released by Synapse. I went into this viewing of the film pretty much completely blind with no idea of what to expect other than my own ideas of what I thought the movie would be about. I don't think WORM would have been less impactful had I read a plot synopsis first but I'm glad I didn't. WORM touches on several social issues including addiciton, the widespread sale of untested drugs and genetically altered goods and even depression and the longing for companionship. The commentary is obvious but it never gets preachy which is the downfall of many films that include heavy doses of social commentary. WORM also works as straight entertainment as it strikes chords with several emotions. It is exciting and gross and at times funny and sad.

I'm on a streak of good luck with recent independently produced films lately and WORM is just the latest that I've enjoyed quite a bit. This is a film well worth your time.

The Audio & Video
There are few companies that can rival Synapse Films in terms of disc quality and they show it here, giving this indie sci-fi/horror film a nice presentation. The 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer is crisp and clean. The colors are lively while detail is good. The 2.0 Dolby Digital stereo mix is simplistic in design but works perfectly. There's no background noise or hissing, crackling or popping. It is a quality mix with dialogue and soundtrack levels complimenting each other.

The Extras
-"Worm" - The original short film
-Deleted scenes
-Audio commentary track with the director, producers and visual effects supervisor

The Bottom Line
Synapse picked up this indie film upon seeing it and are delivering it to the masses and it deserves to be seen. Highly recommended!

WORM is available HERE

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Legend Of Hell House (Blu-ray Review) - Scream Factory

Directed By: John Hough
Written By: Richard Matheson
Starring: Pamela Franklin, Roddy McDowall, Clive Revill
Color/94 Minutes/PG
Region A
Release Date: August 26, 2014

The Film
A team of psychics are contracted to spend a week isolated in Hell House to prove or disprove the theory of survival after death. The last time people entered the house was twenty years earlier and only one person, Ben Fischer (McDowall), left alive and with his sanity intact. Upon arriving at the house it becomes evident that there is a presence inhabiting the house that doesn't welcome anybody who challenges him. The team's week is spent being attacked, frightened and possessed in order to find the ghost of "The Roaring Giant" Emeric Belasco, a maniacal man who was known for depraved acts such as vampirism, bestiality and sadism while living, responsible for the deaths of nearly everyone who enters the walls of Hell House but will anybody be left alive to speak of their findings?

To put it simply, THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE is one of the finest haunted house movies ever made. Director John Hough, who considers this his best film and his personal favorite of his own work, tightly directs the cast led by the always fantastic Roddy McDowall. HELL HOUSE is filled with gorgeous antique set pieces that add an air of creepiness in a totally organic way. The special effects, all of which are practical, another point of pride for Hough, are brilliantly executed. They've been duplicated time and time again in films over the years but perhaps never with the skill or precision that they are in HELL HOUSE.

Despite its PG rating, HELL HOUSE speaks of rather nasty themes and doesn't shy away from showing the viewer some violent and extreme content. There are death scenes that are fairly brutal along with various ghostly attacks that would push the limits of a more strict rating in today's world. HELL HOUSE relies on the tension and suspense it creates to build a scary film, which it is totally successful at but it also shows some flash of the excess the horror genre is known for. 

The Audio & Video
SCREAM FACTORY gives THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE its American Blu-ray debut with a nice looking and sounding disc. The 16x9 anamorphic widescreen transfer features a lot of nice detail in skin tones and on objects and textures. Colors are vivid without being rendered too hot. There is a nice grain structure to HELL HOUSE as well. There are intermittent scenes, usually in more dimly lit locations, that are a bit soft. These scenes don't look bad by any means and still feature elevated detail levels and an attractive look. The DTS-HD MA Mono track sounds as good as it will ever sound. There's no background noise, and music and dialogue compliment each other very well. It's a simple mix but sounds excellent.

The Extras
There's only a few features on this disc but they're of the highest quality -
-Interview with John Hough - A nearly 30 minute interview with the director of the film as he discusses the production of the film and the impact it has had
-Audio commentary with Pamela Franklin - This was a pleasant surprise as it is listed as an "audio interview" on the packaging
-Theatrical Trailer
-Radio Spots
-Reversible artwork

The Bottom Line
Scream Factory has done great justice to one of the best haunted house films that has ever been made and if you're not familiar with it I highly recommend you go out and grab this release and if you're already a fan of the film I suggest you upgrade whatever previous release you may own as it surely pales in comparison to this new Blu-ray.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Jersey Shore Massacre (Blu-ray Review) - Attack Entertainment

Directed By: Paul Tarnopol
Written By: Paul Tarnopol
Starring: Danielle Dallacco, Angelica Boccella, Giovanni Roselli
Color/88 Minutes/R
Region FREE
Release Date: August, 26, 2014

The Film
When a group of shore girls lose their rental in Seaside Heights thanks to the mix up of a stoner landlord (Ron Jeremy) they end up at Teresa's Uncle's cabin in the Pine Barrens. With nothing else to do they go on a Jersey Devil tour along with a few Star Trek nerds and some hillbilly locals. After realizing they're miserable they head back to the beach to pick up some guys to bring back to the cabin and party with. When they return a mysterious masked killer begins dispatching of the guidos and guidettes in various brutal and gory ways.

It is no secret that the culture of spiky haired, fist pumping guys, and their female counterparts has become a bit of a pop culture phenomenon in recent years with television shows such as Jersey Shore and various spinoffs and copycats gaining huge ratings with young adult audiences. It also lead to spoofs of the culture popping up everywhere and while some of these are funny like the film Jersey Shore Shark Attack, most are just as lame as the shows they're making fun of. Surprisingly JERSEY SHORE MASSACRE winds up being a pretty decent slasher film. Even more surprisingly the whole Jersey Shore angle didn't annoy the piss out of me. The cast is solid top to bottom, delivering the right amount of camp in their performances without getting too silly. There's also plenty of blood and guts being spilled on screen with some pretty good special effects and makeup.

JERSEY SHORE MASSACRE does drag in spots, even at its brief runtime but surprisingly a film made by JWOWW Productions wasn't terrible. Writer/director Paul Tarnopol seemed to really understand the built in humor with the type of characters and culture he was making a movie about and did a good job with it. JERSEY SHORE MASSACRE is worth a watch from fans of campy and cheesy horror movies but I wouldn't call it a classic or essential viewing. It is simply a surprisingly decent anomaly of Jersey Shore spinoffs.

The Audio & Video
Attack Entertainment's Blu-ray of JERSEY SHORE MASSACRE features an attractive anamorphic widescreen transfer with rich colors and strong detail levels. The plentiful reds in the color palette are vivid and skin tones are fleshy and natural without appearing waxy from digital scrubbing. The 5.1 audio track sounds good with a solid job done on mixing levels. There's no background noise or audible hiccups to distract the audience. 

The Extras
-Fat Camp Massacre part 1 - A short slasher movie with in a movie that is pretty hilarious.
-Behind The Scenes - 24 minute "making of" style documentary that is full of laughs
-Bigfoot Unmedicated
-Italian Ice "Melt" music video
-King Nyne music video

The Bottom Line
JERSEY SHORE MASSACRE manages to go beyond its ties to recent pop culture obsession with the Jersey Shore culture and is a competently made, cheesy slasher film. Slasher fans should definitely give this one a look. 


Monday, August 18, 2014

Aftermath (Blu-ray Review) - Image

Directed By: Peter Engert
Written By: Christian McDonald
Starring: CJ Thomason, Monica Keena, Edward Furlong
Color/92 Minutes/Not Rated
Region A
Release Date: August 26, 2014

The Film
A group of survivors hole up in a basement in northern Texas after a series of nuclear explosions rock the breadth of the United States. The group tries to cover any openings into the cellar with dirt to protect themselves from radiation and being discovered by outsiders. As the drama and danger inside the cellar begins to swell the dangers infected outsiders discover their spot and want in. How much has this group of average people changed in just one month and how far will they go to survive?

AFTERMATH is a pretty decent post-nuke "zombie" type flick that focuses more on the survivors and their plight in their confined space than it does with the infected monsters and other threats outside the walls. There is a definite sense of claustrophobia to the film and the performances help convey that to us. Edward Furlong is surprisingly good, one of his better recent roles for sure. CJ Thomason hits his stride about halfway through the film and is rather good from that point after. I don't totally blame his performance earlier in the film as much of the first act is clunky and handled clumsily. While I'm a fan of the focus the film has a bit more action from the outsiders would have spiced things up a bit and made it more entertaining overall. That doesn't make a difference for the powerful ending both visually and emotionally which manages to pack quite a punch.

The Audio & Video
Image/RLJ deliver a rather nice looking Blu-ray with a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. Detail level is strong and skin tones are fleshy and natural. The film has a bit of a muted color palette which the Blu-ray handles well. The black levels are deep and don't suffer from any sort of blocking or compression issues and there is no noticeable edge enhancement or excessive DNR. The audio track is a DTS-HDMA 5.1 English track with no real issues to speak of. Levels are consistent and the mix job between dialogue and soundtrack is quite good.

The Extras
Bare bones.

The Bottom Line
AFTERMATH isn't perfect by any means but the good outweighs the bad enough for me to warrant a recommendation of a rental. It doesn't break new ground but it does a solid job on a time tested idea. 

AFTERMATH is available HERE

Friday, August 15, 2014

Varsity Blood (DVD Review) - Image

Directed By: Jake Helgren
Written By: Jake Helgren
Starring: Lexi Giovagnoli, Wesley Scott, Natalie Peyton
Color/87 Minutes/Not Rated
Region 1
Release Date: August, 19, 2014

The Film
How the hell does this film not have a tag line like "The night HE came to Homecoming" or some other sort of spinoff on the tag line of John Carpenter's Halloween? It's called marketing people!

It's Halloween night at Hogseye High, the one year anniversary of the death of the principal's daughter who was on the cheer squad. The football team and cheerleaders have a big party planned at an old abandoned house for after the game. The local sheriff, father to one of the girls, warns them to be safe and to have designated drivers. The party doesn't quite go as planned when someone dressed as the school's warrior mascot shows up with a bow and an axe and begins murdering the teens. The kids fight for their lives and to discover who is under the mask.

In a time where slasher films claim to be a throwback to slasher films of the 1980s VARSITY BLOOD really does feel like it was a product of the 1980s. It's a straight forward stalk and slash, body count film filled with blood and gore. While the acting and writing leave much to be desired it doesn't stop VARSITY BLOOD from being a pretty entertaining horror movie.

The Audio & Video
 Image/RLJ bring VARSITY BLOOD to home video on DVD. The 1.78:1 widescreen transfer is decent. Dark scenes have a bit of compression but they're lit well enough that we don't struggle to see what is going on. It's a decent looking disc overall for a production that obviously didn't have a mega-budget. The audio side of things is pretty equal. The mix is decent but not particularly strong. It gets the job done and levels are handled well so we don't lose dialogue amidst the soundtrack.

The Extras
Bare bones.

The Bottom Line
Some well done gore and a body count that will rival Freddy or Jason makes VARSITY BLOOD worth checking out for slasher fans. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Pieces Of Talent (2014)

There are hundreds if not thousands of independent horror films released to DVD every year. It goes without saying that we aren't missing out on anything but not seeing the vast majority of these films. Occasionally one of them will gain traction with the internet horror community and receive lots of attention and praise. The hype surrounding these films usually far outweighs any actual merit the film has. Lately, and not entirely different from the days where excess in horror films really took over any sort of artistry as far as mainstream releases go, the 1980s, if you have a particularly violent movie with well done practical effects and gore the movie, at least for a brief period, will become the new hot thing being discussed on forums and message boards. If I have any interest in seeing one of these films I tend to wait until the hype has died down a bit as to go in to seeing the film with as little preconceived notions of what to expect aside from the general premise of the film as I can. Once in while though, I'll hop on the hype train and check out a film that is being jocked and sometimes that movie totally lives up to its hype and all of the praise is deserved.

Charlotte (Kristi Ray) is an attractive girl working as a server in a strip club struggling to make ends meet. Her mother has recently gone back to drinking heavily and isn't the greatest person to be around. Charlotte is desperately trying to become an actress, having worked in a few music videos she wants to become a true actress. After a chance encounter, saving filmmaker David Long (David Long) from a beating outside of the club, the pair become friends and Charlotte gives David a headshot and he tells her he has a project coming up that he'd like to work with her on. David Long's films are nothing more than snuff films with an artistic touch. David has a secluded farm where he brings kidnapped victims and plays depraved games or simply tortures them in various ways, all the while filming them for his "art". Kristi and David begin to develop more of a relationship and David learns more of her unsavory home life. David decides to make a movie for Charlotte about her mother all the while making his movie with Charlotte. David's broken mind and endless search for pieces of talent for his films has tragic endings.

PIECES OF TALENT features excellent performances throughout. Acting is something that drags down countless independent films regardless of drama but it manages to be a major strength here. From Kristi Ray's performance as an endlessly likable small town girl just trying to make something of her life to David Long being able to send chills down your spine the same way a child molester would. Long expertly mixes acting like a genuine nice guy who makes movies with subtlety that he's a murderous psycho. As the viewer we are privy to things that other characters in the film aren't and it allows scenes between Charlotte and David to have massive amounts of uncomfortable moments without the character of prey to ever know it.

Joe Stauffer directed PIECES OF TALENT and co-wrote it with David Long. While neither of these guys are household names in the horror community yet, if they continue to make quality films like this they certainly will be. PIECES OF TALENT is excellently crafted from the script to the cinematography and special effects. Yes, there is a good bit of gore on hand here and it is nasty. Thankfully Joe Stauffer understood the balance between making a visceral piece of horror that doesn't rely on blood and guts to get its message across. The scariest parts about this film aren't those of a head being blown off with a shotgun, or running through a field with shards of glass sticking out of the ground, no, the scariest parts of PIECES OF TALENT are the seemingly heartfelt conversations between Charlotte and David knowing the sinister intentions David has for Charlotte and his inability or simple disregard for anything but creating his "art".

PIECES OF TALENT is one of the rare independent horror films that not only exceeds my expectations and lives up to hype and praise but never once did it feel like I was watching an independent horror film. There's not a damn thing wrong with indie films of any sort, but PIECES OF TALENT feels like it rose above the constraints that being an independent production can present. This is a big time film and is without a doubt one of the best horror films I have seen in a few years.

PIECES OF TALENT is available for purchase HERE and if you enter the code "horror" at checkout you can save yourself a couple of bucks.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Lost Sex Films of Ed Wood

Ed Wood completeist are a special breed and that is who these films are for. Wood was never a brilliant artist but he could make a movie. The porn films he made here aren't really going to be spank material for anyone as they are beaten and battered prints and are far from sexy films. Or if you don't care too much about the Ed Wood connection there's a plethora of extra stag films on each disc as each disc features the lost films of other porn directors and stars (listed below). Alpha Blue deserves some praise for bringing lost films from the infamous director to the public for the first time since they were released on Betamax, something most companies would have no interest in doing.

NYMPHO CYCLER is the story of a woman fed up with being pimped out by her cross dressing husband (Ed Wood himself) who takes off across the country on her motorcycle. The woman is picked up by a pair of lesbians when she's stranded on the side of the road with an empty gas tank and they take her back to their house for some womanly love before bringing her back to her bike. While that was fun, she just wasn't satisfied so she seduces a fellow bike rider who gives her the man loving she was so desperate for. The pair then get attacked by a motorcycle gang that was sent to get the girl by her husband. The girl is raped while the man is beaten and put in the hospital. After the gang have their way with her she meets back up with her man, not seeming all that concerned about what had just happened and puts him on a train home.

There's nothing too explicit in NC, at least as far as seeing actual penetration goes. It may be rated X but it's not a hard X by any means. The most exciting thing about this film is probably the joys of getting to see Ed Wood in drag. All of the women featured are quite attractive and you can't deny the cool factor of this chick and her motorcycle. At only 52 minutes it never overstays its welcome and is an enjoyable little piece of sexploitation.

NECROMANIA tells the story of a married couple with quite a loveless marriage visiting  a Satanic sex therapist who has big plans for the couple and their fates! NECROMANIA is interesting in that there are two versions of the film, the softcore version and a hard X version with totally different sex scenes. The hardcore scenes may juice it up enough that it becomes a bit more entertaining as the black magic and Satanic angle isn't played up enough to make it interesting, but really, I doubt the hardcore scenes do much to help it.

A wife fights for the affection and sexual desire of her husband with the girls at the local strip club in THE YOUNG MARRIEDS. When he tells her that they turn him on in ways she can't she opens up her sexuality, letting him take sexy pictures and even making him her sex slave. Their blooming sexuality takes a few turns in to wild and sometimes uncomfortable territory for the couple but opens their minds, and legs, to new things. There's plenty of X-rated hardcore action here and very little story to drive it all.

The final film in the collection is THE UNDERGRADUATE and I bet you can figure out what is going on here. Some young coeds explore their sexuality in various ways and it drags on too long with a good bit of monotony. There's not enough interesting side pieces to the sex to make this one really worth while.

Bonus Features
Nympho Cycler - The Lost Films of Casey Larrain Four Film Collection
Necromania - The Lost Films Of Maria Arnold Four Film Collection
The Young Marrieds - The Lost Films Of Alice Friedland Five Film Collection
The Undergraduate - The Lost Films Of Suzanne Fields Four Film Collection

With a total of 21 films across the four discs this collection really will be a prized addition to the smut enthusiast and they're available HERE

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Jesse (DVD Review) - Arc Entertainment

Directed By: Fred Carpenter
Written By: Fred Carpenter, Paul Regina, Joanne Tamburro
Starring: Stephanie Finochio, William Forsythe, Armand Assante
Color/86 Minutes/R
Region 1
Release Date: August 12, 2014

The Film
Jesse is a cop who likes to drink away her problems which are based around her failed marriange and her husband who has custody of her kids because she's a pretty terrible person. Jesse's brother is killed by the mafia after he owed them thousands of dollars so Jesse does what she has to do to take down the people responsible.

This movie is a joke right? Where is Ashton Kutcher to pop out of my closet and yell at me tellling me I was punked? JESSE is fucking awful on every level. Every single character in this shit fest is a stereotypical New York loud mouth Italian caricature that you'd find on some shitty reality show. It's fucking ridiculous. Jesse is the least likable protagonist I've seen in a film in quite a while. Her attitude sucks, her personality is loud, self righteous and arrogant. On top of that she's just a major bitch. The acting in this thing seems like a contest of who can put on the strongest accent and overact the shit out of it. It was to the point where every line of dialogue processed through mind as "AY YO BUDDY! I'M FROM LONG ISLAND! YOU GOTSA A PROBLEM OVA HERE!?"

It's all good though because we care about the vengeance on the mafia right? No, no we don't In fact there isn't a single fucking thing to care about in this movie that is pretty much based on the notion that all cops and firefighters hate each other. Oh and Jesse's mother? Yeah, she holds up a gun to a little dog's head at one point to stop an argument. JESSE is filmed on shitty cameras, it is framed poorly half the time and edited like a Skinemax flick. Hell, even the opening credits look like a shitty made-for-TV movie fro the 90s. That's not fair to made-for-TV movies as I think every single one of them would be better than this bullshit.

The Audio & Video
The DVD from Arc Entertainment looks good enough given how it was produced. The 16x9 anamorphic widescreen transfer is attractive and is clean. A decently sharp picture overall with nice colors. The audio is hit or miss as there are times the audio is so poorly recorded that it barely registers in the mix. That is a problem with the production of the film and not the authoring job done on the disc. Otherwise the Dolby Digital track sounds okay.

The Extras
Bare Bones aside from a VUDU digital copy.

The Bottom Line
I'd rather be stuck in some weird reality where I repeatedly poke myself in the eye repeatedly than watch the steaming pile of dog shit that is JESSE, ever again.

JESSE is available HERE

Monday, August 11, 2014

Bunnmany Massacre (DVD Review) - Midnight Releasing

Directed By: Carl Lindbergh
Written By: Carl Lindbergh
Starring: David Scott, Joshua Lang, Julianne Dowler
Color/104 Minutes/Not Rated
Region FREE
Release Date: August 12, 2014

The Film
Joe and Bunnyman have a nice symbiotic relationship going on. Bunnyman gets to go on his killing sprees while Joe is provided with plenty of meat for his "beef" jerky business. Bunnyman has been going overboard lately and Joe is having a hard time keeping up with the bodies piling up, especially after Bunnyman's massacre of a packed school bus. In a way, Joe can be his own worst enemy as he joins in on the carnage as well, taking down the sheriff's deputies which has made the sheriff very suspicious of the jerky man.

BUNNYMAN MASSACRE sort of reminds me of a C-grade modern take on The Texas Chainsaw Masscare if Leatherface had a bunny costume fetish instead of wearing other people's faces. That's probably the nicest thing I can say about BUNNYMAN MASSACRE, not that it is totally bad. It is entertainingly violent and has plenty of the red stuff flowing but it runs on a bit too long and relies too much on the violence to drive the picture. There's no tension and the bunny suit gimmick wears thin by the end. That said I have to say that BUNNYMAN MASSACRE is every bit as good as some of the more hailed slashers of recent years like Laid To Rest or The Hills Run Red. That isn't saying much but hey, it's something. 

The Audio & Video
Midnight Releasing's DVD of BUNNYMAN MASSACRE is solid for how the movie was shot. The widescreen transfer is clean and has okay sharpness and clarity. The movie wasn't shot on high dollar cameras which is obvious but the disc looks okay. The 2.0 audio track sounds clear and has a pretty decent mix. It's good enough that you won't need to reach for the remote as levels are stable.

The Extras
-Audio commentary track
-Behind-the-scenes featurette
-Deleted scenes
-"Bunnyman Gets Fast Food"
-"Joe's Guide To Dating"

The Bottom Line
BUNNYMAN MASSACRE can be recommended to horror fans that are easily satisfied with plenty of gore or slasher film enthusiasts who want to see everything the genre has to offer. It's not offensively bad but it could be better.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Tropic Of Desire / Fantasy World (DVD Review) - Vinegar Syndrome

Directed By: Bob Chinn
Written By: Jeffrey Fairbanks
Starring: Laurien Dominique, Jesie St. James, Georgina Spelvin
Color/160 Minutes/X
Region FREE
Release Date: August 5, 2014

The Film
In the waning days of WWII some Navy men on shore leave visit their usual brothel for some fun. Upon arriving one of the men finds that his favorite lady has just left to mourn the death of her husband in the war. While his night is ruined the rest of the men, including a young man experiencing the pleasures of a woman for the first time, get their rocks off in various ways. TROPIC OF DESIRE is a pretty decent wartime adult drama. The acting is pretty decent and there's plenty of skin and action to satisfy the viewer. It has nice sets and is a step above the average skin flick of the time.

If TROPIC OF DESIRE is good FANTASY WORLD IS GREAT. Two separate groups of friends, another trio of Navy men and a trio of ladies that work as telephone operators, looking for fun in the city find their way in to the doors of a night club called Fantasy World where all of your fantasies can come true. A sort of magician with a pale white painted face hosts the evening which starts out with a woman masturbating with a snake and goes on to include all sorts of group sex on stage while taking volunteers from the audience. The volunteers are then treated to their wildest sexual dreams from dominatrix action, to two women or three men. Whatever you fantasize about can be yours if you step through the doors of FANTASY WORLD.

Seriously, FANTASY WORLD is among the best adult films I've ever seen. It has just enough touch of the bizarre along with great direction and an artful touch in lighting and sets to compliment the more carnal delights that await the viewer. I don't keep track of "favorite vintage pornos" like I do horror or spaghetti westerns or something like that but if I did I'm sure FANTASY WORLD would be near the top of list.

The Audio & Video
Vinegar Syndrome's release keeps both films in their OAR of 1.85:1 with anamorphic widescreen transfers. Picture quality is quite good throughout with a bit of speckling and a frame jump occasionally. Detail and color is strong and vivid while flesh tones look healthy. Both films have been kept in pretty nice condition overall and VS has handled them beautifully. The English mono audio tracks have a bit of background noise in the form of crackling but it is intermittent at worst and doesn't distract from the film. Dialogue and soundtrack levels are mixed with skill.

The Extras
A trailer for each film is included

The Bottom Line
I don't think I have to spell it out for you - A couple of quite good X rated flicks, one being among the best I've seen, with a nice presentation from a company that truly cares about its products and fans means this release is highly recommended.


Friday, August 8, 2014

Rage (Blu-ray Review) - Image/RLJ

Directed By: Paco Cabezas
Written By: James Agnew, Sean Keller
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Rachel Nichols, Max Ryan
Color/98 Minutes/Not Rated
Region A
Release Date: August 12, 2014

The Film
Paul Maguire is a man with a violent past having spent his younger years in organized crime. When his wife was diagnosed with cancer he cleaned up his ways to make sure someone would always be there for their daughter. Now Maguire is on the hunt for the people responsible for kidnapping and murdering his teen daughter. It doesn't take Maguire long to fall back into his old ways and to contact his old crime family who help him track down all of their old enemies in order to find out who is behind the killing and why.

Nicolas Cage stars in this film written by the pair who wrote Dario Argento's weakest effort Giallo. Their names will forever be etched into my mind. Anyways, on topic, director Paco Cabezas delivers a pretty decent action thriller in the vein of Taken. Cabezas' direction adds a level of excitement to many of the action scenes, though he falls into the "shaky cam" trap a bit too often. Nic Cage's acting is surprisingly good throughout. He doesn't ham it up too much except for one rooftop scene where he delivers one of his signature freakouts. I tried not to laugh, but a Nic Cage freakout is usually hilarious. And there's even a role for Danny Glover, who is okay too.

RAGE isn't going to change the genre or blow you away but it manages to be a pretty decent and entertaining violent thriller in the mold of countless movies that have come before it.

The Audio & Video
Image/RLJ deliver an attractive Blu-ray for RAGE. The anamorphic widescreen 2.35:1 transfer features great levels of detail and clarity. Skin tones are natural and fleshy while colors pop. The DTS-HD 5.1 audio track is robust and full bodied. The mix is excellent and there's no audible hiccups. 

Note: Screen shots taken from DVD copy.

The Extras
-The Making of RAGE
-Deleted scenes
-Alternate ending
-DVD copy of film

The Bottom Line
If you're looking for a new thriller filled with action or something new from familiar names you can do worse than RAGE. It isn't a perfect film but it was a pleasant surprise.

RAGE is available HERE

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Ultimate Pleasure / I Am Always Ready (DVD Review) - Vinegar Syndrome

USA/1977, 1978
Directed By: Carlos Tobalina
Written By: Edgar G. Warren
Starring: Kristine Heller, Blair Harris, John Holmes, Ronie Ross
Color/143 Minutes/X
Region FREE
Release Date: August 5, 2014

The Films
THE ULTIMATE PLEASURE tells the story of a married couple struggling to find the spark in their relationship. They pay a visit to a sex therapist who gets to the bottom of their problems with sex to unlock the passion hidden within. This leads to plenty of kinky situations like sex while hypnotized, orgies, and more! This sex filled romp has a few questionable situations that may seem a bit unorthodox as far as medical practice is concerned, I mean having sex with your hypnotized patient is probably against some sort of code or law but if it gets the job done who cares! It makes THE ULTIMATE PLEASURE all the more fun.

What would you do to live out your wildest fantasies? I AM ALWAYS READY answers that question and shows it too! A woman gets to live out her fantasy of appearing in a porno with none other than the legend himself, John Holmes! I AM ALWAYS READY is a fun way to live the dream of being an amateur picked to co-star with your favorite porn legend. It doesn't hurt to dream! I AM ALWAYS READY is packed with sex and a bit of the trials and tribulations of making a sex film... it's not always tits and ass... I mean fun and games!

The Audio & Video
Vinegar Syndrome delivers a pair of great looking transfers for these two films. Each film is presented in a 16x9 anamorphic widescreen transfer maintaining the films' original aspect ratio. The source material were 35mm camera negatives and they've been kept in great condition. The transfers are damn near pristine. Colors are strong and vivid which pretty much sums up the overall visual presentation. These films look excellent. The English mono audio tracks sound very good as well. There's no background noise and no instances of crackling, popping or any sort of hiccups like that. Levels are mixed very well.

The Extras
A trailer is included for each film

The Bottom Line
This double feature is another entry in to VinSyn's Peekarama Collection and it is another pair of expertly presented erotic tales that are sure to please fans. 


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Purely Physical / Cathouse Fever (DVD Review) - Vinegar Syndrome

USA/1982, 1984
Directed By: Chris Warfield
Written By: Chris Warfield, John Hayes
Starring: Laura Lazare, Sidney Fellows, Becky Savage
Color/158 Minutes/X
Region FREE
Release Date: August 5, 2014

The Films
In PURELY PHYSICAL A beautiful young college student takes an overnight job at the desk of a seedy motel. She quickly finds out that most of the motel's business is from all sorts of couples, prostitutes, perverts and sexual deviants. The girl's sheltered upbringing begins to fall away as she is repeatedly propositioned by men and women alike. Eventually she acts upon her fantasies and gives one of the regulars the wake up call he's been dreaming of!

CATHOUSE FEVER is the tale of a young woman looking for love and some college coeds looking to pay tuition by working in a whore house. Their sexual encounters from a man who's mouth is taped shut by his wife so he can't talk to other women (she never said anything about fucking them!) to getting tired from not being able to get someone off despite the cash being thrown at them.

This Peekarama double feature from Vinegar Syndrome is a pair of very entertaining skin flicks from director Chris Warfield. CATHOUSE FEVER is very entertaining and has a few artful touches with a bit of humor thrown in for good measure while PURELY PHYSICAL is more the star of the show as far as I'm concerned as the motel provides the perfect setting to get to be the proverbial fly on the wall to spy on the guests sexual encounters. The thing that keeps you drawn in is the desk girl's budding sexual curiosity and waiting to see her act on them. Your patience pays off during the climax (pun fully intended) of the film.

The Audio & Video
Vinegar Syndrome has done another nice job with the transfer of these films. Each film is in its OAR with sharp, and clean 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen presentations. There is a bit of speckling present and a single noticed frame jump in PURELY PHYSICAL. Colors are strong and overall clarity is great. I'm very pleased with how these films look. The Mono audio tracks sound quite good with just the slightest bit of sporadic background noise evident. It is far from distracting and doesn't interfere with a very well done mix.

The Extras
A trailer for each film is included

The Bottom Line
The interesting scenarios and attractive leading ladies make for above average porno flicks that have pretty solid production value as well. Recommended for fans of the Peekarama double feature series or for anyone looking for above average 80s smut.