April 29, 2011

More Ultra-Violence! On Blu-ray This Time

Kubrick's little beauty A Clockwork Orange is hitting Blu-ray on May 31st. Hi-Def singing in the rain all the way!!

  • Studio: Warner Bros.
  • Screen Aspect: 16 X 9 LETTERBOX
  • Run Time: 137 minutes
  • Special Features:
    Commentary by Malcol McDowell and Historian Nich Redman
    Channel Four Documentary Still Tickin': The Return of Clockwork Orange
    New Featurette Great Bolshy Yarblockos!: Making A Clockwork
    Career Profile O Lucky Malcolm! (in High Definition)
    Produced/Directed by Jan Harlan, Edited by Katia de Vidas
    Theatrical Trailer
  • Packaging Type: Digibook
  • Subtitle Languages:
  • Genre: Crime, Drama


Stomping, whomping, stealing, singing, tap-dancing, violating. Hooligan Alex (Malcolm McDowell) has a good time – at the tragic expense of others. His journey from amoral punk to brainwashed proper citizen and back again forms the dynamic arc of Stanley Kubrick’s future-shock vision of Anthony Burgess’ novel. Controversial when first released, A Clockwork Orange won New York Film Critics Best Picture and Director Awards and earned four Oscar nominations,* including Best Picture. Its power still entices, shocks and holds us in its grasp.

  Disc 1:

• Feature Film
 • 2 New Bonus Features:
 • Malcolm McDowell Looks Back: Malcolm McDowell reflects on his experience working with legendary director Stanley Kubrick on one of the seminal films of the 1970s.
 • Turning like Clockwork Considers the Film’s Ultra-violence and its Cultural Impact 

• Plus:

• Commentary by Malcolm McDowell and historian Nick Redman 
• Documentary Still Tickin’: The Return of Clockwork Orange 
• Great Bolshy Yarblockos!: Making A Clockwork Orange 
• Theatrical Trailer 

Disc 2: 

• Jan Harlan’s Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures (Harlan is a world renown film producer and the brother of Christiane Kubrick, Stanley Kubrick's widow). Kubrick’s career comes into sharp focus in this compelling documentary narrated by Tom Cruise. Fascinating footage glimpses Kubrick in his early years, at work on film sets and at home, augmented by candid commentary from collaborators, colleagues and family. 
• Career Profile O Lucky Malcolm! Featuring Malcolm McDowell MAIN FEATURE* 1080p High Definition 16x9 1.66:1. PCM: English 5.1; Dolby Digital: English 5.1, Français 5.1, Español 5.1. Subtitles – English SDH, Français & Español. SPECIAL FEATURES* May not be in High Definition; Audio & subtitles may vary.

Time For A Little Ultra-Violence

Tis that joyous time of the year once again, no not Christmas, the time when the new issue of Ultra Violent magazine hits the stores. Looks to be another cracking issue. All going well I believe there are plans for it to start coming out twice a year in the future. Good news methinks.

Anyway, inside issue 11 are the following goodies...

Exclusive Interviews:
Peaches Christ:  Joshua Grannell (a.k.a. Peaches Christ) discusses his career, including the current hit All About Evil.

Chad Ferrin:  The outspoken director of Easter Bunny, Kill! Kill! and The Ghouls pulls no punches in this exclusive UV interview.

Geretta Geretta:  The beautiful and intelligent actress from Italian classics like Rats and Demons shares a series of unique remembrances and insights into an unforgettable era.

Richard W. Haines:  UV is honored to present a 20-page interview with this one of a kind archivist and filmmaker, responsible for such gems as Splatter UniversityWhat Really Frightens You?, and Alien Space Avenger.

Lynn Lowry:  The unforgettable, gorgeous actress who stole the show in I Drink Your Bloodand Shivers discusses her famous roles of the past as well as her recent return to the screen.

Ray Sager:  Best known for his starring role in Herschell Gordon Lewis’ Wizard of Gore, Ray Sager also was involved in a slew of influential Canadian genre pictures.  A man with years of experience in countless aspects of film, Sager provides his most in-depth interview to date in this 20-page piece.


Extensive Reviews:  UV's writers present a diverse collection of reviews of DVDs, VHS tapes, and books from around the world.

Masked Supercriminal Retrospective:  UV steps into the trenches of one of the most bizarre subgenres known to humankind.

Sella Turcica:  UV visits the set of the latest ToeTag film, a return to the war-themed exploitation genre of the 1970s.

VanBebber Returns: The brilliant director of The Manson Family and Deadbeat at Dawn givesUltra Violent an exclusive look at his upcoming new project.

You can order the magazine at the Ultra Violent Official Site

April 27, 2011

It'll Make You Scream

In 2005 director Tim Sullivan brought to the screen 2001 Maniacs, which was his remake of Herschell Gordon Lewis' 1964 movie 2000 Maniacs. It turned out to be a wonderfully gruesome and terrically good fun movie which stood on its own two feet. This was one remake that worked well.

Five years later and Sullivan is back with the long delayed sequel, which originally entitled 2001 Maniacs: Beverly Hellbillies before settling on its Field of Screams moniker. In Field of Screams the good Southern folk of Pleasant Valley are growing restless, it seems that their tourism business isn't what it once was. The folk from the North just aren't visiting anymore which severely hampers their source of entertainment, not to mention their diets. They have a plan though, and that is to uproot and head north, with their travelling carnival, in search of some unsuspecting victims. These potential victims come in the shape of the cast and crew of a reality television show entitled Road Rascals. This show has an obnoxious slew of characters that are prime for the taking and the folk from Pleasant Valley don't waste any time in showing them some good old fashioned Southern hospitality.

The premise and set-up for Field of Screams had a lot of potential to be another riotous rollercoaster of blood, guts, naked flesh and laughs. The fact that it contains all of these yet still disappoints is one of those unexplained movie mysteries. On some levels it definitely does work, yet the positives are outweighed by the negatives. The main problem with 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams for me was the very episodic style in which it was shot, this breaks up any flow to the events on screen. The whole way through it felt like kill scene, flesh scene, joke scene, now rinse and repeat. Nothing wrong with that in principle but when that is the entire basis for a movie it grows very tiresome. Helping the movie though is a strong cast which included Lin Shaye returning as the completely mad Grandma, Bill Moseley doing an admiorable job of replacing Robert Englund as Mayor Buckman and Skinny Puppy frontman Kevin "Orge" Ogilvie and Dr. Harper Alexander. These three, along with the returning Christa Campbell all ham it up in their roles and do keep the entertainment level from dropping too far. These actors along with some nicely over-the-top death scenes are the high points in an otherwise disappointing movie. You aren't going to feel anything for the supposed victims, you are just going to wait to see how they will die, and aside from the aforementioned death scenes this movie is nowhere near as pleasing to the eye as 2001 Maniacs was. The look and feel of this movie was one of a movie that had nowhere near the financial backing of the first movie and this shows in the finished product.

As for the DVD release itself, well that is a slightly different kettle of fish altogether. The packaging is sweet, with a double-sided sleeve with liner notes from Tim Sullivan and artwork for the soundtrack on the flipside. On the extras front there might not be too much but what there is definitely ups the entertainment factor. This comes mainly in the form of the film's commentary which is provided by Tim Sullivan, Lin Shaye, Christa Campbell and one of the crew, whose name escapes me. It's a light-hearted affair that manages to be informative as well as humorous, and as is the case with most decent commentaries fills in the viewer with information and observations that may well have been missed if watching the movie without the commentary. All in all this does indeed add to the viewing experience and comes as recommended viewing. Elsewhere on the disc, aside from a slideshow and some previews, is Behind the Screams: The Making of 2001 Maniacs Field of Screams. This is a short feature in which Tim Sullivan tells us a little more about what went into the making of the movie, as well as a few nuggets of wisdom from Bill Moseley. Unfortunately a fair amount of the information here is repetetion from the commentary, and it does contain numerous spoilers, but on the whole it makes worthwhile viewing.

Overall 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams as a movie is a disappointment, but one that is slightly made up for with some outrageous humor and gore and an entertaining commentary. This release is definitely a case of rent before you buy.

Review by Jude Felton

REC 3 Genesis Poster

Sexy looking new poster for the third [REC] movie Genesis. 

Synopsis "The original REC crew are back, ready to submit their ensemble cast to another fight for survival against the zombie infection. This time to the backdrop of an original soundtrack. The new chapter will see the film “open up” by using a more traditional cinematographic style. However, the film’s roots have not been forgotten, and viewers will still be immersed in the action watching certain events unfold through the eye of the video camera. The action in REC 3 GENESIS encompasses the events of the first two films and after the sense of claustrophobia previously experienced. The action now takes place miles away from the original location and partly in broad daylight, giving the film an entirely fresh yet disturbing new reality. The infection has left the building. In a clever twist that draws together the plots of the first two movies, this third part of the saga also works as a decoder to uncover information hidden in the first two films and leaves the door open for the final installment the future, REC 4 Apocalypse."

Also, Sony are releasing the long overdue REC 2 on July 12th. As sequels go this is a very good one and well worth your time. 

DVD Extras

- Deleted and extended scenes
- Behind-the-scenes featurettes
- A walk-through of the set
- REC 2 on tour
- Sitges Film Festival press conference
DVD Artwork

RIP Bones

Ok, so this isn't the usual post you might expect here. I think it is important though and am sharing it for a friend.

August 28, 1970 - April 18, 2011

In the early morning hours of April 18, 2011 a 911 call was placed reporting a 'cutting' in the Northside neighborhood of Cincinnati.  David Hebert, affectionately known as 'Bones', was named as a suspect.  Soon after the 911 call was placed David and a companion were apprehended by officers.  Within minutes,Sgt. Andrew Mitchell of the Cincinnati Police Department fired two rounds into David Hebert’s chest, killing him instantly.  David was an intelligent, creative man with many longtime friends who trusted him and sought out his company. He was a drummer in many punk/alternative bands in Cincinnati, Ohio and Portland, Oregon over the last twenty years. David Hebert had no violent criminal record, no history of robbery, assault or resisting arrest. Statements released by police and city officials have left many unanswered questions in the community :

• Acting Cincinnati Police Chief Richard Janke defended Mitchell’s use of deadly force as appropriate in a televised press conference only hours after it occurred. Why did the Acting Chief reach this conclusion so quickly when at least three investigations of the incident had just started and are likely to continue for several weeks?

• Sergeant Andrew Mitchell’s professional history with the Cincinnati Police Department includes a string of incidents where his use of force had extremely negative consequences. He has used inappropriate force on a non-aggressive suspect without proper warning.  An internal investigation found that, in at least one case: “Mitchell did not follow procedures or training. He did not verify there was a crime, and didn't get a suspect description.” Why was Mitchell promoted to Sergeant, a supervisory role, when he has a history of disregarding police protocol for apprehending suspects?

• Why did the officers approach a man they considered to be armed instead of securing and searching him before trying to question him?

• As an officer arriving as back up, Sgt. Mitchell was one step removed from the initial stop. How long was he on the scene before choosing the most extreme possible use of force? Why were non-lethal options not used?

• No official information has been released regarding Jason Weller, the man who made the initial 911 call claiming he had been robbed and assaulted by Mr. Hebert.  Were any attempts made to verify that a crime actually occurred before police began searching for a suspect? Was Mr. Weller questioned by police?

• Why was the knife that Mr. Hebert allegedly used to threaten officers found more than 25 feet from his body?  Why do pictures released of the knife show the blade plunged several inches into the ground?  Would someone with a blood alcohol level of 0.33 be conscious enough to remove a knife from his pocket, extend the blade and move towards police? 

• Where are the digital video recordings of the incident? Department policies require officers to ensure recorders are operational before leaving to patrol and that all arrests be recorded. Why are police claiming there is no video of this incident when police reported there were at least four officers on the scene at the time of the shooting?

• Was any attempt made to save David Hebert’s life after he was shot? Who pronounced him dead? When were ambulances called? Why was Mr. Hebert’s body left until after 6:00 am, uncovered and in full view of neighbors (and their children) for more than three hours?

David Hebert’s family, friends, and neighbors want to make certain that the City of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Police Department investigate his death carefully and openly. If investigators find errors in police procedure and protocol, evidence of negligence or corruption, the City and Police Department must take the necessary steps to address these problems.  
We can not bring Bones back, be we can work to ensure that it does not happen again.

April 26, 2011

Cross? I Was Furious!

To Stop an Ancient Evil, It’s Gonna Take
Big Guns, Hard Sticks and Exploding Balls
Brian Austin Green, Jake Busey, Tom Sizemore,
Michael Clarke Duncan, and Vinnie Jones Star in the All-New, Non-Stop, Pulse-Pounding, Supernatural Thrill Ride
Debuting on DVD May 31st    

CULVER CITY, CALIF. (March 28, 2011) – Brian Austin Green (TV's “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” “Desperate Housewives”) and Vinnie Jones (“The Cape,” Year OneX-Men: The Last Stand) star in Cross, the explosive, comic book-style, super-hero adventure debuting on DVD May 31st from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Tom Sizemore (Black Hawk Down), Academy Award® nominee Michael Clarke Duncan (Best Supporting Actor, The Green Mile, 1999), Lori Heuring (8MM 2, Wicked Little ThingsProm Night) and Jake Busey (Identity,Roadhouse 2: Last CallStarship Troopers) also star in this zany story of a misfit band of mercenaries who fight urban crime. Bonus features include director’s commentary, deleted scenes, an alternate ending, and more. Cross will be available on DVD for $24.96 SRP.

When beautiful, young women start disappearing from the streets of L.A., it’s time for good-guy Callan (a.k.a. Cross) and his crew of weapons experts to kick into high gear and take out the trash. Granted incredible power by his ancient Celtic cross, Callan must fight to stop an immortal Viking from destroying mankind with his doomsday device. Also starring: Tom Sizemore, Jake Busey and Lori Heuring.

Directed by Patrick Durham, Cross was written by Patrick Durham and Jonathan Sachar and Tanner Wiley. The movie was produced by Jonathan Sachar, Patrick Durham and Judy Durham and executive produced by Rocky Scapellati, Tanner Wiley, Stuart Cameron, Stu Higton, Constantine Brancov, Robert Lamey, Anne O’Shea and Robbin Wood.   

Bonus Features Include:
  • Director's Commentary
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Alternate Ending
  • Animatic

Cross has a runtime of approximately 105 minutes and is rated R for violence and some language.

April 24, 2011

Just The Facts Please

No review here, or news, or anything else really. I just thought I'd share this terrific short movie from directors Rodrigo Gudino and Vincent Marcone. The Facts in the Case of Mr Hollow focuses entirely on one photograph and just goes to show that imaginative filmmaking still exists. Wonderful stuff.

Filthy Review - Chain Letter

Chain Letter is yet another movie that has languished in some sort of release hell that only a select group of films enjoy. The Poughkeepsie Tapes and All The Boys Love Mandy Lane being two others of recent note that have still yet to see a decent release. Another one was Case 39, which did finally get to see the light of day fairly recently, and although it wasn't perfect it didn't turn out to be the complete failure that it could have been. Chain Letter though is a different kettle of fish altogether. The production was completed in 2007, it finally saw a very limited theatrical release in 2010 and hit the home entertainment market just recently in 2011. Now whilst the delay in release didn't harm Case 39, due to the fact that its story was not trying to fit in with the times, it has harmed Chain Letter.

At its heart Chain Letter is a basic slasher flick where you have a group of kids that one by one get slaughtered by a hulking great disfugured killer. Where the movie falls apart though is trying to throw in some sort of social relevance to society's obsession with technology such as the internet and cell phones. No one has any privacy any more, we are all connected 24/7 and so on, and this is the basic premise. One of the kids receives an anonymous chain letter on his computer which implies that if he doesn't forward it to five friends someone will die. Lo and behold people do die. And here is the kicker, the killer uses a chain to kill all his victims. Clever huh?

Now considering kids are being butchered left, right and center there does not seem to be much going on to protect them. Keith (The Thing) David's detective character seems to be a one man army trying to get to the bottom of things, aided very briefly by Betsy (the Saw franchise) Russell's journalist. Brad (Halloween) Dourif stirs up the paranoia as a school teacher, and is probably the most enjoyable performance in this movie. These are all basically extended cameo roles though as the focus of the movie, as with any other slasher, is the kids. Fortunately none of them are too obnoxious, although you won't shed any tears when they die, and director Deon Taylor does manage to throw in the odd surprise to hold our attention.

Aside from the somewhat messy execution of ideas and plotting there is one area that does succeed, and succeed well, and that is the death scenes. These are gory, bloody affairs that leave little to the imagination, so if you are going to rent or buy this movie I suggest getting the Unrated version. I picked up the 2-Disc releae which has both the Unrated and the R rated version and have no desire to sit through the theatrical version. The killer is played by Michael Bailey Smith, who you may remember from the Hill Have Eyes redux from a few years back, but to tell the truth he could have been played by anyone. Don't expect any answers or deep rooted analysis as to why he's doing what he's doing as this film doesn't really answer any questions. It starts with a bang and finishes almost just as abruptly.

As to whether you will enjoy Chain Letter will depend entirely what your expectation levels are. If you want a fairly mindless gory slasher then you will probably get a fair amount of enjoyment out of it. If you want a well thought out inciteful look at the horrors of modern technolgy you will be left very disappointed. For me it is the sort of movie I will just stick on when I am in the mood for gore and not much else. It is fairly well made and, as I mentioned, the death scenes are fun. Chain Letter may have sat in limbo for three years and dated the main plot but there is fun to be had here.

Review by Jude Felton