This probably should more accurately be titled, “Blu-ray and DVD Titles *I* Missed During the Holidays” as yes I took a bit of time off from the whole review circuit. So in case you were like me and maybe passed on reading stuff or didn’t keep up with what went down over the holidays, check out this list of stuff that was released on video these past few weeks.
MARQUIS DE SADE’S JUSTINE – This is the first of two Blue Underground films that were released during the holiday season and it is a doozy. Starring Romina Power it documents the horrible journey of Justine, a virgin that just can’t catch a break. Sher is forced into prostitution but escapes, attacked by ravenous lesbians but escapes, framed for a murder but escapes and forced to join a sadistic cult but escapes. Luckily, in the end it all works out but what a hell of a time getting there. Power by the way is pretty much as hot as balls as they come and it is a shame she didn’t do more gigs before retiring. Of course, this is a Jess Franco film and if you are familiar with his work he frequently over the course of his career did films exactly like this – hot chicks put in terrible situations with plenty of nudity, blood, crazy characters and even crazier situations. This one interestingly enough has a role played by Jack Palance as an evil monk that is just bananas and you will never guess this guy was a highly trained Hollywood actor given his role here. The cool thing is that Blue Underground has completely restored the film and offers it in a 4K high definition.
EUGENIE – The second of the Blue Underground release from last month is another Euro sleaze classic called EUGENIE. Which just so happens to also be directed by Jess Franco. It stars Marie Liljedahl who is another one of these European beauties that did a few of these softcore porn flicks and then disappeared into the night without doing so much more than she probably should have. The story revolves around an innocent woman that gets wrapped up in a world of pleasure and pain as well as drugs, crazy individuals, murder and much more. It is a weird display of boobs and blood that only Franco can do. The cool thing here is that this is the first time it has been offered on Blu-ray and includes a 4K transfer. Even better is that Blue Underground has converted the film in its original uncut format. See in the past they cut these type of movies to all hell because at the time it was seen as too extreme. Nowadays it is tame by comparison so giving it an uncut treatment is the proper way to deliver it here.
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO SOLANGE? – Continuing our trip through Europe comes another forgotten gem that has been newly restored and debuts for the first time on Blu-ray from Arrow Video – that has been doing God’s work over the past year delivering a number of cool titles that have long been out of print or never before in high definition. This is more of a giallo flick that a knife-wielding killer that is taking out a number of schoolgirls at a Catholic school. One girl witnesses who did it but she isn’t around long enough to help out. Along the way, a search begins for a mysterious girl known as Solange that is a key suspect/witness to what is going on. This has all the classic makings of a European giallo with a black-gloved killer, detectives on the hunt, twist regarding who the killer might be, loads of young girls getting chopped up and more. So if you have been missing out on your serial killer fix, this one has it in spades.
PAN – While it was panned by the critics (see what I did there), there’s no denying that there is something magical about Peter Pan and the story of the boy that become a beacon for orphaned children. There will no doubt continue to be big screen adaptations of the classic tales that we have all come to love, Disney already has a number of them planned and this probably won’t stop Warner Bros from making them either but maybe something might be said about the amount of CG being used. Especially given the success of STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS and its generous use of props (while it still used CG it wasn’t in your face at every moment). Now, on to PAN, sure it is CG rich and the storyline is thin and kind of a head scratcher but kids still enjoy it despite all this because kids love stories that involve children doing amazing things. So at least check it out if you have kids and they are aching for something new because it might fit the bill.
OLD 37 – Kane Hodder and Bill Moseley as brother serial killers that masquerade as paramedics in order to grab victims before real help arrives sounds like it should be a slam dunk. Unfortunately, OLD 37 is not. Don’t get me wrong there is plenty to enjoy about this slasher with a good amount of gore and loads of kills of high school kids that probably deserve what is coming to them. But the problem is too much of the focus is on basic high school issues such as fitting in and movie heroine Amy (Caitlin Harris) getting a boob job in order to woo a jock. Of course, there is also a bumbling detective that seems to never be able to put the pieces together before it is too late. So indeed it is filled with so many clichés that it negatively effects the good in the movie, which is indeed the top two draws in Hodder and Moseley who do their vile best to give it all they got. So if you don’t mind sitting through some annoying aspects, the gore and kills are enjoyable. OLD 37 is available now on VOD everywhere.
BONE TOMAHAWK – This already been reviewed by AssignmentX (which you can check out here), but this is a fine example of how not all direct-to-video titles are just plain sh** these days. It has an all-star cast with Kurt Russell, Matthew Fox, Patrick Wilson, Sid Haig, David Arquette and more. It is a very suspenseful Western about a group of cannibal Indians (who knew?) that kidnap some local town folk and the sheriff (Russell) and a few of the townsfolk gather to bring them back. Naturally, things don’t go exactly has planned and what begins as a thriller Western turns into a gnarly horror flick with some of the most brutal scenes displayed all year on film. So despite what it appears to be, horror fans will be handsomely rewarded once it gets going. But that doesn’t mean those that enjoy Westerns won’t enjoy it as well, just bring a strong stomach.
Article Source: Assignment X
Article: Blu-ray and DVD Reviews for the Week of December 8, 2015