Blu-ray Review: MOUNTAINTOP MOTEL MASSACRE

MOUNTAINTOP MOTEL MASSACRE Blu-ray | ©2019 Vinegar Syndrome

Rated: R Stars: Bill Thurman, Anna Chappell, Will Mitchell Writer: Jim McCullough Jr. Director: Jim McCullough Sr. Distributor: Vinegar Syndrome Suggested Retail Price: $24.99 While not as well known as most slasher movies from the 1980s, MOUNTAINTOP MOTEL MASSACRE is a curious relic from the era that has actually aged quite gracefully. Directed by Jim McCullough Sr. and written by Jim McCullough Jr. , the film mixes PSYCHO with standard slasher fare for an occasionally spooky and atmospheric ride accompanied by a creepy score by Rob Dilulio. The film begins with the introduction of Mountaintop Motel proprietor Evelyn (Anna Chappell), […]Read On »

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Blu-ray Review: NINJA III: THE DOMINATION Collector’s Edition

NINJA III: THE DOMINATION Blu-ray | ©2018 Shout! Factory

Stars: Sho Kosugi, Lucinda Dickey, Jordan Bennett Writer: James R. Silke Director: Sam Firstenberg Distributor: Shout! Factory Suggested Retail Price: $27.99 The output of infamous exploitation production company Cannon Films from the 1980s was filled with action films starring Chuck Norris, Charles Bronson, Michael Dudikoff, but their other magic touch was riding the wave of current trends and then remixing them out of the stratosphere. In addition to the conventional break dancing films BREAKIN’ and the far more memorable sequel title of BREAKIN’ 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO, they hit their apex in trend squatting with NINJA III: THE DOMINATION in 1984. […]Read On »

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Blu-ray Review: SCREAM FOR HELP

SCREAM FOR HELP Blu-ray | ©2018 Shout! Factory

Stars: Rachael Kelly, David Brooks, Marie Masters, Rocco Sisto, Lolita Lorre Writer: Tom Holland Director: Michael Winner Distributor: Shout! Factory Suggested Retail Price: $29.99 In 1984, DEATH WISH director Michael Winner explored the slasher genre with the utterly ridiculous SCREAM FOR HELP. Essentially an R-rated Afterschool Special, the film focuses on teen Christie Cromwell (Rachael Kelly) who is deeply suspicious of her mom’s new husband Paul Fox (David Brooks). With strange events happening around the house, she starts to suspect he’s trying to kill her and her mom for inheritance money. During the first half of the film, Christie plays […]Read On »

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Blu-ray Review: NIGHT OF THE LEPUS

NIGHT OF THE LEPUS Blu-ray | ©2018 Shout! Factory

Stars: Stuart Whitman, Janet Leigh, Rory Calhoun, DeForest Kelley Writer: Don Holliday and Gene R. Kearney based on the novel by Russell Braddon Director: William F. Claxton Distributor: Shout! Factory Suggested Retail Price: $22.96 Every once and awhile, you’ll scratch your heard and wonder “How did that film get made?” Usually it’s a film so utterly sincere and yet clueless at the same time, you just watch the train wreck unfold and enjoy it for what it is. Such is the case of curious 1972 science fiction thriller NIGHT OF THE LEPUS. MGM originally called the film RABBITS based on […]Read On »

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Blu-ray Review: HELL NIGHT Collector’s Edition

HELL NIGHT Blu-ray | ©2017 Shout Factory

Stars: Vincent Van Patten, Kevin Brophy, Jenny Neumann, Suki Goodwin, Jimmy Sturtevant, Peter Barton Writer: Randoph Feldman Director: Tom DeSimone Distributor: Scream Factory Suggested Retail Price: $34.93 As most of the classic and cult 1980s horror films have been given their Blu-ray special edition due, there are still a handful of leftovers yet to see the high-def light of day. Thankfully, Shout! Factory (via their Scream Factory label) has knocked another one of those Holy Grail titles off the list with 1981’s HELL NIGHT. Produced by Compass International Pictures (responsible for 1978’s HALLOWEEN and later cult faves 1980s FADE TO […]Read On »

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Blu-ray Review: INTO THE NIGHT – Collector’s Edition

INTO THE NIGHT Blu-ray Collector's Edition | INTO THE NIGHT movie poster | ©2017 Shout Factory

Stars: Jeff Goldblum, Michelle Pfeiffer, Richard Farnsworth, Irene Papas, Kathryn Harrold Writer: Ron Koslow Director: John Landis Distributor: Shout! Factory Suggested Retail Price: $27.99 While you may know John Landis from his successful comedies (ANIMAL HOUSE, THE BLUES BROTHERS, TRADING PLACES) or his horror efforts (AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, Michael Jackson’s THRILLER video), many of his projects  that fall in between are worth a second look. While I was never a fan of his 1992 vampire film INNOCENT BLOOD, its recent release on Blu-ray (and taken for what it is, which is a vampire crime thriller) has aged rather […]Read On »

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Blu-ray Review: RAISING CAIN

RAISING CAIN Blu-ray | ©2016 Shout! Factory

Stars: John Lithgow, Lolita Davidovich, Steven Bauer, Frances Sternhagen Writer/Director: Brian De Palma Distributor: Shout! Factory Suggested Retail Price: $24.93 I was never a huge fan of Brian De Palma’s 1992 thriller RAISING CAIN. Bringing the director back to his early thriller roots (like DRESSED TO KILL and BLOW OUT) that were drenched deeply in Alfred Hitchcock suspense and callbacks, CAIN came off as a trainwreck of a movie mixing tones and themes but never truly satisfying. Was it supposed to be a comedy? A thriller? A black comedy? A parody of other De Palma films? While there was an […]Read On »

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Blu-ray Review: NIGHTMARES

NIGHTMARES Blu-ray | ©2015 Shout! Factory

Stars: Cristina Raines, Emilio Estevez, Lance Henriksen, Richard Masur, Veronica Cartwright Writers: Christopher Crowe, Jeffrey Bloom Director: Joseph Sargent Distributor: Shout! Factory Suggested Retail Price: $29.99 Despite its uneven quality, 1983’s NIGHTMARES has been a much desired film to get a much-deserved Blu-ray release. Originally salvaging rejected scripts from the 1981 anthology TV series DARKROOM (because they were too intense), producer (and writer of three of the stories) Christopher Crowe took the scripts and transformed them into a four-part anthology film. With all anthology movies, the entries a pretty hit and miss – and the lengths vary as well – […]Read On »

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Blu-ray Review: PROM NIGHT (Special Edition)

PROM NIGHT Special Edition Blu-ray | ©2014 Synapse Films

Stars: Leslie Nielsen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Casey Stevens Writer: William Gray from a story by Robert Guza Jr. Director: Paul Lynch Distributor: Synapse Films Suggested Retail Price: $24.95 The 1980 slasher film PROM NIGHT is not a perfect movie by any means. In fact, many late 1970s and early 1980s horror films so dearly missed the mark, they’re better off not being remembered. PROM NIGHT stands somewhere in the middle. One of many slasher knock-offs to feature HALLOWEEN star Jamie Lee Curtis, the other was 1980’s TERROR TRAIN and strangely both contain many of the same problems – and strangely […]Read On »

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Blu-ray Review: THE WALKING DEAD – THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON

THE WALKING DEAD - Season 4 Blu-ray | ©2014 AMC

Stars: Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Lauren Cohan, Chandler Riggs, Danai Gurira, Steven Yeun, Melissa McBride, Scott Wilson Suggested Retail Price: $69.98 Distributor: Anchor Bay Entertainment Even when you have the tendency to rip apart THE WALKING DEAD for its occasionally slow and plodding storytelling, it continues to do things normal TV series never dare tread – be bold and expectation-defying. THE WALKING DEAD, in four seasons, has provided a lush, rich zombie apocalypse – the closest we’ve ever had to a TV series capturing the complexities and nuances of the best of zombie feature films, most notably the cannon of […]Read On »

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