Tuesday, September 26, 2006

New on DVD (09/26/06)...

This week’s TV sets [S=Season, CS=Complete Series]

The Batman S2; Benny Hill Set 5; Book of Daniel CS; Brotherhood S1; Chris Rock Show S1&2; Daniel Boone S1; Daniel Boone S2; Dick Tracy Complete Animated Series; Ellen S4; Ghost Whisperer S1; Mama’s Family S1; One Tree Hill S3; Riptide S1; Teen Titans S2; Thriller S1 (British show, not the old Karloff hosted series, sadly); Voltron 1 Defender of the Universe


Brentwood, which used to put the crappiest pd DVDs out there, has refashioned itself into a company hawking a huge and distinct variety of double feature imprints, including horror (“Crypt of Terror”) and more general exploitation fare (“Starlite Drive In Theater”). At the very least, their wares are usually decent, and allow for tons of very obscure films to be made available at cheap prices, with the double features usually selling well under ten dollars. This weeks offerings include:

Crypt of Terror: Land of the Minotaur / Terror Two Euro horrors from the ‘70s. The first film revolves around a pagan cult and features Donald Pleasance and Peter Cushing. The second appears to be a supernatural slasher type affair.

Starlite Drive-In Theatre: Madmen of Mandoras & The Devil’s Hand MoM was the film later padded out and released as They Saved Hitler’s Brain. Both (!) versions of the film are provided, with MoM supposedly having the better presentation. The Devil’s Hand (not, as previously indicated, Bride of the Monster) is a satanic cult movie starring Robert Alda.

Starlite Drive-In Theater: The Pom Pom Girls/The Van Two ‘70s Animal House-esque sexploitation flicks.

VCI, meanwhile, offers a “Movie Bad Girls Double Feature”, featuring Sins of Jezebel (1951) and Queen of the Amazons (1953). If this line continues, some great camp might be forthcoming.

With Halloween approaching, several well-known horror films are getting special edition releases.

Most notably, Universal has dipped into the classic monsters well again to offer two-disc “75th Anniversary Editions,” the latest re-issues, of the 1931 Dracula and Frankenstein. Each set features the film; the Dracula set again (I think) offers the discrete Mexican version as well; along with the attendant extras from the older releases; and some new stuff, including a second feature commentary for each film.

Dark Waters The Spanish horror flick gets a two-disc special edition.

The Dead Zone SE

Dust Devil The Final Cut 5-disc (yes, five discs) HD “final cut” the cult horror pic, a reconstruction of the original and longer work print, three of the director’s non-related documentaries, a commentary, making-of featurettes, production diaries, deleted footage, interviews, comic-book, CD soundtrack and more.

Nightmare on Elm Street Special Edition

Pet Semetary Special Edition

Street Trash: Special Edition Two commentary tracks, two-hour long making-of documentary, the original 16mm short version and more.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Ultimate Edition (The original film.) This is from the fine folks at Dark Sky Video, and hence should be a pretty solid package.

Beowulf & Grendel Stellan Skarsgård is King Hrothgar is this retelling of the olde classic.

Frankenstein, El Vampiro Y Compania IN SPANISH ONLY, NO ENGLISH SUBTITLES Mexican remake of Abbott & Costello Meets Frankenstein. Famous Monsters used to talk about this one back in the day, but nobody had actually seen it.

Frankenstein: The True Story Interesting revisionist (despite the title) retelling of Shelley’s novel, made for TV in the ‘70s. Stars James Mason as Frankenstein’s mentor, Michael Sarrazin as the Monster, and Jane Seymour as the would-be Bride.

Hands of Steel Simply hilarious Italian ‘80s sci-fier, due to be Jabootuized one of these days.

Highwaymen In the wake of the Traveling Wilburys, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Waylon Jennings formed the Country supergroup. This features one of their concerts.

Magical Mystery Tour Infamously awful, barely watchable Beatles TV special. Dreadful.

Munsters Two-Movie Fright Fest The theatrical feature and the much later TV movie.

Night of the Werewolf One of Paul Naschy’s endless werewolf movies, albeit via a new DVD imprint promising spiffy presentations of Spanish horror flicks.

Vengeance of the Zombies Another disc by the above mentioned Spanish horror line.


At 12:45 PM, Blogger Henry Brennan said...

Yes, the Dracua DVD does contain the Spanish version which, aside from not having Bela as the Count, is, in many ways, superior to the Tod Browning version.

I also look forward to when "Thriller" (with Karloff). One of the scariest moments in my childhood was seeing the episode where the evil scientist was using the dead for his experiments. The hero and his lady are trapped -


The hero escapes - but the twist came when the hero sees his lady, now as a corpse, made into part of the experiment. Thus, we have a startling "the hero doesn't win" ending.

At 1:12 PM, Blogger BeckoningChasm said...

"Queen of the Amazons" is pretty boring; anyone looking for "bad girls" type thrills is going to come away with naught.

I wonder if the Dick Tracy cartoons are the old ones from the 70's?

Bad Guy to cornered Dick Tracy: Any last requests?
DT: I'd like one last cigarette.
BG: Here you go [hands DT cigarette] Hey waitaminute, Dick Tracy don't smoke!
DT: That's right, smoking's bad for your health! [Uses cigarette to detonate something and escape]

At 1:52 PM, Blogger Cullen M. M. Waters said...

Man. I saw the title "Thriller" and almost jumped out of my skin with glee. Too bad it's the wrong one. Boris Karloff's "Thriller" needs to come to DVD.

Or back on cab;e. Either or, realy.

At 2:14 PM, Blogger Henry Brennan said...

As far as "Thriller" - nothing official on DVD, of course. (I'm still waiting for the 2nd "Night Gallery" set). The expensive route (as always):

At 2:51 PM, Blogger Ken Begg said...

I agree utterly about the Mexican Dracula, which only thus serves to demonstrate how essential Lugosi was to making Dracula a near great movie. Better in every way but at it's very heart, it proves Lugosi saw Dracula.

Hopefully with more old B&W shows coming out, and with horror always a favorite, Thriller will hit DVD shelves soon.


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