HK and Cult Film News's Fan Box

Thursday, September 30, 2010

"THE LOST TRIBE" from Image Entertainment -- coming to DVD October 19th

PRAY THEY NEVER FIND YOU…

FROM IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT -- THE LOST TRIBE

Discovered on DVD October 19


Chatsworth, CA – Scientists and historians have often been warned about the knowledge they uncover.  Too late, they learn that there are some truths best kept hidden. On October 19, Image Entertainment will present The Lost Tribe, a lesson in terror and hair-raising revelation.  A horror-thriller cast against the lush and humid jungle, The Lost Tribe continues the sultry tradition of Predator and “Lost” and will be available at an SRP of $27.97.  Pre-book is September 21st. 

On a remote tropical island, a primeval secret lurks that is so dangerous, the archeologists that ultimately discover it do not live to reveal their awful findings.  Then, when five friends are shipwrecked on that same island, they find the secret waiting for them:  a tribe of humanoids – strong, ravenous, and with a taste for the hunt as well as for human flesh.   Faced with these remnants of prehistory, this group of friends becomes the hunted, and must relay on their own animal instincts to survive.

Starring Golden Globe® nominee Lance Henriksen (Terminator, Aliens), Emily Foxler (Ghosts of Girlfriends Past), Nick Mennell (Friday the 13th, Halloween), Hadley Fraser (“Doctor Who”) and Brianna Brown (40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up), The Lost Tribe is part mystery and part horrific discovery:  a vision of evolution that has become twisted and malevolent.  When this savage population is discovered, there is the promise of danger…but is there hope of escape?

Bonus features on The Lost Tribe DVD include:
Feature Commentary with Producer Mohit Ramchandani and Actor Hadley Fraser
Behind the Scenes
Trailer

Image Entertainment, Inc. is a leading independent licensee and distributor of entertainment programming in North America , with approximately 3,000 exclusive DVD titles and approximately 340 exclusive CD titles in domestic release and more than 450 programs internationally via sublicense agreements. For many of its titles, the Company has exclusive audio and broadcast rights, as well as digital download rights to over 2,100 video programs and approximately 400 audio titles containing more than 5,600 individual tracks. The Company is headquartered in Chatsworth , California . For more information about Image Entertainment, Inc., please go to www.image-entertainment.com.

The Lost Tribe - DVD
Genre:              Thriller, Horror, Drama, Adventure, Feature Film
Rating: Not Yet Rated
Languages:       English 
Format:            Anamorphic Widescreen (2.35:1)
Audio:              Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:           English, Spanish
Year:                2009
SRP :                $27.97
Street Date:      October 19, 2010
Pre-Book:        September 21, 2010
Length:             90 minutes
UPC :                014381673722
Cat#:                KAV6737DVD

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

GANGSTER'S PARADISE: JERUSALEMA -- DVD review by porfle


With Rapulana Seiphemo giving a deftly controlled performance in the lead role of South African crime lord Lucky Kunene, the fact-based GANGSTER'S PARADISE: JERUSALEMA (2008) isn't the sadistically violent crime thriller I was expecting.  Instead of killing his way to success, university dropout Lucky gets there by using his keen business acumen against South Africa's crooked slumlords.

Not to say that the film isn't violent, because everyday life in Lucky's world can be deadly.  We join him and his best friend Zakes as kids under the unsavory influence of their hood-hero Nazareth (Jeffrey Zekele), who teaches them, among other things, how to carjack for a living.  These early scenes--some of which, unlike the rest of the film, are quite funny--reveal Lucky as a sensitive boy who cares for his family and wants to better himself by earning his way through college.  But the lure of easy money is too strong, and before long he and Zakes buy guns and are stealing cars and robbing stores. 

When Nazareth watches Michael Mann's HEAT on television one day, he gets the idea to duplicate that film's armored car robbery in the first overtly violent sequence, with the two shocked boys witnessing senseless death firsthand.  Later, their criminal mentor stages a "smash-and-grab" store robbery that results in a bullet-riddled bloodbath when scores of cops and security guards show up with guns blazing.  As in later action scenes, this shootout isn't designed as a flamboyantly cinematic setpiece like the ones in HEAT or SCARFACE, but is staged in a matter-of-fact style that makes it seem more realistic.

 
Lucky flees Soweto to crime-infested "Jo'burg" as a hunted fugitive, where we rejoin him ten years later driving a cab.  When he's almost killed by rival cabbies whose territory he's encroached on, Lucky decides to use his brains to get ahead.  That's when he hatches a scheme to force local slumlords out of their own buildings along with the drug dealers and hookers infesting them, and start collecting all that rent money himself.  Pretending to side with the tenants, he's hailed as a Robin Hood by the public while the police, led by Detective Swart (Robert Hobbs), make it their business to bring him down in any way necessary.  Lucky also makes an enemy in local drug kingpin Ngu, who turns one of Lucky's inside men against him and sets him up for the kill. 

The narrative style is lean and uncluttered as is the direction by Ralph Ziman (HEARTS AND MINDS, THE ZOOKEEPER), who also scripted.  When death comes, it's messy but quick--Ziman doesn't linger over scenes of sadism for its own sake.  Lucky himself would rather scheme his way out of dicey situations and rarely takes the violent route, trying instead to bend the law to his own uses while flaunting his saintly image in the eyes of his tenants.  Still, his ongoing clash with drug dealer Ngu inevitably leads to all-out warfare with a blazing shootout in a nightclub coming as one of the film's action highlights.
 

Seiphemo is impressive as Lucky Kunene, whom we tend to side with since he lacks the cold-hearted cruelty of the usual screen criminal.  Jeffrey Zekele's Nazareth exudes cool efficiency as a killer who does Lucky's dirty work, whether pushing unwanted tenants through windows when they refuse to leave by the door, or impulsively executing an ousted slumlord and his lawyer for mouthing off to Lucky.  Other performances of note include Ronnie Nyakale as loyal friend Zakes, Robert Hobbs as the dogged Detective Swart, and the lovely Shelley Meskin as Leah, a wealthy white woman who becomes Lucky's lover after he helps her out of a jam. 

The DVD from Anchor Bay is in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen and Dolby Digital 5.1 sound with English subtitles.  Extras include a commentary track with director Ziman, composer Alan Lazar, and actor Jaffa Mamabolo (young Lucky), plus deleted scenes and a trailer. 

While containing much of the same visceral excitement of other crime flicks, GANGSTER'S PARADISE: JERUSALEMA is more interesting as a solid and suspenseful character piece than a lurid bullet ballet--somehow, it manages to avoid being anywhere near as sordid and downbeat as it could've turned out.  But even if you demand your gangster films dripping with gooey GOODFELLAS goodness, you should find plenty to like here.


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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

TOP GEAR: THE COMPLETE SEASON 13 -- DVD review by porfle


I don't know the first thing about cars, but that didn't stop me from having a great time watching the BBC's TOP GEAR: THE COMPLETE SEASON 13.  The cars are stunning, the production values are first-rate, and the three hosts, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May, make for an entertaining comedy team.

The first of seven episodes on this three-disc set gets off to a fun start with an interesting challenge--pretend that it's 60 years in the past and have a three-man cross-country race in the most powerful automobile, motorcycle, and steam locomotive of the era.  As usual, the show opens with the first half of the challenge and closes with its conclusion.  While much of the verbal byplay between the hosts and the various mishaps they have along the way are obviously scripted, the suspense is real.

In other episodes, the trio must purchase used autos for a limited amount of money and either race them or compete in other ways which will decide which of the men has chosen his vehicle the most wisely.  A little friendy sabotage is often involved.  An arduous road rally in France tests these cars to their limit, some practically falling apart as they speed along.  My favorite challenge has the hosts having to pretend they're seventeen again and deal with the problems a teenager must face, such as sneaking their cars home after curfew with a minimum of noise. 

Some other good ones: Jeremy takes on the British Army and its armored (and heavily armed) vehicles with nothing but a tiny compact car; the boys take their dilapidated rear-wheel-drive heaps onto a crowded French ice track with wild results; James and Richard mail a letter at the southernmost tip of England and then try to beat it across the continent by road; and Jeremy and James try their hand at creating a new Volkwagen commercial with hilariously bad results.


These and other location segments are beautifully photographed and edited, and are thoroughly cinematic.  When the hosts are let loose behind the wheel of the latest supercar in order to weigh its plus and minus points, the result often resembles a cross between one of those high-end car commercials and an action flick.  Each car is judged by general performance, steering and cornering, and how it handles on the straightaway.

No matter how much or how little you know about cars, these stunning Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Aston Martins, and other mindboggling machines are captivating, and the unrestrained enthusiasm of the drivers is infectious.  Since most of us will never, ever, never, ever, ever be able to even make the down payment on anything like this, feasting our eyes on these gorgeous and incredibly-expensive fantasy machines is pure vehicle porn.  No need for the producers to dress this show up with sexy bikini babes--here, it's the cars that are sexy and you may find yourself flush with automotive lust. 

Between the location segments we go back to the studio, where the hosts recline on comfortable car-seat furniture amidst a live, in-the-round audience.  Scraggly-haired John May looks like a good-natured pub crawler while a more diminutive Richard Hammond is wiry and excitable. Jeremy Clarkson, the tall, older guy who seems wonderfully comfortable in his own skin, handles the interview segments with lighthearted ease.  His guests during season 13 include Michael Schumacher, Olympic track star Usain Bolt, actress Sienna Miller (G.I. JOE), AC/DC lead singer Brian Johnson, and "The Chin" himself, Jay Leno, who's well-known for his obsession with cars.


The engagingly funny hosts shoot the breeze about the latest automotive news and take part in other weekly features such as "star in a reasonably-priced car", in which celebrity guests take a spin around a private racetrack and compete for the best time.  Resident racecar driver The Stig, a mysterious figure who never removes his helmet, tests the newest cars and their laptimes are kept on a seperate board.  In the first episode of this set, the identity of The Stig is revealed--or is it?  The issue is never fully resolved.

This three-disc set from BBC Video contains seven hour-long episodes in 16:9 and Dolby Stereo, with English subtitles.  Extras include POV views of Stig racing different supercars around the track, a POV view of a Lamborghini Murcielago LP640-4 SV's 200 mph run down a straightaway in Abu Dhabi, some beautiful additional footage of Jeremy's steam locomotive adventure, and extended interviews with Brian Johnson and Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button. 

We get to see the hosts going airborne in WWII Spitfires, with Jeremy bursting with unrestrained childlike glee the whole time, and there's extra footage of stunt driver Ken Block's insane, mostly sideways high-speed run around a secluded airport's runway and outer buildings.  The latter features the most stunning shot of the whole collection--Block's racecar and a daredevil dirtbike rider launch themselves over a gorge simultaneously from an earthen ramp while a large cargo plane crosses the frame going the other way, all in super slow-motion.  It's absolutely ethereal.   

Most of the time, you couldn't get me to care one way or the other about cars.  Somehow, though, TOP GEAR: THE COMPLETE SEASON 13 managed to make the subject fascinating and fun.  It's a show for gearheads that you don't have to be a gearhead (or "petrolhead", as the Brits say) to enjoy.


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R.I.P. Gloria Stuart

Known these days mainly as "Old Rose" from TITANIC, Gloria Stuart is fondly-remembered by classic horror fans for her roles in the James Whale films THE OLD DARK HOUSE and THE INVISIBLE MAN.  

Gloria retired from the screen in her youth only to return decades later to appear in James Cameron's blockbuster film and gain fame all over again as the oldest Oscar nominee in history.  She died on Sunday, September 26, at the age of 100.   We'll always remember her with fond affection.


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Monday, September 27, 2010

"Legend of the Black Scorpion" Coming to Blu-Ray

ALL THE ACTION NOW IN HIGH-DEFINITION

‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ Zhang Ziyi Stars In This Story Filled With Elaborate Fight Choreography, Magnificent Costumes And Sweeping Cinematography

Arriving On Blu-ray Disc October 26 From Vivendi Entertainment And The Weinstein Company


“The world’s best action choreographer, Yuen Woo-Ping, might have topped himself.” - The Hollywood Reporter


Synopsis: International star Ziyi Zhang of Hero, Memoirs of a Geisha and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon dazzles in this breathtaking action epic inspired by Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Renowned action choreographer YuenWo-Ping (The Matrix and Kill Bill films) and the Academy Award®-winning art director* and composer** of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon create “an extravagant spectacle of sin, balletic violence and bloodthirsty politics” (New York Asian Film Festival). Nominated for seven 2007 Hong Kong Film Awards, Legend of the Black Scorpion Blu-ray (known internationally as The Banquet) is filled with astonishing action sequences like none you’ve ever seen.

Starring: Zhang Ziyi (Jet Li’s Hero, Memoirs of a Geisha and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), Yuen Woo-Ping (Fight Choreographer, Matrix and Kill Bill films), Timmy Yip (Oscar winner for Best Art Direction, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and Tan Dun (Oscar winner for Best Original Score, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)

Special Features:
·Audio Commentary By Hong Kong Cinema Expert Bey Logan
·Master Of Ceremonies: An Exclusive Interview with Director Feng Xiaogang
·Warrior Prince: An Exclusive Interview with Leading Man Daniel Wu
·A Dynasty Uncovered: Behind The Scenes on Legend of The Black Scorpion
·Trailer Gallery

Price: $19.97
Order Due Date: September 21, 2010
Street Date:                         October 26, 2010
MPAA Rating:                        Not Rated
DVD Catalog #:                        WN02708
Run Time:                                    126 minutes
Languages:             English & Mandarin
Subtitles:                English & Spanish

Our original review of the DVD

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"DEAR MR GACY" starring William Forsythe as John Wayne Gacy, on Blu-ray and DVD December 14th from Anchor Bay Entertainment

Imagine becoming pen pals with one of the most notorious serial killers of the 20th Century…

WILLIAM FORSYTHE STARS AS JOHN WAYNE GACY IN "DEAR MR. GACY"
FROM ANCHOR BAY ENTERTAINMENT

On Blu-ray™ and DVD December 14th


Beverly Hills , CA – Thirty-two years ago, one of the most grisly chapters in the history of American crime came to an end with the arrest of infamous serial killer John Wayne Gacy. But the story didn’t end with Gacy’s conviction and eventual execution. Anchor Bay Entertainment presents Dear Mr. Gacy, premiering on Blu-ray™ and DVD December 14th, based on the shocking true story and best-selling book “The Last Victim” by Jason Moss, with Jeffrey Kottler, M.D. Starring William Forsythe (Rob Zombie’s Halloween, 88 Minutes, The Devil’s Rejects) as John Wayne Gacy, with Jesse Moss (The Uninvited, Final Destination 3, “Stephen King’s The Dead Zone”), and Emma Lahana (Girlfriend Experience), Dear Mr. Gacy was produced by Tom Berry, Clark Peterson, producer of the Academy-Award® winning film Monster, and Kellie Madison. SRP for the DVD is $26.98, and $29.99 for the Blu-ray™. Pre-book is November 17th.

Dear Mr. Gacy recounts the experiences of 18-year-old college student Jason Moss and his relationship with the notorious Gacy. As part of a school assignment, Moss sends a letter to Gacy in prison, portraying himself as a vulnerable kid. Gacy, suspicious at first, subjects Moss to a series of tests before eventually trusting him. What follows is a psychological game of cat and mouse between two manipulators, in which Moss’ life is turned upside down. And when Gacy sends an invitation to visit him in prison for a private meeting, Jason accepts. Nobody could have ever predicted what would unfold inside the maximum security cell…

Dear Mr. Gacy Blu-ray™ and DVD include the behind-the-scenes featurette “The Gacy Files: Portrait of a Serial Killer,” a look into the making of the film based on facts of the case from the people that knew him best, featuring interviews with cast and crew and friends of John Wayne Gacy, along with the teaser & theatrical trailers.


DEAR MR. GACY Blu-ray™
Street Date:                  December 14, 2010    
Pre-book:                     November 17, 2010
Cat. #:                          BD22384
UPC:                            0 1313 22384-9 4
Run Time:                     103 minutes
Rating:                          MPAA Rating pending
SRP:                            $29.99
Genre:                          Thriller/Suspense
Format:                        Anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1)
Audio:                          Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Subtitles:                       English, Spanish

DEAR MR. GACY DVD
Street Date:                  December 14, 2010    
Pre-book:                     November 17, 2010
Cat. #:                          DV22379
UPC:                            0 1313 22379-9 2
Run Time:                     103 minutes
Rating:                          MPAA Rating pending
SRP:                            $26.98
Format:                        Anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1)
Audio:                          Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:                       English, Spanish


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Saturday, September 25, 2010

THE CLEVELAND SHOW: THE COMPLETE SEASON ONE -- DVD review by porfle


I watched the first episode of "Family Guy", hated it, and never tuned in again.  So when I heard that creator Seth MacFarlane had spun off one of the characters from that show into his own series, "The Cleveland Show", I wasn't exactly thrilled.  But about halfway through the first disc of THE CLEVELAND SHOW: THE COMPLETE SEASON ONE, I had to admit that, despite its faults, I was actually enjoying it.

"The Cleveland Show" breezily mocks the familiar stereotypical sitcom style, complete with a saccharine opening theme song by Walter Murphy and funky bumper music.  Cleveland Brown (Mike Henry), a pudgy, Reginald Veljohnson-type black guy who is much nicer and less cynical than his former neighbor Peter Griffin, has returned to his hometown of Stoolbend, Virginia to marry his high-school sweetheart, Donna Tubbs (Sanaa Lathan), and settle into suburban life. 

Cleveland's rotund son, Cleveland Jr. (Kevin Michael Richardson), a sensitive, kindhearted nerd, joins Donna's much hipper kids Roberta (Reagan Gomez) and precocious tyke Rallo (Mike Henry again) to form an oddly-matched new family.  They live across the street from a redneck couple named Lester and Kendra Krinklesac.  Cleveland's other neighbors include Holt Richter, a lonely middle-aged bachelor who lives with his mom, and a couple of very large bears named Tim and Arianna.  Yes, bears.  MacFarlane himself plays Tim, while Arianna sports the unmistakable voice of Arianna Huffington.  And they're bears.
 

The show whisks us through a rapid-fire series of off-kilter takes on the usual sitcom cliches, plus some not-so-familiar ones such as the time Cleveland and his hunky cable-guy partner Terry stumble into a bachelorette party and are mistaken for male strippers.  The groaningly obvious puns of "Family Guy" continue here as Cleveland remarks "I guess there's no harm in showing a little helmet", whereupon he reaches into his underwear and pulls out--you guessed it--a tiny football helmet.  "Look, it's the Redskins!  Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!"  Groan!!!

In the same episode ("Brotherly Love"), Junior seeks romantic advice from preschool playa Rallo after he falls for a pretty classmate named Chanel.  Rallo, the show's "Stewie" equivalent but not nearly as obnoxious, takes one look at Chanel, goes ga-ga, and starts scheming to sabotage Junior's efforts to woo her.  But they're both thwarted when Chanel's boyfriend Kenny shows up and challenges Junior to a rap contest.  (Kenny is voiced by Kanye West, who, surprisingly, lets Junior finish.)  Meanwhile, Terry has graduated from stripper to male prostitute, with a delighted Cleveland getting to be his "pimp."  That's a plotline I don't think they ever went into on "The Cosby Show."

The Black History Month episode has some fun moments, with Cleveland getting into a race-fueled slugfest with his white trash neighbor Lester and ending up being charged with a "hate crime."   Later, Lester's morbidly obese wife Kendra falls off a stool in her kitchen and lands butt-first on Rallo.  Trapped beneath half a ton of bloated flesh, the diminutive Rallo must find a way out of this death-trap before he's crushed.  When Donna gets wind of the situation she hijacks a "Brotherhood" parade float that Cleveland and Ernie were court-ordered to build together, screeching her way through the other floats in a nicely-animated action sequence. 

The show boasts a heavily-populated supporting cast, ensuring a wealth of storylines, and several characters are voiced by well-known names.  David Lynch appears as Gus, the bartender at the bar where Cleveland and the gang hang out.  Jamie Kennedy is Roberta's white rapper boyfriend Federline, and Jason Alexander appears as his father.  Other guest voices include Bruce McGill, Stacy Ferguson, Bebe Neuwirth, Seth Green, Stockard Channing, Jennifer Tilly, and Hall and Oates as Cleveland's good and evil angels. 

Unlike similar cartoons of years past, the limited animation style of "The Cleveland Show" is augmented by computer effects that give the movements of characters, automobiles, etc. much more of a "full animation" feel.  Vivid colors and beautifully-rendered backgrounds richly enhance the visuals in each episode, giving the show a strong aesthetic appeal.  Occasional musical interludes include the lavish and soulful "Balls Deep" (not what you think) in which a lovesick Junior is joined in song by NBA star Scottie Pippin.
 

While "The Cleveland Show" manages to radiate some of the same warmth as the standard family sitcom and its characters become more endearing over time, the show is still bursting with the same caustic frat humor of its predecessor.  Each line is a potential set-up for the next visual aside, which may consist of anything from an aging Clint Eastwood flushing his own balls down the toilet to the ghost of Bea Arthur screaming "God'll get you for that, Rallo!" from beyond the grave. 

These rapid-fire throwaway gags are so plentiful that the belly-laugh bullseyes make up for the frequent groaners.  Blacks, whites, Asians, gays, Jews, Eskimos--everyone is fair game.  The writers don't pull any punches, offering up merciless visual puns regarding Nicole Kidman and Meg Ryan's plastic surgeries or tossing off lines like this:

"Hey, you want another cold one?"
"Does Amy Winehouse pick at her skin a lot?"


The death of Cleveland's ex-wife Loretta is presented in rather graphic terms with guest star Peter Griffin delivering the tasteless coup de grĂ¢ce:  "Hey, look at her gross boobs!" (The unused alternate line is even worse.)  I won't even hint at what happens to her after Peter's friend Quagmire is charged with delivering the body to Stoolbend for the funeral. 

But perhaps the most over-the-top aspect of the show is its staunch dedication to gross-out humor.  Whether or not you like "The Cleveland Show" will depend a lot on your tolerance for some of the most extreme fart, vomit, and toilet jokes ever seen on television.  A prime example of this is the Thanksgiving episode, in which the Browns host Cleveland's parents along with Donna's weird and extremely flatulent Aunt Momma, who isn't quite what she seems.  The aftermath of an impromptu sexual tryst between Aunt Momma and Cleveland's macho father, Freight Train, involves literally gallons of vomit being retched like there's no tomorrow.

The four-disc set from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, containing all 21 first-season episodes, is widescreen with English 5.1 Dolby Digital sound.  Subtitles are in English, Spanish, and French.  Several episodes feature cast and crew commentaries, deleted and alternate scenes, and both censored-for-TV and uncensored versions (the latter retaining the unbleeped profanity).  "Meet Cleveland" is an entertaining featurette.  Earth, Wind, and Fire appear in a Christmas video for the song "Get Your Hump On", which is followed by a "making of" short.  Of particular interest is a table-read for the entire "Brotherly Love" episode.    

Even with its endlessly puerile "let's see what we can get away with on TV" humor, "The Cleveland Show" still manages to connect on an emotional level (albeit a superficial one) from time to time, making it considerably less disposable than it might have been.  Cleveland himself is a basically decent, likable lug who may remind you of a black Homer Simpson, and his family, aside from the underdeveloped Roberta character, is a fun bunch.  But the main goal of THE CLEVELAND SHOW: THE COMPLETE SEASON ONE, aside from being genuinely funny at times, is to be as outrageously offensive and tasteless as it can possibly be.  As such, I found it similar to an inflamed zit--it sorta grows on you.


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Friday, September 24, 2010

Walking Shadows Proudly Presents "Colin" -- Available on DVD Oct. 19





Award-Winning Zombie Horror Sensation & Cannes Film Festival Hit Made for $75

British Horror Phenomenon Invasion Hits DVD Oct. 19th

"The most touching film about a decomposing corpse you'll see all year." - FHM

"… brilliantly conceived … meditative, often genuinely funny film … one of the most heartening stories of modern cinema." - Filmstar

"A smart twist on the genre … a real gem." - Quiet Earth

"Original, compelling and as thought provoking as Romero's Night of the Living Dead." - Zombiefriends.com

"This film will revolutionize zombie cinema." - Scars Magazine

"A phenomenal achievement with terrific special effects." - ViewsLondon.co.uk


LOS ANGELES - Oct. 1, 2010 - For Immediate Release - Breathing new life into the undead is the British horror phenomenon Colin, about the life of a zombie told through his own eyes, stalking onto DVD Oct. 19 (distributed by Walking Shadows).

A surprise hit at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, Colin enjoyed a limited U.S. theatrical run in September/October and played to acclaim at numerous film festivals and horror conventions across the country. Colin won "Best Micro-budget Feature Film" at the Raindance Film Festival, the "Indie Spirit Award" at the South Africa Horrorfest, "Best Director" at the Buenos Aires Blood Red Film Festival and the "Special Jury Award" at the Revenant Film Festival. 

In Colin, life bites (literally!) for Colin (Alastair Kirton, Midnight) when, after becoming a zombie snack, he dies and returns as one of the undead. Wandering aimlessly through the streets of London, during the throes of a cadaverous apocalypse, we learn about Colin (from his perspective) … who he was and, more pertinently, what he has become, through his encounters with objects, places and people. With a broad-daylight, zombie-versus-human street battle, an epic housebound siege and endless gore, Colin is a terror-ific zombiefest not to be missed!

The brainchild of British writer-director Marc Price (Midnight, the upcoming Thunderchild), Colin breathes new life into a classic genre, offering an original, unique perspective-a story told through the zombie's eyes. Made for just $75, mostly spent on tea and cookies for his "zombies," Price relied on friends and Facebook to cast his legion of undead extras. 

Without funding, it was imperative to bring more enthusiasm to the film's set and apply extra innovation to problem solving (technical or otherwise). Taking 18 months to complete and shooting with a 10-year-old camcorder that repeatedly broke down, a determined Price borrowed what he needed and performed most crew roles himself while holding down a night-shift job as a taxi booker. 

Colin is available as a single-disc standard DVD release and in a special, two-disc, standard DVD collector's set with expanded bonus material of an additional 68 minutes.

Colin is presented in full frame with an aspect ratio of 4 x 3 (1.33:1) and stereo sound. Special features include director's commentary. Additionally, expanded bonus material on the two-disc DVD edition includes "Making of Colin" documentary, deleted scenes, deleted scenes commentary, original trailer and Price's new short film, The End.  For more information, visit www.colinmovie.com.

About Walking Shadows:
Walking Shadows, based in Beverly Hills, Calif., is a motion picture and DVD producer and distributor. Under the direction of Alex Nohe - who has consulted on such hit films as the Oscar-winning Gods & Monsters, Oscar-nominated Waco: The Rules of Engagement, Trekkies (Paramount), Michael Moore's The Big One (Miramax), Mayor of the Sunset Strip (First Look) and Bubba Ho-Tep, among others - the company specializes in marketing quality independent, foreign, arthouse, genre and documentary films for theatrical, television, DVD and digital applications. Included in its library are such notable documentaries as I Have Never Forgotten You: The Life and Legacy of Simon Wiesenthal, I Shot JFK, Milarepa: Magician, Murderer, Saint and Burning Man: The Burning Sensation; the award-winning German film Beautiful Bitch; and the hit horror films Re-Cycle and Colin. Visit us at www.walkingshadows.com.

Colin
Walking Shadows
Genre:    Horror/Zombie/Bloodbath
Not Rated
Format:    DVD Only
Running Time:    DVD (1 Disc) - 97 Minutes (Including Special Features)
    2-DISC SPECIAL EDITION - 97 Minutes
    (Plus 68 Minutes of Special Features)
SRP:     DVD - $19.95
    2-DISC SPECIAL EDITION - $29.95
Pre-Order Date:     September 28, 2010
Street Date:    October 19, 2010
Catalog #s:    DVD - WS2015
    2-DISC SPECIAL EDITION - WS2017
UPC Codes:    DVD - #649241901860
    2-DISC SPECIAL EDITION - #649241901853

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

THAT EVENING SUN -- DVD review by porfle


From the looks of it, I thought this was going to be a drippy, golden-hued "Hallmark Hall of Fame"-type movie meant to comfort and inspire.  Instead, THAT EVENING SUN (2009) is one of those simmering rural Southern dramas where slow-burning tensions inevitably boil over, and the resulting tragedies are as subtle as a dying flame.

We find Hal Holbrook's Abner Meecham walking out of the nursing home--or, as he calls it, a "dead people factory"--that his son Paul has placed him in, and making his way back to the farm where he once lived with his late wife, Ellen.  He finds that Paul has leased the place to a ne'er-do-well named Lonzo Choat (Ray McKinnon) and his family, who have no intention of leaving.  Abner moves uninvited into the sharecropper's shack next to the house, and a bitter battle of wills ensues.

With an authentic backwoods atmosphere that's downscale and realistic as opposed to a Tennessee Williams-style "Southern Gothic", THAT EVENING SUN invites us to gear down and settle into its molasses-paced story of ordinary people with tragically conflicting interests.  As such, I found it somewhat similar to Billy Bob Thornton's SLING BLADE, but with more subtle shades of good and evil.


Lonzo, for example, is described by Abner as "white trash" living off his disability checks, and has never amounted to anything his entire life.  As Abner reminds him, Lonzo can't get a crop in because his equipment is broken down, and neither can he plant roots for his family because he isn't equipped for that kind of growth, either.  Yet by leasing the farm--in which he's clearly in over his head--he's at least attempting to take on some responsibility and improve their lives.  While Lonzo is a sullen, resentful drunk with a violent temper, and is capable of committing vile deeds, by the end of the film we're still trying to figure him out. 

Ray McKinnon, best known by me as Long Bill Coleman in DEAD MAN'S WALK and COMANCHE MOON and as the gate guard who first spreads the plague in THE STAND, turns in one of his best performances in the role.  As his wife Ludie, Carrie Preston has the tentative demeanor and vulnerability of Amanda Plummer, and is especially effective when the insecure Ludie is desperately trying to mold the uncertainties that surround her into a semblance of normalcy.  Mia Wasikowska is appealing as their 16-year-old daughter Pamela, a typical teen who makes a connection with Abner because his strength of character intrigues her.

Holbrook's wife Dixie Carter plays the late Ellen Meecham in a number of wistful flashbacks.  Barry Corbin (LONESOME DOVE, WARGAMES) appears as Abner's old friend Thurl, who offers moral support.  Walton Goggins, one of the film's producers (McKinnon is another), plays Abner's son Paul.  His scenes with Holbrook are another source of conflict as the son tries to convince the father that the time has come to let go of his old life.


Hal Holbrook, of course, is a joy to watch as the stubborn, crotchety old man who hates seeing "that evening sun" going down on his life before he's done living it.  We side with Abner as he fights to regain his farm and his dignity, and fear for him when the conflict begins to escalate.  Even so, Holbrook never plays the part as a saintly martyr and we see his faults as well as his virtues.  One of the strengths of the story is that our sympathies are never allowed to rest too firmly on one side or the other. 

The DVD from Image Entertainment is 2.35:1 with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround and English and Spanish subtitles.  Extras include a director's commentary, a series of in-depth "making of" featurettes, cast and crew interviews, and a trailer. 

THAT EVENING SUN is the sort of slow, involving drama that rewards a viewer's patience with its emotional resonance.  It also reminds us that some conflicts burn hot enough to leave smoldering ashes on both sides.


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Monday, September 20, 2010

FROZEN -- DVD review by porfle


"Predicament" movies are weird.  If they're done badly, they're boring, but if they're done well, they can be torture to endure.  So the only way to judge a movie about stranded people struggling to survive the elements, or trying not to get devoured by man-eating sharks or giant crocodiles, is by how unpleasant it is to watch.  FROZEN (2010) is unpleasant all right, though perhaps not quite the ultimate ordeal the filmmakers were aiming for.

The set-up is about as simple as it gets--three college kids go skiing for the weekend, get stuck on the ski-lift as the lodge closes for the week, and must either figure out a way to get down or slowly freeze to death.  Dan (Kevin Zegers, IT'S A BOY GIRL THING, Zack Snyder's DAWN OF THE DEAD) and Lynch (Shawn Ashmore, "Iceman" in the X-MEN movies) are childhood buddies who have grudgingly invited Dan's girlfriend Parker (newcomer Emma Bell), a novice skier, along on what is usually a "guy" outing. 

Like your typical teen movie, FROZEN begins with the three friends frolicking on the slopes to jaunty rock music and engaging in insubstantial dialogue back at the lodge, with the hint of romantic complications cropping up amongst them.  It's only when the ski-lift suddenly stops as they head up the mountain for one last late-night run that the harsh reality of the "predicament" flick hits our now totally helpless trio with a sickening thud.  While at first it seems like the set-up for an episode of "Seinfeld", they gradually realize that they're in big trouble and the viewer settles in for the ordeal to come.


To the movie's credit, the formerly lighthearted tone turns dark pretty quick as the hopeless situation goes shockingly wrong.  We've only had a brief time to get to know the characters, who aren't all that deep to begin with, but we've been made to care about them just enough to cringe during their increasingly desperate attempts to save themselves.  Meanwhile, they're buffeted by icy cold sleet and stricken with frostbite, and--wouldn't you know it--the bolts holding their ski-lift chair in place are coming loose.

With only three characters, you know something bad's going to happen to somebody sooner or later.  It proves to be sooner when one of them decides to jump, hoping the snow will break the fall.  It doesn't.  At that point, the film offers its equivalent to those man-eating sharks and giant crocodiles when a pack of ravenous wolves emerges from the forest.  This leaves only one remaining course of action--climbing up to the razor-sharp cable overhead and dangling hand-over-hand to the nearest support tower, where a ladder awaits.  Again, the suspense is painfully nerve-wracking.


Performances by the leads are as good as they need to be, with Emma Bell ably supplying most of the histrionics (especially when she starts worrying about what will happen to her dog if she dies).  Writer-director Adam Green (HATCHET, GRACE) wrings a good deal of tension from his simple premise and uses the camera well, with most or all of the outdoor scenes shot on location to establish a realistic sense of windswept isolation.  The stuntwork is coordinated by Jason Voorhees himself, Kane Hodder, who plays a bit part in the film. 

The DVD from Anchor Bay is in 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen with English Dolby Surround 5.1 and Spanish Mono.  Subtitles are in English and Spanish.  Extras include a commentary track with director Green and the three lead actors, plus four "making of" featurettes, altered and deleted scenes, a trailer, and an Easter egg. 

Not quite as gruelingly suspenseful as BLACK WATER or some other films of its ilk, FROZEN is still one of the most nail-biting flicks I've seen in recent years.  I doubt if it will have much rewatch value for me, but it's just the thing to get the old adrenaline going. 


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Sunday, September 19, 2010

PARTY DOWN: SEASON TWO -- DVD review by porfle


Hollywood--the land of broken dreams, where starry-eyed hopefuls struggle for that ever-elusive chance at fame.  A precious few realize their dreams and become stars.  The rest become caterers.  PARTY DOWN: SEASON TWO is their story.

I missed the first season of this Starz comedy series, so the first episode was a little rough going for me.  But it doesn't take long to catch on and warm up to these characters and their interactions.  Henry Pollard (a deadpan Adam Scott), who has given up on acting after a few bit parts and commercials, has been promoted to team leader and is having trouble handling the responsibilities and keeping his lackadasical crew in line.  He's replacing Ron Donald (Ken Marino), who left for an unsuccessful five-month run as manager of a soup restaurant and returns to the group as a disillusioned drone.  Ron's a by-the-book company man whose ambitions to rise within the "Party Down" corporate ranks are hampered by both his emotional instability and his inherent goofiness.

Henry's former girlfriend, struggling actress-comedienne Casey (Lizzy Caplan), spends more time on the phone with her agent than working.  Their relationship will begin to heat up again although Henry is currently dating Uda Bengt (Kristin Bell), the uber-efficient boss of a rival catering company.  Kyle (Ryan Hansen) is a pretty-boy doofus trying to break into the Hollywood B-List while stuck in DTV hell, and Roman (Martin Starr) is a functioning nerd who writes "hard sci-fi" screenplays that are unproduceable.

Last but not least, Megan Mullally ("Will & Grace") plays Lydia, a ditzy divorcee and stage mom to her sullen 13-year-old daughter, Escapade.  Mullally plays Lydia's perky optimism and ultra-clueless naivete to a tee and adds comic zing to every scene that she's in.  Lydia's constantly on the prowl for an available man to hook up with, even if he's a stiff-assed estate lawyer hosting a dreadfully unsuccessful "orgy" to celebrate his divorce. 

"Party Down" is done in the same documentary style as "Curb Your Enthusiasm" but lacks both that show's concentrated hilarity and the comic giddiness of a "Seinfeld."  Still, this low-key show is fun and easy to watch.  The comedy develops naturally out of the situations, as a variety of settings keeps things fresh and generates a new comic energy with each episode.


This is especially true when the gang caters the New Age wedding of former member Constance Carmell (the brilliant Jane Lynch, A MIGHTY WIND, BEST IN SHOW) as she prepares to marry an aging movie producer played by the great Alex Rocco (THE GODFATHER's "Moe Green").  The predominantly Jewish assemblage is aghast when Kyle's emo band performs a song whose lyrics are misconstrued as grossly anti-Semitic ("Holo-what?" Kyle asks when Constance stops him mid-song.) 

In another episode, guest star Steve Guttenberg must cancel his party at the last minute but then invites the gang and their friends into his mansion anyway for a day of fun and games.  With so many aspiring actors on hand, Steve directs an impromptu reading of one of Roman's awful sci-fi scripts.  Later, Henry and Casey are on the verge of rekindling their romance in the jacuzzi when a naked Steve hops in, followed by everyone else. 

While catering an after-party for a community theater group, a series of romantic miscommunications between the actors and the Party Down crew results in complications that mirror the kind of old-style farce that's just been performed onstage.  (It's funnier than it sounds.)  The Party Down company picnic forms the backdrop for another episode that's filled with amusing subplots, and you can pretty much guess how things go when this bunch caters a funeral.  As in every episode of this series, some gags are flat, some simmer for awhile before yielding a modest payoff, and occasionally there's a genuine belly-laugh or two.  For me, "Cole Landry's Draft Day Party" is howlingly funny from start to finish.

The 2-disc, 10-episode DVD from Anchor Bay is in 1.78:1 widescreen with Dolby Surround 5.1 and English and Spanish subtitles. Special features include a gag reel and a short promo.

Not quite a blockbuster comedy, PARTY DOWN: SEASON TWO is good fun, with a talented cast, likable characters, and an easygoing atmosphere.  I've already watched it twice, and now I'm eager to check out season one. 


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Saturday, September 18, 2010

"COOPERS ' CHRISTMAS" from Anchor Bay Entertainment coming to DVD November 16th


SOME MEMORIES SHOULDN’T BE RECORDED

COOPERS’ CHRISTMAS--Caroling to DVD November 16th, 2010


BEVERLY HILLS, CA – Christmas in suburbia: the perfect location for a holiday wreathed in celebration and disaster, in gaiety and calamity.  On November 16th 2010, Anchor Bay Entertainment presents Coopers’ Christmas, the story of a family’s comical – and uncomfortable – Christmas Day.  An Official Selection of the Toronto (2008) and Vancouver (2009) International Film Festivals, Coopers’ Christmas – starring “The Daily Show’s” Jason Jones and Samantha Bee – is a mischievous, candid, riotous ride through one family’s Yule.  Coopers’ Christmas will be available on DVD for an SRP of $26.98.

December 25, 1985.  The dysfunctional Coopers: Nancy (Samantha Bee – “The Daily Show”, Motherhood , The Love Guru), Gord (Jason Jones – “The Daily Show”, All About Steve), their children Teddy (Dylan Everett – “The Dresden Files”) and Marcus (Nick McKinlay) are preparing themselves for another Christmas together.  Does a quiet, normal holiday lie ahead?

The odds are against them.  When their estranged uncle Nick (Mike Beaver – He’s Just Not That Into You, Shotgun Harley) shows up at their door, normalcy becomes lunacy and their holiday spirit disintegrates into a comedy of suburban insanity!  And not one second of the ensuing madness is lost – thanks to Teddy and his family’s Christmas present: a secondhand VHS camcorder.  As they say, some memories should never be recorded!

Also starring Dave Foley (“The Kids In The Hall”, “NewsRadio”), Coopers’ Christmas is a Christmas comedy seen through the eyes of the youngest son as he follows his elders throughout the maddest day of the year.  So prepare to celebrate a holiday of hilarity, when this Yuletide becomes a wave ready to engulf you!

The Coopers’ Christmas DVD bonus features include an Audio Commentary with director Warren P. Sonoda and producer Sean Buckley, as well as a Coopers’ Christmas “When Genius Collides With Inspiration” Featurette.

COOPER’S CHRISTMAS - DVD
Street Date:                  November 16, 2010
Pre-Book:                    October 20, 2010
Catalog #:                     0 1313 2190891
UPC #:                         DV21908
Audio:                          Dolby Digital 5.1
Aspect Ratio:                Widescreen 1.78:1
Retail Price:                  $26.98
Rating:                          NR
Run Time:                     92 minutes

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Feel the rush of "BANGKOK ADRENALINE" on DVD and Blu-ray October 12th from Image Entertainment



“Some absolutely fantastic martial arts sequences.” -Kungfucinema.com

BANGKOK ADRENALINE FROM IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT

Racing Onto Blu-ray™ and DVD October 12th


Chatsworth, CA- When you gamble in Thailand , money isn’t the only thing you gamble with. And for five friends who thought they were just out for a good time, they’re about to learn that an adrenaline rush can mean the difference between life and death! On October 12th, Image Entertainment presents Bangkok Adrenaline, the heart-racing, kung-fu action thriller that’ll leave you breathless! Written, directed and co-starring Raimund Huber (Treasure Island ), Bangkok Adrenaline is available on DVD for an SRP of $27.97 and on Blu-ray™ for an SRP of $29.97. Pre-book is September 14th.

Five friends have come to Bangkok for good times and better action, but at night’s end, they find themselves broke and deeply in debt to a ruthless local mobster. They hatch a simple plan—stage a kidnapping of the rival mob boss’ daughter, demand a ransom and buy back their freedom. But the plan backfires when they discover the mob boss wants his daughter dead. The clock is ticking, the debt is due and now two mob bosses are closing in for the kill. The five will now have to fight with every ounce of skill they have to save the girl, get the money and get out of Bangkok … alive.

Unlike most big-studio action films, all the actors in Bangkok Adrenaline performed their own stunts. With a supporting cast featuring Daniel O’Neill (The Medallion, The Protector, Blackbeard), Gwion Jacob Miles and Conan Stevens, Bangkok Adrenaline is a cinematic rush of desperate gamblers staring into the inevitable snake eyes of fate.

Bangkok Adrenaline DVD
Genre:              Action/Adventure
Street Date:      October 12, 2010
Pre-Book:        September 14, 2010
Languages:       English
Format:            Anamorphic widescreen (1.78:1)
Audio:              Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:           English
Year:                2009
SRP :                $27.97
Length:             87 minutes
Rating:              R
UPC:                014381669428
Cat#:                SFP6694DVD
Bonus:              Behind the Scenes Featurette

Bangkok Adrenaline Blu-Ray
Genre:              Action/Adventure
Street Date:      October 12, 2010
Pre-Book:        September 14, 2010
Languages:       English
Format:            1.78:1
Audio:              DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles:           English
Year:                2009
SRP :                $29.97
Length:             87 minutes
Rating:              R
UPC:                014381669558
Cat#:                SFP6695BD
Bonus:              Behind the Scenes Featurette

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"HUNT TO KILL" starring Steve Austin coming to Blu-ray and DVD November 9th from Anchor Bay Entertainment



The Deadliest Predator Of All Is A Man Hunting For Revenge

STEVE AUSTIN STARS IN "HUNT TO KILL"

On Blu-ray™ and DVD November 9th, 2010



BEVERLY HILLS, CA – Steve Austin stars in Hunt to Kill, available on Blu-ray™ and DVD on November 9th, from Anchor Bay Entertainment. A bone-snapping, bullet-blasting, ass-kicking action thriller, Hunt to Kill makes its home video debut at an SRP of $34.99 for the Blu-ray™ and $26.98 for the DVD.

Steve Austin stars as U.S. Border Patrol agent Jim Rhodes, a tough divorcee mourning the loss of his murdered partner while struggling to raise his rebellious daughter in the mountains of Montana.  But when a crew of trigger-happy fugitives takes Rhodes and his daughter hostage, a rugged wilderness will explode in all-terrain vengeance.  Is there any wounded animal more dangerous than a lawman left for dead?

Directed by Keoni Waxman (The Keeper), Hunt to Kill features a stellar cast including Gil Bellows (The Shawshank Redemption), Emilie Ullerup (“Sanctuary”), and Academy Award® nominee Eric Roberts (The Expendables, The Dark Knight).

The Hunt to Kill Blu-ray™ and DVD bonus features include an Audio Commentary with director Keoni Waxman and actor Michael Eklund (Smokin’ Aces 2: Assassin’s Ball), as well as a “Behind-the-Scenes of Hunt to Kill” Featurette.

The amazing stunts featured in Hunt to Kill were coordinated by Lauro Chartrand,      the man behind the stunts of 2012, War, Indiana Jones and The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, The Incredible Hulk and I, Robot.

HUNT TO KILL BLU-RAY™
Street Date:                 November 9th, 2010                       
Pre-Book:                    October 13th, 2010                 
Catalog #:                    BD21866
UPC #:                        0 1313 21866-9 6
Audio:                          Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Aspect Ratio:              1.78:1 / 16x9
Retail Price:                $34.99  
Rating:                         R       
Run Time:                   97 Minutes
Subtitles:                     English SDH, Spanish
Bonus Features:         Audio Commentary with director Keoni Waxman and actor Michael Eklund
Behind-the-Scenes Featurette

HUNT TO KILL DVD
Street Date:                 November 9th, 2010                       
Pre-Book:                    October 13th, 2010     
Catalog #:                    AF21863
UPC #:                        0 1313 21863-9 9
Audio:                          Dolby Digital 5.1
Aspect Ratio:              1.78:1 / 16x9
Retail Price:                $26.98
Rating:                         R
Run Time:                   97 Minutes
Subtitles:                     English SDH, Spanish
Bonus Features:         Audio Commentary with director Keoni Waxman and actor Michael Eklund
Behind-the-Scenes Featurette

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD: REANIMATED -- DVD review by porfle


As one of the shocked and terrified viewers who sat in the dark watching NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968) during its first run, I found the concept of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD: REANIMATED-- that is, the entire film reinterpreted piecemeal by a variety of graphic artists, along with the original soundtrack--to be irresistibly intriguing. My initial viewing of this disjointed and sometimes off-puttingly crude curio was, unfortunately, a disappointment.

However, once I realized that the film is intended as a sort of kinetic art gallery rather than a cohesive narrative, and that it's more of a fan-contributor project (by organizer-curator Mike Schneider) than the polished work of professional artists and animators, I was able to relax my expectations and begin to appreciate some of the various artistic renderings of all those familiar images. One thing's for sure, though--a scene-by-scene knowledge of the original film is necessary to make sense of this collaborative reimagining. Try to watch it first, and you'll probably have no idea what the hell's going on.

The term "reanimated" is a bit misleading, since much of the film consists of still images. Some resemble comic book panels, some hastily-drawn storyboards, and some merely sketches and scribbles. Occasionally you get some pretty nice work, much of which is done in the style of the old underground comics of the 60s and 70s or the earlier EC horror comics. There's a nice series of portraits of Barbra which are amateurish-looking but expressive, as she relates to Ben the story of what happened to her and Johnny in the cemetary. Her discovery of the music box brings another interesting series of images.


The segments that are actually animated are a real grab bag of wildly-uneven quality and tone. Some scenes resemble pre-"Goldeneye" videogame technology and are interesting in their own strange way. Others, such as Barbra first seeking shelter in the farmhouse and the final zombie attack, are done using claymation that is so crude it makes Art Clokey look like Ray Harryhausen. A long segment of Ben and Barbra boarding up the house looks like something out of a Bizarro "South Park" episode.

Sequences switch between digitally manipulated still drawings, animated stick figures, pictures with actual talking mouths superimposed "Clutch Cargo" style, and even abstract images consisting of moving shapes filled with writhing squiggles. (The latter segments, more than any others, necessitate a familiarity with the original film lest the viewer be totally lost.) The early scene of Barbra and Johnny's arrival in the cemetary uses actual actors who are animated a la Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" video. My least favorite moments are the ones in which actual footage from the original film is merely altered in some way.

With its emphasis on artistic expression and variety, NOTLD: REANIMATED sacrifices not only the original's narrative flow but often its grim attempts to scare us as well. This is especially true when one familiar fright sequence is rendered, believe it or not, in a cartoon style resembling "Ren and Stimpy" and "Itchy and Scratchy", with cats as the zombies and mice as the terrified humans. Several other contributions are aimed at being more amusing than scary, with sock puppets and even Muppets taking part in the carnage.


Even Barbie dolls get in on the action at times, particularly in the cellar scene with Harry and Helen Cooper. Watching these dolls being hand-manipulated in real time isn't all that interesting, although the miniature sets are nice. There is, however, one sublime moment--the famous "jump cut", which George Romero says he simply couldn't edit his way around, is faithfully reproduced.

The DVD from Wild Eye is in 1.33:1 full screen and runs 101 minutes including the introduction by horror host Count Gore De Vol. As with other Wild Eye DVDs I've seen, there are numerous special features. These include three commentary tracks, alternate and deleted scenes, some short horror films and comics, interviews with some of the film's main contributors, NOTLD coloring book contest entries, a look at the extensive NOTLD box art collection of Wild Eye's Rob Hauschild, and "Zombie Encounter", a lengthy panel discussion on zombie films with Hauschild, authors John Joseph Adams, Jonathan Maberry, and Dr. Kim Paffenroth, and other notables. Various other interesting tidbits round out the extras menu.

"Over 100 artists--over 100 styles" claims the liner notes on the DVD box, and you won't doubt it after being assaulted by this sometimes boring, yet curiously fascinating conglomeration of disparate images. You may not like it even after giving it a thoughtful second viewing as I did, but if you're a fan of George Romero's original classic, you owe it to yourself to take a stroll through the oddball cinematic art museum that is NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD: REANIMATED. It's definitely a unique experience.


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