The Sender (1982, Blu-ray Review)

The Sender Blu-rayDirector: Roger Christian

Cast: Kathryn Harrold, Zeljko Ivanek, Shirley Knight

Olive Films / Region A / Rated R / 1.78:1 widescreen (1080p) / English mono / 92 minutes

Extras: None

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You may not recognize the name Roger Christian but he has worked on one of, if not THE, biggest movie franchise ever; the Star Wars saga. He won an Academy Award for set decoration on A New Hope in 1977 (he was also nominated for his art direction on Ridley Scott’s Alien in 1979) and was hand picked by Lucas to be the second unit director on both Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace. Between The Empire Strikes Back and his work on Jedi, he would direct a couple of short films (“Black Angel” and “The Dollar Bottom”, the latter won an Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film) and his first full-length feature, a psychological horror called The Sender, that was loved by critics and was nominated for Best Film by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films. Continue reading

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Cub (2014, Blu-ray Review)

Cub Blu-rayDirector: Jonas Govaerts

Cast: Maurice Luijten, Titus De Voogdt, Stef Aerts, Evelien Bosmans, Jan Hammenecker

Artsploitation Films / Region A / Unrated / 2.35:1 widescreen (1080p) / 5.1 Dolby Digital / Dutch, French, and Flemish with English subtitles / 85 minutes

Extras: Deleted scenes / SFX reel / Short film / Music video / Trailers

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The horror scene is a very dangerous and beautiful thing. As far back as the silent era, there was something defiantly strange, beautifully macabre about the genre. Over the years, it has evolved and devolved, often serving as the ultimate time capsule of its generation. There’s an almost punk rock, ‘do whatever the fuck we want’ attitude with horror directors. You don’t have to be great to win my affections. Just be interesting. Continue reading

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The Bite (2005, DVD Review)

The Bite DVDDirector: Joel D. Wynkoop

Cast: Joel D. Wynkoop, Gustavo Perez, M. Catherine Holseybrook, Frank Burns II, Noel Maree, Karen M. Thomas, Mark Nash

Cult Movie Mania / Region 1 / Unrated / 1.33:1 fullscreen / English Mono / 78 minutes

Extras: Joel D. Wynkoop interview / Wynkoop Super-8 movies / Trailers

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Joel D. Wynkoop has been called the King of B-Movies by many. I would like to add to his pedigree by also making him the King of Tampa Low-Budget Cinema. He has more than 100 acting credits on his resume. He seems to be in every-fucking-thing that has ever slithered from the Bay Area underground. Think of him as a whiter, poorer version of Samuel L. Jackson with martial arts skills. He started his movie career in 1985 with Twisted Illusions, a horror anthology he co-wrote and directed with Tim Ritter (Wicked Games, Killing Spree), a collaboration that would continue for decades. His roles have varied from the comical to the maniacal and everything in between, sometimes in the same character. I once heard him sing the entire Rocky Horror Picture Show theme a cappella, I shit you negative. Continue reading

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The Greek Collection Vol. 1 and 2: Perversions and Killers

Tango of Perversion DVDDirector: Dacosta Carayan

Cast (Tango): Larry Daniels,Dorothy Moore, Vagelis Voulgaridis

Cast (Wife): Larry Daniels, Dorothy Moore, Vagelis Seilinos

Mondo Macabro / Region 1 / Unrated / 1.33:1 fullscreen / Greek or English Dolby Digital Stereo / English subtitles / 87 minutes (Tango) 94 minutes (Wife)

The Wife Killer DVDExtras (for both DVDs): Extensive production notes / Interview with producer / Documentary on Greek Cult Cinema / Mondo Macabro previews

Additional Info (for both DVDs: Brand new transfer from film negative / Uncut Version / Newly created optional subtitles

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Mondo Macabro, those maestros of exploitation, have decided there’s no better time than now to dig into the vaults of Greek cinema. Those of you who have seen the works of Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth, Alps) know that the folks in Greece pull no punches when it comes to films that deal with the strange and the grotesque. Naturally, I was beyond curious to see what sort of treasures the fine folks at Mondo Macabro had uncovered. Continue reading

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Avon Triple Feature: Sadists, Dominance and Daughters

Avon Triple Feature DVDDirector: Phil Prince

Cast(s): Nicole Bernard, Victoria Sands, David Christopher, Martin Patton

Vinegar Syndrome / All Region / XXX / 1.33:1 fullscreen / English mono / 38, 37, 42 minutes

Additional Info: Scanned and restored in 2k from ultra-rare 16mm archival elements

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The Avon Theaters group in Times Square—Avon 7, Avon 42nd, Avon-on-Love and the headquarters The Venus—during the porn heyday was owned by Chelly Wilson and specialized in producing and showing some of the roughest XXX flicks around. “After porn became legal in the ’70s, someone realized there was a huge market for more extreme stuff,” says ’42nd Street Pete’ Chiarella, Times Square and grindhouse theater historian. “Avon Films hired certain directors to shoot films with S&M, B&D, abduction, rape and torture themes. Shaun Costello, Joe Davian, and Phil Prince were the top directors”. Continue reading

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