Taxi Driver LP Rewiew from Wax Work Records

Taxi Driver

Waxwork Records

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We are in a vinyl resurgence, but it has been going on longer than you think. Especially if you are into punk and hardcore. The soundtrack boom however, is more recent. One of the label’s that had a hand in this is Waxwork Records. I learned about Waxwork due to their Chopping Mall release. I’m not a fan of the film, but the artwork and the hot pink colored record, felt like something I must have. That’s what made me a fan of theirs, and currently own all of their releases.

Waxwork as a label has gotten bigger and bigger. Having released soundtracks for films such as Friday the 13th, Trick ‘r Treat, and Goosebumps. Another huge release for them is the subject of this review, the soundtrack to Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece Taxi Driver.

The Taxi Driver score is conducted by Bernard Herrmann, famously known for his score to Psycho. Taxi Driver was his final score before his death. The score is haunting and really adds to the despair we experience with Travis Bickle. It’s downbeat and ominous, and really sets the tone of the film. While it is not really a soundtrack you would put on for a fun listening evening, it is great to listen to on a rainy somber day, waiting for the sun to shine.

This release from Waxwork shows why they are one of the best soundtrack companies around. The score is presented on two LPs, each being image3-2180g. This was released on two different color options; a taxi cab yellow, and a white, yellow, and black tri-color. The tri-color one is the one I picked up, but both look amazing. The release sound really good, as well. Many will argue over the benefits of 180g vinyl, but I’m in the camp that states it does sound better. It sounds clean, real clean. Clean like my conscience.

In addition, this is the first time the score has been released in it’s entirety on vinyl.

So with the complete score, great sound, and a good looking LP, that should be enough right. Waxwork always goes above and beyond for their releases, and this one is no different. The artwork was done image2-2by Rich Kelly. We get gatefold artwork depicting one of the more bloodier scenes, that would be great on it’s own as a poster. Finally, we get liner notes by Martin Scorsese himself.

So listen you screwheads, if you are a fan of the film, you need this release in your collection. This is the definitive version of the soundtrack, it sounds great and has fantastic artwork. Suck on this.

Buy it here: http://waxworkrecords.com/products/taxi-driver

 

-Dance Commander Matt Hatfield

By the time you read this, I will hopefully not be dead. You can also listen to me twice a month on the CinemaVillainy podcast.

@cerial442

Two Titles Coming from Arrow Video in August!

New from Arrow Video US

Microwave Massacre [Blu-ray + DVD] (August 16th)

 The Bloodstained Butterfly [Blu-ray + DVD] (August 23rd)

via MVD Entertainment Group
 
MVD Entertainment Group furthers the distribution of Arrow Video in the US with several new titles in August…

Microwave Massacre [Blu-ray + DVD] (August 16th)

THEY CAME FOR DINNER…TO FIND THEY WERE IT!!

Microwave Massacre stars legendary stand-up comedian and actor Jackie Vernon as Donald, a disgruntled construction worker whose wife’s predilection for haute cuisine drives him to cannibalism.

Donald unwittingly stumbles upon a solution to his two major problems in his life – his nagging wife and his lack of decent meals – when, one night, he bludgeons his better half to death with a pepper grinder in a drunken rage. Thinking on his feet, Donald dismembers the body and sets about microwaving the remains, which turn out to be rather delicious. Trouble is, now he has a taste for human flesh that needs satisfying…

Eschewing all notions of good taste, Wayne Berwick’s Microwave Massacre is a deliciously depraved exercise in political incorrectness that has gone on to gain a cult following thanks to a characteristically deadpan performance from Vernon, who delivers such choice lines as “I’m so hungry I could eat a whore.” Vegetarians need not apply!

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
– Brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative
– High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
– Original mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
– Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
– Brand new audio commentary with writer-producer Craig Muckler, moderated by Mike Tristano
– Brand new making-of featurette including interviews with Muckler, director Wayne Berwick and actor Loren Schein
– Trailer
– Original treatment and 8-page synopsis (BD/DVD-ROM content)
– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Wes Benscoter

Product Details
An MVD Exclusive
Format: BLU-RAY
SKU: AV062
UPC: 760137880295
Street Date: 08/16/16
PreBook Date: 07/12/16
Label: Arrow Video »
Genre: Cult
Run Time: 76 mins
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: STEREO
Year of Production: 1983
Director: Wayne Berwick
Actors: Jackie Vernon, Loren Schein, Al Troupe
Language: English
Complete product details, hi res art, etc. can be found HERE.
Pre-order at the MVD SHOP or on Amazon
The Bloodstained Butterfly [Blu-ray + DVD] (August 23rd)

Directed by Duccio Tessari (Death Occurred Last Night, A Pistol for Ringo), The Bloodstained Butterfly melds the lurid giallo traditions popularized by Dario Argento and Mario Bava with courtroom drama, resulting in a film that is as concerned with forensic detail and legal process as it is with grisly murders and audacious set-pieces.

When a young female student is savagely killed in a park during a thunderstorm, the culprit seems obvious: her lover, TV sports personality Alessandro Marchi (Giancarlo Sbragia, Death Rage), seen fleeing the scene of the crime by numerous eyewitnesses. The evidence against him is damning… but is it all too convenient? And when the killer strikes again while Marchi is in custody, it quickly becomes apparent that there’s more to the case than meets the eye…
Starring 70s heartthrob Helmut Berger (Dorian Gray, The Godfather: Part III) alongside genre mainstays Evelyn Stewart (The Psychic, The Case of the Scorpion’s Tail) and Carole André (Colt 38 Special Squad), and featuring a score by Gianni Ferrio (Death Walks at Midnight), The Bloodstained Butterfly is presented uncut and in a sumptuous new 4K restoration that allows this unique and haunting thriller to shine like never before!
BONUS MATERIALS
– Brand new 4K restoration of the film from the original camera negative
– High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
– Original Italian and English soundtracks in DTS-HD MA mono 1.0
– Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
– Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
– New audio commentary with critics Alan Jones and Kim Newman
– Murder in B-Flat Minor, a new visual essay on the film, its cast and crew by author Troy Howarth.
– Mad Dog Helmut, a new interview with actor Helmut Berger
– Exclusive introduction by Helmut Berger
– New interview with actress Evelyn Stewart/Ida Galli
– Interview with Lorella De Luca, actress and wife of director Duccio Tessari
– Original Italian and English theatrical trailers
– Gallery of original promotional images
– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin
– Limited edition 36-page booklet (first pressing only) illustrated by Tonci Zonjic, containing writing by James Blackford, Howard Hughes and Leonard JacobsProduct Details
An MVD Exclusive
Format: BLU-RAY
SKU: AV063
UPC: 760137880394
Street Date: 08/23/16
PreBook Date: 07/19/16
Label: Arrow Video »
Genre: Cult
Run Time: 99 mins
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: MONO
Year of Production: 1971
Director: Duccio Tessari
Actors: Helmut Berger, Giancarlo Sbragia, Evelyn Stewart
Language: Italian/English
Complete product details, hi res art, etc. can be found HERE.
Pre-order at the MVD SHOP or on Amazon

Hired to Kill Blu-ray Review from Arrow Video

Hired to Kill (1990) Arrow Video Blu-ray Review

 

Mercenary, Frank Ryan, played by Brian Thompson (Cobra, X-Files) is a no frills badass that doesn’t take shit from anyone. He is hired by an old associate, played by George Kennedy (Naked Gun, Cool Hand Luke), to lead a team to travel to Cypra and rescue a prisoner. This mission is unlike any other mission that frank has carried out; he will have to pose as a gay fashion designer and his team will be seven lethal ladies posing Hired to Killas fashion models. When Frank and his team arrive they are faced with a rather unusual and ruthless leader, Michael Baratos, played by Oliver Reed (Venom, The Brood). Together, Frank and his team reap chaos on all whom cross them.

Every time I watch a Nico Mastorakis movie he moves up a few places on my list of favorite directors. This movie has everything you could want in an early 90’s over the top action flick. It has a freakishly muscly leading man who frequently isn’t wearing a shirt, lots of guns, nudity and explosions, and some insanely ridiculous lines. There is also Oliver Reed, with one of the best mustaches in the history of cinema.

This movie really puts a spotlight on the fact that Brian Thompson should have stared in more cheesy action pictures. He really shines in the role and it would have been great to see him mugging in the lead of action films. The movie also highlights Nico Mastorakis’ ability to make the best of every penny of his relatively small budget. Granted this is a larger budget than Mr. Mastorakis was used to, it wasn’t much imagescompared to more popular action movies of the era. And even with the non-stellar budget, he managed to make it look as good as movies with twice the money.

Another thing I like about this movie is how they handled Frank Ryan pretending to be gay. They really could have played it as offensive but Instead of him acting like a stereotypical effeminate gay guy, he was just gay. He acted the same as before but now he just pretended to like men. The only time his homosexuality comes into play is an incredible scene with Oliver Reed, where they end up kissing. So I give props to Mr. Mastorakis for keeping it classy.

hiredblu00004As we’ve become accustom to, Arrows new 2K restoration of the film looks incredible. The restoration was approved by Mr. Mastorakis so I guess we can expect great quality. The blu-ray also features an audio commentary with the editor of the film, Barry Zeltin, an interview with Brian Thompson, the film trailer, still gallery, reversible cover sleeve, original screenplay and a fully illustrated booklet with new writing by critic James Oliver. But of all the special features, by far the best is “Hired to Direct” which is an almost half hour long featurette of Nico Mastorakis talking about the making of the film. The featurette is very informative and interesting and you really get the idea of how much he cares about his films. I really could watch Mr. Mastorakis talk about his movies all day.

This movie is a must for any fan of cheesy action movies, Nico Mastorakis or Arrow Video because it really showcases all three areas. I really hope that Arrow continues to release more of Nico Mastorakis’ movies and it’d be really swell if they did a box set with some of his lesser-known titles and included an entire bonus disc of interviews with him. So go buy a copy and watch it ASAP.

 

-DeadRat

The Latest on VIOLENT SHIT THE MOVIE

Introducing A New Label, Reel Gore Releasing
August 2016 New Release

Violent Shit The Movie
Blu-ray + DVD + CD Combo
Label: Reel Gore Releasing

Pre-book: 07/12/2016 Streets: 08/09/2016
SRP: 39.95 UPC: 881190600191 Cat: RGR001
82 Minutes In English or German with English, Spanish and French subtitles
Color Widescreen Anamorphic 1.78:1 DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround Region 0
Horror Not Rated Production Year: 2015
Director: Luigi Pastore
Cast: Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Antonio Zequila, Michela Foresta, Vincenzo Pezzopane, Steve Aquilina, Erika Kamese, Simone Destrero, Lilli Carati

Rome is shattered by a series of gruesome murders that paint the Eternal City deep red. Italian Police Inspector Aristide D’Amato and his German counterpart Hans Ebert initiate their criminal investigations. They stumble upon the eccentric Professor Vassago – a master of myths and mysteries – who is linked to Senator Vinci – a corrupt politician – mutually driven by power and perversions.

The suspicion grows that these atrocious crimes are connected with the return of one of the most heinous serial killers of our time – Karl the Butcher!

First 3000 copies include: CD – Original Soundtrack by Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin, Collectible Blu-ray/DVD Slipcase and Sleeve, 24 Page booklet.

The relentless Karl the Butcher, beloved and best known to gorehounds and German Underground aficionados has been revamped and re-envisioned; his trademark brutality in the likes of the distinctly German independent VIOLENT SHIT now remade into an equally ghastly giallo featuring a Claudio Simonetti soundtrack. VIOLENT SHIT THE MOVIE is an homage to both the original’s 25th anniversary and the producer’s love of Italian horror and blends German gore movies with the mastery of Italian horror. The film stars Italian genre mainstay Giovanni Lombardo Radice as the devil incarnate, who masterminds Karl the Butcher’s evil murder spree. Italian directors Enzo G. Castellari (INGLORIOUS BASTARDS) and Luigi Cozzi (CONTAMINATION) have cameos in the movie, as well as Lucio Fulci’s screenwriter Antonio Tentori and SUSPIRIA’s Barbara Magnolfi. -Fangoria

Bonus Features:

  • MAKING OF THE MOVIE by Director LUIGI PASTORE
  • THE HISTORY OF VIOLENT SHIT – Interview with Producer STEVE AQUILINA
  • TRIBUTE TO LILLI CARATI – The Last Interview
  • INTERVIEWS with members of the cast – VINCENZO PEZZOPANE, MICHELA FORESTA, DANIELA CICCONE, ERIKA KAMESE
  • WORLD OF STARS – INTERVIEWS with members of the cast – GIOVANNI LOMBARDO RADICE, ANTONIO
  • ZEQUILA – & Producer STEVE AQUILINA and Director LUIGI PASTORE
  • TRAILERS & SLIDESHOW

 

Episode 131

Episode 131

On this episode Chuck and I talk about Drafthouse Films Dangerous Men and Blue Underground’s Venom. While recording I also order 4 cases of Ecto-Cooler!

The Zero Boys. Arrow Video Blu-ray Review

The Zero Boys (1986) Arrow Video Blu-ray (2016) 

Directed by: Nico Mastorakis

Starring: Kelli Maroney, Daniel Hirsch, Tom Shell & Nicole Rio

The Zero Boys are ragtag group of paintballers who take their sport very seriously. The film opens with a very dramatic battle scene between The Zero Boys and their rivals in a staged battleground. After their glorious victory, The Zero Boys and their female companions head to the the_zero_boyswoods for a bit of drinking, practice and relaxation. Just as they start settling in, one of them sees a girl running through the woods and the group goes to investigate. They come across a creepy cabin and soon they realize that they will be facing off against their deadliest enemy yet.

I love Nico Mastorakis first film, Island of Death, but I had never seen The Zero Boys. The films are very different and if you go into this thinking you’re going to get Island of Death than you’ll be disappointed. That being said, this movie was great. I knew nothing about the movie before I started watching it and based on the main menu on the Blu-ray I was expecting an action movie so when the slashing began I 1461524731_2was pumped. The movie is almost Red Dawn meets Friday the 13th and yes, that’s as awesome as it sounds. There is almost no blood in the movie yet still manages to be quite brutal. The acting is also above par for this sort of flick. It’s nothing great but it’s not the usual crap you come to expect from 80s slasher movies. Kelli Maroney (Night of the Comet) is not surprisingly the best of the protagonist and Joe Estevez (Beach Babes from Beyond) plays a really great psycho.

As for the special features, there’s a brand new 2K restoration of the film, approved by writer-director Nico Mastorakis. The transfer is good,
but not great. Most of the move is clear and sharp but then there are scenes which are very grainy. If it was consistently grainy than it wouldn’t be as bad but the stark contrast between the scenes can be somewhat distracting. There is an audio commentary with star Kelli Maroney, 1461524731_1moderated by Shock Till You Drop’s Chris Alexander which I will most definitely be listening to in the near future. The best special feature is, Nico Mastorakis on… Nico Mastorakis, which is Mr. Mastorakis interviewing himself. It’s a little under a half hour long and it is as informative as it is bizarre. There are also brand new interviews with stars Kelli Maroney and Nicole Rio. And then we have the usual theatrical trailer, stills gallery, fully-illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing by critic James Oliver and reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys.

This release is definitely worth your time and money. Mastorakis is rapidly becoming one of my favorite directors and hopefully Arrow will continue their great treatment of his movies.


-DeadRat

REEL GORE RELEASING LABEL COMING SOON

Nico B from Cult Epics is launching a new line called Reel Gore Releasing! The first thing coming from the brand is Violent Shit: The Movie! Read more below from the press release!

 

NEW LABEL LAUNCH: REEL GORE RELEASING

Los Angeles, CA (June 2016)

For immediate release. Cult Epics founder Nico B and film producer Steve Aquilina will be launching a new horror label REEL GORE RELEASING as of August 2016, distributed thru CAV (home of Cult Epics, Synapse, Grindhouse) in North America. With the recent success of the horror films of Jorg Buttgereit (Nekromantik) and Angst, Nico B teamed up with Steve Aquilina from 8-Films to launch a new label for newly produced gore horror films to premiere on video and digital. The first three films are VIOLENT SHIT – THE MOVIE (August 2016), a bigger budget revamp of the cult-schlock- gore classics from the 80s, shot in Italy featuring a soundtrack by Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin; followed by MASKS (September 2016), German giallo gore feast from the director Andreas Marschall (Tears of Kali, German Angst), and the return to directing of Luigi Cozzi (Contamination) with BLOOD ON MELIES’ MOON (October 2016) with guest appearances by Dario Argento & Lamberto Bava. For more info see http://www.reelgorereleasing.com and join us for updates at http://www.facebook.com/reelgorereleasing http://www.twitter.com/reelgoremovies

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