Sheba, Baby Arrow Video Blu-ray Review

Sheba, Baby (1975) Arrow Video Blu-ray (2016)

Directed by: William Girdler

Starring: Pam Grier, Austin Stoker, D’Urville Martin & Rudy Challenger

Private detective, Sheba (Pam Grier), comes back to her hometown to discover that her father’s business is being threatened by mobsters. Not one to take things lying down, she decided to take matters into her own hands.

IMG_5248Anyone who knows me knows that I love films with women who kick ass and Pam Grier happens to be one of the most kick ass women in the history of cinema. Before watching Arrow’s Blu-ray release I had never seen Mrs. Grier’s exploits in high definition so needless to say, I had high hopes for the transfer and boy IMG_5250they did not disappoint. The transfer is immaculate and is what we’ve come to expect from Arrow.

I liked this movie but it wouldn’t make it into my top five favorite Pam Grier movies. My main complaint would have to be that there isn’t quite enough action and not enough of Mrs. Grier. I don’t mean that there’s not enough screen time, it’s just that she’s not cracking enough heads or blasting suckers away with various over the top guns. There are a few great scenes, like when she wins a fight by hitting her opponent in the face with a pie and then jumping off a boat, but there just isn’t enough of it for my taste.

IMG_5249The special features for this release are not that awe inspiring either. There’s a very short featurette called Pam Grier: The AIP Years that is a look at Mrs. Grier carrier but if you’re a fan of Grier you are probably already familiar with the information presented in it. There’s also an audio commentary with producer-screenwriter David Sheldon, moderated by critic Nathaniel Thompson and a brand new interview with David Sheldon. And rounding off the special features there’s the trailer, image gallery, booklet featuring new writing on the film and a reversible sleeve with newly commissioned art by Sean Phillips.

This is the first Arrow release that I can’t fully get behind. I won’t go as far as saying that you should stay away from it but if you buy just one Pam Grier film released by Arrow I’d say go with Black Mama, White Mama.


-DeadRat

Vinegar Syndrome’s Pigs Blu-ray Review

PIGS (1972) from Vinegar Syndrome

Directed by: Marc Lawerence

Starring: Toni Lawrence, Marc Lawrence & Jesse Vint

 

I can recall going into Leisure Time Video as a kid with my father and always seeing the artwork of the Pigs VHS on the shelf and never being allowed to rent it. Twenty some years later and I have finally gotten the chance to see this flick thanks to the fine folks at Vinegar Syndrome. I had always assumed that it was filled with Pigs eating people and I am sure my father did too which is probably why he never let me rent it, FullSizeRender-4which turns out really isn’t what was going on in Marc Lawrence’s film.

Zambrini owns a pig farm and roadside café. He is an oddball that isn’t very liked by the people in the town. He is a former circus performer who died in an act and came back to life. He hasn’t been completely normal since then. His two neighbors are tormented by his pigs and claim that they have witnessed Zambrini feeding dead bodies to his pigs at night and are constantly calling the police on him. Lynn Hart stumbles into Zambrini’s looking for a job and a place to stay. Fleeing from her father, Zambrini takes her in. She is very much liked by all the male patrons of the café. She seems like a normal girl just trying to find her place in the world, but we so start to wonder which one of our characters is actually the crazy one.IMG_4890

So Pigs isn’t necessarily the film you are expecting, but what we get is more of a character study. We have one character we are certain is crazy and we witness another possibly going insane. Of course that’s up for you to decide. You do get to see some pigs eating people though, so if that’s what you are wanting, it’s there. For a film that has escaped me for over half my life, Pigs did not disappoint. While it’s not over violent or gory it does deliver in a big way. Some of the best scenes in my opinion are dream sequences or delusion’s, one of them made me think the film was going into another direction entirely. Which if I am being honest, I want to see that version of the film!

IMG_4891Now as I said I haven’t seen the original VHS and I have no idea if Troma ever released it on DVD, but this transfer looks great! That is one thing you always see in Vinegar Syndrome’s BD releases. The sound quality is pretty good as well. The pigs are overly loud for that scare factor, but the dialogue is sometimes a little lower than others or it could’ve just been my son being loud as per usual. I am not sure which, but overall it’s a stellar release. Bonus features include; a really great interview with actress Toni Lawrence, an interview with composer Charles Bernstein, alternate openings, an alternate ending and more!

I am very happy that Vinegar Syndrome released this 70’s gem. It’s been on my list for about as long as I can remember and like I said the film did not disappoint. As previously stated this is not a creature feature with killer pigs, we definitely get something more than that. With an outstanding cast and some man eating pigs, I believe this film will gain a whole new horde of fans thanks to Vinegar Syndrome.

 

Absolution.

Artsploitation Acquires THE ANATOMY OF MONSTERS

Artsploitation Films Picks Up American Indie Horror
The Anatomy of Monsters

Cannes, May 12, 2016 – Artsploitation Films has announced that is has acquired the North American rights to the edgy and dark American independent film The Anatomy of Monsters directed by Seattle-based filmmaker Byron C. Miller.

The film revolves around a seemingly normal yet homicidal young man who ventures out one night in search for his first kill. At a lonely bar he meets a young woman, takes her to a hotel room and prepares to slash her throat…until he discovers she harbors secrets far worse than even he could imagine.

Ray Murray, President of Artsploitation, called the film, “Refreshingly gritty, the kind of film John Cassavetes would have done if he ventured into genre filmmaking. The storyline is original, the tension palpable and it features a star-making performance by Tabitha Bastien as the far from innocent victim.” He says of the director and co-writer Miller, “Byron ignored the constraints of his limited budget to make a creepy, dark, disturbing and immensely creative thriller.”
Miller, who previously directed the feature Night and is currently attached to direct the genre film,Unwelcome, called his film, “midnight poetry in that attempts to create “the feeling of late night hours and sinister urges,” and commented, “It truly is an honor to work with Artsploitation Films, and be included among their stunning library of titles. Paul Morgan (screenplay, cinematographer), and I put our souls into this film and brought it to life with a beyond dedicated cast and crew. I can’t wait to share this monster with the world!”

Sex Murder Art: The Films of Jorg Buttgereit Blu-Ray Review

Sex Murder Art: The Films of Jorg Buttgereit (2016) Cult Epics

Directed by: Jorg Buttgereit

IMG_5018The name Jorg Buttgereit is infamous in the horror genre. Known the world over for being a shock filmmaker, with gory and disturbing films, yet his gritty, stylish form of filmmaking has a much overlooked artistic value to them. Jorg often gives his characters a realistic life struggle like depression or schizophrenia but a lot of the time these things are over shadowed by murder and necrophilia. With that being said there is a lot more to Jorg’s films than just corpse fucking. The four films in this set which are his most well known and most notorious movies are some of IMG_5014the most sophisticated and artistic that the genre has to offer, in my opinion. I believe he and his films really paved the way for some of the more shocking films you see today such as The Human Centipede series. I am fairly positive that without Jorg a lot of this stuff wouldn’t be out today.  

Thanks to Cult Epics, Jorg’s four standout films; Nekromantik, Nekromantik 2 Der Todesking  and Schramm are now available on BD in the U.S. for the first time. Cult Epics has released all four individually over the last year or so. But if you haven’t picked up the individual release you can IMG_5016snag this killer set. I am not going to review each film because we have already done so on Exorcast.

Sex Murder Art: The Films of Jorg Buttgereit is a four disc BD set containing; Nekromantik, Der Todesking, Nekromantik 2 and Schramm. You get the soundtracks of all four films in a 2 CD set, also included is a 40 page book with an introduction by Nico B. of Cult Epics, interviews and exclusive images.

This is one of those sets that every horror collector needs in their collection. All four disturbingly beautiful films in one place, uncut and uncensored. The set will only set you back about $65.00 on IMG_5017DiabolikDVD.com. Well worth the price of admission for all that you get.

Special features include; Two versions of Nekromantik, new introductions for each film by Jorg Buttgereit, Q&A with Jorg Buttgereit, audio commentaries, making ofs, featurettes, still photo galleries, trailers, documentary: Corpse Fucking Art, short films, music video: Half Girl by Jorg Buttgereit and a live concert of Nekromantik 2.

Nekromantik

Nekromantik tells the story of Rob (Daktari Lorenz) who works at a street-cleaning Agency, and visits roadside accidents to clean up the scene. Incidentally Rob collects the body parts and shares them with his girlfriend Betty (Beatrice M.) When Rob presents a complete corpse taken out of a swamp, their undying love reaches its peak, but soon after Betty gets a more liking towards the corpse and leaves Rob, which takes him to the sick end of his destruction.

Nekromantik 2

From director Jorg Buttgereit comes Nekromantik 2, the gore horror sequel to his 1987 classic Nekromantik. Monika (Monika M.) is a beautiful necrophiliac who lives alone in Berlin. By day she works as a nurse. By night she prowls through cemeteries while searching for fresh corpses. When she reads about the suicide of Rob (Nekromantik’s Daktari Lorenz) she finds his grave to dig up his body and brings it home. Mark (Mark Reeder) lives across town and makes his living dubbing “sex films”. After meeting Monika, romance blossoms and they fall in love. But all is not well in Monika’s world. Her relationship with Mark begins to falter and she has to make a final choice between loving the living or the dead.

Der Todesking

Cult Epics presents the third release in the series Corpse Fucking Art; Jorg Buttgereit’s powerful masterpiece Der Todesking (aka The Death King), made in between Nekromantik (1987) and Nekromantik 2 (1991). Seven stories on Death and Suicide, each taking place on a different day of the week, enframed by the decomposition of a human body.

Schramm

SCHRAMM The story of a deranged serial killer from the director of Nekromantik. Lothar Schramm (Florian Koemer von Gustorf) is dying, face down in a pool of his own blood. Behind his closed eyes, fractured memories repeat themselves. He runs by the sea. He lusts after the whore (Nekromantik 2’s Monika M.) across the hall. He staggers through life uncertainly. He kills. Schramm is the story of the notorious “Lipstick Killer” Lothar Schramm’s last days on earth. Revealed in a series of tightly constructed flashbacks, the film offers an unflinching look into the mind of a serial killer. Uncompromising in its depictions of violence and perversion, Schramm is a poetic masterpiece of horror guaranteed to make you squirm.

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Horror Section’s Season of The Witch EP Vinyl Review

Horror Section presents Season of the Witch

Eccentric Pop Records

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Outside of the original, Halloween 3 is the most talked about and controversial film of the series. Even more than the Rob Zombie films. Those that hate Halloween 3, really hate Halloween 3. Those that love Halloween 3, really love Halloween 3. Thankfully horror punk band Horror Section loves the film, because they released a great EP based on the film.

Horror Section is a horror punk band hailing from Missouri. They have recorded songs based on such films as A Nightmare on Elm Street and The Prowler. Season of the Witch is their latest EP. It includes four songs each based around a different aspect of the film. Even cooler, the EP came with three different covers, each featuring one of the big Halloween three. That’s right, THREE horrific mask album covers to choose from.

FullSizeRender-2The album opens with the track They’re Coming. It’s an upbeat song about the end of the world, due to the evil Silver Shamrock corporation.The second track is titled Ellie, it’s told from the point of view of Dr. Challis. It’s a love song about meeting the was she or wasn’t she a robot all the time, Ellie

Side B is where the EP really cooks in my opinion. This side kicks off with the track Am I Human. While not as upbeat musically as the songs from side A, it is a great song nonetheless. Finally we close out with the best song of the EP, Behind the Mask. This is a pretty dark track lyrically, and the opening guitar riff really sets the tone. The EP came with a digital download, and this is the track I revisit the most.

I was unable to get the Prowler EP from Horror Section, so I was pleasantly surprised on how great the packaging was for Season of the Witch.

The records comes in three different colors for the three different masks, all part of final processing. Orange for the pumpkin, purple for the witch, and white for the skull. They were picked randomly, and luckily I got the one I really FullSizeRender-3wanted, the pumpkin cover (but any would have been great). The label on the EP features the Silver Shamrock Novelties logo on one side, and the magic pumpkin on the other. Also included is an insert featuring an ad for the Halloween masks on one side, and the lyrics on the reverse side.

Finally one last cool surprise, wear a Silver Shamrock mask and keep looking at the magic pumpkin as the EP plays. You will get a fun little trick. You can tell a lot of love and care went into the presentation of this EP, and that really ads to it. It shows the band really digs the film. Luckily the planets aligned for this EP to come out.  

If you are a punk fan and/or a fan of Halloween 3, you need Horror Section in your life. It’s good enough that you won’t be yelling “turn it off”, you’ll be yelling “turn it up!”

Here is link to a video for They’re Coming. Oh and….Happy Halloween.

Check out Horror Section on band camp: https://horrorsection.bandcamp.com

Eccentric Pop Records: eccentricpop.com and on Twitter @EccentricPop

-Dance Commander Matt Hatfield

@cerial442

I actually use a piece of Stonehenge as a preamp.

Review: Strip Nude For Your Killer on Blu-ray from Blue Underground

Strip Nude For Your Killer (Nude per l’assassino) 1975 Blue Underground

Director: Andrea Bianchi

Starring: Edwige Fenech, Nino Castelnuovo and Femi Benussi

 

After a fashion model dies while having an after-hours abortion, someone is hell bent on revenge. The murders start with the doctor who performed the abortion and from there onto everyone associated with the Albatross modeling company. No one is safe.

IMG_4984While no one in this film is actually stripping for the killer, but that doesn’t mean there is no nudity. Strip Nude For Your Killer is packed full of nudity which mostly comes from genre favorite Edwige Fenech (The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh). But this film is much more than that, it is a stylish giallo that also has some fantastic and violent kills. It also has one of my favorite killers in any giallo, dressed head to toe in black leather and wearing a black motorcycle helmet armed with only a single switchblade and vengeance!

The film has a reputation for being sleazy, but I don’t see it as that. FullSizeRender-5To me, Bianchi (Burial Ground) has made a beautiful film that may have a few strange and sleazy characters, but that doesn’t warrant the entire film to be called “sleazy” or “trashy.” I feel that Strip Nude For Your Killer is a smart and superb giallo.

Blue Underground has done wonders with the transfer and sound quality on this release. It looks and sounds absolutely amazing. Not to say their DVD looked bad in anyway, because it didn’t, but it does blow my German BD and Shameless DVD out of the water! This new transfer is from the original uncut and uncensored camera negative. Extra features include Strip Nude For Your Giallo – interviews IMG_4982with actress Solvi Stubing and co-writer Massimo Felisatti which was carried over from the DVD release. We also get the Italian and international trailers and a poster/still gallery.

I recommend that you upgrade your DVD, the BD will cost you less than $20.00 on DiabolikDVD.com and everyone needs more Edwige Fenech in high definition! This has been in my top ten giallo films since the first time I saw it. Those of you who may be unfamiliar with this genre of film should educate yourself a little since we are in somewhat of a giallo resurgence. With films out there like Amer, Francesca¸ Tulpa and Black Aria just to name a few. I encourage you to watch Strip Nude For Your Killer and the tons of other giallo’s from the seventies!

Over all this is an exceptional release for an amazing film. My only wish would be for some more special features.