Sunday, January 27

This morning's flea market bounty...


Sunday, January 20

Maplewoods (2003) gets two re-titled DVD re-releases...

I gotta admit this is one of my little "pet" horror flicks that most loathe but I've always found surprisingly watchable. I picked up the disc published by the film's production company years ago when the once great Xploited Cinema was still very much alive. Even then with its first DVD release; the film, shot in 1999, sat for several years before originally appearing as Maplewoods in 2002.

This SOV suffers from the usual problems that plague zero-budgeters like extraneous padding, stiff acting, and wooden dialogue. Still, it's all inoffensive since none of it comes off as pretentious. If one willing to forgive and understand the extreme hardships of low budget filmmaking, you can tell everyone genuinely tried to produce something decent. That goes a long way and some of the insulting levels of criticism lobbed Maplewoods' way are unwarranted, like this gem of snobbery:

"How on earth did this film get backed by any company? I don't even know where to start. The apparent nod to the 80's is used as a saving grace by the film so it can pretend to be deeper or more meaningful or simply better than it is. You failed. David B. Stewart III do not write anything ever again, do not shoot anything ever again and give me my money back."

Really? Well anyway, late last year the feature was finally picked up by (the dreaded) Brain Damage Films and Point Blank (in the U.K.) for video distribution. The prior self-released DVD was bare-boned with a non-anamorphic transfer. At least Brain Damage's U.S. disc, retitled Operation: Nazi Zombies, appears to be anamorphic with a commentary track and deleted scenes (BD's website also lists an alternate ending). I haven't picked up either of the new releases, but I'd recommend giving this one a chance if you happen upon it cheap. You can check out the new trailer here.

Wednesday, January 16

Japan celebrates Deep Red's 35th Anniversary on Blu-ray

TC Entertainment is set to debut Dario Argento's classic, Profondo Rosso (Deep Red/Suspiria 2), on February 27th with a 2-Blu-ray set in Japan. Since the country falls into the same region as North America, South America, and Canada; there should be no issues with playback on even non-modded BD players. Tentative specs that appear to mostly match the content of Arrow Video's British Blu-ray are as follows:

  • 126 Minute Director's Cut (2.35:1 Widescreen)
  • - Italian Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (24-bit/96Hz)
    - English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (24-bit/96Hz)
    - Japanese Dolby Digital 1.0 (Created for DVD)
    * English and Japanese subtitles

  • 105 Minute U.S. Theatrical Version (2.35:1 Widescreen)
  • - English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (24-bit/96Hz)
    - Japanese Dolby Digital 1.0 (Created for the 1980 Tokyo Broadcasting System "Monday Roadshow" broadcast)
    * Japanese subtitles

  • Rosso Recollections: Dario Argento's Deep Genius
  • Introduction by Claudio Simonetti
  • Lady in Red: Daria Nicolodi Remembers Profondo Rosso
  • Music to Murder For!: Claudio Simonetti Remembers Profondo Rosso
  • Profondo Rosso: From Celluloid to Shop
  • U.S. and Italian Theatrical Trailers
  • Four-page linear notes
  • Re-print of the original Japanese chirashi

  • you dare tread upon the staircase?

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