Saturday, March 30

UPDATE: Impressions of Demon Witch Child from Code Red's new Double Feature

Friend, Midnight Legacy operator, and walking Spanish cult databank Bill Knight has chimed in with his expertise on Code Red's presentation of Amando de Ossorio's Demon Witch Child from their fresh double feature previously reported here and available here. I've already ordered mine, but it's great to hear these promising tidbits...

Code Red DVD Double Feature

Here is my information and impressions on the Spanish horror film DEMON WITCH CHILD (the second feature on the DVD). The first feature is 'Help Me... I'm Possessed' the 1976 horror film directed by Charles Nizet. 


Code Red presents Amando de Ossorio's 1974 Spanish horror film LA ENDEMONIADA under the onscreen title DEMON WITCH CHILD. After the title appears onscreen, the beginning is repeated and the proper credits sequence begins. Sort of a double take which is a bit odd as this repeats the same opening footage.

Presented properly at 1.78:1 16x9 widescreen this release is a revelation and contains MUCH more picture information on all four sides of the screen compared to previous VHS releases including 'The Possessed' on All Seasons Entertainment, 'Demon Witch Child' on Simitar Entertainment, the Dutch PAL release of 'The Possessed' on Sunrise, etc. 

Running about 87 minutes and 28 seconds (which excludes the repeated opening footage) it contains the same footage as the previously mentioned VHS releases. Phil Hardy's excellent publication "The Aurum Film Encyclopedia of Horror" lists a running time of 99 minutes for this film. I believe the original press material also lists a 99 minute running time.

All in all, this is another must-have release for fans of Spanish horror films. The substantial, additional picture information makes it very worthwhile and like watching the film for the first time.

Some quick thoughts on The Manhunt (Cane arrabbiato/Mad Dog) (1984)

John Ethan Wayne (yes, The Duke's son) stars as a nameless young man wrongfully convicted of stealing several horses from a powerful area rancher (Ernest Borgnine). While beginning to serve an eighteen-month sentence, his stoic demeanor raises the ire of the prison administrator (Henry Silva) and soon "Stranger" is put through laborious endurance tests in an attempt to break his will. Seeing a chance to escape, Stranger breaks free to clear his name by finding the man who originally sold him those damned horses.

It's easy to imagine the thought process behind the creation of Fabrizio De Angelis's The Manhunt. John Wayne was and still is immensely popular, so marketing an action movie with a Western tang starring one of actor's sons seems like a no-brainer gimmick for the '80s Italian film gristmill to capitalize on. Snap in a simplistic man-on-the-run story probably written over two days by De Angelis and prolific genre writer Dardano Sacchetti and you've got yourself something many will see merely out of curiosity. For extra insurance, support the inexperienced lead with recognizable character actors like Borgnine, Silva, Bo Svenson (a sheriff in a handful of scenes), and fallen German-born tough guy Raimund Harmstorf.

Unfortunately, the most exciting thing about watching The Manhunt last night was when my usually trusty Sony VCR nearly destroyed the tape from a flaky Eject. That's not to say this one's necessarily "bad" in a traditional sense. Fabrizio De Angelis, a.k.a. Larry Ludman, helped produce a litany of Italian horror and cult greats (including those at Lucio Fulci's peak), but his smaller directorial career is typified as being an also-ran. His films are rather even-keeled, neither as hackish as something from Bruno Mattei or as durable and in flashes exciting as Enzo G. Castellari's efforts at this time.

So yeah, this is just another cheap decent action flick with a couple tepid chase scenes, a lead that totally lacks charisma, and some funny loops in its logic. Like when our protagonist blasts a double barrel at cops while fleeing in a prison bus only to shout down an ex-imate friend for shooting at them in a later chase. Or how the shooter in the police helicopter never aims for the tires on the bus. Or how Stranger can be ran to the point of exhaustion in blazing desert heat for the kicks of prison staff only to escape later that night by running some thirty miles to civilization. Or how Stranger can get off scot-free upon finding the horse dealer even after the attempted murder of several officers and endangering innocent lives in reckless car chases. Also funny how at one point, Stranger provides his phone number, the 1982 Tommy Tutone chart-topper 867-5309.

Released by MEDIA on home video in North America, the Japanese VHS from Pack-In Video for this review is the uncut English version properly framed at 1.85:1 widescreen. The print is nice and bright, but unless you're a freak like me, it's much easier to just track down the U.S. tape if you're still interested. Ethan Wayne went on to be a cast member of De Angelis's better Vietnam brawler Cobra Mission (1986) along side Christopher Connelly, Gordon Mitchell, and Donald Pleasence.

Friday, March 29

Retro VHS Covers for Post-VHS Horror!

In the vein of Freddy in Space's recent Vintage VHS Box Art entry, here's a few great VHS cover mock-ups for recent horror flicks created by Chris MacGibbon of CMac Custom Designs. Great job, Chris! I love how the film's real distributors match their respective throwback cover styles! Even the damage looks accurate!

Thursday, March 28

Another new double feature DVD from Code Red...

Code Red just debuted another great double feature for sale on their webstore for just $16.99. They've also restocked some of their prior but pricey-on-Amazon titles like Mardi Gras Massacre (1978) at reasonably sane prices.  

THE POSSESSED (Help Me...I'm Possessed) (1976)
Rated PG / 1.78:1 Widescreen 16x9 (Anamorphic) / COLOR

A mad doctor (Bill Greer, who also wrote the screenplay) runs a sanitarium in the desert, where his hunchbacked servant (Pierre Agostino) whips women who are chained in the basement and cuts the legs off bodies so they'll fit in the caskets! INSANE! INCREDIBLE! OUTRAGEOUS! Directed by Charles Nizet (SLAVES OF LOVE).

DEMON WITCH CHILD (La endemoniada / The Possessed) (1975)
Rated R / 1.78:1 Widescreen 16x9 (Anamorphic) / COLOR

Spanish horror icon Amando de Ossorio directed this shocking horror film about a possessed little girl (Marian Salgado), looking older than her age, who cuts off her mother's boyfriend’s cock, and then gives it to her mother. Spanish character actor Fernando Sancho and Julian Mateos (COLD EYES OF FEAR) as an avant-garde priest all boogie down into a wild cockfight of good versus evil in this Spanish mishmash of exorcism! The beginning credits are so good, that the American distributor shows some of it twice!

Wednesday, March 27

Some quick thoughts on Cannibal Mercenary: Redux (The Mercenary) (1983)

Wilson (dude to the right with the biggest gun), a war-weary soldier who finds his life reduced to introspective moments of staring at a ceiling fan ala Apocalypse Now pondering the horror...the horror of Vietnam newsreels and his polio-stricken daughter finds a last shred of hope undertaking a brutal mission that'll pay well if successful. Seeing a way to cure his ill daughter, he accepts and assembles a motley bunch to get back into the inferno to dispatch a ruthless drug lord with excessively gory results.

There are spectacularly cheap war flicks and then there's stuff like Hong Lu Wong's Cannibal Mercenary (aka The Mercenary on US VHS). This purely Thai picture lacks even the minimalistic coherence afforded to this type of ramshackle production that occurs when other countries like Italy get involved. The result is mean and nasty war exploitation that chugs along entirely on the spectacle of brutal fisticuffs and gory bodily harm in one scene to the next. As the troop descends into the jungle; tripwire bamboo spikes, springtrap decaps, penis mangling, railroad spike-to-the-brain murder, piss drinking torture, impromptu cannibal feasting, and gender and age neutral killings become what fuels the runtime.

The members of the group aren't exactly nice guy heroes themselves. Taking a page from The Dirty Dozen (1967), they're more like war criminals wrangling with issues of carnal lust and twisted morality taking what they wish by any means necessary in their quest to slaughter slightly worse bad guys. Our lead "hero" Wilson's pained disillusionment, ripped wholesale from modern Hollywood war classics, mostly takes a backseat to the kick ass gruesomeness only serving as a hackneyed bookend to give some semblance of purpose to the story. As evident in a scene where Wilson coldly executes a female spy at point blank range, Cannibal Mercenary ain't got time to bleed.

This still obscure film's version history might actually be just as interesting as all the bloodshed. The extremely scarce North American VHS from Public Video Company, Inc. is thought to be the original uncut version. At some point, Thomas Tang, a producer known for "westernizing" features such as these heavily modified the film for audiences across the Pacific. Many scenes (including gore) were chopped away, a few new scenes with English actors were filmed and inserted, and the intended narrative was entirely replaced by rewriting and redubbing the dialogue.

I haven't seen this bastardized edit, but Earl Summerfield of The Uneasy Archive and King of the Witches VHS, the producers of this Cannibal Mercenary VHS, describes the alternations as creating a darker tone with the character's motivations completely changed. This limited VHS edition uses the better looking Tang edit for its base, splices in the missing footage from the PVC VHS (at times just single frames), and retains the original English dubbing and lighter story arc while preserving all of the copious nastiness. --also I can't believe I forgot to mention this when first publishing this entry, but like Tsui Hark's Don't Play with Fire (1980), much of the score is stolen straight from Romero's Dawn of the Dead!

If you're in the mood for some fine 'Namploitation gruel, Cannibal Mercenary goes down well, especially when paired with Jobic Wong's equally mean-spirited Jungle Heat (1985, review here). Or have a flashback triple feature if you can get your hands on the strange Get Victor Corpus: Rebel Solider (1987, review here). Unfortunately, being limited to only forty copies, this King of the Witches VHS of Cannibal Mercenary has already sold out. Although keep your eye on eBay, reasonably priced copies have already begun to appear...

Sunday, March 24

Video Update on Cheap Media Blasters DVDs and Some Other Finds...

Here's a video of my finds after hitting a couple FYEs and a Suncoast yesterday. In summation, price check...

Thursday, March 21

List of Cheap Media Blasters DVDs at F.Y.E./Suncoast (UPDATE #2)

Here's a list of Media Blasters (Shriek Show/Tokyo Shock/etc.) discs that I've either picked up or heard of being only $2.97 or $3.97 at FYE and Suncoast locations. It's still unclear why so many are being liquidated. I'm guessing it's either the studio closing shop or selling through overstock of titles they no longer have a license to distribute (i.e. - Die Screaming Marianne is now Redemption/Kino Lorber). I'm heading out this weekend to hit a few more locations. If you've found any not below, please leave a comment with what you've found! --Update: Added a few more, and I have a hunch all titles under Guilty Pleasures could possibly be found this cheap, see list here over at DVDAficionado.
  • Art of the Devil 1 & 2: 2-Pack (Tokyo Shock)
  • Central Park Drifter (1987) (Shriek Show)
  • The Chilling (1989) (Code Red/Shriek Show)
  • The Confessional (House of Mortal Sin) - Pete Walker Collection (1976) (Shriek Show)
  • Creatures from the Abyss (1994) (Shriek Show)
  • Die Screaming, Marianne - Pete Walker Collection (1971) (Tokyo Shock)
  • Doll from Hell (1996) (Tokyo Shock) (ADDED 10/31/15)
  • Girls Nite Out - The Slasher Collection (1984) (Guilty Pleasures)
  • The Hollywood Strangler Meets the Skid Row Slasher (1979) (Guilty Pleasures) (ADDED 3/23)
  • Jungle Girls Triple Feature (Golden Temple Amazons (1985) / Amazonia (1985) / Diamonds of Kilimandjaro (1983)) (Shriek Show)
  • Killer's Delight (1978)  (Code Red/Shriek Show) (ADDED 3/26)
  • The Las Vegas Serial Killer (1986) (Guilty Pleasures) (ADDED 4/28/15)
  • Love Bites (Les morsures de l'aube) (2001) (Shriek Show)
  • The Machine Girl 1.5 Remix (2008/2009) (Tokyo Shock) (ADDED 4/28/15)
  • Martial Club - The Shaw Brothers Kung-Fu Collection (1981) (Tokyo Shock) (ADDED 5/9)
  • Murder Rock - Special Edition (1984) (Shriek Show)
  • The New Big Boss (Legend of the Wolf) (Tokyo Shock) (ADDED 4/07)
  • One Missed Call 1 & 2 Collection (Tokyo Shock)
  • Scarlet Diva (2000) (Shriek Show) (ADDED 3/26)
  • Shaw Brothers Double Feature: Heroes Two (1974) / The Master (1980) (Tokyo Shock) (ADDED 4/14)
  • Slime City Massacre - Special Edition (2011) (Shriek Show)
  • Tokyo Gore Police (Standard Edition) (2008) (Tokyo Shock) (ADDED 4/28/15)
  • Vampire Triple Feature: Central Park Drifter (1987) / Fiancee of Dracula (1997) / Two Orphan Vampires (2002) (Shriek Show)
  • Where Were They Triple Feature: Somewhere Tomorrow (1983) / Sexbomb (1989) / Texas Lightning (1981) (Guilty Pleasures) (ADDED 4/22) 
  • Witchery (Witchcraft) (1988) (Shriek Show)
  • Women in Fury (1985) (Shriek Show)
  • Zebraman (2004) (Tokyo Shock).

Tuesday, March 19

I Spit on Your Grave (1978) Cover Variant at Wal Mart...

I spied this DVD of Meir Zarchi's I Spit on Your Grave at Wal Mart today. At all the locations I've been to, the chain has been carrying Anchor Bay's prior 2011 release that coincided with the remake's debut (seen here) at $7.50. This new Anchor Bay disc appears to be identical, also being the uncut 101 minute version with the same supplements, but obviously has its artwork modified to crop out and mask the model's exposed cheeks. Maybe at Wal Mart's request, which might make it exclusive?

The prior release's catalog number is DV22335 while this one is DV60449. This new edition also updates Zarchi's copyright seen on the back cover right below the credits to 1978-2013 from 1978-2011. The price is still $7.50, and I know there's collectors with a specific interest in this film, so be on the lookout. Funny how Wal Mart seems to have no qualms about carrying movies like this, The Evil Dead, Last House on the Left, and The Hive (with this cover)...yet Heaven forbid Marilyn Manson and Maxim...

Sunday, March 17

UPDATE: Cheap Media Blasters DVDs at F.Y.E./Suncoast

Looks like it's shaping up to be a price busting bonanza! I wonder what this means for Media Blasters? Sinking ship, much? From reader Justin Graves: "Hey man, I was gonna post this on the conversation we were having over on the Basement of Ghoulish Decadence page, as a thank you for your heads up about the Suncoast deals (pay it forward and all of that), but I can't post pics in the comments. Anyway, I dunno if these films are new to their bargain section or not, but they were new to me. Six releases from Shriek Show.

I found Creatures From the Abyss and Lucio Fulci's Murder Rock (Double Disc Special Edition) for $2.97 each. Slime City Massacre (2 disc) for $3.97 and a "Vampire Triple Feature" pack containing (in individual cases) Central Park Drifter, with Jean Rollin's Fiance of Dracula and Two Orphan Vampires, the entire pack also being priced at $3.97. Go get em if ya need em! Additionally, they were carrying the One Missed Call pack (the first two films, individually cased) for $2.97...and the exploitation flick Women in Fury (also from Shriek Show) for the same price..."


Friday, March 15

Dreamaniac (1986) - Empire Entertainment/Sony Video Software Japan VHS

Here's a rare carton of David DeCoteau's Dreamaniac I picked up recently. This cheap SOV about a succubus gorily picking off party-goers isn't much to write home about, but damn does this tape rock or what! It's basically a carbon copy of Wizard Video's U.S. big box with Japanese subtitles and superior picture quality. Trailers for Zombiethon (1986), Robot Holocaust (1986), and Wizard's usual copyright screens and logo fanfare are even on this VHS. Very hard to find in this uncut condition. The boxes are usually scissored up.

Tuesday, March 12

Cheap Media Blasters DVDs at F.Y.E./Suncoast

Over the weekend I moseyed into FYE and Suncoast in two different malls and noticed a few brand new Media Blasters discs at flea market prices. I picked up Die Screaming, Marianne (1971), The Confessional (1976), and Girls Nite Out (1982). They also had Central Park Drifter (1987) for $2.97. All of these looked "fresh" like they were recently stocked and placed in their regular Horror sections. Suncoast even knocked Girls Nite Out to just 99¢ when I bought Marianne with it. I'm unsure if there are others, but it might pay to check if these stores are still in your area...

Monday, March 11

The "Hidden" Philippines-lensed '80s Action Flick...

This ultimately middling effort doesn't warrant my usual "quick thoughts" treatment, but it has a few curious aspects that deserve attention. First, Andrew Prowse's Demonstone (1989) was marketed on video by Fries Home Video as a horror flick and even bore the tagline "Out of the past comes burning horror and the ultimate evil" seen over on Even the IMDB lists this one as simply Horror. Nah, not really...

In Japan, Fries licensed the film to TCC/GAGA Communications which more accurately marketed it as an action flick but kept the Demonstone (デモンストーン) title. That's exactly what it is, aside from a hammy supernatural twist, and rests comfortably in the slew of cheap action flicks shot in the Philippines in the late '80s. This could have easily been entitled something like "Quest for the Devil Stone" with no indication of the slight horror/sci-fi angle and no one would have been the wiser. But since this was purported to be a horror movie on VHS, it's not hard to imagine many a disappointed rentals.

Basically the blonde on the cover, Nancy Everhard, is an archaeologist who finds a stone amulet cursed by a monk that transforms its possessor into an all-powerful god of vengeance to destroy the bloodline of the man that killed him. The thief's current ancestor is a crime lord with strong political ties hellbent on finding who's suddenly vanquishing his family. Jan-Michael Vincent and R. Lee Ermey get involved simply by being stationed in the area at a U.S. military base called upon to investigate her initial spellbound killings.

Although this all takes a backseat to chessy one-liners ("you already took my family jewels once so this time you'll have to take a chunk outta my ass!"), actors mysteriously dubbing over themselves in random scenes, and a horrifically bad synth score. Mostly, Demonstone is an excuse for Vincent and Ermey to shoot/blow up piles of Filipinos and engage in chases with speeding junkers and armed dirtbikers in a flick that could have just as easily been helmed by Bruno Mattei somewhere in-between his Cop Game (1988) and Born to Fight (1989). So if you like this very specific niche of action movie, this serves as an interesting take that you might have otherwise passed on due to shady marketing.

Saturday, March 9

Couldn't make it to Monster Mania in NJ this weekend...

...but a friend got this signed by Danai Gurira for me yesterday!

Friday, March 8

Cannibal Ferox (1981) - 1996 Cinemart/Daewoo South Korean VHS

the red bottom banner I believe means this is an age-restricted movie
VHS releases from South Korea are just plain weird. The ones I've owned almost seem to treat the feature as secondary to ritzy commercials for electronics and cars both before and after the movie. Every one I've seen even have a color bar test pattern at the very start of the tape for TV calibration. Also the Korean-made cassette tapes themselves usually appear manufactured to a high standard, with different colors and markings denoting such, but are actually rather lightweight and cheap feeling.

This tape of Umberto Lenzi's cannibal atrocity smorgasbord bypasses the upper crust commercials for trailers for Past Perfect (1996), Savage (1996), a Korean-text only trailer of what looks like an American urban actioner comprised of firing machine guns and shit exploding at night, another unidentifiable trailer for an Andy Lau film, and a Korean female pop star's goofy music video with "TOO SOON 2" splashing across the screen. You got me...

But getting back to Cannibal Ferox, due to South Korea's stupidly strict censorship, this presentation is cut to shreds. The knife eye gouge, big cannibal chowdown (pictured on the back cover), penis-macheting, hand removal, breast hook n' hang, and "hole-in-table" decapitation are severely edited but still give the viewer the gist of what's going on. Here's where it gets strange, all of the animal cruelty is completely uncut. So yeah, that doesn't make any sense. We can't show some fake limbs being hacked off, but a real turtle getting butchered alive is fine.

Oddly, the Spanish dialogue spoken by the guides and police officer back on the mainland is totally unsubtitled. I guess the translator only knew English. The small Korean subtitles are a plain white, but they turn into a karaoke-like italicized red-orange when the girls sing Red River Valley while imprisoned. Of course, the edits are bullshit, yet given the general rarity of Korean tapes; this release of Cannibal Ferox definitely isn't common. To see a scan of the uncut Japanese VHS and links to a couple other rare Ferox tapes in my collection, see this past entry here.


Thursday, March 7

Another reason why these new Wizard Video big boxes are annoying...

This auction closed on Tuesday. The price of about two Wizard Video 2013 revisions could have purchased one of the most collectible vintage Wizards in great condition. The argument floating around in defense of the new old box/new tape releases claiming the original Wizards always being too expensive holds no weight. 
Why bother with a knock-off? Many collectors don't seem to have any patience nowadays...

Wednesday, March 6

Wizard Video Big Box Re-issue Update: Fuck the Numbers

New? Check these out: Band single-handedly destroys Wizard Video, Meir Zarchi "spits" on the idea, and the First Video Review

Originally, they were advertised as a limited signed and numbered warehouse find, but now Full Moon is selling, see here, unsigned and unnumbered Wizards along with the signed/numbered copies for a measly five bucks less at $45 ($54.50 shipped). I was chatting with Matt Desiderio of Horror Boobs who bought up the excellent point of the unautographed copies essentially proving these big boxes being reprints. Perhaps...

Or at least this opens up the possibly for Band to reprint them, especially the titles that sell well (Fulci's Zombie for one). So who knows what's going on, but now it seems even the collectability of the initial "limited" numbered copies might be jeopardy. The reception in our little community to these has certainly been mixed and this blowback could be affecting sales. I'm not the only one with unanswered questions.

This wrinkle is also more fuel for my speculation of these like-new big boxes eventually strangling the market value of the all-original '80s Wizards. Or maybe my other assumption is coming true and these just aren't selling well due to their high price and sheer dumpy quality of many of the movies. Either way, my advice would be to continue hunting in the flesh and digitally for the real deals, instead of these hipster mantle pieces.

Tuesday, March 5

Some quick thoughts on Highway Racer (Poliziotto Sprint) (1977)

Pony Canyon's Japanese Retail VHS
The facebreaker variant of Franco Nero, Maurizio Merli, stars as a brash cop known for high risk driving that usually ends in broken-bodied partners and costly shop repairs while on the beat. This understandably raises the ire of his once crack wheelman commander who nearly throws him on desk duty until a series of exacting robberies by a team of drivers in brown Citroens terrorize the city. Strained for skilled drivers to give chase, the feuding pair must work together, with Merli taken under the wing of his boss to hone his natural talent and go undercover to infiltrate the gang headed by another master driver.

This breezy Italian crime potboiler directed by Stelvio Massi appears to be the target of derision by some poliziesco fans citing the shift made by its leading man away from the prior, breakthrough police action efforts. Merli, known for putting so much passion into his hard-nosed roles that he'd end up actually striking fellow actors during screen fights, combs the part out of his hair and shaves off his trademark mustache that defined his appearance during his career. The actor cited this as his favorite role and it's clear by the aforementioned changes and spirited performance that Merli was trying to stretch his appeal onto new ground.  

The result is a different, less stuffy style of bravado that hurts the initial impression of what's supposed to be an inexperienced, yet daring hotheaded officer. Merli simply exudes an easy, likable confidence no matter the situation straight off the bat. This makes the character's history of rolled squad cars and gravely injured passengers merely seem like a string of bad luck. So there's little difference in his Rocky-like transition from law-givin' Alfa drivin' badass to ultimate law-givin' Ferrari drivin' badass.

The plot weaves through predictability and the ample car chases lack the sense of geography exhibited by other directors like the great Enzo G. Castellari that cranked out a slew of these Dirty Harry answers. There's some nice automotive stunt work, most of which obviously shot in real traffic, including a car clipping a real stuntman that looks like it could have been easily fatal. Yet like many other Italian offerings of this period, the conclusion seems compartmentalized from the rest of the feature and the credits can't seem to roll fast enough after the head baddie bites the flame-engulfed steering column. Still, the stupidly English re-titled Highway Racer is entertaining and never once bogs in spite of its meager aims and status as a second tier poliziesco.

I viewed Pony Canyon's Japanese VHS which might be the only way to see Highway Racer in English and correctly framed in 1.85:1 widescreen. While very mild white speckling is constant, the picture quality of this release is truly excellent for analog. The dubbing is very game and all of the credits are in English; leading to the assumption that some entity believed the film could have traction in the U.S. theatrically. Although given the fact this film never even made it to VHS stateside, it's safe to say those hopes were quickly dashed and Highway Racer quickly sunk into true oblivion.

Monday, March 4

A few years behind, the Ghoulish Basement finally has a Twitter

Always way behind the times, Basement of Ghoulish Decadence finally has its own Twitter. I'll try to post "exclusive" pics of cool junk and interact if you'd like to chat in 140 character increments. If you're inclined, please follow me and I'll follow you in kind. Click the screen below to be magically transported...


Saturday, March 2

New León Klimovsky Spanish Horror Double Feature DVD from Code Red

Code Red DVD has just released The Vampires' Night Orgy (1974) and Dr. Jekyll and the Werewolf (1972) onto a double feature DVD available for order direct through their website. I don't normally shill for DVD distributors, but since they've lost major distribution awhile ago, Code Red has been marching forward as a true labor of love. They've been struggling to keep titles in-print and even to stay afloat at all. Grab this one and others while you still can (at decent prices), this time their continued existence truly depends on our support.

A group of people are traveling by bus to the town of Bojoni, when the driver has a heart attack and dies. The group of passengers decides to drive to the near village of Tolnio instead to spend the night, and follow to Bojoni on the next morning. They find nobody in the apparently abandoned ghost city, but the next morning, they meet the hospitable dwellers. Unfortunately, their bus has a problem with the engine, and they have to stay in Tolnio a while longer. To their shock and horror, they soon find out that they are trapped in a vampire village, and their fight for survival begins! Directed by Spanish great Leon Klimovsky. Starring Jack Taylor, Helga Line, Dyanik Zurakowska, and José Guardiola. Rated R 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen (16x9)

Spanish horror great Paul Naschy returns as El Hombre Lobo for the sixth time as he searches for a cure to his full moon madness by visiting the grandson of the infamous Dr. Jekyll. What ensues next is a lover's triangle, as a savage sadistic Mr. Hyde roams modern London and transforms into a werewolf on the disco floor! One of Naschy’s best! Directed by Leon Klimovsky. Co-starring Jack Taylor and Shirley Corrigan (THE GODFATHER SQUAD) Rated R. 1.66:1 Anamorphic Widescreen (16x9)

Here's a extensive rundown of information and impressions from Bill Knight; Spanish horror aficionado, owner of Midnight Legacy, and current seller of awesome VHS rarities over on eBay:

Code Red DVD running time: 84 minutes 24 seconds / 2.35 Widescreen (16x9)
- English language Fully uncut/un-clothed export version! 
- On-screen title: THE VAMPIRE'S NIGHT ORGY 

In comparison to the Sinister Cinema release: 
Sinister Cinema DVD running time: 81 minutes 12 seconds / 1.66 Widescreen (approx.) 
- English language unclothed export version 
- On-screen title: ORGY OF THE VAMPIRES (video generated) 

Presented at 2.35 widescreen the Code Red DVD contains much more picture information than the Sinister release. The video quality and colors of the Code Red DVD transfer are perfect in my opinion. The film is not overly cleaned up and still retains the scratches and pops. This gives the film the feel and atmosphere of the period when it was shot. This is the uncut/unclothed, English language, export version of the film with all of the nude scenes intact! 

Code Red DVD running time: 88 minutes 9 seconds / 1.66 Widescreen (16x9)
- English language Fully uncut/un-clothed export version! 

In comparison to the Mondo Macabro DVD (PAL release): 
Mondo Macabro DVD running time: 83 minutes 6 seconds (PAL) 1.66 Widescreen (16x9) 
- Spanish language (with optional English subtitles) Clothed Spanish version 

In comparison to the Sinister Cinema release: 
Sinister Cinema DVD running time: 88 minutes 5 seconds 1.33 Full Screen (approx.) 
- English language uncut/un-clothed export version! 

The Code Red DVD is the fully uncut/un-clothed, English language, export version of the film compared to Mondo Macabro's DVD which is the clothed Spanish version of the film which covers the nudity. When compared to the Sinister release, the Code Red DVD is the obvious choice due to the video quality and the proper screen ratio. As for the reasons I have stated above, the Code Red DVD transfer is again perfect in my opinion. A highly recommended release for any fan of Spanish horror films!!!

Friday, March 1

Sleepaway Camp (1983) - 1987 Apollon Music Industrial Japan VHS

There isn't much to say about Robert Hiltzik's Sleepaway Camp other than it's one of most perverse slasher underdogs of the '80s. It's tough to beat this one's uneasy mix of tangible horror aimed at children and realistic portrayal of summer camp with a killer so entrenched in these themes that, once revealed, is more terrifying and shocking than the decade's more fanciful hack n' slash stalwarts. You do not wanna fuck with Angela.

Unlike Anchor Bay's DVDs (but like the old Media VHS), this Japanese VHS is fully uncut, lacking the odd trims and dialogue omissions of the recent releases. The unforgettable climax is optically fogged due to the country's censorship at that time, but it's skillfully done and hard to notice. This release is also very scarce to find in this unfaded condition. you dare tread upon the staircase?

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