Thursday, November 10, 2016

Legend of Bruce Lee Volume One

Bruce Lee, what’s not to love.  The world fell in love with him, and martial arts in general when he burst on the scene as Kato in the short lived Green Hornet TV series.  Enter The Dragon is well regarded as the best martial arts films of all time.  Bruce Lee became an icon that to this day, years after his passing is still honored and beloved worldwide.

In China back in 2008 a Television series documenting his life began airing.  It lasted a total of 50 episodes and starred Danny Chan as Bruce Lee.  Countless martial arts stars appeared through the series run, Mark Dacascos, Ray Park, Gary Daniels, Ernest Miller, even Michael Jai White have all popped up.

We learn how Bruce began studying martial arts at a young age and used his skills to protect the neighborhood business from gangsters.  After an attempt on his life he falls into a coma and when he awakens his parent send him to America where he goes to college and eventually challenges the school Karate Team to a fight against his Kung Fu skills. And what skills they are.  Everything the Danny Chan does during these fights just flows and comes to life better than anything I have seen in years.
Is it true?  Who 
knows, I mean sure its “Documented” but I have read lots of conflicting reports.  Is it fun?  In a word, YES.  This is a fantastic set.  The fight scenes are simply amazing.  Movie quality to say the least.  And let’s face it that why you buy things like this, for the fight scenes.

Lionsgate had acquired the rights to this year’s back and edited the series down into a 183min movie, that although decent was in no way up to par with this set.  Well Go USA has acquired the rights and are releasing it in Volumes.  Volume 1 is a 3 disc set containing the first 10 episode.  And it is an amazing set to say the least.  It clocks in at a little over 7 hours.  As of this writing I probably have about 5 invested.

If your like everyone else and are a fan of Bruce Lee, or a fan of martial arts films.  Hurry and pick this up.  Like I said the fight scenes are some of the best I have ever seen you won’t be disappointed.

Overall 4 out of 5 Stars!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Trail of Dracula

A little while ago I was asked if I would like to receive The Trail of Dracula to review.  I responded that I would love to receive “The Trial of Dracula” to which my friend replied “It’s trail, if it was a trial he would lose”  

Now I just want to say that judging by the amount of vampires I saw on Halloween the other night, and the amount of vampire films to come out recently I think he could get off on a hung jury or possible mistrial, or trail if you will.

That being said when Halloween lights off and my son went to bed I decided to throw Trial of Dracula on as I’ve always enjoyed the character and I was in the mood for horror, but not a horror movie.

Trail of Dracula is a short documentary.  It clocks about 1 hour and tells the history of Count Dracula.  It actually goes further back beyond the legend of Vlad the Impailer, the character Count Dracula is based off of. You learn about Nosferatu, who I always found rather lame and of course you delve into Bram Strokers classic novel.

As I always hated the book, and the big budget film that came out I was not overly excited to say the least.  In fact I was a bit bored as even though I love Vampire movies the lore dating back is not really a fascinating subject to me.  Luckily the director realized this and the second act of the doc really picks up for us fans who are only about horror.

We get to explore the history of Dracula in film.  From Bela Lugosi, to Christopher lee its all explored.  Universal clips, which are my favorites as my son and I are both huge Universal Monster fans to the hammer Films from England, which are loved and admired by most all the horror population.
One of the cool things is learning a bit about the film Satanic Rites of Dracula, which I recently reviewed and hearing about the last Hammer Dracula film.  We also get to hear Werner Herzog discuss his Nosferatu, Udo Keir discussed Blood for Dracula, and of course audio of Christopher Lee discussing his love of Dracula.

Now if you’re a Dracula movie fan get ready for this.  There are 43, yes 43 different trailers for Dracula films from all over the world on here.  That’s over 90min of Dracula Trail Goodness.  That alone if enough reason to buy.  And I have to say the video quality on this disc is very good considering they had to mix many types of footage together.

If you like Dracula, or Vampires, or if you are just a fan of horror films then there is something on here for everyone.  A detailed documentary and a plethora of trailers.  Sadly though I did not see a trailer for “Trial of Dracula” so I think I may have to start production on that one.

Overall 3 out of 5 Stars!

Nightmare Sisters

Ok first off I am going to admit I have never seen Nightmare Sisters before.  I have heard of it, and of course I am familiar with the girls, primarily Linnea Quigley, the best straight to video scream queen of all time in my opinion. So when I heard the fine folks over at Vinegar Syndrome were going to be releasing this I knew it was something I had to see.

Nightmare Sisters is the story of 3 nerd girls.  Played by Quigley, Brinke Stevens, and Michelle Bauer.  There homely, can’t get dates, have no real life, nothing really going for them.  Desperate they decide to throw a party and invite some nerd guys.  Seems like a good plan.  

The party is basically like the Lambda’s party in Revenge of the Nerds until Booger pulled out the wonder joints.  These girls don’t have those so they pull out a magic crystal ball and decide to liven things up by having a séance. Problem being the crystal ball is cursed and the 3 become possessed by a succubus.

Now this, at least for the audience is not a bad thing.  Se the girls suddenly become hot, they even take a nice long bath together to get ready to go out and kill there nerd dates as well as some of the nerds horney frat brothers. Lots of nice little gore shots and an ample amount of nudity and hilarity ensues as all the guys have to fight not only there primal urges but the fact they will be murdered by 3 hot chicks.

This film is the epitome of low budget.  It was shot over 4 days’ time with the cast and crew of Sorority Babes in the Slime Ball Bowl A Rama.  It was all filmed in the producers house and the cast basically wore their own cloths and did their own make up.  It had a budget of 40,000.00 which is low even by 80’s straight to video horror.  However this was the market the film was intended for. 

Unfortunately things did not go as planned and the distributor went bankrupt.  I believe less than 2,000 tapes were ever sent out.  Apparently though USA Up All Night showed the film once minus the bathtub scene but I have never come across that airing.  Fortunately the 3 girls, especially Linnea Quigley became quite popular in the horror market.  Some of the scenes from this were actually inserted into her workout tape she put out years back.

The notoriety caused the film to slowly grow a large cult following.  A DVD was issued years back with a commentary track, but the screenshots I saw looked pretty poor.  That however changed when Vinegar Syndrome decided to do this new transfer.  Everything about this looks fantastic.  The lighting, the sound, the nudity, they all come to life in this gorgeous Blu-ray.  As its Vinegar it has an ample amount of special features as well.

Scanned, restored & preserved in 2k from 35mm original camera negative
Commentary track with director David DeCoteau & actress Linnea Quigley
Director introduction
Alternate feature length TV version
Interview with writer / associate producer Kenneth J. Hall
Bloopers / outtakes
Reversible cover artwork
English SDH Subtitles

Fans of 80s films especially those of the straight to video horror market should definitely pick this one up and add it to your collection.  It’s a lot of fun and I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Overall 4 out of 5 Stars!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


Back in the 70’s Vampire films became pretty much a go to for directors.  Countless films were made dealing with the creatures of the night.  Both in normal horror films, to grindhouse style, to even a more adult tone so to speak.  The most notorious of the bunch was a film made in 1974 called simply Vampyres.  Vampyres was the story of 2 lesbian vampire lovers.  That’s it, nothing more nothing less.  It was a great little film for its time especially since there was really nothing out there to compare it to.  Well now we flash forward to 2016 and low and behold the film has been remade.  

Also titled Vampyers this new version ups the ante on everything, sex, gore, blood, nudity, you name it. 

It’s a very simple story.  2 gorgeous vampire girls live together in a little remote cabin and have sex with each other.  They feed by luring campers, and wandering travelers back to their cabin and killing them.  Sometimes, well more often than not they have sex with them as well before they kill them.  I guess if a vampire is going to get you that’s a good way to go.  There were times you almost had to think the guy was lucky.  Well more so for the beginning part, not the death that inevitably awaited him

One day an entire group of campers set up there shelter right by the vampire girls cabin.  Basically you should be able to get the rest.  Campers are enticed, hell more like attracted to go back to the cabin where they are sexually killed off one by one.

If you are into gore than I have to say this is a bloodbath.  In one scene the 2 ladies are taking a bath in blood courtesy of the body with the slit throat above them pouring out the liquid all over them.  Also, yes, they are naked.  The film, like most any type like this starts off slowly.  In fact the beginning is basically just a showcase of the 2 girls showing off there hotness so to speak. The final act picks up a lot of steam however and becomes a frantically paced gore show.

Yes if you’re wondering the lady’s look fantastic.  They really do, there acting is actually very good and they have good chemistry together.  The acting on the majority of the campers who show up is not very good.  In fact the lack of chemistry between them leave you with basically no sympathy for them.  I rooted for the 2 vampire girls during the entire film

The DVD looks great.  All the colors are crisp and the sound is excellent.  Artsploitation did a fantastic job on this transfer.    They have been putting out a slew of fantastic films and this one is no exception.  If you’re a fan of vampires, horror, gore, nudity, then this is right up your alley.

Overall 3 out of 5 Stars!

Nurse Diary: Beast Afternoon

So.....I've never actually reviewed a film like this. Sure I've seen weird films and a few erotic films (not really my thing) but I don't think I've ever watched a hybrid of the 2 that was this bat shit insane. But I'm going to give it a try.

Nurse Diaries:Beast Afternoon is the story of a young girl named Reiko get and get boyfriend get stuck together having sex so of course they go a doctor who decides to keep her for treatment after discovering she suffers from "Genophobia" which is the fear of sexual intercourse.

See he has inventing a Dream Ring that when inserted into a woman's vagina it recorders her dreams which all seem to be erotic for some reason. Only problem with this is the Dr is insane. He uses the ring to hypnotize Reiko and has her begin committing murders.

The movie looks really cool I won't lie its like if Ed Wood and Tim Burton somehow had a bizarre love child and he came up with this. The visuals are great. It has more of a thriller vibe than sleazy grindhouse tone which makes it flow a lot better.

The transfer looked goo and while doing a bit of research I found this is actually part of a series. I do plan on seeking at least another one out to see how it intertwines with this.

If you like films like this than this is right up your alley if your like me and have never seen something this odd I would say check it out. If anything you can at least describe it to you friends while,they stare at you in disbelieve

Overall 2.5 out of 5 Stars

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Initiation

I used to watch Melrose Place religiously.  I have no shame admitting that, hell everyone watched it.  I always thought the Daphne Zuniga was gorgeous.  Before Melrose she had made a handful of films.  Space balls being the most well know of the bunch.  Her first starring role however was a small little film from 1984 called The Initiation from New World Pictures.  

It’s a really well made film that sadly got overshadowed as it opened around the same time as the original Nightmare on Elm Street.  Its had a few DVD and VHR releases over the years, and has managed to gain a nice cult following.  The fine folks over at Arrow Video took notice of this and have released it for the first time on a beautiful transfer Blu-ray.

Initiation is the story of Kelly Fairchild (played by Zuniga) she suffers from recurring dreams of a man burring to death in the home she grew up in.  Also she is pledging a sorority in which her initiation ritual will be breaking into her dad’s department store with the other pledges. It always made me wonder, if her dad did not own a big store what would they have done for an initiation?  Anyway well the girls are preparing to do this we find out that there is a looney bin a few miles away where an escape has just occurred.  We know all this because they call Kelly’s parents to tell them.

That night the girls and a few of their boyfriends break into the store as planned and strange things start happening.  Well not really strange, more like murder.  See there is a killer on the loose, remember the breakout of the sanitarium?  As this is all happening Kelly’s graduate Assistant Peter, who has been helping Kelly with her term paper detailing her dream, and partial amnesia she suffered has found out who the man in her dreams is.  I would tell you more but that would ruin it.  I can promise you, if you have never seen it, it has a great ending.

The film is very good.  Well made, well-acted, and perfectly paced.  Lots of great FX including death by harpoon, elevator, roof fall, stabbing, you name it.  Over in the UK almost a full minute of just gore shots had to be cut for the film to pass the ratings board.  It truly is one of the great horror films from that era in my opinion.

The lighting, which I always deem to be very important in films like this is spot on with a nice score in the back to set the tone.  As I said this is an Arrow Blu-ray so nothing but the best in terms of transfer.  Spot on picture and sound that pumps through your speakers, further adding to the tension of the story of the girls trapped in the store with a maniac.  Also as it is Arrow that has put this out its full of special features

 Brand new restoration from original film elements
 High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
 Original Uncompressed Mono PCM audio
 Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
 Brand new audio commentary by The Hysteria Continues
 Brand new interview with actor Christopher Bradley
 Brand new interview with actress Joy Jones
 Original Theatrical Trailer
 Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Justin Osbourn

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic James Oliver

All that being said this is a must own for any horror fan, especially those fond of 80's films.  Its an overlooked gem that needs to be seen

Overall 3.5 out of 5 Stars

Friday, October 28, 2016


So when the film being reviewed is best known for being an episode of not only Mystery Science Theater but Elvira in her new 13 Nights of Elvira show you would think one of 2 things.  How bad is this, or how horribly good is this.  Well considering it was the film’s director, Rick Sloane who submitted the film it leans a bit more towards the latter. In fact it is Rick Sloane who first embraced the disaster that was this film.

Hobgoblins is a Gremlins rip off, sort of.  I can’t really say it’s a spoof as the humor is pretty unintentional that I can tell.  It’s the story of Kevin, a night security guard at a film studio and his group of weird sex crazed friends.  One night when Kevin is on patrol he comes across an old vault that contains a couple of weird looking puppet like creatures.  They escape and we soon learn they are aliens who have the power to makes ones fantasy’s come true.  Bad thing about that is at the end you fantasy turns on you and you die.  There Hobgoblins and they have been at the studio locked in the vault for years.

Once the break out the head straight for Kevin’s house, yes I still wonder how they found it and he must team up with his friends to battle them.  Its full of cheesy gore shots and silly sleaze scenes, like when Kevin’s Girlfriend Amy’s fantasy turns out to be an easy stripper.   The humor is juvenile to say the least, but its ok it fits.

I can’t say the film has good acting, it doesn’t, it doesn’t have a good soundtrack, it doesn’t have good effects, in fact nothing about this is good.  That being said it’s a great and fun film to watch.  And I’m not the only one.  The following for this is so huge a sequel was made years later in 2009.
See what makes this great is the complete mess it is.  Remember this was an 80s film so excess was the key.  Go back and watch an serious 80s film, you will find something to laugh at.  Watch this and its funnier than Airplane.  It really is.  And I give Rick Sloane all the credit in the world for promoting it being bad.  Heck its considered one of the worst films ever made, but when you start to google it, it pops right up.  Fan sites and all.  I watched the Blu-ray last night with my wife and we had a great time.  We weren’t making fun of the film, we just watched it and laughed.  It was one of the more entertaining films we have watched together in a while.  The whole so bad its good theory really is true to the point with this one.

It had a few releases over the years on VHS and even on a Mystery Science Theater DVD set.  Well now Vinegar Syndrome has picked it up and released a fantastic Blu-ray edition with special features.

All extras on both disc formats
Region free Blu-ray and DVD combo pack
Scanned, restored & preserved in 2k from 35mm original camera negative
Archival commentary track with director Rick Sloane
“Hobgoblins Revisited” brand new making-of featurette
Brand new interview with hobgoblin creature fabricator, Kenneth J. Hall
“Hobgoblins: The Making of a Disasterpiece” featurette
“Hobgoblins Invade Comic-Con” featurette
Reverse cover artwork
English SDH Subtitles

All in all I highly recommend picking this up for a great film to watch with friends.

Overall 3 out of 5 Stars!