May 26, 2015

Blu-ray & DVD: The Digital Dread Report for May 26th

Whatever a ferox is, some ninjas, a new Arrow Video release, two new Scream Factory releases, a new Synapse release, and the best fixer in LA... this is The Digital Dread Report for May 19th!

May is nearly over, but before it goes, it's bestowing upon us some great Blu-ray releases, and after it's already given us such great ones all month long. May is such a thoughtful month. We love you, May.

*Read on, and be sure to click the pics to order whatever strikes your fancy.
"Banned in 31 countries, CANNIBAL FEROX assaults your senses as a group of Americans lost in the jungles of Amazonia experience brutal retribution at the hands of blood-crazed cannibals. Shot on location in the savage Amazon wilds of South America, CANNIBAL FEROX is one of the most violent and shocking films ever made. There are at least two dozen scenes of barbaric torture and sadistic cruelty graphically shown.  If the presentation of disgusting and repulsive subject matter upsets you, please do not view this film."

Easily one of the most controversial Horror movies of all-time, Cannibal Ferox is hitting Blu-ray this month in a jam-packed, 3-Disc edition, courtesy of Grindhouse Entertainment. We've always viewed this one as a fun Cult Classic that we have a ton of respect for, but I'm not sure if it's a movie that we'd sit down and re-visit that often. I'm pretty sure that we're in the minority with that comment, but hey, cannibal flicks aren't really our fave, you know?

Still, this release is probably the best one of the month, and will no doubt be one of the best of 2015, when all is said and done.

  • Original UNRATED, UNCENSORED director's cut.
  • Spectacular new 2K transfer - scanned from the original camera negative.
  • SHOCKING deleted footage - lost for over 30 years and never-before-seen on home video.
  • Breathtaking digital stereo re-mix by Academy Award winner Paul Ottosson.
  • Optional Italian language soundtrack and original mono mix.
  • Candid and shocking audio commentary by director Umberto Lenzi and star John Morghen.
  • Provocative, in-depth interviews with director Umberto Lenzi, stars Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Danilo Mattei and Zora Kerowa, and special effects master Gino DeRossi.
  • EATEN ALIVE! THE RISE AND FALL OF THE ITALIAN CANNIBAL FILM - all-new feature-length documentary containing interviews with Umberto Lenzi, Ruggero Deodato, Sergio Martino, Giovanni Lombardo Radice, and Robert Kerman.
  • Original Italian, German and U.S. theatrical trailers.
  • Extensive gallery of stills and poster art.
  • Glossy 12 page booklet containing liner notes by legendary 42nd Street historian Bill Landis (author of SLEAZOID EXPRESS) and Eli Roth.
  • BONUS CD - original soundtrack album by Budy-Maglione - newly remastered in stunning 24 bit/96khz sound from the original studio master tapes, and including never-before-released alternate takes.
  • Beautiful embossed slip cover.
"Shocking, brutal and totally politically incorrect in its outlook, Island of Death is a gruelling cinematic experience devised by director Mastorakis to out-do the excesses of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, which he was hugely inspired by. Now fully uncut and newly-restored from the original negative, fans can enjoy Island of Death in all its sleazy, lurid glory."

Arrow Video U.S. has been releasing some great titles so far, and bringing this former Video Nasty to market is only making us love them more. We've never seen Island of Death, but now we have the perfect opportunity to take the plunge.

  • Brand new restoration from the original negative.
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation.
  • Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing.
  • Brand new interview with director Nico Mastorakis.
  • The Films of Nico Mastorakis: the director hosts this documentary covering his varied career in cinema, including a look at Island of Death.
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys.
  • Collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film, illustrated with original archive stills and posters.
"Years ago, Madman Marz violently murdered his family only to escape into the woods before his execution could be completed. Legend has it that anyone who calls his name can summon him back to continue his bloody rampage. But teenage Richie, away at camp, doesn't believe the old legend and calls his name. As night falls, strange things start happening at at camp and soon Madman Marz is back, axe in hand, to finish the killing spree he started decades ago. One of the true classics of 80's slasher cinema, Vinegar Syndrome proudly presents MADMAN on Blu-ray for the first time, newly restored in 4K from the camera negative!"

Continuing their tradition of releasing obscure Horror flicks from decades past, Vinegar Syndrome is bringing this cheesy 80's Slasher to a Blu-ray player near you! This isn't the best movie overall, but it's plenty bloody, and it's got that unique 80's Horror vibe about it... which makes it worth checking out, especially considering its low price.

  • New 4k restoration from the 35mm camera negative.
  • Original Theatrical Trailer.
  • TV spots.
  • Cast/Crew interviews.
  • The Legend Lives (91 minutes.)
  • Audio Commentary track by The Hysteria Continues.
  • DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono.
"Ray Donovan, a professional "fixer" for the rich and famous in LA, can make anyone's problems disappear except those created by his own family."

If you love great TV crime dramas then Ray Donovan is probably a show that you should check out. It's got a top-notch cast, all kinds of intense action and plot points, and it's one of the few shows that are actually worth watching during the long Summer months. Of course you should probably see Season 1 before you go watching Season 2, but they're both worth it. We actually enjoyed Season 2 a lot more that we did the first one, and we loved the first one.

  • Audio Commentary: "Yo Soy Capitan" by Jon Voight and Pooch Hall
  • Audio Commentary: "Walk This Way" by Liev Schreiber
  • Shooting Ray Donovan
  • Liev on Ray
  • Jon on Mickey
  • Musically Ray (via eBridge technology)
  • "The Affair" Season One, Episodes 1 & 2
  • "Penny Dreadful" Season One, Episodes 1 & 2
  • "Happyish" Season One, Episodes 1 & 2 (via eBridge technology)

There are actually a lot of worthwhile titles being released this week, even if most of them look to be on the B-Movie/Exploitation side of the fence.

  • We love 2-Pack Blu-rays, and this week, Scream Factory is releasing two of them for us to geek out over. Of course, you have to really dig Killer Animal flicks from the 70's & 80's to appreciate them, but if that is your thing, these releases are perfect for you.
  • If you're looking for a cheesy martial arts fix this week, there are three new releases that can satisfy that craving: Enter the Ninja (Franco Nero) and Revenge of the Ninja (Sho Kosugi) are B-Movie 80's classics; and Samurai Avenger is a newer flick, but we're curious to see what Synapse does with the Blu-ray. They haven't let us down yet.
  • We've been told that Gun Woman is all kinds of insane fun, and we'll be watching it soon. We're always up for some Japanese craziness.
  • Let Us Prey is another one that we're eager to see, if only because it's got Liam Cunningham from Game of Thrones in it. How can you not love The Onion Knight
  • We've also heard that Seventh Son is better than a lot of folks give it credit for. We'll most likely catch both it, and The Loft when they hit Netflix. Can't buy everything, you know. 

On the DVD front...

  • Nightlight (our review HERE) left us cold, but we have to imagine that there are a lot of fans out there who will probably like it, at least a lot more than we did.
  • Everything else, as always, is a crap-shoot.


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