June 9, 2015

Blu-ray & DVD: The Digital Dread Report for June 9th!

A cross-dressing Samurai, some gentlemen spies, two sleepaway camp massacres, and two new Arrow Video releases that are crazy heavy on the Special Features... this is The Digital Dread Report for June 9th!

Der Samurai, Kingsman, and Society are on the way to us... because we have a Blu-ray addiction, you see.

*Read on, and be sure to click the pics to order whatever strikes your fancy.

"A shape-shifting cross-dressing psychopath wielding a samurai sword cuts a bloody swath of carnage through a small German village in this surreal mix of violence, sexual desire and dark comedy that recalls early David Lynch. The only person to confront this decapitating murderer is an uptight young policeman whose pursuit soon becomes a deadly game of cat-and-mouse as an odd bond forms between the two men. Completely bizarre yet wildly entertaining, 'Der Samurai' is a horror must-see for the adventurous!"

Artsploitation Films is releasing a bunch on interesting looking movies on Blu-ray & DVD this Summer, and Der Samurai is the first of them to land in our hands. It has definitely got an odd (and bold) premise, and the trailer looks downright creepy, so we'll be jumping on it the first chance we get. Review soon.

"Based upon the acclaimed comic book and directed by Matthew Vaughn ("Kick-Ass," "X-Men: First Class"), Kingsman: The Secret Service tells the story of a super-secret spy organization that recruits an unrefined but promising street kid into the agency's ultra-competitive training program just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius."

Along with Mad Max: Fury Road, Kingsman is the most enjoyable movie of 2015 for us so far, and it will be in our collection by the end of the day. Check out the link to our review below for the full story on this one.

  • Audio Commentary.
  • Kingsman: The Secret Service Revealed: The education of a 21st Century Super Spy.
  • Heroes and Rogues.
  • Style All His Own.
  • Tools of The Trade.
  • Breathtakingly Brutal.
  • Culture Clash: The Comic Book Origins of The Secret Service.
  • And more...

Read our review of Kingsman: Secret Service HERE.

"Five years after the horrific slaughter at Camp Arawak, transgendered lunatic Angela Baker has become a counselor at Camp Rolling Hills. But Angela is about to teach 'bad campers' a brutal lesson in survival when these horny teens are sliced, stabbed, drilled, barbecued, chain sawed and worse. Renee Estevez co-stars in this outrageously vicious sequel to the original cult hit, filled with gratuitous nudity, rampant mullets, exclusive extras and gore galore. Welcome to Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers! Starring Pamela Springsteen, Renée Estevez, and Tony Higgins."

We're not expecting this disc to be a technical marvel, and we already know that the movie itself is a cheesy (yet fun) B-Grade 80's Slasher, but there's just something about this release that makes us smile. This movie (and its sequel) are probably not going to be for everybody, but if you like 80's Slasher flicks, then they're definitely worth a watch. *They're both streaming on Netflix right now, if you want to give them a look before buying them.

  • Audio Commentary with Director Michael A. Simpson and Writer Fritz Gordon.
  • A Tale of Two Sequels – Part One featuring new interviews with director Michael A. Simpson, cinematographer Bill Mills, editor John David Allen and more…
  • Abandoned – The Filming Locations of SLEEPAWAY CAMP II & III – A tour of the shooting locales Behind The Scenes Footage with commentary by Michael A. Simpson.
  • Home Video Promotional Trailer.
  • Still Gallery.

"Welcome to Camp New Horizons, where an autumn retreat brings together a group of obnoxious rich kids and surly city thugs for an 'experiment in sharing.' But when notorious transsexual psychopath Angela Baker (Pamela "yes, she's Bruce's sister, Springsteen) joins the horny teens, she shares a lesson in butchery with axes, trucks, firecrackers, lawnmowers and more. Academy Award nominee Michael J. Pollard (1967, Bonnie and Clyde) and Tracy (yes, she's Melanie's sister) Griffith co-star in this third wild installment of the cult body count saga, packed with all the cruel killings you love, the gratuitous nudity you expect and a bloody cabin full of exclusive extras you've only imagined. Welcome to Sleep Away Camp III: Teenage Wasteland! Starring Pamela Springsteen, Tracy Griffith, and Michael J. Pollard."

Same thing goes for this release as it does for Part II above.

  • Audio Commentary with Director Michael A. Simpson and Writer Fritz Gordon.
  • A Tale of Two Sequels – Part Two featuring new interviews with director Michael A. Simpson, cinematographer Bill Mills, actors Mark Oliver and Kim Wall and more…
  • Behind-The-Scenes Footage with commentary by Michael A. Simpson.
  • Workprint of the longer cut (from VHS)
  • Deleted Scenes featuring additional gore footage (Taken from the workprint)
  • Home Video Promotional Trailer.
  • Still Gallery.

"Even though he's from a wealthy family, teenager Bill Whitney (Billy Warlock of Baywatch and General Hospital) just can't seem to fit in among the mysterious upper class of Beverly Hills. But when he learns that his parents and sister may be involved in secret sexual depravity, Bill begins to suspect that rich people are indeed very different from the rest of us. Can Bill escape his initiation into a nightmare world of privileged perversion or will he be forced to make the ultimate contribution to SOCIETY?"

Now this is a release that we're probably going to blind buy. I remember seeing this one when I was a wee lad, but I can't honestly remember much about it. What I do know is that Arrow Video U.S. has a habit of turning out fantastic releases on a regular basis, so screw it, we're going to throw caution to the wind, and order a copy. We're so brave!

  • Newly remastered 2K digital transfer of the film, approved by director Brian Yuzna.
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation.
  • Original Stereo 2.0 audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
  • Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing.
  • Brand new audio commentary by Yuzna.
  • Governor of Society – a brand new interview with Yuzna.
  • The Masters of the Hunt – a brand new featurette including interviews with stars Billy Warlock, Devin DeVasquez, Ben Meyerson and Tim Bartell.
  • The Champion of the Shunt – new featurette with FX artists Screaming Mad George, David Grasso and Nick Benson.
  • 2014 Q&A with Yuzna, recorded at Celluloid Screams Festival.
  • Brian Yuzna in conversation backstage at the Society world premiere.
  • 'Persecution Mania' – Screaming Mad George music video.
  • Limited Edition Digipak packaging featuring newly-commissioned artwork by Nick Percival
  • Collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic Alan Jones, illustrated with original archive stills and posters.
  • Society: Party Animal [Limited Edition Exclusive] – the official comic sequel to Society, reproduced in its entirety in a perfect-bound book.

"The credits dub this “the maddest story ever told”, a promise that’s well on the way to being fulfilled in the opening scene alone, when Virginia traps and kills a hapless deliveryman in her makeshift web. She’s one of three siblings who suffer from a unique genetic disorder that causes them to regress back to childhood, while retaining the physical strength and sexual maturity of adults."

The other Arrow Video U.S release of the week is Spider Baby; an oddity from 1968 that has garnered a large cut following over the nearly 50 years since its release. What's most interesting to us is that this movie stars a very young Sid Haig, and we love us some Sid Haig.

We'd probably rent this one before buying it, but for fans of the movie, or for fans of movies like this, this Arrow Blu-ray is a Must Own.

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of the main feature, available in the UK for the first time.
  • Original 2.0 Mono Audio (Uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
  • High Definition transfer of the feature supervised and approved by director Jack Hill.
  • English SDH subtitles for deaf and hearing impaired.
  • Audio commentary featuring Jack Hill and star Sid Haig.
  • Panel discussion from The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences FILM-TO-FILM Festival, recorded September 2012, featuring Jack Hill and stars Quinn K. Redeker and Beverly Washburn
  • The Hatching of Spider Baby - Interviews with Jack Hill, Sid Haig, star Mary Mitchel, fan Joe Dante and more on the making of the film.
  • Spider Stravinsky: The Cinema Sounds of Ronald Stein - The composer of ‘The Terror’ and ‘Attack of the 50 Foot Woman’ among others is remembered by Harlene Stein, Jack Hill, American Cinematheque’s Chris D. and others.
  • The Merrye House Revisited - Jack Hill revisits the original house that was used as the main location in the film.
  • Alternate opening title sequence.
  • Extended scene.
  • Original Trailer.
  • Gallery of behind-the-scenes images: The Host (1960) – Jack Hill’s early short film featuring Sid Haig in his first starring role [30 mins]
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys.
  • Collector’s booklet featuring writing on the film by artist and writer Stephen R. Bissette, and an extensive article re-printed from FilmFax: The Magazine of Unusual Film and Television featuring interviews with the cast and crew, illustrated with original stills and artwork.

There's not a lot in the bottom half this week that we're dying to see, but there are a few worthwhile gems to be found...

  • F/X is a classic, but $17.99 for an older catalog title is too much. Maybe we'll grab it when it drops by about half.
  • The Last Unicorn is a must for anyone with kids.
  • Thunderbirds is a great nostalgia kick. 

And as far as this week's DVD releases go...

  • Debug and Strange Blood look good, and American Backwoods is one that we'll be checking out via screener.
  • Everything else, as always, is a crap-shoot.

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