225 minutes of pure awesome. Exploitation fans won’t want to miss Synapse Films' latest trailer compilation. This new release features theatrical trailers from the first two volumes with plenty of additional material. Enjoy classic horror, science fiction, action and exploitation coming attractions remastered in high definition. The 80+ titles include such grindhouse favorites as Dr. Butcher, MD, The Pom Pom Girls, Werewolves on Wheels, Savage Sisters, The Teacher, The Evictors and Chained Heat.
Something Weird’s Blu-ray release of Herschell Gordon Lewis’ Blood Trilogy last year was a minor revelation. The Blood Feast print, presented in glorious high definition, was stunning in its gore-soaked clarity. All three films (including Two Thousand Maniacs and Color Me Blood Red) highlighted superior transfers, but Blood Feast was the standout. Hopefully these two later films from Lewis will boast the same spectacular presentation. Both films take the director’s trademark cheapjack gore effects to another level. The Wizard of Gore is the more ambitious of the two, but The Gore Gore Girls is funnier and (inexplicably) features comedian Henny Youngman in a prominent role.
Joe Dante’s follow-up to Gremlins is a messy, slapstick affair with enough sight gags for several movies. The slight plot finds Billy (Zach Galligan) and Kate (Phoebe Cates) living in New York and working in the same Trump-like skyscraper. Convoluted plotting ensures delightful “Mogwai” moppet Gizmo is a part of the action when a mad scientist ends up experimenting on him in the very same building. Zaniness ensues. John Glover and Christopher Lee co-star along with the returning Dick Miller and Jackie Joseph as Mr. and Mrs. Futterman.
Pioneering black filmmaker Bill Gunn’s surreal vampire classic finally gets a proper Blu-ray release. This newly remastered edition of the cult favorite features Gunn’s original cut in all of its confoundingly ambiguous glory. Extras include a feature-length commentary with composer Sam Waymon, actress Marlene Clark, cinematographer James Hinton and producer Chris Schultz.
This low-budget sleeper, infamous for its divisive ending, managed to anger as many people as it pleased. Fernanda Andrade is Isabella, a young woman who travels to Italy with a film crew to uncover the truth about her mother. Locked away in a mental institution for the murder of three clergymen, the troubled woman is either insane or she’s got some Old Scratch all up inside of her. Suzan Crowley makes an impression as the disturbed (and quite nimble) Maria.
Darren Lynn Bousman’s loose remake of the Charles Kaufman favorite finally gets a release after a couple of years in limbo. Rebecca De Mornay gives all as the subtly named "Mother Koffin" in this harrowing home invasion flick. Special features include an audio commentary with Bousman and actor Shawn Ashmore.
This fun, often silly slasher film was released just as the maniac movie craze was fading. The memorable (and very misleading) marketing campaign instead emphasized the title and the threat of being buried alive. The actual film is much more by-the-numbers, with a young woman named Christie (The Waltons' Mary Beth McDonough) investigating the drowning death of her father. As she gets closer to the truth, a menacing hooded figure begins to murder several people close to her. Pieces duo Christopher George and Lynda Day George (“Bastard!!!”) show up to collect another paycheck.
This sleazy Jess Franco WIP movie was marketed as an Ilsa follow-up to capitalize on the casting of the remarkable Dyanne Thorne. Though it’s similar to the other Ilsa films thematically, it’s missing the jet black humor of the first two Don Edmonds films. Here, Thorn plays Greta, the sadistic head of a mental hospital for women where the rehab includes filmed rape and ingenious torture. The late, great Franco muse Lina Romay co-stars along with Franco himself (as Dr. Arcos).
Srdjan Spasojevic’s controversial film about a retired porn star (Srdjan Todorovic) whose financial problems lead him back into the business. Unfortunately for him, his shady comeback vehicle goes much further than pornographic sex. Available for the first time in the U.S. in uncut form, Spasojevic’s film has been equally reviled and championed. Watch at your own peril!
Mutant Girls Squad (2010) DVD/Blu-ray Combo May 22
More inspired lunacy from three of the key players in Japan’s splatter movement. Noboru Iguchi (The Machine Girl), Yoshihiro Nishimura (Tokyo Gore Police) and Tak Sakaguchi (Versus) join forces for this gore-filled spoof of X-Men. If it’s half as brilliant as Nishimura’s Vampire Girl Vs. Frankenstein Girl, I’m in!
Opening Day Featurette
Interviews with Filmmakers
The Making of Mutant Girls Squad Featurette
Yoshie Zero Short Film