Showing posts with label 1968. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1968. Show all posts

12 February 2014

Eureka! Entertainment To Give Blu-Ray Release Of Classic Adventure The War Lord Starring Charlton Heston

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Eureka! Entertainment have announced the blu-ray release of THE WAR LORD. One of the finest historical adventure films ever made, The War Lord dramatises with uncommon intelligence and integrity the brutality, difficulties and injustices of the Middle Ages.

Charlton Heston stars as Chrysagon, an honoured knight who takes over a castle tower in the swampland of Normandy to strengthen his duke's authority. But his struggles to maintain power in the face of Pagan villagers, barbarian attackers and his brother's jealous counsel are shaken by his growing weariness with bloodshed in a cruel world.

Never before released in high definition anywhere in the world, this collaboration between director Franklin Schaffner (Patton) and the legendary Charlton Heston, three years before their iconic reunion on Planet of the Apes, is a gripping saga of ferocious battles, heartfelt emotion and powerful storytelling.

'A fascinating, literate and rather disturbing excursion into the past. Four Stars.' - Radio Times

THE WAR LORD will be released on Blu-ray by Eureka! Entertainment on 14 April 2014.



SPECIAL FEATURES:

• Gorgeous 1080p transfer the film in its original aspect ratio
• Optional English SDH
• Isolated music & effects track
• Original theatrical trailer
• More on disc extras to be announced close to release
• BOOKLET with a new essay, and rare archival imagery

Pre-order / Buy The War Lord on:The War Lord (Blu-ray Edition)

21 June 2013

Jack Hill's Foxy Brown / Spider Baby BluRay Review

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The fantastic Arrow Video has released 2 films by Jack Hill films Spider-Baby and Foxy Brown on blu-ray. Jack Hill has been by called “The Howard Hawks of exploitation filmmaking” by Quentin Tarantino. Jack Hill like many directors of his generation worked for Roger Corman in the 1960s he made such films for Roger as Pit Stop, The Big Doll House and the notorious The Terror (which Francis Ford Coppola directed bits of as well as Monte Hellman and even Jack Nicholson). Spider-Baby however was Jack Hill’s first real film but wasn’t released for years and was never properly released till the 80s/90s.

Spider-Baby is a rare slice of “California Gothic”, very few films are with only Psycho and some of Tim Burton’s films. The film is about these 3 children in puberty who are regressing the evolutionary ladder if you will; a backwards Darwinism if you will. They have a chauffeur Bruno played by Lon Chaney Jr. (the one who played The Wolf Man). The title Spider-Baby refers to Virginia because she is obsessed with Spider and hunts and bills bugs and her spider like movements. The film starts with them killing off an innocent postman. Bruno has mean able to keep the dark family secrets hidden all these years but when some cousins Emily and her brother Peter with their lawyer come it is all revealed over a grotesque dinner.

The film is a predecessor to something like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which it’s depicted of inbred cannibalistic family even though the cannibalism is all implied. It’s a very strange film with a dinner scene reminiscent of the one in Eraserhead. It’s shot in glorious black and white, which really adds to the gothic weirdness of the whole thing. The film starts a hilarious parody of the Monster Mash sung by Lon Chaney. The film also has an early role for Sid Haig as one of the inbred kids. It has in recent years even been adapted into a musical.

Foxy Brown is a very different film to Spider-Baby. It’s a quintessential piece of Blaxploitation and it stars the queen of Blaxploitation Pam Grier as its title character. Jack Hill is known for many things but probably most for discovering Pam Grier with his film The Big Doll House (which like Lon Chaney sang the title song in that film). Pam’s star making role was in the classic Coffy that Jack Hill also directed.

Foxy Brown was originally meant to be a sequel to Coffy due to its surprise success but American-International Pictures at the last minute decided they didn’t want a sequel. The film is some ways is rewrite the Coffy. Pam Grier plays a foxy mama who seeks revenge on some criminals on what they did to her loved one; in Coffy it was her sister. Foxy Brown it’s her boyfriend who is witness protection (he has had cosmetic surgery) who is shot down by a drug syndicate. She poses as a prostitute to infiltrate the organization. She helps one of the prostitute from a life drugs and sexual exploitation. The rest of the film is all revenge themed set pieces including one of castrating.

The film as expecting is a total hoot from start to finish with Pam Grier killing everyone; she literally hides a gun into her Afro in the climax. It’s normal case the soundtrack for Blaxploitation films to have a great soundtrack and it’s certainly the case this time with music by Willie Hutch who also did the score for the pimpin’ classic The Mack. The film is certainly on par with its predecessor Coffy, it may not quite reach the dizzy heights of that film but it’s a blast. The film like Spider-Baby and Coffy also features a supporting role by Sid Haig who Jack Hill knew since his student days. Tarantino famously adapted the title for his masterpiece Jackie Brown that of course stars Pam Grier.

Arrow Video has put lots of love and care into these releases which a wealth of bonus material with a doc on Blaxploitation, a doc on Spider Baby, interviews with Sid Haig, commentaries by Jack Hil on both films, one of Jack Hill’s short films. Arrow is rapidly becoming one of the best home video companies in the UK and look out for more by them in recent months and maybe some day they can release Coffy.

★★★★

Ian Schultz


Spiderbaby (1968)
Rating: 18
BluRay Release Date: 24th June 2013(UK)
DirectorJack Hill
CastLon Chaney Jr.Carol Ohmart,Quinn K. Redeker,Sid Haig
Buy Spider BabyBlu-ray




Foxy Brown (1974)
Rating: 18
BluRay Release Date: 24th June 2013(UK)
DirectorJack Hill
Cast:  Pam Grier
Buy Foxy Brown: Blu-ray / SteelBook [Blu-ray]


8 June 2013

Jack Hill's Spider Baby Will Be The Maddest Blu-Ray You'll Ever Own, Coming July

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Arrow Video is pleased to confirm the UK DVD and Worldwide Blu-ray premiere of Jack Hill’s landmark debut feature film, SPIDER BABY, on Monday June 17th.

Finally available on Blu-ray for the very first time anywhere in the world, this stunning version of “the maddest story ever told” features a beautifully restored high-definition transfer, a process supervised and approved by Jack Hill himself.

Starring cult superstar Sid Haig (House Of 1000 Corpses) alongside Lon Chaney Jr. (The Wolf Man, Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein) in one of his last ever on-screen roles, SPIDER BABY tells the unfathomable story of three orphaned siblings who suffer from "Merrye Syndrome" – a condition which causes them to mentally, socially, and physically regress backwards down the evolutionary ladder!

The super-deluxe dual DVD & Blu-ray edition comes LOADED with special features and bonus material, even including Hill’s 30-minute short film “The Host”. Made in 1960 and starring Sid Haig in his first ever leading role, “The Host” sees a fugitive gangster attempt to set-free a group of Spanish settlers who are held under the powers of evil.

Other extras include audio commentary with Jack Hill and Sid Haig, three new featurettes, an alternate opening sequence, extended scenes, original trailer, behind-the-scenes imagery and an in-depth collector’s booklet. A complete list of special features and full details follow the synopsis.

Keeping with what is a now a fan-favoured tradition of Arrow Video restorations, SPIDER BABY will come complete with a reversible sleeve, featuring the original 1968 artwork and a stunning new design by Graham ‘Evil Dead’ Humphries.

Synopsis

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.

Lon Chaney Jr gave one of his most memorable late performances as Bruno, their guardian and protector, who has managed to cover up their crimes until two distant relatives lay claim to their house. When they insist on moving in, Bruno has to cross his fingers and hope that the ‘children’ behave towards their new guests...

This was the first solo feature by Jack Hill (Coffy, Switchblade Sisters), whom Quentin Tarantino dubbed “the Howard Hawks of exploitation filmmaking”, and it remains one of his wildest and weirdest.

The director-approved special features included on the dual edition release of SPIDER BABY are as follows:

- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of the main feature, available in the UK for the very first time.
- High Definition transfer of the feature 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.
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham ‘Evil Dead’ Humpreys.
- 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.

Buy: Spider Baby On Blu-ray