Bird with the Crystal Plumage Review - 0:35
Hack-o-Lantern Review - 7:57
Sweet Sugar Review - 14:17
Virtuosity Review - 19:22
In the Mouth of Madness - 23:20
Shout Out - 28:00
Old Contest - 29:33
New Contest - 30:35
Update - 31:47
Bird with the Crystal Plumage
Review by MrParka
Dario Argento's directorial debut hits Blu-ray from Arrow Video in a new 4K scan. The maestro’s first film has never sounded or looked better.
An American writer, while working in Italy, witnesses a vicious murder attempt and becomes the key witness. As he digs deeper into the case, he and his girlfriend soon become targets of the killer. “The Bird with the Crystal Plumage” is not only a highly capable giallo that helped launch an abundance of similar films, but a vastly interesting film as well. For fans of Argento, is it imperative that they see “The Bird with the Crystal Plumage;” not just because it's a great film, but to see how Argento has grown as a film maker while staying true to his sense and style. Bird shares many similarities to Dario’s “peak" films such as the idea of art and murder being directly related, homosexual/quirky characters, and nice, inventive camera tricks. When it comes to the differences it's surprising to see Argento so reserved, his films often carry a certain surreal quality to them which can lead to ineptness, in “The Bird with the Crystal Plumage” everything is laid out fairly straight. Argento would abandon this straight giallo approach after only a few more films, only to come back to it with “Tenebrae” in 1982. Argento often came back to the straight forward giallo when a previous film had not lived up to financial expectations. The film's set up of having the key witness become confused at what he has witnessed works as a wonderful misdirection, setting up a great twist as to whom the killer actually is. The psychology aspects dived into toward the end of the film is directly inspired from “Psycho,” but it seems to be a tad more needed for explanation than the Hitchcock classic. The killer’s motive is very intriguing and equally disturbing. The motive and backstory is glimpsed at throughout the film and is successful at telling us just the right amount without removing the veil for the viewer. The result is when everything is revealed, the audience doesn’t feel completely lied to.
The features on “The Bird with the Crystal Plumage” are plentiful and more like a college course on a disc than normal features. We have film historians dive into the career of Argento through various means: featurettes, a commentary, and video essays. To top that off we have a new interview with Argento who is candid and tells a great story about the initial reception the film received and a new interview with actor Gildo Di Marco and an archival one with actress Eva Renzi.
Product Description: Bird With the Crystal Plumage
In 1970, young first-time director Dario Argento (Deep Red, Suspiria) made his indelible mark on Italian cinema with The Bird with the Crystal Plumage a film which redefined the 'giallo' genre of murder-mystery thrillers and catapulted him to international stardom.
Sam Dalmas (Tony Musante, We Own the Night), an American writer living in Rome, inadvertently witnesses a brutal attack on a woman (Eva Renzi, Funeral in Berlin) in a modern art gallery. Powerless to help, he grows increasingly obsessed with the incident. Convinced that something he saw that night holds the key to identifying the maniac terrorizing Rome, he launches his own investigation parallel to that of the police, heedless of the danger to both himself and his girlfriend Giulia (Suzy Kendall, Spasmo)...
A staggeringly assured debut, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage establishes the key traits that would define Argento's filmography, including lavish visuals and a flare for wildly inventive, brutal scenes of violence. With sumptuous cinematography by Vittorio Storaro (Apocalypse Now) and a seductive score by legendary composer Ennio Morricone (Once Upon a Time in the West), this landmark film has never looked or sounded better in this new, 4K-restored limited edition from Arrow Video!
LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS
Product Description: Hack-o-Lantern
When Tommy was a boy, he saw his grandpa (Hy Pyke), the leader of a vicious satanic cult, murder his father in a brutal ritual on Halloween night. Now Tommy (Gregory Scott Cummins) is 18 and grandpa is ready to indoctrinate him into the ways of the black arts. But as night approaches, someone dressed like a member of the cult, whose face is hidden behind a devilish mask, begins stalking and killing people connected to Tommy. Could it be grandpa, Tommy himself, or someone even more sinister behind these increasingly brutal murders?
Directed by Jag Mundhra (Open House, The Jigsaw Murders) and featuring atmospheric photography by Stephen Ashley Blake (Deadly Prey), HACK-O-LANTERN is a lurid mix of slasher, giallo, and supernatural horror, set in the frenzied world of Satanic Panic. Previously only viewable as low quality bootlegs, Massacre Video brings this distinctly sleazy 80s classic to Blu-ray in a brand new restoration from its original 35mm camera negative and featuring revealing interviews with is producer and stars.
- Brand New 2k Restoration From The Original Camera Negatives
- Remastered 2.0 Stereo Mix AND Original Mono Mix
- Newly Recorded Audio Commentary With Producer Raj Mehrotra
- English Language Captions
- Isolated Soundtrack Option
- The Power Is In The Blood Featurette (featuring interviews with stars Gregory Scott Cummings and Katina Garner)
- Rare Public Access Interview Featuring Katina Garner, Marya Gant And Director Jag Mundhra
- Behind The Scene Photos
- Trailers For Other Massacre Video Releases
Product Description: Sweet Sugar
NOTE: This special edition release of SWEET SUGAR is limited to 1,500 units and includes a double-thick o-card designed by Derek Gabryszak. If you’re a 2017 Yearly Package subscriber, you will receive both SWEET SUGAR and RED MOB with your June package, which will be shipping in two weeks or so. Limit 1 per customer.
The beautiful Phyllis Davis (TV’s VEGAS) stars as Sugar, a fun loving nympho traveler, who’s entrapped by a corrupt cop and sent to a female prison camp hidden deep in the tropical jungles of South America. Assigned a position on the notorious sugar cane gang, Sugar soon discovers that the plantation’s owner, Dr. John, uses the prisoners in violent and diabolical experiments. Sugar may soon become another of his victims, that is, unless she can bust out first…
Director Michel Levesque’s (WEREWOLVES ON WHEELS) much sought after and over the top women-in-prison thriller, SWEET SUGAR, is an action and violence packed exploitation classic, filled with blood, nudity, and a barrage of absurd twists. Long available in poor quality video transfers, Vinegar Syndrome is proud to bring SWEET SUGAR to Blu-ray, newly restored from its 35mm interpositive.
Directed by: Michel Levesque
1972 / 86 minutes / Color / 1.85:1
Starring: Phyllis Davis, Ellaraino, Pamela Collins, Timothy Brown, Cliff Osmond, Jacqueline Giroux
• Region free Blu-ray/DVD combo pack
• Newly scanned and restored in 2k from 35mm interpositive
• Video interview with Screenwriter Donald Spencer
• Original theatrical trailer
• Original cover artwork by Derek Gabryszak
• Reversible cover artwork
• English SDH Subtitles
More information here!
Product Description: Virtuosity
Two-time Oscar® winner Denzel Washington and Oscar® winner Russell Crowe square off on opposite sides of the law and on both sides of reality in this action-packed cyber-age thriller from the director of The Lawnmower Man.
Crowe is Sid 6.7 – Sadistic, Intelligent, Dangerous. He’s a composite of some 200 personalities, each and every one a notorious killer. A virtual reality creation designed to put L.A. police officers to the test. But Sid isn’t playing games anymore. He’s escaped the bounds of cyberspace and is able to take a licking because he can regenerate his silicon-based body parts. Washington is Parker Barnes, a Los Angeles cop who once took the law into his own hands…and now carries the fate of the city in them. His job is to shut down the virtually unstoppable Sid. Virtuosity – it’s the ultimate battle of bits and bytes, in the world of flesh and blood!
Product Description: In The Mouth of Madness
Imagine a novel so overwhelmingly hypnotic, so tremendously horrifying that it paralyzes its audience with fear and turns even its most sensible readers insane. When the author disappears, an insurance investigator hired to find the writer discovers far more than he could ever imagine in this spellbinding thriller. Starring Emmy and Golden Globe-nominee Sam Neill ("Jurassic Park," TV's "Merlin"), Jürgen Prochnow ("The Da Vinci Code," "The English Patient"), Julie Carmen ("Gloria," "The Milagro Beanfield War"), Emmy-winner David Warner ("Titanic," TV's "Masada") and Academy Award and Golden Globe-winner Charlton Heston ("Ben Hur," "The Ten Commandments"). Directed by John Carpenter ("Escape from New York," "They Live").
Shout out !!
Winner of the Brain Damage competition was Shawn Moran !!!!
Competition rules for Immoral Tales from Arrow
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1. Best of the Best Collection (Recommended)
2. Raging Bull
3. Thinner (been awhile)
4. Ten Little Indians
5. Psycho 4: The Beginning (worth a look)
6. Fender Bender
7. Guardian, the (recommended)
8. Jaws of Satan/ Empire of the Ants
9. Swinging Cheerleaders (worth a look)