Tuesday, August 05, 2014

New This Week 8.5 - Predator Predecessors and Haunted Mirrors

Pretty slow release week, but there are a few titles worth checking out this week, starting with Brian De Palma's wonderfully entertaining horror-rock-opera-musical Phantom of the Paradise:

Phantom Of The Paradise is a ground-breaking cult film favorite from acclaimed writer/director Brian De Palma (Carrie, Dressed To Kill).

Paul Williams wrote the acclaimed score for this musical horror classic, and stars as an evil record tycoon haunted and taunted by the disfigured composer Winslow Leach (William Finley, Sisters) he once wronged. Cheered by the Los Angeles Times as a “delightful, outrageous…visual triumph,” and also starring Jessica Harper (Suspiria, Shock Treatment) and Gerrit Graham (Chud II, Terrorvision), this hilarious send-up of the glam rock era is pure entertainment from beginning to end.”

Scream has really outdone themselves with the bonus features on this one:

• NEW Audio Commentary with Jessica Harper, Gerrit Graham and the Juicy Fruits (Archie Hahn, Jeffrey Comanor and Harold Oblong aka Peter Eibling)
• NEW Audio Commentary with Production Designer Jack Fisk
• NEW Interview with director Brian DePalma (36 minutes)
• NEW Interview with Paul Williams talking about the music of PHANTOM (30 minutes)
• NEW Interview with Make-up Effects wizard Tom Burman discussing the Phantom Helmet

• Paradise Regained – documentary on the making of the film featuring director Brian DePalma, Producer Edward R. Pressman, William Finley, Paul Williams, Jessica Harper, Gerrit Graham and more… (50 minutes)
• Interview with Paul Williams moderated by Guillermo Del Toro (72 minutes)
• Interview with costume designer Rosanna Norton (10 minutes)
• NEW Interview with producer Edward R. Pressman (15 minutes)
• NEW Interview with drummer Gary Mallaber (15 minutes)
• NEW Alvin’s Art and Technique – a look at the neon poster (15 minutes)
• NEW Phantom of the Paradise Biography by Gerrit Graham - 1974 Publicity Sheet written by and read by Graham (8 minutes)
• Alternate Takes (40 minutes)
• Swan Song Outtake Footage (10 minutes)
• Radio Spots
• TV Spots
• Theatrical Trailer
• Still Gallery

From director Greydon Clark (who has directed not one, but two films that have appeared on MST3K) comes Without Warning. It's a lot like Predator with an alien that hunts humans for sport. Only, unlike Predator, Without Warning is not awesome. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed Without Warning for what it is, but it is a bit too slow moving at times. But the alien is quite spooky in far off shots (not so much in the ultra bright Glam Rock shot on the back of the Blu-ray cover though) and we do get some solid acting from veterans Palance and Landau, which does help the film out quite a bit. Landau is especially convincing as spooked conspiracy theorist Sarge. I've known a few guys like Sarge, and Landau's performance is pretty believable. The second I saw his character I thought "Hey, they made a movie character based on Dale!"

The most interesting thing for me is that the alien is played by Kevin Peter Hall who actually went on be The Predator in Predator and that The Predator is also Harry from Harry and the Hendersons and Monster from Monster in the Closet.

"A group of teenagers head out to the lake for a relaxing camping trip in the mountains. They ignore the warnings of the local truck stop owner and head to their destination. Things go terribly wrong when they run into an extraterrestrial who throws deadly discs that suck the blood of their victims. The group heads back to the truck stop for help from the eclectic group of residents: a crazy war veteran (Martin Landau, Ed Wood) and a determined hunter (Jack Palance, Batman).

Also starring David Caruso (NYPD Blue, CSI Miami), Neville Brand (Eaten Alive), Cameron Mitchell (Blood And Black Lace) and Kevin Peter Hall (Predator) as the alien, and directed by Graydon Clark (Joysticks, Satan’s Cheerleaders), this ’thematic predecessor to Predator’ (FilmFanatic.org) is a non-stop ride into extra-terror-strial mayhem!"
  • Audio Commentary with Producer/Director Greydon Clark
  • New Interviews with:
  • - Cinematographer Dean Cundey
  • - Co-Writer/Co-Producer Daniel Grodnik
  • - Special Make-Up Effects Creator Greg Cannom
  • - Actors Christopher S. Nelson and Tarah Nutter
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery

    Ten years ago, tragedy struck the Russell family, leaving the lives of teenage siblings Tim and Kaylie forever changed when Tim was convicted of the brutal murder of their parents. Now in his 20s, Tim is newly released from protective custody and only wants to move on with his life; but Kaylie, still haunted by that fateful night, is convinced her parents' deaths were caused by something else altogether: a malevolent supernatural force­­ unleashed through the Lasser Glass, an antique mirror in their childhood home. Determined to prove Tim's innocence, Kaylie tracks down the mirror, only to learn similar deaths have befallen previous owners over the past century. With the mysterious entity now back in their hands, Tim and Kaylie soon find their hold on reality shattered by terrifying hallucinations, and realize, too late, that their childhood nightmare is beginning again...

    Special Features:
    • Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by Mike Flanagan and Trevor Macy
    • Inside The Mirror: Creating Oculus
    • Original Oculus 33 Minute Short Film with Optional Commentary by Mike Flanagan and Trevor Macy
    • Commentary by Mike Flanagan and Trevor Macy
    • Theatrical Trailer
    Framed for assassinating the Grandmaster, the Lost Ninja Clan must battle their way up an underground nuclear bunker filled with hordes of supernatural enemies, mutants and flesh-eating zombies. Trapped a thousand feet below the earth's crust, these ninjas will face hell! The Raid meets The Warriors in a picture that delivers a heart-pounding, adrenaline injected ride.  

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