You got to give some major props to these smaller boutique labels like Vinegar Syndrome, Synapse Films, and so many more, that keep putting out some rare titles that are either out-of-print on DVD or maybe never even been released in a digital format before. Today saw the announcement of two different box sets that I’m pretty excited about. One of the sets, I already all the titles, but upgrading to Blu-ray, especially with all the extras, it’s a no-brainer.
But let’s get to the first one that I’m most excited about. Today Severin Films announced Danza Macabra: The Italian Gothic Collection – Volume 1! For someone that is a huge Euro-Horror fan, especially the gothic horror titles, I’m very excited about this one. Coming out at the end of May, this box set will contain 4 features: The Monster of the Opera (1964), The Seventh Grave (1965), Scream of the Demon Lover (1970), and finally, Lady Frankenstein (1971), each one packed with extras.
The Monster of the Opera has a new 2K scan from the original negative, and will include audio commentary by Kat Ellinger, author of Daughters of Darkness. It will also have interviews with screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi, Italian film devotee Mark Thompson-Ashworth, and an archival interview with director Renato Polselli.
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On Wednesday, July 13th, head over to the Music Box Theatre in Chicago for a rare treat, being able to witness two Bigfoot movies, two very different kind of Bigfoot movies, on the big screen. The fact that there is a whole sub-genre of Bigfoot movies is amazing enough, but getting to see these two rare films, both that are about as far apart as you can get, will be screening in one evening.
Presented by Shudder and starting at 7pm, you’ll first get to experience a comprehensive and exhaustive Sasquatch mixtape, featuring Bigfoot’s appearances in film and TV shows, ranging from documentaries, children’s films, to horror and X-rated titles. How’s that for just getting started?
The first feature will be Cry Wilderness (1987), which is basically a children’s Bigfoot story but unlike anything you can imagine. The second feature is Night of the Demon (1980), which definitely isn’t a kid’s movie, featuring the famous scene where a biker learns what happens when you piss on Bigfoot. This is from a recent 2K scan from a recently discovered 35mm answer print. Both films are screened from DCP and look amazing.
Also, to entice you even more, both Severin Films and Vinegar Syndrome will have Pop-Up Shops set up in the Music Box Lounge starting at 4:30pm and there until after the screenings.
For all the information, just click HERE.
Next Tuesday, December 7th, at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre, they will be screening Álex de la Iglesia’s 1995 film Day of the Beast with a Severin Films Pop-up Store set up in the lobby, where you can pick up the latest releases from them!
Day of the Beast is about a priest that discovers the exact date when the Anti-Christ will be born and sets about to stop it. Joining him on his quest is a death metal record store clerk and a cheesy TV psychic, as they do their damnedest to save the world from Satan and his offspring! Unlike anything you’ve seen before, this was de la Iglesia’s second film and is just a riot.
The screening starts at 7pm but the pop-up store will be open from 4pm to 7pm. Please note the Music Box is requiring all attending must show a valid photo ID as well as proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test. See the theater’s site for all the events details, by clicking HERE.
Severin Films has been knocking it out the park these last couple of years. Aside from all the amazing titles they have released on Blu-ray, the box sets they have been putting out have been astonishing. The fact that they put out a collection of Al Adamson features shows that Severin founder David Gregory is not only a true fan, but works on making sure that these filmmakers are not forgotten but also to help fans continue to celebrate their work. The earlier this year, they announce a box set of Andy Milligan films. Who would have ever thought that would happen!?!?
And now, they recently announced a set of films celebrating Christopher Lee work in Europe with 5 films from the ’60s that while are a little lesser known to most fans, they are essentials is understanding the range of work that Lee did. In case you don’t know already, here are the titles the box set comes with this 9 disc set: Continue reading →
Fulci for Fake
Written and Directed by Simone Scafidi
Starring Fabio Frizzi, Paolo Malco, Sergio Salvati, Michele Soavi, Sandro Bitetto, Enrico Vanzina, Berenice Sparano, Michele Romagnoli, Davide Pulici, and Camilla and Antonella Fulci.
When I first read of this new biography being made on Lucio Fulci, of course, I was skeptical. A lot of biographical films tend to exaggerate things to tell a better story, instead of sticking to the truth. But after watching it, I now realize that it is something completely different. It is like if someone is going to make this biographical film, hires an actor to play Fulci, then the actor decides to go out to talk to the people that knew and worked with him, to give him some insight to this enigmatic man. And they did it brilliantly. So it is really more interviews and stories, interlaced with tons of photos and home movies showing a side of this director that we hadn’t seen before. Continue reading →
Blood & Flesh: The Reel Life & Ghastly Death of Al Adamson (2019)
Directed by David Gregory
Starring Al Adamson, Stevee Ashlock, John Bloom, Bud Cardos, Robert Dix, Tim Ferrante, Marilyn Joi, Gary Kent, Fred Olen Ray, Sam Sherman, Russ Tamblyn, Vilmos Zsigmond
Al Adamson’s films are really the epitome of what I consider a Turkey. It might not be well made, but it is usually entertaining. At the end of the day, that is all you can hope for in a movie. The more I had read and learned about Adamson, the more of his titles that I saw, like a few other low budget filmmakers, like Larry Buchanan, I discovered that I admired them more than their movies. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed the wacky titles they would put out, but knowing a little history behind the production and the people that made it, it made me appreciate it for what it was, and not what it wasn’t. That is one of the reasons that I think this new documentary is just fantastic. It gives newer fans a better perspective of this man and his work, showing a method to the madness, as the saying goes. And even for older fans that maybe wrote Adamson and his work off, it will give them a little more insight that might change the way they see them now. Continue reading →
No questions asked, I am a fan of Al Adamson and his films.
No, I won’t argue that they are quality made films.
I will argue that they… well, most of them… are high quality entertainment!
Adamson is one of those filmmakers that I admire the shit out of because of what he accomplished with what he had, when it came to time, budget, actors, and everything else needed to make a movie. He used what he had, he got them made, and out into the world. And they made money, or at least enough for him to continue doing it. So no matter how ‘bad’ some of them might be considered, I still give him a lot of credit. So a huge thanks to David Gregory at Severin for helping keep Adamson’s films and legacy alive and well for fans to remember and enjoy for years to come.
Now thanks to Severin Films, you can have your own Bu-ray copies of 31 of his films in one massive box set. PLUS, you get the new award-winning documentary Blood and Flesh: The Reel Life & Ghastly Death of Al Adamson, where you will learn more than you ever thought you could on the amazing life and tragic death of this true independent filmmaker. Continue reading →
Directed by Mario Caiano
Starring Barbara Steele, Paul Muller, Helga Liné, Laurence Clift,
Giuseppe Addobbati, Rik Battaglia
In 1960, Barbara Steele starred in Mario Bava’s Black Sunday, which set her on her path of being a horror icon. Over the next few years, she starred in many gothic horror films in Italy. When she appeared in Mario Caiano’s first entry into this sub-genre, it wasn’t her first rodeo. Before that point, Caiano’s work mainly consisted in the westerns and peplum (sword & sandal) genre. It is pretty surprising that he and co-writer Fabio De Agostini came up with such a great story, with plenty of strange angles, and filled the picture with so much atmosphere that I’m surprised that the fog doesn’t just ooze out of your television when you’re watching it. The original title is Amanti d’oltretomba, but it has been released under the titles The Faceless Monster and Night of the Doomed. But now, thanks to Severin, you can get the uncut and original version under Nightmare Castle.
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Directed by Konstanitin Ershov & Georgiy Kropachyov
Starring Leonid Kuravlyov, Natalya Varley, Aleksei Glazyrin, Vadim Zahkarchenko, Nikolai Jutuzov.
There are films in out there that are extremely important in our horror history, ones that make such an impact that they can change the genre itself. George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968) or Mario Bava’s Black Sunday (1960) are two examples that can create a whole new sub-genre of films and/or inspire new generations of filmmakers from that point on. Continue reading →
I’ve been a long time fan of the work of Al Adamson. I know, some say that would be on par with being a fan of Larry Buchanan, but as I’ve said many times before, if you’re entertained by their work, then they can’t be bad movies! And I still stand by that statement! Adamson made some of the best in low budget horror and exploitation films, such as titles like Satan’s Sadist (1969), Horror of the Blood Monsters (1970), Brain of Blood (1971), Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971), The Naughty Stewardesses (1975) and Blazing Stewardesses (1975), and so many more. But Adamson’s ending was right out of one of his movies.
Now thanks to David Gregory and Severin Films, you’ll be able to learn more about this man than you ever thought possible. Maybe afterwards you’ll have a little more respect for this underrated filmmaker.
We don’t have a release date yet, but the documentary will be making its debut at this year’s Fantasia International Film Festival. Stay tuned for more information.