Monday, February 28, 2022

Sister Sister – Vinegar Syndrome (Blu-ray)

Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1987
Director: Bill Condon
Writers: Bill Condon, Joel Cohen, Ginny Cerrella
Cast: Eric Stoltz, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judith Ivey, Dennis Lipscomb, Anne Pitoniak, Benjamin Mouton, Natalija Nogulich, Richard Minchenberg, Bobby Pickett, Jason Saucier

Release Date: February 11th, 2022
Approximate Running Time: 89 Minutes 52 Seconds
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: NR
Sound: DTS-HD Stereo English
Subtitles: English SDH
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $39.98

"Protective and aloof Charlotte, along with her child-like and innocent sister Lucy operate their secluded country mansion as a bed and breakfast. On a cold and rainy night, Matt, a mysterious and handsome man from the city, arrives unexpectedly to rent a room, soon after taking a fancy to Lucy. As their romance grows, mysterious acts of violence begin to plague the quiet home, threatening to unearth dark and murderous secrets buried deep in the past…" - synopsis provided by the distributor

Video: 4.5/5

Here’s the information provided about this release's transfer, "Newly scanned & restored in 2K from its 35mm interpolative."

Sister Sister comes on a 50 GB dual layer Blu-ray.

Disc Size: 39.3 GB

Feature: 24.8 GB

The source used for this transfer looks excellent. Colors and flesh tones look correct, image clarity and black levels look solid, and the grain remains intact.

Audio: 4.5/5

This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD stereo mix in English and included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles. The audio sounds clean, clear, and balanced.

Extras:

Extras for this release include a theatrical trailer (1 minute 49 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), three deleted scenes with optional audio commentary by director Bill Condon (3 minutes 3 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), an interview with cinematographer Stephen Katz titled Going to War (14 minutes 48 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), an interview with actress Natalija Nogulich titled Staying Honest (24 minutes 52 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), an interview with actor Benjamin Mouton titled Being an Outsider (11 minutes 46 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), an audio commentary with Bill Condon, an audio commentary with author and film critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, reversible cover art, an embossed slipcover limited to 5,000 units and a twelve page booklet with an essay titled Drawn to a Flame: Bill Condon’s Sister, Sister Plays With Fire written by Cristina Cacioppo.

Summary:

Sister Sister is a psychological thriller that features many elements synonymous with Southern Gothic horror cinema. The narrative revolves around two sisters; one sister suffers from trauma, and the other sister has devoted her life to taking care of her traumatized sister. Their way of life is disrupted when a stranger enters their lives and becomes attached to the traumatized sister.

From its opening moments, it becomes clear that you cannot believe everything that you see. Throughout the narrative, there are several moments of calculated misdirection. Notably, an opening sequence where two lovers embrace each other by candle light while rain pours outside their room. Through a moment of midsection that originated from a character's mind, this scene is one of many that holds a key to the root of the trauma affecting one of the sisters.

The visuals are exquisite; every inch of every frame is carefully framed for maximum impact. The Louisiana Bayou locations are beautifully photographed, and these locations contribute a tremendous amount of atmosphere. Another area where the visuals excel is symbolism.

Sister Sister has a solid cast who are all very good in their respective roles, especially Jennifer Jason Leigh (Rush) in the role of Lucy, the traumatized sister, and Judith Ivey (Compromising Positions) in the role of Charlotte, Lucy’s older sister and caretaker. Another performance of note is that of Eric Stoltz (Killing Zoe) in the role of a mysterious stranger named Matt, whom Lucy becomes attached to.

From a production standpoint, there’s not an area where Sister Sister does not excel. The premise is well-executed, the narrative does a superb job of building tension, and the finale perfectly brings us closer to the events that preceded it. Another strength of the narrative is its use of flashbacks in the last act that provide information about the moment that traumatized Lucy. Sister Sister saves its best moment of deception for its finale. Ultimately, Sister Sister is an extraordinary psychological thriller that has an ample amount of misdirection that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Sister Sister gets an excellent release from Vinegar Syndrome that comes with a solid audio/video presentation and an abundance of insightful extras, highly recommended. 








Written by Michael Den Boer

Friday, February 25, 2022

Madman – Vinegar Syndrome (4k UHD/Blu-ray Combo)

Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1981
Director: Joe Giannone
Writers: Joe Giannone, Gary Sales
Cast: Gaylen Ross, Tony Fish, Harriet Bass, Seth Jones, Jan Claire, Alexander Murphy Jr., Jimmy Steele, Carl Fredericks, Michael Sullivan, Paul Ehlers, Tom Veilleux, Stephen Clark, Vicki Kenneally, Shelley Mathes, Lori Mathes, Jane Pappidas, Travis Sawyer, Deidre Higgins

Release Date: February 11th, 2022
Approximate Running Time: 88 Minutes 38 Seconds
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 2160 Progressive / HEVC / H.265 / HDR10
Rating: NR
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $49.98

"Many terrifying legends are shared around campfires, but very few of them are true. That’s what teenage Richie thought about the story of Madman Marz, a hulking brute who, as the story goes, murdered his entire family decades earlier and who can be summoned from the dead by calling his name. Unfortunately for Richie and his fellow teenage summer camp counselors, the legend is very true, and Madman Marz is back, freshly sharpened axe in hand, to continue the killing spree he began many years ago…" - synopsis provided by the distributor

Video: 5/5 (4K UHD), 4.5/5 (Blu-ray)

Here’s the information provided about this release's transfer, "Scanned & restored in 4K from its 35mm original camera negative."

Madman comes on a 66 GB dual layer 4K UHD.

Disc Size: 60.5 GB

Feature: 59.6 GB

The transfer used for this 4K UHD uses the same source that Vinegar Syndrome used for their 2015 Blu-ray/DVD Combo. And as great as that transfer looked, Watching Madman in HDR10, it's immediately noticeable that image clarity, contrast, shadow detail, color saturation, and grain all look stronger.

Madman comes on a 50 GB dual layer Blu-ray.

Disc Size: 41.6 GB

Feature: 24.5 GB

Audio: 4.5/5

This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English, and included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles. This is the same audio track that Vinegar Syndrome included with their 2015 Blu-ray/DVD Combo. That said, the audio sounds clean, clear, and robust when it should.

Extras:

Extras on the 4K UHD include an archival audio commentary with director Joe Giannone, producer Gary Sales, and actors Paul Ehlers and Tony Nunziata and an archival audio commentary with The Hysteria Continues!.

Extras on the Blu-ray include five TV spots (1 minute 59 seconds, Dolby Digital mono English, no subtitles), theatrical trailer (1 minute 48 seconds, Dolby Digital mono English, no subtitles), an image gallery that has commentary by Gary Sales about the pre-production, the marking of the film and its various home video releases (7 minutes 20 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), an archival introduction by Gary Sales (52 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), an archival featurette with Gary Sales reminisces about writer/director Joe Giannone titled In Memoriam (5 minutes 46 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), an archival featurette titled Music Inspired by Madman (13 minutes 17 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), Deadpit archival interviews with Gary Sales (3 minutes 39 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles) and Paul Ehlers (5 minutes 17 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), an archival interview with Gary Sales titled The Early Years of Gary Sales (14 minutes 18 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), an archival featurette titled Alive at 35 (21 minutes 2 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), an archival documentary titled The Legend Still Lives: 30 Years of Madman (91 minutes 42 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), an interview with  actress Gaylen Ross titled I’m Not a Screamer (19 minutes 30 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), an archival audio commentary with Joe Giannone, Gary Sales, Paul Ehlers and Tony Nunziata and an archival audio commentary with The Hysteria Continues!.

Other extras include reversible cover art and an embossed slipcover limited to 6,000 units.

Summary:

While other horror films from the 1980’s gained more attention and spawned sequels, Madman has flown under the radar since its initial release. A reappraisal over the past decade of this underrated horror film has led to a resurgence in its popularity amongst slasher film enthusiasts.

At the core of Madman is a story about a man named Marz who savagely murdered his family. And according to the legend about him, which is told early on during a campfire scene, he is still lurking in the woods near the home where he killed his family. He reappears whenever someone calls out his name. Of course, a cocky camp counselor sets the story in motion by provocation, calling out his name.

Madman is a fairly standard slasher film in terms of plot and structure, with the majority of the time spent with the killer stalking his victims and disposing of them in inventive ways. And while some may be turned off by the simplicity of what transpires on screen, the basic premise is strong enough and the kill scenes, which feature an ample amount of gore, are all well executed. Also, the film moves along at a brisk enough pace that things never lag.

One of the more surprising aspects of Madman is its cinematography. The cinematographer on Madman was James Lemmo, whose other notable films as a cinematographer include The Driller Killer, Mrs. 45, Vigilante, and Maniac Cop. The cast members all do well in their respective roles. The only performance that leaves any lasting impression is Tony Fish in the role of T.P., the camp counselor who provokes Madman Marz. When all is said and done, Madman is a solid horror film that holds up better than the majority of its more well-known contemporaries.

Madman gets a solid 4K UHD upgrade from Vinegar Syndrome, highly recommended.

                                                              4K UHD screenshots.












Written by Michael Den Boer

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Flesh for Frankenstein – Vinegar Syndrome (4k UHD/Blu-ray Combo)

Theatrical Release Date: USA/Italy/France, 1973
Director: Paul Morrissey
Writers: Paul Morrissey, Tonino Guerra, Pat Hackett, Mary Shelley
Cast: Joe Dallesandro, Monique van Vooren, Udo Kier, Arno Jürging, Dalila Di Lazzaro, Srdjan Zelenovic, Nicoletta Elmi, Marco Liofredi, Liù Bosisio, Fiorella Masselli, Cristina Gaioni, Rosita Torosh, Carla Mancini, Imelde Marani

Release Date: November 26th, 2021
Approximate Running Time: 95 Minutes 11 Seconds
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 2160 Progressive / HEVC / H.265 / HDR10
Rating: NR
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $79.98

"Deranged scientist, Baron von Frankenstein, with the help of his bizarre assistant, Otto, is determined to create a new master race, of which he will be the leader. To achieve his objective, he constructs two perfect ‘zombies’ from an assemblage of body parts, intending them to mate. Meanwhile, complications ensue as Nicholas, a farm hand, begins an affair with the Baron’s sexually frustrated wife all while searching for his missing friend Sacha, whose head and brain have been used for Frankenstein’s male "zombie"!" - synopsis provided by the distributor

Video: 5/5 (4k UHD), 4.75 (Blu-ray 2-D version), 4.75 (Blu-ray 3-D version)

Here’s the information provided about this release's transfer, "Newly scanned & restored in 4k from its 35mm original camera negative."

Flesh for Frankenstein comes on a 66 GB dual layer 4K UHD.

Disc Size: 59.5 GB

Feature: 59 GB

The source used for this transfer looks excellent. Color saturation, contrast, image clarity, and black levels are solid; there are no issues with compression, and the grain looks organic. It should be noted that when the game was originally released, colors and contrast looked too hot, and Vinegar Syndrome has since fixed these issues with a new disc.

Flesh for Frankenstein 2-D version comes on a 50 GB dual layer Blu-ray.

Disc Size: 46.2 GB

Feature: 26.2 GB

Though the Blu-ray uses the same source as the 4K UHD, the result is a solid transfer that’s just a notch below the 4K UHD’s transfer.

Flesh for Frankenstein 3-D version comes on a 50 GB dual layer Blu-ray.

Disc Size: 42.8 GB

Feature: 42.5 GB

The 3-D version offers two ways to watch: a 3-D capable TV and player or red-and-cyan 3-D glasses that work on all TVs. This release comes with a pair of red-cyan 3-D glasses.

The 3-D version looks solid.

Audio: 5/5

This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English and included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles. The audio is in excellent shape; the dialog always comes through clearly, and everything sounds balanced and robust when it should. Range-wise, things sound surprisingly full for a mono audio track.

Extras:

Extras on the 4K UHD disc is an audio commentary with film historians and authors Samm Deighan, Heather Drain and Kat Ellinger.

Extras on the 2-D Blu-ray disc include a theatrical trailer (3 minutes 21 seconds, Dolby Digital mono English with removable English SDH subtitles), two radio spots (1 minute 6 seconds, Dolby Digital mono English with removable English SDH subtitles), an extensive promotional still gallery with music from the film playing in the background (stills/lobby cards/posters/press releases/other promotional materials), audio Recollections with writer/director Paul Morrissey (23 minutes 45 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), screen test footage with audio commentary by Paul Morrissey (4 minutes 12 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), raw Q&A footage from 2012 with Paul Morrissey (33 minutes 36 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), an interview with assistant director Paolo Pietrangeli titled Feed My Frankenstein (16 minutes 26 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo Italian with removable English subtitles), an interview with actress Liù Bosisio titled Don’t Say a Word (13 minutes, Dolby Digital stereo Italian with removable English subtitles), an interview with art director Gianni Giovagnoni tilted Building the world of Frankenstein (28 minutes 31 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo Italian with removable English subtitles), an interview with film historian & author Stephen Thrower titled Andy’s Shadow (15 minutes 31 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), an interview with producer Andrew Braunsberg titled Dimension in Fear (11 minutes 15 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), an interview with actor Joe Dallesandro titled In the Flesh (12 minutes 48 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), an interview with actor Udo Kier titled The Ecstasy of Frankenstein (17 minutes 50 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles), an archival interview with Paul Morrissey titled Trans - Human Flesh & Blood (50 minutes 5 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English SDH subtitles) and an audio commentary with Samm Deighan, Heather Drain and Kat Ellinger.

Other extras include reversible cover art and slipcovers.

Summary:

Frankenstein is a literary character that's been adapted numerous times. And though there have been films that tried to remain faithful to Mary Shelley’s source novel, there are many instances where film adaptations use nothing more than the name Frankenstein and/or the basic framework of how Frankenstein created his monster. A film like Flesh for Frankenstein falls into the latter category.

From its opening moments, Flesh for Frankenstein establishes that it is not your usual adaptation. In fact, Flesh for Frankenstein is arguably the most original take on Mary Shelley’s source novel.

"To know death, you have to fuck life in the gallbladder." - Baron Frankenstein

Though there’s not an area where Flesh for Frankenstein excels. It's hard to imagine another actor than Udo Kier (Mark of the Devil) in the role of Baron Frankenstein. He delivers a delirious performance that perfectly captures Baron Frankenstein’s dedication to his experiments. Other notable cast members include Joe Dallesandro (Savage Three) in the role of Nicholas, a servant who seduces Baroness Frankenstein, Monique van Vooren (Sugar Cookies) in the role of Baroness Katrin Frankenstein, Nicoletta Elmi (Deep Red), Baron Frankenstein’s daughter, and Dalila Di Lazzaro (The Pyjama Girl Case) in the role of the female monster.

Flesh for Frankenstein is a period-set film whose set design and costumes are top notch. Also, Claudio Gizzi’s (Blood for Dracula) superb score does a great job of setting the mood. Visually, Flesh for Frankenstein is filled with beautiful imagery that takes full advantage of the 2.35:1 scope frame. Special effects are another area where Flesh for Frankenstein delivers and then some. The special effects, like the decapitation scene, are gruesome. Ultimately, Flesh for Frankenstein is a wild ride that fans of 1970’s exploitation cinema are sure to enjoy.

Flesh for Frankenstein gets a definitive release from Vinegar Syndrome, highly recommended.

                                                        4K UHD screenshots.












Written by Michael Den Boer

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs – Kino Lorber (Blu-ray)

Theatrical Release Date: Italy/USA, 1966
Director: Mario Bava
Writers: Giuseppe Moccia, Franco Castellano, Louis M. Heyward, Robert Kaufman
Cast: Vincent Price, Fabian, Franco Franchi, Ciccio Ingrassia, Francesco Mulé, Laura Antonelli, Ennio Antonelli, Mario Bava, Veriano Ginesi, Louis M. Heyward, Moa Tahi, George Wang

Release Date: November 10th, 2015
Approximate running time: 82 Minutes 5 Seconds
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: NR
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: N/A
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: OOP

"The great Vincent Price (Madhouse) is back as Dr. Goldfoot and no man is safe from his army of irresistible bombshell robots… not even N.A.T.O. generals! Goldfoot’s gorgeous robots are loaded with lovemaking explosives – their mission: ignite war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Goldfoot is one general shy of global domination and with the ravishing Rosanna (Laura Antonelli, Malicious) as his secret weapon; it’s just a matter of time. Now, it’s up to secret agent Bill Dexter (Fabian, Thunder Alley) to keep the general and the world safe from the diabolical Dr. Goldfoot and his sexy robots." - synopsis provided by the distributor

Video: 4/5

Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs comes on a 25 GB single layer Blu-ray.

Disc Size: 17.8 GB

Feature: 16.2 GB

Colors and flesh tones look accurate, black levels fare well, and the image generally looks crisp. Also, the source used for this transfer is in very good shape. That said, the opening credits and stock footage do not look as good as the bulk of the transfer.

Audio: 4/5

This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English. There are no issues with background noise or distortion; the dialog comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced. Also, when it comes to the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack, they are well represented and the film’s score sounds robust.

Extras:

Extras for this release include an image gallery with music from the film playing in the background, a theatrical trailer for Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs (2 minutes 8 seconds, DTS-HD mono English, no subtitles) and an audio commentary with film historians David Del Valle and David DeCoteau.

Other extras are trailers for Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine, House of the Long Shadows, and "Trailers from Hell" with filmmaker Mick Garris, who provides a brief overview of the cast and crew and other information related to Black Sabbath.

Summary:

The original English language title for Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs was The Spy Came from the Semi-Cold and this title is a literal translation of the film’s Italian language title, Le spie vengono dal semifreddo. It should be noted that this film was re-edited, re-scored, and new scenes were added for the film’s American release, which is also about seven minutes shorter than the Italian language version.

Though humor has played a role in many of his films, Mario Bava is most remembered for his contributions to the thriller and horror genres. His sole feature film that falls into the comedy genre is "Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs." Unfortunately for Mario Bava fans, this film stands out in his filmography like a sore thumb. Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs was doomed from its inception, with the American distributor making changes without Mario Bava’s involvement, and at one point, Mario Bava tried to remove himself from Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs.

And though the premise follows many of the same elements as Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine, The only real connection between these two films is their star, Vincent Price, who played the role of Dr. Goldfoot. The most egregious addition to Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs was the addition of Franco Franchi and Ciccio Ingrassia (002 Operation Moon). This comedic duo was dubbed the Italian Abbot and Costello. Their characters were made prominent, and sadly, their brand of comedy did not translate well outside of Italy.

From a production standpoint, since there are actually two versions of this film, and this review is for the American version, It would be difficult to fault Mario Bava for this disaster. With that being said, there are a few moments that are mildly funny, and these moments usually involve Vincent Price (Theatre of Blood). Another notable performance includes Laura Antonelli (Venus in Furs, The Eroticist), who provides Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs with its most memorable eye candy moments.

When a sequel is devoid of the things that made its predecessor successful, This is a nutshell that perfectly sums up Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs.

Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs gets a first-rate release from Kino Lorber that comes with a strong audio/video presentation and an informative audio commentary, recommended.








Written by Michael Den Boer

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Erik the Conqueror – Arrow Video (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)

Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1961
Director: Mario Bava
Writers: Oreste Biancoli, Piero Pierotti, Mario Bava
Cast: Cameron Mitchell, Alice Kessler, Ellen Kessler, George Ardisson, Andrea Checchi, Jean-Jacques Delbo, Franco Giacobini, Raf Baldassarre, Françoise Christophe

Release Date: August 28th, 2017 (UK), August 29th, 2017 (USA)
Approximate running time: 90 Minutes 9 Seconds
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: 15 (UK), NR (USA)
Sound: LPCM Mono Italian, LPCM Mono English
Subtitles: English, English SDH
Region Coding: Region A,B/Region 1,2 NTSC
Retail Price: £24.99 (UK)/$39.95 (USA)

"In 786 AD, the invading Viking forces are repelled from the shores of England, leaving behind a young boy – Erik, son of the slain Viking king. Years later, Erik (George Ardisson, Juliet of the Spirits), raised by the English queen as her own, becomes Duke of Helford, while across the sea, his brother Eron (Cameron Mitchell, Blood and Black Lace) assumes leadership of the Viking horde and sets his sights on conquering England once again, setting the two estranged brothers on a collision course that will determine the fates of their respective kingdoms…" - synopsis provided by the distributor

Video: 4.25/5

Here’s the information provided about this release's transfer, "All restoration work was carried out at L'Immagine Ritrovata, Bologna. The original 35mm camera negative was scanned in 2K resolution on a pin- registered Arriscan and was graded on Digital vision's Nucoda Film Master. Thousands of instances of dirt, debris, scratches, picture instability and other instances of film wear were repaired or removed through a combination of digital restoration tools and techniques."

Erik the Conqueror comes on a 50 GB dual layer Blu-ray.

Disc Size: 31.9 GB

Feature: 27.2 GB

Colors look vibrant, details and black levels are solid, and grain fares well. That said, there are some mild issues related to compression.

Audio: 4/5 (LPCM Mono Italian), 3.75/5 (LPCM Mono English)

This release comes with two audio options: a LPCM mono mix in Italian with optional English subtitles and a LPCM mono mix in English with optional English SDH subtitles. Both audio mixes sound clean, clear, and balanced throughout. With the Italian audio mixes, offering a slightly more robust presentation. It should be noted that the booklet that is included as part of this release mentions that the Italian audio mix was remastered from the optical sound track negatives and that the English audio mix was sourced from the best available masters.

Extras:

Extras for this release include Erik the Conqueror’s original ending (1 minute 23 seconds, LPCM mono), a video essay by writer Michael Mackenzie that compares Erik the Conqueror and The Vikings titled Gli imitatori (12 minute 6 seconds, LPCM stereo English, no subtitles), an audio interview with actor Cameron Mitchell (63 minutes 23 seconds, LPCM mono English, no subtitles) and an informative audio commentary with Tim Lucas, author of Mario Bava – All the Colors of the Dark, reversible cover art and twenty-four page booklet with cast & crew information, an essay titled Swords and Sensationalism written by Kat Ellinger and information about the restoration.

Included with this release is a DVD that has the same content as the Blu-ray included as part of this combo release.

Summary:

Throughout his career, Mario Bava was a versatile director who worked in every genre. And though he is most known for his work in the horror genre, the majority of his earliest films as a director were in the sword and sandal sub-genre. Most notably, films like The Giant of Marathon and Hercules in the Haunted World.

Content-wise, besides being influenced by Richard Fleischer’s The Vikings, there are many elements in Erik the Conqueror that have since become synonymous with the Sword and Sandal sub-genre.

The narrative moves along at a breakneck pace. The action set pieces are well executed and sufficiently bloody. Another area where Erik the Conqueror excels is its visual effects.

The cast members all do well in their respective roles. With the standout performance being Cameron Mitchell (Blood and Black Lace, The Toolbox Murders) in the role of Eron, the son of a Norseman who was slain in battle by Anglo-Saxons, Other notable performances include George Ardisson (The Long Hair of Death) in the role of Erik, the long-lost brother of Eron, and Françoise Christophe (Fantomas vs. Scotland Yard) in the role of Regina Alice, the queen of the Anglo-Saxons.

Visually, Erik the Conqueror is a feast for the eyes. And there are many moments where the colors are filled with vibrancy. Standout moments visually include a scene where lovers are crucified and a scene where a tarantula is used to torture a young woman.

Erik the Conqueror gets a solid release from Arrow Video that comes with a strong audio/video presentation and a trio of insightful extras, highly recommended. 








Written by Michael Den Boer

Naked Girl Murdered in the Park – Full Moon Features (Blu-ray) Theatrical Release Date: Italy/Spain, 1972 Director: Alfonso Brescia Writers:...