Here's a quick tour through the upcoming DVD releases of cool, weird international cult films announced of late, many hits here we think:
As a weary sailor named Jan (Matthieu Carrière) sets foot on dry land, he is mysteriously abducted and awakens in the isolated mansion of Malpertuis. There, he is reunited with his sister Nancy (Susan Hampshire) and an eclectic group of distant relatives, each summoned by his dying uncle Quentin Cassavius (Orson Welles). Cassavius wishes to will all of his heirs an equal portion of his fortune. However, in return, each must honor his dying request: They are to remain within Malpertuis for the rest of their lives, the last couple to marry.
Trapped on the grounds of the sprawling mansion, Jan investigates as those who try to flee are dispatched in peculiar ways. Jan slowly spirals into madness as he realizes his uncle’s true intent and the nightmare world of Malpertuis takes hold.
Based on the classic fantasy novel by Belgian author Jean Ray, Malpertuis was director Harry Kümel’s follow up to the acclaimed Daughters of Darkness. Barrel Entertainment is proud to present Kümel’s surrealist masterpiece in two distinct versions: The quickly-assembled English-language edit that premiered at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival, and the newly restored Dutch-language director’s cut — re-edited to 119 minutes as Kümel intended and presented here in a new high definition transfer.
Special Features include:
* Malpertuis: Director’s Cut (1973; 119 minutes) Dutch language with removable English subtitles
* Audio commentary from director Harry Kümel
* Orson Welles Uncut, a 25-minute featurette containing rare outtakes footage of Welles during the filming of Malpertuis
* Susan Hampshire: One Actress, Three Parts, an 11-minute featurette containing new interviews with Hampshire
* Malpertuis: Cannes Version (1972; 100 minutes)
* Reflections of Darkness: Del Valle on Kümel, a new 74-minute career-length interview with director Kümel by noted film journalist David Del Valle
* Jean Ray / John Flanders, a 7-minute featurette that delves into the fantastical world of the Belgian writer including archival interview footage
Plus liner notes from film historians David Del Valle and Ernest Mathijs
“Filmed in luscious color by Gerry Fisher and a with a haunting Georges Delerue score, Malpertuis is a dream film unlike any other, and can now be seen in its full glory.”
– David Thompson, B.F.I.
“Malpertuis is at once totally delirious, and a marvel of control. It has to be seen to be believed – although see it and chances are, you still won’t believe it.”
– Jonathan Romney, The Independent on Sunday
Out on June 24th! We are really looking forward to this one!
From Deimos/BCI -
WELCOME TO THE GRINDHOUSE DOUBLE FEATURE:
BLACK CANDLES and EVIL EYE
To salute this film revolution of a bygone era, BCI has developed a line of DVD double features that recreate the ephemeral experience of the Grindhouse theaters with a whole new, interactive DVD experience. Featuring back-to-back film presentations, complete with movie trailers and intermission commercials, you can now enjoy the exploitative nature of exclusively licensed, cult films in the comfort of your own home with “WELCOME TO THE GRINDHOUSE”.
Carol and her boyfriend Paul travel to England after the unexpected death of her brother. Once there she finds out her sister-in-law is involved in a satanic cult and she finds out that Paul is being drawn into the cult.
New Anamorphic Widescreen transfer
Starring Helga Line (Loreley’s Grasp) and Vanessa Hidalgo.
Directed by cult filmmaker Jose Ramon Larraz (Vampyres)
Not Rated – 85 minutes – 1983 - Color
Evil Eye (Il Malocchio)
Peter Crane is having nightmares about murdering someone. His psychiatrist Doctor Stone has him hospitalized for being unable to differentiate between dream and reality. Soon people start turning up dead at the hospital. Is Peter really a killer or is there something more sinister at foot.
Starring Richard Conte (The Godfather), Anthony Steffen (The Night Evelyn Came Out of Her Grave) and Pilar Velasquez
NR – 89 minutes – 1974
Trailers: Pick up , Legend of the Eight Samurai, Burnout , Sister Street Fighter
New Anamorphic Widescreen transfers!
More Jose Larraz on DVD is always a good thing, even if it's one that the director himself completely disowns. Again, can't wait!
From Dark Sky, here's the details on the previously mentioned WHO CAN KILL A CHILD DVD and the lowdown on the wonderfully cheesy looking Italian 80s Vietman flick rip THE LAST HUNTER dropping the same day. Dig, it:
Who can contemplate the unimaginable?
Who can face the unthinkable?
WHO CAN KILL A CHILD?
On a vacation away from their family, Tom (Lewis Fiander, of DR. JEKYLL & SISTER HYDE) and his pregnant wife Evelyn (FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD’s Prunella Ransome) sail to an island off the coast of Spain that seems deserted… until its children emerge from the shadows with the blood of their parents on their hands… and hatred in their hearts for every adult.
Unflinchingly horrific and unapologetically downbeat, Narciso Ibáñez Serrador’s WHO CAN KILL A CHILD? was heavily censored for its American release in 1976 as ISLAND OF THE DAMNED. Dark Sky Films is proud to present the complete film, uncut and uncensored, for its long overdue American DVD debut.
"Who Can Shoot A Child” -- featurette w/ cinematographer José Luis Alcaine
-"Child Director" w/ director Narciso Ibáñez Serrador
- still gallery
War is Hell... and to carry out his top secret mission, one soldier will make a deal with the Devil.
Italian frightmaster Antonio Margheriti (Cannibal Apocalypse) turned to the horrors of war for this explosive action film set near the end of the Vietnam conflict.
Following the grisly suicide of his shellshocked friend, Captain Harry Morris (David Warbeck, The Beyond) accepts one final mission: to go behind enemy lines and destroy a Viet Cong radio tower broadcasting anti-American propaganda to US troops.
Aided by a ragtag squadron of commandos and shadowed by a beautiful photojournalist (Tisa Farrow, Zombie), Morris carries out his search and destroy mission with extreme prejudice, straight into the heart of darkness.
Made in the wake of the success of THE DEER HUNTER and shot on Philippine locations left over from APOCALYPSE NOW, THE LAST HUNTER is an over-the-top example of Italian exploitation filmmaking at its most shameless... and unforgettable.
In Blue Underground news, a recent interview with label head honcho Bill Lustig has laid out plans for what will most likely be their swan song of releases. But they've got some awesome stuff waiting in the wings:
THE STENDAHL SYDROME (2 Disc Special Edition)
LET SLEEPING CORPSES LIE (2 Disc Special Edition)
and four (count 'em!) Four New Jess Franco DVDs!
WOMEN BEHIND BARS
EUGENIE DE SADE
Fucking excellent! But sad too, cause BU was one of the very best.
And here's some Amazing Asian Sickness from Discotek!
BLIND WOMAN'S CURSE
Stunning 70's cult siren Meiko Kaji, star of the LADY SNOWBLOOD, FEMALE CONVICT SCORPION and STRAY CAT ROCK films, blasts off in her first headlining role! A novice yakuza boss in early 20th century Japan, she must defend her clan against a vengeful blind swordswoman (Hoki Tokuda), her bizarre hunchback servant (Tatsumi Hijikata), as well as villain Toru Abe’s gang of bloodthirsty killers.
Director Teruo Ishii (FEMALE YAKUZA TALE, HORROR OF MALFORMED MEN) delivers a bizarre hybrid of Japanese horror and yakuza genres featuring a nomadic terror carnival, girls skinned alive for their tattooed epidermis, and a succession of brutal swordfights. Actress Kaji offers prime evidence of why she became the top female action star of 1970's Japan. One of the key cult films from Nikkatsu, the studio that also released the unforgettable, offbeat hit TOKYO DRIFTER.
* NTSC Region 1
* Japanese with English Subtitles
* Anamorphic Widescreen 2:35
* Trailer and Photo Gallery
The late-'90s Hong Kong gross-out 'classic' that gets a hard Category 3 when Category 3 films still promised gore and sex. A man gets the ebola virus and is determined to spread it to as many others as possible (and often through forced sexual contact). Meanwhile, he begins to rot away. No detail is spared.
* NTSC Region 1
* Anamorphic Widescreen
* Cantonese with English Subtitles
* Deleted Scenes!!!
To wrap things up, just a reminder the DVD release of the year (or maybe of the decade, or maybe even in the entire history of the medium), the Films of Alejandro Jodorowsky Box Set is coming very, very soon - on May 1st! Six discs - EL TOPO, THE HOLY MOUNTAIN, FANDO Y LIS, LA CRAVATE (Jodo's first film once thought to be lost), plus soundtrack cds for both TOPO and MOUNTAIN and a ton of other extras! Great Goddess! Almost too good to be true!
And in book news, FAB Press has a batch of very intersting looking books coming out soon (and that's in addition to the amazing NIGHTMARE USA book we talked about some weeks ago). Here's the rad lineup:
A VIOLENT PROFESSIONAL: The Films of Luciano Rossi
by Kier-La Janisse
Italian cinema's tough-guy specialist explodes into action. A must-have for fans of '70s macho cinema!
With nearly seventy films under his belt, almost exclusively in the colourful, controversial and eye-catching realm of Italian exploitation, character actor Luciano Rossi (1934-2005) remains one of Italian cinema's unsung heroes. But while always memorable, until now he has existed only as a footnote in most Italian-focused film criticism, even in the work of ardent fans of the exploitation genre. By luck or judgement, Rossi made appearances in many of the greatest low-budget films ever to come out of Italy, working in all the popular genres, from spaghetti westerns, mafia shockers and horror films to cop thrillers, sexploitation, and every conceivable brand of bizarre Euro exploitation.
One would be hard-pressed to find a fan of spaghetti westerns or 1970s Italian crime films who isn't immediately gratified by Rossi's presence in any given film. Rossi gets brutalized more regularly and more spectacularly than any of his supporting counterparts, whether it's at the flaming fists of Maurizio Merli or via blowtorch to the nether regions courtesy of Klaus Kinski - and he deals it as furiously as he takes it.
A Violent Professional is the first book to fully examine the career of Luciano Rossi - complete with a brief biography and first-hand reviews of all of his known film roles - and stands proudly as a long-awaited appraisal of this dynamic actor's immeasurable contribution to Italian cinema.
This stunningly designed full-colour book is an absolute feast for the senses; hundreds of ultra-rare posters, pressbooks, stills and artwork have been put together to form an innovative and eye-opening package oozing with style, and every bit as dramatic as the classic films discussed in its pages.
Films covered include truly great Italian cult movies such as Django, They Call Me Trinity, Return of Sabata, Death Walks in High Heels, So Sweet So Dead, The Bloody Hands of the Law, Death Carries a Cane, Death Smiles At Murder, The Violent Professionals, Red Light Girls, Violent Rome, Emanuelle's Revenge, Salon Kitty, SS Experiment Camp, Violent Naples, Red Nights of the Gestapo, Contraband, City of the Living Dead, and many, many more!
'Kier-La Janisse, the first lady of euro-trash, has put together THE definitive work on Luciano Rossi. Ms. Janisse captures his mercurial oddness in text and pictures as only someone devoted to art and trash could. BUY THIS BOOK.'
- Craig Ledbetter, European Trash Cinema
'Luciano Rossi is one of the most identifiable and yet little known faces in Italian genre cinema. Kier-La Janisse's book is invaluable, both for its focus on Rossi and for the fascinating journey it takes us through the changing landscape of Italian popular cinema.'
- Pete Tombs, Mondo Macabro
Out May 14th, 2007!
CINEMA SEWER: The Adults Only Guide to History Sickest and Sexiest Movies!
by Robin Bougie, et al
The ultimate guide to the wildest excesses of grindhouse movies and beyond... Get Ready to Be Flushed!
The celebrated underground smash that is Cinema Sewer the magazine has been transformed and mutated into CINEMA SEWER: THE BOOK - and it's here to defile readers' souls while they giggle and shriek like gibbons!
A mind-melting compilation of gonzo writing, illustration and comics about the most insane, sexy, awkward, cheesy, hilarious, upsetting and jaw-dropping movies in the history of film, Cinema Sewer joyously celebrates the sleaziest aspects of the moviegoing experience, whilst delving deep into bizarre cinematic history.
Author and comic artist Robin Bougie takes a dive to the bottom of the cesspool of sexploitation, doing so in a distinctive manner that has made him famous amongst a loyal following of cult film fans. If anything, Cinema Sewer acts as Robin's handmade journal, preserving the DIY 'zine aesthetic and carrying it kicking and screaming into the future via articles packed with bizarre trivia and personal insights about the movies your mama always warned you about.
The best of the first twelve long-out-of-print issues of the magazine have been exhaustively revised and collected here, along with almost 100 pages of never-before-seen interviews, rants, comics, hard-to-find classic movie advertising, and graphic illustrations by Bougie and a host of his talented friends from both the comic book and animation industry. Regardless of whether the reader is just discovering the world of classic porn, horror, and exploitation movies, or if they're a long time fan from the days when the drive-ins and grindhouses reigned, they'll find plenty to get excited about, gleefully sloshing around in the filth of the Cinema Sewer!
'Great illustrations, trivia tidbits and lots more round out this most indispensable movie 'zine.'
- Broken Pencil Magazine
'The best obsessive porn-horror-kitch themed movie 'zine!'
- The Georgia Straight
'What sets (Cinema Sewer) apart is that even though the coverage is of the most insane, grotesque, repellant smut around, Bougie's writing never seems to pander... it is a refreshing approach.'
- Neon Madness magazine
Out June 2007!
NO BORDERS, NO LIMITS: Nikkatsu Action Cinema
by Mark Schilling
Nikkatsu Action - the film genre that brought the West to the East - and taught a whole generation the Japanese meaning of cool!
Nikkatsu is the oldest studio in Japan. In 1954 however, when it restarted production after a twelve-year gap, it was the new kid on the block, and had to learn new ways to survive in the brutally competitive Japanese film market. In 1956 it found salvation in Yujiro Ishihara, a hot new star who was Japan's Elvis Presley and James Dean rolled into one singing, brawling, long-legged package. To showcase Ishihara, it launched a new genre called Nikkatsu Action.
Made by a fresh crop of talented directors in their twenties and early thirties, including Seijun Suzuki, Toshio Masuda and Koreyoshi Kurahara, and featuring young stars like Ishihara, Joe Shishido, Akira Kobayashi and Keiichiro Akagi, Nikkatsu Action defined cool for a generation. Drawing inspiration from Hollywood and the French New Wave, Nikkatsu Action pictures blended East and West, movie-fueled fantasies and gritty realities of life in postwar Japan, from the hot jazz clubs and glam cabarets of the Ginza to the foggy loneliness - and danger - of the Yokohama docks at midnight.
As the 1950s gave way to the 1960s, Nikkatsu moved with the times, going Pop with a bang in films like Yasuharu Hasebe's Black Tights Killers and Suzuki's Tokyo Drifter and Branded to Kill, while raising a new crop of stars like Tetsuya Watari, Tatsuya Fuji and Meiko Kaji - the fiery, take-no-nonsense star of the Stray Cat Rock series. The end came in 1971, when the studio switched to a new genre it called Nikkatsu Roman Porno - but the Nikkatsu Action legacy lives on.
No Borders, No Limits: Nikkatsu Action Cinema is the first book in English devoted entirely to Nikkatsu Action. Packed with illustrations, including amazing rare Japanese posters, all in full colour, plus many previously unseen stills direct from the Nikkatsu archive, this book includes a history of the studio, profiles of stars and directors, film reviews and career interviews with Joe Shishido, Toshio Masuda and Seijun Suzuki.
'An excellent introduction to a vastly overlooked but crucial chapter in the history of Japanese film.'
- Midnight Eye
Out July 2007!
We're getting all these. You should too.