Slaughter Hotel (1972). First, two words: Klaus Kinski. Second, two more words, namely, the alternative title to this Italian schlocker: Asylum Erotica. The rest we'll leave to Exploitation Retrospect: The Journal of Junk Culture and Fringe Media: "The flick starts off with pre-credit sequence of a masked, axe-wielding killer stalking a nubile and scantily-clad Italian babe... Recommended just because it's so damned fun." [Rent]
Further on in the vein of Eurohorror, we have two new discs with three films from Jess Franco: Broken Dolls/Helter Skelter (1999/2000) [Rent] and Vampire Junction (2001) [Rent]. Franco, one of the most eclectic characters in cinema history - which really is saying something, you know - is already three-quarters of century old. And yet the Spaniard keeps churning them out, writing, directing, shooting, editing and composing scores for an ouevre that may soon reach a total of 200 films, a smorgasbord of low budget sci-fi, horror and sex. Oh, and these three? Come on, as if the story mattered.
Matthew Blackheart: Monster Smasher (2001). A bit of made-for-TV silliness. [Rent]
Zombie Cult Massacre (2002). When it comes to this one, there's only one man to check in with, and he says: "Jeff Dunn, the one-man drive-in film industry of Cincinnati, Ohio, is a true artist, and apparently a master when it comes to getting people to work for free. He has what looks like at least a hundred zombies, plus that many stuntmen, about 40 bizarre religious cultists, a biker gang, bizarre demonic animation that looks like it was grafted onto the film with a blowtorch, and so many exploding heads and dismembered bodies being devoured by ghouls that "massacre" doesn't begin to cover it.... Three stars. Joe Bob says check it out." [Rent]
Hangman's Curse (2003). Tagline: "Watch your locker. Watch your back. Watch your soul." [Rent]
Psyclops (2002). From Troma vet Brett Piper. [Rent]
ACTION and ADVENTURE
Ozark Savage (1999). Film Threat put it this way in its 3.5 outta 5 star review: "The best way to describe Ozark Savage is to imagine John Woo and Jackie Chan meeting Quentin Tarantino, the three drop acid and make a low-budget indie film." There you go. [Rent]
Icebreaker (1999). The first thing you'll notice is the cast: Sean Astin, Bruce Campbell and Stacy Keach. But is it any good? EyeCraveDVD writes: "Starting with the opening music - Beethoven's Symphony No.9 in D Minor - you know you're in for something different from the usual Direct-To-Video dreck. The cinematography is excellent. The direction is tight. The script is good and the acting is fun and loose, without sacrificing drama or tension. While the plot may sound like Die Hard on a ski hill, this is a fun movie." [Rent]
Vampire Effect (2003). "A knockout vampire actioner with something for everyone including the most polished action choreography yet seen from Donnie Yen, quirky romance and comedy, and lightweight, yet enjoyable performances from an A-list supporting cast that includes Anthony Wong, Jackie Chan, and Karen Mok," writes Kung Fu Cinema. Also known as Twins Effect because it stars the Cantopop singers Charlene Choi and Gillian Chung, known as the Twins. [Rent]
7 Grandmasters (1978). A classic from Joseph Kuo. Says one enthusiastic IMDb user: "Most true Kung Fu historians feel it is one of the best Martial Arts movies ever made. Great blend of comedy and action. You can't go wrong here." [Rent]
Black Belt Angels (1994). Tagline: "Heroes come in all sizes." [Rent]
A Man Called Sledge (1970). Vic Morrow directs James Garner and Dennis Weaver. [Rent]
Wilder (2002). Pam Grier and Rutger Hauer, together at last. [Rent]
Regalo Caro II (2002). Action from Mexico. [Rent]
Scalps (1983). Using one of his many pseudonyms, Fred Olen Ray directs. Tagline: "They came out of the grave to get revenge." [Rent]
Virgin of Nuremberg (1963). "One of those unforgettable classics in the Italian horror canon," writes an IMDb user: "The film benefits from beautiful color cinematography and art direction, a spooky castle dungeon filled with grim implements of torture, the sexy Rosanna Podesta running around, the handsome blond Georges Riviere (fresh from [director Antonio] Margheriti's La Danza Macabra), the towering presence of Christopher Lee as the family manservant bearing a scarred visage and finally Mirko Valentin as the crazed killer and family patriarch. The jazz score by Riz Ortolani is fantastic." [Rent]
Troma alert! Revisit the glorious days of the first Bush administration with Fortress of Amerikkka (1989) [Rent] and women-in-prison flick, Lust for Freedom (1987). [Rent]
The Final Countdown (1980). What's essentially a big-budget feature-length episode of the Twilight Zone with an all-star cast - Kirk Douglas, Martin Sheen, Katherine Ross, James Farentino, Ron O'Neal and more - now gets the Special Edition treatment. [Rent]
A Town Has Turned To Dust (1998). Famously based on a screenplay by Rod Serling that was actually performed back in 1958 on Playhouse 90. Back then, it was a straight-up western, so the post-apocalyptic sci-fi twist is a new one. Comments the SF, Horror and Fantasy Review: "The story has Serling in full moralistic flight and is a potent and stinging expose of lynch mob justice. Both Ron Perlman and Stephen Lang give fine performances." [Rent]
The Shape of Things To Come (1979). The HG Wells classic is back on disc. [Rent]
Nautilus (1998). A Richard Norton fan at the IMDb calls this one "fast-paced, diverting fun, and with an enjoyable 'wink' to his audience, Norton takes his fans on an a cruise that's consistently a cool ride." [Rent]
Feeders 1 & 2 (1996 / 1998). Tagline: "Earth was just an appetizer..." [Rent]
RACY and EROTIC
Vicious Blondes. They're blonde. And vicious. [Rent]
Virtual Girl (2000). One reviewer caught this amusing credit at the end: "Stunt Breasts Provided by Max's Mobile Mammaries, Hollywood." [Rent]
Dark Shadows - DVD Collection 11 (1966 - 1971). Collinsport, Maine. Picturesque fishing village and home to a 200-year-old vampire by the name of Barnabas Collins. The series GCers have rated so highly continues. Discs 1 [Rent], 2 [Rent], 3 [Rent] and 4 [Rent].
The Cisco Kid. Volume 1 (1950 - 1956). Want to see a piece of media history? Well, sure, there's this series itself; but here's an engaging interview with Philip Krasne, "The Man Who Saved Pioneertown." From John Huff's intro: "In 1947 he was on his way to being a groundbreaker in his own field. He was creating a new cowboy hero that he would market in a manner totally unimagined by the movie studios. His hero: The Cisco Kid. His market strategy: syndicated-selling by region in a medium everyone knew was a jokeÑa silly gizmo that was just another passing fad: television." Discs 1 [Rent], 2 [Rent], 3 [Rent] and 4 [Rent].
Homicide. The Complete Season 4 (1996 - 1997). Of the first season, oldkingcole writes, "In short, Homicide is a cop show built on the idea of having no gun battles and no car chases. In other words, it's the thinking person's cop show." Discs 1 [Rent], 2 [Rent], 3 [Rent], 4 [Rent], 5 [Rent] and 6 [Rent].
CSI. The Complete Third Season (2002 - 2003). Discs 1 [Rent], 2 [Rent], 3 [Rent], 4 [Rent], 5 [Rent] and 6 [Rent].
A Touch of Frost. Season 1 (1992 - 1993). British detective series. Discs 1 [Rent] and 2 [Rent].
Agatha Christie's Poirot. Volume 8 (1988). David Suchet plays Agatha Christie's beloved detective. [Rent]
Agatha Christie's Seven Dials Mystery (1982). John Gielgud has a supporting role in this one. [Rent]
Agatha Christie's Tommy & Tuppence: Partners in Crime. Set 2 (1980 - 1982). The original crime-solving couple. Discs 1 [Rent], 2 [Rent] and 3 [Rent].
Twelve Kingdoms. Vol. 5: Forgotten (2003). "The only anime I've seen that rivals Escaflowne in terms of quality," says sailortitan2: "Perfectly balanced and completely spellbinding - and longer." Adds butterflydreaming: "Is there a man more lovely than King En?" [Rent]
Iria: Zeiram. Episodes 1 - 6 (1996). "My very first anime!" exclaims jross3: "I was ten and this was cool." Adds anampostale:"Lots of action... great for a Friday afternoon." [Rent]
Pretear. "The moment I saw and heard Pretear's magical opening sequence, I knew I was in for a real treat," writes Rowena Lim Lei at Animetric: "An enchanting, exhilarating, and romantic series."Volume 4 (2003). [Rent]
Angelic Layer - Vol. 5: Deus Ex Machina (2003). "Battle dolls duel but their owners show good sportsmanship and perserverance in the end," notes HOngchua in his list, "Anime for Daughters (and the Dads that love them)." [Rent]
Heat Guy J - Vol. 5: Haunted Past. "An action-packed crime series involving a young detective (think of a younger Spike from Cowboy Bebop) and his android sidekick," writes dh22, reviewing the first volume: "The series is entertaining, the artwork/CGI is pretty cool... I don't think anyone will be disappointed with this one." [Rent]
Saiyuki. Vol. 9: Children of Sacrifice. "A fun series," says butterflydreaming: "It's obvious that they're having fun making it, too." [Rent]
Slayers - Excellent. You'll find several GCers' opinions of the series as a whole here. [Rent]
Gunparade March: Operation 2. The war rolls on. [Rent]
Comic Party - Vol. 1: A New World (2003). Parodies the classics. [Rent]
Dragon Ball GT. Conversion [Rent] and Realization (1996). [Rent]
FOR THE KIDS
Mr. Bean: The Animated Series. It's All Bean to Me [Rent] and Whatever Will Bean, Will Bean [Rent] (2002).
Juanito Jones: Vol. 1 (2003). Aimed at ages 3 to 10. [Rent]
The Wiggles: Cold Spaghetti Western (2003). [Rent]
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