# - F
title: 10 Violent Women
info: The movie starts out with "ah hem" 10 violent women who are pissed off at the man. So they decide to make life easier and go the criminal route. This involves stealing jewels and drugs. Along the way, half the group goes off and five are left. Around the half way point of the movie, One of the women gets busted and shot by the cops and the other four are sent to prison. Then it becomes a full blown WIP flick with beatings, fights and nudity. LOL. Of course they escape and the story picks up where it left off before they went to jail. The DVD appears to be a port of IMAGE's previous disc.
video: full screen. Looks fairly good however this is low budget film making. B
audio: sounded just fine. B
extras: audio commentary and trailers.
overall: recommended for WIP fans.
name: Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes
company: Sterling Entertainment
info: The Amityville house blew up in part 3, but magically reappears during the beginning of this direct-to-tv flick. Some priests visit the house and do a quick in home exorcism, which supposedly cleans the place. However, the evil decides to go into the items in the house and when a lamp gets purchased from a yard sale, it causes havoc for it's new owners. The possessed house items would become common place in this series until the remake came out.
video: WOW!! Quite possibly the best transfer I've ever seen from a budget release. Everything looks sharp and the colors are very good. Great job Sterling!! A+
audio: Audio is just as good. A
extras: Some text related extras.
overall: I actually like this made for TV film and considering you can find this dvd at $5 or less, I recommend it to fans of the series.
name: Animal Farm
info: Farmer Jones treats his animals like shit. He's fallen upon hard times and takes it out on them. The animals decide to revolt against the farmer and ousting him off the farm. This creates a democracy on the farm, until corruption takes hold amongst one of the pigs. This pig, Napoleon, takes control of the farm and makes matter worse than they ever were under Farmer Jones. This leads to a second revolution amongst the animals. This animated tale is based on George Orwell's novel.
video: VHS sourced. Contrast appears a bit high at times and the colors are not as strong as they should be. Video noise is very prevalent in the image and can be distracting. Oddly enough, the bitrate is quite high for this encode. C+
audio: Mono, sounds decent most of the time. B-
extras: Previews for other Digiview releases.
overall: A very powerful animated movie, up there with Plague Dogs as an animated film with a strong message that's not always a happy one. The DVD retails for $1, so in that aspect, it's worth the money. A better alternative would be ideal.
name: Assassin of Youth
info: Another marijuana cautionary tale from the 1930s. A reporter has gone undercover to investigate the death of a young woman in an accident, to see if marijuana was involved. While undercover, he becomes friends with girls of the family, including a drug dealing cousin. Quite an interesting movie, which had more going for it than your typical drug exploitation films of the day.
video: First off, its VHS sourced. The print is all over the place in terms of quality. The first half of the movie has a dark look, while about half way through, it switches to a more brighter video look. I'm guessing the print was a composite, which would explain the shift in quality. Scratches, dirt, missing frames, etc... are throughout the movie. It is watch-able. C
audio: Another reason why I think this is a composite print is because the first half has an annoying high pitch noise while the second half doesn't. Some people may not even notice this however. Besides that, the audio throughout is quite low and you'll need to turn up the volume just to hear it. C-
extras: Typical Alpha propaganda, nothing to do with the film.
overall: Pretty good drug movie from the '30s. Fans of the genre should check it out. The movie isn't really a "so bad its good" type, so don't expect a cheese fest.
name: Attack of the Giant Leeches
info: One of my favorite movies. How could you not love Giant Leeches attacking people!?!?!
video: dirt, scratches, damage, all the workings of a drive-in style viewing. A bit dark at times too. C+
audio: kind of muffled. could be a lot clearer. C+
overall: I'm a huge fan of this film. I HIGHLY recommend everyone seeing this film whether it be this dvd or another. But I think the alpha dvd is right for the price. However, If anyone knows of a better release, let me know.
name: The Bat (1926)
info: a robber dressed as a giant Bat terrorizes the guests of a rural mansion, and the guests include a large number of people who are set up as red herrings for the true identity of the bat, whom I can not name (the film swore me to secrecy).
video: for it's age, it doesn't look that bad. there are specks/dirt at times, and then once in awhile, some major damage comes up. one or two occasions there was some missing frames as well. but considering the rarity of the film (it was considered lost for years), I think it looks fine. Also, the film appears to be running at its correct frame rate. B-
audio: newly recorded audio. sounds fine and fits the movie. A
extras: trailers for other alpha new cinema releases
overall: bob kane mentioned this movie as an inspiration on his creation of batman, and fans will be able to spot the similarities easily. the movie does a fairly good job at hiding the identity of the bat and had me guessing all the way through. i'm glad alpha released this rare film. recommended for silent film buffs.
....and what's the deal with the oddball japanese butler? lol
title: The Bat / House on Haunted Hill Double Feature
info: two Vincent Price films for a cheap price.
video: The Bat is 1.85 letterbox, while House is 1.33. Both look very good. House is the better of the two and its almost perfect. I can't imagine the WB dvd being much better. The Bat's transfer looks good however it's not as sharp as it could be. It's still a good transfer. A- for House, B for The Bat.
audio: both sound fine. B+
overall: two vincent price films for under $5 and with really good transfers. You can't beat that! Too bad trailers for the films aren't present. I also want to mention the sleeve has some errors on the back. First it mentions The Bat being 2.35 anamorphic. That's definitely wrong. Also it mentions the disc being dual layer, but it's actually dual sided.
title: Beast from Haunted Cave
info: A group of criminals hide out in a remote cabin while a bizarre beast terrorizes them.
video: Quite good actually. Not much print damage, excessive grain in some parts. Overall it's pretty good. A-
audio: Like most films from this era that are on budget releases, it's kind of hard to hear at times. Muffled at some points. B-
overall: Decent time waster.
title: Beast of Blood
info: Picking up right where "Mad Doctor of Blood Island" left off, we once again follow Dr. Foster back to Blood Island to take out the green monster menace once and for all. One unique aspect of the movie is that the mad Dr. Lorca has captured the surviving creature from the previous monster and decapitated him, leaving the head in a jar. The head is still alive and the doctor taunts him throughout the movie. But the monster has the last laugh. Unlike the other two entries, I felt this one lacking. That seems to be the case with most part 3s of series/franchises.
video: It's the same as the other two ("Brides of Blood" and "Mad Doctor of Blood Island"), full frame, dirty and hard to watch at times. It's passable. C+
audio: Sounds fine, maybe a slight muffle (the audio was obviously dubbed in in post), no bass. B-
extras: Audio commentary, interview with Celeste Yarnall and trailers.
overall: Not as fun as the first two entries, but if you're going to watch them, you might as well finish out the trilogy.
title: The Beast of Yucca Flats
info: Basically a WTF type of film. Tor Johnson gets radioactive poisoning then turns into a "monster." Hardly no voice acting (no audio recorded during filming) and has a lot of narration. I was hoping for a so bad its good type of film, but instead got a so bad its bad film.
video: Decent. Not sharp but then again, it's not piss poor. C+
audio: Pretty good, but for the most part, it's just narration.
extras: Beast of Yucca Flats trailer
overall: I paid $1 for this. I think I paid too much for it.
name: Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla
info: cheezeball comedy with a supporting role by the one and only Bela Lugosi
video: Looks almost perfect. Not a problem with it at all. A
audio: same as video. A
overall: I see this movie listed on "worst movie" lists all the time, but I had a fun time with it. Sure its bad, but its so enjoyable. My favorite parts of the movie is when that Dean Martin wannabe lip synchs to a voice that is clearly not his own. LOL. Now that is fucking hilarious. I found this at Walmart in their $1 dvd section. For that price, I suggest everyone getting a copy of this, especially since the quality is probably one of the best I've seen on a PD release.
name: Black Hooker
info: Should have been called "The Sad Life of a Bastard Child." The movie basically follows the son of a "black hooker." Just a side note, the kid NEVER looks like he's the son of a black woman as he is pure white with his curly blonde hair. At any rate, from child hood, he lives with his grandparents. His mother doesn't love him, nor his grandpa. The only one who cares for him is his grandma. The mother is seen at the beginning of the film, then pretty much disappears until around the end of the film. In between that time, we see the child (I don't mention a name because the film NEVER gives him a name, nor anyone else for that matter!!!) grow from around 10 years age to about 20. He doesn't get along with his grandpa and the final straw comes about when he finds grandpa, whom is a preacher, fucking his girlfriend in the barn! So the young man moves out from home to find mom, whom once again rejects him. Flash forward some years later, the guy has graduated from school and is about to pick up his grandma for graduation, when his mother arrives at her parents house, causes an argument with her father, thus resulting in grandma having a heart attack! So the "young man" once again gets shit on by life. However, he does have the final laugh at the end of the picture. God, what a fucking depressing film!!
video: Full frame picture. The sides are cropped off which is highly annoying as barely see people just off screen. The picture at times looks like it may have been zoomed in as some close ups are REALLY close. Besides that, the print has a lot of dirt and a faded red/orange tint to it. The millcreek screen bug also makes an appearance several times in the bottom right corner. C-
audio: Not too bad. I had to turn up the volume to hear it, but otherwise it was decent. B-
extras: Part of the Millcreek 50 pack "Drive-in Movie Classics."
overall: Interesting blaxploitation flick that'll depress the hell out of you.
name: The Blob
company: Telefilms International
info: The classic monster flick starring Steve McQueen!
video: Video sourced and pretty good. B
audio: Has some odd noise running throughout. Perhaps some tracking noise related to the tape? Other than that, it's ok, but the noise does become annoying. C-
overall: Skip this bootleg and grab the authorized Criterion release.
name: Blonde Captive
company: Alpha Video
info: The movie is set up as a "documentary" about an expedition into the outback of the Australian continent in search of the Neanderthal man (i.e. the missing link). At the end of their journey, they come across a white woman and child living amongst one of these primitive tribes. Some of the narration could be considered borderline racism in today's world, so be aware of that. I found the movie to be interesting in it's locations and how these tribes lived outside normal society.
video: Considered lost for decades, this print is in pretty bad shape. Sometimes it's good, other times it's bad. However it was never bad enough to the point you couldn't tell what was going on. C+
audio: Similar to the video presentation. Most of the audio is just narration. C+
extras: Trailer for the film, typical Alpha catalog propaganda and oddly enough, Alpha included a reprint of a newspaper article ad regarding the film! Kudos to Alpha for including that!
overall: An interesting "documentary" about tribes living along the Australian coast.
name: Blood Mania
info: The title is a bit misleading, sure there is blood, but with a title like "Blood Mania" I was expecting some gore fest, but rather got a great erotic thriller! This film is about a woman named Victoria who is caring for her ill father. His colleague, Dr. Craig Cooper is caring for him during the last days of his life. Dr. Cooper also has a problem of his own as a former associate is black mailing him for past activities unless he can come up with $50,000. Victoria, who has been seeking the affection of the doctor for sometime, decides to kill her father to inherit his money and thus helping out Dr. Cooper. Unfortunately, Victoria has a sister whom her father loved more and trouble ensues after the reading of the will. I don't want to give away too much of the film but I highly recommend checking it out.
video: Presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, this film looks very good for being a budget release. Viewing this on my 1080p 42" LCD, I thought the picture came through very well, considering this is from a low budget 1970 film. A-
audio: Mono sound, the audio does have a few distorted bits but otherwise everything came through fine. B
extras: None related to the film, but it is part of a 8 movie pack titled "Drive-in Classics Collection 3."
overall: I highly recommend tracking down this film. This Drive-in collection was originally put out by BCI and I'm sure copies can still be found. Mill Creek has since acquired the Crown library and has re-released this collection. I'm not sure if they kept the same encoding as the BCI collection has 2 movies per disc (1 movie per side, as the discs are dual sided).
name: Blood of Dracula's Castle
company: Mill Creek
info: A young couple inherits a castle that they plan on moving into, but first they have to kick out the current occupants. When the couple arrives at the castle, they soon find out the occupants are a group of oddballs consisting of a vampire couple, their butler, a scary looking caretaker, and a killer (friend of the family) who goes crazy due to the full moon. I'm guessing he was suppose to be a werewolf, but he never transforms in the film. Neither do the vampires, hell they let the couple tie them up at one point. I wasn't impressed with this movie, sort of a let down.
video: Oh boy, where do I start?! First off, this is sourced from a very beaten up 16mm print. There are green lines all over this print, constantly. The lines sort of clear up towards the middle of each reel, but at the end / beginnings of each reel, it looks absolutely horrible. Besides the lines, there are other print damages and discolorations throughout the entire film. Also at each reel change, some frames appear to be missy causing the movie to "jump" ahead slightly. If these troubles weren't enough, Mill Creek takes the cheap way out and gives the film a very low bitrate (to fit it, along with another movie onto a single layer DVD). The low bitrate is the least of it's problems, but on the bright side, the movie is anamorphic! Despite these problems, the movie is watchable. D+
audio: Unlike the video, the audio is quite good. While it's lacking in bass, the audio does come through quite clear. B+
extras: Nothing relating to the movie, but it is part of the box set "Gorehouse Greats Collection" featuring 11 other movies.
overall: While I didn't care for the film, the boxset is worth picking up. For those who do not know, Mill Creek has picked up the Crown library from the now defunct BCI, so some of these titles have been released already on previous BCI discs. However there are some titles on here not previously available from BCI and the set is very cheap to purchase.
name: Blood Orgy of the She-Devils
info: Hmm...Not sure what to say about this one. It has no plot. The movie revolves around Queen Mara, head witch of a local castle. Some subplots are introduced, but never really followed through (the hitman angle is). The ending makes no fucking sense, I mean, you have a professor who shoots out lightning bolts at a castle to stop the evil!?!? WTF?!? Normally I'd applaud such ridiculous antics, but this movie was boring beyond belief. You'd think with a title such as this film, you'd have lots of blood and naked "she devils", but really neither. Well, there is some gore, but it'd barely reach PG-13 standards. Save your $, skip this turkey.
video: Full frame from a print source, its quite good except the fact it is too dark!! Some scenes are way too dark to the point you almost have a black screen! Not sure if this is how the movie was filmed (this is a Ted V. Mikels' film after all), or if its the print's fault. B-
audio: Sounds fine. A
extras: Commentary by Ted Mikels and trailers for other Mikels films that Alpha released.
overall: Ted Mikels is a hit or miss type of director for me. This film is a complete miss and I encourage everyone to avoid it.
name: Bloody Pit of Horror
company: (same order as pictures) Mill creek, Brentwood, Alpha
info: Photographers and models come to a castle to take pictures, but find a man living there whom believes he is the reincarnation of the crimson executioner!
video: Mill creek: Looks great!!! Taken from a 35mm print source, which
means they stole it from another release (SWV perhaps). A-
Brentwood: Faded and has a red tint throughout. like the other versions, it is letterboxed, but it appears to be at a slight angle! C
Alpha: Looks to be from the same source as the Brentwood release, but the image on this release is a bit darker. C-
audio: The audio on all the releases is decent, but there is a LOT of hiss. It becomes distracting at times. You'd think at least one of these guys would have ran the audio through a noise reduction program. The brentwood release has the audio encoded in 5.1, but it's the same audio coming through all speakers and creates an echo sound. Millcreek & Alpha: B-; Brentwood: C-
extras: Millcreek version part of the 50 pack "Night Screams" collection which is a MUST buy!! Alpha is on its own DVD with no extras and the Brentwood release is on a 10 pack titled "The Dead Walk."
overall: I want to add one more thing. The mill creek version runs at 74 minutes while the other two are 83 minutes. Of the three, I recommend the mill creek version.
name: Brain of Blood
info: The leader of a middle-eastern county is about to die. He puts motion a plan to transfer his brain into a new body thanks to an American surgeon. The surgeon has other motives for this operation which includes him wanting to control his very own county. Of course the operation doesn't go as planned. Why would it?! This movie is full of the typical horror clichés from the mad scientist, the dwarf assistant, the big frankenstein-esque monster, white blonde female bombshell, chained up slave girls and a decent amount of gore. You'd think by having all these the movie would be a blast. Unfortunately there are long stretches of time where nothing really happens and drags the film to a crawl. You could easily edit out half of this movie and make a killer 40 minute schlock fest.
video: Presented full frame. Lots of grain and the picture is really soft. The typical print damage is abundant. That being said, it looked fine on my HDTV upconverted, just not ideal. B-
audio: Post dub audio track, kind of muffled and flat. C+
extras: Commentary, production stills and a trailer!
overall: Once again, Alpha has reissued an older IMAGE entertainment DVD. The artwork for the DVD is amazing, it's just too bad the movie did not live up to it. I still think with some editing, this movie could turn out 100x better.
name: The Brain that Wouldn't Die
info: A doctor keeps his fiancee' s head alive, whom turns into an extreme bitch! lol. I had a lot of fun with this.
video: Windowboxed transfer which is nearly flawless. I'm guessing Alpha stole this from the Synapse release (I haven't seen that one, but Alpha usually don't have this good of quality releases). A
audio: Everything sounds fine. B
overall: Fun b-movie and this dvd presents the film in its unedited form.
name: Brides of Blood
info: Three white folks arrive on Blood Island and discover something isn't right. Mutated plants and bugs are in the wild as well as a beast that is terrorizing the natives. In order to appease the beast, the natives have turned to human sacrifice! Shot in the Philippines in the late '60s, this horror / scifi film is a hoot!
video: Full frame video. Nothing looks cramped, so it could have been filmed that way. The print is quite dirty and isn't in the greatest of shape. While watchable, it leaves a lot to be desired. C+
audio: Slightly muffled, no bass at all. Overall, it's the typical quality found on these types of releases. B-
extras: Audio commentary, interview with Beverly Powers and theatrical trailers.
overall: Like the Mikels' films, Alpha has licensed this movie and it's extras from IMAGE entertainment. This DVD is a much cheaper alternative to that OOP disc. I recommend picking it up.
name: Candy Von Dewd
info: This 2002 film mixes 70s cheezy sci-fi with 60s style psychedelics. Mankind are on the brink of extinction and a crew of men are sent throughout space to find women to impregnate. They land on a desert world and come upon a clan of latex wearing group of women. After being captured, the crew called upon "Candy Von Dewd" to rescue them. Meanwhile, the women fight another clan of women then afterwards the men are able to have sex with these women. They take a potency pill to help them implant their seed with the side effect being they die after orgasm! LOL Unfortunately, none of the women get pregnant due to them not being human, despite humanoid features. These women were brought into their world from a plant! The surviving live member (not counting their robot) decides to procreate with this plant. LOL This odd ball movie is rather short, coming in at 55 minutes. It's one of those movies that you'd watch at 3am while tripping on acid. The visuals and music are more of a psychedelic nature and would work well under those conditions!
video: Video itself looks great, but the encoding isn't. Reds are handled really bad, resulting in jaggies from hell! I know mpeg2 has a hard time handling red, but this gets pretty bad. The movie looks like it was shot via cheap DV camcorders, so that's not helping the cause. Despite this I still give the video quality an A.
audio: Music comes through great and what dialogue presented comes through very well. A
extras: Trailer for the movie and typical Alpha propaganda.
overall: While the storyline is relatively thin, the visuals and music make for an interesting late night viewing.
company: Mill Creek
info: A newlywed couple moves into a new house, unbeknownst to them, the house is haunted by the spirits of a couple who committed suicide three years earlier. The ghosts start out being annoying and attempting to hurt the newlyweds. Eventually, the ghosts start murdering guests to the house. The first part of the film starts out pretty slow but the second part turns things around and that's when heads start to roll, literally! Not too bad and worth a view.
video: VHS sourced. That being said, it's not too shabby. C+
audio: Audio comes through clear up, unfortunately how the crew recorded the audio is what hurts it. A lot of echo due to the locations of the filmed scenes is what makes it hard to understand at time. C-
extras: Part of the 50 pack titled "Night Screams."
overall: The Night Screams 50 pack is well worth the purchase and the movie is worth checking out.
name: Child Bride
info: Exploitation film from 1938 warning the public of the ills of "child marriage." Extremely bad acting runs rampant in this film. Several sub plots in the film, but the major one involves "Jake" (leader of the mountain men delinquents) and his hatred towards "Ira", which ultimately results in Jake framing Ira's wife of killing her husband. The only way Jake will keep quiet is if she lets him marry her daughter, whom is ~ 12 years old! Bizarre film to say the least.
video: Looks to be from a VHS copy (bottom of frame gives that away). Overall, it's quite decent, especially the day time scenes. The night scenes can be a bit too dark. C+
audio: Everything came through fine. B-
extras: Some previews for Alpha releases.
overall: Exploitation fans will want to check this out. The artwork is similar to Alpha's other exploitation films of the same era (Assassin of Youth, Marihuana, Gambling with Souls, etc...). Also, the Alpha dvd presents the film in it's uncut version.
name: Chopping Mall
info: A local mall just purchased 3 robots to use for night security. When a couple of teens decide to party at one of the stores in the mall overnight, they run into trouble when the robots malfunction.
video: Looks to be from a video master. Presented in full frame. Encode seems decent. The video does have sort of a red tint to it. C+
audio: Sound comes through ok. B-
extras: Part of the Lionsgate Horror Collection 2 which includes 8 films for only $5!
overall: This short (70 mins) horror film from the 80s is an enjoyable ride. I wish Lionsgate would give it proper treatment, but this collection is well worth the money.
name: Cindy and Donna
info: Sexploitation film from 1970 involving two sisters, Cindy and Donna. One sister is wild while the other is more conservative. There really isn't any plot to the film, just a lot of nudity and sex.
video: Presented anamorphic, the print itself is in good shape. My only beef is the bit rate for the video transfer. This movie is on a single layer disc, with another film, thus the bit rate has suffered. On some scenes its not so bad, but on the dark scenes, mpeg artifacts are quite noticeable. Other than that, it looks great. B
audio: Sounds just fine. A
extras: This is part of the 8 film set "Drive-in Cult Classics Volume 1." The other seven films are of the same genre and highly recommended!
overall: Considering this set is selling for around $5 at most online stores,
it's a must have. My only complaint is that the set is two DVDs, dual
sided, but single layer, which means two movies per side. This causes the
bit rate to suffer quite a bit. Some of the films on the set are also a
part of the "Welcome to the Grind house" series, in which they are presented
with much better transfer (those are dual layer discs). Fortunately BCI
stopped this nonsense with
"Drive-in Cult Classics Volume 2", in which that set features 4 dual sided, single layer discs, with one movie per side. At any rate, I HIGHLY recommend the movie and this set as it features a lot of fun movies.
name: Cigarette Commercials from the 50s & 60s
info: Alpha has put together over a hour of vintage cigarette commercials from the 50s and 60s. These range from various brands like Chesterfield, Camel, Newport, LM, Pall Mall, etc... and feature various actors, athletes, doctors, cartoons, etc... promoting cigarette smoking. Having grown up during a time in which these types of ads are banned, it was quite amazing to watch this. What really got me was the ads featuring "doctors" stating cigarette smoking was fine. One such commercial did a study for 6 months on the effects of smoking. Yeah, 6 months is a really long time. lol At any rate, this is a very interesting time capsule of the era. It could easily make a companion piece to the "Mad Men" TV show(!) though there weren't any Lucky Strikes ads. One interesting note, one of the ads featured Nick Adams! Those not aware, he was in some Toho movies back in the 60s, one of which was "Godzilla Vs Monster Zero."
video: No grade will be given. These ads are presented in all types of quality, ranging from a high B score all the way down to D. Most are B&W, though some are in color.
audio: Same as above. Some of the commercials even have that "drive-in" speaker sound, which really felt retro.
extras: The typical Alpha propaganda previews.
Overall: I love these type of time capsule discs. Watching these ads, it's no wonder the majority of the population smoked back in those days. They were very convincing. It is quite sad that doctors were on these commercials stating the joys of smoking. I guess they'll say anything to make a dollar, then again, doctors are still doing that these days. Some things never change!
name: Common Law Wife
info: An old man by the name of Shugfoot Rainey is tired of his live in girlfriend Linda and wants his younger niece to come move in with him. Apparently the two had an incestual fling earlier in life! When his niece, Jonelle, aka "Baby Doll" arrives, Linda keeps her away from him. The movie then follows Jonelle around town in various mishaps. The main storyline of Jonelle is that she hates her uncle and wants him dead to inherit his money. She finds an accomplice and plots a plan to kill him. The ending of the movie was quite a satisfying conclusion!
video: Generated, brightness/contrast all over the place. Apparently the movie uses footage from an unfinished film in parts of the movie. This would explain why at times the actors/actresses seem different than the next scene! Hell, I figured it was just bad continuity. LOL That being said, it didn't look too bad when I watched it on my 42" HD screen, sitting 10 feet back. However, on my PC monitor, it looked really bad. C+
audio: Typical of the films from this era. Alpha did include a few new audio effects (at least two I noticed). I believe they did that to copyright the film since at the end they call it a special edition. B-
extras: On the same disc as "Shanty Tramp" (which is also reviewed on this site) as well as a 9 minute strip tease titled "Alice in Dallas."
overall: Another low grade sleaze fest. I love it!
name: Cosmos: War of the Planets
info: Italian scifi film from the 70s, need I say more!? Every once in awhile I'll come across a movie on these budget DVDs that is just so bizarre that it blows my mind, and this is one of them! The ridiculous dubbing, skin tight costumes, incoherent plot, a world dominating robot (who's also in other Italian movies!) and some bizarre looking alien creatures who talk via telepathy are just some of the awesome moments in this flick. A crew is sent out in space to answer a strange call from beyond the Solar System. While in route, their ship gets sucked down to a mysterious planet that appears vacant, but the crew soon discovers the truth of this once lively planet. If you're a fan of so bad it's good SCIFI films, definitely check this out.
video: Appears to be VHS sourced. Video image gets really dark at times and the compression used for this transfer is horrible with blocking easily visible. D-
audio: Only features the English dub, but it sounds good enough. B
extras: Part of the "Grindhouse Double Shock Show" DVD that also has the film "Warriors of the Wasteland." No movie related extras are on the disc.
overall: You owe it to yourself to check this movie out.
name: Creature from the Haunted Sea
company: Dollar Entertainment
info: Disappointing film from Corman. When I first saw the trailer, I was expecting this film to be a sea monster style flick. Upon finally seeing the film, I was quite disappointed in the lack of the monster. I guess you could see it as a comedy, or an attempt at one... The version presented on this disc is the 75 minute extended cut.
video: Dirty, grainy print. Watchable, but I'm sure better is out there. C
audio: Low volume audio, hard to understand what is being said at times. D
extras: Part of a double feature dvd that also includes the Barbara Steele film "Nightmare Castle."
overall: Well, it was only a $1 and it came with Nightmare Castle, so I'm not too pissed, but still, I was expecting a much different film than what was presented. How could Corman not take advantage of that goofy monster and make it a bigger part of the picture?
title: Corpse Grinders
info: part of Alpha's New Cinema line. It appears to be an almost exact port of the previous IMAGE dvd.
video: 1.85 (or close) anamorphic print full of scratches, dirt and other problems. However, this was a very low budget film, so I didn't expect a pristine picture. I imagine it looks the same as it did back in the day. C+
audio: sort of muffled at times, but again, this is probably due to the nature of how the movie was made. also, I had to turn the volume up on my surround system to hear it. C+
extras: audio commentary with director, making of segment and trailers.
overall: drive-in z-movie trash. Only for fans of these types of films. (which I proudly am! )
name: Count Dracula and his Vampire Bride (aka The Satanic Rites of Dracula)
info: This Hammer film features the last appearance of Christopher Lee as Dracula in the long running series. The film starts out with a spy escaping a mansion that involves Satanic rituals. This mansion also houses vampires. It is later revealed that Dracula plans to unleash a plague upon mankind to destroy them all. If you're going to go out, then go out with a bang I say! Of course, Dracula's nemesis, Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) is there to stop him once again. I enjoyed this mish-mash spy thriller / horror film, but I HATED the way Dracula was stopped. I mean, really!?! I don't want to give it away, but it was quite absurd IMO.
video: Presented in non-anamorphic widescreen (1.85 it looks like), the print features faded colors, scratches and damage throughout the run time. Quite watchable, but I'm sure there is better versions out there. B-
audio: Had no issues. B
extras: Part of Millcreek's "50 Movie Pack: Drive-in Movie Classics."
overall: Some say this is the bottom of the barrel in the Hammer Dracula series, but on it's own, it's not too bad especially if you like 70s spy films.
company: Westlake Entertainment
info: Alien knockoff, but very good IMO. An alien is attacking people on the Saturn moon "Titan." Some good gore here. Klaus Kinski makes an appearance in the film.
video: I had the Diamond DVD before and this DVD blows it away. The picture on this is very good. My only complaint is that it's pan and scan rather than widescreen. B
audio: Sound comes through great. A
extras: Some text related stuff as well as a photo gallery which is just screen caps from the movie!(?)!
overall: One of my favorite scifi flicks. Until an official DVD gets released in scope, this is a great buy especially considering the cost.
name: Devil Girl from Mars
company: Westlake Entertainment Group
info: A very attractive female alien is looking for men to repopulate her planet. With her robot side kick, she terrorizes a small English town.
video: Dark, very very dark. Some scenes seemed totally black. Lack of detail and sharpness in video as well. Could have been a VHS transfer. D+
audio: Surprisingly it's quite good. However, there is a slight "hum" noise throughout. If you notice the sound, it does get annoying after awhile. B-
extras: Some lame text related extras and a photo gallery, comprised of screen shots from the film!
overall: Entertaining flick, piss poor DVD. This movie has been released on numerous labels, so try your luck with one of those copies rather than Westlake's.
title: Devil's Nightmare
info: Part of the "Blood Bath" dvd set. I love this euro-film staring Erika Blanc as a succubus. This film has great atmosphere, music and some hot euro women!! I highly recommend it.
video: Looks like Brentwood stole the transfer from the REDEMPTION dvd as it even features the introduction from that particular release! Have they no shame!? lol Anyway the transfer looks like a laserdisc port. Presented in letterbox format. B
audio: Very good, but lacks punch. B
overall: I'm sure a better quality version exists, but this is pretty good as is.
title: Dick Tracy - TV Series Volume 1
info: First four episodes of the 60s TV show starring Ralph Byrd.
video: VHS sourced, looks like it was from an EP tape. Alpha watermark appears in the corner for a short amount of time on each episode. C-/D+
audio: Not very clear, but audible. This was a very, VERY low budget tv shows that featured a lot of dialogue. You'll have to turn up the volume to hear it well. C-
extras: I don't think so.
Overall: Fans of Dick Tracy may want to check this out. The episodes are about 25 minutes each and feature a LOT of dialogue and very few sets. There is an action sequence towards the end of each episode. As I mentioned before, this was a very low budget production and it shows. However, being a fan of Ralph Byrd's DT, I enjoyed the dvd as I never saw the show before despite the shoddy V/A quality. On a side note, I emailed Alpha about whether or not there will be future volumes and they said they had no other usable episodes. I'm thinking they just had a VHS tape released by some other company years ago that only featured these four episodes.
title: Don't Open Till Christmas
company: Mill Creek
info: A killer is taking out Santa Clauses all over London! A daughter of one of the victims, along with the police, try to solve the mystery. Plot is kind of all over the place, but if you're wanting to watch some Santa Clauses getting sliced with some female nudity thrown in from time to time, then it's worth a view!
video: Sourced from a worn VHS tape. Starts out pretty bad and only slightly gets better as the tape went along. Night time scenes are extremely dark. D+
audio: Fairs a bit better than the video and has some hiss. B-
extras: None film related, but it is part of Mill Creek's 50 movie pack "Drive-in Classics."
Overall: Decent sleazy slasher, though you would be better off getting Mondo Macabro's anamorphic DVD.
name: Drive-In Massacre
company: East West DVD
info: A killer is stalking a drive-in and cutting off his victims' heads with a sword! Sounds promising, but doesn't really deliver. The film feels slow despite it's short runtime (just over 70 minutes).
video: VHS sourced and the print is very dark. Hard to see during some scenes. C
audio: Comes through fine, maybe a little bit heavy on the bass side, but not too bad. B
extras: Double featured with The Driller Killer (another title that doesn't deliver the goods).
overall: Well, it was worth the $1 I paid for it.
company: Treeline Films
info: A father and daughter get kidnapped by a "giant" caveman. They escape thanks to the girl's boyfriend, however, the giant known as "Eegah!!!" comes to the city to hunt the girl down (he's a horny fella!).
video: Has a light red tint to the video, also the colors are rather dull and it's pretty dark in some areas. C
audio: Pretty good. Has some slight jumps, but everything comes through fine. B
extras: Part of a 50 movie pack (SciFi Classics). No extras for the film itself.
overall: Bizarre film, not really scary or entertaining, but there are a few cheesy moments that will give you a laugh.
name: The Eerie Midnight Show (aka The Sexorcist)
info: Another exorcist ripoff. This Italian film is of a woman who gets raped by a statue (well, after it comes alive) and becomes possessed. Lots of nudity and sex, but that's expected for this kind of euro sleaze!
video: VHS sourced. I'm betting Alpha stole this from Eclectic's DVD as it too was VHS sourced. Pan and scan. That being said, it still looks pretty good. B-
audio: Some tape hiss, volume at times is low. Could be better. C+
overall: If you enjoy Euro sleaze, it's worth checking out. The scene in which the statue comes alive is very creepy and it's a scene that has stuck with me even years after I first saw this.
name: The Embalmer
info: Madman kidnaps and kills women then dolls them up for decorations in his underground lair beneath Venice.
video: letterboxed at 1.85. Print has dirt, specks, vertical lines, appears to bright and even has occasional ghostly. I can handle all that, but the main problem that bothered me was that during the dark scenes, where there is a lot of black (this is a B&W film), pixelization rears its ugly head, and lots of it. Alpha should have encoded this at a higher bitrate, that is if they even encoded it themselves or just took someone else's transfer. Considering this is a B&W film and there are a lot of night scenes, this becomes very bothersome. C
audio: English dub. Quite loud and comes in clear. Occasionally there is some distortion that pops up, but usually only lasts for a second or two. The dub itself is decent. B+
extras: trailers for other alpha new cinema releases
overall: It took me 3 attempts to make it through this movie. It seemed to have something exciting happen, which lasted for like a minute, then have a long stretch of boredom, then something exciting, then more boredom. It wasn't until the last 15 minutes of the film before it got real exciting for me. The killer's costume reminded me of the grim reaper costume I wore for Halloween last year! lol
name: End of the World
info: A comet is heading towards earth. An astronomer, Martial Novalic, learns of this and announces to the world of this doomsday situation. At first governments don't believe him and want to keep the panic down, thus they attempt to arrest him but before too long, it's quite noticeable he was telling the truth. The hour long movie was edited down from the original French film "La Fin du monde" and scenes of destruction were added. The story in this "End of the World" version is more like an action packed countdown to the comet's arrival rather than any comprehensive plot. That said, it was quite interesting.
video: Pretty rough. The DVD sleeve even mentions this, so it was expected. It almost looks like something you'd see in a dream state, sort of hazy and the contrast all blown out. Probably best viewed in the wee hours of the night. D
Audio: Pretty rough as well. C-
extras: Typical alpha stuff.
overall: Highly enjoyable exploitation flick even if it's far from it's original source.
name: Escort Girl (1941)
info: A daughter visits her mother, who happens to be a madam of a local escort service. Her daughter has no clue, neither does her boyfriend who happens to work for the D.A.'s office, whom are looking to take down such businesses. Of course, the daughter and boyfriend eventually find out what mom and her partner has been up to. Interesting flick running at just a hour. Besides the soap opera storyline, there are some scenes of the escorts in their underwear and with johns (some hilarious stuff during those scenes). And of course, the film has a strip tease thrown in just because of some topless nudity! Gotta love the exploitation films of this era!
video: Like most films of this era, the print has a lot of scratches, dirt, damage, etc.. Also, this film shares the same dual layer disc with 4 other films, so there are some compression issues. These problems aren't too bad. The main problem with the print is the amount of missing frames. At times, it almost looks like a strobe light. I can deal with damaged prints and mpeg artifacts (to an extent), but missing frames just pisses me off to no end! And to add insult to injury, Millcreek throws a watermark onto the print about 4 times throughout the film. This only lasts a few seconds, but its annoying. D+
audio: It sounds just fine except the fact it drops off a LOT! You'll miss a lot of dialogue due to dropped audio. At times its hard to follow, especially at the beginning of the movie. Oddly enough, it doesn't always follow the dropped video frames! This source just had problems all around. C
extras: No film related extras, but this film is part of a 20 movie pack titled "Cult Classics", which features a lot of exploitation films from the 20s through the 50s.
overall: Entertaining film, too bad the source wasn't better. However, considering you can find this box set for under $10, it's worth checking out.
name: Fists of Fury (aka The Big Boss)
company: St. Clair Vision
info: part of a 9 movie / 3 dvd set. I found this in the $5.50 bin at Walmart.
video: letterbox at 2.35:1. Appears to be sourced from a video tape. Print comes complete with scratches and dirt. Also the picture is soft and appears somewhat faded. To be quite honest, I thought it added to the film. B-
audio: english dub only. encoded as 5.1, but it's not a true 5.1 remix. really had no problems listening to this and followed it fine. B
extras: entire set includes: The Real Bruce Lee, Bruce Lee: The Man The Myth, Fists of Fury, Street Fighter, Return of the Street Fighter, Sister Street Fighter, Shogun's Ninja, Ninja Wars, and Rage of the Masters.
overall: this Bruce Lee film is great. it was the first time I've seen a BL film (that I can remember anyway) and I enjoyed the hell out of it. I haven't watched the other films in the set, but I did browse through them. Quality varies a LOT on this set from some looking really bad to others being decent like Fists of Fury. Hardcore fans probably have better versions of these films, but the set is good as a beginner's purchase into the martial arts genre.
name: Forbidden Cinema: Classic Blue Movies of the Silent Era
info: A collection of silent era erotic shorts. Some are the typical burlesque style dancing while others are comedic skits that feature nudity. Stand out IMO is the animated short "Buried Treasure!" Hilarious cartoon and quite risqué, especially for the era!
video: All shorts from different sources thus quality ranges. However, all were quite watch-able with the exception of some high contrast on a few of the videos. B- for an average overall grade.
audio: Alpha provided music of the era to go over the videos. They feel appropriate and add to the atmosphere. Recordings are not of high quality and has a lot of hiss/cracking noise. B-
overall: If you dig early erotic cinema, check this out. The videos are pretty tame compared to stuff now, but that cartoon is a hoot!
name: Forbidden Cinema: Volume 2 - Naughty Nudies of the 40s & 50s
info: Second collection of nudie shorts, this time focusing on the 1940s and 50s. Oddly enough, quite tame compared to the silent era volume. The last volume had amples amount of nudity but not this volume. More in the way of teases for the first half of the disc. Shorts are of dancing and strip teases, nothing comedic like the last volume except the short "She went Wild Out West."
video: Once again, quality ranges. A lot of the shorts have quite a bit of damage to them and can be a chore to watch. Some of them are in color and that helps. C+ for an average grade.
audio: Like the last volume, Alpha provides music of the era to play over the shorts. Some problems as before. B-
overall: Kind of disappointed in this volume, especially since I watched the first one right before this volume. I say pass on this disc and stick with the first volume.
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