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Thursday, April 19, 2018

When Universal's "Dracula" Was Reflected In A Mirror (video)

A key element in Universal Pictures' "Dracula" lore is that the vampire's reflection can never be seen in a mirror... in "Dracula" (1931) with Bela Lugosi...
...and "House of Dracula" (1945) with John Carradine.

But on at least two occasions, the filmmakers slipped up. 

In "Son of Dracula" (1943), Lon Chaney's vampire performs the screen's first bat-to-man transformation.

But in doing so, his image is captured in the hallway mirror.

In 1948's "Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein", Lugosi is once again in the role.

And once again, his image is reflected in a mirror.

I neither own nor claim any rights to this material.  Just having some fun with it.  Thanks for watching!


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

LAST SEEN IN IDAHO -- Movie Review by Porfle

LAST SEEN IN IDAHO (2018) starts off with a shocking double murder--"shocking" mainly because of how utterly, blandly casual it is for the jaded hitman Brock, as performed by Casper Van Dien (STARSHIP TROOPERS, TURBULENT SKIES, LAKE EFFECTS) in full reptilian mode.

This is the kind of guy Summer (screenplay writer Hallie Shepherd) will have to deal with after she witnesses another murder in the auto garage where she works, this time involving not only Brock but her weak-willed boss Dex (Eric Colley), her vile ex-husband Lance (Shawn Christian), and a mysterious crime boss who runs everything, including city government, from behind the scenes.

In this tense opening sequence Summer crashes her car trying to escape and wakes up from a coma in the hospital, watched over by her ditzy sister Trina (Alexis Monnie), who's indirectly involved since one of the bad guys has become her sugar daddy. 

As her head injury heals, Summer struggles to regain her memory of the event as she begins having visions of things to come--including her kidnapping and murder. 

This first part of LAST SEEN IN IDAHO mixes elements of Stephen King's THE DEAD ZONE with the feel of one of those Dean Koontz novels in which a strong female character faces some kind of unspeakable evil. 

The action and thriller genres are also well represented as Summer's perilous dealings with the bad guys--who want her dead before her memory returns--yield several exceedingly tense suspense sequences. 

This is further complicated when one of them, a handsome rogue named Franco (Wes Ramsey) for whom she forms romantic feelings, claims to be an undercover cop who's on her side.  Needless to say, we're just as dubious as she is.

Hallie Shepherd has written a great lead role for herself and acquits it very well, with a supporting cast that's also first-rate. (Casper Van Dien is one of the scariest villains of recent years.)  Direction by Eric Colley (THE LAST RESCUE, G.P.S.) is seamlessly good. 

The suspense begins early, builds ever so gradually, and, by the final third of the film, is a constant factor in keeping the viewer in a state of tension. 

By that time the action and excitement are almost non-stop as Hallie bounces back and forth between various forms of grave peril (at times the film resembles an edited-down feature version of a serial by way of modern film noir). 

Finally both she and sister Trina end up in the bad guys' clutches (fulfilling Summer's "kidnapping" prophecy), lighting the fuse on a violent finale that's guaranteed to put the viewer through the wringer. 

I was in the mood for something exciting, suspenseful, and smart when I sat down to give LAST SEEN IN IDAHO a watch, and it came through with flying colors. This is the kind of fine, low-budget indy filmmaking that compels you to sit up on the edge of your seat and pay attention.  

Release Date: April 24, 2018 - DVD/VOD

Watch the Trailer:


Vin Diesel / One Race Films And The H Collective Acquire Rights to "xXx" Franchise From Revolution Studios


xXx 4 Production Slated to Start December 2018; Vin Diesel to Star and Produce with D.J. Caruso Returning as Director

Read our review of "xXx: Return of Xander Cage"

LOS ANGELES, CA (April 17, 2018) – The H Collective announced today that they have acquired the rights from Revolution Studios to the global hit xXx film franchise alongside its star and producer, Vin Diesel and his One Race Films. Revolution Studios retains its rights to the first three films.  D.J. Caruso (xXx: Return of Xander Cage, I Am Number Four, Disturbia) will return to direct xXx 4 with Diesel reprising his role as “Xander Cage.” Joe Roth and Jeff Kirschenbaum will produce with Diesel, Samantha Vincent for One Race Films and The H Collective. Production is slated for December 2018.

The xXx franchise, which includes xXx, xXx: State of the Union, and xXx: Return of Xander Cage has collectively grossed nearly $1 billion at the worldwide box-office.

The H Collective CEO Nic Crawley said: “During my time at Paramount I was lucky to be involved in the development and distribution of xXx: Return of Xander Cage. The response from the Chinese box office was unprecedented. Bringing the next installment of the xXx franchise to The H Collective complements our diversified slate and mission to produce content for a global audience.”

Diesel has starred in and produced the five highest-grossing films in the massively successful “Fast” franchise.  He voices ‘Groot’ in both the Guardians of the Galaxy films and will also appear in Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War this April.

Caruso directed the franchise’s previous installment xXx: Return of Xander Cage and is best known for his work on DreamWork’s thriller Eagle Eye starring Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan, as well as I am Number Four for Touchstone Pictures and Disturbia for Paramount. His TV credits include “The Shield” for FX which earned two Golden Globe® wins.

The H Collective, who will finance xXx 4 alongside investment partners including Sparkle Roll Media, HCH Media, Dadi Cinema, and Angeleno Studio, is currently in production on an Untitled Horror Feature produced by James Gunn starring Elizabeth Banks and is also in post-production on Christopher Cantwell’s The Parts You Lose.

Diesel is represented by CAA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners. Caruso is represented by CAA and Media Talent Group.

Launched in June, and with offices in Los Angeles, The H Collective is a global film finance, production, marketing and distribution company that is producing a diversified slate of four high-quality films per year.  The company established production deals with prominent producers such as James Gunn, Mark Johnson, Joe Roth, and Sid Ganis on a roster of films that encompasses Family/Comedy, Action/Adventure, Horror/Genre and Prestige fare. They are currently in post-production on Christopher Cantwell’s The Parts You Lose starring Aaron Paul, Scoot McNairy and Mary Elizabeth Winstead with Mark Johnson’s Gran Via Productions. The H Collective has recently formed a management arm with Chinese stars Li Bingbing and Karry Wang among the firm’s first talent.
For further information, visit:

One Race Films, founded in 1995 by writer, director, producer and actor Vin Diesel, has produced the five highest-grossing films in the “Fast” franchise — Fate of the Furious, Furious 7, Fast and Furious 6, “Fast Five as well as Fast & Furious. He has directed Multifacial, Strays and Los Bandoleros. Previously, ORF launched multiple franchises in the action genre, including the science-fiction thriller Pitch Black and the two follow-up films, Chronicles of Riddick and Riddick, along with the hit xXx. In addition to a thriving film production company, ORF launched One Race Television and has the existing gaming company Tigon Studios.  One Race has a multi-year overall deal with Universal Television, through which the company is developing a reboot of “Miami Vice” for NBC, as well as “Get Christie Love,” which received a pilot production commitment from ABC.  Tigon Studios has produced three critically acclaimed console titles including Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay and original property The Wheelman.

Revolution Studios is a diversified entertainment company that owns, acquires and exploits film, television and stage productions.  Led by CEO Vince Totino and President and COO Scott Hemming, the company boasts one of the largest independent libraries of premium content, including 126 motion pictures which collectively earned more than $7.1 billion in box office receipts, as well as 240 television episodes.   Revolution recently produced xXx: Return of Xander Cage, as well as 46 of the motion pictures in its library, including Maid in Manhattan, Anger Management, Daddy Day Care, America’s Sweethearts, Hellboy, xXx, White Chicks and the Academy Award®-winning Black Hawk Down.  More recently, Revolution has acquired 80 movies through library acquisitions, including those of Morgan Creek International, Cold Spring Pictures and GK Films.  Originally founded by Joe Roth in 2000, the company was acquired by Content Partners in 2017


This May, "LAUGH-IN" Skewers the Me Generation with THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON, Available on 5/8



Street Date: May 8, 2018
DVD SRP: $39.95

Available for the Very First Time at Retail, The 7-Disc Set Features 26 Complete, Remastered Episodes from the Emmy® And Golden Globe®-Winning Series; Season Four Guest Stars Include Truman Capote, Art Carney, Johnny Carson, Wilt Chamberlain, Carol Channing, Tim Conway, Bing Crosby, Sammy Davis Jr., Rich Little, Bob Newhart, Vincent Price, Carl Reiner, Debbie Reynolds, Don Rickles, Rod Serling, Orson Welles, and Many More!


The '60s gave us "in-crowds," "be-ins" and "love-ins," and starting in 1968, the happening place for free-form comedy was Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, broadcast from beautiful downtown Burbank. Straight man Dan Rowan and wisecracking co-host Dick Martin led a gaggle of goofballs through a rapid-fire assault of one-liners, skits, bits and non sequiturs that left viewers in hysterics and disbelief. Anything and anyone in the public eye was a target. Political correctness? Forget it!

The groundbreaking, Emmy Award-winning show anchored the Monday 8 p.m. time slot on NBC until March 12, 1973 and this May, Time Life delivers another unparalleled installment of this landmark variety show with ROWAN & MARTIN'S LAUGH-IN: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON.

Don Rickles impersonating Arlene Francis? A boxing match between Sammy Davis Jr. and Wilt Chamberlain? What will the Laugh-In brain trust think of next? Across the 26 rip-roaring, yuk-a-minute episodes included on ROWAN & MARTIN'S LAUGH-IN: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON home audiences will be treated to unforgettable sketches including Art Carney as the Masked Lobster looking for work and Goldie Hawn returning after winning an Oscar for Cactus Flower -- along with her new attitude.

The phone line again sizzles when Ernestine (Lily Tomlin) rings up Aristotle Onassis and Gore Vidal, whom she queries about Myra Breckinridge (keep an eye on her dialing finger). Vidal's feuding foe William F. Buckley Jr. drops by for a surprising question and answer session with the cast. Larger-than-life Zero Mostel pantomimes a day in his life in four brilliant minutes, while larger-than-two lives Orson Welles hosts a Halloween Boo-In.

On top of those and long-running classic sketches as "Cocktail Party," "Joke Wall," "The Farkle Family" and "Gladys and Tyrone," THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON trots out many of the 20th century's biggest headliners and personalities. Luminaries appearing includes Joey Bishop, William F.Buckley, Truman Capote, Art Carney, Johnny Carson, Wilt Chamberlain, Carol Channing, Tim Conway, Bing Crosby, Sammy Davis Jr., Phyllis Diller, David Frost, Andy Griffith, Peter Lawford, Rich Little, Bob Newhart, Vincent Price, Carl Reiner, Debbie Reynolds, Don Rickles, Rod Serling, Orson Welles, Flip Wilsonand many more!

The set also includes two new-to-retail, specially-produced bonus features: interviews with Lily Tomlin and Arte Johnson.

Dan Rowan
Dick Martin
Lily Tomlin
Ruth Buzzi
Arte Johnson
Gary Owens
Alan Sues
Ann Elder
Dennis Allen
Barbara Sharma
Johnny Brown


Format: DVD/7 Discs
Running Time: 1384 minutes
Genre: TV DVD/Comedy
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Audio: Stereo


"ALIEN: DESCENT" Location Based VR Experience Announced Today




Recruit your squad starting on April 26, ALIEN Day, at Outlets at Orange in Orange County

LOS ANGELES, CA (April 18, 2018) – Pure Imagination Studios and FoxNext Destinations will open ALIEN: DESCENT, a cutting-edge free-roaming virtual reality experience at The Outlets at Orange in Orange County on April 26. Additional locations will be announced soon. Tickets can be reserved now at

Set in the ALIEN universe, guests join an elite squad of Colonial Marines sent to investigate a distress signal from a Weyland-Yutani mining outpost. Just before losing contact, the facility reported a mysterious infestation. It’s up to the guests and their squad to contain the threat, quarantine any survivors and get everyone to safety. While on the mission, guests move freely through the immersive space battling aliens, ranging from face-huggers to full-grown Xenomorphs.

ALIEN: DESCENT features a first-of-its-kind wireless technology developed by Pure Imagination Studios. The technology allows up to four guests to move about freely in VR, without the use of PC backpacks or wires. Each guest is armed with a custom-designed weapon and motion-tracking sensors on their arms and legs. Environmental effects, motion platforms and other surprises that simulate the descent into the heart of the Alien threat enhance the experience.

“ALIEN: DESCENT’s story-first approach is at the forefront of the location-based VR experiences that we’re rolling out. Our goal at Pure Imagination Studios has always been to push the boundaries of what’s possible — VR attractions are the perfect medium to do just that. Partnering with the forward-thinking team at FoxNext made for a potent combination of storytelling minds and innovative thinking to set a new benchmark for destination entertainment,” said Joshua Wexler, co-founder of Pure Imagination Studios.

“VR attractions bring together immersive entertainment with social experiences that can’t be replicated in the living room. The rich storytelling opportunities in the Alien universe makes it a perfect fit for cutting-edge destination entertainment. Plus, who doesn’t want to battle Xenomorphs and save the world?” said Salil Mehta, president of FoxNext.

“We're thrilled to allow guests the freedom to experience and engage in VR without the need of a cumbersome backpack.  The dream is to allow guests to fully immerse themselves, let loose, and have fun,” said Rob Taylor, co-creator of the experience from Pure Imagination Studios.

ALIEN: DESCENT opens April 26, ALIEN Day, at the Outlets at Orange. Tickets can be reserved at The Outlets at Orange is located at the intersection of I-5 and State Highways 22 and 57 in Orange, California. More information can be found at

ALIEN DAY returns on April 26, 2018 for an epic third annual global celebration of the iconic sci-fi franchise. ALIEN DAY is a nod to planet LV-426 from the landmark ALIEN film. For more information on all ALIEN DAY activities go to

About Pure Imagination Studios
Pure Imagination Studios is an award-winning independent entertainment studio that brings content and experiences to life across existing platforms while at the same time forging new ones. Through the combination of proprietary technology and groundbreaking storytelling the studio brings the next generation of entertainment to audiences of all ages across all platforms. Pure Imagination is led by an experienced group of storytellers, dreamers, doers, mad-scientists and experiential engineers who have designed, built, produced and worked with some of the most iconic brands in the world from clients including Warner Bros., FOX, DreamWorks, Marvel Entertainment, LEGO, Universal Studios, Merlin Entertainments, Six Flags and others. Their portfolio of projects have expanded fan engagement on multiple platforms including a diverse slate of animated television shows, cultural experiences, digital-series, theme park attractions, virtual and augmented reality immersive experiences, projection mapping shows and more. Pure Imagination Studios is headquartered in Los Angeles, CA. Visit:

About FoxNext
FoxNext expands the storytelling universes of our most cherished franchises at Twentieth Century Fox Film and Fox Networks Group through virtual reality, games and location-based entertainment. FoxNext pushes the boundaries by enabling the best creators and innovators to share their stories across an ever-growing spectrum of emerging platforms. The division consists of FoxNext Games, FoxNext VR Studio and FoxNext Destinations.

About FoxNext Destinations
FoxNext Destinations, a division of FoxNext, is developing themed entertainment destinations that immerse guests in the company's iconic film and TV brands. Current projects include 2017 THEA winner Springfield, USA and 2009 THEA winner The Simpsons Ride at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando, Alien: Descent, a free-roaming VR experience, and Avatar: Discover Pandora, a new interactive exhibition inspired by the breathtaking environments and inspirational cultures of Pandora. Other projects include FX's American Horror Story at Universal Studios' Halloween Horror Nights and the 20th Century Fox World theme park in Malaysia, currently in development.


Tuesday, April 17, 2018


Lilith, the fabled first wife of Adam, returns as a seductive succubus who lures and murders men in BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL (Indican Pictures, 2017), writer-director Joshua Coates' modestly-budgeted but surprisingly impressive horror-thriller.

The alluring creature who's irresistible to men but morphs into a diabolical fanged nightmare behind closed doors is played to perfection by African-Irish actress Alice Rose in her film debut.

Her intimate moments with hapless male victims give the film some of its most horrifying shock scenes, with the help of nicely-done practical effects and pretty-good CGI.

Grant Harvey plays Jeremiah Young, an orphaned teen just entering college. Having never been adopted due to his being "different", the troubled but well-meaning youth is plagued by DEAD ZONE-type visions of possible future calamity which he tries his best to avert. 

He uses this ability to rescue a female classmate from suicide before saving dormmate Pete (Pooch Hall) from an encounter with Lilith which claims the lives of several of Pete's frat brothers. 

The story delves deeply into its good vs. evil premise, exploring various facets of religion and faith (Jeremiah and Lilith, in her guise as "Jessica", attend the same theology class) in dead-serious fashion, devoid of the obligatory humor so common in current horror films. 

Coates' intelligent, densely-packed screenplay is like a fever dream, directed with a visual style that's consistently engaging.  Lighting, camerawork, and score all contribute to an often mesmerizing viewing experience.

Rose and Harvey head a terrific cast which includes a brief cameo (during the opening titles) by Eric Roberts.  Subplots include an investigation into the horrific campus murders which, in one of the film's liveliest scenes, will bring one of the detectives much too close for comfort to his deadly prey.

There's also a revelation or two about Jeremiah's past--including his connection to a famed evangelist who fell victim to Lilith years ago--which, along with a few other story points, seems to lay the groundwork for a sequel or even a possible series.  Still, this tale is pretty much satisfyingly self-contained.

Definitely not light viewing, BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL is an intense, often riveting battle between good and evil that's kind of a callback to those rowdy but substantial monster-fests of the 80s.  And Joshua Coates would seem to be a filmmaker to watch. 

Tech Specs
Runtime: 119 minutes
Sound: 5.1 Surround Sound
Country: USA
Language, Captions: English
Genre: Horror/Sci-Fi


Disappearing Rommel Blooper in "THE LONGEST DAY" (1962) (video)

The WWII blockbuster "The Longest Day" contains a really bad SPFX shot... which Field Marshal Erwin Rommel seems to disappear and then reappear.

For a production of this stature, it's a pretty jarring moment.

Otherwise, it's one of the finest WWII movies ever made.

I neither own nor claim any rights to this material.  Just having some fun with it.  Thanks for watching!


Liam Neeson in "THE COMMUTER" - Bring It Home on 4K, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Today!

An intense ride only Liam Neeson could deliver" -- ABC-TV


The Pulse-Pounding Action Thriller Speeds Onto Digital on April 3 and to 4K Ultra HD™, Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD on April 17 from Lionsgate

4K Ultra HD™ and Blu-ray™ to Include Dolby Atmos®

SANTA MONICA, CA (February 21, 2018) – Mega-action hero and Oscar® nominee Liam Neeson (Best Actor, Schindler’s List, 1993) proves that no one gets hurt on his watch in The Commuter, arriving on Digital April 3 and 4K Ultra HD™ Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray and Digital), Blu-ray™ Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital), DVD, and On Demand April 17 from Lionsgate.

Time is ticking as Michael (Neeson) gets entangled in a deadly conspiracy on his daily commute that forces him to work against the clock to protect the lives of his fellow train passengers. The edge-of-your-seat action thriller also stars Vera Farmiga (The Conjuring, The Departed, TV’s “Bates Motel”), Patrick Wilson (The Conjuring, Insidious), Jonathan Banks (TV’s “Breaking Bad,” “Better Call Saul”), with Elizabeth McGovern (TV’s Downton Abbey), and Sam Neill (Thor: Ragnarok, Daybreakers).

Michael’s (Neeson) daily commute home quickly becomes anything but routine. After being contacted by a mysterious stranger (Farmiga), Michael is forced to uncover the identity of a hidden passenger on his train before the last stop. As he works against the clock to solve the puzzle, he realizes a deadly plan is unfolding and is unwittingly caught up in a criminal conspiracy. One that carries life and death stakes, for himself and his fellow passengers.

From Jaume Collet-Serra, the director of Non-Stop and The Shallows, and written for the screen by Byron Willinger, Philip de Blasi, and Ryan Engle, The Commuter’s home entertainment release includes two never-before-seen featurettes that focus on the cast’s experience shooting the film and the technical details of shooting on a train.

The 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray versions will also feature Dolby Atmos audio remixed specifically for the home-theater environment, to place and move audio anywhere in the room, including overhead. The Commuter will be available on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, and DVD for the suggested retail price of $42.99, $39.99, and $29.95, respectively.

⦁ “End of the Line” Featurette
⦁ “Off the Rails” Featurette

                                    WATCH THE TRAILER:

Instagram: @thecommuterfilm
Twitter: @TheCommuterFilm

Year of Production:  2017
Title Copyright: The Commuter © 2018 STUDIOCANAL S.A.S. Artwork & Supplementary Materials © 2018 Lions Gate Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Type: Theatrical Release
Rating: PG-13 for some intense action/violence, and language
Genre: Action
Closed-Captioned: N/A
Subtitles: English, Spanish, English SDH
Feature Run Time: 105 Minutes

4K Ultra HD™ Format: 2160p High Definition 16x9 Widescreen 2.39:1 Presentation
BD Format: 1080p High Definition 16x9 Widescreen 2.39:1 Presentation
DVD Format: 16x9 Widescreen 2.39:1 Presentation
4K Ultra HD™ Audio: English Dolby Atmos, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Audio™, French 5.1 Dolby Audio, English 2.0 Dolby Audio Optimized for Late-Night Listening, English Descriptive Audio
BD Audio: English Dolby Atmos, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Audio, English 2.0 Dolby l Audio Optimized for Late-Night Listening, English Descriptive Audio   
DVD Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Audio, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Audio, English Descriptive Audio

The first major new studio in decades, Lionsgate is a global content platform whose films, television series, digital products and linear and over-the-top platforms reach next generation audiences around the world.  In addition to its filmed entertainment leadership, Lionsgate content drives a growing presence in interactive and location-based entertainment, gaming, virtual reality and other new entertainment technologies.  Lionsgate’s content initiatives are backed by a 16,000-title film and television library and delivered through a global licensing infrastructure.  The Lionsgate brand is synonymous with original, daring and ground-breaking content created with special emphasis on the evolving patterns and diverse composition of the Company’s worldwide consumer base. 


Monday, April 16, 2018

FOLLOWERS -- DVD Review by Porfle

B-movie (and Z-movie) makers of the past had to deal with the same technical stuff as the big-timers--namely, procuring expensive film to shoot on and running it through a big camera to be developed and edited together later in its physical form.  Shooting was expensive, and retakes were very few.

Nowadays, of course, shooting time is both limitless and pretty much inexpensive since anyone with a hankering to make a movie can just grab the nearest video device--including their own phones--and start recording away. 

And some, such as director Ryan Justice with his new horror-thriller flick FOLLOWERS (2017), make the act of doing that the very subject of their movie itself.

Long story short: social media stars Brooke (Amanda Delaney), who posts her popular yoga instructional videos, and her boyfriend Caleb (Justin Maina), whose fitness videos are equally well-viewed, decide to go on a camping trip during which Caleb plans to "pop the question" (a la EDEN LAKE).

Meanwhile, aspiring YouTube hopefuls Jake (Sean Michael Gloria) and Nick (Nishant Gogna) are stalking Brooke and Caleb with their own cameras, with plans to make a breakthrough documentary about how easy it is to track internet stars down from their online info and, theoretically, kill them. 

It's basically THE BLAIR DWEEB PROJECT, half the movie consisting of Brooke and Caleb hiking to their remote campsite (with nature-phobe Brooke being as annoying as possible), and the other half documenting Jake and Nick's creepy stalking of same down wooded paths until they stumble upon their tent. 

Save for a couple of fun stings here and there, such as unidentified figures fleeting by in the background of certain shots, the first half of FOLLOWERS is a trudge not unlike that long hike through the woods. We see it all through their own cameras as they all record their words and actions for editing and uploading as "like"-magnet videos.

Naturally, things will go way too far at a certain point--a point we're very grateful to finally reach after the slow and mostly uneventful buildup.  In its own totally unprepossessing, sorta slapdash way, FOLLOWERS manages to be both likably low-tech and somewhat intriguing.

We wonder who the heck are the masked attackers who suddenly invade Brooke and Caleb's campsite, wielding a gun. Have Nick and Jake flipped out? Is it the rowdy rednecks who earlier recognized the internet celebs at a truckstop and ran them off the road with their pickup?

Or is there something even more sinister going on in those woods, as indicated by those fleeting phantom figures we keeping seeing in the background?

If you make it throught the slow first half, FOLLOWERS evolves into a mildly absorbing little show despite (or maybe because of) an over-dependence on improvised dialogue and a look that still resembles somebody's home videos.  Anyway, I had fun watching it and I guess that counts for a lot.

Type: DVD
Running Time: 83 minutes
Genre: Thriller/Horror
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 Widescreen
Audio: 5.1 Surround Sound/2.0 Stereo
Bonus: 2 trailers


John Wayne: Five Great Entrances (video)

John Wayne: Five Great Entrances

HONDO (1953)
CHISUM (1970)
BIG JAKE (1971)

I neither own nor claim any rights to this material.  Just having some fun with it.  Thanks for watching!


Sunday, April 15, 2018

ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME: IN CONCERT -- Blu-ray Review by Porfle

The best way to get a bunch of famous entertainers together, it seems, is to hold a big self-congratulatory ceremony full of gushing tributes in their honor and start throwing awards at them.
Time-Life's new 2-disc Blu-ray set ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME: IN CONCERT is a document of four such awards shows from 2014-2017, and sure enough, there are tons and tons of famous musicians seemingly coming out of the woodwork to be there to speechify and perform.

Each of the dozens of inductees, both groups and solo artists, gets one of those gushing tribute speeches from a fellow musician/fan and then performs a selection of their best songs.  Those who have passed on or couldn't make it have their songs reverently interpreted by others. 

Needless to say, it's a grab-bag of goodies and not-so-goodies, and your enjoyment of these four celebrity-packed events as a whole will depend on how eclectic your musical tastes are.  But no matter what you're into, you're likely to find at least some of it here.

One of the main attractions is the fact that some of these bands are reuniting for the first time in years and feature members from different lineups who haven't performed together before.

And some of the sets have special guests joining in to form impromptu all-star bands with various frontmen, lead guitarists, etc. all combining their considerable forces.

My favorite segment is when one of my all-time favorite bands, prog-rock pioneers Yes, finally gets their long-overdue accolades.  After an introductory speech by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson of Rush, Lee takes the late Chris Squire's place on bass for a kickass rendition of "Roundabout" followed by "Owner of a Lonely Heart", with members from most of the group's incarnations represented.

Another favorite is the (again long-overdue) induction of Ringo Starr by Beatles bandmate Paul McCartney himself. I love Ringo and it's great whenever he gets his time in the sun as he does here, performing with one of those all-star bands including Paul, Joe Walsh, and more.

Other artists honored include Electric Light Orchestra, Peter Gabriel, Nirvana, Linda Ronstadt, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Stevie Ray Vaughan (brother Jimmie performs in his place),Lou Reed, Deep Purple, Cheap Trick, NWA, Bill Withers, Joan Baez, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Chicago, Journey, Green Day, Cat Stevens, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Tupac Shakur, and Pearl Jam.

As one might guess, the fawning induction speeches are a seriously hit-or-miss proposition.  Some are rather charming, as the one for ELO by George Harrison's son Dhani, and McCartney's for Ringo. Most are insufferably boring. A few, such as Miley Cyrus' monologue on Joan Jett, are downright obnoxious. 

The often-rambling acceptance speeches run the same gamut, albeit with much more thanking of wives, children, lifelong musical influences, etc. My favorite, surprisingly, was that of Yes keyboard whiz Rick Wakeman, whose speech took the form of a hilariously off-color stand-up comedy routine ("I think my wife's in a coma, but I'm not sure--the sex is the same, but the wash is piling up.")

If you're like me, you'll be hitting the fast-forward button to get past a lot of this and on to the music--and even skipping through much of it as well.  But those with wider tastes than mine, who scan the above list of performers and can't wait to sample most or all of their performances, will be in hog heaven throughout most of ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME: IN CONCERT.


Type: DVD (4 Discs)/Blu-ray (2 Discs)
Running Time: 674 mins.
Genre: Music
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 (16 x 9)
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1/Stereo 2.0
Bonus: illustrated program booklet
Release date: 4/24/18


Hilarious Blooper in "OCEAN'S 11" (Warner Bros, 1960)(video)

Las Vegas bad boys Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin pull a phone prank on their friend, Mr. Acebos (Akim Tamiroff).

Mr. Acebos' manservant (H.T. Tsiang) calls him to the phone...and then ducks out of the shot. 

At least he thinks he does.

"Am I out of the shot?"
"Maybe if I don't move, the camera won't see me"

I neither own nor claim any rights to this material.  Just having some fun with it.  Thanks for watching!


LIQUID SKY -- Blu-ray/DVD Review by Porfle

I first saw Russian director Slava Tsukerman's 1982 avant-garde cult sci-fi classic LIQUID SKY back in the early 80s when it came out on VHS looking a heck of a lot cheaper and dingier than it does on Vinegar Syndrome's richly vivid new Blu-ray/DVD combo set (scanned and fully restored in 4k from the 35mm original negative and packed with special features).

Now, the film still looks low-budget but the talent and imagination that went into transcending that budget are allowed to shine through.  The visuals are a feast of 80s proto tech and economical cinematic imagination, all day-glo and neon and glam-punk and New Wave and ugly fashion and jaded cynicism set to robotic industrial music performed on a Fairlight. 

The setting is an urban milieu where sneering androgynous scarecrows get made up as though for Halloween so that they can express derision to either clicking cameras or their fellow drugged-out dance club denizens.

Our heroine, tall blonde beauty Margaret (co-scripter Anne Carlisle, CROCODILE DUNDEE, DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN), is one such model so disaffected by her lifestyle that any hint of normality now seems abrasively foreign.

Margaret is a victim not only of the lecherous men she invites back to her apartment simply because they have drugs--making her a victim also of her own flagrant self-destructiveness--but of the equally-violent, overbearing, profane, drug-pushing dyke Adrian (the great Paula Sheppard of ALICE, SWEET, ALICE) with whom she shares both a penthouse apartment and a sick, abusive relationship.

The main attraction of LIQUID SKY for me has always been Carlisle's exquisite dual-role performance as both Margaret and her nemesis, a preening male model named Jimmy with whom Margaret shares a mutual loathing.  Carlisle pulls off the feat of creating two intensely interesting and perversely compelling characters whose split-screen interactions are always utterly convincing and scintillating. 

But the weirdness really starts when tiny aliens land their spaceship on a nearby rooftop and start feeding off both the heroin-enhanced brainwaves of Margaret's visitors and also the chemical reactions caused by their orgasms, which proves lethal to them.  Thus, anyone who has sex with Margaret dies.

In this world the most appealing characters, for me anyway, are the more normal ones such as Margaret's older friend Owen, whose genuine concern for her makes him the first alien orgasm casualty, and Jimmy's indulgent single mother (to whom he is utterly dismissive except when begging for money) who lives nearby and is visited by an eccentric German scientist on the trail of the alien ship. 

It turns out her apartment window offers a fine telescope view of the tiny spaceship, giving her a chance to vainly try and seduce the man while he keeps an eye both on the ship and the lethal sexual activity going on in Margaret's apartment.  There's a mundane charm to their scenes that's a stark contrast to the infinitely stranger things going on elsewhere.

Meanwhile, our wacky nihilistic misfits continue courting death, a condition hastened by constant drug use--they live to snort and shoot up--and sexually-transmitted disease, upon which dwells much of the film's symbolism. 

Their casual cruelty to each other comes to the fore when they get together in the penthouse for one of their tacky, drug-fueled modeling shoots, during which Margaret's deadly new sexual side-effect will shock even these jaded louts of their curdled complacency in a big way.

LIQUID SKY is a low-key slice of wildlife that doesn't explode like THE FIFTH ELEMENT or mesmerize like 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY.  It's simply the story of an aimless New Wave waif named Margaret numbly wandering through a harsh world of hurtful people and some weird little aliens who help her by hurting them.  And watching it is like a dark but colorful carnival ride through a combination art gallery and spook house. 

TECH SPECS:Vinegar Syndrome/OCN Digital Distribution 
Genre: Cult/Science Fiction
Blu-ray/DVD Combo (2 Discs)
Original Release: 1982 Color
Rated: R
DTS-HD Master Audio Mono
Running Time: 112 Minutes (Plus 160 Minutes Special Features)
Suggested Retail Price: $32.98
Pre-Order: April 3, 2018
Street Date:  April 24, 2018

Director’s introduction and commentary track
Interviews with Tsukerman and Carlisle
Alamo Drafthouse screening Q&A with Tsukerman, Carlisle and Clive Smith (co-composer)
“Liquid Sky Revisited” (2017), a 50-minute, making-of feature
Behind-the-scenes rehearsal footage
Never-before-seen outtakes
Isolated soundtrack
Alternate opening sequence
Photo gallery
Reversible cover artwork by Derek Gabryszak
Multiple trailers
English SDH subtitles