2015 Home Video Releases
Better late than never. Since I don’t use WordPress very much all the changes are a bit confusing.
20. SHE KILLED IN ECSTASY/VAMPYROS LESBOS- Severin Films
This isn’t a double feature, but decided to lump them together.
19. SUGAR HILL- Kino Lorber
This is one of the Scorpion Releasing via Kino Lorber. Not sure who handled the HD video, but it’s simply ok. Audio is strong though. There’s actually a nice batch of extras on this release and it’s always nice to have a blaxploitation film in HD. This is the surprise release of the year for me.
18. 1990: BRONX WARRIORS/ESCAPE FROM THE BRONX/NEW BARBARIANS- Blue-Underground (blu-ray/DVD Combo)
This is NOT a triple feature release, but decided to put them together since all 3 are put out by the same company. There’s a 3-part interview with one on each disc. If I place one on the list I have to place the other 2 and it sort of takes away from other releases so seeing as the discs are so much a like it made sense to bundle them together. All 3 of these films are highly enjoyable in particular Escape from the Bronx, which oddly enough I didn’t like upon my first viewing.
17. SHOCKER- Scream Factory
16. THE JAIL: THE WOMEN’S HELL- Intervision Film Corp (DVD)
One of the final films of Bruno Mattei with a decent batch of extras.
15. NIGHTMARE CASTLE- Severin Films
Also included are TERROR-CREATURES FROM THE GRAVE & CASTLE OF BLOOD. All 3 have some print damage with the two bonus films having the most, but all look pretty good and there’s no shortage of features from on camera to audio.
14. SPIDER BABY- Arrow Films
Identical to the Arrow UK release, which is fine since I don’t own that edition. 2015 was very much the year of Arrow.
13. ARMY OF DARKNESS- Scream Factory
There’s 4-cuts of the film. Theatrical, directors cut, international and the TV version. There’s also some really terrific features. Audio and video are strong, but there was room for improvements. However it’s still a top notch release.
12. KILLER WORKOUT- Slasher Video/Olive Films
As for the transfer and audio the same as above as this is also sourced from a Betamax. However this transfer looks a lot better than Deadly Prey, but it’s not typical blu-ray quality. Extras aren’t quite good, but that isn’t as issue as the only release was a VHS and bootleg DVD from the VHS print. No 35MM exists anymore and I’m just happy this silly and absurd cult film has a legit video release. It’s odd watching a blu-ray and seeing Betamax flaws in the picture, but oddly enough like Deadly Prey the HD Betamax adds a layer of charm to the film.
11. DEADLY PREY- Slasher Video/Olive Films
The 35MM prints of the film were destroyed so Slasher Video remastered this from a Betamax tape. Yes you read that right. It’s quite clear you’re watching a VHS source and this lacks the true HD quality, which is to be expected. However it does look better than any tape, but due to the limitations detail and color aren’t quite blu-ray quality nor even DVD. However with that said it’s better than having nothing and I for one am grateful Slasher Video through Olive Films put this out as its a fun film that is one of the best so bad it’s good films. There’s some decent extras to go along with the release. Your average person will hate the audio and video as the audio in particular is very much tape material, but fans of cult cinema will easily be able to look past the sourcing material as with no 35MM print this was the only option.
10. DAY OF ANGER- Arrow Films (blu-ray/DVD Combo)
9. CEMETERY WITHOUT CROSSES- Arrow Films (blu-ray/DVD Combo)
This is a French and Italian co-production so it fits with the spaghetti western though the film is far more French. This film is nearly forgotten, which is unfortunate since it’s a terrific film. Never released in the UK or US on home video. There is some print damage, but overall it features a strong HD transfer. Features are subpar, but it’s got strong enough audio and video and more importantly it’s great to have this forgotten cult classic out on home video.
8. WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO SOLANGE?- Arrow Films (blu-ray/DVD Combo)
7. DRESSED TO KILL- Criterion
When Criterion released this over the Summer there were a few glitches from coloring to a stretch in the picture. It was pulled than fixed and re-released. The newer edition will have 2nd printing listed on the back. The correct version is simply terrific in both audio and video and features a solid batch of extras. This easily could have been rated higher.
6. MOSQUITO- Synapse Films
5. CONTAMINATIONArrow Films (blu-ray/DVD Combo)
4. FROM A WHISPER TO A SCREAM- Scream Factory
While I can’t confess to exactly loving the film, but the blu-ray release more than makes up for any issues I had. The audio and video are fair enough and if you have other Scream Factory releases you should more or less know what to expect. What makes this release one of the best of 2015 are the terrific batch of extras, which contains a documentary on the entire process of the production of the film with a running time that’s nearly 2-hours!!! It’s actually roughly 40 or so minutes longer than the actual film!
3. THE BEYOND- Grindhouse Releasing
This carries over all the features from the DVD, though some are hidden so you have to find them (aren’t Easter eggs fun) plus a bunch of new extras. Audio and video are terrific and this release also comes with a glow in the dark slipcover as well as a CD with the original soundtrack.
2. BLOOD RAGE- Arrow Films (blu-ray/DVD Combo)
Constantly delayed, but the end result was more than worth it as Arrow delivers yet another epic release with terrific audio and video plus strong extras. NOTE even though this is a dual release (UK, US) the DVD is region 2 locked, which was some sort of glitch. However the blu-ray’s are perfectly fine.
1. CANNIBAL FEROX- Grindhouse Releasing
The HD transfer is simply outstanding and by far blows away the Grindhouse DVD from several years back. All the features are carried over to go along with a number of new features. This also comes with the original soundtrack, but the big selling point outside of the improved audio and video is the 80 plus minute documentary that chronicles the Italian Cannibal Film.