COOL STUFF: ZEIRAM: 30th ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL EDITION BLU-RAY!

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ZEIRAM: 30th ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL EDITION BLU-RAY!

Zeiram (1991) (full review HERE) is a Japanese cult classic sci-fi adventure that is basically a live-action anime with a lot of inventive visual and creature FX, not to mention a sexy, alien ass-kicking heroine, Iria (Yuko Moriyama).  Directed by artist Keita Amemiya, the film follows bounty hunter Iria as she arrives on earth to hunt the dangerous creature Zeiram, while two bumbling utility workers (Yukijirô Hotaru and Kunihiro Ida) get in the way. The film has a well-deserved following…and a sequel… and is now finally available in a 30th anniversary special edition Blu-ray from Media Blasters!

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Sexy and tough alien bounty hunter Iria (Yuko Moriyama) on Earth to capture a monster in Keita Amemiya’s Zeiram!

As for the disc itself….

The high-definition transfer of this cult classic sci-fi adventure looks really good, especially for a low budget film made 30 years ago. The colors are vibrant, and the picture is sharp, though there is some grain which is not unexpected for a movie three decades old and made with a very modest budget. The film is presented in the original 1.78:1 aspect ratio with a new 1080 high-definition scan. The sound is presented in 2.0 PCM stereo and you have the option of original Japanese with subtitles or English dubbed.

Now on to the extras….

The extras here are minimal. There are both U.S. and Japanese trailers for the movie and a making of documentary from back in the 90s with both star Yuko Moriyama and director Keita Amemiya. That’s it, but just having this flick finally on Blu-ray should be more than enough for fans.

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The alien creature arrived on Earth…Zeiram!

Zeiram is a cult classic Japanese sci-fi action film from the inventive mind of character designer turned director Keita Amemiya, that has been a fan favorite for over three decades. Thanks to the folks at Media Blasters, it’s finally now available in a remastered Blu-ray! Recommended!

-MonsterZero NJ

COOL STUFF: JOHN WALSH’S ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK: THE OFFICIAL STORY OF THE FILM!

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JOHN WALSH’S ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK: THE OFFICIAL STORY OF THE FILM!

Can’t wait to start reading this! Escape From New York is one of my all-time favorite movies since seeing it opening night at the Oritani Theater in Hackensack, NJ back in 1981. I have been waiting forty years for a book like this! LOL! Check out the book’s description from the product page on Amazon…

“Discover the thrilling story behind the making of Escape from New York and celebrate its legacy in this visually stunning, exclusive retrospective.

Over forty years after the release of the iconic hit, Escape from New York: The Official Story of the Film delves into the archives to showcase the creation of the movie. Directed by John Carpenter and released in 1981, Escape from New York thrilled audiences worldwide with its memorable characters, gritty premise and creative special effects.
 
This must-have book is the ultimate retrospective to the cult-classic movie, illustrating the production process of the science-fiction blockbuster, plus the impact and influence in popular culture, as well as the costuming, special effects, music, posters, and much more. Featuring brand new interviews with cast and crew, plus a foreword written by award-winning filmmaker, Corin Hardy, this extraordinary collection of never-before-seen art will give fans exclusive insight into every aspect of the movie.”

Escape from New York: The Official Story of the Film can be purchased on Amazon.com!

MonsterZero NJ

COOL STUFF: ALLAN HOLZMAN’S CELLULOID WARS-THE MAKING OF BATTTLE BEYOND THE STARS!

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ALLAN HOLZMAN’S CELLULOID WARS: THE MAKING OF BATTTLE BEYOND THE STARS!

Can’t wait to start reading this! Director and editor Allan Holzman (Forbidden World) has released his journal about the making of the 1980 cult classic Battle Beyond The Stars! The book is loaded with anecdotes, interviews and photos from the production of one of Roger Corman’s biggest and most famous flicks. Holzman was an editor on the film and below is the official description of his tome from the back of the book itself!…

“The Year was 1980, and SCI-FI had the motion picture industry in its grip…

The first producer to rush to meet the demand for more SciFi Adventure was Roger Corman who gambled on making the biggest picture his studio, New World Pictures, had ever undertaken. He hired a bunch of hungry, talented filmmakers to produce Battle Beyond The Stars including future award winners James Cameron, John Sayles, Robert & Dennis Skotak, James Horner, Gale Ann Hurd, Jimmy Murakami, and many others… including the author of this book, ACE and Emmy award-winning editor, Allan Holzman.

Taken from Holzman’s diary during production, Celluloid Wars offers an insider’s view of the production headaches that turned into lifelong lessons and the thought process behind the “Roger Corman School of Filmmaking.” This is a case study of a film that according to Nerdist.com “…succeeds in being a fresh, fun, charming sci-fi romp with some excellent effects and damn fine music.”

You’ll see it all – the highs, the lows, the winners and the losers, and all the drama in between – from the point of view of the editor who had to weave all of these different elements and emotions together to help create one of the most successful movies ever produced at New World Pictures, launching a dozen movie careers, and changing the face of Hollywood forever…

BONUS

  • Exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes photos with Special FX gurus Robert & Dennis Skotak on their experiences producing eye-popping visuals on a pennywise budget.
  • Costume designer Durinda Wood discusses creating the unique looks for Battle, and how that movie allowed her to create the look of the Borg in Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

Celluloid Wars: The Making of Battle Beyond The Stars can be purchased on Amazon.com!

 

 

MonsterZero NJ

COVER PHOTOS: Amazon.com

 

COOL STUFF: Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth: Inside the Creation of a Modern Fairy Tale!

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Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth: Inside the Creation of a Modern Fairy Tale! 

Why did I wait so long to buy this book!? It’s filled with behind the scenes photos, storyboards, production sketches and designs from one of my favorite movies, Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth! A film masterpiece! It’s a gorgeous book and a must have for fans of this brilliant film!

Got it here on Amazon!…

Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth: Inside the Creation of a Modern Fairy Tale: del Toro, Guillermo, Nunziata, Nick, Vaz, Mark Cotta: 9780062433893: Amazon.com: Books

 

MonsterZero NJ

 

COOL STUFF: CEMETERY PHOTOGRAPHY!

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CEMETERY PHOTOGRAPHY: LIFE GOES ON AMONGST THE DEAD!

I have been waiting almost five years to capture these images! Since driving home from work past the cemetery each night and in spring seeing the deer grazing amongst the tombstones, I have always wanted to capture this beautiful imagery of life thriving amidst the resting places of the dead!

Check out the gallery below to see some of these long awaited shots!…

 

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All photos and text-MonsterZero NJ

 

COOL STUFF: SILENT SCREAM (1979) SPECIAL EDITION BLU-RAY!

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SILENT SCREAM (1979) SPECIAL EDITION BLU-RAY!

Silent Scream (1979) (full review HERE) is a late 70s/early 80s slasher flick that actually began production before Halloween was released and started the whole 80s slasher craze. Production woes stalled it’s release till 1979, where it quite possibly benefited from the success of Carpenter’s classic. The film has earned a following in it’s own right and is currently available in a special edition blu-ray from Scorpion Releasing.

Four college students may have made a fatal room renting mistake in 1979’s Silent Scream!

 

As for the disc itself….

The high definition transfer of this cult classic slasher looks really good, especially for a low budget film made over 40 years ago. The colors are vibrant and the picture clear, with little wear visible from the original inter-positive source. The film is presented in the original 1.78:1 aspect ratio with a 1080 high definition transfer. The sound options give you a choice between DTS 5.1 or DTS 2.0, the latter sounding better if you don’t have a surround sound system.

Now on to the extras….

There are some very nice and informative extras on this disc! This special edition contains three featurettes which include interviews with writers Jim and Ken Wheat along with star Rebecca Balding. Scream of Success:30 Years Later and Silent Scream: The Original Script both feature all three guests, not only talking about the making of the film, but the extensive reshoots and rewrites after the film was initially thought to be unreleasable. The Wheat Brothers: A Look Back has the two sibling writers talking about their careers and how they became involved in the project. There is also a short interview with star Balding discussing this flick and The Boogens. The next extra was bittersweet. It’s the last interview with director Denny Harris conducted over the phone and only days before he passed away. One can tell he is not well, but still passionate and proud of his work. There is also a TV spot, some radio spots, the theatrical trailer and some audio commentary; one track with the Wheats and Balding, and another with legendary horror icon Barbara Steele, which is exclusive to this Blu-ray. Some fun extras!

 

In the Engels’ attic closet, no one can hear you scream as pretty Scotty (Rebecca Balding) finds out.

 

Silent Scream is a cult classic slasher that is a good example of the way these flicks were made after Halloween and before Friday the 13th upped the ante and made 80s slashers more about gore and kills than suspense and atmosphere. It’s not perfect and it’s production problems caused it to be re-written with a large portion re-shot before it’s eventual release. All these years later, thanks to Scorpion Releasing, it’s now getting the restoration and treatment it deserves.

-MonsterZero NJ

RANDOM NONSENSE: JUST BEFORE DAWN ARRIVES ON BLU-RAY!

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JUST BEFORE DAWN ARRIVES ON BLU-RAY!

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The cult classic slasher Just Before Dawn came out on a new edition blu-ray on 1/12/21 and mine arrived from Amazon today! It’s currently only $19.95 and comes with a nice selection of extras. Not only does it have the original uncut version, but an extended international cut that is about 10 minutes longer. It has interviews from 2019 with cast members Gregg Henry, Chris Lemmon and Jamie Rose, along with Producer David Sheldon. It also features a vintage featurette with actors Chris Lemmon, Jamie Rose and John Hunsaker, along with co-writer Mark Arywitz and producer David Sheldon. Last but not least, it includes the original trailer. There will be a full review for the disc once I get to check it out, but it already sounds like a bargain!
Check out MonsterZero NJ’s review for this flick here

MonsterZero NJ

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COOL STUFF: THE HILLS RUN RED (2009) COLLECTOR’S EDITION BLU-RAY!

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THE HILLS RUN RED (2009) COLLECTOR’S EDITION BLU-RAY!

 

The Hills Run Red (2009) (full review HERE) is a bloody…and very 80s…slasher flick that was sadly overlooked when first released directly to DVD on 9/29/2009. It has since gained a strong and loyal cult following and now, thanks to the great folks at Scream Factory, is getting the treatment and respect it deserves!

 

As for the disc itself….

The high definition transfer of this cult favorite looks really good and wonderfully complements Ilan Rosenberg’s cinematography, as well as, the film’s unsettling visual design. The flick is presented in the original 2.39:1 aspect ratio. The colors are bright and vibrant and the images are sharp. The sound is in DTS HD 5.1 and should satisfy any home theater enthusiasts, as well as, it’s intended audience.

 

Now on to the extras….

There are some very extensive and informative extras on this disc! The special edition contains all the extras from the original DVD release, including the audio commentary and the It’s Not Real Until You Shoot It: MakingThe Hills Run Red feature.

The new stuff is bountiful. We get two new audio commentaries featuring director Dave Parker, podcaster Patrick Bromley and fan favorite filmmakers Joe Lynch and Adam Green. We get a bunch of video interviews. They start off with an in-depth look at the creation of it’s score from composer Frederik Wiedmann. We get extensive interviews with executive producer Erik Olsen, director Dave Parker and writer David J. Schow. These interviews give some great insight into the production, especially detailing Warner Brothers enthusiastically green-lighting the film after reading the script, then backtracking once they saw the first cut. This explains the short runtime and why the film was dumped unceremoniously on DVD. We get a day in the shooting of the film with, Friday the 13th, June 2008. We get a look at improve scenes shot by the cast for the character filmed segments in The Hills Are Alive…With The Sound Of Improv. The next batch of new featurettes appear to be put together from unreleased interview and behind the scenes footage during the production. These include separate documentaries each on William Sadler’s portrayal of Wilson Wyler Concannon, as well as, Janet Montgomery, Sophie Monk, Alex Wyndham and Tad Hilgenbrink playing their respective roles. After the cast, there are on-set interviews with producer Robert Meyer Burnett and production designer Antonello Rubino. Also be aware, there is a lot of unused footage from the film peppered throughout all these featurettes and a nice production scrapbook that is the icing on the new extras cake. All in all, this is a whooping selection of extras to delight the film’s fans that make this modestly priced special edition well worth the purchase.

 

The Hills Run Red (2009) may not have gotten the attention or box office release it deserved, but the folks at Scream Factory have finally given this fan favorite slasher the respect it’s due. The film looks great and there are some very extensive and informative extras involving many facets of the film’s production. If you are a fan of this film, this disc is almost certainly what you have been waiting for!

-MonsterZero NJ

COOL STUFF: VAMP (1986) COLLECTOR’S EDITION BLU-RAY!

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VAMP (1986) COLLECTOR’S EDITION BLU-RAY!

 

Vamp (1986) (full review HERE) is an 80s vampire flick that was sadly overlooked when first released. A smaller budgeted movie than the other vampire flicks of that era, but one that finally is being discovered and given the credit it deserves. After all, it presented the story of a queen vampire and her nest of followers being located in a strip club, a full decade before Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn. In this 2016 special edition Blu-ray from Arrow Video, Vamp can now be watched in all it’s original gory glory.

 

As for the disc itself….

The high definition transfer of this 80s vampire flick looks really good considering it is over 30 years-old. The film is presented in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio and there is some grain in the picture, but the neon colors are bright and vibrant and the images are sharp. The sound is the original mono track and while that may disappoint home theater enthusiasts, it’s certainly sufficient and should please purists who want to hear it in it’s original presentation. Probably as good as it’s ever going to look.

 

Now on to the extras….

The extras included are better than one might expect for what was a bit of an under-the-radar release back in 1986 and should please fans of this film. It starts out with a new documentary made at the time of this disc’s release in 2016 called One of those Nights: The Making of Vamp. It features new interviews with director and co-writer Richard Wenk, stars Chris Makepeace, Dedee Pfeiffer, Robert Rusler, Gedde Watanabe, the late Billy Drago and cinematographer Elliot Davis. It’s fun and informative, from the universal praise for Deedee Pfeiffer from cast and crew, to Grace Jone’s being both very enthusiastic to work on the film, yet perpetually tardy getting to the set. A cool documentary. There is also rehearsal footage, Richard Wenk’s 1979 comedy/musical short Dracula Bites the Big Apple, a blooper reel, TV spots, trailers and a photo gallery. While there are oddly no audio commentary tracks, there is a nice info-filled souvenir booklet inside the case. A solid special edition from Arrow Video, who also did the really good BloodThirsty Trilogy Blu-Ray set.

 

Vamp was not a huge box office success when first released on July 18, 1986, but wasn’t a bomb either. It has developed a well deserved cult following since and is now recognized as a cult classic. It was kind of the overlooked 80s vampire flick, released between Fright Night and The Lost Boys, but now is finally getting the attention and treatment this underrated little flick deserves.

On a personal note, I actually saw in a theater back in 1986 and this special edition really brought back memories and was a great way to revisit it. Highly recommended if you are a fan.

Available on https://arrowfilms.com or from Amazon.

-MonsterZero NJ

COOL STUFF: THE BLOB (1988) COLLECTOR’S EDITION BLU-RAY!

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THE BLOB (1988) COLLECTOR’S EDITION BLU-RAY!

 

The Blob (1988) (full review HERE) is an 80s remake of the 1958 classic, that sadly underperformed at the box office when it was released on August 5, 1988. The film has gained a strong cult following all these years later and is finally getting the respect it deserves. No more evidence of this is Scream Factory’s recent collector’s edition, which gives this fun flick the proper treatment.

 

As for the disc itself….

The transfer of this 80s monster movie is great and the print looks fantastic. The film is presented in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio and as it is over three decades old, there is some grain in the picture, but that is to be expected at this point. The colors are bright and vibrant, which makes the gelatinous creature all the more effective as a colorful beastie it is. The sound is in HD DTS 5.1 or DTS 2.0 and makes this action/sci-fi/horror really come alive, as the sound design on the film is already very strong. Once again Scream Factory gives a film the royal treatment all films deserve and if you are a fan of this flick, the technical presentation is reason alone to have this.

 

Now on to the extras….

The extras included are generous and features some fun stuff. For starters, there is an extensive two-part interview with Chuck Russell. In the first part he describes his journey into being a filmmaker, from his early days with Roger Corman, working on Hell Night, to his directorial debut on A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. In the second part, Russell goes into extensive detail on filming this 1988 remake. A great interview! Other interviews include, production designer Craig Stearns, FX man Chris Gilman, cinematographer Mark Irwin, FX man Peter Abrahamson, FX man Mark Setrakian, SPFX expert Tony Gardner and cast members, Candy Clark, Jeffrey DeMunn, Donovan Leitch and Bill Mosley. That’s a lot of personal insight into the making of this film! Be advised though, the box art also lists an interview with star Ricky Paull Goldin, but it does not appear with the extras. There is also some new commentary on the film, with Russell, Mark Irwin and Tony Gardner with a second solo commentary track featuring star Shawnee Smith. Scream Factory has also included a previous commentary with Chuck Russell and producer Ryan Turek. Rounding out the extras are some behind the scenes footage and, of course, the traditional theatrical trailer, TV spot and still gallery.

 

The Blob (1988) was sadly a box office disappointment when first released. A shame, as this is a fun, energetic and chilling monster movie with a lot of inventive filmmaking done to bring it’s creature to life. Today, the film has finally been recognized by genre fans and now has a well-deserved cult following. Thanks to Scream Factory, that following finally has a great way to enjoy it. Highly recommended!

 

-MonsterZero NJ