1977’s THE PEOPLE THAT TIME FORGOT Streaming VOD Amazon Prime Movie of the Day!

The People That Time Forgot (1977)

Currently watching and enjoying 1977’s THE PEOPLE THAT TIME FORGOT,  a charming little period fantasy, adventure, pulp flick in wonderful widescreen technicolor, currently streaming courtesy of Amazon Prime.

The People That Time Forgot (1977)

 

Everything from prehistoric creatures, daring heroes, murderous cavemen, samurai and did I mention buxom babes? It is just a fun film.

And the ravishing Dana Gillespie on screen, definitely helps. Full name Richenda Antoinette de Winterstein Gillespie, descended from lords and ladies, this would be as close as she would get to a starring role, which was unfortunate. It is obvious the camera loves her.

This is a fun little film, a sequel to 1974’s THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT, also by Director Kevin Connor, I actually like this one a little better, All in all a keeper of a movie that I will be looking to add to my Bluray collection. Grade: A solid B!

Must own Physical Media in the age of Digital : Blu-Ray Media Book Collection for Week 17 of 2020

 

I have spoken about this EXTREME PREJUDICE mediabook before. The Bluray picture quality is not hi-def quality.  While they come with a DVD and Bluray, the Bluray is simply the DVD dropped onto a Bluray, no mastering, no noticeable difference. So a perfectly decent DVD quality pic, just don’t expect hi-def quality out of the Bluray. Also it does not contain a Director’s commentary.

But despite the Bluray quality, this is one of my favorite films, and I love having it in Mediabook form. And I did translate the book itself, which includes very enjoyable coverage of the movie, and that cover art makes it a MUST OWN.

And it will do, until a quality mastered Blu-ray release (with commentary) comes out. And even then, I am keeping this Mediabook to house it in.  The art is just that good.

 

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This Mediabook contains the SENTINEL. As mentioned, even though most mediabooks offer a DVD and Bluray version, for the most part the Bluray looks like they did no mastering to it, and dropped the DVD transfer onto a Bluray. Not a noticeable uptick in quality from the DVD. That is a failing I see with a lot of these Mediabooks. Though this one is noticeably better than the video quality of THE EXTREME PREJUDICE mediabook.

It is a perfectly decent watch, a well mastered DVD can look very good. I have DVDs that look better than some Blurays. The mastering is what matters, but yeah perfectly decent, if not hi-definition picture.

Very good film from the 1970s, is part of that wave of films such as EXORCIST and ROSEMARY’S BABY, and while this one does not have the reputation of those two, I quite enjoy it. The commentary by Director Michael Wimmer makes this a MUST OWN. He has so much fun, reflecting on his time making this film, and the personalities, and stories. It is like being in the room with a charming filmmaker, telling you ‘inside Hollywood’ stories. Add to that, the artwork is STUNNING, and you have an easy must own.

 

This one, because it was ported from a recent remaster from a mainstream studio, actually looks great.

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While I have not been interested in the director’s subsequent films, this initial film… a masterwork. And this mediabook just looks great on the shelf. In process of translating the book portion. Also unfortunately this one does not come with Director’s Commentary. But despite that,this mediabook is a keeper for me.

Surprisingly fun movie, and enjoyable Brian Yuzna commentary.

That’s it guys. Not a huge mediabook collection, but everyone is a must own.

Pick yours up here!

Currently Watching : WINTER KILLS via Streaming/VOD

‘God, has made a way for you, you unalterable fool.

And all you have to do, is walk the path.’

WINTER KILLS (1979) Movie Review

I’ve been toying for some time with buying this 1979 film on DVD/Blu-Ray, based on its description alone. On paper it boasts a stacked cast (Jeff Bridges, John Huston, Elizabeth Taylor, Anthony Perkins, Eli Wallach, Ralph Meeker, Richard Boone, Tomas Milan, Sterling Hayden, Toshiro Mifune, the list goes on) and an intriguing premise.

Finally viewing it today courtesy of Streaming (believe it is on both KANOPY and AMAZON PRIME) and it is not a crowd pleasing film, but I like it despite itself. It is awkward, and spastic, and off kilter, and more than a little strange, this take of a family and nation marred by an assassination, which obviously reverberates with writer/director Richert’s theories on the Kennedy Assassination.

I like the way the film thinks, the way it breathes, patient and without hurry, the morose wit of the film, of a nation lost, slowly rolling, longing and loathing, in its sin.

I like the odd view it gives of power and the absence of privacy, and though the technology is outdated, the gist of it, over 40 years later is prophetic (or perhaps timeless is the better word), in its viewing of the lie of democracy in an age of Robber Barons.

It is compelling viewing, that I am richer for having seen. And yeah this is one to own in Physical media, because I can not wait to listen to the commentary by Writer/Director William Richert. This was Mr. Richert’s first feature film, and,while not a hit at the time, is an intriguing debut, and the cast alone make this a must own. Unfortunately  it would be followed by only 3 more films by Richert, and they would be progressively less well received.

But we still have his debut fan, WINTER KILLS.

Get your copy HERE!

Currently Watching : POSSESSION by Andrzej Zulawski SECOND SIGHT Blu-Ray

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I’ve seen this movie closing in on a half dozen times in my life. What astonishes you the first time you see this film, is the entire gestalt, the scenario, the performances, the audacity; this completely unhinged experience you are being taken on. It is a harrowing, inexplicable nightmarish journey, to the outer reaches of what it means to love and lust and lose and aspire.

Subsequent viewings, you shift attention to the craft, The simply spellbinding cinematography/camera movements by cinematographer Bruno Nyutten and previous Zulawski collaborator, Camera Operator Andrzej J. Jaroszewicz

The SECOND SIGHT Bluray lets you see this film, finally, in sumptuous quality befitting, what I and others without hesitation, have hailed as a masterpiece. The video quality is arguably better than it was in theaters back in 1981, and beyond how great the picture was, the special features are applause worthy. Not one, but two film commentaries. One with director Andrzej Zulawski, who suffers fools and idiotic questions, not well. No better than any creative person :). And an informative commentary with co-writer Frederick Tuten. Additionally a fantastic documentary on the making of the film, THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WALL is worth the price of the Blu-ray by itself. Add in many other compelling featurettes, and what you have is just hours of both entertaining and informative viewing.

POSSESSION is one of the only Zulawski’s films that is ‘widely’ available. Part of this is – being a Horror genre adjacent film, as well as an English language film, it is far more accessible and salable than the equally esoteric, but not as genre friendly, experimental dramas that make up the bulk of the late Zulawski’s filmography.

Zulawski made thirteen feature films in his career. And each film, as it is for many filmmakers making films under repressive conditions, was a monumental battle for finances, and against the controlling forces of the establishment.

2015 Cosmos
 2000 Fidelity
 1996 Szamanka
 1991 La note bleue
 1989 Boris Godounov
 1989 My Nights Are More Beautiful Than Your Days
 1988 On the Silver Globe
 1985 L’amour braque
 1984 La femme publique
 1981 Possession
 1975 L’important c’est d’aimer
 1972 The Devil
 1971 The Third Part of the Night
I do look forward to viewing, when possible the rest of Zulawski films, but based on the description of those films, and my own taste, it is likely POSSESSION will be my favorite film of his. The genre frame work, I have often found, helps filmmakers who would otherwise get lost in the weeds of their own searching, still tell a compelling story.
Looking at the description of Zulawski’s other films, where his vision was not honed against another writer, Tuten, and other creative people, the films sound like they veer toward the self-indulgent and plotless. Again, just surmising… when I view these films I may be incorrect about that, however if the descriptions and feedback is accurate, based on my own taste with other filmmakers, being over self-indulgent tends not to make for films that appeal to me.
However, POSSESSION for all its strangeness, has a thru-line, a backbone, and an ending, that for me, for all its openness to interpretation, works. And it sports one of the great performances of all time by actress Isabelle Adjani. Who if you look at her filmography made a career giving really astonishing performances, but arguably none as horrific, and potentially damaging as this one.
For all these reasons POSSESSION from 1981, is a must watch, and in my opinion, must own film. Grade: B+.

 

‘Why do some films have longevity and others don’t?’

‘Here’s my facile answer. Do you want the facile answer? The more facile the film, the less likely it will be to last. Because the audience for facile films will drain away. They are not interested in film, they are interested in mere entertainment. So the easy, the accessible, the convenient, the popular, the flavor of the moment, that vanishes, replaced by another one like that. But something that has some grit to it, emotionally, intellectually, visually, something that seems aberrant at the time… somehow if it can survive by a few people seeing it, knowing about it, writing about it… that’s what lasts.’

Co-Writer Frederic Tuten on Zulawski’s POSSESSION

The Three Greatest Werewolf Films of All Time!

The Three Greatest Werewolf Films of All Time all came out the same year, 1981. Talk about the zeitgeist in action.

The films are:

 

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THE HOWLING (1981) – Don’t hold the awful sequels against this original, the original is justifiably lauded for a reason.  Like AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, this was a movie made by kids, who believed there were still worlds to conquer. A talented young Joe Dante as director, a brilliant young John Sayles as Screenwriter, a gifted 19 year old Rob Boteen, coming off of assisting Rick Baker, creating one of the greatest special effect, transformation sequences in the history of film… and in front the camera a legendary cast of character and veteran actors, led by Dee Wallace’s brilliant performance; all come together to create one of the most beloved and brilliant films of its kind, or any kind.

 

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AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON (1981) – No one remembers or continually goes back to the ‘serious’ A-films of 1981, but this little thought of and hard fought and continually enjoyable B-picture, by a young maverick director John Landis and young makeup/special effects artist Rick Baker, remains now almost 40years later, the stuff that careers and legends are made of. An academy award for its makeup effects, it is forever the standard by which all such films are judged.

 

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WOLFEN (1981) – Is the oft overlooked 3rd film , that makes up the holy trinity of great werewolf films released in 1981. it lacks the transformation and special effects that immortalize THE HOWLING and AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, and perhaps that accounts for its under the radar status.

Also it is not a showy, flashy horror film, it is something a lot darker and more dire. WOLFEN is a slow, brooding, unnerving, and genuinely frightening study and indictment, not so much of monsters… as of men. It is a brilliant film, the first and only dramatic feature film by director Michael Wadleigh, whose only other credits included documentaries. With a director that was nearly 40, this was (unlike HOWLING and AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON) not a film done by talented, optimistic kids; instead there is a more mature, pensive, jaundiced eye at work here.

While a disappointment in the box office, largely because it was a more thoughtful film than the advertising promised, this film is a masterpiece. It ended Wadleigh’s career before it had a chance to grow, and that is a shame. This first film leaves us to only wonder, what subsequent dramatic films from him, could have been.

WOLFEN has so many strengths. Albert Finney delivers one of his great performances, buoyed by other talented actors… Gregory Hines, Edward Olmos, the script is captivating, the James Horner score haunting, and it is a truly frightening film, in ways that has nothing to do with what you see. Of the three great Werewolf films, it is the one that I think has the most to say. It is just a phenomenal, unjustly forgotten film. And if you do pick up the film via Bluray or streaming, I also STRONGLY urge you to pick up the Whitley Strieber audio-book performed by the late, great Roddy McDowall. That is equally a masterpiece.

 

Well hope you found that little look at the three greatest Werewolf films, enjoyable and informative. If you did, please subscribe, and patronize the links below. Your purchases help earn a few needed pennies for this blog, to keep the proverbial doors open. Much appreciated!

 

Till next time… be well!

WOLFEN Blu-Ray

I hope one of the Blu-Ray labels finally releases a worthy, feature filled director’s commentary. This movie deserves it.

WOLFEN Audio Book performed by Roddy McDowell

AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON

THE HOWLING

and

Stuck at home Item of the Day!

Bluray DVD Physical Media Label COMPLETE Overview : POWERHOUSE FILMS Indicator Boxsets

While a lot of people keep foretelling the death of physical media, since 2018 i personally have noticed an upswing in interest in physical media.

physical media seems to be getting, in the words of eric stoltz in the fly 2… “better!”. i think part of this upswing in physical media interest, has to do, strangely enough with streaming channels, namely youtube and youtube content providers, helping share knowledge and spur interest in these little known boutique bluray labels and releases.

i know personally youtube content providers, re-spurred my interest in physical media at the end of 2019, and is how i became aware of blurays to seek out and purchase.

further spurring this golden age of physical media releases, is (what we could consider) boutique labels making very  collectible and attractive physical media into something that is tactile art object as much as content, it very  much seems as the bluray medium has grown up, moving away from the hideous blue case branding of the bLU-RAYS (i have always hated the flimsy plastic blue ray cases), to now actual attractive, display worthy boxsets and individual titles.

it is as if physical media producers have finally realized, in the age of streaming, you have to emphasize the value of the physical media not just in the video and sound quality (which arguably streaming can compete with) but in the quality of the things streaming cannot compete with, packaging and associated specials features and booklets.

this installment we cover one of the best boutique bluray producers, and one i recently discovered at the end of 2019… namely powerhouse indicator label out of the uk.

The Indicator PowerHouse Blu-ray Boxsets, if you can get them on-sale, before they sell out, are actually one of the best deals in physical media. You can get these feature packed Blu-ray boxsets , that contain roughly 3 to 5 films per boxset for roughly $15 per film.

Which is just a fantastic deal, when you assess that you get the feature packed Blu-rays, with photographed filled and research packed limited edition booklets with each film, and the wonderful exclusive beautifully made slipcases for the films.

These boxsets are generally limited to 6000 editions. So in a planet of 7.8 billion people (according to the 2020 World Population clock) that is pretty darn exclusive. And even in the limited population of physical media lovers like myself, it is still a pretty exclusive and affordable collectible.

As of this writing PowerHouse Indicator has produced 15 boxsets and only 4 of them are no longer available. So as of this writing you can pick up the existing 11 boxsets for on average $15 per film, which is a STUNNING deal.

Here are the 15 Boxsets Power House Indicator has currently released as of this writing:

  • HAMMER VOL 1-5
  • WILLIAM CASTLE VOL 1-2
  • FIVE TALL TALES
  • RAY HARRYHAUSEN VOL 1-2
  • THE SINBAD TRILOGY
  • SAMUEL FULLER AT COLUMBIA
  • BLOODY TERROR
  • MARLENE DIETRICH
  • JOHN FORD

And for my money, while all are great to have, if you can swing it; the absolute best, and must have ones, in terms of beauty of the slipcase, quality of films, etc; in my opinion are the following (you can click on the pictures below to purchase):

 

HAMMER VOLUME ONE: FEAR WARNING! - LEHAMMER VOLUME FOUR: FACES OF FEAR - LEWILLIAM CASTLE AT COLUMBIA, VOLUME ONE - LEWILLIAM CASTLE AT COLUMBIA, VOLUME TWO - LETHE WONDERFUL WORLDS OF RAY HARRYHAUSEN, VOLUME ONE: 1955-1960 - LETHE WONDERFUL WORLDS OF RAY HARRYHAUSEN, VOLUME TWO: 1961-1964 - LETHE SINBAD TRILOGY - LESAMUEL FULLER AT COLUMBIA, 1937-1961 - LEFIVE TALL TALES: Budd Boetticher & Randolph Scott at Columbia, 1957-1960 - LE

Now regarding boxsets that have sold out. I do think Powerhouse Indicator will in due time re-release popular sold out boxsets such as RAY HARRYHAUSEN VOL TWO and THE SINBAD TRILOGY in subsequent editions with new artwork, just because it makes no sense for them not to.

Why leave the profit to the secondary market if the demand is out there? From a business standpoint, by changing the boxset artwork, they differentiate from the 1st pressing of the boxset, insuring the uniqueness of that first pressing for their die-hard fans, yet creating subsequent pressings that are unique and attractive in their own right to people who may have missed out on the first pressing.

Lets be frank, it is the boxsets that are the selling feature of Powerhouse Indicator. The individual Blurays by themselves, I don’t find them as compelling as Criterion releases or Arrow or Eureka or ScreamFactory Steelbooks, etc, but as boxsets, currently Powerhouse Indicator is the best Boxset maker in the business.

Well guys I hope you enjoyed that coverage of Powerhouse Indicator.

 

Please use the links provided above (click on the pictures of the boxsets), as they help you get great items, and generate a couple needed and appreciated pennies for this blog. Enjoy!

 

 

DVD/Bluray Purchases for Week 1 of 2020!! Haul / Deals of the Week!

The webpage will not show this image anonymously.See my previous post where I sing the praises of this film.

The webpage will not show this image anonymously.The webpage will not show this image anonymously. Film Noir fan, so this collection of little seen noirs was a must buy. Currently re-watching 1957’s riveting SHADOW ON THE WINDOW by director William Asher (who before he became known for his tv work and teen beach movies, made three notable films, JOHNNY COOL, THE 27TH DAY, and this one). SHADOW ON THE MOON is a thriller, with very ahead of its time sensibilities. One of the earliest films to deal with child trauma, broken homes, latchkey syndrome, and teen violence. It is a surprisingly good film. Unfortunately it is a pretty bare-bones Bluray collection; no commentaries, special features etc. Usually that is reason enough for me not to purchase physical media, however in this case you do get nine well mastered films per collection, for roughly the cost of one film. And the films look great. Purchase Here!

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Bought this one, because it was described as a type of ode to THE WILD BUNCH, and it starred Woody Strode. I went for the DVD over the Blu-ray, because the Bluray offered nothing additional, arguably not even a better picture, and the DVD was half the price. Purchase Here.

THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI – An Orson Welles masterpiece, starring Orson Welles and his stunning wife Rita Hayworth, and made when their marriage was falling apart. And it is a testament to Welles as filmmaker, and both of them as actors, that none of that is in the film. Finally remasterd on Bluray and with special features and commentary, and it is dirt cheap. A no-brainer of a buy! One of Welles top 5 films, and from a filmmaker who made arguably nothing but great films, that is saying a lot. Purchase here.

I had never even heard of this movie before, but all the reviews were very strong for this 1945 film Noir imbued thriller. And being directed by the great Joseph H. Lewis  (of THE BIG COMBO fame), with a feature reach, remastered Arrow Video release made this the last of this installment’s must buy Dvds and Blurays. Purchase Here!