EuroCultAV.Comís Holiday Gift Guide

(and sort of best of 2014)

By The staff and friends of EuroCultAV.com

Introduction

I have an extreme dislike of declaring things the absolute, or epitome of anything. At the end of every year the staff and friends of EuroCultAV.com frequently get asked what our favorite films in a given year are, and I will list off a few favorite titles of course, but I will never give a definitive, absolute favorite. I have decided a number of years ago to work around this problem, by combining too popular end of year articles the gift guide, and the best of.  Everything in this article is something a staff or friend of ECAV has touched upon during the year 2014, and has enjoyed otherwise it would not be here. Finally, if you want to purchase any item on the list click itís image, and you will be directed to itís Amazon page.

 

One Further announcement. We at EuroCultAV.com, are not known for having contests. However, we decided to not only have one within this guide, but make it the most biggest enticing contest we have EVER had. Read below, and under one of the first items is a description of a giveaway YOU WILL NOT WANT TO MISS!

 

Every year I hear and read about people complaining about an overseas release that they want to buy, but are unable to get. I always wonder why the complaints since the VHS era weíve had PAL converting VCRís if you want those import releases they are easy to purchase from sites like Amazon.co.uk, and the amazing DiabolikDVD.com, and playable so long as you have a region free player.

 

I have been region free since early in the DVD-era, and the people I have to thank are the folks at 220-Electronics.com. So this holiday season I asked a member of the staff for a recommendation from them for a player that is reasonable priced, that would suit an ECAV readers needs, and they suggested the above player. The Sony BDP-S3200, the player retails on the site for $119 and for that you can play DVDís region free, for an extras $40, you can play Blu-rayís of any region.



BLU-RAY PLAYER GIVEAWAY WITH PRIZE PACK

 

Now just getting the recommendation for them was cool. But they have decided to sponsor a GIVEAWAY on this site. One lucky winner chosen at random will get this exact Blu-ray player sent to them via 220-Electronics.com.

 

IF that isnít enough the staff at EuroCultAV.com has worked to get a small, but awesome prize pack of Blu-rayís to test drive this player with together. The Blu-rayís in the pack include...

 

SHIVERS (ARROW VIDEO)

Demons 1 and 2 (Standard Edition, Synapse Films)

Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun (Ascot Elite)

Barbed Wire Dolls (Ascot Elite)

Legend of Hell House (Scream Factory)

Phantom of the Paradise (Scream Factory)

The Editors and Staff at EuroCultAV.com would like to thank 220-Electronics.com, Synapse Films, Arrow Video, Ascot Elite Films, and Scream Factory for their participation in this giveaway.

 

So how do you win?

 

Simple.  Send an email to Scott@eurocultav.com with the Subject CONTEST Included your Name, Address, Phone Number, and E-Mail Address. One winner will be chosen completely at random, and the late date to enter is 12/7/2014. A winner will be chosen on 12/8/2014.*

 

And now we continue our gift guide....

The Werner Herzog Collection (BFI)

Within the span of one month late in the summer two distinct box sets honoring the unique and challenging filmography of Werner Herzog, unquestionably one of the greatest filmmakers who ever lived and is still living, were released on both sides of the Atlantic. The American collection was prepared by Shout! Factory and includes sixteen of Herzog's influential narrative and documentary features - among them all five of his collaborations with his volatile longtime leading man Klaus Kinski - in a beautifully-designed package. In the U.K. the British Film Institute unveiled their own Herzog set which featured EIGHTEEN films from the legendary German director, many of which were on the U.S. set (including the ones that starred Kinski). But the BFI collection also contained a few titles that you wouldn't find on Shout!'s box set and vice versa. What to do, what to do....

 

I went with the BFI set. No regrets. The high-definition transfers are very sharp and pleasing to the eye and do great justice to the magnificent imagery captured from locations around the world with Herzog's endlessly inquisitive camera. Having all of the Kinski films - Aguirre, The Wrath of God, Woyzeck, Nosferatu the Vampyre, Fitzcarraldo, and Cobra Verde - is a real plus but the inclusion of rarely-seen documentaries like God's Angry Man and The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner also help to make this set an esssential purchase. This is also the only Blu-ray collection to include Burden of Dreams, the landmark documentary about the making (and near-unmaking) of Fitzcarraldo that Herzog may not have directed but still finds him playing a major role in front of the camera. That goes a long way towards making up for the unfortunate exclusion of films such as Even Dwarfs Started Small and Herzog's affectionate and honest tribute to Kinski, My Best Fiend.

 

The BFI collection is overflowing with hours of bonus features, including audio commentaries by Herzog on most of the films as well as bonus interviews and documentaries. Shame that most of the extras from the Criterion Collection's excellent 2005 DVD release of Burden of Dreams failed to make the cut here with the exception of Les Blank's wonderfully esoteric short film Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe, but at least the packaging for the BFI set will fit in nicely with the rest of your Blu-rays.

 

Blu-ray box set of the year. Definitely.

-Bobby Morgan

Bound (Arrow Video)

A modern film noir masterpiece gets the Blu-ray it richly deserves. The Wachowski's tense and morbidly funny erotic thriller is treated to a classy high-definition transfer and Arrow Video supplements the A/V upgrade with a filmmakers' commentary and over an hour of exclusive new interviews with the stars and members of the behind-the-camera creative team. Fans of great independent cinema will not want to miss this release. -Bobby Morgan

The 'Burbs (Arrow Video)

Joe Dante's wacky comic-thriller has a lot more going on underneath its entertaining surface than you might think, and this underrated gem of the late 1980's has been received a beautiful 2K high-definition restoration and hours of new extras including a screenwriter commentary, a feature-length retrospective documentary, deleted scenes, and the original extended workprint version of the film transferred from Dante's personal VHS copy. -Bobby Morgan

Re-Animator (Second Sight)

The dementedly entertaining horror-comedy classic of the 80's receives a slightly better Blu-ray than the U.S edition thanks to Second Sight's 4K high-definition transfer that beats the American transfer hands down and several hours of previously available bonus features. Exclusive to this release is an extended cut whose existence wasn't necessary but it's still nice to have. - Bobby Morgan

Phantom of the Paradise (Arrow Video)

Still one of Brian DePalma's best films, this cult classic horror-comedy-musical-romance has long deserved a first-rate home video release to replace previous lackluster DVD and Blu-ray editions. Phantom of the Paradise received two such releases in 2014 alone and Arrow Video's lovingly-assembled effort was the first out of the gate early in the year. Despite getting outdone in both the A/V and supplements stakes by Shout! Factory's Region A release over the summer the Arrow edition was a tough act to follow and is still a worthy recommendation for European consumers. -Bobby Morgan

Curtains (Synapse Films)

Curtains is a little bit of a holy grail for me. The VHS dub bootleg that floated around forever was practically unwatchable. Murky and fuzzy as it was you could tell there was something there that while a bit off perhaps, was worth seeing in a better format. I then accidentally discovered it's US dvd release, in a cheapo pack of five movies. Surprise! It's the VHS dub. Discerning slasher fans knew the stories about a troubled production and the film essentially being half a psychological thriller film and half an early 80's slasher. And the iconic ice skating scene. Finally it was announced that The Criterion Of Horror Films, Synapse Films was releasing an HD restored bluray and fans rejoiced. It was for good reason because they did it right as always with a great transfer and lots of extras. The best part is that you can finally see what is going on. I think it's essential purchase for any slasher film fan. - Brad Hogue

Prom Night Ė Synapse Films

Since the moment I saw Prom Night on cable as a young kid to a hilarious rediscovery on VHS with friends in college to my purchase of the DVD to my purchase of the widescreen version of the DVD and finally, to my purchase of this Synapse Blu-ray, I have loved this film. Between this and the Terror Train and The Fog Blu-rays that Shout! Factory put out, I can get my non-Halloween Jamie Lee fix anytime I want IN HIGH DEFINITION. Prom Night looks truly amazing!  The Blu-ray includes a fun ďMaking OfĒ featurette, scenes from the TV cut of Prom Date, and other goodies. If you dig slasher movies and you havenít seen this one yet, I highly recommend you pick up this disc. If you dig this movie then you already have this disc. - Richard Schmidt

Ginger Snaps Ė Shout! Factory

The biggest controversy about this Blu-ray release is that Shout! Factory edited out all the teen angst from this film so now itís only 18 minutes long. Just kidding! After the horrible full frame American DVD we had to suffer with since it came out over here, this Blu-ray is simply astonishing to behold. This colorful werewolf film just pops off the screen and lands smack dab onto your pubic area. Ginger Snaps may not be for all tastes but the lead actresses (Katharine Isaballe and Emily Perkins) are very good, the characters are captivating, the humor is seriously twisted, and the gore is bountiful. Full disclosure: there are so many special features on this release that I got overwhelmed and didnít have time to go through them.

-Richard Schmidt

Planet of the Vampires Ė Kino Lorber

I hated Planet of the Vampires when I saw it for the first time. Of course, itís no surprise that a Mario Bava film would be something that I would completely turn around and love with multiple viewings. This horrific space adventure was Ėlike most of his movies- a labor of love from Bava. When I heard it was coming out on Kino Lorber Blu-ray, my first question was ďTim Lucas commentary?Ē The answer is yes! Not only does this film look outstanding, the disc is loaded with some cool shit. This was easily one of my most eagerly anticipated releases this year and I was not disappointed. -Richard Schmidt

The Complete Jacques Tati (Criterion)

Criterion had previously released a handful of Jacques Tatiís works on DVD and Blu-ray. They lost the rights to Lionsgate, when Studio Canal signed the rights to a number of titles to them a few years. They got them back in stock, rather then give them a simple re-releasea, they gathered the masters work in an epic box set with a handful of never before re-leased titles, short, and documentaries, remastered them better them before and released them as the Complete Jacques Tati.  This is one of, if not the greatest Region A Blu-ray set of 2014, and a must have for fans of Criterion and mid-20th century comedy and French cinema. - Scott MacDonald

Eraserhead (Criterion)

Criterion has been threatening to issue David Lynchís debut film, and arguably his masterpiece Eraserhead for many many years, and finally in September 2014 it finally happened. The A/V restoration is great, making the film more creepily gorgeous, and the extra are in depth, informative, and exciting.

La Dolce Vita (Criterion)

After an absurd amount of legal issues surrounding the now 51 year old film. Federico Felliniís 1963 masterpiece La Dolce Vita was finally allowed out onto the Blu-ray format this year, and it was those wonderful folks at the Criterion Collection who did the releasing. The release itself looked absolutely gorgeous, sounded excellent, and had a wonderful slate of extras. - Scott MacDonald

LíAvventura (Criterion)

Having already released the other 2 parts of this trilogy by Antonioni LíEclisse and and La Notte.  It was only a matter of time before they released the first part LíAvventura, and just this month in November in 2014. LíAvventura is not Antonioniís first film, but it is the film that made his name in art house cinema circles, and is absolutely one of the maestros finest acheivements.  The Blu-ray is an absolute stunner, and will sit nicely alongside the rest of your Antonioni and Criterions. 

Withnail and I (Arrow Video)

The ultimate British cult classic comedy, a highly quotable yet achingly tender film that never fails to find unexpected humor in the most unlikely of situations. The reason why Withnail and I retains its ability to entertain and surprise nearly three decades after writer-director Bruce Robinson, who made his script an autobiographical affair with many of his own friends and stories providing its inspiration, made it his directorial debut is because most of us at some point in our lives had a friend like the self-loathing, pretentious lush Withnail (a star performance from Richard Grant). Many of us even know what it's like to be his only friend, the "& I" of the title (played by the understated Paul McGann). The late Richard Griffiths completes this film's acting powerhouse trifecta as Withnail's uncle Monty, an eccentric homosexual whose fanciful stories and exquisite taste in food and wine masks darker impulses driven by overwhelming sadness. The centerpiece of Arrow Video's outstanding Blu-ray is a new 2K restoration of the film that represents the best it has ever looked on home video, and there are multiple extra features including commentaries, documentaries, and more. The set also includes Robinson's Withnail follow-up, the acerbic and imaginative social satire How to Get Ahead in Advertising, featuring another priceless lead performance from Grant. - Bobby Morgan

 

The Films of Alain-Robbe Grillet (Redemption Films)

In the first half of 2014 Redemption Films released 6 of Alain-Robbe Grilletís best loved and most iconic films across 5 Blu-ray releases. These are the first official DVD and Blu-ray releases of the films, and they looked, and sounded spectacular. Each one included an extensive interview with Grillet that was worth the price of admission alone.  They were also released by the BFI in Region B, but having not had the opportunity to review those titles, I will say for the Region A exclusive viewer these releases are quite satisfactory, and I am highly impressed by the work done by Redemption here.

The Demons (Redemption Films)

 

This is the first Jess Franco release from 2014 title on the list, and it certainly will not be the last. Redemption Films through their association with Kino Lorber released Jess Francoís wonderful witch/nunsploitation riff The Demons on Region A Blu-ray in March 2014.  This sees the films first release on Blu-ray, and it looked and sounded truly fantastic. It is known that Redemption is in possession of the rights to a number of other Franco titles, so hopefully this is not their fast. It a truly marvelous release.

The Jungle Book (Diamond Edition, Disney)

Because the only place to go from Jess Franco is Disney I add the Disney Diamond Edition Blu-ray of the Jungle Book. The Jungle Book is one of Disneyís finest 1960ís efforts.  It has fantastic animation, a fun story, and excellent, memorable songs. The Blu-ray restoration from Disneyís Diamond Edition line is one of itís finest. -Scott MacDonald

The Films of Hayao Miyazaki (Disney Blu-ray)

Just in time for the holiday season Disney has decided to release 3 films of the director Hayao Miyazaki on Blu-ray. My actual in-depth review of all 3 titles is forthcoming, but needless to say all titles are masterpieces of animation, and the Blu-rayís truly bring out the best in the animation. The DVD of Kikiís Delivery Service was never that great, and so the upgrade alone there is worth it, and of course, this is the first ever home video release of The Wind Rises. Whether or not youíve seen them before all 3 releases are worth your time and spending cash.

Scream Factory (Blu-ray)

Since their inception a few years back Scream Factory have quickly endeared themselves to the hearts of horror fans around the world. They not only release titles the fans want, but they release them quickly, and in usually very nice looking, and extras-packed editions. In any given year since they started itís hard to whittle down my favorites from this label, but Iím trying.

 

During their recent ďSummer of FearĒ they released my favorite Brian DePalma film of all time the magnificent rock-horror hybrid Phantom of the Paradise in the best edition the film has seen yet. The concluded that period of massive releases with what maybe the greatest haunted house film after Wiseís the Haunting in the Legend of Hell House both releases look and sound outstanding.

 

Coming up in December they are releasing the directorís cut of Clive Barkerís directorial swansong Lord of Illusions, an underrated film by the renaissance man of horror.  Lord of Illusions combines the worlds of film noir and fantastic horror to create something truly special, that has bene largely ignored for far too long.

 

They are closing out the year with a truly fantastic release. A double feature of Tales from the Crypt and Vault of Horror, both excellent Amicus anthology films from the early 1970ís excellently restored. Vault of Horror is given lavish attention as itís presented in no less than 3 versions one of which sees the film fully uncut on American shores for the very first time.

Nightbreed (Scream Factory)

As said earlier, Scream Factory released some fantastic releases this year, but there are two that deserve special notice. This one is 20 years in the making, and is the Directorís Cut Blu-ray of edition of Barkerís masterpiece Nightbreed.  The film comes in a hugely expensive 3 Disc edition, and a more affordable 2 Disc set, but the fact is Scream Factory working together with Clive Barkerís Seraphim Films managed to not only get a DC of Nightbreed together, but make sure it was quality enough for a Blu-ray release. They combined deserve an award for that.

Vincent Price Collection II (Scream Factory)

 

Vincent Price is bar-none one of my favorite actors of all-time, which pretty much makes this release one of my favorites of the year. The Vincent Price Collection II contains 7 films with the actor including my personal favorite The Tomb of Ligeia, it also has the House on Haunted Hill, Return of the Fly, Last Man on Earth, and more. The restorations range from quite good to excellent, and the extras are fantastic. Please bring on Volume 3!

Mister Ed (The Complete Series, Shout Factory)

I was a Nick at Nite brat growing up, and as such probably saw every one of these episodes at one point. Watching them again, and having them on Blu-ray is absolutely fantastic. The bonus here is that the episodes are together in one collection, and are not the cut syndicated versions that were previously released. They look as good as can be expected, but much better than archive TV airings.

The Swimmer (Grindhouse Releasing)

Grindhouse Releasing has come back with a vengeance these last couple of years. I havenít done the math, but since they have gotten into Blu-ray releasing they may have put out more releases then the entirety of their whole existence. They have also branched out from just simply horror titles with such wonderful releases as the bizarre American Hippie in Israel and the Big Gundown.

 

However, the biggest surprise Iíve had in their recent output is the Burt Lancaster starring The Swimmer. This is truly a Hollywood oddity if there ever was one. It was made in 1968, and seemed to come out at the tale end of the Hollywood era, before the New Hollywood crowd took over. The Blu-ray is lavishly restored with excellent extras.  If I were to recommend one release this year that was out of my readers comfort zone, this would be the one. Check it out.

Cannibal Holocaust (Grindhouse Releasing)

It was definitely coming, there was no doubt in that, but now thatís it is here I cannot imagine Cannibal Holocaust looking or sounding any better than it does on this Grindhouse Releasing Blu-ray. Ruggero Deodatoís operatic, yet brutal masterpiece of cannibal mayhem has finally received a worthy Blu-ray edition with an excellent slate of extras and a CD Soundtrack.

Raw Force (Vinegar Syndrome, Blu-ray)

 

Vinegar Syndrome appeared on the scene 2 years ago, and have made an impact that cannot be denied. They release films in an epic quantity, and rarely ever sacrifice quality. They primarily release classic erotic films, but they also releases some truly bizarre exploitation oddities, and this may be their finest release of 2014. Raw Force is a film that is an exploitation fans wet dream.  This has Kung-Fu fighting, naked women, zombies, cannibals, action and much more. The A/V restoration from VS is top notch, extras are solid. This is a release to pick up.

Christmas Evil (Vinegar Syndrome)

Christmas Evil (aka You Better Watch Out) is one of, if not the very sleaziest Christmas themed horror film ever made. It makes the original Silent Night, Deadly Night seem tame by comparison.  To give you an example this is a film which opens with a child catching a man dressed as Santa Claus going down on his Mother, and then the boy being so disappointed in the realities of the holiday he begins to cut himself, and it gets crazier and more bizarre from there. The film is well-restored from VS, and is well worth picking up this holiday season.

Shock Waves (Blue Underground)

The greatest of all Nazi Zombies films finally makes it to Blu-ray. A ship load of passengers end up on an island that is currently being over run by super powered Nazi Zombies. The Blu-ray from Blue Underground, is rough, but still a massive upgrade, and I am happy to have it. For years we have been told that due to the nature of the materials that a Blu-ray of this title was out of the question, and itís finally here, and it looks better than I could have expected. The extras push it over the top.

Bloody Moon (Severin Films)

Bloody Moon is Jess Francoís attempt at the slasher genre. The results are a bit mixed, but overall fans of Franco, and violent Eurohorror are in for an excellent time. The restoration of Bloody Moon from Severin Films is quite easily the best a Franco film has looked PERIOD on Blu-ray, and that includes the gorgeous Ascot Elite discs (more on those later). If you a Franco fan, you owe it to yourself to pick this one up.

Doctor Who - The Complete Eighth Series

 

This Blu-ray comes out in about a week, but Iíve seen every episode, and while I wait impatiently for my copy Iíll just say this. Doctor Who - The Complete Eighth Series is my absolutely favorite series of the show since it has been revived in 2005.

Peter Capaldi feels like the Doctors that made me fall in love with the show as a PBS watching child and almost every single episode was a home run. I would imagine the Blu-ray will look spectacular, and of course contain a nice slate of extras.

Orphan Black - Seasion 2 (BBC America)

 

I  donít like to throw words like underrated around too often. That being said I find Orphan Black one of the most terribly underrated science fiction programs on TV running right now.  The show about a group of clones involved in a vast scientific conspiracy is one of the most consistently compelling shows on TV right now, and is grounded by an excellent series of central performances by Tatiana Maslany. The Blu-ray of the show looks and sounds outstanding, and is a must if you are looking for intelligent, well-acted science fiction.

Sherlock - The Complete Third Series (BBC)

 

Steven Moffat and Mark Gattisí Sherlock took TV by storm a few years back, and in their third season they have only gotten better. This season is the best of the three with a more interesting dynamic with the addition of Watsonís wife Mary, and the conclusion of the story set out in series 2. The Blu-ray looks and sounds fantastic. There is also a gift set with all 3 series and bust of Sherlock and Watson released by the BBC just in time for the holidays, at press time we were unable to secure this for review.

Halloween - The Complete Series (Anchor Bay/Scream Factory)

I guess I canít leave Scream Factory entirely alone with this release having come out in the latter half of 2014.  The Halloween box set which came out in a limited edition form that included all sorts of additional content and various cuts of the film (including the legendary producers cut of Halloween 6). The standard edition just contains the Blu-rayís of each film from the first Halloween to Rob Zombieís Halloween 2. The A/V quality on each varies, but the latter films in the original series are for the most parts upgrades from their original Blu-ray editions. Truly a monumental release that I thought Iíd never see considering all the studios involved.

The Jess Franco Golden Goya Collection (Ascot Elite Films)

Technically speaking this series of releases started in 2013, however, a good many including the above-pictured Barbed Wire Dolls and Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun were released in 2014.  Ascot-Elite Have done a truly magnificent job restoring this era of Francoís work, and while not every film is a masterpiece, they have given every film their best effort in the restoration department and it truly shows. These are Swiss import releases, however, they are region free, and if you are a fan of Franco like I am these are certainly worth seeking out.

The Henry Paris Collection (Distribpix)

In the Mid-1970ís director Radley Metzger (The Image, Camille 2000) directed a series of films that blended hardcore pornography with arthouse cinema sensibilities. These were directed under the pseudonym Henry Paris. Distribpix has previously released these films on DVD, and a handful on Blu-ray. However, just in time for the holidays they have released a 500 copy only limited edition DVD box set of the entire Henry Paris series. Although, Blu would have been ideal this box collects some of the greatest erotic films of all time in one place, and if you donít already have them this is a great way to get them all in one shot.

 

Skinless

(2014, DVD - Whacked Movies/MVDVisual)

 

Dustin Mills entry into the genre of Body Horror suites well within some of greatest body horror directors of such as David Cronenberg or Stuart Gordon.  A experimental cancer fighting procedure goes array transforming Dr. Peter Peele into a flesh-less, flesh-eating monster.  "Skinless" packs some seriously spectacular special effects while maintaining it's an entertaining independent charm.  Lead actors Brandon Salkil and Erin R. Ryan's on screen chemistry take their previous work in prior Dustin Milks films to the next step by creating a relationship and tragically breaking it down with horrific consequences.  If you, or someone you know, has an interest in the evolution and de-evolution of the human body into something more horrid, grotesque, and surreal, "Skinless" is a perfect gift. - Steven Lewis

Prison Girl (2008, DVD)

Milk the Maid (2013, DVD)

(Pink Eiga's latest releases in 3 years of not releasing anything on DVD)

 

Pink Film distributor Pink Eiga has released two new movies on DVD this year coming out of a three year hiatus from releasing anything since "Twilight Dinner."  Pink Eiga's main focus has been solely on VOD, but after receiving a ton of fan requests for DVD releases, the company caved in and released "Prison Girl" and "Milk the Maid." Certainly grab these copies right away because you never know when Pink Eiga will shut their doors on their favorite releases much like Disney does with their all time favorite classic animated films.  These current releases include more special features than prior Pink Eiga releases to entice fans a bit more and to get a leg up over VOD popularity.

 

"Prison Girl" stars Japanese cult actress Asami who is a bored and lonesome housewife with nightmares of being molested by guards and a warden in a dark and cold prison. When her husband financial securities become compromised, her nightmares start to become a reality.

 

"Milk the Maid" is an erotic comedy about a sexy maid named Milk who is hired into a respectable family. The men of the family, at first, want nothing to do with Milk as they see her as a burden to the family's already overcrowded home, but when Milk works her charm on them she does more cleaning in their bedrooms than in the rest of the home. - Steven Lewis

Red Nights

(2010, DVD - Breaking Glass Films / Vicious Circle Entertainment)

 

"Red Nights" is a little known French film noir film helmed by the duo Julien Carbon and Laurent Courtiaud and marks it's first DVD release in the States this year. Filled with mystery, suspense, and plenty of kinky BDSM, "Red Nights" will sure to please both those who love a thrill and those who need a taste of gore; the intense and torturous gore scenes are realistic and titillating aspect of "Red Nights" that can't be missed.  The film stars Hong Kong cult actress Carrie Ng who uses razor sharp finger blades to get what she wants and what she wants a priceless artifact that contains a pleasureful and painful poison, but she isn't the only nefarious villain to seek the artifact. - Steven Lewis

Cult Movies - Danny Pearyís original volumes of reviews, published in the 1980s and long out of print, are beloved among many cinephiles. These recent e-book re-releases collect many of the original reviews in four volumes - Cult Horror Movies, Cult Sci-Fi Movies, Cult Crime Movies and Cult Midnight Movies. Theyíre inexpensive (Cult Sci-Fi Movies is actually free) and a great opportunity to discover (or rediscover) Pearyís entertaining, insightful and often completely individual takes on movies ranging from Zardoz to Massacre at Central High.

 

Film Noir 101: The 101 Best Film Noir Posters from the 1940s-1950s - Mark Fertigís gorgeous book assembles his favorite film noir posters, with a full page devoted to each in all of their glossy, lurid glory. Fertigís choices are a mixture of well-known classics and his own obscure personal favorites, complete with brief reviews that help place each movie in context. Itís great eye candy for noir fans, complete with an introductory essay where Fertig explores what defines noir, as well as a preface by William Friedkin.

 

Stephen King Films FAQ - Scott Von Doviak tackles the daunting task of watching and writing about each of the movies adapted from Stephen Kingís work, from classics like Carrie and Stand by Me to lowlights like the many sequels to Children of the Corn. In addition to his take on each movie, Von Doviak includes production history for each film; even a hardcore King fan is likely to learn a few new things. With sections devoted to King-related works like Room 237 and even the notorious Carrie Broadway musical, itís a compulsively readable reference guide for horror fans and anyone interested in the minutiae of pop culture.

-Andrew Bemis

 

Theme Ď70: Tackling The Beast They Call Exploitation Cinema

by Mark Banville

Theme Ď70 is Mark Banvilleís ode to exploitation cinema. It is the first British written history of 70ís exploitation, and purports to cover the assorted genres that occurred during that period. The book includes reproductions of film images, posters, and more.

 

Herzog: The Collection (Shout! Factory)

Shout! Factoryís Werner Herzog Collection is a wonderful book style Blu-ray collection of 16 of the directorís film all in one place. It is limited to 5000 copies, and is actually not identical to the BFI set reviewed earlier. There are a few films that are released here, that are not in that collection and vice versa. The A/V in this collection varies from excellent to good with some minor issues on key titles. That being said itís quite a good deal for a Region A consumer.

* We need 100 entries for 220-Electronics to activate the giveaway for the player. In the unlikely even that we do not cross 100 entries, the winner will stay receive the Blu-ray prize pack. Please share this link, one entry person.