EuroCultAV.comís Holiday Gift Guide

(and sort of best of 2016)

By The staff and friends of EuroCultAV.com

I have a personal dislike of declaring a best of anything. So for many years I have gotten around this by avoiding putting together a true ďBest ofĒ list for EuroCultAV. Rather, we do a gift guide where I invite the staff of the website to contribute anything they enjoyed during the year from Blu-rays to coloring books. If they liked it, and want to share it with you the reader in the run up to the years end it is here, plus a few other cool things we want you to know about.

If that is not enough we have a contest at the bottom of the article where we will be giving away a stack of Blu-rayís provided to EuroCultAV by some very cool and generous labels. So with that out of the way, read on!

Symptoms(Mondo Macabro)

   I prefaced this article by saying I donít like to declare favorites of anything, and I stand by that. However, if you had asked me a year ago for one film I would just want a legal DVD release of I would have told you Joze Ramon Larrazís Symptoms. Mondo Macabro did one better and released a fully restored Blu-ray edition, with extras. Itís a gorgeous, and haunting film, and has a nice slate of extras. If you are truly a fan of EuroCult, this film needs to be in your collection.

Lizard in a Womanís Skin (Mondo Macabro)

   Lucio Fulci directed a handful of gialli throughout his career. Many would choose his later Donít Torture The Duckling as his best, however, I would choose this earlier film. It is a psychosexual giallo with a bit of a Hitchcockian vibe. Mondo Macabro does a wonderful job restoring the film to Blu for this release.

Blue Sunshine (FilmCentrix)

   FilmCentrix is a label spun off the classic erotic film company DistribPix, and for their debut (and sadly only) release. They have put out Jeff Liebermanís classic psychedelic shocker Blue Sunshine in an edition so literally packed, you will have a hard time closing the case once itís been opened. The film itself looks better then ever before, and FilmCentrix has put together an excellent slate of extras. I really hope to see more from them in the future.

Burial Ground (Severin Films)

   Burial Ground is one of the weirdest and wildest Italian zombie films ever released. As far as domestic Blu-rayís go this is the filmís 2nd release following a subpar release by Media Blasters early in the format lifecycle. Severin have gone all the way out with extra features, and a fantastic restoration.

Dr. Butcher M.D. (Severin Films)  

   Donít get mixed up by the title on the cover, this is Severinís Blu-ray edition of Italian zombie shocker Zombie Holocaust. Of course, they put the alternate title on their for a reason, for the first time in the filmís history the alternate American cut of the film Dr. Butcher M.D. has been released to home video. Both cuts are on Blu-ray in HD, and the set is loaded with extras. Another must have for the Eurosplatter buff in your life.

Christina (Severin Films)

Jewel Shepard headlined this goofy-as-hell erotic adventure from the mid-80ís as a novelist who spends most of the time in various stages of undress (and never once fully clothed) while battling it out with a gang of lesbian kidnappers and the advances of every male with whom she comes into contact. Her stories about making this flick in her autobiography are priceless, and often unnerving. No extras on Innervisionís Blu-ray, but the movie itself looks better than it has in over three decades.-Bobby Morgan

Pieces (Grindhouse Releasing)

 Pieces is probably the most fun you will have with a film on this list. Itís a gory and weird mix of giallo and slasher that is sure to please most horror fans. The Blu-ray from Grindhouse is fully packed, and gorgeously restored.

Cat in the Brain (Grindhouse Releasing)

Lucio Fulciís gory mind screw of a shocker has the Italian horror legend playing himself as a tired filmmaker whose career spent immersed in the most depraved and violent visuals imaginable may be driving him into a murderous rage. Grindhouse Releasing naturally hits this release out of the park with tons of new and previously-released bonus material including interviews, footage of Fulciís convention appearances, and much more. -Bobby Morgan

I Drink Your Blood (Grindhouse Releasing)

Grindhouse Releasing finally brings David Durstonís classic grindhouse shocker to Blu-ray in all its gruesome glory with a staggering HD upgrade and tons of bonus features including commentaries, deleted scenes, new and archival interviews, and two additional films Ė Durstonís softcore skin flick Blue Sextet, and I Eat Your Skin, which I Drink Your Blood was famously paired with during its theatrical run. -Bobby Morgan

 

Female Prisoner Scorpion (Complete Collection - Arrow Video))

   I had a feeling after their Stray Cat Rock box set made a big splash, that Arrow Video would release Meiko Kajiís other big series, and they did in 2016 with their release of the Female Prisoner Scorpion Complete Collection. This set collects all 4 films, well restored with very detailed extra features.

Death Walks Twice/Killer Dames (Arrow Video)

   The giallo genre has been sorely neglected on Blu-ray, and it seems that Arrow Video has come to the genres rescue multiple times in 2016. In the first half of the year they released 2 box set Death Walks Twice which collected Death Walks on High Heels and Death Walks at Midnight by director Luciano Ercoli. These are great examples of a typical giallo with style. We then got what is up there with my favorite Arrow releses with year the Killer Dames box set which put in one box the two gothic style gialli by director Emilio Miraglia The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave and The Red Queen Kills Seven Times. Both are given lavish treatment by Arrow.

Hellraiser - Scarlet Box (Arrow Video)

   This was a U.K. only release by Arrow until this month, and while we have not gotten our hands on a copy for review yet, we know that the Image Blu-ray releases of Hellraiser 1 and 2 were lacking, and Hellraiser 3 has not been released stateside yet. This combines the 3 films, restores them to high quality, and packs them with extra features. It is certainly a must in a Hellraiser fans collection.

Blood Bath (Arrow Video)

   This was my surprise find of the year, and a film that took me by storm. I am a huge Jack Hill fan, and yet this one evaded me.  Blood Bath could be described as a Roger Corman cheapie that both Jack Hill and Stephanie Rothman took over to fix. It started out as an Eastern European crime film that morphed into a vampire film. Arrowís release includes all 4 versions of the film, which at times feel quite distinct, and at times the same. Having watched all 4 across 2 nights I can describe the experience as hypnotic, and highly recommend fans pick this one up.

Dead End Drive-In (Arrow Video)

Brian Trenchard-Smithís futuristic action-drama is Australian exploitation at its finest while also being a thought-provoking examination of a collapsing society resorting to savagery and bigotry to survive. Arrow Videoís Blu-ray features an amazing HD transfer of the film (complete with directorís commentary) and two earlier films from Trenchard-Smith Ė one a documentary about stuntmen, the other a wild and harrowing public safety feature. -Bobby Morgan

C.H.U.D. (Arrow Video)

Smart, cool, frightening, and funny, this is one of the most underrated horror films of the 1980ís Ė not to mention, one of the best. Arrow Videoís new Region A Blu-ray release features an improved HD transfer, new and archival bonus features, and two separate cuts of the film Ė the directorís cut on the first disc, and the reedited theatrical cut on the second.

Driller Killer (Arrow Video)

Donít confuse Abel Ferreraís breakthrough film, which landed on the Video Nasties list in the U.K. during the 80ís, for another sleazy slasher flick. Think of it as a disturbing character study in the vein of Taxi Driver, only with more blood, bad punk music, a gratuitous lesbian shower love scene, and the director himself playing the title role of a starving artist driven to madness and nocturnal carnage. Arrow Video scores another Blu-ray hit with a fresh HD transfer from original film elements, a new commentary from Ferrera that is worth the price of the disc alone, documentaries, and more. A steelbook edition is also available. -Bobby Morgan

Slugs (Arrow Video)

Iím old enough to remember when USA would should J.P. Simonís sick slime fiesta in a somewhat edited form on weekday mornings, but Arrow Video is just crazy enough to give Blu-ray consumers a restored version of this bit of B-horror greatness along with some cool new bonus features. Dig in and donít forget to check that salad before you eat. -Bobby Morgan

Crimes of Passion (Arrow Video)

The same year she and Michael Douglas romanced the stone, Kathleen Turner teamed with British maestro of madhouse cinema Ken Russell for a deliriously erotic tale of a high-class prostitute looking for love and doing her best to avoid becoming a victim of deranged preacher Anthony Perkins. Arrow Videoís high-definition transfer looks outstanding.

 

  

Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (Scream Factory)

   When the U.K. branch of Arrow Video released their version of TCM 2 a few years back, I thought I was finally done with the film. Scream Factory proved me wrong. Their 2 disc set restored the film from the IP, and included the transfer from the Arrow set on the 2nd disc. Itís loaded up with extras, and is currently the definitive home video version of the film until we get a UHD copy.

Sonny Boy (Scream Factory)

John Waters meets Terrence Malick in this mad little indie action gem from the days when the video store reigned supreme and no plot device was out of bounds. Featuring David Carradine in drag and Brad Dourif in one of his crazier turns as an actor, Sonny Boy has been rescued from VHS obscurity by Shout! Factory and granted a shiny Blu-ray release with a pair of entertaining commentaries, but for the movie alone this is most definitely worth the purchase. -Bobby Morgan

Exorcist III (Scream Factory)

The best of the Exorcist sequels is an underrated and uncommonly intelligent supernatural thriller that was severely altered by its financing studio in post-production against the wishes of writer-director William Peter Blatty. Regardless, this damaged gem looks better than ever on an outstanding Blu-ray release from Scream Factory that includes many fascinating bonus features including new interviews, deleted scenes, and most importantly, a reconstructed version of the film closer to Blattyís original intentions that was made possible through lower-quality VHS dailies. -Bobby Morgan

Manhunter (Scream Factory)

My personal favorite of the Hannibal Lecter films, due in no small part to Michael Mannís stylish direction (given a fantastic showcase in the form of Scream Factoryís new HD transfer of the theatrical cut) and the committed performances of a gifted ensemble cast toplined by William Petersen, Brian Cox, Tom Noonan, and Joan Allen. Extras on this Blu-ray were spread across two discs and include new and archival interviews and a standard-definition presentation of Mannís preferred cut of the film (complete with his commentary). -Bobby Morgan

Black Christmas (Scream Factory)

   As we are currently in the run up the holidays, I feel like we have to have at least one Christmas movie on the list, and why not the best Christmas film ever? Thatís right Bob Clarkís holiday slashterpiece Black Christmas starring Olivia Hussey and John Saxon. The fine folks at Scream Factory have restored the film from the just found negative, and have put together an excellent slate of extras. In other words, YOU NEED THIS.

Return of the Living Dead (Scream Factory)

   Return of the Living Dead got a mediocre Blu-ray release from MGM early in the Blu-ray lifecycle, followed up by a decent, but significant Blu-ray release in the UK by Second Sight Films made so the fact that it contained the original soundtrack for the film.  Scream Factory went back to the IP of the film, and created a quite better looking version, and an ALMOST complete version of the original soundtrack, and loaded it with extras.

Freaks and Geeks (The Complete Series)

   Freaks and Geeks is the ultimate high school show, funny, but true to people who didnít have the perfect high school experience. The Blu-ray release offers up the show in both new widescreen and original fullscreen aspect ratio. Everything looks absolutely amazing here, and is loaded with stellar extras.

MST3k XXXVII

   Shout! Factoryís latest MST3k volume contains fan favorite Horror at Party Beach, and 3 other excellent episodes of the show, as they begin to wind down on the available episodes they can possibly release before literally everything is out there. At least we can begin to look forward to new MST3k episodes on Netflix through Shout! Factory.

TAMI Show/The Big TNT Show (Shout! Factory)

   Shout! Factory did a wonderful release of The TAMI show a number of years back, and has upped that with a Blu-ray release containing the Big TNT show. For the real rock and roll fans in your life, this Blu-ray set is a must. I donít believe either was shot in a format that is at least 1080p, but it is higher than the 480 of DVD, so you did get higher resolution and sound off of the set.

Invasion U.S.A. (Shout! Factory)

I never cared much for the action cinema of Chuck Norris, but at least when he was one of the big stars at Cannon Films you could count on him to headline the occasional fun B-flick. Invasion U.S.A. is by far his best effort thanks to the energetic direction of Joseph Zito, a deliciously deranged performance from the late Richard Lynch, and some of the most elaborate action sequences ever seen in a Cannon feature. Shout! Factoryís Blu-ray is a must-own for fans of shamelessly enjoyable 1980ís actioners. -Bobby Morgan

Death With II (Shout! Factory)

Once Cannon Films seized the reigns of making a sequel to the 1974 vigilante action classic, the wannabe franchise swan-dived straight into sleazy exploitation and never looked back. The world was all the richer for it. Bronsonís loose and his second violent rampage of justice against the scum of the city is now available uncut and out of its bloody mind on Shout! Factoryís shiny Blu-ray. -Bobby Morgan

Bubba Ho-Tep (Scream Factory)

Don Coscarelli and Bruce Campbell finally unite for this beloved cult classic adaptation of the Joe R. Lansdale novella about an aged Elvis Presley teaming up with a man who believes himself to be John F. Kennedy (the late Ossie Davis) to battle a soul-sucking mummy in a Texas retirement home. Scream Factory brings this sweet, heartfelt horror-comedy to Blu-ray in the U.S. for the first time and the supplements package includes multiple commentaries, documentaries, deleted scenes, and more. -Bobby Morgan

Night Hawks (Shout! Select)

Sylvester Stalloneís seasoned NYC street cop battles Rutger Hauerís urbane international terrorist in this pulverizing action thriller that showcases the Big Apple at its pre-Giuliani sleaziest and sports a great supporting cast including Billy Dee Williams, Lindsay Wagner, and the immortal Joe Spinell. Another great Blu-ray from Shout! Factory, this disc comes complete with a series of new retrospective interviews that shed a lot of light on the filmís troubled production. Best of all, the film itself features its original soundtrack cues, replaced on certain home video releases, back in place where they belong.

To Live and Die in L.A. (Shout! Select)

A no-holds-barred crime drama from William Friedkin that is merciless and atmospheric and features a mind-blowing car chase and first-rate performances from a cast any real movie would be lucky to have. Shout! Factoryís Blu-ray release is a massive improvement over MGMís earlier no-frills edition with a stunning new transfer and hours of great bonus features, but if you live on the other side of the Atlantic, Arrow Videoís UK division has their own edition which is virtually identical to the Shout release. -Bobby Morgan

Lone Wolf and Cub (Complete - Criterion)

   The Lone Wolf and Cub sequence was severely mishandled by Animeigo on Blu-ray when they released it in 2012. This was fixed by Criterion last month when they released the complete series on Blu-ray fully remastered with Shogun Assassin, and extras. A must fan for the arterial spray loving samurai fan in your life.

The Dekalog (Criterion)

   Kieslowskiís masterful 10 part epic is FINALLY released to Blu-ray. It is wonderfully remastered with a decent slate of extras including the extended film version of 2 episodes A Short Film About Killing and a Short Film About Love.

Chimes at Midnight (Criterion)

   Orson Welles took one character, Falstaff who appeared in a number of Shakespeareís historical plays and wrote a play, and then a film around him. The film has been trapped in rights hell for a number of years, and has finally escaped, and is now on Blu-ray for all to see via Criterion.

Lady Snowblood (Complete Collection)

The beautiful and fierce Meiko Kaji is a one-woman force of vengeance in their astounding action epics finally restored to their original widescreen luster with the snow and the blood looking more beautiful than ever.

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (Criterion Collection)

Russ Meyerís best film, a frenzied satire of entertainment industry excess and soap opera hysterics that is funnier, weirder, and sexier than most films you will ever see. -Bobby Morgan

Cat People (Criterion Collection)

   The Val Lewton produced, Jacques Tournier directed horror classic has finally made its long overdue Blu-ray bow via Criterion. I certainly hope this signals the beginning of more Lewton/Tournier films from the label, as these have needed the HD treatment for YEARS.

In A Lonely Place (Criterion Collection)

Nicholas Rayís powerhouse drama starring Humphrey Bogart, in his last great screen performance, as a washed-up Hollywood screenwriter with a violent temper looking for love and redemption as he finds himself accused of murder, is one of the filmmakerís darkest and most uncompromising achievements. - Bobby Morgan

A Touch of Zen (Criterion Collection)

Filmmaker King Huís astonishing epic adventure is remarkable in the attention it pays to the three-dimensional characters at the center of a narrative that unfolds at a careful pace and in directions you will not expect. -Bobby Mrogan

McCabe and Mrs. Miller (Crtieron Collection)

An elegiac western from the one and only Robert Altman that is one of the most realistic and honest entries in the genre, made better by haunting performances from stars Warren Beatty and Julie Christie and a soundtrack from the recently deceased Leonard Cohen that may have been created nearly a century after the film takes place, but matches the images and characters perfectly. -Bobby Morgan

Blood Simple (Criterion Collection)

   The Coen Brothers debut film, a dark noir piece shot on a shoe string budget in Texas gets a new Blu-ray release via Criterion, and it has been worth the wait. The Blu-ray looks wonderful, and has a nice slate of extras that are sure to please Coen aficionados.

Short Cuts (Criterion Collection)

   Short Cuts is an ensemble piece that brings together multiple stories by Raymond Carver and details the lives of a series of L.A. residents. The Blu-ray from Criterion is another stunner from the label, and has a great extras package. -Scott MacDonald

The debut feature from Joel and Ethan Coen, a cinematic fever dream cocktail of suspense, horror, and black comedy that still ranks among their finest works as filmmakers and holds up remarkably well to this day. -Bobby Morgan

The New World (Criterion Collection)

The last noteworthy film from the iconic and elusive Terrence Malick is both an earthy historical adventure about the early years of America and a touching love story that crosses racial and cultural divides with a poetry of the heart and soul. Criterionís Blu-ray gives you three different cuts of the film to choose from, but Malickís preferred cut looks and sounds the best of the lot. -Bobby Morgan

 

Daughter of Dracula (Redemption Films)

   Daughter of Dracula is not one of Francoís best (and having watched nearly 60 of his films in the last 5 years I can attest to that), but it is a fun 2nd or 3rd tier Franco outing. The film stars Howard Vernon as the titular vampire, and Britt Nichols as the ďdaughterĒ of the title. The Blu-ray from Redemption maintains the natural look of their previous efforts. It also sports a Tim Lucas commentary.

The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3 (Kino Lorber)

A classic of sustained tension and caustic humor, Walter Matthauís laconic New York transit cop matches wits, quips, and bullets with a gang of subway hijackers lead by the effortlessly cold-blooded Robert Shaw in this marvelous thriller making its Blu-ray debut with new extras including a commentary and interviews. The film itself looks great for its age. -Bobby Morgan

Monster Dog (Kino Lorber)

Atrocious dubbing! Cut-rate FX! Unexpected gore! Take a big whiff, friends, Ďcause that shit reeks of Claudio Fragassoís hilariously dated attempt at a Gothic werewolf flick starring the legendary Alice Cooper, but thanks to Kino Lorberís excellent new Blu-ray edition Ė featuring a stunning HD remaster, retrospective documentary, deleted scenes, etc. Ė the shit never smelled sweeter. If youíre in the mood for a steaming hunk of entertaining Italian exploitation, this disc will give you one hell of a fix.

Five Miles to Midnight (Kino Lorber)

This is the kind of release that is most exciting to me, a completely obscure movie that blows my mind. Kino Lorber has given this French new wave meets giallo movie a lovely transfer with some unbelievable cinematography and the amount of detail on display will cause many a freeze frame. Sophia Loren and Anthony Perkins both turn in excellent performances and this a new favorite Ill revisit many times. - Tyler Miller

The Laughing Policeman (Kino Lorber)

THE LAUGHING POLICEMAN is underrated police thriller is brought to Blu-ray by Kino Lorber, and itís a welcome addition to every 1970ís cinema fanís collection. This movie continued thrilled and surprised me. Why this movie isnít better known is beyond me. An another must have movie. - Tyler Miller

The Rift (Kino Lorber)

 

J.P. Simon is most known to horror films for his film Pieces, but this year we got his film Slugs from Arrow Video, and his underwater horror film The Rift from Kino Lorber. This film is a hoot, and co-stars Ray Wise from Twin Peaks. The Blu-ray looks solid, and fans of Simon are sure to have a fun time here.

Kes (Eureka)

If youíre going to watch one film from director Ken Loach it will probably end up being Kes. Kes has already had a stateside release by Criterion, which has now been matched by Eurekaís Masters of Cinema line. The Blu-ray is gorgeous in the A/V department and stacked with extras.

Early Murnau (Eureka)

   Eureka have put together 5 of F.W. Murnaus earliest feature including his incredible the Last Laugh, and seen to their restoration, and put together a nice slate of extras slate for them. Perfect as a holiday gift for the silent film fan in your life.

City of Women (Cohen Media)

The good folks at Cohen, have given Felliniís 80ís classic a handsome release that will make film buffs proud. The new transfer from a restored print is beyond gorgeous with every dream like moment dancing off the screen. The extras are informative and highly entertaining. If your new to Fellini, this Blu-ray is a must have.

Venom (Blue Underground)

   From the director of the iconic British horror Blood on Satanís Claw, Piers Haggard, comes Venom. Venom is a home invasion film with a twist. When a trio of criminals hold a little boy hostage, they have no idea that he accidentally has a pet Black Mamba snake in the house, and that it is loose. The Blu-ray from Blue Underground has a decent extras package, and restores the film nicely. This film is truly fun, and needs a larger audience.

Manhattan Baby (Blue Underground)

   Not one of Fulciís better known films, Manhattan Baby came out during the tale end of his ďgolden periodĒ. The film is a narrative mess at times, and doesnít always work, but it is fun. The Blu-ray from Blue Underground makes this one shine, and has a nice extras slate and liner notes.

The Girl From Rio/Million Eyes of Sumuru (Blue Underground)

   The Million Eyes of Sumuru makes itís all time home video debut with this Blue Underground Blu-ray release. The Girl from Rio is a Jess Franco spy classic, that is just a fun watch, and gets a Blu-ray upgreade from Blue Undergroundís prior DVD release here. Both films are fun, look wonderful, and would make a great addition to any cult or Franco enthusiast colleciton.
 

Dolemite (Vinegar Syndrome

The late Rudy Ray Mooreís low-budget grindhouse action classics got the high-definition treatment from Vinegar Syndrome this year, but itís tough to beat the one that started it all. Dolemite is pure uncut Rudy, all flash and dazzle and quotable dialogue and visible boom mics and sexy ladies and poorly staged fight scenes and each and every second is bliss. A shit-eating grin on your face from beginning to end is guaranteed.  -Bobby Morgan

Rudy Ray Moore 70ís Films (Vinegar Syndrome)

   I donít believe in God, but I do believe in the beautiful amazing thing that the world shows me. This year Vinegar Syndrome (a small section of said world) showed me that the 70ís films of Rudy Ray Moore Dolemite, The Human Tornado, Petey Wheatstraw, and MOST importantly Disco Godfather could look amazing on home video after years of seeing looking subpar on their Xenon DVD and VHS releases. Vinegar Syndrome made these films shine, and put wonderfully informative extras on each. They are truly a must for fans.

 

Nightmare Sisters (Vinegar Syndrome)


Another priceless gem of late 80ís T&A and mindless hilarity from David DeCoteau that is guaranteed to amuse you from start to finish, and this one comes to us courtesy of Vinegar Syndrome with a fresh HD transfer, new extras, and the rare television cut of the movie featuring alternate scenes available nowhere else.

Tenebre (Synapse)

Synapse gives Dario Argentoís return to the giallo the best possible release. The new restoration brings new life to this giallo classic. The colors pop off the screen and the film looks incredible. The collection of extras is also spot on with Yellow Fever documentary and the highly commentary by Maitland McDonagh. This new restoration and the slew of extras make this an essential purchase for all horror fans.

 

Phenomena (Synapse Films)

   I will admit I havenít had the cash to pick up the Synapse Blu-ray release of Phenomena yet, BUT, Synapse is the premiere label when it comes to film restoration, so it wonít be going far out on a limb to stay that this release is going to be a true stunner of a transfer. The list of extras is also fairly definitive, so if you have an Argento fan in your life, it would certainly be recommended to pick this up for them.

Sorceress (Synapse Films)

Speaking of goofy erotic escapades, another T&A classic from the 90ís gets a stunning high-definition upgrade as Jim Wynorskiís low-budget spectacle of magic and making the beast with two backs comes to Blu-ray from Synapse. The disc comes with two commentaries Ė the first has the director flying solo, and the second pairs him up with special guest Tom Savini (who had nothing to do with the movie!). -Bobby Morgan

Candy (Kino Lorber)

Terry Southernís satirical novel reimagined Candide as the adventures of a nubile young woman forced to fend off the advances of every horny old man on the face of the earth, and the film adaptation was a spectacular mess full of amazing visuals, great music, hilarious performances from the likes of Richard Burton and Marlon Brando, and the beautiful blank slate that was the Swedish stunner Ewa Aulin in the title role. The hallucinatory fresco of hedonism and hilarity looks its best on Kinoís new Blu-ray. -Bobby Morgan

Sorority Babes in the Slime Ball Bowl-O-Rama (Full Moon)

Any fan of USA Up All Night will likely remember this weird little horror comedy from David DeCoteau that has plenty of bare female flesh, corny jokes, and an oddball monster to keep you entertained. Itís a hoot that looks better than ever in a new HD transfer and the Blu-ray from Full Moon also includes a directorís commentary, feature-length documentary, and more. -Bobby Morgan

Chopping Mall (Vestron Video Collectorís Series)

That Wynorski guy is back and this time his swift and gory sci-fi horror gem about killer security robots hunting humans in an indoor mall has been given the HD treatment, looking better than it ever has on home video. The Blu-ray comes loaded with commentaries and new documentaries. -Bobby Morgan

Henry - Portrait of a Serial Killer (30th Anniversary Edition - Dark Sky)

John McNaugtonís nightmarish thriller starring Michael Rooker as a remorseless murderer bring along his willing accomplice (the late Tom Towles) for a slaughter spree has been restored in 4K resolution from the original 16mm camera negative for its latest Blu-ray release from Dark Sky that also features new documentaries in addition to the previously available supplements. -Bobby Morgan

Cannibal Man (Subkultur Entertainment)

Subkultur gives this Spanish horror classic a Handsome release with an out of this world Transfer. Eloy de la Iglesia Unusual and addictive thriller is one of the most bizarre and engrossing thrillers of the early 1970ís, now you can own it with an excellent Blu-ray. The real treat for horror fans is seeing the Grindhouse play feature, which plays a series of trailers for other exploitation films from the period, giving this a true feeling of being in a German Grindhouse. - Tyler Miller

 

IT Crowd (Complete Series - MPI)

   The IT Crowd is another comedy masterpiece from Graham Lineham. This one follows the IT department at Renyholm Industries with their day to day buffoonery. The show was previously released on 4 season sets, but has since had a final episode which is included here. It would have been nice to have a Blu-ray, but Iíll take what I can get.

Phantasm: Remastered/Phantasm: Ravager (Well Go USA)

   One of the weirdest, most wonderful, and truly terrifying horror films of all times finally gets its long overdue Blu-ray bow courtesy of Well Go USA. On the same day we also get what is likely the final entry in the series Phantasm Ravager which reunites the entire cast of the original (including the now late Angus Scrimm) for one final bizarre spookshow. A Blu-ray box set is forthcoming in 2017, but these will certainly hold over Phans for now.

The Wailing (Well Go USA)

   South Korean horror had a big boom in the mid-2000ís, but unless you are a huge fan much hasnít been made of the countries genre output since. The Wailing is one of the best horror films of the year, and comes out of South Korea, and is truly wonderful genre piece. The Blu-ray from Well Go is a wonderful gift for the horror fan in your life looking for something interesting that they might not have seen yet.

Glengarry Glen Ross (Lionsgate)

James Foleyís stellar screen adaptation of the brutal and bleakly funny David Mamet play is pure cinema that can generate more excitement with a handful of locations and endless Ė and endlessly quotable Ė dialogue scenes than the biggest Hollywood FX blockbuster can do with unlimited funding. The ensemble cast is electrifying and Lionsgateís new Blu-ray ports over most of the great supplements from an older DVD release.-Bobby Morgan 

Doctor Who - The Complete Ninth Series (BBC Worldwide)

   Over the years I have been getting tired of Steven Moffatís Doctor Who. And honestly this is more of it, but it is probably the best season he has done with an excellent mix of 2 part stories with a single one parter thrown in there.  Peter Capaldi is my favorite Doctor since the revival though, and the man could recite from the phone book, and Iíd watch it.

Red Dwarf XI - BBC Worldwide

OK, so Iím a bad smeghead, and will have to admit I have not seen Red Dwarf XI yet. Iíve been too busy, and didnít get a chance to review it. However, Red Dwarf is my 2nd favorite show of all time, and this came out before the holiday season, so Iím putting it here for the smeghead in your life (maybe you). Itís Red Dwarf, itís new, and the more Red Dwarf sells, the more we are liable to get.

Iron Giant - Collectorís Edition (Warner Brothers)

The Iron Giant was the debut feature film from director Brad Bird, and is one of the finest animated films of the last 20 years. It took far too long to get to the Blu-ray format, fortunately Warner lavished wonderful amounts of attention when they finally did it. It is wonderfully restored, packed with extrss, and comes in a huge big box collectorís edition with even more to fawn over.

Mad Max - Fury Road (Black & Chrome Edition - Warner Brothers)

   According to director George Miller the newly released Black & Chrome edition is his preferred version of Mad Max - Fury Road. The film takes the film and turns it into a stark black and white film, that changes the entire feel of the film. It is not a simple contrast drain, and Miller has gone back to the source and redone everything to do this, and the result is fantastic. It is well worth checking out, especially since the release includes the original color version.

Tales from the Darkside - The Complete Series (CBS)

   George Romero and Richard Rubinstein the creators of Creepshow, basically created Creepshow the TV series in the 80ís, and that was Tales from the Darkside. Not every episode was great, but the show as a whole was a fun creepy affair, and the DVD set here brings all the seasons together in one comprehensive set.

Friday the 13th - The Complete Series DVD (CBS)

   This series has nothing to do with Jason Voorhees other than one of the leads would go on to co-star in Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday as an unrelated character. The series involves an antique shop that keeps stock of antiques from Hell, and the owners most retrieve them after they are sold around the country. Itís not F13 with Jason, but itís weird, fun, and entertaining, and the whole thing is collected here for fans.

 

The Twilight Zone - Complete Series Blu-ray (CBS)

   The Twlight Zone has had numerous DVD and Blu-ray releases, however this one comes out right before the holidays in a set on Blu-ray that is meant to be affordable for fans. The A/V is stunning on all fronts, and is a must for fans who havenít picked them up yet.

Star Trek: The Animated Series

   This series takes place a year after the 5 year mission of Star Trek is completed, so itís after the adventures everyone knows from The Original Series. The series is animated from Filmation who did Ghostbusters in the 70ís and Jackson 5, so it does have a cheap, but fun look to it. The Blu-ray makes it look better than it ever has before, and it is written like a regular Star Trek episode so it isnít dumbed down for a child audience. On a selfish note, I do implore readers to buy this, as the more Star Trek on Blu sells the closer we get to DS9 and Voyager on Blu, so please, buy these.

Marx Brothers - Silver Screen Collection

   Universalís Marx Brotherís Silver Screen Collection is a Blu-ray release of 5 early Marx Brothers Clasics. The Blu-rays are well restored with extras and will certainly be a worthy upgrade to fans of classic comedy. Include are Animal Crackers, Duck Soup, and more.

Gregory Peck - The Centennial Collection

   Universal have put together a 2 film collection of Cape Fear and To Kill A Mockingbird and released it right before the holiday season. The Blu-rayís are quite nice, and it comes with some nice added bonuses to please fans of Gregory Peck.

Everybody Wants Some

   Iím going to commit cinematic sacrilege here, and admit I was never a big Dazed and Confused fan until recent years, and even know just ďsort ofĒ like the film. However, itís spiritual sequel Everybody Wants Some I find to be a total blast, and have rewatched it multiple times since getting the Blu-ray. This is a fun college comedy, that I certainly hope becomes a cult classic in the vein of Dazed. The Blu-ray is slight on extras (so come on Criterion), but everything looks and sounds fantastic here, and I encourage fans of comedy, Linklater, and Dazed to give this one a look.

Time After Time (Warner Archive)

   The Jack the Ripper in the 80ís thriller hit Blu-ray in November via Warner Archive, and looks amazing. It includes a commentary track with director Nicholas Meyers and trailer for the film.

 

Evangelion 3.33 (Funimation)

   This one got quite a bit of backlash upon release, and in many ways, I can see why. If you are a fan of EVA the TV series, and the End of Evangelion movie, this is where the the movies really drastically depart from the known mythology. However, it is completely and utterly off the freaking wall, and I, of course, LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT. The Blu-ray is stunning, and it is definitely worth a pick up.

Lupin the 3rd: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine (Anime Classics, Funimation)

   This series of the Lupin the 3rd anime goes in a vastly different direction than the ones before it. It does not focus on Lupin, but the thief Fujiko Mine, and goes in a darker direction. Be forewarned this one is not for the kiddies, there is much violence and nudity. It is definitely recommended, however.

Ergo Proxy - 10th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray (Funimation)

   Ergo Proxy is a brillaint Sci-Fi/Noir anime that has shades of Blade Runner runing through it. The 10th anniversary Blu-ray release which was came out in November just in time for the holiday rush has a nice slate of extras, and a Blu-ray transfer which truly brings out the gorgeous style of this anime series.

Gunglinger Girl - Complete - Anime Classics  (Funimation)

   Gunslinger Girl from the early 2000ís is in my mind a truly classic series. At least the first series is. The Blu-ray from Funimation is gorgeous, and includes both series and the OVA.

Gatchman Crowds - Insights (Section 23)

   Gatchaman Crowds is the latest reboot of the classic anime series Gatchaman. Itís a pretty fun interpretation of the classic series, and Insights is the 2nd series of the new run. The Blu-ray looks comparable to current anime series and is recommended to Gatchaman fans.

Knights of Sidonia - Battle for Planet Nine (Section 23)

   The second series of Knights of Sidonia is a step down from season 1, but it is still fun and interesting. The set comes with some nice extras, and looks excellent. Definitely recommended. Possibly a grower due to high expectations.

Cinema Somnambulist by Richard Glenn Schmidt

   Cinema Somnambulist brings together the blogs and internet writings of noted cult film writer Richard Glenn Schmidt of DoomedMoviethon.com and Fang of Joy, and brings them together with all new material. If you have been a long time reader of his online work, this is must buy. Only on Amazon.

Life Moves Pretty Fast by Hadley Freeman

   Life Moves Pretty Fast is an interesting book of essays by author Hadley Freeman that discusses the life lessons that are to be learned from 80ís pop cinema. I donít regularly agree with her, especially as she condemns my favorite Oliver Stone film (actually the only Oliver Stone film I like) within the first pages. But itís a breezy, fun, and interesting read.

Substance by Peter Hook

   Peter Hook has become quite the published author in recent years putting out books on the Hacienda and then Joy Division. This book discusses his time in New Order specifically, and is a fantastic read that is as good as his previous writings.

Set the Boy Free by Johnny Marr

   Having recently slogged my way through Morrisseyís autobiography which was as pretentious as one could get, I found Marrís book a light and interesting affair that gives the guitarist, and in turn the Smiths story from a different perspective. 

Under the Big Black Sun by John Doe (and friends)

   Under the Big Black Sun is an interesting overview of the L.A. punk scene from X member John Doe. The book allows various members of X and the L.A. punk scene to give their perspective of the times as well, and is absolutely an enthralling read for fans of L.A. punk.

Shock and Awe by Simon Reynolds

   If there is one music journalist who I will read absolutely every book by it is Simon Reynolds. One my wife bought his book Rip It Up and Start Again based on the Please Kill Me-esque cover, I plowed through it before she could get through the first chapter, and based on a recommendation from my friend Chad, I picked up his wonderful Retromania. His new book Shock and Awe is basically the bible of 70ís Glam, and goes through each artist and bands story in separate chapters, each with significant depth.

Cured by Lol Tolhurst

   Lol Tolhurst was the first drummer, and later keyboard player for the Cure. He co-founded the now iconic group with Robert Smith in the late 70ís, and was thrown out of the band in the late 80ís. The title is a play on the bandís name as Tolhurst is a recovering alcoholic who now finds himself ďcuredĒ from his prior addiction.

My Damage by Keith Morris

   Keith Morrisí My Damage is a fantastic look into L.A. punk from a different perspective. Morris was the first singer for Black Flag, and then the Circle Jerks, and is now fronting an early Black Flag homage Flag. He has an interesting life story, and spills it all here.

 

The Last Coloring Book - Jimmy Angelina and Wyatt Doyle

I had yet to get caught up in the adult coloring book craze until I came across an interview with the creators of The Last Coloring Book, which was seemingly made for me. Authors Jimmy Angelina and Wyatt Doyle have put together a 130-page book of portraits of indelible characters and moments from classic '70s movies (the book's cover and title are a play on The Last Detail). With its subjects running the gamut from Warren Oates to Edith Massey, The Last Coloring Book often bypasses the most iconic moments from each movie in favor of more quirky, specific moments that may trigger a flood of memories. While the oversized layout will surely make for a pleasurable coloring experience, it's equally enjoyable as its own illustrated history of the decade in film. Strongly recommended for cinephiles who like to self-soothe. - Andrew Bemis

 

EPIC GIFT BAG GIVEAWAY

 

Every year EuroCultAV.com in conjunction with our favorite Blu-ray labels puts together a contest to giveaway some of the coolest Blu-rayís that came out in a given year. This year, like last year we put together 2 identical stacks of Blu-rayís to giveaway to 2 lucky fans. This contest is only open to U.S. residents.

The lucky winner will get the following stack of Blu-rayís.

Manhattan Baby (Blue Underground)

Venom (Blue Underground)

The Million Eyes of Sumuru/Girl From Rio (Blue Underground)

Doctor Butcher M.D. (Severin Films)

Tenebrae - Standard Edition (Synapse Films)

Blood Bath (Arrow Video)

The Bloodstained Butterfly (Arrow Video)

The Thing (Scream Factory)

Return of the Living Dead (Scream Factory)

Ergo Proxy - 10th Anniversary Edition (Funimation)

Lupin the 3rd: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine (Funimation)

Evangelion 3.33 (Funimation)

We would like to thank our friends at the following labels for sponsoring our yearly giveaway, BLUE UNDERGROUND, FUNIMATION, SEVERIN FILMS, SYNAPSE FILMS, SCREAM FACTORY, and ARROW VIDEO.

Here is how to enter.

1. e-Mail Scott@eurocultav.com with the subject Holiday Giveaway

2 Include your Name, Address, and Favorite Blu-ray release of the year

Contest Ends 12/12/16

That is it..