Saturday, July 16, 2011

Criterion in October

  This October looks to be a great month for Criterion releases. First up is Island of Lost Souls. OOP on home video since the laser disc days , this looks to be awesome. With commentary by horror film expert Gregory Mank,plus an interview with Devo founding members Gerald Casale and Mark Mothersbaugh.. Anybody who grew up in 1960's reading Famous Monsters remembers the stills they used to run from this. A truly unsettling, creepy film.  Also on the slate is the 1939 Four Feathers(one of my favorites), plus the classic Japanese horror film Kuroneko (I saw part of this as a kid once on PBS and it scared the heck out of me). Good stuff. Also don't forgot now B & N is now running their twice yearly 50% Criterion sale.

Roberts Blossom 1924-2011

    Actor Roberts Blossom passed away at the age of 87 on July 8. NY Times Obit here. Wonderful character actor, his credits include Escape From Alcatraz, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Christine and most likely his most recognizable role - the kindly elderly neighbor in Home Alone. A rare starring role for him was Deranged (1973), loosely based upon the story of the Ed Gein "the butcher of Plainfield".

Friday, July 8, 2011

Rosalba Neri News # 1

   Thanks to some recent European TV broadcasts, two of Rosalba Neri's movies have turned up in excellent quality. First up the German satellite channel 3sat ran a seemingly uncut version (90 minutes PAL) of Lady Frankenstein (1971). Nicely letterboxed at 1.90:1 , the broadcast also featured a 42 minute documentary about the making of the movie complete with interviews of director Mel Wells and Rosalba. Both doc & movie are in German naturally, but some enterprising person has synced up the TV broadcast to the English audio track and made it available "out there".  Long a staple of shoddy public domain video in the U.S., Lady Frankenstein  is going to get a major upgrade DVD-wise this fall thanks to Shout Factory . They've announced as part of their Roger Corman New World releases a quadruple feature DVD containing Lady Frankenstein for release in Sept.

   Next up the Italian station Duel recently broadcast The Devils Wedding Night  (1973 Il plenilunio delle vergini). One of Rosalba's last horror roles this has been available on DVD as part of "Elvira's Movie Macbre" series. Although uncut and letterboxed the DVD's 35mm print looked like it had been dragged across a gravel parking lot. Duel's broadcast was beautiful and although in Italian , once again an unsung hero has subtitled it in English and once again its available "out there"