Screening: The ’68 Comeback Special.

It’s been 50 years since Elvis made his stunning “Comeback Special” — a long, long way from the Christmas special that was the original plan. If you haven’t seen it, I feel sorry for ya.

But all is not lost. It’s being shown in theaters to mark the anniversary. Click the King to find out more.

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Filed under 1968, Elvis Presley, Screenings

Blu-Ray News #187: Cross Of Iron (1977).

Directed by Sam Peckinpah
Starring James Coburn, Maximilian Schell, James Mason, David Warner, Senta Berger

Hen’s Tooth Video has a Blu-Ray of Cross Of Iron (1977) on the way. Their special edition DVD boasted a great lineup of extras, and I hope those will make the leap to Blu-Ray. It’s coming in October.

This is a great film, the last great one from Sam Peckinpah, with a really incredible performance from James Coburn. (He also looks so cool in this one.) It’s a shame it’s been so hard to see over the years, but that’s how things tend to go with these international productions. Let’s hope this release will help change that. Highly recommended.

 

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Filed under 1977, Avco Embassy, DVD/Blu-ray News, James Coburn, Sam Peckinpah

Blu-Ray News #186: Curse Of The Demon (1957).

Directed by Jacques Tourneur
Starring Dana Andrews, Peggy Cummins, Niall MacGinnis

The folks at Indicator/Powerhouse are giving the real Cadillac treatment to Jacques Tourneur’s terrific horror picture Night Of The Demon (Curse Of The Demon here in the States). This was one of the first horror films I remember seeing as a kid, and it scared the hell out of me.

Its troubled production — plenty of “creative differences” (do we show the demon or not?) — isn’t evident in the finished film. And even in its shortest version (the US theatrical cut), it’s a masterpiece.

For this Blu-Ray set, you get four (count em!) versions of the film: Night Of The Demon – the original full-length pre-release version; Night Of The Demon – the original UK theatrical cut (82 minutes); Curse Of The Demon – the original US theatrical cut (82 mins); and Curse Of The Demon – the US re-issue (96 mins). And there’s a slew of extras. Exactly the kind of reverential presentation this thing so richly deserves. It’s absolutely essential and it’s coming in October in a limited run of 6,000.

And, yes, that is one of the greatest lobby cards ever printed.

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Filed under 1957, Columbia, Dana Andrews, DVD/Blu-ray News, Indicator/Powerhouse, Peggy Cummins

Blu-Ray News #185: Trilogy Of Terror (1975).

Directed by Dan Curtis
Written by Richard Matheson and William F. Nolan
Starring Karen Black, Robert Burton, Gregory Harrison

That picture will probably sell you on Kino Lorber’s upcoming (October) Blu-Ray release of Trilogy Of Terror, one way or another. You’re either dying to get your hands on a copy or you want to stay the hell away from it. You see, this 1975 TV movie is about as scary as scary gets. And Karen Black, who plays four different roles in the three stories, is terrific.

With this getting a 4K restoration, along with the same for The Night Strangler (1973), there’s a lot of love going around for Dan Curtis. So how about a Blu-Ray of his Melvin Purvis: G-Man (1974), which John Milius co-wrote?

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Filed under 1975, Dan Curtis, DVD/Blu-ray News, John Milius, Karen Black, Kino Lorber, Richard Matheson

Screening: Piranha (1978) On Shout TV.

Directed by Joe Dante
Starring Bradford Dillman, Heather Menzies, Kevin McCarthy, Keenan Wynn, Barbara Steele, Dick Miller

I love Piranha (1978), Joe Dante’s Jaws ripoff — produced by Roger Corman and written by John Sayles. I’ve seen it countless times.

Shout TV has a special event planned to celebrate the movie’s 40th anniversary — August 3 on Shout TV’s Twitch channel. To me, this is certainly a movie worth celebrating.

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Filed under 1978, Barbara Steele, Dick Miller, Joe Dante, Kevin McCarthy, New World, Roger Corman, Screenings, Television, William Schallert

DVD News #184: Young Dillinger (1965).

(L-R): Mary Ann Mobley, Robert Conrad, Nick Adams (as John Dillinger) and John Ashley.

Directed by Terry Morse
Starring Nick Adams, Mary Ann Mobley, Robert Conrad, John Ashley, Victor Buono, John Hoyt

So many great things have been making their way to DVD and Blu-Ray lately, some stuff’s gonna go unnoiced around here. Case in Point: Young Dillinger (1965) from Warner Archive.

This thing’s got plenty to recommend it. You’ve got the severely-underrated Nick Adams as John Dillinger. Then there’s Robert Conrad, just as he was about to do The Wild Wild West, as Pretty Boy Floyd and AIP heart-throb John Ashley as Baby Face Nelson (he was fresh off of Beach Blanket Bingo). Mary Ann Mobley (Miss America, 1959) is always good — she’d follow this with the Elvis Presley/Sam Katzman picture Harum Scarum (1965). Terry Morse is the guy who directed the American scenes with Raymond Burr for the US release of Godzilla, King Of The Monsters (1956).

And if all that’s not enough, Young Dillinger was widely criticized for its excessive violence. Sign me up!

It’s now available on DVD from Warner Archive.

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Filed under 1965, DVD/Blu-ray News, Monogram/Allied Artists, Nick Adams, Warner Archive

Blu-Ray News #183: Dracula – Prince Of Darkness (1966).

Directed by Terence Fisher
Starring Christopher Lee, Barbara Shelley, Andrew Kier, Frances Matthews, Susan Farmer

Dracula – Prince Of Darkness (1966), Hammer’s sequel to Horror Of Dracula (1958, called just Dracula in the UK), is coming to Blu-Ray from Scream Factory. It’s the only Hammer Dracula picture in Scope (Techniscope), and it should be a real treat in high definition. Plus, you can always count on Scream Factory for some great extras.

This was the first of these movies I saw as a kid. From bringing Lee back to life in the first reel to killing him off again at the end, I was completely mesmerized by the whole thing.

With this, The Vampire (1957), The Tingler (1959) and The Legend Of Hell House (1973), Scream Factory is bringing some of my favorites — the junk that really rotted by brain as a kid — to Blu-Ray in terrific shape. I’m eternally grateful.

Dracula crawls out of the grave this December.

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Filed under 1966, 20th Century-Fox, Barbara Shelley, Christopher Lee, Hammer Films, Shout/Scream Factory, Terence Fisher