I’ve never been a Dr. Who fan. But I absolutely adore Peter Cushing.
So I was really stoked to learn that Kino Lorber is bringing both of the Cushing Dr. Who theatrical films — Dr. Who And The Daleks (1965) and Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. (1966) — to Blu-Ray in July.
These used to turn up on TV a lot in the 70s, where their Techniscope photography suffered quite a bit. It’ll be cool to see them in high definition — the Technicolor was gorgeous.
One more thing: wouldn’t that have been a fun night at Austin’s Longhorn Drive-In?
Directed by Sidney J. Furie
Starring Michael Caine, Nigel Green, Guy Doleman, Sue Lloyd, Gordon Jackson, Stanley Meadows
Kino Lorber’s Blu-Ray of the third, and last, Harry Palmer film, Billion Dollar Brain(1967), was very nice. And I’m so glad to hear they’re coming through with the first one, The Ipcress File (1965). I love this film.
I was 10 and had just gotten my first pair of eyeglasses when I came across The Ipcress File, and a smartass secret agent with glasses and a machine gun (and Sue Lloyd) gave me hope. Maybe it was going to be OK after all.
Mill Creek’s been offering up some really good stuff lately, and this one’s gonna be terrific. Here’s a Blu-Ray twin bill of Toho pictures from director Ishirō Honda — The H Man (1958) and Battle In Outer Space (1959).
The H Man plays like a bit of a Japanese radioactive tiff on The Blob (1958), with some gangsters thrown in for good measure. Columbia cut some of the criminal element out for its US release, making it 8-9 minutes shorter than what Japanese audience saw. Still, it’s a cool movie.
The great Eiji Tsuburaya at work on Battle In Outer Space.
Battle In Outer Space, aside from the English dubbing, Columbia left alone. It’s set in the future, 1965, with Earth being attacked by the planet Natal, which is causing natural disasters and other chaos from afar. Eventually, the UN battles it out with the saucer fleet from Natal. Toho’s special effects genius Eiji Tsuburaya had a real field day with this one.
Both pictures were in Eastmancolor and Tohoscope, and they should look great in high-definition. Coming in June. Boy, us grown-up monster kids are getting spoiled these days!
Directed by Terence Fisher
Starring Clifford Evans, Oliver Reed, Yvonne Romain, Catherine Feller
Hammer and Terence Fisher continued their reimagining of the classic monsters with The Curse Of The Werewolf (1961), with the same results they’d had with Frankenstein, Dracula and The Mummy. It’s the next installment in Scream Factory’s terrific Hammer Blu-Ray series, and I can’t wait to see what a 4K cleanup does to this one. Highly recommended. Coming, loaded with extras, in April.
Directed by Michael Curtiz
Starring Elvis Presley, Carolyn Jones, Walter Matthau, Dolores Hart, Dean Jagger, Vic Morrow
Paramount has announced “Paramount Presents,” a new line of Blu-Ray releases and limited theatrical runs. Along with Hitchcock’s To Catch A Thief (1957), they’ll be launching the line with King Creole (1958). One of Elvis’ better films, with one of his best performances (I’d say Flaming Star is his best), King Creole should make for a terrific Blu-Ray. It’s for a great cast — Carolyn Jones, Walter Matthau are both excellent, good songs (“Hard Headed Woman” is awesome) and fabulous B&W cinematography from Russell Harlan.
They’re promising deluxe packaging and a slew of extras. Watch for ’em in April.
If you’ve gone through life without seeing a Laurel & Hardy short like Big Business (1929) or The Music Box (1932), I feel really sorry for you. Luckily, Kit Parker is ready to help you exit that world of darkness with Laurel & Hardy: The Definitive Restorations, a four-disc Blu-Ray set full of terrific shorts and features from Stan and Ollie.
The Battle Of The Century (1927, making its video debut)
Berth Marks (1929)
Hog Wild (1930)
Come Clean (1931)
One Good Turn (1931)
The Music Box (1932, Oscar winner for best short)
The Chimp (1932)
County Hospital (1932)
Their First Mistake (1932)
Towed In A Hole (1932)
Twice Two (1933)
Me And My Pal (1933)
The Midnight Patrol (1933)
Busy Bodies (1933)
Sons Of The Desert (1933)
Way Out West (1937)
Restored from the best 35mm to be found on the planet (thanks to the efforts of Jeff Joseph/SabuCat, UCLA Film & Television Archive and Library of Congress), this set will also include commentaries, interviews, stills and The Tree In A Test Tube (1942), a color short produced by the U. S. Department of Agriculture. It’s coming in June. Essential stuff.
Directed by Fritz Lang
Starring Peter van Eyck, Dawn Addams, Gert Fröbe, Werner Peters, Wolfgang Preiss, Andrea Checchi, Howard Vernon
The Thousand Eyes Of Dr. Mabuse (1960) was the great Fritz Lang’s last film, made after his return to Germany. The picture revives/revisits the sinister villain of his earlier Dr. Mabuse The Gambler (1922) and The Testament Of Dr. Mabuse (1933). It’s so cool that Lang was able to circle back to Mabuse, since the themes in these things were obviously close to him. (His 1952 Western Rancho Notorious features a variation on the network of criminals idea found in the Mabuse pictures.)
Thousand Eyes would spawn a series of Mabuse films from the same producer, Artur Brauner. Some of those sequels are pretty good — especially the one Hugo Fregonese did (1964’s The Secret Of Dr. Mabuse), but Mr. Lang is sorely missed.
Eureka Entertainment, the folks who gave us those beautiful Blu-Rays of Lang’s two-part “Indian Epic” a while back, has announced an extras-laden Blu-Ray of The Thousand Eyes Of Dr. Mabuse for May. Along with commentaries and interviews, it will feature the original German track and the Lang-approved English dub — and an alternate ending.
As a huge Fritz Lang fan, I can’t wait to get my eyes (all four of ’em) on Eureka’s The Thousand Eyes Of Dr. Mabuse. Highly recommended.