Directed by Don Siegel
Starring Richard Widmark, Henry Fonda, Inger Stevens, Harry Guardino, James Whitmore, Susan Clark, Don Stroud
Madigan (1968) is yet another terrific picture from Don Siegel, from that late 60s – early 70s period when he was knocking out great movies one right after another. It came between his The Killers (1964) and Coogan’s Bluff (1968), and it’s one of the best cop movies of the 60s.
Kino Lorber has had this on their “coming soon” roster for a while, and they’ve given it an official release date — November 12, the same day as their new Blu-Ray of Siegel’s Charley Varrick (1973).
Directed by John Gilling
Starring Peter Cushing, June Laverick, Donald Pleasence, Dermot Walsh, Renee Houston, George Rose, Billie Whitelaw
The Flesh And The Fiends (1960) — aka Mania, aka The Fiendish Ghouls, aka Psycho Killers — has been sitting near the top of my Blu-Ray Want List since, well, Blu-Rays first started showing up. By whatever name you want to call it, The Flesh And The Fiends is a wonderfully nasty telling of the Burke and Hare story. And I’m so stoked to hear that Kino Lorber is bringing it to Blu-Ray some time in 2020.
This was Peter Cushing’s first non-Hammer horror film after becoming a star in the genre with pictures like Curse Of Frankenstein (1957) and Horror Of Dracula (1958). He’s terrific in this one. It was produced by the Robert Baker – Monty Berman team that gave us Jack The Ripper (1959).
Kino Lorber is promising two cuts of the film. There was the UK version (94 minutes) and a slightly longer “Continental” cut that adds a bit of nudity here and there for good measure. (The cut titled Psycho Killers that played in the US in 1965 only runs a pathetic 74 minutes.)
Directed by Mario Bava
Starring Reg Park, Christopher Lee, Leonora Ruffo
Nobody can elevate a cheap movie quite like Mario Bava, and for my money, his Hercules In The Haunted World (1961) is the best of the peplum movies. And Kino Lorber is elevating the whole thing with this two-disc set — you get the European, the UK and the US versions (three, count em!), restored from the camera negative. There’s a commentary from Tim Lucas, an interview and trailers. And it’s all coming in October. Can’t wait.
Directed by Irvin S. Yeaworth, Jr.
Starring Robert Lansing, Lee Meriwether, James Congdon, Robert Strauss, Edgar Stehli, Patty Duke
The people behind The Blob (1958), producer Jack H. Harris and director Irvin S. Yeaworth, Jr., put their Blob money into their next picture, 4D Man (1959). Yeaworth had a company that made 35mm religious films in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Those resources give this homegrown, independent picture a very distinctive, and somehow perfect, blend of grit and polish. The Blob was made the same way.
Robert Lansing has developed a way to pass through matter. The hitch is, every time he does it, he ages — a complication that has murderous results.
4D Man is a cool movie, plain and simple. I loved it as a kid. So I’m really stoked that Kino Lorber is bringing it to Blu-Ray this August. Highly recommended.
James Maitland Stewart
(May 20, 1908 – July 2, 1997)
Jimmy Stewart, surely one of the greatest movie actors of all time, was born 111 years ago today.
Having just finished a commentary for Kino Lorber’s upcoming Blu-Ray of Anthony Mann’s Thunder Bay (1953), and Bend Of The River before that, I’ve been marveling at Stewart’s craft — over and over again. Nobody underplays quite like he does, and nobody uses their own personal quirks to such a huge advantage.
But, of course, it doesn’t stop at the movies. Stewart also flew in the Air Force during World War II and beyond — something he rarely spoke about, and never waved around to bring attention to himself. They guy was a real national treasure.
Directed by Roger Corman
Starring Vic Morrow, Suzanne Pleshette, Michael Ansara, Cesar Romero, Stanley Holloway, Victor Buono, Charlotte Rampling
This thing’s been almost impossible to track down over the years — a Roger Corman-directed TV movie deemed too violent for TV and sent to theaters instead (similar to Don Siegel’s The Killers). And now Kino Lorber’s bringing it to Blu-Ray.
This is the only Corman picture I haven’t seen. It pairs Batman‘s Joker and King Tut. It was edited by Monte Hellman and scored by Les Baxter. I can’t wait.
Directed by William Friedkin
Starring Peter Falk, Peter Boyle, Allen Garfield, Warren Oates, Gena Rowlands, Paul Sorvino
After the box-office failure of his masterpiece Sorcerer (1977), William Friedkin turned out a gem of a heist picture, The Brink’s Job (1978).
It’s a shamefully overlooked movie — from a script by Walon Green who wrote Sorcerer and The Wild Bunch (1969), and I’m so happy to hear it’s getting a Blu-Ray release from Kino Lorber. Can’t wait.