Directed by Lew Landers
Starring Onslow Stevens, Ada Ince, William Desmond, Walter Miller, James Durkin, Lee J. Cobb
Universal’s 12-chapter serial The Vanishing Shadow (1934) is making its way to Blu-Ray from our friends at VCI. It’s a science fiction revenge story, containing maybe the first use of a ray gun. It also feature a terrific robot.
What’s incredible about this release is that at one point, The Vanishing Shadow was thought to be a lost film. This June, it’ll be available in high-definition from original 35mm fine grain material. How cool is that? I’m really stoked to be doing a first-chapter commentary for it.
Directed by Eddie Romero
Starring John Ashley, Patrick Wayne, Leigh Christian, George Nader, Sid Haig, Lenore Stevens
VCI has announced the upcoming Blu-Ray release (March 12) of Eddie Romero’s Beyond Atlantis (1973). This time around, Romero and producer-star John Ashley aimed a bit higher and added Patrick Wayne to the mix. With a transfer form the original 35mm negative and a commentary, interviews and other extras, this should be a lot of tacky fun.
Directed by Eddie Romero
Starring John Ashley, Mary Charlotte Wilcox, Leopoldo Salcedo, Eddie Garcia, Ken Metcalfe
VCI has announced their upcoming Blu-Ray release (late February) of Eddie Romero’s Beast Of The Yellow Night (1970). They promise a new restoration from the camera negative and an archival print. Made in the Philippines, it was the first film released by Roger Corman’s New World Pictures.
Back in 1965, Young Dillinger (1965) played as a twin-bill with Mario Bava’s Blood And Black Lace (1964). This ad’s for the opening in L.A., but they played everywhere this way — even drive-ins not far from where I’m sitting here in North Carolina. Man, what a “blazing double-blast of thrills and shocks” this must’ve been.
One’s in gorgeous black and white, the other in eye-popping Technicolor. One is a cinematic love letter to the Tommy Gun, while the other favors all sorts of things with blades. Both are lurid, violent masterpieces — the stuff that makes early 60s genre movies so wonderful.
Incidentally, and the reason I came across this, both of these pictures have seen some recent video activity. Young Dillinger was just made available on DVD by our friends at Warner Archive (the movie’s terrific and the disc looks great), and VCI is prepping Blood And Black Lace for a Blu-Ray due in October.
So, with a little coordinated eCommerce, you can recreate June 9, 1965 in the privacy of your own home.
Directed by Mario Bava
Starring Cameron Mitchell, Eva Bartok, Paul Frees, 30 of the most glamorous girls in the world
VCI is bringing Mario Bava’s Blood And Black Lace (1964) to Blu-Ray here in the States with a slew of extras, some of them carried over from VCI’s previous DVD.
This picture is worthwhile for Bava’s use of color alone. Then consider that the whole thing was done for about $150,000. It’s really incredible.
This is one of the great Paul Frees’ finest hours, as he provided most of the male voices for the English-dubbed version.
Coming in October. Highly recommended.
Directed by Eddie Romero
Starring John Ashley, Pat Woodell, Jan Merlin, Pam Grier
This is an update to a previous post.
VCI has announced a Blu-Ray release of Twilight People (1972) for January 2018. Eddie Romero directed this Filipino-American take on H.G. Wells’ The Island Of Dr. Moreau — with a little of Romero’s previous Terror Is A Man (1959) thrown in for good measure.
Star John Ashley was one of the producers. He and Eddie Romero became quite successful with their cheap horror movies, stuff like Brides Of Blood (1968), Beast Of Blood (1970) and The Woman Hunt (1972, yet another version of The Most Dangerous Game). Their films were often done for Roger Corman’s New World Pictures, with budgets of around $125,000. This one was the first film released by Dimension Pictures. It played in double bills with everything from Man Beast (1956) to The Sin Of Adam And Eve (1969) to Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes (1972).
John Ashley had a fascinating career, going from AIP to TV shows like The Beverly Hillbillies to the wonderfully awful AIP TV movie The Eye Creatures (1965) to these Filipino movies to consulting on Apocalypse Now (1979, shot in the Philippines) to producing The A-Team and Walker, Texas Ranger. Wish he’d written his memoirs before passing away in 1997.
VCI put Twilight People out on VHS back in the day, and their eventual DVD was pretty good. This Blu-Ray release will feature a 2K scan of the original negative, presented in the proper aspect ratio. Extras will include a video interview with Eddie Romero, a still and poster gallery, and a commentary by Toby Roan.
Directed by Hal Roach and Hal Roach, Jr.
Starring Victor Mature, Carole Landis, Lon Chaney, Jr., John Hubbard
UPDATE: One Million B.C. (1940) is on its way to DVD and Blu-Ray from VCI, from the materials at UCLA. Not exactly sure what the full list of extras will be, but I do know there’ll be a commentary (by yours truly) and (I think) a still gallery. The release date is mid-October.