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  1. #706
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    Best Buy - September 22nd, 2020


    Whiplash
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  2. #707
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    Past Tense - Years Older, But Still In The Game Part I


    Another brand new entry! This outing we get a retired spy looking for some companionship in RED...



    The motion picture opened on October 15th, 2010. It was made with a budget of $58,000,000 (estimated) and grossed over $90 million during its U.S. theatrical run; counting foreign receipts it made $196,439,693. The film opened number two at the box office, the following week it dropped to number three.

    The feature opened against "Easy A", "The Social Network", "My Soul To Take" and "Jackass 3D".

    All were issued embossed slipcovers. The BD/DVD combo came with an insert explaining one side is DVD and the other is Blu-Ray.

    - - -



    There was a single exclusive - from Best Buy, a mini comic book. This was only available in the Blu-ray/DVD combo. And streeted on January 25th, 2011 for $19.99.

    There was a bonus item, but was available everywhere, not an exclusive; theater code voucher for "Drive Angry" (2011); expired on April 22nd, 2011. The details were on the reverse of the sticker on the slipcover.

    Did not buy the combo with comic; I bought the DVD when it came out - wanna say Wal-Mart. The exclusive has been on my list for years. It wasn't until January 18th, 2020 that I finally found what I was looking for.



    I made various attempts over the years, but couldn't find it or it was too expensive. I found a sweet price, the store exclusive for $4.64 with free shipping on eBay. Came with slipcover to scan and that comic which is now inside my DVD case.

    The first thing you notice here is the price tag sticker (above), $34.99. Huh? I can only imagine this was a later re-priced combo. It does happen after the sale ends - back to regular price.

    Don't have that much exposure to double side format discs. Double sided DVDs, sure.



    The only double sided format disc I have is for "Book Of Shadows: Blair Witch 2" which is DVD and CD soundtrack (streeted on March 13th, 2001 for $26.98). Think I paid less than five dollars for it at Big Lots! years ago. Part of my collection. Wait...

    Why did the combo come with an insert instruction? It's been years and years that folks have bought double sided discs; you look at the ring around the hub to see which is Side A and Side B, printed info. Here the sides are labeled what format it is. It's a no brainer, this should not exist. Just look at the disc.

    The mini-comic is titled "Marvin"; story based on the feature is by John and Erich Hoeber. Script by Erich Hoeber. Art by Diego Olmos. It is thirty-two pages long. It takes place in New York in 1987. This is the tale that made Marvin Boggs go paranoid. He was a spy at the time; his mission was to break into a secure building into their vault... to get a pen, not a special pen, generic. It made no sense, then he broke it down.

    The mission wasn't getting the pen, it WAS watching him retrieve said pen. He uncovers his apartment is bugged, even his urine taken from the toilet. He then goes on to test the food in his home for contamination. He's being drugged. Who and why? He's being drugged and sent on pointless missions to test his effectiveness. Marvin decides to drop out and stalk who's been following him (now that he's aware of the observation). He follows one of the C.I.A. agents to a secure site - the surveillance room on his apartment and files on him - "PS Ultra". He's a test subject for an experimental drug to create a super soldier. The story begins with Boggs talking about not needing sleep for six days, not tired in the least. He ends up bugging them and discover they know - he knows.

    He's been marked for 'retirement' before he can do something - receives a guest at the door, Frank Moses (Bruce Willis' character). He is there to murder him by a syringe with an unknown fluid. Marvin nearly kills him and discovers that there was no syringe, a roll of Lifesaver candy. Not sure what's going on, he fakes his death and goes underground.

    Turns out, yes it was happening. Moses wasn't trying to kill him - was just visiting. But there was a plot to snuff him because the drug, PS Ultra has a major side effect, high paranoia and Boggs had become their best test subject and a liability. A self-contained story. This comic also includes a preview of another "RED: Eyes Only" by Cully Hamner.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Rant.



    This is exactly what it's suppose to be - an excellent popcorn flick. And rare today as it was when it came out - an action film with middle age and above actors, quite true.

    The movie was a blind buy by the way, zero buyer's remorse. And was a PG-13 film that didn't feel watered down to make it PG-13. It had enough bite to make it comfortable.

    R.E.D.: Retired Extremely Dangerous; an Intelligence label for former spies who pose a hazard as they've gone rogue, a threat to national security and must be taken out. No ex-black-ops wants a RED designation attached to their name - marked for death.

    Do I need to do it? Give a synopsis? It was enough of a hit to get a sequel with the surviving characters returning. That will be a future Past Tense, it too had an exclusive... a pretty weak one, but it counts.



    It was cool to see Helen Mirren as this kicka$s, cold as nails assassin, Victoria. She's making a causal phone call while disposing of a body, she's just killed, another Thursday. But it was John Malkovich as Marvin Boggs who pretty much stole the show. So many WTFs. It feels like he was somewhat based on Captain H. M. "Howling Mad" Murdock (Dwight Schultz) from the 1983 NBC TV series, "The A-Team". Not a complaint.

    This is what would happen to Murdock if he didn't have this teammates keeping him, kinda grounded, left to his accord.

    The movie is based on a limited run comic book series of the same name by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner for DC Comics.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Void.

    It's a short entry - you know what that means. Filler time! The good stuff, hopefully. Welcome to Volume Five of "Dead TV Shows Not On Home Video". Three titles this time out!



    "Traveler" - This dead show aired on ABC in 2007. A centuries old conspiracy finds graduate students, Jay Burchell (Matt Bomer) and Tyler Fog (Logan Marshall-Green). The two are playing a prank with their friend Will Traveler (Aaron Stanford) at the Drexler Museum in New York. Harmless fun turns into horror as a bomb in a backpack goes off killing several. The two are labeled terrorists and relentlessly pursued.

    What happened to Will? Hoping for answers they find nothing. As in nothing, Will Traveler never existed, no records or images. Searching among their personal items they find one - a single photograph with Will in the background, face seen. Who was he? Why did he frame them???

    Thus begins their quest for answers and freedom. All eight episodes aired. Had it gone to second season many questions would've been answered. Will works for the "Fourth Branch", a clandestine group, comprised of the oldest families in America; bloodlines who can trace back to the signing of the Declaration Of independence.

  3. #708
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    Past Tense - Years Older, But Still In The Game Part II


    They were the back-up plan, created by the Founding Fathers should this great democracy experiment fail. This secret branch of government sits atop Executive, Judicial and Legislative. The problem, there is a civil war within for control of the Fourth Branch. Will is one of the good guys. Too bad it died after one season. The series was planned at three with the danger the newly elected President Shears who is moving forward to become emperor of America, the leader of the rogue element in the Fourth Branch.

    It also starred Pascale Hutton, Viola Davis, Steven Culp and Anthony Ruivivar. This could easily be a two disc DVD set. Have a featurette on what was to come. You see, series creator David DiGilio went online after the show was canceled with "Read Closure" a blog entry explaining what's what. It was a long entry covering EVERYTHING. The big picture that was happening and what was planned.



    An excellent example of disclosure is "Coronet Blue: The Complete Series" (2017; DVD). It has a bonus interview with series creator Larry Cohen. He laid it all out. The series ended without a resolution, no answer why our main character was pursued. Sure. The show was a single season on CBS in 1967 - a midseason replacement; thirteen episodes were made, two didn't air. So fifty years after the fact, answers. Yes, Cohen is an elderly man, still sharp minded. And yes, I own the set.

    The core is about a man who boarded a cruise ship and is shot. He falls overboard, thought dead. He is found, but has hit his head among his trauma - has amnesia, no memory of who he is. The only bit he knows is the phrase "Coronet Blue". It's something people will kill to know or keep secret. The mystery man takes the name, Michael Alden and is pursued. As the series goes, he discovers this isn't singular - there are two separate groups hounding him. Why?

    Too bad more complete series don't this when it ends without the reveal - like "Odyssey 5" (2002). "Traveler" was a cool show that should've gotten more fans and got to live out it's full potential. It was a bold show with a grand, original mystery. Quite sway.

    - - -



    "The Burning Zone" - This dead show aired on the former network UPN in 1996. It lasted one season, all nineteen episodes aired. It was intended as a rival series to Fox's juggernaut, "The X-Files" (1993 - 2002). It failed. What's sad is that roughly halfway through, the series was revamped and turned it into 'disease of the week'. The photo above reflects the first iteration.

    Appointed by the President to lead a top secret, biological task force, Dr. Daniel Cassian (Michael Harris) assembles a group of scientists to investigate and prevent biological disasters. The small team is made of Dr. Edward Marcase (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Dr. Kimberly Shiroma (Tamlyn Tomita) and federal agent Michael Hailey (James Black) for security/muscle. What happens next goes from biological crisis to a supernatural one, like the original "[*REC]" (2007) from Spain.

    The pilot episode dealt with a master race, a sentient microscopic virus, hive mentality. It controlled all the other viruses, their foot soldiers. At the time of the Great Flood, they picked the best, strongest human to infect and were sealed away until a time when they could re-emerge; thousands of years have passed. An archaeological dig in Costa Rica frees them, infecting the researchers. Our doctors are dashing to solve and contain the threat before it overtakes the planet. It ends with the Master Virus escaping in a monkey, biding their time in the jungles.

    It was so original and damn good!

    Other episodes include; a government black-project at a prison - using death row inmates as guinea pigs to make contact with the afterlife, they succeeded (and got a demon). White supremacists within the CIA are attempting to use recovered Nazi occult items for a takeover (one of the BEST entries) and an encounter with a werewolf to name a few.

    But the main villain is an ultra secret organization, known as "The Dawn". They are true believers of Thomas Malthus; the world has become infected with too many people. They seek to reduce the human population by force. The show sounds quite good and entertaining, but did not do well in the ratings. For episode twelve, Morgan and Tomita were fired and replaced with a single new recruit, Dr. Brian Taft (Bradford Tatum). From that point forward it dropped all of the supernatural and conspiracy elements. And the show's creative team were pink slipped with new ones.

    Did leave open, Morgan and Tomita's characters; Taft was told the two other scientists were re-assigned. If you want to believe; because of their dealings with the unexpected, they were given their own kind of X-Files department - at least that's how I like to think.

    - - -



    "Shaping Up" - This final offering aired on ABC in 1984. It lasted one short season; six episodes were made - five aired. The show was originally titled "Welcome To The Club"; it came about when the nation was going through a personal fitness craze. To be honest it was a juggernaut - even Disney was cashing too, fitness for kids.

    The sitcom is about the day to day operations of "Buddy Fox Health Club". It starred Leslie Nielson as Fox. It also starred Michael Fontaine as Ben and pre-famous Jennifer Tilly as Shannon Winters and Shawn Weatherly as Melissa McDonald. Plus Jake Steinfeld of "Body By Jake" fame - he was at the time a national fitness instructor; many of his clients were Hollywood titans. And Cathie Shirriff as Zoya Antonova.

    The main story line is this older fitness club, trying to compete with younger hipper locations - hiring Shannon and Melissa to bring in new younger clients.

    The mid-season replacement was a half hour program. The pilot had Tim Robbins who got recast by Fontaine. The final episode "Tile Solution" didn't air. This was a meat and potatoes show, more like a comfy pair of shoes. But it has a nostalgia consideration. Many of the actors here went on to greater things. See them before they were famous. Plus 1980s T&A visuals, well as much as they could get away with on television then.

    As you can imagine from the episode numbers, bombed in the ratings. Which was a surprise since it aired after the hit series "Three's Company". This would be a single disc DVD. Could have some of the network promos for the show added as extras.

    Gonna go back here for a moment. Noticed I didn't make it clear. RED was released in three versions: DVD ($28.99), Blu-Ray ($30.49) and Blu-Ray/DVD combo (double sided disc $34.99).

    There you go folks. Not much of a winner here, but it gets the job done like a ferret with an apple. How did it get one? Who knows - what's apparent is he's a happy critter. And that should be good enough.

    Hey! It's that time once more. Next month is the sixth Annual Limited Edition Horror! An entry for each Thursday. We got the undead, satanists, interstellar bugs and an immortal trouble maker who hates premarital sex, gets all choppy. Plus as usual, horror flick recommendations for All Hallows' Eve (began compiling back in February). See you here on October 1st, 2020 for your first shiver. Bring a blanket and a flashlight... and that ferret if he's done.

  4. #709
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    Best Buy - September 29th, 2020


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  5. #710
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    Past Tense - Play With Dark Forces, Get A Dark B!tch Slap Part I


    A brand new entry!

    Between the cats fighting in the alley and the dripping bathroom faucet - it's been rough trying to sleep. The drips have been hitting right into the drain going into the bend - like a musical instrument, the sounds amplified... plump, plump, plump!

    It's 12:09 am, Thursday morning. You need to sleep, gotta leave for work in the morning. This sucks. You go into the bathroom and rummage the medicine cabinet, finding a bottle of sleeping pills. You break a tablet in half and a moment later back to the bedroom from a quick trip, the kitchen for some orange juice to wash it down. Taken and your teeth re-brushed. Minutes later under the covers hoping to drift into slumber land, your heart sinks. Those argumentative cats gave a scream, a wet shrieking scream - both of them, accompanied by silence. A dash to the nearest window confirms your worst fears. Looking down, what was a few minutes ago, clear - now shrouded in thick fog. Round two is afoot.

    Last year you were attacked by demon dogs or a pack of chupacabras from... wherever beasties live outside of reality. They had emerged from the murk in the early morning - butchering various people who were unfortunate to be outside when they pounced. Then these creatures attacked the homes on the block, yours included - this happened around the world simultaneously.

    You saw the dawn because you could think on your feet and used a Conan sword replica you bought when you first got promoted at your former job. The collector's item is real steel, used defend yourself; cut those down with fatality. But before the hell dogs disappeared, one of them nearly got you - moments before giving you teeth hugs, got called back by whoever they call their master. That last mutt gave you a death stare with glowing eyes. As if a notice, 'I'm coming for you later'. Then fled with the other hell dogs. Leaving humanity questioning what had happened, it's still talked about, the fodder for conspiracy theories.

    Six month later, you got super paranoid and moved out, new city and new job. And here it is. And here they are - a dark familiar silhouette is seen as they sniffed the nearby garbage bins. Then one became eight. At least those are the eight you can see, probably more. Man, you were so glad you had taken off the light before getting up to take that pill. They can't see...

    The PILL?!

    You're gonna be sleeping in a few minutes - the worst possible time for slumber. And the messed up part. Since moving - as a hobby, you made various alterations to the home, just in case. Just in case such a nightmare would repeat. Hidden closets with bow and arrows and another sword replica along with saved spent paper towel rolls with jars of peanut butter. Plus a reinforced panic room. But that is in the basement of this two story home.

    No time to think - RUN to the panic room, hope they don't hear you and lock that door. Ride out the second wave observing them on closed circuit TVs. And the good measure of having a twin bed set up inside too. You're gonna need it. The speed walk to the basement was somewhat uneventful, crouching low not to be seen from the kitchen windows. That went well. The heavy door is pulled shut and now you're done - thick tumblers lock the door. A long sigh of relief. The operation's corner has eight small monitors that can switch the viewing to the big screen at the center. The first of them moves into view at the front door. Just as ugly as you remembered. The savage stood up for a moment on hind legs, sniffing the air and gave a low grunt. From the bushes three more join it and walk to the front door, eyes glowing like bio night vision goggles. The first one on the scene barks a couple of barks and the others scatter around the home. This is happening as you yawn deeply.

    Then you see on the monitor one of them has crashed through a window - like a broken vending machine they all shoot out into your home - now in the living room. You were on a budget and didn't get bars for the windows. Now you wished you had made more sacrifices. Damn, this is gonna be a long night.

    Welcome the Sixth Annual "Limited Edition Horror" - 2020! Five weeks of horror theme, multi-part Past Tense entries, one each week of October. And there could be a bonus entry, maybe.

    We start '20 with a horror comedy that puts affluent gated communities under suspicious eyes in "Satanic Panic"...



    The motion picture opened on September 6th, 2019 (limited release). It was made with a budget of 1,000,000 (estimated). I have no stats for U.S. theatrical run, I can say that when counting foreign receipts it made $1,652.00. Ouch! The film didn't even register in the box office charts.

    The feature opened against "Angel Has Fallen", "Ready Or Not", "Once Upon A Time In Hollywood" and "Dora And The Lost City Of Gold".

    Both the DVD and BD editions came with embossed slipcovers. No insert were issued.

    - - -



    There was a single exclusive from Wal-Mart for both DVD and Blu-Ray, but I only have the DVD price. As I've said before, not into BDs and I forgot to take notes.

    The store still wishes to project the air of a family friendly department store. They gone lax since the early 2000s when the retail giant would demand edits to movies and music to fit their sensibilities. Today it's mostly - like this, slap on an altered slipcase... family friendly!

    The wraparound under and the disc art is the same as the regular edition. As you can see above, it's the same, minus the text.

    This streeted on October 22nd, 2019 for $12.98, the DVD. Bought before Wal-Mart converted their media area into locked glass displays.

    Man, you know this idea will end badly. Too many sales lost since they take forever to get someone to open the doors and can't be taken to the front with your basket - must be bought in that department. In one of those purchases, the clerk took nearly twenty minutes to come by to open. How many people have the patience to wait?

    Few.

    So many lost sales. And before you ask. Yes I did some image work on that slip scan, made it a bit darker.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Rant.

    I think I should - since as you read earlier, this had a very limited theatrical release. Most will be in the dark.



    Samantha Craft has started her new job at Home Run Pizza, delivering... pizzas. Her salary is eaten up by her fuel needs - gas for the scooter. Any real money comes from her tips and it's been a lousy day. Given an opportunity to deliver five pies to "Mill Basin", the richest part of town; Craft jumps on it for the potential extra cash.

    The worst move she's made in her life.

    Once again - no tip, but now out of fuel. She enters the home trying to get something to get her back to her neighborhood. Turns out this home is having a gathering, a coven of witches trying to bring about a demon to flesh, Baphomet - born from a virgin.



    A ritual on a fixed time with no sacrifice... that is until 'Sam' makes her presence known. It becomes a chaotic chase as she tries to stay alive, only to discover the community is full of rich satanists... either flat out trying to murder the young woman or capture her for the offering.

    Help comes from an unexpected person who is also marked for death, their Plan B. Together they try to survive till dawn. A horror comedy. This was made predominantly with practical effects, augmented with light CGI.



    It was interesting to see model/actress Rebecca Romijn as the coven's high priestess, Danica Ross. She plays evil good. Her real life husband plays her husband, Samuel Ross, Jerry O'Connell. And Arden Myrin was entertaining as the comic relief, the wanna-be priestess, Gypsy Neumieir.

    As for our survivor girl, Samantha I had no real issues with actress Hayley Griffith. She's what the role called for. Griffith was serviceable.

    The ending was different - filmmakers wanted a unique finale. I liked it.



    The Satanists did conjure a wicked and quite violent presence. But not what they wanted. Which is the larger take away - there is now a supernatural force in our world, but what does it mean? The brute is stuck in a persona - that's what happens when making various substitutions.

  6. #711
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    Past Tense - Play With Dark Forces, Get A Dark B!tch Slap Part II


    Too sexy!!! Wave I of attention getting Halloween costumes.



    Hey, she's gonna get some Woody!

    That costume totally works. There does exist a sexy Potato Head and Buzz Lightyear outfits. Even a sexy Jessie too. A group of hot girls could rock it with a "Toy Story" theme party rodeo. The name is "New Sheriff Costume".

    Now the other - sexy mime bothers me. It's going for a seductive psycho market, feels like she belongs in a "Saw" knock off feature. Guess what she's trying to emote OR get a limb chopped off - and the first part will be his peen, 'cause that's how off her rocker she is - "Silent Mime Honey".

    The most intense game of Pictionary, EVER. Do not want in my bedroom.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Recommendations.

    History repeats once more. I'm showcasing five Halloween suggestions for four weeks; last post (week five) hits three days before Halloween. So I'll give three on week five. You should already know what to watch.

    As expected most can be found in your local video rental shops. Few can be found in stores. Best bet is to find them online, cheaply, through Ebay or Amazon's resellers marketplace, purchase used/new DVDs or BDs. Or even pawn shops.

    Some are on Netflix and such streaming services. And YouTube too. *wink*

    "Crawl" (2019)
    University student and competitive swimmer, Haley Keller receives a call from her sister Beth - concerned over their estranged father, Dave. He lives in Pasco County, Florida on the imminent path of a category five hurricane. No contact, can't be reached. Haley is much nearer to Dave than Beth. Reluctantly she agrees to check on him, if there - get him evacuated. Not happy about the trek and gets more than she could possibly imagine. It has reached landfall, the streets are flooded and rising fast. Haley finds her dad, injured and is horrified - the home is surrounded by ravenous, displaced alligators. Left with far too little resources, it's up to her creativity and swimming skills to survive the night, trapped in a flooding basement. This is available on both DVD and BD. A great double feature with "Bait" (2012).
    Paramount - 2019 - R

    "Miracle Mile" (1988)
    The end is coming in less than seventy minutes. Harry Washello was to have gone on his first date with Julie Peters in L.A., but he misses the rendezvous because of a power failure - alarm didn't go off. Harry goes to her work, a 24 hour diner, (Johnie's Coffee Shop Restaurant, a real place - no longer in business), hoping that she might still be there. She's long gone, it's a bit past 4 AM. He's screwed; even failed to reach her by the pay phone. But that's when his life changes badly. The phone booth is ringing. Harry picks up the line - an unidentified man wants to speak to his father; crying, frantic. He dialed the right number - wrong area code. Claims to be a soldier at a nuclear missile silo; he is shot dead on the phone by his superior, not before saying WWIII has just started; seventy minutes to armageddon. Stunned, he tells the patrons of the diner who discard his story as a prank. Trying to calm him, a businesswoman calls some of her political friends... they're not available - heading for South America. The panic. Love is all that matters; Harry spends his remaining time to find Julie to save if possible. Palpable dread and chaos as this information goes viral; Los Angeles descends into pandemonium. Go with the Kino Lorber Corp. release; remastered with extras on DVD and BD. Outstanding score by "Tangerine Dream". An excellent companion with "These Final Hours" (2013).
    Kino Lorber Corp. - 2015 - R

    "Overlord" (2018)
    June 6th, 1944 - hours away from Normady; 555th Paratrooper Unit is among others sent to take out a German communications hub - prevent the Nazis from warning the Axis to send countermeasures. The location is a remote French village - radio tower in an old church. The soldiers' plane is shot down, most of the men are killed. It gets worse - none of the other planes made it, just them; five survived - five become four before they even reach the village. A near impossible task, the area is heavily fortified. Hours shrink, it has to be accomplished - over 156 thousands troops depend on them. But this soon takes second place to something far worse... deep below the church is a hidden research facility, human experimentations. The Third Reich's thousand year empire, requires thousand year soldiers. The stuff of nightmares, undead super-soldiers; their serum is in the beta stage. Four becomes five once more - when a French teen girl joins their cause. Time is running out to take out the tower and destroy the monstrous labs. Not that many WWII horror movies and this is unflinching.
    Paramount - 2019 - R

    "The Unseen" (2016)
    Bob Langmore is afflicted with a degenerative condition so terrible he left his wife and child. Years later, he's facing evanesce. Before this happens, he wants to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter, Eva. But his effort is short lived - she has gone missing. Her absence is out of character; she's been kidnapped. The police tells the parents they will search, but in twenty-four hours. His ex, Darlene implores him to find her. Time is running out; Bob spends his remaining moments seeking Eva... before he fades - unseen. A very different take on the Invisible Man story. Langmore is no superhero, a flawed man trying to do the right thing. His invisibility is grotesque - in a car wreck kind of way.
    Monarch Home Entertainment - 2019 - PG-13

    "We Summon The Darkness" (2019)
    July 1988, the place - Indiana. Friends Alexis, Val and Beverly are heavy metal junkies on their way to a rock concert, "Soldiers Of Satan". There they meet a trio of metalheads who agree to accompany the girls after the show to Alexis' secluded home in the woods, parents are away. Drinks, fun and laughs die rather quick once it becomes apparent this isn't about a night of partying. It's about satanic ritual murders, homicides which are known - national news, eighteen other slayings. The home becomes a siege as things get quite bloody. But motivations get turned on their heads with twists; these butcheries are not what they seem, hypocrisy runs wild for profit. Things escalate as uninvited guests drop in, a bigger body count. A horror comedy.
    Lionsgate - 2020 - R



    I'm glad I bought this - "Panic" (smiles), a blind buy - no buyer's remorse. Sway. An interesting way to do non-nudity, nudity. And this ends week one. Was it spooky for you? More trepidations come next Thursday with a franchise that won't stay down, head shots only. See you then... if you dare!

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    Best Buy - October 6th, 2020


    300
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    Saving Ryan
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    Interstellar
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    Whiplash
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    Past Tense - The Damned And Absurd Part I


    [An earlier version of this PT was originally posted on July 26th, 2015 on JoBlo's "DVD, Blu-Ray & Home Theater Discussion" forum.]

    It was just a slight pause as you blinked, eyes closed a beat longer than it should. Didn't quite register at the moment, but that half pill was starting to hit your system, gently tugging you to slumber land. The devil dogs were now in the house. From the safety of the panic room you witnessed six of them scurry about the home - sniffing the air, looking for your scent.

    With that knowledge, you looked on the wall to see your weapons; three bows and a ton of arrows (for months you had taken up the challenge to be adept in usage, adept enough. As well as a series of metal swords. You had brought with you, your Conan replica long blade when you snuck into this sanctuary.

    The first idea was getting guns, but because of state laws it would be difficult, legally. So you decided on old school weapons; each of the arrows had steel serrated tips - made for kills.

    And there it was again - that same chupacabras/dog, whatchamacallit stood up sniffing the air in the kitchen. And that's when your blood went cold.

    You took the precautions, legal or not to remove the blinking lights from the cameras; not covering them, took them out. Nobody would be the wiser, knowing when they were 'on'. Plus you made them hidden. Yet this beast is looking RIGHT at the cam as if looking... 'I found you'. Then it gave a sickening smile with jagged, discolored teeth exposed.

    In the background four of them leave the room into the rest of the home, hunting.

    You remembered the screams that happened last time with neighbors - so you opted to put audio level indicators on the displays instead of live feed mics. You do have them for the speakers, but they're off for good reason. Keep your nightmares to a minimum. The levels were now spiking on each of the outside cameras. The devil dogs were inside your neighbors' homes; attacking and murdering. A lot of shrieks.

    Then eyes back to the kitchen. The fiend had moved far more closer to that camera, unblinking. Almost like it could see you, but couldn't find that location in the home. Was this the same beast who tried to eat you last year?

    Another monitor showed two of them had found your bedroom and were tearing up the mattress and knocking stuff off your dresser; being malicious or just dogs? Other beast were looking into rooms and examining all available spaces - reminded you of marines making sure an area was unoccupied. And onto the next room. Holy crap this is really happening. These monsters had learned from their last sojourn.

    In this melee you had left your eyes from the kitchen screen - that brute had left the room, where? The other seven screens didn't show it, The Alpha. Where is it? Then a disturbing thought popped in your head... was it deliberately avoiding the other cameras, being stealth? Did it tell the two other dogs to go into your room to trash it - so you would give attention to them, away from the kitchen?

    That Devil Dog is hunting your location and has a grudge. You give out a long yawn. It's now close to one AM; things are going to get interesting.

    Welcome to week two of "Limited Edition Horror" 2020; a three parter! This outing we get encircled by the undead, made possible by shameless corporate greed in "Resident Evil: Extinction"...



    The motion picture opened on September 21st, 2007. It was made with a budget of $45,000,000 (estimated) and grossed over $49 million during its U.S. theatrical run; counting foreign receipts it made $147,717,833. The film opened number one at the box office, the following week it dropped to number three.

    The feature opened against "The Bourne Ultimatum", "Superbad", "Dragon Wars" and "Mr. Woodcock".

    This release originally came with an non-embossed, foiled, cardboard slipcover which mirrored the case's wraparound. There was a single, double sided insert; A) extolling the virtues of Blu-Ray, B) advertisement for other Sony Pictures Home Entertainment BD titles.

    - - -

    There were four exclusives.



    Best Buy offered on street, January 1st, 2008 something utilitarian; small, army tote bag. This set sold for $16.99. It could be bought separately for $6.99; there were a minimum of ten per store. It measures 14 1/2 x 8 inches.

    The text on the flap reads "Resident Evil: Extinction". I still have mine inside the wrapping, haven't open. It's pretty big consider it was mostly free. Why sealed? I paid more than just greenbacks for it - paid in misery.

    That tote has a dear place in my collection.

    During the final week of December 2007, I developed an abscess. For almost five days I experienced a pain I NEVER want to repeat in the rest of my days on Earth. A small silver lining was that my face wasn't comically swollen, couldn't tell I was hurting bad.

    I will never again laugh at sitcoms, folks with tooth aches. Been there, done that. Ended up getting - not one, but two root canals (with crowns) as well as a filling. The damage was $1,700 and I got off lucky. Blogger John Campea paid over fifteen hundred... for ONE tooth.

    So?

    I was suffering; before getting the work done, I was taking antibiotic pills to kill the infection. Even with all that pain - I still went to Best Buy. Was there that Tuesday, got the exclusive and back to the car; examined the DVD. It was scratched.

    I still remember...

    Waiting in line for an exchange, trying not to draw attention to myself. Man, that was horrible. I got my exchange, it was mint. One of the members of this forum offered me twenty-five dollars for it (plus shipping) on January 4th, 2008. I didn't sell. That exclusive was acquired through sweat (was running a fever too) and torment.

    Don't think I'll ever sell that. It's place in my collection is a testament to my nature and commitment to collecting. Just read about my disposition when I bought "Revenge: The Complete First Season".

    The next item came from GameStop also on street, a bonus disc (available on pre-order).



    Sorry, do not know how much that bonus cost. This was something I acquired in May of 2008. It came in one of those slim CD cases and was separate. You had to ask for it from the clerk at the time, who had it behind the counter. This was kindly bought from the same fellow collector who got me those exclusives for "Cloverfield". He had an extra copy. And was the same guy who offered to buy the tote.

    There is no menu screen shot - just plays. It has two featurettes which play back-to-back; "The Players: The Cast of Extinction" and "Resident Road Map: Reflections On The Future Of The Series". This has a total time of 26:37 minutes, presentation in widescreen. It should be noted that these two extras appear on the Region 4, Australia release.

    For the longest time I thought this there was one featurette as I stopped seconds before it ended. It wasn't until March 10th, 2015 that I discovered the hidden extra. Super sway! *nods* Anyhow, not be left out, Wal-Mart had their own bonus, an extra disc.

    But don't get all excited. It was the same. Huh?



    The department store offered "Exclusive 2-Disc Limited Edition" DVD set. What is it? A digital copy for your PC or PSP. This expired on April 2nd, 2008. Yeah, a real short window. This came with a foil slipcover which mirrored this wraparound. I can only assume that it also came with an additional insert with DC instructions. Sorry, don't have a clue how much this cost. I recall seeing it, but had no interest - same extras.

    Disc One was the movie and digital copy. Disc Two had the same bonuses, relocated.

    And there's where it originally ended.

    But like the undead, they keep getting back up when you least expect.

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    Past Tense - The Damned And Absurd Part II


    The fourth item came years after the fact on August 31st, 2010...



    Wal-Mart had exclusive Blu-Ray steelbooks for "Resident Evil" (2002), "Resident Evil: Apocalypse" (2004), "Resident Evil: Extinction" and "Resident Evil: Degeneration" (2008) for $14.99 each. Each came with a bonus (exclusive) disc, a DVD; these were identical for each BD. The discs were not on each side of the steelbook. They were stacked like a CD cake box on the right side.

    No menu screen shot - it just plays; "Program Alice: Activated" featurette. It has a run time of 22:39 minutes (no chapters). Which is a sneak peak for then up coming "Resident Evil: Afterlife" (2010). It's also a retrospective of the past films.

    Since this exclusive wasn't really related to any specific film and it DID come with "Degeneration"; I decided to move that bonus DVD into a two disc case for "Degeneration". *shrugs*

    Should be noted that lots of folks were upset. The BD titles had card stock backing with Blu-Ray details, the problem is that many of them were dinged/dented up - hidden under the sheet. There has been speculation that these exclusives were actually overstocks from Future Shop, the Canadian sister store to Best Buy. Wal-Mart slapped a sheet and called it their own.

    Can not confirm. What is known is that Future Shop (now dead, swallowed by Best Buy) did make a lot of copies.

    The one I bought was for "Apocalypse", kept the bonus disc and sold the steelbook (dent free) to a friend who runs a used CD/DVD/vinyl store. I lost money on that. *shrugs* That's life.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Rant.



    You pervs!

    *grinning*

    This was better than I expected. And I do appreciate that this is an on going franchise; number six comes out in 2016, "Resident Evil: The Final Chapter". With so many franchises just rebooting after rebooting, it's refreshing to have a film series do actual sequels.

    This had three more; "Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010), "Resident Evil: Retribution" (2012) and "Resident Evil: The Final Chapter" (2017). As I understand the plan is to reboot the franchise. I am bummed, but at least we got six films over fifteen years. Not much has changed.

    No news on the reboot, the last bit of info came out in April of 2020; still working on it - though the production house Screen Gems wanted it to be more faithful to the video game source.

    Guys, that ready exist... the novel adaptations by S.D. (Stephani Danelle) Perry; she took the video game and turned it into an enjoyable linear story. It can be done. And is available.

    This has to be said. What the frack? The outfit Alice Abernathy (Milla Jovovich) wore was so utterly impractical. How long does it take her to get dressed? I'm serious. So many layers of... crap - each more like rejects from a stripper fashion convention.

    Man, each new feature, her outfits get more ridicules.



    What I really love and desire with sequels is continuity - the same actors reprising their roles. So it was nice to have Oded Fehr back as Carlos Olivera. I didn't have a problem with Ali Larter as Claire Redfield (above), but it does feel pushed. Not much of a reason for it, other than... just because.

    Spencer Locke as K-Mart (character, Elizabeth Jane Case) was decent as well.

    Have a couple of gripes.

    1) I also wished they continued to use a CGI child for computer holographic avatar, they used a real actress for the White Queen (Madeline Carroll). The CGI avatar from the first film, Red Queen (voiced by Michaela Dicker) worked quite well. Maybe it was a money and time issue.

    2) I wanted Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory) to be part of the story; talk about perfect casting. She did have a part, but was written out. Guillory absence was about availability, she was filming "Eragon" (2006) at the time. I understand.



    Guillory did return for a Jill cameo during the end credits in "Resident Evil: Afterlife" (above left). She is rockin' a body suit, hugging every curve with low cut for her bosoms. Man, there was jiggle as she moved (good kind). She returned as evil Jill in "Resident Evil: Retribution" (above).

    That spider device, Scarab on her chest is a reference to the video game "Resident Evil 5" (a.k.a. "Biohazard 5") (2009) where Jill gets implanted by the Red Queen and become one of the baddies.

    Hell, that strained - story creditability, but I enjoyed having Michelle Rodriguez, Oded Fehr and Colin Salmon return as clones in "Retribution". My only grumble was that they didn't include Eric Mabius or James Purefoy, though they appear in archival footage.

    Jill's story?



    In the novelization by Keith R. A. DeCandido (from Pocket Star), Miss Valentine left the group and is now leading about a hundred survivors in Baltimore. As for Angie Ashford (Sophie Vavasseur), she's dead - killed by Alice who was at the time under the control of Umbrella.

    Which would've been a good reason for her to depart her remaining friends as seen in "Extinction".

    In case you're curious - which you're probably not. My favorite in the series is "Apocalypse" which is a bigger than life zombie movie. That's what I want to see; a city besiege by the undead in MASSIVE numbers. What so many ghoul films promise, but fail to deliver - "Apocalypse" did.

    - - -

    Scary? But enticing Halloween costumes, wave II!



    A staple of any hot Halloween shindig is a lovely lady dressed as a slutty constable, better yet when she has the body for it. Ultra generic title - "Sexy Cop Costume". And one of the cheapest outfits I've seen, less than ten bucks; one dress, hat, belt, and pair of hand cuffs.

    No gun or baton??? Must be add-ons.

    Man, I wish I knew who she is - the model is gorgeous.

    Though I wish she didn't have the tattoo above her left breast. I've seen other costume pix of her - she has another tat over her right hip. I am not into tats.

    The second costume was unexpected - sexy Hannibal Lecter. Red lipstick makes it stand out. Don't know enough about it other than she comes with a brain purse, a nice touch.

    Gotta go back - the woman who modeled "Sexy Cop" also did "Maid Servant" which IS more revealing; thank you, whoever you are.

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    Past Tense - The Damned And Absurd Part III


    Footnotes.

    Some odds and ends.



    1) This was the first Blu-Ray release to have a 'picture-in-picture" (Profile 1.1) feature. But not that great of an extra since... A) You could pretty much only access through PS3 players. The only stand alone BD player that could was the Panasonic BD30. B)

    AND what was shown in the second screen often had nothing to do with what you're watching.

    2) This was the first of the "Resident Evil" movies NOT to have a VHS release, the films before did. How crazy is that?

    3) This was the last of the RE films where the DVD version had the same extras as BD (minus that PiP - which as it turns out was sliced up moments from the featurettes on the disc).

    Something else; that Wal-Mart exclusive, two disc set later appeared at Best Buy, minus that sticker - I can only assume that Sony extended the expiration on the Digital Copy.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Recommendations.

    You know the drill, five titles. Find them where you can and watch with friends or... alone in the dark.

    "Dark City: Director's Cut" (1998)
    A man wakes up in a seedy motel with no memory of how he got there or his name. It becomes clear, rather quickly - he's wanted by multiple people. One of which is the police seeking him for a series of murders, including a dead prostitute - ritualistically killed in his room. And by an unknown group of men called "The Strangers". The pursuit starts his quest to uncover his past - is he a forgotten serial-killer? Why is this metropolis in perpetual twilight? Who is John Murdoch? Who is Dr. Schreber? Are these gray skinned men part of a conspiracy? The deeper he goes, the more shattering the truth becomes. What is reality? Why can't anybody leave the city? A sci-fi, film noir feature. Go with the director's cut, a richer film.
    New Line Home Entertainment - 2008 -NR

    "Jeruzalem" (2015)
    The biblical apocalypse has arrived. A found footage feature, Google Glass. Americans Rachel Klein and Sarah Pullman have decided to vacation in Tel Aviv, Israel; before that happens they meet university student Kevin Reed. He offers to take the young women on a private tour of Jerusalem, Sarah fancies him and convinces Rachel to join. Along the way they add a fourth; Omar, a local Palestinian - son of their hostel owner. The two couples are having a good time, partying and touring. Then it all comes crashing down... the gates of Hell have opened. What is reported as terrorist attacks - isn't. Jerusalem is on lock down (locale on curfew), quarantined - anyone trying to escape is shot dead; the military is carpet bombing parts of the city. The four attempt to flee by underground tunnels and find the true reason, demons. Not just the damned, it's an infection and more than one of their group has been corrupted. No happy ending - the end is here.
    Epic Pictures Releasing - 2018 - R

    "Killer High" (2018)
    Made for SyFy Channel TV movie (aired October 20th, 2018). Sabrina Swanson is an alpha, but got held back in life; after graduating high school had to take care of her terminal mother - no college, no life and no leaving town. In the intervening years, Wallingham has fallen on hard times, most have moved out/on, but not Sabrina. With the passing of her mom, she has taken the reins of the Class Of 2008 high school reunion. When the booked venue is a bust - deposit stolen. She's on a crunch for a new location... their old, closed down high school. What was supposed to be a night of fun, laughter and nostalgia turns into a blood bath. The school's mascot, a warthog (cursed costume) has returned as a hulking demonic beast, stalking and murdering attendees. Worse yet, no help is coming, Wallingham is pretty much a ghost town, not even cell reception. Left with little choice, Sabrina and her school rival, Rosario Stewart join forces to save who they can and stop the monster from obtaining its dark goal. A horror comedy. Too bad the film didn't include the song "Cheerleader Effect" by CARPENTER BRUT, a perfect fit. For a basic cable flick, it is dominated by practical effects and gore - over the top gore made TV friendly by presenting it in bullet time. Plus fresh takes on horror tropes.
    Uncork’D Entertainment - 2019 - NR

    "The River: The Complete First Season" (2012)
    This is a short lived TV series which ran for eight weeks on ABC, but bombed in the ratings, not well known - tried to be the next "Lost" (2004). Found-footage program, co-created by Oren Peli; the writer, producer and director of "Paranormal Activity" (2007) and co-produced by Steven Spielberg. Dr. Emment Cole is a famous children's TV personality, his show ran for years, beloved by millions across the planet. He traveled the globe exposing his audience to nature and wonders. But not by everyone, he was a stranger to his son, Lincoln and he was on the show as a boy. While in production in the Amazon, Cole and crew... vanished. Six months later Lincoln is implored by his mother, Tess to find him - emergency beacon activated. The answer is "no". But that's the only way it can happen - his participation; the condition of the financiers. A documentary company is footing the bill to record the search and want direct connections to the show, adult Lincoln. He reluctantly agrees. Their crew include Lene Landry, the daughter of the missing cameraman. Along with Kurt Brynildson their ship's captain and security. The deeper they travel down the river, the deeper the mystery unfolds - Dr. Cole was going into uncharted territory, seeking genuine magik - the real reason why he had a TV show. Careful what you wish for. This was canceled before a resolution, the setup was made for season two; rescuers become lost themselves by dark forces who want them dead or damned. Deeply creepy at times.
    Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Inc. - 2012 - NR

    "These Final Hours" (2013)
    This is the end. There is no Bruce Willis nor Robert Duvall to save us at the last possible minute. It has already happened, hope is lost. An asteroid has impacted in the North Atlantic - because of its location, Australia will be the last place on Earth to burn as the fiery shock wave surrounds them. It is an extinction level event. This is known by the population - who are having the party to end all parties. James wants to have sex with his girlfriend Vicky and his side girl Zoe - do some drugs and fade. On the way to the party he is nearly killed by a crazed man - fleeing, he sees a tween, abducted; about to be gang raped. James intervenes, saving Rose. She tells him, she wants to find her dad, they were separated on their way to her aunt's home. He just wants to go numb at the party. James takes her along hoping to dump her on someone else. But it becomes quite clear - there isn't anyone else. He wants redemption for a wasted life, if only a bit; opts to do the right thing - help this girl with her solace. A somber and violent film. How will you spend these final hours? An excellent companion with "Miracle Mile" (1988).
    Well Go USA Entertainment - 2013 - NR

    It's too bad the next "Resident Evil" movie is planned as a reboot, not another sequel. Other than the James Bond films, I can't think of a current franchise that centers on world building, minus "The Avengers" films.

    Spooooky! There is more chills coming next week with an immortal serial killer, a real camper - has some serious issues with teens having intercourse. *nods* See you then.

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    Best Buy - October 13th, 2020


    Paranoia Agent: The Complete Series
    Exclusive steelbook; BD/DC combo $37.99

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    Past Tense - Documenting A Killer Tween In Brute's Body Part I


    [An earlier version of this PT was originally posted on October 2nd, 2014 on JoBlo's "DVD, Blu-Ray & Home Theater Discussion" forum.]

    It was a few minutes before you located that missing devil dog. It had moved into the den and was pushing some of the furnitures, shifting others and pull downs. You blink slower and think about the mess that will need to be cleaned. And ponder why even buy new things again - if this crap is gonna happen every year. They're busting your stuff; unless you move all your vital stuff in storage a month before this date...

    More thoughts on property then it hits you - you're slowing, epiphany moments have a lag. The beast is trying to get to an air vent you had hidden with various heavy furnitures. Like with laser focus it had caught a whiff of you and is trying to get *into the ventilation system to reach this room*. All this work. All this effort was going to add up to nothing. And just like that you became a spectator of your own potential death.

    The alpha gave a... a noise. The mics were still off, but the level had spiked for a moment. The fiend call his pack to help him chew open the grate. They rushed in and proceeded to join in the metal mauling. From the camera angle you couldn't get a good view. *Were those a few teeth flying in the air?* Blood? Why are they not stopping in pain? That's like chewing on barb wires and still going at it.

    Within a few minutes they had pulled part of the grate open. This is probably how the bridge officers felt on the Titanic as they saw the iceberg - unable to change course. Watching as fate is coming for them.

    Less than a minute later the alpha had pulled itself into the vent, then a second, a third and so on. How long before they reach this room? You search the room for the vent on your end. And see it above you, next to boxes of supplies. There is nothing in here high enough to cover that opening. Let alone be strong enough to hold them back.

    At this moment, the dogs are all inside the vent seeking this room. You could flee without them knowing, but where? There is only so many places to hide now since they examined the home. This is what you feared, having to do combat with the beasts. But there little choice now. They'll find this room soon enough and that metal grate will not protect you from them. At that moment a thought popped.

    They're still dogs... dogish. You pull out the sheet from the bed in the room and take off your shirt. You rub that sheet all over your chest and face, putting your scent on it. And tossed it behind that monitor desk, the only thing big enough to give them something close to a hard time. Let them think you're still in the room hiding.

    You grab your sword and as many arrows as you could carry along with a bow; quietly as possible, open the door, each of the tumblers came undone. You give a worrisome yawn, worrisome since it lasted way too long. The sleeping pill is taking effect. Another thought, a 'maybe'. You open the door again, rushing in and taking that bed outside, lifting it up. The mattress was left behind, not important.

    The door is set to lock itself from the inside. You hope this will work. The devil dogs all plop into the panic room; smell your scent inside and trash the place to find you - that hidden sheet. Discovering the deception they exit... but can't. Too high to reach the vent and that grate will broken inward. They need some kind of leverage to get out. But there is none and no bed to stand on either. Trapped.

    Could happen.

    You think on it and decided to go into the attic, the opposite direction of where they're at. Pull up the door when inside. Even try to lock it with something and stay as quiet as possible. Wait for dawn. Dawn? What happens when they are called back from wherever they came from, but those dogs can't depart??? You can't think that far ahead - you pull down the attic ladder and silently sprinted up. Once inside, pulled up the ladder and closed the door. Looking about - found a seldom used golf club to lock the door. Nothing more to do, you lay down on the floor, hand on chest, scared. Any second from now they'll enter your makeshift trap.

    Then what? Damn, your eyes are getting heavy. Can't sleep now, may never wake up... EVER.

    You're still here? Good, witness the third week of "Limited Edition Horror" 2020; another three parter! This time we get the ultimate franchise documentary (eleven hours), "Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History Of Friday The 13th"...



    There is next to zero stats. This title was a direct to video release. And I have no info on how much it cost to produce (Blu-Ray/DVD Combo).

    The doc was released on September 13th, 2013, a Friday. This streeted against nothing since Tuesdays is when new titles traditionally come out. I can tell you this release is region free.

    There was no slipcover nor insert issued.

    - - -



    There was a single exclusive and I have no idea how rare this is; the numbers are unknown to me. If you pre-ordered this set through their official website - you got a bonus DVD. It has more interviews with the folks who made the films.

    This collection sold online for $29.95. The bonus has a run time of 4:20 hours. Yes, hours. The exclusive came inside a CD envelope within the Blu-Ray case; a four disc case (two for BD and two for DVD). A few years back I found a five disc BD case with the same thickness as the original, so I've moved everything into that. Quite sway.

    When this exclusive was first announced (pre-orders only), the bonus was going to be a DVD-R. But for the release it changed to a genuine pressed disc. I'm so glad, I hate MODs.

    That exclusive is raw. *nods*



    What you see in the exclusive (extended interviews) are the folks in front of a green screens. This footage had not been finished, no post effect - backdrop/clips inserted. That's cool, we're getting lots of cool stories and dialogue on the making of the films.

    Quite extensive - minus "Jason X" (2001), which was just glanced over (the main doc). The bonus has an extended talk with Melyssa Ade, she played Janessa in "Jason X". I can see why that footage was not included in the main doc. It must have been hot during the interview or she was real nervous. Not being mean, just an observation; she has major sweat stains under her arm pits. You can't miss them - center stage. She talking, getting quite animated and there they are.

    So glad I bought this when I did. While I'm a casual fan of the movies, this project was a true labor of love and it shows, quite fascinating.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Footnotes.



    When the documentary came out, lots of folks were complaining - from both camps; those who didn't want the Blu-Ray and those who didn't want the DVDs. This set was re-released DVD only, a two disc collection on June 3rd, 2014 for $19.95, above pix.

    Since it was so popular it was re-re-released in flavors.

    There are a lot of editions.



    On September 8th, 2015 it was given to each format; Blu-Ray ($29.95) and DVD ($19.98) only (from Image Entertainment), both were two disc sets. Man, looks like the five disc combo version is selling for $399.50 on Amazon. As I said, it's rare. Above is the '15 editions.

    While researching made a discovery, dead now, but it's something.

    For a limited time in 2020 that third, exclusive DVD was available to buy on its own - $13.00 (includes shipping). That offer ended on the September 28th. Looks like it came in a double sided cardboard long sleeve; cover art on the front and chapter listing on the back. The disc got shipped on October 13th.

    Anyhow, this documentary originally had an August 27th, 2013 release, but moved to September 13th for the obvious reason.

    Our horror lesson is narrated by Corey Feldman who played Tommy Jarvis in "Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter" (1984). The doc is book ended with camp footage (newly filmed) of him telling campers the history of Jason Voorhees. That was quite nice.

    There's an interesting black and white video of Tom McLoughlin, director of "Jason Lives: Friday The 13th Part VI" (1986). About? It's a short about him wanting to haunt his grave after he dies (Hollywood Forever Cemetery). An invitation for people to visit his future grave; that after he passes, he will try to contact (through sound and/or sight) from the other side.

    This isn't a joke, he's dead serious - not a pun. It's fascinating. Incidentally that was the place where McLoughlin filmed his horror film, "One Dark Night" (1982).



    By the way, the doc has two interview footage of McLoughlin; one from the last "Friday The 13th" documentary from 2009, the other newly filmed for this project. As you can see above, he's aged - the left picture, still rockin' the mullet.

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    Past Tense - Documenting A Killer Tween In Brute's Body Part II


    Okay lets talk about it.

    As mentioned this wasn't the first "Friday" retrospective.



    "His Name Was Jason: 2 Disc Splatter Edition" was the first effort by the folks responsible for "Crystal Lake Memories", a direct to video release for the franchise's 30th anniversary on February 3rd, 2009. And probably done to rise awareness of the then new "Friday The 13th" movie. Which is pretty good by the why, I liked it.

    Why did we need another effort? While the first doc has various cast and crew interviews, but it's all rather brief and feels much like a fluff piece - no real depth. I have that DVD set, bought from Best Buy.

    The first pressing (only) came with a slipcover and mini comic book inside. It sold for $19.97. A chunk of the interviews here reappear on "Crystal Lake Memories". I know some had a problem with that; not everything here is absolutely new. *shakes head* The stories told are still valid. Whatever.

    Okay let me take a step further back.

    The same guys who did this, also did other franchise documentaries. *nods*



    Before "Crystal Lake Memories" there was "More Brains!: A Return To The Living Dead - The Definitive Return Of The Living Dead Documentary". The single disc title (direct to video) was released on October 18th, 2011 for $19.95. The first pressing came with a slipcover (with different artwork) and an exclusive 12"x18" print (folded inside the case) of the doc's poster by artist Carl Ramsey.

    I might add, it's autographed by actors Beverly Randolph (Tina), Brian Peck (Scuz) and James Karen (Frank). This offer was only available from their official website; October 1st through December 20th, 2011. And it came with a chapter listing insert too.

    The documentary has a run time of four hours. And barely mentions Return Of The Living Dead... "Rave To The Grave" and "Necropolis" (both 2005), as they should. Those films are cheap Sci-Fi Channel productions. Stay away! Don't bother watching them, you're wasting your time and probably money (as I did). The ONLY bright spot on them is Aimee Lynn Chadwick, but she can't save these turds (I'm being kind, have much harsher words).

    Anyhow, my grip is that the main focus of the documentary is on the first movie and it's trouble production. This would've made a great two disc set with more time spent on Part II and Part III. It's detailed, yes, but could've been more deeper. I still recommend, it's very good. But could've been better. If you just love Part I, then you'll absolutely adore this release.

    Will give them points for having the final interview with writer/director (first installment) Dan O'Bannon (the screenwriter of "Alien" [1979]). Sway.

    Before that doc, there was another...



    These guys also did "Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy - The Ultimate Nightmare Documentary"; released on May 4th, 2010 (also direct to video). Above is their re-release, 'Collector's Edition' DVD on October 5th later that year.

    Difference?

    The CE has a running commentary by the film makers along with extended interviews, a foil slipcover and an exclusive 12"x18" print (folded inside the case) of the doc's poster by artist Matthew Joseph Peak. This DVD also comes with a new stereo 2.0 mix. Do not have, need to get; I have the first pressing which sold for $24.99.

    This documentary has a run time of four hours. Man, this was riveting - there is so much history I wasn't aware of. Even at four hours it feels short - I wanted more. You will too (if you're a fan). Recommended.

    And even before that...



    They did "Halloween: 25 Years Of Terror"; another direct to video release (from Anchor Bay). It streeted on July 25th, 2006 for $19.98, a two disc set. This was their first doc project and has a run time of eight four minutes. It cover the films, but not nearly as comprehensive as the other documentaries they have done. Disc two is footage, "Halloween" panel discussion from "Return To Haddonfield Convention" 2005.

    That came with an embossed slipcover and two inserts; two page booklet and mini (twenty-six page) comic book, "Halloween: Autopsis" from Paranormal Pictures comics. Tells the story of a photojournalist who becomes obsessed with Michael Myers and death photos, he starts following Dr. Loomis. It ends with him meeting The Shape. Myers kills him, cutting out his eyes, replacing them with two rolls of film - the last images from the guy's camera. A self-contained story.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Rant.

    Watching the doc I'm rather surprised how two of the Jason Vixens (that's a thing?) have aged gracefully. They won the genetic lottery.



    Miss Jensen Daggett (played Rennie Wickham) from "Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan" (1989).

    Daggett is a mom now, she has two kids. *nods* Nice cleavage - it's a compliment not a sexist remark.

    The second is Miss Lauren-Marie Taylor.



    She played Vickie in "Friday the 13th: Part 2" (1981). Taylor is also a mom, she has three kids. Man, she looks the same, freaky. Look at that comparison. Wow.

    Taylor is a voice actress too, she did "Pound Puppies" the cartoon in 1987; that was a big thing back in the day. Okay, not as big as those Cabbage Patch Kids, but still huge. Well, I should note that the vid image is from 2009 - the previous Jason documentary.



    There was one which... I found enchanting; Sharlene Martin (played Tamara Mason) "Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan". She has four kids. Can't put my finger on it, but she's my favorite. She's huggable. Not into older women, but I'm intrigued.

    - - -

    Wave III of tantalizing Halloween costumes.



    Now that totally rocks - "The Punishing One", though her outfit is missing two guns, it's iconic. Sexy Punisher is priced at $38.66; does not come with knee high boots nor matching fishnet stockings - which really sells it. On the right woman, that's a head turner. She punishes the sinful, oh my!

    *tisk tisk* So?

    Is that sexy Coraline? This is priced at $54.98 comes with hooded yellow jacket (with drawstring), blue wig with dragonfly clip and pair of (foam-backed) boot covers. You supply the jeans. How to make it seductive?

    Have that jacket open and she's topless (as it were) with large, black button print pasties. See what I did there? How pervy. *smiles* You're welcome. And that would be excellent. Think it's a bland costume... BOOM!

    It's naughty. C'mon, it scream 'flasher' - like a trench coat. The costume should come with a black cat purse, that would make it complete.

  14. #719
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    Past Tense - Documenting A Killer Tween In Brute's Body Part III


    Easter Eggs.

    There are two eggs here - both of them are the same; live footage of Ari Lehman's band, "First Jason" live at The Viper Room club (Los Angeles, CA) singing a Jason related song. It's okay I suppose. I have nothing good or bad to say about it. *shrugs* These eggs are from the DVD edition. Don't know if they're on the BD version (probably are).

    Disc 1

    Main Menu -> highlight "Audio/Subtitles", press left; highlight X on the hockey mask - ENTER.

    - - -

    Bonus Disc

    Main Menu -> Scene Selection -> highlight "Main Menu", press left; highlight the diamond over the right eye of the hockey mask - ENTER.

    - - - - -

    These next two eggs are not a part of "Crystal Lake Memories", very true. But it's tangentially related - "His Name Was Jason" DVD. Yeah, it's a stretch, but I feel it's warranted. Okay.

    Ari Lehman doing a Jason Jamaican rap (bloopers included).

    Disc 2 -> highlight "Final Cuts", press left; highlight red strip on right side of mask - ENTER.

    - - -

    Stu Charno philosophizing on his ukulele.

    Disc 2 -> highlight "Fox Comes Home", press left; highlight red strip on left side of mask - ENTER.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Recommendations.

    Five more holiday themed titles to watch; new and old features - to fuel your nightmares.

    "Anna And The Apocalypse" (2017)
    The sleepy British town of Little Haven is preparing for Christmas when The End comes. Anna Shepard is having a fight with her father Tony because she wants to take a year off in Australia before going to college. But that future becomes nothing more than a 'what if'. An unknown virus is spreading throughout England and possibly the rest of the planet. The dead are rising, feasting on the living. Getting ready for school the next day; Anna and her best friend John discover their town under attack. Both attempt to reach school to find their friends, her dad works there - a janitor. Along the way they find pals and rivals, banding together to reach campus hoping to find loved ones. Things get much worse, not from the dead, but their power hungry, new headmaster Arthur Savage - who has his own plans on how to survive the apocalypse. A horror, comedy, zombie... musical. There have been a few attempts at horror musicals - they fail. This has managed to rise above with catchy songs, story and gore.
    Cinedigm Entertainment Corp. - 2019 - R

    "Go To The Head Of The Class" (1986)
    This a season two episode (eight; aired November 21st, 1986) from the fantasy/sci-fi/sometimes horror anthology, "Amazing Stories" produced by Steven Spielberg. The half hour NBC series had far more misses than hits. So many episodes were big budget fillers. Then you have this... lightening in a bottle. So good they made it as an hour long program. Directed by Robert Zemeckis and co-written by Bob Gale the men behind, "Back To The Future" (1985). High school students Peter Brand and Cynthia Simpson wish to pull a prank on their domineering and quite cruel English teacher, Professor Beanes. Her plan was to cast a spell on him, an uncontrolled fit of hiccups. The conjure hidden in a heavy metal album, played backwards. Peter is infatuated with her and goes along. Each of the ingredients gathered, some grim. The results were unexpected as Beanes become aware of the duo's extracurricular activities and relentlessly pursues the would-be couple; alive and in death. Think of it like a teen version of "H.P. Lovecraft's Re-Animator" (1985). It was the only episode of the series to have "Parental Discretion Advised" warning. Not sure where you can see this other than on Amazon Prime. Season two was not released on DVD in America. Freaky coincidence; I wrote this entry on February 17th (2020) - two days later discovered the series is coming back for a limited run on Apple's streaming service, Apple+.
    NA - 1986 - NR

    "Monarch Of The Moon" (2006)
    For laughs; an over-the-top parody of 1940s matinée serials (not politically correct); made on a budget of $75,000 and told in six chapters - pure cheese. It’s in the same vein as "Black Dynamite" (2009) and "The Call Of The Cthulhu" (2005), a contemporary film made to look vintage. Army aviator, Cal Crawford was captured by Nazis and experimented on. Their scientific tests backfired, Cal gains an ability... the power to communicate with yellow jackets! He escaped and now offers his superhero services to the government. Yellow Jacket with his band of freedom fighters (dimwitted secretary, alcoholic sidekick, not so brilliant scientist and a Bear Scout) must stop a deadly Japanese agent, known as Dragonfly and her mechanical menace, the JapBots. It becomes all too clear that there is a global conspiracy - someone is supplying The Axis with advanced technology... building a doomsday weapon. Who is doing it? And for what nefarious purpose? Does it have something to do with the moon? The DVD has been released twice, the original pressing in 2006 includes their first attempt at period sci-fi, "Destination Mars" ('06 too). It’s not very good; at best, 'okay'. Go with the re-release that's "Monarch" only.
    Image Entertainment - 2007 - NR

    "Muck" (2015)
    This is one of those films; either you love it or hate it, a throwback - tons of nudity and gore, few CGI. The concept was simple, but made numerous viewers upset, mad even. You are watching the middle movie of a trilogy; dumped into the sequel without knowing what's going on. You get snippets of the plot from characters, piece them together for the story. Cape Cod, Florida; a nude woman (Jaclyn Swedberg - Playboy's Playmate Of The Year 2012) is fleeing from an unseen danger, losing her clothes as she runs. She's lost in a foggy marsh - finds an abandoned house where other horrors had recently occurred. We learn through flashbacks and dialog; most of her friends are dead. The group had disrupted a long forgotten ancient burial ground; awaken a vengeful spirit. Now in less numbers what remains take refuge in that house, finding their nude friend. It gets worse - the house is home to a gang of cannibals. All of this happens in one night, the final hours of St. Patrick's Day. Things get much worse, relentless - the lucky ones are already dead. The idea was to have a trilogy; second film first, then part one and later the finale. But it bombed. I loved it. So many clichés were subverted, felt like watching the first "Evil Dead" (1983), cheesy and over-the-top. It also stars horror icon, Kane Hodder as our cannibal Big Bad.
    Anchor Bay Entertainment, LLC - 2015 - R

    "When A Stranger Calls" (2006)
    Few PG-13 films can capture intensity minus jump scares. Teen Jill Johnson is being punished by her parents; her cell phone bill is 800 minutes overs the monthly allotted time. She will work it off by babysitting. Jill is hired by the Mandrakis to care for their two kids while the parents go to a dinner and movie - home by midnight. An easy few hours in their large and extravagant lake home. But alone while the kids sleep, Jill starts receiving a series of prank calls - rising from trolling to disturbing. Soon it becomes very apparent she's not alone in the house. She will have to use every ounce of her creativity and prowess in track to save the kids and herself from the dark figure. It was satisfying to have the killer's reveal (face) happen at the very end. He's the boogeyman. This is a remake to the 1979 original feature of the same name also on home video.
    Sony Pictures Home Entertainment - 2006 - PG-13



    While finishing up my research I uncovered another. In the United Kingdom, a three disc DVD set; streeted on June 9th, 2014 for £17.98. It was a region 0 release from Stax Entertainment, LTD - rated "E", Exempt From Classification.

    One last bit; in 2014 this doc was nominated, "Best Limited Release/Direct-To-Video" for The Reaper Awards presented by Home Media Magazine. It won. It's was an industry publication for stores. The best in horror releases.

    Feeling sweaty? Kinda nervous? I'm sure it's fine. Not like you're gonna get a bug attack by car sized extraterrestrial insects... 'cause that's next week. Sleep tight!

    Is something touching your arm?

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