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happy new year.

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Posted 1st January 2012 at 08:16 PM by keirarts

Well, its been a pretty crappy new year in most respects, fortunately theres been more than a few good home entertainment releases that help take my mind off it.
We're living in what the chinese refer to as 'interesting times'. When they refered to interesting times they meant it as a curse and it's not to hard to see why. The whole global economy is on life support, and needing constant resussatation to make sure it dosent fall asleep amd never wake up, the world energy resources are dwindling and our politicians are still the same incompetant grasping swine they always were in spite of a change of regieme. Now we have coalition of the dim and things certainly can't get any better!.

Ah well, at least we saw the ups and downs of high def all through the year, from black and white copies of the beyond to gorgeous presentations of half baked alien knock offs blu-ray seems to be where its at.

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Alien 2 from midnight legacy is certainly a worth contender for blu-ray of the year. The film's rubbish, lets not beat around the bush, its poorly realised with some dreadful acting and isn't at all scary, the alien itself is confusingly designed and i've still no idea what the hell its supposed to be. One of the strengths of high quality monster features is the ability to sell them as a living organic being. Alien gave us the creatures life cycle, while john carpenters the thing gave us a plauible notion of an entirely different kind of being. Alien 2 gives us none of this.
What alien 2 DOES give us is what quite a few italian shlock expoitation movies of the era also provide, plenty of good-natured entertainment. Yeah for all its faults alien 2 is a fun little film from the halcyon days of unrated vhs and for those of us that like this sort of thing the film is a real treat!
Dolph and the team got some stick for critisisng the quality of other releases, but credit where its due, alien 2 should be considererd the benchmark for how films of this kind should look on blu-ray (and sound) so they put their money where the mouth is. Tragically it seems we may be in for a wait for their next release due to the interesting times we live in so Fingers crossed they relent and announce the next release some time soon.

Ok.. alien 2 is my blu-ray of the year, but i'm going to give a second place to arrows vamp. I know this isn't everyones favourite film but I have fond memories of the movie from the numerous late night tv screenings where I first caught the movie. I got somewhat knocked for my amazon review for calling the movie cheesy, I relented and switched the definition to camp, but honestly I feel both terms apply to this movie.

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The lurid color scheme and run down inner city setting of the movie look fantastic on blu-ray and the film has never looked better, it also proves along with arrows other releases of u.s horror that the problems they experienced with some of their italian titles are probably down to the italian labs.
I'll also chuck blu-ray release company (or whatever the hell the correct term is) to arrow. They have had their problems, and certainly shameless have had a better track record with releases, but Arrow have made real inroads onto home entertainment with regard to the amount of bonus material they throw at each release. Previously for extras on cult movies the discerning fan had to import, now in terms of bonus content we brits actually seem to be getting a better deal. Heres hoping other u.k companies take a look at what their doing and follow suite!.

Dvd of the year for me has to be manos the hands of fate, mystery science fiction theatre 3000 2-disc release.

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I'd be willing to give it for the funky-as-hell cover art alone, but the film has been given WAY better treatment than the film deserves. I have not had such a great time with a dvd in a long while, and though its not loaded, everything on the disc is entertainment, including the stand alone presentation of manos itself, the films a chore to sit through admittedly but its bad in a hilarious way. God bless torgo!

Dvd releasing company of the year goes to code red.
Code red's fortunes of late have been tragic to read and very unfair. No other company is unearthing such strange and wonderful and often obscure movies as they are. Given the nature of the films their handling the picture quality of the releases has been variable but in every case they've done their best to give us the best available. Not only have i finally got a decent quality uncut release of night of the demon sat on my shelves, i've discovered some truly bizarre and entertaing b-movie gems like choke canyon and the dead are alive... I dont know if code red is still going to be with us next year and if not its a real loss to the movie world, all I can ask is that people get buying their discs!

Finally, what am I looking forward to next year. (aside from my impending national lottery win due anytime soon, followed by my early retirement spent beside a roaring fireplace watching all my movies on a sweet new home entertainment centre.)

Well xavier gans nuclear war drama THE DIVIDE should (finally) be getting a theatrical run in this country. I loved Gans last movie frontiers and if you did to then the divide is a film you MUST SEE. For unexplained reasons new york is nuked into oblivion, a disparate group of survivors hole up in an old cold war bunker under their building, all in an opening sequence that will burn itself into your mind. Days turn to weeks in the bunker and things start to go a bit lord of the flies (in a possibly more brutal sense than even the classic book) Its both dark and brutal and at times genuinely beautiful, with a wonderful score and comes highly reccomended.

Home entertainment wise, its the stuff everyone else is looking forward to. Shameless release of darios four flies on grey velvet in high def is a definate, as is arrows blu-rays of the eighties heavy metal zombie flicks Demons and demons 2 from lamberto bava.

Also well worth checking out is adam chaplin, on a budget release from scanbox.

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The film looks like the b****d son of toxic avenger and fist of the north star, with a sickly color scheme, bizarre cartoonish villains and enough hyper-gorey martial arts to make ricky-o blush. This isn't going to be a film for everyone, I guarentee more than a few people may even hate it, but if you like troma, street trash, ricky o and fist of the north star then get it ordered!

Tragically I have no actual prizes to give out, any prize money was spent on blu-rays and dvd's (dirty harry blu-ray collection 13.99!) but i'm sending psychic vibrations out to sooth any new years headaches!
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