1960s Christopher Lee Classics, 1980s Actioner ‘Strike Commando’ Among Titles Due on Disc June 22 From MVD and Severin

Christopher Lee European classics and 1980s actioners Invaders of the Lost Gold and the “Rambo”-inspired Strike Commando and Strike Commando 2 are coming to disc June 22 from MVD Entertainment Group and Severin Films.

Due on Blu-ray is The Eurocrypt of Christopher Lee. The collection features movies made during his career in 1960s Europe and brings together five of these Lee classics — Crypt of the Vampire (1964); Castle of the Living Dead (1964) co-starring an unknown Donald Sutherland; Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace (1962); The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism (1967); and the rarely-seen Challenge the Devil (1963) — with the 24 surviving episodes of the 1971 Film Polski anthology series “Theatre Macabre” hosted by Lee. All are remastered from original negative materials with more 10 hours of trailers, rare promos, audio commentaries and vintage interviews, plus the Castle of the Living Dead soundtrack and a new 88-page book by Lee biographer Jonathan Rigby.

Coming on Blu-ray and DVD are the actioners Strike Commando and Strike Commando 2.

For Strike Commando, writer-director Bruno Mattei and co-writers Claudio Fragasso and Rossella Drudi borrowed from Rambo: First Blood Part II, Missing in Action and more to create their own ’Namsploitation masterpiece. Reb Brown (Uncommon Valor) stars as Sgt. Mike Ransom, a one-man war machine on a vengeance mission against brutal Vietcong, merciless Russians and double-crossing U.S. officers. Christopher Connelly (Raiders of Atlantis), Luciano Pigozzi (All the Colors of the Dark) and Jim Gaines (Island of the Living Dead) co-star in the film mastered in 2K from the original negative for the first time. Special features include “War Machine,” an interview with Fragasso; “All Quiet on the Philippine Front,” an interview with Drudi; and in-production promo; and the trailer.

In Strike Commando 2, Mattei, Fragasso and Drudi return to the Philippine jungles with a higher budget, bigger action and actor Richard Harris for a film that borrows from Apocalypse Now, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Rambo and other actioners. This time, Sgt Mike Ransom (Brent Huff) battles the KGB, rogue CIA agents, an army of ninjas and a tough bar owner (Miss World 1977 Mary Stavin), among others. Mel Davidson (Robowar) and Vic Diaz (The Big Bird Cage) co-star in this sequel featuring a 2K scan from the original negative for the first time ever. Special features include “Guerrilla Zone,” an interview with Fragasso; “Michael Ransom Strikes Back,” an interview with Huff; and the trailer.

From producer Dick Randall — whose international trashterpieces include Escape From Women’s Prison, The Wild Wild World of Jayne Mansfield and Pieces — comes Invaders of the Lost Gold, an all-star Philippine production of the 1980s, on DVD and Blu-ray. In the last days of WWII, a Japanese platoon is attacked by headhunters while attempting to hide millions in gold. Then, 36 years later, a grizzled guide (Stuart Whitman) is hired to lead an expedition — including Woody Strode (Spartacus), Harold “Oddjob” Sakata and Laura Gemser (Black Emanuelle) — into a jungle inferno of greed, violence, nudity and murder. Edmund Purdom (Absurd) and Glynis Barber (Dempsey and Makepeace) co-star in this film directed by Alan Birkenshaw (Killer’s Moon). Also known as Horror Safari, the film is scanned in 2K for the first time ever. Special features include “Rumble in the Jungle,” an interview with director Alan Birkinshaw, and outtakes from Machete Maidens Unleashed with Birkinshaw and the wife of Randall.

1980s Charlie Sheen Film ‘The Wraith’ Due on Blu-ray July 20 From Lionsgate

The 1986 film The Wraith arrives on Blu-ray (plus digital) July 20 from Lionsgate as part of the Vestron Video Collector’s Series.

The Wraith stars Charlie Sheen (“Spin City”), Nick Cassavetes (Face/Off, The Hangover Part II, TV’s “Entourage”), Sherilyn Fenn (“Twin Peaks”) and Randy Quaid. In the film, when four glowing orbs crash into each other over the Arizona desert, they leave in their wake a badass Dodge Turbo Interceptor and its enigmatic, helmeted driver. The next day, the mysterious Jake (Sheen) appears in the town of Brooks, catching the eye of Keri (Fenn) and the ire of Packard (Cassavetes), the ruthless leader of a gang of street racers. When gang members start losing races — and lives — to the Interceptor, the recent death of Keri’s boyfriend suddenly seems connected to the arrival of Jake, the unbeatable car and an avenging entity called The Wraith.

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Special features include:

  • audio commentary with writer-director Mike Marvin;
  • audio commentary with actors Dave Sherrill and Jamie Bozian;
  • “Tales from the Desert,” an Interview with writer-director Mike Marvin;
  • “Rughead Speaks!,” an Interview with actor Clint Howard;
  • “Ride of the Future,” interviews with stunt coordinator Buddy Joe Hooker and transportation coordinator Gary Hellerstein;
  • “The Ghost Car,” interviews with visual effects producer Peter Kuran and effects animator Kevin Kutchaver;
  • isolated score selections featuring audio interview with co-composer J. Peter Robinson;
  • The Wraith Filming Locations: Then and Now” featurette;
  • an alternate title sequence;
  • a still gallery;
  • the theatrical trailer; and
  • TV spots.

’80s BMX Classic ‘Rad’ Riding to Blu-ray March 16

The 1980s classic Rad will come out March 16 in a Blu-ray plus digital Steelbook release from Mill Creek Entertainment.

Lori Loughlin and Bill Allen in Rad

In the film, Cru Jones (Bill Allen) is the best BMX biker in Cochrane. He’s got the talent to become the best BMX daredevil in the world. Bart Taylor (Bart Conner) is the best BMX biker in the world, and he’s in town to race in the $100,000 Helltrack competition, the most grueling BMX race in history. Cru wants a shot at winning the title, but his mom (Talia Shire) insists he take his college entrance exams which fall on the same day. He decides to go for Helltrack, but the race promoter (Jack Weston) has a dirty scheme for keeping the local whiz kid out of the race and away from his prized champion. Only the gorgeous Christian (Lori Loughlin), a member of the opposite team, can get Cru on track for Helltrack — and teach him a few other things while she’s at it.

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Making its North American debut at retail, this special-edition Blu-ray will serve as the No. 46 Mondo X Steelbook collaboration, repurposing JJ Harrison’s artwork for an homage to the cult favorite. Licensed from Utopia Distribution and Schwartzman Pictures using the recent 4K restoration, the Blu-ray will also contain a host of bonus features, including archival video interviews with the cast and crew, original behind-the-scenes featurettes, the music video for “Break the Ice,” and a live Q&A session hosted by Jorma Taccone featuring cast members Bill Allen, Talia Shire, Bart Conner and screenwriter Sam Bernard.

Digital redemption on Mill Creek’s TVOD service movieSpree also is included.

Like, ‘Valley Girl’ Bows on Disc Oct. 6

Valley Girl, a musical romantic comedy adaptation of the 1983 film, arrives on Blu-ray and DVD from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and MGM Oct. 6.

From MGM’s Orion Pictures and directed by Rachel Lee Goldenberg, the film stars Jessica Rothe (Happy Death Day, La La Land) as Julie Richman, Josh Whitehouse (The Knight Before Christmas) as Randy, Mae Whitman (The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) as Jack, and Judy Greer (13 Going on 30, Ant-Man, 27 Dresses) as Diana.

Set to a new wave ’80s soundtrack, the film follows a pair of young lovers from different backgrounds defy their parents and friends to stay together.

The 1983 classic, directed by Martha Coolidge, starred Nicolas Cage and Deborah Foreman.

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Kelly LeBrock Starring in Big Screen Entertainment Group’s First Streaming Video Series

Eighties siren Kelly LeBrock (Weird Science, The Woman in Red) stars in Big Screen Entertainment Group’s pending over-the-top mystery series streaming on Facebook Watch, BSEG’s YouTube channel and IGTV, Instagram’s new video platform.

“Tales From a Hidden Chamber” is an eight-part series with episodes running upwards of 15 minutes each. The series, about what lurks behind a two-way mirror, also stars Erin Cahill (“How I Met Your Mother”) and aims to expand BSEG’s online presence.

Big Screen’s recent theatrical releases include the reboot of Papillion, starring Charlie Hunnam (“Sons of Anarchy”) and Rami Malek (“Mr. Robot,” Bohemian Rhapsody); Death Wish, starring Bruce Willis, and Wild Oats, starring Shirley MacLaine, Jessica Lange and Demi Moore.

“Our goal is to make Big Screen a well-known brand over social media,” says Sandro Monetti, BSEG’s head of content development.

Creating content for the Web increases visibility, awareness and sales of the company’s films, according to “Hidden Chamber” creator/director Stephen Eckelberry.

“The days of relying solely on distributors to promote independent product are over,” said Eckelberry, adding that with self-distribution on the Internet a reality, social media is the key to boosting sales and expanding one’s brand.

This series will be released the third week of April.

 

1980s Cult Classics ‘Malibu Express’ and ‘Hard Ticket to Hawaii’ Coming to Blu-ray April 16 from Mill Creek

Two 1980s cult classics from Malibu Bay Films’ “bullets, bombs and babes” series — Malibu Express and Hard Ticket to Hawaii — are coming to Blu-ray Disc April 16 from Mill Creek Entertainment.

These late-night cable TV mainstays will be available in high definition widescreen for the first time as individual Blu-ray releases with special features at $19.98 each.

Filmmaker Andy Sidaris was a pioneer in sports television production with his direction of hundreds of live events ranging from nationally televised games to Olympic programs which earned him seven Emmy awards. In the mid-1980s, Sidaris with his wife Arlene produced twelve films affectionately referred to as the “bullets, bombs and babes” series. The trademark of these action and humor-packed movies was casting models as the gun-toting secret agents tracking down muscle-bound bad guys also armed with heavy artillery. This formula of beautiful people in exotic locations with big production values and even bigger explosions set these films apart from other after-hours fare.

“I’m extremely excited to be working with the Mill Creek Entertainment team to present our films fully restored in pristine high definition,” said Arlene Sidaris, owner of Malibu Bay Films and producer of the films her late husband Andy wrote and directed, in a statement. “It’s incredible that after nearly 35 years since Malibu Express was produced, viewers will finally be able to see these movies like never before. The widescreen presentation and the new 4K transfers are stunning, offering a whole new viewing experience for fans old and new.”

Malibu Express stars Darby Hinton as millionaire Cody Abilene, who is hired to investigate an illicit computer company that is selling secrets to the Russians. He finds himself entangled in a web of intrigue, murder, fast cars, a cameo by Regis Philbin and a bevy of beautiful women including Sybil Danning, Lynda Wiesmeier, Barbara Edwards and Kimberly McArthur.

Hard Ticket to Hawaii stars Dona Speir and Hope Marie Carlton as two sexy undercover agents who discover a cache of diamonds while operating their inter-island cargo service.  Not only do they have to thwart the smuggler’s henchmen, they also must face an unrelenting, horrifying and deadly mutant snake. Buffed-up muscle men Ronn Moss and Harold Diamond bring their blazing bazookas to the beach in this action-adventure.

‘Hardbodies,’ ‘Krull,’ ‘Last Action Hero’ Among VHS-Era Classics Due on Blu-ray From Mill Creek in January

Recalling the VHS rental era when the video store reigned, Mill Creek Entertainment in January will release on Blu-ray Disc six of the time periods’ classics, featuring such stars as John Candy, Chuck Norris and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Sporting retro art mimicking the VHS release, the Blu-ray collection includes Happy Birthday to Me, Silent Rage, Last Action Hero, Hardbodies, Who’s Harry Crumb? and Krull.

The mystery-shocker Happy Birthday to Me (1981) follows popular high school senior Virginia Wainwright (Melissa Sue Anderson), who survives a freak accident, but suffers from memory loss and traumatic blackouts. As she attempts to resume a normal life, something terrible is happening — her friends are ruthlessly murdered one-by-one. Will she be the next victim or is she the killer? The terrifying truth is finally uncovered at Virginia’s 18th birthday party.

The release is restored with the original soundtrack.

Chuck Norris, six-time World Karate Champion, stars in Silent Rage (1982), his first suspense film, as the tough, street-fighting sheriff of a small Texas town terrorized by a psychotic killer. He is faced with the dilemma of stopping the invincible murderer, made virtually indestructible through genetic engineering. A young group of researchers are responsible for developing the serum, and the head of the research institute is determined to continue the genetic experiments regardless of the consequences. Norris’s sheriff singlehandedly routs a dozen brutal bikers from a truck stop hangout, while rekindling an old romance with Alison Halman (Toni Kalem), a researcher at the institute.

In Last Action Hero (1993), young movie fan Danny Madigan (Austin O’Brien) knows the first three Jack Slater movies by heart, and the fourth one is just about to be released. With the aid of a magical ticket, while watching the opening action sequence during an advance screening, Danny is transported into the movie. On the other side of the silver screen, Danny becomes the sidekick of Slater (Arnold Schwarzenegger), the toughest cop on the police force. Complications arise when one of the bad guys takes Danny’s magic ticket and escapes out of the movie into the real world. Danny and his hero must chase the arch villain in the real world, a world where evil guys can actually win.

The film, which includes the song “Big Gun” written for the film by AC/DC, features a number of cameo appearances by stars inlcuding Chevy Chase, Jim Belushi, Sharon Stone, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Damon Wayans.

In the classic teen comedy Hardbodies (1984), three middle-aged geezers move into a swinging beach house and hire a young stud to teach them how to score with the local beauties. The ‘80s band Vixen and hundreds of Southern California swimsuit models co-star in the cult comedy originally made for broadcast on the Playboy Channel but picked up for theatrical release by Columbia. Stars include Grant Cramer, Teal Roberts, Courtney Gains, Kane Hodder and Gary Wood.

The sci-fi fantasy Krull (1983) explores a mystical time and place that belongs to neither the past nor the present, where extraordinary creatures of myth work their incredible magic, and where a horrific, omnipotent Beast is the ruler. Prince Colwyn sets out on a daring mission to rescue his young bride who is held captive by the Beast, but slayers and alien beings under the command of the Beast oppose him at every turn. Colwyn must first reach a faraway cavern to recover the legendary Glaive, a flying blade capable of phenomenal powers.

Directed by Oscar nominee Peter Yates, the film stars Ken Marshall, Lysette Anthony, Liam Neeson and Francesca Annis.

In Who’s Harry Crumb? (1989), John Candy stars as the bumbling private eye Crumb. When Harry, the last of the great sleuthing Crumbs, finally gets a shot at a frontpage kidnapping, it’s only because his boss Eliot Draisen (Jeffrey Jones) doesn’t want the case solved. At stake is the gorgeous daughter of multi-millionaire P.J. Downing, a $10 million ransom, and Draisen’s mistress (Annie Potts). Attired in a bizarre array of goofball disguises, from a Hungarian hairdresser to a hefty housewife, Harry is determined to crack the case.