BayView Entertainment is bringing two thrillers and an action film to disc in May.
The science-fiction thriller Dropa is dropping on DVD May 12. Set in an alternate future America, the film follows a government assassin who comes out of retirement to track down a killer extraterrestrial murdering the former members of his team.
Directed by Wayne Slaten, the film stars Jason Douglas, David Matranga, James Hong, Shayla Bagir, Jacob Reynolds and Michelle Ellen Jones.
The thriller Point Defiance is due on DVD May 19. In the film, a stockbroker’s world is turned upside down while under house arrest after his troubled brother returns from military duty in Afghanistan, forcing him to face a dark secret about his past.
Directed by Justin Foia, the film stars Derek Phillips, Josh Crotty, Lauren Elaine, Sarah Butler and Steven Swadling.
Finally, Highway 395 (2000) is traveling to Blu-ray May 26. In the actioner, Sheriff Wade confronts drug couriers on Highway 395, a criminal releasing from jail and a serial killer in the California desert.
The film stars Fred Dryer, Blake Adams and Greg Crooks.
Blood Tide, White Fire, The Woman and a Tsukamoto boxed set are coming to Blu-ray May 26 from Arrow Video and MVD Entertainment Group.
Blood Tide (1982), a horror title from director/co-writer Richard Jefferies and producer/co-writer Nico Mastorakis, stars James Earl Jones as a treasure hunter that mistakenly awakens an ancient underwater beast on a small Greek island. The film is restored in 4K and features a new commentary with Jefferies and a new interview with Mastorakis; a reversible sleeve with original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys; and for the first pressing only, a collector’s booklet with new writing on the film by Mike Gingold.
Musician turned actor Robert Ginty stars in White Fire (1985), an action thriller from director Jean-Marie Pallardy. The film follows a pair of brother-and-sister jewel thieves that encounter tragedy while on the hunt for the elusive “White Fire” diamond. The plan hits an unexpected snag with the arrival of smooth-talking badass Noah Barclay, played by Fred Williamson (From Dusk ‘Til Dawn). The film features a theme song from ’80s British rockers Limelight. Special features include a feature-length audio commentary by critic Kat Ellinger; “Surviving the Fire,” a new interview with writer-director Pallardy; “Enter the Hammer,” a new interview with Williamson; and “Diamond Cutter,” a new interview with editor Bruno Zincone.
The Woman, which premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, stars Pollyanna McIntosh as the last surviving member of a deadly clan of feral cannibals. While out hunting, all-American dad Sean Bridgers discovers the woman and decides to capture her with plans to make her more “civilized.” What ensues is a brutal, bloody nightmare. The new 4K restoration, supervised by directory Lucky McKee, includes such special features as new commentary with director McKee, editor Zach Passero, sound designer Andrew Smetek and composer Sean Spillane; new commentary by McIntosh; commentary by critic Scott Weinberg; a Frightfest panel discussion; and making-of featurettes.
Finally comes the box set Solid Metal Nightmares: The Films of Shinya Tsukamoto, featuring shorts and eight feature-length films, including Tetsuo: The Iron Man, Tetsuo II: Body Hammer, Tokyo Fist, Bullet Ballet, and the home video debut of Tsukamoto’s latest effort Killing. Among the numerous special features are “An Assault on the Senses,” a new visual essay on the films and style of Tsukamoto by Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp and multiple archival interviews with Tsukamoto, covering every film in the collection.
The Criterion Collection July 14 will release a seven-disc Blu-ray boxed set containing five of kung-fu action star Bruce Lee’s greatest films.
Bruce Lee: His Greatest Hits brings together five films that define the Lee legend: furiously exciting fist-fliers propelled by his innovative choreography, unique martial-arts philosophy and whirlwind fighting style. Though Lee completed only a handful of films while at the peak of his stardom before his untimely death in 1973 at age 32, he left behind a monumental legacy as both a consummate entertainer and a supremely disciplined artist who made Hong Kong action cinema a sensation the world over.
The set will include 4K digital restorations of The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, Game of Death and The Way of the Dragon, with uncompressed original monaural soundtracks. The set will also include two versions of Enter the Dragon digitally restored in 2K: the 99-minute 1973 theatrical version with uncompressed original monaural soundtrack, and the 102-minute special edition version.
The Blu-rays will include audio soundtracks for the films, including original English-dubbed tracks and a 5.1 surround soundtrack for the special-edition version of Enter the Dragon.
The set will include six audio commentaries. The Big Boss comes with a voiceover by Bruce Lee expert Brandon Bentley; producer Paul Heller provides one for the extended cut of Enter the Dragon; and Hong Kong-film expert Mike Leeder offers his thoughts on The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, Game of Death and The Way of the Dragon.
Game of Death will include “Game of Death Redux,” a new presentation of Lee’s original Game of Death footage produced by Alan Canvan, and a high-definition presentation of the 1981 sequel Game of Death II.
New interviews on all five films with Lee biographer Matthew Polly;
A new interview with producer Andre Morgan about Golden Harvest, the company behind Hong Kong’s top martial-arts stars, including Lee;
A new program about English-language dubbing with voice performers Michael Kaye (the English-speaking voice of Lee’s Chen Zhen in Fist of Fury) and Vaughan Savidge;
A new interview with author Grady Hendrix about the “Bruceploitation” subgenre that followed Lee’s death, and a selection of Bruceploitation trailers;
Blood and Steel, a 2004 documentary about the making of Enter the Dragon;
Multiple programs and documentaries about Lee’s life and philosophies, including Bruce Lee: The Man and the Legend (1973) and Bruce Lee: In His Own Words (1998);
Interviews with Linda Lee Cadwell, Lee’s widow, and many of Lee’s collaborators and admirers, including actors Jon T. Benn, Riki Hashimoto, Nora Miao, Robert Wall, Yuen Wah and Simon Yam, and directors Clarence Fok, Sammo Hung and Wong Jing;
New English subtitle translations and subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing;
Mirror, Mirror and its sequel, Freeway 2, Point Doom, and a grindhouse double feature are coming out on Blu-ray March 17 from MVD Entertainment Group and Dark Force Entertainment.
Mirror, Mirror (1990) starts with a flashback of the bloody murder of a woman by her identical twin sister that has something to do with the odd, whispering mirror in the room. Later, Emelin (Yvonne De Carlo, “The Munsters”) runs across the dreaded mirror while cleaning out the house for sale. She has it moved to her antique shop. Enter Susan Gordon (Karen Black, Five Easy Pieces) and her daughter Megan (Rainbow Harvest), the new owners of the house, and the mirror, which has mysteriously returned. When their dog is found dead in front of the mirror, Susan and Megan have no idea what lies ahead for them. The film also stars William Sanderson (Blade Runner) and Stephen Tobolowsky (Groundhog Day). Bonus features include the “Reflections in the Mirror Mirror” featurette with interviews from producers Virginia Perfili and Jimmy Lifton.
In the sequel Mirror, Mirror 2(1994), on Blu-ray for the first time, an evil mirror that caused many deaths inside an orphanage has been hidden for years. When a rock band puts on a show nearby and uncovers the deadly mirror, the band members are tortured by the device’s demonic powers. Teenage orphan Marlee (Tracy Wells) is glad, because the men were tormenting her brother Jeffrey (Carlton Beener). Now in complete control of the mirror, Marlee decides to use it on her nasty stepsister Roslyn (Sally Kellerman). The cast also includes Roddy McDowall (Fright Night), Sally Kellerman (Back to School), Veronica Cartwright (Alien), Mark Ruffalo (Avengers: Endgame), Sanderson, Sarah Douglas (Superman II) and Tracy Wells (Gremlins).
Freeway 2: Confessions of a Trick Baby (1999) follows teen drug dealer/car thief Crystal (Natasha Lyonne) who, despite the efforts of her sleazy attorney Mr. Butz (David Alan Grier), is sentenced to a 25-year prison term, the first segment of which will be served in a youth correctional facility where she will be treated for her rampant bulimia. There, in-between binge/purge marathons with her fellow eating-disordered inmates and relentless harassment of the hapless authorities, she fends off the lesbian advances of her psychotic cellmate Cyclona (Maria Celedonio), a serial killer who’s just received a life sentence. The two escape together and embark on a cross-country road trip in search of Sister Gomez (Vincent Gallo), the beneficent nun who protected Cyclona from the sexual predations of her family during her troubled childhood south of the border. The original Freeway was a modern retelling of “Little Red Riding Hood,” while Freeway 2 riffs on “Hansel and Gretel.” Bonus features includes all new interviews with director Matthew Bright and producer Chris Hanley and a behind-the-scenes featurette with director John Landis, who makes a cameo in the film.
Point Doom (1999) stars Richard Grieco (“21 Jump Street”) as Rick Hansen, a double-crossing drug dealer in a dangerous relationship. When his girlfriend, Stephanie (Jennifer O’Dell), eventually finds love with another man, the young couple is forced to risk their own lives in hopes of facing the dangers threatening to bind them to street life forever. The cast also includes Andrew Dice Clay, Ice-T, Angie Everhart, Zach Galligan, John Enos and Skid Row’s Sebastian Bach. Bonus features include interviews with cast and producers and a behind-the-scenes featurette. The soundtrack includes music by Mötley Crüe, White Zombie, Ice-T and Motörhead.
The grindhouse drive-in classic double feature includes The Loners + Dragon Vs Needles of Death. In The Loners (1972), motorcycle rider Stein (Dean Stockwell), a half-blood Indian, tries to stay out of the hands of the police, who are chasing him for accidentally killing a cop. Together with his friend Alan (Todd Susman) and a beautiful but desperate girl (Patricia Stich), Stein will get involved in a robbery and more death. In the martial arts film Dragon Vs. Needles of Death, a young man joins a kung-fu academy but fails to fit in. He soon runs off with the master’s daughter and becomes a salt smuggler. He ends up joining with the school’s top fighter — his former rival — against a local mob leader. The needles in the title are murderously effective projectiles shot from the wristbands of opponents.
The actioner Guns Akimbo arrives on digital, Blu-ray (plus digital) and DVD April 28 from Lionsgate.
It is available now on demand.
Starring Daniel Radcliffe and Samara Weaving, the movie follows a video game developer who is forced to play a game of survival being broadcast online for others’ amusement. Miles’s (Radcliffe) nerdy existence as a video game developer takes a dramatic turn when he inadvertently gets caught up as the next contestant with SKIZM, an underground gang live-streaming real-life death matches. While Miles excels at running away from everything, that won’t help him outlast Nix (Weaving), a killer at the top of her game.
The rebooted Charlie’s Angels will come out on digital Feb. 18 and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD March 10 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
The film earned $68 million at the global box office.
Director Elizabeth Banks takes the helm for the next generation of Charlie’s Angels, Kristen Stewart (Sabina), Naomi Scott (Elena), and Ella Balinska (Jane). The Angels are working for the mysterious Charles Townsend, whose investigative agency has expanded internationally. Under the guidance of Bosley (Banks), the Angels have to protect a revolutionary technology from becoming weaponized.
Bonus materials include a gag reel, five deleted scenes, and four making-of featurettes.
The action-comedy El Coyote will come out on DVD and digital Feb. 25 from Random Media.
The film made $1.3 million at the box office and was screened in 400 theaters across 50 cities in October.
Starring Michael Saquella (Dream Round), Robert Costanzo (Die Hard 2), John Capodice (Speed) and Tom Sizemore (Black Hawk Down), the film follows a father, Stone Spencer (Saquella), who is living in Arizona in the witness protection program for helping the United States government. Stone is a self-made man — and hit man — for the mafia and an undercover killer for the CIA, who has to negotiate a deal with the Mexican cartel because they have captured his son Jax, a federal ice agent. After doing what the cartel requests of him, they renege, and all hell breaks loose. With too many cartel members to handle, he makes a call to New York and a dozen or so Italian mobsters fly from New York to Arizona to take care of business with the cartel.
“El Coyote is a classic showdown between two high profile gangs, the Italian mafia and Mexican cartel,” stated Michael Saquella. “When was the last time you saw, or heard, about the mafia taking on the cartel?”
Sylvester Stallone’s classic film characters have spanned decades, and over the years the actor-screenwriter has learned to stay true to their essence.
That’s what he did with the action hero in Rambo: Last Blood, the supposedly final chapter in the “Rambo” series, available digital and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, and DVD from Lionsgate.
“There’s always that temptation that bigger is better,” Stallone said in the special features. As with the evolution of Rocky Balboa, another of his iconic characters, it’s more effective “to downsize and get back to what made it good in the first place,” he said.
The fifth film in the “Rambo” franchise finds Stallone’s tortured warrior John Rambo in a brief moment of relative peace before he must unearth his ruthless combat skills to exact revenge in a final mission. Stallone called it a “kind of Shakespearean finale” steeped in drama and emotional upheaval.
“The culmination you know is going to be seismic; it’s going to be volcanic,” he said.
One of the major sets in the film is a series of tunnels that Rambo constructs underneath his bucolic farm, where he lives with his niece and her grandmother.
“He’s a horse trainer now, and he’s fairly successful, and he’s come to terms and is at peace with himself except for these momentary lapses [of PTSD],” said Stallone.
“More than the man cave, I think it’s this tunnel that is the path to and from his psyche, his memories,” said director Adrian Grünberg in the special features. “You see all his past paraphernalia, his knifes, his weapons, his photos, his music, all that past that he says in the movie he wants to keep a lid on, so I think literally the earth is a lid that separates this world down below.”
That lid on the famous Rambo drive for vengeance blows when his niece is kidnapped in Mexico.
“This is everyone’s worst nightmare … children being abducted,” Stallone said in the extras. “What can be worse?”
This trial draws a harrowing and deeper picture of Rambo.
“We’ve told the entire odyssey of a man’s arc,” Stallone said in the extras. “By the end of this film, he’s sacrificed everything.”
Will it truly be the last time audiences see this uniquely flawed action hero?
“It is an open ending,” Stallone said.
Rambo: Last Blood Best Buy-exclusive Steelbook
AN EXPLOSIVE CATALOG IN 4K
All four other installments in the saga of Rambo also are available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray:
First Blood (1982)
Stallone originates the role of war hero John Rambo. An ex-Green Beret haunted by memories of Vietnam, he was once the perfect killing machine. Now he’s searching for peace, but finds instead an overzealous, small-town sheriff who’s spoiling for a fight. All hell breaks loose when an unjustly imprisoned Rambo escapes and becomes the target of a massive manhunt. He must use all his cunning, combat skills and weapons training to stay alive and outwit his pursuers. The film co-stars Brian Dennehy and Richard Crenna.
Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985)
Stallone is back as John Rambo in a sequel to First Blood, with a screenplay by Stallone and James Cameron (Titanic). Rambo’s survival skills are tested on a top-secret mission that takes him back to the jungles of Vietnam in search of American POWs. When Rambo is double-crossed, he must defeat savage enemies equipped with deadly firepower, armed with just a bow, arrows and knife.
Rambo III (1988)
Stallone’s Rambo has finally begun to find inner peace inside a monastery — until his friend and mentor Col. Sam Trautman (Richard Crenna) shows up to ask for his help on a top-secret mission in Afghanistan. A war-weary Rambo declines, but when Trautman is captured, Rambo erupts into a one-man firestorm to rescue his former commanding officer and decimate the enemy.
After spending several years in northern Thailand operating a longboat on the Salween River, Stallone’s Rambo reluctantly agrees to carry a group of Christian missionaries into war-torn Burma. When the aid workers are captured by ruthless Nationalist Army soldiers, Rambo leads a group of battle-scarred, combat-hardened mercenaries on a mission to rescue the prisoners.
Extras on Last Blood include the “Drawing Last Blood: Multipart Production Diary” featurette, the “From First Note to Last Blood: Music for the Massacres” featurette and the theatrical trailer.
The action thriller Dead Earth comes out on DVD, digital, and on demand Jan. 28 from Lionsgate.
From filmmaker Wych Kaosayananda, director of Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever and The Driver, Dead Earth tells a parallel story to The Driver, focusing on events that happen within the same post-apocalyptic world, with characters and locations intersecting between both films.
In the film, two young women cling to life in an abandoned resort. They must survive in silence, in mortal fear of attracting the hordes of undead. When their compound runs out of fuel, they are forced into the countryside to find gas, resulting in a nightmarish encounter with survivors. But that is nothing compared to the horrors that await them back at home, leading to a deadly confrontation with the evil that surrounds them.
The 1980s sci-fi actioner RoboCop, Flowers in the Attic and a 1950s James Stewart classic western are among the five titles on the November Blu-ray slate from Arrow Video and MVD Entertainment Group.
Due Nov. 5 is the horror flick Apprentice to Murder. Chad Lowe, younger brother to Rob, stars as Billy, a young man who falls under the spell of folk magic healer Dr. Reese (Donald Sutherland). As the two begin to investigate a strange sickness infesting their community, the lines between good and evil start to blur. Bonus features include a video interview on religious horror with Kat Ellinger, author and editor-in-chief of Diabolique Magazine; new audio commentary by author and critic Bryan Reesman; a new video interview with cinematographer Kelvin Pike; a new video interview with makeup supervisor Robin Grantham; the theatrical trailer; and a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Haunt Love.
Nov. 12 comes Flowers in the Attic, based on VC Andrews’ novel, a Gothic tale about four siblings locked away in the attic by their evil grandmother (Louise Fletcher). Originally panned by critics, director Jeffrey Bloom’s adaptation has developed a cult following over the years. The new Arrow release comes loaded with special features including new interviews and the original, studio-vetoed ending.
Also due Nov. 12 is Anthony Mann’s Technicolor western The Far Country, in which James Stewart stars as an adventurer that bumps heads with a corrupt judge (John McIntire). Despite being filmed in Canada, The Far Country is one of the rare westerns to be set in Alaska. The two-disc limited edition release features the film in two aspect ratios with a new 4K restoration.
Irvin Berwick’s Hitchhike to Hell hits Blu-ray for the first time on Nov. 19. Inspired by the brutal crimes of the “Co-ed Killer” Edmund Kemper, Hitchhike to Hell is a classic slice of American exploitation. Extras include a newly filmed appreciation by Nightmare USA author Stephen Thrower; “Road to Nowhere: Hitchhiking Culture Goes to Hell,” a new video essay by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas exploring the dark side of hitchhiking in the real world and on the screen; a reversable sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by The Twins of Evil; and for the first pressing only, a collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Heather Drain.
Finally, Nov. 26 comes Paul Verhoeven’s action classic RoboCop. Set in the not-too-distant future, RoboCop is the story of officer Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) who is gunned down in the line of duty before being brought back to life as a half-man/half-machine crime-fighter. This new limited-edition release features the director’s cut and the original theatrical release, both presented with a 4K restoration approved by Verhoeven himself. Among the numerous extras are a limited edition collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Omar Ahmed, Christopher Griffiths and Henry Blyth, as well as a 1987 Fangoria interview with Rob Bottin and archive publicity materials (some contents exclusive to the limited edition); archive commentary by Verhoeven, executive producer Jon Davison and co-writer Ed Neumeier (originally recorded for the theatrical cut and re-edited in 2014 for the director’s cut); and new commentary by film historian Paul M. Sammon. RoboCop will be available in standard and steelbook editions.