Cult Film ‘The Girl From Rio’ Headed to 4K Ultra HD Sept. 26 From Blue Underground and MVD

The cult film The Girl From Rio will be released on 4K Ultra HD (plus Blu-ray) combo pack Sept. 26 from Blue Underground and MVD Entertainment Group.

In the tradition of Barbarella and Danger: Diabolik comes this swinging ’60s action orgy as bisexual super-villain Sumuru (Shirley Eaton, Goldfinger) launches a diabolical plan to enslave the male species with her army of lusty warrior women. But when Sumuru kidnaps a fugitive American playboy, she crosses a sadistic crime boss (Academy Award winner George Sanders, All About Eve, Village of the Damned) and ignites a battle of the sexes.

Richard Wyler (The Bounty Killer) and Maria Rohm (Eugenie) co-star in this kinky cult favorite from producer Harry Alan Towers (The Blood of Fu Manchu) and director Jess Franco (Venus in Furs). Also known as Rio 70, Future Women and The Seven Secrets of Sumuru, The Girl From Rio is presented in a new 4K restoration from the original camera negative, uncut and uncensored in Dolby Vision HDR.

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Special features include:

  • a new audio commentary with film historians Nathaniel Thompson and Troy Howarth;
  • a new “Rocking in Rio” interview with Stephen Thrower, author of Murderous Passions: The Delirious Cinema of Jesus Franco;
  • “Rolling in Rio ,” interviews with director Jess Franco, producer Harry Alan Towers and star Shirley Eaton;
  • new additional scenes from the German version;
  • a trim reel;
  • a poster and still gallery; and
  • a new “RiffTrax Edition,” the movie riffed by Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy.

Horror Titles ‘Daughters of Darkness’ and ‘Dead & Buried’ Due on 4K Ultra HD June 27 From MVD and Blue Underground

Two horror films, Daughters of Darkness (1971) and Dead & Buried (1981), are headed to 4K Ultra HD June 27 from Blue Underground and MVD Entertainment Group.

In Daughters of Darkness, international screen icon Delphine Seyrig (Last Year at Marienbad, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie) stars as Elizabeth Bathory, an ageless Countess with a beautiful young “companion” (Goth goddess Andrea Rau) and a legendary legacy of perversion. When the two women seduce a troubled newlywed couple (Danielle Ouimet and John Karlen of “Dark Shadows” and “Cagney & Lacey”), they unleash a frenzy of sudden violence and depraved desire that shocked both art house audiences and grindhouse crowds worldwide. Co-written and directed by Harry Kumel, the classic psychosexual shocker is presented in the uncensored director’s cut, scanned in 4K 16-bit from its long-lost original 35mm camera negative, with Dolby Vision HDR and a new Dolby Atmos audio mix. Extras include audio commentary with Kumel; audio commentary with Karlen and journalist David Del Valle; audio commentary with Kat Ellinger, author of Devil’s Advocates: Daughters of Darkness; “Locations of Darkness,” with interviews with Kumel and co-writer/co-producer Pierre Drouot; “Playing the Victim,” an interview with star Ouimet; “Daughter of Darkness,” an interview with star Rau; theatrical trailers; radio spots; and a poster and still gallery.

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In Dead & Buried, something very strange is happening in the quiet coastal village of Potters Bluff, where tourists and transients are warmly welcomed — then brutally murdered. Even more shocking, these slain strangers suddenly reappear as normal, friendly citizens around town. The local sheriff (James Farentino of The Final Countdown) and an eccentric mortician (Academy Award winner Jack Albertson of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory) must uncover the horrific secret of a community where some terrifying traditions are alive and well — and no one is ever really dead and buried. The film — written by Ronald Shusett and Dan O’Bannon (Alien), directed by Gary A. Sherman (Poltergeist III), and featuring gore effects by Oscar winner Stan Winston (Jurassic Park) — also stars Melody Anderson (Flash Gordon), Lisa Blount (Prince of Darkness) and Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street). The release features a restoration approved by director of photography Steven Poster (Donnie Darko), scanned in 4K 16-bit from its 35mm IP, with Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio. Special features include audio commentary with Sherman; audio commentary with Shusett and actress Linda Turley; audio commentary with director of photography Steven Poster, ASC; audio commentary with film historians Troy Howarth and Nathaniel Thompson; “Behind the Scenes of Dead & Buried“; “Dead & Buried Locations: Now & Then”; “Murders, Mystery, and Music,” featuring interviews with Sherman and composer Joe Renzetti; “The Pages of Potters Bluff,” an interview with novelization author Chelsea Quinn Yarbro; “Stan Winston’s Dead & Buried EFX”; “Robert Englund: An Early Work of Horror”; “Dan O’Bannon: Crafting Fear”; theatrical trailers; poster and still galleries; and Poster’s location stills.

1980 Sci-Fi Film ‘The Final Countdown’ Being Re-released on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray Disc Nov. 22

The 1980 sci-fi film The Final Countdown will be re-released on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray disc Nov. 22 from MVD Entertainment Group and Blue Underground.

In the film, a freak electrical storm engulfs the U.S.S. Nimitz, America’s mightiest nuclear-powered aircraft carrier on maneuvers in the Pacific Ocean, hurtling it back in time to Dec. 6, 1941, mere hours before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. As the enemy fleet speeds towards Hawaii, the warship’s captain (Kirk Douglas), a Defense Department expert (Martin Sheen), a maverick Air Wing Commander (James Farentino) and a desperate senator in the Roosevelt administration (Charles Durning) must choose between the unthinkable. Do they allow the Japanese to complete their murderous invasion, or launch a massive counterstrike that will forever change the course of history? Katharine Ross and Ron O’Neal co-star in the sci-fi actioner filmed on location aboard the U.S.S. Nimitz with the full participation of the U.S. Navy and the ship’s crew.

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Blue Underground is presenting the film in a new restoration, scanned in 4K 16-bit from the original 35mm camera negative, with Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio. The 4K disc is compatible with D-Box home theater systems.

Special features include audio commentary with director of photography Victor J. Kemper; “Lloyd Kaufman Goes Hollywood,” an interview with associate producer Lloyd Kaufman; “Starring The Jolly Rogers,” interviews with The Jolly Rogers F-14 Fighter Squadron; theatrical trailers; TV spots; and poster and still galleries.

The film was first released on 4K disc in 2021. Read a review here.

Erotic Classic ‘Quiet Days in Clichy’ Coming to 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD on Oct. 25

Blue Underground is planning to reissue the erotic classic Quiet Days in Clichy in a 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray combo pack as well as a DVD special edition on Oct. 25.

The discs will be distributed by MVD Entertainment Group.

The film, released in 1970, is an adaptation of Henry Miller’s semi-autobiographical novella by controversial Danish artist Jens Jørgen Thorsen.

The film captures the youthful spirit and liberated sexuality Miller experienced in his Bohemian days as an expat in Paris, portraying an American writer, Joey, and his French pal Carl sharing an apartment in the Parisian district of Clichy. While both men are broke and starving, it is no deterrent to their pursuit of desire for sexual adventures. 

Filmed in the French new-wave style of Godard and amplified by an original soundtrack by Woodstock favorite “Country Joe” McDonald, Quiet Days in Clichy was already a hit in Europe when it made its way to the United States, where it was quickly seized by authorities,who claimed it to be nothing more than obscene, pornographic filth. After protracted litigation against the government by its U.S. distributor, the film was eventually cleared, but mysteriously became lost.

Blue Underground has resurrected the film in a brand-new restoration, scanned in 4K 16-bit from its recently discovered uncut and uncensored original 35mm fine-grain negative. 

‘Get Mean,’ ‘Love Camp 7’ Headed to Disc Aug. 23 From MVD and Blue Underground

The Western Get Mean and the erotic film Love Camp 7 are being released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc Aug. 23 from MVD Entertainment Group and Blue Underground.

In Get Mean (1975), when an American cowboy stumbles upon a gypsy family in a wind-swept ghost town, they offer him a fortune to escort a princess back to her home in Spain. But this silent stranger finds himself in over his head (and strung up by his feet) when he gets caught in the middle of an epic battle involving Vikings, the Moors, brutal barbarians, evil spirits, a raging bull, and a diabolical Shakespeare-quoting hunchback. Tired of their never-ending attempts to kill him, the cowboy arms himself to the teeth with guns, dynamite and a special surprise. Special features include audio commentary with producer/star Tony Anthony, co-writer/star Lloyd Battista, and executive producer Ronald J. Schneider; “The Story of the Stranger,” an interview with Anthony; “Looking for Richard,” an interview with Battista; “Beating a Dead Horse,” an interview with Schneider; “Tony & I,” an interview with director Ferdinando Baldi; deleted scenes; the theatrical trailer; the French trailer; radio spots; and a poster and still gallery.

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In Love Camp 7 (1969), during the darkest days of World War II, two young American WAC officers volunteer to infiltrate a depraved Nazi Love Camp on a desperate rescue mission. Once inside, they are subjected to unspeakable indignities and horrifying humiliations at the hands of their sadistic captors. Launching the notorious “Nazisploitation” craze of the 1970s, the film comes from writer/producer/star Bob Cresse (The Scavengers), producer Dave Friedman (Blood Feast), and director/cinematographer Lee Frost (The Black Gestapo). One of the 72 U.K. video nasties — banned in Britain to this day — the film is presented in the original uncensored version in a 4K restoration from its recently discovered camera negative. Special features include “Nazithon: Decadence and Destruction”; the theatrical trailer; and a poster and still gallery.

Horror Title ‘God Told Me To’ Headed to 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack July 19 From MVD

The horror film God Told Me To (1976) will be released on 4K Ultra HD plus Blu-ray combo pack July 19 from Blue Underground and MVD Entertainment Group.

A rooftop sniper guns down 14 pedestrians on the streets of New York City. A mild-mannered dad takes a shotgun and blows away his wife and children. A cop goes on a sudden shooting spree at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Each of these unlikely killers makes the same dying confession: “God told me to.” In this cult classic, repressed Catholic NYPD detective (Tony Lo Bianco, The French Connection) must uncover a netherworld of deranged faith, alien insemination and his own unholy connection to a homicidal messiah with a perverse plan for the soul of mankind.
 
Written, produced, and directed by Larry Cohen (It’s Alive), the film also stars Deborah Raffin (Death Wish 3), Sandy Dennis (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), Sylvia Sidney (Beetlejuice), Mike Kellin (Sleepaway Camp), Richard Lynch (Bad Dreams) and Andy Kaufman (“Taxi”).

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Presented in a new 4K restoration from the original uncensored negative, with Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio, the release also includes such extras as audio commentary with Cohen; new audio commentary with film historians Steve Mitchell and Troy Howarth; an interview with star Tony Lo Bianco; an interview with special effects artist Steve Neill; and more.

Horror Film ‘The Toolbox Murders’ Heading to 4K Ultra HD Jan. 18 From MVD and Blue Underground

Blue Underground and MVD Entertainment Group Jan. 18 will release The Toolbox Murders, Dennis Donnelly’s notorious 1978 exploitation classic, on 4K Ultra HD with a new Blu-ray combo that has been scanned in 4K 16-bit from the uncut original negative.
 
In the horror film, a violent string of murders terrorizes a small apartment complex in Los Angeles. The culprit is a mysterious masked man determined to use every tool at his disposal to make “immoral” women pay. Rooted in the Italian giallo, The Toolbox Murders quickly earned a reputation for its brutal violence and was labeled a “Video Nasty” in the United Kingdom. Despite this failed attempt at censorship, The Toolbox Murders has developed a devoted cult following in the decades following its release.
 
The Toolbox Murders stars Pamelyn Ferdin, genre favorite Cameron Mitchell, “Land of the Lost” star Wesley Eure, Aneta Corsaut and adult film star Kelly Nichols.  

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Extras include a video essay, a look back at the career of Mitchell, a new audio commentary with film historians Troy Howarth and Nathaniel Thompson, and interviews with director Donnelly and stars Eure and Nichols. 

‘Maniac Cop 2’ and ‘3’ Due on 4K Ultra HD Nov. 16 From MVD

The horror films Maniac Cop 2 and Maniac Cop 3 are being released on 4K Ultra HD Nov. 16 from Blue Underground and MVD Entertainment Group.

In the sequel Maniac Cop 2, the “Maniac Cop” is back from the dead and stalking the streets of New York once more. Officer Matt Cordell was once a hero, but after being framed by corrupt superiors and brutally assaulted in prison, he sets out on a macabre mission of vengeance, teaming up with a vicious serial killer to track down those that wronged him and make them pay.

Robert Davi (Die Hard), Claudia Christian (The Hidden), Michael Lerner (Barton Fink), Laurene Landon (Hundra), Leo Rossi (Halloween II), Robert Z’Dar (Tango & Cash), Charles Napier (The Silence of the Lambs), and Bruce Campbell (The Evil Dead) star in this sequel written by Larry Cohen (It’s Alive) and directed by William Lustig (Maniac). Maniac Cop 2 has been scanned in 4K from the original camera negative and supervised by director of photography James Lemmo. It is presented with Dolby Vision HDR and a new Dolby Atmos audio mix. Special features include audio commentary and a making-of featurette.

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In Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence, when Officer Kate Sullivan storms a hostage situation, the whole incident is captured on tape by an unscrupulous media crew who edit the footage to show Kate killing a helpless victim. Now in a coma, Kate’s only hope is Detective Sean McKinney, who desperately tries to clear her name. But unbeknownst to him, “Maniac Cop” Matt Cordell takes it upon himself to exact revenge upon those responsible for smearing her name.

Returning stars Robert Davi and Robert Z’Dar are joined by Paul Gleason (Die Hard), Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen), Julius Harris (Super Fly), Doug Savant (“Melrose Place”), and Robert Forster (Jackie Brown) in this third entry from Maniac Cop creator Larry Cohen. The film is scanned in 4K from the original uncensored negative, presented with Dolby Vision HDR and a new Dolby Atmos audio mix. Special features include audio commentary, the theatrical trailer, a making-of featurette, and deleted and extended scenes.

Romero-Argento Duo ‘Two Evil Eyes’ Coming to 4K Ultra HD Aug. 24 From MVD

Horror masters George Romero and Dario Argento direct a pair of shockers inspired by the tales of Edgar Allan Poe in the two-disc set Two Evil Eyes, available on 4K Ultra HD Aug. 24 from Blue Underground and MVD Entertainment Group.

In Romero’s The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar, a conniving wife (Adrienne Barbeau, The Fog) and her lover use a hypnotic trance to embezzle a fortune from her dying husband, only to receive some chilling surprises from beyond the grave. In Argento’s The Black Cat, a deranged crime scene photographer (Harvey Keitel, From Dusk Till Dawn) is driven to brutal acts of madness and murder by his girlfriend’s new pet.

Martin Balsam (Psycho), E.G. Marshall (Creepshow), John Amos (The Beastmaster) and Tom Atkins (Night of the Creeps) co-star in this horror duo that also features makeup effects by Tom Savini (Maniac).

Blue Underground scanned Two Evil Eyes in 4K 16-bit from the original camera negative. The release features Dolby Vision HDR and a new Dolby Atmos audio mix.

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Bonus features include:
  • audio commentary with Troy Howarth, author of Murder By Design: The Unsane Cinema of Dario Argento;
  • the theatrical trailer;
  • a poster and still gallery;
  • “Two Masters’ Eyes,” featuring interviews with Argento and Romero, Savini, executive producer Claudio Argento and Asia Argento;
  • “Savini’s EFX,” a behind-the-scenes look at the film’s special make-up effects;
  • “At Home With Tom Savini,” a personal tour of Savini’s home;
  • Adrienne Barbeau on Romero;
  • “Before I Wake,” an interview with star Ramy Zada;
  • “Behind the Wall,” an interview with star Madeleine Potter;
  • “One Maestro and Two Masters,” an interview with composer Pino Donaggio;
  • “Rewriting Poe,” an interview with co-writer Franco Ferrini;
  • “The Cat Who Wouldn’t Die,” an interview with assistant director Luigi Cozzi;
  • “Two Evil Brothers,” an interview with special make-up assistant Everett Burrell; and
  • “Working With George,” an interview with costume designer Barbara Anderson.

 

The Final Countdown

4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 5/25/21;
Blue Underground;
Sci-Fi Action;
$59.95 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG.’
Stars Kirk Douglas, Martin Sheen, James Farentino, Katherine Ross, Charles Durning, Ron O’Neal.

The premise of The Final Countdown teases an irresistible bit of speculative fiction: What if a single modern U.S. aircraft carrier was available to defend Pearl Harbor against the Japanese fleet?

While modern in this scenario refers to 1980, when the movie first came out, and military tech has evolved a bit since then, those advancements aren’t as much of a radical change as the difference between pre-World War II hardware and what was available during filming. In fact, the aircraft carrier at the center of the story, the U.S.S. Nimitz, is still in service as of 2021.

To put the time gap into perspective, it would be the temporal equivalent of a newer carrier such as the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan going back in time from now to 1982, when Reagan was actually president. But the foundational shift from analog to digital makes the 1980s to today feel much closer than the 1940s feels to the ’80s. Which is all a way of saying the central hook of the story still holds up as an intriguing plot twist more than 40 years later.

Despite a plot involving time travel and naval warfare, The Final Countdown really isn’t that complicated of a movie. In essence, the aircraft carrier Nimitz, while engaged in training exercises, encounters a rift in space-time that sends it back to 1941. The crew investigates their situation, figures out what happened, and decides that no matter the time, their duty is to defend the United States, so they prepare to ambush the Japanese fleet with modern jet fighters before it can attack Pearl Harbor.

The primary fun in the film is watching the characters try to grasp the implications of the premise. The main debate is between the ship’s captain, played by Kirk Douglas, who must decide what the crew’s duty is despite being displaced by time, and a civilian observer played by Martin Sheen, who wonders if it’s possible to change history, and if so, what the ramifications would be. James Farentino plays the ship’s air wing commander, who also happens to be an amateur historian and expert on the Pearl Harbor attack.

The captain’s assessments hit a bit of a wrinkle when a fighter patrol encounters a couple of Japanese scout planes firing on a yacht in order to wipe out any potential witnesses. The boat’s main passenger turns out to be a U.S. senator (played Charles Durning) who could have become president had history not recorded him having disappeared just before the Pearl Harbor attack. Instead, he’s very much alive and sitting in the infirmary of a ship decades more advanced than the technology he’s familiar with, and he has a lot of questions.

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Aside from its place in time travel lore, the film is also mostly known for its authentic depiction of the operations on board a U.S. aircraft carrier, so much so that long stretches of the film are dedicated solely to depicting the processes for launching and maintaining fighter planes, which doesn’t do much to service the story but is catnip for military hardware junkies.

The reason for the authenticity is that the production crew was allowed to film on the actual U.S.S. Nimitz and record real military planes in action. In fact, some of the real naval aviators who worked on the film speculate in a bonus featurette that the Navy agreed to participate because they could use the final film as a recruitment video.

The primary fighter on display here is the F-14 Tomcat, six years before they were similarly featured in Top Gun. The appearance of the F-14 in both films is a primary reason the craft is among the greatest fighter planes from a pop culture perspective, and watching a couple of them dogfight with Japanese Zeros is a pure delight.

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The Final Countdown has enjoyed a few notable home video releases before, arriving on DVD in 2004 and on Blu-ray in 2008. But Blue Underground’s new 4K edition is the ultimate edition of the film, offering a nice-looking new restoration from the original 35mm camera negative, plus all previously available bonus material and then some.

First up is a commentary track carried over from 2004 with the film’s cinematographer, Victor J. Kemper, who discusses the process of shooting the film on board an active aircraft carrier with Blue Underground representative David Gregory.

There are also two featurettes, also from 2004, both of which are upscaled to 4K. “Lloyd Kaufman Goes Hollywood” is a 14-minute interview with Kaufman, the legendary Troma Entertainment founder who worked as a producer on the film, while the 31-minute “Starring the Jolly Rogers” is a fascinating retrospective featuring some of the real pilots who flew the planes in the film.

There are also galleries for the film’s promotional artwork, trailers and TV spots, the latter narrated by the voice of Optimus Prime himself, Peter Cullen.

The 4K combo pack includes the film on both a 4K disc and a regular Blu-ray, and the extras are fully available on both. In addition, the set doesn’t just repack the old 2008 Blu-ray, but a newly engineered one using the same restoration of the film as the 4K disc.

The set also includes the D-Box motion control from the original Blu-ray, and the “Zero Pilot Journal” essay that was available as text on the DVD release has been reprinted as a physical booklet insert.

Another added treat is a CD soundtrack of the film’s musical score by John Scott. This is the same CD that is available on its own through Screen Archives, and consists of 23 tracks running 54 minutes total.

Rounding out the set is reversable box art and a slipcase with a lenticular cover depicting the Nimitz disappearing into the rift.

All in all, this is a must have for fans of the film, the U.S. Navy and time travel stories in general.