Horror Flicks ‘City of the Living Dead’ and ‘Frankenstein ’80’ Due From MVD

Two Italian horror flicks, City of the Living Dead (1980) and Frankenstein ’80 (1972), are due on disc from Cauldron Films and MVD Entertainment Group.

In City of the Living Dead (a.k.a. The Gates of Hell), available on 4K Ultra HD Aug. 29, when a priest hangs himself in a cemetery, he opens the gates of hell in the mysterious New England town of Dunwich. At the same moment, Psychic Mary Woodhouse (Catriona MacColl, House By the Cemetery, The Beyond) enters a trance and witnesses the cosmic events unfold, causing her to seemingly die of fright. After being buried alive, she is rescued by skeptical reporter Peter Bell (Christopher George, Pieces, Enter the Ninja, Rat Patrol) who joins her on the journey toward Dunwich to help close the gates of hell before evil is unleashed upon the world. Lucio Fulci’s gut-spewing, brain smashing, head drilling, Lovecraftian zombie nightmare features a list of Italian talent behind the scenes with a screenplay co-written by Dardano Sacchetti (Rat Man, Demons), special FX by Gino De Rossi (Zombie, Cannibal Ferox), cinematography by Sergio Salvati (Contraband, The Beyond), and a soundtrack by Fabio Frizzi (Contraband, The Psychic). It also features supporting performances by Giovanni Lombardo Radice (Phantom of Death, House on the Edge of the Park), Carlo De Mejo (Contamination, House by the Cemetery) and Janet Agren (Rat Man, The Iron Commissioner). Cauldron Films’ worldwide UHD debut of Lucio Fulci’s Italian horror classic features an updated 4K restoration, with a new Dolby Vision color grade. The release features three discs, including the 4K UHD feature, Blu-ray feature and Blu-ray extras. Special features include a new audio commentary with film historian Samm Deighan; archival audio commentary with film historians Troy Howarth and Nathaniel Thompson; archival audio commentary with actress Catriona MacColl moderated by Jay Slater; archival audio commentary with actor Giovanni Lombardo Radice moderated by Calum Waddell; “Zombie Kings: Interview with Massimo Antonello Geleng”; “Requiem for Bob: Interview with Giovanni Lombardo Radice”; “On Stage: Q&A with Venantino Venantini & Ruggero Deodato”; a Catriona MacColl Q&A; a Fabio Frizzi Q&A; “The Meat Munching Movies of Gino De Rossi”; “Carlo of the Living Dead,” an archival interview with actor Carlo De Mejo; “A Trip Through Bonaventure Cemetery”; a Catriona Maccoll video intro from 2001; an image gallery; a double sided Blu-ray wrap with artwork by Matthew Therrien; optional English SDH subtitles; and seamless branching to watch in English language with English credit sequences and watch Italian language with Italian credit sequences.

In Frankenstein ’80, due on Blu-ray Aug. 15, when Professor Schwarz invents a new serum that helps transplant patients better accept their new organs, Dr. Frankenstein quickly steals it to bring to life his greatest creation — Mosaic. Once alive, Mosaic is uncontrollable and escapes from the lab nightly to solicit prostitutes and leave a trail of corpses across the city that only seems to baffle the police and create a wave of fear. Mario Mancini’s (camera operator on Mario Bava’s Blood and Black Lace and Black Sunday) only film as director is a stylish, gory, and sleazy take on the Frankenstein story in true Italian exploitation fashion. With nods to giallo films, a streak of dark humor, featuring gruesome special effects by Carlo Rambaldi (E.T., Bay of Blood) and starring Gordon Mitchell (Shanghai Joe), Xiro Papas (Black Killer), John Richardson (Black Sunday), Renato Romano (The Fifth Cord) and Dalila Di Lazzaro (Flesh for Frankenstein), Cauldron Films presents Frankenstein ’80, uncensored and restored on Blu-ray for the first time. It features a 2K restoration from the uncensored negative in English audio and Italian audio with English subtitles. Extras include “Dalila Forever: The Recorded Memories of Dalila Di Lazzaro”; “Little Frankensteins: History of Italian Frankenstein films with Domenico Monetti”; audio commentary by film historian Heather Drain; and a reversible Blu-ray wrap with alternate artwork.

Cult Classic ‘Shanghai Joe’ Due on Blu-ray May 16 From Cauldron and MVD

The 1973 Italian cult classic Shanghai Joe will be released on Blu-ray Disc May 16 from Cauldron Films and MVD Entertainment Group.

In the hybrid of a spaghetti Western and a martial arts film, Chin Hao (Chen Lee/Myoshin Hayakawa), arrives in America looking for a better life, only to be faced with locals that don’t take kindly to outsiders. Much to their surprise, Chin is not your average drifter as he rips his way through racist bad guys with his unstoppable fighting techniques. After word of his skills spreads, he gets a job at a ranch only to find that the owner, Stanley Spencer, is a cattle smuggling slave trader who brutalizes Mexican farmers and anyone else who dares get in his way. Chin ramps up the violence as he stops at nothing to free the slaves and enact revenge on the sadistic Spencer.

Directed by Mario Caiano (Nightmare Castle), Shanghai Joe is for fans of bloody, action-packed Westerns and Kung Fu films of the 1970s. Loaded with practical gore effects and bone breaking fight choreography, Shanghai Joe also features genre legends Klaus Kinski (Jack the Ripper), Gordon Mitchell (Endgame), Robert Hundar (Sabata), Giacomo Rossi Stuart (The Crimes of the Black Cat), Carla Romanelli (Gang War in Milan), Piero Lulli (My Dear Killer) and Katsutoshi Mikuriya.

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Cauldron Films presents Shanghai Joe (aka Il mio nome è Shangai Joe, My Name is Shanghai Joe and The Fighting Fists of Shanghai Joe) on Blu-ray featuring a 2K restoration from the negative, both English dubbed and Italian with English subtitle audio options, and new extras.

Special features include “Samurai Spirit: Interview with Master Katsutoshi Mikuriya”; commentary with film historian Mike Hauss; the trailer; and “East Meets West: Italian Style,” a visual essay by film historian Eric Zaldivar.

Cult Films ‘Contraband’ and ‘Murder in a Blue World’ Due on Blu-ray Nov. 22 From Cauldron Films and MVD Entertainment Group

The foreign cult films Contraband and Murder in a Blue World are being released on Blu-ray Disc Nov. 22 from Cauldron Films and MVD Entertainment Group.

The 1980 Italian crime story Contraband is directed by Lucio Fulci (The Beyond, City of the Living Dead) and set in Naples, Italy. It follows idealistic cigarette smuggler Luca, who runs into problems with a sadistic drug dealing gangster from France and decides to muscle his way into operations. As he tries to wipe out the competition, all hell breaks loose and the bodies start piling up. Luca joins forces with rival smugglers and the local mafia to counteract the power play, which only increases the body count until the explosive gun powder and gut bursting conclusion. The film stars Fabio Testi (The Big Racket), Marcel Bozzuffi (The French Connection), Ivana Monti (Five Days in Milan), and Saverio Marconi (Padre Padrone). Featuring gruesome practical special effects by Germano Natali (Deep Red) and Roberto Pace (Body Count), with music by legendary composer Fabio Frizzi, Contraband is a hard hitting mafia story filmed through the eye of an unrelenting horror master. Making its Blu-ray debut via Cauldron Films, Contraband is restored from a 4K scan of the negative with English language audio, optional English SDH subtitles, and Italian language audio with English subtitles. Special features include new interviews with writer Giorgio Mariuzzo, actress Ivana Monti and actor Saverio Marconi; archival interviews with actor Fabrizio Jovine, actor Venantino Venantini, cinematographer Sergio Salvati and composer Fabio Frizzi; new audio commentary by film historians Troy Howarth, Nathaniel Thompson and Bruce Holecheck; an image gallery; trailers; and a reversible Blu-ray wrap with alternate artwork.

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The 1973 thriller Murder in a Blue World is a Spanish spin on Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. In the film set in a violent, dystopian consumer-fed future, David (Chris Mitchum, Summertime Killer) blackmails nurse Ana (Sue Lyon, Stanley Kubrick’s Lolita) after witnessing her commit a murder. When Ana and Victor (Jean Sorel, Perversion Story) discover David is a known gang member with an extensive criminal past, they make a plan to turn the tables and use him for their own clandestine purposes. Two years after Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, transgressive Spanish genre director Eloy de la Iglesia unleashed his thought-provoking and beautifully shot future-world film that was also known as A Clockwork Terror. Available for the first time on Blu-ray, Cauldron Films presents the film from a new 2K restoration of the Spanish producer’s cut from the negative, with English audio with optional English SDH subtitles and Spanish audio with optional English subtitles. Special features include a newly edited archival interview with Chris Mitchum; “Dubbing in a Blue World”; a video essay by film scholar Dr Xavier Aldana Reyes; commentary by film historian Kat Ellinger; and an image gallery.

Horror Film ‘Sator,’ Cult Flick ‘Liza The Fox Fairy’ Due on Blu-ray Sept. 27 From Cauldron and MVD

The horror film Sator and the Hungarian cult film Liza The Fox Fairy are headed to Blu-ray Disc Sept. 27 from Cauldron Films and MVD Entertainment Group.

In Sator, secluded in a desolate forest, home to little more than the decaying remnants of the past, a broken family is further torn apart by a mysterious death. Adam (Gabriel Nicholson), guided by a pervasive sense of dread, hunts for answers only to learn that they are not alone; an insidious presence by the name of Sator has been observing his family, subtly influencing all of them for years in an attempt to claim them. Shot in the Santa Cruz mountains and drawing from a grandmother’s real life belief in a protective spirit that spoke to her, Sator quietly unspools a story of isolation and dread that fits firmly into the recent wave of unsettling arthouse horror. Special features include a behind-the-scenes featurette and director’s commentary.

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In Liza the Fox Fairy, Liza is a lonely nurse whose only company is the ghost of a long-dead Japanese pop-star. Out of jealousy, he turns her into a Fox Fairy and now everyone that is attracted to Liza dies a horrible death. In order to finally find true love, Liza must overcome the curse and defeat the jealousy of her suave, supernatural suitor. Although the film was released in 2015 and played the U.S. festival circuit, Liza has been unavailable on Blu-ray worldwide until now. Special features include behind-the-scenes interviews, storyboards, a music video, a trailer and an audio essay by Kat Ellinger.