Horror Flick ‘Count Dracula’ Among Titles Coming to Disc Nov. 28 From Severin and MVD

The 1970 horror flick Count Dracula, starring Christopher Lee, and the 1980 gorefest Doctor Butcher M.D./Zombie Holocaust are due Nov. 28 on 4K Ultra HD from Severin Films and MVD Entertainment Group. The making-of documentary double feature Vampir-Cuadecuc/Umbracle will also be released on Blu-ray Disc Nov. 28.

In early 2023, a Madrid film archivist made a startling discovery: the uncut camera negative of Count Dracula, in pristine condition and untouched for more than 50 years. The gothic masterpiece from writer/director Jess Franco features Christopher Lee as the Count, Herbert Lom as Van Helsing, Soledad Miranda as Lucy, Maria Rohm as Mina and Klaus Kinski as Renfield with an eerie Bruno Nicolai score. With the film newly scanned in 4K, the release includes more than five total hours of special features, including the U.S. premiere of Carles Prats’ 2017 documentary Dracula Barcelona, which chronicles the simultaneous filming of Vampir-Cuadecuc by Pere Portabella and Franco’s horror classic. Special features on the Ultra HD disc include audio commentary with horror historian David Del Valle and actress Maria Rohm and the trailer. Special features on an included Blu-ray Disc include the same audio commentary; an illustrated 1973 Christopher Lee audio interview with filmmaker Donald Glut; “Beloved Count,” an interview with director Jess Franco; “Handsome Harker,” an interview with actor Fred Williams; an interview with actor Jack Taylor; “Stake Holders,” an appreciation by filmmaker Christophe Gans; and the trailer. On another Blu-ray are “Dracula Barcelona,” a 2017 documentary (90 mins); “Jess Franco’s Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula —Stephen Thrower on Count Dracula”; the “In the Land of Franco” bonus sequence with Alain Petit and Stephen Thrower; and alternate title sequences. The final disc is a soundtrack CD.

Sparking riots on 42nd Street, the film was originally known as Zombie Holocaust until a notorious American distributor would then re-edit and re-title it as Doctor Burcher M.D. and and re-release it. Ian McCulloch (Zombie), Alexandra Delli Colli (The New York Ripper), Sherry Buchanan (Tentacles) and Donald O’Brien (Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals) star in this unabashed EuroTrash orgy of gut-munching, eyeball-gouging and face-chopping. Severin Films now presents both films scanned in 4K from original vault elements discovered in Manhattan and Rome with four hours of archival and new special features. Special features on Doctor Butcher M.D. include an interview with Aquarius Releasing’s Terry Levene; Rue Morgue’s Michael Gingold tours New York Locations of Italian horror; a nostalgic tour of 42nd Street with Temple of Schlock’s Chris Poggiali and filmmaker Roy Frumkes; “Tales That Tore Our Heart Out,” in which filmmakers Frank Farel and Brendan Faulkner discuss Unfinished Anthology Film; an interview with Gore Gazette editor and Butcher Mobile Barker Rick Sullivan; and an interview with editor Jim Markovic. Special features for Zombie Holocaust include an interview with star Ian McCulloch; an interview with SFX master Rosario Prestopino; “Filmmaker Enzo G. Castellari Remembers His Father, Director Marino Girolami”; an interview with SFX artist Maurizio Trani; an interview with actress Sherry Buchanan; and “New York Filming Locations: 1980 & 2015.”

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Vampir-Cuadecuc/Umbracle are having their North American Blu-ray premieres. Pere Portabella has been a pioneering movie producer and celebrated Spanish statesman, denounced by both the Franco dictatorship and The Vatican. But it’s his subversive work as a director that has rewritten the rules of genre narrative. In 1970, Portabella was invited by Jess Franco to make a behind-the-scenes documentary on the filming of Count Dracula. Instead, Vampir-Cuadecuc became a dreamlike deconstruction of myths, monsters and moviemaking featuring Christopher Lee, Herbert Lom and Soledad Miranda. Christopher Lee also stars in Portabella’s companion piece Umbracle, an unsettling journey through dread, violence and discontinuity with Lee at his most candid. Both films are now scanned in HD from Portabella’s own vault elements for the first time ever in America. Special features include “A Cinema of Vampires: Pere Portabella, Jess Franco and the School of Barcelona,” an interview with Spanish film scholar Dr. Álex Mendíbil; the Vampir-Cuadecuc trailer; and a booklet featuring text by Pere Portabella and film critics Jonathan Rosenbaum and Federico Karstulovich.

‘Blood for Dracula,’ Christopher Lee Classics Among Horror Titles Due on Blu-ray From Severin and MVD Jan. 31

Blood for Dracula; two Christopher Lee classics, Crypt of the Vampire and Castle of the Living Dead; and Legacy of Blood are on the slate of horror titles being released on Blu-ray Disc Jan. 31 from Severin Films and MVD Entertainment Group.

Immediately after completing Flesh for Frankenstein, writer/director Paul Morrissey and star Udo Kier created the Euroshocker Blood for Dracula (1974), featuring cunning political allegory. In the film, desperate for virgin blood, Count Dracula (Kier) journeys to an Italian villa only to discover the family’s three young daughters are also coveted by the estate’s Marxist stud (Joe Dallesandro of Morrissey’s Flesh, Trash and Heat). Stefania Casini (Suspiria) and Bicycle Thieves director Vittorio De Sica co-star with an unforgettable cameo by Roman Polanski. The film is scanned uncut in 4K from the original negative for the first time ever. Special features include “Trans-Human Flesh And Blood,” an interview with Morrissey; “Rubinia’s Homecoming,” an interview and location visit with Casini; “Blood for Udo,” an interview Kier; “Little Big Joe,” an interview with Dallesandro; “Conversation With a Vampire,” an audio interview with actress Milena Vukotic; “Bloodthirsty,” an interview with assistant director Paolo Pietrangeli; “Black Cherry,” an interview with art director Gianni Giovagnoni; “The Blood of These Whores…,” an interview with Murderous Passions author Stephen Thrower; “Sad, Romantic Dracula,” an interview with soundtrack composer Claudio Gizzi; “The Roman Connection,” an interview with producer Andrew Braunsberg; and trailers.

Legacy of Blood (1978), a loose remake of writer/director Andy Milligan’s own classic The Ghastly Ones, delivers a twisted family-gathers-in-creepy-mansion-for-inheritance saga filled with hysterical half-wits, inappropriate psychics, 1970s Staten Island standing in for late 1800s New England, and insane explosions of graphic carnage. With all pre-print materials believed to be destroyed, the thought-lost complete theatrical version of the film has been scanned in 2K from the only known 35mm release print. The television version featuring additional footage is presented from a video master. Special features include “Blood or Horror,” an interview with executive producer Ken Lane; “Legacy of Chris,” an interview with actor Chris Broderick; and a TV spot.

In the gothic shocker Crypt of the Vampire (1964), inspired by Sheridan Le Fanu’s novella Carmilla, Christopher Lee delivers a rare hero turn as nobleman Count Karnstein, whose foreboding castle teems with ancestral curses, unnatural desires, philosophical hunchbacks and grisly acts of vengeance. Adriana Ambesi (Fangs of the Living Dead) co-stars in this Spanish-Italian co-production — also known as Terror in the Crypt and Crypt of Horror — directed by Camillo Mastrocinque (An Angel for Satan) from a screenplay by giallo master Ernesto Gastaldi (All the Colors of the Dark) and Sergio Leone protégé Tonino Valerii (My Name Is Nobody). The release features a 2K scan from a fine-grain 35mm master print. The release includes a trailer.

Castle of the Living Dead (1964), presented in the original uncut version scanned in 4K from the Italian negative, is the final film of Christopher Lee’s early 1960s European period. Lee stars as a 19th century Count who invites a theatrical troupe for a weekend of horrors that boasts an enthusiastically creepy performance by Lee, startling locations in Lazio, Italy’s Orsini-Odescalchi Castle and the screen debut of Donald Sutherland as both a doofus gendarme and a hunchbacked hag. Philippe Leroy (The Night Porter) and Jacques Stany (Violence in a Women’s Prison) co-star in this French-Italian co-production from American producer Paul Maslansky — who would go on to produce Death Line and the “Police Academy” movies — and fellow expat writer/director Warren Kiefer, after whom Sutherland would name his son. Special features include audio commentary with Mondo Digital’s Nathaniel Thompson and film writer Troy Howarth; audio commentary with film writer Kat Ellinger; “From the Castle to the Academy,” a career interview with master producer Paul Maslansky; and “The Castle of the Mystery Man,” Mavericks of Italian Cinema author Roberto Curti on writer-director Warren Kiefer.

‘Cold Heaven,’ ‘Curse III’ Among Thriller and Horror Titles Due on Blu-ray Oct. 11 From Ronin Flix and MVD

Four horror and thriller titles — Cold Heaven, Curse III: Blood Sacrifice, Night Visitor and Shredder — are being released on Blu-ray Disc Oct. 11 from Ronin Flix and MVD Entertainment Group.

From director Nicolas Roeg, Cold Heaven (1991) is a psychological thriller starring Theresa Russell (Black Widow, Straight Time, Bad Timing) and Mark Harmon (The Presidio, Stealing Home, TV’s “NCIS” and “St. Elsewhere”). In the film, seduction, deception and death all lead to the ultimate test of an unfaithful woman’s love and fate when her deceased husband inexplicably comes back to life. The cast also includes James Russo (Extremities, Donnie Brasco, Freeway), Will Patton (No Way Out, The Rapture, The Punisher), Julie Carmen (In the Mouth of Madness, Night of the Juggler, Last Plane Out), Talia Shire (Rocky, Windows, Prophecy) and Seymour Cassel (Minnie and Moskowitz, California Dreaming).

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The legendary Christopher Lee (Nothing but the Night, Dracula: Prince of Darkness) stars in the chilling thriller Curse III: Blood Sacrifice (1991). In the film, an African witch doctor summons a demon-like creature to torture an American (Jenilee Harrison, “Three’s Company”) who interrupted a tribal ceremony in an attempt to keep them from sacrificing a goat. As a result, a witch doctor puts a curse on her and her family. It isn’t long before a demon from the sea is stalking the family and anyone else they know. Henry Cele (Shaka Zulu) co-stars.

Night Visitor (1989) is terrifying tale about a young man named Billy (Derek Rydall, Phantom of the Mall), who claims that a respected member of his community, his history teacher (Allen Garfield, Mother, Jugs and Speed, Skateboard, Busting), is behind a series of horrific occult murders. Elliott Gould (The Long Goodbye) and Richard Roundtree (Shaft, Opposing Force, Earthquake) help sleuth out the satanic killer. The film also stars Shannon Tweed (Night Eyes, Of Unknown Origin), Michael J. Pollard (Bonnie and Clyde) and Henry Gibson (Nashville, The Incredible Shrinking Woman). From a brand-new 2019 HD master, the release includes on-camera interviews with writer Randal Viscovich, director Rupert Hitzig and editor Glenn Erickson.

Horror hits the slopes in the slasher cult classic Shredder, about a gang of snowboarders on a one-way chair lift to terror. Lindsey McKeon (“Saved By The Bell: The New Class”), Scott Weinger (“Fuller House,” Aladdin) and Brad Hawkins (Boyhood) star in the scare-filled, laugh-packed weekend of horror as a homicidal maniac with a grudge against snowboarders turns a snowy getaway into a body count nightmare when seven hot-blooded coeds break into an abandoned ski lodge. Extras include audio commentary with director Greg Huson, an on camera interview with star Lindsey McKeon and outtakes.

Christopher Lee Euro Films, Dennis Hopper’s ‘Out of the Blue’ Among Titles Due on Disc From Severin and MVD July 26

Another collection of European Christopher Lee films, Lee in The Return of Captain Invincible, and Dennis Hopper in Out of the Blue are due on disc July 26 from MVD Entertainment Group and Severin Films.

“The Eurocrypt of Christopher Lee Collection 2,” available on Blu-ray Disc, presents five films from the iconic actor’s European career. Immediately following Horror of Dracula, Lee reprised the role in the quirky 1959 Italian comedy Uncle Was a Vampire. Lee speaks fluent German opposite Klaus Kinski for the crazed 1962 crime thriller The Secret of the Red Orchid. In the 1974 U.K. psycho-thriller Dark Place, Lee leads a cast that includes Joan Collins, Herbert Lom and Jane Birkin. Lee’s final performance as The Count in the 1976 French comedy Dracula and Son can at last be seen in its superior director’s cut, while the ultra-rare 1989 Dutch drama Murder Story brings Lee into the sex shops of Amsterdam. Each film has been remastered from original negative materials with more than 15 total hours of trailers, commentaries, alternate cuts, vintage interviews and new featurettes, plus the Dracula and Son soundtrack and a new 100-page book by Lee biographer Jonathan Rigby.

The Return of Captain Invincible, featuring Alan Arkin and Lee, is available on Blu-ray. The two star in the long-unseen 1982 action-comedy from the director of The Beast Within and Howling II, with songs by Richard O’Brien (The Rocky Horror Picture Show) and co-written by the screenwriter of Die Hard and 48 Hours. In the film, when archcriminal Mr. Midnight (Lee) plots to take over the world, humanity’s only hope is World War II’s formerly indestructible “Legend In Leotards” (Arkin) who is now a burnt-out drunk. The released includes three discs, the theatrical version, the director’s cut and the soundtrack CD, with two-plus hours of special features.

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The drama Out of the Blue (1980), directed by and starring Dennis Hopper, is available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD. Virtually unseen for more than 40 years, the film stars Linda Manz as a 15-year-old who idolizes Elvis, punk rock, and her ex-con father (Hopper). Surrounded by junkies and predators, she follows them all down a one-way road to oblivion. Sharon Farrell (The Stunt Man), Don Gordon (The Last Movie) and Raymond Burr co-star. Special features include audio commentaries from Hopper, executive producer Paul Lewis and distributor John Alan Simon, the writer, and film scholar Kate Rennenbohm; cast interviews; and “Gone But Not Forgotten — Remembering Linda Manz.” 

Classic British Drama ‘Corridor of Mirrors,’ With Christopher Lee, Heads to Blu-ray Disc, DVD Oct. 19

Cohen Media Group has announced the Oct. 19 Blu-ray Disc and DVD release of Corridor of Mirrors, a 1948 British drama that marks the directorial debut of Terence Young, who would later go on to helm Dr. No and Wait Until Dark.

The film has been newly restored for its disc release.

In Corridor of Mirrors, Eric Portman (A Canterbury Tale) plays an artist obsessed with the past. He surrounds himself with Renaissance artwork, infatuated with the notion that he and his lover (Edana Romney) are reincarnations of the lovers in a centuries-old painting. Portman’s delusions have deadly consequences. Corridor of Mirrors incorporates aspects of gothic horror, film noir, melodrama, fantasy, romance and thrillers. It was heavily influenced by Jean Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast and David Lean’s Brief Encounter.

Corridor of Mirrors also marks the feature film debut of Christopher Lee (The Lord of the Rings).

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.