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.

Exploitation Classic ‘Vigilante’ Coming to 4K UHD Blu-ray and Blu-ray Dec. 15 From MVD

The exploitation classic Vigilante is coming out on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and Blu-ray Dec. 15 from MVD Entertainment Group and Blue Underground.

In the film, New York City factory worker Eddie Marino (Robert Forster, Oscar nominee for Jackie Brown) is a solid citizen and regular guy, until the day a sadistic street gang brutally assaults his wife and murders his child. When a corrupt judge sets the thugs free, Eddie goes berserk and vows revenge.

Fred Williamson (From Dusk Till Dawn), Richard Bright (The Godfather), Rutanya Alda (Amityville II: The Possession), Carol Lynley (The Poseidon Adventure), Woody Strode (Spartacus), Joe Spinell (Maniac) and Salsa legend Willie Colón co-star in this 1982 exploitation film from director William Lustig (Maniac Cop 2) that many critics consider to be better — and more shocking — than the original Death Wish.

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.

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Special features include audio commentary with co-producer/director Lustig and co-producer Andrew Garroni; audio commentary with Lustig and stars Robert Forster, Fred Williamson and Frank Pesce; a new audio commentary with film historians Troy Howarth and Nathaniel Thompson; a new featurette “Blue Collar Death Wish,” featuring interviews with writer Richard Vetere, star Rutanya Alda, associate producer/first A.D./actor Randy Jurgensen and others; a new interview with composer Jay Chattaway; theatrical trailers; TV spots; a radio spot; a promotional reel; poster and still galleries; and a collectible booklet with a new essay by Michael Gingold.

‘Teenage Hitchhikers,’ ‘Ator: The Fighting Eagle’ Among Titles on Disc in May From Dark Force and MVD

The cult film Teenage Hitchhikers and the sci-fi adventure Ator: the Fighting Eagle are among the titles available on disc in May from Dark Force Entertainment and MVD Entertainment Group.

Available now on DVD and Blu-ray is the 1970s cult exploitation film Teenage Hitchhikers. In the film, Mouse (Kathie Christopher, The Taking of Christina) and Bird (Sandra Peabody, Last House on the Left) are a couple of sassy and sexy young hitchhikers who embark on a cross country trip in search of freedom, excitement and independence. The lovely ladies use their bodies as currency and encounter a diverse array of libidinous folks on their journey. Available for the first time on Blu-ray, the release features a new HD master from the original uncut 35mm camera negative with extensive scene by scene color correction; audio commentary with director of photography Bill Lamond; and a new 2019 interview with writer/director Gerri Sedley. Featured in Quentin Tarantino’s “QT Fest,” the film also stars Claire Wilbur (Score) and Margaret Whitton (The Secret of My Success, Major League).

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Due on DVD and Blu-ray May 26 is the horror double feature of The Gates of Hell and Psycho From Texas (1980). In The Gates of Hell, a reporter and a psychic race to close the gates of hell after the suicide of a clergyman caused them to open, allowing the dead to rise from their graves. It’s a new HD master created from a U.S. theatrical 35mm print. In Psycho from Texas, a drifter/hitman is hired by a local businessman to kidnap the local oil baron. The hitman had been reared in squalor, suffering the abuses of his whoring mama. When the baron escapes, his assistant must chase him while the hitman takes care of a few loose ends. The HD master is created from the only available source masters with extensive scene by scene color correction. The films are available in Dark Force Entertainment’s exclusive “Drive-In Mode” featuring cult director Damon Packard.

Also coming on DVD and Blu-ray May 26 is Breeders (a remake of the 1986 movie Breeders and also known as Deadly Instincts). When a meteorite crash lands onto a Boston college campus and an alien beast is released, only one man understands its mission to mate. From the depths of an all-girls college, the monster stalks his prey in a cat-and-mouse chase until the final conflict where only one species can survive. The 1997 cult classic DTV sci-fi horror entry stars Samantha Womack (Kingsman: The Secret Service), Todd Jensen (It’s Alive), Oliver Tobias (The Wicked Lady), Clifton Lloyd Bryan (The Fifth Element) and Melanie Walters (“Gavin and Stacey”).

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Finally, for fans of Conan: The Barbarian and “Hercules” comes the sci-fi fantasy Ator: The Fighting Eagle Collector’s Edition (1982) May 26 on DVD and Blu-ray. In the film’s lore, it is written that the son of Thorn will put an end to the tragic dynasty of the Spider. Thus, the Grand Priest of the Spider orders the slaughter of the newborn son. However, the old Griba hides the newborn safe from the slaughter, and he grows up strong and brave with his adoptive parents. Miles O’Keeffe (Tarzan The Ape Man) plays Ator, son of Thorn. He falls in love with Sunya (Ritza Brown), whom he believes to be his sister. When the truth is revealed that Ator was adopted, he gains the approval for the marriage. But on their wedding day, the Black Knights, guards of the Grand Priest, begin a massacre in Ator’s village as they search for old Griba and they kidnap Sunya, the bride. Ator must then begin his long, perilous journey toward the Temple of the Spider. On his way he learns the secrets of martial arts and befriends Roon (Sabrina Siani), a thief Amazon who joins Ator on the journey to the temple. Together they conquer danger after danger. The film is directed by Italian cult director Joe D’Amato (Death Smiles on a Murderer). The HD master was made from the only existing 35mm print with extensive restoration. Ator: The Fighting Eagle was featured in season 12 of “Mystery Science Theater 3000.”

Kino Lorber to Issue Vintage Exploitation Films on Blu-ray Disc

Film distributor Kino Lorber Classics has set a Feb. 25 release date for Forbidden Fruit: The Golden Age of the Exploitation Picture volumes 1-3, including new restorations of classic exploitation films Mom and Dad, Reefer Madness and Sex Madness, Unashamed: A Romance and Elysia: Valley of the Nude.

The collection will be available on Blu-ray Disc at a suggested retail price of $29.95, and will be presented in association with Seattle-based distributor Something Weird Video.

Volume 1 includes Mom & Dad (1945), in which the boyfriend of a pregnant high school girl dies, prompting her sex-ed teacher to show her a film about childbirth and the dangers of venereal disease. The Blu-ray includes audio commentary by Eric Schaefer, author of Bold! Daring! Shocking! True!: A History of Exploitation Films 1919-1959; the original theatrical trailer, Mom & Dad radio spots; the short film Sex Hygiene, and vintage childbirth footage.

Volume 2 presents a double-feature Reefer Madness (1936) and Sex Madness (1938). Both are exploitation films designed to warn teenagers and young adults of the dangers of becoming addicted to, respectively, marijuana cigarettes and the dangers of venereal disease. Special features include audio commentary by Eric Schaefer, a gallery of exploitation trailers, and more.

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Volume 3 showcases two examples of the “nudist film” genre, Unashamed: A Romance (1938) and Elysia: Valley of the Nude (1933). Unashamed: A Romance includes audio commentary by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, as well as three short films: Nudist-Land (1937, 11 min.), Why Nudism: An Exposé of Nudism (1933, 22 min.), and Hollywood Script Girl (1938, 5 min.).