Sci-fi Thriller ‘Project Ithaca’ Due on Disc and Digital Aug. 6 From Lionsgate

The sci-fi thriller Project Ithaca arrives on Blu-ray (plus digital), DVD and digital Aug. 6 from Lionsgate.

The film is currently available on demand.

In Project Ithaca, a blend of science fiction and horror, a malevolent alien species has been abducting humans for decades, possibly centuries. Their endgame: to harvest enough human emotional energy to open a wormhole through which their spacecrafts can pass and conquer our world. To end this threat, the U.S. military initiates Project Ithaca, a top-secret plan to teleport a human-alien hybrid, SERA, aboard the “mother ship” to destroy it. SERA awakes inside the alien craft along with five others. Divided, they will die; only together can they defeat the aliens and find a way home.

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Project Ithaca stars James Gallanders, Deragh Campbell and Daniel Fathers.

‘Gremlins’ Coming to 4K UHD for 35th From Warner

The 1984 classic Gremlins will be released on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and digital for its 35th anniversary Oct. 1 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

Directed by Joe Dante (Innerspace, The ‘Burbs) and written by Chris Columbus (The Goonies), the film stars Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Hoyt Axton and Randall Peltzer, along with the voices of Frank Welker as Stripe and Howie Mandel as Gizmo. At times a horror film and others dark comedy, Gremlins follows a teenager who gets a new pet as a gift and finds it has strange transformative powers.

The Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack includes an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc with the feature film in 4K with HDR and a Blu-ray disc with the feature film and special features. Fans can also own Gremlins in 4K Ultra HD via purchase from select digital retailers.

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Extras include filmmakers’ commentary with Dante, producer Michael Finnell and special effects artist Chris Walas; cast commentary with Dante, Galligan, Cates, Dick Miller and Mandel; behind-the-scenes featurettes; additional scenes with commentary; a featurette on the creation of the creatures; and motion comics.

‘The Shining’ to Terrify in 4K UHD Oct. 1 From Warner

Stanley Kubrick’s horror classic The Shining will come out on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and digital Oct. 1 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

The 4K remastering, done using a new 4K scan of the original 35mm camera negative at Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging, is of Kubrick’s original 144 minute version of the film which premiered in the United States May 23, 1980. Filmmaker Steven Spielberg and Kubrick’s former personal assistant  Leon Vitali worked closely with the team at Warner Bros. during the mastering process. May 17 the restored 4K version of the film will be screened at The Cannes Film Festival.

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The Shining, based on the Stephen King novel, was directed and produced by Kubrick, who wrote the screenplay with Diane Johnson. It stars Jack Nicholson in an iconic role as Jack Torrance, Shelley Duval as Wendy Torrance, Scatman Crothers as Dick Halloran, and Danny Lloyd as Danny Torrance. In the film, Jack Torrance becomes the winter caretaker at the isolated Overlook Hotel in Colorado, hoping to cure his writer’s block. He settles in along with his wife, Wendy and his son Danny, who is plagued by psychic premonitions. As Jack’s writing goes nowhere and Danny’s visions become more disturbing, Jack discovers the hotel’s dark secrets and begins to unravel into a homicidal maniac hell-bent on terrorizing his family.

In 2018, The Shining was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”  The film ranked 29th on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Thrills list, and Jack Torrance was named the 25th greatest villain on the AFI’s 100 Years…100 Heroes and Villains list.  Additionally, the quote “Here’s Johnny” from the film was ranked 68th on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movie Quotes list.

The Shining Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack features an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc with the feature film in 4K with HDR, a Blu-ray disc with the film in high definition and the special features in high definition, and a digital version of the movie. Fans can also own The Shining in 4K Ultra HD via purchase from select digital retailers.

The Ultra HD Blu-ray of The Shining will include more than three hours of previously released special features, including:

  • audio commentary by Steadicam inventor Garrett Brown and Kubrick biographer John Baxter;
  • “Video from the Overlook: Crafting The Shining”;
  • “The Visions of Stanley Kubrick,” a detailed look at one of cinema’s greatest visual storytellers and his unique ability to move audiences through the magic of unforgettable images;
  • “The Making of The Shining,” a cinema verité documentary offering a rare glimpse into the directing style of Kubrick as he interacts with Nicholson, Duvall and others;
  • “Wendy Carlos, Composer,” in which composer Wendy Carlos reflects on working with Kubrick and developing music scores for The Shiningand A Clockwork Orange.

Lionsgate Bringing Back ‘Saw’ Horror Franchise, Thanks to Chris Rock

Saw the comedy?

Lionsgate is going back to the vault with a reboot of its successful Saw horror franchise. In a twist, the newest theatrical edition — slated for release in 2020 — was conceived by stand-up comic Chris Rock, who will executive produce.

“When Chris Rock came to us and described in chilling detail his fantastic vision that reimagines and spins-off the world of the notorious Jigsaw Killer, we were all-in,” Joe Drake, chairman of the motion picture group, said in a statement.

Chris Rock

“I’ve been a fan of Saw since the first film,” Rock said. “I am excited by the opportunity to take this to a really intense and twisted new place.”

Indeed, Saw is one of Lionsgate’s biggest movie franchises, with the eight films generating more than $1 billion in combined ticket sales since the original 2004 release from co-creator/director James Wan, who, along with co-creator Leigh Whannell, will also executive produce.

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While Lionsgate isn’t divulging Rock’s storyline for the Oct. 20, 2020, release, previous editions focused around Jigsaw, a demented torturer subjecting morally-compromised victims to ingenious fates.

Saw has been a retail hit as well, selling more than 30 million DVD/Blu-ray Disc units. In 2010, Guinness World Records proclaimed the franchise as the “most successful horror movie series”.

“This upcoming film will still be as mind-bending and intense as all the previous Saw films,” Drake said. “Chris conceived this idea and it will be completely reverential to the legacy of the material while reinvigorating the brand with his wit, creative vision and passion for this classic horror franchise.”

Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Emerging on Digital June 4, Disc June 18 From Universal

Academy Award winner Jordan Peele’s followup to Get OutUs —is coming to digital (including Movies Anywhere) June 4 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD June 18 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

The film, which earned $172.9 million at the box office, stars Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o (Black Panther, 12 Years a Slave), Winston Duke (Black Panther), Emmy winner Elisabeth Moss (“The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Mad Men”) and Tim Heidecker (The Comedy, “Tim & Eric’s Bedtime Stories”).

Set along the North California coastline, the story follows Adelaide Wilson (Nyong’o) who reluctantly returns to her beachside childhood home with her family and finds that she is haunted by unresolved trauma from her past along with a string of eerie coincidences. As darkness falls after a tense day at the beach, the Wilsons discover four figures standing in their driveway. They soon realize this is only the beginning of their troubles as they find that the four figures are terrifying and uncanny opponents: doppelgängers of themselves.

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Special features include:

  • “The Duality of Us,” in which Peele goes in-depth on some of the key themes and imagery in the film, including Doppelgängers, Hands Across America, The Nutcracker dance scene, rabbits and the infamous 11:11 coincidence;
  • “The Monsters Within Us,” which examines how cast members were able to find their characters, whether they were playing one of the Wilsons or their sinister doppelgängers;
  • “Tethered Together: Making Us Twice,” about the difficulties of making a movie where all the main cast members play dual roles;
  • “Redefining a Genre: Jordan Peele’s Brand of Horror,” in which cast and filmmakers highlight what makes Peele so unique, as well as the filmmaker’s own thoughts on his inspirations and the relationship between horror and comedy;
  • “Becoming Red,” a closer look at Nyong’o’s performance as “Red”;
  • deleted scenes;
  • “We’re All Dying,” funny outtakes from the conversation between Duke and Heidecker on the beach;
  • “As Above, So Below: Grand Pas de Deux,” an extended version of the dance sequence from the film.

 

Special features exclusive to 4K UHD, Blu-ray and digital include scene explorations, about the making of three iconic scenes from the film, the Tyler house massacre, Jason’s abduction and Adelaide’s underground flashback.

RLJ, Xenon and Aflik Join Allied Vaughn MOD Service

RLJ Entertainment, Xenon Pictures and Aflik Films have joined the Allied Vaughn manufacture-on-demand service.

Coming April 23 on Blu-ray from RLJ Entertainment and Acorn TV are three series sets of “The Heart Guy,” about gifted but arrogant heart surgeon Hugh Knight (Rodger Corser) who leads a charmed life in Sydney and believes his talent lets him live outside the rules. When an incident involving drugs and alcohol brings his world crashing down, he’s placed on probation and banned from performing surgery. He retreats to his rarely visited hometown of Whyhope in rural Australia to work as general practitioner.

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Due April 9 on MOD from Xenon, recognized in the home entertainment marketplace for creating labels focused on the African-American audience, are eight titles. The comedy How U Like Me Now (1992) stars Darnell Williams, Salli Richardson, Daniel Gardner, Raymond Whitefield and Debra Crable in a story that follows a group of young African Americans as they struggle for both financial and sexual fulfillment in early 1990s Chicago. A Day in Black and White (2001) stars Harold Perrineau and Anthony Desando in a comedy about two close friends, one black and one white, who get into a heated discussion on race relations, kicking off a series of interconnected stories that explore the racial terrain of New York City. Identity Crisis (1989) stars Mario Van Peebles, Melvin Van Peebles, Rick Aviles, Shelley Burch and Richard Fancy. In the comedy, a world-Famous French fashion designer Yves Malmaison and rapper Chilly D are both attacked by the same gang of dope smugglers, leaving one in a coma and the other not so lucky. When Chilly D wakes up from his coma several days later, he discovers that his body is also possessed by the soul of Malmaison, unaware that it has been placed there by a strange old homeless woman who witnessed the murder. Because both souls occupy the same body, Chilly D can change from tough black rapper to gay white fashion designer, or back again, anytime he is struck. Kitchen Privileges (2000) is a horror film starring Peter Sarsgaard about a housebound rape victim further terrified by news of a serial killer who preys on young women. Still, she thinks nothing of renting a room to a cook named Tom, who often drags heavy garbage bags into the house and locks the kitchen door while he prepares exotic meat dishes. The Luau (2002) is a comedy, starring Brian Hooks, Maia Campbell, Troy Winbush and Faizon Love, about a man who throws a luau to earn money for rent and pay off a gambling debt. Malibooty (2002) is a party comedy starring Brian Hooks, Stickey Fingaz, Kym Whitley, Traci Bingham, E-40 and Kent Masters-King. The Outback (2009) stars Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Jesse Johnson, Ben Kermode, Natalie Walker and Christian Clark in the story of a group of friends who encounter horror in the Australian desert. Finally, Q: The Movie (1999) stars Brian Hooks, Kelita Smith and Darryl Brunson in a comedy about a man who throws a wild barbeque while his parents are gone.

Aflik, known for Nollywood movies and African-inspired content, is offering four MOD titles: three romances, Beauty of the Mind, Marriage or Prison and The Good Wife, and one drama, Marriage Rules.

‘The New York Ripper’ Due on Disc June 25 From Blue Underground and MVD

The 1982 horror film The New York Ripper is coming in a Blu-ray combo pack (with DVD and CD soundtrack) from Blue Underground and MVD Entertainment Group.

The film, co-written and directed by horror maestro Lucio Fulci (ZombieCity Of the Living Dead), follows a blade-wielding psychopath on the loose in the Big Apple killing beautiful young women.

As NYPD detective Fred Williams (Jack Hedley) follows the trail of butchery from the decks of the Staten Island Ferry to the sex shows of Times Square, each brutal murder becomes a sadistic taunt.

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The New York Ripper is presented in a new 4K restoration from the original camera negative, uncut and uncensored. Extras include audio commentary with Troy Howarth, author of Splintered Visions: Lucio Fulci and His Films; “The Art of Killing,” an interview with co-writer Dardano Sacchetti; “Three Fingers of Violence,” an interview with star Howard Ross; “The Second Victim,” an interview with co-star Cinzia de Ponti; “The Broken Bottle Murder,” an interview with co-star Zora Kerova; “I’m an Actress!,” a 2009 interview with Kerova; “The Beauty Killer,” an interview with Stephen Thrower, author of Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci; “Paint Me Blood Red,” an interview with poster artist Enzo Sciotti; NYC locations then and now; the theatrical trailer; a poster and still gallery; and a collectable booklet with a new essay by Travis Crawford.

Paramount to Bow 1989’s ‘Pet Sematary’ on 4K UHD in Time for Theatrical Release of Remake

Written for the screen by author Stephen King based on his bestseller, director Mary Lambert’s 1989 horror film Pet Sematary will stalk home entertainment on 4K Ultra HD combo pack and Blu-ray March 26 from Paramount Home Media Distribution.

The film, which earned more than $57 million to become the highest grossing horror film of the time, according to the studio, is being re-released in time for the debut of the studio’s theatrical remake April 5. The story follows the Creed family who, after their cat is accidentally killed, takes the advice of a friendly neighbor and buries it in a mysterious nearby cemetery. When the cat comes back, it’s only the beginning of an unthinkable evil.

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Pet Sematary will mark its 30th anniversary newly remastered in 4K under the supervision of Lambert with new bonus content, which includes the cast and crew of Paramount’s new adaptation discussing the original film’s impact and the lasting legacy of its story; a new interview with Lambert about her memories making the film, the restoration, and King’s enduring influence; and new photo galleries with behind-the-scenes images, original storyboards and vintage ads.

The 4K Ultra HD disc also features Dolby Vision.  For the 4K restoration, Lambert and Paramount went back to the original film negative to rescan it in order to recapture the original detail.

“The shadows are much softer and the colors are richer…and it looks amazing,” said Lambert in a statement.

In addition to the new bonus material, both the 4K Blu-ray and Blu-ray feature access to a digital copy of the film and previously released bonus material, including commentary by Lambert, a guided tour of the locations led by King along with an exploration of the origins of the novel, an introduction to the cast and characters, and a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film.

‘Escape Room’ Coming Out on Digital April 9, Disc April 23 From Sony

Escape Room breaks out on digital April 9 and Blu-ray and DVD April 23 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

A thriller about the popular mystery-solving rooms, the story follows six strangers who they think they have gathered for a highly immersive escape room, but they soon find they are pawns in a sadistic game of life and death. The cast includes Taylor Russell (Lost in Space), Logan Miller (Love, Simon), Deborah Ann Woll (“True Blood), Jay Ellis (“Insecure), Tyler Labine (“New Amsterdam”) and Nik Dodani (Atypical) with Yorick van Wageningen (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo).

The Blu-ray, DVD and digital releases feature an alternate ending and opening, six deleted scenes, and four featurettes.

Oscar Foreign Language Entry ‘Burning’ and Horror Film ‘Accident’ Coming to Disc from Well Go in March

Burning, South Korea’s official entry for Best Foreign Language Film for the 91st Academy Awards, and the horror film Accident are coming on disc from Well Go USA Entertainment in March.

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Due on Blu-ray combo pack and DVD March 5 is Burning, based on the short story “Barn Burning” by Haruki Murakami. The psychological tale of all-consuming jealousy follows the story of three individuals, an alienated young man, Jongsu (Ah-in Yoo); Haemi (newcomer Jong-seo Jun), a spirited woman who offers romantic possibilities; and Ben (Steven Yeun, “The Walking Dead”), a wealthy and sophisticated young man who returns with her from a recent trip. When Jongsu learns of Ben’s mysterious hobby and Haemi suddenly disappears, his confusion and obsessions begin to mount, culminating in a stunning finale. Special features include the behind-the-scenes featurette “About the Characters.”

Due March 19 on Blu-ray is the horror film Accident, the first feature-length film from writer-director Dan Tondowski. Stephanie Shield (Death Race 2), Roxane Hayward (Death Race: Inferno), Tyrone Keogh (Starship Troopers 3: Marauder) and Keenan Arrison (upcoming Tomb Raider) star in this thriller about a group of teenagers trapped at the bottom of a ravine with a psycho out to kill them. When a foursome “borrows” a car for a night of fun, what starts as a wild joy ride turns into a nightmare. After a violent crash, they discover that being stuck at the bottom of a ravine in an overturned car is the least of their problems. The psychotic owner of the car that they stole has them in his crosshairs and will stop at nothing to get both the car and its contents back.