Thriller ‘Ice House’ Due on DVD and Digital Nov. 24 From Mill Creek

The suspense thriller Ice House will debut on DVD and digital Nov. 24 from Mill Creek Entertainment.

The film follows Grant, an arrogant man of privilege and wealth, who invites his childhood friend, Wayne, an Afghanistan veteran, blue-collar good ol’ boy, out to join him on an excursion to a frozen lake fish house for an evening of camaraderie. What seems to be a harmless outing between two friends slowly evolves into a murderous plot between two men, both with hidden secrets and mysterious agendas.

Ice House stars Greg Berman (“Chicago P.D.”), Roger Wayne (“Quantico,” “The Black List”) and Tabby DeLaRosby. Director Steven Elbert of New Century Pictures filmed and produced this Hitchcockian story on-location against the frozen backdrop of northern Minnesota.

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Post-Apocalyptic Thriller ‘Haven’s End’ Coming to DVD and VOD Nov. 3 From Mill Creek

The post-apocalyptic thriller Haven’s End will debut on DVD and VOD  Nov. 3 from Mill Creek Entertainment.

Mill Creek acquired the film from Osiris Entertainment.

In the film from director Chris Ethridge, major cities across the globe are under attack. A surgeon (Catherine Taber, the voice of Padmé in Star Wars: The Clone Wars) and her friends flee Atlanta to her family property in the countryside of south Georgia. They arrive to discover her estranged brother (Alex Zuko), and his girlfriend (Hannah Fierman, V/H/S and Evil Little Things), already holed up on the land. As they try to figure out how to work together to survive, strange lights and unusual activity in the surrounding forest lead them to believe they are not alone.

The bioterrorism-induced action thriller contains a unique paranormal twist amid a survive-or-die backdrop.

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DVD extras include a commentary track with Ethridge, writer/producer Michael H. Harper, producer Stacey Palmer and Taber. The DVD also includes a digital redemption for Mill Creek’s movieSpree streaming service.

‘The Farmer and the Belle: Saving Santaland’ Due on VOD and DVD Nov. 17 From Mill Creek

The faith and family film The Farmer and the Belle: Saving Santaland debuts on VOD, cable and DVD Nov. 17 from Mill Creek Entertainment.

In the movie from Vision Films, sparks fly between a famous model and a farmer with a young daughter when she visits her childhood home. The town is in danger of losing their beloved Santaland festival, but miracles can happen with a little love, family and faith.

The film stars Jenn Gotzon (My Daddy Is in Heaven), Jim E. Chandler (AMC’s “Lodge 49,” “Stranger Things”), Corbin Bernsen (Major League), John Schneider (“The Dukes of Hazzard”), Natasha Bure (Home Sweet Home, “Fuller House,” “The Voice”), Delilah (nationally-syndicated radio host), Robert Amaya (Courageous, October Baby) and introduces Adele Chandler.

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“We are thrilled to release this heartfelt family film on DVD,” Barrett Evans, Mill Creek VP of marketing, said in a statement. “The Farmer and the Belle: Saving Santaland really stands out among the standard seasonal fare on TV and retail shelves. The underlying message of faith and family really hones in on the deeper meaning the holidays represent.”

DVD bonus features include deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes featurettes, audio commentary and a digital redemption on Mill Creek’s movieSpree streaming platform. The film is available for preorder on Amazon and will be available at Walmart.

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Merchandise based on the film, available on QVC Nov. 17, includes:

  • A #Beauty Bracelet features five charms, each with two encouraging statements about the true nature of beauty. A significant portion of the proceeds will be donated to Point Hope, a nonprofit organization, founded by national radio personality Delilah that puts focus on the children within the U.S. foster care system and in providing water in Ghana.
  • A 30-day devotional and study Divine Beauty: Becoming Beautiful Based on God’s Truth by Michelle Cox (Hallmark’s devotional co-author, “When God Calls the Heart”) and Jenn Gotzon with online video Bible studies available, one for women, one for teens.
  • A children’s book that reinforces the film’s message — Beautiful Mable — by Mike Nawrocki, a co-creator of “VeggieTales” — and illustrated by Sara Jo Floyd.

 

Doc ‘Stripped: Los Angeles’ Available for Digital Sale and Rental on Mill Creek’s MovieSpree, Amazon

The documentary feature Stripped: Los Angeles, which profiles the lives and experiences of top exotic and private dancers in Los Angeles, is available for digital sale and rental on Mill Creek Entertainment’s movieSpree transactional VOD service and on Amazon Instant Video.

The stereotype-shattering exposé provides an all-access pass into the lives and experiences of five talented and multi-faceted women. Hailing from the Valley to the Coast, Della, Nikki, Bama, Sizi and Erica are not afraid to share their struggles with embracing their sexuality around this historically taboo profession. From the main stage through the digital age, their raw ambition drives them to be among the top dancers in the city of Los Angeles.

The film is also slated to premiere on Starz on Oct. 5 at 9 p.m. ET.

“These are voices that need to be heard and stories deserving to be told,” filmmaker Marc Ostrick said in a statement. “Whether it’s entrepreneurial or escapism, these women are in control of their bodies and their livelihood and the intent of this feature is to de-stigmatize what it means to be an exotic dancer.”

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Ostrick is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker with more than 25 years of producing, directing and writing achievements. His recent environmental TV documentary work is part of Discovery Channel’s international “Shark Week” franchise and has also worked with Imax production company MacGillivray Freeman Films.

‘Cats & Dogs 3’, ‘The Secret: Dare to Dream’ Top New Digital Releases; ‘Roman Holiday’ Makes Blu-ray Disc Debut

The family film Cats & Dogs 3: Paws Unite!, from Warner Bros., and Lionsgate’s The Secret: Dare to Dream top the slate of new digital releases available for purchase Sept. 15, while a flurry of independent films arrive on disc the same day.

Also out Sept. 15: the classic 1953 film Roman Holiday, arriving for the first time on Blu-ray Disc as part of Paramount Home Entertainment’s new Paramount Presents line. The film was subjected to an extensive 4K restoration by the studio, which showed off some of the results at an online press event July 15.

In the film, Audrey Hepburn stars as a European princess who escapes her secluded lifestyle and spends an adventure in Rome with an American journalist played by Gregory Peck. “I don’t know anybody who doesn’t like Roman Holiday,” said famed critic and film historian Leonard Maltin. “It’s an irresistible movie.”

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Also new in stores, Best Buy has an exclusive Steelbook of the camp comedy classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show, from 20th Century Fox. The studio, now owned by The Walt Disney Co., is also offering consumers the chance to buy a new 4K Ultra HD edition of the holiday classic Home Alone to celebrate the film’s 30th anniversary.

Paws Unite! is the second sequel to 2001’s Cats & Dogs, a spy action-comedy film starring Jeff Goldblum that grossed more than $200 million in global ticket sales. Unlike the two other films, Paws Unite! is a straight-to-home release, except in the UK, where it opens theatrically on Oct. 9. In the U.S., the film will be released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on Oct. 13.

The Secret: Dare to Dream is new drama based on the 2006 self-help book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. The film stars Katie Holmes and Josh Lucas and was directed by Andy Tennant, from a screenplay by he wrote with Bekah Brunstetter and Rick Parks.

New independent films arriving in stores Sept. 15 on DVD and Blu-ray include Mill Creek Entertainment’s No Safe Spaces and Shout! Factory’s Weathering With You.

No Safe Spaces finds comedian and podcaster Adam Carolla and radio talk show host Dennis Prager taking the audience on a journey to expose threats to free speech taking place on university campuses, in social media, and at the workplace.

Weathering With You is a new anime film from director Makoto Shinkai. It follows a boy named Hodaka, who runs away from his remote island home in Tokyo the summer of his high school freshman year. He quickly finds himself pushed to his financial and personal limits, and notices the weather is unusually rainy and gloomy every day (a sign of his troubled future). He lives his days in isolation, finally finding his place as a writer for a mysterious occult magazine. One day, he meets a bright and strong-willed girl named Hina, who possesses a strange but wonderful ability: the power to stop the rain and clear the sky.

A complete list of new disc and digital releases, compiled each week by the Media Play News market research team, can be found here.

‘Inner Sanctum Mysteries’ Starring Lon Chaney Jr. Coming on Blu-ray Sept. 22 From Mill Creek

Inner Sanctum Mysteries, a six-film collection starring Lon Chaney Jr., is due on Blu-ray Sept. 22 from Mill Creek Entertainment.

The collection ($69.98), presenting the films on Blu-ray for the first time, will include more than 80 minutes of new special features.

Based on the radio shows of the 1940s, the six features on the set of Universal’s classic “Inner Sanctum Mysteries” are Calling Doctor Death, Weird Woman, Dead Man’s Eyes, The Frozen Ghost, Strange Confession and Pillow of Death.

Daniel Griffith of Ballyhoo Motion Pictures serves as producer of the new Blu-ray bonus features.

“I am thrilled to be working with Mill Creek Entertainment and developing new featurettes for the ‘Inner Sanctum’ film series,” Griffith said in a statement. “The behind-the-scenes story of the book series turned radio show turned movie franchise is a subject that has never been documented with as much detail and care as we are on this exciting release.”

“Daniel’s incredible knowledge and expertise of film history makes him the ideal partner,” said J.W. Starrett, director of product development for Mill Creek Entertainment, in a statement.

Extras include “This is the Inner Sanctum: Making a Universal Mystery Series”; “The Creaking Door: Entering the Inner Sanctum,” a history of the radio series with author/radio historian Martin Grams Jr.; “Mind Over Matter: An Archival Interview With Actor Martin Kosleck (The Frozen Ghost)”; a 28-page color booklet with a detailed franchise history, Lon Chaney Jr. biography, detailed film guide, trivia and more; and three feature-length commentaries.

Calling Dr. Death (1943) features commentary from screenwriter/film historian C. Courtney Joyner and Regina LeBorg (daughter of director Reginald LeBorg). Weird Woman (1944) features commentary from author Justin Humphreys (The Dr. Phibes Companion) and Del Howison (Dark Delicacies Horror). Strange Confession (1945) features commentary from screenwriter Peter Atkins (Hellraiser II, III and IV) and screenwriter/film historian C. Courtney Joyner.

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“More than half-a-century after their release, the ‘Inner Sanctum’ films endure as part of Universal’s history of classic horror and mysteries of the ‘30s and ‘40s,” stated Joyner, author/contributor to the bonus features, in a statement.  “Built as showcases for Lon Chaney, the six films are prime examples of old-school studio product, made by skilled craftsmen for audiences eager for an hour of chills with one of horror’s most enduring figures.”

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Mill Creek’s transactional VOD service movieSpree will feature a digital bonus in standard-def of Lady of Burlesque (1943) and Inner Sanctum (1948), and three “Inner Sanctum Mysteries” radio episodes, “The Tell-Tale Heart” featuring Boris Karloff, “The Black Sea Gull” featuring Peter Lorre, and “Melody of Death” featuring Mary Astor.

Shout! Factory Gains Streaming Rights to Mill Creek’s ‘Ultraman’ Library

Shout! Factory and Mill Creek Entertainment July 10 announced a multiyear agreement to bring Tsuburaya Productions’ “Ultraman” to streaming platforms in North America.

The alliance gives Shout! Factory’s multiplatform streaming service, Shout! Factory TV, exclusive SVOD and AVOD digital rights in the United States and Canada to an extensive library of “Ultraman” programs, including more than 1,100 television episodes and 20 movies.

Titles include “Ultra Q,” “Ultraman,” “Ultraseven,” “Return of Ultraman,” “Ultraman Ace,” “Ultraman Taro,” “Ultraman Gaia,” “Ultraman Gaia: The Battle In Hyper Space,” “Ultraman Cosmos,” “Ultraman Nexus,” “Ultraman Max,” “Ultraman Mebius,” “Ultraman Mebius & Ultraman Brothers,” Mega Monster Battle Ultra Galaxy: The Movie, “Ultraman Saga,” “Ultraman Ginga,” “Ultraman Ginga S,” “Ultraman X,” “Ultraman Orb,” “Ultraman Geed” and more.

The announcement comes via Shout! Factory founders and CEOs Bob Emmer and Garson Foos, in conjunction with Mill Creek Entertainment SVP Jeff Hayne, Shout SVP of Digital Enterprises and Shout! Factory TV Gene Pao, and Shout! VP of acquisitions Jordan Fields.

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“A colossus of the tokusatsu genre, ‘Ultraman’ is one of the most beloved and enduring pop culture brands in the world and, amazingly, it’s still growing. So it’s particularly exciting to present more than 50 years of TV series and feature films to North American audiences, much of it for the first time. They’ve got a lot of catching up to do, and we aim to help that happen,” Fields said in a statement.

Shout! Factory TV plans an aggressive rollout of “Ultraman” pop culture properties on its new TokuSHOUTsu streaming channel this year, including individual programs as well as complete series. Shout! Factory TV, in collaboration with Tsuburaya Productions and Indigo Entertainment, will announce additional news and activities in forthcoming months.

“We’re incredibly excited about this new relationship with Mill Creek Entertainment and Indigo Entertainment. Tsuburaya Productions’ ‘Ultraman’ continues to stand as a seminal pop-culture phenomenon to this day. Over the years, Shout! Factory TV has presented ‘Ultraman Leo’ and multiple seasons of other popular Japanese tokusatsu series to incredible fan reception. We look forward to bringing these highly entertaining ‘Ultraman’ series and movies to our streaming program lineup for Shout’s TokuSHOUTsu channel, available on Pluto TV,” Shout! TV’s Pao said in a statement. “As we actively expand our reach in streaming and digital platforms, this deal exemplifies the type of pop culture content we plan to pursue, which taps into the interests and passions of our loyal fanbase.”

Mill Creek controls the home video rights and has already released several “Ultraman” series and movies on Blu-ray.

”We are thrilled about this collaboration with Shout! Factory,” Mill Creek’s Hayne said in a statement. “Their passion for tokusatsu content combined with the reach their digital channels have to fans will create further awareness of the ‘Ultraman’ content library and the collectible Steelbook and Blu-ray products that Mill Creek Entertainment will continue to release.”

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The announcement comes on “Ultraman Day,” celebrated on July 10 to mark the broadcast of a special promotional event called “Ultraman Eve: The Birth of Ultraman” a week prior to the first episode of “Ultraman” airing in Japan on July 17, 1966.

As depicted in the “Ultraman” live-action television series of the 1960s and ’70s, Ultraman is a Giant of Light hailing from the distant Nebula M78, who protects Earth and the human race from an endless array of invading aliens and terrifying monsters together with the crew of an Earth-based defense team using advanced high-tech weapons and vehicles. With the ability to extend his height to more than 130 feet, Ultraman merges with a human and only emerges in times of extreme danger to save people and the Earth.

The franchise continues to generate more than $50 million per year in toys and merchandise in Japan.

As part of Ultraman Day, Mill Creek will release The Birth of Ultraman Collection, a Blu-ray set containing some of the best episodes of the original “Ultraman” series with both the original Japanese language and the classic English dub audio tracks, plus the premiere special, with Alex Ross cover art created for Marvel Comics.

‘Birth of Ultraman Collection’ Coming to Blu-ray July 10

The Birth of Ultraman Collection, containing some of the best episodes of the original “Ultraman” series, is coming to Blu-ray July 10 from Mill Creek Entertainment at $25.99.

It will include both the original Japanese language and the classic English dub audio tracks plus The Birth of Ultraman — Ultraman pre-premiere special, the very first appearance of the hero.

The set will be exclusively sold on DeepDiscount as part of the launch of a dedicated “Ultraman” storefront that will offer up all of Mill Creek’s current Blu-ray and steelbook releases in addition to other “Ultraman”-related merchandise and products.

The exclusive Blu-ray release also features art created by Alex Ross, which is also featured on The Rise of Ultraman cover for Marvel Comics, and Tsuburaya Production’s recent collaboration with the debut issue releasing September 2020.

The release is part of Mill Creek Entertainment’s license of the entire available “Ultraman” back-catalog via international distribution company Indigo Entertainment, from the team at Tsuburaya Productions.

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“The Birth of Ultraman Collection” includes the following episodes:

  • Episode 1, “Ultra Operation No. 1,” in which the story begins as the heroic alien Ultraman pursues the space monster Bemular to Earth, leading to a fateful encounter with Shin Hayata, an agent of the SSSP;
  • Episode 2, “Shoot the Invader,” in which Ultraman’s iconic foe, Alien Baltan, makes its first appearance in a tale narrated by Ide, the SSSP’s genius inventor;
  • Episode 19, “Demons Rise Again,” in which an ancient time capsule unleashes the red-skinned monster Banila and its blue-skinned rival Aboras, who wage a titanic battle in the National Stadium;
  • Episodes 26 and 27, “The Monster Highness” Parts 1 and 2, the only two-part Ultraman story that features the Ancient Monster Gomora, who escapes captivity and overwhelms Ultraman as it rampages towards Osaka;
  • Episode 33, “The Forbidden Words,” in which even Ultraman may not be able to stop Alien Mefilas when he tries to convince a boy to give him the Earth; and
  • Episode 37, “A Little Hero,” in which Ide suffers a crisis of faith as the Friendly Monster Pigmon warns that the evil creature Geronimon is reviving an army of monsters to destroy Ultraman and the SSSP.

The Birth of Ultraman — Ultraman pre-premiere special aired in Japan on July 10, 1966, one week before the series premiere. The stage show was filmed before a live studio audience and introduced viewers to the story, cast and characters of “Ultraman.” This July 10 event on television is now celebrated annually and known throughout the world as “Ultraman Day.” Never-before-released in America, the special is presented in black and white (as originally broadcast) in standard definition with Japanese audio and English subtitles.

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“Ultraman” premiered on Japanese television on July 17, 1966. While the series was still in production, the North American rights were licensed to United Artists, who in-turn commissioned voice director Peter Fernandez (“Speed Racer”) to supervise the English dubbing of the show. The English-language version was syndicated to American television in 1967 and went on to air in various markets across the country into the early 1980s.

‘Evil Takes Root: The Curse of the Batibat’ Due on DVD and Digital HD Sept. 15 From Mill Creek

The horror-thriller Evil Takes Root: The Curse of the Batibat will come out on DVD and digital HD Sept. 15 from Mill Creek Entertainment.

From Genre Labs and Elevate Pictures comes the tale of Felix Fojas, a paranormal investigator, and his journey to investigate the mysterious loss of his old lover, Amanda, in a sleepy midwestern town. Quickly, he discovers she fell victim to the Batibat, an ancient evil that followed her home from the Philippines. Felix must now battle the forces of evil and unravel the mystery of the Batibat in order to save Amanda’s daughter, Sarah, from its hellish grip.

“We wanted a fresh take on the classic demonic possession tale,” said writer and producer Aaron Mack in a statement. “Along with jarring terrors, we wove in elements of police investigation, tortured family dynamics, and elements of the occult that is layered onto the ancient batibat folklore.”

Genre Labs teamed up with writer-director Chris W. Freeman to make Evil Takes Root: The Curse of the Batibat in their home state of Ohio. The cast includes Nicolas Gonzalez (“The Good Doctor”), Stevie Lynn Jones (“Nancy Drew”), Sean Carrigan (Ford v Ferrari) and Adetokumboh M’Cormack (Battle Los Angeles).

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“We at Mill Creek are excited to bring this unique, engaging horror film to market as well as working with the talented group at Elevate Pictures,” said Jeff Hayne, SVP of content acquisitions for Mill Creek.

The film will premiere at the Cinema Columbus Film Festival in July.

‘Royal Pains’ Complete Series Set Due on DVD Sept. 22 From Mill Creek

The complete series set of “Royal Pains” is coming to DVD Sept. 22 from Mill Creek Entertainment.

All 104 episodes from the show’s eight-season run will be available for the first time together in a 15-disc DVD set at $75.99.

“Royal Pains” stars Mark Feuerstein as Hank Lawson who, after becoming blacklisted from the medical community, revives his career as a “doctor for hire” to the rich and famous in the Hamptons. In addition to treating this select group of the East End elite, Hank also caters to the town’s less fortunate by donating his time at the local clinic. He finds himself walking the line between doing well for himself and doing good for others. The show also stars Paulo Costanzo (Road Trip) and Reshma Shetty (“30 Rock”) with recurring appearances throughout the series by Campbell Scott (The Amazing Spider-Man), Brooke D’Orsay (“Drop Dead Diva”), Jill Flint (“Gossip Girl”), and multi-Emmy and Golden Globe winner Henry Winkler (“Happy Days,” “Barry”).

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“Royal Pains” is currently not available to stream on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime and would cost more than $200 to purchase in its entirety on transactional digital platforms, according to a Mill Creek release. It’s the retail disc debut of the complete series collection.

Produced by Universal Cable Productions, the series originally aired on the USA Network.