‘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.

TVOD Service movieSpree Launches New Promotion With Free Content

Mill Creek Entertainment’s transcational VOD service movieSpree is mounting a new weekly promotion that offers free streaming content each weekend.

The first chapter of the epic miniseries Lonesome Dove will be available free of ads or interruptions with the complete series available to own at $4.99. The purchase includes all four chapters of the television series plus a 50-minute making-of bonus featurette.

Lonesome Dove is based upon the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Larry McMurtry. The epic of the Old West is the story of the last defiant frontiersmen, a daring cattle drive and an undying love. Winner of seven Emmy Awards and two Golden Globes including Best Miniseries, Lonesome Dove stars Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones, Diane Lane, Anjelica Huston and Danny Glover.

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The “SPREEview Weekend” will be a recurring event that will showcase content available on the site and provide consumers with a free viewing experience without ads or short-term trial periods.

Those who set up a movieSpree account will get the chance to redeem a curated assortment of 100 films free of charge. With apps available on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, iOS and Android devices, movieSpree is available without long-term contracts, subscription fees or advertisements.

Tune into the “SPREEview Weekend” here.

’12 Monkeys’ Complete Series Coming to Blu-ray and DVD July 14 From Mill Creek

The complete series set of “12 Monkeys” is coming out on Blu-ray and DVD July 14 from Mill Creek Entertainment.

All four seasons of the series — based on the 1995 feature film directed by Terry Gilliam and starring Bruce Willis, Madeline Stowe and Brad Pitt — are available in an eight-disc set.

The series follows Cole (Aaron Stanford), a man from the post-apocalyptic future who uses a dangerous, untested method of time travel to get from 2043 to the present day. He is on a mission to locate and rid the world of the source of the plague that will eventually annihilate the human race. Assisting him is Dr. Cassandra Railly (Amanda Schull), a virologist who must decide whether to do harm in order to save the world — regardless of the fact that she has taken the Hippocratic oath.

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The series originally aired on Syfy and co-stars Emily Hampshire (“Schitt’s Creek”), Barbara Sukowa (Atomic Blonde) and Todd Stashwick (“The Originals”).

MovieSpree TVOD Service Bows Sales on Animated Kids’ Series Including ‘Gigantosaurus’

MovieSpree, Mill Creek Entertainment’s transactional VOD service, is offering sales on several animated kids’ series to keep the little ones occupied while they stay at home.

On March 25, MovieSpree launched the complete first season of the animated kids’ series “Gigantosaurus,” on sale for $22.49 — 25% off of the regular price. In the series, young dinosaurs Rocky, Bill, Tiny and Mazu are growing up in the Cretaceous period where life is always an adventure — new volcanoes are popping up all the time, the long-necked brachiosauruses and enormous triceratops roam free, meteor showers light up the night sky, and the big, fierce Gigantosaurus reigns over it all.

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“Liberty’s Kids”

Also on sale are several complete animated series at $2.99, including “Liberty’s Kids” (including all 40 episodes of the edutainment series), “Street Sharks,” “C.O.P.S.,” “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century,” “Archie’s Weird Mysteries” and “Horseland.”

Complete Series Set of ‘Eureka’ Strikes Blu-ray June 9 From Mill Creek

The complete series of “Eureka” will come out on Blu-ray June 9 from Mill Creek Entertainment.

All 77 episodes from the show’s five-season run will be available together for $75.99.

In the quirky and seemingly perfect small town of Eureka, the hidden work of America’s brightest scientists can lead to innovation or utter chaos. Sheriff Jack Carter (Colin Ferguson) struggles to keep a sense of normalcy amid the scientific mayhem, big brains and bigger adventure in this unusual little town in the Pacific Northwest. “Eureka” co-stars Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Niall Matter, Erica Cerra, Joe Morton, Neil Grayston and James Callis. Popular sci-fi fan favorites make guest appearances, including Felicia Day, Wil Wheaton, Matt Frewer, Ever Carradine, Sharon Taylor, Ming-Na Wen and Trevor Jackson.

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The 12-disc Blu-ray set marks the high-definition disc debut of the series in North America. The special edition contains numerous bonus features ported over from previous DVD releases including commentary tracks, deleted scenes, gag reels, webisodes and behind-the-scenes featurettes.

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“Eureka” was produced by Universal Cable Productions and originally aired on Syfy. The series was created by Andrew Cosby (screenwriter for 2019’s Hellboy) and Jaime Paglia (co-executive producer for MTV’s “Scream: The TV Series”) with Bruce Miller (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) serving as executive producer.

‘Ultraman X’ and ‘Ultraman Ace’ Coming on Blu-ray This Spring From Mill Creek

Mill Creek Entertainment is releasing to new titles on Blu-ray from the “Ultraman” superhero library for their North American debut.

“Ultraman X” will arrive on Blu-ray as both a complete series plus movie combo pack at $39.98 and a movie-only, stand-alone Blu-ray at $19.98 on April 21.

“Ultraman Ace” will come out in a steelbook at $49.98 while the complete series will also be available in standard Blu-ray packaging at $39.98 on May 12.

The first Ultraman series with an ongoing antagonist, “Ultraman Ace” premiered in 1972 and features all of the earlier Ultra Heroes — Ultraman, Ultraseven, Ultraman Jack and Zoffy — as recurring characters. The releases include all 52 half-hour episodes with DTS-HD Master Audio of the original Japanese soundtrack with English subtitles. In this fifth entry in the Ultra Series, theinterdimensional alien Yapool launches a war against the Ultra Heroes for galactic domination. As the conflict spreads to Earth a new hero, Ultraman Ace, is tasked with protecting the planet from Yapool and his Terrible-Monsters, experimental beasts more powerful than ordinary monsters. Divided between his two human hosts’ personalities, Ace must learn to balance them and his superior energy powers as he battles alongside Earth’s Terrible-Monster Attacking Crew (TAC) and his fellow Ultramen to overcome these terrible new foes.

“Ultraman X” was originally released in 2015. When a massive “Ultra Flare” from the sun envelops the earth, Spark Dolls buried underground and undersea are turned into monsters. In order to deal with the sudden outbreak of marauding creatures, mankind forms Xio, a special defense team equipped with the latest in super-science. Then, 15 years later, Xio is engaged in battle against a monster when team member Daichi Ozora hears a mysterious voice say, “Unite! If you and I join together, you will fight that monster with one heart, one mind!” He agrees, merging with a giant of light to become Ultraman X. Also included with the complete, 25-episode series is the 2016 theatrical feature film Ultraman X: The Movie — Here He Comes! Our Ultraman. In the film, X is joined by his longtime ally Cyber Gomora and a team of Ultra Heroes (Ultraman, Ultraman Zero, Ultraman Max, Ultraman Victory, Ultraman Ginga, Ultraman Nexus and Ultraman Tiga) to stop the evil beast Zaigorg and a “powered up” army of classic monsters.

Digital redemption on Mill Creek Entertainment’s streaming service movieSpree is also included with each release.