Beer League

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 5/14/19
MVD/FilmRise;
Comedy, B.O. $0.5 million, $14.95 DVD, $24.95 Blu-ray, ‘R’ for nonstop language, including strong sexual references, sexuality, nudity and drug use.
Stars Artie Lange, Ralph Macchio, Anthony De Sando, Cara Buono, Jimmy Palumbo, Jerry Minor, Joe Lo Truglio, Seymour Cassel, Laurie Metcalf, Louis Lombardi.

I love this movie. It’s the perfect tonic for the Al Bundy in us all — an ode to camaraderie, teamwork and the art of the great insult.

That description belies a certain temperament, of course, but how one not eyeball a movie headlined by Artie Lange about a softball squad of New Jersey drunks and not expect to find something potentially offensive to ponder? If it was un-PC when it first premiered in 2006, and it most certainly was, it would be hard pressed to even get made in the Twitter-fueled outrage culture of today. And that’s aside from how years of cocaine use have turned Lange’s nose into silly putty.

Co-written by Lange and director Frank Sebastiano (and based on Shakespeare’s Ale League, Sebastiano quips in the commentary), Beer League is the Bad News Bears if the entire team were Buttermakers — a portrait of drunken thirtysomethings whose last shot at glory rests with success in one of those community rec-center slow-pitch softball leagues where the teams consist of bar buddies.

Lange basically plays himself, a guy named Artie whose team is so bad they always end up picking a fight with their main rivals rather than admit defeat. A local cop (a great cameo by Louis Lombardi of “24”) is so fed up with the fights he orders the team that finishes with the worst record to leave the league.

Artie has a personal motivation for winning, as the other team is led by his oldest rival, who has held the upper hand in their feud since high school.

All seems lost until Artie realizes that if his team can stay sober in a league of drunks, they might actually have an advantage.

But Artie can’t seem to get out of the way of his own personal problems, particularly when it comes to his new girlfriend, played by Cara Buono, who later had a prominent role in season four of “Mad Men” as the love interest of Don Draper who gets dumped so he can marry his secretary; most recently she’s been on “Stranger Things” as Mike’s mom.

A few other plot machinations conspire to bring the team to their lowest point just before the championship, leading to a final game one must see to believe. There’s just something special about seeing a batter throw up in mid-swing, a feat Joe Lo Truglio (of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) pulls off with aplomb.

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The late Seymour Cassel, who just died in April, gets some of the film’s best lines and steals nearly every scene he’s in as the crotchety old-timer who pitches for Artie’s team.

Also notable is Jimmy Palumbo as Johnny, who constantly refers to his quest to finish the season with a .700 batting average (“It’s so unfair … it’s like pitching to a healthy Lou Gehrig”).

Artie’s best friend is played by Ralph Macchio, who at the time was basically at the tail end of his Karate Kid fame before a guest appearance on HBO’s “Entourage” led to his casting in this movie and sparked a bit of a career renaissance that brought him full circle with “Cobra Kai.”

Even Tina Fey gets in on the action with a one-line cameo as a gym receptionist. Fey was wrapping up her stint on “Saturday Night Live” at the time and about to debut “30 Rock,” and shows up here visibly pregnant with her first daughter.

This is one of those films that critics are prone to dismiss, and most did at the time, but for the audience in the target demographic, which I suppose would be middle-aged Johnny Six-Packs, it hits the sweet spot. It’s crude, extremely funny and eminently watchable in the vein of The Hangover or Major League, and rife with quotability. My brother and I still toss off zingers from the film to this day.

With its flair for crudeness and apathy toward the human condition, Beer League is a perfect companion piece for 1998’s Dirty Work, which was co-written by Sebastiano and also starred Lange.

The new FilmRise Blu-ray edition of the film is basically an updated pressing of the Echo Bridge Blu-ray from 2008, with a new menu and the same previously released trove of bonus material.

The Lange-Sebastiano commentary ends up being surprisingly serious compared with the tone of the film itself, mainly because in-between Lange laughing about his various drug habits they actually focus on how the film was made.

We get a glimpse of Sebastiano’s directing style in the 19-minute behind-the-scenes featurette, which shows him calling the shots in a Yankee cap and bath robe.

The Blu-ray also includes the minute-long faux “Beer Goggles” commercial that went on to inspire the production of Beer League.

Additional extras include the film’s trailers; a photo gallery; four minutes of Lange recording jokes for the film’s promotional campaign; footage of Lange behind the scenes at “Best Damn Sports Show,” “The Jimmy Kimmel Show” and Cine Vegas (3-4 minutes each); and 19 minutes of cast junket interviews.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Woody Guthrie All-Star Tribute Concert 1970’ Coming to DVD June 7 From MVD

A previously unreleased benefit concert, Woody Guthrie All-Star Tribute Concert 1970 is coming to DVD June 7 From MVD Entertainment Group.

Featuring Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Country Joe McDonald and other luminaries, the tribute concert celebrates the life and work of the legendary folk singer and songwriter Woody Guthrie, whose songs have become part of the bedrock of American life. Three years after Guthrie died of Huntington’s disease in 1967, the California chapter of the Committee to Combat Huntington’s Disease, now known as the Hereditary Disease Foundation, helped stage this concert at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles to raise funds for Huntington’s research.

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Although the concert took place one night only, four-time Emmy award winner Jim Brown filmed the historic event. Other featured artists include Odetta, Richie Havens, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Earl Robinson and The Band, along with narration by actors Will Geer and Peter Fonda.

Extras include three not previously recorded songs performed by Joan Baez, Odetta and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, as well as concert rehearsal footage and audio interviews with Arlo Guthrie and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott.

Spaghetti Western ‘The Grand Duel,’ Film Noir ‘The Big Clock’ Among May Blu-ray Releases From Arrow and MVD

A spaghetti Western, a film noir classic, a J-sploitation film and a gore actioner are among the new Blu-ray releases due in May from Arrow Video and MVD Entertainment Group.

Coming May 7 is Giancarlo Santi’s spaghetti Western The Grand Duel, starring Lee Van Cleef as a sheriff seeking justice for a man accused of murder. Special features include new interviews with cast and crew, including director Santi, and a new commentary with film historian Stephen Prince.

On May 14, Arrow brings two new releases.

Yakuza Law  is from director Teruo Ishii, the godfather of J-sploitation. It’s a tale of a yakuza lynching during the Edo, Taisho and Showa periods. Special features include a new commentary with film critic Jasper Sharp and an archival interview with Ishii.

Also due May 14 is the 1948 film noir The Big Clock. The film follows a magazine tycoon who commits a murder and then attempts to frame an innocent man. At the same time, the innocent man attempts to solve the case. The film is directed by Oscar winner John Farrow and features an all-star cast, including Ray Milland, Maureen O’Sullivan and Charles Laughton.

Due May 21 is She-Devils on Wheels, from godfather of gore Herschell Gordon Lewis. In a small Florida town, an all-girl motorcycle gang known as The Man-Eaters squares off with an all-male rival gang. Included in the special features is another feature-length film from Lewis, 1968’s Just for the Hell of It, also set in Florida, about a gang of punks leading a small town’s youth down a path of destruction and mayhem.

Music Doc ‘Bachman: Special Edition’ Rolling to Blu-ray and DVD May 10 From MVD

The music documentary Bachman: Special Edition will come out on Blu-ray and DVD May 10 from MVD Entertainment Group and FilmRise.

As a member of The Guess Who, Randy Bachman was part of the first ever No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 by a Canadian band with “American Woman/No Sugar Tonight,” and then topped the Hot 100 again in 1974 with another band, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, with “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.” Among the other hits Bachman has written or co-written are “These Eyes,” “No Time,” “New Mother Nature,” “Takin’ Care of Business,” “Let It Ride” and “Roll on Down The Highway.”

The documentary chronicles the life of the 74-year-old rocker, who is still regularly making music and performing. The film follows Bachman as he looks to the past for inspiration from rarely seen footage, pictures and documents that have been stored at the National Archives in Ottawa. It also incorporates present-day interviews with family, management and fellow musicians, touching on everything from Bachman’s childhood to his various rock bands — The Guess Who, Brave Belt, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Bachman-Turner — and solo work.

“He was like my biggest influence when I was a kid,” says Neil Young in the film. “Watching him play guitar, he had an amazing sense about the way he played. And the feeling that you got when you listened to him. It was more than just chops.”

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The documentary made its world premiere in Toronto at Hot Docs 2018 before a festival run, and eventual airing in Canada on CBC’s Documentary Channel.

Bonus materials include “Neil Young on Winnipeg,” “Randy’s Crazy Horse,” “Building a Reprise ‘Here Comes the Sun,’” “On Chords,” “Songwriting ‘When No One Knows’” and the theatrical trailer.

Mike’s Picks: ‘At the Drive-In’ and ‘The Whole Town’s Talking’

At the Drive-In

MVD, Documentary, $19.95 DVD, NR.2017.
Filmmaker Alexander Monelli’s At the Drive-In is such an affectionate doc about one community’s approach to cinemania that it has potential to become a fan favorite, though I suspect it already is one to those who’ve seen it.
Extras: There are three voiceover commentaries, 17 minutes of outtakes and a Q&A session with principals from a showing of this doc at a Yonkers Alamo Draft House.
Read the Full Review 

The Whole Town’s Talking

Available via ScreenArchives.com
Twilight Time, Comedy, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Edward G. Robinson, Jean Arthur.
1935.
The Whole Town’s Talking is more obscure than it ought to be, and in addition to being a rare John Ford comedy against a backdrop contemporary to its filming — it’s a Ford mistaken-identity comedy movie that plays like a Frank Capra vehicle, and there are reasons for that.
Read the Full Review

At the Drive-In

DVD REVIEW:

MVD;
Documentary;
$19.95 DVD;
Not rated. 

Filmmaker Alexander Monelli’s At the Drive-In is such an affectionate doc about one community’s approach to cinemania that it has potential to become a fan favorite, though I suspect it already is one to those who’ve seen it. This would only be fitting because this real-life story is to a great degree about fans, starting with Jeff Mattox, the good-guy owner and projectionist of the Mahooning Drive-In in Leighton, Pa. (about 40 miles from both Allentown and Wilkes-Barre and not all that far from the area where Barbara Loden shot Wanda, now out on a Criterion Blu-ray).

In addition, we get a basic primer on the legacy of drive-ins and what that experience was all about in their heyday — and another on the aesthetic tension between theaters’ now-standard digital projection and the traditional 35mm kind with real film (and not on a potentially print-damaging platter system but with a real human being who changes and inspects reels). The latter approach, of course, is nearly a lost art due to the advancing age of the individuals who know to thread up those old machines (the fully operational Mahooning ones date back to 1949). When I was working at a theater in 2014 that was showing an actual print of Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar in one auditorium, it took about three days for an in all other ways on-the-ball projectionist to put something between a scratch and a divot for the entire length of one reel, making the image look like something on which Donald Trump had been practicing so that he could better mangle his chip shots. Even so, digital is not going away. Shipping costs on 35mm prints just by themselves might be enough to put a theater with multiple screens on panic alert. I used to lift and carry these babies around for years (Baby Huey is more like it), and I’m tellin’ ya: Hernia City.

With the dwindling numbers of both projectors and projectionists, non-existent prints inevitably follow, and Monelli’s 2017 doc follows the theater’s fortunes when faced with having to buy digital projectors it can’t afford. At this point, an array of youthful saviors (“characters” all) arrive to save the day with weekend volunteer work to improve the theater’s cosmetics — and additionally go to town with a newly arrived-at decision to become something really offbeat: a drive-in rep house. This way, prints might still exist for booking, however old and scratchy. And besides, the operation’s two standout selling points are its monster screen (among the biggest still in existence) and a keen sense of how to exploit the nostalgia conjured up by the drive-in experience in general, which older movies obviously stoke.

Of course, my own sense of older-guy nostalgia differs from that of the audiences here because I come from a time when memories and movies were more grown-up and there were zoning laws against geek-dom. Despite the tinny speakers, which represented slightly less of a comedown then from indoor exhibition than they would now, I have exceedingly warm takeaways from my drive-in years. In my town (one state away from the Mahooning), a lot of movies — the first two James Bond pics, all the Leone Westerns including Once Upon a Time in the West, John Huston’s Sinful Davy, Roman Polanski’s The Fearless Vampire Killers, Billy Wilder’s Kiss Me, Stupid — played outdoors exclusively.

In terms of second runs or re-issues, you not only got great double features (I once saw Wilder’s Witness for the Prosecution with Vincente Minnelli’s Designing Woman at a drive-in when they were recent movies) or gonzo combos that you weren’t likely to find outside of Times Square Midnight Cowboy territory. With snow on the ground, I saw Anthony Mann’s The Fall of the Roman Empire with a Martin & Lewis reissue pairing of Pardners and Living It Up. In 1971, I was still able to see 1958’s Thunder Road at the end of a triple bill of Ivan Passer’s Born to Kill and Michael Winner’s Lawman — this time with snow coming down on my windshield (those in-car heaters really did work). Before I could drive, I walked three miles each way to a drive-in and sat next to a speaker in a lighter-than-intended jacket to watch a pairing of the Jerry Lewis/Frank Tashlin It’s Only Money with my fifth viewing of the 159-minute Hatari! (which would make a great Criterion pick) as the temperature hovered around 35 with the long walk home still facing me.

In the documentary’s case, both patrons and staff are products of ’70s and ’80s moviegoing, so they are much more likely to serve and be served a Mahooning diet of Spielberg and horror, which isn’t to say that the theater isn’t creatively programmed. We see that thematic weekends (think comprehensive directors’ retrospectives) often dominate, and the season opener is always The Wizard of Oz with Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory — the latter a movie I didn’t even like in 1971, though as a onetime film programmer myself, I admire the savviness of the pairing. The Mahooning’s choice of movies also lends itself to having customers and staff dress up Rocky Horror style as the characters being projected, which again differs from my own experience. Had I shown up at a drive-in in 1962 dressed as Jerry Lewis, the entire upscale community would have buried me alive in a lime pit at the quarry that wasn’t too far from the theater: Movie Mike turned Jimmy Hoffa.

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The particulars of exhibition explained here are catnip for those of us true believers who love to journey inside baseball, but a lot of this portrait’s charm comes from the camaraderie conveyed. The staff members, Mattox included, have real paying jobs during the week — which is good to hear because one of them has a pregnant wife who presumably isn’t too crazy about her husband working weekends for free at the drive-in. Truth is, everyone is working gratis trying to save the theater, and a few staffers even sleep on the floor at night because it eliminates travel time.

Aside from Mattox, who’s kind of a stabilizing father figure, everyone who labors at the theater is a piece of work who could easily inspire a fictional film from the Kevin Smith school; Smith, in fact, is regarded as some kind of bearded deity by this  particular crew. And as crucial good fortune has it, there’s even a staff techno-genius in residence who masterfully jerry-builds a digital projector to show a DVD of Jaws when Universal can’t deliver a print on time (boy, does this bring up a slew of malaria-chills memories from my own programming days). Miraculously, it works, though I kept wondering if this emergency set-up would be able to generate enough light to show Barry Lyndon during some Kubrick weekend. Then again, I suspect that Barry would be less than ideal programming choice for the demographic at hand.

This is because the theater “regulars” are no less idiosyncratic as the staff, including the inevitable movie expert who regularly drives hundreds of miles to see the shows. He is so articulate with at least a streak of open-mindedness that you can’t call him pompous, but he could probably give you a five-minute monologue on the brand of canola oil used to make the concession popcorn. Understand that I say all this with considerable affection, but this kind of all-out devotion to movies just isn’t in my own DNA, though it fascinates me. Speaking as a onetime programmer, this one would make a fabulous pairing with 2002’s Cinemania (buff-tom nine mad in Manhattan), which remains the final word on the subject.

For added goodies, there are three voiceover commentaries, 17 minutes of outtakes (mostly of short duration) and a Q&A session with principals from a showing of this doc at a Yonkers Alamo Draft House. I’ve always liked exhibitors as a breed, and one in particular (if you don’t count my paternal grandmother) was my biggest mentor of my life when I was first trying to learn what movies were all about. Mattox is instantly recognizable as this brand of prince, which conjures up all kinds of warm feelings on my part — though honest to God, and even from the get-go, I couldn’t see how anyone could have the painstaking patience to string up a fresh reel of film every 20 minutes or so while at least half-watching A Girl Named Tamiko or Dirty Dingus Magee for the 10th time. Bring on the combat pay.

Mike’s Picks: ‘At the Drive-In’ and ‘The Whole Town’s Talking’

Phantom Lady

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

MVD/Arrow;
Drama;
$39.95 Blu-ray;
Not rated.
Stars Franchot Tone, Ella Raines, Alan Curtis, Thomas Gomez.

Known earlier in his career as co-director of a German-cinema milestone on which seemingly every future Hollywood émigré legend labored (People on Sunday), Robert Siodmak enjoyed a mostly terrific and certainly prolific Hollywood run from about 1944 to 1952, until a subsequent life of hard bumps and relative oblivion commenced. He’s among the directors who first come to mind in any discussion of film noir, though let it be noted that he managed to cap his American career with Burt Lancaster’s widely adored The Crimson Pirate, which can still show the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise a thing or two (and this is speaking as one who’s not un-fond of the first one).

Phantom Lady was Siodmak’s noir launcher, sandwiched between Son of Dracula (Lon Chaney as Count Alucard, and you’d better spell it backwards) and Maria Montez’s Cobra Woman (in Technicolor and with a script co-penned by Richard Brooks, who probably didn’t learn too much he later could bring to Blackboard Jungle from the experience). After an extended build-up that makes one wonder if the movie will break out into something more, Lady is ultimately put over by three extended sequences that easily carry the story beyond what turns out to be a resourcefully versatile lead actress (Ella Raines) is already doing. These set-pieces benefit from Siodmak’s accomplished eye and, one would assume, Elwood “Woody” Bredell — a cinematographer I had to look up because he was unknown to me. Turns out he shot two other Siodmak noirs (and two of the best: Christmas Holiday and Burt Lancaster’s star-maker The Killers) and then a pair of Warner Technicolor achievements that have been 60-year personal favorites: Doris Day’s star-maker Romance on the High Seas and Errol Flynn’s Adventures of Don Juan, which I love almost as much as The Adventures of Robin Hood (there, I said it). Why didn’t Bredell work more?

Anyway. The Lady script (Bernard C. Shoenfeld adapting William Irish, aka Cornell Woolrich) asks a lot in terms of asking us to accept coincidences and other unlikely events. A New York architect under the thumb of his estranged wife’s money (Alan Baxter) is accused of strangling her, and his alibi is a classy but depressed woman he picked up at a bar but whose heavily depressed state at the time kept her from divulging her name. Baxter later can’t locate her, the bartender claims never to have seen her, and soon this rather abruptly convicted victim is on death’s row. In lieu of help from a best friend (Franchot Tone) who’s out of the country, Baxter’s only hope is the sleuthing of his secretary (Ella Raines) who is constantly finding herself in life-threatening situations once it becomes clear that something about the whole deal smells highly suspect.

Here’s an 87-minute movie in which top-billed Tone doesn’t show up for nearly an hour, which means that the burden is on the mostly straight-arrow, Wichita-bred assistant Raines is playing — though in one of those three standout scenes, she rather spectacularly tarts herself up to masquerade as what used to be a called a “chippie” (a good word whose common usage I miss). This part of the story includes the famous drumming sequence by one of the bribed heavies here (Elisa Cook Jr.), whose studio-dubbed playing at a jam session is either supposed to come off as orgasmic or some kind of Gene Krupa-ish reefer madness. (Poor Gene. Whenever he’d come on TV in the ’50s and ’60s, the disapproving mother of a friend of mine used to yell, “dissipated” at the screen. She also did the same to did as well as any tube image of comedian and game show host Jan Murray, but I’m not necessarily her to give you my life story.)

When Tone finally shows up, he displays a few eccentricities of his own, which means he fits right into the package. It’s a twitchy performance that works for me and is certainly unlike anything else I can think of in the actor’s history (had he played the vice president’s role like this in Otto Preminger’s better-than-ever adaptation of Advise and Consent, it definitively would have put a decidedly different cast on the movie). Tone’s extended scene with Raines late in the picture is another of the picture’s big moments, along with Cook’s drum frenzy and Raines’s nocturnal pursuit of the bartender in her attempt to determine why the guy lied about never having seen the woman who was sitting at the bar with Baxter.

By this time — and even though his situation is what motivates the entire plot — the Baxter character becomes kind of the forgotten man. An actor who died in real life at 43 — and was, I’m flabbergasted to see, onetime Commissioner of Baseball Peter Ueberroth’s real-life uncle — Baxter was one of those actors who, like John Carroll and John Lund (though I always liked Lund), donned a mustache in some futile attempt to become the new Clark Gable. Ultimately, this is Raines’s picture from her biggest year in the movies (1944), when she also had the female lead in Preston Sturges’ Hail the Conquering Hero (my favorite Sturges, says this son of a World War II Marine) and Tall in the Saddle — in which the bluejeaned/tomboy persona she projected in it made her one of John Wayne’s best leading ladies ever. I don’t know why Raines didn’t become a bigger star, but working for Universal in the ’40s and then Republic in the ’50s likely wasn’t the way to go about it.

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Visually, the Arrow Blu-ray is definitely a step up from the old TCM DVD, and that’s important when we’re dealing with shadows, fog, streetlights on pavement and that sexy/trashy black outfit Raines uncharacteristically dons when working undercover to determine just what Cook’s seamy story is. Extras include an Alan Rode essay (class) and a vintage noir doc that runs just under an hour that is better in the early and more germane going (appearances by Robert Wise and Edward Dmytryk) than it is later on when John Dahl, Dennis Hopper, Carl Franklin and Bryan Singer talk about neo-noir, which tends to date the package, though some may disagree. It’s never a loss, though, seeing directors talk about their works, especially ones that have followings.

Mike’s Picks: ‘Wanda’ and ‘Phantom Lady’

Heavy Metal Story ‘Lords of Chaos’ Coming to Blu-ray and DVD in May From Unobstructed View and MVD

Lords of Chaos, a story about a heavy metal band starring Rory Culkin, will come out on Blu-ray/DVD combo pack and DVD May 28 in the United States and May 21 in Canada from Unobstructed View and MVD Entertainment Group.

The coming of age horror-drama, from Swedish director Jonas Akerlund (Polar), weaves together a story of rock ‘n’ roll, youth, love and death. Inspired by a true story, Lords of Chaos, which debuted at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, is set in Oslo in 1987 as 17-year-old Euronymous (Culkin) is determined to escape his idyllic Scandinavian hometown and create “true Norwegian black metal” with his band Mayhem. He’s joined by equally fanatical youths Dead (Jack Kilmer) and Varg (Emory Cohen). Believing that they’re on the cusp of a musical revolution, the group gets even darker, driven by the black metal dogma to spread evil. They begin burning down churches throughout the countryside and stealing tombstones for their record store. But when the press catches up with them and Euronymous takes more credit than he’s earned for the group’s violent acts, Varg, fresh out of jail, arranges a dark encounter to settle the score

The Blu-ray/DVD combo pack contains the unrated version of the film and bonus features. The DVD includes the rated version and no bonus features.

‘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.

Arrow Films Announces April 2019 Slate

MVD Entertainment Group and Arrow Films have unveiled six catalog titles coming to Blu-ray in April.

Due April 2 is Takashi Miike’s Terra Formars, a 2016 sci-fi adventure about a team of space explorers who battle a horde of oversized anthropomorphic cockroaches. The Blu-ray includes a full-length documentary on the making of the film, outtakes and more.

Arriving April 9 will be The Iguana with the Tongue Fire, from Riccardo Freda, about a series of brutal killings in Dublin that carry political complications. The film is presented with a new 2K restoration from the original 35mm camera negative.

Also coming April 9 is Mélo, from director Alain Resnais. This story of a doomed love triangle is based on the classic play from Henri Bernstein and come with a new 2K restoration.

April 16 sees the Blu-ray release of Keoma, pairing star Franco Nero and director Enzo G. Castellari in the story of a half-breed gunfighter that returns home to find his fellow townsfolk terrorized by a terrible gang. Includes a 2K restoration and new special features.

Mary Page Keller and Andrew Stevens star in Richard Friedman’s Scared Stiff, coming to Blu-ray April 23. A singer moves into a colonial mansion with her son and boyfriend only to uncover deep, dark secrets hidden within the boarded up attic.

Due April 30 is Khrustalyov, My Car!, a satire about a military doctor arrested in Stalin’s Russia, accused of being a participant in the so-called “doctor’s plot.” This limited-edition release includes a 60-page booklet featuring new writing by Gianna D’Emilio, an archival essay by Joël Chaperon and original reviews.