MVD Adds Five Titles to Its ‘Rewind Collection’

MVD Entertainment Group has added five classic films on Blu-ray and DVD to its MVD Rewind Collection, which celebrates video store culture. They include Action U.S.A. (1989), Drive (1997), Mortuary (1983), The House on Sorority Row (1982) and The Go-Go Boys: The Inside Story of Cannon Films (2014), each loaded with extras.

“I’m excited to be working with our great content partners to bring both Drive and The Go-Go Boys to Blu-ray for the first time, and to give collectors a second chance to pick up Action U.S.A., Mortuary and The House on Sorority Row on disc once again,” Eric D. Wilkinson, MVD director of acquisitions and producer of the MVD Rewind Collection, said in a statement. “I’m a geek for video store culture and our packaging reflects that. It gives fans that lived through the video store era an opportunity to enjoy the nostalgia, and for our younger collectors, they get to experience these for the very first time, just as they were.”

Due May 11 is Action U.S.A. In the 1989 film, after her boyfriend is murdered by the gangsters whose diamonds he stole, a girl is protected by two FBI agents who plan to keep her from sharing the same fate. It stars Gregory Scott Cummins (“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” Cliffhanger), Ross Hagen (Armed Response), Cameron Mitchell (How to Marry a Millionaire) and Barri Murphy (Armed for Action). Originally released on VHS by Imperial Entertainment, MVD Rewind Collection brings this cult classic action film to disc in conjunction with Verdugo Entertainment. Blu-ray bonus material include audio commentary with director John Stewart, star Cummins and cinematographer Thomas Callaway moderated by filmmaker Steve Latshaw; an interview with Stewart; a behind-the-scenes stunt featurette; the theatrical trailer; a mini-poster; reversible artwork; and, for the first pressing only, a limited edition retro slipcover that celebrates the rental packaging of legendary video store chain Erol’s Video (1980-1990).

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Also due May 11 is Drive, which follows a prototype enhanced human from Hong Kong who enlists help from a hostage and a free-spirited woman to evade killers-for-hire in a race against time in order to get from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Originally released in 1997 from A-Pix Entertainment, Drive makes its debut on Blu-ray with a brand new 4K HD scan of the original camera negative of the extended director’s cut of the movie. The cast includes Mark Dacascos (John Wick 3: Parabellum), Kadeem Hardison (White Men Can’t Jump), Brittany Murphy (Clueless), Sanaa Lathan (Alien vs Predator), Tracey Walter (Repo Man) and Ron Yuan (Mulan). Special features on Blu-ray include audio commentary by director Steve Wang, fight choreographer Koichi Sakamoto, and stars Dacascos and Hardison; the “Drive: The Force Behind the Storm” documentary; six deleted scenes; an interview gallery with cast, director and crew, including stars Dacascos and Hardison, Wang, second unit director Wyatt Weed and stunt coordinator Koichi Sakamoto; two versions of the film, the director’s cut and the original theatrical version; the original theatrical trailer; reversible artwork; a mini-poster; and, for the first pressing only, a limited edition retro slipcover. The Drive: Director’s Cut will also be released on a standard edition DVD.

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Coming July 6 is Mortuary. In the film, convinced that her father’s death was not accidental, Christie Parson decides to investigate to find out the truth. Her sleuthing draws her to a local mortuary, where deadly secrets are revealed. Originally released on VHS from Vestron Video in 1984, the film’s cast includes Lynda Day George (TV’s “Mission Impossible”) in her final film role, Christopher George (Pieces), Bill Paxton (Aliens), Mary McDonough (“The Waltons”) and David Wallace (Humongous). The special edition Blu-ray features bonus material courtesy of Scorpion Releasing and includes an interview with composer John Cacavas; the original theatrical trailer; a mini-poster; and, for the first pressing only, a limited edition retro slipcover.

Also due July 6 is The House on Sorority Row. In the film, after a seemingly innocent prank goes horribly wrong, a group of sorority sisters are stalked and murdered one by one in their sorority house while throwing a party to celebrate their graduation. Originally released on VHS from Vestron Video in 1983, The House on Sorority Row stars Kathryn McNeil (Sudden Death), Eileen Davidson (“Days of Our Lives”), Harley Jane Kozak (Arachnophobia) and Jean Schertler (Runaway Bride). The special edition Blu-ray features bonus material courtesy of Scorpion Releasing and includes audio commentary with director Mark Rosman; audio commentary with director Rosman and stars Davidson and McNeil; interviews with cast and crew, including Rosman, Kozak, Davidson, McNeil, composer Richard Band and producer Igo Kantor; the original pre-credit sequence; alternate ending storyboards; TV spots; the theatrical trailer; reversible artwork; a mini-poster; and, for the first pressing only, a limited edition retro slipcover.

Available July 20 is The Go-Go Boys: The Inside Story of Cannon Films. This definitive documentary about Cannon films follows Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, two Israeli-born cousins who, in pursuit of the American Dream, turned the Hollywood power structure upside down, producing more than 300 films and becoming the most powerful independent film company in the world. Directed by Sundance Grand Jury Prize nominee Hilla Medalia (After the Storm), The Go-Go Boys is an up close and personal documentary that examines the complex relationship between two contradictory personalities whose combined force fueled their success and eventual collapse. It features interviews with Jean-Claude Van Damme, Michael Dudikoff, Eli Roth, Boaz Davidson and more, along with Golan and Globus themselves, as well as archive footage of Sylvester Stallone, Charles Bronson and Chuck Norris. Blu-ray special features include the original theatrical trailer; reversible artwork; a mini-poster; and, for the first pressing only, a limited edition retro slipcover.

Rutger Hauer Sci-Fi Actioner ‘Split Second’ Coming to Blu-ray Aug. 11 From MVD

The 1992 sci-fi action film Split Second will come out on Blu-ray for the first time in North America as part of MVD Entertainment Group’s MVD Rewind Collection Aug. 11.

The film is set in the year 2008. Cops are better armed than before, but nothing has prepared them for something swift, sharp-clawed and deadly moving among them on the streets, in the alleyways, on the rooftops, tearing out human hearts and devouring them. Maverick cop “Harley” Stone (Rutger Hauer) lost his partner to the beast, and now it looks like his girlfriend Michelle (Kim Cattrall) is next on the killer’s list. Teamed with rookie detective Durkin (Alastair Duncan), Stone must stalk the edge of his own sanity if he is to destroy the rampaging evil.

In addition to Hauer (Blade Runner, The Hitcher), Cattrall (Big Trouble in Little China, Sex and the City) and Duncan (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo), the film also stars Michael J. Pollard (Tango & Cash) and Pete Postlethwaite (Inception). From director Tony Maylam (The Burning), Split Second features creature design effects by Stephen Norrington (Blade) and a screenplay written by Gary Scott Thompson (The Fast and The Furious).

MVD has teamed up with 101 Films on a special edition. Starting with a new high-definition presentation overseen by Joe Rubin, the main feature is presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, newly scanned, restored and color graded in 4K from the 35MM internegative, with uncompressed 2-channel stereo audio.

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The release includes hours of bonus material produced by 101 Films exclusively for the United States (and the United Kingdom) including new cast and crew interviews, new audio commentary, 1992 legacy features, an alternative cut of the film, deleted scenes and promos.

Eric D. Wilkinson oversaw this project on behalf of MVD.

“Collectors have been waiting for this release for a long time,” he said in a statement. “While MVD licensed this film almost two years ago, as a fellow collector, it was important to me to get this release right. At the time of the acquisition, MVD was originally provided with an older HD master, but I felt we could do better. With the help of Joe Rubin, we began a search for the best materials to scan. Once we had a beautiful new master I then reached out to 101 Films, who control the rights to Split Second in the U.K., and we worked together creating new bonus materials and locating classic material in order to make this truly the definitive release of Split Second in both North America and the U.K. I want to thank the 101 Films team for all of their hard work and thank the fans for their continued support of our collectors’ label. I promise it was worth the wait!”

1970s Animated Title ‘The Point’ Narrated by Ringo Starr Due on Blu-ray Feb. 18 From MVD

The animated title The Point (1971) is coming to Blu-ray for the first time from the MVD Rewind Collection Feb. 18.

Directed and animated by Academy Award winner Fred Wolf (Free To Be… You & Me, “The Flintstones”) with story and songs written by Grammy Award winner Harry Nilsson and narration by Ringo Starr, The Point is a family friendly fable about difference.

In The Land of the Point, everything has one — the barns, the houses, the cars, the people — everyone, that is, except Oblio (Mike Lookinland, “The Brady Bunch”), who was born round-headed. Since he has no point, Oblio — along with his trusty dog, Arrow — is banished to the Pointless Forest.

Nilsson released his album The Point in 1970, and the animated film version of The Point first aired Feb. 2, 1971, as an ABC Movie of the Week. Songs include “Me and My Arrow,” “Everything’s Got ‘Em,” “Poli High,” “Think About Your Troubles,” “Life Line,” “P.O.V. Waltz” and “Are You Sleeping.”

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The re-release was overseen by Lee Blackman for the Nilsson Estate and MVD’s Eric D. Wilkinson.

“We searched everywhere but came up empty-handed in regard to locating the original negative elements,” said Wilkinson in a statement. “Thanks to the generosity of collector Kier-La Janisse, who provided a rare 16mm print, we oversaw a 2K HD scan, which included shot-by-shot color-grading to reduce fade and improve consistency. Considering the condition of the elements we had — while a complete restoration proved to be unfeasible — the end result is the best the film has ever looked and we are proud to give fans and collectors the best edition on disc and digital that has ever been created for this classic animated film.”

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The disc features a new 2K High Definition transfer presented in its original aspect ratio and several special features, including a new interview with Lookinland; a new conversation with screenwriter Norm Lenzer; a new featurette “Everybody’s Got a Point: Kiefo Nilsson and Bobby Halvorson on Adapting the Point”; a new featurette “Nilsson on Screen,” with biographer Alyn Shipton and friends on Nilsson’s film projects and appearances; the four-part featurette “The Making of The Point” ; and a mini-poster.

Jean-Claude Van Damme’s ‘Double Impact’ Available on Blu-ray From MVD Rewind Collection

MVD Entertainment Group has released another Jean-Claude Van Damme action classic on Blu-ray in its MVD Rewind Collection, Double Impact: Special Collector’s Edition.

Already under the MVD Rewind Collection are collector’s editions of Van Damme’s Black Eagle and Lionheart.

Double Impact (1991), co-produced by Michael Douglas and co-starring Geoffrey Lewis (The Devil’s Rejects), Bolo Yeung (Bloodsport), Alonna Shaw (King of New York) and Cory Everson (Natural Born Killers), features Van Damme in the dual roles of Chad and Alex Wagner, twin brothers who were separated after their parents’ brutal murder. Years later, the two couldn’t be more different: Chad is a slick Beverly Hills fitness instructor, while Alex is a rough and tumble smuggler on the gritty streets of Hong Kong. When fate throws them together again, Chad and Alex discover that there’s one thing they have in common: they’re both fighting machines determined to enact revenge on their parents’ killers.

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Bonus features include a feature-length retrospective documentary about the making of the film from writer-producer Richard Schenkman (The Man From Earth) that includes brand new interviews with star and co-writer Van Damme, director and co-writer Sheldon Lettich, producer Ashok Amritraj, co-star Cory Everson-Donia, co-star and fight coordinator Peter Malota, and “Chad” and “Alex” photo doubles Jeff Rector and Jerry Rector; an hour of deleted and extended scenes including a newly unearthed alternate ending; “Double Impact: Anatomy of a Scene,” with Lettich highlighting how one of the film’s biggest action set pieces was constructed; behind-the-scenes featurettes; trailers; cast and crew interviews; and a mini-poster.

Cult Video Game Movie ‘Double Dragon’ Due Jan. 22 from MVD’s Rewind Collection

Double Dragon, the cult classic 1994 movie based on the video game hit, is smashing its way to Blu-ray and DVD combo pack Jan. 22 in MVD Entertainment Group’s “Rewind Collection.”

It’s the year 2007, and what remains of Los Angeles is now New Angeles, a city ravaged by earthquakes, tidal waves and vicious gangs. The evil tycoon Koga Shuko (Robert Patrick, Terminator 2: Judgment Day) is obsessed with finding the two halves of a talisman known as the “Double Dragon,” which will give him mystical powers. Two teenaged brothers, Jimmy (Mark Dacascos, John Wick 3) and Billy Lee (Scott Wolf, “Party of Five”) find themselves in possession of the amulet’s missing half, thrusting them into the adventure of their lives. With the help of Maria (Alyssa Milano, “Charmed”) and her vigilante group the Power Corps, Jimmy and Billy must summon all of their courage, resourcefulness and martial-arts skills to stop the villain’s malevolent plan.

Double Dragon was arguably one of my favorite projects for the Rewind Collection,” said MVD’s Eric Wilkinson, who oversees the collection, in a statement. “This release marks the first time Double Dragon will be available on Blu-ray and in HD in North America. Special features producer Richard Schenkman and I worked tirelessly to create some amazing brand-new bonus material that includes a feature length making-of documentary that I know collectors will love. With these new bonus features, along with some great archival bonus material and the addition of the pilot of the ‘Double Dragon’ animated television series (courtesy of Invincible Entertainment), MVD is proud to present the definitive edition of Double Dragon in a kick-ass (pun intended) Blu-ray plus DVD combo pack collector’s set.”

Bonus features include the new featurette “The Making of Double Dragon,” featuring interviews with stars Scott Wolf and Marc Dacascos, writers Peter Gould and Michael Davis, and producer Don Murphy; the new featurette “Don Murphy: Portrait of a Producer”; an archival making-of featurette; a behind-the-scenes featurette; the 1993 “Double Dragon” animated series pilot episode “The Shadow Falls”; a storyboard gallery; press photos, marketing and behind-the-scenes photo galleries; TV spots; a VHS home video trailer; the original theatrical trailer; a collectible mini-poster; and a reversible sleeve featuring alternate artwork.

Bram Stoker’s ‘Shadowbuilder’ Due on Blu-ray for First Time Aug. 28 From MVD

MVD Entertainment Group will release the Bram Stoker horror story Shadowbuilder for the first time on Blu-ray Aug. 28 as part of its MVD Rewind collection.

Shadowbuilder front cover

In the film, a demon is summoned to take the soul of a young boy, who has the potential to become a saint. If the demon succeeds, it will open a doorway to hell, blazing a terrifying trail of destruction, possession and mayhem and destroying humanity. The fate of the world hinges on the final outcome of a renegade priest’s battle with the soul-eating Shadowbuilder.

The cast that includes Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy), Leslie Hope (Crimson Peak), Kevin Zegers (Dawn of the Dead) and Tony Todd (Candyman).

Shadowbuilder reversible cover art

Bonus materials include the original 2.0 stereo audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray); audio commentary from director Jamie Dixon; a new “Making of Shadowbuilder” featurette with director Jamie Dixon, writer Michael Stokes, and stars Andrew Jackson (The Shadowbuilder) and Todd (Covey); a new “Shadowbuilder: Visual Effects” featurette; a new “Shadowbuilder: Kevin Zegers” featurette; reversible, two-sided artwork; Spanish subtitles; the original theatrical trailer; and a collectible poster.

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes: Special Collector’s Edition

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

MVD;
Comedy;
$34.95 Blu-ray;
Rated ‘PG’;
Stars David Miller, Stephen Peace, George Wilson, Sharon Taylor, Jack Riley, Eric Christmas, Ernie Meyers.

The 1978 farce classic Attack of the Killer Tomatoes is a perfect fit for the new MVD Rewind Collection, which preserves cult-hit films on Blu-ray with retro-style VHS-inspired packaging and a slew of bonus material.

The film offers just the right blend of dumb fun, inspired by the cheesiness of 1950s and 1960s Japanese monster movies to present a story about mutant tomatoes that turn on humanity and start killing people, inspiring a bumbling response from the military.

The film is of a kind with other 1970s comedies such as Kentucky Fried Movie that took nothing seriously, paving the way for a golden age of parody slapstick in the 1980s led by Airplane, The Naked Gun, UHF, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, and more “Killer Tomatoes” movies.

The film was notable for using its low budget as an asset, as the worse the visual effects get, the better served the film is. Even the film’s most thrilling visual was literally an accident — a helicopter crash during a botched landing that made it into the final film because, why not? Unlike some other notable on-set helicopter crashes in film history, no one was killed and they can all laugh about it in the bonus materials.

Despite its low-brow reputation, the film looks great in a 4K transfer for this new Blu-ray edition. The colors are vibrant, particularly the bright red of the tomatoes.

The Blu-ray is loaded with all manner of bonus material a fan of the franchise could want, from deleted scenes to hours of archival featurettes culled from previous releases, primarily the 25th anniversary DVD, as well as a commentary from the filmmakers.

There are also nuggets such as student films from the filmmakers where many of the story points used in Attack of the Killer Tomatoes were first developed.

Also included are some fun bits of business such as an interview with the San Diego Chicken, and sing-alongs to the ridiculous songs featured in the film.