‘The House by the Cemetery’ Due on Blu-ray Jan. 21 From MVD

The horror film The House by the Cemetery is coming to Blu-ray Jan. 21 from MVD Entertainment Group and Blue Underground.

In the 1981 Italian shocker from “The Godfather of Gore” Lucio Fulci (Zombie), a young family moves from their cramped New York City apartment to a spacious new home in New England. But this is no ordinary house in the country: the previous owner was the deranged Dr. Freudstein, whose monstrous human experiments have left a legacy of bloody mayhem. Now, someone — or something — is alive in the basement, and home sweet home is about to become a horrific hell on earth.

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The film stars Catriona MacColl (The Beyond), Paolo Malco (The New York Ripper), Ania Pieroni (Tenebre), Carlo De Mejo (City of the Living Dead) and Dagmar Lassander (Hatchet for the Honeymoon).

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The 4K restoration from the original uncut and uncensored camera negative includes such special features as:

  • audio commentary with Troy Howarth, author of Splintered Visions: Lucio Fulci and His Films;
  • a deleted scene;
  • theatrical trailers;
  • a TV spot;
  • poster and still galleries;
  • “Meet the Boyles,” interviews with stars Catriona MacColl and Paolo Malco;
  • “Children of the Night,” interviews with Stars Giovanni Frezza and Silvia Collatina;
  • “Tales of Laura Gittleson, an interview with star Dagmar Lassander;
  • “My Time With Terror,” an interview with star Carlo De Mejo;
  • “A Haunted House Story,” interviews with co-writers Dardano Sacchetti and Elisa Briganti;
  • “To Build a Better Death Trap,” interviews with cinematographer Sergio Salvati, special make-up effects artist Maurizio Trani, special effects artist Gino De Rossi, and actor Giovanni De Nava;
  • “House Quake,” a new interview with co-writer Giorgio Mariuzzo;
  • a new Catriona MacColl Q&A;
  • “Calling Dr. Freudstein,” a new interview with Stephen Thrower, author of Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci;
  • the soundtrack CD by Walter Rizzati;
  • and a collectable booklet with a new essay by Michael Gingold.

Slasher Film ‘Edge of the Axe,’ 1940s Noir ‘Black Angel’ Due on Blu-ray From Arrow and MVD Jan. 28

The Spanish-American slasher film Edge of the Axe and the 1940s film noir Black Angel are being released on Blu-ray from Arrow and MVD Entertainment Group Jan. 28.

From Arrow Video comes Edge of the Axe, which follows a masked killer picking off people in a small California village with — that’s right — an axe. The new 2K restoration of the cult classic (from the original camera negative) includes English and Spanish versions of the film; two new audio commentaries; a newly-filmed interview with actor Barton Faulks; “The Pain in Spain,” a newly-filmed interview with special effects and make-up artist Colin Arthur; an image gallery; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork by Justin Osbourn; and for the first pressing only, a collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Amanda Reyes.

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Due from Arrow Academy is the 1946 film noir Black Angel, which marked the final time behind the camera for prolific director Roy William Neill. In the film, after a man is convicted of murder, his wife and the victim’s ex-husband fight to prove his innocence. Hated by author Cornell Woolrich whose novel served as the source material, Black Angel nevertheless is a sleek and stylish film for genre fans. It stars Dan Duryea, June Vincent and Peter Lorre. Special features on the new restoration of the film include a video appreciation by film historian Neil Sinyard; new audio commentary by the writer and film scholar Alan K. Rode; the original trailer; a photo gallery of original stills and promotional materials; a reversible sleeve featuring two artwork options; and for the first pressing only, an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by author Philip Kemp.

Historic David Susskind Martin Luther King Jr. Interview Available on DVD From MVD

The historic David Susskind Archive: Interview With Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is available on DVD from MVD Entertainment Group.

Susskind’s long and intimate interview with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. originally aired on June 9, 1963. Restored by the Paley Center, this broadcast has not been seen in full since its original airing. Among the subjects discussed were the current state of the American Civil Rights Movement and the then recent events in Birmingham, Ala.

On that Sunday night in June, WPIX-TV (NY) cleared this extraordinary interview between Susskind (host of “Open End”) and King. “Open End” had recently been removed from the schedule of WNEW-TV because of the station’s management reluctance to air discussions regarding race relations in America. WPIX picked up the ball, and the rest, as they say, became history.

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Susskind and King discussed the gamut of racial issues of the day, particularly King’s disappointment at the speed at which the Kennedy Administration was moving regarding Civil Rights legislation. The interview so rattled the White House that President Kennedy responded by going on national television to defend his Administration’s positions and to outline his push for what would later be the Civil and Voter’s rights Acts.

The interview was recorded two months before the civil rights leader delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.

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Horror Film ‘Famine’ Served Up This Month on Blu-ray From MVD

The comic splatterfest Famine is available now on Blu-ray from MVD Entertainment Group and Unearthed Films.

The film occurs two years after a high-school prank that nearly killed popular teacher Mr. Balszack during the school’s annual famine. The graduating class of Sloppy Secondary is trying to forget the incident and decides to hold a 24-hour famine in hopes of making it an annual event again. Soon, students and staff start turning up dead at the hands of a killer masquerading as the school’s mascot.

Special features include a commentary with director Ryan Nicholson, a still gallery and trailers.

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‘A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints,’ Stallone Films Due on Disc Dec. 17 From MVD Marquee Collection

The MVD Marquee Collection will get several new entries Dec. 17.

Due on Blu-ray for the first time is A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, a 2006 coming-of-age drama about writer/director Dito Montiel’s (Fighting) youth that captures the mid-1980s in the toughest neighborhood of Astoria, Queens. Dito (Robert Downey Jr.) — called home after 15 years because his father (Chazz Palminteri) is ill — encounters old friends, the ones he lost, the ones he left behind and the ones he can’t help but remember. In his bittersweet return to a neighborhood where relationships can never be what they once were, Dito must come to terms with a father’s rage and a father’s love. Also starring Dianne Wiest, Shia LaBeouf, Channing Tatum, Rosario Dawson, Melonie Diaz and Eric Roberts, the film won Best Director and Best Ensemble at the Sundance Film Festival. Special features include audio commentary by Montiel and editor Jake Pushinsky, a making-of featurette, 11 deleted scenes with option commentary by Montiel, one alternate opening and four alternate endings with optional commentary by Montiel, “Sundance Labs: Rooftop Scene” with optional commentary by Montiel, young Laurie audition played by Diane Carcando, the “Full Monty” (Montiel’s father) interview, and the original theatrical trailer.

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Due on DVD are two Sylvester Stallone double features: Eye See You/Reach Me and Avenging Angelo/Shade. In Eye See You, lead detective Jake Malloy (Stallone), being stalked by a serial killer, is asked to check into a clinic treating law enforcement officials who can’t face their jobs. The thriller from director Jim Gillespie features a supporting cast that includes Tom Berenger, Charles Dutton, Sean Patrick Flanery, Robert Patrick, Courtney B. Vance, Jeffrey Wright, Dina Meyer, Stephen Lang and Kris Kristofferson. In Reach Me, a mysterious author’s (Tom Berenger) self-help book inspires a journalist (Kevin Connolly), his editor (Stallone), a former convict (Kyra Sedgwick), a mobster (Kelsey Grammer) and others to re-evaluate their choices and work toward creating better lives. The drama from writer-director John Herzfeld features a supporting cast that includes Danny Aiello, Terry Crews, Thomas Jane, Tom Sizemore and Danny Trejo. Avenging Angelo features Stallone as Frankie Delano, a tough as nails bodyguard, protecting a mafia kingpin’s (Anthony Quinn) daughter (Madeleine Stowe) from being the next hit. In Shade, three small-time grifters devise a plan to beat the ultimate card mechanic — The Dean (Stallone) — in L.A.’s underground gambling scene.

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Shade will also be released separately on Blu-ray Dec. 17.

‘Lifeform,’ ‘Virus of the Dead’ Coming to DVD Dec. 17 From MVD

Two titles from Wild Eye Releasing, Lifeform and Virus of the Dead, are coming to DVD Dec. 17 from MVD Entertainment Group.

In Lifeform, after his wife suffers a brain trauma, a man uses experimental stem cells to bring her back to life — with deadly results as she is transformed into a shape-shifting creature. From cult movie director Max Dementor (Demon Nun, The Shriven), the film stars Chad Ackerman (Daredevil, The Sinner), Joe Amato (“30 Rock”, “Ugly Betty”) and Tatyana Kot.

In Virus of the Dead, a global viral outbreak threatens the human race, turning many into walking dead maniacs. All is all caught on camera in this multi-tale experiment featuring more than 15 segments directed by both rising stars and veterans of the horror community. The series features a segment directed by Return of the Living Dead 3 scripter John Penney, as well as horror favorites James Cullen Bressack (Bethany, If Looks Could Kill), Shane Ryan (Samurai Cop 2, Jurassic City), Timo Rose (Game Over, Barricade) and Jarrett Furst (Verotika, The Last Sharknado). The series is created by producer Tony Newton (VHS Lives, Grindsploitation, 60 Seconds to Die, Halloween Hell Night).

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Rock Doc ‘Lynyrd Skynyrd — I’ll Never Forget You: The Last 72 Hours of Lynyrd Skynyrd’ Due on DVD Dec. 13 From MVD

The rock documentary Lynyrd Skynyrd — I’ll Never Forget You: The Last 72 Hours of Lynyrd Skynyrd will come out on DVD Dec. 13 from MVD Entertainment Group.

At the height of its fame in 1977, the popular southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd was struck with tragedy — a plane crash that killed the band’s founder and lead singer Ronnie Van Zant along with Steve Gaines, backup singer Cassie Gaines, assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary and co-pilot William Gray. I’ll Never Forget You: The Last 72 Hours of Lynyrd Skynyrd chronicles the story of three survivors: security guard Gene Odom, lead backup singer Leslie Hawkins and guitar tech Craig Reed. The survivors give their firsthand accounts of the wild times of the band, the 72 hours leading to the crash, the harrowing crash itself and its aftermath.

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The documentary features behind-the-scenes film footage of life with the band before the crash, dramatic reenactments illustrating key dramatic scenes, and CG animations — including a simulation of the plane crash that matches the NTSB report. It also includes interviews with four first responders, filmed on location at the crash site in Gillsburg, Miss.

Based on Odom’s book I’ll Never Forget You, the documentary offers the fond remembrance of one man’s journey with this legendary band, but more importantly, the loss of his dearest friend. The film weaves the three survivors’ stories together to paint a picture of what might have been and the web of tragic decisions leading to the plane crash that forever altered their lives — and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s place in history.

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Special features include the 40th Anniversary Event in Jacksonville, Fla.; the “Tennessee Iron Cold: Dark Mississippi Night” music video; and “Gene’s Fishing Advice.”

‘Slaughterhouse-Five,’ ‘Jake Speed’ and Jarmusch’s ‘Limits of Control’ Coming to Blu-ray From MVD in December

Three Arrow Video titles are making their North American Blu-ray debuts from MVD Entertainment Group in December: Slaughterhouse-Five, Jake Speed and Jim Jarmusch’s The Limits of Control.

Coming out Dec. 3 is George Roy Hill’s science-fiction classic Slaughterhouse-Five. The story about WWII soldier Billy Pilgrim and how he was abducted by aliens took home the Jury Prize at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival. Author Kurt Vonnegut, who wrote the novel the book is based on, famously claimed, “I drool and cackle every time I watch that film.” Special features include a new audio commentary by author and critic Troy Howarth; new video appreciation with author and critic Kim Newman; Pilgrim’s Progress: Playing Slaughterhouse-Five, a new video interview with actor Perry King; Only on Earth: Presenting Slaughterhouse-Five, a new video interview with Rocky Lang, son of executive producer Jennings Lang, about the film’s distribution; Unstuck in Time: Documenting Slaughterhouse-Five, a new video interview with behind-the-scenes filmmaker-producer Robert Crawford Jr.; Eternally Connected: Composing Slaughterhouse-Five, a new video interview with film music historian Daniel Schweiger; the theatrical trailer; and a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Corey Brickley.

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Also due Dec. 3 is Jake Speed, Andrew Lane’s action-adventure film in which all pulp heroes are real and Jake Speed (Wayne Crawford) is the best of the bunch. When Margaret (Karen Kopins) is captured by an evil slaver, Jake steps in to save the day. The campy 1980s adventure includes bonus features such as Paperback Wishes, a new interview with director Lane; The Hard Way Reads Better, a new interview with producer William Fay; and a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys.

Finally, due Dec. 10 is Jim Jarmusch’s 2009 crime drama The Limits of Control. Isaach de Bankolé stars as a mysterious loner on a mission to complete a hit and along the way he runs into a slew of interesting characters including Paz de la Huerta, Tilda Swinton, Gael Garcia Bernal, John Hurt and Bill Murray. Special features include An American in Europe, a new video interview with Geoff Andrew, author of Stranger Than Paradise: Maverick Film-Makers in Recent American Cinema; The Rituals of Control, a new video essay on the film by author and critic Amy Simmons; Behind Jim Jarmusch, an archival documentary on the making of the film; Untitled Landscapes, an archival featurette showcasing the film’s locations; the theatrical trailer; and a reversible sleeve featuring two choices of artwork.

‘Reigo: King of the Sea Monsters’ Stomps to DVD Nov. 26 From MVD

The Japanese monster flick Reigo: King of the Sea Monsters will make its North American debut on DVD Nov. 26 from MVD Entertainment Group.

In the film, the battleship Yamato, the largest and strongest of its time, is on patrol when a lookout spots a massive shape half-submerged in the distance. Believing it to be an enemy submarine, they fire and score a direct hit. They are shocked when the object emits a strange cry as it sinks beneath the waves. Soon after, something much bigger arrives, the massive kaiju Reigo, seething with rage at the murder of its cub. The monster attacks the fleet, and the naval forces are caught off guard. Reigo is able to destroy the escort ships and damage the Yamato before returning to the ocean depths, setting the stage for a final battle.

Special features include the original trailer, the U.S. trailer and a photo gallery.

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The release piggybacks on Godzilla vs. Kong, due soon in theaters, and Godzilla: King of the Monsters, just available on home video.

‘Harry & Meghan: A Very Modern Romance,’ ‘Princess Diana: A Life After Death’ Due on DVD Nov. 26 From MVD

Two documentaries about British royals, Harry & Meghan: A Very Modern Romance and Princess Diana: A Life After Death, are coming to DVD Nov. 26 from MVD Entertainment Group.

Harry & Meghan: A Very Modern Romance is a one-hour special that explores the social background that makes the adventurous marriage between Meghan Markle and Prince Harry seem thoroughly in keeping with the modern British royal family. It explores the lives of actress Markle, a woman’s rights campaigner, and Prince Harry, who has broken out of the royal straight jacket without losing his royal dignity. Eighty-two years after a romance with a divorced commoner from America led to the abdication of a King, this royal marriage sets and confirms a revolutionized set of British values.

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Princess Diana: A Life After Death, a new documentary timed to coincide with the anniversary of Princess Diana’s untimely passing, is not just an anniversary program, but also is a summary of Princess Diana’s historical, political and social legacy. Princess Diana’s death set the British nation thinking deeply about its monarchy and its royal family. In the unstable summer of 1997 a strange atmosphere existed throughout Britain. The country’s young Prime Minister Tony Blair had just won an election with a big majority and the tabloid press were pursuing Princess Diana after her separation from Prince Charles. Events were already leading to a full-scale crisis for the British monarchy. The terrible sudden and completely unexpected death of Diana changed Britain. The program looks at the history of Princess Diana’s life after her death through the lives of her sons and family after her death and through the collective memory. The selfless aspects of Princess Diana’s wide interests continue to act as a form of both emotional ballast and inspiration to the British nation and the world at large. Contributors include Sir Anthony Seldon, Alastair Campbell, Jeffrey Archer, Emily Nash, Katie Nicholl, Catherine Mayer, Richard Kay and Sarah, Viscountess Bangor.