‘Gamera’ Film Sets Coming to Blu-ray Jan. 26 From Arrow and MVD

Three “Gamera” kaiju film sets are coming to Blu-ray Jan. 26 from Arrow Video and MVD Entertainment Group.

The Gamera: The Showa Era set includes four discs with Gamera: The Giant Monster, Gamera vs. Barugon, Gamera vs. Gyaos, Gamera vs. Viras, Gamera vs. Guiron, Gamera vs. Jiger, Gamera vs. Zigra and Gamera Super Monster. As giant monsters rampaged the Japanese cinematic landscape during the “kaiju boom” of the mid-1960s, Daiei Studios introduced a new character to the screen that would be embraced for generations: Gamera, the giant, flying, fire-breathing turtle, and friend of all children. Buried under the Arctic ice for several millennia, the colossal chelonian is unleashed upon Japan, leaving havoc in his wake. After becoming an unexpected box office sensation, Gamera returned several more times, leaping to the world’s defense against a motley assortment of evil creatures, from the death-ray-shooting flying terror Gyaos, to the knife-headed alien menace Guiron, to the underwater invader Zigra. The discs feature numerous extras, including commentaries, intros, making-of featurettes, galleries and more.

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Gamera: The Heisei Era features four discs with the films Gamera: The Guardian of the Universe, Gamera 2: Attack of Legion and Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris as well as a bonus disc with Gamera the Brave, a mix of family-friendly adventure and kaiju action that is the most recent Gamera film to date. After laying dormant for 15 years, Gamera was rebooted for the big screen in this trilogy masterminded by director Shusuke Kaneko (Necronomicon), writer Kazunori Ito (Ghost in the Shell) and SFX director Shinji Higuchi (who went on to co-direct Shin Godzilla). Trading the campy kid-friendly surrealism of the earlier films for a darker, more realistic tone and innovative special effects, the films in the “Heisei trilogy” are still regarded as three of the best — if not the very best — kaiju films ever made. The discs feature numerous extras, including commentaries, intros, making-of featurettes, galleries and more.

The limited-edition Gamera: The Heisei Era Steelbook release includes three discs featuring the trilogy.

Gamera: The Heisei Era steelbook

1950s Sci-Fi Classic ‘Giant From the Unknown’ Due on Disc Jan. 19 From MVD

The 1958 sci-fi classic Giant From the Unknown will come out on Blu-ray and DVD Jan. 19 from MVD Entertainment Group and Film Detective.

A 500-year-old Spanish conquistador rises from the dead in this cult classic following Dr. Frederick Cleveland and his daughter Janet, who are joined by scientific researcher Wayne Brooks in the pursuit of ancient artifacts from Spanish conquistador Vargas. When a lightning storm interrupts their search, the team finds much more than artifacts when the long-lost Vargas returns to life, with a murderous rage and an axe to grind. Giant from the Unknown features make-up design from horror mainstay Jack Pierce, known for his work on Frankenstein (1931) and The Mummy (1932).

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The release features a new 4K transfer from the original camera negative. Extras include audio commentary with author/historian Tom Weaver and guests; audio commentary with co-star Gary Crutcher; an all-new interview with actor/screenwriter Crutcher; an all-new interview with author/film historian C. Courtney Joyner; a collector’s booklet with still gallery and liner notes by Weaver; and the original trailer.

Music Doc ‘Peter, Paul and Mary: Peter, Paul and Mommy Too’ Due on DVD Jan. 15 From MVD

Peter, Paul and Mary: Peter, Paul and Mommy Too is available on DVD for the first time Jan. 15 from MVD Entertainment Group and Liberation Hall.

In this live performance from their 1990s PBS television special, Peter, Paul and Mary continue their folk music magic for children and their families. The film features the trio’s heartfelt renditions of such classics as “The Eddystone Light,” “The Fox,” “We Shall Overcome,” “Garden Song” and “Puff (The Magic Dragon).”

The program, nominated for an Emmy for Best Children’s Program, was filmed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Majestic Theater.

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Tracks include:

  • “Puff (The Magic Dragon)”
  • “The Fox”
  • “Somagawaza/Hey Motswala”
  • “Inside”
  • “Day Is Done”
  • “Garden Song”
  • “The Eddystone Light”
  • “I Know An Old Lady (Who Swallowed a Fly)”
  • “Somos El Barco”
  • “Pastures of Plenty”
  • “Medley: Home On the Range/Don’t Ever Take Away My Freedom”
  • “All Mixed Up”
  • “Right Field”
  • “Poem For Erika/For Baby”
  • “We Shall Overcome”
  • “It’s Raining”
  • “If I Had a Hammer”
  • “Blowin’ in The Wind”
  • “This Land Is Your Land”

Music Doc ‘Mean Man: The Story of Chris Holmes’ Due on Disc Jan. 15 From MVD

The music documentary Mean Man: The Story of Chris Holmes will come out on Blu-ray and DVD Jan. 15 from MVD Entertainment Group and Cleopatra Entertainment.

It’s the story of an iconic guitar player who has lived a life of extreme highs and lows. After losing the publishing rights to his own songs and combatting dangerous addictions, the legendary W.A.S.P. guitarist is shown starting over from scratch while living at his mother-in-law’s in Cannes, France. He is now ready to take on Europe with his new band. As the documentary follows him, he meets many fans, proving he still is the showman he was as a young and famous rockstar. This musical journey chronicles the rise, fall and rebirth of Holmes with archives, live performances and interviews.

Bonus features include behind-the-scenes extras and a slide show.

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Thriller ‘Suicide Club’ Due on DVD Jan. 19 From MVD

The thriller Suicide Club will be available on DVD Jan. 19 from MVD Entertainment Group and Wild Eye Releasing

In the film, a reclusive young woman discovers an online web community that promises to kill anyone who asks, but soon learns that if she does follow through, everyone around her is in danger.

Produced in 2017 by the team behind 12 Deaths of Christmas, Bad Nun and Mandy the Doll, the film stars Kate Lister (Unhinged, Mandy the Doll, Curse of the Scarecrow), Klariza Clayton (Dani’s House, “Skins”  and Andrew Hollingworth (House on Elm Lake, The Haunted Hotel).

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Suicide Club won the Best Feature Award at the 2017 Open World Toronto Film Festival.

Mexican Genre Film ‘Batwoman’ and ‘The Panther Women’ Double Feature Due on Disc Jan. 19 From MVD

The 1960s Mexican genre films Batwoman and The Panther Women will be available in a double feature in English on Blu-ray and DVD Jan. 19 from MVD Entertainment Group and VCI Entertainment.

In Batwoman, after the body of a professional wrestler is found off Acapulco’s coastline, the victim, by all appearances, is believed to have drowned. However, the autopsy reveals a very perplexing and disturbing prognosis, when it’s discovered the victim’s pineal gland has been surgically drained of all fluid. With this prognosis eerily imitating the findings in the autopsies of murdered victims in Hong Kong and Macao, the police turn the investigation over to Mario Roble, who enlists the help of a beautiful crime fighting luchador known as Batwoman. Their thorough investigation leads them to an evil neurosurgeon who is using the fluid in his endeavors to genetically engineer a half fish, half man hybrid.

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In The Panther Women, in an effort to resurrect the dead leader of their satanic cult, the Panther Women must perform blood sacrifices in order for him to arise from his cold grave. Using the wrestling ring as their sepulcher and their unsuspecting opponents as their blood sacrifice’s, these beautiful sirens of Satan perform their life-resurrecting rituals, shedding much innocent blood. However, the accomplishment of their goal is thwarted, after Captain Diaz becomes wise to their evil dealings and quest.

Director Rene Cardona was later known for his luchador (masked wrestler) adventure movies such as Santo vs. the Riders of Terror (1970) and Night of the Bloody Apes (1969).

‘JSA: Joint Security Area,’ ‘Southland Tales’ on Blu-ray in January From MVD and Arrow

JSA: Joint Security Area and Southland Tales are coming to Blu-ray in January from MVD Entertainment Group and Arrow Video.

On Jan. 19 comes JSA: Joint Security Area (2000), a thriller from Park Chan-wook. It follows a Swiss-Korean major as she leads an investigation into a shooting incident at the North/South Korean border that results in two Korean soldiers’ death. The film became the highest-grossing Korean film when it was released and won multiple awards for best film. In 2009, director Quentin Tarantino placed JSA among his top 20 films since 1992. Special features include new audio commentary by writer and critic Simon Ward; an isolated music and effects track; a newly recorded video interview with Asian cinema expert Jasper Sharp; two archival featurettes on the film’s production; a series of archival introductions to the film by members of the cast; a behind-the-scenes montage; opening ceremony footage; two music videos, “Letter from a Private” and “Take the Power Back”; the theatrical trailer; a TV spot; an image gallery; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Colin Murdoch; and for the first pressing only, an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Kieran Fisher.

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On Jan. 26, Arrow will release Richard Kelly’s Southland Tales, starring Dwayne Johnson, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Mandy Moore and Seann William Scott, among others. The story about a conspiracy involving an action film star stricken with amnesia, a porn star with reality TV dreams and a police officer was panned during its 2006 release. Yet, over the years, the film has maintained a strong, loyal fanbase that continues to grow, with many admiring the film’s attempt at doing something grand. Arrow gives the film a new lease on life with new 2K presentations of the film, approved by Kelly, in both the 145-minute theatrical cut and the 160-minute “Cannes cut.” Special features include audio commentary on the theatrical cut by Kelly; “It’s a Madcap World: The Making of an Unfinished Film,” a new in-depth retrospective documentary on the film, featuring contributions by Kelly and members of the original crew; an archival featurette on the making of the film, featuring interviews with the cast and crew; “This is the Way the World Ends,” an archival animated short set in the Southland Tales universe; the theatrical trailer; an image gallery; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Jacey; and a limited edition collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Peter Tonguette and Simon Ward.

Animated Films ‘Boboiboy: The Movie’ and ‘Saving Sally’ Available on DVD From MVD

The Asian animated films Boboiboy: The Movie and Saving Sally are available on DVD From MVD Entertainment Group and Synergetic Distribution.

In Boboiboy: The Movie, alien treasure hunters named The Tengkotak have arrived on earth and kidnapped Ochobot in order to use him to locate an ancient and powerful Power Sphere. BoBoiBoy and his super friends must race against time to save Ochobot and uncover the secrets behind the Sfera Kuasa. The second film in the series, BoBoiBoy: Elemental Heroes, is slated for theatrical release in December 2020. The first film has been broadcast in more than 70 countries, but this is the first time it has been released in the United States.

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In Saving Sally, Marty, an aspiring comic-book artist, secretly loves his gadget inventor best friend, Sally, and fantasizes about saving her from the big bad world. The film won the Audience Award at Lund Fantastic, the Jury Award at Fantasporto, Special Mention at Brussels Fantasy, Best Family Film at Bentonville and Children’s Choice at Metro Manila.

Horror Film ‘The Hex’ Available on DVD From MVD

The horror film The Hex is available on DVD from MVD Entertainment Group and Cleopatra Entertainment.

In the film, a grieving girl unravels her murdered mother’s secrets connected to a witch doctor’s curse. She wants to put an end to this haunting hex by traveling to where it originated, but her journey casts her deeper into sinister depths.

Directed by Reine Swart (Z Nation, The Lullaby, Dominion, Detour), the film stars Coco Lloyd (Trypophobia), Mary-Anne Barlow (Wild at Heart, Prey) and Christopher Jaftha (Table Manners, Bedford Wives).

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Extras include the theatrical trailer and image slideshow.

‘Scream Theater’ Double Feature, Adventure ‘Mutiny’ Available on Disc From MVD and VCI

Two titles from VCI Entertainment, the double feature Scream Theater and the 1952 adventure Mutiny, are available on disc from MVD Entertainment Group this month.

Produced from a new restoration re-mastered from the original 35mm Technicolor negatives in 4K, Mutiny is available on Blu-ray Disc. In the film, during the War of 1812, the United States, in need of gold, arranges with a French group to lend the government $10 million in bullion. To bring the gold here, an American ship must break through the British blockade. A young captain accepts the dangerous assignment and after several narrow escapes, the ship finally reaches France. No sooner is the gold aboard the American ship than the crew mutinies and sets the captain adrift, giving him one chance in a thousand to reach shore. The captain survives his watery experience, returns with the American Navy and recaptures his vessel. A British warship arrives on the scene, but one of the men volunteers to torpedo the enemy in an untried submarine made for a two-man crew. The mission is successful, and the gold eventually reaches America. The film stars Mark Stevens and Angela Lansbury.

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The Scream Theater double feature, including the 1970s horror films The House of the Living Dead and Night of the Bloody Transplant, is available on DVD.

In The House of the Living Dead, evil lives and feeds in the attic of Brattling Manor in a remote corner of the South African Veldt at the turn of the century. Lady Marianne arrives from London to join her beloved fiancé, Sir Michael Brechenridge, at his stately ancestral home. From the outset of her visit, things go strangely wrong for Marianne. Michael’s autocratic mother is not at all receptive to the visitor. At night Marianne is disturbed by strange organ music and ghostly footsteps in the corridor.

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In Night of the Bloody Transplant, Dr. James Arnold tries to get approval to perform a heart transplant for his elderly benefactor, but the medical society turns him down. When a ne’er do well brother accidentally kills a young woman, the doctor takes matters into his own hands and his benefactor gets a new heart. Meanwhile, his brother goes on a killing rampage and, in a bizarre turn of events, Dr. Arnold is also killed, and his heart is transplanted to save a policeman the brother has shot. The film contains actual footage of open-heart surgery.