Classic TV Shows, Rare TV Pilots Among Titles Coming From VCI and MVD This Fall

A collection of rare and “lost” programs from the early days of television are being released this fall on disc by VCI Entertainment and MVD Entertainment Group.

Produced by Jeff Joseph (SabuCat Productions), film archivist, historian, author and producer, the shows have been restored in high definition from the best archival film elements available. Some of the programs have not been seen since they were originally broadcast.

Due Sept .11 is Television’s Lost Classics – Volume One – John Cassavetes on DVD and Blu-ray, which features two dramatic programs starring the actor. Episode one is “Crime in the Streets,” which is from The Elgin Hour (Elgin watches) and was broadcast live on ABC March 8, 1955. Written by Reginald Rose and directed by Sidney Lumet, it stars Robert Preston and a very young Cassavetes. Episode two is “No Right to Kill,” with Cassavetes, Terry Moore and Robert H. Harris. It was part of the Climax! series and was presented by the Chrysler Corp. Broadcast on CBS Aug. 9, 1956, it is based on Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment. Original commercial messages are included in the episode, as well as a bonus blooper reel from the “Defenders” and “The Nurses” series.

Coming Oct. 9 is Television’s Lost Classics – Volume Two – Rare ‘Pilots’ with four episodes on DVD and Blu-ray. “Case of the Sure Thing” stars Reed Hadley, Louise Currie and Milburn Stone and introduced the series “Racket Squad,” which lasted for three seasons and was nominated for two Primetime Emmys. The program reportedly may have inspired parts of the Hollywood hit The Sting. First broadcast on CBS June 7, 1951, the pilot contains original network commercials as originally broadcast. Directed by Jacques Tourneur, “Cool and Lam” stars Billy Pearson, Benay Venuta, Alison Hayes and Sheila Bromley in a light-hearted, detective yarn featuring characters first created by Erle Stanley Gardner. Bertha Cool runs a detective agency and Donald Lam is her junior partner, hence “Cool and Lam.” “The Life of Riley” features Lon Chaney Jr., Rosemary DeCamp and John Brown. It stars Chaney as Chester Riley and was produced in 1948, but by the time the first season went into full production in 1949, Chaney had been replaced by Jackie Gleason. “Nero Wolfe” stars Kurt Kasznar, William Shatner and Alexander Scourby in another one-off production based on characters created by Rex Stout. Also included on the disc is a bonus CBS blooper reel hosted by James Arness.

Additional volumes are planned with the third in the series already in production for release in late 2018.

Also on tap Oct. 9 on DVD is I Married Joan: Classic TV Collection Vol. 4, with 10 episodes. The show, featuring physical humor in the vein of “I Love Lucy,” centers on Joan, a scatterbrained housewife, and her husband, Bradley Stevens, who was a staid and settled domestic court judge. Beverly Wills, Joan Davis’ real-life daughter, also co-starred on the show playing the part of her sister.

Streeting Sept. 11 is the “Boris Karloff Collection” on two DVDs, a compilation of four rare films featuring the horror legend. Films in the collection include Alien Terror, Cult of the Dead, Dance of Death and Torture Zone. In addition to Karloff, the films star Andres Garcia, Carlos East, Enrique Guzman and Christa Linder.

Finally, due Oct. 23 on Blu-ray and DVD is Blood and Black Lace, director Mario Bava’s film about an unscrupulous business operating under the guise of a top fashion house with exotic models running sexual favors, cocaine dealings and blackmail. Bonus features include 2018 commentary by Kat Ellinger, editor-in-chief and author, Diabolique Magazine; 2018 commentary by film historian David Del Valle and director/writer C. Courtney Joyner; a video Interview with Mary Dawne Arden; an archival video interview with star Cameron Mitchell, with Del Valle; an original American theatrical trailer, plus Italian, German and French trailers; bonus trailers of other Bava films; a photo gallery; alternate original Italian or original U.S. theatrical main titles; bonus music tracks by composer Carlo Rustichelli; video comparison of American and European cuts; and a two-sided cover wrap with alternate cover art.

‘Full Circle: The Birth, Death & Rebirth of Circle of Dust’ Due on Disc, Digital Sept. 21 from MVD

Full Circle: The Birth, Death & Rebirth of Circle of Dust, revealing the untold story of ’90s industrial rock project Circle of Dust, will come out on DVD and digital Sept. 21 from MVD Entertainment Group.

The film explores the early career of artist, composer, musician and producer Klayton, who would later gain recognition for his project Celldweller.

Assembled from more than 30 interviews and dozens of hours of VHS footage from Klayton’s personal archive, the film includes never-before-released videos and stories on the history of Circle of Dust. It covers Circle of Dust’s inception, the signing of Klayton’s first record deal, assembly of a live band, subsequent legal battles and eventual dissolution of Circle of Dust in 1998, to the formation and independent success of Celldweller. The story comes full circle with the resurrection of Circle of Dust in 2015. It includes a behind-the-scenes look at each album, starting with the debut self-titled Circle of Dust album, BrainchildMetamorphosis remix album and Disengage, culminating with Machines of Our Disgrace.

The  two-disc DVD set features more than 2.5 hours of bonus footage, including live VHS bootlegs, a mini-documentary featuring Klayton’s collaborative side project Argyle Park, an in-studio expose on the gear and production of Circle of Dust, and lyric and music videos.

Aug.17 at 12 p.m. EST on the FiXT Twitch channel, the first 6 minutes of documentary will air. After the preview, Klayton will deliver a special message before pre-orders for the DVD and merchandise are released on the FiXT Store.

Australian Thriller ‘Goldstone’ Due on Disc Sept. 11 from Lightyear and MVD

The Australian film Goldstone, a noir thriller set in the Outback, is coming out Sept. 11 on Blu-ray and DVD from Lightyear Entertainment and MVD Entertainment Group.

The film was nominated for five Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards for Best Film, Best Direction, Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing and Best Production Design. It was written, directed, shot, edited and composed by Ivan Sen.

The story follows indigenous detective Jay Swan (Aaron Pedersen, Mystery Road) who arrives in the frontier town of Goldstone on a missing persons inquiry. What seems like a simple investigation opens a web of crime, corruption, trampling of indigenous people’s land rights, and human trafficking. Jay must pull his life together and bury his differences with young local cop Josh (Alex Russell, SWAT), so together they can bring justice to Goldstone.

It also stars two-time Oscar nominee Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom, Silver Linings Playbook) as the corrupt mayor, David Wenham (Lord of the Rings) as the greedy mine director, David Gulpilil (Crocodile Dundee) as the indigenous man who can’t be bought and Cheng Pei-Pei (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) as the unscrupulous madam.

Goldstone_Trailer_Jan2018_90sec_05_Mix from Lightyear Entertainment on Vimeo.

‘The Us Generation: The Making of the 1982 Us Festival’ Coming to Disc Aug. 10 From MVD

The documentary The Us Generation: The Making Of the 1982 Us Festival will come out Aug. 10 on DVD and Blu-ray Disc from MVD Entertainment Group.

An in-depth look at the influential music festival, The Us Generation blends rare concert footage and interviews with both organizers and performers.

The 1982 Us Festival was a three-day event boasting some of the biggest names in music, performing live in front of more than 1 million people at Glen Helen Regional Park in San Bernardino, Calif. It was the brainchild of Apple’s Steve Wozniak, who wanted to create something that was a true celebration of Americana, building a sense of community through the power of technology and music.

Highlights of the film include performances by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The Police, Fleetwood Mac, Santana, The B-52s, and The Cars; as well as archived appearances by Johnny and Joey Ramone, Carlos Santana, Sting, Ric Ocasek, Danny Elfman, and Fred Schneider. The documentary also includes exclusive interviews with Wozniak, Mick Fleetwood, Eddie Money, Marky Ramone, Kate Pierson, Stewart Copeland and Mickey Hart, among others.

Gilliam’s ‘Tideland,’ Argento’s ‘Cat O’ Nine Tales’ Among Titles Coming to Blu-ray From Arrow and MVD in August

Arrow Video will release several new titles on Blu-ray this August from MVD Entertainment Group.

Aug. 7 from director Kinji Fukasaku comes Street Mobster, in which a streetwise punk gets caught in a bloody street war in hopes of securing turf for the remnants of his former gang. The release includes audio commentary by Japanese cinema expert Tom Mes; the theatrical trailer; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Chris Malbon; and for the first pressing only an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Jasper Sharp.

Italian horror films The Cat O’ Nine Tails and What Have They Done to Your Daughters? come to Blu-ray Aug. 14.

The Cat O’ Nine Tails is the middle entry in the “Animal Trilogy” from Dario Argento. It’s the tale of a newspaper reporter and retired, blind journalist that join forces to solve a series of killings connected to a pharmaceutical company’s top-secret projects. The release includes new audio commentary by critics Alan Jones and Kim Newman; new interviews with co-writer/director Argento, co-writer Dardano Sacchetti, actress Cinzia De Carolis and production manager Angelo Iacono; script pages for the lost original ending, translated into English for the first time; the original Italian and international theatrical trailers; and a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Candice Tripp.

What Have They Done to Your Daughters? is director Massimo Dallamano’s story of a police investigation into teen suicide that uncovers the dark details behind a teenage prostitution racket. The release includes new audio commentary by Troy Howarth, author of So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films; “Masters and Slaves: Power, Corruption & Decadence in the Cinema of Massimo Dallamano,” a new video essay by Kat Ellinger, author and editor-in-chief of Diabolique Magazine; “Eternal Melody,” an interview with composer Stelvio Cipriani; “Dallamano’s Touch,” an interview with editor Antonio Siciliano; unused hardcore footage shot for the film by Massimo Dallamano; the Italian theatrical trailer; an image gallery; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Adam Rabalais; and for the first pressing only an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Michael Mackenzie.

Also due Aug. 14 is The Gore Gore Girls. The darkly comedic spatterfest from legendary filmmaker Herschell Gordon Lewis follows a young reporter as she attempts to solve the murder of a Chicago stripper. The last film Lewis would make before returning 30 years later, it marked the first time he submitted one of his films to the MPAA where it would receive an ‘X’ rating. The release includes the bonus feature, 1971’s This Stuff’ll Kill Ya!; introductions to the films by Lewis; audio commentary on The Gore Gore Girls with Lewis; audio commentary on This Stuff’ll Kill Ya! with camera operator and Lewis biographer Daniel Krogh; author Stephen Thrower on The Gore Gore Girls; “Regional Bloodshed,” in which filmmakers Joe Swanberg and Spencer Parsons discuss Lewis’ legacy as a pioneer of regional indie filmmaking; “Herschell Spills His Guts,” in which Lewis discusses his career post-The Gore Gore Girls; the This Stuff’ll Kill Ya! Trailer; and a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork by The Twins of Evil.

Tideland, a controversial film from director Terry Gilliam, follows a young girl who is left alone in a decrepit country estate where she is forced to live within her own imagination. It streets Aug. 21 and includes commentary by writer-director Gilliam and co-writer Tony Grisoni; an introduction by Gilliam; “Getting Gilliam,” a 45-minute documentary on the making of Tideland by Vincenzo Natali (Cube, Splice); “The Making of Tideland” featurette; the “Filming Green Screen” featurette with commentary by Gilliam; interviews with Gilliam, producer Jeremy Thomas and actors Jeff Bridges, Jodelle Ferland and Jennifer Tilly; deleted scenes with commentary by Gilliam; B-roll footage; a photo gallery; the theatrical trailer; a reversible sleeve featuring two choices of original artwork; and for the first pressing only an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Neil Mitchell.

Coming Aug. 28 from Mohsen Makhamalbaf, an Iranian filmmaker known for his ability to explore the relationship between the individual and a larger social and political environment, come Gabbeh, The Silence, and The Gardener, which Makhamalbaf has dubbed “The Poetic Trilogy.” The release includes audio commentary on Gabbeh by critic Godfrey Cheshire; “Poetry in Motion: An Interview with Mohsen Makhmalbaf,” an in-depth conversation between the Iranian auteur and film critic Jonathan Romney, newly produced for this edition; “Mohsen with Closed Eyes,” an archival interview with Makhmalbaf on The Silence; original trailers; a stills and collections gallery; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Scott Saslow; and for the first pressing only an illustrated booklet featuring new writing by film academic Negar Mottahedeh and Makhmalbaf.

Also coming Aug. 3 is the book Philip K. Dick on Film by Gregg Rickman. The now legendary writings of Dick (1928-1982) have inspired fourteen feature films and four TV series, including Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report, “The Man in the High Castle,” Blade Runner 2049 and Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams. The book reviews all of the above films and television shows from, as much as possible, the perspective of Dick himself.

MVD Bows Two New Labels

MVD Entertainment Group has created two new labels for collectors, the “MVD Marquee Collection” and “MVD Classics,” featuring low pricing.

Like the recently launched “MVD Rewind Collection,” which features titles from the “video store era” with bonus content and more, the two new brands each have a distinct focus.

The “MVD Marquee Collection” will feature a mixture of major and independent studio product for Blu-ray and DVD from more recent catalog. Some titles will be new to Blu-ray and some will be re-releases of titles that have gone out of print.

Titles in the “Marquee Collection,” at prices ranging from $24.95 to $39.95, include the Blu-ray releases Walking Tall (2004, starring Dwayne Johnson), Crazy Six, Blast, Autumn In New York, Barbershop, Barbershop 2: Back In Business, Beauty Shop, Out Of Time, Art School Confidential, Windtalkers, Basic Instinct 2: Risk Addiction and Memories of Me.

The “MVD Classics” label includes titles that are lesser known and will be released on DVD only for the most part. The supplier plans to include bonus material if it previously existed. Titles in that collection include the Blu-ray releases Diamonds Of Kilimanjaro and Golden Temple Amazons.

MVD Bows Exploitation Film ‘Lady Street Fighter’ on Blu-ray Aug. 14

Alamo Drafthouse’s American Genre Film Archive and MVD Entertainment Group will release the exploitation film Lady Street Fighter on Blu-ray Aug. 14.

Written and produced by exploitation star Renee Harmon and directed by James Bryan, it’s the story of Linda (Harmon), a tough-as-nails karate cop on the trail of the ruthless scumbags who murdered her twin sister. Lady Street Fighter also features a special appearance by Trace Carradine.

Special features include a commentary track with director James Bryan and the AGFA team; street fightin’ trailers from the AGFA vaults; liner notes by Annie Choi of Bleeding Skull; a bonus movie, Revenge of Lady Street Fighter (1990), the unreleased sequel; and reversible cover art.

MVD in Deal for Music Doc on Punk Girl Band The Slits

MVD Entertainment Group has struck a deal with U.K. production and sales outfit Moviehouse Entertainment to bring the music-themed documentary Here to Be Heard: The Story of the Slits to North America.

The title is available July 6 at $21.95 on DVD.

The documentary examines the world’s first all-girl punk band formed in London in 1976. As contemporaries of The Clash and The Sex Pistols, the band has been credited with pioneering the musical movement known as “Punky Reggae.” Here to Be Heard tells the complete story of The Slits and the lives of the women involved, from the beginning to the band’s end in 2010 with the death of lead vocalist Ari Up. The documentary features appearances by Viv Albertine (Slits guitarist), Ari Up (Slits vocalist), Palmolive (Slits founder/first drummer), Tessa Pollitt (Slits bassist), Bruce Smith (Slits Second/PIL Drummer), Hollie Cook (Slits vocals/keys/percussion), Vivien Goldman (NYU’s punk professor), Don Letts (former Slits manager and punk rock documentarian), Dennis Bovell (album producer), Paul Cook (Sex Pistols drummer), Gina Birch (Raincoats bass), Adrien Sherwood (producer/long-time friend of the band) and many more.

The DVD package includes previously unseen footage of the band, as well as photographs and newspaper clippings.

‘Sartana’ Spaghetti Westerns, ‘The Last House on the Left,’ ‘Doom Asylum’ Among Cult Films Coming on Blu-ray in July From Arrow and MVD

Several cult films on Blu-ray are due in July from Arrow Video and MVD Entertainment Group.

Due July 3 is the Spaghetti Western limited-edition five-disc Blu-ray set, “The Complete Sartana,” featuring all five original “Sartana” movies — If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death, I Am Sartana Your Angel of DeathI Am Sartana Trade Your Guns for a CoffinHave a Good Funeral My Friend…Sartana Will Pay and Light the Fuse…Sartana is Coming. All five films are newly restored with special features, including audio commentary on If You Meet Sartana… Pray for Your Death by filmmaker Mike Siegel; audio commentaries on I Am Sartana, Your Angel of Death and Have a Good Funeral My Friend… Sartana Will Pay by Spaghetti Western experts C. Courtney Joyner and Henry Parke; Gianfranco Parolini on If You Meet Sartana… Pray for Your Death, a brand-new interview with the writer-director; Fabbio Piccioni on If You Meet Sartana… Pray for Your Death, a brand-new interview with the writer; Sal Borgese on I Am Sartana, Your Angel of Death and Light the Fuse… Sartana Is Coming, two brand-new interviews with the actor; Ernesto Gastaldi on I Am Sartana, Your Angel of Death and Light the Fuse… Sartana Is Coming, two brand-new interviews with the writer; Roberto Dell’Acqua on Have a Good Funeral My Friend… Sartana Will Pay, a brand-new interview with the actor; and many more.

Also coming July 3 on Blu-ray is the directorial debut of horror legend Wes Craven, The Last House on the Left. Special features include three cuts of the film newly restored in 2K from original film elements; a double-sided poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork; new audio commentary by podcasters Bill Ackerman and Amanda Reyes; archival audio commentary with writer-director Craven and producer Sean S. Cunningham; archival audio commentary with stars David Hess, Marc Sheffler and Fred Lincoln; “Junior’s Story,” a new interview with Sheffler; Sheffler in conversation at the American Cinematheque; a new interview with wardrobe and make-up artist Anne Paul; “Songs in the Key of Krug,” a never-before-seen archive interview with Hess; “Celluloid Crime of the Century,” an archival documentary featuring interviews with Craven, Cunningham, and actors Hess, Lincoln, Jeramie Rain, Sheffler and Martin Kove; “Still Standing: The Legacy of The Last House on The Left,” an archival interview with Craven; “Scoring Last House on the Left,” an archival interview with actor-composer Hess; “It’s Only a Movie: The Making of The Last House on the Left,” an archival documentary; “The Craven Touch,” a new featurette bringing together interviews with a number of Craven’s collaborators, including Cunningham, composer Charles Bernstein, producer Peter Locke, cinematographer Mark Irwin and actress Amanda Wyss; “Early Days and ‘Night of Vengeance,’” in which filmmaker Roy Frumkes remembers Craven and Last House on the Left; “Tales That’ll Tear Your Heart Out,” excerpts from an unfinished Craven short; and more.

Seijun Suzuki’s yakuza film Detective Bureau 2-3 Go to Hell Bastards! arrives on Blu-ray July 10, starring original Diamond Guy, Jo Shishido. Special features include an interview with historian and Japanese cinema expert Tony Rayns; a gallery of original production stills; a theatrical trailer; and a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin.

The 1980s splatter slasher Doom Asylum comes out on Blu-ray July 17. It stars Kristen Davis (“Sex and the City”) in the story of a group of randy teenagers go up against a hideously deformed maniac armed with a wide selection of surgical tools. Special features include a new audio commentary with screenwriter Rick Marx; “Tina’s Terror,” a new interview with actress Ruth Collins; “Movie Madhouse,” a new interview with director of photography Larry Revene; “Morgues & Mayhem,” a new interview with special make-up effects creator Vincent J. Guastini; archival Interviews with producer Alexander W. Kogan Jr., director Richard Friedman and production manager Bill Tasgal; a still gallery; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Justin Osbourne; and for the first pressing only, an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Amanda Reyes.

Also coming July 17 on Blu-ray is a 2K restoration of Sergio Martino’s horror title The Case of the Scorpion’s Tale, featuring lush views of the Greek coast. Special features include audio commentary with writer Ernesto Gastaldi, moderated by filmmaker Federico Caddeo (in Italian with English subtitles); a new interview with star George Hilton; a new interview with director Martino; a new analysis of Martino’s films by Mikel J. Koven, author of La Dolce Morte, “Vernacular Cinema and the Italian Giallo Film”; a new video essay by Troy Howarth, author of So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films; a theatrical trailer; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Chris Malbon; and for the first pressing only, an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Rachael Nisbet and Howard Hughes, and a biography of star Anita Strindberg by Peter Jilmstad.

A Blu-ray collection featuring the fifth and sixth films by South Korean filmmaker Hong Sangsoo, Women Is the Future of Man and Tale of Cinema, is available July 17. Extras include newly translated optional English subtitles; newly filmed introductions to both films by Asian cinema expert Tony Rayns; interviews with Kim Sangkyung, Lee Kiwoo and Uhm Jiwon, the stars of Tale of Cinema; an introduction to Woman Is the Future of Man by director Martin Scorsese; “The Making Woman Is the Future of Man,” a featurette on the film’s production; interviews with the actors of Woman Is the Future of Man; a stills gallery; original trailers; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Scott Saslow; and for the first pressing only, an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the films by Michael Sicinski.

Finally, the New Zealand cult classic from Vincent Ward, The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey, blending time travel, sci-fi and medieval fantasy, comes out July 24 on Blu-ray. Special features include a new appreciation by film critic Nick Roddick, recorded exclusively for the release; “Kaleidoscope: Vincent Ward – Film Maker,” a 1989 documentary profile of the director made for New Zealand television; a theatrical trailer; and for the first pressing only, an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Kim Newman and an introduction by Ward.

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.