Norman Jewison Comedy ‘The Russians Are Coming’ Due on Blu-ray Disc Jan. 16

Kino Lorber has announced a Jan. 16 Blu-ray Disc release date for the 1966 satirical comedy The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming, directed by Norman Jewison and starring Carl Reiner.

The film, which also stars Alan Arkin in his first major film role, was released theatrically by United Artists and is coming to Blu-ray Disc under Kino Lorber’s Studio Classics line.

When sightseeing Soviet commander (Arkin) runs his submarine aground off the New England coast, his crew tries to find a boat to dislodge the sub and almost starts World War III. Despite the Russians’ harmless intentions, the folks in town think a full-scale Soviet invasion has been launched. What’s worse, their police chief (Brian Keith) has left his hysterical assistant (Jonathan Winters) in charge — and the one man who knows the truth (Reiner) is only stirring up more chaos.

The film is based on the Nathaniel Benchley novel with a screenplay by William Rose (It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World). Other cast members include Eva Marie Saint, Paul Ford, Theodore Bikel, Tessie O’Shead and John Phillip Law.

The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Director (Jewison), Best Actor (Arkin), Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Film Editing.

Bonus features on the Blu-ray Disc include a new audio commentary by film historians Michael Schlesinger and Mark Evanier; a featurette with director Jewison; and the original theatrical trailer.

Sci-Fi Films ‘Land of Doom,’ ‘Robot Holocaust,’ ‘Rollerball’ and ‘Voyage Into Space’ Due on Blu-ray From Ronin Flix and MVD Sept. 13

The science-fiction fantasy films Land of Doom, Robot Holocaust, Rollerball and Voyage Into Space will be released on Blu-ray Disc Sept. 13 from Ronin Flix and MVD Entertainment Group.

In director Norman Jewison’s Rollerball (1975), the year is 2018. There are no wars. There is no crime. There is only — the Game. In a world where ruthless corporations reign supreme, this vicious and barbaric “sport” is the only outlet for the pent-up anger and frustrations of the masses. Tuned to their televisions, the people watch Rollerball — a brutal mutation of football, motocross and hockey. Jonathan E. (James Caan) is the champion player, a man too talented for his own good. The Corporation has taken away the woman Jonathan loves, but they can’t take away his soul, even if the diabolical corporate head (John Houseman) tells him he better retire — or suffer the old-fashioned way. The film also stars John Beck, Maud Adams, Moses Gunn and Shane Rimmer. Special features on the cult classic, taken from a 4K scan, include audio commentary with Jewison; audio commentary with writer William Harrison; the “From Rome to Rollerball” featurette; “Blood Sports: An interview with James Caan”; an interview with stuntman Bob Minor; and the theatrical trailer and TV spots. The film, which won the Saturn Award for Best Science-Fiction Film for 1974-75, was the first major Hollywood production to give screen credit to its stunt performers and inspired the short-lived TNN sports show “RollerJam” (1999).

In Robot Holocaust (1987), in the not-so-distant future, mankind is facing uncertainty in the rubble of the destruction of New York. Powerful robots have taken over the world, poisoning the air and making humans their slaves. One man, Neo, and his robot Klyton take on giant worms, flesh eating mutants, killer robots and the evil power of The Dark One in a desperate battle to reclaim earth for the human race. Special features include an on-camera Interview with actress Jennifer Delora. Robot Holocaust was featured on “Mystery Science Theater 3000” in its first season.

Deborah Rennard (“Dallas,” Lionheart) stars in the postnuke classic Land of Doom (1986). In the film, much of the planet’s population and environment has been destroyed in a nuclear holocaust. Those who are still alive live in caves, and many roam the wasteland in marauding gangs. But some survivors, including Harmony (Rennard) and Anderson (Garrick Dowhen), want a better life and go in search of rumored paradise, a city called Blue Lake, where no rape, murder and pillaging are said to exist. However, the maniacal metal-faced Slater (Daniel Radell), Anderson’s rival, wants them dead. Special features include an on-camera interview with Rennard and the original trailer.

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Voyage Into Space (1970) is a compilation of certain episodes from the TV series “Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot,” which aired from 1968 to 1969. The film features the far-out exploits of a young secret agent with the Unicorn Peacekeeping Organization as he battles the vile minions and colossal monsters of Emperor Guillotine, extraterrestrial dictator of the nefarious Gargoyle Gang. Joining the fight is an atomic-powered giant robot, armed with a fantastic array of super weapons, which only Johnny can command via a unique remote-control wristwatch. This original compilation movie, assembled by American International Television from episodes of the Toei Company tele-series, was a beloved favorite for scores of kaiju-crazy kids across the United States in the 1970s. From the makers of “Gigantor” and “Kamen Rider,” Voyage Into Space is part James Bond, part “Jonny Quest” and part “Ultraman”  with over-the-top plots, oddball villains, outrageous creatures, outré special effects and outlandish action, topped with an offbeat jazz score. Special features include audio commentary with film historian August Ragone.

Sidney Poitier Classic ‘In the Heat of the Night’ Gets 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Release April 19

Kino Lorber has announced the next classic it will release on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray will be In the Heat of the Night, the acclaimed 1967 Best Picture Oscar winner starring the late Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger.

The film, from director Norman Jewison, will be released on ultra-high-definition disc on April 19, with retail orders due March 22. The 4K Ultra HD set includes, as a bonus, the 1970 sequel They Call Me Mr. Tibbs and 1971’s The Organization.

In the original film, which was released theatrically in 1967, Steiger gives an Oscar-winning performance as a sheriff from small-town Mississippi who finds himself in an uneasy alliance with a black homicide detective from Philadelphia, portrayed by Poitier. In the course of investigating the crime, the two strong-willed men must reconcile their inherent prejudice toward each other. The final result is justice—and an unlikely but touching mutual respect.

Other cast members include Warren Oates and Lee Grant. The film features an evocative score by Quincy Jones and vivid cinematography by Haskell Wexler.

In the Heat of the Night picked up five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay for Stirling Silliphant and Best Editing for Hal Ashby.

Bonus features include a new audio commentary by film historians Steve Mitchell and Nathaniel Thompson with Robert Mirisch (nephew of producer Walter Mirisch, and son of the Mirisch Company founder Harold Mirisch), as well as a previously issued commentary track with director Jewison, cinematographer Wexler and actors Steiger and Grant.