Shout! Factory Bringing ‘Oh, God!’ Collection Starring George Burns to Blu-ray Aug. 24

Shout! Factory will release a Blu-ray Disc collection of all three “Oh, God!” films starring comedian George Burns on Blu-ray Disc Aug. 24.

Burns plays God in the trilogy. In 1977’s Oh, God!, he comes to Earth to spread the Good Word, but has a hard time convincing his chosen messenger, mild-mannered Jerry Landers (John Denver), who He really is. Jerry must in turn prove it to his disbelieving family as well as the rest of the world.

Oh, God! extras include audio commentary by director Carl Reiner, screenwriter Larry Gelbart, actress Teri Garr and producer Jerry Weintraub; John Denver guest-hosting “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” featuring interviews from Burns, Reiner and Garr; and the film’s theatrical trailer and radio spots.

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God returns to Earth in 1980’s Oh, God! Book II, this time spreading His Word through an enchanting little girl named Tracy Richards (Louanne Sirota), who comes up with a slogan to assure all that He still cares.

Oh, God! Book II extras include a new interview with assistant director Tom Lofaro, and the film’s theatrical trailer and radio spots.

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In 1984’s Oh, God! You Devil, Burns also plays the Devil himself. Struggling musician Billy Shelton (Ted Wass) unknowingly sells his soul for a life-changing transformation into a superstar rock idol. But when Billy prays for his old life back, the fight for his soul will be settled in a high-stakes showdown between the Almighty Father and the Prince of Darkness.

Oh, God! You Devil extras include a new interview with actor Ted Wass; “The Jack Benny Program” episode from Oct. 7, 1956 guest-starring Burns as The Devil; and the film’s theatrical trailer and radio spots.

All three films also include a new audio commentary by film critic and theologian Dr. Donna Bowman.

 

Shout! Factory TV Slates ‘Piranha’ Marathon

Shout! Factory TV, the streaming service operated by independent home entertainment distributor Shout! Factory, on Aug. 9 will present a 24-hour marathon of Joe Dante’s 1978 cult classic Piranha and its 1995 remake starring Mila Kunis and Soleil Moon Frye. Fans can watch the films streamed all day and night long in a back-to-back format presentation that begins just past midnight.

Piranha, produced by Roger Corman, is the first in a series of campy ‘B’ movies inspired by 1975’s Jaws. While searching for missing teenagers at the once-thriving Lost River Lake resort, rookie skip-tracer Maggie McKeon (Heather Menzies) and booze-soaked river rat Paul Grogan (Bradford Dillman) stumble upon a top-secret military laboratory conducting genetic research on piranha fish for the purpose of developing the most lethal form of biological warfare imaginable.

When the deadly fish are accidentally released from the compound, they’re soon headed downstream, consuming everything — and anyone — in their path. With Paul and Maggie in hot pursuit, the piranhas’ next stop is the children’s summer camp, where Paul’s young daughter is vacationing, and then a newly opened, multimillion-dollar water resort.

The 1995 remake of the cult classic film was also produced by Roger Corman.

The “Piranhathon” can be viewed on ShoutFactoryTV.com; Shout! Factory TV’s Amazon Fire TV, Android, Apple TV, and Roku apps; and the following digital streaming platforms: IMDb TV, Local Now, Plex, Redbox, Samsung TV Plus, Sling TV, STIRR, Twitch, Vizio and XUMO. Both films are also available for streaming on demand across Shout! Factory TV platforms.

Two Anime Films On the Way From Studio Ghibli, GKIDS, Shout! Factory

Studio Ghibli and GKIDS, with distribution by Shout! Factory, have announced the Sept. 21 home release of Porco Rosso, a 1992 Japanese animated adventure comedy, and From Up On Poppy Hill, a 2011 Japanese animated drama film.

The films will be available in limited edition Steelbook packaging, which will house a Blu-ray and DVD combo pack, alongside bonus features, a booklet with art, and statements from the filmmakers.

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki, Porco Rosso follows the story of a world-weary flying ace-turned-bounty-hunter, whose face has been transformed into that of a pig by a mysterious spell. When he upsets a band of sky pirates, the pirates hire a hotshot American rival named Curtis to get rid of him. Together with the help of the teenage girl and aspiring airplane designer Fio, and Sultry lounge singer Gina, Porco takes to the skies for what may be his final high-flying showdown.

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Bonus features include an exclusive booklet, feature-length storyboards, an interview with producer Toshio Suzuki, and the original theatrical trailers.

Directed by Gorō Miyazaki and scripted by Hayao Miyazaki and Keiko Niwa, From Up On Poppy Hill is set in Yokohama, Japan in 1963 as Japan is picking itself up after World War II and preparing to host the Olympics. A friendship blossoms between high school students Umi and Shun, but a buried secret from their past emerges to cast a shadow on the future and pull them apart.

Bonus features include an exclusive booklet, feature-length storyboards,  an interview with Gorō Miyazaki; a Hayao Miyazaki documentary; a speech and press conference with Hayao Miyazaki; a Yokohama featurette, a music video, and the original theatrical trailers.

Scream Factory Bringing First Five ‘Halloween’ Films to 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

Scream Factory, the horror imprint of indie distributor Shout! Factory, is releasing the first five “Halloween” movies on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc Sept. 28.

The films will be available individually in a limited-edition rigid slipcase and will include a regular Blu-ray Disc of each film as well as previously released bonus materials.

The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray of 1978’s original Halloween features a return to the original camera negative for the first time.

This also marks the North American 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray debut for 1981’s Halloween II, 1982’s Halloween III: Season of the Witch, 1988’s Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and 1989’s Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers.

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Scream Factory taking preorders for each movie at the shoutfactory.com online store, which has also made available several exclusive offers (while supplies last).

First, fans can get a poster featuring newly commissioned cover art from artist Joel Robinson included with a 4K UHD purchase of each movie for $36.99 each.

Second, the first three movies are offered with a seven-inch vinyl album from Sacred Bones Records featuring newly recorded music from John Carpenter for $58.99 each.

The third offer is for a bundle of all five films on 4K Ultra HD, all five posters and all three albums for $245.99.

The fourth offers includes all five movies with the posters and albums, plus an exclusive limited-edition set of five enamel pins in a collectible box from Gutter Garbs, for $299.99.

‘Brotherhood of the Wolf’ Blu-ray Due July 27 From Scream Factory

The 2001 cult favorite horror fantasy Brotherhood of the Wolf will make its Blu-ray Disc debut July 27 from Scream Factory, the horror imprint of indie distributor Shout! Factory.

In a rural province of France, a mysterious creature is laying waste to the countryside, savagely killing scores of women and children. Unseen, possessed of enormous strength and a human intelligence, the beast has eluded capture for years. King Louis sends in a renowned scientist and his Iroquois blood brother, an unconventional team whose combined methods and capabilities may bring the beast down. But the true nature of the beast is not what anyone could have anticipated.

Directed by Christophe Gans (Silent Hill), the film features an all-star cast including Vincent Cassel and Monica Bellucci.

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The Blu-ray includes an extended version of the film that showcases more martial arts action.

Extras include deleted scenes with introduction by Gans; theatrical trailers; and three featurettes:

  • “The Guts of the Beast” — a look at the creation of the film from the fight scenes to the digital effects;
  • “The Making of Brotherhood of the Wolf” — a look behind the scenes;
  • “The Legend” — a look at the historical facts behind the legend of the Gévaudan Beast.

 

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Shout! Factory TV Slates Week-Long ‘Summer of Fear’

Scream Factory and Shout! Factory TV have announced that June 20 to 26 the indie label’s streaming service will present the “Summer of Fear,” with a themed double-feature of horror movies screening every night of the week.

Beginning with its Father’s Day double-bill of The Stepfather (1987) and its sequel, Shout! Factory will present “Cat & Mouse” (The Cat O’ Nine Tails, Ben), “Mad Scientists” (The Brain That Wouldn’t Die, Brain Dead) and “College Horror”(Sorority House Massacre, Hell Night), among other themes.

The films will be available at 6 p.m. PT on ShoutFactoryTV.com; Shout! Factory TV’s Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Android apps; and digital streaming platforms including Twitch, Samsung TV Plus, Xumo, Vizio, Redbox, IMDb TV, STIRR, Sling TV, and Local Now.

The films will additionally be made available for streaming on demand across Shout! Factory TV platforms: on ShoutFactoryTV.com; Shout! Factory TV’s Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Android apps; and on various Shout! Factory TV branded channels including Tubi, Amazon Prime Channels, and the Roku Channel.

The Summer of Fear schedule will include:

Sunday, June 20 (Father’s Day):

  • 6 p.m. PT: The Stepfather (1987)
  • 8 p.m. PT: The Stepfather II

 

Monday, June 21 (Cat & Mouse):

  • 6 p.m. PT: The Cat O’ Nine Tails
  • 8 p.m. PT: Ben

 

Tuesday, June 22 (Space Horror):

  • 6 p.m. PT: Galaxy of Terror
  • 8 p.m. PT: Forbidden World

 

Wednesday, June 23 (Sequel):

  • 6 p.m. PT: The Terror Within
  • 8 p.m. PT: The Terror Within II

 

Thursday, June 24 (Mad Scientists):

  • 6 p.m. PT: The Brain That Wouldn’t Die
  • 8 p.m. PT: Brain Dead

 

Friday, June 25 (Werewolves):

  • 6 p.m. PT: Bad Moon
  • 8 p.m. PT: The Company of Wolves

 

Saturday, June 26 (College Horror):

  • 6 p.m. PT: Sorority House Massacre
  • 8 p.m. PT: Hell Night

King Kong (1976)

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Shout! Factory;
Adventure;
$34.98 Blu-ray;
Rated ‘PG.’
Stars Jeff Bridges, Charles Grodin, Jessica Lange, Rene Auberjonois, John Randolph, Jack O’Halloran, Ed Lauter.

As cinema in the 1970s turned toward gritty realism and bold, thematic filmmaking, producer Dino De Laurentiis decided to stage a remake of the 1933 classic King Kong, updating the story with a contemporary setting and modern visual effects.

The original Kong had famously used stop-motion animation for the giant ape, blended into the live-action sequences to depict an expedition to a mysterious island in the Pacific Ocean, where the crew encounters Kong, who becomes infatuated with the only woman in the group. Kong is captured and brought to America to be put on display, but quickly escapes and rampages through New York, finding the blonde from the island and climbing with her to the top of a skyscraper.

In the 1933 version, it was a film crew seeking exotic locations that discovers Kong, who winds up climbing the just-completed Empire State Building at the end.

For the update, director John Guillermin and screenwriter Lorenzo Semple Jr., who was best known for developing the 1960s “Batman” TV series, played into current events by making the expedition about an oil company looking for resources to fight the energy crisis. The basic story would play out much the same way, with Kong at the end scaling the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, which had just been built in the 1970s.

A young Jeff Bridges would play a primatologist and photographer interested in investigating rumors about the island. And the blonde love interest would be played by Jessica Lange, who gives an extremely sexy turn in her screen debut.

The visual effects would be a mix of green-screen composites, rear projection and makeup effects whiz Rick Baker in an ape costume, with rather obvious giant mechanical ape hands for close-ups when the ape is holding Lange.

While praised in their day, the effects are rather dodgy by today’s standards, and the problems in scaling are rather obvious.

The visual effects team even constructed a life-size animatronic Kong, but it didn’t work very well and only appears in a handful of shots (it’s most visible in the wide shot of the scene in which Kong is unveiled to the crowd in New York wearing a crown).

Still, the visuals speak to the ambitious nature of the project, which had a lot more luck in the gorgeous cinematography of the island’s beaches and jungles before Kong shows up. This is an unmistakably ’70s picture, and the luscious romantic score by John Barry further cements its identity as a production of its time.

Notably, when Peter Jackson did his own remake for Universal in 2005, he maintained the characters and settings of the original version and made it a period piece set in the 1930s. Interestingly enough, 2017’s Kong: Skull Island, which is one of the the precursors to Godzilla vs. Kong and as such is essentially the first half of the traditional Kong story, showcasing his discovery on the island but not his capture or exploitation in America, is also a period piece, set in the 1970s.

Shout! Factory’s new two-disc Blu-ray presents two versions of the 1976 version. First is the theatrical cut that runs about two hours 14 minutes and features a restored stereo audio track in addition to the 5.1 DTS-HD track. The film looks great, though some scenes tend to be grainier than others due to the different types of film stocks used at the time.

The theatrical cut disc also includes an informative commentary from film historian Ray Morton, author of King Kong: The History of a Movie Icon. While he does comment on specific scenes from time to time, his presentation reads more like a prepared essay about the making of the film and its context within the overall legacy of the Kong character.

This disc also contains a number of standalone interviews with some of the filmmakers who worked on the film, including Rick Baker, actor Jack O’Halloran, assistant director David McGiffert, production manager Brian Frankish, sculptor Jack Varner, second unit director William Kronick, photographic effects assistant Barry Nolan, and production assistants Jeffrey Chernov and Scott Thaler.

The disc also includes a gallery of marketing images, and a collection of trailers, TV spots and radio ads.

The second disc contains the three-hour TV broadcast version of the movie, in which 45 minutes of deleted scenes have been added back in. This version has been reassembled using 2K scans from the internegative so it can be shown in high-definition. TV standards from the 1970s and 1980s would have only required a lower-resolution workprint for broadcast. The TV version isn’t presented as a single movie, but rather in the two parts that the network would have shown over a two-night span, with the recap of night one that led off the second part intact. While the option for a single three-hour presentation would have been welcome, it’s still nice to have the extended cut as a viewing option in better quality than from someone’s VHS of taping it when it aired.

This disc also includes a 2016 panel discussion of the film from a 40th anniversary screening conducted at the Aero Theater, featuring some of the same filmmakers who are interviewed on the first disc.

Shout! Kids’ ‘Dreambuilders’ Home Release Set for August

Indie distributor Shout! Factory’s Shout! Kids imprint will release the animated family film Dreambuilders on North American digital platforms Aug. 10, followed by a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack and standalone DVD Aug. 24.

Directed by Kim Hagen Jensen (All Dogs Go To Heaven, FernGully) and Tonni Zinck (The Neon Demon), Dreambuilders focuses on a young girl who has to put things right after making a very wrong decision.

Minna’s life is turned upside-down when her dad’s new fiancée and her daughter move in. Her new stepsister, Jenny, turns out to be horrible and Minna is very frustrated. One night, Minna discovers a world behind her dreams, where the whimsical dreambuilders create every fantasy and nightmare. Minna also finds out how to manipulate Jenny’s dreams. But interfering with dreams has dire consequences … and when Minna goes too far one night, Jenny can’t wake up anymore. Minna must enter the dream world one more time to face the nightmare she has created in order to save Jenny and her new family.

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Scream Factory Sets July 13 Date for Collector’s Blu-ray for 2005’s ‘House of Wax,’ With Paris Hilton

Scream Factory, the horror imprint of indie distributor Shout! Factory, has set a July 13 release date for its collector’s edition Blu-ray Disc of the 2005 House of Wax remake.

A loose remake of the 1953 Vincent Price film, House of Wax stars Elisha Cuthbert, Chad Michael Murray, Brian Van Holt, Paris Hilton, Jared Padalecki, Jon Abrahams and Robert Ri’chard. When their car breaks down on a road trip, six college friends are sidetracked into an eerie backwoods town. Curiosity gets the better of them when they are intrigued by its macabre House of Wax. They soon find out that the town is not what it seems, and that they must find their way out before they fall victim to its ghoulishly inventive killers.

From Dark Castle Entertainment and producers Joel Silver and Robert Zemeckis, the remake arrives on Blu-ray with a new 2K scan of the interpositive.

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New bonus materials on the Blu-ray include:

  • “Die, My Darling” — an interview with actress Paris Hilton;
  • “The Tale of Blake and Paige” — an interview with actor Robert Ri’chard;
  • “Organ Grinder” — an interview with composer John Ottman;
  • “To Me, They Live and Breathe” — an interview with makeup effects artist Jason Baird.

 

Additional extras include:

  • B-Roll and bloopers video cast commentary;
  • “From Location: Joel Silver Reveals the House of Wax”;
  • “Wax On: The Design of House of Wax”;
  • “The House Built on Wax: The Visual Effects of House of Wax”;
  • Alternate opening: “Jennifer Killed”;
  • Gag reel;
  • Vintage interviews with cast and crew from the electronic press kit;
  • Vintage featurette;
  • Theatrical trailer.

 

Fans who order from the ShoutFactory.com store will also receive an exclusive poster featuring brand-new artwork, while supplies last.

 

Shout! Factory Releasing IFC’s ‘The Night’ and ‘No Man’s Land’ on Blu-ray July 13

IFC Films’ The Night and No Man’s Land will be released July 13 on Blu-ray Disc from Shout! Factory.

With the psychological thriller The Night, director Kourosh Ahari made history for being the first U.S.-produced film to receive a license for theatrical release in Iran since the revolution. The Night is the story of how, after a night out with friends, an exhausted married couple, Babak (Shahab Hosseini) and Neda (Niousha Noor), and their baby take shelter in the grand but eerie Hotel Normandie. Throughout a seemingly endless night, mysterious disturbances ruin their rest as Babak and Neda soon realize they’re locked in with a malevolent force that hungers for the dark secrets they’ve kept from one another.

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In the Western No Man’s Land, two families collide on a Texas ranch that shares a border with Mexico. While out on a border patrol, a rancher’s son named Jackson Greer (Jake Allyn) accidentally kills a Mexican immigrant boy. When his father tries taking the blame, Jackson flees south on horseback, becoming a gringo “illegal alien” in Mexico. Pursued by both Texas Rangers and Mexican federales, he journeys across Mexico to seek forgiveness from the dead boy’s father … only to fall in love with the land he was taught to hate. The cast includes Frank Grillo, Andie McDowell and George Lopez.

Both films are available for preorder through the ShoutFactory.com online store.