Supernatural Thriller ‘The Unhealer’ Due June 8 from Shout! Studios, Scream Factory

Shout! Studios and Scream Factory on April 15 announced that in collaboration with VMI Worldwide they will release the supernatural thriller The Unhealer through digital retailers and on Blu-ray Disc and DVD, as well as VOD, on June 8.

Each collectible Blu-ray Disc and DVD of The Unhealer includes behind-the-scenes interviews, alternative/ extended scenes, a gag reel, and deleted scenes.

Directed by writer, producer, and filmmaker Martin Guigui (Beneath the Darkness, The Bronx Bull, Future World), the film stars Natasha Henstridge (Species, The Whole Nine Yards) and Lance Henriksen (Aliens, Near Dark).

Other cast members include TikTok superstar Elijah Nelson (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, S.W.A.T.), Kayla Carlson (Why Women Kill, Widow Detective), Adam Beach (Suicide Squad, Cowboys & Aliens), Chris Browning (Westworld, Bosch), and Branscombe Richmond (The Scorpion King, Hard To Kill).

The film is about a bullied teenager who gains the means to fight back when a botched faith healing bestows supernatural, shamanistic powers upon him. When his lifelong tormentors pull a prank that causes the death of someone he loves, the teen uses his newfound abilities for revenge and goes on a bloody rampage to settle the score.

A production of A Horror Business Films in association with 7 Ideas, Gard Dog Productions, Sunset Pictures, and Bloodstone Films, The Unhealer, a Martin Guigui Film, is produced by Galen Walker, Cristi Harris, J. Shawn Harris, and Tony Hannagan. Executive producers are James Gardner and Hamish Gibson.

 

Tubi Enters Anime Deal With Shout! Factory

Tubi, Fox Entertainment’s FAST streaming service, April 7 announced a content deal with Shout! Factory to bring a collection of anime films to its viewers. Titles include In This Corner of the World and Eleven Arts Anime Studio’s Millennium Actress, as well as Liz and the Blue Bird and Penguin Highway, among others. These films will be available in subtitled and dubbed versions beginning April 8, with In This Corner of the World coming to in 2022.

“Tubi has a significant audience of anime lovers,” CCO Adam Lewinson said in a statement. The platform has more than 30,000 movies and television shows from over 250 content partners, including every major studio.

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Melissa Boag, SVP of Family Entertainment at Shout! Factory, said the agreement helps expand the home entertainment distributor’s portfolio of content across new channels. Notably, Shout! Factory was one of the first distributors to launch a branded AVOD platform, dubbed Shout! TV in 2015.

“We’re excited to collaborate with Tubi,” Boag said.

Titles coming to Tubi include:

  • Millennium Actress

Winner of Tokyo Anime Award and nominated for multiple Annie awards, this gorgeous new restoration is what many believe to be Satoshi Kon’s (Perfect BluePaprika) greatest work. When the legendary Ginei Studios shuts down, filmmaker Genya Tachibana and his assistant are tasked with interviewing its reclusive star, Chiyoko Fujiwara, who had retired from the spotlight 30 years prior. As Chiyoko recounts her career, Genya and his crew are literally pulled into her memories where they witness her chance encounter with a mysterious man on the run from the police. Despite never knowing his name or his face, Chiyoko relentlessly pursues that man in a seamless blend of reality and memory that only Satoshi Kon could deliver. The film also garnered the Grand Prize in the Japan Agency of Cultural Affairs Media Arts Festival.

  • Liz and the Blue Bird

Directed by Naoko Yamada, students and best friends Mizore Yoroizuka and Nozomi Kasaki prepare to play a complex musical duet, “Liz and the Blue Bird,” for oboe and flute. Though they play beautifully together and have been friends since childhood, Mizore and Nozomi find that with graduation looming and the duet proving difficult, their friendship begins to buckle under the pressure. Interspersed with their story is the fantasy tale of Liz, drawn like a storybook, contrasting with the crisp realism of the school. These two distinct styles weave with stirring music to tell an intimate coming-of-age story. The film was nominated for Best Film at the Crunchyroll Awards.

  • Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms

Though only 15, Maquia knows she will live for centuries without aging past adolescence. She belongs to the Iorph, a clan of ageless beings just like her. Maquia’s elders warn her not to fall in love with anyone outside their realm. But fate pushes Maquia out into the mortal world one night when an invading territory separates her from the clan. There she discovers an orphaned baby, Arial, and takes him in as her own child. From this point, Maquia will suffer extreme heartbreak in the name of motherhood, as she watches Arial grow and seeks to reconnect with her lost Iorph friends, all torn apart by the cruel world of Mesate.

  • Penguin Highway

Budding genius Aoyama is only in the 4th grade, but already lives his life like a scientist. When penguins start appearing in his sleepy suburb, hundreds of miles from the sea, Aoyama vows to solve the mystery. When he discovers that the arrival of the penguins is somehow related to a mysterious young woman from his dentist’s office, they team up for an unforgettable summer adventure! The film was nominated for Best Animated Film at the Japanese Academy Awards.

  • The Wonderland

On the day before her birthday, young Akane meets the mysterious alchemist Hippocrates who brings her through a basement and into a fantastical world full of magic and color. Though things seem peaceful on the surface, he reveals this world is in danger and as the destined Goddess of the Green Wind, it is Akane’s responsibility to bring back the rain and save this world from the terror known as Zan Gu. Joining Akane on her journey is Pipo, an alchemist in training, and her adventurous Aunt Chii. The only problem? Akane just wants to go home. The film is directed by Keiichi Hara.

  • Sound! Euphonium: The Movie – Welcome To The Kitauji High School Concert Band. Sound! Euphonium: The Movie – May The Melody Reach You. Sound! Euphonium: The Movie – Our Promise: A Brand New Day

Based on the manga and television series, the Sound! Euphonium movies follow Kumiko, a young girl at Kitauji High School who plays euphonium in her school’s orchestra. Follow the band on their mission to reach Nationals while juggling romance and adolescence.

  • Haikara-San: Here Comes Miss Modern Parts 1 & 2

Adapted from Waki Yamato’s popular manga, Kazuhiro Furuhashi’s Haikara-San is a heartfelt, and sometimes comical, tale of love surviving through the perils of war and separation.

  • Donten: Laughing Under the Clouds Gaiden

It’s been a year since brothers and shrine guardians, Tenka, Soramaru, and Chutaro, have defeated the legendary giant snake that threatened to destroy humanity. However, their lives are thrown into upheaval when they discover a plot to revive the evil serpent.

  • In This Corner of the World

Based on the award-winning manga by Fumiyo Kouno and brought to life by acclaimed filmmaker Sunao Katabuchi (Mai Mai Miracle) and producer Taro Maki, In This Corner of The World tells the emotional story of Suzu, a young girl from Hiroshima, who’s just become a bride in the nearby city of Kure during World War II. Living with her husband’s family, Suzu has to adjust to her new life, which is made especially difficult by regular air raids. But life must go on, and Suzu — through the help of her new family and neighbors — begins to discover the joys of everyday life in Kure. Much is gained in Kure, but with war, many things cherished are also lost. In This Corner of The World is brought to life, in stunning animation, by acclaimed filmmaker Sunao Katabuchi (Mai Mai Miracle) and producer Taro Maki. The film was also nominated for Best Film at the Annie awards, among several other wins and nominations.

Shout! Studios Wins Distribution Rights to ‘Language Lessons’

Shout! Studios, the multi-platform distribution and production arm of Shout! Factory, April 6 announced it has acquired North American rights to the drama Language Lessons from Duplass Brothers Productions.

Starring and written by Mark Duplass and Natalie Morales, Language Lessons, a platonic love story, marks the feature directorial debut of Morales and was produced by Mel Eslyn. The film premiered at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival and won the Audience Award at the SXSW Film Festival.

Duplass plays Adam, whose husband surprises him with a gift of a year’s worth of weekly Spanish lessons. But when tragedy strikes, his teacher, Cariño (Morales), becomes a lifeline he didn’t know he needed and the two develop an unexpected and complicated emotional bond.

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Shot in secret during the pandemic with a skeleton crew in Los Angeles and Costa Rica, Language Lessons received critical acclaim out of Berlin and SXSW.

Shout! Studios has secured all distribution rights in North America to Language Lessons, including theatrical, digital, video-on-demand, broadcast and home entertainment for cross-platform releases. Shout! Studios plans a strategic launch of this movie across all major entertainment platforms in North America, beginning with a theatrical launch later this year.

“We’ve been so humbled by the response to our little film, but it was Shout!’s unwavering passion and innovative strategy that won us over in the end,” Duplass said. “Can’t wait for this one!”

The movie deal was negotiated by Jessica Lacy at ICM Partners for Duplass Brothers Productions and Shout’s Jordan Fields, VP of acquisitions, Julie Dansker, head of new content sales, and Steven Katz, VP of business affairs, for Shout! Studios.

Language Lessons is a masterfully acted, sharply crafted, and profoundly entertaining portrait of friendship by Natalie and Mark,” Fields said. “It leaves you hopeful that real human connection can blossom in the uncongenial world of screens.”

“I am thrilled to partner once again with Mark and Mel, iconic storytellers and filmmakers, on this award-winning and very special film,” added Dansker. “The performances from Mark and Natalie are amazing and we are so excited to share Natalie’s incredibly impressive and refreshing directorial debut with audiences.”

A production of Duplass Brothers Productions, Language Lessons was executive produced by Natalie Morales, Mark Duplass and Jay Duplass. The film features original music by Gaby Moreno.

Shout! Celebrates Transgender Day of Visibility With June 1 Release of ‘The Sound of Identity’ Doc

In honor of International Transgender Day of Visibility, Shout! Studios on June 1 will give home viewers the chance to watch The Sound of Identity, a groundbreaking feature documentary from director James Kicklighter (Angel of Anywhere) that profiles opera star Lucia Lucas’ historic performance at the Tulsa Opera.

The documentary will be available digitally and on demand from Shout! Factory.

Lucas is a transgender baritone who grew up in Sacramento. She studied horn and voice at California State University at Sacramento and did graduate work at the Chicago College of Performing Arts. She moved to Germany in 2009 as Lucas Harbour. She decided to transition in November 2013, started taking estrogen and antiandrogens in July 2014 and underwent facial feminization surgery in September. In 2016, she had her gender reassignment surgery.

Winner of the 2020 Outshine Film Festival’s prestigious Programmers Award of Excellence, the documentary captures Lucia Lucas on the cusp of international stardom, profiling the moment in an artist’s career when everything could fall apart or come together. Showcasing the collaborative process between Lucas and her mentor, prolific and renowned composer Tobias Picker, Mozart’s Don Giovanni comes to life as Lucas takes the spotlight and all the pressures that come with it. Taking place at the height of her career, Lucas provides fresh insights into her transition, the professional risk she is taking, and what it means for those who follow.

The Sound of Identity is a production from the Emmy Award-winning team of Russ Kirkpatrick and Andy Kinslow and is executive produced by Golden Globe winner and Academy Award-nominated Josh Bachove.

Jude Law Starrer ‘The Nest’ Gets May 18 Blu-ray Disc Release From Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory in conjunction with IFC Films has announced a May 18 home release date for The Nest, an atmospheric drama from director Sean Durkin (Martha Marcy May Marlene) about how obsession with social status can lead to disaster.

The film will be available on Blu-ray Disc and may be ordered in advance now directly from the indie distributor’s website at ShoutFactory.com.

The film follows the story of an ambitious British entrepreneur and former commodities broker named Rory (Jude Law, Sherlock Holmes) who persuades his American wife Allison (Carrie Coon, The Leftovers) and their children to leave the comforts of suburban America and return to his England. Sensing opportunity, Rory rejoins his former firm and leases a centuries-old country manor, where he plans to build a stable for Allison’s horses. Soon the promise of lucrative new beginnings begins to unravel, and the couple must face the unwelcome truths lying beneath the surface of their marriage.

Bonus features include an “Anatomy of a Scene” featurette in which director Sean Durkin and lead actor Jude Law break down a key scene from the drama, and the theatrical trailer.

Nominated for two 2020 Gotham Awards, the film premiered on Jan. 26,  2020 at the Sundance Film Festival and received a limited theatrical release in the United States and Canada last September.

Scream Factory Releasing 1976 ‘King Kong’ Remake on Blu-ray

Indie distributor Shout! Factory’s horror imprint, Scream Factory, is releasing a collector’s edition of the 1976 King Kong remake for the first time in North America May 11.

The updated ’70s version from producer Dino De Laurentiis and director John Guillermin features scheming oil company executive Fred Wilson (Charles Grodin) raiding an exotic island to harvest its resources despite the warnings of Jack Prescott (Jeff Bridges), a scientist who sneaks aboard their ship. The expedition also encounters an aspiring actress named Dwan (Jessica Lange in her first film role), who escaped from a wrecked yacht. Upon reaching the island, they discover the giant ape Kong, and use his infatuating with Dwan to capture him with the intent of bringing him to America and cash in by putting him on display. When Kong escapes and rampages throughout New York City, Jack and Dwan devise a plan for the beauty to subdue the beast at the top of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.

Scream Factory’s two-disc Blu-ray set will include both the 134-minute theatrical cut with a DTS-HD 5.1 audio and a newly restored DTS-HD 2.0 theatrical stereo track; and the extended 182-minute TV broadcast version with a new 2K scan of the additional TV footage from the internegative.

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King Kong (1976)

The theatrical cut disc will include a new audio commentary with film historian Ray Morton, author of King Kong: The History of a Movie Icon. Other new extras include an audio interview with special makeup effects wizard Rick Baker; “Something’s Haywire,” an interview with actor Jack O’Halloran; “On the Top of the World,” an interview with assistant director David McGiffert and production manager Brian Frankish; “Maybe in their Wildest Dreams,” an interview with sculptor Jack Varner; “There’s a Fog Bank Out There,” an interview with second-unit director William Kronick; “From Space to Apes,” an interview with photographic effects assistant Barry Nolan; and “When the Monkey Dies, Everybody Cries,” an interview with production assistants Jeffrey Chernov and Scott Thaler. The disc also includes the theatrical trailer, TV spots, radio spots, and still galleries featuring posters, lobby cards and behind-the-scenes photos.

The extended-cut disc will include a panel discussion about the film conducted in 2016 at the Aero Theater.

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

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1985’s ‘Explorers’ to Make Blu-ray Disc Debut May 25 From Shout! Factory

Shout! Select has set a May 25 release date for a Blu-ray Disc collector’s edition of Explorers, the 1985 film that marked the movie debut of both the late River Phoenix and Ethan Hawke.

The film has never before been released on Blu-ray Disc. It was released on VHS videocassette in 1985 and again in 1997, and was subsequently issued on DVD multiple times, most recently as a manufactured-on-demand selection from Paramount in November 2019.

From acclaimed director Joe Dante (Gremlins), Explorers is an action-fantasy that follows the dreams of three curious and adventuresome boys as they become a reality. In their makeshift laboratory, the boys use an amazing discovery and their own ingenuity to build their own spaceship and manage to launch themselves on a fantastic interplanetary journey.

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The film was  box office flop, opening in theaters just nine days after Back to the Future. But over the years it has attracted a cult following.

Bonus features on the Explorers collector’s edition Blu-ray Disc include the original home video and theatrical cuts of the film; “A Science Fiction Fairy Tale: The Story of Explorers,” featuring new interviews with director Dante, screenwriter Eric Luke, Hawke, and more; deleted scenes with optional commentary by Dante; new interviews with cinematographer John Hora and editor Tina Hirsch; and the original theatrical trailer.

Fans who order the Blu-ray Disc from ShoutFactory.com will receive an exclusive 18×24 rolled poster featuring brand-new artwork, available while supplies last.

WWII Action Thriller ‘The Final Stand’ Heads Home May 11

Shout! Studios has announced the May 11 release of The Final Stand, a World War II action thriller by Igor Ugonikov and directed by Vadim Shmelev that is inspired by the true story of the heroic military outside of Moscow in 1941.

The film will be released through digital retailers as well as Blu-ray Disc and DVD, with physical copies available at most big retailers, including Amazon and Walmart.

The Final Stand premiered in Russia in November 2020 and stars Artyom Gubin, Lubov Konstantinova, and Igor Yudin.

The true story chronicled in the film follows 3,500 young cadets, who, at the height of WWII, are sent with their commanding officers to hold the last line of defense outside of Moscow. Sent to the Ilyinsky line of defense, cadets from the Podolsk infantry and artillery schools fight alongside units from the 43rd Army to hold back the German advance until reinforcements arrive. Hopelessly outnumbered, the young men in their teens lay down their lives in a battle lasting almost two weeks to obstruct the far superior Nazi forces.

The collectible Blu-ray and DVD editions include both English and Russian audio tracks with English subtitles.

Shout! Factory TV Slates March 6 ‘Greg the Bunny Tapes’ Marathon

Shout! Factory on March 6 will present “The Greg the Bunny Tapes Marathon,” a TV sitcom that originally aired in 2002, in celebration of the series’ debut on Shout! Factory.

The series is centered on a bunny puppet named Greg, a wide-eyed innocent who falls into the world of a children’s show populated by neurotic puppets and the humans who both love and abuse them.

The marathon begins at noon PT and will continue all day. The stream can be viewed on ShoutFactoryTV.com, Shout! Factory TV’s Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Android apps, as well as the following digital streaming platforms: Twitch, Pluto TV, Samsung TV Plus, Comcast Xfinity, Xumo, Vizio, Redbox, IMDb TV, STIRR, Sling TV, THETA.tv and Local Now.

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Starring Eugene Levy, Seth Green and Sarah Silverman, this version contains 19 half-hour episodes with Greg, Warren and Count Blah starring in hilarious parodies of independent films. Additionally, the marathon will feature a never-before-seen cut of the show; a brand-new virtual reunion special, The Greg the Bunny Tapes Rewind; and an hour-long retrospective special celebrating the origin and evolution of these outrageous characters — from their public access beginnings to their popular IFC parodies.

“The Greg the Bunny Tapes” are also now available for viewing on demand on Shout!FactoryTV.com, Shout! Factory TV’s Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Android apps, and on various Shout! Factory TV branded channels including Tubi, Amazon Prime Channels, and the Roku Channel.

A Call to Spy

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Shout! Factory/IFC;
Drama;
Box Office $0.16 million;
$19.98 DVD, $22.98 Blu-ray;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for some strong violence, disturbing images, language, and smoking.
Stars Sarah Megan Thomas, Stana Katic, Radhika Apte, Linus Roache, Rossif Sutherland, Samuel Roukin, Andrew Richardson, Laila Robins, Marc Rissmann.

Based on actual events, the compelling A Call to Spy tells the story of Britain’s efforts to recruit and train female spies to infiltrate Europe during World War II.

Sarah Megan Thomas, who also wrote the screenplay, stars as Virginia Hall, an American recruited to set up a spy ring in France because her dreams of diplomatic service are dashed due to her having a wooden leg. Most of the film is told from her point of view and details her mission posing as a journalist in Nazi-occupied territories to build a resistance and funnel information back to her spymasters in London.

The initiative to create a corps of lady spies, which came at the behest of Winston Churchill, is overseen by Vera Atkins (Stana Katic), the overqualified secretary of spy chief Col. Buckmaster (Linus Roache). The real-life Atkins would serve as one of the inspirations for Miss Moneypenny in Ian Fleming’s “James Bond” novels.

Among her other recruits is Noor (Radhika Apte), a Muslim of Indian heritage who was the company’s best wireless operator, which earned her a ticket into the field before she had a firm grasp of the covert aspects of espionage.

In fact, one of the central themes of the film, and more fascinating aspects of it, is how much the British government stumbled around trying to figure out how to conduct clandestine missions and minimize risk to their agents. Numerous mentions are made to large numbers of spies being killed due to shoddy security and just plain laziness when it came to following protocol, not to mention some of the prim-and-proper spymasters simply not having the instincts for recognizing obvious traps.

A Call to Spy is not heavy on action or intrigue, but it is loaded with strong drama and a solid emotional foundation, ably anchored by Thomas, both in her performance and her pen.

The Blu-ray includes a three-and-a-half-minute behind-the-scenes featurette built around interviews with the cast and filmmakers.

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