‘The Talisman’ Among Westerns, Adventure on Tap May 7 on DVD From VCI and MVD

The Western The Talisman (1966), the Western compilation When Cowboys Were King Collection 2 (1930s) and the adventure Trail of the Royal Mounted (1931) are due on DVD May 7 from VCI Entertainment and MVD Entertainment Group.

In The Talisman, upon the aftermath of a wagon train massacre, two people are awakened by a raging thunderstorm, only to find they are the sole survivors of the mayhem. One is a Cheyenne warrior, the other a young white girl, both arch enemies in the present wars over territory and land. Upon discovering the girl is still alive, the warrior raises his knife to finish her off, but stops when he sees a Thunderbird appear in the sky above them. Feeling this is a sign he is to keep her alive and be her protector, the warrior takes on the task. The grateful girl accepts his help, but is still determined to reach her intended destination, which is to be united with her fiancée. When they cross paths with a group of white mountain men who promise to take her to her people, the warrior reluctantly lets her go with them, giving her his amulet, a Talisman, to protect her. But once she is out of the watchful eye of her Cheyenne protector, the poor girl soon finds that her newly found champions have nefarious intentions. Luckily, her protector is still nearby and senses something has gone awry. Written, produced and directed by John Carr (Fugitive Lovers, Death Wish Club), the film stars Ned Romero (“Star Trek”), Richard Thies (“Route 66”), Ray Browne (“The Avengers,” 1961), Jerald Cormier (Terror Circus) and Linda Hawkins.

In Trail of the Royal Mounted, a 10-chapter serial making its DVD debut, Jack Logan is the heir to half of a map to a hidden Indian mine. The trader and villain Jean Gregg sends his chief henchman Mack to make life difficult for Jack. Jack is aided in his quest by the heirs to the other half of the map: Helen Holt and her younger brother Billy, and by a uniformed mystery man known as “The Mystery Trooper.” The serial stars Robert Frazer (The Vampire Bat), Blanche Mehaffey (The Battling Orioles) and Al Ferguson (The Three Musketeers).

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In When Cowboys Were King Collection 2, VCI has put together a second offering of four films, starring some of the most popular cowboy stars of the 1930s, when cowboys were the kings of the Saturday matinee. Titles in this collection include: Rogue of the Range (1936) starring Johnny Mack Brown, Silver Spurs (1936), Stranger From Arizona (1938) and Spirit of the West (1932) starring Hoot Gibson. Special features include “Carrying the mail — Wally Wales”; the “Cisco Kid” color TV episode “Railroad Land Rush”; and “The Winning of the West —Battle of Adobe Walls.”

Horror Films ‘The Sect’ and ‘The Church’ Among Titles Due on Disc April 30 From Severin Films and MVD

Two horror films, The Sect and The Church; two Westerns, Hot Spur and The Scavengers; and the science-fiction fantasy Lola are due on disc April 30 from Severin Films and MVD Entertainment Group.

The Church (1989), due on 4K Ultra HD (April 30) and Blu-ray (May 7), is the second feature film — and first full collaboration with co-writer/producer/mentor Dario Argento — from writer/director Michele Soavi. In the film, in a Gothic cathedral built on the mass grave of a Teutonic purge, an ancient discovery by the new librarian releases an unholy maelstrom of madness, violence and demonic vengeance. Tomas Arana (The Sect), Feodor Chaliapin (Inferno), Hugh Quarshie (Nightbreed), Barbara Cupisti (Cemetery Man) and Asia Argento co-star in this Italian horror flick co-written by Franco Ferrini (Phenomena). The release features a Soavi-approved 4K scan from the original negative and more than three hours of special features, including new interviews with Soavi and Argento. Special features include “The Mystery of the Cathedrals,” an interview with director Michele Soavi; “Alchemical Possession,” and interview with co-screenwriter/producer Dario Argento; “The Eleventh Commandment,” an interview with co-screenwriter Franco Ferrini; “The Ghostwriter,” an interview with co-screenwriter Dardano Sacchetti; “Lotte,” an interview with actress Asia Argento; “Here Comes the Bride,” an interview with actress Antonella Vitale; “A Demon Named Evan,” an interview with actor Tomas Arana; “Father Giovanni,” an interview with actor Giovanni Lombardo Radice; “Monsters And Demons,” an interview with special FX artist Sergio Stivaletti; “Holy Ground,” an interview with make-up artist Franco Casagni; “Building The Church,” an interview with set designer Antonello Geleng; “The Right-Hand Man,” an interview with assistant director Claudio Lattanzi; “Return to the Land of the Demons,” an interview with Alan Jones, author of Profondo Argento; and the trailer.

The Sect (1991), available on 4K Ultra HD (April 30) and Blu-ray (May 7), is the third feature by director Michele Soavi and his second collaboration with producer/co-writer Dario Argento. In the film, as a global satanic cabal grows in ferocity, an unwitting young schoolteacher (Kelly Curtis, sister of Jamie Lee,  in her sole genre role) is chosen to deliver the ultimate evil. Herbert Lom (Count Dracula), Mariangela Giordano (Burial Ground) and Giovanni Lombardo Radice (The House on the Edge of the Park) co-star in the film, scanned in 4K from the original negative with more than three hours of special features including new interviews with Soavi and Argento. Special features include “Sympathy for the Devil,” an interview with director Michele Soavi; “(You’re The) Devil in Disguise,” an interview with co-screenwriter/producer Dario Argento; “Catacumba,” an interview with co-screenwriter Gianni Romoli; “Cult of Personality,” an interview with actor Tomas Arana; “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” an interview with actor Giovanni Lombardo Radice; “In the Shaded Area,” an interview with cinematographer Raffaele Mertes; “Four Times Argento,” an interview with composer Pino Donaggio; “Total Eclipse,” an interview with special FX artist Sergio Stivaletti; “Oh Well,” an interview with set designer Antonello Geleng; “The Birth of Evil,” an interview with film historian Fabrizio Spurio; “Into The Dark Well,” an interview with Alan Jones, author of Profondo Argento; “Catacomb in the Kitchen,” in which Michele Soavi shows his dark basement; the Italian trailer; and the U.S. release trailer.

Also due April 30 is Lola (2022) on Blu-ray Disc. It’s a science-fiction fantasy set in the year 1941, as brilliant U.K. sisters Thomasina (Emma Appleton of The Killing Kind) and Martha (Stefanie Martini of “Prime Suspect” 1973) have created a device that intercepts broadcasts from the future. Besides revealing the coming glories of rock & roll, the invention — which they call Lola — also allows them to alter the course of World War II. Will their unmaking of history provoke a lifetime of shocking consequences? Rory Fleck Byrne (This Is Going to Hurt) co-stars in the debut feature from director/co-writer Andrew Legge. Special features include audio commentary with co-writer/director Andrew Legge and producer Alan Maher; “The Making of Lola”; an outtake; the trailer; and two short films by Andrew Legge, The Girl With the Mechanical Maiden (2012) and The Unusual Inventions of Henry Cavendish (2005).

The Western Hot Spur (1968) is due on Blu-ray Disc April 30. Having struck gold with shockumentaries such as Ecco and Mondo Bizarro, producer Bob Cresse and writer/director Lee Frost applied their distinctive sleaze aesthetic to a revenge Western they advertised as “91 minutes of Freudian fury!” Joseph Mascolo (“Days of Our Lives”), Virginia Gordon (The Animal) and John Alderman (Trader Hornee) star in this infamous Olympic International film now scanned uncut in 4K from the recently rediscovered negative, with special features from the Something Weird archive that include the 1963 Frost/Cresse stripper epic Hollywood’s World of Flesh and the 1968 short The Casting Director, starring Bob Cresse and directed by David F. Friedman. Special features include audio commentary with Vinegar Syndrome’s Joe Rubin, Severin Films’ Andrew Furtado and Bob Cresse friend/former Something Weird GM Tim Lewis; a recently discovered audio discussion on Frost/Cresse by David F. Friedman and Something Weird founder Mike Vraney; Hollywood’s World of Flesh, an early Frost/Cresse feature (64 mins); The Casting Director, a rare short starring Bob Cresse, directed By David F. Friedman; the theatrical trailer; and a teaser.

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The Western The Scavengers (1969) is due on Blu-ray April 30. One year after Hot Spur changed exploitation cinema, writer/producer Bob Cresse and director Lee Frost fused their sex and violence template with the cultural chaos of 1969. In the film, when a renegade Confederate detachment invades a frontier town, they spark a rampage of sadism, racism, violation and vengeance. John Bliss (The Think With Two Heads), Maria Lease (Love Camp 7), Bruce Kimball (Drive-in Massacre) and Uschi Digard (Supervixens) star in the film, now scanned in 4K from the original camera negative recently discovered in a Paris lab and presented in both its unrated and ‘R’-rated release versions. Special features includes audio commentary with Vinegar Syndrome’s Joe Rubin, Severin Films’ Andrew Furtado and Temple of Schlock’s Chris Poggiali (unrated version only); theatrical trailers; and the “Our Family Album” promotional program replica.

Classic Gary Cooper Western ‘High Noon’ to Make 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Debut May 7

The classic Western High Noon is the next big studio film to get the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray treatment from Kino Lorber.

The film, about an aging lawman who stands alone to defend a town of righteous cowards in one of the greatest showdowns in the history of cinema, will be released May 7 in a 4K + Blu-ray combo pack as well as in a standalone Blu-ray Disc edition.

Screen legend Gary Cooper won the 1952 Oscar for Best Actor for his portrayal of Marshal Will Kane, the top lawman in Hadleyville, a small town in New Mexico Territory. Newly married and about to retire, he receives word that Frank Miller, a vicious outlaw whom Kane sent to prison, has been released and will arrive by the noon train, one day ahead of the new marshal.

High Noon was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won four. High Noon marks the first starring role for Grace Kelly. The cast also includes  Thomas Mitchell, Lloyd Bridges, Katy Jurado, Otto Kruger, Lon Chaney Jr., Henry Morgan, Jack Elam and Lee Van Cleef.

The combo pack includes the film on both a triple-layered UHD100 disc and a dual-layered BD50 disc. The 4K release comes from a new HDR/Dolby Vision master from a 4K scan of the 35mm original camera negative; the Blu-ray Disc, from a new HD master, also from a 4K scan of the 35mm original camera negative.

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Both discs include new audio commentaries by author and film historian Alan K. Rode and film historian Julie Kirgo. 

The Blu-ray Disc also includes several featurettes on the making of the film and the blacklisting of screenwriter Carl Foreman, among other mini-documentaries.

Western Thriller ‘The Night They Came Home’ Due on Blu-ray Feb. 27 From Lionsgate

The Western thriller The Night They Came Home will be available as a Blu-ray combo pack (plus DVD and digital) Feb. 27 from Lionsgate.

The film is based on the true story of the savage crime spree of the Rufus Buck Gang, a group of outlaws who clashed with the Indian Territory of Middle America at the end of the 19th century. The combined force of local lawmen and Indian police aim to take down the coldhearted band of fugitives with vengeance on their minds.

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Directed by Paul G. Volk, the film stars Brian Austin Green, Robert Carradine, Danny Trejo, Robert Carradine, Charlie Townsend and Tim Abell.

Western ‘Far Haven’ Due on DVD Jan. 9 From Distribution Solutions

The Western Far Haven will be released on DVD Jan. 9 from Distribution Solutions.

In the film, Hunter Braddock moves back to Far Haven. When his father-in-law is brutally attacked by an unidentified raiding party, Braddock must take on the corrupt forces strangling the town in order to protect his family.

Directed by Gary Wheeler, the film stars Bailey Chase, Bruce Boxleitner, Amanda Righetti, Martin Kove and A. Martinez.

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Western ‘A Bullet for Sandoval,’ ‘The Gamblers’ Headed to DVD and Blu-ray Nov. 7 From MVD and VCI

The 1970 Western A Bullet for Sandoval and the 1970 card shark film The Gamblers will be released on DVD and for the first time on Blu-ray Disc Nov. 7 from MVD Entertainment Group and VCI Entertainment.

In A Bullet for Sandoval (DVD, Blu-ray Disc), John Warner (George Hilton) is a rebel soldier who deserts his outfit on the eve of battle and goes over the border into Mexico to be with his girlfriend when she gives birth to their child. When he arrives, Warner finds that his fiancée has died in childbirth and her father (Ernest Borgnine) wants to kill him in this savage Western fare in the tradition of A Fistful of Dollars. Bonus features include the original U.S. theatrical trailer and commentary by Alex Cox, actor, director, writer, expert on Spaghetti Westerns and director of Repo Man (1984) and Sid and Nancy (1986).

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In The Gamblers (DVD, Blu-ray), a team of professional card sharks sets out to fleece a wealthy aristocrat of his savings and receives an I.O.U. in payment, which turns out to be worthless. The film stars Suzy Kendal (To Sir With Love, Bird With the Crystal Plumage) and Don Gordon (Bullitt, Papillon). Special features include commentary by Robert Kelly, noted film historian.

FilmRise Picks Up Rights to Western Anthology Series ‘Death Valley Days’

New York City-based studio and streaming network FilmRise has acquired exclusive worldwide digital media rights to the Western anthology series “Death Valley Days.”

FilmRise will distribute the fully restored series across all major streaming platforms as well as on The FilmRise Streaming Network, including the FilmRise Western FAST Channel.

Included are episodes featuring Ronald Reagan, who hosted the program from 1964 to 1966, marking his final work as an actor prior to pursuing his career in politics. The deal includes all 452, 25-minute episodes across 18 seasons, running from 1952 to 1970.

“This timeless TV series holds immense appeal to both mainstream audiences in the U.S. and beyond,” Max Einhorn, FilmRise SVP of acquisitions and co-productions, said in a statement. “We have witnessed the remarkable success of westerns like ‘The Rifleman,’ ‘Hopalong Cassidy,’ ‘The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp,’ and others which have captivated viewers for decades. We firmly believe that this classic series, featuring iconic talent, will strike a chord with audiences intrigued by the rich history of the Old West.”

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“’Death Valley Days’ stands out as the most successful syndicated television Western series, reigning as the most prosperous and enduring half-hour format of its genre,” Roger Biff Johnson Jr. of Element5 said in a statement. “It’s remarkable longevity and acclaim make it the most successful scripted syndicated series of all time. We are thrilled to announce its availability for streaming audiences worldwide, ushering in a new era of appreciation for this iconic show.”

Originating on the radio in the 1930s, the series features true accounts of the American Old West, specifically in the Death Valley area of Southeastern California. In addition to former President Ronald Reagan, hosts of the series included Stanley Andrews, Robert Taylor and Dale Robertson. John Wayne, Clint Eastwood and Fess Parker were all guest stars of the series, which was originally sponsored by “20 Mule Team” Borax, a product that was mined in Death Valley.

‘Four Bullets for Joe’ Due on Blu-ray and DVD Oct. 24 From MVD Classics

MVD Classics will release the spaghetti Western Four Bullets for Joe (1964) on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Oct. 24.

In the film from Eurocine (Diamonds of Kilimandjaro, Golden Temple Amazons, Hudson River Massacre), the mysterious death of a man who is about to leave a small town in Kansas with his girlfriend sets off a series of unfortunate events that will only end when her brother, the legendary and notorious gunslinger Frank Dalton (Paul Piaget, Hour of Death) exacts a ruthless and bloody revenge.

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In addition to Piaget, the film features Fred Canow (The Sign of the Coyote), Barbara Nelly (The Amazing Doctor G) and an early on-screen appearance by Britt Ekland (The Man With the Golden Gun, Get Carter).

Western ‘Dead Man’s Hand’ Available Digitally July 7, on DVD Aug. 22

Lionsgate will release the Western Dead Man’s Hand in select theaters, on demand and for digital purchase July 7, and on DVD Aug. 22.

The film stars Stephen Dorff (Old Henry, Blade, “True Detective”), Jack Kilmer (Detective Knight: Independence, “Law and Order: Organized Crime,” The Nice Guys) and Cole Hauser (“Yellowstone,” 2 Fast 2 Furious).

Gunslinger Reno (Kilmer) is headed west for a quiet life with his new bride. But when their stagecoach is ambushed, he kills an outlaw in self-defense. In a nearby town, Reno learns that the man he slayed is the brother of the corrupt mayor Bishop (Dorff), who vows revenge. Hauser (“Yellowstone”) appears as a U.S. Marshal who becomes Reno’s ally.

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War Film ‘P.O.W. The Escape,’ Western ‘The Wicked Die Slow’ Among Titles Due on Blu-ray From MVD and Ronin Flix May 16

Three war films — P.O.W. The Escape, Opposing Force and The Killing Box — and the Western The Wicked Die Slow are headed to Blu-ray Disc May 16 from Ronin Flix and MVD Entertainment Group.

In the war film P.O.W. The Escape (1986), Washington sends an army led by Col. Cooper (David Carradine) to rescue POWs in Vietnam, but it fails and Cooper is captured. In an attempt to make a profitable escape with stolen money before the United States pulls out of the war, a corrupt North Vietnamese prison camp commander (Mako, Academy Award nominee for Sand Pebbles) forces his prisoners, along with Cooper, to go with him to ensure his safe passage. The film also stars Steve James (American Ninja, Delta Force), Charles Floyd (Rappin’, Delta Force) and Phil Brock (Thunder Alley, American Ninja). Special features include on-camera interviews with director Gideon Amir, screenwriter James Bruner and stunt man Steve Lambert.

In the action adventure Opposing Force (1986), the only female soldier (Lisa Eichhorn, Cutter’s Way, Yanks) in a military experiment designed to simulate POW torture conditions falls victim to the commanding officer (Anthony Zerbe, The Omega Man, Farewell My Lovely). He justifies his insidious actions as a training technique. When Logan (Tom Skerritt, Big Bad Mama, Alien, Fighting Back) rebels with her and tries to dust out the others, it causes an all out war. The film also stars Richard Roundtree (Shaft, Earthquake, Man Friday) and John Considine (Doctor Death Seeker of Souls, Welcome to L.A.) and is directed by action veteran Eric Karson (The Octagon, Black Eagle). The film (also known as “Hell Camp”) is reproduced from a new HD master. Bonus features include audio commentary with Karson and an alternate ending.

In the Civil War film The Killing Box (1993), a Union soldier (Adrian Pasdar, Near Dark, Carlito’s Way, Top Gun) is recruited to investigate a series of crucifixions by a renegade band of Confederate soldiers. He enlists the help of his old mentor (Corbin Bernsen, TV’s “LA Law,” Hellos Again, Major League) and a mute runaway slave girl (Cynda Williams, One False Move, Mo’ Betta Blues), the only witness to the renegade band’s attacks. With the addition of some trigger happy Yankees, the brigade is now complete. Unfortunately, they soon realize they are not hunting ordinary Confederates. Life and death is on the line, but when the enemy may not even be alive, it becomes a gruesome tale of horror like no other. The film also stars Ray Wise (“Twin Peaks,” The Rift, Jeepers Creepers 2), Martin Sheen (Apocalypse Now, The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane, The Cassandra Crossing), Matt LeBlanc (TV’s “Friends,” Lost in Space), David Arquette (“Scream” series, Never Been Kissed, Eight Legged Freaks), Billy Bob Thornton (Sling Blade, A Simple Plan, Bandits) and is directed by George Hickenlooper (Hearts of Darkness). This film has been released under four different titles and is also know as The Lost Brigade, Ghost Brigade and Grey Knight.

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In the Western The Wicked Die Slow (1968) — never-before-released in the United States on home video — a notorious gunfighter “The Kid” (Gary Allen), and his Mexican sidekick Armadillo (Jeff Kanew, Revenge of the Nerds, Gotcha, Tough Guys), saddle their way through the post- Civil War West looking for the four drunken and sadistic Indians who brutally attacked The Kid’s girlfriend. As they trek, they come upon a band of outlaws who beat up an old man and his daughter and also went after another woman. The Kid and Armadillo decide to take the law into their own hands and first kill the gang of outlaws, and then go after the Indians. As The Kid defeats the outlaw leader, he makes sure “the wicked die slow.” The long lost adult Western is reproduced from a brand new HD master, uncut and in scope. Extras include an on-camera interview with Jeff Kanew. The Wicked Die Slow is one of a handful of American films created to capitalize on the violent Spaghetti Westerns pouring out of Europe in the 1960s.