Video safe – October 27, 2021 | Movie
CHOICE OF THE WEEK
“KOLCHAK: THE NIGHT STALKER”: THE COMPLETE SERIES(Kino Lorber Studio Classics): Yes, it’s true: thanks to this wacky TV series, I wanted to be a journalist.
Encouraged by the success of the evaluations of The night tracker (1971) – at the time the highest rated TV movie in history – and follow-up to 1973 The strangler of the night, ABC brought back Darren McGavin to reprise his role as fearless journalist Carl Kolchak, who has discovered strange phenomena in every episode – be it a vampire, werewolf, zombie, mummy, Jack the Ripper, or even a creature spawned by nightmares (“Horror in the Heights” widely considered the best episode).
When he wasn’t bickering with bellicose publisher Tony Vincenzo (Simon Oakland) or local authorities, every week Kolchak’s wacky theories were proven to be correct, even though he was the only one who knew it. . This being the Watergate era, can anyone say that the evidence for supernatural phenomena was not covered up by those in power?
The special effects, admittedly, aren’t exactly top notch, and not all episodes are entirely successful, but there’s always McGavin, who never fails to deliver an entertaining performance as an unlikely, often reluctant hero. In Carl Kolchak, he created a classic character, and the series’ combination of horror and humor was a big part of its appeal.
A stellar lineup of guest stars includes Phil Silvers, Keenan Wynn, William Daniels, Scatman Crothers, Jim Backus, Tom Bosley, Julie Adams, Charles Aidman, Tom Skerritt, Eric Braeden, Severn Darden, Andrew Prine, William Smith, Carolyn Jones, Sharon Farrell, Larry Storch, Erik Estrada, Cathy Lee Crosby (as Latter-day Helen of Troy!), Kathie Browne (McGavin’s real wife) and many more. Kolchak lasted only one season (1974-’75), but it became a cult classic and was a direct inspiration for The “X” files, on which McGavin has previously been invited.
The four-disc Blu-ray collection ($ 99.95 retail) includes audio commentary for each episode, retrospective interviews, and more.
“THE ADVENTURES OF JIMMY NEUTRON, BOY GENIUS”: THE COMPLETE SERIES (Shout! Factory): The title tells all in this 10 DVD ($ 64.98 retail) collection of 59 episodes – plus bonuses – from the entire 2002-2006 series of the Nickelodeon animated series for kids, created by John A. Davis and Steve Oedekerk, portraying the misadventures of the lead character (voiced by Debi Derryberry), derived from the 2001 Oscar nominated feature film, with appearances by Jim Belushi, Tim Curry, Tom Kenny, Mel Brooks, Ving Rhames, Michael Clarke Duncan, Dan Castellaneta, Jay Leno and others.
BUTCHER, BAKER, NIGHTMARE MANUFACTURER (Code Red / Kino Lorber): William Asher directed this brooding psychological thriller from 1981 (originally titled Night warning) starring Jimmy McNichol as a troubled small town teenager suspected of murder by vicious cop Bo Svenson (in an award-winning performance), while trying to protect his domineering and sexually voracious aunt (Susan Tyrrell) , who is the real culprit. Not quite successful, although (no pun intended) a cut above the usual slasher fare of the time, with Tyrrell in a flawless turn that ranks among his best work. Julia Duffy, Marcia Lewis, Mike Eastin and the late Bill Paxton also appear. The Special Edition DVD ($ 29.95 retail) includes audio commentary, retrospective interviews, trailer, and more. Classified R. ** ½
THE COLONY (LionsGate): Years after Earth was devastated by climate change, disease and war, a lone astronaut (Nora Arnezeder) embarks on a perilous mission to see if the planet is now habitable in this award-winning science and Classified R. – Fictional Thriller (originally titled Tides) starring Iain Glen, Sarah-Sofie Boussnina and Sope Dirisu, available on DVD ($ 19.98 retail) and Blu-ray ($ 21.99 retail), each with audio commentary and backstage featurette.
“THE DAIMAJIN TRILOGY” (Arrow Video / MVD Entertainment Group): An explicit limited-edition Blu-ray collection ($ 99.95 retail) of a trio of Japanese fantasy feature films, produced by Toho Company and Daiei Films (and clearly inspired by the hit of Godzilla and the Other Giant Monsters), filmed back-to-back in 1966 and detailing the wrath of the titular stone idol who would come to life to fight human despots and dictators in 16e-century Japan: Daimajin was released in the United States as Majin: the monster of terror; The return of Daimajin was released in the United States as The return of the giant Majin; and Wrath of Daimajin was not released at all here. Bonus features include original audio options in Japanese (with English subtitles) and English, audio commentary for each movie, collection booklet, Japanese and US trailers, image galleries, and more.
DEMONS 1 & 2 (Severin Films / MVD Entertainment Group): Filmmaker Lamberto Bava has delivered his international reputation as heir apparent to filmmaker father Mario Bava with a pair of macabre, highly stylized and highly effective shockers in which demons have passed through our realm of existence , spreading plague and death until consuming the Earth: the years 1985 Demons (Demoni) sees demons emerge in an ornate theater, and in the 1986s Demons (Demoni 2… the incubo ritorno) they come out of a television set and lay siege to an apartment complex. The Limited Edition 4K Ultra HD Combo ($ 79.95 retail) boasts plenty of bonus features for Demons faithful, including the original Italian version (with English subtitles) and English dubbed theatrical cuts, audio commentary, retrospective interviews, theatrical trailers and much more. Both films: ***
FEAR US (Virgil Films / Kino Lorber): This light-hearted, albeit gory horror anthology takes place in the quintessentially bucolic market town of Sugarton, where a serial killer (“Cutthroat”) is on the run, while a group of Aspiring writers share their horror stories at the local bookstore run by eccentric (uh-oh!) owner Tom Sandoval. The second segment, “Untethered” is the most effective, while only the last segment, “The Resting”, offers an explanation for its disastrous actions. Cult status is probable. The DVD costs $ 19.95. Classified R. ** ½
“SMALLVILLE”: THE COMPLETE SERIES – 20E ANNIVERSARY EDITION (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment): An explicit collection of all 218 episodes – plus bonuses – of the entire 2001-’11 series of the Emmy-winning fantasy series, originally broadcast on The WB Television Network then The CW Network, with Tom Welling as young Clark Kent and his alter-ego Superman, with Allison Mack, Kristin Kreuk, John Glover, Annette O’Toole, John Schneider, Cassidy Freeman, Jensen Ackles, Justin Hartley and Michael Rosenbaum (as Lex Luthor), with a selection of guest stars including Christopher Reeve (the former Man of Steel on the big screen), Margot Kidder, Terence Stamp, Helen Slater, Michael McKean, Julian Sands, Rutger Hauer, Tori Spelling , Pam Grier, Michael Ironside and many more, available on DVD ($ 154.99 retail) and Blu-ray ($ 179.99 retail).
THE STALL (CBS Home Entertainment / Paramount Home Entertainment): Stephen King’s epic 1978 bestseller is adapted into a nine-part Paramount + 2020-’21 miniseries, in which survivors of a global plague must unite to prevent the evil Randall Flagg (Alexander Skarsgard) from dominating what remains of civilization, with a star cast including Greg Kinnear, Whoopi Goldberg, James Marsden, Odessa Young, Amber Heard, Nat Wolff, Jovan Adepo, Heather Graham and JK Simmons, available on DVD ($ 29.95 retail) and Blu-ray ($ 39.99 retail). CBS Home Entertainment / Paramount Home Entertainment also released “The stall Two-Pack, ”which also includes the Emmy-winning, star-studded 1994 ABC miniseries available on DVD ($ 39.99 retail) and Blu-ray ($ 44.99 retail).
“STAR TREK»: THE ORIGINAL SERIES – 55E ANNIVERSARY EDITION (CBS Home Entertainment / Paramount Home Entertainment): An Explicit 4K Ultra HD Steelbook ($ 111.99 retail) of the 80 episodes – plus bonuses – of the entire 1966-’69 Emmy Award-winning NBC sci-fi series series created by Gene Roddenberry, dramatizing the adventures of Spaceship company. Undoubtedly one of the most popular TV shows in history, which spawned a wave of followings on the big and small screen, has grown into a huge franchise and has perhaps the most ardent fan base the world has. never known. CBS Home Entertainment / Paramount Home Entertainment also released the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Collection ($ 90.99 retail) “Star Trek: The Original 4 Movies ”, which includes Star Trek: The Movie (1979), Star Trek: Wrath of Khan (1982), Star Trek III: Finding Spock (1984), and Star Trek IV: The Return Trip (1986), each is full of bonuses.
“SUPERMAN & LOIS”: THE FIRST COMPLETE SEASON (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment): The latest small-screen incarnation of the popular DC Comics franchise sees Tyler Hoechlin as the Man of Steel and Elizabeth Tulloch as his wife and former Daily Planet colleague Lois Lane, as they move to Smallville to raise their family, to encounter other dangers, in the 15 episodes of the inaugural 2021 season of the popular CW fantasy series, available on DVD ($ 24.98 retail) and Blu-ray ($ 29.98 retail), each offering bonus features.
BY FIRE (Vinegar Syndrome): A Limited Edition Blu-ray ($ 39.98 retail) of writer / producer / director Gary Marcum’s debut feature in 1988 (and latest), a low-budget cooler starring Tamara Hext (in her only feature film) as the sister of a missing girl and Tom Campitelli as a cop who meet a contemporary satanic cult in Texas who evoked the living devil. Bonus features include audio commentary, the US version of home video (renamed The Gates of Hell, Part II: The Darkness Awakens – although it has no connection with Luci Fulci’s film), retrospective interviews, etc.
“UNIVERSAL CLASSIC MONSTERS: COLLECTION OF HORROR ICNS” (Universal Pictures Home Entertainment): The title tells it all in this 4K Ultra HD combo ($ 79.99 retail) highlighting four vintage horror films, each loaded with bonus features, from Universal Pictures: 1931 Dracula (90e-Anniversary Edition) with Bela Lugosi, 1931s Frankenstein (90e-Anniversary Edition) with Boris Karloff, 1933s The invisible Man with Claude Rains, and 1941 The werewolf (80e-Anniversary Edition) with Lon Chaney Jr., with Lugosi in a supporting role.
WARNING (LionsGate): Writer / director Agata Alexander’s R-rated feature debut takes place in the near future, when the planet’s reliance on technology becomes a potentially deadly liability when a global storm causes a system malfunction. Alex Pettyfer, Alice Eve, Annabelle Wallis, Charlotte Le Bon, Rupert Everett, Patrick Schwarzenegger, James D’Arcy and Thomas Jane complete the cast of the set, available on DVD ($ 19.98 retail) and Blu-ray ( Retail $ 21.99).
(Copyright 2021, Mark Burger)