Gate II - Scream Factory

Scream Factory Presents: Gate II (1990)

In 1987 a dark PG-13 film entitled The Gate was released to theaters. While making it’s money back at the box office, it was in fact how it performed on home video that forced talk of a sequel. Thankfully after three years, Gate II was filmed. However it would take until 1992 for it to reach home video shelves. Which is a pity. Because the Gate II is a worthy successor to the original film.
Gate II - Transformation

I feel that one of the reasons that The Gate stayed around was that while being a PG-13 movie, it was still a horror film. With it’s rating it was able to traumatize many young children and teenagers. It was scary in parts but still had humor and even a lot of heart. Of course there was also the fact it had some awesome forced perspective effects as well as stop-motion.

I had already graduated High School by the time Gate II hit video store shelves. As a matter of fact I was working at a local video store when it was released. I remember being surprised that the filmmakers went with an R this go around. Besides some language and drug humor, I found it was actually far tamer than the original.

Gate II - Terry and John

Mostly tamer.

Gate II picks up a few years after the first film. Terry (Louis Tripp) has grown into a teenager and has come to a decision. The horrible demonic forces that he and his best friend summoned up wasn’t a bad idea. Afterall it was for good intentions. It just went wrong because they quite frankly performed the ritual incorrectly. To help his Father get his job back as a pilot, to help him pull himself out of his drunken stupor, Terry plans on harnessing dark forces again.

What would be a good spot for our would be sorcerer? Naturally the abandoned, boarded up, and fenced in remains of his best friend’s house. A gate to the other side was opened there, right? This time however, the young man finds he has some unexpected company. A borderline psychotic bully named John, his girlfriend Liz, and their toady Moe. As you can guess, all four teenagers are going to regret tampering with the gate.
Gate II - The Pentagram

In the Gate II, there are some truly nice performances. Not just from Tripp but Simon Reynolds who plays Moe as well as Pamela Segall who plays Liz. Director Tibor Takacs, who also directed The Gate certainly knows what he is doing. While they totally could have rehashed the original they expand the universe and of course the character of Terry. Thanks to the return of screenwriter, Michael Nankin.

Furthermore, those stop-motion and perspective effects are even better in the sequel! Obviously, special visual effects supervisor Randall William Cook is proud of the work. Word of warning, there is just a bit of salty language at the end of this clip.

Being a Scream Factory release you can rest easy knowing they have in fact included extras. While I am of course a little disappointed there was no commentary. They did however deliver a 2K scan of the interpositive, so it looks better than ever before. As well as:

  • Return To The Nightmare – A Look Back At Gate II -Featuring Interviews With Director Tibor Takacs, Screenwriter Michael Nankin And Special Visual Effects Creator Randall William Cook.
  • From The Depths – An Interview With Make-up Effects Artist Craig Reardon
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Video Promo And Video Store Contest Promo
  • Still Gallery

The nearly 30 minute discussion between Takacs, Nankin and Cook is really interesting to be sure. As is the interview with Reardon. Hands down though the extra that made my head spin was video store contest promo. It was in fact a cassette tape that was given out at the time of it’s release for a chance to win a thousand dollars. Scream Factory has totally included the entire audio recording for our listening enjoyment!

Gate II will be released on Blu-Ray next week on February 27th. Naturally you can hop on over to the official Scream Factory site and pre-order your copy right this minute. In closing Gate II while being tamer with the gore offers another type of terror. The horror of getting what you wish for and then having to live with the consequences as they are twisted. While goofier in some ways, this sequel delivers what to the characters might appear to be a magic lamp…but is in reality a monkey’s paw.

As an example of how clean the picture quality is now for Gate II. Why not check out how it looked before Blu-Ray with the original trailer?


Shout! Select Presents: Colors Unrated Cut On Blu-Ray (1988)

Shout! Select continues to roll out the hits with their newest Blu-Ray. An uncut version of 1988’s powerful Colors. Directed by none other than Dennis Hopper it boasts an amazing 80’s cast with the likes of Robert Duvall, Sean Penn, Don Cheadle, Damon Wayans, Seymour Cassel, as well as Maria Conchita Alonso to name a few.

[Via] Movieclips Trailer Vault

The story for Colors concerns two LAPD officers. Long time veteran Bob Hodges (Duvall) and his rookie partner Danny McGavin (Penn). Both men assigned to the Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums or C.R.A.S.H. for short. As you can probably imagine, McGavin is a know-it-all, continually refusing to learn from Hodges 19 years of experience on the streets.

Problems arise when McGavin, who is not just a hotshot in fact but reckless, causes grief on the streets. In addition to being a bully he ends up at the center of attention for the LA gangs – as in they want him dead. However, Hodges has his partner’s back, even if he doesn’t agree with his actions and that means both men are drawn into the middle of a gang war. Having said that though – this war isn’t all due to McGavin’s actions.

I probably don’t need to say that both Penn and Duvall knock it straight out of the ball park with their performances. However there is some great work by Alonso as well – as Louisa. She easily carries the emotional moments between her character and Penn’s egotistical McGavin.

Now I mentioned this was the unrated edtion of Colors. Shout! Select accomplished this by using footage restored from the International Cut as well as the home video release. All in all that tacks on an additional 7 minutes of footage. In addition the Blu-Ray also features:

  • “A Cry Of Alarm” – An Interview With Screenwriter Michael Schiffer
  • “Cops And Robbers” – An Interview With Technical Advisor/Ex-L.A.P.D. Gang Division Dennis Fanning
  • Easter Egg (Which I have to admit I’ve yet to find…and feel incredibly foolish about it.)

I will say that I was rather surprised by this Collector’s Edition not having any audio commentary. But at the very least we can be glad that the movie Dennis Hopper had intended audiences to see has now been restored.

Colors is out in stores today, so if you want to enjoy a taut yet emotional 80s crime film. Head out to better retailers and pick it up or you can order it from Shout! Factory of course.

Is Image Entertainment Steppin’ Into The Twilight Zone? Yes, Yes They Are!


Holy Cats Creeps, check out what’s comin’ our way from our fiends over at ol’ Image Entertainment; a collection of the very best terror tales from the terrifying Twilight Zone (man that’s a bunch of terror in that sentence)! This thing is like a gruesome greatest hits package straight from the 5th Die-mension! If you want to learn just what lies in store for you, stare deeply into the unblinking eye of the elder god PR’ornthhull:

LOS ANGELES, May 29, 2014 – Image Entertainment, an RLJ Entertainment (NASDAQ: RLJE) brand, announces the release of The Twilight Zone: Essential Episodes (55th Anniversary Collection), the ultimate must-have collection for any Twilight Zone fan! The Twilight Zone: Essential Episodes (55th Anniversary Collection) is available on DVD on July 1, 2014, at an SRP of $29.98.

This very special collection features some of the most memorable episodes from Rod Serling’s legendary series exploring the fantastic and the frightening. Unforgettable episodes include “Time Enough at Last,” “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street,” “To Serve Man,” “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” and more! Prepare to travel to another dimension of sight and sound once again with these essential episodes:

• Walking Distance
• Time Enough at Last
• The Hitch-Hiker
• The Monsters are Due on Maple Street
• A Stop at Willoughby
• The After Hours
• The Howling Man
• The Eye of the Beholder
• Nick of Time
• The Invaders
• The Obsolete Man
• It’s a Good Life
• The Midnight Sun
• To Serve Man
• Nightmare at 20,000 Feet
• Living Doll
• The Masks

Point your preternatural planchette right here to pre-order this chill packed collection today!

Jaws Coming to Blu-ray on August 14th

Great new Robert Shaw fans, they finally put a date on the upcoming release of everyone’s favorite shark thriller, Jaws! Besides being fully restored, this release will be packed with extras. Here is the list, straight from the Press Release:

The JAWS Blu-ray™ Combo Pack is available in collectible Universal 100thAnniversary packaging for a limited time. The Combo Pack also contains a Digital Copy of the film for a limited time, compatible with iTunes®, iPad®, iPhone®, iPod™ touch, Android or online retail partners, as well as an UltraViolet™ copy. UltraViolet is the revolutionary new way for consumers to collect movies and TV shows in the cloud to download and stream instantly to computers, tablets and smartphones. Consumers can now truly enjoy their movies anytime, anywhere on the platform of their choice.
Blu-ray™ Bonus Features:

· The Shark is Still Working: The Impact & Legacy of JAWS: All-new feature-length documentary featuring never-before-seen footage and interviews with cast and crew including Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss and Roy Scheider.

· JAWS: The Restoration: An all-new, in-depth look at the intricate process of restoring the movie.

· The Making of JAWS: A two-hour documentary featuring interviews with key cast and crew.

· From the Set: An insider’s look at life on the set of JAWS, featuring an interview with Steven Spielberg.

· Deleted Scenes & Outtakes

· JAWS Archives: Take a peek inside the JAWS archives, including storyboards, production photos and marketing materials, as well as a special segment on the JAWS phenomenon.

· Original Theatrical Trailer

· UltraViolet™: The revolutionary new way for consumers to collect movies and TV shows, store them in the cloud, and download and stream instantly to computers, tablets and smartphones. Currently available in the United States only.

· Digital Copy: Viewers can redeem a digital version of the full-length movie from a choice of retail partners to watch on an array of electronic and portable devices.

· pocket BLU™ App: The popular free pocket BLU™ app for smartphones is now even better with newly updated versions for iPad®, Android™ tablets, PC and Macintosh computers, with features made especially to take advantage of the devices’ larger screens and high resolution displays.

Advanced Remote Control: A sleek, elegant new way to operate your Blu-ray™ player. Users can navigate through menus, playback and BD-Live™ functions with ease.
Video Timeline: Users can easily bring up the video timeline, allowing them to instantly access any point in the film.
Mobile-To-Go: Users can unlock a selection of bonus content with their Blu-ray™ discs to save to their device or to stream from anywhere there is a Wi-Fi network, enabling them to enjoy content on the go, anytime, anywhere.
Browse Titles: Users will have access to a complete list of pocket BLU™-enabled titles available and coming to Blu-ray™. They can view free previews and see what additional content is available to unlock on their device.

Keyboard: Entering data is fast and easy with your device’s intuitive keyboard.
· BD-LIVE™: Access the BD-Live™ Center through your Internet-connected player to access the latest trailers, exclusive content and more!

If you are interested in the restoration process, watch this short video and prepare to learn how they went about restoring this classic:

The restoration process for Jaws began with researching and evaluating the existing film elements (original negatives, inter-positives, 35 mm prints, audio magnetic masters, etc.) As part of the Studios’ preservation process, Universal geographically separates duplicate sets of elements in vaults in Southern California and on the East Coast in an effort to protect the company’s most valuable assets. All items are catalogued in a detailed database via barcodes. After testing the various picture elements for the best quality and resolution, Universal technical staff chose the original camera negative for 4K scanning. Due to the effects of time and use, the camera negative had scratches that needed to be removed. Using Cineric, a top restoration post facility in New York, the negative was scanned through a liquid gate process that eliminates surface scratches. The files of scanned film were transferred to servers at Universal Studios Digital Services. Working digitally, the Studios’ skilled technicians meticulously worked to balance color, remove dirt and scratches and repair any additional frame damage on a shot by shot, frame by frame basis. All work is done in keeping with the artistic integrity of the original film.

Once the picture restoration was completed, the team at Universal Studios Sound prepared to up-mix Jaws to a 7.1 mix from the 5.1 mix that had been created in 2000 using the original mono soundtrack. Now on the forthcoming Blu-ray, fans can enjoy JAWS in DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, optimizing the sound for the latest home theater technology.

The entire collaborative restoration process is done in conjunction with Amblin’s post production team. Steven Spielberg personally monitored the progress and approved the final picture and sound.

As a part of Universal’s Centennial celebration, the Studio is producing a full slate of preservation elements for Jaws and 12 other classic Universal films. These new materials include videotape masters, digital file masters, Digital Cinema Package (DCP), audio masters, new film negative, check print and 35 mm screening prints. Through Universal’s on-going preservation and restoration process, these titles will be enjoyed by generations to come.

I have been interested in checking out an HD version of Jaws since I first heard to the technology, so I put in my pre-order (now I got to wait until the whole summer is over!). If you are a fan like me, you know you will want to see it as well, so why not Pre-Order Jaws your copy of Jaws on Blu-Ray today.

Star Trek: The Next Generation – Next Level Released Today

If you had not heard the good news, Star Trek: The Next Generation has been going through a remastering process for an upcoming HD release. Next Gen fandom is buzzing with discussions of how great the HD image and sound have turned out, as well as the brand new enhanced Special FX. If you have been curious about how thing are going to turn out you can get a sneak peak at the future of this groundbreaking show with Star Trek: The Next Generation – Next Level on Blu-Ray which is available today.

With this single single disc release, for the first time ever, you will experience some of the show’s most important and beloved episodes from the series in glorious 1080p high definition, with true high definition visual effects and digitally remastered 7.1 sound – or with the original audio. You’ll witness new picture detail and depth you haven’t seen before, and enjoy spectacular visual effects that have been painstakingly re-created from the original film elements.

This “Taste Of TNG” is a glimpse of what the upcoming complete season Blu-ray releases of TNG will be like, and will transport you to the next level.

Episodes included are:
– “Encounter At Farpoint” – the groundbreaking pilot that started it all.
– “Sins Of The Father” – Back in the Klingon Empire, Worf faces a charge of treason, and defends his father’s honor.
– “The Inner Light” – Picard lives a lifetime – in an instant – on a long-dead planet, whose inhabitants want only to be remembered.

Audio tracks available on the disc – English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English Stereo Surround, French Mono, German Stereo, Castilian Mono, Japanese Mono

Subtitles/Additional Languages – English SDH, French, German, Castilian, Japanese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish

You also get some special features:

– Star Trek: The Next Generation – Next Level Promo
– Star Trek Padd – iPad App Promo spot
– Star Trek – The Next Generation teaser promo

I cannot wait to put the full series on the shelf next to my remastered Star Trek: The Original Series. So I ordered mine last week and I am chomping at the bit to receive it. So if your a fan like me and just cannot wait for the full release pick up a copy of Star Trek: The Next Generation – Next Level on Blu-Ray and enjoy a little of the “Next Generation” of Next Generation.