Rendel - Cover Art

Shout! Factory Presents – Rendel: Dark Vengeance

If you are in the mood to watch an exciting new film about a dark superhero. I am happy to tell you that Shout! Factory has you covered with their latest release. Rendel: Dark Vengeance is an import from Finland, by writer-director Jesse Haaja. Releasing on Blu-Ray and DVD tomorrow, January 30th, you will get your chance to see the origin of Rendel!

[Via] J3ba

Director Jesse Haaja on the bonus features for Rendel: Dark Vengeance freely admits that his creation owes a debt to Batman. With superheroes that stick to the shadows that is of course a given. However I think it is fair to say that the dark vigilante in this film follows a different creed. Rendel has no desire to arrest or let the courts mete out justice.
Rendel

To be honest, Rendel has no interest in justice. It is of course all about the character obtaining the vengeance he desperately seeks. There are certainly elements of all types of heroes and vigilantes in the genetic make-up of this dark avenger. Off the top of my head the character reminded me a little of 1939’s The Avenger.
Rendel - The Avenger

While Jesse Haaja admitted that Batman had an influence on the creation of Rendel. I would say that in addition it was certainly Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight in particular.
Rendel - Frank Miller - The Dark Knight

Above all however, the character in the film reminded me most of Daredevil. Yet again, the Frank Miller version. Not that the dark character in the movie is remotely as forgiving as Matt Murdock. Not in the least. It is the fact that he will readily accept physical punishment to get to his target.
Rendel - Daredevil

Like those characters I just highlighted, Rendel has a tragic origin as well. It involves a shadow corporation known as VALA. A worldwide organization that is marketing an untested vaccine. The results of that ‘medicine’ is far more insidious than anything Lex Luthor could have devised.
Rendel - VALA Plan

Thanks to bribes and extortion it looks like nothing can halt the plans of VALA. Not the Press nor the Police. Until an act by the organization creates the very hero the city needs. The uncompromising as well as aggressively violent Rendel!
Rendel - Banner

Being a Shout! Factory release there are of course special features:

  • English and Finnish audio tracks, English subtitles
  • The Making of Rendel
  • Proof of concept short film
  • Crowdfunding Teaser
  • Wonderman Music Video

Rendel might be a dark avenger with psychotic issues, friends. But as you can plainly see he is a romantic as well!

Rendel - Happy Valentine's Day
Seriously though, friends. I was blown away by the movie. It is absolutely stylized and frequently over the top comic book inspired fun. You can pick up Rendel at better dealers tomorrow or hop on over to Shout! Factory and order your copy today.

Howard Lovecraft - Undersea Kingdom

Howard Lovecraft And The Undersea Kingdom

While I have certainly been a fan of the works of H.P. Lovecraft for quite some time. Thanks in fact to 1985’s Re-Animator. I do not believe the now quite famous author would ever have expected that his works would be adapted into film. Much less two CGI animated movies from Shout! Factory. Which are based on the graphic novels by Dwight L. MacPherson and Bruce Brown from 2009. But that certainly is what has happened with Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom. Which is actually a sequel to the 2016 movie entitled Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom.
Howard Lovecraft - Frozen Kingdom

In the Howard Lovecraft series we are introduced to the future author as a young boy. As well as quickly finding out that the stories we love are actually entities and people that Howard Lovecraft had met in his youth. In the first adventure our hero reads from his Father’s book. An odd tome that describes a darkly fantastic realm named R’yleh. Doing so conjures a portal that sends Lovecraft into the path of Thu Thu Hmong.
Howard Lovecraft - Frozen Kingdom Teaser

Of course Howard is a young boy and he surely can’t be expected to pronounce that properly, right? So that is how this ancient and very wise entity comes to be called by a much simpler name. Spot. The duo set out to tackle the dangers of the Frozen Kingdom and beyond.

Peppered throughout both films are not just nods to Lovecraft’s works. But actual biographical information of the author is included as well. Of course since this is a family film, some facts are softened. In particular I refer to Howard Lovecraft visiting his Father in the Butler sanitarium. While the filmmakers have altered the works of the author to entertain a younger audience. As well as of course the cosmic entities that threaten our heroes. On the whole it does deliver a tasty Lovecraftian treat.

I think you will immediately pick up on the animation of the films. This is not Pixar of course. On the other hand it is certainly serviceable. However the real draw to both movies is the voice talent. You have the likes of the legendary Christopher Plummer as Dr. West. Ron Perlman as a Shoggoth. Then we have Hellraiser‘s Doug Bradley providing the voice of Nyarlathotep. None other than Mark Hamill as Dr. Henry Armitage. And last but certainly not least we have Jeffrey Combs of Re-Animator fame!

Speaking of Combs, he is really the only bonus feature provided for this release, beyond a trailer. It is a nice addition however nonetheless. A short segment in which the actor talks about the continuing popularity of Lovecraft’s work.

Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom will be available in stores on December 5th. If you cannot wait until this upcoming Tuesday however you can of course hop on over to Shout Factory and pre-order your copy today!

Now that you know about Howard Lovecraft why not enjoy this audio treat? Roddy McDowall reading H.P. Lovecraft’s The Hound

[Via] The Haunted Chair

Matinee - Shout Select

Shout Select Is Releasing Joe Dante’s Matinee!

I have a lot of love for the work of Joe Dante. Not just Matinee of course but Gremlins, The Howling, Explorers, Innerspace, and The ‘Burbs to name just a few of the films he has directed. Now though his 1993 film Matinee, which is an ode to the movies of William Castle is getting a Blu-Ray release by Shout Select!
Matinee - Mant!

Joe Dante has always worn his “Monster Kid” badge with pride. Growing up with the likes of Forrest J. Ackerman’s legendary Famous Monsters of Filmland helped to shape his love of horror and sci-fi films. As well as being a teenager during the Cuban Missile Crisis must have certainly left a mark. Which might indeed make Matinee a little more autobiographical as these elements naturally are the focus of the film.

“It’s 1962, and fifteen-year-old fan Gene Loomis (Simone Fenton) can’t wait for the arrival of Woolsey, who is in town to promote his latest offering of atomic power gone berserk, Mant! But the absurd vision of Woolsey’s tale takes on a sudden urgency as the Cuban Missile Crises places the real threat of atomic horror just 90 miles off the coast. With the help of Woolsey’s leading lady, Ruth (Cathy Moriarty), the master showman gives Key West a premiere they’ll never forget. Anything can happen in the movies, and everything does in this hilarious tribute to a more innocent (and outrageous) time in American cinema.”

[Via] YouTube Movies

I will of course be sure to give a review of the Blu-Ray for Matinee when I get my hands on a copy. However Shout Factory is already letting us know what we can expect on the Collector’s Edition when it is released on January 9th, 2018.

  • Master Of The Matinee – An Interview With Director Joe Dante
  • The Leading Lady – An Interview with Cathy Moriarty
  • MANTastic! The Making Of A Mant
  • Out Of The Bunker – An Interview With Actress Lisa Jakub
  • Making A Monster Theatre – An Interview With Production Designer Steven Legler
  • The Monster Mix – An Interview With Editor Marshall Harvey
  • Lights! Camera! Reunion! – An Interview With Director Of Photography John Hora
  • Paranoia In Ant Vision – Joe Dante Discusses The Making Of The Film
  • MANT! – The Full Length Version Of The Film With Introduction By Joe Dante
  • Vintage Making Of Featurette
  • Behind The Scenes Footage Courtesy Of Joe Dante
  • Deleted And Extended Scenes Sourced From Joe Dante’s Workprint
  • Still Galleries
  • Theatrical Trailer

Now remember that if you pre-order Matinee through Shout Factory. You not only get a free 18″ X 24″ poster featuring the brand new artwork. But in addition you get the Blu-Ray two weeks before the release date as well!

To get you in the mood for Matinee. Why not listen to Joe Dante discuss the merits of William Castle’s 1964 film The Night Walker?

[Via] Oscars

Guardians - DVD - Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory Debuts The Russian Film Guardians

I am sure you might remember seeing a few months ago the trailer for Guardians. It kind of made splash I think it is safe to say. What with it not only being Director Sarik Andreasyan’s answer to the X-Men and possibly the Avengers. But it in my opinion decided to go one better. As after all one of the heroes just so happens to be a were-bear. I should make myself more clear on that particular point. Guardians has a were-bear with a mini-gun!

Now Shout! Factory has unleashed Guardians on DVD. It is a Walmart exclusive starting on September 5th but will be made available on Blu-Ray beginning on December 5th. While it does offer both English and Russian audio tracks, I highly recommend you go with the original language with English subtitles when watching it.

JoBlo Movie Trailers

Guardians introduces us to an secret organization that began during the Cold War. With a code name of “Patriot” you can probably guess its sole goal was to protect the homeland from various threats. What types of heroes made up Patriot?

Guardians - Ler
First up we have Ler who quite frankly can call on rocks almost as well as Ludo from 1986’s Labyrinth. I suppose if I am being fair I should say that Ler can go do better. He possesses the ability to manipulate rocks. Flinging them as projectiles or as you can see in the image above, he can also form armor.

Guardians - Xenia
Next up is Xenia, kind of the Guardians answer to the Avengers Black Widow. An acrobatic martial artist who also can transform into a liquid state. Allowing her to become nearly invisible and travel safely underwater without needing to breathe.

Guardians - Khan
Khan is possibly the deadliest of the Guardians. He too is skilled in martial arts but he is proficient in all manner of bladed weapons. Although as you can see in that photo – he prefers to use those crescent blades. Add to that his superhuman speed and you can see why I said he was the most deadliest.

[Via] KinoCheck

Last but not least there is the mighty Ursus, the were-bear. Even before Ursus is given a mini-gun he demonstrates throughout the film his superhuman strength. This member of the Guardians has a bit of The Wolf Man in him. As while he luckily can control his super power he is always afraid of losing control and going full bear.
Guardians - Ursus

The Guardians must return!

Apparently being subject to the Patriot project not only gave you super powers but slowed your aging. As after the Cold War the Guardians go into hiding until the modern day. When a threat from their past returns in the form of a rogue scientist. One who gains super strength and the ability to control technology. The team must reunite and now protect the homeland and furthermore the World from the threat of the evil Kuratov.
Guardians - Kuratov

Now you might be wondering if the films is any good. The answer is its an incredibly fun and over the top superhero thrill-ride. I won’t lie to you of course, you won’t be wanting to think real deeply while watching. Which in this case is totally fine as you’ll be too busy yelling in excitement at watching a were-bear going to town on some bad guys. Still I found myself impressed by the special effects and taken in with the truly non-stop action of the movie that I have no problem recommending you check it out for yourself.

What bonus features does Guardians boast?

Well, friends, the truth is not a whole lot. As this was a Russian film you can’t exactly expect a commentary track, right? Still this is Shout! Factory we are talking about and they supplied a few goodies.

  • New interviews with cast and crew
  • Character Profiles
  • Image Gallery
  • Trailers

You can pick up Guardians on DVD at Walmart tomorrow!