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!

Saturn 3

Do You Remember 1980’s Saturn 3?

Let’s visit Saturn 3. It’s a neat 1980 sci-fi film starring Farrah Fawcett , Kirk Douglas and Harvey Keitel, directed by Stanley Donne and John Barry. Be warned as SPOILERS are straight ahead!

Set in the future, Saturn 3 is an outpost where scientists are working to hydroponically grow food for Earth.They do this beneath the surface of Saturn’s third moon, Titan. When they (Farrah Fawcett as Alex, Kirk Douglas as Adam) aren’t working they are lovers in space. They exercise together, play together, etc.
Saturn 3

Things get complicated quickly…Arriving as a stowaway, is Benson (Harvey Keitel ) and he is up to no good! He killed a fellow astronaut scientist and took his place for the voyage. He brings a bunch of cargo and one special canister. What could it be? Be patient, I’ll tell ya. Don’t worry. Benson is immediately smitten with Alex (Farrah) and who could blame him! He offers her various drugs and explains that this is the way of present Earth. He also lets her know that body sharing is very common. He
insists that Adam(Kirk) is the old and obsolete man.

He’s really pushing the issue.
Saturn 3

Very shortly, he introduces his cargo- a set of Tinker Toys! I mean, assembles a huge robot named “Hector.” There is fresh lab grown brains in the special canister, that is a blank page, with no thoughts, input, or experience. Kind of like me.

Benson (Keitel) is mind linked to the robot via a transmitter inserted into the back of his head. Hector soon falls for Alex (Farrah) as he picks up every nuance of Benson’s brain.
Saturn 3

The robot kills a dog owned by Alex and Adam, and this kind of makes the already rocky relationship fall apart quickly. Following a cringe worthy “robot needle instrument to eye” scene, the space lovers square off against the robot and master.
Saturn

Alex and Adam set up traps and the robot trumps them at every turn. At some point Benson (Keitel) dies and becomes one with the robot, taking over both the space post and unfortunately, Adam. He put one of the outlets in his head. Wonder if he got good TV reception?

Adam conceives a plan and doesn’t let Alex in on it. Meanwhile, The Robot, now Benson and Hector combined, commands them to report to work, to increase productivity. Adam sacrifices himself and knocks the robot into a leftover trap. It works, even though it didn’t before.

Jump to Alex (Farrah) on board a vessel that is approaching Earth, with a small crowd exchanging pills while viewing the planet through large windows.

[Via] Scream Factory TV

The good and not so good notes…
Now, that last scene kind of falls flat for me, it had dialogue that feels like it could’ve been changed to finish the film in a better manner. Kind of tie it up. I loved the set design of the Saturn 3 outpost.Some weird labyrinth of metals and ramps and a lot of deep blue colors.

I didn’t like Keitel’s tiny ponytail. It made me want to snip it! His speech pattern was cold and empty in contrast to Alex (Farrah) and Adam (Kirk). It gave him a real creep factor.
Saturn 3

Overall, I liked the film a lot- the robot was cool, there was action, humor, drama, everything you’d want! So, I recommend Saturn 3. You can order your copy from Shout Factory and as always they’ve packed in some extras:

  • New High Definition Transfer
  • Commentary by Greg Moss (Saturn 3 Fan site) and film critic David Bradley
  • Interviews with Academy Award winning Special Effects artist Colin Chilvers and actor Roy Dotrice
  • Deleted Scene
  • Additional scenes from the network television version
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spots
  • Still Gallery

Saturn 3
Just be ready to figure out if you’re obsolete or not.

Colors

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.
Colors

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.