9th July 2007
Home Video will release a long-overdue DVD edition of Kenneth Branagh's
lavish adaptation of
Hamlet on August the 27th.
The two-disc set will feature a new
transfer from the original 70mm elements and a re-mastered Dolby Digital
5.1 audio track.
Bonus features include an introduction by
Branagh; a commentary by Branagh and Shakespeare scholar Russell Jackson;
a featurette, To Be On Camera - A History With Hamlet; a 1996
Cannes Festival promo', and a gallery of Shakespeare movie trailers (Hamlet
(1996), Julius Caesar (1953), Othello (1965), Othello
(1995), Romeo and Juliet (1937), A Midsummer Night's Dream
(1935) and Hamlet (1990)).
The BFI will release a digitally-restored
DVD version Terence Davies'
Distant Voices, Still Lives on July the 30th. This follows a very
successful retrospective of the director's work at the BFI Southbank in
The film will be presented in anamorphic
1.78:1 format, with optional HoH subtitles "on all items".
The disc will feature a commentary track
and filmed interviews with Davies; a filmed introduction with Art Director
Miki van Zwanenberg; an original trailer; and a twenty-four page booklet,
containing essays by Beryl Bainbridge and Adrian Danks, and an original
review from the Monthly Film Bulletin.
The RRP is £19.99.
BFI also has Nicholas Ray's
Bigger Than Life scheduled for July the 30th. The disc is being
released in conjuction with Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment (as
with last year's The Innocents release).
The film will be presented in anamorphic
2.35:1 format, with optional HoH subtitles "on all items".
Bonus features include a commentary track
by Edward Buscombe; a new filmed conversation about the film and its
director, between Jim Jarmusch (Ray's friend, and assistant); extracts
from a 1969 interview with Ray; an original theatrical trailer; and a
twenty-two page booklet featuring biographies and essays by Geoff Andrew
(author of The Films of Nicholas Ray), Jeanine Basinger and Susan
The RRP is £19.99.
Ecosse Films' new Channel 4 drama
Cape Wrath will be released as a three-disc set on August the
The set will feature a behind-the-scenes
featurette, plus "a commentary" with director Duane Clark. RRP for the set
2 Entertain have clarified what they're
doing with the DVD release of the recent BBC science fiction sitcom
Etailers are listing separate Series One
and Series Two releases, some are (also) listing a combined
Series One & Two box set.
Plans for separate season releases have
been shelved, and so only the three-disc Hyperdrive - Series One
& Two set will be made available. This will be released on August the
13th. (The Incoming database has been updated accordingly).
Extras on the set include cast and crew
commentaries, a Making of... featurette; a Tour of the Set;
deleted scenes; a video diary; and a behind-the-scenes featurette with
star Nick Frost.
RRP for the set is £29.99. A couple of
etailers are listing it for a lot less than that (probably based on the
original separate releases RRP). Check out the
Incoming record for details. Good luck!
The sleeve design has undergone an overhaul
to reflect this change. Below you can see the original version, and the
somewhat more dynamic revised version, for the box set...
HAMMER DVD NEWS
Play.com are now listing two of the films
that were included in Universal's Region 1 Hammer Horror Series -
The Franchise Collection DVD set:
Brides of Dracula and
Evil of Frankenstein. The relevant section of
The Hammer DVD Guide
has been updated. Thanks to Phil, for the tip-off.
Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London will be hosting
Bollyhorror! - A Season of South Asian Horror between the 17th and
31st of August. The event will feature the London premiere of Pakistan's
first gore movie, Zibahkhana – Hell’s Ground, on August the 18th
(the screening will be followed by a Q&A with the director).
Here's the press release, and some
From 17 – 31 August, seven Bollyhorrors will be screened at
the ICA charting the rise of the Horror genre from the south Asian movie
industry. The classic ghost tale Mahal (The Palace – 1949),
kicks off this season that takes us through to the 70’s and 80’s with
murderous revenge thriller Nagin (The Female Snake - 1976
TBC) and the best of Bollywoods answer to Wes Craven; Shyam and Tulsi
Ramsay’s films Purana Mandir (The Old Temple - 1984)
unleashing Bollywood’s first home-grown monster and Bandh Darwaza (Closed
Door - 1990) their homage to the Dracula stories. Demonic possessions
come in the form of Bhoot (Ghost -2003) drawing inspiration
from The Exorcist, and Darna Mana Hai (2003). All
culminating in an Exclusive preview of the first gore movie to come out of
Pakistan Zibahkhana – Hell’s Ground (2006).
Zibahkhana – Hell’s Ground
Pakistan’s first gore film
Zibahkhana – Hell’s Ground is the first modern horror film to be shot
in Pakistan. Made on a shoestring budget and breaking all of the rules of
local productions Hells Ground unleashes a new generation of film
making talent on audiences. Five teens get lost on their way to a rock
concert, are menaced by flesh eating mutations and then fall into the
clutches of a family of backwoods killers. The film includes copious
amounts of gore alongside a splattering of social commentary and several
slices of dark humour.
Dir Omar Ali Khan, Pakistan 2006,
90mins, English subs
Darna Mana Hai
Six friends get stranded in a dense forest after their car
breaks down. They find an abandoned ruin, light a bonfire and therein
begins the backdrop for each of them to share their own ghoulish stories
with each other. From a husband trying to shock his wife, a schoolteacher
spooked by a mysterious turnaround in an underperforming pupil to a
bizarre hitchhiking experience. All these stories are underpinned by the
mysterious disappearances of each of the friends throughout the night.
Featuring Shilpa Shetty, Saif Ali Khan, Samira Reddy and Nana Patekar.
Dir Prawal Rawan, India, 2003
A young couple; Vishal & Swati move into their ideal home on the 12 floor
of the high rise. Undeterred by the discovery that the previous tenant was
a woman who killed her son and committed suicide. After a while Swati’s
strange behaviour begins to change as she is slowly possessed by the
malignant spirit wanting to exact revenge. Loaded with atmospheric sound
effects and some surprise scenes that definitely nod to The Exorcist
the film, like Darna Mana Hai, also departs from adding
musical numbers in favour of tension building climaxes.
Dir Ram Gopal Varma, India 2003, 113mins, English subs
Ajay Agarwal returns as the Indian
vision of Dracula. Living in the Black Mountains Nevla is the tall,
fanged, black cloaked monster/mystic of the mountains. Asked by an
infertile couple to help them conceive, Nevla agrees and a bargain is
struck. If they give birth to a boy they are allowed to keep the child. If
a girl is born she must be returned to live with Nevla. Their daughter
Kaamya is born and the new parents refuse to give up their child. A fight
ensues; Lajo the mother is poisoned and the child kidnapped. Her husband
goes to the mountain with a posse to overturn the evil Nevla. They succeed
and put him in an eternal slumber. 18 years later Kaamya the young
starting to turn to the evil that lies in the Black Mountains...
Dir Tulsi & Shyam Ramsay, India 1990, 145mins, English
Spawning Bollywood's first home
grown monster in the form of Saamri (Ajay Agarwal) a cannibalistic, child
murdering ghoul who lives in the Purana Mandir of the films title. The
film launched the 80’s horror boom in Bollywood with the biggest ever
opening weekend grosses to date. Samir curses the Rajkumar family after
they capture him and put him to death. Generations later the daughter of
the same household goes back to the temple to try and lift the curse.
Samir is inadvertently released from his 200 years of incarceration and
all hell breaks loose. Purana Mandir has all the trademark
ingredients of a typical Ramsay horror the flesh, the gore, cheap double
entendres, floating mists and ominous lighting, the hairy monsters and the
fantastic use of atmospheric locations. A definite must for all.
Dirs Shyam and Tulsi Ramsay, India, 1984, 144mins, English
Featuring a star studded cast
including Jatendra, Sunil Dutt, Reena Roy and Rekha Nagin was a
runaway box office success. Nagin follows the bloody revenge of a
female ichandani (shape-shifting) snake against a group of men who kill
her mate on the night on which their love was to be consummated. Jetindra
and Reena Roy play the 100 year old snakes that have the ability to take
human form. With her piercing green snake eyes, Roy wreaks her revenge as
seduces the men to their deaths. Nagin re-makes the western classic
rape revenge thriller with a uniquely Indian twist.
Dir: Rajkumar Kholi, 1976, India, …. Mins, subs
Arriving at his newly acquired mansion, Shanker (Ashok
Kumar) learns the tragic history of the house and the mysterious death of
the former owner and his lover 40 years earlier. That evening as Shanker
muses over the possibility that he may be the reincarnation of the
previous owner he is visited by the spirit of Kamini; the dead mistress of
the house and is immediately entranced. To distract him from his growing
obsession of Kamini, his good friend rushes through his marriage to
Ranjana. Haunted by the voice of Kamini, Shanker moves to the country to
try and find some peace. Disaster ensues, and no matter how far he goes
the haunting chimes of the witching hour follows him to the farthest
reaches. Featuring legendary vocals from Lata Mangeshaker’s debut hit for
the theme song Ayega Ahenwala, Mahal was an undisputed hit of its
Dir Ashok Amrohi, India, 1949, 165mins, English Subs
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment issued a
press release last week to mark the sale of 180,000 Blu-ray disc sales in
Europe, since the launch of the Playstation 3, in March. It contains some
interesting numbers. It's probably best to present it in its entirety, so
here it is...
SONY PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT
POSTS STELLAR BLU-RAY SALES ACROSS EUROPE
FOLLOWING LAUNCH OF PS3
LONDON – (July 4, 2007) – Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s (SPHE) total
Blu-ray Disc sales across Europe have topped 180,000, it was announced
today by Matt Brown, Executive Vice President, International. “Our
European Blu-ray sales increased more than 1,000 percent since the launch
of the PS3 in March 2007, due to strong sales in the UK, France, Germany
and Spain,” said Mr. Brown. “This is extremely positive news not only for
SPHE but for the European high-definition market as a whole, as it
underscores the increasing consumer demand for high-definition content and
the power of the PS3.”
The launch of the PS3 in March is seen as a turning point
for the Blu-ray format across Europe, with weekly sales of Blu-ray Disc
titles averaging between two- and five-times the amount of HD DVD sales
week over week.** Blu-ray software accounts for 67% of the total
high-definition market and SPHE titles account for more than 50% of the
total Blu-ray market share in the UK, France and Spain.
In the UK, SPHE maintains 53% share of the total UK Blu-ray
market, holding six of the top 10 best-selling Blu-ray titles, including
the Bond Blockbuster Casino Royale, the biggest selling Blu-ray
title in the country. Gaumount/Columbia TriStar Home Video in France has
achieved a 55% share of the total Blu-ray market, releasing seven of the
top 10 Blu-ray best-sellers to date, including Casino Royale at #1.
In Germany, SPHE has a 43% share of the total Blu-ray market, releasing
four of the top ten best-selling Blu-ray titles, including the #1 title
“The launch of the PS3 had a tremendous impact on Blu-ray
software sales across the board,” added Mr. Brown. “Recent sales figures
are a clear indication that the PS3 is seen as an entertainment device.”
SPHE Spain maintains a 68% share of the Blu-ray market.
Casino Royale is the biggest selling title in Spain and SPHE has
released eight of the top 10 selling titles in the territory. Throughout
Europe, SPHE titles are selling through strong, with SPHE occupying the
number one selling spot for Blu-ray title with Casino Royale.
** Gfk, ytd 17th June, 2007.
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