NEWS ARCHIVE - 10th TO 16th APRIL 2006


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13th April 2006


A bumper batch of Anchor Bay titles to report on today...

Anchor Bay will release Lizard Woman, a horror film from Somsak Techaratanaprasert, the producer of Ong-Bak and The Eye 2, on May the 15th. The film stars Ong-Bak's Rungravee Brijindakul and Chattapong Pantanaangkoon.

The film, about a spirit unleashed when an mysterious box found during an archaeological dig in northern Thailand is accidentally broken, is offered 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen format, with a choice of DTS or Dolby Digital 5.1 audio tracks.

Bonus material includes a trailer, photo' gallery and a thirty-five minute EPK reel. The disc has an RRP of £16.99.

A two-disc edition of the low-budget 2003 British serial killer-genre spoof movie Freak Out will be released by Anchor Bay on May the 29th.

The set presents the ultra-low-budget film in non-anamorphic 1.85:1 format, with a choice of Dolby Digital 2.0, 5.1 and DTS 5.1 tracks.

There are two commentary tracks: one by director Christian James, actor / writer Dan Palmer and actor / producer Yazz Fetto; and another by James, actor / writer Dan Palmer and cast members James Heathcote, Nicola Connell and Chilli Gold, moderated by BBC Radio 1 movie critic James King. Other bonus materials are extensive, and include Making Out - Behind The Scenes of the Four Year Shoot of the Film (51m); Bum Feeling 101 featurette (6m); Geek Out (Internet movie critics express their opinions, 11m); Zaniac music video (5m); Five Minute Film School (4m - go figure!); Honey, I Blew Up Up The Looney (pyrotechnics featurette, 5m); eighteen deleted scenes; and a featurette titled The Video Store (full-length versions of clips used in the film - ala Shaun of the Dead). RRP for the set is £16.99.

Anchor Bay will release J.R. Bookwalter's 1988 zombie film The Dead Next Door on DVD on May the 15th.

The film about an elite squad of trackers, called the Zombie Squad, that's been sent to investigate the source of the outbreak, is presented in 4:3 full-frame format (it was shot on 8mm, and, although it's apparently been "extensively re-mastered from the film's original elements", still looks pretty grotty). It's been given a new 5.1 audio mix, which is available in Dolby Digital and DTS flavours.

Bonus features are an audio commentary (by Bookwalter, actor / co-producer Michael Todd and cinematographer Michael Tolochko Jr); 1985-2005: 20 Years In 15 Minutes featurette (16m); cast auditions (14m); behind-the-scenes stills gallery (7m); behind-the-scenes footage (19m); VHS-quality deleted scenes and outtakes (7m); a music video (3m); Frightvision 2000 Reunion (6m); video storyboards (8m); and a theatrical trailer. The RRP is £16.99.

Described in the press release as "a hard-edged version of TV's Angel", producer Stephen J. Cannell's Demon Hunter will be released by Anchor Bay on May the 15th. The film stars Sean Patrick Flanery (The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles), The Hills Have Eyes' Billy Drago and House of 1000 Corpses' William Bassett.

The film is presented in anamorphic 1.75:1 format, with Anchor Bay's customary choice of DTS and Dolby Digital audio tracks. Bonus features are a commentary track (by writer Mitch Gould and actress Nancy Yoon); a featurette titled Demons Among Us (44m); a trailer; and rehearsal footage for the final fight sequence (2m). The RRP is £14.99. It's due on May the 15th.

The Fallen Ones, a horror film about a forty-two-foot tall mummy, was written and directed by Kevin VanHook, the visual effects supervisor on I, Robot and Daredevil. The film stars Starship Troopers' Casper Van Dien, Cherry Falls' Kristen Miller and -err - Hart To Hart's Robert Wagner.

The film is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen format, with DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks. Bonus features include an audio commentary (by VanHook, producer Karen Bailey, cinematographer Matt Steinauer and visual effects supervisor Chadd B. Cole); Giants In The Earth – The Making of "The Fallen Ones featurette (27m); Creating Aramis the Mummy featurette (2m); Animatics – Pre-Visualisation by Forum Visual Effects comparison (9m); a theatrical trailer; stills and storyboard galleries; and trailers for similar movies.

Incidentally, the press release indicated an 18 certificate, and this has been reported elsewhere. In fact it's rated 12 (not surprising, considering it was made for TV). The RRP is £14.99.

Dee Snider's internet-themed shocker Strangeland will make its no-doubt welcome UK DVD debut on May the 29th, courtesy of Anchor Bay (UK).

The film stars Brokeback Mountain's Linda Cardellini, Road Trip's Amy Smart and A Nightmare on Elm Street's Robert Englund. and showcases music by thrash metal acts like Megadeth, Anthrax and Snider's own Twisted Sister. It's presented in anamorphic 1.85:1 format, with DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital 2.0 options. The film also has optional English HoH subtitles.

The film has a disappointing array of bonus material: a trailer; film notes; biographies and stills gallery. The RRP is £16.99.

A graphics-heavy page showing many menu screens from these Anchor Bay (UK) films can be found here.

Anchor Bay have decided to abandon their plans to release episodes of the Masters of Horror TV series separately (or, rather, as double-bills). Instead they will release a box set in the Autumn.


On Tuesday I attended the press preview of V For Vendetta at the IMAX screen at Waterloo. It's another spectacular experience, although there wasn't as much action in the film as I expected. That shouldn't have been a surprise, I suppose. After all, the V For Vendetta graphic novel was about the power of ideas, not fisticuffs. 

The giant IMAX screen showcases Adrian Biddle's excellent cinematography, and you get a real sense of standing inside Owen Paterson's often-eerie sets. V For Vendetta is dedicated to Biddle, who died in December. It was his final movie, capping a career that included Aliens, The Princess Bride and Thelma and Louise (as well as, it has to be said, a lot of mediocre films with great cinematography - Event Horizon and The Mummy, for example).

If you haven't caught V For Vendetta yet, then you should consider seeing it on an IMAX screen. There are many scenes that have real impact seen that large (and you'll be able to see every follicle on Natalie Portman's noggin!) Also, I doubt there are many other venues that could so apparently-effortlessly cope with the testing audio for the film's impressive finale.

The film opens at the IMAX, Waterloo on Friday. To book tickets, or for more information, go to the BFI website, or phone 0870 787 2525.

Before the film we were treated to two trailers for forthcoming IMAX attractions: Wolfgang Petersen's Poseidon and Superman Returns. The latter will be the first movie to feature a live-action IMAX 3D sequence (lasting twenty minutes or so). It will be fascinating to see If the 3D sequence in Superman Returns is anywhere near as good as the IMAX 3D presentation of Polar Express!

10th April 2006


I've added a new section to the Hammer DVD Guide today. I'm often asked by would-be collectors to recommend a list of Hammer titles that would represent the studio's wide-ranging output. It's a difficult task: how would you encompass Dracula, arguably Hammer's masterpiece, and On The Buses, one of their most successful movies?

So, I've asked a few genre experts for a list of their favourite Hammer movies, in the hope that you'll find something you like the sound of. My thanks to my initial batch of contributors: Stephen Gallagher, Stephen Jones, Simon Clark and Mike Sutton. I hope to add some more of these Top Ten Lists in a couple of weeks' time.

A note on our Incoming page: The Hut has completely changed their website, which means that most of our links to them no longer work (gee, thanks, chaps!) We'll be fixing them over the next week or two, but until we've done that, apologies. Many titles in our database have been added or updated in the last week, so don't forget to pop in regularly!


Optimum Releasing has announced a bazillion titles, which they'll be releasing in the next couple of months.

These are:

May 22nd

Western Classic Collection: a seven-disc box set featuring Broken Arrow (James Stewart, Jeff Chandler), Edward Dmytryk's Broken Lance (Spencer Tracy, Robert Wagner, Richard Widmark), Henry Hathaway's Garden of Evil (Gary Cooper, Susan Hayward), Fritz Lang's Western Union (Richard Young, Randolph Scott), Edward Dmytryk's Warlock (Widmark, Henry Fonda, Anthony Quinn), Sam Fuller's Forty Guns (Barbara Stanwyck, Dean Jagger) and Fritz Lang's Rancho Notorious (Marlene Dietrich, Arthur Kennedy).

Man-Thing: Brett Leonard's recent film based on the Marvel comic book character. 16:9 transfer, 5.1 audio.

The Pedro Almodovar Collection - Volume 2: contains Matador (1985), The Flower of My Secret (1995), Law of Desire (1987) and Kika (1993).

5th June

Immortal: directed by Enki Bilal, from his graphic novels, this is one of the first films to be shot entirely on green screen. Set in the year 2095, the film is about a giant alien pyramid that appears above New York. 16:9 transfer, "Dolby Digital Stereo" audio. Theatrical trailers.

The Louis Malle Collection - Volume 1: contains Ascenseur Pour L’Echafaud; Le Feu Follet; Les Amants; Zazie Dans Le Metro. Extras: Interview with Vincent Malle; Interview with Rene Urtreger (the pianist on the Ascenseur Pour L’Echafaud soundtrack); interview with Jean-Paul Rappeneau; Malle’s 1962 short Vive Le Tour.

La Haine - Ultimate Edition. New three-disc version, in a limited edition numbered steel book. Includes a feature-length documentary reflecting 10 Years of La Haine; a booklet featuring Keith Reader's essay After The Riot; and the soundtrack.

26th June

The Crying Game - Special Edition. Features an Alternate Ending and the featurette The Making of the Crying Game "among other gems".

The Nick Broomfield Collection: featuring Kurt and Courtney, Biggie and Tupac, Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer and Aileen Wournos: The Selling of a Serial Killer.

A Better Tomorrow and Peace Hotel: two films directed by John Woo.

Dust Devil: long-awaited "full and uncut" version of Richard Stanley's enigmatic 1992 horror film.

Stephen Gyllenhaal's Waterland.

The Errol Morris Collection: The Thin Blue Line, Vernon Florida and Gates of Heaven.

3rd July

John Woo's Run, Tiger, Run and Jeffrey Lau's Treasure Hunt (making its UK DVD debut).

The Louis Malle Collection - Volume 2: contains Au Revoir Les Enfants, Le Souffle Au Coeur, Milou En Mai, Lacombe Lucien and Black Moon.

Also on 3rd July: Witness in the Warzone and Little Buddha.

Tommy Lee Jones' Three Burials and New York Doll are pencilled in for July the 31st.

TBC is The Collected Adventures of Asterix (currently 24th July).

Here are some sleeve images for the Optimum titles...


The second of three DVDs featuring cast members from The Tomorrow People, Explode - Chapter Two - Into The Fold, will be released on May the 1st. This time Nicholas Young is joined by his Tomorrow People co-star Sammie Winmill, and Harry Potter's Percy Weasly, Chris Rankin.

The disc will feature a commentary track (by Helen Oakleigh, Dexter O'Neill and Jackie Clark); a preview of Ruth Boswell's audio book Out of Time; cast biographies; a photograph gallery and shooting script.

Subscribers to the series will receive copies signed by the cast. The disc is also available separately, for £12.99 (plus postage). More details here.

The next film from Marc Morris's Nucleus Films label will be Fausto 5.0, the highly-charged 2001 thriller about a mysterious Doctor's encounter with a patient he has no recollection of operating on, (as the title suggests, it's another version of the Faust story). The disc features a fine widescreen (1.85:1) transfer, with a choice of Spanish (DD 5.1 or DTS), Catalan (DD 5.1) or English (DD 2.0) audio tracks, with optional English subtitles. The DD tracks (including the English) are at 448kbps; the DTS track is at 768kbps. The disc features is the "full uncut version".

Bonus features include a twenty-minute Making of... featurette; a gallery of poster images, and a gallery showing how artist Dan Schaffer designed the disc's sleeve. The disc also contains a theatrical trailer, and trailers and promo's for three other Nucleus Films titles. One of these is their forthcoming disc of The Perils of Gwendoline In The Land of the Yik Yak (a.k.a. Gwendoline), which, if the promo' reel is anything to go by, is shaping up very nicely indeed.

RRP for Fausto 5.0 is £15.99 (Incoming). The disc is released on April the 24th. Gwendoline... is currently scheduled for release on June the 5th.

From the ridiculous to the sublime... Buena Vista has formally announced the DVD release of the triple Oscar-winner Memoirs of a Geisha. It will be released on June the 5th.

The film, which was produced by Steven Spielberg, and directed by Chicago's Rob Marshall, will be supplemented with a commentary track (by Marshall and co-producer John DeLuca); five featurettes (Sayuri's Journey: From the Novel To The Screen; Geisha Bootcamp; The Look of a Geisha; and A Geisha's Dance); and three galleries (Behind The Scenes, Costume Illustrations and The Recipes of Chef Nobu). As usual for Buena Vista, no technical spec's were announced, and neither was the RRP (which is believed to be £19.99). Check out our Incoming entry for the current best prices.

The first season of five's soapy medical drama Grey's Anatomy will be released on DVD on July the 17th.

The set will feature all fourteen episodes of the Golden Globe-winning series, as well Anatomy of a Pilot* (deleted scenes, 12m); Dissecting Grey's Anatomy (more deleted scenes, 5m); commentaries (the US set has two, both for the Pilot episode); Behind The Scenes featurette (11m if it's the Under The Knife featurette on the US set); and an Alternate Title Sequence (1m). It looks like the UK set will be missing the two-minute Avant-Garde Trailer that's on the US set, perhaps because of music clearance issues. The RRP is apparently £29.99, although some etailers that are listing it don't have a price listed yet. You can check out the best deal from among the leading etailers here.

* - The press release says "Autonomy of a Pilot", but since they've spelt "successful" wrong, too, it's probably a mistake!

Last week's Zeta Minor News can be viewed here.

Previous Zeta Minor News entries can viewed here.

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