NEWS ARCHIVE - 9th to 15th JULY 2007


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9th July 2007


Warner 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 April.

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.

The 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 Ray.

The RRP is £19.99.

Ecosse Films' new Channel 4 drama Cape Wrath will be released as a three-disc set on August the 27th.

The set will feature a behind-the-scenes featurette, plus "a commentary" with director Duane Clark. RRP for the set is £24.99.

2 Entertain have clarified what they're doing with the DVD release of the recent BBC science fiction sitcom Hyperdrive.

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 are now listing two of the films that were included in Universal's  Region 1 Hammer Horror Series - The Franchise Collection DVD set: The Brides of Dracula and The Evil of Frankenstein. The relevant section of The Hammer DVD Guide has been updated. Thanks to Phil, for the tip-off.


The 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 synopses...

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

Bandh Darwaza

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 subs.

Purana Mandir

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 subs.


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 time.

Dir Ashok Amrohi, India, 1949, 165mins, English Subs

More info:


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...


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 Casino Royale.

“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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