G - L
name: Galaxy Invader
company: Treeline Films
info: An alien (think really cheap man-in-suit costume) crash lands on Earth in redneck central. What you have here is a MST3k style film! A lot of fun is to have here from the alien itself to the oddball rednecks in the town.
video: VHS port, and it looks pretty good. B-
audio: sound is good as well. B
extras: No extras, but it is part of Treeline's SCI-FI 50 movie pack collection.
overall: This movie is a blast, in a "so bad its good" way, and considering it's packed with 49 other movies for $20, you can't go wrong.
name: Gambling with Souls
info: Another 1930's cautionary tale, this time of a house wife by the name of Mae Miller who gets a gambling habit, which eventually leads to prostitution so she can repay her debts. The film also touches briefly on abortion which is something you don't see in these older flicks.
video: Video noise on the bottom of the screen, so it's obviously a VHS rip. Picture is quite soft and the white levels are a bit too high. Some print damage is evident, though that's kind of expected in these films. C-
audio: Not as clear as I had hoped. Hard to hear what was being sad some of the time. C
extras: Trailers for other Alpha releases
overall: Worth a look if you're a fan of these exploitation films from the 1930s & 1940s.
Gamera (showa series)
Gammera, The Invincible (Alpha) - print is P&S (as is all showa R1 discs), but very watchable. No problem with it all things considered.
War of the Monsters (Alpha) - Ugly print. Colors almost disappear making it seem black and white at times.
War of the Monsters / Gamera Vs Monster X (?) - Dollar Tree was selling this dvd around Halloween 2005. No company name, but features Monster X and War of the Monsters. Monster X is retromedia rip (which is pretty decent) and WotM looks to be an Alpha rip (ie very bad!).
Return of the Giant Monsters / The Magic Serpent (Retromedia) - RotGM looks very good for being a PD tv print. No complaints here. I haven't watched TMS, so no comment on that.
Destroy All Planets (Alpha) - decent print, stolen from Retromedia release.
Attack of the Monsters (Alpha) - see above.
Gamera Vs Zigra (Diamond set) - I used to have Diamond's "Japanese Movie Monsters Vol 2" or whatever it was called, but later gave it to the library. I did rip GvZ so I could at least have a copy of the movie. This film, like the others in the set, appears to be taken from an EP VHS tape. Definately ranks towards the bottom of these releases.
If you're looking for good quality discs, I recommend the SHOUT! DVDs that were released. They are sourced from the master transfers, in widescreen and include the original audio, as well as dubs on some of the titles. The SHOUT! dvd of the first Gamera movie does not include the US edit, so you at least want to pick up the Alpha disc if you're interested in that version.
name: Going Steady (aka Yotzim Kavua)
info: The movie features three teen boys and their (mis)adventures, mainly with girls. The movie sort of reminds me of "American Graffiti" and "Porkys" as it is set in the late 50s/early 60s, with a soundtrack of that era's music! This film takes place in Tel Aviv rather than some small midwestern town, but teens will be teens no matter what country they're at! Apparently this is the second film in the "Lemon Popsicle" series, however I have not seen the others. I was able to watch the film as a standalone and had no problems. I'll definitely check out the other films if I come across them.
video: Presented in pan and scan (probably a vhs rip), which is in good quality. My beef is that the film was originally in 2.35, so it gets cropped a lot. It's about as bad as the original Ghostbusters. That movie is probably the worst film to watch in pan and scan IMO. That being said, I give the quality a B+.
audio: No problems and the music came through great. A-
extras: Part of Millcreek's 50 movie pack "Drive-In Movie Classics."
overall: Fun teen sex comedy film, check it out!
name: Gow the Killer
info: A 1931 "documentary" that exploits native Islanders of the Pacific. A crew of white men go from island to island, documenting "cannibals." Obviously these people aren't cannibals and the narration can be pretty racist/ridiculous at times. However the footage shot is pretty amazing as I doubt these tribes are still living the same way these days (if they do, then good for them!), thus it presents itself as a historical record of these people. This can be seen as a grand father to the mondo films that would come out in the 60s and 70s.
video: Not too bad, most of the footage can be viewed just fine, a few scenes that have high contrast. B
audio: Narration is clear and in between segments there is a small musical piece that gets played. No problems understanding any of it. A
extras: Nothing relating to the film
overall: If you are a fan of the mondo films that would come out later, definitely check this out. While it came out in '31, there were actually silent films that preceded this that came out in the 20s dealing with the same subject! I don't think any of those have been released on DVD, if they even exist (though I have come across 1918's "Cannibals from the South Seas").
info: 3 older business guys move onto a beach looking for fun in their middle age but can't seem to score with any of the local girls. A local beach bum by the name of Scotty, whom is quite popular amongst the younger crowd, is hired by the group to help them get young women. Typical 80s style beach movie with lots of shenanigans and nudity! A fun time for all!
video: Anamorphic 1.78 video. Considering it's on a disc with two other movies, it looks decent enough. Print is slightly darker than it should be. A-
audio: Not sure if it's the source or the DVD encode, but there is a slight tin can effect on the audio. Most of the time it's not noticeable but when it is, it sticks out like a sore thumb. C+
extras: none for the movie.
overall: Highly recommended! This is part of a 6 pack of movies titled "Beach Bodies" which also includes the following movies: Private Resort, LoveLines, Sideout, Spring Break and Calendar Girl. For $5, you can't go wrong!
name: Highlander III: The Sorcerer
company: Seville (Canada release)
info: Conner MacLeod returns to battle the sorcerer, Kane. Not as bizarre as the previous entry, but not as entertaining. This is probably my least favorite of the Highlanders featuring Conner (the worst Highlander has to be the Source!). This version has the "Sorcerer" title card and runs for 98 minutes.
video: Looks like a video source transfer. Presented full frame. B+
audio: Some slight hiss, but not too bad. Also features a French dub. B+
extras: Includes a trailer for the film.
overall: I say by pass this release and get Dimension's Highlander 3 DVD. BTW, there are TWO Dimension H3 discs, both feature slightly different versions, but the recent reissue is anamorphic while the first DVD is letterbox. I'm not sure if the version on this disc is one of the versions on those discs (as I do not have those at the moment).
title: Hollywood Revels / Hollywood Burlesque
info: A double feature of burlesque shows directed by Duke Goldstone. Revels is filmed at the Follies Theatre in Los Angeles in 1946 while Burlesque is filmed at the Hollywood Theater in San Diego 1948. Both shows have the same premise (dance routines, stripping, comedy segments, etc..). I found the Burlesque movie to be slightly more enjoyable but they're both worth a watch if you are a fan of burlesque shows.
video: Both have the same issues that come with a typical Alpha transfer but I would say Burlesque is better quality as Revels seems to be a bit high on the contrast and sometimes the dancers appear too white, making it hard to see. HR: C- / HB: B-
audio: Slight muffle to them but they are fine for the most part. C for both
extras: None, but both movies are on a single disc.
overall: If you love old school burlesque shows, you can't go wrong with this disc!
title: House on the Edge of the Park
info: another David Hess badass flick! Somewhat similar to Last House on the Left, for those who still haven't seen this movie. This is packaged in the Brentwood set "Roots of Evil", which may not even be for sale anymore.
video: Looks to be a laserdisc port. Presented letterbox, this looks pretty good. I'm sure the Shriek Show dvd looks much better, but the presentation here is pretty good as is. B
audio: Comes in clear, though it lacks punch, but isn't that the way with a lot of these older foreign dubs? B
overall: The boxset also contains "Messiah of Evil", "Deep Red" (US version pan/scan) and "Christmas Evil." The transfers on the other films are vhs quality. Some pretty decent movies for a low price.
title: Horror Express
company: Digiview Productions
info: This can be found for $1 at Walmart and other stores that carry Digiview's product. I found my copy at Walmart.
video: full frame presentation. it appears to be sourced from a videotape, however, it's in good shape. it may be dark at times and appear soft but overall not too bad. B-
audio: loud, not much hiss (video tape sourced), quite audible. B
extras: previews for other digiview products.
overall: If you haven't seen this, you can't go wrong paying $1 for it. It has a much better transfer than your standard $1 dvd.
title: Horror Rises from the Tomb
info: One of my favorite Naschy flicks!! Instead of playing the typical werewolf role, here he plans a worlock who was recently awakened in modern times. Lots of gore and nudity, but that's to be expected from a Naschy flick! This movie is part of the Brentwood 4 pack titled "Horror Rises from the Grave."
video: Presented full frame, this is a VHS transfer. That being said, most of the problems with VHS transfers are presented here. However, the film is presented in it's uncut form. B-
audio: VHS tape transfer = tape hiss. However, the audio is quite loud, though lacks bass. B-
overall: I doubt this collection is even for sale anymore, however you really should pick up BCI's (formerly Brentwood) new edition of Horror Rises from the Tomb as it features a transfer straight from the negative. That dvd looks amazing and features the orignal language, as well as the English dub.
title: Invisible Avenger
info: Not a movie, but a pilot for a television series that did not take off. This features the pulp hero "The Shadow", though fans of the 90's film won't recognize him here. The show changed the character quite a bit, only keeping some traits. Then again, so did other Shadow films (especially International Crime).
video: Video sourced, some print damage here and there, but nothing too distracting. B
audio: Comes through loud. No problem hearing this movie! B
overall: Fans of "The Shadow" will want to check it out. I also recommend the "Shadow Strikes / International Crime" double feature put out by Marengo Films. It features the 1930s Shadow films and the V/A quality on those films are very good!
info: A college tennis group is about to get cut off the budget unless they win their upcoming tournament. The group is filled with a variety of personalities, but get the job done when it comes to the game. Your typical 80s teen comedy. Interestingly enough, Christopher Lee is the college dean!
video: Anamorphic 1.78 however the bitrate greatly suffers. It is on a single layer disc with another movie plus the source seems to be tape based (1" master perhaps?) as there is evidence of a drop out towards the end. C+
audio: Flat but everything is audible. B-
extras: None for the film. It is part of the 12 pack "Too Cool for School" which features other 70s & 80s teen comedies
overall: Fun movie but presentation suffers due to sharing space with another movie on a single layer side. However the collection is highly worth the budget price as it contains a lot of great teen movies from the 70s & 80s!
title: The Killer Shrews
info: One of my favorite b-movies of all time. A group of people are stuck on an island full of giant killer shrews! (actually they're collies with rugs on them!)
video: Presented full frame, this transfer is one of the worst I've come across for the film. Not very sharp, too dark as well. C-
audio: Decent. B-
overall: If you're a fan of the KS, I suggest picking up Legend Film's double feature set of The Killer Shrews and Giant Gila Monster. This set features colorized versions of each film as well as remastered black and white versions which look great!! I've looked for a good copy of Shrews for years and feel this is the best out there. I highly doubt you'll come across anything better. Also, the colorized version looks rather good, though at times it feels like a comic book (which fits the film fine IMO).
title: Kong Island
info: A brother and sister go 'big game' hunting in search of a "sacred monkey" (whom is later revealed to be a topless jungle woman). While camping over night, a group of radio controlled gorillas kidnap the sister. Her brother and father convince a mercenary by the name of Bert to help locate her. There are some other plot twists to this weird movie. Unfortunately it's not a very fun film as it gets quite boring at times.
video: Looks to be sourced from an EP vhs tape. At times it became unwatchable. The alpha watermark makes an appearance as well. D
audio: Sounds like its being played from another room. It's not very clear and kind of muffled. I'm thinking some noise reduction was applied. C
extras: Part of the Grindhouse Double Shock Show disc which includes another movie "The Galaxy Invader." Oddly enough, Galaxy Invader (which appears to be around the same as the Treeline Film version in terms of A/V quality) has an audio commentary!!!
overall: I can't really recommend this film, but the disc does feature the awesome movie Galaxy Invader with a commentary track!
title: Lady Frankenstein
info: Great take on the Frankenstein story starring the lovely Rosalba Neri (credited as Sara Bey).
video: Looks like its from a 16mm print, presented full frame. Grainy and soft. C+
audio: I had no problems, but it's not perfect. B-
overall: There really isn't a "definitive" DVD of this title. DVDDrive-in.com released a disc of this film, but the manufacturer cropped the picture (made it 1.78 from a Full Frame source). It supposedly has a very good picture regardless, as well as extras. But for the price, the Alpha disc is fine....until a legit disc gets released.
name: The Legend of Boggy Creek
info: Documentary style film involving sasquatch sightings in Fouke, Arkansas from the 1940s. Very good, and sometimes creepy film about bigfoot. Highly recommended!
video: Low budget film, so I wasn't expecting the greatest quality. Video is presented full frame, it appears to be taken from an EP vhs tape. Sometimes the video is so soft, it appears to be out of focus! Could be better. C- / D+
audio: It's ok, could be a bit clearer. B-
extras: Text related and photo gallery (screencaps)
overall: There's probably a better DVD out there, but for $5, it's not a bad purchase. The film itself is very good if you're looking for something Bigfoot related. There's also two sequels, one of which appeared on MST3k. That episode is hilarious and highly recommended!
name: The Lonely Sex
info: Story follows three individuals. There is a psychopath who goes by no name, Annabelle and her creepy neighbor / house mate Matt Wyler. The first establishes Matt Wyler as a peeping tom / pervert who is always trying to get in Annabelle's business. The "psychopath" is an outsider who is having mental issues which causes him to kill a girl because she laughed at him and eventually kidnapping Annabelle. The movie is only 60 minutes so the plot really isn't complex but it is kind of sleazy with your two main male characters both being an extension of the same mental issue except one should know better while the un-named man seems to have more of a problem. Interesting flick from the late 50s.
video: I thought it actually looked pretty damn good. Grading on the budget scale, I give it a B+
audio: Came through pretty good and was able to hear everything fine. B
extras: LOL, this is alpha after all. None.
overall: This exploitation film is a bit different in tone than other films from the time era. It tries to throw some sympathy towards the deviant. Interesting film and for a hour's length, it's worth checking out.
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