M - R
title: Mad Doctor of Blood Island
info: The second film in the Blood Island trilogy. The film starts out by telling the viewer to drink some green blood potion so that you can safely view the movie without fear of contamination from the green blooded monsters (so be sure you have some handy!). As you can already tell, this movie involves green blooded monsters inhabiting Blood Island. An American doctor is sent to investigate a bizarre killing involving a man that bled green blood. Upon arriving at the island, other strange murders come about involving green monsters. The murders are quite graphic, as legs, arms, heads and guts are shown flying everywhere! Add this to some gratuitous nudity, and you got yourself a great drive-in style movie.
video: The quality is pretty much the same as the Brides of Blood Island DVD. It's full frame, but appears to be shot that way. Print is dirty and soft, color also goes out of whack at times, but it is watch-able. C+
audio: Just like the Bride DVD, it's slightly muffled with no bass. At times it did become hard to understand what is being said. C+
extras: Audio commentary, interview with Eddie Romero and trailers.
overall: Alpha licensed this movie and extras from IMAGE entertainment and is a much cheaper alternative to that OOP disc. I greatly enjoyed the film, more so than the first entry.
title: Mama Dracula
info: Countess Dracula (basically Elizabeth Bathory) uses the blood of virgins to keep her alive. Unfortunately, virgins are hard to find these days so she hires a doctor to create synthetic blood. This movie is more a comedy than horror, but it's really not funny. Some parts are amusing, but most of it misses the mark. Also, the movie is extremely disjointed. Scenes don't flow together and often don't make sense. Someone was obviously on drugs when putting this film together. It's a weird flick.
video: VHS sourced, full screen. First part of the movie is very black and has a red/orange tint to the movie. I was ready to give the movie a F as it was hard to watch at times, but around half way, the movie started taking place in day light and the image got better. It still sort of had a red tint to it, but at least you could see what's going on. Like most VHS transfers, the image is very soft. The Millcreek watermark makes it's appearance on the movie several time. D+
audio: Much better than the video, but nothing spectacular. C
extras: Part of the Millcreek 50 movie pack titled "Drive-in Movie Classics."
overall: It's worth watching once, though the 50pack set is worth getting.
name: Maniac (1934)
info: WTF did I just watch!?!? Wow, they sure titled the movie correctly! lol Movie starts off with a wacko scientist and his assistant, whom are trying to re-animate a dead woman. They end up succeeding, but before the doctor finds out, his assistant kills him, and then assumes his identity. The rest of the movie doesn't really have a plot, but rather just shows the man getting crazier and crazier. There are some subplots introduced, but never follow through like a sick man coming in for treatment and the "new doctor" gives him adrenaline (instead of water), which causes the man to go looney and kidnaps the zombie woman!! LOL While running outside with her, he stops to rip off her top to expose her breasts, then continues running off and that's all you ever see of him or the zombie girl!! LOL Did I mention there is a black cat named Satan, and that this story is (very VERY loosely) based on E.A. Poe's Black Cat?! Speaking of Satan, he eats one of the doctor's hearts in the lab, and then gets in a fight with the doctor, in which the doctor pops out the cat's eye! And then proceeds to eat it!!! LOL Add some footage of cats fighting, a lot of dialog with the word "queer", some more female nudity, footage of women dressing/undressing, etc... and you got yourself one fucked up movie!! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!!
video: Very similar to other Alpha discs that feature movies from the '30s. Lots of dirt and some damage. Up close, the picture looks good, but when the camera is far back, everything appears soft and lacks details. Some scenes are very dark (cat fight), but considering the z-budget nature of this film, I doubt there is a better source. I'm surprised it even still exists. C
audio: Actually its pretty good. Barely any music, just dialog. However, you can hear everything good and no muffled voices. B-
overall: If you haven't seen this, GET IT NOW!!!! Definitely one of the most bizarre films I've seen, especially considering this was made in 1934!
title: Manos, The Hands of Fate
info: Supposedly one of the worst films ever made. This was made on the very cheap by people not knowing what the hell they're doing, but it turns out to be quite enjoyable. Check out wikipedia's page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%22Manos%22_The_Hands_of_Fate
video: It looked like I expected; full of dirt, lighting all weird, low grade film stock, etc... and could possibly be from a VHS transfer. This helps give the film it's charm. C/C-
audio: Has some hiss throughout, though everything was audible. Then again, there really isn't any sound effects, just overdubbed dialog and some music. B-
overall: I really liked the movie. I'm not sure why it's been labeled as one of the worst films ever made as I've seen much worse on the SCIFI channel. I need to check out the MST3k version someday.
info: Another exploitation film from the infamous Dwain Esper! Teens smoke up some bud and do all kinds of crazy things and the trouble it brings them. Why did marijuana get bullied so much back in the '30s? lol
video: Quite good, though a bit dark at times. B-
audio: Not too bad for a film of this genre. B-
overall: Better than Reefer Madness, fans of drug exploitation films should definitely pick this up.
name: The Mechanical Man
info: Filmed in 1921 in Italy with the title "L Uomo Mecaccanico", this is one of the earliest SCI-FI flicks around. The DVD presents the last ~23 minutes of the film. Reason for this, the film was considered lost for years until this footage was found. So Alpha has provided some text at the beginning to get viewers up to speed on the story. Anyway, there is some decent effects in this film. One scene has a mechanical man (there are two in the film, which are about 10 feet high a piece) chasing a vehicle. While the effect may appear low budget to today's kids, I thought it was quite neat considering the age in which this was filmed. Secondly, the mechanical men were very cool looking. They would fit right at home in the Phantom Creeps serial! Another cool aspect of the film is that the main villain is a woman!
video: Pulled from the ONLY known print, it's in a watch-able form but does have quite a few problems. Fortunately, the print did have the color tints left in (rather than being B/W). Print damage galore and badly degraded film. I'll take that any day rather than not being able to see it at all. D+
audio: This is a silent film, however Alpha has brought on a composer to do a score for the film. It is quite good! A+
extras: the 1921 film "The Headless Horsemen" is included as a bonus. I have not watched it yet, but browsing through it, the video quality of this silent film looks pretty bad.
overall: SCI-FI fans will DEFINITELY want to check out this film, which was nearly lost!
name: Memorial Valley Massacre
info: C grade slasher from the '80s. Not much T&A / gore in this one, though it does have the killer acting/looking like a caveman!
video: VHS source, and looking like it had been viewed quite a few times before hand. C-
audio: Sounds fine. B
extras: Part of Millcreeks "Chilling Classics" 50 movie pack.
overall: An "ok" slasher film, however the boxset is well worth the money.
title: Moon of the Wolf / Dr. Jekyll vs the Werewolf Double Feature
company: Family Value Collection
info: sold at the Dollar Tree back during the Halloween season of 2005. Still can be found at amazon at a much HIGHER price. DVD is dual sided, with one film per side.
video: Moon of the Wolf appears to be video tape source. Has a lot of video noise and the picture resembles that of a vhs transfer. Quality is very watchable, but not sharp or detailed. C- Dr. Jekyll vs the Werewolf is a mixed bag. Dirty, faded print. Possibly a tv print. Video goes from 1.66 (approximately) letterbox to 1.33. The letterbox seems to be at a slight angle with the left side being a little bit higher than the right side. C
audio: nothing great, some hiss on both. English dub on the Naschy flick for those curious. B-
extras: I don't think so.
overall: Only worth getting for the Paul Naschy flick. If I'm not mistaken, this is the only dvd release of Dr Jekyll vs the Werewolf here in R1. BCI, I really hope you plan on releasing this!! This film needs a proper dvd release.
info: The movie follow Dr. Davis and his troubles with drug addiction, which throws his life into a downward spiral eventually leading to suicide. This film was directed by Dwain Esper ("Maniac", "Marihuana", "Sex Madness", etc..)!
video: Has the typical dirt & damage that these films usually have. Unlike Esper's other films, this film has a silent film type of look to it. Perhaps its the print source? At times it gets really dark around the edges of the picture and just feels like a silent film, especially during parts of the film where there are no sound efx and just music. The darkness does present a problem at times, but overall, the video isn't too bad. It does have a few frames missing here and there, but nowhere near the amount "Escort Girl" did!! Alpha puts a watermark on the video at the beginning and end of the movie. Boo!! C+
audio: Not too bad, but volume is kind of low. Dialogue can be hard to understand at times. C+
extras: Typical Alpha propaganda, nothing for the film itself.
overall: Not as fun as Esper's other films, but interesting none the less.
name: Night of the Blood Beast
info: 50s sci fi romp with a bizarre man-in-suit monster.
video: May be from a video source, as it has video noise at the bottom of the image though its only noticeable on monitors. Print has dirt, scratches, and not very sharp. With all things considered, it's still pretty decent. B-
audio: it's okay. could be a bit louder. B-
overall: since this can be had for a few dollars, it is worth picking up.
title: Night of the Bloody Apes
company: Telefilms International
info: it does feature the "extra footage" inserted into the original film (and boy does it stand out! lol).
video: full frame presentation sourced from a video tape. quality is lower than the Horror Express dvd I mentioned above. Picture is soft and appears a bit brighter than it probably should. C+
audio: no problems with this. B
extras: I don't think so.
overall: cheap alternative to the SWV or BCI release. I wouldn't pay no more than a few $ for this, otherwise go get the BCI dvd.
name: Night of the Death Cult (a.k.a. Night of the Seagulls)
info: The knight templars return for the fourth and final entry in the Blind Dead series. My favorite of the series!
video: VHS sourced and it has problems. Image is a tad too bright, and video lines and noise pops up quite a bit. It is watch-able, but these flaws stick out like a sore thumb. C-
audio: LOTS of tape hiss! C+
extras: Part of the 4 movie package "Pray for Death" which also features the movies "Sisters of Death", "Satanic Rites of Dracula" and "Werewolf and the Vampire."
overall: Skip this and get the Blue Underground "Night of the Seagulls" DVD.
name: Night of the Living Dead
company: Family Value Collection
info: The horror classic involving a group of people stranded in a house, surrounded by the living dead!
video: Looks pretty much the same as any other PD release of this film. Soft picture, sometimes it's too bright while other times too dark. Digital noise makes an appearance during really dark scenes, with this being a B&W film, that happens a lot despite having a decent video bitrate. C+
audio: Everything comes through fine, though a lot of hiss is present. B-
extras: Presented on a dual sided disc with "Fangs of the Living Dead" on the flip side.
overall: The Elite "Millennium Edition" or Dimension's "Director Edition" DVDs are the way to go with this film.
name: Not Tonite, Henry!
info: Sexually frustrated with his wife, Hank heads to a local bar. There he fantasizes about being in different time periods surrounded by beautiful women. Unfortunately, his fantasies are about as fruitful as his normal life.
video: Typical dirt and damage is present throughout. That's fine, but my problem is that the video source has lost it's color! The image now has a sepia tint to it. I think it's better just to manually adjust your TV and turn the color off. The lost of color is an eye sore. D+
audio: Sounds typical of other films of the era. B-
extras: Features two other strip tease shorts, "Fanny with the Cheeks of Tan" and "Sadie the Sunbather"!
overall: Entertaining nudie flick, though extremely tame when viewed in today's world. Despite the video issue, it's still worth checking out if you enjoy the genre.
name: Nudes in Color: Vintage Erotica of the 50s & 60s
info: Alpha has put out numerous strip tease DVDs over the past few years. They are typically of black and white stag films that showcase women stripping. This DVD is pretty much the same except these segments were shot in color. Mostly T n A shots but there is a little full frontal nudity. The women all look great.
video: Various from clip to clip. Some look better than others but Alpha's encoding/compression does not help matters. C
audio: Since these were originally silent clips, Alpha put a jazz orientated score over the clips. A
extras: Alpha propaganda as usual.
name: Our Lady of Fatima
info: Originally a Spanish film by the name of La senora de Fatima, this version was edited and dubbed into English to play on "Family Theatre" in 1951. The show is about three children who witness the apparition of the Virgin Mary on a hillside in Portugal in 1917. I first saw mention of this story on the TV show "Unsolved Mysteries." The movie revolves around the children and their families and how the town's people deal with them. It's interesting if you are into religious movies.
video: Considering the source, it's not too bad. It has print damage but quite viewable. C+
audio: Dubbed into English and is easily understood. B+
overall: I find this type of stuff interesting, so I enjoyed it. I guess it depends on how you view such things. Video and audio quality is quite good, all things considered.
name: The Pace that Kills
info: Eddie leaves his mother and girlfriend to head to the city and find his missing sister. He gets a job and gets caught up in drugs with a female co-worker. After the partying phase, he becomes hooked on cocaine and eventually becomes an addict along with his new girlfriend (Fannie). Eventually Eddie finds his sister but she too in the same dilemma. The movie ends on a tragic note and is a precautionary tale of such drug abuse. The movie would be remade in the 30s as "The Cocaine Fiends."
video: Typical alpha transfer, print full of scratches, contrast can be a bit wacky. However it is quite watchable even with the poor compression/encode. C
audio: This is a silent movie however there is a stock score. The score sounds period appropriate but does not exactly fit well with the movie. B-
overall: If you like these early drug exploitation movies, I highly recommend picking this up!
info: This is a great oddball slasher film. You know a film is going to be good that starts off with a kid hacking up his mom with an ax. Lots of unintentional humor throughout. HIGHLY recommended.
video: Appears to be a VHS transfer. I used to have a Diamond DVD and it looked the same as this, so I'm betting Brentwood just used their transfer. Presented full frame. C+ / B-
audio: Sounds pretty good, some hiss. B-
overall: Grindhouse Releasing did a SE of this film and that set is HIGHLY recommended over any of the PD versions as it is widescreen and has been remastered from original elements (and looks great!).
name: The Pink Angels
info: A group of "gay" bikers head south for a drag queen ball. This is one of those films where the trailer was much more fun than the actual film. Its worth a view, but don't get your hopes up. However, the ending came out of nowhere and actually shocked me, considering the tone of the rest of the movie.
video: Where to start. First off, this looks like it could be sourced from a video master. I'm not sure if it is, but it appears so. It has that look to it. Nothing is sharp, actually it gets very soft at times, almost out of focus in a few scenes. The color is dull and the blacks are anything but black. However, my main problem is with the actual encoding. It has a lot of mpeg artifacts, which are very noticeable in the sky and on the road, basically anything that has a lot of the same color. The color red looks horrible and has a very digitalized look when the red is against another color. At times its so bad, it looks like a VCD encode! Not sure why this is since the film has a single layer all to its self. Fortunately it is presented anamorphic widescreen (1.78:1). C-
audio: Sounds fine. B
extras: None for the film, but it is part of the 8 movie set "Drive-in Cult Classics Volume 3."
overall: Ok movie, but the box set is worth picking up.
name: The Plague Dogs
info: Two dogs escape a laboratory. Media reports claim the dogs are infected with a virus which causes humans to hunt them down. This film is quite powerful and wonderfully animated. I highly recommend it. This DVD presents the U.S. edit of the film.
video: Full frame, but looks great. A
audio: Sounds just fine. A
overall: One of the best animated films out there. Too bad this wasn't the "uncut" version, but it still packs a punch in the U.S. edit.
name: Pom Pom Girls
info: Typical teen flick involving pranks, some T&A, football and cars. Unfortunately, the film doesn't live up to its title and features very little cheerleader screen time. The film does star a young Robert Carradine in a leading role.
video: Presented full frame. The transfer looks ok. It's not sharp and colors are somewhat dull at times. My disc had a few "digital glitches" that lasted less than a second. Not really annoying, but it was noticeable. B-
audio: Sound came through fine. B
extras: Disc has a "drive-in experience" option that plays some snackbar ads and trailers before the film. This disc is on two different BCI releases, one was "Welcome to the Starlite Drive-in" double feature and the other release is "Drive-in Cult Classics Vol 3." Each release features the exact contents of the film with it's extras.
overall: An ok time waster. I recommend picking up the "Drive-in Cult Classics Vol 3" release as it features 8 films and retails for under $10!
name: The Prime Time
info: This Herschell G. Lewis exploitation film features Jean, a 17 year old girl who's not happy with her life at home. When she gets the chance to leave, she spends her nights at local bars and dates a 40 year old cop. One night her cop boy friend doesn't pick her up and leaves her with a beatnik painter (named "Beard") who's been in trouble before for molesting young girls. "Beard" keeps Jean at his apartment against her will for days. During this time, Jean's friends search for her. This movie is also Karen Black's film debut. She plays a minor side character.
video: VHS sourced, and thus all the problems that come with such a transfer. The print is in ok shape and has the typical dirt and scratches. C+
audio: Sounds pretty good, though there is constant tape hiss. B-
extras: This double featured on DVD with the movie "Flaming Teenage."
overall: Most people associate HGL with his horror films, so it's interesting to see something non-horror from him. There is plenty of sleaze in this to keep exploitation film fans happy, including a pretty long skinny dipping scene!
name: The Road to Ruin
info: Innocent Ann starts hanging out with Eve and her boy friends. This then leads Ann to start hanging out with more rowdy people, eventually getting her pregnant and have a botched abortion, leading to her death.
video: Typical quality of this era ('30s) exploitation films. Some times the print shows a lot of dirt and damage and can get a bit rough. Overall it's not too bad. C
audio: Muffled at times but you can always understand what's being said. C+
extras: The disc includes another film titled "No Greater Sin."
overall: If you're a fan of these films, its worth checking out.
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