16 items from 2015
Kino Lorber resurrects the obscure and fascinating 1974 Blaxploitation gem Truck Turner this month for the first time on Blu-ray. One of Isaac Hayes’ most notable acting performances, it’s a head above the general trend of similar genre titles of the period, even though the film features a familiar narrative already well re-tread by the time of its release. Hayes fashions his own soundtrack for this retro classic, an oddity begging to be rediscovered.
Truck Turner (Hayes) is a football star turned bounty hunter, in the midst of hunting down a vicious, sadistic pimp named Gator (Paul Harris) with the help of his sidekick, Jerry (Alan Weeks). But Gator proves a hard target to pin down, leading up to a dramatic showdown where Truck is forced to kill the pimp in self-defense. His death causes a ripple in the criminal community of Los Angeles and forces the aggressively violent Madame »
- Nicholas Bell
"Juice" was Ernest Dickerson's feature film directorial debut, released in 1992; he also co-wrote the script with Gerard Brown. After being behind Spike Lee's camera, as cinematographer on just about all his film's up until that point, with "Juice" Dickerson had seemingly arrived as a director at the front of what was then (early 1990s) an exciting new wave of black filmmakers who would go on to make hay over the following years. It was also the film that introduced Omar Epps and Tupac Shakur (who was, at the time, an *unknown* as a roadie and dancer for Digital Underground) - both in breakout performances, joined in front of the camera by Jermaine »
- Tambay A. Obenson
Ernest Dickerson is the lead director on Hunters, a Us sci-fi cable series which starts shooting in Melbourne this month. These Final Hours. Nathan Phillips stars as a Philadelphia detective and former FBI agent suffering from post- traumatic stress disorder whose hallucinations get worse from the stress of his wife going missing. His investigation uncovers a secret government unit assembled to hunt a group of ruthless terrorists . shadowy figures that may or may not be from this world. Julian McMahon (Nip/Tuck) is cast as an unhinged junkie and Hunter cell leader with a predilection for house music and violence. The female lead is Britne Oldford (American Horror Story, Ravenswood), who plays a talented government operative. Written by Natalie Chaidez (Heroes,Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) and based on Whitley Strieber.s novel Alien Hunter, the 13-episode series was commissioned by the Us Syfy channel. Matchbox Pictures is producing for »
- Don Groves
One of the things I really like about director Ernest Dickerson is that he has no qualms nor shame about being considered a "genre” director - the term used for directors who specialize in genres such as horror, suspense and action. Take a look at his very impressive and extensive list of directing jobs in both films and television, and you'll see credits such as "Surviving The Game," "Bones," "Never Die alone," "The 4400," "Under the Dome," and "Dexter." And I don’t need to tell you about his stellar work on the AMC's "The Walking Dead" for which has directed several episodes, many considered the most »
It’s quite an interesting week for horror (and non-horror), with everyone from Scream Factory and Artsploitation to even Sony and Alchemy putting out some quirky titles. If you’ve got a fever for some creature features, torturous horror, or even some dry and interesting comedy, then we’ve got ya covered. Hell, even Joe Dante has a new one out on VOD this week.
We thought we’d take a look at a few that stood out to us, and give you fright fanatics the rundown on why these releases might be worth your time (and money). Read on!
Scream Factory has one odd double feature with this one. Whether you’re into killer octopi or one weird looking reptilian villain, both Tentacles and Reptilicus each have your share of cheese lined up for mass consumption.
Tentacles, being first one the disc, »
- Jerry Smith
Happy Birthday, Tupac Shakur. The iconic rapper-actor-poet would have turned 44 years old today, and although it's been nearly 20 years since his tragic death, Tupac continues to remain relevant and grow a loyal fanbase. While many have taken to social media to share their birthday blessings with the late celeb, we decided to go into the vault and unearth a throwback interview with Tupac to remember his passion, charm and alluring demeanor that was ever-so-present during his sit-downs. But what we came across was a bit eerie. E! News interviewed Shakur back in 1992 for his film Juice, a Ernest R. Dickerson-helmed movie that tells the story of youths growing up in Harlem, and during our conversation with »
Let’s file this one under, “Holy Shit”. Earlier today, genre releasing darlings Scream Factory announced that the much requested Tales From The Crypt films, Ernest Dickerson’s 1995 film Demon Knight and 1996’s Gilbert Adler-helmed Bordello Of Blood were finally getting the Collector’s Edition Bluray treatment, leaving horror fans’ mouths wide open and ending in a group clap that rivals the most epic of announcements. The news of those two films each getting the deluxe treatment separately, and not in a double feature release is awesome, as it looks like Sf is going to go all out with each film.
Now adding to the excitement is out of nowhere announcement that will only add to the excitement: they’re also getting ready to put out a brand new Collector’s Edition Bluray of Sam Raimi’s Army Of Darkness, the third film in the Evil Dead series. So »
- Jerry Smith
Ernest Dickerson’s awesome Tales From the Crypt: Demon Knight will be coming to Blu-ray alongside Bordello of Blood, thanks to Scream Factory. The 1995 favorite, directed by Dickerson and starring Billy Zane and William Sadler, is a highly requested title by the cult and horror label. An extension of the series, Demon Knight sees the…
The post Tales From the Crypt: Demon Knight Comes to Blu from Scream Factory appeared first on Shock Till You Drop. »
- Samuel Zimmerman
Two of the Cryptkeeper's big screen stories will receive a stellar home media treatment this fall. Scream Factory has announced that on October 20th, they will release the Tales From the Crypt films Demon Knight and Bordello of Blood in respective Collector's Edition Blu-rays.
From Scream Factory: "You asked for them...and we got em! Both Tales From The Crypt films Demon Knight (1995) and Bordello Of Blood (1996) will be coming out on 10/20 as separate "Collector Edition" Blu-rays. We have no additional information at this time except that newly-commissioned artwork will be revealed next month and that extras will be announced in Late Summer.
The cat (crypt keeper?) was let out of the bag (coffin?) earlier today over a leak on the internet that caught us by surprise and hence the out-of-the-blue announce today. Originally, we had planned to reveal these two highly-requested titles sometime next week. smile emoticon We hope »
- Derek Anderson
The story follows a future time-travel agency which puts together affordable vacation packages to history's biggest events. The first books will span Ancient Egypt, the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages and WWII.
Meanwhile, Michael J. Roth and Steve Longi have acquired feature film and TV rights to the Off Broadway musical-comedy "Zombie Prom". Vince Marcello and Mark Landry will pen and Marcello will helm the feature film adaptation.
The musical-comedy homage to the musicals and films of the 1950s tells the story of a forbidden romance between the rebellious bad boy Jonny and the good girl Toffee. After falling into a nuclear reactor, Jonny returns to his love as a zombie.
Next up, Fuego Films is teaming with Emmy-winning journalist Giselle Fernandez and have hired »
- Garth Franklin
While we wait and hope that director Ernest Dickerson is able to attract the necessary funding to produce his adaptation of Octavia Butler's 1984 novel "Clay's Ark," the filmmaker has secured financing for an adaptation of another novel, this one from Curaçaoan author, Frank Martinus Arion, titled "Double Play." The story centers on 4 men and a marathon game of dominoes they are all playing, which lasts from early morning until night, and which serves as a trigger for social, political and sexual rivalries, all set against a background of colonial unrest, in the 1970s (Curaçao was once a Dutch colony). A longer »
- Tambay A. Obenson
Double Play, Curacaoan author Frank Martinus Arion’s internationally acclaimed Dutch-language novel, is being adapted into a feature film to be helmed by Ernest Dickerson (Juice, The Wire). He’ll work from a script by Evan Jones and Alaric Alexander Smeets, with Lisa Cortes (Precious) and music and film festival organizer Gregory Elias producing. The novel, set during the 1970s, evokes themes of colonial unrest on the Caribbean island of Curacao during the tumultuous… »
Forty years after its theatrical release, Michael Schultz’s poignant early title Cooley High (1975) comes to Blu-ray. A prominent figure in film in the 70s and 80s thanks to iconic titles like the progressive Car Wash (1976), martial arts film The Last Dragon (1986), and the excellent 1977 Richard Pryor film Which Way is Up? (a remake of Wertmuller’s The Seduction of Mimi), Schultz tends to get left out of deserving discussions as concerns black filmmakers.
References to this 60s period piece concerning a group of friends growing up in the Chicago housing projects is often referred to as the black American Graffiti, a thankless distinction, to be sure. Operating outside of the Blaxploitation paradigm, Schultz and screenwriter Eric Monte (apparently portions of this are autobiographical) simply recreate a certain period wherein two friends learn hard lessons as they grow to realize the cruelty of the world around them. Less dramatic than »
- Nicholas Bell
All hail a cult classic. When "Demon Knight" premiered in theaters in January 1995, the kickoff to Universal's would-be "Tales from the Crypt" big-screen franchise suffered from generally negative reviews and mild box-office - only to develop a healthy cult following among lovers of old-school creature features in the intervening years. I remember seeing it on a Friday night in a packed house and loving every minute of it, from Billy Zane's over-the-top bad guy to those A-grade practical monster effects. Though the Ernest R. Dickerson-directed film was followed by two inferior movies - 1996's heinous Dennis Miller vehicle "Bordello of Blood" and 2002's "Ritual" - "Demon Knight" holds up one of the best horror-comedies of the 1990s. As it hits the two-decade mark, I'm counting down 10 reasons why it deserves our admiration. »
- Chris Eggertsen
Writer’s Note: This is the second part of my celebration of Ernest Dickerson’s Demon Knight, which turns 20 today. Truly one of my favorite horror movies to come out of the 1990’s (or really, any decade), Demon Knight was a landmark endeavor for many reasons. You can catch up with Part One of my retrospective here.
In Demon Knight, Brayker (William Sadler) and The Collector (Billy Zane) are vying for control over an ancient relic that controls the very fate of humanity. The duo eventually face-off at a remote long-term hotel in New Mexico called The Mission where several residents end up getting caught in the middle of their epic showdown. The hotel is run by the wise-cracking, no-nonsense Irene (Cch Pounder) who makes it her job to keep her renters in line, including former convict Jeryline (Jade Pinkett), a well-meaning prostitute named Cordelia (Brenda Bakke) and her client, »
- Heather Wixson
After several successful seasons on HBO under its belt, Tales from the Crypt and its iconic host, The Cryptkeeper (voiced by John Kassir), made the leap to the big screen in January 1995 with the feature film Demon Knight. Directed by Ernest Dickerson and starring William Sadler, Billy Zane, Jada Pinkett, Dick Miller, Brenda Bakke, Thomas Hayden Church, Cch Pounder and Charles Fleischer, Demon Knight debuted at #3 its opening weekend and took in over $21 million during its theatrical run, making the first of the Tales from the Crypt a bona fide success (even if the critics didn’t seem to think so).
A movie best remembered by fans for its masterful blending of horror and comedy, an incredibly diverse and talented cast of players as well as an iconic soundtrack and jaw-dropping special effects to boot, it was love at first sight after I first experienced Demon Knight all those years »
- Heather Wixson
16 items from 2015
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