Archive for severin films

Patrick (Severin Blu-ray/DVD) – Your Blu-ray Player May Just Turn on By Itself

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on 07/10/2014 by Dr. Jimmy Terror

Dr. Jimmy TERROR of  DOCTERROR.COM will be joining us as a resident guest writer for an undetermined amount of time. Be prepared to have your eyes written shut with the pre-history and post-apocalypse of HORROR. Give him a like over on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.

This is the first in a series of reviews for the recent Ozploitation extravaganza put out by Severin Films. We’re talking about four features that feature the creative stylings based in the Aussie world or shot in the Aussie world or starring Aussie folks. There’s a goddamn lot of it out there, and the timing couldn’t be more perfect with fever pitch interest levels set on the filmmaking down under. Why? Maybe it’s the Ozploitation documentary Not Quite Hollywood having a profound impact on the lot of us. I can’t claim to always have enjoyed Oz films. Sure I’ve seen the subject of this first review, Patrick, before watching Not Quite Hollywood my Australian related viewing was nil. I’ve enjoyed quite a bit since then though admittedly not as much as most of you. That being said, I’d like to run a little movie by you called Patrick. This is the original picture, not the recently reviewed (and enjoyed) remake. Severin Films did a bang up job on one of the most well recognized of this particular subset of films. Let’s honor it by indulging in a little HD OZ.

Synopsis from Severin Films

The original Ozploitation classic is back like you’ve never seen it before:Robert Thompson (THIRST) stars as a comatose killer seeminglyunresponsive in a small private hospital. But when a hot new nurse (SusanPenhaligon of THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT) begins to question his condition, Patrick will unleash a waking nightmare of psychokinetic carnage. 


Why does Patrick evoke such strong emotive responses from its viewers? There’s little action but it’s backed by an intriguing, unique story that keeps the audience curious while forcing them to make their own assumptions. If you let your mind run wild by theorizing over what you see in the first half of the film you’ll probably end up like a conspiracy theorist of horror, pondering the subtle nuisances of Patrick’s mysterious spittal. Those of you who have seen Patrick know the rub, enjoy the twist and undoubtedly come back for more despite it’s relatively slow burn. Perhaps Robert Thompson’s eyes have it. His ten mile stare into the great void is unsettling. It’d be damn near iconic if you could attach a one liner to his visage. Confession: I always look at the cover of Patrick and think Gerrit Graham. There was a time where I would have actually made claim that he was in the picture. While all performances are good, there are no truly breakout illustrations of acting. Maybe it’s the score performed by Goblin and Brian May that helped cement the reputation of this “comatose killer”.

I simply enjoy the mood of the film. There’s a bleak quality to Patrick that make it feel realistic even with the mostly fantastic surrounding each psychic occurrence or unexplained phenomena. Until the last quarter of the movie, most of this picture feels like it could very much happen with an eye on superstition and coincidence and dumb luck. Yes, there are driven doctors that strap coma patients in beds and want to experiment on them for years. I’d by that no matter what ethics code is violated. Patrick isn’t rich on violence or sex, but it does manage to create a mystery that generates a healthy dose of tension and suspense that resolves with an ending that is as sensationalistic as the opening hour felt rather normal.

The Blu-ray itself looks just great. 1080p Full HD. The extras as perfect for the Richard Franklin fan boys out there. Richard Franklin is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to the world of Ozploitation having directed Patrick, Road Games (another iconic Oz pic), Link and, this may surprise you, Psycho II to name just a few. His work is strong. He does the audio commentary for this release. You’ll also get interviews with Franklin as well as Everrett De Roche (screenwriter), Anthony I Ginnane (producer), Susan Penhaligon and Rod Mullinar (actors). The disc also includes TV spots, a theatrical trailer and a vintage TV interview with Richard Franklin. This release comes with both a Blu-ray and DVD. Oh, and there is an Easter Egg. I won’t spoil it for you.

Severin’s treatment of Patrick is a fan-ready disc. You really get into the world of Richard Franklin with quite a bit of time devoted to his perspective on the film while including both screenwriter and producer in the extras. It looks good. Watches and great and shouldn’t feel dated or irrelevant. The social issues raised in Patrick are just as prominent today as they were in 1978. My advice would be to watch Patrick with a little coffee to get yourself ready for a movie that will get your heart racing all be it at a gradual pace.

Pick up Patrick now along with the rest of the Ozploitation releases from Severin. Also make sure to check out the remake for a slightly different perspective on this now familiar story.


OZPLOITATION TRAILER EXPLOSION (Severin/Intervision DVD) – Party’s Not Over! It’s Only Just Begun

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on 07/09/2014 by Dr. Jimmy Terror

Dr. Jimmy TERROR of  DOCTERROR.COM will be joining us as a resident guest writer for an undetermined amount of time. Be prepared to have your eyes written shut with the pre-history and post-apocalypse of HORROR. Give him a like over on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.

I adore a good trailer reel, and I’m not above picking up any of them even if it contains trailers I’ve seen a thousand times as long as the theme is solid. With the most recent reel from Severin Films, Ozploitation Trailer Explosion, you get a healthy dose of the essential and underground films of Ozploitation era in a well organized, entertaining amalgam that demands an Aussie party in its honor. It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Severin Films and Intervision. They put out a bunch of classic Franco and, on their Intervision label, have given us some sexploitation Oz flicks in the past. This continues that flavor by highlighting movies that may not be on your radar.

From Severin/Intervision:

In the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, films like MY BRILLIANT CAREER and BREAKER MORANT put Australia’s ‘New Wave’ on the map. But at the same time, a depraved generation of young Aussie filmmakers was putting a very different kind of movie on screens. This is the ultimate collection of ‘Ozploitation’ trailers, packed with ockers, knockers, pubes, tubes, comatose killers, outback chillers, high-octane disasters and kung fu masters.
What we have here, is a nice way to round out a collection with trailers from yesteryear. You have the ability to watch them all in sequence or separate them by concentration. Sexplotation, Action/Crime, Horror. In my opinion this is what really distinguishes a solid trailer reel from a dirty stinking mess you might find elsehwere. There’s order or at least the option for order. You can also elect to screen each trailer separately from a handsome title screen. The quality is good. Trailers don’t often get as much attention as some full length releases. These look like well cared for shorts, and not a bunch of direct-from-VHS captures. The cover art is perfect combining some well crafted artistic interpretations of some classic Oz features.

Some of the movies on the disc are as follows:

Alvin Purple, Patrick (just reviewed from Severin), Road Games, Mad Dog Morgan, Stunt Rock, Stone, Barry McKenzie Holds His Own, Fantasm, Wake in Fright, Dead Kids (which we will review shortly), Felicity (the movie that I am going to be pick up shortly), Turkey Shoot (one of the best damn “most dangerous game” flicks out there), Thirst (to be reviewed shortly), The Man From Hong Kong, BMX Bandits, Dead End Drive-In (which I watched this past year on Netflix Instant and enjoyed some of the violence). There’s quite a bit more as I just pulled this list from the highlight list, but that’s part of the fun of at trailer reel. Discovering new shit.

If you’ve picked up Severin’s trifecta of Aussie horror, Patrick, Dead Kids and Thirst this is the perfect balance to those exceptionally strong releases. Lots of violence. Nude people with abundant pubic mounds. More fun than a pack of kangaroos getting slaughtered by a giant truck (well… almost) Combined with the documentary Not Quite Hollywood, you might even feel like you’ve taken a entry level course into the wonderful world of OZ. You can pick it up now. This will set you up for Wolf Creek 2 later this year when you can finally own that amazing new Oz picture.


Dead Kids (Severin Blu-ray) – Teach Your Children Well

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on 07/05/2014 by Dr. Jimmy Terror

Dr. Jimmy TERROR of  DOCTERROR.COM will be joining us as a resident guest writer for an undetermined amount of time. Be prepared to have your eyes written shut with the pre-history and post-apocalypse of HORROR. Give him a like over on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.

When Nick Lombardo tells you to grab a goddamn movie, you grab a goddamn movie. Recently at the Exhumed Films Giallo double feature, Nick picked up Dead Kids and started telling me about it. He said it was absolutely off the wall and great example of Ozploitation. If there’s one thing that I know for certain you always trust the opinion of the person who sets the stage for the horrorthon or splatterfest 35mm viewing.  I must say that he was absolutely correct in judging my sensibilities with regard to Oz horror, and I finally had the chance to enjoy Severin’s new release of Dead Kids aka Strange Behavior. While I talked about it recently on Dead Air, let’s continue the conversation.

Synopsis from Severin

The Ozploitation classic – and one of the most unique shockers of the ’80s – returns like never before: Michael Murphy (MANHATTAN), Dan Shor (BILL AND TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE) and Fiona Lewis (THE FURY) star in this grisly saga of bizarre experiments, butchered teens, New Zealand doubling for suburban Illinois, and a killer in a Tor Johnson mask


First impression: This thing’s got everything and everyone. Well maybe not quite but enough regular Ozploitation stars to give this some street credit.  My absolute favorite moment? A killer in a Tor Johnson mask is enough for me to say a picture has everything. We used to play with that mask as kids running around my buddy’s basement, playing the monster, getting high on the latex. It’s a creepy looking mask. We used to hang out in the crawlspace in their basement and the older kids would turn off the light. When they came on, TOR JOHNSON WAS TRYING TO KILL US. Now at the time I wasn’t aware of the Johnson, but I remember being terrified of the mask. Perhaps that’s why at least one segment of the picture stuck with me. Sure the violence leaves something to be desired, but for what they lack in gore, they make up for with a well controlled insanity all the way till the end. There really are some moments that weigh suspense firmly on your shoulder. The plot carries the picture well and even feels somewhat close to home while still creating an alternate universe where mind’s are fully controlled by the will of evil ever so easily. There are twists you will see coming. There are twists you will not seeing coming.

Yeah, it’s got a score by Tangerine Dream that rocks if you’re into that sort of thing. I am, so it sweetens the deal. the disc contains an isolated music score for your listening pleasure as well as two separate commentary tracks. The special effects featurette is a must watch for fans of the horror of 1981 (a common year around this column these days with Evilspeak and Final Exam getting new releases). The disc contains two separate trailers and needle-in-eyeball-cover art. It’s 1080p HD resolution, and definitely looks great.

Dead Kids is like watching all your high school friends turn into adults; brain washed and ready to kill everything. I’m sure there’s a deeper underlying meaning in a movie that should be considered influential to late 90’s cinema and post-Scream teen horror, but the main thing I got out of Dead Kids was good fun. A variety of kills with some quality acting from the great Dan Shor (that’s Billy the Kid from Bill & Ted) among other Oz players and a fun vibe that proves moderately horrifying but most definitely entertaining.

You can order Severin’s Dead Kids now. Tell ’em Nick Lombardo sent ya!


THIRST (Severin Blu-ray) – Aussie Vamp Flick with a Twist of Bathory

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on 07/03/2014 by Dr. Jimmy Terror

Dr. Jimmy TERROR of  DOCTERROR.COM will be joining us as a resident guest writer for an undetermined amount of time. Be prepared to have your eyes written shut with the pre-history and post-apocalypse of HORROR. Give him a like over on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.

This is the final installment in our look at the Severin Films Ozploitation series. Each one has been a great experience from the Ozploitation trailer real that is the perfect companion to Not Quite Hollywood to Patrick, one of the most important Aussie productions to the lighthearted fun of Dead Kids featuring Billy the Kid from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. With Thirst, the exploitation of the great Oz (Ozploitation being Australia based exploitation) takes us to a neo-Gothic plane of existence where Lady Bathory still bathes in blood to stay young or at least the heir to the almighty throne.

Synopsis from Severin Films:

The ‘Ozploitation’ classic – and one of the most unique vampire movies of our time – is back like you’ve never seen it before: David Hemmings (BLOW-UP, DEEP RED) andHenry Silva (THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE) star as executives of an international blood-drinking cartel known as ‘The Brotherhood’. But when they abduct a descendant (Chantal Contouri of THE DAY AFTER HALLOWEEN) of Elizabeth Bathory to reboot her depraved legacy, she must escape before the corporation can expand their human ‘blood cow’ dairies and create a vampire master race.

If the term “human blood cow” doesn’t make you want to enjoy this first then perhaps the cast will. Henry Silva, David Hemmings and Cantal Cantouri as well as Max Phipps. For those of you familiar with Ozploitation cinema some of these names will have more meaning than others. I firmly love Henry Silva in whatever I see him in though my personal preference is Alligator. It comes from the producer of Patrick and Turkey Shoot, two pieces of Oz gold.

Thirst attempts to reinvent the vampire legacy, throwing out the traditional Dracula vamp for the Bathory legend with plenty of modern day sensibilities. Bloodsuckers would get pretty sophisticated in the 1980’s. To create a blood bank of people for a population of needy vamps… that almost sounds like one of the subplots of the HBO series True Blood. This 1979 classic is well before its time apparently featuring a level of storytelling that went beyond the cape and fang set. Perhaps it’s kind should be considered Martin and The Hunger, but something about the general feeling of this one made me thing of the Midnight Mess story from The Vault of Horror. Putting people on tap and what not.

The transfer is really great though this was my first time enjoying it with nothing to compare it to. 1080p HD transferred from the original camera negative. 2.35:1 AR. This disc set features both DVD and Blu-ray. It includes TV spots, a theatrical trailer, an isolated Brian May music score and audio commentary with the director and producer. I love the woman-on-tap cover art.

Vampire fans… this one’s unique. You may have seen hundreds of vampire flicks, but this one doesn’t actually feel like a vampire flick. It feels like a great big social criticism with supernatural elements to it. That’s the formula that made George Romero famous. It’s not wonder that I compare this in length and breath to Romero’s Martin; not as an imitation mind you, but as a movie that offers a perspective not often presented in fang lore. I strongly recommend you check this one out. Fans of the movie and other oz flicks, this is the edition you’ve been waiting for.

You can pick up Thirst from Severin Films now.


VIDEO NASTIES: The Definitive Guide – Your Shopping List for the Certified Horror

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 06/22/2014 by Dr. Jimmy Terror

Dr. Jimmy TERROR of  DOCTERROR.COM will be joining us as a resident guest writer for an undetermined amount of time. Be prepared to have your eyes written shut with the pre-history and post-apocalypse of HORROR. Give him a like over on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.

Full disclaimer. I have owned Video Nasties The Definitive Guide from Nucleus, region locked for some time. I snatched it from across the pond some time ago, so this is rewatch, a second exploration and a chance to see if the Severin release did anything different for better or worse than the original release. This documentary is one that is near and dear to my heart, perhaps going so far as to say that it acts as my fifth chamber. I have sung its praises and mourned those tapes inside that were unjustly confiscated, individuals wrongfully prosecuted. I have seen the UK try time and time again to create their own moral bubble by creating laws that ban content rather than address social and criminal issues on a proper level. They continue to this day with their potential new requirements for DVD/Blu-ray extras rating requirements. Let’s state something that I believe strongly from the outset: Violent Movies DO NOT Make Violent People. I do believe that moral “crusaders”, zealots and ignorant fuckers create panic and falsely project their own squeamishness and cynicism onto movies that cannot defend themselves.  However, we, the video watching, movie collecting, content- hungry populace can and must defend movies and art of any kind Censorship makes the censor hungry. The movies they kill and devour only cause an insatiable self-righteous lust in the censor. Hunger for power.  The greatest weapon against this censor, the power monster, the ignorance and the “moral” warriors… is this three disc Video Nasties set (and the pending sequel to be released in the UK every so shortly). We will remember history; Never again, the Video Nasties!


Synopsis from Severin/Nucleus:


Prepare to be corrupted and depraved once more with this definitive guide to the Video Nasties phenomenon – one of the most extraordinary and scandalous eras in the history of British film. For the first time ever on DVD, TRAILERS to all 72 films that fell foul of the Director of Public Prosecutions are featured with specially filmed intros for each title in a lavish three-disc collector’s edition box-set, alongside a brand new documentary – VIDEO NASTIES: MORAL PANIC, CENSORSHIP AND VIDEOTAPE.

I’m guilty of glorifying the video nasties as much as any one. I did a challenge a couple of years back, watching all of them and writing about them. You can learn a great deal about what people find offensive or misunderstand by watching 72 films that get the axe, but while the video nasty list serves as a great menu of “must watch” gore fests, boobie chokers and filth, it also represents the suffering of many individuals who were prosecuted for nothing more than wanting to sit back on a Friday night with a low budget splatter fest no their couch. Distributors with families. Consumers spending money only to see their pounds ride off into the Thatcher governments secret vault, the no-no room (if a room exists in Parliament that could house all the nasties it would surely be called the no-no room). If you lived in England in the mid-80’s you had to fight to put your eyes on some of the greatest Italian movies every made. You had to cross your fingers when the post delivered your parcels from out of country. Would your bootlegs be seized? Would YOU be seized? I think of the movie V for Vendetta with Mr. Cready and his black bags and his government that would confiscate and devour human life for merely possessing a Koran. What is Cannibal Holocaust if not the holy book of the horror watching community? So I say again, remember that enjoy your nasties, but remember that they were more than a list of must-watches. They were a list of life destroyers and not because of the content on the screen.


Note: Share your stories in the comment section below if you endured the nasties.


Now that you’ve had some time to think about the movies you’ve been fawning over and the sacred list of films that inflicted so much pain, it’s time to actually appreciate them. Love them. Gorge on them, and satiate your thirst for some truly B cinema surrounded with exploitation gold, effects people who deserve awards who may never have received them and countless musical scores that are perfect for your workout routine (I speak from experience). Of course there are plenty of naked people… I mean a lot! Remember that one of the foci of the lawmakers during the nasty era was the blood-on-boobs factor. Using the video nasty list correctly, as an addendum to your horror watching career as a supplement to main stream releases and lighter fare is the perfect way to expand your horizons. This documentary provides a check list that spans nations and directors, subgenres and actors, decades and decay. Watching all 72 creates an automatic versatilitarian out of you. With this documentary you get a companion to your viewing journey from experts, from people like you, from filmmakers you love.


Last year, I helped to judge and assisted in a movie watching competition called the Halloween Horror Movie Marathon Madness with my compadre, Elizabeth Kathryn Gray. That year’s theme was called Portrait of a Video Nasty which essentially meant you’d get bonus points in the competition for watching video nasty list items among other banned movies not on the nasty list. The conversations the surrounded this competition were intense creating controversial statements and bold accusations, but at the end of the whole damn thing a number of well-versed horror fans had seen the entire nasty list, understood what “banned” looked like and sort of laughed at what the UK lawmakers saw as the purveyors of moral degradation. This documentary itself would get you points for watching even though it wasn’t widely available to the US market unless you owned a region free DVD player. No longer and issue for those of us in the United States thanks to Severin. That means that you can be a better educated debater when it comes to the VN’s with the assistance of this set.


If you haven’t had the chance to enjoy this set full of fourteen hours worth of content, you have a chance, with the region set to North America.  Disc 1 contains a documentary that details the history of the video nasty list and the creation of the Video Recording Act of 1984. You’ll find stills and an amazing reel of bumpers from labels that featured the nasties during their hey-day (pre certification). Disc 2 is a powerhouse selection to be sure. Each of the 39 nasties that were successfully prosecuted are featured with trailer and discussion. I’m talking about 39 separate minutes long segments with intelligent discussions about movies you love and don’t get enough conversation.  Disc 3 contains the trailers for the other 33 initially banned titles. Movies that are excellent, worth watching and are as a part of the nasty list as any of the actually prosecuted titles. The box is a nice oversized package that easily holds the three discs, each disc is a different color and the artwork on the front of the box, should really be a half sleeve on my goddamn arm.


Full release notes from Severin:
Disc One The era-defining and critically acclaimed documentary VIDEO NASTIES: MORAL PANIC, CENSORSHIP AND VIDEOTAPE directed by Jake (Doghouse) West and produced by Marc Morris features interviews with filmmakers Neil Marshall (‘The Descent’, ‘Doomsday’), Christopher Smith (‘Severance’, ‘Black Death’) and MP Graham Bright as well as rare archive footage featuring James Ferman (director of the BBFC 1975-1999) & Mary Whitehouse. Taking in the explosion of home video, the erosion of civil liberties, the introduction of draconian censorship measures, hysterical press campaigns and the birth of many careers born in blood and videotape, West’s documentary also reflects on the influence this peculiar era still exerts on us today.

Disc Two presents the 39 titles that were successfully prosecuted in UK courts and deemed liable to deprave and corrupt. These included: ‘Absurd’, ‘Cannibal Holocaust’, ‘The Driller Killer’, ‘I Spit on Your Grave’, ‘Nightmares in a Damaged Brain’, ‘Snuff’ & ‘Zombie Flesh-Eaters’.

Disc Three presents the 33 titles that were initially banned, but then subsequently acquitted and removed from the DPP’s list. These included: ‘Death Trap’, ‘Deep River Savages’, ‘The Evil Dead’, ‘Human Experiments’, ‘The Toolbox Murders’ & Zombie Creeping Flesh.

Discs 2 & 3 can be viewed either as a non-stop trailer show, or with newly-filmed introductions from a wide range of acclaimed media academics and notable genre journalists. Each disc is preceded by a brief introduction by cult horror presenter Emily Booth.


You can order Video Nasties The Definite Guide now. Keep your peepers peeled for the sequel Video Nasties Draconian Days.


Be a better horror fan. Watch a video nasty today. Of course if you’re going to watch a video nasty, then you probably need to enjoy this documentary to gain the most of your viewing experience. A great big thanks to Severin who is helping us to remember what the real face of evil looks like, in the UK and beyond.


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