Cine Outsider header
front page    disc reviews      film reviews    articles    interviews  
news archive
Older news stories have been archived by year and month, most recent first. They can be accessed by clicking on the links below.
  2020 2019
2018 2017 2016
2015 2014 2013
2012 2011 2010
2009 2008 2007
2006 2005 2004
 
The Painted Bird, Lon Chaney Jr & Sam Fuller on Eureka Blu-ray in November/December

1 October 2020

Eureka has announced a number of titles for November and December 2020 release. In November, Czech director Vaclav Marhoul’s cinematic masterpiece The Painted Bird, featuring a star-studded international ensemble, will be released on Blu-ray. This will be followed in December by Inner Sanctum Mysteries: The Complete Film Series, which is being touted as a must-own for every classic mystery and horror fan. December will also see the Limited Edition release of Sam Fuller's Hell and High Water and House of Bamboo on stand-alone Blu-rays, having only been previously available on Blu-ray as part of the Fuller at Fox: Five Films 1951-1957 box set. Finally in December Eureka will be re-releasing the Once Upon a Time in China Trilogy, Tsui Hark’s dazzling kung-fu trilogy starring Jet Li and Rosamund Kwan.

 

The Painted Bird Blu-ray cover art and slipcase

THE PAINTED BIRD (2019) | Blu-ray | 16 November 2020 | £12.99

Featuring a staggering central performance from the young Petr Kotlár alongside a star-studded international ensemble including Udo Kier, Stellan Skarsgård, Harvey Keitel, Julian Sands and Barry Pepper. The Painted Bird has won ecstatic acclaim, with The Guardian’s Xan Brooks describing the film as “a monumental piece of work” rewarding the film with a five-star review.

The film follows the journey of a boy, entrusted by his Jewish parents to an elderly foster mother in an effort to escape persecution. Following a tragedy, the boy is on his own.  Wandering through the desecrated countryside, the boy encounters villagers and soldiers whose own lives have been brutally altered, and who are intent on revisiting this brutality on the boy. When the war ends, the boy has been changed, forever. 

Shot in crisp black and white 35mm – Václav Marhoul’s The Painted Bird does far more than simply depict the horror of war. It is an unflinching examination of the very worst of humanity.

BLU RAY FEATURES:

  • Limited Edition O-Card slipcase [1000 copies]
  • 1080p presentation on Blu-ray
  • Optional English subtitles
  • 11 Colours: The Making of ‘The Painted Bird’ [125 mins] – a behind-the-scenes look at the incredible 11 year process it took director Václav Marhoul to create the film version of Jerzy Kosiński’s controversial novel
  • A collector’s booklet featuring an essay on the film by Jason Wood [1000 copies]

Read Jerry Whyte's review of the film here.

 

Inner Sanctum Mysteries Blu-ray cover art

INNER SANCTUM MYSTERIES: THE COMPLETE FILM SERIES | Blu-ray | 7 December 2020 | £29.99

Death, dementia, dark arts… it’s just another day in the forbidding and fascinating world of the Inner Sanctum! Get ready for unlimited thrills and chills as all six classic Inner Sanctum Mysteries come to Blu-ray in the UK for the first time ever! Based on the popular radio shows of the 1940’s, horror icon Lon Chaney, Jr. (The Wolf Man), gives timeless performances in six spooky feature-length films.

Calling Dr. Death (dir. Reginald Le Borg, 1943) – A doctor is not sure if he murdered his wife and has his nurse try to find the truth by hypnotising him.

Weird Woman (dir. Reginald Le Borg, 1944) – While on a trip, a professor falls in love with an exotic native woman who turns out to be a supernatural being.

Dead Man’s Eyes (dir. Reginald Le Borg, 1944) – When an artist is blinded, an operation to restore his sight depends on another person willing to donate their eyes.

The Frozen Ghost (dir. Harold Young, 1945) – A stage mentalist and a discredited plastic surgeon are involved in mysterious goings-on in an eerie wax museum.

Strange Confession (dir. John Hoffman, 1945) –Flashbacks reveal the events leading up to a man’s revenge on the racketeer who took advantage of his wife.

Pillow of Death (dir. Reginald Le Borg, 1945) – A lawyer in love with his secretary is suspected of suffocating his wife, among others.

BLU-RAY BOX SET FEATURES:

  • O-Card Slipcase
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentations of all six films
  • Uncompressed LPCM monaural audio tracks
  • Optional English SDH subtitles
  • Calling Dr. Death – Audio commentary from screenwriter/film historian C. Courtney Joyner and Regina Le Borg (daughter of director Reginald Le Borg)
  • Weird Woman – Audio commentary from author Justin Humphreys (The Dr. Phibes Companion) and Del Howison (Dark Delicacies: Original Tales of Terror and the Macabre)
  • Strange Confession – Audio commentary from screenwriter Peter Atkins (Hellraiser II, III, & IV) and screenwriter/film historian C. Courtney Joyner
  • Kim Newman on The Inner Sanctum Mysteries – New interview with journalist, film critic, and fiction writer Kim Newman
  • This is the Inner Sanctum: Making a Universal Mystery Series [55 mins]
  • The Creaking Door: Entering The Inner Sanctum [15 mins] – History of the Radio Series with author/radio historian Martin Grams Jr.
  • Mind Over Matter [20 mins] – Archival interview with actor Martin Kosleck (The Frozen Ghost)
  • Inner Sanctum Mysteries: Radio Episodes – A selection of episodes from the original radio series
  • A collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the series by Craig Ian Mann

 

Hell and High Water Blu-ray cover art

HELL AND HIGH WATER (1954) | Limited Edition Blu-ray | 7 December 2020 | £12.99

In the summer of 1953, it was announced that an atomic bomb of foreign origin had been exploded somewhere outside of the United States… This is the story of that explosion.” Starting with a nuclear explosion and only escalating from there (Fuller was a master of the opening scene – “If a story doesn’t give you a hard-on in the first couple of scenes, throw it in the goddamn garbage.”), Hell and High Water is a white-knuckle Cold War thriller that would have a huge influence on the future of blockbuster cinema (Steven Spielberg was so enamoured with the film that he kept a print in his car for many years).

When military intelligence suggests a secret atomic base is being covertly set-up on an island near Japan, former US Navy commander Adam Jones (Richard Widmark) is sent on a covert mission to prevent a nuclear attack that could trigger World War 3.

LIMITED EDITION BLU-RAY FEATURES:

  • Limited - 1000 Copies
  • 1080p presentation on Blu-ray from Fox’s 4K restoration.
  • Original, uncompressed, stereo soundtrack
  • Optional English SDH
  • Audio commentary by author Scott Harrison
  • Richard Widmark: Strength of Characters” [45 mins] – a documentary on the actor
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • A collector’s booklet featuring an essay by film critic Philip Kemp and the words of Samuel Fuller

Read Slarek's review of the Blu-ray here.

 

House of Bamboo Blu-ray cover art

HOUSE OF BAMBOO (1955) | Limited Edition Blu-ray | 7 December 2020 | £12.99

“What about Japan?” asked Zanuck. “Would you like to shoot a picture there?” “Holy mackerel, Darryl, now you’re talking!” When offered the opportunity to film an entire movie in Japan, (Fox would be the first major American studio to do so) Samuel Fuller jumped at the opportunity and the result is House of Bamboo, a lushly photographed, cold-as-ice film noir like no other.

Japan, 1954. A military train is robbed of its cargo by a ruthless gang of professionals led by the sadistic, but brilliant, Sandy Dawson (the incomparable Robert Ryan). Weeks later, one of the thieves lies dying in a Tokyo hospital, shot by his own accomplices. Recently released convict Eddie Spanier (Robert Stack) arrives in Tokyo, and joins up with the gang, impressing Sandy so much he quickly becomes his “ichiban” (number one man), greatly displeasing the former favourite, Griff (Cameron Mitchell). But is Eddie all he seems?

Also starring the beautiful Shirley Yamaguchi, House of Bamboo is a stunning, brutal masterpiece, featuring incredible widescreen photography by Joe MacDonald, and hard-boiled dialogue and action that is the Fuller trademark.

LIMITED EDITION BLU-RAY FEATURES:

  • Limited - 1000 copies
  • 1080p presentation on Blu-ray from Fox’s 2K restoration
  • Original, uncompressed, monaural soundtrack
  • Optional English SDH
  • Audio commentary with Film Historians Julie Kirgo and Nick Redman
  • Audio commentary with Film historians Alain Silver and James Ursini
  • Fuller at Fox” – a video essay by David Cairns looking at Samuel Fuller’s films produced for Twentieth Century Fox
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • A collector’s booklet featuring an essay by film critic Richard Combs and the words of Samuel Fuller

Read Slarek's review of the Blu-ray here.

 

Once Upon a Time in China Trilogy bex set art

ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA TRILOGY (19911-1993) | Blu-ray | 7 December 2020 | £25.99

Starring Jet Li as the real life Cantonese folk hero, Wong Fei-hung, a physical embodiment of traditional Chinese values and moral incorruptibility, the Once Upon a Time in China series is a martial arts epic that charts China’s transition into the modern-world as it gradually abandons its old traditions and begins to accept the inevitable encroach of Western cultures.

Once Upon a Time in China – In 19th century Canton, Wong Fei-hung battles ruthless imperialist forces determined to subjugate his country and enslave his people, leading to a climactic fight sequence still regarded as one of the best ever filmed. 

Once Upon a Time in China II – Wong Fei-hung faces off against the White Lotus Cult, a dangerous xenophobic group seeking to drive all European influence out of China, as well as a corrupt military officer, played by Donnie Yen in his breakthrough role.

Once Upon a Time in China III – Wong Fei-hung travels to Peking and is forced to enter a martial-arts contest in order to prevent an assassination attempt against a prominent Chinese diplomat who wants to showcase traditional Chinese martial-arts, and restore national pride. With action sequences choreographed by the legendary Yuen Woo-ping, the Once Upon a Time in China series is a glorious high-point in martial-arts filmmaking, and Eureka Classics is proud to present Tsui Hark’s original trilogy, as well as Once Upon a Time in China and America (which saw Jet Li return to the Wong Fei-hung role after a four year gap).

BLU-RAY BOX SET FEATURES:

  • 4 Blu-ray discs housed in a single case, with slim cardboard packaging featuring new artwork by Darren Wheeling 
  • 1080p presentations of all three films on Blu-ray, sourced from 4K restorations
  • Original Cantonese audio tracks
  • Optional English and Mandarin audio tracks
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Once Upon a Time in China and America [dir. Sammo Hung & Lau Kar-wing, 100 mins, 1080p HD from a 2K restoration] – the final chapter in the Once Upon a Time in China series, with Jet Li making a triumphant return to his most iconic role
  • Once Upon a Time in China and America – Original Cantonese, dubbed English, and original Mandarin synch-sound audio options
  • Once Upon a Time in China and America – Optional English subtitles
  • Once Upon a Time in China and America – “Making of…” documentary [30 mins]
  • Audio commentaries on Once Upon a Time in China I-III by martial-arts cinema expert Mike Leeder and filmmaker Arne Venema
  • The Legend of Wong Fei-Hung [48 mins] – a three-part featurette on the legendary folk hero
  • Memories of Once Upon a Time in China II – Interview with actor Mike Miller [49 mins]
  • Memories of Once Upon a Time in China III – Interview with actor John Wakefield [29 mins]
  • Archival interview with actor and Shaw Brothers veteran, Yen Shi-kwan [10 mins]
  • Archival interview with Jet Li [10 mins]
  • Archival interview with Donnie Yen
  • Archival Q&A with Jet Li [10 mins]
  • Archival interview with director Tsui Hark [23 mins]
  • Archival interview with actor John Wakefield [11 mins]
  • Trailers for all films

Read Slarek's review of the Blu-ray set here.