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Mr. K. Arts "keirarts" (uk)
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An American Hippie in Israel [Blu-ray] [1972] [US Import]
An American Hippie in Israel [Blu-ray] [1972] [US Import]
Dvd ~ Asher Tzarfato

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Far-out and region-free!!!!, 2 Oct. 2013
Mike, an American Hippie (played by Greek-Israeli actor Asher Tzarfati) head to Israel after 'bumming around Europe' for a while. Not long after arriving he's picked up by a groovy chick and once they get more 'intimately acquainted' in an apparently not faked sex-scene, Mike soon meets up with Israels own happening crowd. After partying down in a shed of some type for a while Mike comes to the decision that they should all find some remote area to start a new life free from the violence and ignorance of the modern world. The plan is endangered somewhat by the machine gun toting mimes that are stalking him and kill most of his new friends. Mike and the three survivors decide to head off anyway and embark on an ultimately doomed journey to find a new life on a rocky island.

If the above synopsis sounds somewhat odd then prepare yourself because American Hippie in Israel is a FAR stranger experience than mere words can describe. The plot is mental, the action and acting over the top and the anti-war symbolism that permeates the movie is at best heavy handed. That said the cinematography is great and the film at least looks good. This is the first and only full length feature film from Amos Serfer, who promptly disappeared off to America as soon as he realized the film was a bomb. Now, thanks to the efforts of Grindhouse releasing the film is finally finding it's audience as Israels first cult movie! The film avoids becoming truly dreadful thanks to it's utter weirdness and the sincerity with which its made. Like the best cult films American Hippie is a truly FUN film to watch.

I'd been after getting hold of this movie after seeing the trailer on previous Grindhouse releases including the excellent I DRINK YOUR BLOOD, I Drink Your Blood [DVD] [1971] [Region 1] [US Import][NTSC] This was WAAAAYYYY back in 2005! The trouble is sometimes trailers can really mis-sell a film. I caught the other trailer-ed film Massacre mafia style some time back and while good, the trailer is essentially the first ten minutes and nothing after really captures the pace. Here with American Hippie the mental trailer really does sell the experience of watching the film perfectly and actually getting to see it after eight years i'm glad to say it doesn't dissapoint!

[...]

So the real question is now is what is the disc itself like?

I'm happy to report its very well put together indeed and worthy of consideration. If the HD presentation here is an example of what we can expect from future Grindhouse Blu-rays then i'm a very happy fan-boy! The picture and sound quality are both excellent and the film is very natural looking with no signs of noise reduction or excessive cleaning. Extras wise there's a lengthy and informative Q&A with two of the stars, interviews, short films by the director, deleted scenes and much, much more!
We get the same again on DVD with the second disc (also region free) and a third and final disc with the original and extended cut of the film titled THE HITCHHIKER recently unearthed in an Israeli film archive. The quality here isn't so hot but apparently the materials were not up to much so it's presented more as an extra.
The whole thing is limited to 2000 copies so snap them up quickly!!! This is a genuine and fun cult trip that is well worth taking.


sussed!® FIRST IMPRESSIONS | hilarious 3-in-1 personality quiz card game | fun figuring out people
sussed!® FIRST IMPRESSIONS | hilarious 3-in-1 personality quiz card game | fun figuring out people
Offered by Games to Get Ltd
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun., 2 Oct. 2013
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
It's amazing how much fun can be had over the course of an evening with a bottle of wine and a game. When I was offered to test this edition of sussed I leaped at the chance as I have a group of friends who like to meet up, be break out a game and make an evening out of it. SUSSED! was perfect for this. Basically it's a series of cards with questions about how you think people see you. You answer it and also answer if you think that's how the other people in the group see you. The others also write their answer down on their own bit of paper. The reader of the question scores each time the answer matches with the answer each member of the group has written. So basically its a question of how do you perceive yourself and how do others perceive you? Honestly the answers can be surprising and revealing.

It's a simple game, it comes backed in a small box so storage is easy and its a game that can easily last a whole evenings play in a group. The best way to play in my opinion is with a group of three or more. The questions themselves are funny and it's careful not to go into any uncomfortable territory.

Basically, if your after a fun, well designed game to bring to a party this should do the trick nicely.


The Cartographer's Apprentice
The Cartographer's Apprentice
Price: £0.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction to the series., 29 Sept. 2013
If you have been eyeing Mr Websters books for some time, unsure as to whether you want to take the plunge or not, here is provided a golden opportunity to give the author a try at a bargain price. There are three short stories, the first being The cartographers apprentice, followed by Dirt and good ale and one for the road. The first two stories fit the category of detective story, featuring a young Benor Dorfinngil, protagonist of the first few books of the series. They are a prequel of sorts to the books and the reader needs no prior knowledge of them to appreciate these stories. The third also features Mr Dorfinngil but veers away from fantasy detective setting to the pulp fantasy in the vein of Robert E. Howard as Benor is hired to map a remote and dangerous area.

So, if you've been hesitant to lay down a fiver on one of Jim Websters book, at the 0.79p asking price this is the perfect opportunity to give him a try. I'm willing to bet you'll enjoy his work and look to picking up the rest of his books in the near future. If your already a fan this is still a good buy as all the stories are page turners and actually rank as some of his best writing to date.

So, both a bargain and a good read. Can't say fairer than that!


Bird With the Crystal Plumage [Blu-ray] [US Import]
Bird With the Crystal Plumage [Blu-ray] [US Import]
Dvd ~ Tony Musante
Price: £30.16

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VCI DISC IS A WORTHY INVESTMENT., 16 Sept. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
***THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE VCI BLU-RAY!!!*****

Dario Argento's debut, that established his name as a major figure in film-making has had some rough treatment over the years. Most famously Arrow released a director of photography approved transfer from Vittorio Storaro that looked ok but was in entirely the wrong ratio. As a result the Blue underground release shot up in value after it went out of print and collectors have had to pay a hefty sum to get a quality HD release of the film. This seems to be as a result of European and American releasing company's having access to different materials and the general complexity of international film rights.

VCI have delivered a print that's region free and actually looks SLIGHTLY better than the Blue underground one. Fans who own the BU release need not rush out to claim this release as while the color scheme is somewhat brighter and more vivid, and more detail apparent with a nice layer of natural film grain, the release is not a big enough upgrade to warrant jettisoning those BU discs just yet. It has the complete soundtrack on the blu-ray and a trailer but it also lacks the added bonus material also found on both the Blue underground and Arrow releases.

The Cheapest option for newcomers is to pick up this release for the film, and if the added bonus materials are your thing, pay a lot less for the Arrow release which generally goes for next to nothing, and save yourself a few quid on the eye wateringly expensive BU release.

Overall though, this is an excellent presentation of the film from VCI at an affordable price.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 29, 2014 7:53 PM BST


Fanex Files: Samuel Z Arkoff [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Fanex Files: Samuel Z Arkoff [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Samuel Z. Arkoff
Offered by RAREWAVES USA
Price: £4.27

5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent tribute., 31 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Roger Corman gets a lot of credit. Well deserved credit mind you, as a director and then producer he directed several genre classics including the famous AIP Poe movies, as a producer he also gave many major talents their first breaks in film-making. There has been at last one major documentary about him and he has cameo appearances in the works of Joe Dante, Jonathan Demme and even Wim Wenders.

Samuel Z. Arkoff on the other hand, seems not to get the same level as credit as Corman, yet even if he's pictured as more the 'money-man' Arkoff along with his business partner James H Nicholson as heads of AIP oversaw the funding and production of many classic 'B-pictures' and successfully ran AIP (american international pictures) for decades. His last picture was the Amityville Horror which he optioned and got made himself after reading the book on holiday at his daughters suggestion. Arkoff's business sense took AIP from producing B pictures for Hollywood to becoming a major creative force in their own right that could play without the need for bigger budgeted Hollywood fare to play alongside.

This Fanex files documentary gives a nice overview of Arkoff's life and career. While it does not go into specific detail over every AIP production this is hardly surprising if you look at IMDB and see the vast amount of titles they put out. It's a glowing tribute however and helps put a face to the name.

I thoroughly enjoyed this little documentary. At 91 minutes it does not outstay its welcome. If I had any gripes it would be the lack of any bonus material. An AIP trailer showreel might be nice but then there could be rights issues.

If like me you have watched dozens of AIP productions and ever wanted to know more about Mr Arkoff this will be right up your street!


Tower of Evil [Blu-ray] [US Import]
Tower of Evil [Blu-ray] [US Import]
Dvd ~ Richard Gordon

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent presentation, Sadly once again region locked., 23 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
******EDIT**********

Many apologies. It seems Mys PS3 had been acting up (and has now been replaced) this is REGION FREE.

*********************************************************************************************************

After a young woman is discovered covered in Blood and clutching a golden spear on the remote Snape island, a group of academics head there to investigate when it is revealed the golden spear is an important archaeological discovery that may lead to an ancient tomb and a priceless statue of the ancient god Baal. You would think the group would consider bringing some armed security given the last group to visit got horribly slaughtered (including a small appearance by 70's cheeky chappy Robin Askwith) but instead they head there and throw caution to the wind. Surprise surprise the killers still out and about and the slaughter begins once again.

In spite of its flaws Tower of evil is great fun. Made in 1972 a year after Mario Bava's Bay of blood and two years before Bob Clark's classic Black Christmas, this minor classic was produced by Richard Gordon (Inseminoid, Cat and the Canary, Horror hospital) and directed by Jim O'Connolly (Valley of Gwangi) and predates the slasher film craze by six years. It's a meaty movie with plenty of gore and some nudity as well and is very atmospheric. Horror fans interested in early proto-slasher films could do worse than check this out.

Its part of the Katerina's nightmare theater line of releases and we get another fun intro from Katerina (optional for those that don't like it)and we also get a short featurette thrown in as well. The picture and sound are excellent and the film looks much better than it ever has before.

The downsides are that it hasn't got the Commentary track from the UK release and its region locked. The latter could mean a company like Arrow or Odeon (who have been doing a superb job of issuing brit horror on Blu-ray) are planning a release so keep your eyes peeled.

If your multi-region capable this release is well worth looking at.


Fog: Collector's Edition [Blu-ray] [1980] [US Import]
Fog: Collector's Edition [Blu-ray] [1980] [US Import]
Dvd ~ Adrienne Barbeau
Price: £40.57

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VAST improvement over previous Blu-ray Releases., 18 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE SCREAM FACTORY SPECIAL EDITION. If your reading this under the UK blu-ray listing forget it. That version is mediocre at best. If you can play Region A discs then go for the Scream Factory release. It's much better!

Now that's out of the way, and boy how I hate Amazons insistence on sticking these reviews on every other product out there, its time to get down to business.
If your one of those rare people who has never seen The Fog, then your in for a treat. Its a classic ghost story framed around a tale told to kids around a camp fire. This sets the tone of the film perfectly. Sleepy coastal town Antonio bay hides a dark secret, one that is about to be revealed on the towns Centenary as a strange Fog bank rolls in bringing a ghostly terror with it. The ghosts of dead mariners with a grudge against the town.

The film looks great and has an excellent score (as is the case with all carpenters films!) If you've seen the dreadful remake then you will know that in spite of a big budget and lots of CGI, Carpenters original makes the ghosts look FAR creepier with just some clever lighting courtesy of cinematographer Dean Cundy and the smarts to show as little as possible. As a result the original is still regarded as a classic of the genre while it's remake (or re-boot or whatever the hell their calling them these days) is just an embarrassment and not worth watching.

Scream factory, with the assistance of Dean Cundy have finally delivered the definitive presentation of the film. It looks so sharp and clear, detail previously obscured in the frame can be clearly seen. Make no mistakes, the film looks astonishing and is one of the best restorations the company has put out to date. It's a shame it's region locked as it puts the UK disc to shame.

Extras wise we get all the old features carried over including the making of and the commentary. We also get a new second commentary track from Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins and Tommy Lee Wallace. Also included is an interview with Jamie lee Curtis, a storyboard to film featurette, outtakes, trailers and another Horrors Hallowed grounds feature.

Overall it's a magnificent package. The new art for the sleeve is good as well. Certainly worth a look for the multi-region capable.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 16, 2014 7:10 AM BST


Black Lagoon: Complete Set - Season 1 & 2 [Blu-ray] [US Import]
Black Lagoon: Complete Set - Season 1 & 2 [Blu-ray] [US Import]
Dvd ~ Artist Not Provided
Price: £65.75

4.0 out of 5 stars Region locked, but a better release., 3 Aug. 2013
THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE US FUNIMATION SERIES!

BLACK LAGOON is a delirious and over-the-top homage to action films of the eighties and nineties. Rock is a Salaryman working for a major Japanese company during the economic bubble, his company is into some shady activities overseas and Rock heads over to the lawless port town of Roanapur, somewhere in south-east Asia (most likely Thailand). When it all goes wrong and the company flees town Rock is abandoned in the Port town and begins working for the Lagoon company, a group of American outlaws working for the various gangs that inhabit the town including the Russian Mafia, the Triads and South American cartels. Soon Rock begins to find himself more at home in this dangerous port town and his old life begins to fade out of sight.

Quite frankly BLACK LAGOON is one of the best anime series you will get a chance to see. There literally is not a bad episode in the whole series. The animation is excellent and looks Marvelous in HD, the character designs, writing, everything is first rate and if you like Anime you need to seek this show out immediately.

At time of writing the UK release(es) are split into series 1 and 2 and cost £18-£19 each. They're Blu-ray disc only (but still look marvelous) and if your unable to play REGION A discs they are the releases to buy. If your multi-region capable however its worth considering the US funimation release.

Why?

Well you get BOTH releases in one box, plus you get Blu and DVD's included meaning if you have a regular DVD player in your bedroom or your mate is DVD only you can still watch it and its roughly the same price (at time of writing.)

Ultimately whatever release you end up owning, this is a show you REALLY SHOULD OWN.


Possession [Blu-ray]
Possession [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Sam Neill
Price: £14.90

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent release., 31 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Possession [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
In Possession, Sam Neill plays a Spy who has come back to west Berlin after spending some time on assignment on the other side of the Berlin Wall. Upon arriving home he finds his marriage is slowly disintegrating and his wife has taken up with a new man called Heinrich, a free-spirited libertarian. However, as he investigates he discovers there is another lover in the mix, and uncovers a dark secret that his wife has been keeping from both him and Heinrich. Her new lover isn't human and she will kill to protect it!.

It's curious that Second Sight decided to release this so close to David Cronenberg's THE BROOD The Brood (Blu Ray) [Blu-ray] Both films are about the disintegration of the nuclear family in a bitter divorce and both films have their lead female protagonist give birth to a metaphor made flesh. In the case of THE BROOD Samantha Eggar's character gave birth to a physical manifestation of her rage, in POSSESSION Isabelle Adjani gives birth to something with a more political context than the psychological one seen in the Cronsnberg film. Set in Berlin and featuring plenty of shots of the Wall, and the guards observing things through binoculars, the film is set in a city divided both physically and psychologically. In essence the city is as divided as the characters who bicker, scream and self-harm and show little awareness of the people around them. As things continue to fall apart in their private lives, and the characters grow ever madder and the plot gets stranger, we get the impression the world itself is falling to pieces. It's also worth noting director Zulawski made this film after the sudden ending of his marriage (his wife ran of with a man named Heinrich) and the ending of his last film at the hands of Poland's Communist government so there is a strong element of autobiography to the film as well.

So then, anyone who says that horror films can't be intelligent or have anything to say about the world should really be directed to this wonderful and strange movie that sits nicely on the shelf next to the works of Jodorowsky, Lynch and Cronenberg. Previously banned in the United Kingdom by idiots who didn't really 'get' it. The film is now out on Blu-ray from second sight with a wealth of extras including two commentary tracks, a 51 minute making of, interviews and more. For the most part the picture quality is excellent, there is some 'noise' however in some of the darker scenes that gets quite noticeable, it doesn't look like DNR as there's plenty of detail in the image. I suspect it may be due to the source material showing it up in HD but i'm sure someone more knowledgeable than me might have an answer.

Overall though it's the best release of the film to date. I have the Anchor bay US release and the previous Second sight DVD release and this is still a noticeable step up from those. If you have not seen the film yet I urge you to buy it immediately and watch it. It's a genuinely brilliant slice of cinema. It nearly won at Cannes, and Isabelle Adjani won for her insane and over the top performance which was criticized by some critics but suits the tone of the film perfectly.
Comment Comments (9) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 4, 2013 12:45 AM BST


Learning a Hard Trade
Learning a Hard Trade
Price: £3.48

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First, Kill all the lawyers....., 31 July 2013
The Story follows Trulor, who after avenging his fathers murder at age seven, sets out to become an Urlan knight. As he reaches adulthood he must set out with his grandfather to find the truth about a mysterious belt that left by his father and was the motive for his killing. On his Journey we see Trulor become a man, learn a trade, find love and encounter the most insidious and lethal of enemies encountered so far in any of Mr Websters books.....LAWYERS!

Once again Jim Webster has spun an impressive yarn set in a home-grown universe and once again has avoided repetition... this time we learn more about the Urlan knights and their culture, characters that were part of the previous story's rich tapestry of characters take center stage here and the setting becomes richer and more detailed as a result. The sense of humor from the previous books is present and accounted for and as with the previous book you don't need to have read the previous books in the series to jump aboard here either.

Like the previous entries in the series Learning a Hard Trade comes highly recommended to fantasy fans and non-fantasy fans alike. The book flows like a mountain stream and is over before you know it, leaving you waiting for the next installment!


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