Blu-Reviews: Night of the Creeps, Space:1999 The Complete Series, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, This Island Earth, Bojack Horseman: Complete Season 1 & 2

Adam RuhlBlu-Ray Review, HorrorLeave a Comment

Night of the Creeps

Synopsis from the Press Release:

When an alien experiment goes awry, it crashes to Earth in 1959 and infects a young college student. Twenty-seven years later, his cryogenically frozen body is thawed out by fraternity pledges … and the campus is quickly overrun by alien creatures whose victims turn into zombies!

Adam Says:

Night of the Creeps has always been a quirky little horror film. It’s entertaining but oddly paced and I’ve always wondered why one of the characters gets such an undeserved off-screen death. Regardless, the film is a classic and Scream Factory has really given fans everything with this great two-disc Collector’s Edition. Included are both the full theatrical and the full director’s cut on separate discs (I believe the previous versions only had one or the other with the opposite ending as a bonus feature). They have also included a massive amount of extras ranging from an epic documentary to audio commentaries and/or interviews with most of the major cast. I especially like the original poster art slipcover that gives this set great display potential.

Special Features Include:

DISC ONE:

Theatrical Version

  • Thrill Me!: The Making of NIGHT OF THE CREEPS– a five-part documentary on the making of the film featuring interviews with writer/director Fred Dekker, actors Tom Atkins, Jason Lively, Steve Marshall, Jill Whitlow, producer Charles Gordon, special makeup effects creator David B. Miller, Special Makeup Effects artists Howard Berger and Robert Kurtzman and more
  • Tom Atkins: Man of Action– a look at the actor’s career
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Theatrical Trailer

DISC TWO:

Director’s Cut

  • Audio Commentary with writer/director Fred Dekker
  • Audio Commentary with actors Tom Atkins, Jason Lively, Steve Marshall and Jill Whitlow
  • NEW Horror’s Hallowed Grounds– a look at the film’s locations today with host Sean Clark, director Fred Dekker and actor Jason Lively
  • NEW Real Good Plan– an interview with actor Jason Lively
  • NEW The Bradster– an interview with actor Alan Kayser
  • NEW I Vote For That One– an interview with actor Ken Heron
  • NEW Worst Coroner Ever– an interview with actor Vic Polizos
  • NEW Answering the Door– an interview with actress Suzanne Snyder
  • NEW Final Cut– an interview with editor Michael N. Knue

 

Space:1999 The Complete Series

Synopsis from the Press Release:

September 1999: A nuclear waste dump on the lunar surface unexpectedly detonates, blasting the moon out of Earth’s orbit and taking the inhabitants of Moonbase Alpha on an unbelievable voyage of discovery and adventure. Under the command of John Koenig (Martin Landau), the Alphans hurtle through the stars, encountering fantastic worlds and beings in a universe where peril awaits at every turn. Together, Koenig and the Alphans face the ultimate challenge in the farthest reaches of space: survive…and find home.

Adam Says:

Space:1999 is a retro piece of nerd culture that was admittedly niche way back even in the day. A lot of people are surprised to find out the show was from the UK, this is largely because they cast Americans in the lead roles. Namely, they cast Martin Landau and his then wife Barbara Bain. Yes, that’s right, when the English had to choose their Shatner, they went with then almost 50-year-old Landau. Now, 45 years later, that just adds to the charm of the show in between the rocking disco score and polyester pantsuits.

Shout Factory has really gone all out and given this a beautiful release on Blu-ray. You get the full show, both seasons in their own blu-cases and a third case containing the special features. The whole thing is packaged in a thick, sturdy slipcase that is decorated with original art from the show. The episodes themselves look very sharp. They are about as good as the Star Trek blu-remasters that came out a few years ago; with very crisp colors and grain intact. This clarity does draw some attention to the dated and amusing special effects but nevermind; the series as a whole is an incredibly fun watch and worth picking up.

Special Features Include:

  • NEW Mission To Moonbase Alpha: An Interview With Actress Barbara Bain
  • NEW Into The Uncertain Future: An Interview With Actor Nick Tate
  • NEW Brain Behind The Destruction: An Interview With Director Kevin Connor
  • NEW Moonbase Merch: A Tour Of Space:1999 Ephemera With Author John Muir
  • NEW Audio Commentary By Author Anthony Taylor On “Dragon’s Domain” And “The Metamorph”
  • NEW Audio Commentary By Space:1999 Series Expert Scott Michael Bosco On “Ring Around The Moon”
  • Audio Commentary By Series Co-Creator Gerry Anderson On “Breakaway” And “Dragon’s Domain”
  • “These Episodes” – Nearly 100 Minutes Of Reflections On Some Of Space:1999’s Iconic Episodes From The People Who Made Them
  • “Memories Of Space” Featurette
  • Interview With Sylvia Anderson
  • Guardian Of Piri Remembered With Actress Catherine Schell
  • Vintage Year Two Interviews
  • Vintage Brian Johnson Interview
  • Behind The Scenes Footage With Brian Johnson Commentary
  • Concept And Creation Featurette
  • Special Effects And Design Featurette
  • Martin Landau And Barbara Bain TV Promos
  • Promos For Year One And Year Two
  • Trailers For Destination Moonbase Alpha And Alien Attack
  • Blackpool “Space City” Exhibition Advert
  • Lyons Maid Ice Lolly Advert
  • Mono And 5.1 Audio On All Episodes
  • Photo Galleries
  • 16 Page Episode GuideAdditional TV scenes (taken from best available film elements)

 

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Synopsis from the Press Release:

With this trailblazing musical, writer-director-star John Cameron Mitchell and composer-lyricist Stephen Trask brought their signature creation from stage to screen for a movie as unclassifiable as its protagonist. Raised a boy in East Berlin, Hedwig (Mitchell) undergoes a traumatic personal transformation in order to emigrate to the U.S., where she reinvents herself as an “internationally ignored” but divinely talented rock diva, characterized by Mitchell as inhabiting a “beautiful gender of one.” The film tells Hedwig’s story through her music, an eclectic assortment of original punk anthems and power ballads by Trask, and moments of bracing emotional realism. Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a tribute to the transcendent power of rock and roll.

Adam Says:

I cannot tell you how many years I have waited for this release. Not just the Blu-ray but the DVD that also had been out of print for some time. There’s not a whole lot for me to say about this one, except that by the time you read this you should already have a copy. It is impossible to calculate the brilliance of John Cameron Mitchell’s writing, the touching, tragic nature of the story, or the majesty of the punk rock score. When they adapted it for Broadway, Hedwig won all kinds of awards but it really is important to see Mitchell in the role in the original film. The extras are wonderful but even without them this is story that should be experienced by everyone. If you’ve never seen it just buy it blind and watch it. You won’t find a more original or exciting character than Hedwig.

Special Features Include:

  • New 4K digital restoration
  • New conversation among members of the cast and crew
  • New programs exploring Hedwig’s creation, look, and legacy
  • Deleted scenes with commentary by John Cameron Mitchell and cinematographer Frank G. DeMarco
  • And more!

 

This Island Earth

Synopsis from the Press Release:

When atomic scientist Dr. Meacham (Rex Reason, The Creature Walks Among Us) is chosen to take part in a top-secret research experiment in a remote lab, he quickly discovers that he is really involved in an evil scheme by alien Metalunans to take over Earth. After he and the gorgeous Dr. Adams (Faith Domergue, It Came From Beneath The Sea) make their escape shortly before the lab explodes, they are whisked away in a flying saucer to Metaluna, where they are blamed for the destruction. Will interstellar negotiation save the day or will the scientists be forced to take part in a treacherous battle to the death?

Adam Says:

The dated styles and culture make This Island Earth a little kitschy and goofy to modern eyes. It’s no wonder that the film was chosen as the subject for the respectable MST3K: The Movie.  Even so, there’s a great nostalgia factor for a simpler science fiction and there’s plenty of entertainment value to be had with this one. If you’ve only ever seen the film on the MST movie I strongly recommend picking this up and watching it; it’s much more coherent and some of the actually-good special effects were cut for time.

There’s a particularly neat special feature on this disc that I’ve not seen before. When the film was released in 1955 there was no home video, but a short film distributor called Castle Films (many of their shorts have also ended up on MST3K) created silent 8MM and sound 16MM B&W shorts from parts of the film and sold them for home use. People could watch the climax of the movie on their home projectors and Shout Factory has included these shorts as bonus features. It is a very cool and creative extra and worth checking out to see how home entertainment was done sixty years ago.

Special Features Include:

  • NEW 4K scan of the inter-positive – Two aspect ratios: 1.85:1 and 1.37:1
  • NEW The Original Perspecta Stereophonic Sound restored by 3-D Film Archive
  • NEW Audio Commentary with author and Academy Award winning visual effects artist Robert Skotak
  • NEW Audio Interview with film historian David Schecter on the music of THIS ISLAND EARTH
  • NEW Alien Ideas – an interview with filmmaker Luigi Cozzi (Starcrash)
  • NEW Facts about Perspecta Stereophonic Sound by Bob Furmanek
  • THIS ISLAND EARTH – Two and A Half Years in the Making: The Extended Documentary – a look at the making of THIS ISLAND EARTH
  • WAR OF THE PLANETS: 1958 Castle Films release for the home market including both the 50-foot silent Headline edition and the 200-foot sound Complete edition.
  • Trailers from Hell – This Island Earth with commentary by filmmaker Joe Dante
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Galleries – poster and lobby cards, publicity stills and behind-the-scenes photos

 

Bojack Horseman: Complete Season 1 & 2

Synopsis from the Press Release:

Set in a Los Angeles in which humans and anthropomorphic animal-people coexist, BoJack Horseman is an animated show about one man (who is also a horse) who peaked early and is trying to figure out what to do with his life now. An outrageous and dark comedy with a melancholy center, the show asks the question, “what happens when you have the world at your fingertips and you still can’t figure out how to be happy?”

Adam Says:

It is absolutely fantastic that Shout Factory has put this Netflix hit show on Blu-ray. Now both non-subscribers can see it and the physical media junkies can have a copy for their collections (something I hope they do with a great many Netflix original movies and shows). Bojack Horseman may seem like just another adult comedy cartoon but there is some mind blowing existential exploration going on here. Bojack is a 50-something Hollywood burn out who’s been doing not much of anything since his hit TGIF-style sitcom ended in the early 90’s. All that changes when a young female ghostwriter comes into his life to help him write his autobiography. Once you start on the journey with Bojack towards his perceived redemption, you’re going to find you’ve binged these two seasons in no time and be hungry for more.

Special Features Include:

  • 25 audio commentaries with various members of the cast and crew; including creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg; Stars Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris and Paul F. Thompkins; Tornante founder Michael Eisner and more!
  • Full animatics for the series premiere and season two premiere
  • Animatics for the show’s main title sequence
  • Animation side-by-side comparison
  • Grouplove Live in Amsterdam music video
  • Character art gallery
  • Background art gallery
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Adam RuhlBlu-Reviews: Night of the Creeps, Space:1999 The Complete Series, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, This Island Earth, Bojack Horseman: Complete Season 1 & 2