What’s Out on Blu-ray in June: Night of the Lepus, Ninja III: The Domination, The Curse of the Cat People

Adam RuhlBlu-Ray Review, Horror, MoviesLeave a Comment

Night of the Lepus

Okay look, I’m just going to come out and say it. Lepus means bunny, the title of this film effectively is Night of the Bunny. Bunnies are not scary; I don’t care how big you make them. This film is one of those 1970’s environmental horror films and sees Janet Leigh and Deforest Kelley (in his post-Star Trek slump) battling an army of mutated rabbits. Somehow, despite a rather amusing premise, the film manages to alternate between boring and eye-rollingly bad when the cheesy bunny effects are on screen.

This title is strictly for completionists and people who already had nostalgia for ‘Lepus’. I don’t recommend buying it for a laugh; it’s not quite campy enough for a movie night with friends. The film transfer looks great but that won’t matter much if you have trouble sitting all the way through the picture. Extras on the disc are also pretty sparse with the highlights being two audio commentaries, neither of which are by any of the film’s cast or crew.

Special Features include:

  • NEW 2K scan of the original film elements
  • NEW Audio Commentary with author Lee Gambin (Massacred by Mother Nature: Exploring the Natural Horror Film)
  • NEW Audio Commentary with Pop Culture historian Russell Dyball
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spot
  • Radio Spot
  • Still Gallery

 

Ninja III: The Domination

Christie, a telephone pole climber and aerobics instructor, encounters a dying ninja who just assassinated a target and a whole bunch of police on a golf course in broad daylight. But wait, there’s more, the ninja transfers his soul to Christie and she becomes a murderous ninja herself. The only thing that can save her is the exorcising power of combat with another ninja.

I’m of two minds about this film. In the negative column, we have the film’s racism and Asian stereotyping; from the Wonton font credits to the whole evil ninja thing to James Hong in a kimono and a mandolin playing. Then there’s the sexism and objectification of women element (I’m pretty sure the male lead kidnaps Christie with the intention of forcing her into sex). On the other hand, this film was off the walls, bonkers tacky when it came out and time has essentially turned it into a parody of itself. Watched through modern eyes as a sort of over the top comedy about an embarrassing and less enlightened time; Ninja III is actually quite campy and fun. By the time they get to ripping off The Exorcist you’ll be rolling with laughter. Its anachronistic nature basically makes this a MST3K type movie that riffs itself. It’s worth picking up for some Friday night laughs.

Special Features include:

  • NEW 4K Scan From The Original Film Elements
  • NEW Interview With Actress Lucinda Dickey
  • NEW Interview With Actor Jordan Bennett
  • NEW Interview With Producer And Stuntman Alan Amiel
  • NEW Audio Interviews With Production Designer Elliot Ellentuck And Co-Composer Misha Segal Featuring Isolated Tracks From The Original Score
  • Theatrical Trailer (In HD) With Optional Trailers From Hell Commentary With Screenwriter Josh Olson
  • Audio Commentary By Director Sam Firstenberg And Stunt Coordinator Steve Lambert

 

The Curse of the Cat People

This was RKO’s follow up to the famous Cat People film that came out two years earlier and features the same principal characters. The bizarre twist is that in spite of its title, the film is almost an anthology story; totally unrelated to the plot of the first film and has nothing whatsoever to do with Cat People. The story instead revolves around the daughter of the two survivors of the first film having an imaginary friend who resembles the cat woman from the first film. It wouldn’t be accurate to even really call it a horror film, but it’s not a bad movie all the same and is a good companion piece if you already have Criterion’s Cat People release. It’s also the directorial debut of Robert Wise.

Special Features include:

  • NEW Audio Commentary with author/historian Steve Haberman
  • Audio Commentary with historian Greg Mank, with audio interview excepts with actress Simone Simon
  • NEW Lewton’s Muse: The Dark Eyes of Simone Simon – a video essay by filmmaker Constantine Nasr (Shadows in the Dark: The Val Lewton Legacy)
  • NEW Audio Interview with Ann Carter, moderated by Tom Weaver
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • Still Gallery

Adam Ruhl is a writer and life long Cinephile. He is the Executive
Cinema Editor of Pop Culture Beast’s Austin branch; covering festivals,
conventions, and new releases. When not filing reports, Adam can be
found stalking Alamo Drafthouse Programmers for leads on upcoming
DrafthouseFilms titles. Adam once blocked Harry Knowles entrance to a
theater until he was given extra tickets to a Roman Polanski movie.

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Adam RuhlWhat’s Out on Blu-ray in June: Night of the Lepus, Ninja III: The Domination, The Curse of the Cat People