Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Cut Box Gallery: Night Raiders (1990) - Cineplex Odeon Video (Canada) VHS

Title: Night Raiders
Box Tagline: "They've got their own way of taking out terrorists. Hit them hard. Hit them fast. Hit them after dark."
Original title: Night of the Kickfighters
Genre: Action
Year of Release: 1990
VHS Release Year: 1991
Tape Catalog #: COHV6143
Origin of tape: Canada
Runtime: 89 Minutes
Director: Buddy Reyes
Starring: Adam West, Andy Bauman, Marcia Karr, Lisa Alpert, Carel Struycken
Distributor: Cineplex Odeon (Home) Video/MCA Home Video Canada
Box Type: Slipcase


- Released on video in 1991 by Cineplex Odeon Video and MCA Home Video Canada
- The Cineplex Odeon Video logo appears at the beginning of the tape.
- Was originally released on video in the United States by AIP Home Video as "Night of the Kickfighters."
- As of 2013, this film has yet to be released on Region 1 DVD. It is, however, available on DVD in Germany, but it is dubbed.

My quick thoughts:

Low budget and unintentionally hilarious are only understatements for this DTV action classic! Seriously, this movie is on the same level as a Zucker Bros. movie. The lead in this, Andy Bauman, looks a lot like Howard Dean. And some of the camera work and martial arts just have to been seen to be believed. Seek it out!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Cut Box Gallery: Gulliver's Travels (1983) - Cineplex Odeon Home Video (Canada) VHS

Title: Gulliver's Travels
Box Tagline: "Based on a novel by Jonathan Swift; "Journey to the Land of the Giants."
Original title: Los Viajes de Gulliver
Genre: Animation
Year of Release: 1983
VHS Release Year: 1988
Tape Catalog #: COH5090
Origin of tape: Canada
Runtime: 82 Minutes
Director: Cruz Delgado
Starring: Alexa Bates, Nelson Modling, Elmer Modling, Marina Moreno, Leon Liberman, Thomas Entwhistle
Distributor: Cineplex Odeon Home Video/MCA Home Video Canada
Box Type: Slipcase


- Released on Video in 1988 by Cineplex Odeon Home Video and MCA Home Video Canada.
- There are no previews on this tape.
- The Cineplex Odeon Home Video logo and Miramax Films logo appear before the film.
- Strangely enough, outside of Canada, this never got a release anywhere else in North America, despite being picked up for distribution by Miramax.
- As of 2013, the film has yet to see a release on DVD anywhere in North America. There is, however, a DVD available in Germany, although it only includes German audio. There is also a special edition DVD of the film in its native Spain, but Spanish is the only audio track that seems to be available on said DVD.

My quick thoughts:

Decent Spanish animated film. Have not read the book this is based on, so I cannot make any comparisons. Voice acting is good and so is the animation, although the animation is almost reminiscent of Jay Ward. For its North American release, this was dubbed into English, but strangely, none of the voice actors used for this dub are listed anywhere, as far as I know. Recommended to fans of European animation. 6.1/10.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Cut Box Gallery: Becoming Colette (1991) - Cineplex Odeon Video (Canada) VHS

Title: Becoming Colette
Box Tagline: "As a writer, she was to become famous. As a lover, she was about to become a legend."
Original title: N/A
Genre: Docudrama
Year of Release: 1991
VHS Release Year: 1993
Tape Catalog #: COHV6189
Origin of tape: Canada
Runtime: 97 Minutes
Director: Danny Huston
Starring: Klaus Maria Brandauer, Mathilda May, Virginia Madsen, Paul Rhys
Distributor: Cineplex Odeon (Home) Video/MCA Home Video Canada
Box Type: Slipcase


- Released on Video in 1993 by Cineplex Odeon Video and MCA Home Video Canada
- At the beginning of the tape, there is a gift certificate promo for Cineplex Odeon Theatres, followed by a trailer for the 1992 made-for-TV Thriller, Criminal Behavior, starring Farrah Fawcett.
- The Cineplex Odeon Video and Castle Hill Productions logos appear before the film and after the previews.

My quick thoughts:

Not applicable. I have not watched this one yet and don't know if I ever will. I mostly bought this just to complete my ever-growing collection of VHS releases from Cineplex Odeon.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Cut Box Gallery: The Secret of Nandy (1990) - Malo Video (Canada) VHS + Brief Review

Trying something new here. Showing off some of my rare VHS tapes that have their boxes cut. VHSCollector.com doesn't allow cut VHS boxes to be uploaded, so I may as well show mine off here.

Title: The Secret of Nandy
Box Tagline: "Now it's time to tell the truth."
Original title: La Porte Secrete
Genre: Mystery
Year of Release: 1990
VHS Release Year: Not Given
Tape Catalog #: Not Given
Origin of tape: Canada
Runtime: 96 Minutes
Director: Danièle J. Suissa
Starring: Bibi Andersson, Michael Sarrazin, Marc de Jonge, Claudine Auger, Yvette Brind'amour
Distributor: Malo Video
Box Type: Slipcase


- Released sometime in the early 1990s by Malo Video.
- To my dissapointment, there are no trailers on this VHS.
- The Malofilm Home Video logo appears before the film.

My quick thoughts:

Okay mystery thriller. Good performances by Andersson and Sarrazin and would recommend to fans of the latter actor. The twist ending is rather unexpected, even though the front cover almost gives it away. 6/10.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Ultra-Rare trailer for Cursed (1990) + Brief review of said trailer

Not too long ago, I uncovered an ultra-rare trailer for Mychel Arsenault's 1990 Quebec-lensed horror film, Cursed (1990), which I reviewed here on this blog way back in January. I was quite surprised to see that this film actually did have a trailer, advertised as "Gargoyle". I managed to find it on a DVD+R of the Canadian cop thriller Slow Burn (1989), sourced from the Belgian/Dutch VHS release. That movie, in turn, was a quite entertaining actioneer, but more on that at a later time.

Anyway, I found the trailer to be, like the actual film, quite haunting, thanks to the addition of "O Fortuna" playing through the trailer, yet also cheesy at the same time because of some tacky editing, some exaggeration from the trailer's announcer (which to my surprise, turned out to be the late, great Don LaFontaine), and some scenes in the trailer being unnecessarily sped-up. Still, I'm glad to have found such a rare trailer, being the long time movie trailer connoisseur that I've always been.

I also noticed some scenes that were not in the actual film, so that leaves me to wonder if there's a version out there with this additional footage. I strongly doubt it, though.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Apologies for lack of updates + 1-Year Anniversary

First and foremost, I wanted to apologize for the lack of blog postings for the last two months. I just got really lazy. Hopefully, throughout this Fall, I'll be doing more blog postings.

On another note, this blog is now a year old. I started it on August 24, 2012 and just last August, it turned a year old on the 24th. Unfortunately, it's a bit too late for me to do something eventful to celebrate the anniversary, but with any luck, I'll do something more eventful next year for the two-year anniversary.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

I am still alive.

In spite of the lack of activity on this blog in the last 4 months, I am still alive and this blog is still active. I have just been very busy with my outside life and I hope to get this blog back up and running real soon. So stay tuned.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Cursed (1990) - My brief thoughts + Screencaps (CONTAINS MINOR SPOILERS)

AKA: The Ungodly Power
Directed by Mychel Arsenault
Country of Origin: Canada (Quebec)
Run time: 92 Minutes (approx.)
Viewed on: Memorex DVD+R sourced from the Belgian VHS released by Excalibur in 1990
Format: Full Screen (1.33:1) with hard-coded Belgian subtitles

The movie begins with what looks like a flashback to the Middle Ages. We see shots of snowy areas and eventually see a faceless man who looks to be writing a book on alchemy and gargoyles. We continue to see some of this throughout various parts of the film.

Cut to modern times. We now see an apartment in Montreal where botanist Vlad (Ron Lea - Criminal Law, TV's Doc) and his girlfriend, artist Flora (The late Catherine Colvey - Obsessed (1988), I'm Not There.) are lounging in their bedroom. It is a stormy night. Vlad notices the storm getting more violent. Vlad tells Flora that when lightning strikes above the cathedral across the street, it's amazing. We then see shots of lightning and the windy streets of Montreal, outside the cathedral. A priest is leaving for home when the storm causes a gargoyle to fall upon the priest, killing him. The next morning, Vlad is on his way to work at his lab when he picks up a piece of the gargoyle, which bears a strange symbol. Meanwhile at a mueseum, Flora is restoring a painting when the church's Sexton (Tom Rack - Mindfield, If Looks Could Kill) brings pieces of the gargoyle to be restored. Flora is reluctant to restore it, as she has never had to restore such an artifact, but agrees to it anyway. Once the gargoyle is restored, it begins to interfere with Vlad's experiments on plant life and also begins to kill those who come near it, completely dissolving every bone in the victims' bodies and replacing their blood with a green substance ala Troll 2.

In spite of some minor flaws, along with a confusing ending and a low budget that is not afraid to show itself throughout the film, more or less, I actually really enjoyed it. Until the confusing ending, it kept my interest for the most part. Some of the acting isn't exactly Oscar material, but most of the cast do pull off good performances throughout the film, especially Canadian character actor Tom Rack, who plays the mysterious church Sexton. The role is achieved with his magnificent voice and well-spoken dialogue. In my personal opinion, Mr. Rack comes off as probably the best actor in the film. Writing and plot aren't exactly top notch either, but are acceptable. The plot actually seems to come off as a cross between The Omen (1976), The Andromeda Strain (1971) and Prince of Darkness (1987). When I first read the film's plot summary, it also reminded me of the Lover's Vow story in Tales from the Darkside: The Movie, but it did not sound as impressive as that was. It is never made clear if the cathedral in the film was actually some kind of front for a Catholic-based cult or was merely a crumbling fort that failed to keep the evil force of the gargoyle from spreading. One unintentionally humorous thing about the film was how the gargoyle's force had killed 12 people, yet only 3 of the victims were shown. That alone is also another example of the low budget showing throughout the film. The score, composed by Donald L'Ecuyer, is also quite haunting for a low budget movie score as well.

I first discovered this film, through a random IMDb search back in 2010 and did not actually stumble across a copy of the film's Belgian VHS (Released as The Ungodly Power) until last year on eBay. I did not watch it until earlier this month. Sounds complicated, I know, but I have my reasons. While I do not own a VCR that can play PAL tapes, the seller was nice enough to make me a DVD+R copy of the film.

The film, while it made a quiet premiere at the 1990 Montreal World Film Festival and another quiet release at Portugal's Fantasporto Festival, seems to have never been released on video anywhere in North America, as it seems to have been lost in distribution. Rather odd too as it was made at a time when any B-movie could get some sort of release anywhere. It's only other video releases anywhere aside from Belgium seem to be Italy, Brazil, and quite possibly Japan. Although I have seen implications that it has at least once aired on Canadian television.

Regardless of the flaws mentioned, or maybe because of them to some extent, I do recommend seeking this film out. If you ever do stumble upon it, just set your brain slightly off, sit back, relax, and enjoy. It probably goes up with the likes of Freakshow (1989), Midnight Matinee (1989) and Outcast (1990) as one of the more harder to find Canadian horror films.

The DVD+R of the film that came with the tape is presented with surprisingly good picture quality for a VHS rip. It almost was regular DVD-style full screen quality even. Audio is in English but Dutch subtitles are hardcoded. Keep in mind that this was sourced from a VHS tape. As for the quality of the audio, there are a few dropouts that pop up within the film here and there, but this is acceptable, considering the rarity of this film. The DVD+R itself, despite being made on a European PAL VHS-to-DVD machine, surprisingly works on American DVD players, as not too long after watching the film on my computer, it also worked fine on my Magnavox VHS-to-DVD recorder as well.

Now if only I could find the same director's other film, Power Games (1989)...

Film: B-
DVD+R Picture: A
DVD+R Sound: C
DVD+R Extras: Trailers for Race for Glory (1989), Angel Town (1990), and No Retreat, No Surrender 2: Raging Thunder (1987) advertised as simply Raging Thunder, appear before the film. After the film, trailers for Slow Burn (1989) and the Witchboard (1986) spin-off, Witchtrap (1989) appear.