The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Miss Osbourne Blu-ray Review

     Actors: Udo Kier, Marina Pierro, Patrick Magee
  • Director: Walerian Borowczyk
  • Format: Blu-ray, NTSC
  • Language: French
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Arrow Video
  • Release Date: May 12, 2015
  • Run Time: 90 minutes


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              As familiar as the tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde may be, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Miss Osbourne is far from traditional in its narrative. Written and directed by Walerian Borowcyzk, who was known for his sensational and sexually explicit filmmaking, this version seems to have been inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s first attempt at the narrative. Stevenson was engaged to a woman named Fanny Osbourne, who was said to have been so horrified by this early draft that the writer destroyed it before starting over to create the narrative we now know. Borowcyzk uses his imagination in creating a perverse adaptation that is easy to imagine would have been shocking enough for destruction.

    Island of Death Blu-ray Review

         Actors: Robert Behling, Jane Lyle, Jessica Dublin
  • Director: Nico Mastorakis
  • Format: Blu-ray, Color
  • Language: English
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Arrow Video
  • Release Date: May 26, 2015
  • Run Time: 101 minutes


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              Island of Death is a film best known for being banned, though the shock value has diminished greatly with time and the obvious lack of production values. The concept alone remains horrifyingly grotesque, but ideas are not enough to shock today’s desensitized audiences; they need to be shown the horrors. Lack of budget and Greek filmmaker Nico Mastorakis’ clear intentions in making an exploitation B-film keep Island of Death on the fringes of film history. Mastorakis even admits in the detailed interviews of the special features that the 1976 film was merely made for money, intended to cash in on the schlocky success of Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974).

     

    Massacre Gun Blu-ray Review

         Actors: Jo Shishido, Tatsuya Fuji, Jiro Okazaki
  • Director: Yasuharu Hasebe
  • Format: Blu-ray, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Arrow Video
  • Release Date: April 7, 2015
  • Run Time: 91 minutes



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              Massacre Gun plays like a yakuza noir, a black-and-white gangster film that is steeped in atmosphere and action. Although it has the distinct feel of a late 1960s Japanese crime film, not unlike the films of Seijun Suzuki, the straightforward narrative is remarkably timeless. Watching this film that is nearing 50-years old, it is not difficult to imagine a modern adaptation by Martin Scorsese or Quentin Tarantino. At the same time, Yasuharu Hasebe’s 1967 film is difficult to imagine without Jรด Shishido in the leading role.