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Stuart Gordon

Blu-ray Review: ‘80s Horror Gems ‘From Beyond,’ ‘Phantasm II’ Given Scream Factory Treatment

Phantasm II

CHICAGO – Real horror fans know the names Don Coscarelli & Stuart Gordon. They are two of the most important genre directors of the ’80s, men who found ways to get their visions to the screen and redefined the cult horror film in general. Coscarelli made his biggest waves with the “Phantasm” films (and later with “Bubba Ho-Tep”) while Gordon’s biggest hit is probably still “Re-Animator,” although is closely followed by “From Beyond.” That sci-fi/horror masterpiece was just released in a lavish new Blu-ray edition with Coscarelli’s attempt at studio game, “Phantasm II”. Both are must-owns for horror fans.

Blu-ray Review: Remastered Edition of Gore Masterpiece ‘Re-Animator’

Re-Animator

CHICAGO – Stuart Gordon’s “Re-Animator” is a gore masterpiece, one of the best horror movies of its type ever made. It is pure lunacy, the kind of movie that will be just as shocking to audiences decades from now as it was when audiences first saw a severed head sexually molest a captive woman. “Re-Animator” brilliantly reimagines the “Frankenstein” myth of bringing what has passed back to life in all its gruesome potential. And the new Blu-ray features a well-mastered HD transfer along with some great special features.

DVD Review: ‘Fear Itself’ Has a Few Highlights, But More Lowlights

Fear Itself

CHICAGO – I am an unabashed junkie of anthology horror shows and will gladly debate with you why “The Twilight Zone” is the best show of all time before we get to discussing “The Outer Limits,” “Amazing Stories,” and “Tales From the Crypt.” Naturally, I was a big fan of Showtime’s “Masters of Horror” and was intrigued when a lot of that series’ major players jumped to NBC for “Fear Itself”.

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  • 47 Ronin with Keanu Reeves

    CHICAGO – If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between a director and a producer, let “47 Ronin” explain how the hierarchy of creativity hinders the evolution of even the most straightforward-sounding pitches. “47 Ronin” is the type of samurai movie set in Japan that features native actors speaking only English, while Keanu Reeves stars as an outsider clearly plunked into the picture for stateside star power.

  • A Field in England (teaser)

    CHICAGO – I can’t recommend this more. “A Field in England” is a flashback and a flash forward all at once. It’s impossible to watch without thinking of great counter culture cinema. In fact when I saw it at Fantastic Fest 2013 it played as part of a double bill with Ken Russell’s “The Devils” (1971). They made perfect cinematic companion pieces. Russell’s film concerned a wayward priest desperate to protect his 17th century city from corruption in the Church only to fall victim to group hysteria when he is, ironically, accused of witchcraft by a jealous nun.

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