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Having A Movie Moment With Jon Longhi: The Horrors! The Horrors!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 29, 2018 06:07pm | Post a Comment

By Jon Longhi

Welcome to this month’s Having A Movie Moment With Jon Longhi, where I review recent Blu-ray releases. Both of these Blu-rays came out in the past three months. This month, I review two very different movies that just happen to have the word Horror in their titles.

Horrors of Malformed Men, Arrow Video:
This movie is like going to a Cirque Du Soleil show where all the performers on stage accidentally ate theHorrors of Malformed Men brown acid. I own a huge collection of cult films and along with the films of John Waters, Salvador Dali's Un Chien Andalou, Fellini's Satyricon, and Alejandro Jodorowsky's The Holy Mountain, and this movie pretty much rules the roost of the "HOLY SHIT, WHAT THE FUCK AM I WATCHING?" segment of my collection. The second half of this movie is like a sustained psychedelic assault on the senses. Director Teruo Ishii really pulled out all the stops to make this a one-of-a-kind experience. The movie is an adaptation of the writings of Edogawa Rampo and combines elements of his novels Strange Tale of Panorama Island and The Demon of The Lonely Isle with some of his short stories. The end result is a literal bombardment of strange surreal perversions. There's incest, bestiality, cannibalism, and a number of sexual fetishes that seem unique to Japan. There's a scene where a man sewn into a couch molests women who unsuspectingly sit on it.

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Having A Movie Moment With Jon Longhi: Halloween Roundup, Part 2

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 29, 2018 01:55pm | Post a Comment

By Jon Longhi

Welcome to the second special Halloween themed Having A Movie Moment With Jon Longhi, where I review recent Blu-ray releases. Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year because that’s when we get a glut of new horror and sci-fi releases. This is my second column this month where I just try and catch up with all of them.

Laserblast, Full Moon Features:
This is kind of a crappy little sci-fi movie from the glory days of VHS that has been given a super deluxe Laserblastedition for it's first Blu-ray release. The film comes in a full-size reproduction of the original video packaging. Inside the huge VHS box you get a DVD/ Blu-ray combo pack of the remastered film and a tiny toy reproduction of one of the aliens from the movie. These are the kinds of goodies that drive hardcore fans crazy and I'm sure somewhere in the future when this goes out-of-print copies will go for big bucks on Amazon and Ebay. Like I said, this is a crappy little movie but there are those of us out there (like myself) who love this film because it was on television when we were growing up. After re-watching it recently, I came to the conclusion that the movie has a really great beginning and end but really drags in between. The film starts with a crazed monster madman shooting a laser gun in the Southern California desert. He is killed by two aliens who soon depart but leave the gun behind. Shortly afterwards, a young man named Billy Duncan discovers the laser gun and that's when things start to go bad for him. At first he is overjoyed by the destructive power of the weapon but it soon starts to take over his life and physically change him. His skin starts to turn green and his behavior becomes increasingly violent and psychopathic. His relationships with his supportive girlfriend and others are increasingly strained as he becomes an alien madman who eventually goes completely berserk and finally goes on a rampage with his new laser gun. That's when the aliens need to come back...

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Having A Movie Moment With Jon Longhi: Halloween Roundup, Part 1

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 3, 2018 09:15pm | Post a Comment

By Jon Longhi

Welcome to a special Halloween themed Having A Movie Moment With Jon Longhi, where I review recent Blu-ray releases. Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year because that’s when we get a glut of horror and sci-fi releases. I’m actually going to do two columns this month just to try and catch up with all of them.

The Bloodthirsty Trilogy, Arrow Video:
It seems that even the most obscure and barely seen movies are getting nice Blu-ray releases these days The Bloodthirty Trilogybut not if you're a fan of Toho studios. Many of us grew up with their sci-fi and monster movies like Godzilla. Sadly, only a handful of these films have been released on Blu-ray in this country. There's a few of the Godzilla films out on Blu-ray but most of their other monster and sci-fi classics like Rodan, Mothra, War Of The Gargantuas, or The Mysterians have never gotten Blu-ray releases and the old DVD copies have been out of print for years. Evidently, the studio is hard to work with when it comes to international releases of their films and that is very sad for those of us who love their movies. This new set helps rectify that situation. Here you get three Toho horror classics in one nice little package. I've been obsessed with this genre of Toho's films since I was a child and have long known of these movies but never got a chance to see them till this new Arrow Video release came out.

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Having A Movie Moment With Jon Longhi: Doctor Who Season One & Jack the Giant Killer

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 16, 2018 07:16pm | Post a Comment

By Jon Longhi

Welcome to this month’s Having A Movie Moment With Jon Longhi, where I review recent Blu-ray releases. Both of these Blu-rays came out in the past three months.

Doctor Who: Tom Baker - Complete Season One, BBC Video:
These are the episodes that first introduced the Doctor Who franchise to the American public. The series Doctor Who Season Onehad already run for more than a decade in England where the venerable Doctor had long been considered a national icon and a variety of stars had already played the role of the Doctor, but Tom Baker is the face and personality that made him beloved by legions of North American fans. So it makes perfect sense that these would be the first episodes of the long running series to get a deluxe Blu-ray upgrade here in the US. These were originally shot on video so there has been a lot of handwringing online about how good these would look due to the low quality of the original source materials. Many fans have questioned whether it is worth upgrading from DVD to Blu-ray. Well, as soon as I popped in the first disc of this and saw the beautiful sharp picture quality and heard the flawless sound, I realized this was a total no-brainer. This set is a huge improvement over the DVDs and possibly the best restoration I have ever seen of something that was originally shot on video. The image quality is flawless. Once in a blue moon there is a weird lighting artifact that the restoration couldn't cover up, but these are few and far between. Yes, this does reveal many of the shortcomings of the special effects. Now you can see like never before that all the monsters are made of bubble wrap and paper mache, but that is actually half the fun of this set. The production budget for these shows was comparable to what you would see for a local high school play. The special effects crew did the best they could with what they had and there is a funky low-fi style to their effects, which looks charmingly nostalgic in the harsh naked light of this Blu-ray.

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Having A Movie Moment With Jon Longhi: Blue Planet II & The Black Scorpion

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 30, 2018 07:18pm | Post a Comment

By Jon Longhi

Welcome to this month’s Having A Movie Moment with Jon Longhi, where I review recent Blu-ray releases. Both of these Blu-rays came out in the past three months.

Blue Planet II, BBC Earth:
At Amoeba Music we sell a lot of DVDs of abstract video set to psychedelic music that are used by Blue Planet IIpeople who are bombed on pot and psychedelics to blow their minds to. Well, those stoner viewers have found their new holy grail with Blue Planet II. This is one of the trippiest things I've ever seen; every episode is utterly surreal and mind bending, and the best part is there are no drugs involved -- this is pure straight up reality. The oceans are an alien world to us land dwellers and David Attenborough's high def cameras reveal this reality to a degree we've never seen before. Thanks to recent developments in technology and photography, this is the clearest we've ever seen the underwater realm. In all older ocean documentaries, the light and colors beneath the surface have always been muted or blurred due to that fact that cameras couldn't equal the details of human vision. But photography has finally caught up and all the scenes in Blue Planet II are as crystal clear as if you were there underwater viewing the events through a scuba diving mask. In fact, this Blu-ray is the new gold standard for high def. When I popped this in I couldn't believe how sharp and clear the pictures and details were, they were even better than other recent Blu-ray releases.

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