We get a lot of press releases for upcoming DVDs and Blu-rays here at FSR, as does every movie site with more than a handful of readers (a criteria we only just passed last week), and we basically ignore the vast majority of them. Sure sometimes it’s because reading is hard, but it’s usually because most of these announcements are pretty damn boring. The movies are expected releases, the extra features are slight and generic,and they’re just not worth the virtual ink it would take to report. But once in a while we get word of something special. Maybe it’s a movie long overdue for a remastered DVD or Blu-ray debut. Maybe it’s a fun flick arriving loaded with extras we never would have expected. Or maybe it’s just an awesome feeling to find you’re not alone in your love for a forgotten genre classic.
It seems more and more these days that the label behind many of the releases that excite us is the one with the exclamation point… Shout! Factory that is. They’ve long been a fine purveyor of pop culture, but their recent foray into the world of Roger Corman has earned them a place in our hearts (and wallets) for the foreseeable future. Over fifty Corman-produced titles are being released to Blu-ray and/or DVD, many for the first time, and all with the extra care and attention we’ve come to expect from a label staffed by movie-lovers. Titles released so far include Rock ’n’ Roll High School, Death Race 2000, Forbidden World, and others, and the list of what’s still to come is growing every day. And really, who else would offer a blood-splattered, limited edition pillow case with pre-orders of The Slumber Party Massacre Collection due out this October?
Check after the jump for Shout! Factory’s official announcement and DVD/Blu-ray specs for three new releases hitting shelves next week including Piranha, Humanoids From the Deep, and a double feature release of Deathsport and Battletruck…
From Shout! Factory:
“Just when you thought it was safe to take a dip in the water again…they’re baaaack! This summer, rediscover two enduring Roger Corman underwater thrillers filled with unstoppable action and edge-of-your-seat suspense as Joe Dante’s Piranha and Humanoids from the Deep, directed by Barbara Peters, debut August 3, 2010 for the first time on Special Edition Blu-ray and DVD from Shout! Factory, in association with New Horizons Picture Corporation. These two definitive Special Edition home entertainment releases from Roger Corman’s Cult Classics are sure to cause a feeding frenzy among thrill seekers and loyal fans of Roger Corman and Joe Dante. Piranha Special Edition offers 2 highly collectible covers: the Blu-ray and DVD both feature the iconic vintage cover art from the film’s original 1978 movie poster and the spectacular art from the original international poster for the reverse cover; and the Special Edition DVD is further sparkled with a visually stunning 3-D lenticular exterior packaging. Humanoids from the Deep Special Edition also boasts a reversible cover featuring vintage art from the U.S. and international movie posters.
Both Special Edition Blu-ray and DVD releases of Piranha and Humanoids from the Deep feature anamorphic widescreen presentation of the movie and a spectacular array of special bonus content, including all-new in-depth interviews and commentaries with cast and crew, rare behind-the-scenes footage, reversible cover and more. Each Blu-ray and DVD is sold separately. Blu-ray is priced to own at $26.97 and $19.93 for the DVD. Dare you to take the plunge with the original Piranha and Humanoids at home before you put on those 3-D shades for the remake of Piranha in 3-D coming to theaters nationwide late August. See where the phenomenon began!
Lost River Lake was a thriving resort until they discovered … Piranha!
In 1978, audiences discovered Piranha, widely considered one of the very best films “inspired” by the success of Jaws, and for more than 30 years Piranha has been one of the true cult gems in the Roger Corman canon.
For the first time in anamorphic widescreen, Piranha is being seen the way it was meant to be seen: Bigger, badder, bloodier and more BITING than ever! This summer at Lost River Resort, the fish are most certainly biting!
While searching for missing teenagers, rookie skip-tracer Maggie McKeon (Heather Menzies) and booze-soaked river rat Paul Grogan (Bradford Dillman) stumble upon a top-secret military laboratory conduction genetic research on piranha fish for the purpose of developing the most lethal form of biological warfare imaginable. When the deadly eating machines are accidentally released from the compound, they’re soon headed downstream, consuming everything – and anyone – in their path. With Paul and Maggie in hot pursuit, the piranha’s next stop is the children’s summer camp, where Paul’s young daughter is vacationing, and then the newly-opened, multi-million-dollar water resort. Time is running out, and the piranha are hungry!
Piranha marked the solo directorial debut of Joe Dante (The Howling, Gremlins), after a long apprenticeship under Roger Corman’s tutelage at New World Pictures, and also marked the first produced screenplay of future indie-film icon and two-time Academy Award® nominee John Sayles (Lone Star, Eight Men Out). Sharp-eyed viewers will also spot cameo appearances by both Dante and Sayles in this film!
Not only was Piranha a box-office hit – becoming one of New World Pictures’ biggest worldwide hits – but it also earned rave reviews from critics, who appreciated its fast pacing, energetic cast, clever conspiracy satire, inventive special effects and, of course, the scares. Many critics considered it second-best only to Jaws but far superior to the “official” Jaws sequels – including Jaws 2, which opened the same year. Piranha won the Saturn Award for Best Editing (shared by Dante and Mark Goldblatt) and was nominated as Best Horror Film.
Perhaps the greatest tribute to Piranha’s sustained popularity is that this summer will see the release of Piranha 3-D to the nation’s movie screens. While the big-budget remake will undoubtedly put the bite on moviegoers, true fans know where it all began … with the original, classic Piranha.
PIRANHA SPECIAL EDITION BLU-RAY AND DVD SPECIAL FEATURES:
- New anamorphic widescreen presentation (1.78:1)
- Audio commentary with director Joe Dante and producer Jon Davison
- Behind-the-scenes footage
- “The Making of Piranha” featurette with new interviews from Roger Corman, Joe Dante, Dick Miller, Belinda Balaski and many More
- Bloopers and outtakes
- Piranha trailer with commentary by producer Jon Davison – Courtesy of Trailers From Hell (www.trailersfromhell.com)
- Stills gallery with photos and posters from around the world
- Behind-the-scenes stills gallery featuring photos from Phil Tippett’s personal collection
- Additional scenes from the network television version
- Radio and TV spots
- New World trailers
From Shout! Factory:
“One good bite deserves another!
Two years after the success of Piranha, Corman and New World Pictures went back to the water and came up with a winner. Humanoids from the Deep was yet another box-office bonanza.
In the sleepy fishing village of Noyo, the fish aren’t biting – and that’s the problem. The town’s faltering economy, dependent entirely on the fishing industry, has exacerbated ongoing, racially-charged tensions between the local fishermen, who want a cannery to be constructed in the town, and the Native American population, who most definitely don’t. But something else is biting – and worse. A genetic experiment on salmon has produced a species of aquatic monstrosities that are half-man and half-fish … and constantly on the rampage! The body count is rising. Men are being mauled to death, but the female victims suffer a far worse fate: The monsters are mating with them, trying to propagate their horrific species.
Local fisherman Jim Drake (Doug McClure) and scientist Susan Drake (Ann Turkel) join forces to investigate the cause of this insidious invasion, but time is running out. Noyo’s annual Salmon Festival is about to take place on the town’s boardwalk, and some uninvited guests are planning to crash the party in bloodthirsty fashion, culminating in a bloodbath that pits man against monster.
Amid the film’s non-stop action and carnage, however, are also subtle messages about corporate corruption, preservation of the underwater ecology (years before Greenpeace hit the headlines!), and the importance of community. If the residents of Noyo are to survive, they will have to put aside their cultural and political differences and band together. If not, Noyo is doomed.
Humanoids from the Deep proved to be expectedly commercial, but also proved unexpectedly controversial. Credited director Barbara Peters (billed as Barbara Peeters) contended that many of the film’s gorier scenes had been added to the film after principal photography. That may be true, but some of these scenes are the ones most fondly – and fearfully – remembered by the film’s legion of followers. Then the MPAA (Motion Picture of America) threatened to slap the film with an X rating unless some of its more shocking moments were edited down or eliminated altogether. Nevertheless, these controversies didn’t count where it mattered the most – at the box-office, as Humanoids from the Deep became one of New World Pictures’ most popular releases up to that point.
Even more surprising is that the film received good reviews. Although he called it “fast, occasionally hilarious gutter trash,” esteemed film critic Leonard Maltin also awarded it three out of four stars!
This release of Humanoids from the Deep will truly be something spectacular. This version has never been seen before in the United States, as it was taken from the inter-positive from the uncut international version in high definition.
The cast of Humanoids from the Deep is headed by genre favorite Doug McClure (Warlords of Atlantis, The Land That Time Forgot and The People That Time Forgot), Golden Globe® nominee Ann Turkel (The Cassandra Crossing, 99 and 44/100% Dead) and Emmy Award® nominee Vic Morrow (Blackboard Jungle, The Bad News Bears, 1990: The Bronx Warriors).
Future Oscar® winner Rob Bottin again provided the film’s spectacular – and spectacularly gory – special effects, including a climactic birth scene that rivals the one in the original Alien! The film’s menacing and foreboding score was composed by James Horner (Titanic, Aliens, A Beautiful Mind), himself the future recipient of two Academy Awards®. Production assistant Gale Anne Hurd would go on to become one of the most successful female producers in Hollywood history, with such blockbusters as The Terminator, Aliens, Armageddon and Terminator 2: Judgment Day to her credit.
HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP SPECIAL EDITION BLU-RAY AND DVD FEATURES INCLUDE:
- New high-definition transfer of the Uncut international version presented in anamorphic widescreen (1.78:1)
- Never-before-seen deleted scenes
- Trailer, TV and radio spots
- Leonard Maltin’s interviews with Roger Corman on the making of the film
- “The Making of Humanoids From The Deep,” featuring new interviews with composer James Horner, second unit/assistant director James Sbardellati, editor Mark Goldblatt and more!
- New World trailers
With the release of both Piranha and Humanoids from the Deep on Special Edition Blu-ray and DVD, this is sure to be a shocking summer. But remember: Stay out of the water!
From Shout! Factory:
“Brace yourself for twice the fun, twice the adrenaline rush, and twice the traction, as Shout! Factory, in association with New Horizons Picture Corporation, set to release a dynamic duo of Roger Corman classics on one double-feature collector’s edition DVD. August 3, 2010 will see the release of Deathsport/BattleTruck Collector’s Edition, which marks the first time Deathsport being presented in a widescreen format, as well as the first-ever DVD release of BattleTruck (released theatrically as Warlords of the 21st Century). This double-barreled dose of high-octane excitement decisively marks the latest summer installment from fan favorite Roger Corman’s Cult Classics home entertainment series.
Deathsport/ BattleTruck Collector’s Edition boasts a stellar selection of new bonus content including all-new cast and crew interviews, commentaries, vintage trailers and more. A must-have for Roger Corman fans and collectors, own two of Roger Corman’s popular cult hits at an attractive price of $19.93 SRP.
The worldwide success of Death Race 2000 fueled Corman’s desire to make Deathsport, which also stars Emmy Award® and four-time Golden Globe® nominee David Carradine (Kill Bill: Vol. 1 and 2, TV’s Kung Fu). It was not a direct sequel but certainly a thematic follow-up.
Set 1,000 years in the future, following the Great Neutron Wars, the world is divided into desert wastes and isolated city-states. Lord Zirpola (David McLean, Kingdom of the Spiders) captures the notorious “Desert Ranger” Kaz Oshay (Carradine) and forces him to fight to the death in his game, Deathsport. Now Kaz must face his past and fight to save himself, his city and the future from the war that Lord Zirpola is about to wage.
Executive produced by Roger Corman, Deathsport is directed by Henry Suso and Allan Arkush. Co-starring in the film are beautiful B-movie starlet and 1970 Playboy Playmate of the Year Claudia Jennings, Jesse Vint (Forbidden World) and perennially popular big-screen bad guy Richard Lynch (Invasion USA, Bad Dreams, The Sword and the Sorcerer).
Inspired by the success of The Road Warrior, Corman acquired the award-winning New Zealand-made action blowout BattleTruck for distribution, rechristened it Warlords of the 21st Century and released it to screens in 1982. The film earned an enthusiastic cult audience and has not been available on home video for more than 20 years until now.
After the Oil Wars have ravaged the Earth’s landscape, gasoline has become a precious commodity. On his marauding search to commandeer all of the oil in existence to fuel his massive, heavily-armored battle truck, Col. Straker (James Wainwright, The Survivors) ravages a peaceful commune. Riding to their rescue is a mysterious man on a motorcycle (Michael Beck, The Warriors, Megaforce), who becomes their only hope when he decides to bring the fight to Straker, aided and abetted by Straker’s runaway daughter, Corlie (Annie McEnroe, Beetlejuice, Wall Street). It’s a mechanized, motorized version of the story of David and Goliath, and only one can survive.
The action-packed Battletruck also stars Bruno Lawrence (Smash Palace, The Quiet Earth) and two-time Emmy® nominee John Ratzenberger (Up, Toy Story 1, 2 and 3, TV’s Cheers). Cinematographer Chris Menges would go on to win Academy Awards® for The Killing Fields and The Mission and become an acclaimed director in his own right.
For her performance as Corlie, McEnroe won the Clavell de Plata Award as Best Actress from the Sitges – Catalonian International Film Festival.
DEATHSPORT SPECIAL FEATURES
- New anamorphic widescreen presentation (1.78:1)
- Audio commentary with co-director Allan Arkush and editor Larry Bock
- Interviews with actor Jesse Vint
- Original theatrical trailers
- Still gallery
- ?Trailer and TV spots
BATTLETRUCK SPECIAL FEATURES
- Audio commentary with director Harley Cokliss
Shout! Factory will continue to present Roger Corman’s Cult Classics home entertainment releases on a monthly basis. Upcoming highlights include Starcrash, Slumber Party Massacre: The Collection, The Evil, Twice Dead, Not of This Earth, Time Walker, Dead Space, among others.”