Archive for September 22, 2010

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Schlock-Wire: Shout Factory Bringing CANNIBAL GIRLS To DVD In Time For Halloween

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Canuxploitation fans take note: Shout! Factory is dishing up a savory delight for you this Halloween in the form of a DVD of Cannibal Girls.  For those who don’t know the title, this exploitation gem was concocted by future comedy-flick auteur Ivan Reitman and provided early roles for future SCTV stars Eugene Levy and Andrea Martin.  It will be presented in a newly-remastered version bolstered with plenty of extras.  Best of all, it will also include the “warning bell” gimmick added for the American release on an alternate audio track.  Read on for all the cutie-pie cannibal details…

When the Warning Bell Rings – close your eyes if you’re squeamish!

JUST IN TIME FOR THIS YEAR’S HALLOWEEN SEASON, SHOUT! FACTORY SERVES UP

THE LONG AWAITED IVAN REITMAN HORROR CLASSIC

THAT WILL HAVE YOU CRAVING SECONDS…


CANNIBAL GIRLS

Directed by Ivan Reitman, Starring Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin and Robert Ulrich

THE POPULAR 1973 CANUCKSPOLITATION HORROR FILM FINALLY DEBUTS ON THE HOME ENTERTAINMENT SHELVES FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE U.S

Featuring Scrumptious DVD Bonus Content Including

A Conversation with Ivan Reitman and Daniel Goldberg,

Film Critic Richard Crouse Interviews Eugene Levy, Alternate Audio Track Featuring “The Warning Bell ”, Original Radio Spots and more!

OWN IT ON DVD OCTOBER 26, 2010 FROM SHOUT! FACTORY

Hungry for thrills and high camp this Halloween? SCTV regulars Eugene Levy and Andrea Martin star in the Canadian horror spoof Cannibal Girls as a couple on a romantic holiday who settle into a quaint little bed-and-breakfast run by a trio of flesh-eating ladies who fancy them for tomorrow’s menu. Pull up a seat at the table for this delightful feast when this cult horror classic Cannibal Girls, directed by Ivan Reitman, finally makes its way on DVD in the United States for the first time October 26, 2010 from Shout! Factory.

Packed with all-new bonus content featuring, original promotional materials, alternate audio track featuring the cult-famous “warning bell” and all-new interviews with Ivan Reitman, Eugene Levy, and Daniel Goldberg, this DVD further boasts the widescreen presentation of the movie, mastered from the newly restored original film elements.  Cannibal Girls DVD is priced to own at $22.97 SRP.

Theatrically released in 1973, Cannibal Girls quickly acquired a reputation as the B-movie concoction of the 1970s. Canadian audiences had never before experienced such a rich blend of camp, gore and comedy. On top of the film’s overt B-movie presentation, the producers tore a page from the William Castle book of exploitation, introducing to the theatre-going public the “warning bell” experience: just prior to a scene of particular malice and gore, viewers would be warned by the sound of a bell, at which point they could shut their eyes.

The movie was made on a low budget — $12,000 the duo had to beg and borrow from friends, relatives and some dubious sources — and most of the dialogue was improvised. Despite cost overruns and reshoots, Reitman persuaded American International Pictures (AIP) to distribute the film and it was released in the U.S. in April of 1973 and in Canada that June.

This trashy black comedy, and at-times, surreal film was the first leg in the entertainment industry journey of its director and stars. Ivan Reitman, of course, went on to direct Meat Balls, Stripes, Ghostbusters and Six Days, Seven Nights. Eugene Levy and Andrea Martin went on to fame as SCTV regulars, with Levy going on to star in the American Pie franchise and a host of other films and Martin starring in a variety of TV series and one-woman shows.

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES

  • Widescreen movie presentation – mastered from restored film elements
  • “Cannibal Guys” – a conversation with Ivan Reitman and Daniel Goldberg
  • “Meat Eugene ” –  Richard Crouse talks to Eugene Levy
  • Original trailers and radio spots
  • Alternate audio track featuring “The Warning Bell”

CANNIBAL GIRLS (1973)

American International Pictures

Starring Eugene Levy,  Andrea Martin, Robert Ulrich; co-starring Randall Carpenter, Bonnie Neilson, Mira Pawluk, Bob McHeady

Directed by Ivan Reitman

Produced by Daniel Goldberg

Executive Producer: Ivan Reitman

Story by Daniel Goldberg and Ivan Reitman

Screenplay by Robert Sandler

Cinematography by Robert Saad

Edited by Daniel Goldberg

Running time: 84 minutes

Rated: R

Color, 16×9 Widescreen

Cannibal Girls

Cannibal Girls

A young couple spends the night in a restaurant only to find out that it is occupied by three women who hunger for human flesh in this this horror film from the director of classic comedy, Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters, Stripes, Meatballs). This 1973 long sought-after cult movie was known for a “warning bell” gimmick, which rang in theatres to warn the more squeamish members of the audience for impending gory or erotic scenes.Stars: Eugene Levy (American Pie, Splash), Andrea Martin (SCTV, Black Christmas)Bonus Features:”Cannibal Guys” – A Conversation with Ivan Reitman and Daniel Goldberg”Meat Eugene!” – Richard Crouse Talks With Eugene LevyOriginal Trailers and Radio SpotsAlternate Audio Track Featuring “The Warning Bell”






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GAMERA VS. GUIRON: Starry-Eyed Kiddie Lunacy From Another World

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Two notable things happened to the Gamera series with its fourth installment, Gamera Vs. Viras: 1) it went from being kid-friendly to being totally aimed at the kids and 2) it became much more budget-conscious, with cheaper production values and recycled footage.  The results were still fun but the reason why shifted as it upped the “dime-store surrealism” ante for the series.  These trends continue in the fifth Gamera film, Gamera Vs. Guiron.

Once again, the film is driven by the exploits of two boys, one Japanese and one Anglo.  This time, it’s Akio (Nobuhiro Kajima) and Tom (Christopher Murphy), a space-obsessed pair whose desire to make contact with aliens becomes a reality when they see a spaceship land in a nearby wooded area.  They outwit goofy but kind Officer Kondo (Kon Omura) to go to the site – and are promptly whisked away when they step inside the ship.  In short order, Akio and Tom find themselves on a distant planet where two feminine aliens offer to get them back to earth.

However, these aliens really sent their ship to earth to get some earth specimens to check out and are planning a hostile colonization of the planet (which involves humans becoming their livestock!).  The planet also has a nasty monster named Guiron who has a large knife-blade for a head.  Thankfully, the boys’ journey to this planet has been tracked by the friend of all Earth’s children, Gamera – but Guiron is a deadly foe and it will require a monster-on-monster battle to save both the boys and their home planet.

This is definitely a lesser opus in the Gamera canon: the budgetary corner-cutting hinders the scope that made past series entries so much fun and also interferes with the quality of the effects (there a few really bad chroma-key visuals).  Also, Gamera’s screen time is limited in favor of the kids vs. aliens story.  It doesn’t help that both the heroes and villains are rather dimwitted (a reflection of the make-it-up-as-you-go scenario at play here) and that Murphy is one of the more stunningly inexpressive child actors you’ll ever see.  Overall, the story’s aggressive targeting of pre-middle school kids gives it a saccharine quality that some cult film fans will find hard to stomach.

However, there are rewards for the Gamera lovers who stick it out: once the film gets to the aliens’ planet, there are some cool miniatures to be savored and a bevy of cool monster battles.  Despite the goofy kid-flick framing, Guiron is actually one of the more brutal and menacing villains of the series: he is introduced in a scene where he ritually dismembers(!) one of Gamera’s past foes.  There’s also a twisted Brother’s Grimm element to the alien plot, which involves the witch-like aliens plotting to eat to the young hero’s brains.

Finally, it’s hard to actively dislike a kid’s film where adults are almost exclusively portrayed as clueless, arrogant or evil.  In the fact, the only adult who gets sympathetic treatment in Gamera Vs. Guiron is Officer Kondo, because he is a childlike daydreamer who actually listens to the kids (in a crowd-pleasing moment for the kiddie audience, he scolds a couple of jerky reporters who mock Akio’s little sister).  Respect for kids and the need for adults to remember their childlike qualities are recurring motifs in the Gamera movies and this likely endeared these movies a great deal to their pre-teen audience.

In short, Gamera Vs. Guiron isn’t a kaiju-eiga classic but its eccentricities and themes make it an interesting view for schlock archaeologists.  If you like your kiddie fare to be starry-eyed and demented all at once then  you might find this film to have a certain wacked-out charm.

Gamera Vs. Guiron / Gamera Vs. Jiger [Double Feature]

Gamera Vs. Guiron / Gamera Vs. Jiger [Double Feature]

Gamera is back, battling oversized monsters in the fifth and sixth movies in the Showa series of Gamera monster movies, Gamera vs. Guiron and Gamera vs. Jiger. Fortunately, for citizens of planet Earth, anyway, Gamera prevails, sending these terrifying creatures to their doom.Features two full-length Gamera films in their original Japanese versions, with English subtitles.






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