Just a quick update to acknowl­edge that the last few waves of releas­es from Warner Archives have been tar­get­ing a lot of cult movie sweet spots.  Recent releas­es have includ­ed hard-to-find the­atri­cal release fea­tur­ing icons like Fred Williamson and Joe Don Baker as well as a num­ber of t.v. movies.  For those not famil­iar with the pro­gram, Warner Archive sells the­se titles via DVD-R at $20 a title (more for mul­ti-disc sets and you can get deals via month­ly sales).  Read on for a quick overview of recent releas­es Your Humble Reviewer con­sid­ers worth explor­ing for any card-car­ry­ing Schlockmaniac…

(Note: the fol­low­ing syn­opses come direct­ly from the Warner Archive site, which you can access by click­ing here.)

THE PACK: Writer/director Robert Clouse, whose Enter the Dragon deliv­ered hard-hit­ting action and whose Deadly Eyes pro­vid­ed gnaw­ing rodent ter­ror, com­bi­nes both fright and fight in this sur­vival tale where a walk in the woods becomes a long, dark jour­ney into fear. Set on a remote island where vaca­tion­ers have sense­less­ly aban­doned their unwant­ed pet dogs, The Pack shows man’s inhu­man­i­ty com­ing back to haunt him with fanged fierce­ness. The con­fused, starv­ing pets form a ram­pag­ing pack – and man’s best friend becomes his worst fiend. Joe Don Baker (Walking Tall, The Natural, The Living Daylights) stars as the hero­ic marine biol­o­gist who comes up with a do-or-die scheme that will either reestab­lish man as top dog – or turn him into a tasty tid­bit. The sus­pense is fero­cious.

BLACK EYE: Since he gave up his police badge, Shep Stone’s tried to make a go of it as a PI. A snoop job here, a shake­down there: work hasn’t exact­ly poured into the run­down bar where he occu­pies a stool keep­ing office hours. But one night, Stone walks into his own apart­ment – where a mur­der vic­tim is still warm…and the killer is lying in wait for Stone. Fred Williamson (Black Caesar, Original Gangstas) is Stone, whose search for a mur­der­er spins into a spider’s web of sus­pense link­ing a reli­gious cult, a porno ring, a miss­ing per­son and a noto­ri­ous drug under­ground. Labeled “The Hammer” for his gridiron style, the for­mer pro foot­ball star plays Stone with the same hard-hit­ting direct­ness. From a high-rent high-rise to a shab­by amuse­ment park, from alley­ways to the beach, Stone sorts out clues, side­steps a grow­ing num­ber of corpses and shows tough guys what tough is all about.

KILLER PARTY: It’s April Fool’s Day and the sis­ters of Sigma Alpha Pi have found the per­fect place to throw a par­ty: the aban­doned fra­ter­ni­ty house where a guil­lotined pledge lost his head in a haz­ing gone slight­ly awry. But short­ly after the rev­el­ry begins, the stu­dent body count starts to rise as the venge­ful pledge returns from the grave and makes it a par­ty to die for. Featuring appear­ances by Eating Raoul’s Paul Bartel, debut­ing Joanna Johnson (who a year lat­er would grad­u­ate to her long­time best-known role on The Bold and the Beautiful) and teen heart­throb Martin Hewitt (Endless Love) plus a bang­in’ per­for­mance of April (You’re No Fool) by ’80s hair met­al band White Sister, Killer Party is the stuff of leg­ends, a one-of-a-kind slash­er-hor­ror-musi­cal-sex com­e­dy of ter­rors!

SWEET HOSTAGE: Stranded when her truck breaks down, 17-year-old Doris Mae (Linda Blair) accepts a ride from Leonard Hatch (Martin Sheen), unaware he’s an escaped men­tal patient. Held again­st her will, Doris Mae is tak­en to Leonard’s ram­shackle hide­out, a cab­in nes­tled deep with­in the woods. Frightened at first, she soon finds her cap­tor to be a kind and car­ing soul. So with time run­ning out and the police clos­ing in, Doris Mae must make a deci­sion: return to her safe exis­tence or run off with a mis­un­der­stood man. A 1976 Golden Globe® nom­i­nee as Best Television Movie, Sweet Hostage is an unfor­get­table tale of pas­sion and fate, adapt­ed from Nathaniel Benchley’s acclaimed nov­el Welcome to Xanadu. It’s also an invig­o­rat­ing show­case for the blaz­ing tal­ents of Blair (fresh off The Exorcist) and Sheen (soon after Badlands).

SHAFT — THE T.V. MOVIE COLLECTION: He’s the coolest pri­vate detec­tive around, caught up in all the hottest cas­es. Can you dig it? Richard Roundtree por­trays streets­mart Harlem sleuth John Shaft, repris­ing the film role he played in three trend-set­ting movies of the ear­ly 1970s (and would revis­it in the 2000 Shaft remake star­ring Samuel L. Jackson). In the­se sev­en episodes that each ran in a 90-min­ute times­lot, Shaft likes his wom­en chic, his cars fast and his clothes expen­sive – and takes the fight to mob lowlifes, scum­balls and vig­i­lantes who prey upon Shaft’s pals and oth­er decent, every­day peo­ple. And, yes, it just wouldn’t be Shaft with­out the sig­na­ture the­me music of Isaac Hayes. That’s here, too. Right on!

SNOW DEVILS: Big, hairy and very scary. When a Himalayan weath­er sta­tion is smashed to smithereens by crea­tures who leave super-sized foot­prints, sus­pi­cion falls on Abominable Snowmen. A hero­ic expe­di­tion braves snow-whipped precipices and dis­cov­ers the dread­ed humanoids. But wait – the­se are extrater­res­tri­al yetis who zipped in from out­er space to con­quer Earth by melt­ing the polar ice caps with high-ener­gy pro­ton fields. Will mankind be glob­al-warmed into sur­ren­der? Antonio Margheriti (aka Anthony Dawson) of The Wild, Wild Planet and War of the Planets fame directs this cult-clas­sic freak­fest that’s a Big Foot tan­gled up in a shoe­string f/x bud­get.

THE BLACK ZOO: The most sav­age ani­mal in a gar­den of beasts, ani­mal-wor­ship cultist and pri­vate zoo own­er Michael Conrad (Michael Gough) has trained his lions well, sic­c­ing the big cats on any fool who dares get in his way. First it was a snoopy sec­re­tary, then a schem­ing real­tor (Jerome Cowan). But only when his unhap­py wife (Jeanne Cooper) runs off with his beloved chimps does Conrad unleash his inner beast, and the fur real­ly flies. Shot by Academy Award®-winning* cin­e­matog­ra­pher Floyd Crosby on a sound­stage stocked by famed ani­mal behav­ior­ist and Marine World cre­ator Ralph Helfer, Black Zoo is the third and final col­lab­o­ra­tion of Gough (who lat­er played Alfred the but­ler in four Batman movies) and pro­duc­er Herman Cohen (Horrors of the Black Museum and Konga), a furo­cious last trip to the maul.

THE SUPER COPS: Better cool your jets, all you Bed-Stuy deal­ers, oper­a­tors and lowlifes: the heat that will take you down is on the street. The Super Cops zip­pi­ly chron­i­cles the crime-bust­ing adven­tures of David Greenberg and Robert Hantz, the unortho­dox police duo “who became known, not always fond­ly, as Batman and Robin,” writes Vincent Canby in his review in The New York Times. “The nick­names define the comic-book style of the film,” Canby adds, a film direct­ed by renowned Life pho­to­jour­nal­ist and Shaft film­mak­er Gordon Parks and amped by enthu­si­as­tic per­for­mances from leads Ron Leibman and David Selby. The real-life Greenberg and Hantz appear in the film in news footage and in bit roles.

DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK (REMASTERED SPECIAL EDITION): It’s back! The clas­sic TV MOW that con­tin­ues to cast a spell almost 40 years after it was first broad­cast, in a new remas­tered and enhanced edi­tion. Sally (Kim Darby) and Alex Farnham’s (Jim Hutton) mar­riage has a sin­is­ter wedge dri­ven through it, when her occult “imag­in­ings” threat­en to derail his career after they inher­it Sally’s grandmother’s house. Also star­ring William Demarest. Enhanced Content: Superfan com­men­tary track from hor­ror fans and pros Jeffrey Reddick, Steve Barton (“Uncle Creepy”) and Sean Abley.

THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. — 8 MOVIES COLLECTION: Combine the spy-again­st-spy Cold War era with ’60s cool and the result is the trend-set­ting series that became a cul­tur­al touch­stone – and gen­er­at­ed 8 Theatrical Movies derived from and expand­ing upon key episodes. Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn) and Illya Kuryakin (David McCallum) are intre­pid U.N.C.L.E. agents who main­tain tongue-in-cheek style as they con­front the dead­ly schemes of THRUSH in the U.S. or any­where else spy chief Mr. Waverly (Leo G. Carroll) sends his two top oper­a­tives. Guest stars caught up in the glo­be­trot­ting intrigue include Joan Crawford, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, Leslie Nielsen, Jack Palance, Eleanor Parker, Telly Savalas, Rip Torn and more. NOTE: all movies are pre­sent­ed in their orig­i­nal 4X3 aspect ratio, as orig­i­nal­ly filmed.

THE MAN FROM ATLANTIS — COMPLETE T.V. MOVIES COLLECTION: Mysterious mer-man Mark Harris washed ashore on the nation’s TVs in ear­ly ’77 and quick­ly became a break­out hero. America fell hard for the Atlantean amne­si­ac, gen­er­at­ing big rat­ings for the Man from Atlantis pilot movie and its three sub­se­quent fol­low-up TV movies. Starring new­com­er Patrick Duffy and over­seen by Robert Justman (Adventures of Superman, Star Trek, Then Came Bronson, Probe/Search), the orig­i­nal TV movies eas­i­ly swim between the par­al­lel gen­res of Science Fiction and Super-Heroics, cre­at­ing a fan­ta­sy that is still fun and fresh today. This 2 disc col­lec­tion con­tains all 4 TV movies. Also stars Belinda Montgomery. PILOT(Newly remas­tered!): Mark Harris wash­es ashore, pos­sess­ing strange sea-far­ing pow­ers but no mem­o­ries. The Death Scouts: Mark bat­tles scuba diver abduct­ing aliens. The Killer Spores: Intelligent spores from space pos­sess Mark in a bid to return to the yawn­ing galac­tic gulf. The Disappearances: Scientists all over the world are dis­ap­pear­ing — includ­ing Mark’s asso­ciate, Elizabeth.

THE MAN FROM ATLANTIS — COMPLETE T.V. SERIES: Go deep­er below the sur­face than ever before with the adven­tures of the being who is both human and aquat­ic. Atlantis sur­vivor Mark Harris (played by Patrick Duffy just before start­ing his lengthy run on Dallas) breathes under­wa­ter, with­stands extreme depth pres­sures and wields super­hu­man strength. And those astound­ing abil­i­ties are show­cased in this 4-Disc Collection con­tain­ing All 13 Exciting Episodes. Submerge with Mark and the crew of the Foundation for Oceanic Research sub­marine Cetacean (includ­ing costars Belinda J. Montgomery and Alan Fudge) into a world of sci­ence-fic­tion won­ders. Guest stars include Victor Buono (in sev­er­al episodes as the vil­lain­ous Mr. Schubert), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Pernell Roberts, Rene Auberjonois and Pat Morita.