March at 88 Films features a roster of frightening and furious treats that few cult labels can rival!
If you are already wishing away the cold weather then do not think yourself unique - for here at 88 Films we are also shivering, wearing too many layers of clothing and wishing for the start of Spring and a little sunshine. And what better way to tolerate a sure-to-be-sodden March than with a selection of cult curiosities tailor-made for fireside viewing as the rain and chill create a frosty atmosphere outside? Yes, the UK's premiere grindhouse label - restoring and re-releasing the sort of challenging esoteric exploitation and underground underrated schlock that other companies are afraid to touch - is back with a vengeance and has a month packed full of must-see motion pictures on BluRay and DVD!
First, anticipating the month ahead, comes the sexy and sleazy Italian serial-killer thriller AMUCK (Silvio Amadio, 1972) making its worldwide BluRay debut on February 27th! Is there a finer way to see in a new month than to bathe in the timeless beauty of star Barbara Bouchet (CASINO ROYALE), a genre veteran, legendarily leggy screen presence and femme fatale par excellence? In AMUCK Bouchet gives a five star performance, disrobes and discovers some dead bodies and fights to make it to the end credits alive in one of Italian horror cinema's most brilliantly bombastic offerings. Arriving to UK shelves with a limited collector's booklet from Calum Waddell, a pair of insightful interviews with Bouchet herself and a revealing chat with co-star Rosalba Neri (who horror-hounds will know from such Euro-scuzz masterworks as Jess Franco's 99 WOMEN), AMUCK might just be the greatest giallo jaunt that 88 Films has ever had the pleasure to present! Ripe for rediscovery (and thanks to Bouchet, ripe for re-winding!), AMUCK is likely to stab away at your affections.
Leading us into March is yet more sinister cinema from the golden era of Rome-based marginal movie-making! Arriving on March 13th is a trio of terrific titles - led by SYNDICATE SADISTS (Umberto Lenzi, 1975), another violent crime-caper as directed by the undisputed king of the carnage-ridden Italian police film genre. Yes, 88 Films has been on a bit of an Umberto Lenzi bender over the past year - unleashing some of the CANNIBAL FEROX auteur's most mesmerising celluloid slime - including the once-banned MAN FROM DEEP RIVER (1972) and his gun tottin' bullet ballet THE CYNIC, THE RAT AND THE FIST (1977). Indeed, we cannot get enough Lenzi, which is why we are thrilled to give British viewers a chance to see SYNDICATE SADISTS uncut, uncensored and restored from the original camera negative! Add to this some first class special features, with the participation of Lenzi himself, and you have one of our favourite releases to date. As for the story... well, let's just say that you can expect the usual spirited Lenzi slaughter-thon with perennial leading man Tomas Milian (ALMOST HUMAN) pitting his violent muscle against the legendary Joseph Cotton (THE THIRD MAN). Lenzi cranks up the suspense in this shoot-and-run sickie - and eagle-eyed fans will acknowledge that Milian is indeed playing a man called Rambo, for this was originally intended to be a direct adaptation of the famous FIRST BLOOD novel!
Next up, also on March 13th, is Lucio Fulci's AENIGMA (1987). There are those who argue that Fulci, the video nasty maestro behind such iconic must-see titles as ZOMBIE FLESH-EATERS (1979) and THE NEW YORK RIPPER (1982), had lost his verve by the time the mid-1980s came along but AENIGMA shows that nothing could be further from the truth. Here, after all, is a man still at the peak of his powers - helming a CARRIE-style gore-fest about a bullied teenager who uses her telekinetic abilities to unleash revenge on some especially unpleasant students at an all-girls school. Also owing some of its legacy to Dario Argento's stylish PHENOMENA (1985), AENIGMA serves up snails, sanguine and screaming dames - whilst also giving us lashing of the expected Lucio Fulci genius. 88 Films has given this underrated Italian classic a wealth of tender loving care - restoring it with a new 2k scan, which shows that Fulci's colour-scapes rarely lost their allure, and offering a new epic documentary on the great man's life.
And if AENGIMA does not satisfy your desire for death and delirium then how about a return to the Amazon jungle with MASSACRE IN DINOSAUR VALLEY? Directed by Michele Massimo Tarantini (A MAN CALLED MAGNUM), MASSACRE IN DINOSAUR VALLEY was released in 1985, when many naysayers had decided the genre that birthed such gruelling chillers as CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST (1980) had run out of steam. Thankfully, Tarantini's fast-paced romp around the South American jungle proves otherwise - with a positively provocative plot that finds layman adventurer Michael Sopkiw (BLASTFIGHTER), and his crew, stalked and savaged by a primitive tribe after his plane crash lands in the vast forest. Featuring gore-galore, plenty of gratuitous nudity and all of the flesh-feasting genre's most famous tropes - from bound babes to intestinal-yanking excess - MASSACRE IN DINOSAUR VALLEY is a favourite of uber fan Eli Roth (HOSTEL) and comes to 88 Films BluRay re-mastered in 2k! Previously known as CANNIBAL FEROX 2, 88 Films is proud to give MASSACRE IN DINOSAUR VALLEY a proper HD appreciation.
Of course, if such native chow-downs leave you with a case of indigestion, you could always opt for something more sublime in the shape of our latest offering from 88 Asia - 1980's absolutely essential Hong Kong swordplay masterpiece KILLER CONSTABLE. Directed by the almost always reliable Kuei Chih-Hung (KILLER SNAKES), this amazingly intense action outing features a lawman with a grudge - travelling across Qing Dynasty era China in search of criminals and criminal activity. This Shaw Brothers production could well be the most mesmerising of all the 88 Asia releases to date - highlighting some of the best and bloodiest battle scenes ever committed to celluloid and a fast-paced, thrillingly cynical storyline. Coming to UK BluRay in a colourful re-master, accompanied by an audio commentary from the great Bey Logan (producer of CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON PART 2) we recommend that KILLER CONSTABLE joins your home video collection as soon as possible. It arrives from 88 Films on March 27th.
However, lest you think that this is it for March, 88 Films still has an old classic from the era of New York's 42nd Street to bring back to life in glorious HD. Fittingly, this one even pays homage to the Big Apple in its title - yes, we are talking about Sergio Martino's outrageous and action-packed bout of awesome destruction 2019: AFTER THE FALL OF NEW YORK (1983). This blast 'em up wasteland adventure has to be one of our most requested titles and it is easy to see why! Not only is the timing for this BluRay ideal (2019 might well mark the fall of the world if Trump has his way!) - but the cast is full of some familiar favourite faces such as MASSACRE IN DINOSAUR VALLEY hero Michael Sopkiw, ABSURD's beefcake baddie George Eastman and the always entertaining Edward Purdom (PIECES). Martino, who helmed such video nasty classics as MOUNTAIN OF THE CANNIBAL GOD, spins John Carpenter's ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK with all of the lowbrow lacerating blood and guts that one loves about this era of Italian sleaze-making. As such, 2019: AFTER THE FALL OF NEW YORK is essential viewing for anyone eager to experience a thrill ride of debauched laser shoot-outs and heroines-in-peril. As with KILLER CONSTABLE, 88 Films will be bringing 2019: AFTER THE FALL OF NEW YORK to UK BluRay on March 27th, in a jam-packed special edition!
Given its March slate, it will surprise few fans that 88 Films is excited for 2017 and our plans for the year ahead. A winner of the HOME CINEMA CHOICE magazine award for ‘Best DVD Extra Feature’ two years in a row, the company remains dedicated to recreating both the thrills and spills of grindhouse lore, and the video shop excitement, of the 70s and 80s – whilst treating its various titles with the respect and love that they deserve. Key 88 Films lines include our 'Slasher Classics' franchise, which will shortly include JUST BEFORE DAWN and HIDE AND GO SHRIEK, our Italian series and our newest sub-label 88 Asia.
- 88 Films