The Movie Waffler Mike's Strange Cinema Cavalcade - Razor Killers, Zombies and Maniacs | The Movie Waffler

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Mike's Strange Cinema Cavalcade - Razor Killers, Zombies and Maniacs

The New York Ripper
Three great titles on stunning 4k Blu-Ray from Blue Underground.



I often say we as horror fans are living in amazing times. Not only do we have obscure titles finally coming out on Blu-Ray (sometimes their first release) but we also have a slew of them newly scanned in 4K. Blue Underground has really been killing it this year with a series of brand new 4K releases and they show no signs of slowing down.

In fact, as I am writing this the company is prepping two new titles - Lucio Fulci’s House by the Cemetery and the Argento/Romero film Two Evil Eyes. Both will be available later this year. I very much look forward to reviewing those in the future, however today I am going to be covering three recent releases - Zombie (1979), The New York Ripper (1982) and Maniac (1980). Each release comes with three discs, which are loaded with brand new extras.



Zombie (1979) Dir: Lucio Fulci
zombie 1979
Any horror fan worth their salt has surely seen this nasty, maggot covered entry by the Italian gore maestro himself, Lucio Fulci. Zombie is ultra fun trash that never takes itself that seriously, and Fulci serves up plenty of memorable gore scenes to make up for a so-so plot. Most infamous is perhaps the eyeball of a victim being shredded by a piece of splintered wood. Even by today’s standards it’s a pretty unnerving moment that, dare I say, is more famous than anything else in the movie. While not my favorite Fulci film, it is a whole lot of cheesy horror goodness, and really, how often do you get to see a zombie fight a shark?



Maniac (1980) Dir: William Lustig
maniac 1980
You know when a movie is loved by horror author Stephen King that you are in for a treat. Maniac is a nasty, grimy little gem with a wonderfully bonkers ending. It came out the same year as a little film you may have heard of…Friday the 13th. However, as much as that’s a movie to be respected, Maniac has a grittier, darker, more believable vibe to it (until it goes off the rails). Director William Lustig really captures a grimy pre-cleaned up New York and places his titular maniac within it, a savage time bomb played to the hilt by Joe Spinell. The film also sports some great practical efforts by Tom Savini, who famously makes a head exploding cameo in the film. Spinell and Caroline Munro, as the object of his misplaced affections, are excellent in their respective roles.



The New York Ripper (1982) Dir: Lucio Fulci
The New York Ripper
The New York Ripper is, even by the standards of hardened gore hounds, considered rough, sleazy and downright skin-crawling, with some ultra-violence that most modern directors wouldn't dare to put on screen. Outside of Fulci’s supernatural outings, The New York Ripper remains a favourite of mine (just below Don’t Torture a Duckling). It's weird, brutal and entertaining, despite a finale that feels like it comes out of left field. Aside from shortcomings story wise, it’s still very engaging and always bat-crap crazy. It's possibly one of Lucio’s most savage displays, which, if you are familiar with the director's work, is really saying something. If you are a fan you should really make this a must-watch.


Extras:

Blue Underground has you covered when it comes to eye popping, razor slicing extras for all three titles. Highlights include multiple commentaries for each film including Troy Howarth (The New York Ripper and Zombie), author of 'Splintered Visions: Lucio Fulci and His Films', and William Lustig on Maniac, which is highly entertaining. Other features include a ton of interviews, galleries, trailers and on-location visits and booklets. As if that wasn’t enough, each of these films includes a third disc containing the film’s original soundtrack.


Picture/Value

It goes without saying that each film looks amazing and the team at Blue Underground went above and beyond, sourcing the original negatives and giving them a brand new 4K scan, which is a costly process. But man do they look great, especially when watched on a 4K television. It’s a safe bet to say that these movies have never looked better and won’t look any better any time soon. Due to them being 4K, you’re going to pay a bit more but you also get the best quality. Value-wise, you really are getting a big bang for your buck and aside from great extras, packaging, 4K picture and 7.1 sound, you also get the original soundtrack with each of these releases. So it's totally worth the price tag. All three are out now and available to buy and seriously, I can't recommend them enough.






Michael Vaughn is a rabid horror and cult fan who turned that love into a career. He is a writer, blogger and film historian and now author of 'The Ultimate Guide to Strange Cinema' which Shock Wave Podcast named their pick of the month, and Chris Alexander of Fangoria called “recommended reading.”


His other credits include Scream Magazine, Fangoria and websites like Films in Review and Bloody Flicks(UK). Please follow his Twitter @StrangeCinema65 and Instagram @castle_anger.




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