Category Archives: Film

“BODY MELT”— Australian Horror

Body Melt 

Australian Horror

Amos Lassen

“Body Melt” is a 1993  Australian horror film that begins on a peaceful morning in suburban Pebbles Court, part of Homesville with a car crash. What the residents there do not notice are the strange tentacles that erupt from the dead driver’s neck and force their way down his throat. They also do not know that they are unwitting test subjects by an evil corporation who manufacture a line of new-age vitamin supplements, Vimuville, that are being sent to the residents via the mailbox as free samples, and they’re only to happy to blindly swallow whatever pill manages to find it’s way into their mailboxes. Of course this stuff isn’t good for anyone and does not deliver the “new you” as advertised.

The pill is the brainchild of evil Dr. Carrera (Ian Smith) and his evil-minded assistant, Shaan (Regina Gaigalas). We first meet Shaan while is having sex with one of the lab guys, but apparently he has learned about the unethical experiments happening in Pebbles Court and plans to blow the whistle on the whole operation, so Shaan injects him with what she believes to be a lethal dose of some sort of stuff and just ass soon as he’s out of her sight he hops in his car and drives to Pebbles Court but begins falling ill. He seems to be going through some sort of body mutation brought on by the massive dose of whatever-that-stuff-was and he enters Pebbles Court at a very high rate of speed crashing into a parked car at which point  yellow tentacles emerge from wounds on his neck before withdrawing back into his body. 

Two local cops show up at the scene to investigate the crash/death, Sam Philips (Gerard Kennedy) and his younger partner Johnno (Andrew Daddo) and they interview the neighbors but don’t find out much, but they do find victim’s tape recorder, mumbling something about the first step is hallucination, the second step is glandular, which sets them on a path to the evil corporate entity.

From there the cops begin their investigation and as the residents of the neighborhood experience their own Vimuville side effects, all of which are disgusting. There’s a man who begins to have hallucinations of a strange looking woman whom he sees at the airport while on an errand, she shows up at her house and seduces him, during the act she massages one of his ribs right out of his body, and this is the least bizarre part of the whole film. 

Then we have the health conscious Dr. Noble (Adrian Wright) who lives in the neighborhood whom takes his family to the Vimuville Health and leisure spa, where each meets an awful end, the doc begins flinging copious amounts of phlegm, the mom chokes on her over-sized mutated tongue and their bratty son has a face-crushing rollerblading accident. A pair of horny brother’s in the neighborhood don’t actually meet their end because of ingesting the supplements but the corporation is still the reason behind their demise, they’re on a lust-fueled road trip but end up in the village of Nowhere, a strange hole in the wall town populated by a boil-faced father (Vincent Gil) and his three hideous children, all of whom are apparently past victims of Vimuville’s unethical experiments, one of his teen kids is a “girl”.

The last of the test subjects is a pregnant couple, the woman has been taking Vimuville supplements as directed by her doctor, who’s working for the evil corporation, but fears something is wrong with her unborn child, and boy was she right! Her husband catches her about to cut herself open to rip out the unborn mutant freak when suddenly a face-hugging placenta latches onto his face, the end result is an eye-bulging mess. 

The story doesn’t hold together all that well, and is actually four shorts thrown together with some uninspired acting and loads of spew and gore. The bloody and low-budget special effects are the true selling point here, they’re creative and fun, there’s loads of spew dripping everywhere. There are a lot of exploding body parts— faces, stomachs and even a penis, someone choke on her own mutated tongue and a face erupts like a snot-volcano. The gore is grotesque but so over-the-top that it’s mostly just laugh-out-loud funny. This is one of those films that are so bad, they are good and I had had a great time watching.

There are a host of special features including:

– Behind-the-scenes featurette with cast and crew (17 min) 

– Making Bodies Melt – The Making Of Body Melt (1992)(34 min) 

– Audio commentary with Director Philip Brophy, Producers Daniel Scharf and Rod Bishop (Production)

– Audio commentary with Director/Composer Philip Brophy (Sound Design and Score)

– Stills Gallery (98 images) 

– Body Melt – The Full Storyboard (98 images) 

– Original Theatrical Trailer (2 min) 

“THE SOUND OF MUSIC LIVE”— A British Live Broadcast

“THE SOUND OF MUSIC LIVE”

A British Live Broadcast

Amos Lassen

“The Sound of Music” comes to us once again in anambitious, live-broadcast production from BAFTA-nominated director Coky Giedroyc, the American premiere of the production first broadcast live in the United Kingdom. It is a tribute to the timeless Broadway show soon which is celebrating its 60th anniversary as one of the most beloved musicals of all time and will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on November 6. 

“The Sound of Music” opened on Broadway in 1959, and has since become a family favorite all over the world. “The Sound of Music Live” is a cinematically staged production featuring three soundstages and over 150 period costumes and is beautifully shot with 17 cameras.

 Kara Tointon delivers a “mesmerizing performance and incredible vocal talents” as Maria, the nun who becomes the governess for seven children living in the shadow of their stern widower father (Julian Ovenden). Along with her regular and required duties, Maria brings love, music and excitement into the children’s lives and also eventually begins to have an effect on their father. Just when things are looking up, the rise of Nazism and the looming threat of war threatens their future. Katherine Kelly appears as Baroness Elsa Schraeder and Alexander Armstrong plays Max Detweiler.

This is not intended to be a remake of the film. Of course different actors will bring their own personality to the role and it would be merely a pointless rip-off if they tried to imitate every nuance of the film. This version follows the original stage show which means that the two deleted numbers are restored (“Something Good” which was written for the film is added and the original sequence of songs and orchestrations are also here).

Basically this is a revival that was broadcast live, as if performed in a theater. Coky Giedroyc and Richard Valentine’s production emphasizes the choreography but using the camera to tell the story, as if it were an actor on the stage yet this was not a “flat” filming, with the camera confined by the proscenium, but a three-dimensional filming, making use of plenty of close-ups and panning shots.

Although well known to most viewers, both in its stage and film versions, “The Sound of Music” still has the capacity to stir the emotions. This is chiefly due to a strong book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, which does not shy away from the sinister political overtones of the story. While the songs might be saccharine in places, but the plot certainly isn’t.

Giedroyc and Valentine’s production brings out the gradual change of character of Captain Georg von Trapp as he realizes the effect that Maria had on his children. His pliability is contrasted with Maria’s. She is a strong-willed personality who knew that what she was doing was right, even if Von Trapp disagreed with it. Set against the couple is Max, a slimy character if ever there was one, who willingly accepted the dictates of Nazism without understanding their basically evil purposes.

The singing is uniformly excellent and the orchestrations by Michael England are lush yet melodic. I enjoyed the solid British style of this production and although I can see why Christopher Plummer’s military bearing might not be matched in this version, it isn’t a fair comparison to me. I found the sets and the singing, albeit not so polished as on film, far more immediately engaging and the ‘live’ feel came across really well.

Bonus Features include:

  • Audio Commentary With Kara Tointon And Julian Ovenden
  • Behind-The-Scenes Featurette

“SCARLET DIVA”— A Semi-Autographical Directorial Debut

“SCARLET DIVA”

A Semi-Autographical Directorial Debut

Amos Lassen

Italian actress-writer-director Asia Argento, daughter of famed genre director Dario, has spent much of her life in the spotlight and under the glare of media scrutiny. Of late, we have seen a lot about her as one of the leaders in the “Why Me?” movement that deals with women who have been sexually assaulted and even more recently Argento has been accused of sexual assault on a young man. This is her directorial debut and like her it is quite dark. Argento plays Anna Battista, a rising young actress who, despite her popularity and success, experiences despair and degradation at the hands of the film industry. As she journeys towards redemption, she goes on an excessive spree across America and Europe while trying to recapture her innocence and find true love.

 This is a new restoration of “Scarlett Diva”. It was hailed by audiences and critics alike. However, before you sit down to watch it, you must make sure that you care enough about Asia Argento and her pain since she lets it all hang out as she tells us of her tormented life. I suspect that with her latest news, any following that Argento had is gone now.

Anna, (Asia Argento), is a big movie star and very unhappy about it. Sex, drugs and rock and roll make her miserable. She is a very lonely woman and wonders if she will ever be happy. I do not think that this is an exploitation flick even though it might seem like one because of the nudity and the sex. It is, however, a sleazy study in sexual abandon and druggy desperation. By conventional standards, this is an awful movie — crudely shot on digital video, indifferently acted and chaotically written but it is also weirdly fascinating and at times, curiously moving.

Anna takes us on a tour of the world’s seedy glamour capitals including Rome, Paris, London, Milan, Amsterdam and Los Angeles. Along the way, she deals with the thuggish advances of a heroin-addicted writer (Herbert Fritsch) and an American movie producer (Joe Coleman), who wants to cast her as Cleopatra in a movie that is to star Robert De Niro as Marc Antony and be directed by Gus Van Sant. In a Paris nightclub, she falls for a greasy-haired Australian rock star (Jean Shepard), who promptly vanishes.

”Scarlet Diva” is filled with self-pity. In her own mind, Anna is a lonely, misunderstood girl, haunted by memories of her mother, a drug-addicted actress and a sympathetic brother who was her first great love. She is victimized at every turn by the users and predators who inhabit her world. There is something comically self-indulgent in Ms. Argento’s direction, and in her performance. She attempts to show that the cinema’s icons of young, female sex appeal are subject to constant abuse and exploitation and that they find both pleasure and anguish in this. Her response is to take revenge by exploiting herself more thoroughly than anyone else could.

BONUS FEATURES include:

  • Two audio commentaries by Asia Argento (2002 & 2018)  
  • Looking into the Eye of the Cyclops with Joe Coleman
  • Asia Argento interview
  • Making of Scarlet Diva
  • Original release promos
  • 20-page commemorative booklet

“The Baby”— A 21-Year-Old-Baby

“The Baby”

A 21-Year-Old-Baby

Amos Lassen

The Baby is a twisted, psychedelic nightmare of suburban depravity; a “smarmy enterprise that might have made a good Movie of the Week had it been stripped of some of its more questionable and disturbing aspects.” Now that is one way to start a review. You can almost guess what I coming with that introduction. The film centers on a grown man kept in an infantile state by his harridan mother and equally pernicious sisters. “The Baby” is inarguably shocking, but it’s frequently the kind of shock that comes from watching absolutely terrible behavior and situations and not being able to do much about it. Of course, you could walk out but that is no fun.

Ann Gentry (Anjanette Comer) is a social worker that, as the film opens, tears up as she looks at a scrapbook featuring photos of her family. It’s obvious that some sort of trauma has hurt Ann’s husband, as she discusses with her mother- in-law Judith (Beatrice Manley). That particular plot point is left unaddressed once Ann takes on her latest clients, a wealthy Los Angeles family known as the Wadworths. Mrs. Wadsworth (Ruth Roman) welcomes Ann to her mansion and seems to have little unease in talking about her supposedly mentally impaired adult son, a “child” who has always gone by the name Baby (David Mooney, known then as David Manzy). Baby doesn’t walk or talk, is kept in a crib most of the time and wears diapers. This intrigues Ann.

It’s difficult to argue that the film isn’t camp. But there’s something here that undermines camp humor and this is the disturbing imagery, including one sister who uses a cattle prod on the baby, a babysitter who breastfeeds him, and assorted other unseemly activities (including incest).

A power struggle eventually ensues between Ann and the Wadworths, with Baby’s future on the line. The film finally delivers chills in its final act, when Ann’s true motive for being interested in Baby is finally revealed. It’s here that the film for a moment rises above some truly questionable material to offer some more traditional and effective scares. But the whole business is purely without taste.

This story sounds somewhat familiar, and that is because this is not the only time this story has been told. I don’t want to give too much more of the plot away, but if you’re seeing this for the first time, you’re in for a surprise.

The film has some very morbid scenes. A babysitter goes to Baby’s room to comfort the full-sized infant and he forcefully starts feasting on her breast. She doesn’t reject him, and when the family bursts into the room, Mrs. Wadsworth starts whipping the hell out of the poor girl, leaving her with a mouth full of blood. Other sick scenes have Baby being punished with a long shock stick, and Hill is seen disrobing and getting into Baby’s crib in the middle of the night. Some of the scenes with Baby resemble a tasteless skit. It’s the tension between Comer’s character and the trio of crazy females that make this film interesting. Also, you might never forget the ending.

SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS

1.85:1 and 1.33:1 versions of the feature

High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation

Original uncompressed PCM mono audio

Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing

Brand new audio commentary by Travis Crawford

Down Will Come Baby a new retrospective with film professor Rebekah McKendry

Tales from the Crib archival audio Interview with director Ted Post

Baby Talk archival audio Interview with Star David Mooney

Theatrical Trailer

Reversible sleeve featuring newly commissioned artwork by The Twins of Evil

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector s booklet featuring new writing by Kat Ellinger

“SCHLOCK”— “A LOVE STRANGER THAN KING KONG!”

“SCHLOCK”

“A LOVE STRANGER THAN KING KONG!”

Amos Lassen

With “Schlock”, writer/director John Landis brings us a love story that transcends the boundaries of nature and good taste…” I just watched it for the first time and I must say that I am at a loss for words.

The mighty prehistoric ape Schlocktropus has emerged from hiding to begin a full-scale rampage across a quiet Southern Californian suburb. Everyone is at a loss as to what to do including the police and the army and the body count is rising. But when Schlocktropus encounters a kindly blind woman (Eliza Garrett) who sees beyond his ugly face and body, Schlock finds a chance at redemption.

This is no big-budget movie and in fact it was shot in just twelve days and on a very tiny budget. It is an irreverent satire on monster movies and love stories and it is totally outrageous and … great fun. Schlock is the link between the creature features of yesteryear and its creators’ subsequent varied and celebrated careers which includes some really good films.

John Landis not only wrote and directed but he is Schlock and spends much of the film running around in a cheap-but-impressive monkey suit designed by Rick Baker. The film was made in 1971 and tells the story of the title creature, a missing-link sort of fellow who runs amok and terrorizes a California town. The film shows us many of the traits that would lead Landis to become a top maker of films for and about frat boys. Grounded in Landis’ abiding love of silly gags, cheap monkey suits, monster movies, inside jokes, and women with large breasts, “Schlock” contains many of the gags and themes found in such later Landis classics as “Kentucky Fried Movie”. Unfortunately, though, while Landis’ debut is clearly the work of the same smart-ass college film geek who would go on to make smart, funny films like “Animal House” and “An American Werewolf In London”, it also shows that Landis needed artistic collaborators with more to offer than just use of their own rooms for interior shots. The jokes essentially stop coming about 20 minutes into the film making us think that the film was made up on the spot and as they went along.

“Schlock” is a terrible movie. As I said, I had never seen this film before so I had no idea what to expect. I came away pleased. This movie is not for everyone. Landis pokes fun at numerous sources way before it was popular to do so. The acting is so impossibly bad that it is always funny and one opening scene with four teenagers discovering Schlock in his lair is funnier than any Scary Movie or other horror parody could hope to be. What makes this film so entertaining is that everyone involved has talent and they knew how to laugh at themselves.

Landis uses many interesting camera setups and angels throughout the film to maintain interest. The active use of first person shots and shadows keep you interested in even the slowest moments. Even the worst of jokes is made funny by the perfect timing that Landis has. They are played out long enough that regardless of how short or extended the take, our only reaction is to laugh. Landis also does a great job as the prehistoric creature Schlock. Buried underneath Baker’s makeup, his performance has emotion and mischievousness that makes you love the character.

SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS

4K restoration of the film from the original camera negative

High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation

Original lossless mono soundtrack

Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing

Audio commentary by writer/director John Landis and makeup artist Rick Baker

New video interview with author and critic Kim Newman

Birth of a Schlock, a 2017 video interview with John Landis

Archival video interview with cinematographer Bob Collins

1972, 1979 and 1982 US theatrical trailers

US radio spots

Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Joe Bob Briggs

ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME IN CONCERT: ENCORE— 44 Performances

ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME IN CONCERT: ENCORE

44 Performances

Amos Lassen

 “ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME IN CONCERT: ENCORE” is now available for the First Time at Retail on Any Format and it includes four Hall of Fame Ceremonies Featured (2010-2013) and 44 iconic Performances from inductees Such as Genesis, The Stooges, The Hollies, Tom Waits, Dr. John, Leon Russell, Darlene Love, Freddie King, Donovan, Small Faces/Faces, Heart, rare artist collaborations and more.

 Each year, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame honors rock music’s pioneering figures during a prestigious black-tie ceremony. As the Hall of Fame enters its third decade, it’s these singular induction ceremonies-featuring the biggest names in classic rock from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s-that have become nearly as epic as the artists they celebrate.

These once-in-a-lifetime events will be available at retail in a 2-disc Blu-ray and 4-disc DVD configuration.

Some of the highlights are: 

  • The legendary Canadian power trio Rush performing fiery classics Tom Sawyer and The Spirit of Radio for their fervent fans. 
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers leading a searing all-star jam session of Higher Ground anchored by Slash and Ron Wood.  
  • Heart going Crazy on You before being joined onstage by fellow members of Seattle rock royalty from Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains. 
  • Alice Cooper ripping into ferocious versions of Eighteen and Under My Wheels before closing the set with Rob Zombie on School’s Out.
  • The Hurdy Gurdy Man Donovan is joined onstage by John Mellencamp for a chilling performance of Season of the Witch.
  • Complete HOF induction speeches including Don Henley inducting Randy Newman, Neil Young inducting Tom Waits and many more.

The Rock Hall induction ceremonies immortalize the legends of rock and the ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME IN CONCERT: ENCORE puts four singular and electric concerts together into one spectacular collection.

“REVOLUTION: NEW ART FOR A NEW WORLD”— Paintings Previously Banned and Unseen for Decades

“REVOLUTION: NEW ART FOR A NEW WORLD”

Paintings Previously Banned and Unseen for Decades

Amos Lassen

BAFTA Award-winning director Margy Kinmonth brings us a feature-length documentary that encapsulates an important period in the history of Russia and the Russian Avant-Garde movement. “Revolution” draws on the collections of major Russian institutions, contributions from contemporary artists, curators and performers and personal testimony from the descendants of those involved to show us masterpieces of art. 

It was filmed entirely on location in Moscow, St. Petersburg and London and the director had unprecedented access to The State Tretyakov Gallery, The State Russian Museum and The State Hermitage Museum. It features paintings previously banned and unseen for decades.

The movie shares its aim of creating “a new hypothesis for our lives” as it recounts the stories of the most prominent figures of the Russian avant-garde movement such as Malevich, Kandinsky and Tatlin. Russian art of the beginning of the 20th century ws very much intertwined with “revolution” both formally and politically, with themes like the attack on the White Palace, Lenin’s assassination and Stalin’s reign of terror. We clearly see that art cannot be separated from these events. The historic side overshadows the artistic in the film by following the timeline of political events more than the individual facets of avant-garde painting. 

The film interviews many of the surviving relatives, yet during their conversations the narrative is mostly steered in the direction of their political involvement and tragic losses, rather than the art they produced. “The artist is on service to the revolution” yet the revolution also overshadows the complex intricacies of avant-garde art.

Director Margy Kinmonth is the narrator and her film shows “the victory of new art against the old” and how art can be a major player in political processes. “Revolution” is largely a historic account of the art surrounding the Russian Revolution of 1917.The film looks at all aspects of visual art, including photography, painting, graphic design, sculpture, cinema, and physical theatre and covers artists as diverse as Kazimir Malevich, Wassily Kandinsky, Alexander Rodchenko, Dziga Vertov, Pavel Filonov, Petrov Vodkin, Marc Chagall, Varvar Stepanova, and Gustav Kluzis. The documentary weaves together the stories of all the different artists and sub-factions of the avant-garde including the Suprematism of Malevich, the Constructivism of  Rodchenko and Stepanova, the Abstraction of Kandinsky and the Surrealism of Chagall.

We see how art was initially inspired by the utopian dreams and depicting a new order and new ways of being, then confined by the theoretical control of Lenin and the one-party state, which led it to be conceived as ‘monumental propaganda’. The documentary highlights the demise of initial dreams to state control, Lenin’s death, the emergence of the Stalin, and the resulting terror. Many of these artists came to be seen as counter revolutionary, and were sent to Gulag labor camps or escaped Russia to live lives of exile elsewhere. The documentary also tells the story of how much of this art had to be hidden by curators because it did not conform to the style of Socialist Realism required by the Central Committee of the Communist Party (CCCP). In the conclusion, we see the story of a return to traditional techniques within the artistic establishment of Russia.

I would have preferred a critique the role of art in making a political statement, perhaps trying to draw some parallels with contemporary art but that is really a minor issue.

The 1917 Revolution was possibly the most important moment in Russian history. The end of the Tsarist system sparked an explosion of creativity, leading to the most fertile period of the Russian Avant-Garde movement. The artists’ work reflects the uncertainty of the rapidly changing world around them. Told through a mix of interviews (with relatives and experts) and dramatizations, “Revolution: New Art for a New World” gives us intriguing insight into one of the most vital periods of Russian art. It also shows us how one man’s ambition can destroy the most creative periods.

BONUS FEATURES include:

Over 20 minutes of additional footage give us the stories of iconic artists such as Chagall, Kandinsky and Malevich – pioneers who flourished in response to the Utopian challenge of building a “New Art for a New World,” only to be broken after fifteen short years by Stalin’s rise to power.

“THE DESERT BRIDE”— A Journey

“THE DESERT BRIDE”

A Journey

Amos Lassen

Fifty-four-year-old Teresa (Paulina Garcia)  has worked for decades as a maid in Buenos Aires. When her job abruptly ends, she has no choice but to take a job in the distant town of San Juan. Even though she is not much of a traveler, she finds herself on a journey through the desert. At her first stop, in the land of the miraculous “Saint Correa”, she loses her bag with all her belongings. This leads her to crossing paths with El Gringo (Claudio Rissi), a traveling salesman who helps her to discover the romantic world she long left behind.

Teresa’s journey is symbolic and is from self-pity to self-esteem. Flashbacks reveal Teresa’s anodyne behavior over the years while caring for a wealthy family that was always good to her but her but now they do not the money to keep her employed. In the present, El Gringo offers Teresa the comfort of a guided tour and he feels affection for her, giving her small gifts and leading her up a rocky trail for a better view of the mountainside. Their scenes inside his van show us that he is a man searching for a human connection, that the winding Argentinean roads alone cannot afford. Aside from telling a little white lie that keeps Teresa in tow, El Gringo has no ulterior motives or violent intent. He, like all the characters in the film is basically kind.

Directed by Cecilia Atan and Varelia Pivato, this is a road movie story that aims toward simplistic and rather formulaic romantic wish fulfillment. There are some visually beautiful camera shots but its main attraction is Garcia’s performance. She plays a 50-something Argentinean maid in the midst of a life transition. In a series of flashbacks, we learn that Teresa has worked for the same family for 30 years, but as they’re selling their house and no longer able to afford her, they have arranged for her to go work for relatives of theirs in the city of San Juan in the semi-desert region of western Argentina.

When her bus breaks down on the way to San Juan, Teresa and other passengers are stranded at a pilgrimage site dedicated to La Difunta Correa, a legendary woman who has the status of an unofficial saint who died while crossing the desert. Those who discovered her body found that her baby was suckling on her breast, which is how she became known as a worker of miracles. While killing time on her unexpected layover, Teresa meets a garrulous tradesman nicknamed El Gringo. When he leaves, she realizes he must have taken her bag, which contains all of her belongings. Though she doesn’t suspect theft or trickery, she knows she must track him down.

It takes some time, but when she finds him, he says her bag isn’t in the van; he must’ve left it at one of the places where he’s deposited other goods he carries. The two begin a mini-odyssey during which the maid and El Gringo get to know each other, and an attraction develops.

The film has many small touches of grace and intelligence and even though the story is something of a cliché, Garcia’s sharp, distinctive work makes the trip a memorable one nonetheless.

“PAYING THE PRICE FOR PEACE”— Striving for Peace

“Paying The Price For Peace”

Striving for Peace

Amos Lassen

As I sat down to write this review, I realized that the first paragraph of the press kit I received says it all so much better than I could, so I am quoting it here as it was written. “In 1987, S. Brian Willson, a Vietnam veteran sat down on the railroad tracks outside the Concord Naval Weapons Station in California to protest a shipment of weapons intended to arm the Nicaraguan Contra army. Underestimating the U.S. Navy s intolerance for peaceful protest, Willson lost both of his legs and suffered a fractured skull when the train was ordered not to stop. This is the story of one man who literally put his body on the line to dissent his country s imperialistic nature after witnessing U.S. savagery during the Vietnam War that changed his political convictions. Realizing that his power came not from bearing arms, but from bearing the truth, Willson has become one of today s most resolute voices against war. Including interviews with Martin Sheen, Daniel Ellsberg, Alice Walker, Ron Kovic, and narrated by Emmy Award-winner Peter Coyote, “Paying the Price for Peace” is a film that will embolden all people who strive for peace.”

We see how the actions of one man who dared to challenge this country’s foreign policy decisions changed history. Willson saw his country once again preparing to go to war and decided he could sit back, especially after having served in Vietnam. Willson’s anti-war feelings came put of the fact that not only had he fought for the United States but that he lost both legs doing so. Those experiences caused him to speak out against the actions of the United States government as it was going to support an unlawful war against Nicaragua. The United States was funding an external force, (the Contras), to overthrow the democratically elected government in Central America.

We see Willson’s path to activism that include protests and demonstrations and his blocking that munitions train on the tracks at the United States Navy Weapons Station in 1987 during which he almost died. He was able to mobilize 10,000 supporters who joined him at the tracks. The purpose of the film is to rise consciousness and awareness that citizens can become more involved in the government’s actions and that peace is the ultimate goal. We see that Willson is joined and supported by many important friends. We have always heard that peace comes out of love and we see here that sometimes we have to push a bit to find that love.

Willson indeed paid heavily for peace and we see him as “an iconic champion of deep conscience, intelligence and humanity”. There is so much more that I could say about this film but I would that all of you see it and understand that each of us has the power to do something for what we believe.

“THE PYJAMA GIRL CASE”— Based on a Real Event

“The Pyjama Girl Case”

Based on a Real Event

Amos Lassen

Director Flavio Mogherini brought the Italian giallo genre to Australia with “The Pyjama Girl Case”. The body of a young woman is found on the beach, shot in the head, burned to hide her identity and dressed in distinctive yellow pyjamas. With the Sydney police stumped, former Inspector Timpson (Ray Milland) comes out of retirement to crack the case. He pieces together the sad story of Dutch immigrant Glenda Blythe (Dalila Di Lazzaro) and the unhappy chain of events which led to her death. The movie was inspired by the real-life case which baffled the Australian police and continues to cause controversy and unanswered questions still today.

The victim was found on a beach, w/ her face burned beyond recognition. The police decide to put the charred, naked remains on public display in hopes that someone will recognize her and come forward. Thompson thinks this plan is nonsense. While he runs down leads, we are introduced to a woman named Glenda who has various, simultaneous affairs w/ men, one of whom is played by Mel Ferrer. The cops suspect a pervert, while Thompson seeks out his own clues. Glenda continues on in her complicated love life, which gets even more complicated as two of her lovers decide to take action against her and Glenda takes on three additional, totally anonymous lovers at once.. While the central idea of this movie is actually pretty interesting, and the final revelation is surprising, the film itself is much too long.

The screenplay uses the same names as the real people in 1934. The film is set in the 1970’s and in fact the whole movie other than a few facts is fiction.

SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS includes:

Brand new 2K restoration of the film from the original camera negative

High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation

Original lossless mono Italian and English soundtracks

Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack

Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack

New audio commentary by Troy Howarth, author of So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films

New video interview with author and critic Michael Mackenzie on the internationalism of the giallo

New video interview with actor Howard Ross

New video interview with editor Alberto Tagliavia

Archival interview with composer Riz Ortolani

Image gallery

Italian theatrical trailer

Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Chris Malbon

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector s booklet featuring new writing by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas