Friday, May 29, 2009

I keep missing you, Avco-Embassy

Today I find myself totally missing those studios & video labels of past. The ones that didn't survive the 90's when everything became part of a corporation [the beginning of the end] Here's to the little guys, and their catalogue that entertained the hell out of me in my younger days. I'll post now and again about each of these studios & labels, and I'll get lost in nostalgia. What else is new?!

I'd like to start with this guy. He didn't really make it out of the 80s, but he left some real treats behind for us. And boy did I ever love my VHS copies of ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, THE SURE THING, THE FOG, CHILDREN OF THE CORN, AMITYVILLE II, LOSIN' IT, HUMONGOUS, ZAPPED!, PHANTASM and a bunch more. Picking up an Embassy title always meant I was in for some real fun.
  Sample of Avco-Embassy/Embassy's Video offerings: Logos:

Factoids: Avco-Embassy became Embassy and was bought by Norman Lear in the early 80's (which he primarily used for distribution of TV-Shows, naturally) ... During the mid 80's Lear sold Embassy to Coca-Cola and since they owned Columbia pictures at the time, the two joined forces. Eventually Coca-Cola sold Embassy to Dino De Laurentis in the late 80's who renamed it The Dino De Laurentis Group (DEG) and home video became NELSON. By the early 90's it was all over for Embassy/Nelson, and rights to their catalogue are kind of all over the place. MGM & ANCHOR BAY picking up by far most of the titles so far.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

DVD Evaders: Seven Minutes In Heaven (1985)

The lesser known mid-80's teen comedy SEVEN MINUTES IN HEAVEN boasts great and honest performances by it's 3 young leads and really captures adolescence in all it's awkward glory. It's kind of a shame this movie never really got much of a release (It was released on only 6 screens) but those who remember it from home video & cable really love it--I myself am a big fan. Now with Jennifer Connelly as a selling point, there really is no excuse why Warner Brothers is continuing to overlook this gem of a movie. HEAVEN at 80'S movies Rewind: Seven Minutes In Heaven HEAVEN TV Spot: Seven Minutes In Heaven Trailer And since I can't find a theatrical poster for it anywhere, here are some promo flyers from Japn for the movie's release (The Japanese had a thing for a younger Connelly)

Monday, May 25, 2009

War = Hell: 10 favorite war related movie shows

Happy Memorial Day! Wait, war is hell. There's nothing to be happy about. But wait, there's quite a few good films that are war related that have been released over the years. Granted, I'm not a big fan of war films in general, but regardless I can't ignore the provocative stories that have been told, born out of the conflicts of past. Here is a list of my 10 favorite films each with stories that are directly about war or are somehow centered around it. I dedicate this list to the soldiers who bravely fought, and to the families of those who have lost someone. I'm also really looking forward to Kathryn Bigelow's latest, to be released pretty soon here in the US:

Thursday, May 21, 2009

DVD Evaders: Endless Love (1981)

Wait. Check it. 1981's teen classic, Endless Love. Directed by Franco Zeffirelli (Romeo & Juliet) Starring Brooke Shields. With first on screen roles for James Spader, Jami Gertz and Tom Cruise. The hit title song that everyone and their mother mouths the words to when it comes on, is not on DVD. How is this possible?

Universal owns the rights to this doomed teenage romance, and they are far too busy re-releasing the same shitty movies on DVD over and over. Perhaps instead of yet another release of The Mummy with Brendan Fraser, they can give their catalog a little love? I'm not even asking for endless amount of it. Just this memorable little movie already. Maybe they're afraid of a little teen romance with actual, gasp, sex?


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My 26 favorite slasher movie shows

Slasher films are just pure fun. And especially so when they are done well. This list represents some of my favorites from the sub-genre. Most of them are from the slasher boom that was born out of the success of 1978's horror landmark HALLOWEEN (which in itself drew much inspiration from the godfather of all slasher films, Hitchcock's masterpiece, PSYCHO) If you have a list of your own favorites, please share them! 

   My top 10:
Psycho (1960) - The Film that started it all. Doesn't get any better than this!

Halloween (1978) is my personal Favorite. And perhaps my most Favorite Film of all time!

Just Before Dawn (1981) - One of the most underrated Horror Films there is.

Tourist Trap (1979) - This Horror Film had such an impact on me growing up. It scared the hell out of me. And still does. And it's rated PG!

Prom Night (1980) - Will forever be close to my heart. My sister and I would spend countless hours watching it back in the day. The perfect Brother/Sister bonding Movie with a slasher twist.

Black Christmas (1974) - Bob Clark's first seminal Christmas Film, and my Favorite film to ever tackle the Holiday. So good. I would say more about it, but I hear the phone ringing...

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) - Always frightens the hell out of me. Gritty and stylized in a way that makes it a work of art.

Friday The 13th (1980) - The first Friday set the tone and atmosphere. It's pure slasher goodness.

Hell Night (1981) - Classy and atmosphere. When I watch Hell Night, I fall in love. This is how it should be done.

The House On Sorority Row (1983) - Another class act. Low budget, but you'd never guess. Well done on every level. One of my Favorite Horror Movie scores of all time.

14 more favorites in alphabetical order:

April Fool's Day (1986) - A Slasher-Comedy will great characters. It's a lot of fun.

Curtains (1983) - Freaked me out as a kid. It's both classy and creepy.

Dressed To Kill (1980) - Brian De Palma's Slasher-Thriller that is both beautiful and suspenseful. 

Happy Birthday To Me (1981) - God, I love this crazy Movie. And so should you.

Humongous (1982) - Love, love the atmosphere. 

Mortuary (1983) - Bizarre and strangely captivating. Mortuary is a low-budget standout.

My Bloody Valentine (1981) - It wins my heart every time. Harry Warden, I'm yours.

A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984) - A true original. 

The Redeemer (AKA: The Class Reunion Massacre) (1978) - Bizarre, 70's goodness.

Sleepaway Camp (1983) - Gotta love Sleepaway Camp. A Movie they wouldn't dare recreate these days!

The Toolbox Murders (1978) - An underrated gem. 

Twitch Of The Death Nerve (AKA: Bay Of Blood) (1971) - Mario Bava's Proto-Slasher is a lot of fun.

Visiting Hours (1982) - A lot of suspense. I've always loved this one. Especially Michael Ironside as one of the creepiest villains on Film.

When A Stranger Calls (1979) - Scary. Has had a long lasting effect on me that has lasted to this day.

A Part 2/1981 double feature of fun:

Friday The 13th Part 2 (1981) - More technically savvy than the original Film, and with one of the best Final Girls in all of Slasher-Filmdom.

Halloween II (1981) - May not be quite the masterpiece the original Film is, but it's the movie equivalent of a hot tub filled with fun!

And the trailer for the extra super groovy Prom Night (1980) God, I love this movie!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

16 Movie Posters from 1976

While I couldn't help but post a few film posters to some fantastic films here (you decide which) the spirit of good old '76 also proved that you didn't necessarily always need to have an awesome movie in order to make an awesome poster. Enjoy! Oh, and riddle me this: How did the hell did they get up there, anyway?
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