Ash vs Evil Dead – Season One (2015) – Blu-ray review

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Synopsis: Ash has spent the last 30 years avoiding responsibility, maturity and the terrors of the Evil Dead until a Deadite plague threatens to destroy all of mankind and Ash becomes mankind’s only hope.

What’s it like? ‘The Evil Dead’ infused with the CGI violence of ‘Spartacus’ and the comedy of ‘Road Trip’.

Film: 7/10. As a long-time fan of ‘The Evil Dead’ franchise I’d been patiently waiting for more. We’d gotten close a few times and then we got a reboot in 2013 that seemed to close the original chapter. Two years later, Ash is back! The franchise translates reasonably well to series with the over the top violence of the first two films and the comedy of ‘Army of Darkness’. Bring on season two! 294 mins.

Picture quality: 8/10. If you’re a long-time fan of ‘The Evil Dead’ the picture quality might take some getting used to. For starters, there are substantial portions of the series set in the daytime. The digital filming also keeps things quite clean with the exception of some digital noise from time to time so that’s quite a departure from the grainy film stocks of the original films. All the gritty, grimy details are captured wonderfully though and with 2.5 hours of episodes per disc compression is handled well.

Audio quality: 10/10. Here’s where the series really excels. Everything about the audio is top notch – dialogue is crisp and clear, music sounds full, gunshots pack a punch and the various squelching and snapping sounds of dearly departed Deadites make for good, clean fun.

Trailer: YouTube

Disc reviewed: Country: U.S., Studio: Starz/Anchor Bay, Region: Region free

Director: Various
Starring: Bruce Campbell, Ray Santiago, Dana DeLorenzo, Lucy Lawless, Jill Marie Jones

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Bride of Re-Animator (1989) – Blu-ray review

Synopsis: Doctors Herbert West and Dan Cain discover the secret to creating human life and proceed to create a perfect woman from dead tissue.

What’s it like? The Evil Dead meets Frankenstein.

Film: 7/10. Much like The Evil Dead and its sequel, Bride of Re-Animator ramps up the black comedy and gore to good effect. It doesnt quite reach the heights of the original, but there’s plenty for horror fans to admire. 98 mins.

Picture quality: 8/10. Arrow has done a great job restoring the film. Detail is good though it occasionally takes a hit when there are garish colours on screen. Some scenes have variations in grain and detail levels, though that’s mostly attributable to source elements used for the restoration.

Audio quality: 8/10. The stereo surround track is rendered well in lossless. The score and cheesy sound effects and presented with good clarity.

Trailer: https://youtu.be/aZdLu4blXF0

Disc reviewed: Country: U.K., Studio: Arrow, Region: region free

Director: Brian Yuzna
Starring: Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Claude Earl Jones, Fabiana Udenio, David Gale

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Videodrome (1983) – Blu-ray review

What’s it like? It’s a David Cronenberg film. They’re never like anything else!

Film: 8/10. The mediums may have changed to an extent, but Cronenberg’s commentary on the effect of media on our lives is more relevant than ever. 89 mins.

Picture quality: 7/10. Detail is quite good, clarity is excellent and colours are reproduced well. Some edge enhancement halos creep into preceedings at times.

Audio quality: 8/10. It’s a mono mix and a product of its time. The sound design is relatively basic but the mix ticks all the boxes. It’s presented here well but won’t wow you. Howard Shore’s score sounds great.

Trailer: https://youtu.be/UFHey3utk0I

Disc reviewed: Country: U.K., Studio: Arrow, Region: B locked

Director: David Cronenberg
Starring: James Woods, Sonja Smits, Debbie Harry, Peter Dvorsky, Leslie Carlson

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30 Days of Night (2007) – Blu-ray review

What’s it like? Day of the Dead meets The Thing meets Silent Hill.

Film: 8/10. Based on the graphic novel, this vampire film breaks free from most horror cliches to deliver an experience with as much focus placed on the emotions of the characters as there is on the copious amounts of claret that flows freely. 113 mins.

Picture quality: 9/10. One of the most impressive releases early on in the Blu-ray format’s life, this film has amazing detail and colour reproduction considering the majority is set at night.

Audio quality: 10/10. Subtle at times and aggressive at others, this mix has perfect prioritisation. A flawless mix with plenty of surround activity and LFE content.

Trailer: https://youtu.be/Q8Hyae4TbHU

Disc reviewed: Country: U.K., Studio: Icon Home Entertainment, Region: region free

Director: David Slade
Starring: Josh Hartnett, Melissa George, Danny Huston, Ben Foster, Mark Boone Junior

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The Void (2016) – Blu-ray review

What’s it like? The Thing meets Donnie Darko meets Event Horizon meets Planet Terror.

Film: 7/10. Despite falling back on some genre staples ‘The Void’ manages to surprise with some interestingly placed supernatural and occult elements. 90 mins.

Picture quality: 8/10. Moody and heavily graded. Solid detail levels considering the inherent darkness of most of the film. Some banding in a few shots.

Audio quality: 9/10. Dialogue sits well, good use of the surrounds, plenty of LFE and an interesting score. Highlight of the disc.

Trailer: https://youtu.be/W2ot6ogGZNc

Disc reviewed: Country: Australia, Studio: Reel, Region: B locked

Directors: Steven Kostanski, Jeremy Gillespie
Starring: Aaron Poole, Kathleen Munroe, Daniel Fathers, Kenneth Welsh, Ellen Wong

Pick up a copy of the local Australian release from JB Hi-Fi

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