Laserblast: July 10 Horror, Fantasy & Science Fiction Home Video

Lockout wide image guy pearce
LOCKOUT - now availabe on VOD, with DVD and Blu-ray coming next week.
Tuesday, July 10 offers little in the way of new horror, fantasy, and science fiction on DVD, Blu-ray, and VOD; however, if you are looking to fill some empty slots in your collection, you will find a pod bay full of older titles returning in new editions.

LOCKOUT, the action-packed science fiction thriller starring Guy Pearce, is the one newbie arriving this week, making its Video on Demand debut a week ahead of its arrival on DVD and Blu-ray next Tuesday. The movie is not bad, but viewers will need a high tolerance for familiar formula film-making (ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK comes to mind, without much mental grasping). Two versions are available, the theatrical and unrated; both are currently available only for sale.
If vampires get your blood pumping, you’re in luck, thanks to the arrival of three titles of various vintage: BLADE II, TWINS OF EVIL, and DARK SHADOWS: THE COMPLETE ORIGINAL SERIES (DELUXE EDITION). The first two are new Blu-ray releases; the latter is a mammoth box set, enclosed appropriately enough  in a collector’s edition coffin.
BLADE II (2002) is the second in the series starring Wesley Snipes as the epynomous vampire-hunter striking fear into the hearts of the undead. The film is generally regarded as the best of the bunch, thanks to the presence of Guilllermo Del Toro in the director’s chair. The Blu-ray disc includes numerous bonus features that will be familiar to anyone who has perused the old DVD: audio commentary, deleted scenes, trailers, galleries, and featurettes. (The one I remember best “Epilogue: Dirty Version,” which Del Toro informally names “Come Removal” – because, apparently, the scene, set in a peep show, had to be trimmed because someone though semen stains were visible somewhere in the dark grungy setting.)
TWINS OF EVIL (1971) is the third in the Karnstein trilogy – three bloody, sexy shockers produced by Hammer Films in the early 1970s, inspired by J. Sheridan LeFanu’s classic novella, Carmilla. TWINS OF EVIL is no match for the original THE VAMPIRE LOVERS (1970), but it far exceeds the lackluster LUST FOR A VAMPIRE (also 1971). The lesbian element of its predecessors is severely diminished, the the predatory vampire countess Mircalla Karnstein reduced to a mere cameo in order to get the blood boiling early on. After that, the film focuses on the conflict between hedonistic vampires and holier-than-thou vampire hunters, with the battle lines drawn in such a way that it is hard to root for either side. The innovation here lies in the titular characters, played by identical twin playmates, Mary and Madeleine Collinson (only one of whom is actually evil). For such an old title, the Blu-ray DVD Combo pack offers some impressive bonus features : a deleted scene; isolated music and effects track; motion still gallery; theatrical trailer and TV spots; a featurette titled THE PROPS THAT HAMMER BUILD and a full-length documentary feature detailing the behind-the-scenes production details, THE FLESH AND THE FURY: X-POSING TWINS OF EVIL.
The final nail in the vampire’s coffin this week is the DARK SHADOWS Deluxe Edition, which includes all 1,225 episodes of the show on 131 DVDs. This old Gothic soap opera is very much an artifact of its time (late ’60s, early ’70s), but the crude production values of the shot-live approach (including blown lines, visible boom microphones, and rubber bats bouncing around on wires) become part of the charm. For all its many faults, there is something raw about the series – it’s like watching a first draft being written before your eyes, and it’s easy to imagine someone coming along later and refining this raw material into cinematic gold (alas, if only that had actually happened!). Bonus features include bloopers, behind-the-scenes material, and over 120 cast and crew interviews. The commemorative coffin contains a booklet with episode summaries and photographs, plus nickle hinges, white ribbon to hold the lid open, and matte and foil coating.
The remainder of the weekly offerings consist mostly of oldies resurrected on Blu-ray.

  • ALTERED STATES (1980) is director Ken Russell’s mind-blowing special effects freak-out adaptation of the novel by Paddy Chayevsky. It’s overblown and over-the-top in the usual Russell fashion, but that’s all part of the fun, and Chayevsky (who removed his name from the screenplay credit) grounds the bombast in serious drama.
  • OUTLAND is Peter Hyams’ attempt to create a gritty vision of outer space as the new version of the old frontier: think “HIGH NOON in Space.” Thanks to performances by Sean Connery and Peter Boyle, the result is entertaining viewing.
  • COMA is writer-director Michael Crichton’s adaptation of Robin Cook’s medical thriller about black market body parts; there is some queasy suspense, but the film falls short of Crichton’s best work.
  • BRAINSTORM represents one of special effects guru Douglas Trumbull’s few directorial efforts; although tarnished by the death of star Natalie Wood, the film is not a complete bust, offering some splendid visual riches in its depiction of a device that allows the recording and experiencing of other people’s mental stats.

Also on the menu this week: FREQUENCY, SPAWN, and on DVD, WAREHOUSE 13: SEASON THREE.
You can find all of these titles in the Cinefantastique Online Store.

'Warehouse 13'—Season Finale Clip

According to Blastr.com, in  the two-hour season finale of WAREHOUSE 13 Emily Lake:

 “Pete, Myka, Artie and Claudia race to stop the murderous Walter Sykes (Anthony Michael Hall) to save the Warehouse and the world. Meanwhile, Sykes’ final revenge involves recruiting H.G. Wells (Jaime Murray).”

They also confirm that WAREHOUSE 13 has been picked up for a fourth season, which they say “will likely premiere next summer”.

'Warehouse 13' Returns —Sneak Peek

WAREHOUSE 13 returns to SyFy tonight, with a number of changes in store.

With agent Myka Bering (Joanne Kelly) resigning her postion after her nearly world-destroying error of judgement last season, “new guy” Steve Jinks joins the team.
Played by Aaron Ashmore (SMALLVILLE), Jenks is a former ATF agent, with the ability to tell if people are lying.
Eddie McClintock returns as agent Pete Latimer, as do Saul Rubinek as head honcho Dr. ‘Artie’ Nielsen and Allison Scagliotti as young tech-wiz Claudia Donovan.
Season three of  WAREHOUSE 13 premieres tonight at 9:00 PM ET/PT on SyFy.

New Agent for 'Warehouse 13'

aaron_ashmoreEntertainment Weekly reports that SMALLVILLE’s Aaron Ashmore is joining the cast of SyFy’s WAREHOUSE 13. 
Ashmore new role as a regular will be Steve Jinks, a ATF agent with a strange ability to detect when people are lying. Mrs, Frederic (CCH Pounder) will draft Agent Jinks to serve as Pete Latimer’s (Eddie McClintock) new partner, since  Myka Bering (Joanne Kelly) quit the team in last season’s finale.
Aaron Ashmore’s role on SMALLVILLE as Jimmy Olsen had the twist of revealing that the ill-fated photographer was actually Henry James Olsen, older brother of the James Bartholomew Olsen character from the comics. 
WAREHOUSE 13 is set to return to SyFy for it’s third season of 13 episodes this summer.

Warehouse 13 Holiday Special — Clip

WAREHOUSE 13’s holiday episode is ‘Secret Santa’.

“Pete and Myka are called upon to hunt down a malevolent Santa Claus. Meanwhile, in time for Hanukkah, Artie and his estranged father, Isadore Weisfelt (guest star Judd Hirsch), reunite after 30 years.
Paul Blackthorne also guest stars.”

Apparently a stand-alone episode not referencing the season finale, WAREHOUSE 13’s ‘Secret Santa’ airs Tuesday, December 7th at 10:00 PM ET/PT.

'EUReKA' Renewed for 5th Year

'FOUNDER'S DAY'
SyFy has renewed their SF “dramedy” EUREKA for a fifth season. Ratings for the fourth season has been high since the premeire on July 9th, averaging over three million viewers — a high number for the cable station.
 From their Press Release:

“Eureka seems like any other cozy, Pacific Northwest town, but is actually a secret community of geniuses assembled by the government to conduct top-secret research. What they’ve unwittingly created is a place where anything imaginable can happen… and does.
Eureka stars Colin Ferguson, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Joe Morton, Erica Cerra, Neil Grayston, Niall Matter, James Callis and features Jordon Hinson. Co-creator Jaime Paglia and Bruce Miller are Executive Producers.”

Also mentioned was an additional, stand-alone holiday special. SyFy has also commisioned a WAREHOUSE 13 Christmas-themed episode. See item at Blastr.com

Tonight's 'Warehouse 13' – Teaser

Here’s the teaser for tonight’s episode of WAREHOUSE 13.
From the offical description:

When an artifact gets delivered to the local town instead of the warehouse, it leads to a plethora of B-movie characters, including gladiators, cowboys, robots and beach-storming marines in “Beyond Our Control.”

WAREHOUSE 13 airs Tuesdays at 9:00 PM ET/PT on SyFy.

'Warehouse 13' Returns July 6th – Clip

WAREHOUSE 13 returns to SyFy Tuesday July 6th at 9 PM (ET/PT) with ‘Time Will Tell’.
James MacPherson (Roger Rees) steals something important from the warehouse’s bronze sector, a car accident puts Mrs. Frederic (C. C. H. Pounder) in the hospital, and Secret Service agents Pete Lattimer (Eddie McClintock)and Myka Bering(Joanne Kelly) head to London on the trail of MacPherson.

The first season finale left us with the impression that MacPherson’s sabotage and explosions may have killed Warehouse-keeper Artie Nielsen (Saul Rubinek). He may also have “unleashed something into the world that Pete and Myka don’t even know how to deal with, much less stop.”
WAREHOUSE 13 was one of SyFy’s pleasant surprises, and according to their press release, the show became the cable channel’s all-time leader in total viewers (4.1 million), Adults 25-54 (2.1 million) and Household ratings (2.9), based on Live+7 DVR data.
Season Two will feature special crossover episodes that will have WAREHOUSE 13′s Allison Scagliotti (hacker turner Warehouse assistant Claudia Donovan) visit the town of Eureka and Neil Grayston (young cool-geek scientist Douglas Fargo) of EUREKA will drop in to Warehouse 13.
These programs will air on WAREHOUSE 13 Tuesday, August 3, and on EUREKA Friday, August 6.