While it's great to have eight flicks together with four previously unreleased on disc in America (The Unholy, CHUD 2, Ghoulies 3, and 976-EVIL 2), the presentation of Waxwork is the MPAA trimmed version. Artisan's previous Waxwork/Waxwork II: Lost in Time Double Feature DVD retained the full unrated cut released on VHS with extra bits to China's gory vampire battle in the white-tiled wine cellar/torture chamber. Also the new disc is taken from a different, significantly poorer and murky video master compared to the old disc's surprisingly colorful and bright picture. Basically the new presentation matches the terrible quality of the sequel on the old double feature disc.
Although I haven't talked much about AMC's The Walking Dead on BoGD, I've been watching since Episode #1. Despite some kinks, especially in the last few shows, I'm not going to ascribe to the weekly bitchfest seen at true intellectual dens of television critique such as AICN. During the monotony of my work day I've been pondering what bold, ominous pre-credit scene could open Season 3's debut. Since Season 2's 18 Miles Out opened with a glimpse of a scene later in that episode, why not open with something from a few episodes into the season?
First, some backstory covered before below's opening from first episodes of Season 3. The surviving group find themselves in an increasingly desperate situation as Carol, much like her daughter, goes missing after trailing off to use the wilderness as a restroom. She wasn't completely mindless taking the hunting knife from the sleeping Daryl's belt. T-Dog and Beth were keeping watch and everyone else had their light slumber interrupted when a small group of walkers are seen aimlessly stumbling in the distance.
The dead don't yet catch wind of the potential meal that lay in front of them, but Rick decides to move quickly even after sticks and rocks thrown off into the woods only distract a couple from their trajectory. With the walkers attracted by the commotion, it was only then the group, crushed into the remaining vehicles, realize Carol was still out there. Rick makes the gut-wrenching decision to leave only at the last possible second with more-and-more walkers seeming to appear out of nowhere. Andrea is still lost (or dead) to the group, but not to Michonne, who carries her along merely because she hasn't seen another living female in weeks...
Season 3's very first scene, from several episodes in, depicts a pantless Carol cowering on her shins in a small, darkened room surrounded by walls of concrete. She awakens from the cold floor only to find her arms behind her back shackled to an unseen rope. Struggling to get her bearings, tattered jeans and boots saunter into frame and stand beside her, the knife she took from Daryl is casually produced by the figure and a familiar voice is heard,
"My grandpappy gave me one like this when I was a boy, it woulda come in real handy..."
The man drops his other hand into frame, revealing a makeshift bandage over a stump. Before Carol can muster a response, he violently strikes her with her face smacking the floor with a disgusting thud. The camera angle changes to a shot directly above Carol's face. The knife is tossed inches away and blood starts to stream from her mouth. The sound of urination is heard and begins to soak her collar. The man mutters with a cackle, "It's just me and you, bitch." Carol begins to sob uncontrollably as blood pools around the knife and the credit sequence starts...
Due to the strict censorship of South Korea's film ratings board, it's a foregone conclusion Clive Barker's classic screen debut fell under the scissors, so this tape is pretty much just an curious obscurity. It is a bit odd and interesting as to what was sliced and what was left in. So much remains that what was excised doesn't seem to lessen the impact. It's also funny to note how the film has always been available uncut just a relatively short distance away in Japan.
Frank's initial meeting with the box is missing the last of the three "hook-into-flesh" digs.
Afterward the short tracking shot of the jumbled mess that once was Frank and Pinhead's hand sorting through the gore to find pieces of his ripped apart face is missing. The shot of Pinhead placing the pieces together is intact.
The shot of Frank and Julia laying naked in bed right after Larry's hand catches a nail is missing (maybe from seeing male genitalia for a split second), the sex beforehand is intact as well as all the bloody shots of Larry's wounded, dripping hand.
Frank's "re-birth" is complete with the brain reforming reverse stop motion shots taken from an inferior, matted source with a noticeable switch between shots.
The close-up shot of the first hammer victim's face with smashed jaw and teeth is missing. Otherwise, it's the slightly longer version of the death cut from other versions.
The shots of Frank twirling upside down covered in blood when he shows Julia his tortures from the box are missing.
While the shot of the squirming rats nailed to the wall is included, the shot of Frank filleting a dead rat while Julia and Larry are in bed is missing.
Frank's "re-death" is fully intact with all the hook digs, big spine tearing hook, "Jesus wept", and millisecond body explosion shot.
Would take such a weighty scenario as kids killing kids for televised entertainment in a hopelessly grim future (Battle Royale much?), tailor the screen adaption toward a tween girl audience, and see Toys 'R Us advertise the merchandise in their weekly flyer...sign of the Apocalypse?
So a week ago I'm at a distant Best Buy and run across Deimos Entertainment's long OOP double set of The Loreley's Grasp (Las garras de Lorelei) (1974) and Horror Rises from the Tomb (El espanto surge de la tumba) (1973). The set was definitely factory sealed, but the plastic wrapping was scuffed and tattered, so I figured they must have found one squirreled away behind some shelving they recently moved. Thinking it was just dumb luck, I brushed it off as a cool find until this morning, when another Best Buy had another copy, again beat up but new, in addition to the Human Beasts (El carnaval de las bestias) (1985) and Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll (Los ojos azules de la muñeca rota) (1973) set. Score!
The funny thing is, along with a third pairing of Night of the Sorcerers (La noche de los brujos) (1974) and Exorcism (Exorcismo) (1975), these double features were once Best Buy exclusives--several years ago--apparently only to return now after Deimos and distributor Brentwood Home Video have long since folded(!?!). These sets are so old they come in those now extinct thick double tray Amaray DVD cases instead of today's norm of studios having a fetish seeing how many discs can be crammed into a single DVD or Blu-ray case. It seemed like awhile ago I was shoveling up their individual titles from a guy at a local swap meet who buys bulk liquidated stock of discontinued DVDs and sells them for pennies. I didn't get these sets though the first go-around so I'm not going to miss this chance. Of course, your mileage may vary, but something is afoot. This might be the most latent case of DVD exclusivity ever...