Videomatica’s Top Ten Blu-ray

1 One of the fastest, funniest, and most quotable films ever made, His Girl Friday stars Rosalind Russell as reporter Hildy Johnson, a standout among cinema’s powerful women. Hildy is matched in force only by her conniving but charismatic editor and ex-husband, Walter Burns (played by the peerless Cary Grant), who dangles the chance for her to scoop her fellow news writers with the story of an impending execution in order to keep her from hopping the train that’s supposed to take her to Albany and a new life as a housewife. When adapting Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur’s smash hit play The Front Page, director Howard Hawks had the inspired idea of turning star reporter Hildy Johnson into a woman, and the result is an immortal mix of hard-boiled newsroom setting with ebullient remarriage comedy. Also presented here is a brand-new restoration of the 1931 film The Front Page, Lewis Milestone’s famous pre-Code adaptation of the same material.
2 Welcome to the jungle, Miami-style, where fast cars, dirty deals, hot women, and acid-washed jeans all come with the turf. While serving time in a grueling rehab program in Florida’s Everglades, five young felons bond together to form an unlikely union. When they return to Miami’s dangerous ghetto, the five former criminals wage a lethal war on the drug kingpins who rule the underworld of murder and mayhem. BAND OF THE HAND goes for the jugular, never once loosening its grip until its heart-stopping climax!
3 Brian De Palma, the modern master of suspense, invites you to witness a seduction, a mystery, a murder. Starring Melanie Griffith as porn star Holly Body, this hyper-suspense classic takes the viewer on a roller-coaster ride.

Jake Scully (Craig Wasson), an unemployed actor, is asked to house-sit at a luxurious hillside apartment. As a bonus, the home offers Jake a telescopic peek into the bedroom of Gloria Revelle (Deborah Shelton), who performs an arousing striptease. When Jake discovers another man is also spying on Gloria, he begins an obsessive surveillance of her. Soon a grisly murder leads him into the world of X-rated film where he meets sexy porn queen Holly Body (Melanie Griffith), who is a key to the crime…

4 WHEN THE CURTAIN GOES UP THE TERROR BEGINS

Horror titans George A. Romero and Stephen King deliver yet another fiendish selection of blood-curdling tales in Creepshow 2 – now newly remastered in 2K!

In “Old Chief Wood’nhead”, a group of young hoodlums face retribution from an unlikely source after looting a local hardware store. Meanwhile, “The Raft” sees a group of horny teens wishing they’d read the warning signs first before taking a dip in a remote lake. Finally, an uptight businesswoman finds herself with some unwanted company following a hit-and-run incident in “The Hitch-hiker”.

Whilst retaining the EC comic book flavour that made the original such a hit, Creepshow 2, this time directed by long-time Romero collaborator Michael Gornick, is a decidedly darker and grimmer affair than its predecessor and remains one of the greatest horror anthologies of all time.

5

In career that has encompassed such controversial classics as Ms. 45, Bad Lieutenant and Welcome to New York, none of Abel Ferrara s films have quite managed to match the shock, extremity and downright notorious nature of The Driller Killer.

Ferrara plays struggling artist Reno, a man pushed to the edge by the economic realities of New York living in the late seventies and the No Wave band practising in the apartment below. His grip on reality soon begins to slip and he takes to stalking the streets with his power tool in search of prey…

Forgot Taxi Driver, The Warriors and The New York Ripper, The Driller Killer is the definitive look at NYC s underbelly a slasher that is as much at home in the arthouse as it is the grindhouse.

6 SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE II

The only sane survivor of Slumber Party Massacre, Courtney (Crystal Bernard) dreams of the drill murderer returning. She can’t shake the horrible feeling that she and her friends will be viciously tormented and brutally butchered. Again and again the nightmare returns. Dazed, Courtney loses control. And her nightmare crosses into reality. No one believes her, until it’s too late. The driller killer returns, reincarnated as an evil rocker. He methodically stalks them; then violently gores them to death…one by one.

SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE III

Seven California co-eds are dresses to kill…and a murderer is, well, dressed to drill. He’s an insomno-maniac looking for luscious bods to bore and it looks like he’ll find them at the Slumber Party Massacre. The Driller Killer is back in Part III of the classic horror fest. This time Jackie, Diane and Martia are three high school girls who love a good time. When they party, they bust out of their bikinis and break out the brews: but the driller killer’s out for a thrill with his drill…and he’s ready to kill!

7 After several years spent working almost exclusively in the direct-to-video world of V-cinema in Japan, Takashi Miike announced himself as a world-class filmmaking talent with this trio of thematically-connected, character-centric crime stories about violence, the underworld of Japanese society, families both real and surrogate, and the possibly hopeless task of finding one’s place in the world. His first films made specifically for theatrical release, and his first for a major studio, the Black Society Trilogy was the beginning of Miike’s mature career as a filmmaker and they remain among the prolific director’s finest works.

Set in the bustling Kabuki-cho nightlife neighborhood of Tokyo, Shinjuku Triad Society follows a mixed-race cop (Kippei Shiina, Outrage) struggling with private issues while hunting a psychotic criminal (Tomorowo Taguchi, Tetsuo the Iron Man) who traffics in children’s organs. Rainy Dog, shot entirely in Taiwan, is about an exiled yakuza (Dead or Alive s Show Aikawa) who finds himself saddled with a son he never knew he had and a price on his head after the Chinese gang he works for decides to turn on him. Ley Lines moves from the countryside to the city and back, as three Japanese youths of Chinese descent (including The Raid 2’s Kazuki Kitamura) seek their fortune in Tokyo, only to run afoul of a violent gang boss (Naoto Takenaka, The Happiness of the Katakuris).

Three of the most dramatically moving films created by the director, the “Black Society Trilogy” offers clear proof that Miike’s frequent pigeonholing as a specialist in bloody spectacle is only one aspect of his filmmaking career, and taken as a whole, the films are among the finest works ever to deal with the way violence and brutality can unexpectedly destroy even the most innocent of lives.

8 Travelogue, memoir, and outrageous cinematic spectacle converge in this kaleidoscopic valentine to the Eternal City, composed by one of its most iconic inhabitants. Leisurely one moment and breathless the next, this urban fantasia by Federico Fellini interweaves recollections of the director’s young adulthood in the era of Mussolini with an impressionistic portrait of contemporary Rome, where he and his film crew are shooting footage of the bustling cityscape. The material delights of sex, food, nightlife, and one hallucinatory ecclesiastical fashion show are shot through with glimmers of a monumental past: the Colosseum encircled by traffic, ancient frescoes unearthed in a subway tunnel, a pigeon-befouled statue of Caesar. With a head-spinning mix of documentary immediacy and extravagant artifice, Roma penetrates the myth and mystique of Italy’s storied capital, a city Fellini called “the most wonderful movie set in the world.”
9 The energy and excitement of some of music’s greatest grooves!

The unmistakable sounds of a generation explode onto the screen with two of the greatest concert films of the rock n’ roll revolution: T.A.M.I. Show and The Big T.N.T. Show. Filmed just eight months after The Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, 1964’s T.A.M.I. Show introduced rock ‘n’ soul youth culture to America as never before. Its 1966 follow-up The Big T.N.T. Show built on its predecessor’s legacy as a showcase for the hottest hit-makers in music. Collectively, the two films are an incredible time capsule of American popular culture in the 1960s, and representative of the gold standard for concert films. This Collector’s Edition is a double-barreled blast of the sights and the sounds of music’s greatest eras, and features performances by future Rock and Roll Hall of Famers The Rolling Stones, James Brown, Chuck Berry, The Beach Boys, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson And The Miracles, Bo Diddley, The Supremes, Ike and Tina Turner, The Ronettes, The Byrds, Ray Charles, and many other American and British Invasion hitmakers in their prime!

10 In a smog-choked city somewhere in the American Midwest, an aging criminal mastermind, newly released from prison, hatches a plan for a million-dollar jewel heist and draws a wealthy lawyer and a cherry-picked trio of outlaws into his carefully devised but inevitably doomed scheme. Anchored by an abundance of nuanced performances from a gifted ensemble—including a tight-jawed Sterling Hayden and a sultry Marilyn Monroe in her breakout role—this gritty crime classic by John Huston climaxes in a meticulously detailed anatomy of a robbery that has reverberated through the genre ever since. An uncommonly naturalistic view of a seamy underworld, The Asphalt Jungle painstakingly depicts the calm professionalism and toughness of its gangster heroes while evincing a remarkable depth of compassion for their all-too-human fragility, and it showcases a master filmmaker at the height of his powers.

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