Videomatica’s Top Ten Blu-ray

1 The crowning achievement of Orson Welles’s extraordinary cinematic career, Chimes at Midnight was the culmination of the filmmaker’s lifelong obsession with Shakespeare’s ultimate rapscallion, Sir John Falstaff. Usually a comic supporting figure, Falstaff—the loyal, often soused friend of King Henry IV’s wayward son Prince Hal—here becomes the focus: a robustly funny and ultimately tragic screen antihero played by Welles with looming, lumbering grace. Integrating elements from both Henry IV plays as well as Richard II, Henry V, and The Merry Wives of Windsor, Welles created a gritty and unorthodox Shakespeare film as a lament, he said, “for the death of Merrie England.” Poetic, philosophical, and visceral—with a kinetic centerpiece battle sequence that rivals anything in the director’s body of work—Chimes at Midnight is as monumental as the figure at its heart.
2 When Jenny cheated on her husband, he didn’t just leave…he split.

From master of terror Brian De Palma comes this stylish psychological thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final frame.

Carter Nix (Lithgow) is a respected psychologist, loving husband and devoted father who decides to take a year off to help raise his daughter. Carter’s wife Jenny is pleased to have her attentive husband home – at first.

When Carter shows obsessive behavior toward their daughter, Jenny becomes concerned, and to complicate matters, Jenny’s old flame re-enters her life. But nothing can prepare her for the emergence of Carter’s multiple personalities, and a fiendish plot to recreate the infamous experiments of his deranged father.

Includes both the Theatrical version AND the Director’s Cut of the film!

3 Joel and Ethan Coen’s career-long darkly comic road trip through misfit America began with this razor-sharp, hard-boiled neo-noir set somewhere in Texas, where a sleazy bar owner releases a torrent of violence with one murderous thought. Actor M. Emmet Walsh looms over the proceedings as a slippery private eye with a yellow suit, a cowboy hat, and no moral compass, and Frances McDormand’s cunning debut performance set her on the road to stardom. The tight scripting and inventive style that have marked the Coens’ work for decades are all here in their first film, in which cinematographer Barry Sonnenfeld abandons black-and-white chiaroscuro for neon signs and jukebox colors that combine with Carter Burwell’s haunting score to lurid and thrilling effect. Blending elements from pulp fiction and low-budget horror flicks, Blood Simple reinvented the film noir for a new generation, marking the arrival of a filmmaking ensemble that would transform the American independent cinema scene.
4 A fiendish mix of outrageous humor and heart-stopping terror, The Return of the Living Dead is “a veritable smorgasbord of fun” (L.A. Herald Examiner)!

On his first day on the job at a medical supply warehouse, poor Freddy (Thom Mathews) unwittingly releases toxic gas from a secret U.S. military canister, unleashing an unbelievable terror. The gas reanimates an army of corpses, who arise from their graves with a ravenous hunger… for human brains! And luckily for those carnivorous cadavers, there is a group of partying teens nearby, just waiting to be eaten!


When Barbara Scott’s (Kay Parker) husband leaves her, blaming her frigidity for destroying their marriage, she’s left alone, without a source of income, and charged with taking care of their teenage son, Paul (Mike Ranger). Feeling vulnerable, she turns to her friend Gina (Juliet Anderson) who opens Barbara’s eyes to the secret world of suburban swingers. But as erotic tension grows, Barbara begins to fantasize about her handsome son…

One of the most significant and controversial films ever made, Kirdy Stevens’ TABOO became one of the biggest hits of the 80s, catapulting its star, Kay Parker, to international fame. Newly restored from rare 35mm vault elements, Vinegar Syndrome presents this landmark piece of underground cinema on Blu-ray for the first time anywhere in the world.

6 The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll: The place: London. The year: 1874. Dr. Henry Jekyll (Paul Massie) is a scientist obsessed with understanding man’s inherent duality. He believes that in every human “two forces struggle for supremacy.” He’s so engrossed in his work that he’s come to distance himself from his wife Kitty (Dawn Addams) who has taken to having an affair with her husband’s friend Paul (Christopher Lee). Jekyll cannot concern himself with such things. He’s close to a breakthrough, and against the better advice of his colleague Ernst Littauer (David Kossoff), he injects himself with a compound of his own making that transformers him into “Mr. Hyde” (also played by Paul Massie) who meddles in Jekyll’s affairs.

The Gorgon: A young woman announces that she’s pregnant. She’s not married to the father, but he claims he’s only holding off on proposing until he gets his finances in order. Against her wishes, he whisks away to discuss matters with the girl’s father. That night, the girl is turned to stone. The town convicts the young boy in her death, but his father Paul Heitz (Richard Pasco) sets out to prove his son’s innocence. It turns out the dastardly murders — now up to seven — are being carried out by a gorgon that lurks behind the walls of a local castle.

7 Embrace of the Serpent features the encounter, apparent betrayal and finally life-affirming friendship between an Amazonian shaman (the last survivor of his people) and two foreign scientists.

As rich visually as it is thematically, Embrace of the Serpent offers a feast of the senses for film fans seeking a dose of bracing originality.

8 The chilling movies produced by the Hammer Films studio have been scaring audiences worldwide for decades with their use of ominous and supernatural elements which foretold the coming of doom. Relive the chilling fear with some of their best classic stories in the Hammer Horror 8-Film Collection showcasing monsters that helped shape the modern day characters we love to be frightened by today. Featuring Brides of Dracula, The Curse of the Werewolf, The Phantom of the Opera, The Kiss of the Vampire, Paranoiac, Nightmare, Night Creatures and The Evil of Dr. Frankenstein, it’s absolutely a must have for the house of Hammer horror collector!
9 The year is 2005…

For millennia, the heroic Autobots, led by Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen), have been at war with the evil Megatron (Frank Welker) and his Decepticons over control of their home planet of Cybertron. However, an even greater threat: Unicron (Orson Welles, Citizen Kane), a colossal converting planet that devours everything in its path and is heading right for Cybertron. The only hope is the Autobot Matrix of Leadership. Will the Autobots be able to save themselves and their home world in time?

An all-star cast, including Judd Nelson (The Breakfast Club), Leonard Nimoy (Star Trek), Eric Idle (the Monty Python films) and Robert Stack (The Untouchables), brings this inimitable, explosively entertaining Autobot adventure to life.
Includes Both Widescreen (1.85:1) And Full Frame (1.33:1) Versions!

10 Jack Walsh (Robert De Niro) is a tough ex-cop turned bounty hunter. Jonathan “The Duke”, Mardukas (Charles Grodin) is a sensitive accountant who embezzled $15 million from the Mob, gave it to charity and then jumped bail. Jack’s in for a cool $100,000 if he can deliver The Duke from New York to L.A. on time…and alive. Sounds like just another Midnight Run (a piece of cake in bounty hunter slang), but it turns into a cross-country chase. The FBI is after The Duke to testify. The Mob is after him for revenge and Walsh is after him to just shut up. If someone else doesn’t do the job, the two unlikely partners may end up killing each other in this hilarious, action-filled ride from producer-director Martin Brest (Beverly Hills Cop).

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