FRIGHT AT HOME – June 30th brings PIT STOP, The BRONX Trilogy from Casterrari, GHOST HOUSE/WITCHERY

fah630We like to tell you fright fanatics about weekly releases that really stand out to us. We could go down the line about every single release, like every other site does, and there’s nothing wrong with that. What Fright At Home is about though, is letting you genre (and non-genre) lovers about releases that makes US excited, because there are no rock stars here, we’re just like you, we ARE you, horror lovers.

So with June 30th being here and this week’s releases being placed onto the shelves by your local video store workers (do those still exist?), here are a few releases that have for one reason or another, stood out to us.



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PIT STOP
(1969 Dir. Jack Hill)

Arrow-VideoOne of Hill’s most overlooked but easily his best film (yes, I said his best), PIT STOP is a completely engrossing story of Rick Bowman, a man facing jail after a street race goes wrong. When he’s bailed out by a local race promoted, he’s curious, but soon finds out the man’s motive: he wants the racer to take part in a figure 8, demolition-filled race, one that leaves men and the cars they drive sometimes wrecked and currently championed by rebel badass Hawk Sidney (Jack Hill regular Sid Haig). Initially reluctant, Rick eventually goes for it, and the film then deals with the cost of winning and fame and how it can affect the soul of a man.

It’s a completely entertaining film, full of real life races, real life crashes and performances from Haig, EAST OF EDEN‘s Rick Davalos, a young Ellen Burstyn and countless others, all of which jump out of the TV and grab you by the collar. They don’t make films like this one anymore, because if they did, people would be hurt, and the realness of PIT STOP adds so very much to the tone, danger and appeal of the film. It’s a film about the loss of one’s soul, how selling your soul to the devil can backfire in most ways, and the people who are affected by that loss.

While SPIDERBABY, SWITCHBLADE SISTERS and FOXY BROWN might be better known films to the masses, its PIT STOP that Hill really shines throughout, his skill as a director is absolutely perfect and it’s a film that every exploitation film fan should not only watch, but own.

Special Features:

* New High Definition digital transfer supervised and approved by director Jack Hill
* High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation
* Original Mono 1.0 audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
* New UK exclusive audio commentary with director Jack Hill moderated by his biographer Calum Waddell
* Crash and Burn! – Jack Hill on the making of Pit Stop
* Drive Hard – Actor Sid Haig speaks about his experience of acting in Pit Stop
* Life in the Fast Lane – producer Roger Corman on the genesis of Pit Stop
* Restoring Pit Stop – Restoration demonstration with Technical Supervisor James White
* Original Trailer
* Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Jay Shaw
* Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic Glenn Kenny and musicologist and writer Gray Newell on the film’s soundtrack, illustrated with original stills and artwork


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GHOSTHOUSE/WITCHERY (1988 Dir. Umberto Lenzi, Fabrizio Laurenti)

unnamed (5)While Leonel’s full review on this double feature from Scream Factory is coming up, we wanted to give you fright fanatics a head’s up on the Bluray double feature in case you missed these spooky films. Both are a lot of fun, and filled with everything from creepy kids and dolls, to full on witchcraft-filled Linda Blair craziness. Two frights that you should take out of another shopper’s hands to pick up yourself. Do it, it’s worth that black eye that the customer will give you.

Your tour of terror begins with Ghosthouse, in which a group of visitors to a seemingly-deserted home find themselves tormented by demonic spirits – including one particularly freaky little girl and her creepy clown companion. Soon, our hapless heroes find themselves powerless to conquer the evil of the Ghosthouse – where death holds the mortgage and if you move in… there’ll be Hell to pay!

Then, a new address brings new frights as the immortal David Hasselhoff and The Exorcist’s Linda Blair turn up the terror in Witchery. When a terrible storm leaves a motley assortment of people stranded on an island resort, they soon find they have more to worry about than not packing rain gear! A horrible witch unleashes her wrath on the unwanted visitors – and no one is safe from her unquenchable thirst for death!

Special Features:

GHOSTHOUSE

· Theatrical Trailer

WITCHERY
· Theatrical Trailer


1990

1990: THE BRONX WARRIORS,  NEW BARBARIANS, ESCAPE FROM THE BRONX (Dir. Enzo G. Castellari)

downloadThis is an exciting day for exploitation films fans. Not only did Jack Hill’s PIT STOP Bluray hit U.S shores finally, but this post-apocalyptic trilogy from Italian director Enzo G. Castellari (THE INGLORIOUS BASTARDS..not the Tarantino one) graces shelves as well, giving cult exploitation fans (like myself) one hell of a treat….and it’s not even Christmas!!

1990: THE BRONX WARRIORS, the first in the series is a balls out, insane ride through a post-apocalyptic wasteland in what’s a cross between THE WARRIORS and ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, a film that would be given a great homage in ESCAPE FROM THE BRONX.  A merc for hire gets put in the middle of a street gang-led crazy town to save a woman, with hockey players terrorizing people, and plain ol’ nutso action (plus, it has Vic Morrow!). In the sequels, we get everything from the president getting kidnapped (now, where have I seen that before), and also a group of rag-tag survivors doing their best to get out.

All three are films that have plots lifted from other films, but the ’80s were full of those in Italian exploitation cinema, and I mean that in a good way. We were given so many MAD MAX, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK and every popular film, rehashed and usually featuring Fred Williamson in one way, shape or form. Characters like Mark Gregory’s Trash and Williamson’s “The Ogre” are memorable ones, which is what films like these are geared toward, larger than life maniacs, full on action set pieces and some…plot?

Special Features:
1990: THE BRONX WARRIORS

Audio Commentary with Co-Writer/Director Enzo G. Castellari
Enzo G. Castellari and Fabrizio De Angelis In Conversation Part 1
Sourcing The Weaponry – Enzo G. Castellari visits the Italian Weapons Rental House of Paolo Ricci
Adventures In The Bronx – Interview with Actor/Stuntman Massimo Vanni
Theatrical Trailers
Poster & Still Gallery

NEW BARBARIANS

Audio Commentary with Co-Writer/Director Enzo G. Castellari
Enzo G. Castellari and Fabrizio De Angelis In Conversation Part 2
Tales Of The Hammer – Interview with Star Fred Williamson
Theatrical Trailers
Poster & Still Gallery

ESCAPE FROM THE BRONX

Audio Commentary with Co-Writer/Director Enzo G. Castellari
Enzo G. Castellari and Fabrizio De Angelis In Conversation Part 3
The Hunt For Trash – Interview with BRONX WARRIORS Superfan Lance Manley
Theatrical Trailers
Poster & Still Gallery

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