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The April Shout! Factory Blu-Ray/DVD Review Roundup

Cover for Season One of the 1986-87 Television Series "L.A. Law"
Cover for Season One of the 1986-87 Television Series "L.A. Law"Courtesy of Getty Images

Since I've been very busy with many projects and since I've already started a single forum for Twilight Time titles, I also think that Shout! Factory got its just due with its' own very review forum devoted to just their titles instead of individually as I have been doing in the past. So starting with this review set, it'll be done just like this for everyone to pick out or want the titles they're interested in one full swoop when ordering from

Let's get this party started!.

"Beneath"

Starring Bonnie Dennison, Mackenzie Rosman, Chris Conroy and Mark Margolis Directed by Larry Fassbender 2013/Unrated/1 Hour 30 Minutes./1:85.1 Aspect Ratio. This very weak and low brow horror rip off of two better films in Joe Dante's "Pirahna" and the best segment from "Creepshow 2" as the film revolves around six high school (not-so bright) seniors celebrating with day's excursion at the rather ominous hidden lake named "Black Lake" (without a doubt, the perfect setting for a horror movie and similar surroundings from Creepshow 2's blob lake segment) as find themselves on rowboat attacked by man-eating catfish (yes! catfish ladies and gents!) and must decide who must be sacrificed as they fight their way back to shore.

The film like I said before is an ill-logical mess of highly contrived horror movie cliches' from stupid jocks to to nerdy teens along with a creep dejoure (Mark Margolis from HBO's "OZ") This film just implusable in everyway and it has a similar feel at times to another horror movie I despise in "The Ruins" with its sacrificial lamb plotting. At least that movie had solid backing all the way from the acting to the production all around and yet, I still hated it. "Beneath" is nothing but a low brow horror film that isn't good enough to buy except for die hard fans of horror and cheesy at that. (1/2 Star just for Fall On Your Sword's score which is the only good thing about this disaster)

"Slumber Party Massacre"

Starring MIchelle Michaels, Robin Stille Directed By Amy Holden Jones 1982/Rated R/1 Hour 17 Minutes/1:85.1 Aspect Ratio This Roger Corman backed horror film revolves around an eighteen-year-old high school girl is left at home by her parents and of course, decides to have a slumber party. What else do you do when your parents are away! When friction between some of the invited guests and the new girl, who is a great basketball player decides to stay at home. She lives right across the street as a matter of plot MacGuffin convienence. Meanwhile, a serial murderer who loves power tools has escaped and is lurking somewhere around the neighborhood and eventually makes his way to the party and all hell breaks loose after that with only the new girl their only hope for survival.

This film was another cash in on the slasher/girls in peril horror genre that the late Gene Siskel got really sick of in the early 80's and I'd have to agree to a point because there were actually some that were very good including "10 To Midnight" with Charles Bronson and "Tightrope" Starring Clint Eastwood. This one surprisingly directed by screenwriter Amy Holden Jones, will thrill horror fans, but for the squeamish, it's just another routine horror slasher. Abel Ferarra's Driller Killer was much better. (*)

"Dead Shadows"

Starring Gilles Barret, Laurie Cholewa, and Margaux Devy Directed By David Cholewa 2012/Unrated/1 Hour 17 Minutes. This film, a French import which is a blantant rip off some solid and even better films that include "Lifeforce", "Night Of The Comet", "28 Days Later", "Quarantine" and John Carpenter's The Thing" that produced an uneven, gory mess that flat out fails to live up to any of the films I mentioned before. The film revolves around a young man whose parents were murdered on the same day the Halley comet was visible on Earth and eleven years later, a new comet has return to light up the sky. While people party on to celebrate (Wasn't this the opening scenes in "Night Of The Comet"?) its arrival only to find people beginning to transform into horrible creatures (um yeah..."The Thing" and "28 Days Later." As the young man tries to escape from his own apartment building with the help of a pyschotic gun toting neighbor, if they can survive the night. Like I said, this rip off is not even worthy of those films or even in the same league as those films. This is an epic failure! (*)

"Transformers Prime Beast Hunters: Predacons Rising"

2014/1 Hour 6 Minutes/1:78.1 Aspect Ratio.

Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Predacons Rising, was supposed to have followed the three seasons of Transformers Prime which met its demise on television as a resurrected Unicron(remember him) has taken over the now-lifeless body of Megatron to seek vengeance on the Autobot and ultimately, the destruction of Cybertron. This formidable enemy forces an unlikely alliance between the Autobots led by the benevolent Optimus Prime, Decepticons, Predaking and two new Predacons, who come together in an epic battle to help protect their newly restored planet. The mini film is a lead on of sorts to a new Transformer cartoon series and of course, may tie into the upcoming "Transformers: Age Of Exctinction" coming in June. It's a great looking film without question and a strong one for Shout! which will please the series' fans. (***)

"L.A. Law" Season 1"

Starring Harry Hamlin, Susan Dey, Jimmy Smits, Jill Eikenberry, Susan Ruttan and Corbin Bernstein 1986-87/17 Hours. This was the beginning of creator Steven Bocho's descent into combing heated sexual passion and the law aided by Cagney & Lacey's Terry Louise Fisher which was a critical hit and and run for seven seasons on NBC. The show revolved the law firm of McKenzie, Brackman, Chaney and Kuzak which took on various cases from the wild and wacky, to the serious and life changing. This first season features terrific performances and was very compelling television for its' time and surprisingly, still is. This six DVD set is very compelling, engaging and funny. A show worthy of rediscovery and not just for those who originally saw the series during the late 80's. (*****)

Where there you have it for this month! To recap the reviews!

  1. "Dead Shadows" - Thumbs way, way way down!!
  2. "Beneath" - Thumbs way, way way down!
  3. "Slumber Party Massacre" - Thumbs down!
  4. "Transformers Prime Beast Hunters: Predacons Rising" - Thumbs up.
  5. "L.A. Law" Season 1" - Thumbs way way up!

There you have it! Till next month!