GONJIAM HAUNTED ASYLUM blu ray/dvd combo- update 9/3/18 10 pm e.s.t. Contest winner announced. Contest closed.



His fave cinematic ghost story was
Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’ (1980)

RONALD feels the film
“is the greatest ghost story movie ever made, because it’s more than a great ghost story, it’s also a picture of mental and familial breakdown, and a critique of male violence all wound up into
this great film adaptation. Jack Nicholson was/is brilliant as Jack Torrance, as is Shelley Duvall as his wife, Wendy. And of course, their son, little Danny (Danny Lloyd)..and the rest of the cast are equally great in their roles as well. In my opinion, this is a classic!”

RONALD’s copy of GONJIAM HAUNTED ASYLUM will be mailed out to you later this week! Congratulations !

Thanks to WELL GO USA ENTERTAINMENT (http://www.wellgousa.com) ,we have another BLU RAY/DVD combo contest  give away.




(being released on home media September 18th,2018).


“Deeply unsettling”-Dread Central

The crew of  a horror web series travels to an abandoned asylum for a live broadcast. They soon encounter more than they expected as they move deeper inside the nightmarish old building .

A  new entry into the popular “found footage” horror subgenre .

Directed by Jung Bum-Shik (EPITAPH, HORROR STORIES).

South Korea . Color . Subtitled.  93 minutes, Unrated  $29.98 .Region A/1

“…definitely a creepy experience. If you love movies about haunted places then you should love this Korean horror movie!”- https://www.heavenofhorror.com

       If you would like to enter our contest :

Please name what you think is the GREATEST GHOST STORY FILM EVER MADE .

Is it THE HAUNTING (1963)? THE CHANGELING (1980)?Kwaidan (怪談 Kaidan) (1965).A TALE OF TWO SISTERS (Hangul: 장화, 홍련)S.Korea 2003? THE MIMIC (2018) S.Korea? THE UNINVITED (1944)? A GHOST STORY(2017)? Or some other title. from a country not mentioned here. 

Write down your pick

along with your name and address

(so if you are picked we can send you your prize) and send it to


Only one entry per person ,please .

The winner will be picked September 3,2018 and notified shortly thereafter .

     GHOUL LUCK !!

CONTEST CLOSED ! Winner announced.
CONTEST CLOSED ! Winner announced!

If you do not win, or if you would rather not enter but wish to purchase the title now     https://www.amazon.com/Gonjiam-Haunted-Asylum-Blu-ray-DVD/dp/B07D591SZ7


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BOUND (Olive Signature Blu Ray)


BOUND (Olive Signature Blu Ray) 1996, Gramercy, color. 108 min Theatrical & 109 min unrated. 1:85:1 aspect ratio. 1080p Resolution. DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo .1-disc $39.95 Limited edition 3500 pressing only. Region A. August 28,2018 release.



Back in 1996, a new and exciting film noir thriller opened to nearly universal raves. It reminded one of the excitement from 12 years earlier, when BLOOD SIMPLE (1984, Circle Films) won the praise of critics due to its clever plot and style.


Like BLOOD SIMPLE, this film was also the work of a dynamic brother writer/ director duo.

BLOOD SIMPLE was our introduction to the dazzling Coen Brothers Joel & Ethan while BOUND was the brainchild of Andrew (now Lilly) and Laurence (now Lana) Wachowski.

While BOUND was a critical darling, it failed to make back it’s $4,500,000 estimated production budget. However, when it was released to video by Republic video, the film was a major seller and was discovered on cable by an even larger audience.


The video remained popular, being released by Republic in 2001 on DVD. This release was the uncut version that had trailers, a behind the scene featurette, a commentary with the brothers, Tilly, Gershon, Pantoliano, film editor Zach Staenberg and tech advisor Susie Bright. However, the print was not the best, with a rather flat look that did not do the movie justice.


Paramount bought the Republic library and they licensed OLIVE FILMS to release a DVD and Blu Ray of the title in 2012. Unlike the previous releases, the Olive Film version was released in an anamorphic print that showed off the superb cinematography of Bill Pope (who would dazzle people with his work on the MATRIX trilogy for the Wachowskis for Warner Brothers) along with an improved picture along with the choice of viewing either the theatrical or unrated cuts (really, only 14 seconds difference). The extras were dropped in favor of offering the two versions. There were complaints at the time by some tech fans that the Olive Films release was only Dolby Digital 2.0, while oversea versions had an DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track.


These people will be disappointed,then, as this release is DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. However, I found nothing to complain about with the sound, as it was clear and clean, and a wide range (so much so that I had to turn the sound down during one of the more violent sequences). Indeed, I had no complaints with the audio or indeed anything about this presentation.


Both versions of the film are presented in a beautiful 1080p transfer in the film’s original 1.85:1 aspect ratio with optional easy to read white English SDH subtitles.

BOUND tells the story of Corky (a superbly confident performance by Gina Gershon), an “out” lesbian (whom we first see IN a closet!)  an ex-con now doing repair work in a mob owned apartment building. When she meets Violet (Jennifer Tilly, an often-underrated actresses), the girlfriend of mobster Caesar (the always marvelous Joe Pantoliano), they begin a torrid affair. Violet wants out of her 5-year-old relationship with Caesar, who launders money for the mob.

Shelly (Barry Kivel) is caught and tortured for stealing money from the mob, and then killed by Johnnie (Christopher Meloni), son of Mob Boss Gino (Richard C Sarafian). Caesar returns to the apartment with a bag full of bloody bills and will now have to literally launder the money!

Violet hatches a plan to steal the $2 million and leave Caesar to face the wrath of the mob, but of course, like all good noir stories, things spin out of control, with a lot of people being brutalized and murdered.

The film was praised (as well as condemned by conservatives) for its lesbian romance, wherein the characters enjoyed their relationship (indeed sex consultant Susie Bright loved the characters. And had high praise for the main sex scene that was shot in a single take).

This plot point made it difficult for studios to back the film (all wanted it if they changed Corky to a man), but the Wachowskis stuck to their guns, being saved when Dino DeLaurentiis backed the project. The 38-day shoot was carefully planned, even though their original cinematographer quit feeling he could not do the film in the time allotted. Bill Pope stepped in and indeed helped plan some of the films visual look.

The film is a superb example of style serving the story. The colors often reminded me of a Dario Argento film, and often the camera often takes a god like view looking down on the action.


The original leads were Linda Hamilton as Violet and Tilly as Corky, but when Hamilton had to step out, Tilly switched roles and Gina Gershon was cast as Corky. Gershon then recommended Joe Pantoliano. The rest of the cast is top notch with Christopher Meloni as the not too bright but violent Johnnie stealing every scene he is in. No easy feat, when you consider marvelous performers as John P. Ryan (as mobster Mickey Malnato) are also in the cast.

As noted earlier, the previous OLIVE FILMS release had no extras. This Limited Edition goes out of its way to correct that.


Besides the Hi-Def digital restoration the original Republic audio commentary has been restored. One of my favorite things is hearing how the creatives behind a project feel about their finished work and the enthusiasm runs throughout this commentary.

Ported over from the 2014 Arrow U.K. Blu Ray /DVD release by Red Shirt Pictures in conjunction with Arrow :

• “Here’s Johnny!” – with Christopher Meloni– “My character had poor impulse control” is the first thing Meloni says about his character, which must be a major understatement in this new video interview with the actor and how he gives major credit to Joe Pantoliano for his career and how he infused humor into his character.

• “Femme Fatales” – with Gina Gershon and Jennifer Tilly -new interviews with the two leads on how they got cast and their work process. 

• “Modern Noir: The Sights & Sounds of Bound” – with cinematographer Bill Pope, editor Zach Staenberg, and composer Don Davis) the crew speak with great pride of their involvement with the project, and how they became attached to it. . Pope, for example, got hired due to his work on ARMY OF DARKNESS (Universal,1992) and he worked cheap!

New for this release:
• “Part and Parcel” – with titles designer Patti Podesta – a (2017) video interview with the  designer on how she created the noirish titles in the era before CGI took over.

• “The Difference Between You and Me” – with B. Ruby Rich (Prof of Film/Digital Media U, C, Santa Cruz) and Jen Moorman (Prof of Film Studies & Gender Studies, Loyola Marymount U., L.A.) discuss BOUND and its importance in Neo -Noir ,as well as an examination of Film Noir.

• Theatrical Trailer-the original Gramercy Theatrical trailer which makes it look like a RESERVOIR DOGS (Live,1992) rip-off.

• Essay by Guinevere Turner -an interesting 4 page read as to why this film is so important to LGBTQ cinema, and especially for its portrayal of lesbians.





This is a MUST HAVE for anyone who loves classic thrillers, well-made cinema done with style and dark humor, superbly acted and directed in an engrossing story.


-Kevin G Shinnick

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             THE SONG OF SOLOMON (Released August 14,2018). MVD BLU RAY $24.95


(also available separately on DVD ($21.95) a Limited Edition (Blu-Ray/DVD of the film, and a CD soundtrack,3 discs) $39.98.)

Region A/1 NTSC. English. 1 disc .NR. 86 mins. Color. Unearthed Films. Dolby Digital 2.0. 1.85:1/16:9
The disc reviewed was the single Blu Ray disc.

When a film’s cover blurb has a quote: ‘In this critic’s opinion better than THE EXORCIST” (Spencer Evatt, House of Tortured Souls), you set expectations for something spectacular. Sadly, the film falls far short of the 1973 W.B. masterpiece. On its own, however, it is not a movie to be lightly dismissed.

T.S.O.S. is considered part of the American Guinea Pig series (begun in 2014 by Unearthed Films). The American Guinea Pig films are basically just gore effects and not much more. Wisely, they chose not to put the American Guinea Pig imprimatur on the cover, as it would perhaps limit its audience.

That said, gore fans will have a field day with a series of superior practical effects (no cgi snapping bones here, its on set splatter).

Indeed, the film is technically one of the better indie horror films that I have seen, with super sharp photography and cinematography, music and as mentioned in makeup trickery.

Where the film fails, and it is a problem that haunts a lot of indie films, is in the acting and pacing. Most of the cast either say their lines with an indifference that means they could as well just be going over their grocery list rather than a possession leading to many mutilations and murders, or with a stilted seriousness of trying too hard.


Writer/producer /director Stephen Biro is the founder / President of Unearthed Films. Besides his own work, unearthed has released several obscure Asian films, as well as an upcoming October 2018 release of the sadly neglected H.P. Lovecraft THE UNNAMEABLE (1988). Biro is also an author, who written several books about God and The Devil, as well screenplays for others.


T.S.O.S. opens with Mary’s father (one of the film’s make-up artists) having a screaming fit at his daughter, ending with him taking a knife, slitting his own throat, and then, reaching into the wound and pulling out his own tongue (sometimes referred to as a “Columbian necktie”, due to it being an act of mutilation done by drug cartels).



Mary (very busy actress /director Jessica Cameron; TRUTH OR DARE, Small Town Girl Productions,2013) is possessed by a demon and the Church sends in several exorcists to try and drive the Demon from the young woman.

The priests and their associates suffer several terrifying deaths (tearing out one’s own eyes, another pulls out his own tongue- this film doesn’t like tongues!) as the demon grows stronger with each attempt at driving it out.

However, we also begin to wonder is the Church trying to drive the Demon out, or bring about the return of the Anti-Christ?

There are a lot of interesting ideas in the film, but the performers, as I mentioned, for the most part, let the film down. A stronger cast would have made this a much more powerful film.

T.S.O.S. was produced in part due to a very successful Indiegogo campaign (over $52,000 raised, or 1497% of original goal), so there are a lot of fans who wish to see more of Biro’s work.

Those fans will be pleased at the 100 % all practical effects within the film, as well as appearances by people like Jim Van Bebber (THE MANSON FAMILY, Dark Sky,2005) as Father Blake getting a gory comeuppance.

The rituals of exorcism seem to try for a level of authenticity not seen in most films that deal with the subject, so kudos to the people going the extra mile.

The Blu Ray is superb transfer of the HD 4K cinematography by Chris Hilleke (ABC’s OF DEATH, Magnet Releasing 2012). The sharpness and color put many a larger budget film to shame. The Dolby 2.0 sound is good, with a nice mix of dialogue and music. Some of the sound effects needed a bit more punch to them, and some of the dialogue seems a bit echoey, due to shooting in real locales, but that is no fault of the transfer.

The music, by the way, includes some by Gene Palubicki from the group Angel Corpse, who portrayed Father Corbin in movie. The score works well with the picture, and one can see why they added a CD soundtrack to the limited special edition.

Extras on the disc include:

-A commentary track by director Biro and star Jessica Cameron. Their passion and pride for the final product comes through on the running commentary, as well as a mutual admiration for each other.

-A second commentary track has director Biro this time with effects whizzes Marcus Koch and Jerami Cruise.

-On camera Interview with actress Jessica Cameron
-Interview with writer/director Stephen Biro
-Interview with SPFX artist Marcus Koch
-Interview with DOP Chris Hilleke
-Interview with actor Gene Palluvicki
-Interview with actor David McMahon

-A behind the scenes documentary on how the practical effects were done. This goes from the planning stages, planning where the real person will bend and where the fake limbs for breaking bones will be added, the molding and life masks of the lead actress, on set touch ups, as well as the construction of the special bed used in the movie. One nearly gags watching the poor performers forcing fake intestines and things into their mouths to pull them out as the cameras roll. Who says show business is all glamor?

-An Outtake reel- scenes with clap boards and prepping of sequences as well as bloopers.

-Photo Gallery.

Overall, one of the more interesting variants on the exorcism horror genre, let down by the performances.

Still, for fans of grue, you will not be disappointed.

-Kevin G Shinnick

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COLD TURKEY – (United Artists,1971) Blu Ray & DVD from Olive Films .102 min.Color. 1:85:1 aspect ratio. PG -13 subtitles: English optional
Blu Ray $29.95 DVD $14.95

While ALL IN THE FAMILY (CBS,1971-9) was struggling in the ratings to find it’s audience (and it really didn’t catch on until summer reruns before it became one of the most important social programs in television history ),about a month after that show’s premiere a wonderful dark comedy film by it’s creator Norman Lear was released theatrically . It’s biting humor and commentary seemed to connect with a certain portion of the population ,and it brought in about  $11 million at the box office.
It was only when the film began turning up on television ,promoted as “By The Creator of ALL IN THE FAMILY” that a much audience began to truly discover this film.

A little history for the young ‘uns  –
For decades, smoking was considered an acceptable social behavior. People smoked everywhere- restaurants, theatres ,mass transit , the office, and of course at home. Even in hospitals, there was smoking allowed in certain areas.

Then, on January 11, 1964, Luther L. Terry, M.D., Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service, released the first report of the Surgeon General’s Advisory Committee on Smoking and Health. It concluded cigarettes were cause of lung cancer and laryngeal cancer in men, a Probable (?) cause of lung cancer in women , and the major cause of chronic bronchitis.


The tobacco industry poured money into their lobbying efforts, as well as millions into creating iconic characters that showed that smoking was “cool”. Of course ,there was the image of the rugged Marlboro Man, a character first created in 1954 and lasting until 1999. Mind you , at least four of the portrayers of this western figure died from smoking caused illnesses .In fact, actor Wayne McLaren after his stint as the character spent his last years in anti smoking campaigns until his death from lung cancer in 1992 at the age of 51.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Or0Kteya0ps
Still, the addictive nature had people dig in their heels and refused to allow facts get in the way of the puffs of pleasure.

Norman Lear saw this ,and his knowledge of people as well as of corporate greed helped him create this film. Based upon the unpublished novel, “I’M GIVING THEM UP FOR GOOD” by Margaret and Neil Rau ,Lear and journalist/novelist William Price Fox created a wonderful madcap satire screenplay that sends up Middle America and corporate greed.



In the film , Merwyn Wren (Bob Newhart )is the wunderkid who thinks he will turn the tide against anti smoking by offering twenty five million dollars to any town that will go cold turkey and quit smoking for one month. The town of Eagle Rock ,Iowa, leaps at the chance at financial redemption that money will offer. Since the local military base was closed, businesses have been in a slump.

Reverend Clayton Brooks (Dick Van Dyke ) sees this as a chance to save the town, as well as his status within his ministry. He must convince everyone to sign the one month promise, for if anyone takes a single cigarette puff, the town loses. This is not as easy as he thinks, because it seems nearly everyone in town has taken up smoking to deal with their daily lives, Clayton and his wife (Pippa Scott )included.

The film seems rather timely when a Tea Party like group (led by Graham Jarvis , and including a foul mouth old lady (Judith Lowry)who seeks commies everywhere)) decide they will patrol the town and prevent any contraband being brought in.

Lear presents the dark underbelly of society, where everyone seems to live in a perfect Middle America but it is only a thin veneer covering underlying desperation . but does so in a funny way with his sharp insights .
The superb cast make all the characters shine and keep our interest in the story .
The town drunk (Tom Poston) chooses to leave rather than be in a town without smokes.
A silent Edward Everett Horton as a wheel chair bound ,flatulent senior tobacco company owner Hiram C. Grayson (Horton’s last screen role, he passed away before the film was released. Supposedly, his character is the first one to ever fart on screen,a dubious honor to be sure).

Barnard Hughes is fantastic as smoke addicted Dr Proctor, who nearly brings the whole affair down, even holding off his fellow townsfolk at one point while trying to light up in an operating room.bernard hughes

Cold Turkey (1971)
Directed by Norman Lear
Shown: Barnard Hughes (left)
Lear seemed to be picked people from this cast to be in his future tv series from this cast, as Vincent Gardenia appears as the town’s flustered mayor, Paul Benedict as a Zen Master, and Jean Stapleton as Mrs Wappler, frustrated with gaining weight due to her cessation of smoking .

Back in the 1970s, people looked up to and trusted the news media ,with the likes of anchormen like Walter Cronkite and Huntley & Brinkley. The brilliant Bob Elliot and Ray Goulding (the comedy team of Bob and Ray) appear throughout and do superb mimicry of those well admired journalists (when Ray appears as Walter Chronic, there is actually a halo above his head ,thanks to a circular light on the ceiling).

Dick Van Dyke is great in the lead role, trying to hold the town together. Pippa Scott ,his loving if overlooked wife, finds that her husband’s libido has increased due to improved breathing without their smokes. One of my favorite moments is when she is getting dressed, sees her husband approaching and starts undressing with a sort of ‘close your eyes and think of England” resignation.                  Cold3

The cigarette companies all get together and basically tell Wren that if he doesn’t get the town smoking before the deadline then he will be out of work, he tries harder and harder to get someone to light up. The film at the end even gets some digs in at the unpopular Richard Nixon without naming him directly.



The film boasts the first score by Randy Newman, including a song “He Gave Us All His Love” that Newman would redo on his 1972 album ‘Sail Away”.
Cinematographer Charles F Wheeler uses a lot of natural lighting on the Ohio locations ,and it gives us that Norman Rockwell look that the film is parodying.

MGM had released the film on VHS and DVD previously in full frame releases but now OLIVE FILMS has cleaned it up and released a nice ,though no frills Blu Ray release of this comic satire.s-l640
The picture is presented in 1:85:1 widescreen with a much cleaner and sharper image than had been previously available. The print doesn’t seem to have been given an upgrade , as there are some shots that look a bit muddy, but that may be found in the actual print.

The DTS-HD mono sound is fine ,and this film really doesn’t have need for any stereo remixing. The dialogue ,music and sound effects are clean and do not overpower each other.

There are subtitles for the hearing impaired an optional English subtitle function ,that follows the action and dialogue quite well, and is easy to read.

The disc is Region A only.
Sadly , there are no extras. One wishes that Dick Van Dyke and/or Norman Lear himself had been brought in to talk about their experiences of making this film.

There are some wonderful clips that they could have used but perhaps the rights were too prohibitively expensive .
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmJFGnPoJBg behind the scenes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C27kVPTQk5M 30th anniversary
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ln-5i30ml9M Dick Van Dyke in some 8mm home movies, using the Newman song.

However, do not let that discourage you from picking up this wonderful comedy .


Olive Films is to be commended for bringing us this little gem.


Kevin G Shinnick

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