Return of the Killer Tomatoes, A*P*E, and The Astro-Zombies Among Several Cult Movies Making Contact with Blu-ray


arrow-killertomatoesIt’s an amazing time for cult movie fans as many unexpected, not-so-classic films keep getting announced for upcoming Blu-ray releases. Here are a few more titles that Arrow Video and Kino Lorber Studio Classics have in the pipeline…

Though the original all-time bad movie masterpiece Attack of the Killer Tomatoes has yet to find its way to a hi-def upgrade, its Eighties Airplane-esque sequel will be getting the special edition treatment this summer. Arrow Video has announced plans to release Return of the Killer Tomatoes in both standard definition DVD and 1080p High Definition Blu-ray in both the United Kingdom (on June 27th) and the United States (on June 28th).

The killer tomatoes are back! But this time around, they’re going to have to contend with late ’80s George Clooney and his wicked mullet… Is it a fruit? Is it a vegetable? Nope, it’s Return of the Killer Tomatoes!

Ten years on from the Great Tomato War, mankind lives in fear of another uprising by the waxy red menace. Meanwhile, Professor Gangreen – played with gusto by the great John Astin from TV’s “The Addams Family” – sets out to pursue his own evil ends by creating a burgeoning army of tomato militia men (who, somewhat conveniently, look just like regular men).

Following on from the 1978 cult classic Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, Return of the Killer Tomatoes came armed with a healthy sense of its own ridiculousness and would expand upon a franchise that now comprises four films, two TV series, and a video game. So what are you waiting for? Make Return of the Killer Tomatoes one of your five-a-day now!

Extras will include a brand new audio commentary track with writer-director John De Bello, a new interview with star Anthony Starke, the original theatrical trailer, reversible sleeve featuring the film’s original artwork and newly commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin, a fully-illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing by critic James Oliver, and English subtitles for the hearing impaired.

Sadly, George Clooney did not contribute to the extras. Probably something to do with him once being quoted this was the worst movie of his career. I assume by that statement that even he has never sat all the way through Batman & Robin.

June 28th is also the day Arrow Video will be dropping the feature-length documentary Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan.

The remarkable career of the movie industry’s most admired and influential special effects auteur, the legendary Ray Harryhausen, is the subject of Gilles Penso’s definitive documentary Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan.

Leaving no doubt as to Harryhausen’s seminal influence on modern-day special effects, the documentary features enlightening and entertaining interviews with the man himself, Randy Cook, Peter Jackson, Nick Park, Phil Tippet, Terry Gilliam, Dennis Muren, John Landis, Guillermo del Toro, James Cameron, Steven Spielberg, and many more. These filmmakers, who today push the boundaries of special effects movie-making, pay tribute to the father of stop-motion animation and films such as The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, It Came from Beneath the Sea, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Mysterious Island, Jason and the Argonauts, and The Golden Voyage of Sinbad – the films that enthralled them as children and inspired them to become filmmakers in their own right.

A remarkably loaded disc for a doc, special features will include interviews with Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, Peter Lord, and Rick Baker as well as 12 interview outtakes with Joe Dante, John Lasseter, Nick Park, and more! Plus the featurettes “A Message to Ray” and “On the Set of Sinbad”; deleted scenes; Q&A’s held at the Paris Cinematheque and London Gate Theater; audio commentary with the filmmakers; the doc’s original trailer; and a trailer reel of nothing but Ray Harryhausen films.

Suffice to say this is the quintessential documentary for any fan of the legendary f/x master.

APEbluNot to be outdone, Kino Lorber Studio Classics has announced several new b-movie titles bowing on Blu-ray, titles you probably would have never envisioned getting such an upgrade.

With 2016 being the Year of the Monkey in the Chinese calendar, it only makes sense that Kino would bust loose the campy 1976 US-Korean co-production A*P*E for its 40th anniversary. And get this – they will be releasing three versions of this turkey about a monkey: 2D DVD and Blu-ray and a brand new 3D restoration Blu-ray by 3D Film Archives, LLC.

For the uninitiated, A*P*E was originally released in 3D. Because who wouldn’t want to see a man in a monkey suit fight a live snake, a dead shark, and flip the bird at the military without the benefit of three dimensions?

Behold the trailer below, including the disclaimer reminding viewers this is not to be confused with the King Kong remake of the same year so please don’t sue.

Kino is also preparing a remastered DVD/Blu-ray release for the 1985 Poltergeist-inspired supernatural family film Making Contact.

Even if you’re not familiar with this one, you’re probably familiar with its director since he went on to be kind of a big deal. Does the name “Roland Emmerich” ring a bell – director of Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, 2012, The Patriot, Stargate, and so much more?

After Joey’s father dies, many bizarre things happen in Joey’s life. First he discovers he has some sort of mild telekinetic powers. The rest start when Joey brings home a doll that he found in an abandoned house. The doll turns out to be possessed by an evil being with powers similar to Joey’s, only stronger. From then on Joey must battle both his problems with his peers and his problems with the doll.

Lastly, would anyone have ever imagined Ted V. Mikels’ 1968 cult hit The Astro-Zombies would get remastered for the 21 century? It’s actually getting a dual release on DVD and Blu. Wendell Corey and John Carradine star in the movie with a wonderfully obtuse plot description.

The Plan – to build a super human. How? – by murdering innocent convenient victims and using various bits of them. The Result – Creatures on the rampage.

No release dates or disc specs yet for The Astro-Zombies, Making Contact, or A*P*E, but rest assured they are coming some time in 2016.





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