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3 Video Nasties from Region B

by Glenn Erickson Apr 03, 2018

 

Guest reviewer Lee Broughton covers a trio of grisly horrors. The Toolbox Murders, Blood Harvest and A Cat in the Brain each feature a pop culture icon in a leading role. Hollywood actor Cameron Mitchell, oddball 1960s crooner Tiny Tim and the Italo horror director and all-round enfant terrible Lucio Fulci find themselves caught up in their own gory and disturbing splatter show. Perhaps unsurprisingly, all three films fell foul of the British Board of Film Classification at the time of their original release in the UK.


The Toolbox Murders, Blood Harvest, A Cat in the Brain
Separate Region B Blu-ray releases
All from 88 Films – Slasher Classics Collection
£14.99 each

Reviewed by Lee Broughton




The Toolbox Murders
Region B Blu-ray
1978 / Color / 1.78 / 93 min. / Street Date December 4, 2017
Starring: Cameron Mitchell, Pamelyn Ferdin, Wesley Eure, Nicholas Beauvy, Tim Donnelly, Aneta Corsaut.
Cinematography: Gary Graver
Film Editor: Nunzio Darpino
Production Designer: D. J. Bruno
Original Music: George Deaton
Written by Robert Easter, Neva Friedenn and Ann Kindberg
Produced by Tony DiDeo
Directed by
Dennis Donnelly

 

NBC’s Western TV show The High Chaparral was a massive hit in the UK during the 1970s and Cameron Mitchell’s iconic turn as the irresponsible but charismatic ‘Uncle’ Buck Cannon endeared the actor to a whole generation of British television viewers. When home video took the nation by storm at the turn of the 1980s, Mitchell was still regarded as a star and the many — often previously unheard of in the UK — motion pictures that the actor had made in the years following the collapse of the Hollywood studio system became popular rentals in British video stores.

Depending upon the luck of the customer’s draw, the Mitchell film selected for rental might well be of variable tone and quality. But of all of the weird, wonderful or wanting Mitchell shows found on UK video store shelves, The Toolbox Murders was surely the one that took the biggest number of unsuspecting viewers by surprise.

Often catalogued (as it is here) alongside more generic slasher flicks, The Toolbox Murders actually has more in common — for its first thirty minutes, at least — with the more extreme American exploitation movies that followed in the wake of Herschell Gordon Lewis’ Blood Feast (1963) than it does with the likes of John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978) or Sean S. Cunningham’s Friday the 13th (1980). The film’s front-loaded splatter set pieces run thick with a disturbing and pointedly misogynistic air, which is further accentuated by their lengthy point of view shots that detail women in extreme peril, gratuitous nudity and copious amounts of graphic violence and gore.

Certainly the content of the show’s first third is indicative of just how nasty and brutal 1970s cinema could be. No surprise, then, that The Toolbox Murders would eventually find itself caught up in the UK’s ‘video nasties’ debacle which resulted in the show being banned in Britain for a spell. It eventually made it back onto UK video store shelves in a censored form some years later. 88 Films’ new blu-ray release presents the film uncut.

The Toolbox Murders’ front titles play over footage of an unidentified man driving along the dark city streets of Los Angeles while a fire and brimstone preacher is heard pontificating aggressively on his car radio. When he passes a row of car dealerships, a freeze-frame signals the start of a flashback that shows a young woman being injured in an automobile accident at precisely the same location. Further flashbacks and some frenziedly delivered expositional dialogue that is presented later in the show reveal that psychological disturbances and delusions relating to this accident are responsible for the string of heinous crimes that will soon follow.

 

After parking up at an apartment block and unloading the toolbox referred to in the film’s title, the man is invited into the flat of a woman who clearly knows him. He responds by chasing her and eventually despatching her with a hand-held power tool. When director Dennis Donnelly finishes the sequence with the man donning a ski mask — and a close-up shot that reveals that the record player that the unfortunate woman was listening to was set to ‘repeat play’ — he effectively signals that we’re in for a repeat performance of maniacal bloodletting too.

Sure enough, the man moves onto another apartment where Donnelly and his writers are able to slip in a quite clever deconstruction of Psycho’s (1960) shower scene that serves to suitably wrong-foot the viewer and postpone the impending violence, albeit only temporarily. With the meta-textual reference to Alfred Hitchcock’s proto-slasher film out of the way, the man quickly cuts down two young women with further implements drawn from his toolbox.

Hitchcock’s work is seemingly referenced again when the man’s voyeuristic Rear Window-like (1954) view from the second apartment’s window offers an obvious clue to his modus operandi — in two vertically connected windows at the opposite side of the complex’s courtyard we see ‘good’ girl Laurie Ballard (Pamelyn Ferdin) taking a phone call in between doing her homework and a ‘bad’ girl brunette (Marianne Walter AKA Kelly Nichols) doing a sexy dance in just her underwear. It would seem that the fact that his first victim was a heavy drinker while the second was a nude model who was also seemingly in a lesbian relationship with the third victim had marked all three out as ‘bad’ girls in the man’s deranged mind. When neighbours raise the alarm, the man flees but it’s pretty clear who he will be targeting if he should ever return.

The apartment block’s concerned and obliging owner, Vance Kingsley (Cameron Mitchell), does all that he can to assist Detective Jamison’s (Tim Donnelly) initial investigations but he’s at a loss to explain how the intruder managed to bypass the complex’s security systems. When the man does return, he observes the brunette pleasuring herself in the bath which seemingly further confirms her ‘bad’ girl status to him. Again, Donnelly and his writers are able to toy with their viewers’ generic knowledge and expectations: the bathroom set-up brings to mind key set pieces from the likes of Blood Feast and Mario Bava’s Cameron Mitchell vehicle Blood and Black Lace (1964) but Donnelly takes things in a different direction and the brunette eventually succumbs to the projectiles that spurt from the man’s phallic-like nail gun.

While the attractive and shapely Kelly Nichols went on to star mostly in dramatic-narrative features of an adult nature she could actually act and her sympathetic and convincing enough performance in this extended set-piece makes it all the more disturbing and upsetting. When the man subsequently enters Laurie’s apartment, it becomes apparent that he’s following a different agenda this time around and the show changes tack rather dramatically: Laurie is kidnapped and the killing spree comes to an end.

 

For the remainder of its running time, The Toolbox Murders mixes up key aspects of a number of different genres as Donnelly cycles its narrative through scenes that feature overwrought psychodrama, police procedural activities and young people working as amateur sleuths-like shenanigans. The police investigation goes nowhere fast since Detective Jamison seems to be more interested in hitting on Laurie’s mother Joanne (Aneta Corsaut of The Blob, 1958) than solving the case.

In the meantime, Laurie’s brother Joey (Nicholas Beauvy) and Vance’s oddball nephew Kent (Wesley Eure) set out to crack the case themselves with unfortunate results. As the man tries to articulate and justify the reasons for his actions to Laurie, the film takes on a slightly more frenzied tone and a couple of shocking and disturbing plot twists see the film barrel out of control towards a pretty nihilistic conclusion.

As the show’s star and main point of interest, Cameron Mitchell’s performance here is a bit of a mixed bag. He’s convincing as the quietly concerned owner of the apartment block who is happy to assist the police and he’s suitably brooding and menacing when he catches Joey and Kent snooping around in his garage. But as the film’s tone becomes more feverish, so does his acting. By the show’s end Mitchell has gone so far over the top that he is well and truly situated within scenery chewing territory.

Many of the other actors appearing here were apparently best known for their work on American television and some of their performances do have a 1970s’ TV show-like quality about them at times. George Deaton provides a pleasing enough soundtrack score that features a deft mix of expressive orchestral cues, atmospheric synthesizer and keyboard-led pieces and contemporary sounding country rock ballads. Like the majority of his actors, director Dennis Donnelly was primarily a television man too but The Toolbox Murders remains a decent enough looking show that will undoubtedly appeal to fans of grindhouse and exploitation cinema.

 

The Toolbox Murders is a film very much of its time but its notoriety has resulted in the show enduring and finding a niche for itself within the public consciousness. The stark and unrelenting nature of its opening thirty minutes mean that it’s one of those films that works like an audio-visual time machine: it’s capable of transporting us back to both the dark and heady days of 1970s’ exploitation cinema and to the time and place where we first encountered the film ourselves. Who would have thought that a show as disreputable as this would become a fully functioning nostalgia piece one day?


88 Films’ UK Region B Blu-ray of The Toolbox Murders uses a new 2017 4K colour corrected transfer taken from ‘Positive Elements’ and it looks and sounds very good given the film’s low budget origins. 88 Films have also included some worthwhile extra features that seek to contextualise the film’s production and its place within the slasher film genre. A four page booklet written by Calum Waddell features an interview with the show’s producer Tony DiDeo. Waddell also moderates a fast-paced and chatty audio track with slasher film expert Justin Kerswell. In the featurette Slashback Memories (24 min.) David Del Valle recounts his memories of Cameron Mitchell and presents something of a mini overview of the actor’s career.

In the featurette Flesh and Blood (31 min.) Kelly Nichols recalls her work on The Toolbox Murders and discusses other aspects of her career. Whether she’s talking about working on the peripheries of the film industry as a make-up artist and a body and stunt double for Hollywood stars or being sought out to do nude scenes in low budget horror films and becoming an adult film star, Nichols is an engaging interviewee who offers interesting historical insights into the workings of the exploitation and pornographic film industries. The show’s original theatrical trailer completes this disc’s extra features.



Blood Harvest
Region B Blu-ray
1987 / Color / 1:33 flat full frame / 88 min. / Nightmare / Street Date February 27, 2018
Starring: Tiny Tim, Itonia Salchek, Dean West, Lori Minnetti, Peter Krause, Frank Benson.
Cinematography: Ito
Film Editor: Teddy Darvas
Art Director: Joseph Jolton
Original Music: George Daugherty
Written by Chris Vaalar, William Arthur, Ben Benson, Emil Joseph
Produced by Leszek Burzynski
Directed by
Bill Rebane

 

On paper, Bill Rebane’s Blood Harvest sounded like it might be the Blu-ray release of the year. A slasher film starring oddball 1960s’ crooner Tiny Tim as an eccentric hick who dresses as a menacing clown 24/7 promised to be loaded with much cult movie potential. Unfortunately, this low budget and indifferently acted show isn’t quite able to live up to initial expectations though it does have its moments.

When Jill (Itonia Salchek) returns home from college, she discovers that an economic downturn has hit the Wade County region hard and foreclosure orders have been issued against a number of local farms. The farmers hold Jill’s father — who is the region’s bank manager — responsible for their woes and he and his wife have seemingly disappeared. When the sheriff (Frank Benson) refuses to take her concerns about her parents’ disappearance seriously, Jill turns to her former boyfriend Gary (Dean West), his eccentric brother Merv (Tiny Tim) and her old friend Sarah (Lori Minnetti) for support.

However, things become strained when Merv — who insists upon dressing as a clownish alter ego called the Marvellous Mervo at all times — begins acting in an increasingly creepy manner. Jill feels a bit happier when her protective new boyfriend (Peter Krause) shows up but before long a man in a stocking mask is targeting anybody who shares a close relationship with Jill.

Blood Harvest pretty much has all of the necessary ingredients that are required for a good slasher film. Lead actress Itonia Salchek isn’t the most gifted of thespians but she certainly looks the part and she screams well. Her remote farmhouse home is isolated enough to be a place where scares and jumps can be effectively generated and its adjacent barn looks like a genuinely creepy building. And there are plenty of oddball characters in the locality who might be assumed to be the masked man who is tormenting Jill and attacking her friends. The show also features a distracted and clueless cop, some rather nasty and convincing gore effects and a couple of gratuitously sleazy set pieces. But while some of the film’s individual scenes and sequences pack a reasonable punch the show as a whole doesn’t work quite as well as it should.

 

Although the print used here credits the film’s serviceable cinematography to the mysterious sounding ‘Ito’, Blood Harvest’s camerawork was actually done by Bill Rebane. We have to wonder whether the multi-tasking Rebane simply took too much on in doing so because — in his role as the film’s director — he somehow failed to pull all of the generic elements noted above together in a fully effective way. Indeed, the show feels like it only really gets properly into gear and is able to fire on all cylinders during its final fifteen minutes. The film’s high-octane finale is worth sticking around for and we can only lament the fact that Rebane wasn’t able to present a comparable sense of energy, urgency and atmosphere in a more consistent way during earlier sections of the show.

1.33:1 is reported to be Blood Harvest’s correct aspect ratio but quite a number of the show’s key shots look as though they could be comfortably masked to an aspect ratio of around 1.78:1. At other points in the show 1.33:1 looks to be about right. Rebane’s blocking and compositional work is actually quite good — as are the angles that he chooses to shoot from — but the 1.33:1 aspect ratio serves to cheapen the film’s overall look.

Furthermore, George Daugherty’s music inadvertently serves to periodically cheapen the film’s overall sound. Daugherty’s melodies are actually quite appealing but his whole score sounds as though it was assembled using a pretty cheap synthesizer. Rudimentary synthesizer scores had been used to great effect in slasher films like Halloween so it’s not the instrument itself that’s at fault. Indeed, Daugherty does actually cook up some reasonably ominous and effective generic synth sounds during the film’s suspense-driven scenes.

But the main music cue that appears with much regularity throughout the film is an incongruous and inappropriately sugary and schmaltzy keyboard piece that uses flat and uninteresting pre-set lounge music sounds that really grate. Funky electronic drum sounds are also utilised on occasions too. Those pre-set synth and drum sounds might have been the bee’s knees in 1987 but they sound badly dated today. On a more positive note, Tiny Tim sings the show’s end credits song which is an eminently catchy ditty called ‘Marvelous Mervo’.

 

Speaking of Tiny Tim, his turn as Merv is obviously the main point of interest here. Merv is actually at the centre of most of Blood Harvest’s best realised moments of creepiness. Most of the time Tim just about hits the right notes in terms of his performance — and he does bring a noticeable degree of eccentric charm to key sections of the film — but he’s not consistent by any means: there are points in the show where he appears to be floundering a little.

With his mop of long dark curly hair and prominent nose, there were times in the early 1970s when Alice Cooper (sans stage make-up) looked like he could be Tiny Tim’s disreputable younger brother. When Tiny Tim is sporting his clown make-up and gaudy Mervo outfit in Blood Harvest, he looks like he could be a made-up Alice Cooper’s disreputable uncle.

Blood Harvest was filmed on location at Bill Rebane’s Shooting Ranch Studios in Wisconsin and in the nearby town of Gleason. The authentic rural locales are used to reasonably good effect, as are a number of non-professional local folk. It’s always interesting to see regional filmmaking of this nature even if budget-related limitations are readily visible onscreen.

Few of the actors involved in Blood Harvest went on to do further film work and the fact that we’re watching largely unfamiliar faces onscreen does add interest to the show. In the final analysis, I’d have to conclude that having a mediocre slasher film starring Tiny Tim is preferable to having no slasher film starring Tiny Tim.


 

88 Films’ UK Region B Blu-ray of Blood Harvest utilises a HD transfer of Bill Rebane’s original 16mm vault materials. That being the case, we have to assume that this is the best that the film is ever likely to look and sound. It’s a colourful presentation that is marred by the odd bit of print damage in the form of minor specks and a slightly contrasty look in some scenes. The presentation’s sound quality is very good.

When the film was first issued on home video in the UK the British Board of Film Classification demanded that almost three minutes worth of violent and gory action was shorn from the show. Interestingly, when Rebane prepared a director’s cut of the show for an earlier home video release in America he chose to delete some of the film’s gore and nudity too. The footage deleted in both instances has been reinstated for 88 Films’ new Blu-ray release.

Fans of Tiny Tim are particularly well served by this disc’s extra features. Tiny Tim in Niagara Falls (71 min.) dates from September 1987. It features Tim’s turn on the bill of the Great American Circus tour and then follows him as he undertakes a press interview, signs memorabilia for fans, sings impromptu songs for them and patiently answers their questions as he strolls around the circus site. It’s an interesting insight into the man’s life — and his thoughts on life — at that moment in his career.

Behind the Scenes of Blood Harvest (13 min.) features reasonably interesting interviews with Tiny Tim and Bill Rebane. Tiny Tim’s Wrap Party Performance (17 min.) is footage of Tiny Tim tearing through a selection of rock ‘n’ roll classics, barroom sing-alongs, old standards and, of course, ‘Tiptoe Through the Tulips’ in an entirely convincing manner. The alternative opening credits for the director’s cut of the show (re-titled Nightmare) and a four page booklet that features an edited extract from Justin A. Martell and Alanna Wray McDonald’s Tiny Tim biography Eternal Troubadour round out this release’s extra features.



A Cat in the Brain

Region B Blu-ray
1990 / Color / 1:66 widescreen / 93 min. / Nightmare Concert, Un gatto nel cervello / Street Date February 26, 2018
Starring: Lucio Fulci, David L. Thompson, Jeoffrey Kennedy, Malisa Longo, Brett Halsey, Paola Cozzo.
Cinematography: Alessandro Grossi
Film Editor: Vincenzo Tomassi
Original Music: Fabio Frizzi
Written by Lucio Fulci, Giovanni Simonelli and Antonio Tentori
Produced by Luigi Nannerini, Antonio Lucid
Directed by
Lucio Fulci

 

The Italian popular film industry was in dire straits at the time of A Cat in the Brain’s release. The extensive third run cinema chains that had traditionally given domestic genre films lengthy and country wide circulation windows were long since gone. Key directors had either passed away or retired and most of those that remained had seemingly lost their mojo. More tellingly, the maverick independent producer figures that had been so important in terms of getting interesting genre projects off the ground had largely faded from the scene.

Television companies had stepped into the breach but their involvement resulted in much-reduced budgets and the production of films that often had the look and feel of TV movies. When preparing A Cat in the Brain, director Lucio Fulci hit upon a story that would allow him to save money while simultaneously putting production value onscreen: he would star as himself and a string of ultra-gory set-pieces recycled from his (and others’) more recent genre flicks would be employed in three ways. Some of the recycled scenes would be passed off as footage that related to a film that Fulci was in the process of shooting as part of A Cat in the Brain’s narrative. The rest would be used to represent both the depraved hallucinations that would haunt Fulci in the film and the deplorable crimes that would be committed by one of the show’s characters.

Fulci is thus introduced hard at work in Cinecitta studios making a splatter-cum-slasher-cum-horror-cum-cannibal-cum-Nazisploitation film. When he takes a break for lunch, he’s alarmed to discover that the mere sight of gourmet meat dishes prompts stomach-turning flashbacks to the cannibal gore scene that he’s just been shooting. Worse still, when he spots a gardener using a chainsaw to cut up a tree branch near his home, Fulci experiences further flashbacks to a gory scene while also imagining that the gardener is attacking him. After he goes a little nuts with the gardener’s hatchet, Fulci feels compelled to book some sessions with a psychiatrist, Egon Schwarz (David L. Thompson).

 

An unfortunate episode, which sees Fulci responding to hallucinations that relate to a recently shot Nazisploitation scene while he’s in a meeting with a German documentary crew, convinces him that desperate measures are needed. The director thus agrees to let Schwarz hypnotise him. That turns out to be a big mistake because the duplicitous Schwarz programmes Fulci to experience further gory hallucinations whenever he triggers a device that emits an electronic sound. In addition, Schwarz’s hypnosis ensures that the hapless Fulci blames himself for the killing spree that the deranged psychiatrist is about to embark upon.

For many of Lucio Fulci’s fans, A Cat in the Brain is regarded as being his last decent movie. However, it doesn’t hold a light to his revered classics like Zombie Flesh Eaters (1979) and The Beyond (1981). The Beyond in particular is a fine example of how Fulci’s best horror films often featured sequences where narrative logic was temporarily dispensed with in favour of striking and aesthetically intriguing images and surreal set pieces.

While sections of these classic Fulci shows ultimately did not make sense, they did possess a look and an atmosphere all of their own. The often disorientating but effective nature of these interludes was presumed to be intentional and they became a recognisable characteristic of Fulci’s auteurist palette for a time. When such sequences arose, viewers more often than not had to simply go with the flow.

Going with the flow is probably the best way to engage with A Cat in the Brain. The show features moments where narrative logic is dispensed with but the sense of confusion that these moments prompt doesn’t feel intentional. Rather, at times, it feels like the mad scramble to include as much recycled gore footage as possible here resulted in Fulci and his editor Vincenzo Tomassi losing track of just where the story was going and why.

 

Even when Fulci attempts to fully contextualise the recycled footage (be it as a representation of the film that he is currently shooting or as an hallucination prompted by Schwarz’s hypnosis), not enough technical care is taken to smoothly integrate the older footage with the newer footage. Perfect matches were never going to be possible but if more attention had been paid to setting up more precise eye-line matches, better replicating the directional flow found within disparate shots and using clearer match on action strategies to link those shots, the old and new footage might have been married together more convincingly. Such an approach would have certainly assisted in selling the idea that Fulci’s perceptions of reality and fantasy were breaking down and merging somehow.

The scene involving the gardener is a good example of how the old and new footage’s action is poorly matched and thus often technically at odds with itself. Shots of the gardener using a chainsaw to saw through a tree branch are cross-cut with recycled footage of a maniac using a chainsaw to saw through a victim’s arm and leg. The gardener’s chainsaw is consistently positioned so that it crosses the frame diagonally and points downwards towards the bottom left hand corner of the frame. By contrast, the maniac’s chainsaw is positioned so that it crosses the frame diagonally but points upwards, by turn, to the upper right hand and upper left hand corners of the frame. As a result, an unnecessary sense of directional conflict arises onscreen.

Worse still, recycled footage is also used for some of Schwarz’s kills and it is blatantly obvious — thanks to the distinctive clothing that he is wearing and the nature of the scenery that is seen behind him — that he is not actually physically interacting with some of his supposed victims. Changes in film quality also prompt a sense of dislocation when some of the recycled footage appears sandwiched between the newly shot footage.

Having said all of that, there are a few moments where the film really does work well. Anybody who is familiar with Olivier Assayas’ Irma Vep (1996) — which stars Hong Kong actress Maggie Cheung as herself making a film in France — will know that that show is able to toy with our perceptions of the film’s inner reality by blurring the lines between the film we are watching and the film-within-the-film that is being made. Fulci does manage on at least two occasions to get us guessing as to where he is actually placed: in the film’s reality, at the centre of an hallucination or starring in the film-within-the-film. If Fulci could have achieved this level of strange and disorientating affect with more consistency, A Cat in the Brain would have worked much better.

Fulci and David L. Thompson are the two main actors here and it’s hard to be objective about their performances since much of the time they’re reacting to sequences of recycled footage rather than bouncing off of other actors. As a non-actor, Fulci acquits himself very well for the most part. Thompson is in over-the-top pantomime villain mode much of the time but, given the over-the-top nature of the show in general, this doesn’t really pose a problem. Malisa Longo works fine as Schwarz’s shrewish wife while Paola Cozzo is equally effective as his attractive nurse-cum-secretary.

 

Much like the recycled footage, Fabio Frizzi’s soundtrack score is a bit of a mixed bag. There are jazz pieces, up-tempo progressive rock and synthesizer-led passages, slices of heavy rock guitar histrionics and re-workings of cues from older films thrown into the mix here. Now dated 1980s’ funky electronic drum sounds make an appearance too in what plays like a ‘throw everything at the wall and see what sticks’ approach to film scoring. It’s all largely effective stuff in its own way but some of these cues work better than others.

Over the years, fans of A Cat in the Brain have argued that the film should be celebrated as a kind of missing link that could serve to thematically connect Federico Fellini’s (1963) to Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994). It’s easy enough to appreciate where they’re coming from but it’s hard to believe that Fulci had lofty artistic or post modern meta-textual intent on his mind when he conceived and made A Cat in the Brain.

Ultimately, the film plays like an extended showreel that was intended to show just how gorily effective the work of Italian special effects personnel could be. This left the show open to the accusation that it was merely a gratuitous and misogynistic parade of the Italian horror film industry’s most recently celebrated goriest bits and this resulted in the British Board of Film Classification banning A Cat in the Brain outright when it was submitted for a ratings certificate in 1999. 88 Films’ new Blu-ray presents the film fully uncut.


88 Films’ UK Region B Blu-ray of A Cat in the Brain makes use of a HD transfer that was taken from the show’s original 16mm negative. The picture quality fluctuates dependant upon whether the footage was newly shot or recycled but, by and large, this is a very good presentation. The sound quality fluctuates in a similar manner for precisely the same reasons but both the English and the Italian language soundtracks provided here are very good overall.

On the extra features front, 88 Films’ have included a new documentary entitled Brain Food: Analysing Late Day Fulci (45 min.) which features screenwriter Antonio Tentori and commentators such as Kim Newman, Allan Bryce and Calum Waddell critically discussing Fulci, A Cat in the Brain and other films that the director made during the final years of his career. Fabio Frizzi – Live in Hollywood (7 min.) is taken from a concert that took place on 2 October 2015. In this short clip Frizzi and his band are seen performing A Cat in the Brain’s main theme. The film’s original theatrical trailer and a four page booklet written by Calum Waddell and featuring an interview with Antonio Tentori completes the disc’s selection of extra features.

Reviewed by Lee Broughton



The Toolbox Murders, Blood Harvest, A Cat in the Brain
Region B Blu-rays rate:
Movie: Toolbox: Good; Blood Harvest: Fair; Cat: Fair
Video: Toolbox: Very Good; Blood Harvest: Very Good; Cat: Very Good
Sound: Toolbox: Very Good; Blood Harvest: Very Good; Cat: Very Good
Supplements: see the main body of each review above.
Deaf and Hearing-impaired Friendly? YES; Subtitles: English (feature only)
Packaging: separate releases housed in keep cases
Reviewed: March 30, 2018
(5688leehorr)

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About Glenn Erickson

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 6.51.08 PM

Glenn Erickson left a small town for UCLA film school, where his spooky student movie about a haunted window landed him a job on the CLOSE ENCOUNTERS effects crew. He’s a writer and a film editor experienced in features, TV commercials, Cannon movie trailers, special montages and disc docus. But he’s most proud of finding the lost ending for a famous film noir, that few people knew was missing. Glenn is grateful for Trailers From Hell’s generous offer of a guest reviewing haven for CineSavant.