Beware What’s Hidden In The Woods

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Hidden In The Woods is a bleak bastard of a film. A bleak, bloody, half-retarded bastard of a film. While definitely not for everyone, director Patricio Valladares has crafted a modern exploitation film that fans of the grimy side of cinema will surely love to get filthy with. It’s a twisted hybrid of rape/revenge, backwoods horror and crime film (with a pinch of cannibalism for flavor), but I would never ghettoize it into any one of those categories, because none of those descriptions of its parts do the film justice as a whole.

The plot centers around Filipe, played brilliantly by Daniel Antivilo, who I would love to see star in a modern remake of a Naschy Hombre Lobo film. Filipe is a drug smuggler, a father and a complete piece of shit. When not busy stashing drugs for local crime boss Uncle Costello, he’s made it a habit of getting drunk and raping his young daughters, Anna and Annie.  A habit that starts when Ana is very, very young and continues for years, even after she gives birth to her deformed brother-son Manuel. Upon Manuel’s birth Filipe immediately locks him away in a shed behind the house where he lives like a dog until one day, years later, when the police show up to investigate a tip they receive about domestic abuse. The police are able to free the children from Filipe’s evil hillbilly clutches, but aren’t as lucky themselves as we’re treated to a demonstration of Filipe’s chainsaw skills.

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While dad is acting like the Chilean Leatherface, the kids escape and decide to hold up in their family’s cabin in the woods in a nearby town.  After the cop slaughter, Filipe reaches out to Costello for help, only to be caught and thrown in jail. This makes Costello send his crew out to find the drugs that Filipe had stashed at his house. This is also the point where the film turns into complete whoresploitation for a bit, as Anna heads into town to find food for her siblings and is propositioned by a creep on the street while she’s trying to enjoy an apple from a trash bag.  This is where we learn the harsh truth that every man in Chile is a super rapey creep.

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Anna quickly realizes that there’s money to be made and proceeds to blow every willing guy in town. But while she’s out doing that , Filipe is making plans of getting his kids back, a couple of backpackers stumble upon the cabin where Anny and Manuel are hiding out, and Costello’s crew is on the hunt for the drugs, or whoever might have them. Hidden In The Woods takes a lot of twists and turns in the second half, and just when you think it can’t get any more fucked up it does. The violence is amped up in the third act and we witness some absolutely great moments of brutality, the most impressive of which involving Anny and the feral Manuel, and learn of some strange eating habits the kids have developed over the years.  These scenes also bring the audience back to the state of unrest that we start the film with but is lost a bit during Anna’s blowjob spree in town.

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Hidden In The Woods is the story of a family, who as fucked up as they are, are willing to go to great extremes to protect their own.  It is also an experiment in how much filth and degradation one audience can handle in 98 minutes. Besides the three kids, every character in this film is a despicable piece of trash (and honestly, the kids aren’t THAT much better.) I know I make light of it here, but believe me there’s nothing funny about this film. It’s dark, it’s dirty and it’s also one of the better films in the genre that’s been released this year. If pure, unadulterated exploitation is your bag, definitely check this out. If you have a sensitive tummy when it comes to these things you may want to sit this one out.

Hidden In The Woods hits streets 9/24 via the ever-impressive Artsploitation label. It is available on DVD and VOD through Amazon and VHX. It will not be available on iTunes due to its graphic content… and because iTunes are pussies.

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Score: 3.5 out of 5 Screaming Jamies

 

 

 

Win A Copy of Waxwork Records’ ReAnimator Soundtrack LP

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Alright, now that you’ve read the interview with Waxwork Records chief Kevin Bergeron, I’m sure you’re all wetting yourself over the upcoming ReAnimator release, right? Well, good news for one of you – I have one copy of the limited glow-in-the-dark variant to give away to one of you lucky basement dwellers. These are super limited and being randomly inserted with the standard ReAnimator green vinyl when they are shipped out. SO, what do you have to do to get your paws on this slice o’ green goodness? Simple – email basementscreamsblog@gmail.com with the subject line “WAXWORK” and tell me your favorite horror score or soundtrack. That’s it. One winner will be picked at random on July 30th, the street date for the vinyl’s release. Only one entry per email address, contest is open worldwide! aaaaaaaaaannnndddd…. GO!

Waxwork Records Are ReAnimating Classic Horror Soundtracks: The Basement Screams Interview

If you don’t know the name Waxwork Records yet, you will soon. The New Orleans-based label will be releasing its debut vinyl offering at the end of this month in the form of a remastered edition of Richard Band’s classic score for ReAnimator. I had the chance to do a quick interview with label head Kevin Bergeron, and this is what he had to say…

First off, how did Waxwork come to be? Did you have any experience running a label previous to this?

Waxwork Records came to be because of my love for horror cinema. I’m obsessive about horror. Some of my earliest memories are of taking trips to the video store and renting a bunch of horror VHS tapes. I didn’t even acknowledge the other genres. It just consumed me.

I had just gotten back from touring Cuba with my old band. It was becoming obvious that the band was breaking up, but I wanted to stay involved with music on some level. I love music, and I’ve played in horror­inspired punk bands for the past 15 years.

I noticed other labels such as Mondo and Death Waltz and what they were doing, and I have respect for those guys. It seemed like something cool to get involved with because I’m passionate about it. Obviously, I want to put my own twist on it by always revisiting the master tapes to create a true analog product, get the composer and directors involved, creating full package artwork.

I’ve never run a label before Waxwork, but I’ve pressed vinyl with my old bands.

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What made you decide on Re­Animator as your first release?

I think Re­Animator is one of those horror films that wouldn’t be what it is without it’s score.
Richard Band’s Re­Animator score, in my opinion, is a true classic. I love the film, and it has one of those memorable scores that can stand on it’s own. Re­Animator was definitely on my wish list for a vinyl re­issue.

Was Richard Band involved in the remastering process at all?

He supplied us with the original 1985 tape reels of the score to master from, which was insane. One day, I received a package with these old tapes that helped create one of my all time favorite horror movies. It was just nuts.

I’m a fan, first and foremost, so communicating directly with the composers and directors has been sobering and really cool. I had a question regarding Re­Animator, and Richard Band suggested I call up Stuart Gordon, and he gave me his phone number. All of a sudden, I’m on the phone talking about horror films with the guy that directed Re­Animator, From Beyond, and wrote Honey, I Shrunk The Kids. 

The cover art for the release is done by Ghoulish Gary, and is amazing, can you tell us a bit about working with Gary? How did the relationship with him transpire? 

My old band was featured in Rue Morgue Magazine a couple of times. I kept seeing these write ups and features on their art director, Ghoulish Gary. I was immediately attracted to his art work. I thought, “Maybe I can get this guy to do a logo or a t­shirt for my band at some point”.

When Waxwork started, and I locked in Re­Animator it was a no brainer to contact Gary for art work. His art fits with the vibe of the movie. Working with him was killer. He’s a true horror lover, we chatted about the project, and the cover he created is amazing. He also designed the entire LP package, so there’s all kinds of other cool art from Gary on the inner sleeve, center labels, the poster.

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Do you have plans to work with Gary again on a future release?

Already in the works for an upcoming release in December.

You guys have announced Day Of The Dead as the second release, what do we have to look forward to with that one?

We tracked down the original master tapes, and that’s allowing us to use every musical cue from the film. Over an hour of music. It’s never been done before.
The score is incredible, and massively underrated. I think due in part because it’s often overshadowed by Goblin’s score to Dawn of the Dead.

We’ve been working directly with the composer, John Harrison. Former White Zombie guitarist, J. Yuenger, is mastering the release for vinyl and he’s all about it.

It’s going to be a double LP package, super heavy, old school tip­on gatefold jacket, 180 gram vinyl, we’re doing some really cool packaging on this release. George A. Romero happens to collect vinyl, and he’s thrilled about our upcoming Day of the Dead release. He even contributed liner notes, and that was totally unexpected.

We’re doing a record release for Day of the Dead in Hollywood. There’s going to be a screening of the movie, we’re going to be selling records, there’s going to be a Q&A after the film with both John Harrison and George Romero. It’s going to be great.

Can you say who will be providing the artwork for the Day Of The Dead release, or what the color variant will be (assuming there will be one, of course)?

Jay Shaw is doing the full package art for Day of the Dead. He’s a massive fan of the film, and he’s excited. I think his style of art fits perfectly with the overall vibe of the film. I love what he did for the Criterion Collection release of Repo Man, and his work for Mondo. He’s extremely talented.  There will be a variant of zombie flesh-colored vinyl.

There has been a handful of great soundtrack/score labels that have popped up the past couple years. Is this something that informs your decisions on what to release? Like, is there a “I have to put this out before Death Waltz does” kind of pressure?

Not really. I really want to put out great film scores from the movies that I love and grew up with.

I can’t speak for the other soundtrack labels, but I think it’s incredible that there’s a few soundtrack labels out there doing something similar. Death Waltz might release something that we would never have thought to go after, and vice versa. I feel like that’s great for everyone. For the fans who collect these records. It’s great for the artists, for the independent record shops, for the pressing plants, for the composers. It keeps the vinyl resurgence growing. Forward movement.

Can you tell us what you have in store after Re­Animator and Day?

We’ve been in talks with Harry Manfredini and Paramount for months now, and just last week we finally locked in the Friday the 13th films that Manfredini scored. I absolutely love the Friday films and those scores are true horror classics.

What’s interesting about those scores is that they never received a proper vinyl release. I believe that the scores to Friday parts 1, 2 , and 3 were sort of cut up and condensed into a single 12” release. That release is incredibly expensive and hard to find.

What Waxwork is going to do is give each of those releases a proper vinyl release. It’s never been done, but I’m a massive fan and I’m going to do those scores right.

If you could get the rights to any score, what would be your absolute dream release?

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre by Tobe Hooper and Wayne Bell.

In closing, what are your all time top three film scores?

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Psycho and The Exorcist.

Thanks again to Kevin for taking the time to chat. You can pre-order ReAnimator and keep up to date with future Waxwork releases HERE

Combat Girls Boots Its Way Onto DVD and VOD From Artsploitation Films

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Artsploitation continues their onslaught of hard-hitting films with its July 9th release of Combat Girls.

LOS ANGELES (June 10, 2013) – Artsploitation Films, the rising American film company, continues to deliver edgy international movies to North American audiences with its latest release, COMBAT GIRLS. This searing coming of age drama follows two suburban girls from vastly different backgrounds who become ensnared in the Neo-Nazi youth movement. Twenty year old Melissa (a stand-out, powerhouse acting performance from newcomer Alina Levshin) is a hard-core believer, a semi-skinhead who is adorned with Nazi tattoos. Fourteen year-old Svenja (Jella Haase) is a sheltered, spoiled, straight A student who becomes fascinated with the group because of her Neo-Nazi boyfriend. They began as adversaries but soon become best friends though their loyalty to each other is shaken when Marisa decides she wants to leave the group. Like American History Xand Romper Stomper, COMBAT GIRLS is extremely dynamic, powerful filmmaking.
Artsploitation’s release of COMBAT GIRLS will arrive on DVD, VOD and Digital Download for the first time ever on July 9. The DVD extras include an interview with Alina Levshin and an 8-page booklet.
COMBAT GIRLS’ Alina Levshin won the Best Actress award at The Sao Paulo International Film Festival, Film Fest Munich and The AMD “Next Wave” Spotlight Competition Award for Best Actress at Fantastic Fest in Austin. The film also played the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, Fantastic Fest, Jeresulem Jewish Film Festival and Dubi International Film Festival respectively.

 

 

The Maddest Story Ever Told Comes To Blu-Ray Via Arrow Video

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Arrow Video is pleased to confirm the UK DVD and Worldwide Blu-ray premiere of Jack Hill’s landmark debut feature film, SPIDER BABY, on Monday June 17th.

Finally available on Blu-ray for the very first time anywhere in the world, this stunning version of “the maddest story ever told” features a beautifully restored high-definition transfer, a process supervised and approved by Jack Hill himself.

Starring cult superstar Sid Haig (House Of 1000 Corpses) alongside Lon Chaney Jr. (The Wolf Man, Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein) in one of his last ever on-screen roles,SPIDER BABY tells the unfathomable story of three orphaned siblings who suffer from “Merrye Syndrome” – a condition which causes them to mentally, socially, and physically regress backwards down the evolutionary ladder!

The super-deluxe dual DVD & Blu-ray edition comes LOADED with special features and bonus material, even including Hill’s 30-minute short film “The Host”. Made in 1960 and starring Sid Haig in his first ever leading role, “The Host” sees a fugitive gangster attempt to set-free a group of Spanish settlers who are held under the powers of evil.

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Other extras include audio commentary with Jack Hill and Sid Haig, three new featurettes, an alternate opening sequence, extended scenes, original trailer, behind-the-scenes imagery and an in-depth collector’s booklet. A complete list of special features and full details follow the synopsis.

Keeping with what is a now a fan-favoured tradition of Arrow Video restorations, SPIDER BABY will come complete with a reversible sleeve, featuring the original 1968 artwork and a stunning new design by Graham ‘Evil Dead’ Humphries.

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The director-approved special features included on the dual edition release of SPIDER BABY are as follows:

– High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of the main feature, available in the UK for the very first time.
– High Definition transfer of the feature approved by director Jack Hill.
– English SDH subtitles for deaf and hearing impaired.
– Audio commentary featuring Jack Hill and star Sid Haig.
– Panel discussion from The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences “FILM-TO-FILM” Festival, recorded September 2012, featuring Jack Hill and stars Quinn K. Redeker and Beverly Washburn.
– “The Hatching of Spider Baby” – Interviews with Jack Hill, Sid Haig, star Mary Mitchel, fan Joe Dante and more on the making of the film.
– “Spider Stravinsky: The Cinema Sounds of Ronald Stein” – The composer of ‘The Terror’ and ‘Attack of the 50 Foot Woman’ among others is remembered by Harlene Stein, Jack Hill, American Cinematheque’s Chris D. and others.
– “The Merrye House Revisited” – Jack Hill revisits the original house that was used as the main location in the film.
– Alternate opening title sequence.
– Extended scene.
– Original Trailer.
– Gallery of behind-the-scenes images.
– The Host (1960) – Jack Hill’s early short film featuring Sid Haig in his first starring role.
– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham ‘Evil Dead’ Humpreys.
– Collector’s booklet featuring writing on the film by artist and writer Stephen R. Bissette, and an extensive article re-printed from FilmFax: The Magazine of Unusual Film and Television featuring interviews with the cast and crew, illustrated with original stills and artwork.

 

Win The Purge Prize Pack, and Murder Your Neighbors In Style

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If, on one night every year, you could commit any crime without facing consequences, what would you do?

Well, for starters, I’d probably hunt down whoever made the brilliant decision to make it so damn difficult to include outside widgets on this particular web host. See those numbers in the image above? They should be moving, but we’ll get to that. Other than that, I’d probably keep it simple – rob a White Castle and punch every bastard teenager in my neighborhood. Apparently, this is too tame for most people, who opt to go straight for the killing, as we will see in The Purge, opening in theaters June 7th.

In an America wracked with crime and overcrowded prisons, the government has sanctioned an annual 12-hour period in which any and all criminal activity–including murder–becomes legal. The police can’t be called. Hospitals suspend help. It’s twelve hours when the citizenry regulates itself without thought of punishment. On this particular night in 2022, plagued by violence and an epidemic of crime, one family wrestles with the decision of who they will become when a stranger comes knocking.

When an intruder breaks into James Sandin’s (Ethan Hawke) gated community during the yearly lockdown, he begins a sequence of events that threatens to tear his family apart. Now, it is up to James, his wife, Mary (Lena Headey), and their kids to make it through the night without turning into the monsters from whom they hide.

Seems simple enough, right? Well, if this sounds like your bag then maybe you’ll want to win a prize pack of The Purge goods, including a mask and t-shirt you can wear while you loot, rob and murder your way through the night. As you can see from the picture below, the mask won’t be much use to conceal your identity, but hey, you can always gouge someone’s eyes out with the stick, right? Right. I have one such prize pack to giveaway, and all you have to do to get your murderous mitts on it, is live in the US and email basementscreamsblog@gmail.com with the subject “I’ve got the urge to Purge.” One winner will be chosen randomly this Friday, June 7th to coincide with the opening of the film.

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Other ways to get extra entries will be announced over the next few days via our twitter feed, which you can follow @basementscreams. You can also click the image at the top (you know, the one that’s perfectly still) to take the Purge quiz, check out the trailer and have all kinds criminal fun.

Vinegar Syndrome Brings The Sleaze For The Summer

The past year or two has seen a handful of new DVD and Blu-Ray specialty labels pop up offering titles, old and new, that many never thought would get a decent release. Scream Factory  has given dozens of classic horror titles treatment of Criterion-like proportions. Newcomer Artsploitation has released a stream of challenging art house and international films that most would have never heard of. But if your tastes lean towards old school drive-in style grime, then Vinegar Syndrome has just what you need. Launched in the beginning of the year with the release of The Lost Films of Herschell Gordon Lewis collection, Vinegar Syndrome has been releasing choice exploitation goodness since. Most notable of these have been the aforementioned HG Lewis disc, Massage Parlor Murders and their signature Drive-In Collection double features. The label is starting the summer strong with a handful of releases that are guaranteed to put a sleazy smile on your face. Check out the previews below for the first three releases in the label’s summer slate, including the much-anticipated (by your’s truly, at least) Punk Vacation! 

A Labor Of Love (DVD) street date June 11th

In the winter of 1974, a naive independent filmmaker based in Chicago found funding to make his first feature, to be titled “The Last Affair.” The one stipulation mandated by his financial bakers was that the movie needed to include hardcore sex scenes. A LABOR OF LOVE documents the ensuing heart-felt and earnest attempt to create an X rated movie. Between struggles with the cast and problems with crew and locations, the production forges on in a manner NBC News described as “A true human comedy” and Hadrian Belove of Cinefamily acclaimed as “a lost vérité masterpiece … a movie-about-movies documentary classic.”

Punk Vacation (Blu-Ray/DVD combo) street date July 9th

A peaceful California town is shaken after the brutal murder of diner owner by a gang of vicious punks. When the daughter of the slain man attempts to avenge her father’s death, she’s held hostage by the gang resulting in an epic battle between punks and rednecks.
Directed by Stanley Lewis

 The Vixens of Kung Fu and Oriental Blue (Drive-In Collection DVD) street date July 9th

Two Times Square classics from the vaults of New York’s oldest surviving producers of underground
sexploitation and sleaze — Distribpix, Inc.

über-creepy porno dudes with furry shoulders, punk rocker versus redneck violence, and smoking vaginas? Count me in.

Blurrpy Goes Into Darkness With Star Trek Poster Project

Pop culture website Blurrpy once again assembled a group of amazing poster artists for their second poster project, which was unleashed on their website this morning. Earlier this year they tackled the upcoming World War Z, which you can check out here. This time around they take on J.J. Abram’s Star Trek: Into Darkness and the results are incredible. The artists, a loosely formed collective of print artists known around the web as the Print Posse, all put their own unique style into creating new artwork for the film, and every single one blows the official film posters out of the water. Below is a preview of two of the designs, for the full set, including variant designs, head over to Blurrpy here.

art by Chris Garofalo

art by Chris Garofalo

art by Matt Ferguson

art by Matt Ferguson

Join Science Team: They Need Your Help, They Have Lasers

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Drew Bolduc, director of one of the stickiest indie flicks in recent years, The Taint, has launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for his latest project, Science Team. Described as “a bastard child of science fiction and horror”, the films’ campaign video gives little information as far as outlining an actual plot, but succeeds in making Science Team look fun as hell and worthy of kicking in a few bucks nonetheless. Incentives range from stickers and posters to DVDs, t-shirts, personalized songs written for you by Bolduc and more. Check out the campaign promo video below then head over to the Indiegogo page and kick in.

A Double Dose Of Mario Bava Coming Soon From Arrow

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DUAL FORMAT UK DVD & BLU-RAY DELUXE EDITIONS
RELEASE DATE: MONDAY 29TH APRIL 2013

Arrow Video are pleased to announce two exciting and never-before-seen Blu-ray & DVD premieres from the one and only godfather of Italian horror, MARIO BAVA.

Set for release on Monday April 29th, the Bava classics BLACK SABBATH and BARON BLOOD have both been given the ‘Arrow treatment’. The forthcoming dual format Blu-ray & DVD deluxe editions include brand new versions of each film, a wealth of special features and bonus material (cast, director and expert interviews, introductions, deleted scenes, trailers, audio commentaries, photo galleries, collector’s booklets). If that wasn’t enough, both releases will also include an exclusive reversible sleeve, featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys.

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This marks the VERY FIRST TIME that these two staples of Italian cult cinema will be available on Blu-ray & DVD in the UK. Ever since Arrow released “Black Sunday” and “Lisa & The Devil” in February 2013, horror fans the world over have been crying out for more Bava releases to be delivered in such high quality.

Arrow Video pride themselves on going the extra mile in order to give their loyal fans something to savour. These fantastic deluxe editions of BLACK SABBATH and BARON BLOOD are certain to live up to such high expectations.

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MARIO BAVA is widely credited as the man who kick-started the golden age of Italian horror. Never before had international audiences witnessed such slick, stylised production combined with brutal and supernatural imagery.

The deluxe Blu-ray & DVD edition of BLACK SABBATH includes the following special features:

– High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of two versions of the film; ‘I tre volti della paura’ – the European version with score by Roberto Nicolosi and ‘Black Sabbath’ – the re-edited and re-dubbed AIP version with Les Baxter score, on home video for the first time.
– English SDH subtitles for English Audio and a new subtitle translation of the Italian audio.
– Audio Commentary with Bava biographer and expert Tim Lucas.
– Introduction to the film by author and critic Alan Jones.
– “A Life In Film” – An Interview with star Mark Damon.
– “Twice the Fear” – A new featurette examining the differences between the two versions of the film.
– International Trailer.
– US Trailer.
– Italian Trailer.
– TV and Radio Spots.
– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys. 
– Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic David Cairns, a comparison of the versions of the film by Tim Lucas, and a substantial interview with AIP Producer Samuel Z. Arkoff on his experiences of working with Bava, illustrated with original stills and posters.

 

The deluxe Blu-ray & DVD edition of BARON BLOOD includes the following special features:

– High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of three versions of the film: Bava’s original version Gli orrori del castello di Norimberga with Italian audio, The European Export Version of Baron Bloodwith English audio, and, on home video for the first time, the re-edited and re-dubbed AIP Version of Baron Blood with alternate score by Les Baxter.
– Three audio versions: Optional Italian, European English and AIP English re-dub and re-score.
– English SDH subtitles for both English versions and a new English subtitle translation of the Italian audio.
– Audio Commentary with Bava biographer and expert Tim Lucas.
– Introduction to Baron Blood by author and critic Alan Jones.
– “Delirium Italian-style” – Ruggero Deodato on Mario Bava and the golden age of Italian genre films.
– “Mario Bava at work” – a photo gallery of Bava behind the scenes on his films.
– Trailers and Radio Spots.
– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys. 
– Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic James Oliver, illustrated with original archive stills and posters.