Well, kid, you made it: it's summer. It doesn't really feel that way here in the northeast, but it'll be beach weather soon enough. But stop right there! Don't go into the (sun)light! I get the siren song of vitamin D, but too much sun can leave you burned.
So make sure you spend time in the light of your TV set, too, because some classic movies are headed to Blu-ray this month. It's a light month, but there's some good stuff here.
Here are my picks for the top five Blus worth picking up this month. And then check below the video for everything else. Maybe you'll find something there that you forgot about, or that you've been dying to see on Blu-ray, or something that just looks interesting.
Fahrenheit 451 (1966)
June 6, 2017 Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Ray Bradbury's best-selling science fiction masterpiece about a future without books takes on a chillingly realistic dimension in Fahrenheit 451. Montag (Oskar Werner), a regimented fireman in charge of burning the forbidden books, meets a revolutionary school teacher (Julie Christie) who dares to read. Suddenly, he finds himself a hunted fugitive, forced to choose not only between his rebellious mistress and his pleasure-seeking conformist wife (also played by Julie Christie), but between personal safety and intellectual freedom. Directed by one of the most important screen innovators of all time, Francois Truffaut, this classic film is an eerie tale where mankind becomes the ultimate evil.
Special Features: The Making of 451; The Novel: A Discussion with Author Ray Bradbury; The Music of Fahrenheit 451; Original Title Sequence of Feature; Photo & Poster Gallery; Theatrical Trailer
June 13, 2017 Mondo Macabre
In 16th century France, Inquisitor and magistrate Bernard de Fossey (Paul Naschy) travels to the plague-ridden region of Peyriac in search of witches and devil worshipers. Local beauty Catherine (Daniela Giordano) quickly catches his eye, tormenting him with impure thoughts, although her affections lie with her handsome fiancé Jean. Meanwhile, embittered one-eyed manservant Rénover (Antonio Iranzo) presents Bernard with his first group of torture victims when he accuses several sexy young things who spurned his advances of being witches responsible for the plague. One by one, beautiful women are tortured on the rack then burned at the stake. No-one seems able to halt the Inquisition's reign of terror or the baseless accusations that cause so many innocent deaths. When Jean dies under mysterious circumstances, Catherine allies herself with Satan to get revenge on her enemies – foremost among them, De Fossey himself.
Special Features: Introduction by Paul Naschy; Interview with star Daniela Giordano; Audio commentary by Rod Barnett and Troy Guinn (the Naschycast); Blood and Sand - documentary on Spanish horror films
Kill, Baby... Kill (1966)
June 13, 2017 Kino Lorber
Considered by many to be one of the Italian horror-meister Mario Bava's best, this occult murder mystery skillfully interweaves elements of the 'giallo' thriller formula with a creepy Gothic ghost story. Set in modern day Transylvania, an evil curse has fallen on the village that's been plagued by a series of bizarre murders, in which female victims keep turning up with gold coins embedded in their hearts. In order to free the village from this evil curse, the local sorceress (Fabienne Dali) must find and destroy the vengeful Baroness Graps (Gianni Vivaldi), who along with the ghost of her murdered daughter, seeks to claim the villagers' souls in retribution (with pretty Erica Blanc next on the list). Original Italian title: "Operazione Paura".
Special Features: BRAND NEW HD MASTER; Audio commentary by Tim Lucas, author of Mario Bava: All the Colors of the Dark
English-language soundtrack; Italian-language soundtrack; Optional English subtitles; "Kill, Bava…Kill!" (a 2007 documentary by David Gregory, in which Lamberto Bava revisits the location where the film was shot, 25:02); Theatrical trailer (2:32); Three TV Spots (:60 :30 :10); German title sequence (3:30)
June 13, 2017 Arrow
Julia (Trish Everly) has spent her entire adult life trying to forget the torment she suffered at the hands of her twisted twin Mary (Allison Biggers)... but Mary hasn't forgotten. Escaping the hospital, where she's recently been admitted with a horrific, disfiguring illness, Julia's sadistic sister vows to exact a particularly cruel revenge on her sibling this year, promising a birthday surprise that she'll never forget.
Special Features: Brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative; High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition presentations; Original Stereo Audio (Uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray); Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing;
Brand new audio commentary with The Hysteria Continues; Brand new interviews with cast and crew; Alternate Opening Titles; Theatrical Trailer, newly transferred in HD; Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Marc Schoenbach
Don't Look in the Basement (1973)
June 13, 2017 Brink Vision
Nurse Charlotte Beale (Rosie Holotik) is hired by Dr. Stephens (Michael Harvey) to work at a small sanitarium he runs. When Charlotte arrives, however, she learns that Stephens has died in the interim, and that she'll be taking orders from new president Dr. Masters (Anne MacAdams). Charlotte goes along, but can't help noticing how unusual Masters' approach is to treating the mentally ill. They're allowed free run of the place, and Charlotte begins to wonder if Masters isn't a patient herself.
Special Features: New Audio Commentary by Tony Brownrigg (son of director S.F. Brownrigg) for both films; Behind the scenes Don't Look in the Basement 2; Trailers
June 13, 2017 Shout Factory
In deep space, the deadliest animal is still woman! It’s a futuristic fight to the finish when the Commander of a space station prison (Jan Michael-Vincent, The Mechanic, White Line Fever) takes on galactic archvillain Kol (Ross Hagen, Avenging Angel). When Kol escapes, on the verge of his execution, the Commander has no choice but to unleash the Alienator, a ruthless android hunter with one unstoppable purpose: terminate Kol at any cost! Kol’s shuttle crash-lands on Earth and the Alienator is hot on his trail. She is determined to capture her prey: even if it means blowing away everything and everyone in her path.
Joe Versus the Volcano (1990)
June 20, 2017 Warner Bros.
Laughs erupt when Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan fall in love – and fall in lava – in Joe Versus the Volcano, a stylish comedy written and directed by Moonstruck Academy Award winner* John Patrick Shanley. This first teaming of the peerless stars of Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail follows the follies of a stressed-out guy (Hanks) in a dead-end job who is told he has a terminal “brain cloud.” A zany jillionaire (Lloyd Bridges) makes Joe an offer that gives him a fleeting taste of the good life. In exchange, he must journey to a Pacific island and leap into a volcano. Is Joe doomed to be the last of the red-hot lovers? Not if the forces of imagination, romance, and Ryan (in three roles as the women in Joe’s life) have their way.
Lawnmower Man (1992)
June 20, 2017 Shout Factory
Dr. Lawrence Angelo (Pierce Brosnan) is a brilliant scientist obsessed with perfecting virtual reality software. When his experiments on animals fail, he finds the ideal substitute – Jobe Smith (Jeff Fahey), a slow-witted gardener. Dr. Angelo's goal is to benefit his human guinea pig and ultimately mankind itself, but evil lurks the guise of "the Shop," a shadowy group that seeks to use the technology to create an invincible war machine. When the experiments change the simple Jobe into a superhuman being, the stage is set for a Jekyll-and-Hyde struggle for the control of Jobe's mind and the future of the world.
Special Features: NEW 4K Scan of an Interpositive; NEW Cybergod: Creating The Lawnmower Man – Featuring Interviews With Co-Writer/Director Brett Leonard, Actor Jeff Fahey, Editor Alan Baumgarten, Make-up Effects Artist Michael Deak And Special Effects Coordinator Frank Ceglia; Audio Commentary With Writer/Director Brett Leonard And Writer/Producer Gimel Everett; Deleted Scenes; Original Electronic Press Kit With Cast Interviews And Behind-The-Scenes Footage; Edited Animated Sequences; Theatrical Trailer; TV Spot; Optional English subtitles; NEW 4K Scan of the Interpositive with Additional "Director's Cut" Footage from the Original Camera Negative; Audio Commentary With Writer/Director Brett Leonard And Writer/Producer Gimel Everett; Conceptual Art And Design Sketches; Behind-The-Scenes And Production Stills; Storyboard Comparison; Optional English subtitles
The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970)
June 20, 2017 Arrow
Sam Dalmas (Tony Musante, We Own the Night), an American writer living in Rome, inadvertently witnesses a brutal attack on a woman (Eva Renzi, Funeral in Berlin) in a modern art gallery. Powerless to help, he grows increasingly obsessed with the incident. Convinced that something he saw that night holds the key to identifying the maniac terrorizing Rome, he launches his own investigation parallel to that of the police, heedless of the danger to both himself and his girlfriend Giulia (Suzy Kendall, Spasmo).
Special Features: Brand new 4K restoration of the film from the camera negative in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio, produced by Arrow Video exclusively for this release; High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations; Original mono Italian and English soundtracks (lossless on the Blu-ray Disc); English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack; Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack; New audio commentary by Troy Howarth, author of So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films
The Power of Perception, a new visual essay on the cinema of Dario Argento by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, author of Devil s Advocates: Suspiria and Rape-Revenge Films: A Critical Study; New analysis of the film by critic Kat Ellinger; New interview with writer/director Dario Argento; New interview with actor Gildo Di Marco (Garullo the pimp); Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Candice Tripp; Limited edition 60-page booklet illustrated by Matthew Griffin, featuring an appreciation of the film by Michael Mackenzie, and new writing by Howard Hughes and Jack Seabrook
Island of Terror (1966)
June 20, 2017 Shout Factory
When the inhabitants of Petrie's island succumb to a mysterious disease, doctors Brian Stanley (Peter Cushing) and David West (Edward Judd) are asked to investigate. Puncture marks on the corpses reveal the horrifying truth: the islanders and their animals are being killed not by a disease, but by a strange type of silicate organism that sucks the bone from their bodies. As the death toll rises, the seemingly indestructible creatures multiply at an alarming rate. Stanley and West lead the desperate islanders in a fight for survival as the unstoppable silicates threaten to engulf the island, and then the world.
Special Features: NEW High-definition transfer struck from an interpositive; NEW Audio Commentary with Film Historian Dr. Robert J. Kiss and Blogger/Actor Rick Pruitt; Theatrical Trailer; Still Gallery; Optional English subtitles
June 27, 2017 Vestron Video
In New Orleans, a city with a dark underside of black magic and Satanic worship, two priests have been brutally murdered at St. Agnes Church. Now, The Unholy reign, only to be challenged by the purest of mortal souls. Father Michael is appointed to the ungodly parish. Is he really strong enough to fight off this terrible evil? Or will he be the third priest to die?
Special Features: Audio Commentary with Director Camilo Vila; Isolated Score Selections and Audio Interview with Composer Roger Bellon; Audio Interview with Production Designer & Co-Writer Fernando Fonseca, featuring Isolated; Selections from his Unused Score; Original Ending featuring Optional Audio Commentary with Producer Mathew Hayden; Theatrical Trailer; TV Spots; Radio Spots; Original Storyboard Gallery; Still Gallery.
Featurettes: "Sins of the Father with Ben Cross"; "Demons In The Flesh: The Monsters of The Unholy"; "Prayer Offerings with Production Designer & Co-Writer Fernando Fonseca"
June 27, 2017 Scorpion
When folk singers Alphie and Bibi enter the World Vision song contest, their wholesome appeal catches the evil eye of music mogul Mr. Boogalow, a Faustian fiend who promises the pair fame and fortune. Seduced by Boogalow's devilish denizens, Bibi surrenders her soul and soon becomes a superstar... and a pawn in Boogalow's plot to take over the planet with the power of pop music! Now, Alphie must free Bibi from Boogalow... and save the world from rock-and-roll ruin!
Special Features: NEW HD REMASTER completed in 2016; Original stereo track; Audio commentary with star Catherine Mary Stewart moderated by Nathaniel Thompson; On-camera interview with Catherine Mary Stewart
The Angry Red Planet (1959)
June 27, 2017 Scream Factory
With Martians like the leggy and very hairy "batratspidercrab," plus flesh-eating plants and a rolling amoeba with rotating eyes, you’ll think twice before jumping into a spaceship, no matter where it’s headed. When an Earth rocket lands on Mars, the crew finds the planet not entirely dead. As these well-armed scientists begin to explore, they are attacked by unbelievably horrific and demented creatures at every turn. Battling for their lives, the survivors make it back to their ship only to discover intelligent life – and a warning they’ll never forget!
Special Features: NEW HD Transfer Taken From The Interpositive; Still Gallery; Trailer