Ho Meng Hua’s THE OILY MANIAC「 æČčéŹŒć­ă€to Blu-ray in July from 88 Films

Today in “things I never thought I’d live to see”, 88 Films have announced via their facebook page that director Ho Meng Hua’s deliciously bizarre action-horror-revenge fantasy The Oily Maniac 「 æČčéŹŒć­ă€, from Shaw Brothers in 1976, will see its high definition video debut in July.

From the 88 Films FB:

Danny Lee (THE KILLER) played one of cinema’s most unlikely superheroes in THE OILY MANIAC (1976) – a Shaw Brothers creature-feature classic that is only now gaining a much-deserved premiere in the UK! In this gooey gem of a monster-mash, Lee plays a Hong Kong everyman who has been crippled and is down-on-his-luck – that is, until he learns of a spell that can turn him into a transformative and transmorphing pile of ferocious but malevolent mush. Yes, he is THE OILY MANIAC – and in this Cantonese predecessor to Troma’s THE TOXIC AVENGER, he is able to appear and re-appear at will, making it all the more tricky for his arch-enemies to dillute his delirious brilliance. Directed by the prolific Meng Hua Ho (THE FLYING GULLOTINE), this is one Far Eastern B-movie masterpiece that deserves to be seen and appreciated in full HD!

Full details have yet to be made available, but The Oily Maniac is expected to release on the 24th of July. The disc is already available for pre-order through Amazon.co.uk. We can hardly wait!

Flying Beast out of Prehistoric Skies! Fred F. Sears’ THE GIANT CLAW to Blu-ray in April from Anolis Entertainment

Addition (03/31): Anolis Entertainment’s The Giant Claw (Angriff der Riesenkralle) is up for pre-order now, through Amazon.de and other outlets.


It’s been less than two weeks since German label Anolis Entertainment’s excellent Blu-ray issue of Ishiro Honda’s The H-Man, but they’re already at it again, expanding upon their Gallery of Horrors with an oddball monster yarn that’s near and dear to ExB’s cold little heart.

Fred F. Sears’ The Giant Claw was made on the fast and cheap under the auspices of prolific penny-pinching producer Sam Katzman and distributed through Columbia in the Summer of 1957, and though it superficially resembles the classic Charles H. Schneer-produced Ray Harryhausen effects ventures which preceded it (the first two of which, It Came From Beneath the Sea and Earth vs. The Flying Saucers were also made under Katzman) it’s the details that make all the difference. Starring sci-fi regular Jeff Morrow (Kronos, This Island Earth, The Creature Walks Among Us) and actress and pin-up sensation Mara Corday (Tarantula!, Raw Edge), The Giant Claw is a more or less competent mid-century genre quickie with one tremendous exception: It’s special effects production.

To my child eyes the feature’s eponymous creature; an impossibly gigantic buzzard from intergalactic space; was the single best monster I had ever seen. These days I still love it, though it’s impossible to deny the overwhelming silliness of a giant space vulture with sharp, pointy teeth, flaring nostrils, bulging veiny eyes, and a billowing scraggle of a mohawk. With Harryhausen having followed faithful producer Charles H. Schneer as he exited from under Katzman’s supervision to pursue his own film enterprises The Giant Claw was forced to improvise, and Katzman, as was typical of him, spared most expenses.

The results were a noted embarrassment to the film’s cast, and well below the standards set by the Schneer / Harryhausen classic 20 Million Miles to Earth (which was in release through Columbia that same Summer), but have helped to make The Giant Claw a sort of classic in its own right. Sixty years on the film remains a relevant cult item, salvaged from the obscurity suffered by so many other (and sometimes better) films by its own iconic shortcomings.

Gif shamelessly snagged from Tumblr user SwampThingy

The Giant Claw will receive its high definition home video debut on April 13th, in a dual format Blu-ray / DVD edition as part of Anolis’ ongoing Die Rache der Galerie des Grauens series. The film will be presented with both English and German audio options, presumably through Sony’s own master of the title (a la The H-Man), and will likely be Region B / Region 2 locked. The full details, quoted from Anolis’ Facebook page, follow below.

Ja, ich weiß, ihr alle wartet auf unsere nĂ€chsten Hammer-VÖs. Und keine Sorge: Dieses Jahr wird es davon reichlich geben. Nur eben noch nicht im April. DafĂŒr gibt es in dem Monat, der nicht weiß, was er will, eine weitere GALERIE Veröffentlichung. Und diese bietet das wohl abstruseste Filmmonster, das die Welt je gesehen hat. Einen ĂŒbergroßen Vogel Strauss mit Punkfrisur. Ganz klar, dabei kann es sich nur um ANGRIFF DER RIESENKRALLE (orig. THE GIANT CLAW) handeln.

FĂŒr diejenigen unter euch, die dieses grandiose Meisterwerk noch nicht kennen, hier mal ein paar SĂ€tze zum Inhalt bzw. zur Einordnung in die Filmgeschichte:

Als ĂŒber dem amerikanischen Luftraum ein seltsames Wesen von der GrĂ¶ĂŸe eines Schlachtschiffes auftaucht, will keiner der Aussage des Wissenschaftlers Mitch MacAfee Glauben schenken. Dann attackiert das Wesen, ein gigantischer hĂ€sslicher Raubvogel aus dem All, die Zivilisation. Er schleppt ZĂŒge fort und frisst Teenager. Konventionelle Waffen prallen am Energieschild des Monsters ab. Als sei das nicht genug, hat die Bestie bereits ein Nest gebaut und brĂŒtet weitere UngetĂŒme aus. Ist die Menschheit noch zu retten oder endet sie womöglich als Vogelfutter fĂŒr eine Schar fliegender Monster?

Sam Katzman produzierte diesen berĂŒhmt-berĂŒchtigten Monsterfilm, in dem die bekannten Genrestars Jeff Morrow, Mara Corday und Morris Ankrum die Welt vor dem mit Abstand verrĂŒcktesten und ungewöhnlichsten Monster der 1950er Jahre retten mĂŒssen. Der Riesenvogel mit seinem vollkommen grotesken Design begeisterte schon Generationen von Fans und ließ die Darsteller des Films seinerzeit vor Scham im Boden versinken.

Nicht vor Scham im Boden versinken mĂŒssen wir was die PrĂ€sentation dieses Films angeht, bieten wir euch doch schon wieder eine Blu-ray/DVD-Kombo an:

Verpackung: Standard Amaray HĂŒlle (mit FlĂŒgel fĂŒr 2. Disc)
Bestell-Nr: 31077
EAN-Code: 404 1036 31077 6

FSK: 12
Bildformat: 1:1,79 (16:9)
Tonformat: Deutsch/Englisch DTS MA 2.0 Mono
Untertitel: deutsch (ausblendbar)

2-Disc-Edition (Blu-ray & DVD)

Extras: Audiokommentar mit Ingo Strecker und Thomas Kerpen / Audiokommentar mit Dr. Rolf Giesen, Uwe Sommerlad und Ivo Scheloske / Einleitung von Dr. Rolf Giesen ĂŒber die Spezialeffekte / Amerikanische Titelsequenz / Spanische Titelsequenz / Amerikanischer Kinotrailer / Super-8-Fassung / Bildergalerie

16-seitiges Booklet geschrieben von Ingo Strecker

Als VÖ-Termin haben wir den 13. April 2017 festgelegt, damit die Edition noch rechtzeitig in euren Osterkörbchen landen kann.

The Giant Claw (as Angriff der Riesenkralle) should be available through Amazon.de and other outlets soon. The film is already out in an excellent DVD domestically from Sony, as part of the Icons of Horror: Sam Katzman Collection. The film’s original double-bill co-feature Night the World Exploded is also available, through Sony’s MOD DVD program or as part of Mill Creek’s questionably mastered (yet excruciatingly affordable) Vintage Sci-Fi 6 Movie Collection.

Beast-Thing From out of the Earth! FROM HELL IT CAME to Blu-ray next month from Warner Archive

Brothers Dan and Jack Milner’s execrable 1957 anti-classic is the latest genre surprise to emerge from the depths of the Warner Archive Collection, which released the film to MOD DVD in its formative days. WAC have been keeping genre aficionados plenty busy over the last few months, granting quality HD releases to the likes of Demon Seed and When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, and most recently The Valley of Gwangi and World Without End.

From Hell It Came terrified me as a child, when the sight of Paul Blaisdell’s hyperbolically evil tree-monster rising from a smouldering pit felt like the most sinister thing ever committed to film, though these days it’s the film’s social politics that really creep me out (material for another day, perhaps). Originally nary an hour long, From Hell It Came was lengthened for television in appropriately unimaginative ways – a mid-film scene was repeated as a prologue, and text scrawls appended to the opening and closing credits. So it was when I first caught the picture in the latter ’80s. WAC’s Blu-ray will doubtless return It to its more merciful theatrical running time of 71 minutes, as did their earlier DVD.

Lamentable as From Hell It Came can be, it’s encouraging to see the WAC digging this deep for their Blu-ray program. One wonders if the likes of The Giant Behemoth, The Cyclops or even From Hell It Came‘s original double-bill compatriot The Disembodied might not be far behind. I would shell out hard for any of those, and will doubtless be picking up this one as well – out of principle, if nothing else.

From Hell It Came has a street date of April 25th, and is up for pre-order through Amazon and other outlets.

Val Guest’s WHEN DINOSAURS RULED THE EARTH headed to uncut Blu-ray from Warner Archive

Hammer’s 1970 follow-up to the creature classic One Million Years B.C. (itself arriving on Blu-ray from Kino later this year) will reach Blu-ray from Warner Archive in February. A new master of When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth‘s international theatrical version has been minted just for the occasion, which should please fans of the film’s kitchy blend of Academy Award-nominated special effects and anachronistic prehistoric cheesecake.

From Warner’s announcement:

After Raquel Welch conquered the screen in One Million Years B.C., Hammer Studios followed up with When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, written and directed by Val Guest (The Quatermass Xperiment) and based on a story by J.G. Ballard (Crash). Victoria Vetri stars as Sanna, rescued from ritual sacrifice by Tara (Robin Hawdon), a member of a rival tribe. Her survival coincides with the mysterious formation of a new “fire” in the sky: the moon! Sanna’s old tribe blames her for this affront to the sun; Sanna flees their wrath and Tara follows. Their shared adventures loom as large as the giants who once ruled the earth!

When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth will receive a BD50 treatment with DTS-HD MA 2.0 audio and English SDH subtitles. The film’s theatrical trailer is the only slated extra.