Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Rock! Shock! Pop!'s Best Blu-ray & UHD Releases Of 2020!

Collapse
X
Collapse
  •  
    Ian Jane
    Administrator

  • Rock! Shock! Pop!'s Best Blu-ray & UHD Releases Of 2020!


    2020 fucking sucked, but just the same, we here at Rock! Shock! Pop! were once again lucky enough to review a lot of the really great releases that have come out in the last twelve months. Continuing the tradition started a few years ago, it’s once again time to look back at the best of the best.

    So without further ado, here are our favorite titles that we were able to write up this year, ranked in no particular order and based on the ever important mix of entertainment value and quality of the release itself.

    Rock! Shock! Pop’s Top 25 Releases Of 2020:


    The Untold Story remains one of the more notorious Cat III pictures, and for good reason as it’s pretty brutal in spots. While tonally this one is all over the place, Anthony Wong’s insanely intense performance makes it one for the record books. Unearthed Films has done a very nice job bringing it to Blu-ray with a solid presentations and a whole lot of extra features both old and new. Highly recommended!


    An excellent release for an excellent movie. Public Affairs is top notch vintage smut, offering the right balance of story and sex and told with a good sense of humor and plenty of style. It also features a great cast at the top of their game. Vinegar Syndrome’s Blu-ray release looks and sounds great and the two interviews do a nice job of documenting the film’s history.


    Kino’s Blu-ray release of Reefer Madness/Sex Madness is a good one! The transfers aren’t likely to get much better than they are here, unless better elements show up one day, and the movies themselves are both fascinating, and frequently quite funny, even if that was never their original intent. A nice selection of extra features is included, adding important analysis and historical context for the films.


    Rad is a seriously fun nostalgia trip for eighties kids and BMX fanatics! It’s derivative, sure, but it’s a ridiculously entertaining blast from the past. Vinegar Syndrome gives the film a beautiful 4k UHD presentation on a disc positively stacked with extra features. That might not convince those not already enamored with the movie, but the film’s considerable fan base should consider this essential.


    Sins Of The Flesh is one of those wonderfully sleazy European cinematic oddities that really should be better known than it is in cult film circles. It’s trippy, sexy, tense and entertaining from start to finish and Mondo Macabro has really rolled out the red carpet for the Blu-ray release, presenting the film in beautiful shape and with a host of excellent extra features.


    Shining Sex isn’t Franco’s strongest film from a narrative standpoint but it’s got loads of mood, atmosphere and sex to keep viewers interested. It is, in its own way, very nicely shot and the performances from the three leads are pretty strong as well. Severin Films has rolled out the red carpet for this release, presenting it in very nice shape and on a disc absolutely stacked with extra features.


    If you appreciate the weirdness and wonderful creativity often times on display in the bottom of the SOV horror barrel, then Scary Tales is for you. It’s a wonderful product of its time and a seriously entertaining slice of no-budget nonsense. AGFA and Bleeding Skull are to be commended not only for releasing this in the first place, but especially for doing so in an edition with so many extra features. Not a film for all tastes, of course, but for those who appreciate this stuff, this release should be considered a mandatory purchase!


    Maniac stands the test of time remarkably well, it’s an effective, disturbing and ambitious slasher film ripe with tension, suspense and shock value. Of course, Spinell’s performance is what makes this as memorable as it is, he was never better than in this film, but Lustig’s direction and Savini’s effects work also play a huge part in making the film as effective as it is. Blue Underground’s 4k UHD release carries over all of the digital extras from the previous editions and offers up a massive upgrade in picture and sound quality from what we’ve had before.


    This is Fulci at the top of his game, an atmospheric and effective horror picture with some unforgettable set pieces, fine performances and an excellent score. It doesn’t always make a lot of sense, but even when it doesn’t the film is engaging and entertaining. Scorpion Releasing has given The Gates Of Hell an excellent special edition Blu-ray release, with a very strong presentation and an impressive slate of extra features.


    Gemini is an impressive picture, a visually wild trip with some really strong performances and a tight script. Mondo Macabro has done an excellent job bringing this film to Blu-ray with a very strong presentation and a nice selection of extra features. Don’t let this one fly under your radar.


    The Libertine is a genuinely charming film, a beautifully made European sex comedy that is not only legitimately funny but, at times, somewhat thought provoking as well. Nucleus has really rolled out the red carpet for the film, offering up both versions in high definition and with a host of extras that document its history and explore its importance.


    The Last Wave is an excellent film, though like much of Weir’s work it is likely to alienate as many viewers as it is appeal to them. Personally, it worked really well for this viewer, and Umbrella has done a nice job bringing this underappreciated and genuinely weird work to Blu-ray with a solid presentation and an impressive selection of extra features


    Mad Max was, is and always shall be a legitimate B-movie classic with a great performance from Gibson and some amazing direction from Miller. It holds up incredibly well and is one of those movies you can go back to time and time again. Kino's UHD release is a good one, presenting the movie looking a lot better than it ever has before and with a nice selection of extras.


    Severin’s release of The Complete Lenzi/Baker Giallo Collection, despite a few quirks, offers up four underappreciated entries in the late director’s catalogue with a host of extra features and solid high definition presentations. These might not be salacious as other genre entries but they’ve definitely got their own unique charms about them and Baker and her equally glamorous co-stars make the most of it.


    American Rickshaw doesn’t always make sense but it does have a magic cat in it. It’s a seriously entertaining hour and a half of wildly enjoyable nonsense and wholly worthy of your attention, especially now that it exists in a nicely presented special edition Blu-ray from newcomer Cauldron Films.


    Family Portraits: A Trilogy Of America is frequently unsettling but Buck’s talent for getting under the audience’s skin is undeniable. These are sometimes gory, sometimes shocking but more importantly than that, they’re always though provoking. Severin has done a nice job bringing the material to Blu-ray with a solid presentation and quite a few worthwhile extra features. A really strong release for some challenging material.


    Massacre Video’s Blu-ray release of their Avon Triple Feature collection might be light on extra features but the presentations are strong for all three films and the movies themselves hold up as excellent examples of XXX-rated early eighties sleaze! The fact that this even exists on Blu-ray is a bit of a miracle.


    Flower And Snake holds up very well, a deliciously twisted BDSM themed piece that serves as a fantastic showcase for the considerable talents of the lovely Naomi Tani. On top of that, the film is loaded with style, and quite slick with its visuals. Impulse Pictures’ Blu-ray release is disappointingly devoid of any extra features, but it does look and sound very nice indeed, making this one easy to recommend for fans of Nikkatsu’s specific brand of twisted eroticism.


    Daughters Of Darkness is a fantastic blend of horror and eroticism all wrapped up in some stylish photography and enhanced by a really great cast. Blue Underground's 4k UHD reissue offers a noticeable and substantial upgrade from previous releases and includes all of the extra features from past versions as well some new ones as well. Fans of the film can rest assured that this one is worth the upgrade for the gorgeous restoration that provides a much richer, more rewarding viewing experience and the new supplemental material.


    The first Death Wish is a legitimately effective classic of skuzzy seventies cinema and the second film a worthy follow up. Death Wish 3? It’s way more of a comic book film, but it works in its own completely ludicrous way. Bronson is solid in the lead, and while it’s got plot holes the size of a mountain, you can’t help but have a lot of fun with this movie. Scorpion’s Blu-ray reissue offers a nicely improved presentation and some very nice exclusive extra features as well, with the excellent new commentary really adding a lot of value here.

    But wait... there's more!


    Click image for larger version

Name:	A1LOkm3YEDL._SL1500_.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	29.0 KB
ID:	385631

    So yeah, there’s the top 20, but we couldn’t really end this article without giving a special shout out to what has to be the best release of 2020, that being Severin’s massive Al Adamson: The Masterpiece Collection. This set was so massive that in order to review it properly, we had to spread out the content over seven days (you can read all seven entries here)! Say what you will about the films (no, seriously, go ahead, we won’t argue with you) but the restorations were impressive, blowing the old DVD releases out of the water, and the collection was absolutely loaded with extras. Some might think it odd that filmmaker of Adamson’s caliber would receive such a lavish retrospective collection, but for those who dig his output, it’s hard to imagine anything better than this.


    Attached Files

    • chriszilla
      #1
      chriszilla
      Member
      chriszilla commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for your tireless work during 2020, Ian. Your reviews are greatly appreciated!

      I would agree that the Al Adamson Collection is the release of the year, without question. Arrow's Gamera Collection (which sold out ridiculously fast) and Warner Archive's Curse Of Frankenstein (which just came out a few weeks ago, and may end up being mentioned on people's 2021 lists) are two others that immediately come to mind. I actually just watched "Curse" last night. No doubt I'm forgetting some others. And several other potential candidates are still on my "Need To Buy" list.

    • Ian Jane
      #2
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      Ian Jane commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the kind words, Christ! We just watched Curse last night as well! It's a really nice set.

    • Lalala76
      #3
      Lalala76
      Senior Member
      Lalala76 commented
      Editing a comment
      Shining sex is probably my favourite release of last year, just because I've been championing it's release for so long. Apart from some of the releases on your list Ian, I could probably add Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue and Dawn of the Dead. Also, a Late entry that is La Femme objet, just because it's a minor miracle that we get an Alpha France title on blu-ray.
      Lalala76
      Senior Member
      Last edited by Lalala76; 01-03-2021, 07:55 AM.
    Posting comments is disabled.

Latest Articles

Collapse

  • Rock! Shock! Pop!'s Best Blu-ray & UHD Releases Of 2021!
    Ian Jane
    Administrator
    by Ian Jane

    2021 was not a great year for a lot of us, but just the same, we here at Rock! Shock! Pop! were once again lucky enough to review a lot of the really great releases that have come out in the last twelve months. Continuing the tradition started a few years ago, it’s once again time to look back at the best of the best. So without further ado, here are our favorite titles that we were able to write up this year, ranked in no particular order and based on the ever importan...
    12-23-2021, 05:11 PM
  • Rock! Shock! Pop!'s Best Blu-ray & UHD Releases Of 2020!
    Ian Jane
    Administrator
    by Ian Jane
    2020 fucking sucked, but just the same, we here at Rock! Shock! Pop! were once again lucky enough to review a lot of the really great releases that have come out in the last twelve months. Continuing the tradition started a few years ago, it’s once again time to look back at the best of the best. So without further ado, here are our favorite titles that we were able to write up this year, ranked in no particular order and based on the ever important mix of entertainment value and quality...
    12-28-2020, 12:30 PM
  • Rock! Shock! Pop!'s Best DVD & Blu-ray Releases Of 2019!
    Ian Jane
    Administrator
    by Ian Jane

    2019 has come and gone and once again, we here at Rock! Shock! Pop! have been lucky enough to review a lot of the really great releases that have come out in the last twelve months. Continuing the tradition started a few years ago, it’s once again time to look back at the best of the best. So without further ado, here are our favorite titles that we were able to write up this year, ranked in no particular order and based on the ever important mix of entertainment value and quality...
    12-29-2019, 04:12 PM
  • Rock! Shock! Pop!'s Best Of 2017
    Ian Jane
    Administrator
    by Ian Jane
    The last few years have seen a resurgence in the popularity of cult titles on DVD and especially Blu-ray and for fans, well, 2017 was an embarrassment of riches. We hear at R!S!P! have been privileged enough to have the opportunity to review a lot of the best and most interesting to come out this year, and with 2018 just a few short hours away, why not look back on the last twelve months? So without further ado, here are our favorite titles that we were able to write up this year, ranked in...
    12-29-2017, 05:33 PM
  • Friday The 13th: The Game
    Ian Jane
    Administrator
    by Ian Jane

    By Alex Kattke

    Released on: May 26th, 2017

    Developed by: Illfonic
    Published by: Gun Media
    Platform: Steam Note: this review pertains to the PC version on Steam. This is not a reflection of the game’s current state on Xbox One or Playstation 4. Friday the 13th is regarded as the big bad motherfucker of the Slasher movie sub-genre and not needing much in the way of introduction. Any horror fan has most likely seen most of the films in the franch...
    06-02-2017, 12:30 PM
  • Arthouse and Grindhouse: Blurred Lines.
    Ian Jane
    Administrator
    by Ian Jane
    Arthouse and Grindhouse: Blurred Lines.
    By A
    lexander Kattke It opens in black and white in slow motion. Pleasant chamber music plays to create a contrast. A middle-aged couple are shown fucking. We cut to the balls slamming against the wife’s ass. A young boy enters the room unaware of what’s happening in front of him. The child continues wandering throughout this home and falls –majestically- out of a window to his death. The film’s title appears after we fade awa...
    02-11-2017, 12:16 PM
Working...
X