Kino Blu-ray/DVD for July: THE SAPHEAD, THE FAIRY, BLOOD BEAST TERROR and BURKE & HARE

Kino Blu-ray/DVD for July: THE SAPHEAD, THE FAIRY, BLOOD BEAST TERROR and BURKE & HARE

Kino Lorber and Kino Classics put out some of the very best films on Blu-ray and DVD right now, including long lost classic movies, and rare foreign masterpieces. Being a bit of cinema enthusiast, they’re easily one of my favorite companies to deal with. This July there’s a few Kino titles we want to make sure you’re aware of. Check out the Buster Keaton’s first feature-length film THE SAPHEAD on July 10th, and look for THE FAIRY, THE BLOOD BEAST TERROR (starring Peter Cushing) and BURKE & HARE on July 17th. Full information on all titles below.

Kino Classics is proud to announce the release of Buster Keaton’s first feature-length film, The Saphead (1920), on Blu-ray and DVD. This is the ninth of Buster Keaton’s feature-length comedies that Kino Classics has brought to the Blu-ray format, along with the complete collection of his silent short comedies last summer.

The Saphead comes to Blu-ray and DVD on July 10th. The SRP for the Blu-ray is $34.95, and the SRP for the DVD is $29.95. Both are currently available for prebook.

The special features contained in this edition include a complete alternate version of the film, comprised entirely of variant takes and camera angles. Also included are: “A Pair of Sapheads”, an eight-minute featurette comparing the two versions of the film; “Buster Keaton: Life of the Party”, a rare audio recording from 1962 in which Keaton recalls the memories and songs of his vaudeville youth, amid an intimate gathering of friends; and a gallery of personal photographs from Keaton’s childhood in vaudeville.

This disc also features two musical scores for the film: music arranged and directed by Robert Israel (in 2.0 stereo and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1), and music composed and performed by Ben Model (in 2.0 stereo).

Buster Keaton stars as Bertie Van Alstyne, the pampered and spoiled son of a powerful Wall Street broker (played by acclaimed stage actor William H. Crane in a rare film appearance). Bertie has only known a life of privilege, and finds himself involved in a series of misadventures, including an attempt at courtship, visiting an illegal gambling den, and finally tumbling on to the floor of the Stock Exchange, blissfully ignorant of the obstacles that stand before him.

The Saphead marked Keaton’s feature-length film debut as an actor. Since 1917, Keaton had been working in films with Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle’s company, where he appeared alongside the great comedian in a series of two-reel comedies.

In 1920, at the same time that Keaton was offered the chance to star in his own series of short comedies for producer Joseph M. Schenck, Metro offered him the lead role of Bertie Van Alstyne in The Saphead. The film was based on a hit Broadway play (“The New Henrietta”) that had starred Douglas Fairbanks; Fairbanks declined the role in the film version and instead recommended Keaton for the part.

Unlike his later feature films, Keaton was not the primary creative force behind The Saphead (which was directed by Herbert Blaché). Still, the film contains his trademark deadpan humor, and was in fact hugely influential in the development of Keaton’s screen persona: the lonely, stone-faced man thwarted by circumstance, inept at the art of romance, yet undaunted in his struggle for love within a chaotic world.

Special Features
Complete alternate version of The Saphead, comprised entirely of variant takes and camera angles
“A Pair of Sapheads”, an eight-minute featurette comparing the two versions of the film
Buster Keaton: Life of the Party, a rare audio recording from 1962, in which Keaton recalls the memories and songs of his vaudeville youth, amid an intimate gathering of friends
Gallery of personal photographs from Keaton’s childhood in vaudeville

Music arranged and directed by Robert Israel, in 2.0 Stereo
and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Music composed and performed by Ben Model, in 2.0 Stereo

Produced for video by Bret Wood

1995 edition produced for video by David Shepard

The Saphead (1920)
Director: Herbert Blaché
Genre: Comedy
Blu-ray SRP: $34.95
DVD SRP: $29.95
Street date: July 10, 2012

U.S. 1920 Color tinted 77 min. 1.33:1 1920 x 1080p Not Rated

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Kino Lorber is proud to announce the Blu-ray and DVD release of The Fairy (2012), the critically-acclaimed third feature-length comedy from the talented filmmaking trio behind Iceberg (2005) and Rumba (2008): Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon and Bruno Romy.

The Fairy is set to become available to the general public on Blu-ray and DVD on July 17th, with a SRP of $34.95 for the Blu-ray and $29.95 for the DVD. It is currently available for prebook. Special features include the theatrical trailer and a stills gallery.

The Fairy will also be available on iTunes on July 17th, and will be available for pre-sale on iTunes on July 10th. It will also be digitally available on Vudu, Amazon.com, and other online venues.

This whimsical comedy, which Kino Lorber released theatrically earlier in 2012, follows in the tradition of such slapstick greats as Chaplin, Keaton and Jacques Tati, blending physical comedy with elements of social satire.

Dom works as a night clerk at a small hotel in the industrial port city of Le Havre. One night, a strangely dressed woman named Fiona arrives and claims she is a fairy. She grants Dom three wishes, and makes his first two wishes come true – before mysteriously vanishing. By now, Dom has fallen in love with Fiona, and he proceeds to embark on a search for his elusive fairy.

Filled with a colorful cast of supporting characters and a number of gracefully executed dance sequences, The Fairy is a whimsical tale about the happiness that can be squeezed out of even the most mundane of lives.

The Fairy is set and filmed in the port city of Le Havre, which the filmmakers chose for its charm and variety of locations. With this film, Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon and Bruno Romy continue their tradition of clever visual and physical comedy.

The Fairy (2012)
Directors: Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon and Bruno Romy
Genre: Comedy
Blu-ray SRP: $34.95
DVD SRP: $29.95
Street date: July 17, 2012

1.85:1, 1920x1080p * 94 minutes * French w/ English subtitles * Not Rated *
5.1 Stereo * Color

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Kino Lorber and Redemption are proud to announce the release of two cult horror films from director Vernon Sewell: The Blood Beast Terror (1968), starring horror icon Peter Cushing, and Burke & Hare (1972), on Blu-ray and DVD in new HD transfers mastered from the original 35mm negatives.

The Blood Beast Terror comes to Blu-ray and DVD on July 17th, with a SRP of $19.95 for the Blu-ray and $14.95 for the DVD. Special features include the original theatrical trailer and a gallery of production stills.

Burke & Hare will also become available on Blu-ray and DVD on July 17th, with a SRP of $19.95 for the Blu-ray and $14.95 for the DVD. Special features include
“Grave Desires: Corpses on Film,” an interview with Dr. Patricia MacCormack; an interview with actress Francoise Pascal; and the original theatrical trailer. Both are currently available for pre-book.

The Blood Beast Terror (1968)
(aka The Vampire-Beast Seeks Blood)

Directed by Vernon Sewell

A classically told monster movie directed by Vernon Sewell (Burke & Hare), The Blood Beast Terror is set in motion when mutilated bodies begin appearing in the English countryside, drained of blood.

Horror icon Peter Cushing (Horror of Dracula) stars as Detective Inspector Quennell, brought in to investigate the deaths. He consults entomology professor Mallinger (Robert Flemyng), but the doctor seems to be hiding a dark secret about his fetching young daughter, Clare (Wanda Ventham). The deeper Quennell digs into their story, the bloodier the violence, until he discovers a terrifying truth about Mallinger’s experiments that is only revealed in the gruesome final reel.

Hearkening back to the classics of Universal Pictures, The Blood Beast Terror offers terrific performances and special effects, and slowly builds to its skin-crawling climax.

Special Features
* Original theatrical trailer
* Gallery of production stills

The Blood Beast Terror (1968)
Director: Vernon Sewell
Genre: Horror
Blu-ray SRP: $19.95
DVD SRP: $14.95
Street date: July 17, 2012

UK 1968 Color 87 Min. Mono 1.66:1

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Burke & Hare (1972)

Directed by Vernon Sewell

Two of the most notorious figures in the history of medicine, William Burke and William Hare were a pair of enterprising street thugs who provided anatomical specimens to the Edinburgh Medical College–often by robbing the graves of the recently dead, sometimes through even more nefarious methods.

Derren Nesbitt and Glynn Edwards bring these two scoundrels to life in Burke & Hare, a colorful, early ’70s rendition of life in the taverns, brothels, and surgical theatres of 1820s Scotland.

While other filmmakers have treated the Burke and Hare murders as a source of gothic horror, director Vernon Sewell (The Blood Beast Terror) offers a playful spin on the Irish body snatchers, blending dark comedy with bawdy eroticism, seasoning it with the grotesque, then crowning it with a playful theme song by the pop band The Scaffold.

Special Features
* “Grave Desires: Corpses on Film,” an interview with Dr. Patricia MacCormack
* Interview with actress Francoise Pascal
* Original theatrical trailer

UK 1972 Color 94 Min. 1.66:1 (Blu-ray 1920 x 1080p) Mono

Burke & Hare (1972)
Director: Vernon Sewell
Genre: Horror
Blu-ray SRP: $19.95
DVD SRP: $14.95
Street date: July 17, 2012

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About the Author

Born and raised in Dallas, Mark has been a movie critic since 1994, with reviews featured in print, radio and National TV. In 2001 he started the Entertainment section of the Herorealm website, where he contributed film reviews and celebrity interviews until 2004. After three years of service there, he started Bigfanboy.com, which has become one of the Dallas film community's leading information websites. Bigfanboy hosts several movie screenings in the Texas area, and works closely with film and TV studios and promotional partners to host exciting events and contests. The site also features a variety of rare celebrity and filmmaker interviews, and Bigfanboy.com regularly covers the film festival circuit as well. In addition to Hollywood reporting, Mark has worked for many years as an advertising and sci-fi/comic book artist. Clients have included Lucasfilm Ltd., Topps Trading Cards, The Dallas Mavericks and The Dallas Stars. He currently catalogs rare comic books and movie memorabilia for Heritage Auctions, and runs the Dallas Comic Con and Sci-Fi Expo conventions, but remains an avid moviegoer and cinema buff.