Free Kung Fu Superstars! (

Date: Tuesday, June 19, 2007

In our Prize Closet this week we have a prize pack including all four of our Spotlight items, courtesy of Dragon Dynasty!  To be eligible to win one, just send an email to which includes your name and address to DVD Shopping List, and put the word “SHAWBRO1” in the subject line.


This week, our spotlight falls on old school kung fu classics from the Shaw Bros. studio. No crap – these movies are amazing.

(O)    KING BOXER (Dragon Dynasty) Hong Kong kung fu classic starring Lo Lieh that became an American grindhouse legend (AKA Five Fingers of Death). With commentrak by Quentin Tarantino and others, interviews and more.
Dragon Dynasty) It may not sound like it, but this 1981 Shaw Bros. feature directed by Lau Kar-leung is one of the most sought after Hong Kong kung fu actionfests. Includes commentrak, interview with star Kara Hui and more.
(O)    ONE ARMED SWORDSMAN (Dragon Dynasty) Chang Cheh’s groundbreaking 1967 martial arts adventure starring Jimmy Wang Yu. Includes commentrak by Quentin Tarantino and others, featurettes and more.
36th CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN (Dragon Dynasty) Finally, a decent US release of Lau Kar-leung’s 1978 martial arts classic (AKA Master Killer). Gordon Lui (KILL BILL) stars as a young man who enters the Shaolin Temple and fights his way through their grueling training with a secret agenda for revenge. Includes commentrak, interviews, featurette and music video by fans Wu-Tang Clan.


(O)    THE ABANDONED (After Dark/Lionsgate) The first full length feature from Spanish director Nacho Cerda, whose extreme short Aftermath has been wrenching guts since 1994 – but you might remember this as the After Dark Horrorfest entry that went on to its own limited theatrical release a few months later (thus this later DVD release). More poetic than shocking, it tells the tale of Marie Jones (Anastasia Hille of New Year's Day), who has returned to Russia to investigate her background by visiting the family farm she's inherited, venturing deep into the wilderness. In the hulking old ruin of a farmhouse, she finds her heretofore unknown brother Nicolai, shifting time and space, the vicious ghost of their father (who killed their mother), and really creepy zombie doppelgangers of both of them. Includes Making-Of.
(O)    APOLLO 13: HOUSTON WE HAVE A PROBLEM (Eclectic) Space exploration documentaries.
(O)    BEST OF TV DETECTIVES (Mill Creek) 50 complete episodes from 34 exciting television detective series of the 1950's and 1970's. Includes such thrilling programs as Dragnet,Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Mannix, Burke's Law, Dick Tracy, Gangbusters, Mr. & Mrs. North, Racket Squad and Richard Diamond: Private Eye.
(O)    BLOODHOUND: THE VAMPIRE GIGOLO Volume 2 (Bandai) Japanese horror-comedy live-action series based on best-selling Japanes manga.
(O)    BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA (Buena Vista) Two kids escape their tired lives by running away to a fantasy kingdom. Widescreen & “fullscreen” editions include commentrak, featurettes, interviews, music video and more.
(O)    CHRIS ROCK TRIPLE FEATURE (Paramount) Includes Down to Earth, Head of State and Pootie Tang.
(O)    DEADTIME STORIES (Image) 1996 horror anthology.
(O)    DIE HARD COLLECTION (Fox) Of course, the first three DH flicks are re-released in a bargain set and individually in time for the fourth entry. Also available separately. All include commentraks, with Die Hard adding an extra track, an annotation track, branching alternate cut with an extra scene and more.
(O)    FANDOM (Cinequest) A fanboy followed by a documentary crew begins to have a nervous breakdown as he approaches a meeting with Natalie Portman.
(O)    FIRE SERPENT (Lionsgate) A chunk flies off the sun and strikes the Earth, unleashing a fire demon.
(O)    FLOURISH (Cinequest) A babysitter’s recounting of the disappearance of her teenage charge flies off the radar.
(O)    GREAT PIRATE MOVIES (Delta) Includes Captian Kidd, Long John Silver’s Return to Treasure Island and Jamaica Inn.
(O)    HARDCORE HORRORS (Pendulum/Mill Creek) Included: Hollywood Vampyr, Soul of the Demon, Terror at Baxter U, This Darkness, The Vulture's Eye and The Witching.
(O)    I AM THE CHEESE (First Run) Adaptation of Robert Cormier’s best-selling novel about a teenager trying to uncover the secret of his parents’ disappearance from within his subconscious.
(O)    IN A DARK PLACE (First Look) Remake of The Innocents staring Leelee Sobieski. With Making-Of.
(O)    JOHN WAYNE (Delta) Triple feature of Star Packer, Blue Steel and Lucky Texan, which you can likely get in better packages.
(O)    THE MANHATTAN PROJECT (Lionsgate) 1986 thriller about nuclear bombs being constructed in New York. Includes commentrak, Making-Of, trivia track and more.
(O)    MONDO CRASH (Crash) Double bill includes Death Dimension and Invaders of the Lost Gold.
(O)    MORBID MUTILATIONS (Pendu;lum/Mill Creek) Included: Dead 7, Hell's Highway, Massacre, Nightmare Asylum, Shower of Blood and Tales of Terror.
(O)    NIGHTCOMERS (Lionsgate) Intense 1972 Michael Winner psychodrama starring Marlon Brando.
(O)    NINJA ASSASSINS 10 Movie Pack (Mill Creek) Includes City Ninja, The Master: Max, Ninja Champion, Ninja Death I, Ninja Death II, Ninja Death III, Ninja Empire, Ninja Heat, Ninja: The Protector and Shadow Ninja.
(O)    ON THE RUN 10 Movie Pack (Mill Creek) Includes The Chase, Cold Blood, Detour, The Fast and the Furious, Impact, A Killing Affair, Plan For Escape, Quicksand, They Made Me A Criminal and The Wild Ride.
(O)    PERRY MASON Season 2 Volume 2 (Paramount) 15 more cases for the super-lawyer.
PICKET FENCES Season 1 (Fox) David E. Kelley’s eccentric 1992 TV series about odd events surrounding the lives of the inhabitants of a small Wisconsin town. Includes featurette.
(O)    RENO 911: MIAMI (Fox) Extended theatrical feature episode deposits the bumbling officers in Florida, where they’re the only ones available to uphold the law when a police convention is quarantined. Includes commentrak, alternate ending, extended scenes and more. Unrated edition adds on character commentraks, public service announcements and more.
(O)    ROCK & ROLL SUPERHERO (Cinequest) A documentary it says here.
(O)    ROGER CORMAN’S CULT CLASSICS: DANGEROUS DAMES (Delta) Includes Swamp Women, She Gods of Shark Reef and Wasp Woman.
(O)    SADISTIC SINNERS (Pendulum/Mill Creek) Includes: Autopsy: A Love Story, Dead Is Dead, Demon Seduction, Goth, ShadowHunters and Terror Toons.
(O)    SCI-FI CLASSICS 10 Movie Pack (Mill Creek) Included: Alien Contamination, Atomic Rulers of the World, Evil Brain From Outer Space, Frozen Alive, The Manster, Prisoners of the Lost Universe, Purple Death From Outer Space, UFO: Target Earth, Unknown World and Warriors of the Wasteland.
(O)    SECOND SIGHT Volume One (Cinequest)
(O)    SECOND SIGHT Volume Two (Cinequest)
(O)    SECOND SIGHT Volume Three (Cinequest)
(O)    SECOND SIGHT Volume Four (Cinequest) Collections of short films.
(O)    SWEET MOVIE (Criterion) Acclaimed 1974 exploration of surrealism and sexuality. Includes interviews and booklet.
(O)    TARZAN TRIPLE FEATURE (Delta) Includes Tarzan & the Trappers, Tarzan the Fearless and Tarzan & the Green Goddess.
(O)    TO KILL A KILLER (Warner Bros.) Retired hitman goes after a serial killer.
(O)    THE TOMB (Lionsgate) Ulli Lommel steals ideas from Saw and Lovecraft.
(O)    VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA Season 3 Volume 1 (Fox) Includes interview.
(O)    X-MEN 3 / ELEKTRA (Fox)



(O)    BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA (Buena Vista) Include commentrak, featurettes, interviews, music video and more.


We welcome the input of Maniacs who want to share input on this section, where we highlight a different genre feature that has yet to come to digital disc format – just send your suggestions toDVD Shopping Listin an email identified with “NOT ON DVD” in the subject line.   

(O)   SHANGHAI 13(Dragon Dynasty? Crash? Tai Seng? BCI Eclipse?) The folks at DD are hopefully reading and already teeing this one up for us. Today they released a quartet of great Chang Cheh and Lau Kar-leung classics, but I’d love to see the entire filmographies for both directors given the same treatment – perhaps in double features for the lesser titles – beginning with this rarely seen 1984 extravaganza. It’s not Chang Cheh’s best film, but towardthe end of his career he assembled as many of the great kung fu stasrs as he could into one big Changfest. The cast includes Jimmy Wang Yu, Ti Lung, Chiang Sheng, Chen Kuan-tai, Danny Lee, David Chiang, Chi Kuan-chun, Chan Sing, Lu Feng, Ricky Cheng, Andy Lau and many more, but it’s NOT ON DVD.


And finally, we close off each weekly list with a rundown of the constant stream of anime from around the world:

(O)    ANIMANIACS Volume 3 (Warner Bros.) 25 new-on-DVD episodes on five discs. Includes featurettes. Also available bundled with volumes 1 and 2.
(O)    BIG O: Anime Legends Complete Collection (Bandai) Includes interviews.
(O)    FLUSHED AWAY / SHARK TALE (DreamWorks/Paramount)
(O)    FULL MOON Volume 5 (Viz)
(O)    GALAXY ANGEL AA Volume 1 (Bandai) The wacky adventures of the Angel Brigade continue.
(O)    THE MANY ADVENTURES OF WINNIE THE POOH: Friendship Edition (Buena Vista) 1977 feature, plus Making-Of, bonus shorts, games and more.
(O)    009-1 Volume 1 (ADV) Based on the manga series by acclaimed artist and creator Shotaro Ishinomori (Cyborg 009, Kamen Rider). Set in an alternate world where the Cold War has continued on for over 140 years, civilization is split in two and the world lies on the brink of nuclear destruction. Mylene Hoffman is a sexy cyborg with no past who works as an undercover agent for a mysterious organization engaged in an international political war.
(O)    OVER THE HEDGE / MADAGASCAR (DreamWorks/Paramount)
(O)    PINKY & THE BRAIN Volume 3 (Warner Bros.) 22 episodes on four discs. Also available bundled with volumes 1 and 2.
(O)    POWERPUFF GIRLS Complete First Season (Warner Bros.) A lonely scientist creates a trio of super-powered daughters. They protect Townville from bizarre menaces of all kinds. Includes original student film version “The Whupass Girls” and more.
(O)    THE SECRET OF NIMH (MGM) “Family Fun Edition”
(O)    THE TALES OF HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN: The Red Shoes / The Little Match Girl (First Run)
(O)    THE TALES OF HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN: The Emperor’s New Clothes / Nightingale (First Run) Classic stories adapted by award winning animator Michael Sporn. Includes Making-Of.
(O)    TETSUJIN 28 Complete Set (Geneon) 4-dis set.
(O)    TWELVE KINGDOMS COLLECTION 1 (Media Blasters) Volumes 1-5
(O)    TWELVE KINGDOMS COLLECTION 2 (Media Blasters) Volumes 6-10
(O)    YUKIKAZE Complete Collection (Bandai)


And be sure to check back next week—and every week—for Mania’s DVD Shopping List!

DVD Shopping List (© 2007 Brian Thomas) is our weekly DVD column. Brian Thomas is the author of the massive book VideoHound’s Dragon: Asian Action & Cult Flicks, available now!

Questions? Comments? Let us know what you think at DVD Shopping List.