Mom and Dad Rocks 'Till the Bitter End (DVD/ Blu-ray Comparison)

Reading this blog, you might think I mostly just watch old horror movies.  Actually, I watch more new ones than old films, it's just that they rarely grab me.  Not with a "get off my lawn"/ "modern horror sucks" kind of mentality, but more like watching episode after episode of various Law & Order series.  They're usually fine, decently made, but if one or a hundred of them disappeared tomorrow, it wouldn't even register.  Usually professional looking, going through the motions fine enough (though, of course, many are also exceptionally stupid), but generic unaffecting stories with no exciting new ideas or anything.  You know, nothing that makes me say, "oh man, I need that in my collection!"  So I guess you don't wind up seeing a lot of brand new horror on this site.  But here you go, guys; Mom and Dad is one that made me sit up and say, "oh man, I need that in my collection!"
I didn't race to see Mom and Dad, because it didn't feel like a film I needed to see.  I was over the novelty of Nicholas Cage doing freaky over-the-top wig outs before "the bees" was even a meme.  To me, The Wicker Man remake was just the film that made me finally give up on the promise of Neil LaBute.  And the legacy of Crank 2, Gamer and Ghost Rider 2 was did more to ward me away than draw me in.

And on top of all that, I'd already bought into the hype of Cooties and felt seriously let down.  Not that I'd call that movie terrible, but it felt more like a lame sitcom than the gonzo, envelope pushing tale of zombie children run amok that we were sold.  It turned out to be the Halloween episode of Parks and Rec, not a movie.  Remember they had the guy from 30 Rock doing all those hack effeminate gay man in the closet jokes?  Oy vey.  But even though Mom and Dad really has the inverse premise - adults killing children instead of children killing adults - they both had heavy 70s/80s throwback in the marketing, and it all just felt like another false horror movie promise.  But no, not this time.  Mom and Dad is everything it presents itself as, and more besides.
Because, look, I like Crank.  It's not a favorite; I don't own it on disc.  But it's definitely a film I'd recommend at least seeing once.  It's entertaining in all the ways it's trying to be.  But Mom and Dad, for all the ridiculousness of its premise, where a mysterious virus drives all parents to murder their children, actually has some weight to it.  It's the Crank guys back to deliver another wheelbarrow of cheap thrills, but this time with an actual story to tell, too.  It's not exactly subtle, but it is grounded.  And Nicholas Cage actually gives a solid performance, not just the barking trope you'd expect going into this picture.  The same can be said for his co-stars Selma Blair and Lance Henriksen.  Everybody's pretty great in this, even the kids.  And I've seen the people knock the ending, but I personally don't understand that.  I thought it was perfect.
And I'm not a big fan of nostalgia branding (we get it, Stranger Things, the 80s were full of 80s pop culture), but Mom and Dad has a brilliant 70s-style credits sequence.  And this movie doesn't go as cartoonish as Crank, which thankfully allows for the violence and horror to have a little more impact.  Like the original Night Of the Living Dead, they don't divert a lot of energy into pseudoscience or complicated explanations for the inciting crisis that ensues.  A few background characters speculate for a line or two, but this film just dives right into the heart of the matter and never comes up for air.  Not that this film is perfect... it's got a silky, almost 35mm look to most of it, until it conspicuously switches to GoPro footage for some high action scenes, and I just wanted to say, guys, you already made Crank, let Mom and Dad be Mom and Dad.  But they get past most of that pretty early on.
A more important criticism would be that the underlying themes work, but some of the writing is still a little weak.  Like, rather than completely writing from life experience, some younger writers are just borrowing from past on-screen marriage issues they've watched on TV.  Some of those family flashback moments ring a little false.  And the characters are clearly meant to be genuine and well-rounded, so we care about their conflicts, which they mostly pull off.  But they also go for some cheap laughs that feel like they're trying to parody middle class life rather than relate to it.  I'm thinking about some early bits where Selma Blair mistakenly confuses her Chinese maid for Korean or her shallow best friend at the gym.  She does so much good work making you sincerely relate to the midlife crisis they're undergoing in other scenes, and they risk throwing that away for easy satire.  But none of their little misfires are enough to undo all that they surprisingly get right in this picture.
2018 US Momentum DVD on top; 2018 US Momentum blu-ray bottom.
If you missed it, Momentum Pictures released this film on DVD and blu-ray a month or so ago as either a combo pack or just the DVD by itself.  Presented in a very wide 2.40:1, the aspect ratio kinda jives with the more classic, filmic style the directors were probably going for here.  But the look of scenes varies shot to shot, or at least scene to scene.  Like compare the walls and background in the first set of shots, where it almost looks like natural film grain, to the flat, plain skies in the second shot, which wind up looking more digital.  But that's all down to the original filmmaking, I'm sure, than any issues with the home video transfer, which is all perfectly fine.  You can see a clear boost in sharpness and clarity between the SD DVD and HD blu, just like you'd expect; and the audio is presented in a solid DTS-HD 5.1 mix with optional English subtitles.
That's it, though.  Subtitles on or off is the sole option on the menu.  Momentum has decided to include absolutely no special features whatsoever, not even a trailer.  And that's super disappointing, because I'm sure the behind-the-scenes footage of this movie must be a blast.  And I was very interested to hear what filmmakers had to say about this story, but this is as barebones as it gets.  It does come in a slip cover, at least.  But the discs themselves are depressingly barren.
It's still a must-have, because the film rocks.  And I guess the upshot is that Mom and Dad got a pretty broad release (you can pick it up at Best Buy, etc), so it can be had pretty cheap.  But it's sad, because this is the kind of film where, just a couple years ago, of course it would've been a special edition, with the directors adding a bunch of fun supplements to it.  But now we're watching physical media decline.  I guess we should be happy for even these basic releases while we've still got 'em.

The World's Only Ex Libris Blu-ray Review!

So nobody else on the internet reviews Zipporah releases but me, huh?  I keep looking, but every year I seem to be alone in this.  Hey, I'm a big Frederick Wiseman fan, so I'm happy to cover his films (and yes, one of these days, I'm going to start delving through his extensive back catalog), but I'm starting to feel like I've adopted a social responsibility here.  Hey, folks!  We've got one of the greatest American documentary filmmakers for over 40 years.  He just won a lifetime Academy Award last year, and his latest film just came out on DVD and blu-ray.  Does anybody else care?  No, just me?  Well, alrighty, then.  Enjoy your sole review of Zipporah Films' official blu-ray release of Ex Libris: The New York Public Library, Internet.
Admittedly, it's not hard to see why the millennial generation hasn't exactly latched onto Wiseman's work.  Ex Libris is, like the last couple decades worth of Wiseman's output has been... pretty dry.  Things weren't always this way.  In many circles, 1967's Titicut Follies is considered an infamous shockumentary, and films like Primate, Meat and Near Death are certainly not for delicate viewers.  And I think I'm actually glad that we're past that.  It was always a little uncomfortable to have ask a video store clerk to unlock the X-rated mondo trash cabinet while you try to explain that, no, this guy's actually a highly respectable documentarian who just gets mixed in with this stuff sometimes.  But even despite Crazy Horse's recently racy subject matter, those edgy days are long gone.
And that's fine.  What we all really watched Wiseman's work for is still here.  In fact, if anything, Ex Libris feels more like the latest chapter in his epic, million-hour documentary he's assembling that will eventually define the entirety of the human condition.  If you've been following his work, you absolutely know what to expect, another detailed, silent observation of another system mankind has created to enrich our lives: in this case, The New York Public Library.  More behind-the-scenes boardroom meetings, more public interactions, more cutting to exterior shots every twenty or so minutes, and every so often watching day turn to night.  No narration, no score, no narrative throughput, no overt emotional manipulation, no message, no human focal point.  Just a calm, three and a half hour crafted observation.  Now, that might sound ideal, or that might make you want to slit your wrists, but that's our Wiseman.
By no message, I mean we're not being sold a particular agenda (at least not overtly).  This is no cheap "we must save the dolphins!" flick.  But there's certainly heaps to take away from this film.  For those who don't know, The NYPL isn't just one big marble building sitting somewhere around the center of NYC.  It's the sum total of 92 branches across Manhattan, The Bronx and Staten Island.  It's a massive resource, pulling equally from federal and private funding.  From tiny little inner city outposts packed with children's books and best sellers to packed concert halls.  And we every aspect of how they serve the community, from blind children being taught braille to museum-style art displays, replete with gala dinner.  We see the board members debate their policies, fund raisers, the massive sorting system for returns across the state, the high-tech archival work, even the celebrity speakers who gave a talk or performance during the time the film was shot.  And some of the things I had no idea they were doing... Did you know that the NYPL, in the name of eliminating the digital divide in NY, loans out internet hot spots for years at a time to impoverished residents so they can have free internet access in their homes?  Wow.
Oh, but of course, there's the other big reason most review sites aren't covering this film: it's $50 for an MOD BD-R, which is only available from Zipporah's website.  That's boxed set prices, it's not even a pressed disc, and they even kinda stick ya shipping.  And yes, it's a single disc, all 205 minutes.  Plus, the fact that they stick them in the same DVD-standard cases they use for their DVR editions just feels cheaper.  I understand Wiseman can't exactly adopt a mass market business plan for this type of material, but buying one of these will be a very bitter pill for most even the most ardent collectors to swallow.  And unfortunately, the time seems to be past where we could count on foreign markets to release more reasonably priced, professional quality discs like we saw with National Gallery.  Blaq Out has seen fit to make Ex Libris a DVD-only title in France, so if you want this film on blu, this is unfortunately your only option.
2018 US Zipporah Films BD-R.
So I can't help but feel compression and clarity would be stronger if they didn't try to jam so much onto a single (thankfully dual-layered) BD-R.  Older Zipporah titles used to at least spread themselves out across multiple discs, but fans might've been more bothered by having to swap discs (a throwback to the laserdisc days) mid-film than the slight dip in PQ.  And I suppose they free up a lot of that space by including absolutely no special features... yay?  The film is slightly matted to 1.85:1, and for all my BD-R grumblings, it is still an attractive, genuinely high def image.  We're given a choice between two very clean audio options: DTS-HD 5.1 and PCM Stereo 2.0.  That's it for frills, no trailer or nothin'.  But at the end of the day, it's not a bad HD presentation of the film, and that's still the critical thing.
So do I recommend this release?  Ha ha - Obviously not for everybody!  It's definitely a film serious documentary lovers will appreciate, but not the sort of thing I'd go around telling the uninitiated to seek out.  Even if they're ready to start watching four-hour vérité documentaries, I'd suggest starting with High School or Domestic Violence before wading into anything from the last couple decades.  But if you're one of us, or just a profoundly dedicated aficionado of the NYPL... I still wish I could point out a more affordable alternative.  If you're rich and happy to know 75% of the purchase price is really just a donation to the Wiseman cause, then perfect.  Otherwise, you might want to consider importing the Blaq Out DVD?  I know, I know, buying SD in 2018; but it's between that, a $50 BD-R or the option most people will unfortunately wind up selecting: just passing on this and Wiseman's body of work entirely.

Controversial Blus: The Confounding Case Of The Carrier! Code Red Catch-Up, Part 7 (DVD/ Blu-ray Comparison)

And we wrap up Code Red Catch-Up not with an DVD/ Blu-ray comparison, but one I desperately wish was a DVD blu-ray comparison: a very strange, Michigan horror allegory called The Carrier.  Yes, like the films of Scott Spiegel (i.e. Intruder) and Josh Becker (i.e. Thou Shalt Not Kill... Except), this is one a small crop of 80s horror tied to the Evil Dead family.  Joe Loduca did the score, Bruce Campbell did the sound (and has a sort of cameo appearance), Peter Deming did the cinematography, Bob Kayganich and Gary Jones worked on the effects, etc.  But honestly, writer/ director Nathan J. White has definitely created his own weird thing that has to be taken on its own terms.  I definitely wouldn't recommend this film along "oh, hey, you like The Evil Dead?"  It's maybe more of an "oh, hey, you like The Spirits of Jupiter?"

Update 12/20-17 - 4/13/18: Wow!  My most requested HD upgrade from Code Red just arrived today, and it's already been discontinued.  What's the story?  Read on...
The plot summary of this film speaks for itself, so I'll just tell it.  A social reject in a small town called Sleepy Rock is attacked one night by... well, basically a big foot.  Yeti?  Anyway, he survives, but winds up with a strange curse where anything he touches becomes toxic, so if anybody else touches it, they melt horribly.  This starts to spread out of control horribly, and everybody in the town gets hysterical.  An out of town doctor comes into town to try and set everybody straight, but it's too late.  The town's populace has split into two warring factions, with flags and everything.  And the most coveted currency becomes cats, because you can use them to touch objects and see if they'll make you make you melt.  So everybody is killing each other over cats, and it's played about as straight as it possibly could be, like some sort of demented AIDS parable, or as the director tells us, a metaphor for guilt.
Why yes, all the characters do spend most of the film wrapped in garbage bags.  Look, this movie is a low budget and amateurish as it is ambitious and artistically committed.  Most average viewers looking for Hollywood gloss and conventional stories are going to hate this as soon as they can stop laughing at it.  But it's also kind of delightfully wonderful.  It's such a crazy story.  Two people are killed by a Dr. Seuss book, a rapist dissolves mid-assault and another guy melts into an outhouse, a stop-motion spider, three little kids fight three bikers to the death.  There's some real production value as mobs fill the streets with overturned cars, a period look and lots of special effects shots.  What's not to love?
Until 2018, this film had only been released once anywhere in the world: Code Red's 2010 DVD.  I'd been waiting for it for years and years, I even bought a VHS rip from VHSPS back in the day, which I've still got.  It took until almost the end of the SD era to get a legit DVD (and yes, VHSPS removed The Carrier from their catalog when Code Red released this properly).  And like the title says, it was already in desperate need of a reissue the day it came out.  It's only got truer over the last eight years.  But happily this month, as if in direct response to my pleas here, Code Red reissued it in HD with all new scans (yes, two).  And it's everything I wanted and more, except it's got one glaring issue.
1) VHSPS tape rip 2) Code Red DVD 3) Code Red theatrical blu 4) Code Red director's cut blu.
So, the DVDs are clearly fullscreen/ open matte, and even for SD, low on detail.  VHSPS just gives you direct rips of the original VHS tapes (in this case the Magnum Entertainment tape from 1988), FBI warnings and all.  And sadly, Code Red's DVD doesn't look much different apart from their disc being less yellow.  And yes, they both have serious interlacing problems; it just affects alternate frames.  Code Red tops VHSPS - it is a little more detailed and sharper.  But this film was shot on 35mm.  It should look so, so much better.  And to make it all the more frustrating, the director talks about how he has all the original 35 film elements on the commentary.  He even refers to having a director's cut, how it originally screened, with a scene the distributors made him cut out because they felt it was too extreme.  Why didn't Code Red use any of that?  It was so frustrating!

Until they did use all of that, and give us both cuts of the film in widescreen (1.78:1) with brand new scans!  Yahoo!  Finally this film looks like a movie, and I have to say, it really does give the film a more professional, quality atmosphere.  Some of the acting and all still lets it down, but it really is a distinctly different viewing experience from what we had before.
Code Red director's cut blu left; Code Red theatrical blu right.
And speaking of distinctly different viewing experiences, the two cuts doesn't just vary in length.  They're totally different scans.  According to the packaging, the director's cut was scanned first in 2016, then they made another scan in 2017 for the theatrical cut.  And I have to say, it was worthwhile, because it is a higher quality, more filmic scan.  At least in terms of capturing authentic film grain, while the director's cut looks more digitally blocky and artificially smoothed.  On the other hand, the brightness and color timing are remarkably different across the two cuts, too; and I might actually prefer the director's cut in that regard.  It's a tough call - I find my loyalty switching from shot to shot.  The director's cut crushes a few blacks, but the the theatrical sometimes looks blown out in response.  The theatrical pulls out a bit further to reveal a tiny bit of extra information along some of the edges.  Purely in terms of technical quality, and looking at screenshots up close like this, the theatrical cut is the clear winner, hands down.  But in motion, it's a little more subjective.  I still have to give it to the theatrical cut even then, but I wouldn't call anybody wrong for preferring one over the other.  And either one is obviously a light year beyond everything previous.
Deleted scene only in the newly recovered director's cut.
Anyway, the mono audio on Code Red's DVD was perfectly fine, and it's been bumped up to DTS-HD on blu (both cuts).  Predictably, there are no subtitle options on any of these discs.  So everything seems great so far, right?  What's the problem?  Well, the theatrical cut's audio goes way out of sync about mid-way through the film.  Like, not just a couple frames off, I'm talking about you're hearing one person talk while another character's lips are moving.  Frankly, it becomes legitimately unwatchable.

Thank goodness it's only on the theatrical cut.  The director's cut audio is perfectly fine all the way through.  And frankly, it's surprising Code Red even bothered throwing the theatrical cut onto the disc at all now that we have the director's cut.  Why would anyone bother with the theatrical cut now, anyway?  Oh yeah, the better transfer.  It's too bad the director's cut didn't get the 2017 scan instead of vice versa.  But here we are.  Code Red and Diabolik have pulled the disc, but it remains to be seen if there will be a reissue or this film just disappears from the market all together. 
Anyway, that's the story with the film.  I wish there was more to tell, but at least for now, that's where we're at.  In the meantime, let's talk extras.  The big upshot of getting Code Red's DVD was the great audio commentary with Nathan J. White and a very effusive Scott Spiegel.  I never thought I'd get to hear the director talk about his film.  And it's great, highly energetic the whole way through.  Lots of behind the scenes memories, Sam Raimi anecdotes and sorely needed explanations of the madness onscreen.  Bill Olsen chimes in with a couple good questions, too.  Besides that, the DVD gave us the original theatrical trailer, plus some bonus trailers including the obligatory Family Honor one on start-up.

Happily, the blu retains the commentary.  There's no trailer on start-up (yay!), but there is an option for a couple Code Red bonus trailers, and The Carrier's trailer is actually in there as well, so everything's been preserved.
So, I guess we wait and see if anything happens with this disc?  If they come up with a replacement program, that'd be fantastic, but I don't believe Code Red has ever once done one of those, and it's not because none of their discs has ever had an issue before.  So I can't say my hopes are too high.  But on the other hand, I've got the update I've been asking for; I practically squee'd watching the director's cut in HD last night.  And to be honest, I could care less about the theatrical cut now that I've got the complete version.  I wouldn't bother revisiting it again, despite it's superior transfer, even if the audio was fixed.  So I'm just happy I got my copy while I could, and I hope any nutter out there who loves this film as much as me can get their hands on it, too.  So, I guess it's a hugely disappointing, broken release that's an absolutely thrilling must-have for us fans?  😵

Controversial Blus: The House That Vanished

All thanks again are due to reader Simon for a second round of controversial blu-ray coverage!  This time we've got Dark Force Entertainment's top selling, and most frequently stepped on title, The House That Vanished.  Why is the owner of the label posting Facebook photos of himself crushing copies of this disc?  Well, that's going to take a little unpacking... and even then I can't say I fully understand it.  In fact, it can even be a little confusing just who Dark Force Entertainment is, so let's briefly start there.  DFE is owned and operated by David DeFalco, writer and director of the unofficial Last House On the Left remake Chaos in the early 2000s, and he's working with Code Red, although they're distinctly different labels.  And so far, they've had the most success with their series of "Retro Drive-In Double Features," of which this is the 3rd.
The House That Vanished is a bit of a shameless retitling of 1973's Scream... and Die! to tie it in with The Last House On the Left and its ilk.  But it's actually a better and more fitting title once you've seen the movie.  It's a Spanish/ English co-production that's not quite as sleazy and exploitative as other notorious House films like House On the Edge Of the Park (also included in the Retro Drive-In series).  Though it is a little trashy, certainly (more on that later).  But it's more of a suspenseful mystery with a few eccentricities to keep it fresh.  The story follows a young fashion model named Valerie who lets her criminal boyfriend take her on a little burglary job.  But as they're snooping around, the home owner returns unexpectedly with a prostitute, who they witness get murdered.  Valerie is pursued by the killer but escapes, leaving her boyfriend behind, and now she seems to have a cloaked, black gloved stalker following her around.  But she can't go to the cops because she was involved in a crime, so she must solve the mystery on her own, before she becomes the next victim.
House isn't a bad little flick.  It's more of a thriller than an actual horror film, I suppose, with a lot of colorful red herring characters that will genuinely have you guessing as to the true killer's identity.  It's respectably acted and cooks up some nice atmosphere despite having almost no soundtrack.  There are technically a few, probably library-sourced, notes a few of the most electric scenes, but what you'll really take away from this movie is the sound of our heroine's high-heeled boots clomping around on wooden floors.  Ninety percent of this movie's audio is, "clunk, clunk, clunk!"  You'll still be hearing it in your dreams months later.

Anyway, House earns its R rating more from sex scenes than gore, but even that's almost restrained enough for mainstream audiences.  It's too British to go full trash, and the filmmakers were clearly interested in constructing an effective suspense film more than just throwing cheap thrills at you.  Although there's incest, rape, murder jump scares by pigeons and naked scenes with monkeys on hand, too.  And, of course, how sleazy the film is depends on just how uncut the version you're watching is.  And that's really the big issue surrounding Dark Force's release - it's heavily cut.
Dark Force posted an... interesting statement when fans starting reporting that this edition was missing a lot of footage: "This is the us theatrical r-rated version that played the drive-ins. It is not the British version which is about 9 minutes longer containing a strangulation scene and love making scene that was cut from the us version-this version does contain nudity, violence and gore. It is more accurate for the retro drive-in series due to it actually being the version that played along side last house on the left and don't look in the basement."  And I've seen a lot of back and forth on forums and Facebook as to whether this shorter cut actually did play in some drive-in or not, which I'm not going to get into, because it seems like a pretty arbitrary distinction.  This film is missing some key scenes.  Yes, whole scenes, not just trimming a few bloody frames.
Surely, this shot wasn't removed because censors found it too shocking...
Even if you've never seen the film before, you'll notice at least one funky edit.  Like the incest sex scene.  That goes on a bit longer and gets a bit more graphic in previous versions of this film.  You could see why someone would cut that down.  But then, later on, one of the biggest most important murder scenes is cut.  And it's a long scene, probably the most graphic one in the film (well, when it is in the film).  That's really neutering the film.  And okay, so these cuts make sense, you might think.  They're just making a softer edit for wider audiences.  But then they also cut the following scene with the neighbor and the one after that, where Valerie walks around her apartment and ultimately stumbles upon the body.  The only reason to cut that would be for time, because she's not walking around in her underwear or anything.  Or maybe the print was so damaged, they just lost a solid chunk?  That's certainly possible, since there are a few other moments where brief lines of dialogue and transition are dropped.  And since they cut both the centerpiece murder scene and the follow-up where the body is discovered, it makes the plot downright confusing, because the audience literally doesn't know what happened to who and what everybody's suddenly worked up about.
The Eerie Midnight Horror Show
The House That Vanished has never really had a proper release up 'till now.  There've been grey-market DVDs from Jef Films and Desert Island Films, which are apparently just VHS rips (though uncut), and there's an Italian DVD, but it only has dubbed Italian audio.  So this is the first official release of the film, and it's great to at least finally see the film in widescreen and all.  And I do also have to mention the second feature.  This is a Double Feature, after all.  The second film is fun, Italian sexorcism flick, The Eerie Midnight Horror Show.  That's a fresh screenshot above, but I've gone ahead and updated the page I already made for that film (that will go live the same minute this post goes up, so if you're reading this...), so go there for a full-on proper comparison against the previous Code Red blu and even a Mill Creek DVD.  The short version, though, is that it's a different encode, but using exactly the same master, and they look virtually the same.  But how does House look here?
2018 Dark Force Entertainment blu-ray.
Well, if you're used to Code Red's "grindhouse" blus, you know what to expect.  Nice, 1.78:1 HD scans of a very beat up print.  Lots of green lines, chemical burns, fading and discoloration.  But compared to dark, murky video transfers before it, I can't say it's not a vast improvement.  And while calling this cut version "more accurate" is a big stretch, I will concede that the condition of the print does at least fall in line with Dark Force's Drive-In aesthetic.  You really feel like you're watching old film; just like going to an Exhumed Films screening.  It's taken from a print, not an OCN, so it's contrasty, a little soft and detail isn't as fine as it could be, but it's still a strong HD image of the film that's far preferable to anything we've had before.

And the audio's also what you'd expect: mono lifted right from the print, with hiss and pops to match the visual damage.  But it doesn't have any serious issues like Trapped.  And the "clunk, clunk!" foley makes me question how great the sound mix ever was for this movie.  Just look at those screenshots, and what you imagine in your head should be about what this disc sounds like.
For extras, we don't get anything pertaining to the films themselves (a rule for all these Drive-In Double Features going forward, apparently), but we're given the option to watch both films in "Drive-In Mode."  What this does is play both films, with about 15 minutes of stuff in between.  It's mostly a 10 minute reel of classic drive-in intermission commercials and animations, shown full-screen and sourced from old video tape.  It's fun, and they also throw in a few pertinent trailers.  They're no substitute for "real" extras, but they're amusing and better than nothing.  They get you into the spirit of things if you have the patience to watch both films in a row.
So, what's the story with this disc?  Well, after all the complaints about it being cut, Dark Force officially "discontinued" the title.  That's in heavy quotes, because they continued to sell it for a limited time (like a last chance to get a rare collector's item kind of pitch), then sold it as part of a "Jose Larraz Tribute Package," where they bundled it up with the Code Red blu of Black Candles.  And they're still selling it through Screen Archives.  So, considering it was already their top selling title, I imagine they plan to clear out all 1000 copies.  I mean, it doesn't look like he's stepping on those copies in the photos hard enough to do any damage.  In other words, it's discontinued, but as easy to get as ever.
But is it worth getting?  Well, it's heavily cut and that's a serious disappointment no matter how you spin it.  On the other hand, this is by far the best the film has ever looked.  I guess you'll have to decide for yourself, would you rather watch an ugly VHS-sourced, but uncut DVD, or an HD blu-ray of a beat up and cut up old print?  Both glasses are half empty.  Also, there's the question of whether this film's even worth it.  Like I said, it's an affable little mystery with some dashes of exploitation to it, but it's not exactly a horror masterpiece.  Instead of choosing between heavy compromises, it's probably better to just focus on other titles for now.  The hope is that another release will follow, whether Dark Force takes another stab at it, or another label gets a hold of it.  Promising rumors are circulating, but who knows?  Maybe just preorder the next couple Vestron titles and see what the situation is with this film in a couple years.