Uncle Sam Wants You In 4k Ultra HD

Anybody with just a little bit of insight into these things could tell that it was only a matter of time until Blue Underground released 1996's Independence Day-themed slasher, Uncle Sam, on 4k.  In fact, I held out for years, refusing to upgrade my DVD, because I knew it was bound to happen sooner or later.  Until I broke down last December and bought the blu-ray as a little Christmas present for myself.  Then the UHD was announced in January.  You're all welcome.
Uncle Sam is the fourth and final collaboration of Larry Cohen and William Lustig, following their Maniac Cop trilogy.  It's not as great as their first two entries, but it might be as good as the third.  It's certainly more coherently resolved.  And it's a thematically appropriate follow-up: from a cop who rises from the dead to exact revenge on those he feels wronged him, but must be stopped when he winds up hurting innocent people to a soldier who rises from the dead to exact revenge on those he feels wronged him, but must be stopped when he winds up hurting innocent people.  There are a lot of obvious similarities, too, with one of the better Masters of Horror episodes, Joe Dante's Homecoming, about fallen American soldiers returning from the Middle East as zombies looking to exert some payback.  But those soldiers were essentially good guys come back to get the bad people who sent them to die.  "Uncle" Sam Harper is at heart a terrible guy - again, more akin to Matt Cordell - who wants to kill not only his fellow Americans who fail to live up to his fanatic levels of blind patriotism, but to keep abusing his family, as he did in life before he shipped off to war.
You can count on Larry Cohen to have a lot of clever, interweaving themes in his scripts, with characters and plot turns that elevate the writing above his peers'.  And you can count on Lustig to shoot an attractive, dramatically effective picture with impressive set pieces that suggest something greater than its actual, limited budget.  The night sequences look great and the fire stunts are envelope-pushing.  Both Lustig and Cohen have an fine appreciation for great character actors, too, and this film is packed with them, adding much-needed jolts of nuance and credibility to what might be otherwise typical B-movie fare.  Isaac Hayes (pre-South Park) is obvious, but there's also Bo Hopkins, PJ Soles, William Smith, Timothy Bottoms and most entertainingly, Robert Forster as a local politician who's only in town to deliver a Fourth of July campaign speech to the local "hicks."  Admittedly, this film has a tendency to lay a little flat, but thanks to all the talent involved, there's more going on here than your average slasher.
Elite Entertainment originally released this film back in 1998, essentially carrying over their laserdisc special edition to the latest format.  But in 2004, Lustig was able to bring his baby back home to Blue Underground, with a new, specialer edition DVD.  By the way, I don't have that Elite disc, but it was non-anamorphic, so it was always time to replace that sucker.  Anyway, that improved DVD was updated to blu-ray in 2010 and now, just in time for July 4th, they've upgraded it again to 4k Ultra HD.
2004 BD DVD top; 2010 BU BD mid; 2022 BU UHD bottom.
ltr: 2004 BD DVD; 2010 BU BD; 2022 BU UHD.
To start with, the framing shifts slightly, from 2.36:1 to 2.35:1 and finally to 2.39:1, with the UHD showing a smidgen more on the sides, but also achieving its wider AR but cropping slightly tighter along the top than previous editions.  Though, by splitting the difference horizontally and vertically, it makes the distinction really tough to notice outside of a direct screenshot comparison like this.  The real difference is in the resolution; I mean, just look at that close-up.  Okay, it's shot from far away that you can never quite read that label of... mustard?  But so blurriness and digital noise has been replaced with photo realism and, for the first time, clearly rendered film grain.  Another nice improvement is the edge enhancement, that was probably useful on the DVD but made the BD a bit crass and unattractive.  It's happily gone on the UHD.  And its not like any of BU's previous editions were low quality in the brightness or contrast departments, but the UHD renders the highlights more natural and occasionally finds more picture information in them.  Seeing Uncle Sam look this good for the first time might help raise the whole film in the eyes of horror fans who've sometimes been a little too hasty writing it off.

This film started by giving us a choice between a stereo and 5.1 mix (on both the Elite and BU DVDs, neither of which had subtitles).  On blu, the stereo mix was dropped, the 5.1 was boosted to DTS-HD, a new 7.1 mix (also DTS-HD) was added, and so were optional English, French and Spanish subs.  Now, the UHD keeps the lossless 7.1 but replaces the 5.1 with a Dolby Atmos track and keeps all three subtitles.
Now, Uncle Sam has always had extras, going back to the laserdisc.  It had the trailer, and a fun commentary by Lustig and Hayes.  It's mostly Lustig giving an expert, informative commentary track, with Hayes chiming in with a few memories of his own.  When BU got their hands on it, they added a second commentary by Lustig, Cohen and producer George G Braunstein.  Unfortunately, Lustig repeats a lot of the same anecdotes, practically verbatim, but there's a bunch of new stuff to be found in here as well.  They also added a fun featurette on their explosive finale, a stills gallery, a brief gag reel (funnier if you listen to Lustig explain it in the audio commentary first) and two takes of a brief deleted scene.

The same extras were carried over to the blu-ray and UHD.  I was disappointed they didn't take add anything extra for the UHD... Perhaps Lustig feels he's said everything he has to say already, but it would've been nice if they could've sat somebody down on camera for a new interview... maybe one of the leading ladies, or Mark Governor to talk about the music?  Oh well.  The latest release at least comes in a very cool holographic slipcover that recreates the famous VHS box, as well as reversible cover art inside.
Uncle Sam isn't exactly Lustig's greatest achievement, but it is a fun, off-beat 90's horror flick.  And thanks to the fact that it's the baby of the head of Blue Underground, it's gotten restored to a degree it probably doesn't deserve.  I mean, The Exorcist and a Nightmare On Elm St wish they had home video transfers like this.  But who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth?  This is a great, summertime treat.

Herzog: The Collection, Volume 2 and Echoes From a Somber Empire

Eight years after Shout Factory released their impressive Herzog: The Collection boxed set, we're back with Volume 2!  This time around, we get five discs and eleven films (seven shorts and four features), six of which are debuting here in HD: Dark Glow of the Mountains, Wild Blue Yonder, La Soufrière (technically, this was released on blu by Revolver as a bonus for their release of White Diamond, but it was just a standard def extra), Echoes From a Somber Empire, Signs Of Life, Herdsmen Of the Sun.  And one more, Wheel of Time, has been released on blu before, but this is the first with English language options.  The other four are at least Region 1 BD debuts.  So even if you already have The BFI's Werner Herzog Collection and every other English-friendly Herzog release from around the world, you're getting seven upgrades here.  We'll be taking a look at Echoes From a Somber Empire below.  Every other film in this set has already been covered on this site, so I've updated their corresponding pages with fresh comparisons from this set:

A quick summation to save you the trouble of clicking through all those links: All of the blu-ray debuts are obviously superior to their previous DVD-only releases, but this set has no extras, including any pf what was on past DVDs, like the Signs of Life commentary or the Wheel Of Time interview.  So while these are upgrades, you'll still want to hold onto any old discs you have with extras.  And for the four shorts that were already included on the BFI set, there are slight differences, in terms of brightness or contrast, but they're fairly equivalent even when they're not strictly identical.  But they have one advantage: Shout has added optional English subtitles for the English language audio, where BFI didn't bother.
And that brings us to Echoes From a Sombre (here spelled Somber) Empire, the 1990 feature-length documentary making its blu-ray debut here, and previously only available on DVD in the Werner Herzog Documentaries and Shorts boxed set (primarily sold exclusively on Herzog's own website starting in 2006, though there was a variant, Australian version available from Shock in 2009).  This is a heavy one.  In fact, the film opens with a worried Herzog reading a letter from journalist Michael Goldsmith, who he's been unable to reach after they were arrested and expelled from Africa.   ...We don't learn it in the film, but I looked it up, and Goldsmith passed away the same year as Echoes' release, in a hospital in Southern France after suffering a stroke, which explains Herzog's inability to contact him.
Anyway, we then enter the body of the film, where Herzog follows Goldsmith as they research the life and trials of Bokassa I, former president and emperor of Central Africa.  Goldsmith interviews his former wives, lawyers and others, while also revisiting key locations of his reign, during which time Bokassa was accused of a myriad of horrible crimes, from cannibalism to massacring school children.  Goldsmith had actually been imprisoned by Bokassa himself, so he has a real connection, and Herzog himself remains a mostly silent witness throughout the film.  A good third of this film is also made up of vintage press footage, and at one point, to illustrate a dream Goldsmith had, we see the crabs later depicted in Invincible.  In fact, having revisited this film for this review, I've realized some of it is actually the exact same footage.
2006 .com DVD top; 2022 Shout Factory BD bottom.
This is a huge jump in quality.  Where to start?  Well, the AR has been corrected from 1.29:1 to 1.33:1, but even beyond that, the image has been pulled back to reveal more picture around all four sides.  Like everything in the .com set, this DVD is also interlaced, which of course the BD fixes.  The colors have been strongly corrected, looking way more natural and attractive.  The SD softness has been cleared away in the jump to HD and detail is much clearer now.  Look at the pattern on Goldsmith's jacket which has been smoothed away on the DVD.  Further information that was crushed in the DVD's shadows are back in view now, too.  Grain is soft to invisible, which suggests an old scan, poor encode and/ or possibly even DNR.  But regardless, it's a revelation.
Both films include the original mono audio (which is mixed, but mostly French), in DTS-HD on the blu and optional English subtitles.  The DVD also throws in optional German subtitles.

And again, there are no extras, so that's easy.  Not even a trailer.  Neither set has any extras for any of its films.  So hang onto your old DVDs of Wild Blue Yonder and Signs Of Life.  Shout's set at least comes in a slipcover.  Their Volume 1 was a big, fancy mediabook with large, full-color pages.  Volume 2 you're buying for just the movies.  But when it's a collection of important works from one of the world's greatest filmmakers, that can easily be enough.
Now, here's my wishlist for Volume 3, all of which are still lacking blu-ray releases: Jag Mandir, Wings of Hope, Scream Of Stone, Christ and Demons In New Spain, Les Gaulois, No One Will Play With Me, Pilgrimage, Bells From the Deep, The Transformation Of the World Into Music, Ten Thousand Years Old, Herakles, and Game In the Sand if Herzog ever relents (he said he'd never release it because some of the footage was too disturbing).  Plus, a bunch of his newer releases are still absent on blu, including Family Romance LLC, Meeting Gorbachev, both seasons of Death Row, Fireball and Into the Inferno.  I don't want to sound greedy; we've just gained some great ground today, but there's still a lot of work left to do, so bring it on!

No Chance. No Help. No Escape. Without Warning

I could've told you guys this review was coming, but then it wouldn't have been... Without Warning!  Thank you, that's all I got.

Nah, okay.  Without Warning is an early 80s (filmed in the late 70s) sci-fi horror that's graduated from a long guilty pleasure of mine to a straight up, actually great little flick.  Director Greydon Clark doesn't exactly have the most critically renowned track-record, ranging from titles like Satan's Cheerleaders to The Forbidden Dance, with a whopping six features appearing on Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax.  But this - and it might sound like a backhanded compliment given what I've just said, but this is his masterpiece.
First of all, Without Warning is a tight, well-paced script with a premise, not for nothing, introduced the Predator concept years before Predator.  Yes, an alien comes to Earth to hunt humans for sport.  And, as in Predator, out protagonists get caught in the middle of a violent three-way conflict with not just the aliens, but armed humans who prove to be just as dangerous.  It sure doesn't hurt that said dangerous humans are Jack Palance and Martin Landau.  In fact, the cast is chock full of great character actors, including Neville Brand, Cameron Mitchell, F Troop's Larry Storch in a genuinely funny comic relief role and a young David Caruso.  The alien has a great design created by none other than Rick Baker, and his weapons are awesome.  The great Dean Cundy (Halloween, Jurassic Park, etc) shot the  film, it's got fantastic lighting and a genuinely moody atmosphere that gives the material an elevated level of credibility the film's limited budget and far-out concepts otherwise probably couldn't have sustained.
For years, Without Warning was only available via cheap, often cut, foreign DVDs.  I used to own the Scandivian DVD from Another World, which was the first anamorphic widescreen option, but had a few scenes patched in with subtitles and no audio.  Nobody had done this movie right until Scream Factory released it as a DVD/ BD combo pack in 2014.  Uncut, widescreen, HD and they even gave it the proper special edition treatment with a bunch of great extras.  It was easily the definitive choice for years, but its since gone out of print.  Fortunately, Kino has seen fit to not only bring it back into print, but to give it a new, 2k scan.
1) 2014 SF DVD; 2) 2014 SF BD; 3) 2022 Kino BD.
Scream Factory and Kino both properly matte this film to 1.85:1, though Kino pulls back to reveal a tiny pit more picture along all four sides.  Scream Factory's blu still holds up fairly well, except it's soft.  It almost looks like standard def until you compare it to the DVD, which is really soft.  But there's still very little sign of actual film grain until you look at the new transfer from Kino, which is much sharper and more refined.  And it's not just the grain, but actual detail in the film is clearer and easier to make out.  It's definitely a superior scan... but the colors are a little more debatable.  Overall, Kino's are more stark and contrasty, where Scream's are warmer.  Just look at the skin tones in that second set of shots.  Kino also has deeper, darker blue night scenes.  Honestly, I can't decide which set of colors I prefer; it varies shot to shot.  But Kino's PQ wins in the other departments, which easily tips the scales in their favor.

All three discs offer the original mono track, in DTS-HD on the blus.  Scream Factory and Kino both include optional English subtitles as well.
Scream's extras really add a lot of value, starting with a pretty great commentary by Greydon Clark.  He has a lot of memories and behind-the-scenes info.  He runs out of things to say by the last half hour or so, though, so you can turn it off early and not miss much.  Red Shirt then provides some first class interviews, the best of which is probably a joint featurette with the two young leads, Christopher Nelson and Tarah Nutter.  We also got ones with producer Daniel Grodnick, Dean Cundy and effects artist Greg Cannom.  There's also a stills gallery, a trailer and reversible artwork.

And Kino has kept all of that.  And they've even added a little more.  They've thrown in the Trailers From Hell (in addition to the basic trailer) with Mike Mendez.  That's fun, though he's a little dismissive of this film as anything more than a cheesy lark.  And in addition to reversible artwork, Kino's disc also comes in a slipcover.
So yeah, this new Kino is a nice upgrade, though there is a subjective aspect re: the colors.  Still, if you already own the Scream blu, that might make this a lower priority upgrade.  If you don't have it, though, I'd sure rather pick up the slightly superior Kino disc for a reasonable price than shell out the crazy, inflated prices people were EBaying the 2014 blu for.  So it's all good news.

Alright MVD, You're Crazy For This One! Highball

If you had asked me to point to the one DVD in my collection least likely to ever see a blu-ray upgrade, I would have pointed to 1997's Highball from ::checks notes:: Avalanche Home Entertainment.  But Hallelujah, hey, here we are.  MVD Visual, as part of their MVD Marquee Collection, has not only bumped this rare title to blu, they've restored it from its original film elements, created an all new feature-length 'making of' documentary and given it a really loving, first class edition.  Of Highball.
And I don't say that because Highball sucks or anything.  I'm actually a pretty big fan and have had this new edition pre-ordered for months.  But to get an idea of why I'm so surprised this has happened, well, take a look at that DVD cover for a start.  The first thing that draws your eye, surely, is how clumsily both Annabella Sciorra and Justine Bateman's heads have been 'shopped onto the same unnaturally posed body.  And that's surely not Eric Stoltz from the neck down either.  But now let's look closer, at the credits... written by Jesse Carter and directed by Ernie Fusco?  Those are pseudonyms.  This is actually a Noah Baumbach movie, made on the cheap in just six days with the shorts ends from Mr. Jealousy, but he took his name off of the picture because it was taken away from him before he could finish post production.  What he's famously dubbed a "failed experiment" only came out on DVD because the bank took possession of the film and released it against his will.
But that doesn't mean it's bad!  There's a big AV Club quote on the front cover of this blu that reads, "Noah Baumbach has basically disowned one of his funniest films."  You can definitely feel the six week shooting schedule, though. 100% of the film takes place packed inside a single NY apartment, and the lighting mainly consists of a huge flood lamp pointed directly at the actors from off-camera, casting hue shadows behind them on the deep blue walls.  Oh, those walls are as much a character as anybody else in this film; you'll never forget them as long as you live.
But they stand behind an all-star cast of great characters.  Besides the three listed above, there's Ally Sheedy, Chris Eigeman, Peter Bogdanovich, Baumbach himself, Rae Dawn Chong, Luna frontman Dean Wareham, Dean Cameron... as well as Baumbach's then regulars from his previous films: Lauren Katz, John Lehr, Carlos Jacott and Christopher Reed.  The latter two also co-wrote the film with Baumbach, and that's the main thing.  This film may've been filmed in just six days, but a lot of time and consideration was clearly put into the writing, which packs a rather ingenious structure (the film finds and revisits its characters at three parties, finding them in different stages in their lives over the span of a year) full of clever exchanges, astute character moments, and real heart.  Sure it's unpolished, but it's endlessly rewatchable, and maybe the perfect demonstration of how a perfect sound mix, elaborate set-ups and all the other technical and superficial trappings that might cause a director like Baumbach to write off his work aren't really what matters when it comes to connect with audiences.  In fact, we're told in the accompanying documentary that this film actually wound up performing better for Lions Gate than Mr. Jealousy has.  And to this day, Baumbach's big, Paramount feature starring Nicole Kidman and Jack Black* has never been released in HD while Highball just got a first class special edition this week.
In fact, I need to point one thing out about Highball's DVD before we get into the comparison proper.  When I first bought it as a new release back in 2004, I found a weird glitch around the 59 minute mark.  The film jumps frames, gets heavily interlaced (happily, the DVD doesn't otherwise have a problem with interlacing) and the sound goes completely out of sync.  This last for a couple lines of dialogue until the next scene, where it snaps back to normal.  At the time, I thought my DVD was scratched or otherwise defective, and I replaced it with a second copy, which does the same thing.  If you rip the disc, it stays with the video file, so this seems to just be a production error baked into all copies of the Highball DVD.  And well, I'm happy to report, the blu-ray doesn't have that problem.  I'm also happy to see Baumbach's name back in the credits, which had clumsily faded to black to add new title cards for the fake names on the DVD.  And that's just the beginning of the good news.
2004 Avalanche DVD top; 2022 MVD Visual BD bottom.
MVD doesn't spell out in the packaging, on their website or anywhere exactly how they restored this film, but they seem to have gone back to the original film elements, because this is much more than the same old 2004 transfer slapped onto an HD disc.  We're finally getting the film in widescreen, for a start, which helps make this film look more like a legit movie, downplaying the bare blue walls and the and the massive shadows, and framing the actual actors better instead.  We go from 1.32:1 to 1.78:1, cropping some of the excess on the top and bottom while revealing considerably more on the sides.  The DVD was also vertically stretched (probably trying to squeeze more of the image into the full-frame box to keep the image at least coherent), which this BD fixes.  Grain on the blu is also very distinct and cleanly captured, whereas the DVD is a smeary mess.  And information that was crushed in the DVD's shadows has been revealed in this new scan.  All told, it is a vast improvement - a totally different visual presentation.

The audio, too, has been bumped up from a lossy Dolby stereo mix to LPCM.  And while the DVD only had optional Spanish subtitles, the BD keeps them but has also added new English ones.
And as if all that wasn't enough, we get actual extras.  The DVD just had the trailer (which, amusingly, still had Baumbach's name, despite it being removed from all the packaging and film itself) and a few bonus trailers.  Well, the blu still has that trailer, and its own bonus trailers (including Mr. Jealousy, which MVD recently restored as well), but most excitingly, it has a brand new, feature-length documentary: The Making of Highball.  No, Baumbach didn't participate, and I suspect he still disowns this film.  His name is back in the credits, but that could just be because they went back to the film elements for this transfer... the back of the box still has "Ernie Fusco" listed as the director.

So he's missing, and Carlos Jacott is a big absentee, too.  But they've got so many others, including star and co-writer Chris Reed, Lauren Katz, John Lehr, Rae Dawn Chong, Dean Cameron, producer Joel Kastleberg (or Castleberg, as it's alternatively spelled in the movie credits) and even Peter Bogdanovich.  They're all enthusiastic and have a lot of great memories and love for the film, and they get into everything from the film's origins to its disowning.  It gets a little repetitive - every participant tells us this film was shot in just six days about five times each - but fans are going to get some very satisfying answers to this film's mysteries as well as insights into the characters and plot points (there are many theories for whatever happened to Felix before).  It's great because I never expected to see any kind of special feature for this long-neglected feature, but it's also pretty great even by the standards of any retrospective on a beloved film.
I hope this film has enough fans to make this release pay off for MVD, because it feels like they went all out just for me.  And I guess that guy from the AV Club.  But while Highball doesn't pack the dramatic heft of Marriage Story or the cinematic gloss of The Meyerowitz Stories, and at a few points crosses the line into being too silly (seriously, can anyone out there justify Catherine Kellner's role in this film?), it's still really funny, expertly played, and even a little touching.  We should all make films as good as the ones this guy disowns.

*Seriously, Paramount Presents needs to give us a 4k restoration of Margot At the Wedding.

The Masque of the Red Death, Restored

Few films need to be featured on DVDExotica quite so much as this one.  1964's The Masque Of the Red Death is probably the best, and certainly my favorite, of Roger Corman's illustrious Edgar Allen Poe adaptations.
It's after he took these productions to England, where the production values and supporting cast were enhanced considerably, and also tackles one of the most interesting and challenging of Poe's stories.  Or two, actually, as this screenplay rather smartly inserts another of Poe's stories, "Hop-Frog," as a surprisingly apt subplot that plays quite well with this story's themes of nihilism, sadism and existentialism.  Vincent Price couldn't be better suited for role of the cruel Prince Prospero, and he thankfully opts to downplay his scenes, rather than camp it up.  The (appropriately) colorful production design does more than enough to liven up this story already, and the first class supporting actors (Patrick Magee, Hazel Court, and even the young ingénues are surprisingly credible in their plight) and photography (by director Nicolas Roeg!) elevate this to the "high art" levels Corman was aiming for.
There are obvious correlations with Ingmar Bergman's Seventh Seal, another medieval tale of the rich and poor alike desperately trying to survive a sweeping plague, and of course an ominous hooded figure of death that has philosophical discussions with the lead characters.  But at the same time, this is very much its own distinct beast, thanks of course to its roots in Poe and Corman's natural instincts towards exploitation.  There's also some surprisingly intelligent discussions on Satanism, and even some odd choices - like dubbing a little girl with the voice of a grown woman, or having voodoo priests and samurai appear in a surreal dream sequence - somehow manage to work.  So Masque manages to walk a very fine line of being high-minded without losing any of its lurid, baser appeals.
A blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment you couldn't have spotted before.
That's especially true of this new, extended cut which includes additional short but dramatic footage of bloody violence, fleeting nudity and blasphemous dialogue.  All previous home video editions were trimmed, until this recent 4k restoration restored the footage on Scream's reissue in the US and the more or less concurrent Studio Canal blu in the UK.  They go the extra, but unnecessary, mile now of retaining the censored "theatrical version" as an option, but I don't know why anybody would want to watch it now that we have the complete version.  At least it makes it easy for me to compare their new and old transfers, though.
Here's a look at MGM's Premature Burial transfer if you're interested.
MGM originally released Masque as a double-feature with another of Corman's Poe adaptations, Premature Burial, as part of their Midnight Movies line in 2002.  Then Scream Factory released it on blu in 2013, but only available in their 4-disc 6-film Vincent Price Collection.  And yes, just to be clear, that 2013 BD is the cut version.  But in 2020, the film was restored in 4k with the missing footage, and released as both part of a revised Vincent Price Collection and separately.
1) 2002 MGM DVD; 2) 2020 SF theatrical BD; 3) 2020 SF uncut BD.
The presentation gets (correctly) wider with each generation.  The DVD chops off info along all four sides to create an aspect ratio of 2.24:1.  The first Scream blu brings most of that back, presenting the film in 2.34:1.  and the new blu reveals even more on the sides in 2.39:1.  The colors have also been significantly improved with each pass, with a funky warm hue cast over the DVD removed for the first blu, and the colors are then further fleshed out on the new one.  The grain on both blus is mostly pretty well retained, but it's definitely more consistent on the 2020, as opposed to the 2013, which has patches where it's smoothed away.  And interestingly, the original blu-ray scan features sporadic print damage that isn't on the past DVD or the subsequent 4k restoration - I suppose it's taken from a different source.  There's a lot of white flecks, but more serious wear pops up occasionally as well.  Look at the strange, dark bands along the bottom of the theatrical cut blu in the first set of shots.  Overall, each edition is a substantial and welcome improvement over its predecessor.

As an independent 60s film, the audio is naturally mono and presented so on each disc.  It's lossy on the DVD of course, though they do also include a French dub and English, French and Spanish subtitles.  Both Scream blus do away with the foreign language options but bump the audio up to DTS-HD and retain the English subs.
The MGM was light on extras, but did include a very engaging interview with Roger Corman that's full of great stories.  But that was it except the trailer, and of course Premature Burial, which had its own Corman interview and trailer.

The 2013 Scream Factory hung onto the Corman interview and trailer, but also added a brief, vintage introduction by Price and an audio commentary by expert Steve Haberman.  He's quite good, if a little stiff (he seems to be reading a script) full of great info about the original story, the production and pretty much everything you'd want to know about the film.  There's a point where he repeats, almost verbatim, every anecdote from the Corman interview though, which is a little tiresome.  But overall, it's a great addition.  There's also a stills gallery.
And for 2020, everything except the old Price intro is carried over.  In its place, we get a new video interview with critic Stephen Jones and a new commentary by Kim Newman and Barry Forshaw.  The Jones interview is nice, though a little repetitive given the other extras.  And the new commentary is much more lively and conversational, with some - though not a ton of - new info.  Taken on its own, it would be a bit of a let-down, but these guys clearly knew they'd be on the same disc as everything else, and make the wise decision not to rehash all the same details over again, and instead come up with something new, which works better in conjunction with everything else.  So, well done!
So this is a real must-have: the first chance for many of us to get this film on its own, with a very obviously improved new restoration, and some neat new extras to boot.  And this is one of those films where the opulence of the imagery is a key strength of the film, so it really benefits from the improved quality.  Take another look at this version of Masque - what once was often written off as just some good, cheesy entertainment, is actually a seriously compelling film by any standard.