Burnt Offerings: MOD DVD

Since the earliest days of American television, some programs thereon have become phenoms by lancing through public consciousness at the right time and place in popular culture.

You know the list – The Texaco Star Theater, starring Milton Berle, was the first show to become “must see.” The same moniker could also be used for I Love Lucy or The Honeymooners or The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson or even Saturday Night Live.

While these programs and a few shows like them, say All in the Family, breathed rarefied air, none caused a change in the public stratosphere like a comedy sketch show which started airing on NBC Monday nights in 1967, opposite The Lucy Show and Gunsmoke, Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In.

Now, to celebrate Laugh-In’s 50th Anniversary, Time Life Home Video has released Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In: The Complete Series – including every episode from all six seasons along with exclusive new bonus features and a free DVD. That’s 140 episodes on 38 DVDs. [Read on here...]

[Editor’s Note: This feature was first published on the original Bits website back on November 01, 2001. We republish it here for the enjoyment of those who many not have seen it before. We’d like to dedicate it to the memory of our friend George A. Romero.]

You know how they say it never rains in California? Well, they lie. What they mean to say is that it never rains in California... unless you really need to be somewhere. But they also say something about April showers, right? So on this appropriately gloomy morning in April, I’m racing up the 405 freeway in a heavy downpour, running late for an appointment. But not just any appointment. I’ve been invited to sit in on the audio commentary recording session for Paramount’s new Tales from the Darkside: The Movie DVD, with its director, John Harrison, and screenwriter, the legendary George Romero. Who could pass a chance like that up? Certainly not me. [Read on here...]

Published in Articles
Thursday, 13 April 2017 14:00

Pick-Ups for the Week of April 10, 2017

Welcome to a new edition of Pick-Ups!

I have returned at last to resume Pick-Ups after a notable absence, mostly due to site-related issues here at The Digital Bits. We’ve been doing some server updating and site modifications around here, all very technical and complicated I can assure you.

But now that we’re back up and running, however, I can finally get back to bringing you new reviews of some titles that we’ve neglected to cover previously.

This week is going to be a mixed bag for the column, so be sure to check back each day for new reviews. [Read on here...]

Published in Dailies
Tuesday, 28 March 2017 13:03

Here’s What’s Wrong with Movies...

I’ve figured out what’s wrong with movies.

This thesis prevailed on me as I went to see the 3-D Imax version of a new picture called The Great Wall. This picture opened to dismal reviews, but the previews had made it look righteous and the effects, I knew, would be fun, and they were and the whole experience wasn’t bad.

And on the way out, I was thinking of all these feckless movie reviewers who get published and why they would trash this movie. I thought to myself: “Why were they so hard on this movie? It’s just a fun “B” picture?”

And then I figured it out. They all are. 90% of what we see in the theaters are “B” pictures with “A” budgets.

Let’s discuss... [Read on here...]


Monday, 09 January 2017 19:13

Scream for a Week - January 9, 2017

Welcome to our newest column addition Scream for a Week!

Congratulations! You made it to 2017! Starting the column off for the New Year is Lifeforce (reviewed by good ole Dr. Jahnke), the amazing Tobe Hooper/Cannon Films, naked lady vampire masterpiece from the 80's. Following that up are a trio of new reviews, including one for the recently released Dreamscape, which has been given a spiffy new transfer and some nice extras. Next is Hellhole, the mostly-forgotten women in prison movie from the 80's, chock full of sleaze and oddball characters. The last of the new reviews is a relatively recent movie #Horror, which plumbs the depths of cyberbullying. And, last but not least, is an oldy but a goody: Nightmares, the anthology movie that was difficult to obtain for many years. [Read on here...]

Published in Dailies
Monday, 19 December 2016 13:42

Scream for a Week – December 19, 2016

Welcome to our newest column addition Scream for a Week!

Starting things off is the great ‘Dolph Lundgren hunting a killer alien’ movie Dark Angel (a.k.a. I Come in Peace). New here is a terrific double feature of Ghoulies and Ghoulies II, a fun pair of Gremlins knock-offs that popped up during the Empire Pictures’ reign. Following that is another new review, this one of a neat but oddball monster movie called The Beast Within, written by Tom Holland and directed by Philipe Mora. Next we have Astron 6’s The Editor, a fun homage to the Italian Giallos of the 60s and 70s. Finally, New Year’s Evil is a Cannon Films slasher that seems an appropriate title to go out on for the year.  [Read on here...]

Published in Dailies
Monday, 05 December 2016 15:00

Scream for a Week – December 5, 2016

Welcome to our newest column addition Scream for a Week!

We here at The Digital Bits are big fans of Shout!’s Scream Factory division and, not unlike Todd Doogan’s Criterion Spines Project, we wanted to cover Scream Factory’s releases by catching up on a bunch that we’ve missed while acknowledging the previous ones. We’ll also be covering new ones here as well. This column will go up on a bi-weekly basis, so be sure to check back in another two weeks for another pile of Scream Factory goodness.

First up is a double feature of Tales from the Crypt and Vault of Horror, both terrific horror anthologies. Tales from the Crypt in particular contains one of the creepiest and more effective Christmas horror stories. Speaking of Christmas, new on the slate is a Collector’s Edition of Black Christmas, a title long sought after by Scream Factory fans and one that I believe many will feel was worth the wait. Also new on the chopping block is Jack’s Back, a great little thriller mostly forgotten by genre fans. Next is George A. Romero’s Monkey Shines, one of his most enjoyable non-Dead movies. And last but not least is a double feature of TerrorVision and The Video Dead, one of Scream Factory’s earliest releases and still one of their most fun. [Read on here…]

Published in Dailies
Wednesday, 30 November 2016 14:30

Movie Begats and More

I’ve about decided that a full book could be written regarding just about every produced movie – Lord knows there’s always enough behind the scenes drama to fill a daytime soap. But I love it. Who was supposed to be in what? Who wrote the script? That stuff. The success of X movie produced Y.

OLIVE FILMS

And here’s a story about a Robert Redford motorcycle picture called Little Fauss and Big Halsey, recently released for the first time on home video by Olive Films.

Al Ruddy came to Hollywood in the early 60s and as a young pup sold what has become a classic sitcom called Hogan’s Heroes. Ruddy and Charles Eastman wrote the script for Little Fauss and sold it to Paramount with a then hot director named Sidney Furie (who was bankable because of The Ipcress File and The Naked Runner). Redford was brought on board in the process as was my friend and lifelong Ruddy partner Gray Frederickson. [Read on here...]

Wednesday, 23 November 2016 13:00

Scream for a Week – November 23, 2016

Welcome to our newest column additionScream for a Week!

We here at The Digital Bits are big fans of Shout!’s Scream Factory division and, not unlike Todd Doogan’s Criterion Spines Project, we wanted to cover Scream Factory’s releases by catching up on a bunch that we’ve missed while acknowledging the previous ones. We’ll also be covering new ones here as well. This column will go up on a bi-weekly basis, so be sure to check back in another two weeks for another pile of Scream Factory goodness.

First up is Beneath, a Larry Fessenden giant fish movie that I’m actually a little less hard on than I was when I originally wrote the review. Today, I’d probably give it more of a B or a B- as it’s grown on me since then. New to Blu-ray this week are both Rabid and Dead Ringers, a pair of David Cronenberg movies that are stacked with some great extras worth digging into. Also new, at least as far as catching up with older Scream Factory titles is concerned, is The Monkey’s Paw, a Chiller movie that actually has some merit. And last but not least, Paul Schrader’s terrific remake of Cat People. [Read on here…]

Published in Dailies
Monday, 07 November 2016 12:02

Scream for a Week – November 7, 2016

Welcome to our newest column addition Scream for a Week!

We here at The Digital Bits are big fans of Shout!’s Scream Factory division and, not unlike Todd Doogan’s Criterion Spines Project, we wanted to cover Scream Factory’s releases by catching up on a bunch that we’ve missed while acknowledging the previous ones. We’ll also be covering new ones here as well. This column will go up on a bi-weekly basis, so be sure to check back in another two weeks for another pile of Scream Factory goodness.

First up is Escape from New York, a title that Bill covered sometime ago. It’s a solid release with a great transfer and extras, and just happens to be one of my favorite movies. New to Blu-ray this week is Bubba Ho-Tep, another personal favorite of mine, with a barrage of terrific extras to check out. Following that up is the great Amityville Horror Trilogy boxed set, which is another older review, but this time from good old Dr. Jahnke. Also new to the chopping block is the Blacula/Scream Blacula Scream double feature Blu-ray release. And last but not least, Wes Craven’s Deadly Blessing, one of Scream Factory’s very first releases. [Read on here…]

Published in Dailies
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Yesterday on The Bits (forgot to share this then!) – Criterion December slate plus new #Bluray & #4K reviews fb.me/6dAOhxp92
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