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Currently showing posts tagged Susan Penhaligon

  • The Land That Time Forgot (1975) Blu-ray Review

    The Land that Time Forgot (1975)

    Director: Kevin Connor

    Starring: Doug McClure, John McEnery & Susan Penhaligon

    Released by: Kino Lorber Studio Classics

    Reviewed by David Steigman

    Based on the story written by fantasy author Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Land that Time Forgot is the first of four movies that were produced by John Dark, directed by Kevin Connor and starred Doug McClure.  Each film’s main theme was traveling to lost continents with others to discover new races of people, dinosaurs and other giant monsters.  The other three movies are At the Earth’s Core, The People That Time Forgot and Warlords of Atlantis.  Each of the other films, save for Warlords of Atlantis, were offerings from Amicus Productions who had been known for horror anthologies such as Tales from the Crypt, From Beyond the Grave and Dr. Terrors House of Horrors.  Beginning with the Amicus/AIP co-production, The Land That Time Forgot, Amicus’ main focus was to have films that included giant prehistoric monsters. 

    The setting for The Land That Time Forgot takes place during World War I, where a German U boat, commanded by Captain Von Schoenvorts, played by John McEnery torpedoes and sinks a ship.  Among the survivors are Doug McClure as Bowen Tyler, scientist Lisa Clayton (played by Susan Penhaligon) and a few British officers.  The German U boat goes off course and continues to drift onward for at least several weeks until they land on a lost continent called Caprona.  When the submarine emerges from underwater, they are welcomed by a Plesiosaur and other aquatic dinosaurs.  Once on land, the cast struggles to survive, trying to avoid being a tasty treat for the dinosaurs including an Allosaurus, Styracosaurus and Pteroldactyl.  In what was probably a nod to an earlier dinosaur thriller, One Million Years BC, we get a fierce fight between a Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus Rex.  As with all films with dinosaurs, there are some cavemen which also cause trouble for the crew until the climax when a volcano erupts, threatening all life on Caprona. 

    The Land that Time Forgot is co-presented by Kino Lorber Studio Classics and Scorpion Releasing (who produced the extras) and the results are excellent.  The film has never looked better on home video.  In its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, this is a beautiful 1080p AVC coded release.  Colors are vivid with excellent contrast and great details during the daylight scenes.  In addition, black levels are spot on while the grain structure is also really strong.  The resolution is so good that it actually spoils some of the special effects work!  Accompanied with a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mix, the audio quality is excellent with all the dinosaur roars loud and clear.  While there is not a ton of extras on the disc, what we do get is really outstanding.  This is where quality of the bonus material outshines the quantity.  We are treated to an Audio Commentary with Director Kevin Connor, a making of featurette that is over 10 minutes long, plus the original trailer. 

    The Land that Time Forgot is a great, entertaining fantasy adventure-filled movie that eventually led to a sequel, The People That Time Forgot, also starring the late Doug McClure.  A well-known actor who went on to star in a few horror movies, such as Humanoids from the Deep and later on several television shows and sitcoms, McClure would ultimately pass away in 1995 at the age of 59 due to lung cancer.

    The dinosaur effects in The Land That Time Forgot consisting of puppets and mockup models are hit or miss with the more realistic creatures being the Triceratops and Styracosaurus.  Others such as the Plesiosaur (well the neck of it anyway), the odd shaped wobbly Allosaurs and Pterodactyls on visible wires are less than convincing, but that’s what gives these films their charm.

    In The Land That Time Forgot, we get another fun fantasy film from the seventies. While the effects work for the film is just average, it is a commendable effort considering there was no CGI effects during that time.  It took a lot of work and craftsmanship to bring forth movies such as this.  The Blu-ray is just a fantastic release with few but impressive extras and great audio and video quality to boot, this movie was an instant day one purchase that comes highly recommended!

    RATING: 4.5/5

    Available June 16th from Kino Lorber Studio Classics, The Land That Time Forgot can be purchased via KinoLorber.com, Amazon.com and other fine retailers.

  • House of Mortal Sin (1976) Blu-ray Review

    House of Mortal Sin (1976)
    Director: Pete Walker
    Starring: Anthony Sharp, Susan Penhaligon, Stephanie Beacham & Norman Eshley
    Released by: Redemption Films

    Reviewed by Mike Kenny

    Kino Lorber, under their Redemption Films banner, continues their onslaught of releases from famed British horror maestro, Pete Walker (The Flesh and Blood Show, Frightmare).  Controversial and twisted, House of Mortal Sin casts a dark shadow over the sanctity of religion with a blackmailing, inappropriate priest at center stage.  Co-starring Susan Penhaligon (Patrick), Stephanie Beacham (Schizo), Norman Eshley (See No Evil) and Sheila Keith (House of Long Shadows), Redemption Films proudly presents the film fully uncut.  

    House of Mortal Sin centers on a young woman, Jenny Welch (Susan Penhaligon), who confesses her most intimate details to Father Xavier Meldrum (Anthony Sharp).  Unfortunately, Father Meldrum has no tolerance for sinners and records their conversation in a blackmail attempt.  Suspicions are raised as bodies begin turning up, but no one believes that a holy man could possibly be responsible, except Jenny.

    MOVIE:
    The 1970s reigned supreme with religious-themed horror films that rattled the box-office.  House of Mortal Sin is a unique entry in the canon in that it does not hold the devil responsible for evildoings, but instead a respected priest.  Pete Walker’s own resentment towards attending Catholic school resulted in his film that never shies away from exposing the hypocrisies of the institution.  Anthony Sharp (Barry Lyndon) wonderfully captures the aged, yet respected Father Xavier Meldrum who is widely regarded amongst his community.  Shortly after Jenny Welch (Susan Penhaligon) admits to the seasoned clergyman about her abortion, an unhealthy obsession begins.  Father Meldrum records the intimate information and uses it as a ploy to keep Jenny within his grasp.  Unfortunately, most people find her accusations ridiculous as a servant of the church would never do such wrongdoings.  In this sense, House of Mortal Sin serves as an interesting time capsule where people would not commonly accuse a clergyman of committing any harm.  Of course, today we live in a society where cases of abuse at the hands of priests have become all too common and sadly, unsurprising.  Thankfully, House of Mortal Sin chooses not to be a tale of child abuse at the hands of the church but more in the vein of a slasher film.  Father Meldrum’s obsession with Jenny causes him to lash out at those closest to her resulting in several murders including a grizzly strangulation with a Rosary.  In addition, Meldrum possesses shades of Norman Bates as a man with a mommy complex.  He confides in his elderly mother who can no longer speak but is obviously disturbed by her son’s actions.  Meldrum’s mother is cared for by the equally devilish and one-eyed, Miss Brabazon (Sheila Keith), who takes great pride in abusing the ailing woman when her mad son isn’t watching.

    House of Mortal Sin continues to surprise as the film’s final act doesn’t include the typical final girl and madman showdown.  Nonetheless, Pete Walker’s opus concludes on a satisfyingly, somber note that’s quite effective.  House of Mortal Sin may not have possessed children or projectile pea soup, but still delivers a chilling tale of a disturbed priest hellbent on teaching sinners a lesson.  Headlined by a talented cast that turn in memorable performances, Pete Walker’s exercise in Catholic-horror will surely shock and entertain those brave enough to endure creepy clergymen.
    RATING: 4/5

    VIDEO:
    House of Mortal Sin is presented in a 1080p transfer bearing a 1.66:1 aspect ratio.  Minor instances of speckles aside, the transfer looks exceptionally clean sporting a healthy layer of grain. In addition, colors translate well with skin tones appearing natural as can be.  In comparison to some of Kino’s previous Walker titles that were slightly more problematic, House of Mortal Sin ranks as one of their finest looking transfers yet.
    RATING: 4/5

    AUDIO:
    Equipped with a LPCM 2.0 mix, House of Mortal Sin has no noticeable issues to speak of with dialogue coming across very clearly.  A very pleasing and modestly effective audio mix make this a pleasurable listening experience.
    RATING: 4/5

    EXTRAS:

    - Audio Commentary with Director Pete Walker and Jonathan Rigby:  Rigby, author of English Gothic, moderates this highly informative commentary track that has been kindly ported over from the previous DVD release.

    - Pete Walker: An Eye for Terror Part 2: Elijah Drenner interviews Walker in this 11 minute featurette that finds the director explaining his first interest in filmmaking as well as his own opinions on his films now.

    - Pete Walker Trailers: Includes The Flesh and Blood Show, House of Whipcord, Frightmare, The Comeback and Home Before Midnight.

    RATING: 3.5/5

    OVERALL:
    Kino Lorber’s exciting Redemption banner does a fine service in their continuing efforts to bring Pete Walker’s work to the high-definition realm.  House of Mortal Sin is an effectively creepy take on a disturbed and obsessive priest.  Anthony Sharp steals the show as the twisted Father Meldrum who poisons and strangles his way through victims with no remorse.  Pete Walker’s tale of corruption and religion makes a wonderful leap to Blu-ray with a satisfactory video presentation and an informative array of special features to cut into.  Unquestionably, House of Mortal Sin is a personal favorite of Walker’s many works and one that is screaming to join your collection.
    RATING: 4/5