Review by Andrew Johnson
Leave it to Kino
Lorber for releasing on DVD those hard to find films from the past for
film buffs to fill in their cinematic history and for all to enjoy filmmaking
as it was in times gone by. (They’re also responsible for current
titles playing theatrically and on DVD.)
The Players: Hans Albers, Brigitte Helm, Michael Bohnen, Friedrich Kayssler
Complete TV Series
As everyone knows, they do things differently on British television. Yes, this is the complete run of "Chiller." But, that only adds up to five episodes, or 265 minutes total. Still, the question is, are they 265 minutes that are worth your time, or aren't they? The answer is, could be.
If you are a fan of the British way of doing horror, the five episodes are a tribute to what can be done with a small budget. What one has to do, of course, is rely on story-telling rather than unlimited gore and special effects. CGIing everything in sight costs money. Telling a twisted, thought-provoking, ingenious tale only takes the effort involved in gathering up a good writer and director and turning them loose.
That was done here to quite remarkable effect, actually.
Also, "Chiller" is a rather recent production. The run was aired in the UK in 1995, and has never been seen in America before this release. This means not only original material one can almost be guaranteed of never having viewed previously, but more up-to-date subject matter as well. Now, granted, malevolent spirits, serial killers, evil children, haunted houses, et cetera, are not the most modern of subjects. I'm referring to the handling of the subjects.
All five episodes are both well thought out and intelligently presented. Unlike most modern American horror film makers, there is no wink-and-a-nod to the audience to let them "in on the joke." There is no joke here. The shows being presented are done in a serious, forthright manner, and the entire production benefits from the we're-taking-our-work-seriously-here attitude of the filmmakers involved.
The episodes also feature a number of top British players of the era, including Nigel Havers ("Chariots of Fire", "Coronation Street"), Martin Clunes (the UK's "Men Behaving Badly"), Sophie Ward ("Young Sherlock Holmes") and Kevin McNally (Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean" series).
There is nothing too fantastic to report in areas such as cinematography, costuming, direction, and so forth. These have all been well-serviced, but at a solid workman level. For instance, since it's all modern day settings, costuming's main goal was too be both realistic and timeless enough so that people did not look too goofy a few years down the road. The camera people all do a fine job, but low budget's mean shooting in standing structures and not building endless sets.
Still, what one is left with are five solid segments of a well-made television series. Excellent writing, solid, well-paced direction, and all other bases covered by people who knew what they were doing. The production was a fine effort and one can see why Synapse Films went after it.
So far Synapse has done an excellent job finding and making available hard-to-obtain, or classic, horror materials. They've also been able to uncover some nifty gems for the extras sections of their releases (always a personal favorite of mine with any DvD). Not so this time.
Apparently there was nothing much to offer. The two discs are well-produced, but offer no extras whatsoever. And that, my children, is pretty much it this time around.
Our final word: 5 stars out of 5.
NES Classic is Coming for Christmas 2016
Nintendo's Classic Mini is a tiny NES with 30 games
Relive your childhood memories
Enter the Nintendo Entertainment System: NES
Classic Edition and is described by the company as a "near-identical,
mini replica" version of the original NES console which was released
The full list includes Balloon Fight, Bubble Bobble, Castlevania, Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., Double Dragon II: The Revenge, Dr. Mario, Excitebike, Final Fantasy, Galaga, Ghosts' N Ghoblins, Gradius, Ice Climber, Kid Icarus, Kirby's Adventure, Mario Bros., Mega Man 2, Metroid, Ninja Gaiden, Pac-Man, Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream, StarTropics, SUPER C, Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario Bros. 3, Tecmo Bowl, The Legend of Zelda and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.
You'll get the preloaded games, an HDMI cable, an AC adapter and one NES Classic Controller, which obviously looksexactly like the ones you're used to. Nintendo has offered a few more details about the micro console, including whether or not it can connect to the internet to download more games and if the company will release additional software for it.
For those that want to play with a second player, Nintendo confirmed that the replica console will support two-player functionality for games with that option and a second controller can be purchased for $9.99. Players with a Classic Controller or Classic Controller Pro can also use those, according to the company
The system launches this November 11th for $59.99 across North America and the UK.