American Horror Project

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released from Arrow and the films on them.

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antnield
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American Horror Project

#1 Post by antnield » Sat Oct 31, 2015 4:17 pm

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NEW UK/US TITLE: American Horror Project Vol 1 [The Witch Who Came From the Sea + Malatesta’s Carnival of Blood + The Premonition] (Arrow Video) Dual Format Limited Edition

Unique slices of the American Nightmare are brought back into the public consciousness and preserved for all to enjoy.

Everyone knows the classic American horror titles: Night of the Living Dead, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and A Nightmare on Elm Street, to name but a few. But we want to tell you a different story – a story of the unsung heroes of American terror... Whether it’s a film that has languished in obscurity, or a movie that’s at risk of being lost due to lack of source materials, American Horror Project is here to ensure that these unique slices of the American Nightmare are brought back into the public consciousness and preserved for all to enjoy.

Volume I of this series presents three tales of violence and madness from the 1970s. Malatesta’s Carnival of Blood (Christopher Speeth, 1973) sees a family arrive at a creepy, dilapidated fairground in search of their missing daughter, only to find themselves at the mercy of cannibalistic ghouls lurking beneath the park. Meanwhile, The Witch Who Came from the Sea (Matt Cimber, 1976), stars Mollie Perkins (The Diary of Anne Frank) as a young woman whose bizarre and violent fantasies start to bleed into reality – literally. Lastly, every parent’s worst nightmare comes true in The Premonition (Robert Allen Schnitzer, 1976), a tale of psychic terror in which five-year-old Janie is snatched away by a strange woman claiming to be her long-lost mother.

Newly remastered from the best surviving elements and contextualised with brand new supplementary material, with American Horror Project we can re-evaluate an alternative history of American horror and film heritage.

LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS
•Brand new 2K restorations of the three features
•High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard DVD presentations
•English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
•Reversible sleeves for each film featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork by the Twins of Evil
•American Horror Project Journal Volume I - Limited Edition 60-page booklet featuring new articles on the films from Kim Newman (Nightmare Movies), Kier-La Janisse (House of Psychotic Women) and Brian Albright (Regional Horror Films, 1958-1990)

MALATESTA’S CARNIVAL OF BLOOD - SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
•Brand new interview with director Christopher Speeth
•Brand new interview with writer Werner Liepolt
•Draft Script (BD/DVD-ROM content)
•Production stills gallery

THE WITCH WHO CAME FROM THE SEA - SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
•Audio commentary with director Matt Cimber, actress Millie Perkins and director of photography Dean Cundey
•Brand new interview with director Matt Cimber
•Brand new interview with Dean Cundey
•Brand new interview with actor John Goff

THE PREMONITION - SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
•Audio commentary with director-producer Robert Allen Schnitzer
•Brand new interview with composer Henry Mollicone
•Interview with actor Richard Lynch
•Three Robert Allen Schnitzer short films: ‘Vernal Equinox’, ‘Terminal Point’ and ‘A Rumbling in the Land’
•4 “Peace Spots”
•Trailers and TV Spots

PLUS MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED!

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Ribs
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Re: American Horror Project

#2 Post by Ribs » Sat Oct 31, 2015 6:00 pm

Arrow has become the best anything since anything. This is the fifth box-set in five months of previously very rare material. Absolutely crazy.

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Jean-Luc Garbo
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Re: American Horror Project

#3 Post by Jean-Luc Garbo » Sat Oct 31, 2015 10:03 pm

Now this is very intriguing indeed. Considering his literally gargantuan book on the subject and previous involvement with Arrow, I'd hope that Stephen Thrower is involved.

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Ashirg
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Re: American Horror Project

#4 Post by Ashirg » Sun Nov 15, 2015 9:49 pm

Does anyone know other titles that can be included in the set besides the announced 3? Maybe they can license Lemora restoration from Synapse...

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Emak-Bakia
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Re: American Horror Project

#5 Post by Emak-Bakia » Mon Nov 16, 2015 12:01 pm

Since the thread hasn't been updated with the formal announcement from Arrow, here's the Facebook post with the details:
NEW UK/US TITLE: American Horror Project Vol 1 [The Witch Who Came From the Sea + Malatesta’s Carnival of Blood + The Premonition] (Arrow Video) Dual Format Limited Edition

Unique slices of the American Nightmare are brought back into the public consciousness and preserved for all to enjoy.

Pre-order your UK copy here
North American pre-orders links should be live soon!
UK Release Date: 22nd February 2016
US Release Date: 23rd February 2016
Region: Free

Everyone knows the classic American horror titles: Night of the Living Dead, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and A Nightmare on Elm Street, to name but a few. But we want to tell you a different story – a story of the unsung heroes of American terror... Whether it’s a film that has languished in obscurity, or a movie that’s at risk of being lost due to lack of source materials, American Horror Project is here to ensure that these unique slices of the American Nightmare are brought back into the public consciousness and preserved for all to enjoy.

Volume I of this series presents three tales of violence and madness from the 1970s. Malatesta’s Carnival of Blood (Christopher Speeth, 1973) sees a family arrive at a creepy, dilapidated fairground in search of their missing daughter, only to find themselves at the mercy of cannibalistic ghouls lurking beneath the park. Meanwhile, The Witch Who Came from the Sea (Matt Cimber, 1976), stars Mollie Perkins (The Diary of Anne Frank) as a young woman whose bizarre and violent fantasies start to bleed into reality – literally. Lastly, every parent’s worst nightmare comes true in The Premonition (Robert Allen Schnitzer, 1976), a tale of psychic terror in which five-year-old Janie is snatched away by a strange woman claiming to be her long-lost mother.

Newly remastered from the best surviving elements and contextualised with brand new supplementary material, with American Horror Project we can re-evaluate an alternative history of American horror and film heritage.

LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS
•Brand new 2K restorations of the three features
•High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard DVD presentations
•English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
•Reversible sleeves for each film featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork by the Twins of Evil
•American Horror Project Journal Volume I - Limited Edition 60-page booklet featuring new articles on the films from Kim Newman (Nightmare Movies), Kier-La Janisse (House of Psychotic Women) and Brian Albright (Regional Horror Films, 1958-1990)

MALATESTA’S CARNIVAL OF BLOOD - SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
•Brand new interview with director Christopher Speeth
•Brand new interview with writer Werner Liepolt
•Draft Script (BD/DVD-ROM content)
•Production stills gallery

THE WITCH WHO CAME FROM THE SEA - SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
•Audio commentary with director Matt Cimber, actress Millie Perkins and director of photography Dean Cundey
•Brand new interview with director Matt Cimber
•Brand new interview with Dean Cundey
•Brand new interview with actor John Goff

THE PREMONITION - SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
•Audio commentary with director-producer Robert Allen Schnitzer
•Brand new interview with composer Henry Mollicone
•Interview with actor Richard Lynch
•Three Robert Allen Schnitzer short films: ‘Vernal Equinox’, ‘Terminal Point’ and ‘A Rumbling in the Land’
•4 “Peace Spots”
•Trailers and TV Spots

PLUS MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED!
I don't think we should expect any more feature-length titles for this volume, Ashirg, but I do think it would be great to see the films from Dino Everett's Shock Value program (featuring early USC student films from John Carpenter and Dan O'Bannon) get some kind of home video release. The program as a whole has cheesy credits and heavy metal between the individual shorts, but the films should definitely be made available in some form. Some of them could make great additions to this set or a future volume (even if a few are from the tail end of the 60s.) Foster's Release, in particular, really is as important as the article linked to above makes it out to to be.
Last edited by Emak-Bakia on Mon Nov 16, 2015 12:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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domino harvey
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Re: American Horror Project

#6 Post by domino harvey » Mon Nov 16, 2015 12:04 pm

Not familiar with any of these films, can anyone comment on them?

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Emak-Bakia
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Re: American Horror Project

#7 Post by Emak-Bakia » Mon Nov 16, 2015 12:08 pm

I meant to ask the same question. I'm excited by this series, but not sure I'm prepared to completely blind buy this (without even so much as a recommendation from someone who has seen any of the films), even if I do have confidence in Arrow's selections as of late.

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Dr Amicus
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Re: American Horror Project

#8 Post by Dr Amicus » Mon Nov 16, 2015 12:38 pm

I haven't seen any of them, but The Witch Who Came From The Sea was an official Video Nasty...

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Re: American Horror Project

#9 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Nov 16, 2015 1:19 pm

It has been years since I last saw it but I remember The Witch Who Came From The Sea being quite trippy. Its the story of a woman's mental breakdown as she gets increasing visions of her repressed but slowly resurfacing child abuse (as far as I can recall by her sailor grandfather with a mermaid tattoo, hence the title), which leads to her going on a vendetta killing spree aimed at men in general. Despite the artwork for this usually suggesting something supernatural it is more a contemporary set, slightly grubby piece of psycho-drama. Think of something in the same kind of millieu as the original Toolbox Murders or I Spit On Your Grave (although this film pre-dates both of those films by a couple of years), although Witch Who Came From The Sea is in 2.35:1 widescreen, so a Blu-ray edition should be a great upgrade.

I seem to remember the 'key' (or at least most amusing!) scene of the film involves Millie Perkins (a long way away from her debut in the title role in the 1959 Diary of Anne Frank film! But she certainly goes all in for this role!) wandering to a beach front bodybuilding gym and eyeing up the musclemen, with pointed intercutting between the bulging trunks of one bodybuilder and the main character!

Here's the spoilery and very NSFW trailer!

I haven't seen the other two films though, so I'm excited to get introduced to them by this release!

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L.A.
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Re: American Horror Project

#10 Post by L.A. » Mon Nov 16, 2015 4:39 pm

I ordered this DVD of Malatesta's Carnival of Blood from Xploited Cinema (in 2007 I think). Don't remember much about it but probably not something for the film collection. At least Hervé Villechaize is in it.

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Re: American Horror Project

#11 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:01 pm


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zedz
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Re: American Horror Project

#12 Post by zedz » Mon Feb 22, 2016 4:27 pm

I watched Malatesta's Carnival of Blood, and I can understand why it got Arrow's attention. It's an ambitious, unusual, psychedelic horror movie that's quite unpredictable. On the downside, it's almost totally incompetent, so none of the interesting ideas are well-executed. It really looks like a bunch of amateurs took a bunch of acid, broke into a carnival and improvised a horror movie. But it's a lot less fun than that sounds.

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domino harvey
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Re: American Horror Project

#13 Post by domino harvey » Mon Feb 22, 2016 4:57 pm

So, a horror version of Jean-Michel Barjol's What a Flash!

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Re: American Horror Project

#14 Post by domino harvey » Fri Feb 26, 2016 7:57 pm

There is a sense of rediscovery with this set, with Stephen Thrower introducing each title with big promises of the qualities we'll find within. But this set is the biggest bill of goods sold by a label that should know better in recent memory. Turns out these movies are forgotten for a reason: they are godawful. The ineptitude zedz highlights above is the defining characteristic of these films, which seem like fodder more for Code Red or those 100 Drive-in Chillers DVD dump-bin boxes, not a $100 MSRP boutique label product. I'm sure, as with Code Red's output, there are people who legit will love these, but their taste and my taste (and, I suspect, the taste of the majority of this board) would not make for a Venn diagram with much overlap. There is nothing to recommend in these films, at all. Period. Two of the three aren't even competently relayed to the audience (at least the Premonition is just dull but still resembles a movie made by people who know what they're doing), and if you're a fan of audiences doing heavy lifting and apologia for utter artlessness, then this will be your favorite box set of the year! Arrow is doing great things elsewhere, but I have zero interest in the future of this project if these three titles are representative of what the future holds-- how anyone could look at these titles they've selected to introduce and justify this project and think they're the best of anything is the real horror here.

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zedz
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Re: American Horror Project

#15 Post by zedz » Sat Feb 27, 2016 11:19 pm

I'm watching The Premonition right now, and I'm so engaged I'm reading your post!

That said, I did find The Witch That Came From the Sea interestingly bonkers, if far from a great film.

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swo17
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Re: American Horror Project

#16 Post by swo17 » Sun Feb 28, 2016 12:19 am

Anne Frank really did go off the deep end there, didn't she?

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domino harvey
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Re: American Horror Project

#17 Post by domino harvey » Sun Feb 28, 2016 12:42 am

I just don't know why the producers didn't budget enough costuming for her to be able to wear a top for more than half the film

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Re: American Horror Project

#18 Post by tomN245 » Fri Mar 04, 2016 3:16 pm

zedz wrote:I watched Malatesta's Carnival of Blood, and I can understand why it got Arrow's attention. It's an ambitious, unusual, psychedelic horror movie that's quite unpredictable. On the downside, it's almost totally incompetent, so none of the interesting ideas are well-executed. It really looks like a bunch of amateurs took a bunch of acid, broke into a carnival and improvised a horror movie. But it's a lot less fun than that sounds.
I'm the same. The crew interviews on the extras (the Production Designers and the Director) were saying what a masterpiece they made, how the acting is great, the set design is incredible and how they created a terrifying atmosphere... I thought it was all tacky and forgetful. Most of the film is bad actors running slowly through crappy sets (that are falling apart) being chased by "zombies" that are limping with grey faces and ripped shirts.

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Re: American Horror Project

#19 Post by cdnchris » Fri Mar 04, 2016 5:03 pm

I didn't get any of that from the interviews. Maybe the director was a little delusional as to what he made (a little) but he admitted there were issues with the film, and I felt he was leaning towards the "it's not so good" spectrum during his interview. But the production designers didn't seem impressed at all: they both pretty much said they did as well as they could with what they had to work with, but the one guy (at the moment can't recall who was who) was just shy of calling the film a piece of shit, while the other seemed to try an avoid talking about the film itself as a finished product and just focus on what they had to work with (bubble wrap, lots and lots of bubble wrap).

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zedz
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Re: American Horror Project

#20 Post by zedz » Wed Mar 16, 2016 7:09 pm

Having kicked these films around a bit, I have to say that the commentary for Malatesta's Carnival of Blood is absolutely first rate. It's one of those encyclopaedic 'here's everything I could find out about everybody involved in this film' commentaries, but rather than just read out imdb printouts, he's actually done proper research, and turned up way more fascinating gobs of trivia than you'd ever expect. He's also mercifully light on special pleading. All in all, this commentary is way more entertaining than anything else in this set (so far).

I wish I could properly credit the guy who did such great work, but this feature isn't even listed on any of the online sources I checked, not even Arrow's own website.

The commentary for The Witch Who Came from the Sea is not so good - it basically repeats lots of the same info we hear two or three times in the interviews - and it's technically abysmal. The three participants (director, star, cinematographer) are all chatting in a cavernous room while the movie plays at low volume. They're so badly miked that some of the time the movie soundtrack is more audible than the commentary, with everything enshrouded in echo that would make Phil Spector think twice.

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Adam Grikepelis
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Re: American Horror Project

#21 Post by Adam Grikepelis » Thu Mar 17, 2016 7:19 am

Mondo Digital credits Richard Harland Smith for the Malatesta commentary.

Really looking forward to delving into this set, though my copy's still held up by an accompanying pre-order. The Witch Who Came From the Sea was actually my main draw as I quite like Matt Cimber's film. Very curious to see what the other two are like, and what Arrow have in store for any further sets.

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zedz
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Re: American Horror Project

#22 Post by zedz » Thu Mar 17, 2016 2:44 pm

Adam Grikepelis wrote:Mondo Digital credits Richard Harland Smith for the Malatesta commentary.
Thank you, and thank you Mr Smith!

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Re: American Horror Project

#23 Post by Adam Grikepelis » Thu Mar 17, 2016 7:50 pm

You're welcome zedz. I notice he's done commentaries for the recent releases of Blood and Lace & Burnt Offerings too. Something else to look forward to; he sounds like a very knowledgable, and thorough, guy.

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Boosmahn
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Re: American Horror Project

#24 Post by Boosmahn » Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:33 pm

If I want to get into this "genre," (midnight/cult movies) would American Horror Project be a good place to start? The H.G. Feast boxset is too much for my tastes, and the AHP seems like a smaller, watered-down version of that. At the very least, would maybe one of these films be worth checking out?
Last edited by Boosmahn on Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: American Horror Project

#25 Post by domino harvey » Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:34 pm

Literally just chuckled and shook my head no

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