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BETWEEN NIGHT AND DAWN - Blu-ray Review



George Romero's name may be synonymous with the living dead subgenre, but his filmography is far richer and more varied than his reputation as "the zombie guy" would suggest. Following the breakout success of his debut feature Night of the Living Dead, the director would embark upon a series of projects which demonstrate a master filmmaker with more than mere gut-munching on his mind.

In There's Always Vanilla, young drifter Chris and beautiful model Lynn embark upon a tumultuous relationship which seems doomed from the outset. Season of the Witch (released theatrically as Hungry Wives) follows the exploits of Joan Mitchell - a housewife who seeks to escape the confines of her humdrum suburban existence through a flirtation with witchcraft. Lastly, The Crazies sees Romero returning to firmer horror territory as a small rural town finds itself in the grip of an infection which send its hosts into a violent, homicidal frenzy.

Taken together, these three films, made in the period between Romero's celebrated living dead outings Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead, serve to shine a light on the broader thematic concerns and auteurist leanings of a skilled craftsman too often pigeonholed within the genre.

LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS

High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard DVD presentations
Original Mono Audio (Uncompressed PCM on the Blu-rays)
English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Reversible sleeve for each film featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx
Limited edition 60-page booklet featuring new writing on the films by Kat Ellinger, Kier-La Janisse and Heather Drain

THERE'S ALWAYS VANILLA (1971)

There's Always Vanilla follows the life of Chris Bradley (Raymond Laine) a former U.S. Army soldier who has become a drifter and makes money by various means, from pimping to guitar playing. Chris returns to his home city of Pittsburgh and visits his father who owns and operates a baby food factory. After an evening out with his father of drinking at a local bar, and visiting an old girlfriend named Terri Terrific (Johanna Lawrence), Mr. Bradley wants Chris to abandon his bohemian lifestyle and do what was agreed upon when he separated from the military; return to the family business, but Chris refuses.

Considered by Romero to be his "worst" film, THERE'S ALWAYS VANILLA is undeniably bad but never the less interesting. Even when Romero misses he was swinging for the fences.


-SPECIAL FEATURES

Brand new 2K restoration from original film elements
Brand new audio commentary by Travis Crawford
Affair of the Heart: The Making of There's Always Vanilla - brand new documentary featuring interviews with producers John Russo and Russell Streiner, stars Judith Streiner and Richard Ricci, and sound recordist Gary Streiner
Digging Up the Dead - The Lost Films of George A. Romero - archive interview with Romero discussing his early films There's Always Vanilla and Season of the Witch
Location Gallery with audio commentary by Romero historian Lawrence DeVincentz
Memorabilia Gallery
Trailer
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx

SEASON OF THE WITCH (1972)

Joan Mitchell (Jan White) is the 39-year-old wife of a businessman, Jack Mitchell (Bill Thunhurst). They live in suburban Pittsburgh with their 19-year-old daughter Nikki (Joedda McClain), a student. Joan is unhappy and bored with her housewife role. Jack is busy, domineering, and sometimes violent, embarking on long business trips every week. Joan has been seeing a psychotherapist because of her recurring dreams about her husband controlling her. He makes repeated references to needing to "kick some ass"—a colleague's, his own child's, his wife's. Eventually, he strikes Joan in the face.

The film is about a housewife (Jan White) who discovers with her friends that a local woman, Marion (Virginia Greenwald), practices witchcraft. The friends visit Marion and White finds herself interested enough in witchcraft to experiment with it for herself.



-Special Features

Brand new 4K restoration of the original theatrical version from the camera negative [90 mins]
Alternate extended version [104 mins]
Brand new audio commentary by Travis Crawford
When Romero Met Del Toro - filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro in conversation with George Romero
The Secret Life of Jack's Wife - archive interview with actress Jan White
Alternate Opening Titles
Location Gallery with audio commentary by Romero historian Lawrence DeVincentz
Memorabilia Gallery
Trailer
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx

THE CRAZIES (1973)

Set in the small town of Evans City, Pennsylvania, the central characters are firefighter David (Will McMillan), his girlfriend, nurse Judy (Lane Carroll), and firefighter Clank (Harold Wayne Jones). David was a Green Beret and Clank an infantryman, both having served in Vietnam. The town has seen a number of violent events, including arson at a local farm by a demented farmer. Judy and David are very concerned, since Judy is pregnant.

Meanwhile, heavily armed U.S. troops in NBC suits and gas masks, arrive in town, led by Major Ryder (Harry Spillman), who takes over the doctor's office where Judy works. Days earlier, an Army plane carrying an untested bioweapon crash-landed in the hills near the town, infecting the water supply with a virus code-named "Trixie," causing victims to either die or become homicidal. "Trixie" is highly contagious, with anyone drinking from the Evans City reservoir becoming affected. In Washington D.C., government officials order Colonel Peckem (Lloyd Hollar) to go to Evans City to help contain the virus, while scientist Dr. Watts (Richard France), arrives to develop a cure before the virus spreads beyond the small town.

This is the most well known and highly regarded film in the set and for good reason. THE CRAZIES is a film about how paranoia can overrule reason, a film that plays as well today as it did 40 years ago.



-Special Features

Brand new 4K restoration from the original camera negative
Brand new audio commentary by Travis Crawford
Romero Was Here: Locating The Crazies - Romero historian Lawrence DeVincentz takes us on a guided tour of Evans City, PA and the locations used in The Crazies
Crazy for Lynn Lowry - cult star Lynn Lowry discusses her early career including her role in The Crazies
Q&A with Lynn Lowry filmed at the 2016 Abertoir Film Festival
Audio interview with producer Lee Hessel
Behind-the-scenes footage with optional commentary by Lawrence DeVincentz
Alternate Opening Titles
Image Galleries
Trailers & TV Spots
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx

You can order your copy of BETWEEN NIGHT AND DAWN form MVD here
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