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Import Corner: Children of the Corn Trilogy (Arrow Video) Blu-ray Review

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Studio: Arrow Video Release Date:  March 9th, 1984 (theatrical) (Children of the Corn)                                    January 29th, 1993 (theatrical) (Children of the Corn II)                                   September 12th, 1995 (video premiere) (Children of the Corn III)                                    September 28th, 2021 (4K blu-ray)  Run Time:  1 hour 32 minutes 11 seconds (Children of the Corn)                         1 hour 32 minutes 59 seconds (Children of the Corn II) (International Cut)                         1 hour 33 minutes 33 seconds (Children of the Corn II) (US Theatrical Cut)                         1 hour 35 minutes 29 seconds (Children of the Corn II) (Workprint Version)                         1 hour 30 minutes 57 seconds (Children of the Corn III) (US Cut)                         1 hour 32 minutes 54 seconds (Children of the Corn III) (International Cut) Region Code: REGION FREE (4K Blu-ray) (Children of the Corn)                                  REGION

Import Corner: Encounter of the Spooky Kind (Eureka Entertainment) Blu-ray Review


Eureka Entertainment has brought us a lot of old school martial arts films over the past few years and they are at it again with their wonderful release of Encounter of the Spooky Kind. This is one of Sammo Hung's best films and a blast to watch. 

Studio: Eureka Entertainment
Release Date: December 24th, 1980 (theatrical)
                        June 21st, 2021 (blu-ray)
Run Time: 1 hour 43 minutes 14 seconds
Region Code: B (locked)
Picture: 1080p (2.35:1 aspect ratio)
Sound:  Cantonese LPCM 1.0 (original theatrical)
                Cantonese LPCM 1.0 (remixed home video)
                English LPCM 1.0 (classic dub)
                English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (alternate dub)
Subtitles: English
Slipcover: Yes (limited)
Digital Copy: No
Starring: Sammo Hung, Fat Chung, Lung Chan, Ha Huang, Tai-Bo, Ching-Ying Lam, Wu Ma
Written by Sammo Hung and Ying Wong
Directed by Sammo Hung
Rating: BBFC: 15 

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Poster

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What's It About?

Sammo Hung plays Courageous Cheung, a man well known in his local village for his lack of fear. His reputation is soon put to the test after he is tricked into spending the night in a temple full of spirits, zombies, and vampires! (taken from back of blu-ray case)
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Film Review

I love ENCOUNTER OF THE SPOOKY KIND. I have ever since I saw it back in the 90's. I would consider this one of Sammo's best films. The film features some great fight scenes that really show off what Sammo is good at. His fight scenes are both brutal and funny. We also get to see that Hung knows how to do horror. When he goes into the house to get his 10 silver bars, the scene is a masterclass on how to do horror. Hung uses silence to build on his horror and sell it right. He also is a superb filmmaker, moving his camera like no other Hong Kong filmmaker did at the time. His use of long takes really sell us on the happenings of the film, but he also knows when to use quick cuts to sell impact and horror. I was actually surprised by how scary this film is. There is a scene early on with Hung inside a house that is being haunted by a female ghost in a mirror. Hung uses animation, undercranking, and many other filmmaking techniques to give the scene an uneasy feel. Sure, most people won't find it remotely scary today, but back in the day, it was.  ENCOUNTER OF THE SPOOKY KIND is one of Sammo Hung's Best films and a film that is completely unique and entertaining.
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Video/Audio

Sporting a brand new 2K restoration, and presented in the film's original aspect ratio of 2.35:1, ENCOUNTER OF THE SPOOKY KIND looks great. I have seen this film in many different formats over the years, and it has never looked this good. Detail is impressive throughout even in the darker scenes. Colors look great especially when Hung employs colored lighting during the climax of the film and, of course, the blood. Skin tones look good although some look a little too red. Maybe that is how the film is supposed to look. Grain is also present. It's light more of the times, but it is there. 

We have four audio tracks to choose from. I will always choose the original English dub for these old-school films because that is what I grew up with, but the other tracks are great in their own right. Dialogue sounds crisp and clear and the sound effects, something that is so memorable from most kung fu flicks, have never sounded better.
  • Original Theatrical Cantonese
  • Remixed Cantonese Mono Audio From the Original Home Video Release
  • Classic English Mono Dub From the English VHS Release
  • Alternate English Dub 

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Extras/Packaging
  • Commentary by Asian Film Expert Frank Djeng
  • Alternate English Credits From An International Print of the Film (4m 28s, HD, 2.35:1)
  • Archival Sammo Hung Interview (12m 57s, SD, 1.78:1)
  • Stills Gallery (24 images)
  • Original Hong Kong Trailer (4m 29s, HD, 2.35:1) in Cantonese with English subtitles
  • US Home Video Trailer Reconstructed Trailer from Tai Seng Release (1m 26s, HD, 2.35:1)
The commentary from Frank Djeng is great! Next up, we have alternate English credits. An archival interview with Sammo Hung is up next. Hung starts off talking about his childhood. He hated school, but his grandparents wanted him to learn, so they took him to the Peking Opera School where Jackie Chan, Yuen Wah, and Yuen Biao (among others) were taught. He talks of his time there, gaining friendships, and being beat by his master for messing up. He was at the school for seven years, sleeping on the floor while learning how to fight and perform. He talks about his first time working in the film industry, how much he loved it, and how when he left school he knew what he wanted to do. He speaks fondly of working with Yuen Biao. Finally, we have a stills gallery, the original Hong Kong trailer, and the US video trailer that Tai Seng had created for their release many years ago.

ENCOUNTER OF THE SPOOKY KIND comes to us from the fine folks at Eureka Entertainment. This one-disc release comes housed inside a very nice slipcover with beautiful artwork by Darren Wheeling. The blu-ray case is the same type that Criterion uses which means that the artwork is bigger than normal blu-ray cases. The artwork is not reversible which is very disappointing. Companies should always include the original theatrical poster as an option. Inside the case is the blu-ray disc which features the same artwork as the front cover and a booklet with an essay by James Oliver, lobby cards, and viewing notes. A folded-up poster inside the slipcover features the new artwork on one side and the original theatrical poster on the other. Why is the original artwork on the poster but not the case? Who knows, but at least we have it somewhere.
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Overall

ENCOUNTER OF THE SPOOKY KIND is a martial arts masterpiece that features some great scares and some truly impressive fight choreography. The film is funny and scary and such a good time. Eureka has done a great job bringing this film to blu-ray. Their transfer makes the film feel like it is new again and I love all the different audio options. The special features are a bit light, but the Frank Djeng commentary more than makes up for that. This is a must-own for fans and a good opportunity for those who haven't seen it to give it a try.
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Extras/Menus
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Film
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Packaging

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