30th Oct2018

From VHS to VOD #6

by Phil Wheat

VHS-to-VOD-header

After a brief (OK, year-long) hiatus, our From VHS to VOD column returns to guide you through the strange and obscure – the odd, unseen and unreleased (well unreleased on disc formats) films available on streaming and on-demand services.

Since our last installment there has been an explosion of the obscure movies hitting Amazon Prime Video – available for streaming rather than purchase, though the wide variety of films you don’t, and probably won’t see elsewhere makes up for that. Like iTunes there are some truly obscure films hidden away in the depths of Amazon’s vast collection of movies. Some of which have been made available in the UK for the first time since VHS and a LOT that have been added to the service in their original uncut form!

So sit back and check out what weird and wonderful films we’ve discovered in this edition of From VHS to VOD…

Midnight Warrior

Newsman Nick Branca (Kevin Bernhardt) becomes a media star when he saves a woman’s life. His money-hungry boss Buddy (Bernie Angel) is quick to assign him high-publicity, albeit dangerous, events, but fame and fortune can’t make up for Nick’s dwindling respect for the ratings-driven news machine. After he quits his high-paying job, his girlfriend gets murdered, and he must return to his investigative roots to find out who is trying to frame him.

One of the few PM Entertainment films not to make it to DVD during the formats heyday, Midnight Warrior is also something of an oddity for the company, feeling very much unlike the traditional stunt-led action flicks many will remember the company for. How different is it from the rest of PM output? Well many have compared the film to thriller Nightcrawler rather than any other action movies… Though the tropes of “PM Entertainment” are clearly at play. See for yourself, Midnight Warrior is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video now.

Bullies

When the peaceful Morris family move to a small town and buy the town grocery store, they run afoul of the Cullen family. The Cullen’s have been bullying the town’s folk for years, and now they are harassing the Morris family every chance they get. Matt meanwhile meets and starts seeing a lot of Becky who also likes him. Unfortunately her last name is Cullen, and when the rest of the family finds out about their relationship, they decide to get even, and their harassment is elevated to vicious assault.

A Canadian teen revenge thriller that seems to have been forgotten, Bullies is best described as a seedier version of The New Kids (if that’s possible?). The film was directed by Paul Lynch, he of Prom Night fame, and stars a young Olivia D’Abo as the films love interest/source of all the violence… This one hasn’t seen the light of day since the VHS days, where it was released by Sheer Entertainment. But you can watch Bullies now on Amazon Prime Video.

Mirror of Death

Mirror-of-Death-1988

Sarah, an abused woman who fears she is unattractive and decides to cast a spell from an old witchcraft book, transforming her into a sex goddess. But the spell unleashes a demon spirit, Empress Sura, into Sarah’s mirror

Mirror of Death is one of those films I don’t ever remember watching but I do remember the VHS box art – mainly because my local video store used to have it on the top shelf alongside the blueys! I have no idea why they thought it deserved a place amongst the pr0n but that’s where it sat – out of my reach and teasing me with that creepy hand-drawn image of a white-eyed woman coming out of a mirror (check out what I mean here). Thankfully, despite a home entertainment release or two in the US, Mirror of Death is now available to watch from the comfort of my own home – and without ever having to reach up to that top shelf and suffer the embarassment of being spotted by the woman running the video shop!

Mirror of Death is available to watch now on Amazon Prime Video

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