Cinemas & Home Entertainment this week…
Grim Pickings this week includes key dates to dismember with the year’s most anticipated genre film opening in cinemas while home entertainment re-animates a host of horror classics for the first-time on Blu-ray locally!
Thursday June 7th
Fresh from its Monster Fest Travelling Sideshow premiere, the year’s most anticipated genre film hits cinemas. Declared as “emotional terrorism”, “graceful and relentless horror” and “an absolute nightmare” by critics around the globe, could the hype be any bigger? From first-time feature filmmaker Ari Aster, the demented mind behind chilling viral short THE STRANGE THING ABOUT THE JOHNSONS and featuring acclaimed performances from Toni Collette, Ann Dowd and Alex Wolff. When Ellen passes away, her daughter’s family begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry. The more they discover, the more they find themselves trying to outrun the sinister fate they seem to have inherited.
Nostalgic in just about every sense, this road trip dramedy (shot on 35mm Kodak film) combines the talents of Jason Sudekis, Elizabeth Olsen and Ed Harris for a surprisingly emotional journey – not least because of its mourning the loss of physical media in favour of digital. Most early praise has singled out Harris’s refreshingly real take as a deadbeat father as reason to check this out. Matt (Sudekis), a struggling executive, finds his world turned upside down when his estranged father’s nurse (Olsen) shows up unexpectedly in his office. Matt’s father (Harris), a famed bad-boy photojournalist, is facing terminal cancer and his dying wish is for Matt to join him on a road trip from New York to Kansas to process his last rolls of Kodachrome film before the sole remaining lab closes and those captured moments are gone forever.
We would be remiss not to mention the all-female lead spin-off of Steven Soderbergh’s OCEAN’S FRANCHISE that boasts an impressively strong cast including Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway and Rihanna. Five years, eight months, 12 days and counting — that’s how long Debbie Ocean has been devising the biggest heist of her life. She knows what it’s going to take — a team of the best people in the field, starting with her partner-in-crime Lou Miller. Together, they recruit a crew of specialists, including jeweller Amita, street con Constance, suburban mom Tammy, hacker Nine Ball, and fashion designer Rose. Their target — a necklace that’s worth more than $150 million.
Wednesday June 6th
ELI ROTH’s revamp of Michael Winner’s 1974 classic might have been released at the worst possible time (when gun control talks were at a new peak) but the actual film remains a fun and gory (if disposable) piece of exploitation entertainment. Not to mention the fact that it offers one of the best turns in recent memory from the king of turning-up-for-a-pay check, Bruce Willis.. Dr. Paul Kersey (Willis) is a surgeon who only sees the aftermath of his city’s violence as it’s rushed into his ER – until his wife (Elisabeth Shue) and college-age daughter (Camila Morrone) are viciously attacked in their suburban home. With the police overloaded with crimes, Paul, burning for revenge, hunts for his family’s assailants to deliver justice. As the anonymous slayings of criminals grabs the media’s attention, the city wonders if this deadly avenger is a guardian angel…or a grim reaper. Despite reports from Roadshow earlier on that the local release would port all of the Special Feature content from the US release, unfortunately the local editions comes barebones and in the wrong aspect ratio…heartbreaking!
RE-ANIMATOR (COLLECTOR’S EDITION)
RE-ANIMATOR (2 DISC COLLECTOR EDITION) is the first volume in Umbrella Entertainment’s new Worlds on Film: Beyond Genre imprint and while it is a re-issue of the long out-of-print JB Hi-Fi Exclusive, it carries with it new packaging and the Beyond Genres branding. Conducting clandestine experiments within the morgue at Miskatonic University, scientist Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs) reveals to fellow graduate student Dan Cain (Bruce Abbott) his groundbreaking work concerning the re-animation of fresh corpses. West’s secret reagent is a powerful injection with the capacity to give life where there is none – destined to capture the imagination of the entire scientific community. However, between life and death is a thin thread of understanding and when obsession gets the better of West, there is no stopping his wicked ways – dead or alive! This 2 Disc Collector Edition features a behind-the-scenes documentary, deleted scenes, extensive cast/industry figure interviews along with audio commentaries with cast & crew: all of which breathe new life into this all-time classic!
BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR/BEYOND RE-ANIMATOR (COLLECTOR’S EDITION)
Umbrella Entertainment follows up their first Worlds on Film: Beyond Genres release of RE-ANIMATOR with a double-pack of the sequels, BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR and BEYOND RE-ANIMATOR, in a special feature laden package. BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR: The mad Dr. Herbert (Jeffrey Combs), the tormented Dr. Dan Cain (Bruce Abbott) and the beheaded Dr. Carl Hill (David Gale) return in this terrifying sequel to Re-Animator. It’s been eight months since the Miskatonic Massacre stained the halls with blood – and Dr. West and Dr. Cain’s experiments have taken a bizarre turn. Now they have gone beyond re-animating the dead… into the realm of creating new life. The legs of a hooker and the womb of a virgin are joined to the heart of Dr. Cain’s dead girlfriend – and the bride is unleashed upon her mate in a climax of sensual horror. BEYOND RE-ANIMATOR: When he was young, Howard Phillips (Jason Barry) watched his sister get torn apart by one of Dr. Herbert West’s (Jeffrey Combs) reanimated corpses. Phillips, now a doctor, is so eager to learn more about the mad doctor’s attempts to bring back the dead that he accepts a position at the prison where West is being held. Phillips delves further into West’s gruesome research, which attracts the attention of a local reporter (Elsa Pataky) and the cruel prison warden (Simón Andreu). Umbrella have gone above and beyond with this dual feature release with a host of all new special feature content and archival content, including audio commentaries, deleted scenes, featurettes, trailers and much more!
TALES FROM THE CRYPT: BORDELLO OF BLOOD
CINEMA CULT offer up another treat for nineties horror fans by releasing the follow-up instalment in TALES FROM THE CRYPT film franchise, BORDELLO OF BLOOD. Madam Lilith (supermodel Angie Everhart) runs a very unusual bordello just on the edge of town. She and her girls are more than happy to serve, but beware, they’ll bleed you dry…literally. Don’t fret, wisecracking private eye Rafe Guttman (Dennis Miller) is hot on their trail. Before movie’s end, Rafe will battle a den of luscious, scantily-clad vampiresses as well as crooked Reverend Current (Chris Sarandon), who holds the key to an all-powerful talisman.
Another nineties classic rescued from local obscurity by CINEMA CULT, this gem from William Friedkin (visionary director of THE EXORCIST and SORCERER) deserves to find an audience simply because of how unlike anything else it is! Combining a dark fantastical premise with a darker sense of humour and scenes of real terror and over-the-top gore, THE GUARDIAN is ripe to be revisited. A handsome young couple (Brown and Lowell) moves from an apartment in Chicago to a spacious home on the edge of a forest in Los Angeles. Fortunately, for their newborn child, they also find the perfect live-in baby sitter (Seagrove). It all seems like a fairy tale, until it becomes apparent that the attractive English nanny is revealed to have a very strange relationship with a large tree in the forest. It isn’t long before ancient supernatural forces turn the couple’s dream into a nightmare, and they begin to battle the nanny for the child’s soul.
Grim Pickings is written weekly by Jarret Gahan.