Grim Pickings

Grim Pickings for Cinema & Home Entertainment this week…

18 October 2016

GRIM PICKINGS this week include key dates to dismember with a flood of horror hitting the big screen a week ahead of Halloween and the home entertainment release of 2016’s favourite (and only) farting corpse!

In Cinemas

Thursday October 20th
After its world premiere last month at the Venice Film Festival, the Australian coming-of-age psychological drama, BOYS IN THE TREES has been garnering high praise on the international festival circuit and we couldn’t be happier that it’s opening this Thursday in cinemas. It’s Halloween 1997 – the last night of high school for Corey, Jango and their skater gang, The Gromits. Childhood is over and adult life beckons. But for Corey, his past has some unfinished business. When he encounters Jonah, a former childhood friend but now victimised by Jango’s cruel streak, Corey takes pity on him and agrees to walk him home for old time’s sake. What starts off as a normal walk through empty suburban streets descends into something darker and magical as they tell each other ghost stories, drawing upon their fears of the world around them. As they walk through their memories and ghosts of the past, Corey is surprised to discover how much he still has in common with his abandoned friend. But on the night of the grave’s delight, even the most buried truths will find a way of coming to life.

Despite making bank at the international box office, Universal opted to go DTV locally with 2014’s OUIJA however this time around they’re taking a punt on the prequel and releasing to Aussie theatres a day ahead of its US opening. Let’s just hope this one is better than the under-baked tweenie original. It was never just a game. Inviting audiences again into the lore of the spirit board, Ouija: Origin of Evil tells a terrifying new tale as the follow-up to 2014’s sleeper hit that opened at number one. In 1965 Los Angeles, a widowed mother and her two daughters add a new stunt to bolster their séance scam business and unwittingly invite authentic evil into their home. When the youngest daughter is overtaken by the merciless spirit, this small family confronts unthinkable fears to save her and send her possessor back to the other side.

THE NEON DEMON (Limited Release)
After a blistering assault on the international and local festival circuit, Nicholas Winding Refn’s THE NEON DEMON opens in Aussie theatres this Thursday and it couldn’t be a day sooner after DJ Neil Foley’s heavy rotation of the soundtrack in the office over the past month. When aspiring model Jesse moves to Los Angeles, her youth and vitality are devoured by a group of beauty-obsessed women who will use any means necessary to get what she has. THE NEON DEMON stars Elle Fanning (SUPER 8), Jena Malone (DONNIE DARKO), Abbey Lee (MAD MAX: FURY ROAD) along with Keanu Reeves & Christina Hendricks.

There’s been a permanent void left in our hearts since Don Draper exited our screens mid-last year and every little bite of a Jon Hamm sandwich gives us the comfort to get through the day. An ordinary suburban couple (Zach Galifianakis, Isla Fisher) finds it’s not easy keeping up with the Joneses (Jon Hamm, Gal Gadot) – their impossibly gorgeous and ultra-sophisticated new neighbours – especially when they discover that Mr. and Mrs. “Jones” are covert operatives.

Hail Thetan! Tom Cruise reprises his role as Jack Reacher, the macho intellect from author Lee Child’s best-selling series and all we can say is KSW…KSW…KSW! Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) returns with his particular brand of justice in the highly anticipated sequel “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.” Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders) is the Army Major who heads Reacher’s old investigative unit. She is arrested for Treason and knowing that she is innocent, Reacher must break her out of prison and uncover the truth behind a major government conspiracy in order to clear their names and save their lives. On the run as fugitives from the law, Reacher uncovers a potential secret from his past that could change his life forever.

Home Entertainment

Not since Terry Kiser’s turn in the time-honoured 1989 classic, WEEKEND AT BERNIE’S has there been a film with such a standout performance of an actor playing a corpse as Daniel Radcliffe in SWISS ARMY MAN. If that last sentence didn’t convince you to see this film…you’re already dead! Hank (Paul Dano), a hopeless man stranded in the wild, discovers a mysterious dead body (Daniel Radcliffe). Together the two embark on an epic journey to get home. As Hank realizes the body is the key to his survival, this once-suicidal man is forced to convince a dead body that life is worth living. PS: Keep your eyes peeled on Cult of Monster this week for your chance to WIN 1 of 5 SWISS ARMY MAN Blu-ray! 
Twenty years is a decent break between sequels and despite the subpar reviews, we’re just happy to see Jeff Goldblum return…hell we even paid to see MORTDECAI! Fans of the franchise will be relieved to hear that you won’t have to wait another twenty years for the third sequel with 20th Century Fox tentatively scheduling it for 2018. Twenty years after mysterious aliens nearly wiped out humankind, they’re back with a vengeance in this explosive sequel to the original blockbuster hit, Independence Day! Using recovered alien technology, and led by brilliant scientist David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum returning in the role), the nations of Earth developed a vast defence program to protect the planet. But nothing could prepare us for a new invasion of unprecedented scale – and only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can save our world from extinction.
Sarah Hyland of MODERN FAMILY fame steps out in her first genre film, one that’s perfectly timed to ride on the coattails of OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL. On their way to Coachella, a van full of young, college-aged coeds take a side trip and start visiting old Satanic Panic-era sites in Los Angeles. They end up following the creepy owner of an occult store home, only to find themselves saving a suspicious girl from an apparent human sacrifice. Only this “victim” turns out to be much more dangerous than the cult from which she escaped.
Arriving as the second volume in Monster Pictures’ all-new Fatal Visions label series, VIXEN VELVET’S ZOMBIE MASSACRE is the brainchild of one-half of Sydney Underground Film Festival (SUFF) founders and festival directors, Stefan Popescu. Frustrated with the limits of working in erotic entertainment, actress Vixen Velvet decides to hijack what was to be her last explicit film, a low budget zombie porno, and turn it into something more respectable in order to launch her mainstream career. Events take a turn for the weird following an actual undead outbreak during principle photography, but Vixen Velvet will stop at nothing to finish her film, even if it means shooting through a real-life zombie apocalypse! Available on DVD at all good retailers across Australia and exclusively on individually numbered MOD Blu-ray via the Monster Shop.
In what could be described as the most truly WTF films of 2016, the dialogue of AAAAAAAAH! is spoken completely in ape-speak?!?! Ever imagined what life would be like if humans were apes in modern life? Aaaaaaaah! poses just such a question. Alpha Male, Smith and his Beta, Keith, make a move to take over a local community. They hook up with restless Female, Denise, igniting a deadly feud in which emotions run high and deep-seated grudges re-surface amongst the tribe. Shot entirely in a language of grunts and gibberish, Aaaaaaaah! is a celluloid primal scream – an anarchic, hilarious, disturbing and touching look at the human condition.
(DVD Only)
Like Pluto (Michael Berryman) from Craven’s 1977 classic THE HILLS HAVE EYES, Daisy is a dessert cannibal only she’s got the looks and enough some skills to catch some tender prey. Young and beautiful Daisy is the all-American girl next door – who also happens to have an insatiable hunger for human flesh. For years Daisy has been using her looks to lure men into the desert, then, along with her brother, hunting them for sport – and dinner! While Daisy enjoys these games of cannibal cat and mouse, she yearns for something more. When she meets the handsome drifter John Doe, who has some eccentric hobbies of his own, she falls madly in love, but will she be his partner in crime – or his next victim?
gp-apetities-fwSUBURRA (DVD Only)
A contemporary Italian crime film with a lead character named ‘Samurai’ and it’s rated <R>…we’re in! A gangster known as the Samurai wants to turn the waterfront of a small town close to Rome into a new Atlantic City. A corrupt politician fond of young prostitutes and cocaine is protecting him with the help of a powerful cardinal. All the local mob bosses have agreed to work for this common goal. But peace is not to last long, and a ferocious war between the gangs is about to wreck the Samurai’s dream.