Cinemas & Home Entertainment this week…
GRIM PICKINGS this week includes key dates to dismember with Tom Hardy returning back to the comic book realm in cinemas while home entertainment delivers hands down the best Ozploitation release of 2018!
Thursday October 4th
Following his turn in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, Tom Hardy returns to big screen comic book realm with another role that allows him to stay partially concealed from audiences…bless him. When Eddie Brock (Hardy) acquires the powers of a symbiote, he will have to release his alter-ego ‘Venom’ to save his life.
Bart Layton, the documentarian responsible for 2012’s incredible THE IMPOSTER, directs his first narrative feature that is funnily enough based on an extraordinary true story. Four friends (Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan, Blake Jenner, and Jared Abrahamson) living an ordinary existence who brazenly attempt to execute one of the most audacious art heists in US history. But not everything is as it seems, and as the daring theft unfolds through each of their perspectives, each of them start to question whether their attempts to inject excitement and purpose into their lives is simply a misguided attempt at achieving the American Dream.
Wednesday October 3rd
This outback alien-invasion actioner has what it takes to compete with the likes of a Hollywood blockbuster. Boasting a stellar local and international cast including Dan Ewing (HOME AND AWAY), Temuera Morrison (ONCE WERE WARRIORS), Stephany Jacobsen (BATTLESTAR GALACTICA) and Rhiannon Fish (THE 100), this special effects-laden sci-fi epic is powered by sincere genre passion and is exactly what Australian audiences have been craving, a homegrown Aussie blockbuster. OCCUPATION follows a group of civilians after their small Australian country town is annihilated by an overwhelming airborne attack as they evade capture and discover they are now among the last remaining survivors of an extra-terrestrial invasion engulfing the entire planet. As humanity falls under world-wide occupation, they form a homegrown army to fight back against vastly superior enemy forces. On the frontline of the battle for Earth, they are our last hope.
THE AMITYVILLE MURDERS (DVD Only)
This latest instalment in the AMITYVILLE franchise marks the sixteenth entry and sees the return of Diane Franklin & Burt Young who reprise their roles from 1982’s AMITYVILLE II: THE POSSESSION. On the night of November 13, 1974, Ronald DeFeo, Jr. took a high-powered rifle and murdered his entire family as they slept. At his trial, DeFeo claimed that “voices” in the house commanded him to kill. Thirteen months later, the Lutz family bought the house and stayed only 28 days before fleeing in terror. Their nightmarish ordeal shocked the world in THE AMITYVILLE HORROR. The Lutzes may have escaped from Amityville with their lives … but the DeFeo’s weren’t so lucky. This is their story. Don’t miss your chance to enter our competition for your chance to WIN 1 of 5 THE AMITYVILLE MURDERS on DVD!
NEXT OF KIN
Making its worldwide HD debut courtesy of Umbrella Entertainment is Tony Williams’s 1982 stylish and suspenseful Ozploitation classic NEXT OF KIN. Linda Stevens (Jacki Kerin) has just inherited a big old house. An evil house. All night she hears a voice that whispers slowly from somewhere deep in the back of her mind. Taps turn themselves on and off. Candles light without a flame being put to them, And just last night she found the corpse of an old man in her bath.The house is called Montclare and something evil lives there. Restored in 4K from the original 35mm interpositive, Umbrella’s Blu-ray transfer is truly stunning and a revelation for fans who have only seen the film prior on Reel’s out of print DVD or the ole’ Roadshow Home Video VHS. Backed with a Criterion-worthy bounty of all-new special feature content that includes two audio commentary tracks, deleted scenes, extended interviews from NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD, a revisit to the shooting locations featurette, image gallery, trailers, short films from director Williams and much more, this is the final word for all NEXT OF KIN fans and a required purchase for any self-respecting Ozploitation fan!
BROTHERS’ NEST (DVD Only)
The brothers Jacobson, the busiest duo both on-screen and behind the scenes of the Australian film industry return with Clayton’s first directed feature since 2006’s KENNY. Razor-sharp, pitch black and gripping, BROTHERS’ NEST is an escalation thriller that feels more akin to the work of the Coen Brothers than it does to any other mainstream Aussie release and is throughly recommended viewing. On a cold morning in country Victoria, two brothers arrive at the family home intent on murdering their step-father Roger (Kim Gyngell). Terry (Shane Jacobson) and Jeff (Clayton Jacobson)’s motive is simple, killing their step-dad will render their dying Mother (Lynette Curran)’s plan to change her will in his favor, redundant. The staged ‘suicide’ has been meticulously planned but there is one thing the boys didn’t take into account, spending an entire day together. Old grudges, different world-views and a general troubled history will pit these two brothers against each other. ‘Brothers’ Nest’ is the very blackest of comedies about family, loyalty and murder–cos after all ‘blood is thicker than water’. The two brothers have either overestimated their luck or underestimated the old man’s will to live. Anyway, as a rule, just don’t start what you can’t finish, and don’t forget about Murphy’s law. Madman Entertainment’s release features an interview with director Clayton Jacobsen, an alternative cast & crew version of the film, blooper reel, STAR WARS parody trailer and the original theatrical trailer.
MY FRIEND DAHMER (DVD Only)
Based on Derf Backderf’s critically acclaimed graphic novel, MY FRIEND DAHMER is a disturbing and engaging insight into the awkward formative years of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. Dahmer murdered seventeen men and boys in the Midwest United States between 1978 and 1991 before being captured and incarcerated. This is the story before that story. Jeff Dahmer (Ross Lynch) is an awkward teenager who collects roadkill. It’s the end of his junior year and he’s practically invisible. His family life (Anne Heche as Joyce Dahmer) is coming undone. He fixates on a neighbourhood jogger (Vincent Kartheiser who routinely passes by his house. By the start of senior year, he acts out, throwing epileptic-like fits in the halls. His goofball antics win over a group of band-nerds who form The Dahmer Fan Club headed by Derf Backderf (Alex Wolff). This camaraderie can’t mask his growing depravity. Approaching graduation Jeff spirals further out of control. He retreats into alcohol. He stalks the jogger. He devolves into dissecting small animals, then a neighbour’s dog. We fear one of his friends is next.
LOST GULLY ROAD (DVD Only)
After its World Premiere at last year’s Monster Fest, Donna McRae’s slow-burn and thought provoking suspense horror LOST GULLY ROAD has gained strong praise and wide festival selection, rightly so as this film is quite timely and required viewing for all genre fans. Lucy travels to an isolated house in the forest to wait for her sister. They have worked out a risky scheme for their future and all she needs to do is sit it out. However a sinister presence may have something different in mind.
OUIJA HOUSE (DVD Only)
Double down on crazy with the quinella casting of Tara Reid (SHARKNADO) and Mischa Barton (THE O.C.) in this DTV supernatural horror that also features the infinitely watchable Dee Wallace (THE HOWLING). Thirty years ago, a young woman (Reid) plays a Ouija board at a mysterious house with friends. She barely escapes with her life. Now, in present-day, Laurie (Carly Schroeder, MEAN CREEK) is a graduate student researching a project on the paranormal. Her mother (Wallace) is losing her house to foreclosure and is worried about Laurie’s interest in the occult, knowing that something happened years ago to affect their family. Trying to help her mother’s financial situation with an impending book deal for her research project, Laurie convinces her boyfriend and their friends to go with her to the family’s old secluded house, where terrible events once happened. Arriving at the house, they are greeted by Laurie’s cousin Samantha (Barton), who gives them the dark history of the house. The group plays with a Ouija board and unwittingly summon the spirit of Roka, an evil warlock who had years ago killed villagers and sacrificed their children. Things take an even more sinister turn when Tina is possessed by Roka and begins revealing the house for what it truly is – a huge puzzle designed to keep Roka’s spirit caged. As night falls and true evil is revealed, Laurie and her friends must figure out a way to stop Roka before it’s too late.
KISS OF THE VAMPIRE
Among Cinema Cult’s four releases this month is the local Blu-ray & DVD debut of KISS OF THE VAMPIRE, directed by Don Sharp (PSYCHOMANIA), this is classic Hammer, slow, moody and suspenseful. Honeymooning in Bavaria, Gerald and Marianne Harcourt experience car trouble and are forced to spend a few days in a small remote village. Soon Doctor Ravna, owner of the impressive chateau that sits imposingly above the village, invites them to dinner and the couple are persuaded to go. Their association with Ravna and his charming beautiful family is to prove disastrous as they become unwittingly embroiled with this company of vampires who seek to initiate them into thier diabolical creed. When the pair attend a masked ball at the chateau a few days later, things start to go eerily wrong when Gerald begins to feel faint and Marianne disappears only to later return in front of a ceremony of gowned vampires and announced as their new disciple.
A vastly underrated thriller and arguably the best feature from acclaimed filmmaker Paul Schrader (AUTOFOCUS, AFFLICTION), LIGHT SLEEPER, makes it’s a worldwide high-def debut courtesy of Umbrella Entertainment. John LeTour (Willem Dafoe) is a good man in a bad business working for Ann (Susan Sarandon) on the wrong side of the law. When Ann decides to close up shop, LeTour has to go straight and come up with a future. But time is running out on him as he must dodge the cops, confront a killer and find his heart before he can leave his past behind. Umbrella back up their international Blu-ray first with some unique special feature content including a Q&A with Schrader, a commentary by local film critics and trailers.
This multi-award winning New Zealand dystopian thriller has makes its local Blu-ray debut via Umbrella Entertainment’s ‘Beyond Genres: Worlds on Film’ imprint. Scientist Zac Hobson (Bruno Lawrence) awakens to discover that he may be the last man on earth. Homes, highways and entire cities are deserted, every living thing has disappeared. Frustrated and plagued by megalomaniacal visions, Zac stands on a balcony and grandly addresses an ‘audience’ of cardboard stand-ups (from Queen Elizabeth to Bob Marley), declaring himself “President of this quiet earth”. But Hobson soon finds he may not be alone. Umbrella’s Blu-ray release features an all-new audio commentary track with writer/producer Sam Pillsbury, trailers and an image gallery.
Grim Pickings is written weekly by Jarret Gahan.