Grim Pickings for Cinema & Home Entertainment this week…
GRIM PICKINGS this week include key dates to dismember with the limited theatrical release of Paul Verhoeven’s intense revenge thriller and the home entertainment arrival of an Ozploitation classic in what could be described as the most feature-laden special edition Blu-ray of 2016!
Thursday October 27th
ELLE (Limited Release)
Legendary filmmaker, Paul Verhoeven helms this intense revenge thriller that has garnered praising reviews and high rotation on the international film festival circuit. Michèle (Isabelle Huppert) seems indestructible. Head of a leading video game company,she brings the same ruthless attitude to her love life as to business. Being attacked in her home by an unknown assailant changes Michèle’s life forever. When she resolutely tracks the man down, they are both drawn into a curious and thrilling game—a game that may, at any moment, spiral Michèle seems indestructible.
HELL OR HIGH WATER
The brilliant teaming of screenwriter Taylor Sheridan (SICARIO) and director David Mackenzie (STARRED UP) results in one of the finest slow-burn thrillers in years and easily one of the best films of 2016. After years of estrangement, Texan brothers Toby (Chris Pine) and Tanner (Ben Foster) decide to rob the branches of the bank threatening to foreclose on their family land. For them, the hold-ups are part of a last-ditch scheme to take back a future that was stolen from under them. Vengeance seems to be theirs until they find themselves on the radar of Marcus (Jeff Bridges), a Ranger looking for one last grand pursuit on the eve of his retirement, and his partner Alberto (Gil Birmingham). As the brothers plot a final bank heist to complete their scheme, and with the Rangers on their heels, a murderous showdown looms.
Marvel Studios unleash their latest big screen adaptation of a popular comic book. DOCTOR STRANGE is the story of world-famous neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange whose life changes forever after a horrific car accident robs him of the use of his hands. When traditional medicine fails him, he is forced to look for healing, and hope, in an unlikely place—a mysterious enclave known as Kamar-Taj. He quickly learns that this is not just a center for healing but also the front line of a battle against unseen dark forces bent on destroying our reality. Before long Strange—armed with newly acquired magical powers—is forced to choose whether to return to his life of fortune and status or leave it all behind to defend the world as the most powerful sorcerer in existence.
ROB ZOMBIE’S 31 (Limited Release)
For one night only and on Halloween night (October 31st) to boot, you can catch Rob Zombie’s latest feature 31 at selected cinemas across the country. What’s more the feature will be proceeded by exclusive pre-recorded spots by cast of the film and the man himself, Rob Zombie. Set in 1976, five carnival workers are kidnapped and held hostage in an isolated compound known as ‘Murderworld’. On Halloween, they are thrown into a sadistic game called “31” where they must survive 12 hours against a gang of maniacs dressed like clowns. With characteristic flair and zero remorse, Rob Zombie’s latest cinematic nightmare is a carnage-laced road trip into violence and viscera. Don’t get too attached to anyone or anything in this baby, because all bets are off! For more details on these special event screenings, visit the official site.
Wednesday October 26th
THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR
In another baffling decision by Universal Pictures, they’ve decided to go DTV with THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR, meaning all three films in the franchise have had DTV releases in Australia despite making healthy coin at the US box office. Regardless, it’s here now and not far off its international home entertainment release date either. Say what you will about THE PURGE trilogy but we here at Cult of Monster dig it and are genuinely excited about the news that the franchise will make a transition to television for a series of its own down the track. It’s been two years since Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo) stopped himself from a regrettable act of revenge on Purge Night. Now serving as head of security for Senator Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell), his mission is to protect her in a run for president and survive the annual ritual that targets the poor and innocent. But when a betrayal forces them onto the streets of D.C. on the one night when no help is available, they must stay alive until dawn…or both be sacrificed for their sins against the state.
From festival favourite to online viral video, David F. Sandberg’s LIGHTS OUT short fast became a household name in all genre-loving homes so it’s not surprise that a feature-film followed and thankfully helmed by Sandberg himself under the guidance of Australia’s own James Wan as producer. When Rebecca left home, she thought she left her childhood fears behind. Growing up, she was never really sure of what was and wasn’t real when the lights went out…and now her little brother, Martin, is experiencing the same unexplained and terrifying events that had once tested her sanity and threatened her safety. A frightening entity with a mysterious attachment to their mother, Sophie, has reemerged.
THE MAN FROM HONG KONG
Ozploitation ahoy! Umbrella Entertainment are releasing Brian Trenchard-Smith’s 1975 action extravaganza, THE MAN FROM HONG KONG to Blu-ray with a transfer sourced from an all-new 4K scan. In what could be described as the most content-laden release of 2016, THE MAN FROM HONG KONG not only carries a cavalcade of special features relating to the film but five additional feature-films by Trenchard-Smith in standard def! When Hong Kong Inspector Fang Sing Leng (Jimmy Wang Yu, Master of the Flying Guillotine) travels to Sydney to interview drug trafficker Win Chan (martial arts star and director Sammo Hung) he is flung into an international investigation destined to test his mettle and might. Teaming up with Aussie Detectives Gross (Hugh Keays-Byrne, Mad Max, Fury Road) and Taylor (Roger Ward, Turkey Shoot), Fang soon discovers a cunning connection between Win Chan’s drug imports and larger-than-life local gangster Jack Wilton (George Lazenby, James Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service).Determined to get his man, Fang will stop at nothing – bringing all manner of mayhem to the streets in a full-on fist fighting spectacle of explosive proportions.
EQUALS (DVD Only)
After its Australian premiere last weekend at Sydney’s Sci-Film Film Festival, writer/director Drake Doremus’ EQUALS with an A-list cast of Kristen Stewart & Nicholas Hoult arrives home on DVD. In a futuristic utopian society known as The Collective, human emotions have been genetically suppressed in an effort to protect the world from the violence, crime and war that all but destroyed previous generations. Those who find their emotions resurfacing are treated as outcasts, and are inevitably sent to The Den – a corrective facility from which no one returns. When Nia (Kristen Stewart: Twilight) and Silas (Nicholas Hoult: Mad Max: Fury Road) find themselves increasingly attracted to each other, putting their lives at risk, they realise escape may be their only option.