Grim Pickings

Grim Pickings for Cinema & Home Entertainment this week…

06 June 2017

GRIM PICKINGS this week includes key dates to dismember with the theatrical release of Universal Pictures’ first entry in the reboot of their Universal Monsters franchise while a varied slew of genre classics hit home entertainment!

In Cinemas

Thursday June 8th
Universal Pictures’ latest incarnation of THE MUMMY comes as an ambitious reboot of their classic Universal Monsters legacy now dubbed ‘Dark Universe’. While this first entry seems a far cry from the time-honoured franchise, it looks absolutely spectacular and with Tom Cruise in the lead, we’re positively psyched! Thought safely entombed in a crypt deep beneath the unforgiving desert, an ancient queen (Sofia Boutella of Kingsman: The Secret Service and Star Trek Beyond) whose destiny was unjustly taken from her is awakened in our current day, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia and terrors that defy human comprehension. From the sweeping sands of the Middle East through hidden labyrinths under modern-day London, The Mummy brings a surprising intensity and balance of wonder and thrills in an imaginative new take that ushers in a new world of gods and monsters.

Sony’s latest RESIDENT EVIL offering comes in the form of a computer-animated feature, directed by Takanori Tsujimoto (BUSHIDO MAN, MONSTER KILLER), RESIDENT EVIL: VENDETTA will play for one session only on Thursday June 8th at select cinemas across Australia. When a fearless enemy out for revenge unleashes a brutal and deadly new virus, BSAA captain Chris Redfield enlists the help of Agent Leon S. Kennedy and Professor Rebecca Chambers to bring down the death merchant and save New York City.

Based on the 1951 novel by Daphne du Maurier (REBECCA), this will mark the second big screen adaptation of MY COUSIN RACHEL, a mystery romance with heavy gothic leanings. A dark and layered romance, MY COUSIN RACHEL tells the story of a young Englishman who plots revenge against his mysterious and beautiful cousin, believing that she murdered his guardian.  His feelings become complicated as he finds himself falling helplessly and obsessively in love with her.

Home Entertainment

That Wolverine film you’ve been waiting on has finally arrived and sadly it’ll be Hugh Jackman’s last but hey what a hell of a swan song! In the near future, a weary Logan (Hugh Jackman) cares for an ailing Professor X (Patrick Steward) in a hide out on the Mexican border. But Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces.
Vendetta Films have done the damn near-impossible and gathered all four films in the [REC] series to release in one Complete Terror Collection. The Spanish film franchise has a combined score of 69.5% on Rotten Tomatoes, which is no mean feat for a genre series and lead to a US remake back in 2008 which in itself had a standalone sequel in 2011. REC: What appears to be a routine emergency call quickly turns to hell as the team are trapped inside a building with no means of escape as things go from worse to worse. The only thing that matters is trying to escape while capturing everything on camera. REC 2: Only a few minutes have passed since the authorities lost contact with the people trapped inside the quarantined building in [REC]. For the Special Operations Unit this is a seemingly straightforward mission; to enter the building and analyze the situation. But as we know, appearances can be deceiving. REC3: Koldo and Clara celebrate the most important day of their lives: their wedding. Everything appears to be running smoothly and the bride and groom and their families are enjoying a wonderful day; that is until some of the guests start showing signs of a strange illness. What started off as an idyllic day quickly descends into a nightmare of the worst kind. REC4: Television reporter Ángela Vidal wakes up in a high-security quarantine facility, sole survivor and witness to the horrific events from the original [REC]. But does she remember what happened to her? Is she carrying the virus? Distrust spreads through the isolated facility – a specially equipped oil tanker miles off shore – while new, even more deadly forms of evil spread even faster. Don’t forget to enter our competition for your chance to WIN 1 of 3 [REC] COMPLETE TERROR COLLECTION boxsets!
CINEMA CULT release apartment-thriller come supernatural horror classic, THE SENTINEL to Blu-ray & DVD, marking the film’s 40th anniversary and the first physical release on home entertainment in Australia since VHS back in 1984! When a beautiful model, Alison Parker (Cristina Raines), rents an apartment in a gloomy New York Brownstone, little does she realize the unspeakable horrors that await her behind its mysterious doors. Based on Jeffrey Konvitz’s best-selling novel, this contemporary gothic chiller features jump-out-of-your-seat special effects and an incredible assemblage of stars including Ava Gardner, Jose Ferrer, John Carradine, Burgess Meredith, Deborah Raffin, Chris Sarandon, Eeli Wallach and Martin Balsam. Director Michael Winner comes up with something to terrify everyone in this spine-tingling exercise in supernatural suspense.
Rosie Jones’ festival blazing documentary is a harrowing, shocking and truly fascinating insight into the notorious Australian cult, The Family. Anne Hamilton-Byrne was beautiful, charismatic and delusional. She was also incredibly dangerous. Convinced she was a living god, Hamilton-Byrne headed an apocalyptic sect called The Family, which was prominent in Melbourne from the 1960s to the 1990s. With her husband Bill, she acquired numerous children – some through adoption scams, some born to cult members – and raised them as her own. Isolated from the outside world, the children were dressed in matching outfits, had identically dyed blonde hair, and were allegedly beaten, starved and injected with LSD. Taught that Hamilton-Byrne was both their mother and the messiah, the children were eventually rescued during a police raid in 1987, but their trauma had only just begun. With survivors and cult members telling their stories alongside the Australian and international detectives who worked the case, this confronting feature documentary exposes not just what happened within the still-operating sect but also within the conservative Melbourne community that allowed The Family to flourish.
Umbrella Entertainment’s first entry in their all-new Cannon Classics line is a pairing of the first two Sho Kosugi films from the Ninja trilogy for the first time locally in hi-def and loyal Monsterite Kire Naumovski has confirmed that both features are UNCUT! ENTER THE NINJA: Angolan Bush War veteran Cole (Franco Nero, DJANGO) is a westerner living in Japan who has been inducted into the secret fighting rituals of Ninjitsu – the darkest and deadliest of all martial arts. Coming to the aid of war buddy Frank Landers (Alex Courtney) in the Philippines, Cole is dragged into a land dispute with Charles Venarius (Christopher George), a scheming oil baron determined to take over Frank’s plantation by any means possible. With his henchmen no match for the imposing Cole, Venarius hires the best assassin money can buy – born of Samurai blood and unable to accept anything but the ancient ways, Ninja Hasegawa (martial arts superstar Sho Kosugi) enters the fray with a lethal agenda and will stop at nothing to get his man. REVENGE OF THE NINJA: When a ruthless band of Ninja assassins slaughters the family of Cho Osaki (Kosugi) in his homeland of Japan, he flees to America in the hope of building a new life. A former Ninja himself, Osaki tries to escape his violent past but soon discovers he has become the pawn of a ruthless drug trafficker. With razor-sharp reflexes, a cache of deadly weapons and a taste for revenge, Osaki draws from his life-long training and dynamic skill-set to dispatch the enemy the only way he knows how – without mercy!
Making its international DVD debut, THE WOMAN HUNT arrives locally in a double-feature pack with TNT JACKSON, courtesy of Umbrella Entertainment. THE WOMAN HUNT: Three sinister mercenaries Tony (John Ashley, The Twilight People), Silas (Sid Haig, The Devil’s Rejects) and Karp (Ken Metcalfe, TNT Jackson) kidnap unsuspecting women for wealthy man Spyros (Eddie Garcia), who assembles a group to hunt them down on his secluded island. When a crisis of conscience gets the better of Tony, he decides to help some of them escape. McGee (Pat Woodell, The Big Doll House), Billie (Charlene Jones, The Curious Female) and Lori (Laurie Rose, The Working Girls) are running for their lives with Spyros’ head of security, Magda (Lisa Todd, The Doll Squad), hot on their sweaty tails. Directed by Eddie Romero (Black Mama White Mama, The Twilight People), The Woman Hunt is a full-tilt exploitation romp in the true sense of cult cinema. TNT JACKSON: When her brother is viciously wiped out by a gang of drug dealers, Diana ‘TNT’ Jackson (Jeanne Bell, Mean Streets) leaves Harlem behind and travels to the most dangerous part of Hong Kong to track down the killer and exact revenge the only way she knows how. Befriending a good-willed martial arts expert along the way, she is soon faced with fierce opposition from drug kingpin Sid (Ken Metcalf, Enter The Ninja) and his evil but alluring girlfriend Elaine (Pat Anderson, Cover Girl Models). Produced by Roger Corman, full of action-packed Kung Fu battles, TNT Jackson is a ‘blaxploitation’ cult extravaganza from the infamous Filipino exploitation stable.
Canadian psychological horror, THE SUBLET is a rare entry in the vastly underrepresented apartment-thriller sub-genre so while we haven’t seen it, we’re dead keen to check it out! Joanna (Tianna Nori, BITE) is a new mother learning to cope with the challenges of parenthood. Her happiness sinks or swims in an otherwise claustrophobic world – an odd sublet apartment – where strange things occur and stranger things stir. Whilst her husband Jeff (Mark Matechuk, ALMOST ADULTS) focuses on his career in order to provide for the family, Joanna is left isolated as she discovers a violent past to the apartment, developing an uncanny sense that the building may be indeed be haunted. But as she ponders the creepy evil from within her four walls, she struggles with personal demons that pull at the very threads of her own sanity.
Despite appearing on Umbrella Entertainment’s Six Shooter Classics imprint, A KNIFE FOR THE LADIES is more akin to the horror genre than a western particularly with its giallo undertones. When a vicious killer haunts the small Southwest-desert town of Mescal, terror runs through the veins of the otherwise tight-knit community. Despite the killer’s predilection for prostitutes, the first victim was the only son of a well-to-do family, causing all manner of societal calamity. When rough and tumble Sheriff Jarrod (Western legend Jack Elam, ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST) struggles to bring in the perpetrator, the town leaders decide to hire an expert investigator named Burns (Jeff Cooper, CROSS OF IRONS) to help unravel the mystery and track down the killer before anyone else fall victim to his dastardly mutilating ways. A brutal tip of the hat to 1970s horror and slasher films, Knife for the Ladies is a dark and brooding Western murder mystery in the blood-dripping tradition of Jack The Ripper.