Grim Pickings

Grim Pickings for Cinema & Home Entertainment this week…

21 March 2017

GRIM PICKINGS this week includes key dates to dismember with the theatrical release of the breakout SXSW sci-fi-horror feature that’s being likened to Ridley Scott’s 1979 ALIEN and the home entertainment arrival of the greasiest release mankind has ever known!

In Cinemas

Thursday March 23rd
Opening less than a week after its world premiere at SXSW, the buzz for LIFE is strong and with critics drawing constant comparisons to Ridley Scott’s 1979 ALIEN, our interest is well and truly piqued. A sci-fi thriller about a team of scientists aboard the International Space Station whose mission of discovery turns to one of primal fear when they find a rapidly evolving life form that caused extinction on Mars, and now threatens the crew and all life on Earth.

German Neue Deutsche Härte act, RAMMSTEIN are without a doubt one of the greatest live bands a punter could hope to witness, their showmanship is second to none and this Thursday March 23rd, fans can head to selected cinemas to catch their 2016 Paris concert on the big screen. Putting a concert by the band Rammstein on film is a profoundly difficult task. To capture the huge sound, the gamut of visual impressions, the minute details and grand gestures so that cinema viewers can acquire sense of experiencing Rammstein live: To do this, one needs to convey a sense of intimate proximity to what is transpiring on stage. Second, one needs to capture what the experience looks like from the perspective of an audience member in such a huge crowd. And third, one needs to communicate the excitement of being there – not to mention that the music needs to sound insanely good. RAMMSTEIN: PARIS sets a new standard for concert films. During the “Made in Germany” tour, the celebrated Swedish director, Jonas Åkerlund, filmed two acclaimed Rammstein concerts in March 2012 – each for an audience of 17,000 at the Bercy Arena in Paris. The resulting film (with 16 songs from the entire repertoire) is not just the most spectacular cinematic document to date about the band, currently the biggest rock act in Germany. It is a masterpiece of music cinema that captures the energy of Rammstein in a unique visual and sonic experience.

Home Entertainment

Wednesday March 22nd
The greasiest day mankind has ever known arrives with the Australian release of THE GREASY STRANGLER on DVD, Blu-ray & JB Hi-Fi Exclusive Greasy Down Under 2-Disc Deluxe Edition Blu-ray! Make no mistake the Greasy Down Under 2-Disc Deluxe Edition is the greasiest version of THE GREASY STRANGLER in the entire universe with over three and a half of special features, the bulk of which are exclusive to this version! Every year at Sundance one film takes pundits totally by surprise, in 2016 that film was Jim Hosking’s THE GREASY STRANGLER. This is a film like no other, a greasy smorgasbord of filth and depravity that is as repulsive as it is sweet – part comedy, part horror, part love story, all greasy mayhem! The kind of film audiences adore and, that once seen, cannot be erased from the mind! THE GREASY STRANGLER tells the story of Big Ronnie, a man who runs a disco walking tour of LA with his son, Big Brayden. When a sassy young thing named Janet appears one day on their tour, it sets off a fierce rivalry between father and son for her affections – it also brings about the appearance of an oily, slimy, inhuman maniac who stalks the streets at night, strangling the innocent – a beast known as THE GREASY STRANGLER!
Kate Beckinsale returns for the fifth instalment in the UNDERWORLD franchise, helmed by television director Anna Foerste (OUTLANDER, CRIMINAL MINDS). The next instalment in the blockbuster franchise, UNDERWORLD: BLOOD WARS follows Vampire death dealer, Selene (Kate Beckinsale) as she fends off brutal attacks from both the Lycan clan and the Vampire faction that betrayed her. With her only allies, David (Theo James) and his father Thomas (Charles Dance), she must stop the eternal war between Lycans and Vampires, even if it means she has to make the ultimate sacrifice.
With artwork that harks back to Steve Miner’s 1985 classic HOUSE, DON’T KNOCK TWICE had us at a ‘ding dong, you’re dead”. Knock once to wake her from her bed, twice to raise her from the dead…so goes a disturbing urban legend involving an abandoned house supposedly inhabited by a vengeful, child-stealing witch. When troubled teen Chloe (Lucy Boynton) raps at the door one night, she has no idea the horror she’s about to unleash. Fleeing to the country home of her estranged mother (Katee Sackhoff)—a recovering addict who’s turned her life around to become a famous artist—Chloe must learn to trust the woman who gave her up years ago in order to stop the bloodthirsty, shape-shifting demon stalking them.
Filmmaker Eric England returns with his first new feature since his 2013 body-horror hit CONTRACTED. A wealthy young man is conned into staging a fake kidnapping in order to be a hero and win the affection of a girl he’s madly in love with. But when one of the hired kidnappers is accidentally killed during the charade, he’s forced to actually save her life while not revealing that it’s been a ruse all along. Stay tuned later this week as courtesy of Bounty Films, we’ll have a few copies to giveaway!
Legendary filmmaker, Paul Verhoeven (ROBOCOP, BASIC INSTINCT) helms this intense character-driven thriller that garnered both praise and heavy rotation on the international film festival circuit last year. 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 out of control.
Rising genre filmmaker Mike Flanagan (OCULUS) had a busy 2016 with the theatrical release of OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL, the Netflix feature HUSH and this DTV outing BEFORE I WAKE, starring Kate Bosworth & Thomas Jane. In this intense and heart pounding supernatural thriller, Jessie (Bosworth) and Mark (Jane) decide to take in a sweet and loving 8-year-old boy, Cody. Unbeknownst to them, Cody is terrified of falling asleep. At first, they assume his previous unstable homes caused his aversion to sleep, but soon discover why: Cody’s dreams manifest in reality as he sleeps. In one moment they experience the incredible wonder of Cody’s imagination, and in the next, the horrific nature of his night terrors. To save their new family, Jessie and Mark embark on a dangerous hunt to uncover the truth behind Cody’s nightmares.
THE FUNHOUSE, DARK RIDE, KISS MEETS THE PHANTOM OF THE PARK…amusement park horror films are so few and far between that despite below average reviews, we’re still inclined to give this one a watch. One HELL of a ride as Fright Land amusement park is closing down for the last time. It has been losing money and the park’s owner, Mr. Hyde (HELLRAISER’s Doug Bradley) hatches a plan to sell more tickets by making the fairground notorious as the site of some gruesome murders. He hires two rednecks to break into the park after hours and slay the employees, to create a publicity sensation that will whip up morbid new interest in his failing business – making death the latest attraction.
If there’s a void in your life since Paramount stopped producing PARANORMAL ACTIVITY films, perhaps this independent DTV paranormal found footage feature could help but given its 3.6 rating on IMDb we wouldn’t count on it. A TV reporter and her crew go into a school that is haunted by a horrific past. They spend the night locked inside the building, capturing everything they find, to prove there is paranormal activity in the notorious Classroom 6 – rumoured to be a passageway to the depths of Hell.
Monster Fest 2016 Official Selection, THE LEGEND OF BEN HALL, the true story of Australia’s most notorious bushranger arrives on home entertainment. After two years running from the law, gunslinger Ben Hall (Jack Martin, in his feature film debut) is soon drawn back into bushranging by the reappearance of his old friend John Gilbert. Taking on an eager new recruit, John Dunn, the gang unleash a spree of robberies across the colony of New South Wales to gather enough money to flee the country. But when two policemen are killed during the gang’s audacious raids, they are declared outlaws with a bounty on their heads that will change trusted allies into dangerous enemies.
After a festival blitz throughout 2016 including Melbourne International Film Festival and a limited theatrical run, the conspiracy thriller from director Matt Johnson (THE DIRTIES) finally arrives on home entertainment, albeit only on DVD. In 1967, four undercover CIA agents were sent to NASA posing as a documentary film crew. What they discovered led to one of the biggest conspiracies in American history.
Ignore the uninspiring and somewhat misleading art on THE NIGHT WATCHMEN DVD and check out the trailer, this indie DTV comedy-horror looks like it may have the goods! Three inept night watchmen, aided by a young rookie and a fearless tabloid journalist, fight an epic battle to save their lives. A mistaken warehouse delivery unleashes a horde of hungry vampires, and these unlikely heroes must not only save themselves but also stop the scourge that threatens to take over the city of Baltimore.
GP-NIGHTWATCHMEN.fwFriday March 24th
Despite the recent track record for long overdue and underwhelming comedy sequels, BAD SANTA 2 bucks the trend…slightly, delivering a reasonably pleasing festive comedy that while not in the same league as its predecessor, remains a far cry from cinematic atrocities such as ZOOLANDER 2. Billy Bob Thornton returns as America’s favourite anti-hero, Willie Soke. Fuelled by cheap whiskey, greed and hatred, Willie teams up once again with his angry little sidekick, Marcus (Tony Cox), to knock off a Chicago charity on Christmas Eve. Along for the ride is ‘the kid’ – chubby and cheery Thurman Merman (Brett Kelly), a 250-pound ray of sunshine who brings out Willie’s sliver of humanity. Mommy issues arise when the pair are joined by Academy Award, Golden Globe and Emmy-winner Kathy Bates, as Willie’s horror story of a mother, Sunny Soke. A super butch super bitch, Sunny raises the bar for the gang’s ambitions, while somehow lowering the standards of criminal behaviour. Willie is further burdened by lusting after the curvaceous and prim Diane, played by Emmy Award-nominee Christina Hendricks, the charity director with a heart of gold and libido of steel.