Cinemas & Home Entertainment this week…
GRIM PICKINGS this week includes key dates to dismember with Tom Cruise once again risking life and limb for real on the big screen while home entertainment delivers a nostalgic explosion of cult favourites from the likes of Wes Craven & Russell Mulcahy!
Thursday August 2nd
It would seem an impossible mission to top 2015’s franchise standout ROGUE NATION though writer/director Christopher McQuarrie has done just that with this latest instalment. Tom Cruise returns to the role he was born to play as Ethan Hunt and once again risks life and limb to deliver death-defying stunts that will have you literally gasp in equal measures of awe and suspense. Despite its 147 minute runtime, there is absolutely no slack to this incredible actioner, its taut, tense and above all thoroughly entertaining. Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and the IMF team join forces with CIA assassin August Walker to prevent a disaster of epic proportions. Arms dealer John Lark and a group of terrorists known as the Apostles plan to use three plutonium cores for a simultaneous nuclear attack on the Vatican, Jerusalem and Mecca, Saudi Arabia. When the weapons go missing, Ethan and his crew find themselves in a desperate race against time to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.
Wednesday August 1st
This Ozploitation classic and definitive outback creature feature is presented in a stunning 4K restoration as part of Umbrella Entertainment’s Beyond Genres collection! In addition to the incredible feature presentation, this release is loaded to the tusk with special features including an all-new commentary track with director Russell Mulcahy and even a port of the old Roadshow Home Video VHS cut! Somewhere deep in the Australian outback there’s an indestructible creature that can rip a man in half and destroy a homestead in seconds. Nine hundred pounds of tusk and muscle hell-bent on terrorising the small isolated community of Gamulla, a town as violent and primitive as the beast that threatens it. Blu-ray includes Audio Commentary with director Russell Mulcahy & Shayne Armstrong (NEW), Audio Interview with Gregory Harrison, Jaws On Trotters: Behind the Scenes featurette, Interviews with Cast & Crew by Mark Hartley for NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD, Grisly Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by Russell Mulcahy & Shayne Armstrong, RAZORBACK: The VHS Cut (NEW), A Certain Piggish Nature: Looking Back at RAZORBACK (NEW), Image Gallery, Theatrical Trailer & VHS Trailer.
On the topic of creature features – this classic 50s film featuring a giant (shock) tarantula paved the way for an entire genre of people crunching, city-destroying carnage. But make no mistake: this slice of 50s sci-fi horror holds up on its own due to the palpable sense of paranoia and old-school practical effects! Somewhere deep in the Australian outback there’s an indestructible creature that can rip a man in half and destroy a homestead in seconds. Nine hundred pounds of tusk and muscle hell-bent on terrorising the small isolated community of Gamulla, a town as violent and primitive as the beast that threatens it.
THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS
The latest Cinema Cult release brings Wes Craven’s 90s horror classic THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS back to living rooms everywhere! Viciously political, and packed with some of Craven’s most surreal and abstract imagery – along with all his signature nastiness – THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS deserves rediscovery at home. Wes Craven, the director of A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream, takes you on a terrifying journey inside the most demented house on the street. Trapped inside a fortified home owned by a mysterious couple, a young boy is suddenly thrust into a nightmare. The boy quickly learns the true nature of the house’s homicidal inhabitants and the secret creatures hidden deep within the house.
IN THE FADE
Equal parts wrenching melodrama, courtroom spectacle and brutal revenge drama, IN THE FADE succeeds in all three genres – in no small part due to star Diane Kruger’s total commitment to her demanding role. Worth seeing for the ending alone – it’ll stay with you for days. Out of nowhere, Katja’s life falls apart when her husband Nuri and little son Rocco are killed in a bomb attack. Her friends and family try to give her the support she needs, and Katja somehow manages to make it through the funeral. But the mind-numbing search for the perpetrators and reasons behind the senseless killing complicate Katjas painful mourning, opening wounds and doubts. Danilo, a lawyer and Nuri’s best friend, represents Katja in the eventual trial against the two suspects: a young couple from the neo-Nazi scene. The trial pushes Katja to the edge, but there’s simply no alternative for her: she wants justice.
Based on the popular internet legend, and anchored by horror icons Lin Shaye and Robert Englund, fans could be forgiven for thinking MIDNIGHT MAN offers a creepy diversion – but the overlong finished product and lack of real scares keep the film from ever reaching its fun potential. On a snowy night in her grandmother’s sprawling mansion, teenage Alex (Gabrielle Haugh Jeepers Creepers: Ravenous) and her best friend discover a mysterious box that’s been hidden away in the attic for decades. Inside are instructions for The Midnight Game – an ancient Pagan ritual said to summon your greatest fears. Unable to resist, they play the game, unleashing the spirit of The Midnight Man – an unholy force who pits them against their darkest demons and dares them to survive.
This haunting directorial debut from Sergio G. Sánchez, screenwriter of THE ORPHANAGE boasts a compelling set of sibling stars (the most recognisable of which are STRANGER THINGS’ Charlie Heaton and horror veteran Mia Goth) and an atmospherically creepy setting – none of which make up for the uneven story or lack of real scares. Four siblings seek refuge in an old home after the death of their mother, only to discover that the house has another, more sinister, inhabitant.
Grim Pickings is written weekly by Jarret Gahan.