Grim Pickings

Grim Pickings for Cinema & Home Entertainment this week…

07 March 2017

GRIM PICKINGS this week includes key dates to dismember with a behemoth of cinema shaking down your box office dollar while home entertainment delivers an ultimate collection that’s worthy of mortgaging your dusty old teleporter for!

In Cinemas

Thursday March 9th
Jordan Vogt-Roberts, television director turned indie filmmaker come blockbuster helmer delivers the latest incarnation of King Kong and early reviews are praising its tone, style and sheer scale. When a scientific expedition to an uncharted island awakens titanic forces of nature, a mission of discovery becomes an explosive war between monster and man. Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, John Goodman and John C. Reilly star in a thrilling and original new adventure that reveals the untold story of how Kong became King.

Acclaimed documentarian Sally Aitken turns her sights on revered Australian film critic David Stratton for a feature-length exploration of his life, his career and his perspective on the ever-changing art and industry of cinema. A compelling personal journey with the legendary film critic, as he relates the fascinating development of our cinema history. David guides us from his boyhood cinema experience of Australia in England, where he saw the first images of this strange and exotic landscape via the medium of film, to his migration to Australia as a ‘ten pound pom’ in 1963 and onto his present day reflections on the iconic themes that run through our cinematic legacy.

Home Entertainment

Wednesday March 8th
Praise be Via Vision Entertainment for not only delivering David Cronenberg’s 1986 classic crossover body-horror THE FLY to Blu-ray for the first time in Australia but also being the first in the world to release Chris Walas’ vastly underrated 1989 follow-up THE FLY II to Blu-ray. CURSE OF THE FLY (1965) is also making its worldwide high-def debut in this set. THE FLY (1958) & RETURN OF THE FLY (1959) round out this Ultimate Collection. Pushing the boundaries of horror from the outset, The Fly franchise successfully combined spine tingling shocks with heart warming romance and produced some of the most frightening yet memorable films of all time. This Blu Ray collection finally brings together the classic 80’s blockbusters with the original films that inspired them in glorious High Definition.
The only thing more amusing than the accuracy of the title to content of this film is the ill-fit of filmmaker D.J. Caruso, responsible for XXX: RETURN OF XANDER CAGE & I AM NUMBER FOUR, to a film of this genre, particular one that is intended as a slow burn but is ultimately just a slow bore. Looking for a fresh start after the death of their infant daughter, Dana and David, together with their 5-year-old son Lucas, move into their dream house, a once-grand, now run-down rural home. When frightening and unexplainable events lead Dana to discover the long lost key to a room in the attic, she accidentally unlocks a host of horrors that reveal the house’s past is terrifyingly tied with her own. A town historian tells Dana that houses of the well to do often had a “disappointments room” where children with special needs or deformed would be isolated so as not to embarrass the family. Dana uncovers the shocking story of a judge whose daughter was kept in such a room in her house and the spirit of the deformed girl and the monstrous judge still linger. She starts to see this demonic spirit who threatens her own child but by doing so she begins to doubt her own sanity.
Can Evrenol’s 2015 fantasy horror from Turkey, BASKIN finally makes its way to home entertainment in Australia, albeit on DVD only. What should be a routine night on patrol becomes a trip into the darkness of the mind and soul for a squad of unsuspecting cops in this tour-de-force feature debut from the ferociously talented director Can Evrenol. Based on Evrenol’s terrifying 2013 short of the same name, and drawing upon a diverse range of inspirations – not only such films as Quest for Fire, Apocalypse Now, and Hellraiser but also the paintings of Caravaggio, Bosch, and Giger – Baskin offers up a nightmarish compendium of imaginative frights that will leave even seasoned horror-movie fans reeling.
First they giveth than they take it away, after delivering a spectacular Blu-ray & DVD set of THE FLY: ULTIMATE COLLECTION this month, Via Vision release a 20th Anniversary Special Edition of  Vincenzo Natali’s 1997 CUBE with less special feature content then the initial Universal Pictures local DVD release from 2001 and the Magna Pacific reissue from 2002. The plus is that the DVD will have an anamorphic transfer unlike previous local releases and that the Blu-ray will actually have special features unlike Icon’s double-pack of CYPER & CUBE. One of the most successful sci-fi thrillers of the last decade finds six strangers trapped in a surreal prison of interlocking cubical chambers, armed with lethal traps. None of them know how or why they were imprisoned but each person has a specific skill that could contribute to their escape.
Making its Australian debut on DVD & Blu-ray is CUBE ZERO, the third instalment in the CUBE franchise from 2004, which in its self is a prequel. First-time writer/director Ernie Barbarash provides detailed explanations that fans of the first two films might be puzzling over. Zachary Bennett stars as Eric Wynn, a young and brilliant Cube technician who finds himself in a dilemma when an innocent young woman, Cassandra Rains (Stephanie Moore) becomes imprisoned in one of the Cube’s rooms.