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Blu-ray Reviews for November 14, 2017

Selections from this week’s Blu-ray releases can be found below in this ongoing weekly summary of reviews. Click on any of the following titles to navigate directly to that review. This week’s releases include: the next entry in the insufferable Amityville Horror franchise, Amityville: The Awakening; Charlize Theron’s ass-kicking secret agent Atomic Blonde; the charming cats-in-Turkey documentary Kedi; the old school slasher flick Night School; the Australian cinema documentary Not Quite Hollywood; and Taylor Sheridan’s murder mystery Wind River. A list of other titles also available this week can be found at the end.


Distributor: Lionsgate

In Amityville: The Awakening, Belle (Bella Thorne) and her family move into a new house, but when strange phenomena begin to occur in the house, Belle begins to suspect her mother (Jennifer Jason Leigh) isn’t telling her everything. She soon realizes they just moved into the infamous Amityville house.

Oh, the Amityville Horror series. How many of you are there now? Eleven? Twelve? Way more if we count all those bogus distributors legally exploiting the “Amityville” name?

And how many of you are actually “good”?

Counting the 1976 original…not a one. And Amityville: The Awakening definitely isn’t going to change that.

Amityville: The Awakening began life way back in 2011 as Amityville: The Lost Tapes, a Paranormal Activity-ish concept applied to the most marquee-famous haunted house horror series there is. This version ultimately didn’t come together and was heavily revised; ditching the script and concept in favor of something more traditional, Maniac remake director Franck Khalfoun pretty much started from scratch. What resulted was something definitely traditional — in fact, too traditional — resulting in a very standard haunted house chiller.

Khalfoun gets absolute credit for at least introducing a novel concept into the Amtityville mythos — even if it’s a riff on the Australia ‘70s chiller Patrick — in the form of a comatose member of the family who may or may not be invaded by the evil spirits of 112 Ocean Avenue. Khalfoun also attempts to softly “reboot” the Amityville name by acknowledging the existence of The Amityville Horror franchise as simply that — DVDs for a handful of the original films (and the remake, which “sucks”) make cameos — and this feels clever and necessary for about two seconds until you realize that Amityville: The Awakening is going to hit all the same beats those previous films did, anyway, right down to how the original and the remake conclude.

Four years ago, the concept of Blumhouse and Jennifer Jason Leigh collaborating on a micro-budget take on The Amityville Horror would have been a cause for excitement, but the finished product lacks the ingenuity and eye for creative talent that Blumhouse has brought to previous productions. And poor Jennifer Jason Leigh is totally wasted in the “mom” role (and you can tell she’s not into it), while real lead Bella Thorne’s atrocious acting only moderately improves when she’s walking around her creepy old house with no pants on, or doing her biology homework with no pants on, or putting her baby sister to bed with no pants on. (And for the nth time in movies like this, her character is a pariah at school and referred to as “freaky girl,” even though Thorne is absolutely gorgeous.) 

Moments meant to spur horror are instead hilariously over the top and only effective in causing bursts of laughter — the film gets its creepiest mileage by having Cameron Monaghan, who plays the comatose veggie, lay in a hospital bed with his creepy unblinking eyes wide open and staring. Following all the DOA jump scares, snippets of profanity-spewing demons, and wondering what on earth Kurtwood Smith is doing here, you, too, will want to put this Amityville house back on the market as soon as possible.

PICTURE & SOUND:

The video presentation on hand for Amityville: The Awakening is a pretty standard but well rendered high-def image. There’s no particular area of Amityville that’s worthy of praise for its visual construction; in fact, it’s probably the blandest depiction of the Amityville house yet, with the interiors looking more like your standard suburban home. There’s nothing of interest to keep your attention, but what is there presents well enough, and clarity is very good. Audio is equally standard. Dialogue is prominent, layered over a fairly rote musical score by Robin Coudert, who, like Khalfoun, proved to be much more capable of greatness with his electronic score for the remake of Maniac.

THE SUPPLEMENTS:

The complete list of special features is as follows:

  • “The Making of Amityville: The Awakening” Featurette

Distributor: Universal Studios

Oscar-winner Charlize Theron stars as elite MI6’s most lethal assassin and the crown jewel of her Majesty’s secret intelligence service, Lorraine Broughton, in Atomic Blonde. When she’s sent on a covert mission into Cold War Berlin, she must use all of the spycraft, sensuality and savagery she has to stay alive in the ticking time bomb of a city simmering with revolution and double-crossing hives of traitors. Broughton must navigate her way through a deadly game of spies to recover a priceless dossier while fighting ferocious killers along the way in this breakneck action-thriller from director David Leitch.

When the trailer for John Wick was released, no one expected much. It didn’t particularly sell that film in the way it deserved to be sold, focusing more on the dog and goofy carnage rather than the exceptional choreography and the clever world building. I was in from the start because Keanu — I’ll watch him in anything (I even somehow sat through Knock Knock) — but I wasn’t expecting the well made, sincere, and very fun film that John Wick was.

Its two directors, former stunt men Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, soon split off in diverging paths: Stahelski committed to John Wick: Chapter 2 and Leitch to Atomic Blonde. If there was ever any doubt that one director was the secret weapon of John Wick‘s success, John Wick: Chapter 2 was step one in dispelling that notion. Atomic Blonde is step two.

Atomic Blonde has been meticulously designed and Leitch proves he can absolutely hold his own as a director. Despite how it was marketed, it’s not the female response to John Wick, instead taking its page from paranoid spy thrillers of the ‘70s but reinvented with the neon-loving flamboyance of Nicolas Winding Refn. David Leitch directing Confessions of a Dangerous Mind instead of George Clooney offers a pretty broad but helpful means of warning the audience what kind of film they’ll be getting. Don’t get me wrong, Atomic Blonde does have a handful of extremely impressive action scenes on display — one in particular is presented in the form of a minutes-long unbroken take and rivals anything seen in either John Wick flick — but the film is more interested in cloak-and-dagger espionage, double- and triple-crosses, political Cold War unrest, and hewing at least a little closer to reality by presenting Lorraine Broughton as a bad-ass but entirely human and fallible character. Even after rolling down a hundred concrete steps, John Wick can get up and have a drink. Broughton doesn’t bounce back so quick — her body, which Theron isn’t shy about showing off — is her personal roadmap of pain.

And speaking of Broughton, between the obvious Mad Max: Fury Road and now Atomic Blonde, Charlize Theron is having a grand old time kicking everyone’s asses. On top of looking good while she’s doing it, she excels at it. She looks well suited to this kind of material, and even when she engages in the most painful of action set pieces, it’s evident she’s having the most fun out of everyone. Atomic Blonde tries to strike a similar tone to the Craig era of the Bond franchise by injecting a cheeky sense of fun into an otherwise serious story, but where Bond’s generally light tone was more conducive to that kind of balancing act, Atomic Blonde can be very dark at times, and also violent — even grisly — so when the film opens with a John Wick-ish chase scene set to an iteration of Blue Monday, but later on a minor character is violently beaten in the face with a skateboard, Atomic Blonde can seem very tonally confused.

Despite that, it’s extremely well made, and all the actors commit, obviously including Charlize Theron. It’s too soon to tell if Atomic Blonde, based on the graphic novel, will birth a second franchise for her, but it’s certainly worthy of one.

PICTURE & SOUND:

Stunning, on both counts. If you’re familiar with John Wick (and shame on you if you’re not), you should expect the same kind of aesthetic: heavy neons, bright flashing lights illuminating dim clubs, and the like. Atomic Blonde takes all that and ups the ante, creating a magnificent high-def image with staggering clarity. The audio is equally good. So much carnage it’s almost absurd but it sounds wonderful. Dialogue, despite this, never gets lost.

THE SUPPLEMENTS:

The complete list of special features is as follows:

  • Feature Commentary with Director David Leitch and Editor Elisabet Ronaldsdottir
  • Six Featurettes:
    • Welcome to Berlin
    • Blondes Have More Gun
    • Spymaster
    • Anatomy of a Fight Scene
    • Story in Motion: Agent Broughton
    • Story in Motion: The Chase
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes


Distributor: Oscilloscope Pictures

Hundreds of thousands of Turkish cats roam the metropolis of Istanbul freely. For thousands of years they’ve wandered in and out of people’s lives, becoming an essential part of the communities that make the city so rich. Claiming no owners, the cats of Istanbul live between two worlds, neither wild nor tame — and they bring joy and purpose to those people they choose to adopt. In Istanbul, cats are the mirrors to the people, allowing them to reflect on their lives in ways nothing else could.

It’s amusing that YouTubeRed is listed as one of the financiers of Kedi, being that cat videos reign supreme as the number one time killer of internet users bored as hell at work. But right off the bat, Kedi (Turkish for “cat”) is instantly charming — not just because cats, but because a meaning to the “why?” of Kedi is made immediately known. This isn’t at all just a fluff piece of “look at these cute cats” (even though they’re all adorable — and I’m not a cat person); instead,  it becomes pretty clear as time goes on that director Ceyda Torun is looking to make something much more profound and introspective.  

Kedi focuses on a series of interviews with a handful of humans (who are never given names), and the outdoor cats they have ceremonially adopted (each of which are named), and these humans delve into why they’ve taken a shine to these cats, and what it is they see in the cat’s personality that mirrors their own, or mirrors that of society. (And not all the cats are model citizens — one cat’s “owner” in particular amusingly describes it as “the neighborhood psychopath.”) The camera follows these cats down the busy city streets and serves as a witness to how they interact with daily life. Some are eager for affection, some for food, and some to be left alone.

The photography in Kedi is gorgeous, and cleverly used. Sweeping aerial drone shots of Istanbul transition between interview subjects, letting us know when we’re moving onto the next perspective. Sometimes the camera bops along low to the ground, offering the viewer the cat’s perspective as it darts from city benches to beneath boutique tables. (There’s even a night-vision sequence showing off a cat stalking a mouse in the cracks of a city sewer.)

Most importantly, even though Kedi is based entirely on cute cat footage, it’s never manipulative of the viewer’s emotions and doesn’t feel the need to manufacture drama. There’s no sense of tragedy on display to exploit a viewer’s predisposition for sentimentality. And in all honesty, watching citizens of Istanbul walk through docks and warehouse floors with bags of food to feed all the stray cats simply because “he wouldn’t be able to enjoy his own dinner knowing these cats hadn’t eaten” can do more to affect the human condition than relying on cheap manipulation.

One interview subject states, “If you don’t like animals, then you can’t like people,” and with that he basically summarizes Kedi’s point. Cats may be a species unto themselves, but aren’t that removed from humankind. Like us, they have personalities, behavior traits, and want to be both attended to and left alone. Some of us are beloved, and some of us are neighborhood psychopaths, and except for the occasional claws to the face when we get too close to someone’s territory, we still share a community where all we want and need is to exist.

PICTURE & SOUND:

As mentioned, Kedi is gorgeously photographed, which makes for a gorgeous high-def image. To the less discerning viewer, Istanbul captures remarkably like Paris; streets are lined with outdoor cafe seating, with pastry chefs just inside making meticulous desserts. Istanbul is naturally beautiful, with a sea of different colors to heighten its appearance. The clarity on display is very good, and the detail of the many, many cats is ably captured. Kedi’s musical score is small, charming, and playful, and is peppered throughout with old and new Turkish soundtrack selections that offer different sections of Kedi its own mood (and which matches the personality of the cat being explored).

THE SUPPLEMENTS:

Yes, there really is an audio commentary featuring a handful of the cats that appear in the doc, and yes, it’s as charming (there’s that word again) as you’re thinking it is.

The complete list of special features is as follows:

  • Audio Commentary with the Director/Producer Ceyda Torun, Cinematographer/Producer Charlie Wuppermann, and Editor Mo Stoebe
  • Audio Commentary with the cats
  • Making of KEDI
  • Deleted scenes
  • Extended & outtake scenes
  • Theatrical trailer


Distributor: Warner Bros. via Warner Archive

They work by day, take a full schedule of classes all night and somehow find time for study and an occasional date. Women in the evening curriculum at Boston’s distinguished Wendell College do a lot to get ahead in life. But there’s someone who will go to even greater heights. Someone will do anything to get a head. A killer whose m.o. is the ritualistic decapitation of victims makes terror a required course at Night School, directed by Kenneth Hughes (Casino Royale) and starring Rachel Ward (The Thorn Birds; After Dark, My Sweet) in her screen debut. Leonard Mann plays the homicide lieutenant assigned to the puzzling case. He has hunches, not clues. Suspects, not evidence. And a rising body count. Finals are coming early this year at Wendell. And for those who don’t make the grade, heads will roll.

In spite of the very profitable ‘80s-era boom of the slasher film, Warner Bros. weren’t eager to get into the blood ‘n guts game. While Paramount owned the playing field with the Friday the 13th series, as well as one-offs like My Bloody Valentine and April Fools Day, and New Line Cinema was keeping up with their Nightmare on Elm Street series, Warner Bros. observed all this from afar and decided it just wasn’t their thing. From their point of view, how could the studio that released The Shining and The Exorcist consider greenlighting something like The Prowler or Blood Rage?

However, they would later acquire the home video rights for two notable exceptions — the first being Paramount’s 1980 slasher He Knows You’re Alone!*, which is notable only because it features a very early appearance by Tom Hanks, and the second being 1981’s Night School, originally bankrolled by MGM and United Artists. Both of these titles, ironically, have something very much in common: dullness.  

In keeping with Warners’ then-general distaste for and avoidance of the subgenre, Night School doesn’t exactly play out like your more exploitative and silly slasher titles, such as Slaughter High or The Mutilator. While it certainly features a masked killer literally slashing at his victims until their heads fall off, Night School instead puts a much heavier emphasis on the police investigation aspect, which sees one Lt. Austin (Mann) chasing down leads and interviewing witnesses and potential suspects. It’s clear throughout that director Ken Hughes is trying to take a slasher script and turn it into an actual bonafide film, and of course that’s absolutely laudable, but when your tagline is “A is for Apple, B is for Bed, C is for Co-ed, D is for Dead, F is for Failing to Keep Your Head!,” well, your audience is going to be expecting something different.

On its surface, Night School should scratch that itch: it features the aforementioned masked killer, several graphic murder sequences, some flying or sinking heads, and a handful of (deeply unusual) sexual trysts, but they’re weaved throughout a too-normal and uninteresting detective mystery that detracts from the ideal slasher flick experience. Night School is a house divided amongst itself and it tries to be more than the sum of its parts (and other things I remember from elementary school), and for that it gets an F haha! No, I’m kidding — Night School was the cinematic version of me in high school: a solid C student. And like me, if you don’t expect too much, maybe you won’t be disappointed.

[* Via Wiki: “The film marked the first movie appearance of actor Tom Hanks, who played a relatively small part. In fact, it was said that Hanks’ character was originally written to be killed off with Nancy’s character, but because the filmmakers liked him so much, they omitted filming his death scene for the film.” Even forty years ago, Tom Hanks was still too damn likable.]

PICTURE & SOUND:

In keeping with Warner Archives’ recent successful run, Night School looks quite good in high-def. The image is pretty stable, barring some very minor trembling in the opening text credits. Colors are strong and the image is pretty bright. Clarity is also very good, offering a commendable about of detail. Audio is fairly standard for a film like this, but dialogue sounds good with no distortion, and the too-serious musical score by Brad Fiedel (The Terminator) sounds just fine.

THE SUPPLEMENTS:

None.


Distributor: Umbrella Entertainment

Welcome to Not Quite Hollywood, the fast and furious story of OZploitation – an eye-popping celebration of Australian cult films of the ’70s and early ’80s (including STONE, MAD MAX and TURKEY SHOOT). Exploding with adrenaline-pumping clips and outrageous anecdotes from a smorgasbord of local and international names (including Quentin Tarantino, Dennis Hopper, Jamie Lee Curtis and Barry Humphries) this is the wild, untold story of an era when Aussie cinema showed the world a full-frontal explosion of boobs, pubes, tubes… and even a little kung-fu! (Buy this region free release directly from the distributor, Umbrella Entertainment.)

It can be difficult to create an all-encompassing documentary that looks at the history of cinema unless it’s on one very specific topic (such as the upcoming documentary 78/52, a 91-minute feature that examines the 45 seconds that make up Psycho’s infamous shower scene). How can you possibly cover everything that’s worthy of being covered? How can you convey what you want to convey when knowing you can’t possibly include everything that should be included?

Mark Hartley’s 90-minute documentary on Australian cinema, Not Quite Hollywood, finds a way. Split into three main sections — exploitation, horror, and action — Harley explores Australia’s movie making beginnings and the country’s efforts to at least get their movies into American theaters. Not Quite Hollywood excels not just as a respectable examination of Australian films and filmmakers, but also serves as a witness to the creation of the Australian aesthetic — a look and feel that would soon become known as “Ozploitation,” and which would aid filmmakers in transitioning from making films inspired by other people to establishing their own identity.

In the beginning, when filmmakers were focused on trashy sex pics, nearly soft-core porn, the influences of Roger Corman are almost tangible. Same goes for the horror phase, with obvious odes to Hitchcock, Spielberg, and H.G. Lewis. But once the doc transitions again to the action and adventure phase, much of which is vehicular in relation, you see filmmakers begin to step up and create their own works that would, in turn, inspire American filmmakers. George Miller, perhaps one of the few Australian directors to command the Hollywood box office (along with James Wan), most recently with Mad Max: Fury Road, is a notable exception of a director who, like John Carpenter or George Romero, started small with low budget productions and eventually changed the landscape of movie making.

Not Quite Hollywood is also often very funny, getting a lot of mileage from frequently cutting back to Australian film critic and full-time curmudgeon Bob Ellis for him to dryly voice his disapproval over certain titles, certain directors, or certain entire cinematic movements. Hartley also occasionally lets his camera linger on certain certain subjects whom other interviewees have suggested as having, er…interesting or combative personalities, in an effort to offer an inkling that maybe there was something to those claims. Inversely, stories about the utter insanity that Dennis Hopper engaged in during the shooting of Mad Dog Morgan, when compared to the interview portions with Hopper (who good-spiritedly appears) that present him as very calm, reflective, and absolutely honest about his past behavior, are equally amusing.

It’s no surprise that Quentin Tarantino turns up as a talking head, and probably gets more screen time than some of the actual Australian filmmakers whose films are being discussed, but the overly excited director helps to represent that next generation of international directors who were clearly inspired by Australian cinema. James Wan and Leigh Whannell also appear, with Whannell freely admitting that the scene in Mad Max where Mel Gibson offers a bad guy shackled to a flaming car a handsaw directly inspired one of the main concepts of their then-hit horror film Saw. (Not Quite Hollywood was produced in 2008.)

Even if you don’t have a particular interest in Australian cinema, you’d be wise to embrace Not Quite Hollywood anyway. Though the accents may be different and the environments more desert-ridden than cityscaped, the spirit of low budget filmmaking — and all the trials and tribulations that come with it — are universal.

PICTURE & SOUND:

As expected, Not Quite Hollywood presents many different video sources of varying quality, so the overall look of the documentary is very random and patchwork. We’re not just talking digital footage versus film, but entirely different aspect ratios and the difference of 40 years of filmmaking resources, just to name a couple. But this disparate collection of footage gives Not Quite Hollywood an attractive presentation and actually helps to subtly convey its themes of growth and transition through Australia’s film history. The interview portions look very good from a quality standpoint. The audio is similarly disparate, but about what you’d expect, although some dialogue from the older pic scenes contain impenetrable Australian accents and I couldn’t for the life of me understand what was being said at times. Luckily the talking head segments are easily understandable.

THE SUPPLEMENTS:

The complete list of special features is as follows:

  • Audio Commentary from Ozploitation Auteurs
  • Deleted and Extended scenes
  • The Lost Interview: Chris Lofven
  • A Word with Bob Ellis
  • Quentin Tarantino and Brian Trenchard-Smith Interview
  • MIFF Ozploitation Panel
  • MIFF red Carpet Footage
  • Behind the Scenes Footage from the Crew
  • UK Interview with Director Mark Hartley
  • THE BAZURA PROJECT Segment
  • THE MONTHLY Conversation
  • THE BUSINESS Interview
  • Extended Ozploitation Trailer Reel
  • John D. Lamond: CONFESSIONS OF AN R-RATED FILMMAKER
  • Richard Franklin On-set Interview
  • Terry Bourke’s NOON SUNDAY Reel
  • BARRY McKENZIE: OGRE OR OCKER Documentary
  • INSIDE ALVIN PURPLE Documentary
  • TO SHOOT A MAD DOG Documentary
  • Ozploitation Stills And Poster Gallery
  • NQH Production Gallery
  • NQH Pitch Promos
  • Original Theatrical Trailer


Distributor: Lionsgate

Wind River is a chilling thriller that follows a rookie FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen) who teams up with a game tracker with deep community ties and a haunted past (Jeremy Renner) to investigate the mysterious killing of a local girl on a remote Native American reservation.

Screenwriter Taylor Sheridan sure has come a long way as a director, with Wind River marking his second directorial effort and a far, far improvement over his debut, the insufferable torture horror flick Vile. In recent years he’s excelled with his scripts for crime flicks Sicario and Hell or High Water, with a sequel to the former, Soldado, on its way. Sheridan, who also had an acting role during the first couple seasons of Sons of Anarchy, continues his mostly strong work with Wind River, though he also falls victim to a main pitfall of his past, which is his inability to write a strong female character. More on that in a bit.

Wind River carries more of an same emotional weight than Sheridan’s predecessors, but also in a more desolate land and in even more desperate circumstances, which makes it the most grueling of his films so far. Everyone character on screen has baggage one way or the other, and with there being no escape, it can be almost too dour of an environment in which to exist for two hours. It’s still especially well made and exceptionally photographed, but the sadness is paramount and, at times, can be overwhelming.

Above all, Wind River is a showcase for the talents of Jeremy Renner, who, following his star-making turn in The Hurt Locker, struggled for a good while to find a role for which he was well suited. His performance in Wind River is a reminder as to why people began to remember his name in the first place. Playing a father who still mourns for his dead child three years after the fact, his quietest moments are his best — especially when he shares the scenes with another father much more recently mourning the death of his own. Rarely are two men allowed to be so utterly honest and intimate with each other on screen and deny all those machinations of the masculine male; Sheridan’s quietly scripted scene enables that concept to effect emotions that the audience isn’t used to experiencing.

Like Emily Blunt’s incompetent and gutless FBI agent from Sicario, or the various underwritten women of Hell or High Water, Wind River presents yet another FBI agent (Olsen) with too few positive traits and a handful of negative ones with which she introduces her character. She shows up to a crime scene without additional FBI support, and underdressed to the degree that the parents of the dead girl begrudgingly give her some gear to help her navigate the treacherous weather. She butts heads with small-town personnel and shows off her indignation, but there’s never any indication that she’s being presented as the typical government bureaucrat the audience is supposed to instantly dislike. No, rather, she’s one of the “heroes,” but the screenplay borders dangerously close to painting her as a shrew; it’s to Olsen’s credit that she manages to make the character likable despite this. Olsen’s FBI agent is in over her head — so much that she’s leaning a bit too much on Renner’s trapper/hunter character for a murder investigation in a way that defies believability — but the two make for an interesting on screen pair and their journey together makes up for the few instances of suspension of disbelief that’s called for.

Wind River is the third part of what Sheridan calls his ‘Frontier Trilogy’ (with Sicario and Hell or High Water being the predecessors), but he’s managed to tell a very different kind of story. Wind River still falls within the confines of solving a crime, but it posits that sometimes justice isn’t just while asking the question, when it comes to right versus wrong, who is the bigger perpetrator?

PICTURE & SOUND:

Wind River is beautifully shot — that’s evident right off the bat — but it’s also effectively shot so that the environment is exceedingly cold, stark, brutal, unforgiving, bleak, and sad — all at once, and all the time. Clarity is very good, and the level of detail — especially during the more grisly moments, such as the first act autopsy scene — is very fine. Audio helps in conveying the brutal tone as presented by the video — lots of whipping, howling wind and the constant presence of the cold. Dialogue marries well into this audioscape along with the typically unusual and sad musical score by frequent collaborators Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.

THE SUPPLEMENTS:

The complete list of special features is as follows:

  • Behind-the-Scenes Video Gallery
  • Deleted Scenes


Also Available This Week:

Distributor: Shout! Factory

Comedy legend Lily Tomlin stars in the effervescent 1981 comedy The Incredible Shrinking Woman. Exposed to a heady mix of household chemicals, Pat Kramer (Tomlin) contracts a strange side effect: She begins to shrink! Baffling doctors, Pat’s diminishing size starts to really bring her down … until her story captures the hearts of the American people and the attention of a sinister group of scientists bent on world domination. Getting out of this predicament while still taking care of her family will be no small feat! Also starring Charles Grodin (Midnight Run), Ned Beatty (Deliverance, Homicide: Life On The Street), and Tomlin’s fellow Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In alumnus Henry Gibson, and featuring makeup master Rick Baker (King Kong, Star Wars) as Sidney the gorilla, The Incredible Shrinking Woman is a smart little comedy with big laughs.

Special Features:

  • NEW 2017 High-Definition Transfer
  • NEW A Conversation With Actress Lily Tomlin And Writer/Executive Producer Jane Wagner
  • NEW Interview With Director Joel Schumacher
  • NEW Interview With Cinematographer And Visual Effects Supervisor Bruce Logan
  • NEW Audio Interview With Composer Suzanne Ciani
  • NEW On Location: Now And Then Featurette
  • “Edith Ann” Deleted Scene
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery

Distributor: Arrow Video

It wasn’t long before the Blaxploitation boom moved into the horror market, bringing the world Blacula, Blackenstein, Abby (Blaxploitation’s The Exorcist) and cult favourite J.D.’s Revenge.

Law student Ike is enjoying a night on the town with his friends when his life changes dramatically. Taking part in a nightclub hypnosis act, he becomes possessed with the spirit of a violent gangster murdered in the 1940s. Believing himself to be the reincarnation of murderous J.D., Ike launches a revenge campaign against those who had done ‘him’ wrong all those years ago…

Directed by Arthur Marks (Bucktown, Friday Foster) and starring Glynn Turman (Cooley High) and Academy Award-winner Louis Gossett Jr (An Officer and a Gentleman), J.D.’s Revenge is alternately tough and terrifying – a Blaxploitation gem waiting to be rediscovered!

Special Features:

  • Brand new 2K restoration from original film elements, produced by Arrow Films exclusively for this release
  • Brand new interview with producer-director Arthur Marks
  • More interviews to be announced!
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Arthur Marks trailer reel
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Sean Phillips
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector’s booklet containing new writing by Kim Newman, author of Nightmare Movies

Distributor: Shout! Factory

Paul Naschy (born Jacinto Molina Álvarez) was Spain’s answer to Lon Chaney. He has portrayed many classic monsters – the Wolfman, Frankenstein’s monster, Count Dracula, the Mummy and more. He was not only a terrific actor, but an accomplished writer, producer and director. This Blu-ray box set includes five stellar films from his long and distinguished career. Also included in this five-film collection is an immersive 24-page booklet by author Mirek Lipinski.

Hunchback Of The Morgue (El Jorobado De La Morgue)

  • In Castilian With English Subtitles And English Dub
  • NEW Audio Commentary By Rod Barnett And Troy Guinn Of The Podcast,  NaschyCast
  • Theatrical Trailers (Spanish And English)
  • Still Gallery

The Devil’s Possessed (El Mariscal Del Infierno)

  • In Castilian With English Subtitles And English Dub
  • Theatrical Trailers (Spanish And English)

The Werewolf And The Yeti (La Maldición De La Bestia)

  • In Castilian With English Subtitles And English Dub
  • Still Gallery

Exorcism (Exorcismo)

  • In Castilian With English Subtitles And English Dub
  • NEW Audio Commentary By Author Troy Howarth
  • Alternate “Clothed” Versions Of The Nude Scenes For The Original Spanish Release
  • Theatrical Trailers (Spanish And English)
  • English Credit Sequence
  • Still Gallery

A Dragonfly For Each Corpse (Una Libélula Para Cada Muerto)

  • In Castilian With English Subtitles And English Dub
  • NEW Audio Commentary By Author Troy Howarth
  • Still Gallery

Distributor: Arrow Video

Writer-director Ivan I. Tverdovsky’s prize-winning sophomore feature (Special Prize of the Jury at Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Best Picture at Fantastic Fest) deftly mixes the deadpan humour of Aki Kaurismäki with a poignant examination of social issues including loneliness and aging.

Natasha is a middle-aged admin employee at a zoo where her female co-workers take pleasure in making fun of her. She lives with her God-fearing mother and leads a dull existence without prospects, until one day she grows a tail. Medical examinations follow where she meets Peter, a young radiologist and her dreary life is turned upside down.

Described as “Kafka meets Cronenberg” (Hollywood Reporter) Tverdovsky’s film is a beautifully photographed portrait of Eastern Europe that recalls the recent New Romanian Cinema and features a brave and brilliant central performance from Natalya Pavlenkova.

Special Features:

  • Trailer
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic and author Michael Brooke

NEW PODCAST LOOP

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J. Tonzelli is a writer, film critiquer, and avid Arnold/Van Damme/Bronson enthusiast who resides in rural South Jersey. He is the author of "The End of Summer: Thirteen Tales of Halloween" and the "Fright Friends Adventure" series, co-authored with Chris Evangelista. He loves abandoned buildings, the supernatural, and films by John Carpenter. You can read some of his short fiction at his website, JTonzelli.com, or objectify him by staring at his tweets: @jtonzelli. He apologizes for all the profanity.