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Blu-ray Reviews for June 19, 2018

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: Umbrella Entertainment’s Region Free double-feature release of Bride of Re-Animator & Beyond Re-Animator; the gay teen dramedy Love, Simon; the bonkers Cannon Films touchstone Ninja 3: The Domination; MVD’s deluxe edition of Return of Swamp Thing; and the very delayed sequel The Strangers: Prey at Night. A list of other titles also available this week can be found at the end.

Distributor: Umbrella Entertainment

Bride Of Re-Animator. The mad Dr. Herbert (Jeffrey Combs), the tormented Dr. Dan Cain (Bruce Abbott) and the beheaded Dr. Carl Hill (David Gale) return in this terrifying sequel to Re-Animator. It’s been eight months since the Miskatonic Massacre stained the halls with blood – and Dr. West and Dr. Cain’s experiments have taken a bizarre turn. Now they have gone beyond re-animating the dead… into the realm of creating new life. The legs of a hooker and the womb of a virgin are joined to the heart of Dr. Cain’s dead girlfriend – and the bride is unleashed upon her mate in a climax of sensual horror.

Beyond Re-Animator. When he was young, Howard Phillips (Jason Barry) watched his sister get torn apart by one of Dr. Herbert West’s (Jeffrey Combs) reanimated corpses. Phillips, now a doctor, is so eager to learn more about the mad doctor’s attempts to bring back the dead that he accepts a position at the prison where West is being held. Phillips delves further into West’s gruesome research, which attracts the attention of a local reporter (Elsa Pataky) and the cruel prison warden (Simón Andreu).

Being that Re-Animator was a trashy take on the Frankenstein story, it was only appropriate that the sequel follow one of the most famous sequels in film history: Bride of Frankenstein.

Bride hits a lot of the same beats as its predecessor, all while throwing in quite a handful of homages to series inspiration H.P. Lovecraft. (“It’s just rats in the walls” Dr. West says at one point, or the sewing of bat wings onto a decapitated head and letting it fly around.) People and limbs still come to life. Female nudity is still firmly on display. But derivatives aside, Bride actually nails one aspect and gets a lot of mileage out of it, and it all comes from the title. It’s also the very last thing you’d expect from any Re-Animator film: love.

Love connects all the characters — each of them are connected to at least one other because of this — but it also happens to be the most fucked up love triangle polygon of all time. Dr. Cain lets Dr. West talk him into their next challenge — the creation of life rather than just the resurrection of the dead — by convincing him to place his departed love Meg’s heart in the corpse of a beautiful young woman. The detective hot on the doctor duo’s trail (played by Claude Earl Jones) is on a personal crusade to avenge his departed wife, who ended up as one of Dr. West’s experiments and currently inhabits the free-range chicken room. Meanwhile, there’s Francesca (the gorgeous Fabiana Udenio, who would go on to play Alotta Fagina in Austin Powers), a new love interest for Dr. Cain, and a source of consternation for Dr. West, who seems to want Dan all to himself. And then there’s the undead bride, who loves Dan because she’s got Meg’s heart, but yet West is in love with her because he created her.

See? Love!

Being a sequel, does Bride of Re-Animator live up to the original? No, of course not. But weak script aside, I’ll be damned if it’s not trying at every turn. Directed by Re-Animator producer Brian Yuzna, Bride of Re-Animator feels every bit like a sequel, thematically. The returning faces certainly help in that regard (and Dr. Cain brings along a lot more hair), but the spirit of unrestrained, maniacal gore and mayhem are what make Bride of Re-Animator one of the better horror sequels birthed from an ’80s classic.

The same can’t be said for Beyond Re-Animator, the long delayed sequel finally shot in 2003 under the watchful eye of a returning Brian Yuzna. Beyond’s biggest problem is that it’s attempting to sequelize a horror series that was very much of the ‘80s but doing so during the then-age of “smart” ironic slashers and PG-13 horror. Of course, Beyond should be lauded for trying to offer some counter programming, but not only does it stick out for this reason, but it also sticks out because it can’t afford what it’s vying to be: unprecedented madness — at least as exhibited by the series thus far.

Largely funded by Spanish film company Fantastic Factory/Filmax, Beyond was shot in Barcelona and Valencia, Spain, with roughly half a cast of Spanish actors. Normally you might think, “Well, the whole movie takes place in a prison, so it’s not unbelievable that many of the prisoners are Spanish,” but that just makes you a racist. Still, this idea does make Beyond stick out and could have been remedied by acknowledging the obvious Spanish flavor and tweaking the script so that the infamous Herbert West had been hidden away overseas in an effort to continue hushing up his awful experiments at Miskatonic University.

Jeffrey Combs as Herbert West, the re-animator, doesn’t miss a single beat and easily steps back into the ghoul doctor’s shoes — it’s everyone else who don’t seem fully confident in their roles. And as previously mentioned, Beyond, given its more modern 2000s production, is the first entry to try its hand at visual effects. Nearly all of them are a failure — especially the scene involving the evil warden’s decapitated and re-animated…er…member. (Yes, this happens. If you ever wanted to see a dick puppet fight a rat puppet, look no further than Beyond Re-Animator.)

Like Bride, Beyond Re-Animator was clearly made in the same spirit of the original, and by film’s end, when chaos has totally overtaken the prison, it’s larger in scope than anything the previous films attempted, and that’s absolutely commendable. But unlike its predecessors, the comedy it’s going for seems cheap, and manufactured only to outdo the previous shock moments, whereas the horror aspect, this time around, just feels corny.  In Re-Animator, a headless corpse holds his cut-off head and lowers it down into the nether regions of a naked hapless female. That’s shocking, yes, but it’s also a unique gotcha moment that hadn’t been seen before. In Beyond Re-Animator, someone’s dick gets ripped off and then later comes to life. Has that been done? I generally avoid the kinds of movies that may have tapped that well already, but since we live in a world where Troma and The Asylum exist, I’ll just assume it’s been done. And that’s pretty much the example of Beyond Re-Animator trying too hard to be shocking: dick jokes.

Years ago, the original Re-Animator team tried to raise money for House of Re-Animator, a sequel that would see Dr. Herbert West being called to the White House during the Bush Administration to resurrect the recently dead Vice President Dick Cheney, who by then, was obviously the one running the country. This never came to fruition but was once the original concept for a Re-Animator 2, (only then it would have resurrected Ronald Reagan). I say the time is now more ripe than ever for a House of Re-Animator — one that, this time, is set in the Trump White House. Pleeeeease Gordon & Yuzna, et al. Make this movie.


The complete list of special features is as follows:

Disc One: Bride Of Re-Animator

  • Audio Commentary With Brian Yuzna
  • Audio Commentary With Brian Yuzna, Jeffrey Combs, Tom Rainone, John Carl Buechler, Mike Deak, Robert Kurtzman, Howard Berger And Screaming Mad George
  • Audio Commentary With Jeffrey Combs And Bruce Abbott
  • Brian Yuzna Remembers Bride Of Re-Animator Featurette
  • Splatter Masters: The Special Effects Artists Of Bride Of Re-Animator
  • Getting Ahead In Horror Featurette
  • Behind The Scenes: Special Effects Artists
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Dark Adventures Radio Presents: Herbert West: Re-Animator- Trailer

Disc Two: Beyond Re-Animator

  • The Making Of Beyond Re-Animator
  • Dr. Re-Animator: Move Your Dead Bones
  • Interviews (Brian Yuzna, Jeffrey Combs, Jason Barry, Elsa Pataky, Santiago Segura And Simon Andreu)
  • Behind The Scenes
  • Trailer

Distributor: 20th Century Fox

From the producers of The Fault in Our Stars comes the relatable and heartfelt coming-of-age film LOVE, SIMON. Everyone deserves a great love story, but for 17-year-old Simon, it’s a bit complicated. The gay teenager hasn’t come out yet, and doesn’t know the identity of the anonymous classmate he’s fallen for online. Resolving both issues will be a hilarious, scary, life-changing adventure.

Regardless of your sexual orientation, or religion, or appearance, or social status, or whatever other thing that made you feel like you stuck out, high school is generally considered a miserable experience for most people. Sexual identity and hormones, experimentation with drugs and alcohol, the social ladder, the looming threat/escape of college — all of these things weigh heavily on the high school brain, and while the experiences haven’t changed that much since the days of John Hughes, they’ve changed enough that Love, Simon feels like a John Hughes movie for the savier, smartphone-addled generation.

First, don’t be turned off by the gay factor for fear that the titular character isn’t one with whom you’d be able to relate. Even as Simon states during the film, his hangup with outing himself has less to do with him being gay and more to do with his identity in general, which, again, as he states, is a cross that all of-age high schoolers have to bear. Even if the sequence is a bit too on the nose and silly for the otherwise grounded approach that Love, Simon is taking, an amusing fantasy in which Simon ponders why straight kids don’t have to come out as straight to his or her parents go along with this idea of embracing and projecting your identity to the world, regardless of what that identity is. Gay or transgender; suffering from depression or bipolar disorder; the victim of a former or ongoing abuse — these things we face have a huge impact on who we are, but it doesn’t have to define us, either.

Love, Simon, for its main purpose, handily alternates between being very funny and extremely touching — any scenes involving Simon interacting with his family, including a surprisingly well suited and effective Josh Duhamel as Simon’s father, are easily the most emotionally affecting. But it’s also funny in that way most teen comedies should be. At times the plot seems a little too clunky and unnecessarily complicated, including moments of teen duplicity that skew too far outside reality, but luckily the focus is much more on Simon’s struggles and his state of mind. Thankfully, it presents Simon as a real and well-rounded character and doesn’t lean on stereotypes or cheap humor to make its point. (Even Simon dismisses an over-the-top fantasy dance number, citing that he’s “not that gay.”) Some critics came down hard on Love, Simon accusing it of presenting itself as the gay experience for all kids struggling with their sexual identity and saying it sidesteps more important issues faced by kids going through the same struggle, and while that’s not untrue, it’s also something one could easily roll their eyes at. Sure, closeted kids can have far worse experiences — their coming out to their family or friends can lead to banishment, there are sometimes histories of sexual abuse, and in the most extreme cases, like Matthew Shepard, the kids can lose their lives in a senseless hate crime. But maybe, instead of having focused on the dark side of sexual identity, it can be okay sometimes to provide a little hope for the kid in that dark theater who is going through his or her own struggle and letting them know they’re perfectly fine just the way they are.


The complete list of special features is as follows:

  • Audio Commentary by Director Greg Berlanti, Producer Isaac Klausner and Co-Screenwriter Issac Aptaker
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Featurettes:
    • “The Adaptation” – Learn how the touching book Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli was adapted into Love, Simon
    • “The Squad” – Love, Simon’s cast members are some serious #squadgoals. Take a look into how the filmmakers developed, casted and perfected Simon’s squad.
    • “#FirstLoveStoryContest” – Everyone deserves a great first love story! Watch one lucky fan tell audiences about their first love story.
    • “Dear Georgia” – Join the filmmakers as they show you the iconic filming locations in Atlanta.
    • “Dear Atlanta” – The book takes place in Atlanta and the film was also shot there! Learn the many reasons why production chose this great city!
  • Gallery

Distributor: Shout! Factory

Aerobic instructor Christie Ryder (Lucinda Dickey, Breakin’, Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo) becomes possessed by the spirit of an evil ninja when she comes to his aid after he was shot down. Dominated by the killer’s vicious and relentless rage, she sets out to brutally attack his enemies. Her boyfriend, confused by Christie’s changing personality and afraid that he might be her next victim, enlists the help of Yamada (Shô Kosugi, Enter the Ninja, Revenge of the Ninja). In a life-threatening exorcism and ultimate fight to the death, Yamada proves that he is Christie’s only chance for survival.

If there’s such a thing as ninja movie royalty, it’s Shô Kosugi. In addition to Bruce Lee, Kosugi powered the ninja phenomenon throughout the 1970s and ‘80s, firing off action flicks nearly every year (many of which have enjoyed fancy reissues from the likes of Arrow Video and Kino Lorber). And Kosugi hasn’t fully hung up his robes, having appeared in big Hollywood mainstream fare as recently as James McTeigue’s Ninja Assassin and taking part in supplements on even his quirkiest releases, such as the Van Damme early effort Black Eagle. He might be best known as having taken part in Cannon Films’ unofficial ninja-centric trilogy, which begins with Enter the NInja (starring a dubbed Franco Nero against Kosugi’s villain), continues with Revenge of the Ninja (which saw Kosugi playing the hero this time), and concludes with the absolutely insane Ninja 3: The Domination…which sort of saw Kosugi playing the Father Merrin character of The Exorcist. If you haven’t been able to surmise, the reason that the Cannon Films ninja trilogy is unofficial is because none of the entries have anything to do with each other. Though they’re sold as sequels to each other, they are completely standalone with completely different characters. NInja 3: The Domination, which unexpectedly and absentmindedly pushes the series into horror territory, absolutely proves that.

If you’re familiar with Cannon Films, you should know it’s a big deal when I tell you that Ninja 3: The Domination is the most insane film those lovable Israeli cousins, Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, ever produced. It shamelessly uses the Ninja brand to shoehorn in two completely unrelated pop culture phenomena — aerobics and The Exorcist — to create something that, to this day, still defies description, but which the pair were hoping would appeal directly to the masses.

Cue laughter.

In spite of this nonsense plot, there’s still plenty of ninja action, especially during the action packed extended opening in which an evil ninja kills way way way many dudes before his spirit is loosed and infests the body of a young female aerobics enthusiast. (This is a real movie.) Kosugi soon appears and ninjas it up, and though he’s given less to do here, as he’s been demoted to a supporting character, the absurdity of the plot and what he’s tasked to do more than makes up for it.

I first saw Ninja 3 on television when I was very young, and between Lucinda Dickey crashing a hot tub threesome to kill a dude by scratching him with a poison-tipped ring, and later pouring V8 juice all over her body during a love scene, it was a movie about which I had thought, “I think I have to be older to understand what’s happening in this.” Twenty-something years later, I still have no earthly idea what’s happening. But I do know that whatever IS happening is glorious.


The complete list of special features is as follows:

  • NEW 4K Scan From The Original Film Elements
  • NEW Interview With Actress Lucinda Dickey
  • NEW Interview With Actor Jordan Bennett
  • NEW Interview With Producer And Stuntman Alan Amiel
  • NEW Audio Interviews With Production Designer Elliot Ellentuck And Co-Composer Misha Segal Featuring Isolated Tracks From The Original Score
  • Theatrical Trailer (In HD) With Optional Trailers From Hell Commentary With Screenwriter Josh Olson
  • Audio Commentary By Director Sam Firstenberg And Stunt Coordinator Steve Lambert

Distributor: MVD Entertainment via MVD Rewind

Swamp Thing falls in love with Dr. Arcane’s sexy daughter and must rescue her from her father’s nefarious plans. Everyone’s favorite muck-encrusted plant-man falls in love with Dr. Arcane’s sexy daughter and must rescue her from her father’s nefarious and murderous plans. Heather Locklear stars as the vegetarian plant-lover in this superhero comic book adaptation. Also starring Louis Jourdan, Dick Durock, and Sarah Douglas.

The first stab at adapting Swamp Thing for the big screen came courtesy of legendary horror director Wes Craven (who I still can’t accept is gone). It was an average, if below-average, attempt at taking the creepiest looking comic book hero in history who is actually a good guy and turning it into a somewhat dull, somewhat competent feature film.

Seven years later, a sequel came about under the tutelage of legendary schlock maker Jim Wynorski, who has directed some of the greatest offerings from the bottom shelf of the horror section in your local mom and pop video store. (Personal faves of mine are Chopping Mall and Sorority House Massacre 2.) If you’re familiar with Wynorski’s work, then you can probably assume that Return of Swamp Thing is a far hokier, cheesier, and more light-hearted adaptation of the popular DC Comics character, and compared to Craven’s first go-around, that’s saying something.

Probably the most well-known aspect of Return of Swamp Thing, even to those who have never actually seen it, is that it contains Heather Locklear’s feature film debut in a lead role. (Spoiler: She’s terrible.) And really, all of Return of Swamp Thing is terrible, but if you’re a lover of ‘80s cheese that is either in on the joke, or pretends to be in on the joke while failing to send up other aspects that actually become their own jokes, you’ll probably find a lot to enjoy here. Wynorski’s approach seems very informed from sci-fi flicks from the ‘50s and ‘60s, which explains some of the more outlandish mutantenous creations that come out of the swamp and fight our titular Thing. It’s much less trashier than Wynorski’s other films, which also offers it a kind of innocence even amongst all the stupidity.

Regardless of the film itself, MVD Rewind’s release of this title is staggering. I love what this label is doing; the lavish attention being shown to what are essentially semi-forgotten B-movies deserves to be celebrated, even if the films they sometimes release aren’t at all deserving of the same attention.


The complete list of special features is as follows:

  • Brand-New 2K High-Definition Transfer
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition (480p) DVD presentations of the main feature
  • Original 2.0 and 5.1 Stereo Audio (Uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
  • NEW Audio commentary from Director Jim Wynorski, Composer Chuck Cirino and Editor Leslie Rosenthal
  • Audio commentary from Jim Wynorski (from 2003)
  • NEW Interview with Director Jim Wynorski (HD)
  • NEW Interview with Editor Leslie Rosenthal (HD)
  • NEW Interview with Composer Chuck Cirino (HD)
  • NEW Interview with Lightyear Entertainment Executive Arnie Holland (HD)
  • Original Theatrical Trailer (New HD Transfer from original 35mm materials)
  • 2 TV Spots (SD)
  • 6 Promotional TV Clips (SD)
  • 2 Greenpeace Public Service Announcements (SD)
  • 1989 Promo Reel
  • Photo Gallery (accompanied by Chuck Cirino s film’s score)
  • Reversible Artwork
  • Collectible Mini-Poster

Distributor: Universal Pictures

A  family’s  road trip  takes a dangerous  turn when they arrive  at a secluded mobile home  park to stay with relatives and find it mysteriously deserted. Under the cover of darkness, three masked psychopaths pay them a  visit to test the family’s every limit as they struggle to survive.

Universal has been talking about a sequel to The Strangers since it came out in theaters to an unexpected box office success in 2008. Why it took so long for what ended up being such a basic concept to come to fruition is the stuff of typical Hollywood masturbation. Depending on how beloved you find the first film, which starred Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman, will determine if an entire decade is worth waiting for a sequel. What I can say, however, is that The Strangers (sans 2): Prey at Night, is a surprising sequel, not just in its watchability but in its approach, which differs very much from its predecessor.

The first film was an exercise in restraint, suspense, and very very slow-burn horror. It all led to a moment of disturbing and uncomfortable violence that, to this day, still feels like a sell-out moment — a cheap moment of carnage that flies in the face of an otherwise classy approach in which the horror was built on a foundation of off-screen sounds and on-screen signs that the mysterious masked stalkers had just been in that room.

The Strangers: Prey at Night flirts with that at first in the form of broken windows and a pile of the family’s smashed cell phones, and you initially get the impression that Bryan Bertino, who wrote and directed the original and who returns to only co-write here, is content with hitting all the same beats. (One of the masked trio even knocks on the door and asks for Tamara.) But that approach soon gives way to an unexpected aesthetic in which the sequel launches into full-blown ‘80s slasher mode, bolstered by the John Carpenter-style soundtrack which lifts heavily from The Fog and the selection of ‘80s pop hits used to maximum effect. It also boasts a fair share of homages to slasher and horror hits from the past, including Scream and Carpenter’s own Christine.

Though it doesn’t entirely gel, you get the impression that the screenplay did have a focus on characterization, which elevates the material a bit. You don’t spend quite enough time with the characters before they start getting bumped off, so seeing them get dispatched doesn’t pack the kind of punch the screenplay was hoping for, but you at least feel something, and in this genre, that’s pretty damn good. Some of this characterization threatens to air on the side of cliche, especially when it comes to Bailee Madison’s unrealistically named Kinsey (who names their daughter after a sex psychologist?), punked out in Ramones tees and black makeup and who needs a total ‘TUDE ADJUSTMENT. She’s a problem child being shipped off to a boarding school, but what’s come along to turn her into such a problem child is never revealed (which is odd, because all of Bertino’s films to date have included a focus on issues relating relationships and family). After a while, Madison sheds this archetype as she embraces the final girl role and it helps kickstart the sequel’s transformation, even if it’s into less thoughtful material.

From a directorial standpoint, The Strangers: Prey at Night is unexpectedly impressive. It might even look better than the original, though that’s much to do with the different environment and its opportunities to play with different surroundings and color schemes — plus, a trailer park offers more opportunities than a rural farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. The pool sequence in particular merges a lot of different sensibilities into one — the neon lights set the scene gorgeously, the use of Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” is both quirky and menacing, and the mano e mano fight between Sackhead and Kinsey’s brother, Luke (Lewis Pullman – son of Bill), is legitimately suspenseful. Really, any of the the sequences set to the aforementioned ‘80s soundtrack selections are admittedly a lot of fun (Kim Wilde! Air Supply!), and director Johannes Roberts successfully turns the trio’s truck into the shark from JAWS.

I expected so very little from The Strangers: Prey at Night and I was happily surprised. Sure, you could argue that it takes the easy way out and goes for a more visceral experience than its predecessor, but what’s important is that it’s entertaining and very watchable, despite its flaws. I won’t say that it’s better than The Strangers, but it’s the one I’d sooner watch again.


The complete list of special features is as follows:

  • Alternate Ending
  • “Prep for Night” Music Video – Director’s Cut: The Man in the Mask, Dollface, and Pin-up Girl get ready to terrorize an unsuspecting family in a music video directed by horror auteur Mickey Keating (Darling, Carnage Park)
  • A Look Inside The Strangers: Prey at Night: Stars Christina Hendricks, Martin Henderson and director Johannes Roberts Talk about the making of the film
  • Family Fights Back: Stars Christina Hendricks, Martin Henderson, Bailee Madison, Lewis Pullman and director Johannes Roberts review the film’s characters and their fight to survive
  • The Music of The Strangers: Prey at Night: Director Johannes Roberts and star Bailee Madison discuss the John Carpenter-inspired score and the ‘80s soundtrack that keeps The Strangers killing

Also Available This Week:

Distributor: Umbrella Entertainment

Don Coscarelli’s (Phantasm, Bubba Ho-Tep) cult sword and sorcery epic is a bold tale of witchcraft, spectacle and revenge, where barbarians jostle for power and nature is a force to be reckoned with. After his family is slaughtered by sinister lords of evil, an innocent boy carries his anger into manhood, vowing bloody vengeance. Armed with supernatural powers and the innate ability to communicate with animals, Dar (Marc Singer, Television’s V-The Series) embarks on a journey to bring justice to the marauding forces of evil, lead by malevolent priest Maax (Rip Torn, Men In Black). Aided by experienced hunter Seth (John Amos, Die Hard 2), beautiful slave girl Kiri (Tanya Roberts, Charlie’s Angels) and a team of fierce yet loyal animals, the intrepid adventurers take their fight to a dark and desolate landscape where swords cut deep and beasts roar loud.

Special Features:

  • Audio Commentary with Director Don Coscarelli and Producer Paul Pepperman
  • The Saga Of The Beastmaster featurette

Distributor: Paramount Pictures

In COMING TO AMERICA, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2018, Murphy reteamed with director John Landis to play a pampered African prince who disguises his identity to roam the U.S. in search of a bride.  The film also stars Arsenio Hall and James Earl Jones and features a variety of cameos, including Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy from Trading Places.

Special Features:

  • Vintage Interviews With The Cast
  • Behind-the-scenes Featurettes
  • Photo Gallery

Distributor: Sony Pictures (DVD only)

Scott Adkins (Accident Man, Doctor Strange, The Expendables 2), teams up with Louis Mandylor (My Big Fat Greek Wedding 1 & 2, In the Eyes of a Killer) for this darkly hilarious and action-packed tale of a classically-trained martial artist (Adkins) who goes to work as a debt collector for the mob — a job that seems easy enough until one “client” pulls him into a situation more dangerous and deadly than he ever expected.

Special Features: 

  • None

Distributor: Paramount Pictures (DVD only)

Includes 10 Jerry Lewis films, plus, over 90 minutes of hilarious bloopers, deleted scenes, and more from the zany classics! 

The Stooge (1952)
Comic farce with some surprising dramatic and autobiographical moments starring Dean Martin as Bill Miller, an accordion-playing vaudevillian who decides to go solo without help from his partner (Richard Erdman). After falling flat on his face, Bill’s manager suggests he recruit a “stooge” in the form of a zany, put-upon second banana. Enter Ted Rogers (Jerry Lewis). But how long can Ted remain the butt of Bill’s jokes without proper credit. Polly Bergen, Eddie Mayehoff also star. 99 min. C/Rtg: NR

The Delicate Delinquent (1957)
In his first solo outing, Jerry Lewis plays Sidney L. Pythias, a nerdy janitor who gets caught in the middle of a gang rumble and is arrested for being a juvenile delinquent. Officer Mike Damon (Darren McGavin, in a role written for Dean Martin) sets out to reform the “delinquent” Sidney, who soon becomes a cop. This mirthful mix of silliness and sentiment based on the Damon and Pythias legend co-stars Martha Hyer, Horace McMahon. 100 min. BW/Rtg: NR

The Bellboy (1960)
Jerry Lewis wrote, produced, directed, and starred in this plotless comedy par excellence–Jerry’s tribute to silent film idol Stan Laurel–as inept bellhop Stanley. You’ll check in for laughter as Stanley turns a posh Miami Beach resort upside down, and welcomes such guests as Milton Berle, golfer Cary Middlecoff, Laurel imitator Bill Richmond, and Jerry himself! Narrated by Walter Winchell. 71 min. BW/Rtg: NR

Cinderfella (1960)
The fairy tale classic is turned on its head when Fella (Jerry Lewis) gets some help from his Fairy Godfather (Ed Wynn) after his father dies and he’s left in the care of his rotten stepmother (Judith Anderson) and her two sons (Henry Silva, Robert Hutton). But things soon turn around for Fella after he meets Princess Charming (Anna Maria Alberghetti), and loses his shoe. Will Princess find the wearer of the shoe…and will the couple live happily ever after? With Count Basie. 87 min. C/Rtg: NR

The Errand Boy (1961)
Le Grand Goofee, Jerry Lewis, is Paramutual Studios’ gopher Morty Tashman, who turns Tinseltown upside-down with one hilarious misadventure after another after his boss (Brian Donlevy) solicits him to spy on his fellow lot workers and report back any incidents of wastefulness and laziness. Frenetic film farce features a slew of celluloid chuckle-makers, including Sig Ruman, Milton Frome, Benny Rubin, Fritz Feld, Doodles Weaver, Joey Forman, and Joe Besser, with a cameo by the cast of TV’s “Bonanza.” 92 min. BW/Rtg: NR

The Ladies Man (1961)
Jerry Lewis is at his zany best playing Herbert H. Heebert, a young recent college grad who swears off women after his girlfriend leaves him for another man. But that plan quickly proves moot when Herbert takes a job as a houseboy at a Hollywood home for wayward girls. What could possibly go wrong? Helen Traubel, Pat Stanley, George Raft, and Harry James and His Orchestra (performing “Bang Tail”) are also featured in this wacky outing. 95 min. C/Rtg: NR

The Nutty Professor (1963)
Considered by many to be his best film, writer/director/star Jerry Lewis’ slapstick spin on the Jekyll/Hyde story finds him, as nerdy college professor Julius Kelp, inventing a mysterious potion that turns him into hip, conceited stud Buddy Love (whose persona, some say, was based on Dean Martin). Stella Stevens plays his love interest, Miss Purdy. With Del Moore, Kathleen Freeman. 107 min. C/Rtg: NR

The Patsy (1964)
An inept hotel bellhop named Stanley Belt is groomed for stardom by a late comedian’s management team after their meal ticket is killed in a plane crash. With no talent to speak of, Stanley is soon given the boot by his handlers…but one team member (Ina Balin) has taken a shine to the goofy “patsy,” and stays by his side on his unlikely road to success. Madcap farce–intended as a sequel to “The Bellhop”–co-stars Peter Lorre (in his last film), Keenan Wynn, Everett Sloane; Jerry directs. 101 min. C/Rtg: NR

The Disorderly Orderly (1964)
The diagnosis is bellylaugh after bellylaugh when Jerome Littlefield (Jerry Lewis), an attendant who experiences “sympathy pains,” turns a quiet hospital upside down in this hilarious comedy. But when Jerry’s former high school crush becomes a patient, he realizes that his love for her is the cause of his problems as he attempts to heal her…and himself. With Susan Oliver, Jack E. Leonard, Kathleen Freeman. 89 min. C/Rtg: NR

The Family Jewels (1965)
If one Jerry Lewis isn’t enough for you, how about seven of him! In this heartwarming comedy Jerry portrays six wacky uncles of 10-year-old heiress Donna Peyton (Donna Butterworth) who must choose a guardian, as well as her faithful chauffeur. Spending two weeks with each of her offbeat relatives, Donna discovers that her ideal father may have been under her nose all along. With Sebastian Cabot, Neil Hamilton, and a cameo by Jerry’s son’s band, Gary Lewis and the Playboys. 99 min. C/Rtg: NR

Distributor: WellGo USA

A classic Korean ghost story gets a horrifying new spin in THE MIMIC, as the mother of a missing child takes in a lost girl she finds in the woods and soon begins to wonder if she is even human.

Special Features:

  • Making Of: Director’s Commentary
  • Making Of: The Actors
  • Trailer

Distributor: Paramount Pictures

Join a phe-gnome-nal adventure inside the secret world of garden gnomes! When Gnomeo and Juliet discover their friends are missing, they team up with detective SHERLOCK GNOMES to solve the mystery and bring the gnomes home in this family comedy.

Special Features:

  • Gnome is Where the Heart Is – Go behind-the-scenes with the all-star cast
  • All Roads Lead to Gnome: London Locations in Sherlock Gnomes
  • Miss Gnomer: Mary J. Blige and the Music of Sherlock Gnomes
  • Stronger Than I Ever Was – Enjoy the brand new music video performed by Mary J. Blige
  • How To Draw – Learn how to draw your favorite characters.
  • Animating Sherlock Gnomes – Discover the magic behind the movie’s animation

Distributor: Warner Bros.

Lara Croft is the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished when she was scarcely a teen. Now a young woman of 21 without any real focus or purpose, Lara navigates the chaotic streets of trendy East London as a bike courier, barely making the rent. Determined to forge her own path, she refuses to take the reins of her father’s global empire just as staunchly as she rejects the idea that he’s truly gone. Advised to face the facts and move forward after seven years without him, even Lara can’t understand what drives her to finally solve the puzzle of his mysterious death.

Special Features:

  • Tomb Raider: Uncovered – The cast and crew reveal the challenges – and the fun – of bringing Lara Croft’s thrilling adventures of life for a new generation.
  • Croft Training – Enter the gym with Award winning actress Alicia Vikander as she prepares for the most physically demanding role of her career and transforms into the iconic action hero Lara Croft.
  • Breaking Down the Rapids – Join Director Roar Uthaug as he and other members of the cast and crew break down the film’s most exciting action set piece.
  • Lara Croft: Evolution of an Icon – Explore the revolutionary TOMB RAIDER saga from video games to movies, and discover how Lara Croft became one of the most popular and successful female characters of all time.

Distributor: Arrow Video

A stranger appears in a remote New Zealand farmland at the exact time a farmer accidentally falls to his death. The mysterious outsider grows close to some of the dead man’s family, to the point where he and the widow become lovers. But her eleven-year-old daughter, Toss, struggling to come to terms with the death of her father as well as her impending womanhood, believes the intruder to be the devil and sets about protecting her family and their homestead.  Propelled by Fiona Kay’s outstanding performance by as Toss, she would earn a standing ovation when Vigil screened at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival – the first time ever that a New Zealand feature played in the main competition.

Special Features:

  • High Definition (Blu-ray) presentation
  • Original mono audio (uncompressed LPCM)
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
  • Brand-new appreciation by film critic Nick Roddick, recorded exclusively for this release
  • On-set report from the long-running New Zealand television programme Country Calendar
  • Extract from a 1987 Kaleidoscope television documentary on New Zealand cinema, focusing on Vigil and Vincent Ward
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by the Twins of Evil

Distributor: Paramount Pictures

Celebrating its 35th anniversary, TRADING PLACES pairs Murphy with Dan Aykroyd in director John Landis’ sidesplitting social satire.  A small-time con artist switches roles with a big-time stock market maven as part of an idle bet between two mega-rich brothers. But when the truth comes out, the consequences are pure comedy gold.

Special Features:

  • Insider Trading: The Making of Trading Places
  • Trading Stories
  • The Deleted Scene
  • Dressing The Part
  • The Trade in Trading Places
  • Industry Promotional Piece
  • Trivia Pop-Ups


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Written by

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.

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