Grim Pickings for Cinema & Home Entertainment this week…
GRIM PICKINGS this week includes key dates to dismember with the theatrical release of an acclaimed documentary that we never thought the Scientologists would let us see to the home entertainment arrival of an array of genre classics.
Here’s what’s releasing locally this week…
Thursday September 8th
LOUIS THEROUX: MY SCIENTOLOGY MOVIE (Limited Release)
Louis Theroux hits the big screen in his first feature documentary, LOUIS THEROUX: MY SCIENTOLOGY MOVIE, created in collaboration with director John Dower and two-time Academy Award winning producer Simon Chinn (Searching for Sugar Man, Man on Wire). Following a long fascination with the religion, and with a lot of experience dealing with eccentric human behaviour, incomparable British broadcaster Louis Theroux won’t take no for an answer when his request to enter the Church of Scientology’s Los Angeles headquarters is turned down. Theroux’s insatiable curiosity motivates him to understand what life inside the Church is really like, and with the aid of former second-in-command at the Church, Mark ‘Marty’ Rathbun, he uses actors to replay incidents people claim they experienced with high profile members such as Tom Cruise and leader David Miscavige. Suffused with a good dose of humour and moments worthy of a Hollywood script, LOUIS THEROUX: MY SCIENTOLOGY MOVIE proves that what people do in the name of religion can be truly stranger than fiction.
Friday September 9th
THE PERFECT NONSENSE (Melbourne Underground Film Festival)
Making its world premiere at the Melbourne Underground Film Festival (MUFF), the latest feature-film from director, Addison Heath (UNDER A KALEIDOSCOPE) is an absurdist comedy like no other. Jaythan Rubin (Kenji Shimada), a lonely and socially awkward office worker meets Bethany “G-Code” Jones (Kristen Condon), a street wise gangsta rapper and graffiti artist. Together they roam a nonsense wasteland.
Wednesday September 7th
HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES
Making its Blu-ray debut locally, the Umbrella Entertainment release not only ports over all of the additional content included on its US counterpart, it features an all-new interview with actor William Bassett. On October 30, 1977, three intrepid youths travel across the American landscape, researching a book on unusual roadside attractions. During one pit-stop they encounter petrol station owner Captain Spaulding (exploitation legend Sid Haig, The Big Doll House, Blood Bath) who introduces them to “The Museum of Monsters & Madmen”, where they learn the local legend of Dr. Satan. In search of the particular tree from which Dr. Satan hanged, they pick up hitchhiker Baby (Sheri Moon Zombie, Toolbox Murders) and are lead to a mysterious house that will be their ultimate undoing, wherein resides a family so morally depraved that death is considered less an end and more of a vacation.A twisted and macabre tale of gut-wrenching exploitation, inspired by 1970s cult horror classics The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Hills Have Eyes, directed by Goth rocker-turned horror maestro Rob Zombie (The Devil’s Rejects, Halloween), House of 1000 Corpses is a relentless blood-bath of torture and mayhem.
Umbrella Entertainment have spared no expense on the Blu-ray of the cult comic book actioner from ’89, with the release carrying three cuts of the feature, an abundance of exclusive Australian content and reversible sleeve with newly commissioned artwork. When respected police officer Frank Castle (action superstar Dolph Lundgren, Rocky IV, The Expendables) suddenly loses his family to a vicious mob attack he withdraws from public life and becomes a man filled with hate. Driven into the shadows, fuelled by vengeance, he takes to the city’s underground armed to the hilt with an arsenal of deadly weapons to track down and punish those who killed his family. With the Japanese Yakuza in the mix and a vicious battle against child slave traders, The Punisher sets out to clean up the streets the only way he knows how.
STEPHEN KING COLLECTION (Blu-ray Only)
Via Vision Entertainment have compiled four Stephen King adaptations into the one Blu-ray collection for the very first time, anywhere in the world. The set includes a Special Edition of THE DEAD ZONE, which outside of this pack, has only been released in ViaVIsion’s CRONENBERG COLLECTION prior. THE DEAD ZONE (1983): David Cronenberg’s adaptation of the Stephen King novel. Johnny Smith (Christopher Walken) is a schoolteacher who, after surviving a terrible road accident, emerges from a five-year coma cursed with psychic powers which enable him to see into the future. When he then meets Presidential candidate Greg Stillson (Martin Sheen), Johnny has a vision of the apocalyptic disasters which would befall the world if this man should ever win office, and realises that it is his destiny to prevent such a thing from ever happening. CHRISTINE (1983): John Carpenter brings Stephen King’s best-selling novel to life in this chilling thriller. She was born in Detroit … on an automobile assembly line. But she is no ordinary automobile. Deep within her chassis lives an unholy presence. She is CHRISTINE a red and white 1958 Plymouth Fury whose unique standard equipment includes an evil, indestructible vengeance that will destroy anyone in her way. She seduces 17-year-old Arnie Cunningham (Keith Gordon), who becomes consumed with passion for her sleek, rounded chrome-laden body. She demands his complete and unquestioned devotion and when outsiders seek to interfere, they become the victims of Christine’s horrifying wrath. SLEEPWALKERS (1992): Only Stephen King, the dark genius behind Misery, The Shining and Pet Sematary, could have written Sleepwalkers, a classic horror story that takes a perfect Norman Rockwell town and turns it inside out. Brian Krause and Alice Krige star in this terrifying tale of modern-day vampires who prey on virtuous young women. Madchen Amick plays the sexually curious virgin who falls for the new boy in school (Brian Krause), only to learn too late that he’s a life-sucking Sleepwalker. Mutating at will from golden boy to savage monster, Krause stalks Amick to feed his seductive mother. As the tension mounts (and the casualties pile up), the town’s tabbies gather for a final, chilling showdown with the monsters in their midst— and we all know it’s not nice to hurt people’s felines… With cameo appearances by Stephen King and Clive Barker. Pet SEMATARY (1989) From Stephen King, the Master of the Macabre, comes a journey that leads to hell and back. Though not everyone survives the trip. For the Creeds, home is where the horror is! After moving to an idyllic home in the countryside, life seems perfect f or the Creed family…but not for long. Louis and Rachel Creed and their two young children settle in to a house that sits next door to a pet cemetery – built on an ancient Indian burial ground. Their mysterious new neighbour, Jud Crandall (Fred Gwynne), hides the cemetery’s darkest secret…until a family tragedy brings the secret to life.
MUNSTER GO HOME (DVD Only)
After having played last year’s MONSTER FEST, where BUTCH PATRICK was one of our festival guests, MUNSTER GO HOME finally make it’s long awaited DVD debut in Australia, courtesy of Umbrella Entertainment. When Herman Munster (Fred Gwynne) and wife Lily (Yvonne De Carlo) discover that they have inherited a grand property known as Munster Hall in Shroudshire, England there is nothing to it but take the family on a cruise liner half-way across the world to investigate. But with Grandpa (Al Lewis) accidently turning into a wolf along the way it is no mean feat that they manage to clear customs at all. Arriving in England and ready to conquer Europe with their particular kooky charm the Munsters are faced with opposition from Cousin Grace (Jeanne Arnold) and Freddie (the ever-charismatic Terry-Thomas, Make Mine Mink) who are aghast that the American Munsters are in line to inherit the house and gain the title Lord Munster. With the help of Lady Effigie (Hermione Gingold, Gigi) it’s going to take every trick in their book to spook the Munsters away from this golden opportunity. A mad-cap 1966 spin-off from the successful television series, Munsters, Go Home takes one of TV’s most-loved comedy families out of their home and into a wild and whacky European adventure.
ATTACK ON TITAN: THE MOVIE COLLECTION
Based on the popular anime series, ATTACK ON TITAN goes live-action and this Movie Collection includes both ATTACK ON TITAN & ATTACK ON TITAN: END OF THE WORLD along with slipcase packaging and six collectable art cards. Japan, present day. The sudden arrival of the Titans – mysterious, gigantic humanoid creatures who devour human beings one after the other – brings mankind to the brink of extinction. Fast-forward 100 years. What remains of the human population now survives in relative peace behind massive walls erected in defence against the Titans. Yet once again, that peace is shattered when a Colossal Titan, measuring over 50 meters tall, smashes through the wall and allows a horde of other Titans to enter. Eren Yeager had resigned himself to a life confined behind these walls. But when he joins the ‘Outer Wall Restoration Team’ set up to fight against the Titans, he is reunited with Mikasa, a childhood friend. The new recruits embark on a mission to plug the gaping hole in the wall and stop the waves of titans once and for all. If this mission fails, it will spell the end of humanity. Why did the Titans appear? Why do people continue to fight? The last counterattack to save human civilization is about to begin.
Last but not least, Shock Entertainment finally release their Hammer Horror titles to DVD, some of which have only previously been available in combo packs or exclusively on Blu-ray.
THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES (DVD Only)
Peter Cushing is a splendid Holmes (Daily Mirror) and “Andre Morell is the perfect Dr. Watson” (Daily Herald) in this terror-filled mystery classic co-starring horror legend Christopher Lee. With its “compelling acting and spooky cinematography” (Video Movie Guide), this “rattling good movie” (Newsweek) will keep you guessing and gasping until the final frame! A fiendish evil lurks beneath the mist-shrouded cliffs of England’s fabled moors. In the form of a hellish hound, it feeds upon the trembling flesh of the heirs of Baskerville Hall. But before this savage beast can sink its teeth into the newest lord of the manor, it must pit its vicious fangs against the searing intellect of the most powerful foe it has ever encountered: the incomparable Sherlock Holmes!
QUARTERMASS AND THE PIT (DVD Only)
Whilst working on a new subway tunnel for the London Underground, a group of construction workers uncover a strangely shaped skull amongst the rubble. Nearby is another discovery; a large, mysterious and impenetrable metal object. Initially mistaken for an unexploded bomb, the origins of the object and it’s strange power are far more horrific and terrifying than anybody could have possibly imagined. Is it of this earth? Could it be the ancestral link to mankind’s evolution? Or could it be an ancient link to unleashing ultimate evil? There’s only one man capable of unraveling the clues, his name is Professor Bernard Quatermass, a man of science who thrives on the dark mysteries of the world, a man of science.
THE QUARTERMASS XPERIMENT (DVD Only)
Britain’s first rocket has been successfully launched and returns to Earth but communication has been severed. Only one of the three spacemen (Wordsworth) remains on board whose physical and mental health has been severely damaged. He is put under strict observation but his wife smuggles him out of the hospital only to unleash the biggest threat ever to civilisation. For the survivor is being consumed by an alien force, who gains strength from human flesh to multiple and grow, threatening to engulf and kill all living organisms. Professor Quatermass (Donlevy) must find a way to overcome the thing before it becomes impossible.
FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL (DVD Only)
A bodysnatcher is spotted exhuming a corpse for young surgeon Dr Simon Helder (Briant). Helder’s experiments are terminated when he is arrested for sorcery, and sentenced to five years imprisonment in an asylum for the criminally insane near Carlsbad. The asylum is ostensibly run by a corrupt director, but his strings are being pulled by the blackmailing Dr Carl Victor (Cushing). Victor is assisted in his duties as resident medical practitioner by the beautiful Sarah (Smith), a mute girl the inmates call “Angel”. Victor admits his true identity to Helder – he is Baron Victor Frankenstein, pursuing his depraved research safe in the knowledge that all bar a few of the asylum staff believe him to be dead. Helder becomes Frankenstein’s apprentice, and discovers that the Baron is using the body of hulking inmate Schneider as the basis for his latest experiment. The Monster is given new eyes, the hands of a craftsman and the brain of a brilliant suicide victim. The tormented Monster initially shows promise, but Schneider’s violent personality soon begins to assert itself.
FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN (DVD Only)
A deformed tormented girl drowns herself after her lover is framed for murder and guillotined. Baron Frankenstein, experimenting with the transfer of souls, places the boy’s soul into her body, bringing Christina back to life. Driven by revenge, she carries out a violent retribution on those responsible for both deaths.
THE MUMMY’S SHROUD (DVD Only)
The time is 1920; the place is Mezzera, Egypt, an exotic land of mystery and ancient magic. A routine expedition is about to turn into a violent, murderous rampage that few will survive. Renowned scientist Sir Basil Walden and a team of expert archaeologists are on a journey to find the lost tomb of pharaoh Kah-to-Bey. Having ignored warnings of a deathly curse, the expedition unearths the pharaoh’s final resting place with horrific consequences. A vengeful spirit has been unleashed and it wants their flesh… Directed by John Gilling (The Reptile, The Plague Of The Zombies), Hammer’s The Mummy’s Shroud has gained cult notoriety for its gruesome murder sequences and its stunning climax. A true terror from the tombs!
CAPTAIN KRONOS VAMPIRE HUNTER (DVD Only)
Captain Kronos (Horst Janson), a vampire hunter and expert swordsman who, with the assistance of the beautiful gypsy Carla (Caroline Munro; The Spy Who Love Me, Maniac) and his hunchbacked assistant, roam the country in search of vampires. On their travels, the trio happens upon a village where they find that a vampire has been draining the youth from beautiful, young girls. Devising a daring plan, Captain Kronos and his aids attempt to save the village before the death toll equals the population.
DRACULA: PRINCE OF DARKNESS (DVD Only)
Four English tourists find themselves stranded in the mysterious village of Karlsbad, a sinister and remote place of deadly, dark legend. Their journey leads them to am abandoned castle where a nightmarish destiny awaits them. However, it wasn’t just fate that brought them here, but an evil force in need of resurrection, a blood craving beast known as Count Dracula, Prince of Darkness.
THE DEVIL RIDES OUT (DVD Only)
The debonair Duc de Richleau has been trusted with the care of his deceased friend’s son, Simon Aron. The Duc discovers that the young man has been seduced into joining a Satanic cult headed by the diabolic Mocata, who is intent on making Simon one of the Devil’s disciples. Having rescued Simon from a bloodied ritual, de Richleau is pursued by Mocata, who will stop at nothing to destroy the Duc and his friends, even summoning the Angel of Death itself. Starring Christopher Lee in one of his personal favourite roles and based on the celebrated novel by Dennis Wheatley, The Devil Rides Out is one of Hammer’s most accomplished and thrilling mystery horrors.
THE CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF (DVD Only)
A man with brutal and macabre origins, Leon Corledo (Oliver Reed) was raised in the home of Don Alfredo Corledo (Clifford Evans), his kind and loving adopted father. When he leaves Don Alfredo to find work, Leon discovers that he has increasingly violent urges. Although these tendencies are calmed by Leon’s love for the beautiful Christina (Catherine Feller), he ultimately cannot contain his curse and transforms into a werewolf, terrorising the Spanish countryside.