Archives for HOME VIDEO

Review: MEDIAS RES-Impressive Micro-Budget Neo-Noir

Dave, in debt to his roommate Joe, finds himself caught in the middle of an escalating series of crimes in the aptly titled neo-noir Medias Res. Dave is something of a would-be salesman, offering all sorts of wares from the trunk of his car. Unable to pay back his drug dealing roommate Joe, he is trapped as a kind of indentured servant accompanying Joe on various criminal endeavors. As Dave is drawn deeper into the underworld of Oakland, he becomes embroiled in a scheme that somehow involves Summer Hayes, the star of his favorite TV show, as well as the
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If You’re Ready to Laugh, Cry, Love, Hate, Befriend, Betray, and Confess it All on Blu-Ray, I Want You! – KOLOBOS Blu-ray Review

Thousands gather in upstate New York for a forgettable revamp of the legendary Woodstock festival, as the unforgettable (for all the wrong reasons) Star Wars: The Phantom Menace hits theaters on every corner of the globe. Bill Clinton is disgracefully readying himself for one of the most controversial exits from the White House, and Woody Allen is three years into an equally controversial marriage he entered with his own daughter. That’s right, punk; we’re talking about 1999. At the time, reality TV was in its infancy, with shows like The Real World becoming massive hits that would soon change television
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NOTHING TO DO: An Honest Look at Family Pathologies, Grief and Human Vulnerability

“What happens when you can’t stand the way your sibling does just about anything, but you’re forced to be with them during your father’s last days on Earth?” Upon reading that sentence, I was fully intrigued to watch this film because of my own personal experiences with sibling rivalry and the consistent quest of alleviating it. From the beginning, Nothing to Do showcases the honest and conflicting truth of dealing with the death of a loved one. It also brings up the inevitability of having to be around people you wouldn’t otherwise because of familial bonds. The leading character, Kenny (Paul Fahrenkopf),
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Undermining the Patriarchy and Fascism: Ana in THE SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE

As the barren landscape for Victor Erice’s Spirit of the Beehive/El Espiritu de la Colmena (1976) is investigated in the film’s opening shots, a subtle icon in front of a building of a small, Spanish village immediately reveals its connection to Francoist Spain. Five overlapped, vertically upright arrows with a bow across the middle that serve as a clear indication of Filangism (a conservative, pro-Franco ideology). They are planted on the side of a wall as the camera creeps further into the village as its inhabitants gather to see James Whale’s 1931 adaptation of Frankenstein. A young Ana is mystified
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DEATH HOUSE is Less ‘THE EXPENDABLES of Horror’ and Instead Completely Disposable

“During an exclusive tour, a power breakdown inside a secret prison known as the Death House sends two agents fighting through a labrynth of horrors while being pursued by a ruthless army of roaming inmates. As they fight to escape, the agents push toward the lowest depths of the facility where they learn a supernatural group of evil beings are their only chance for survival.” After years of build-up, the much-hyped and greatly-anticipated Death House — written by Gunnar Hansen and directed by Harrison Smith — dropped on VOD, Blu-ray, and DVD this week. The film has screened at festivals
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VIRGIN BLACKTOP: A New York Skate Odyssey

Virgin Blacktop is a documentary focusing on the East Coast skate crew who dubbed themselves The Wizards. Beginning in the mid ’70s in the NYC suburbs (namely Spark Hill), director Charlie Samuels weaves a web of how the group came to form. He introduces the skaters using such light-hearted superlatives as “first skateboarder in Nyack.” Early on, the film captures the true essence of a group of teenagers finding what they’re passionate about and bonding over it. But it quickly evolves into a gripping narrative of what can happen in a contained environment where individuals are continually pushing and inspiring
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GODMONSTER OF INDIAN FLATS provides social commentary & a mutated sheep

Oh, my flipping lord. The American Genre Film Archive has once again dove into the Something Weird vault to clean up and release another stylistic mashup to turn your mind inside out. In this case, it’s 1973’s Godmonster of Indian Flats, whose plot summary barely does it justice: “Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the petting zoo! From the singular mind of infamous artist Fredric C. Hobbs (ALABAMA’S GHOST, ROSELAND), this is the story of an eight-foot-tall toxic sheep monster that blows up gas stations, smashes crooked politicians, and terrorizes stoners. In the words of
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Getting Blu: LIQUID SKY, THE DEVIL INCARNATE and CITY OF THE DEAD

You know what? Sometimes, genre and exploitation movies can be downright depressing; they’re not all joyful celebrations of excess and weirdness. In fact, some flicks can be brutally crushing examinations of how many people want to take those who are different and unique and crush them like insects under the heel of a boot. It’s been a rough couple of weeks. Please bear with me. Vinegar Syndrome’s Blu-ray release of the 1982 new wave cult classic, Liquid Sky, originally debuted as a Black Friday release in November of last year, celebrating the 200th Vinegar Syndrome release. The special, limited edition
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Todd Sheets’ DREAMING PURPLE NEON is splatter with heart

Gore films can be exhausting. There comes a point for the average horror fan when, about halfway through a movie like Dreaming Purple Neon, the face-chopping, flesh-tearing, blood-spurting scenes onscreen begin to feel like a challenge to one’s ability to maintain. Marveling at practical effects aside, there needs to be something more than just a series of gross-outs and pushing the limits. Director Todd Sheets, in his nearly three decades of making splatter-filled micro-budgeted pictures, has that figured out. In Dreaming Purple Neon (out now from Unearthed Films), the viewer is given more than just outrageous setpieces designed to shock
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Joe Lynch vs. the 9 to 5 Grind: Gory Horror Satire MAYHEM Hits Home Video

One of my favorite festival finds of 2017 hit home video last week. After RLJ Entertainment picked up the blood soaked satirical horror-comedy, they released the film on VOD in November to generally positive reviews. Often getting favorable comparisons to another such themed 2017 horror film, The Belko Experiment, the film lampoons the high powered business world to the tune of exploring what would happen in a locked down office building infected by a rage virus. On December 26th, RLJ followed the VOD release of the film with home video releases on 4K UHD, Blu-ray, and DVD. Mayhem‘s director, Joe
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