From the Big Screen:
This Week’s Best Bets:
In “Sisters” (1973), Margot Kidder is Danielle, a beautiful model separated from her Siamese twin, Dominique. When a hotshot reporter (Jennifer Salt) suspects Dominique of a brutal murder, she becomes dangerously ensnared in the sisters’ insidious sibling bond. A scary and stylish paean to female destructiveness, Brian De Palma’s first foray into horror voyeurism is a stunning amalgam of split-screen effects, bloody birthday cakes, and a chilling score by frequent Hitchcock collaborator Bernard Herrmann. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc with new 4K digital restoration, approved by director Brian De Palma, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection … “Blood and Black Lace” (1964 — Italy), starring Cameron Mitchell, Eva Bartok, Thomas Reiner, Mary Arden and Enzo Cerusico, is director Mario Bava’s Giallo masterpiece. An unscrupulous business operating under the guise of a top fashion house with exotic models running sexual favors, cocaine dealings and blackmail, becomes a murder scene–after someone is pushed to the edge. The saga begins when a beautiful model is brutally murdered, and her boyfriend, a known addict supplying her drugs, is suspected of the crime…but is he guilty or is someone waiting in the shadows setting him up? New 2018 2K Restoration from original film materials in widescreen/1.85:1 aspect ratio. On Blu-ray from VCI Entertainment … Terence Davies’ feature debut “Distant Voices, Still Lives” (1988), winner of the International Critics’ Prize at the 1988 Cannes Film Festival, heralded one of Britain’s finest filmmaking talents. Loosely based on the director’s own family and upbringing, “Distant Voices, Still Lives” presents an evocative account of working-class life in Liverpool, England during the 1940s and 50s. Births, marriages and deaths — and an expressive use of music — provide the underpinning for a film that is beautiful, heartbreaking, resonant … but never sentimental. Now regarded as a masterpiece of British cinema, and boasting a startling performance from Pete Postlethwaite as the head of the family,” Distant Voices, Still Lives” has been treated to a glorious 4K restoration by the British Film Institute. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment … Director William Wellman’s “You Never Know Women” (1926) is a thrilling romance that constructs a combustible love triangle between a Russian dancer, a handsome escape artist, and a wealthy broker. Vera Janova (Florence Vidor) is on her way to star in a Russian vaudeville revue when a falling girder nearly kills her. A construction worker saves her life, but before she wakes up the conniving Eugene Foster (Lowell Sherman) takes Vera into his arms, pretending to be the one who rescued her. Susceptible to Eugene’s oily charms, Vera begins ignoring Ivan Norodin (Clive Brook), a Houdini-like master of illusion who had loved her his whole life. Racked with jealousy, Norodin plans the ultimate illusion, one that could change their lives forever. Brand new HD master from a 4K of the 35mm nitrate tinted print and 35mm safety dupe negative by Paramount Pictures Archives. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Kino Classics.
Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:
In “I Think We’re Alone Now” (2018), starring Peter Dinklage, Elle Fanning, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Paul Giamatti, the apocalypse proves a blessing in disguise for one lucky recluse — until a second survivor arrives with the threat of companionship. After a mysterious event wipes out most of humanity, a small-town librarian (Dinklage) finds that he prefers his newfound solitude. But his tranquility is suddenly disturbed when a fellow survivor (Fanning) arrives in town and inserts herself into his life. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Sony … An LA public school becomes a hotbed of sex, lies, and hilarity in the star-powered comedy “A Happening of Monumental Proportions” (2017), directed by Judy Greer. It’s Career Day, and two school administrators have just made a shocking discovery: the dead body of the groundskeeper. They decide to hide the body, sparking a series of wildly comic misadventures for teachers and students on a Career Day that no one will ever forget — no matter how hard they try. Stars Common, Bradley Whitford, Anders Holm and Allison Janney. From Lionsgate … In the pandemic thriller “Patient Zero” (2018), starring Matt Smith, Stanley Tucci and Natalie Dormer, humanity is battling intelligent, adrenaline-fueled creatures born from a viral super-strain. After being bitten, human survivor Morgan (Smith) realizes he is asymptomatic and can communicate with the infected, leading the last survivors on a hunt for Patient Zero and a cure. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Sony … In “The Padre” (2018), starring Tim Roth, Luis Guzmán, Nick Nolte and Valeria Henriquez, hell-bent on justice, retired U.S. Judge Randall Nemes (Nolte) and his hired gun, Gaspar (Guzmán), track down a small-time con man (Roth) posing as a priest in a small Colombian town only to be thrown off-course by a scrappy 16-year-old local girl intent on reuniting with her little sister in the U.S. From Sony … Expect the unexpected in hip-hop artist Boots Riley’s directorial and screenwriting debut, “Sorry to Bother You” (2018), a surreal look at capitalism, corporate greed, and fractured workplace dynamics. In an alternate present-day version of Oakland, California, struggling telemarketer Cassius Green discovers a magical key to professional success, which propels him into a macabre universe. Stars Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Jermaine Fowler, Omari Hardwick and Terry Crews. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Fox … In “I Am Vengeance” (2018), professional wrestler and former champion bare-knuckle boxer Stu Bennett stars as John Gold, an ex-soldier turned mercenary who learns of the murder of his best friend, Dan — and Dan’s parents — and heads to their hometown, seeking justice. Gold soon discovers Dan and his father were murdered while investigating a Special Forces unit led by an enigmatic, highly decorated soldier named Hatcher who went rogue in Afghanistan. Gold’s vengeance is unleashed, as he sets out to take down the killers. Co-stars Anna Shaffer, Mark Griffin, Bryan Larkin and Kevin Leslie. On DVD, Blu-ray, from Lionsgate … In “The Unnamable” (1988), starring Charles Klausmeyer, Mark Kinsey Stephenson, Alexandra Durrell, Laura Albert, Eben Ham and Blane Wheatley, college students from Miskatonic University who retreat to an early 18th-century mansion for a weekend of lust are stalked by a fatalistic female in this horror film taken from a story by H.P. Lovecraft. The demon delights in tearing the limbs off her human victims to carry out a centuries-old family curse. Bloody graphic violence and nudity is combined with some campy comedy. Restored as a beautiful 4k scan and color corrected from the original negative. On DVD, Blu-ray from Unearthed Films … In “An Elephant’s Journey” (2018), starring Elizabeth Hurley, Sam Ashe Arnold and Tertius Meintjes, Phoenix (Arnold) moves to Africa to live with his Aunt Sarah (Hurley) after losing his parents. While on safari with his uncle one day, Phoenix wanders off and becomes lost in the African bush. After rescuing a huge elephant from a trap, Phoenix befriends the great creature, which he names Indlovu (“The Unstoppable”). Riding through the wilderness, the bold duo finds evidence of a local gang of poachers, and together they plot to stop the hunters’ cruel plans. From Lionsgate … In “Snake Outta Compton” (2018), starring Ricky Flowers Jr., Motown Maurice and Joston Theney, Cam and his hip-hop crew are all set to sign a record deal that could change their lives, but their jealous friend Vurkel wrecks their plans when he creates a giant, mutant snake that quickly lays waste to the city of Compton, eating everyone in its path. Aided by two corrupt cops, a crazed gangster, and a mad scientist, the band has one thing to do before getting the record deal they need — get that mother–in’ Snake Outta Compton by blowing it away it by pumping up the jams. From Lionsgate.
Blasts from the past:
In “Maximum Overdrive” (1986), making its Blu-ray debut this week, for three horrifying days, the Earth passes through the tail of a mysterious comet. The skies glow an eerie green as humanity waits to see what the fallout will be. But what they imagine is nothing like the nightmare the find — the comet’s magnetic fields cause all the machines on Earth to suddenly come to life and terrorize their human creators in a horrific killing spree. Now, it’s up to a small group of people trapped in a desolate truck stop to defeat the killer machines. From the mind of Steven King. Stars Emilio Estevez, Pat Hingle, Laura Harrington, Yeardley Smith, Holter Graham. From Lionsgate … In “Creepshow Collector’s Edition” (1982), masters of the macabre — writer Stephen King and director George A. Romero -– conjure up five shocking yarns, each a virtuoso exercise in the ghouls-and-gags style of classic ’50s horror comics. A murdered man emerges from the grave for Father’s Day cake. A meteor’s ooze makes everything … grow. A professor selects his wife as a snack for a crated creature. A scheming husband plants two lovers up to their necks in terror. A malevolent millionaire with an insect phobia becomes the prey of a cockroach army. Stars Hal Holbrook, Adrienne Barbeau, Leslie Nielsen, Ted Danson, E.G. Marshall and King himself and the ghoulish makeup wizardry of Tom Savini. New 4K scan of the original camera negative, with color correction supervised and approved by director of photography Michael Gornick. On Blu-ray from Scream Factory … In “Get Shorty: Collector’s Edition” (1995), starring John Travolta, Gene Hackman, Danny DeVito, Rene Russo, Dennis Farina, Delroy Lindo, James Gandolfini and Jon Gries, loan shark Chili Palmer (Travolta) has done his time as a gangster. So when “business” takes him to LA to collect a debt from down-and-out filmmaker Harry Zimm (Hackman), Chili jumps headfirst into the Hollywood scene: He schmoozes a film star (DeVito), romances a B-movie actress (Russo) and even gets reservations at the hottest restaurants in town. In fact, all would be cool for this smooth new producer if it weren’t for the drug smugglers and an angry mobster who won’t leave him alone. But hey, this is Hollywood and no one said it would be easy. Wonderful, quirky adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s 1990 best-seller; featuring a new 4K HD scan. On Blu-ray from Shout! Factory Select … In “I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle” (1990), starring Neil Morrissey, Anthony Daniels, Burt Kwouk, Michael Elphick, Amanda Noar and George Rossi, when a Satanist biker is killed by a gang of Hells Angels, an evil spirit he was summoning possesses his old Norton Commando motorcycle. So, when unsuspecting local courier Nick “Noddy” Oddie (Neil Morrissey) becomes the bike’s new owner, little does he know that it runs on blood and has a habit for killing Hells Angels and anyone else who gets in its way. Veteran British TV director Dirk Campbell made his feature film directorial debut with this cult classic which co-stars Michael Elphick (“The Element of Crime”), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO of the “Star Wars” franchise) and Burt Kwouk (Cato Fong of “The Pink Panther” films). Brand New 4K Restoration, on DVD, Blu-ray, from Kino Lorber Studio Classics … “Deadbeat at Dawn” (1988), Jim VanBebber’s notorious, blood-drenched cult classic rises again on the advent of its 30th anniversary, newly restored for the first time on Blu-ray. “”Deadbeat at Dawn”” follows the story of Goose — a gang leader whose girlfriend is brutally slaughtered when he attempts to leave the thug life behind. Pulled back into the gang, who’ve now formed an uneasy alliance with the thugs that butchered his girl, Goose sees an opportunity to exact his brutal, deadly revenge. The very definition of DIY, independent filmmaking (VanBebber quit film school after his first year and used his student loan to fund the movie), “Deadbeat at Dawn” surpasses its low-budget origins to create a revenge movie that delivers more thrills and bloody spills than all of Chuck Norris’ films combined. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment.