this Ben Cooper Costume is getting really tight!
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It's my favorite day of all the year and you know where I'll be
tonight, don't ya? Yep, curled up on my couch playing Dead
Rising. The hardest, most addicting zombie video game
ever made. God I love this thing.
As for the rest of ya, well hopefully you're having monster movie
pizza parties or trick or treating with the kids.
I just hope my "Help Yourself: One Piece of Candy" honor
system candy bowl out front will work. It just takes one bad apple
Anyway, enjoy this week's release schedule picks by me and have a
happy and safe holiday.
Not a whole lot of original releases going on this week. I guess
studios were expecting Tuesday to be dead at the store because of
Halloween. Maybe that's why the biggest titles of the week came out
In time for Halloween comes this serial killer turned demonic
monster horror film from FX master turned first-time director
Bob Keen. The story follows a recently executed serial killer
who rips the hearts out of his victims literally rubbing elbows
with a suicide survivor. She claims to know the killer is really
alive and looking for her because he wants to send his murderous
soul into her body. Of course, the deaths start piling up and
her claims start making more sense to the various bystanders at
the creepy mental hospital the film takes place in. What Heartstopper
lacks in a credible storyline, it makes up for in special
effects and adrenaline. It's a pretty non-stop flick. Robert
Englund makes an extended cameo appearance in the films instead
of truly starring, but this isn't the first time credits fooled
us into watching something. Presented in anamorphic widescreen
and Dolby Digital 5.1, Heartstopper
looks and sounds as good as possible for a low budget horror
film. Extras are light but interesting, including two interviews
one with Englund and the other with Keen.
Up with the Steins
For a Jewish kid, the big teen moment has to be the bar/bat
mitzvah. I wouldn't know, with a name like Doogan. But still, I
can relate. Keeping Up with the
Steins features Jeremy Piven in full-on a$$hole mode.
It's almost an alternate reality movie for his Entourage
character. Piven stars as Adam Fiedler, a high powered Hollywood
agent whose son Benjamin is celebrating his entrance into
manhood. His dilemma is simple: how does he top the super
spectacular bar mitzvah the Steins gave their kid. And how does
he juggle his childhood trauma of being abandoned by his father
during the same time in his life, especially when Grandpa
(played by the director's father Garry Marshall) has come back
into his life just weeks prior to the special event? It tries to
be a cultural flick in the mode of My
Big Fat Greek Wedding, but falls on its face more
than a few times; mostly due to Piven's inability to be at all
sympathetic. The Video is 1.85:1 anamorphic and looks pretty
good. Audio is Dolby Digital 5.1 and does what it has to. Extras
are pretty impressive considering the film is basically straight
to video (I mean, I didn't see it get released) and includes two
commentaries: one with the writer and director and one with the
director and his father/star. There are also deleted scenes with
alternate commentary with the director and writer and a short
making of (along with the standard House of Mouse promotional
trailers). Not a bad set for a not a bad film. I didn't like it,
but maybe you will.
Do I need to tell you what this one is about? An army of
intergalactic aliens are headed to the Earth... wait, that's not
what the film is about. That's what Tom Cruise is about. This
one is JJ Abrams making an Alias
film starting Cruise. And it actually works, for the most part.
The only thing hurting this film is Cruise's behind the scenes
antics. And that shouldn't hurt the film at all. But, yeah,
we're fickle and judgmental filmgoers, so that's exactly what we
do. Video is a fantastic visual representation of the theatrical
release. The anamorphic widescreen is busting at 2.35:1 - not
bad, even if it's not HD. Audio is a full and fully immersive
Dolby Digital 5.1. Extras depend on the set: there's a single
disc with trailers, a collection of deleted scenes, a BAFTA
Excellence in Film montage and a commentary by Cruise and
Abrams. The better bet is the 2-disc set with the commentary,
deleted scenes, the BAFTA thingy and making its debut: a nice
making-of featurette on disc one. Disc two houses the real meat
and potatoes: six in-depth production featurettes, a Moviefone
interview between Abrams and Cruise, a MTV salute to Cruise,
promo materials (trailers and TV spots) and some Easter eggs.
So, here's were we can talk about the really fun discs coming out
this week. The Cult Films, Music Themed Release, Kink ('cause I
think there's an audience for it) and whatever else floats my boat
this week. You know you want 'em. Well, come and get them.
Street Forever: Volume Two - The Deuce
Synapse's second release of Grind House trailers looks to be
just as good as the first one. A must have library title for any
fan of obscure flicks.
Looks like a straight port re-release of Blue Underground's
release of Harry Kümel Vampiros Lesbos classic. If you
don't own the original release, now's your chance to pick up a
classic erotic horror flick.
From Dark Sky, the guys behind the stellar Texas
Chainsaw Massacre re-release comes The
Devil's Rain - one of the most audacious horror films
ever made. I mean, look at the cast: Tom Skerritt, Ernest
Borgnine, William Shatner, Eddie Albert and John Travolta. That
alone makes this one worth picking up. Yes, the film is bad, but
c'mon - you know you want it.
Here's another god awful film, and yet it's so bad and so well
represented on DVD, you almost have to pick it up. Yes kids,
Future-Kill the film more
famous for having two stars of Texas
Chainsaw (Marilyn Burns and Edwin Neal) is now out on
DVD. Now, like most of you, I was sucked into this film back in
the day when VHS rental racks could be found at the local
convenience store. The icon cover makes this film look like one
of the greatest things ever. HR Giger art staring out at you has
that effect. But don't be fooled. This is no high-brow sci-fi
opus. It's more Troma than some Troma films, and yet, it has
that thing... that thing that once it's inside your player you
just can't turn it off until it's over. Take equal parts Animal
House (no, I'm not kidding), Terminator,
The Warriors and, oh what
the hell, Class of 1984 -
mash it all together and you have a gloopy start to
understanding this film. A group of shamed frat kids have to go
into a part of town recently rendered uninhabitable by a nuclear
accident in order to keep their standing on campus. What starts
as a prank goes bad when they kidnap (like you would a rival
schools mascot) the leader of a group of socio-political
peaceniks who dress as futuristic mutant punks to make a point.
The only problem is: these punks have in their ranks a true
mutant punk who was made in the nuclear accident and is part
machine and all crazy. And once he's set in motion, these
college kids have to do whatever they can to make it out of the
city alive. Sounds cool, and most of it is fun, but it's still a
I say it's a bad film made better on DVD I wasn't kidding.
Subversive Cinema jumps onto this one like they were releasing a
true classic and they class this sucker up something good. The
anamorphic transfer is really nice. The film never looked all that
great, and thanks to this being a super shoe-string low-budget
affair, I can't imagine this film looking any better anywhere else.
It shows a lot of grain and gets muddy in spots, but it's certainly
not a fault of the transfer. Audio is DD mono and does its job.
Extras include a commentary with director Ronald W. Moore and
star/producer/co-writer Edwin Neal. These two are old friends and
have a lot of fun discussing the film's shortcomings. They know it's
bad, but they love it like a family member. You'll also find an
on-camera interview with Neal (this guy is a walking cartoon
character) where he discusses just about everything you'd want to
know about him and his film (including the fact that he sold the
Giger painting to buy a houseboat), trailers for other Subversive
releases, text bios for Burns, Neal and Moore and credits for the
DVD production. Like I sad a classy disc.
If you're a fan of bad films with kick-ass DVD to back 'em up, do
yourself a favor and check out this release. It's got a shiny cover,
a poster insert and a bunch of extras. And the film is watchable.
Girl Boss Guerilla
& Terrifying Girls' High
School: Lynch Law Classroom
For those of you unlucky enough to pick up the hard to find Pinky
Violence Collection from Panik House, here's your chance
to pick up two of the better films in that set. There really isn't
anything better than tough-as-nails Japanese girls with a mad-on for
1 & 2
Two Japanese heist flicks from the guy who brought us Black
Angel, Evil Dead Trap,
Freeze Me and the Angel
Guts series all on one DVD set? I haven't seen the
set, but color me intrigued.
Phase 2 - Slow Boat to Hades
So yeah, as a huge fan of Gorillaz I have to say, I will be
picking this one up this week. This is just the first in a
windfall of Gorillaz items coming this holiday season. New vinyl
figures from Kid Robot (link),
a book (link)
and God only knows what else. I'm excited.
I haven't seen these, but it looks like a new repackaging of
the various Bettie Page DVDs out from Cult
Epics, including Volume 1:
Bettie Page Films, Volume
2: Wrestling Films, Volume
3: Fetish Films and Volume
4: The Dance Films. Could be cool, could be a double
(or quadruple in this case) dip.
The Clonus Horror
Mystery Science made fun
of it. The Island
allegedly ripped it off. See the Original Clone Epic yourself
Kissology Vol. 1: 1974-1977
I loved KISS as a kid. Today, I'm not so much of a fan. But I
have to say I'm probably going to pick this set up. Four
concerts from their glory days remastered for digital and
presented for us to consume. I may just be giving more money to
Gene, but I can think of worse things to do with my cash.
Three women are unsuspectingly given a new drug that turns
their pain into their pleasure and go on a spree trying to get
off better and better. And it's Japanese. It has to be good,
of the Rat Fink
I haven't seen this one either (which kinda pisses me off)
considering I'm a big fan of both Ron Mann's documentaries and
Ed "Big Daddy" Roth's impact on pop culture and Low
Brow Art. I can't imagine that my basket will not contain this
title when I'm standing in the check-out line.
Again, I got nothing to say this week TV related. If you're a fan
of any of these, then you're of course gonna want these releases.
Note that Baywatch: Seasons 1 & 2
are incomplete and came out on Monday.
Baywatch: Season 1, Baywatch:
Season 2, CSI: Miami - The
Complete Fourth Season, Ghost
in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig - Complete First Season
box set, Hardcastle and McCormack: The
Complete First Season, The
Hitchhiker: Volume 3, Kids in
the Hall: Complete Season 5, Party
at the Palms: Season 1, Speed
Racer: Volume 5, Spongebob
Squarepants: Whale of a Birthday, The
Super Mario Bros. Super Show: Volume 2 and Tales
from the Crypt: The Complete Fifth Season
And for the heck of it, and because I love you: here's the art ...
again, be safe when trick or treating. Avoid the kids with street
clothes carrying bags of groceries - they're up to no good. Pick a
costume with good peripheral vision and carry something reflective.
It's a dog eat dog world out there, and Halloween is the doggiest
dog eating dog day of all.
Happy Halloween and we'll see you back here next week with a new
collection of must have DVDs.
Til then, I remain,
Atlanta, GA 10/30/06
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