The post Halloween horror release hangover is…over. This week features the first solid release week of November. Leading the way is the documentary, Best Worst Movie, which chronicles the success/epic failure of Troll 2. Anchor Bay clears some space on their shelves with releases of Children of The Corn (Blu-ray), Crowley, Ghost Machine, and Staunton Hill. Night of the Hunter, one of the finest horror films of all time, gets the Criterion Blu-ray/DVD treatment. And for Japanese B-movie lovers (me) the insane RoboGeisha is being loosed on the public. Check out the rest of the releases below.
Horror In Your House
November 15th, 2010
BEST WORST MOVIE – New Video Group
In 1989, a group of unknown Utah actors starred in what would be crowned the worst movie of all time: Troll 2. Now, after two decades of running from this cinematic disaster, the cast can no longer hide from the legion of followers who celebrate them for their ineptitude. Best Worst Movie is an affectionate and intoxicatingly fun tribute to the single greatest bad movie ever made and the people responsible for unleashing it on the world. The result is a hilarious and tender offbeat journey that pays homage to lovers of bad movies and the people who make them, while investigating a deeper story about the strange nature of celebrity, the catharsis of redemption and the humanity that exists in making even the worst movie ever made.
MICAH SAYS: I just saw this (alongside a viewing of Troll 2) and I LOVED it. “They’re eating her!…And then they’re going to eat me!”
CHILDREN OF THE CORN (Blu-ray) – Anchor Bay
Burton and Vicki are an unhappily married couple that are making their way across the country when a freak accident leaves them stranded in the middle of a corn field. They soon learn that this is no typical cornfield and there is something different about the children of Gatlin. Now Burton and Vicki must make their escape before they become sacrifices to “He Who Walks Behind The Rows.”
CROWLEY (Blu-ray) – Anchor Bay
He was known as The Wickedest Man In The World or simply The Beast. More than 60 years after his death, the demonic life and works of British occultist Aleister Crowley has continued to capture our darkest imaginations. In this provocative supernatural thriller co-written by legendary Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson, a virtual reality experiment gone wrong sends the soul of the infamous madman into the body of a shy university professor (a fearless performance by Simon Callow of Four Weddings and a Funeral). But even as Crowley creates all-new orgies of depraved pleasures and black magic, is he now preparing to unleash the ultimate occult event upon the world?
EXAM – MPI Home Video
Like Saw for corporate go-getters, in Exam eight young people vying for a sought-after job are locked together in a room and given one hour to finish their exam. But the exam is a blank piece of paper and the eight candidates soon realize their only competition isn’t a Q&A, but each other. Hot rising talent Stuart Hazeldine is Hollywood’s in-demand rewrite artist for top sci-fi and thriller fare and now he’s established himself as a behind the camera threat with this brilliant genre spin highlighted by actor Luke Mably’s swaggeringly solipsistic bad-boy charisma as the job applicant most likely to succeed by stabbing you in the back. Like Saw for smarties or the B-movie gem Cube, Exam is one test you can look forward to bring your number 2 pencil and hope you don t get cut.
FEAR ME NOT – MPI Home Video
Dogme 95 trailblazer Kristian Levring (The King Is Alive) delivers his subtlest, most unnerving film yet. It’s like a reverse image of Nicholas Ray’s classic Bigger Than Life. Instead of watching a dutiful dad go crazy via medication, we watch a deeply uneasy father become utterly liberated when he takes some experimental anti-depressants. Too bad the experiment is ditched and they try to take his pills away. Ulrich Thomsen (Duplicity, TV’s Alias) is the father even his wife and daughter treat warily in this remarkably taut and creepy look at one man’s desperate desire to be comfortable in his own skin.
GHOST MACHINE (Blu-ray) – Anchor Bay
A group of young U.S. military techs borrow a top-secret combat simulator for a weekend of unauthorized gaming. But when they set up the system inside an abandoned prison used for the torture of post-9/11 prisoners, they discover that someone, or something, has uploaded itself into their A.I. software. A deadly new player has now joined the game: How do you survive the final level of lock-and-load virtual reality when escape is impossible, slaughter is uncontrollable and the enemy is unstoppable? The ultimate battle begins inside the Ghost Machine.
A LURE: TEEN FIGHT CLUB – Osiris Entertainment
A community is under siege as a group of high school coeds go missing with no trace of their whereabouts. An undercover female detective, Maggie Rawdon (Jessica Sonneborn) enters Belmont High as a transfer student in an attempt to solve the hideous disappearance of the students. As she is trying to blend in at Belmont High, Maggie and her new friends are LURED into a horrifying hideout! Here they discover that their fellow students are imprisoned and will be ultimately forced to fight each other to the death! Maggie’s detective boyfriend Tommy (Michael McLafferty) may be the only person who can solve this diabolical scheme and save everyone from certain death!
METROPIA – Tribeca Film
Metropia takes place in a not-so-distant but terrifying Europe. The world is running out of oil and the underground train systems have been connected, creating a gigantic subway network beneath Europe. In a suburb of Stockholm, Roger (Vincent Gallo, Buffalo ’66) tries to stay away from the underground because every time he enters, he hears a stranger’s voice in his head. Is someone trying to control him? To help him escape the disturbing web of the Metro, he looks to the mysterious Nina (Juliette Lewis, Whip It) but the further they travel, the deeper he’s involved in a dark conspiracy. This star-studded, ‘technically innovative’ (The New York Times) animated sci-fi thriller also features Alexander Skarsgard (True Blood), Stellan Skarsgard (Mamma Mia!) and Udo Kier (Shadow of the Vampire).
NIGHT OF THE HUNTER (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray/DVD) – Criterion
The Night of the Hunter–incredibly, the only film the great actor Charles Laughton ever directed–is truly a standalone masterwork. A horror movie with qualities of a Grimm fairy tale, it stars a sublimely sinister Robert Mitchum (Cape Fear, The Friends of Eddie Coyle) as a traveling preacher named Harry Powell (he of the tattooed knuckles), whose nefarious motives for marrying a fragile widow, played by Shelley Winters (A Place in the Sun, The Diary of Anne Frank) are uncovered by her terrified young children. Graced by images of eerie beauty and a sneaky sense of humor, this ethereal, expressionistic American classic–also featuring the contributions of actress Lillian Gish (Intolerance, Duel in the Sun) and writer James Agee–is cinema’s quirkiest rendering of the battle between good and evil.
MICAH SAYS: This movie is one of my all-time favorites. So freakin’ creepy and unnerving. This one gets my highest recommendation.
POSSESSION OF DAVID O’REILLY – MPI Home Video
Compared favorably to The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity, The Possession of David O’Reilly marks the UK as the next hot source for original, inventive horror. Giles Alderson stars as David O’Reilly, a guy dumped by his girlfriend and looking to crash with his London friends for the night. Unfortunately, O’Reilly is bringing more than emotional baggage because something a demon, a ghost, an alien, is stalking his every move. O’Reilly knows more than he’s admitting why else does he immediately pour a line of salt across the doorstep? But is he possessed or just nutters? Uneasiness soon ramps up into sheer fright in a movie that Pax Romano admitted left him surprised and scared witless. Watch it and if you’re really brave invite your friends over to join you.
ROBOGEISHA (Blu-ray/DVD) – Funimation Prod
The twisted geniuses behind The Machine Girl and Tokyo Gore Police present a tale of sibling rivalry, chainsaw faces, machine gun boobs, and butt blades. Kikuke is a geisha known for her glamour and grace. Yoshie is her abused sister, banished to the shadows. When a mysterious corporation transforms their soft bodies into murderous machines, the rival vixens rush toward an ultraviolent final confrontation.
MICAH SAYS: The trailer is one of the most absurdly awesome things I have seen this year. Case in point: The robot geisha turns into a mini-tank and cruises down a freeway, kills a guy with fried shrimp, and sprays some sort of acid milk from her robot breasts all over some poor sap. I love the Japenese!
STAUNTON HILL (Blu-ray) – Starz / Anchor Bay
It’s the fall of 1969, and winds of change are blowing across America. But on a remote family farm in the hills of Virginia, a storm of evil has been brewing for years. Now for a group of young people hitchhiking to a rally in Washington DC, a detour to the nightmare homestead of the Staunton’s will rip apart their young lives forever. A grisly secret is waiting. The raw terror is growing. And the clan’s brutal harvest is about to begin. Kathy Lamkin (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), Kiko Ellsworth (Dexter), Cooper Huckabee (The Funhouse), Cristen Coppen and David Rountree star in this extreme shocker from Pittsburgh filmmaker Cameron Romero – son of legendary Night Of The Living Dead director George A. Romero – that unleashes a new generation of graphic horror.
THE TWILIGHT ZONE: SEASON 2 (Blu-ray) – Image Entertainment
All 29 episodes of the second season of Rod Serling’s classic, groundbreaking series, now presented in pristine high-definition for the first time ever, along with hours of new and exclusive bonus features not available anywhere else! New, Blu-ray exclusive features: Rarely-seen, unofficial Twilight Zone pilot, “The Time Element,” starring William Bendix and Martin Balsam. New 1080p transfer from the original camera negative and magnetic soundtrack, featuring 19 new commentaries.