This week’s release schedule is heavy on the sequels as both Children of the Corn and the Hellraiser franchises are releasing triple feature DVDs. Could this mean good news for their respective latest sequels? Also out this week is the highly imaginative Faustian tale Heartless and the 1970 classic Italian sleaze-fest The Secret Life of Dorian Gray. Check out the rest of the releases below and have a good week.
Horror In Your House
April 12th, 2011
BLACK HEAVEN – MPI Home Video
When teen lovers Gaspard and Marion stumble upon a cell phone, they decide to track down the owner and find him, dead, in a mysterious suicide ceremony. Next to him lies a half-conscious girl, Audrey. Possessing femme fatale looks and an enigmatic tattoo, Audrey lures Gaspard into Black Hole, a dangerously addictive online game. Gaspard’s avatar encounters beautiful but poisonous singer Sam, who attracts victims in the virtual world and seduces them to commit suicide in real life. Could Sam’s alter ego in the real world be Audrey? Could Gaspard be her next victim? He will have to journey deeper into Black Hole to learn the terrible truth.
CHILDREN OF THE CORN TRIPLE FEATURE (DVD) – Miramax
Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice – When the town of Hemingford discovers the gruesome massacre in neighboring Gatlin, the once quiet Midwestern town is jolted into activity. Tabloid reporter John Garrett, who is hoping to break the story on the bizarre murders, is traveling with his defiant 19-year-old son, Danny. While staying in a local bed and breakfast, Danny meets the orphaned Micah. Micah soon becomes the leader of the resurrected corn cult and more adults die horrible, violent deaths. Sensing that Danny is at odds with his father, Micah tries to lure him into joining the cult.
Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest – Soon after a childless couple adopts a pair of orphaned brothers, it becomes alarmingly clear the boys are much more than they seem. With the immense power to hypnotize schoolmates into mindless followers and destroy any adult opposition, the younger boy continues the frightening campaign of terror that began in Children of the Corn. But there is one person the brave older brother who can possibly stop the relentless destruction, setting up a powerful final showdown between good and evil.
Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering – The horror returns when the children of a small Midwestern town are haunted by an unspeakable evil that lurks somewhere out behind the corn fields. A bright young medical student must solve the frightening mystery that plagues the children…before a sinister stranger can claim their souls for his own.
MICAH SAYS: There’s nothing extra special about a triple feature of CHILDREN OF THE CORN sequels, but combined with the triple feature of HELLRAISER sequels released this week it makes me think that maybe, just maybe, that the latest sequels in the franchises might be up next. I was one of the fortunate few to catch HELLRAISER: REVELATIONS in the theater. It’s terrible, but it still deserves a DVD release. I might be starting a rumor here, but it’s one that I hope gains some traction. Bring on the direct-to-disc sequels!
HEARTLESS – MPI Home Video
The film follows Jamie Morgan (Sturgess), born with a disfiguring birthmark across his face, which leaves him an outcast in rough East London. While wandering abandoned yards taking photographs, he comes across a gang of thugs and soon discovers that they are something other than human. He then is led into a Faustian deal that will see him become a party to the terrifying chaos around him.
HELLRAISER TRIPLE FEATURE (DVD) – Miramax
Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth – Some call him the Black Prince of Hell. Some call him the Angel of Suffering. The horror fans everywhere, he’s Pinhead (Doug Bradley), the urbane, spike-faced minion of evil with a bloodlust for human souls. Now Pinhead’s back in the most diabolical Hellraiser of them all – Hellraiser III: Hell On Earth! TV reporter Joey Summerskill (Terry Farrell, Back To School) is on assignment at a local hospital when a bloodied teenage boy is rushed into the emergency room. As Joey watches, the writhing boy is literally torn apart by chains impaling his body. Fleeing the carnage, Joey follows the victim’s girlfriend to a downtown nightclub, the Boiler Room. In the apartment above the Boiler Room rests the owner’s newly purchased sculpture: A pillar etched with distorted figures and faces. Among the frozen images is Pinhead. Tonight he shall be released.
Hellraiser IV: Bloodline – It’s the year 2127. Pinhead, the evil cenobite of the series, has found himself on board a space station in outer space, run by scientist Dr.Merchant. Dr. Merchant’s mission is to close the gates to hell forever. Because his ancestor, a toymaker in the 18th century, built the evil puzzlebox that opens the gates to hell. And through the generations, the family of the bloodline has tried to stop it. But now, Dr.Merchant has built the reverse box. The box that will close the gates to hell instead of opening it.
Hellraiser V: Inferno – A spine-tingling thriller, Hellraiser: Inferno is the next inescapably terrifying chapter in the heart-stopping Hellraiser series! It’s the powerful story of a shady L.A. detective (Craig Sheffer, A River Runs Through It) who finds himself lost in a nightmarish world of evil when he solves the mysterious puzzle box that releases the diabolical demon, Pinhead. As those around him begin to meet tragic fates, he sets out to conquer the horrifying Pinhead and escape eternal Hell. Also starring Nicholas Turturro, Hellraiser: Inferno combines great special effects and relentless thrills.
MICAH SAYS: See CHILDREN OF THE CORN comment above.
INHERITANCE (DVD/Blu-Ray) – Image Entertainment
Five ambitious cousins set out on a family reunion during the dead of winter. The purpose of the retreat is to secure their inheritance, a fortune that dates back many generations. Upon their arrival, Uncle Melvin (Keith David) welcomes them with open arms, but warns them to respect their family traditions. During the weekend, as each of the cousins mysteriously disappear, they learn the truth about their family legacy, blood ancestry and the ultimate sacrifice they must make in exchange for their beloved inheritance.
LAST BREATH – SHRIEK SHOW
Imprisoned by a sadistic killer, a young couple is forced to confront their deepest secrets and darkest fears through painful and torturous methods. Their choices will ultimately determine their family s survival.
An expedition led by adventurer Darren McCall and funded by the wealthy Harry Vargas braves the impenetrable jungle to retrieve a fabled bejeweled dagger from an ancient burial ground. But pulling the dagger from its rightful resting place awakens the beast. Part plant and part animal, the massive mandrake awakens thirsty for human blood.
MICAH SAYS: Another Syfy original monster movie that is best watched on television by those who are too stoned to flip the channel after enduring a marathon of Ghost Hunter episodes.
MASK MAKER – Screen Media
A young couple purchases a 19th century plantation home and invites friends up for the weekend to celebrate. As they dig up the mystery surrounding the death of the former residents, it becomes apparent that the plantation home’s former owners have not left and the unlucky youths suddenly find themselves running for their lives!
THE SECRET OF DORIAN GRAY – Raro Video
Never before released on DVD in the U.S., The Secret of Dorian Gray is a seventie’s classic Italian film restored to its original splendor. In London, a wealthy, god-like, young man, Dorian Gray, loves Sybil, an aspiring actress; thanks to her, he’s momentarily less self-centered. He’s also sitting, scantily clad, for a portrait painted by his ascot-wearing friend, Basil. When it’s done, Dorian complains he’ll grow old while it stays unchanged- the classic plight of the vain. On the same night, as if he has sold his soul to the devil, exchanging vanity for morality, he ends it with Sybil, and then accepts the seductive offer of a party’s hostess to sleep with her. The next day, the painting looks slightly older. In horror and fascination, Dorian hides it away and continues a life of degradation. Over time, as the portrait becomes hideous, he’s unchanged by his ever-increasing libidinal life; finally, he and Basil face the painting. The exceptionally groovy score by Giuseppe De Luca enhances the seventies milieu.
MICAH SAYS: Hands down the best adapted for film version of Oscar Wilde’s classic novel. It’s full of `60s Austin Powers-like cheese, eroticism, and incredibly depraved behavior (sometimes involving horses as props). If you are looking for a piece of trashy/campy cinema that also qualifies as a timeless work of art, then this is the film for you. Pick of the week.