This week gives us Priest and The Ward; two bigger name films that had a ton of publicity, but didn’t go over well with audiences. Priest barely managed $30 million in box office receipts on a $60 million budget and The Ward, well, it never got the chance to fail at the box office.
In other news a Criterion edition of a Kubrick classic and season five of “Dexter” (the Julia Stiles one) are now available. Check out the rest of the releases below. Anything whet your appetite this week?
Horror In Your House
August 15th, 2011
DEATH STOP HOLOCAUST – Shriek Show
Two young women escape to their father s summer home on a remote island for a vacation getaway. As they travel deeper onto the island, a nightmare unfolds when a group of masked assailants begin to trap, torment, and torture their prey.
DEXTER: THE FIFTH SEASON (DVD / Blu-Ray) – Showtime Entertainment
Dexter is back and more killer than ever. The Showtime Original Series returns for an all new season – and this time Dexter’s got a new take on taking life. This season, Dexter goes from happily married husband to guilt-ridden single dad. How will it affect his ability to maintain an average-guy façade while satisfying his need to kill?
MICAH SAYS: A new Dexter promo poster last week. The release of season five this week. It can mean only one thing: Dexter’s return on October 2nd is just around the corner.
EDISION DEATH MACHINE – S’More Entertainment
In the final years before his death, it was rumored that legendary inventor and avowed agnostic Thomas Alva Edison experimented with a device, known as The Spirit Phone that would allow the living to communicate with the dead. Did the machine actually exist? Some swore they saw it but when Edison died, everything was destroyed. Or was it? What if one machine survived? What if it fell into the wrong hands? Join a group of world-class thieves as they stumble upon the infamous machine, only to discover it has powers that Edison never contemplated. Rather than contacting the dead, it resurrects them! The thieves travel the globe, resurrecting historical figures and along with them, priceless artifacts from their era but before long, they attract the attention of a powerful and ruthless mob boss. And then things really go wrong.
JOHN CARPENTER’S THE WARD (DVD / Blu-Ray) – Arc Entertainment
Acclaimed director John Carpenter makes his long awaited return to the screen with a thriller about a young woman in a 1960s mental institution who becomes terrorized by malevolent unseen forces. Kristen, a beautiful but troubled young woman, finds herself bruised, cut, drugged with laughing gas. The other patients in the ward four equally disturbed young women offer no answers, and Kristen quickly realizes things are not as they seem. The air is heavy with secrets, and at night, when the hospital is dark and foreboding, she hears strange and frightening sounds. It appears they are not alone. One-by-one, the other girls begin to disappear and Kristen must find a way out of this hellish place before she, too, becomes a victim. As she struggles to escape, she will uncover a truth far more dangerous and horrifying than anyone could have imagined.
MICAH SAYS: Extraordinarily generic film from my one-time favorite horror director.
THE KILLING: CRITERION COLLECTION (DVD/ Blu-Ray) – Criterion
Stanley Kubrick’s account of an ambitious racetrack robbery is one of Hollywood’s tautest, twistiest noirs. Aided by a radically time-shuffling narrative, razor-sharp dialogue from pulp novelist Jim Thompson, and a phenomenal cast of character actors, including Sterling Hayden (Dr. Strangelove), Coleen Gray (Red River), Timothy Carey (Paths of Glory), and Elisha Cook Jr. (The Maltese Falcon), The Killing is both a jaunty thriller and a cold-blooded punch to the gut. And with its precise tracking shots and gratifying sense of irony, it’s Kubrick to the core.
MICAH SAYS: This flick is credited with teaching Tarantino the non-linear story telling format he’s so fond of from. And it’s a Criterion. And it’s Kubrick. Good stuff all around.
MEDIUM RAW – Anchor Bay
He is called ‘The Wolf’, a spike-jawed serial killer responsible for the ‘Red Riding Hood’ murders of 15 young girls. Arrested by Detectives Elliott Carbon (John Rhys-Davies of The Lord of the Rings trilogy) and Johnny Morgan (writer/director Andrew Cymek), he has been declared criminally insane and sentenced to the sanitarium of Dr. Parker (William B. Davis of ”The X-Files”). But now a massive power failure at the maximum-security facility has unlocked the cell doors and trapped Parker, Johnny and the hospital staff inside. Tonight, the inmates — psychopaths, cannibals and The Wolf himself — are running the asylum…and they are all hungry for vengeance. Mercedes McNab (”Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, Hatchet), Brigitte Kingsley (Dark Rising), and WWE superstars Jason ‘Christian’ Reso and Andrew ‘Test’ Martin co-star in this grisly shocker that serves up horror MEDIUM RAW.
PRIEST (DVD / Blu-Ray / 3D Blu-Ray) – Sony
PRIEST, a post-apocalyptic action thriller, is set in an alternate world — one ravaged by centuries of war between man and vampires. The story revolves around a legendary Warrior Priest (Paul Bettany) from the last Vampire War who now lives in obscurity among the other downtrodden human inhabitants in walled-in dystopian cities ruled by the Church. When his niece (Lily Collins) is abducted by a murderous pack of vampires, Priest breaks his sacred vows to venture out on an obsessive quest to find her before they turn her into one of them. He is joined on his crusade by his niece’s boyfriend (Cam Gigandet), a trigger-fingered young wasteland sheriff, and a former Warrior Priestess (Maggie Q) who possesses otherworldly fighting skills.
MICAH SAYS: Honestly, I avoided this one because I knew the guy that was responsible for LEGION directed it and I didn’t want anything to do with it based on that stinker. Anyone out there see this AND enjoy it?
SMILE – Image Entertainment
A carefree summer vacation turns into an inescapable terror trap for a group of young students who buy a vintage instant camera from a mysterious local shop owner (Armand Assante, Soul’s Midnight), only to discover that every photo taken with the camera leads to the subject’s death–in grisly ways linked to the picture itself. Unless they can unravel the bloody mystery before their dwindling group is wiped out completely by this supernatural, unstoppable force, the kids will be posing for their final snap-shot!
MICAH SAYS: A sorta FINAL DESTINATION-esque film from the guys who made the I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE remake. Actually looks intriguing, has a unique take on a familiar story, and has pretty solid reviews from around the web. I’ll be checking this one out soon. As I haven’t seen it I won’t officially make it my pick of the week, but as a stand-alone horror film it’s the one I’m most interested to see.
TENANT (Blu-Ray) – Indican
An obsessed doctor tries to cure human deformities through DNA splicing, an obsession drawing him into a dark world where he experiments on the patients at Edgewood Asylum. Ignoring his pregnant wife Olivia, she comes to see him one night, but everything goes horribly wrong as Dr. Newman watches in horror as Olivia deliver their twins – One twin is a beautiful baby girl, the other a deformed creature that defies nature. 25 years later, on a dark road, a van breaks down. Young, beautiful Liz Holliman of the Roslyn Center For The Deaf is traveling with a group of young teens and her driver, ex-con, Jeff Thomas. With a flat tire, a storm and freezing temperatures, they must seek shelter. The group makes their way to an old abandoned building — the Edgewood Asylum. Little do they know – evil awaits them…