Underworld: Awakening headlines a busy week of horror releases. Darren Lynn Bousman’s disturbing version of Mother’s Day is being loosed upon the world and in classic late ’80s/early ’90s news of the awesome, Gremlins 2: The New Batch is finally out on Blu-ray. Not bad. Not bad at all. Also of note The Shrine (which is really good), Shock Labyrinth and Humans Vs. Zombies are coming to a retailer near you. Check out the rest of the releases below, let me know what you are picking and have a great week.
42ND STREET FOREVER: THE BLU-RAY EDITION – Synapse Films
Synapse Films’ best-selling 42nd Street Forever series has been a favorite of grindhouse and exploitation fans around the world. This colossal best of collection combines a selection of vintage theatrical trailers from the first two volumes of the series and mixes them up with some all-new selections! Remastered in true 1080p high definition, this mind-numbing dose of classic original coming attractions will have your Blu-ray player exploding with more than three and a half hours of sex, exploitation, action, horror and science-fiction advertisements from around the world! Can your brain take all this sleaze in one sitting?
DON’T FALL ASLEEP – Celebrity Home Entertainment
Janice and Sam move into their first house. Neighbors tell stories about Isabelle, a past owner, who flew into a jealous rage and killed her husband and his lover in the house. Now, 50 years later, Janice has started sleep-walking and having visions of a wild German woman and blood, lots of blood. Janice can’t remember what she does when she sleepwalks. Is she responsible for the new murders that have occurred in her neighborhood? Has Isabelle returned? Directed by Emmy nominee Brent Roske.
ELVIRA’S MOVIE MACABRE: WILD WOMEN – Entertainment One
Elvira: Mistress of the Dark is back with a frightfully funny multi-feature presentation of four well-rounded horror and B-movie classics, bursting with the full-bodied excitement of women gone wild.
FORBIDDEN ZONE (Blu-Ray, Limited Edition) – Arrow Video
Words like “delirious” and “bizarre” simply don’t suffice to describe Forbidden Zone, director Richard Elfman’s 1980 musical fantasy that makes its DVD debut after two decades as a cult favorite. Conceived as an extension of the avant-garde theater troupe/music group the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo (later just Oingo Boingo, which counted Elfman, his brother Danny, and co-scripter Matthew Bright–later the director of Freeway–among its members), Forbidden Zone tells the story of Frenchy (production designer Marie-Pascal Elfman, Richard’s then-wife), who accidentally enters the phantasmagorical Sixth Dimension through a door in her basement.
GANJA & HESS: KINO CLASSICS REMASTERED EDITION – Kino International
Dr. Hess Green (Night of the Living Dead’s Duane Jones), a wealthy and respected African-American anthropologist, is assigned a new assistant, an intelligent but unstable man named George Meda (Bill Gunn). One drunken night, George stabs Hess with a dagger from the ancient African tribe of Myrthia and then kills himself. The Myrthians were cursed with a thirst for human blood, and, by the time George’s wife, Ganja (Marlene Clark), comes looking for him, Hess has developed a similar addiction to blood. Hess and Ganja fall in love, and they soon marry, but Hess infects his new bride with the Myrthian curse, which gives them eternal life, but at a terrible price. Brand new high definition transfer and restoration. RATED R. BONUS FEATURES: Audio commentry by the filmmakers; Restored footage; Featurette “The Blood of the Thing” on the history of the production, photo gallery, Original screenplay by Bill Gunn (ROM Access); Article on the film by Tim Lucas and David Walker (ROM Access)
GREMLINS 2: THE NEW BATCH (Blu-Ray) – Warner Home Video
The follow up feature to the cult hit Gremlins. Billy Peltzer and Kate Beringer move to New York City and meet up with their Mogwai friend, Gizmo, when a series of accidents creates a new generation of diverse gremlins. Billy, Kate, and Gizmo must once again use all their experience to prevent another catastrophe.
MICAH SAYS: PICK OF THE WEEK. This was one of my favorite horror comedy flicks growing up. I loved all things Gremlins and the zanier they got the harder I laughed. Been waiting for this one for quite a while.
HUMANS VS. ZOMBIES (DVD, Blu-Ray) – Hanover House
Dark Comedy and Horror unite in this thriller based on the “Live Action Role-Playing” game of the same name. Students on summer break are exposed to a deadly virus that is spread rapidly through direct human contact. The infected become driven by an insatiable appetite to consume human flesh. One by one, more students fall victim to the plague, triggering an epidemic that spawns a horde of ravenous zombies. Amidst the chaos, a campus security guard, obsessed with conspiracy theories, leads a group of students to safety as they and a small band of uninfected townspeople set out to find other human survivors in an attempt to discover the source of the “zombie” virus and save the world.
LAST BREATH – Media Blasters
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.
MOTHER’S DAY (DVD, Blu-Ray) – Anchor Bay
From the maker of Saw II, III and IV, Mother’s Day is a graphic remake of the Troma horror classic, Mother’s Day. After a bank robbery gone wrong, three brothers go home to hideout…only to discover that their Mother (Rebecca De Mornay) lost their house in a foreclosure. The new owners and their party guests become the depraved brothers’ unwitting hostages. Their sadistic Mother soon arrives and brilliantly takes control of the situation, ratcheting up the terror. As the hostages struggle desperately to survive the harrowing torture, they realize that there is nothing a Mother won’t do to protect her children. Based on Mother’s Day written by Charles Kaufman and Warren Leight, screenstory and screenplay by Scott Milam and Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman.
MICAH SAYS: Just received a very small theatrical release (at least here in LA). Definitely something worth checking out.
MURDER OBSESSION (Blu-Ray) (1981) – Raro Video
While taking a break from shooting a horror film, actor Michael Stanford (Stephano Patrizi) visits his mother (Anita Strindberg) at their old mansion. Michael’s girlfriend, Deborah (Silvia Dionisio), and some of their filmmaking friends join Michael at the mansion for a couple of days rest. Michael reveals that he murdered his father during a psychotic episode when he was a child making himself the primary suspect when his friends start getting killed.
PLAYBACK (DVD, Blu-Ray) – Magnolia Home Entertainment
While digging into their town’s infamous past, a group of high school students unwittingly unlock an even darker secret. Now, an evil spirit has been awakened and will stop at nothing to find his true heir
MICAH SAYS: Here’s what Christian Slater has been up to lately.
PSYCHOTICA (Blu-Ray) – Shriek Show
Caught in the middle of a menacing social experiment, a group of teenage heroin addicts barricades themselves in an abandoned farmhouse in order to kick the habit. But they must also overcome the murderous forces within the house, as well as the threat that is closing in from down the road. With nowhere to run, they must face their greatest fears and fight for their very survival
SHOCK LABYRINTH (DVD, 2D/3D Blu-Ray) – Well Go USA
This horror-thriller follows a group of teenagers dealing with the sudden return of a friend who went missing a decade ago. When the friend falls ill, they take her to a hospital but end up trapped in a labyrinthine haunted house.
THE SHRINE – Zeitgeist Films
Director Jon Knautz (Robert Englund cult fave Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer) returns with a blood-curdling tale of sacrificial cults, demonic possession and ancient evil. After a young American backpacker vanishes in Europe, three journalists trace his disappearance to a mysterious Polish village. They travel there hoping to get the story, but instead find a grotesque, fog-shrouded shrine-and hostile locals hell-bent on serving up for their next ritualistic human sacrifice. Praised by such prestigious fan sites as Dread Central, Bloody Disgusting and FearNet, The Shrine features rising stars Aaron Ashmore (TV’s Smallville), Meghan Heffern (The Fog) and Cindy Sampson (TV’s Supernatural).
MICAH SAYS: You may have caught this on Netflix Instant where it may have surprised the crap out of you with goodness. I whole-heartedly recommend.
UNDERWORLD: THE AWAKENING (DVD, 2D/3D Blu-Ray) – Sony Pictures
Ultimate Vampire Warrioress Selene (Kate Beckinsale) escapes imprisonment to find herself in a world where humans have discovered the existence of both Vampire and Lycan clans, and are conducting an all-out war to eradicate both immortal species.
MICAH SAYS: I’ve heard this isn’t anything special from numerous sources, but I plan on it being my in flight movie Tuesday morning. I, for one, can never get enough Kate (Upton or Beckinsale). If you’re a big fan of the series a combo pack featuring all 4 films is also dropping on Tuesday.
Follow Micah on Twitter