After a quiet day of releases last Tuesday, we have a ton of horror and sci-fi home media offerings on the docket for this week, including one of my favorite films of the year, Happy Death Day 2 U. Criterion has put together a new edition of the original Funny Games that fans will undoubtedly want to add to their collections, and Mill Creek Entertainment is bringing both Ghosts of Mars and the Eyes of Laura Mars to Blu-ray for the first time as well.
Scream Factory will be unleashing The Chosen this week, and Intervision is resurrecting the underground horror/wrestling mashup Masked Mutilator in what looks to be an ultimate celebration of the cult film. Mondo Macabro is keeping busy with their release of the gothic sexiness of The Devil’s Nightmare, and for those of you who love to indulge in WTF-ery filmmaking, Saint Bernard from Gabe Bartalos is not to be missed.
Other releases for May 14th include the Special Edition Blu for Link, Boo!, Cold Pursuit, The Witch in the Window, and the 4K release of Godzilla (1998).
The Chosen (Scream Factory, Blu-ray)
Kirk Douglas (The Fury) stars as industrialist Robert Caine, who with his son Angel (Simon Ward, Supergirl) is finally about to realize his biggest dream: a massive nuclear power plant in the Holy Land. But soon, Caine’s dream becomes a horrific nightmare as person after person associated with the project meets a violent, gruesome death. When clues to this inexplicable turn of events point to the devil, Caine comes to the terrible realization that he might be linked to the Antichrist ... perhaps even through his unborn child.
Also known as Holocaust 2000 and Rain Of Fire, this riveting thriller in the vein of The Omen "is probably the best made and best budgeted of the Italian occult films of the 1970s", (The Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review) and was directed by cult filmmaker Alberto De Martino (The Antichrist, Blood Link and Strange Shadows In An Empty Room).
The Devil’s Nightmare (Mondo Macabro, Blu-ray)
A busload of tourists on holiday discover that they are going on an unscheduled trip… a trip into the macabre. They find themselves lost and in need of food and shelter. A gloomy castle ahead seems to be the refuge that have been seeking. What they don't know is that Baron von Runberg, the castle's owner, lives under an ancient family curse - one that will draw the unsuspecting guests into a terrifying game of death. As they enjoy a splendid meal at the Baron's table, a beautiful stranger arrives at the castle. And the nightmare begins…
This delirious exercise in Gothic sex and horror is one of the very few such films to come from Belgium and stars the great Erika Blanc, the diva of 1960s and 70s Eurohorror, together with Shirley Corrigan (CRIMES OF THE BLACK CAT), Jean Servais (Rififi) and Daniel Emilfork.
- Newly commissioned cover art from Gilles Vranckx
- HD transfer from original negative
- Audio commentary from Troy Howarth
- Interview with director Jean Brismée
- Interview with Roland Lethem
- Interview with assistant director Robert Lombaerts
- Original trailers and TV spots
- Mondo Macabro previews
Eyes of Laura Mars (Mill Creek Entertainment, Blu-ray)
This riveting tale of murder and suspense stars Faye Dunaway as Laura Mars, New York's most controversial fashion photographer. World renowned for her sensational, erotic portraits of models in settings of glorified urban violence, Laura Mars exhibits a mystifying psychic ability. In her mind's eye, as if through the lens of her camera, she "witnesses" a series of bizarre murders with terrifying clarity. All of the victims are people Laura has known. Police detective John Neville (Tommy Lee Jones) discovers a striking similarity between Laura's works and classified police photographs of the murders and he attempts to unravel the events which have taken control of Laura's mind. The film builds to a spine-tingling climax when the eyes of Laura Mars reveal the identity of the killer.
Funny Games: The Criterion Collection (Criterion, Blu-ray & DVD)
Michael Haneke’s most notorious provocation, Funny Games spares no detail in its depiction of the agony of a bourgeois family held captive at their vacation home by a pair of white-gloved young men. In a series of escalating “games,” the sadistic duo subject their victims to unspeakable physical and psychological torture over the course of a night. A home-invasion thriller in which the genre’s threat of bloodshed is made stomach-churningly real, the film ratchets up shocks even as its executioners interrupt the action to address the audience, drawing queasy attention to the way that cinema milks pleasure from pain and stokes our appetite for atrocity. With this controversial treatise on violence and entertainment, Haneke issued a summation of his cinematic philosophy, implicating his audience in a spectacle of unbearable cruelty.
- New 2K digital restoration, supervised by director Michael Haneke, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
- New interviews with Haneke and actor Arno Frisch
- New interview with film historian Alexander Horwath
- Press conference from the 1997 Cannes Film Festival featuring Haneke and actors Susanne Lothar and Ulrich Mühe
- New English subtitle translation
- PLUS: An essay by critic Bilge Ebiri
Happy Death Day 2 U (Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, Blu/DVD Combo & DVD)
It's déjà vu all over again for Tree Gelbman, the snarky sorority sister who solved her own murder by repeatedly reliving her death. When the masked campus killer mysteriously returns to terrorize new targets, Tree cycles through another time loop of clever chills and suspense in Happy Death Day 2U, the inventive follow-up to Blumhouse's hit thriller Happy Death Day.
Link: Special Edition (KL Studio Classics, Blu-ray)
An Experiment in Terror! Elisabeth Shue (The Saint, Leaving Las Vegas) and Terence Stamp (The Limey, The Real McCoy) co-star in this suspenseful horror film directed by Richard Franklin (Road Games, F/X2) and featuring a chilling score by legendary composer Jerry Goldsmith (The Omen, The Satan Bug, 100 Rifles). Young graduate student Jane Chase (Shue) becomes the new assistant to an eccentric zoology professor (Stamp) at the remote home he shares with two brilliant chimpanzees and an elderly orangutan butler named Link. But when one of the chimps is found dead and the professor mysteriously disappears, Link becomes dangerously aggressive towards Jane. Now, the time for “monkey business” is over and the true terror is about to begin.
-NEW Audio Commentary by Film Historian Lee Gambin and Film Critic Jarret Gahan
-Deleted workprint scenes
-Audio interview with director Richard Franklin
-Jerry Goldsmith demo of the LINK theme
Masked Mutilator (Intervision Picture Corp, Blu-ray & DVD)
In 1994, a production team in Eastern Pennsylvania brought together a group of local pro wrestlers and young actors to make a horror-action film. A quarter of a century later, the movie was finally finished: After accidentally killing an opponent in the ring, a professional wrestler takes a job at a group home for youth offenders. But when a psychopath wearing a wrestling mask begins butchering the teenage residents, their rehabilitation will become a no-holds-barred battle for survival.
WWE and Stampede veteran Brick Bronsky (SGT. KABUKIMAN N.Y.P.D., CLASS OF NUKE 'EM HIGH 2 &; 3), Jeff Sibbach (WCW, NWA), Doug 'Flex' Yasinsky (ECW), James DeBello (CABIN FEVER) and F/X master Glenn Hetrick (Syfy's FACE OFF) co-star in this sex and violence throwback to regional exploitation. Directed by Bronsky and completed from the original 16mm footage stored in the Executive Producer's basement for the past 25 years.
- You See Me Sweatin'? - Interview with Actor Tom Taylor
- Slice the Pretty Boy - Interview with Actor/FX Artist Paul Sutt
- Scissors, Tape & Paste - Interview with Co-Writer/Co-Executive Producer Ed Polgardy
- Don't Believe That, Folks - Interview with Co-Writer/Executive Producer Dale Schneck
- Audition Tapes
- "Mean" Gene Okerlund Interviews Tom Taylor.
- Audio Commentary with Cast & Crew (Dale Schneck, Tom Taylor, Paul Sutt, Steve Mittman and Jim "The Tank" Dorsey)
Saint Bernard (Severin Films, Blu-ray & DVD)
His award-winning FX career spans both grindhouse (BRAIN DAMAGE, FRANKENHOOKER, the LEPRECHAUN series) and art-house (Matthew Barney's CREMASTER CYCLE). Now writer/producer/director Gabe Bartalos brings his own years-in-the-making vision to the screen, as an unhinged orchestra conductor named Bernard (Jason Dugre of Bartalos' SKINNED DEEP) graphically descends into a surreal odyssey of chaos, psychosis and "f*cked-up sh*t that looks cool as hell" (Bloody-Disgusting.com). Warwick Davis (WILLOW) and notorious Andy Kaufman cohort Bob Zmuda (MAN ON THE MOON) co-star - with a performance by punk legends The Damned - in this "must-see for the truly adventurous" (UnseenFilms.net), transferred from the original negative and unleashed beyond the underground festival circuit for the first time ever.
ALSO AVAILABLE THIS WEEK:
A Killer Awaits (WorldWide Multimedia, DVD)
American Mummy (Wild Eye Releasing, 3D Blu/Blu/DVD Combo)
Boo! (Lionsgate, DVD)
Cherokee Creek (Scream Team Releasing, Blu-ray)
Cold Pursuit (Lionsgate, 4K Ultra HD/Blu Combo, Blu/DVD Combo & DVD)
Don’t Look (Wild Eye Releasing, DVD)
Ghosts of Mars (Mill Creek Entertainment, Blu-ray)
Godzilla (1998) 4K (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 4K Ultra HD/Blu Combo)
Invasion of the Bee Girls (Cheezy Flicks, DVD)
Killing Spree (SRS Cinema, Blu-ray & DVD)
Mortuary (Filmrise, Blu-ray & DVD)
Triassic World (The Asylum, DVD)
The Witch in the Window (Uncork’d Entertainment, DVD)