Hello again! How was everyone’s Halloween? What did you do? And what did you watch?
Although we never have enough time to devote to our favorite holiday, Crowbait and I have had a nice few days. We visited some great parties, continued our tradition of scaring the hell out of the neighborhood children and had a chance to relax and watch some horror. (The highlights being The Burrowers, Alien and some classic Vincent Price.)
So I’m back to report on this week’s U.S. horror schedule. I must admit I’ve been kind of frustrated lately with how long these weekly entries have taken me to prepare. It doesn’t seem like it should require much effort, but tracking down the new releases, finding the trailers and learning enough about them to provide brief commentary tends to add up. Well…After taking a look at the post-Halloween selection, I have learned my lesson. We’ve had it pretty good for a couple months during the holiday season and it’s time for horror to take a backseat to Oscar bait and fantasy adventure.
Genre pictures tend to pick up again in the spring. Until then, we’ll probably be focusing mostly on DVD releases, editorials and revisiting old classics. So what do we have this week? One promising new release, some B-movie crap and a few old flicks from the king of schlock, Roger Corman. I had to scrape the bottom of the barrel to find these and just try to imagine that I left out the REALLY bad ones. :)
DVD Releases, November 2nd
The latest film from Neil Marshall, the director responsible for Dog Soldiers, The Descent and Doomsday. Marshall’s films are certainly not perfect, but his ongoing focus on strong female characters engaging in bloody battles seals the deal. We are fans. Although this did make an appearance in theaters and on services like Zune, we didn’t have a chance to see it yet. Here’s the official summary:
AD 117. The Roman Empire stretches from Egypt to Spain, and East as far as the Black Sea. But in northern Britain, the relentless onslaught of conquest has ground to a halt in the face of the guerrilla tactics of an elusive enemy: the savage and terrifying Picts. Quintus Dias (Fassbinder), sole survivor of a Pictish raid on a Roman frontier fort, marches north with General Virilus’ (West) legendary Ninth Legion, under orders to wipe the Picts from the face of the earth and destroy their leader Gorlacon. But when the legion is ambushed on unfamiliar ground, and Virilus taken captive, Quintus faces a desperate struggle to keep his small platoon alive behind enemy lines. Enduring the harsh terrain and evading their remorseless Pict pursuers led by the revenge hungry Pict Warrior Etain (Kurylenko), the band of soldiers race to rescue their General and to reach the safety of the Roman frontier.
Although this film is probably best classified as action adventure, the director’s background in horror and increasingly brutal violence justifies our attention. We look forward to bloodshed and deadly warrior women, but this isn’t for everyone. Recommended for fans of “sword and sandal” war movies and gorehounds.
Three men enter an isolated forest for a good-natured survival trip and vision quest. Unforeseen disaster forces the men to confront their fears… ultimately leading to a desperate battle against the elements and each other. Not many reviews are available. They are also uniformly positive. (My guess is production team spam. Too cynical?)
My Super Psycho Sweet 16: Part 2
If one made-for-MTV B-grade slasher wasn’t enough, here’s Part 2. The young daughter of a crazed killer tries to evade her troubled past and start over in a new town. Unfortunately, her father is planning to turn her sweet 16th into a bloody family reunion.
And now we have THREE releases from Shout Factory‘s Roger Corman’s Cult Classics series. Campy Corman-produced trash coming to DVD for the first time this week include:
Not of this Earth (Roger Corman’s Cult Classics)
A cheeky 1988 remake of one of Corman’s own films from the 50’s. Traci Lords is a nurse hired by a mysterious stranger to administer suspiciously frequent blood tranfusions. Some amateur sleuthing leads her to the truth. Her patient is an alien vampire!
The Terror Within/ Dead Space (Roger Corman’s Cult Classics)
(Released as a double-feature)
The Terror Within from 1989. Scientists trapped in an underground base after an apocalyptic plague try to keep their people safe from terrifying mutants. Mutants who, apparently, rape and impregnate human women. No thanks.
Dead Space from 1991. Commander Kreiger, played by Marc Singer (Beastmaster!), and his robot companion must save the planet from a fatal flesh-eating virus. Or from a monster. Or from a monster virus?
My pick this week?
This is obvious. Centurion. Clearly.