Good morning, readers, hope you’re having a great week! So, I fess up. I missed posting a ton of film updates the past few weeks. Ouch. Things have been really busy, but I’m unhappy to see the blog fall so far behind.
At the peril of confusing things further, I’d like to highlight some of the recent film releases that deserve our attention. I’m leaving lots out unfortunately, so go ahead and consider these recommendations.
Limited Theater Release: July 13, 2011
Coco (Hendler) has just moved to a new apartment with his wife Pipi (Stuart), who’s seven months pregnant. At first, they don’t seem to notice the growing chaos around them, but when authorities quarantine their building after a deadly pandemic breaks out, Coco joins forces with his off-kilter, but well-prepared and stocked next-door neighbor Horacio to defend his refrigerator and keep Pipi safe. Meanwhile, outside the building, Buenos Aires—and the world as the apartment denizens know it, is disappearing. The world is ending; got ammo? http://www.bloody-disgusting.com/selects/releases/phase7/
This comedic apocalypse from Argentina starts a limited theater release tonight thanks to Bloody Disgusting Selects. Phase 7 will be playing in select theaters on the following Wednesday and Friday nights: July 13th, 15th, 20th and 22nd. Ticket and theater information here. The number of theaters and playdates for the BD Selects special features are shrinking every month. It’s very sad to see that and I hope they won’t have to shut down. If you can make it to a theater or purchase a DVD, in the name of indie horror exposure, help out and support them!
DVD Releases: July 12, 2011
A train pulls into the station it’s the end of the line. A Hobo jumps from a freight car, hoping for a fresh start in a new city. Instead, he finds himself trapped in an urban hell. This is a world where criminals rule the streets and Drake, the city’s crime boss, reigns supreme alongside his sadistic murderous sons, Slick & Ivan. Amidst the chaos, the Hobo comes across a pawn shop window displaying a second hand lawn mower. He dreams of making the city a beautiful place and starting a new life for himself. But as the brutality continues to rage around him, he notices a shotgun hanging above the lawn mower… Quickly, he realizes the only way to make a difference in this town is with that gun in his hand and two shells in its chamber. http://www.insidious-movie.com
If you read our review, you already know this is a strong recommend. I am so excited about it, I already have the Blu-Ray. (Fun footage from the set in the special features!)
The highly anticipated sequel to one of the scariest films of all time, [REC] 2 picks up 15 minutes from where we left off, taking us back into the quarantined apartment building where a terrifying virus has run rampant, turning the occupants into mindlessly violent, raging beasts. A heavily armed SWAT team and a mysterious government official are sent in to assess and attempt to neutralize the situation. What they find inside lies beyond the scope of medical science—a demonic nightmare of biblical proportions more terrifying than they could have possibly imagined. Above all it must be contained, before it escapes to wreak havoc on the unsuspecting world outside. http://www.rec2themovie.com
This [REC 2] release snuck up on me! I regret not having a review ready today. We may be able to go into more detail later, but this is a pretty solid sequel with some quality scares. Maybe it’s not as great as the first installment, but the hints of religious horror from the end of [REC] lead to an action-packed trip straight into Exorcist territory here. I love that direction and, while I have some problems with the film, it’s a fun ride and certainly much better than Quarantine 2: Terminal.
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives was the winner of the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival. This fantasy story finds a dying man who is visited by his deceased wife in the form of a ghost and his lost son in the form of a hairy creature with glowing eyes, who help guide him on a journey to his first birthplace on earth. Melding ideas of reincarnation, karma and fairy tale elements, this critically acclaimed film is a unique, one-of-a-kind experience that director Tim Burton described as a strange, beautiful dream. Official Strand Releasing Site
DVD Releases: July 5, 2011
Hobo with a Shotgun
A train pulls into the station it’s the end of the line. A Hobo jumps from a freight car, hoping for a fresh start in a new city. Instead, he finds himself trapped in an urban hell. This is a world where criminals rule the streets and Drake, the city’s crime boss, reigns supreme alongside his sadistic murderous sons, Slick & Ivan. Amidst the chaos, the Hobo comes across a pawn shop window displaying a second hand lawn mower. He dreams of making the city a beautiful place and starting a new life for himself. But as the brutality continues to rage around him, he notices a shotgun hanging above the lawn mower… Quickly, he realizes the only way to make a difference in this town is with that gun in his hand and two shells in its chamber. http://www.magnetreleasing.com/hobowithashotgun/
Exciting. I look forward to picking up the Hobo Blu-Ray soon. Personally, I love this movie, but it’s not for everyone. For more details, see our review.
Nightmares in Red, White and Blue
Horror and sci-fi veteran Lance Henriksen (Alien, Near Dark) takes you through a fascinating look at the history of the American horror film, examining the earliest monster movies of the silent era up to the scariest modern-day masterpieces. Highlights include interviews with genre masters Roger Corman, John Carpenter and George A. Romero, plus clips from classic films like The Exorcist, Night of the Living Dead, Friday the 13th, Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, Hostel, Rosemary’s Baby and many more! http://www.nightmaresinredwhiteandblue.com/
We are big Lance Henriksen fans around here. Who isn’t? This is a fun little documentary. Devoted horror geeks probably won’t find anything particularly new here, but it’s an excellent primer for new fans and it’s always a pleasure to see the masters of American horror talk about the genre we all know and love.
Still grieving the death of nine-year-old Alice their only child at the jaws of a crazed dog, vet Patrick and pharmacist Louise relocate to the remote town of Wake Wood where they learn of a pagan ritual that will allow them three more days with Alice. The couple find the idea disturbing and exciting in equal measure, but once they agree terms with Arthur, the village s leader, a far bigger question looms what will they do when it s time for Alice to go back? http://www.wakewoodmovie.com
Along with Let Me In and The Resident, Wake Wood is the third major release from the revitalized HAMMER PRODUCTIONS! It feels so good to write that. Every time. Don’t know much about this one, but I’ve heard great things.
VOD Release: July 1, 2011
Tricia’s husband has been missing for seven years. Her younger sister Callie comes to live with her as the pressure mounts to finally declare him “dead in absentia.” As Tricia sifts through the wreckage and tries to move on with her life, Callie finds herself drawn to an ominous tunnel near the house. As she begins to link it to other mysterious disappearances, it becomes clear that his presumed death might be anything but “natural. http://www.absentiamovie.com
Very very interested in this. A low-budget indie flick that looks quite intriguing. And Doug Jones. Once again, who doesn’t love Doug Jones?
DVD Releases: June 28, 2011
Black Moon: The Criterion Collection
Louis Malle (The Lovers, Au revoir les enfants) meets Lewis Carroll in this bizarre and bewitching trip down the rabbit hole. After skirting the horrors of an unidentified war being waged in an anonymous countryside, a beautiful young woman (Cathryn Harrison) takes refuge in a remote farmhouse, where she becomes embroiled in the surreal domestic odyssey of a mysterious family. Evocatively shot by cinematographer Sven Nykvist (Cries and Whispers, Fanny and Alexander), Black Moon is a Freudian tale of adolescent sexuality set in a postapocalyptic world of shifting identities and talking animals. It is one of Malle’s most experimental films and a cinematic daydream like no other. Black Moon on The Criterion Collection site
This sounds insane. I’m interested in learning more, but I can’t find a single clip that represents this description and the odd things I’ve heard about the film. Just a lady driving her car around and staring at things. Where’s my talking unicorn? I’m not 100% convinced, but I suspect this is worth looking into. (Update: See comments for a link to Youtube that delivers some of the weirdness promised if you’re patient.)
Rammbock: Berlin Undead
Just when Michael arrives in Berlin to visit his ex-girlfriend Gabi, a terrible virus starts spreading across the city at a rapid pace, turning people into mindless homicidal maniacs. Much to Michael’s concern, Gabi’s not home; instead, he meets Harper, a teenage plumber’s apprentice at work in her apartment block. Together, they manage to barricade themselves when raging hordes of infected people swarm the building. Surrounded by these thirsty zombies, Michael and Harper have their hands full to survive – and it will take all of their ingenuity to make their way out to try and find Gabi. http://www.bloody-disgusting.com/selects/releases/rammbock
Tetsuo: The Bullet Man
Anthony is a bland and cautious American office worker living in Tokyo with nothing exceptional about him. Or so he thinks. When his young son is killed, Anthony begins a violent and bizarre metamorphosis, his flesh transforming into metal, his body expressing his repressed rage and lust for revenge. Anthony is becoming the weapon that will destroy the man who killed his son and, if his rage cannot be contained, the entire city in the process. Cult director Shinya Tsukamoto s TETSUO trilogy comes full-circle with TETSUO: THE BULLET MAN. http://tetsuo-project.jp/ http://www.ifcfilms.com/videos/tetsuo-the-bullet-man-2
Sadly, we live in a world where Shinya Tsukamoto films just aren’t for everyone. I love this guy, though, and think that even his lesser efforts are better than most director’s successes. This isn’t as well-received as the original, of course, but it’s still the surreal and chaotic art-house experience of a Tetsuo film. If you don’t know what that means, check out the original Tetsuo: The Iron Man. (Unless you have epilepsy, probably, or get queasy from shaky-cam and flickering.)
That’s all for now! There’s so much quality cinema here. I wish I had more time to devote to each one. Looking forward, we’ll be returning to the old update format soon. See you then! -Jenny D