by Bryan Theiss
This week’s new arrivals include remastered Jodorowsky, re-released Vincent Price, a vampire in Brooklyn, some vampires in WWII, a sasquatch, a Yeti/wolfman, some super heroes, some time travelers, some time traveling super heroes, a couple true crime stories, an anti-fascist in rural Italy, and much more.
THE ART OF LOVE (1965)
Carl Reiner wrote and co-stars in this comedy directed by Norman Jewison (Moonstruck) about a failed painter (Dick Van Dyke) who fakes suicide to increase the value of his paintings. Also starring James Garner, Elke Sommer, Angie Dickinson and Ethel Merman. With commentary by film historian Peter Tonguette.
This Australian comedy-drama stars Eliza Scanlen (Little Women) as a terminally ill teenager who freaks out her parents (Essie Davis and Ben Mendelsohn) by having a relationship with a troubled 23-year-old drug dealer. Debbie Zhou of The Guardian called it, “A lovely, achey coming-of-age story that bursts with rare respect for its characters while tragedy peeks in through the curtains.”
BAREFOOT IN THE PARK (1967)
Robert Redford and Jane Fonda star as mismatched newlyweds in a Greenwich Village apartment, adapted by Neil Simon from his play. Mildred Natwick was nominated for an Oscar for best supporting actress playing the mother of Fonda’s character.
BLOOD VESSEL (2019)
A life raft full of survivors of a torpedoed WWII hospital ship come across an abandoned German minesweeper. Well – not abandoned by the vampires. From Australian FX supervisor turned director Justin Dix (Crawlspace).
CHARLIE’S ANGELS (2000) (4KULTRA/BLU-RAY)
I don’t know about you, but director McG’s two goofy, giggly celebrations of girl power, bygone pop culture and preposterous action still bring a huge smile to my face. This first one teams the crimefighting trio of Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu with Bill Murray as Boswell, facing the villainy of Sam Rockwell, Tim Curry and Crispin Glover, with Tom Green, Matt LeBlanc and Luke Wilson playing boyfriends. There’s also an early appearance by Melissa McCarthy. Now you can enjoy their wire-fu and gratuitous dancing in 4K ultra hi-def if you have the equipment (if not we rent it with the standard blu-ray).
(4K Ultra HD with Blu-Ray)
CHRIST STOPPED AT EBOLI (1979 )(CRITERION)
The adaptation of the memoirs of a doctor exiled to a remote village for his anti-fascist views during the reign of Mussolini is presented in its full length four part version for the first time on video. Criterion’s extras include a new interview with translator and author Michael F. Moore, 1978 documentary on Italian political cinema, and excerpts from 1974 and 2014 documentaries featuring director Francesco Rossi and author/subject Carlo Levi.
(DVD and Blu-Ray)
CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD (1980) (SCORPION SPECIAL EDITION)
Also known as Gates of Hell, this favorite from Italian horror master Lucio Fulci (The Beyond) tells the story of Dunwich, a former haven for witches where a series of bizarre occurrences and deaths may foretell an impending invasion of the dead into our world on All Saint’s Day. This jam-packed special edition boasts a new 4K color grading and restoration, commentary with film historians Troy Howarth and Nathaniel Thompson, another one with director of photography Sergio Salvati and camera operator Robert Forges Davanzati (in Italian with English subtitles), interviews with some of the actors, the writer, production designer, cinematographer and FX artist, video essays, trailers, TV and radio spots, and more.
COLD HEAVEN (1991)
Theresa Russell stars as a woman who’s about to leave her husband (Mark Harmon) when he dies in a boating accident and then miraculously comes back to life in this psychological thriller from director Nicolas Roeg (Walkabout, The Witches).
THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER (1960) / THE HAUNTED PALACE (1963)
Scream Factory has reissued their long out of print Vincent Price Collection box set, and though they’ve lost the rights to his introductions to the films, they’ve kept all the other extras (commentaries with Roger Corman, Lucy Chase Williams and Tom Weaver, interview with Corman, audio interview with Price, Price retrospective by Williams), and added a new commentary with film historians Steve Haberman and Constantine Nasr, plus an intro by author Kim Newman.
FANDO Y LIS (1968) (SPECIAL EDITION)
The feature debut of director Alejandro Jodorowsky “created from hazy memories of the controversial Fernando Arabal play he staged in Paris” supposedly caused riots when it premiered, this surreal tale of a couple traveling through a wasteland feels whimsical and Fellini-esque compared to his better known films. Maybe that’s just the gorgeous black and white photography talking. Also included are La Cravate (1957) (Jodorowsky’s 20-minute adaptation of Thomas Mann’s The Transposed Heads), the feature length documentary La Constellation Jodorowsky and a new Jodorowsky interview. From the box set Alejandro Jodorowsky: 4K Restoration Collection, which presents these previously out-of-print films in new 4K restorations from the original 35 mm elements, with new color corrections supervised by the director.
THE FURY OF THE WOLFMAN (1970)
A college professor on a Tibetan expedition is bit by a Yeti, so obviously he turns into a werewolf. This is the fourth of twelve wolfman movies starring Spanish actor/writer Paul Naschy. Includes audio commentaries by film historian Mikek Lipinski and Troy Howarth.
GIRL WITH A BRACELET (2019)
This French film about a teenager standing trial for the murder of her best friend is a remake of the 2018 Argentinian film The Accused. Variety’s Guy Lodge writes that it “retains many of the merits of its source, similarly building an old-fashioned did-she-or-didn’t-she mystery… into a more probing, ambiguity-laced psychological profile.”
THE HOLY MOUNTAIN (1973) (SPECIAL EDITION)
Many of us at Scarecrow consider Alejandro Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain to be an essential film – a massive, bizarre spectacle of surrealism and Tarot symbology, both grotesque and beautiful, and literally unlike anything you’ve ever seen. It’s about a thief who looks like Jesus who climbs a tower where an alchemist (played by Jodorowsky) turns his excrement to gold and sends him on a journey to enlightenment with seven others representing different planets. Also there’s a chimpanzee character and a part where the conquest of Mexico is re-enacted by toads. You sort of have to see it. Includes new interview with Jodorowsky, intro by Columbia University Film Studies professor Richard Peña, video essay by Ben Cobb, featurette about Jodorowsky’s personal assistant, deleted scenes with commentary, and a Jodorowsky short about Tarot. From the box set Alejandro Jodorowsky: 4K Restoration Collection, which presents these previously out-of-print films in new 4K restorations from the original 35 mm elements, with new color corrections supervised by Jodorowsky.
THE IDOLMAKER (1980)
Peter Gallagher made his movie debut playing a busboy who a bigshot rock ’n roll manager (Ray Sharkey) tries to turn into a star. It’s also the first film for Joe Pantoliano. Includes commentary by director Taylor Hackford (An Officer and a Gentleman, Ray).
THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK (1972)
The first feature film about sasquatch was a phenomenon in drive-ins and then early video stores, but somehow has never had a legitimate release until now. Director Charles B. Pierce’s daughter has had it restored in 4K for this authorized release, so it’s the first time any of us will see it actually looking good.
(DVD and Blu-Ray)
LEGENDS OF TOMORROW: SEASON 5
More time-traveling and demon-battling adventures for DC Comics characters like The Atom and John Constantine in this more fantastical spin-off of Arrow.
THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH (1964) (2 VERSIONS)
The new blu-ray of the Vincent Price/Edgar Allan Poe/Roger Corman classic from Scream Factory’s Vincent Price Collection box set reissue boasts a new extended cut that’s about a minute longer, commentary with film historians Kim Newman and Barry Forshaw, intro by film historian Stephen Jones, plus the previous commentary with film historian Steve Haberman and interview with Corman.
MOST WANTED (2020)
Josh Hartnett plays a Canadian journalist investigating the suspicious arrest of a young heroin addict imprisoned in Thailand and facing the death penalty for alleged drug trafficking. Based on a true story.
NEVER STEAL ANYTHING SMALL (1959)
James Cagney plays a longshoreman who tries to steal his lawyer’s wife (Shirley Jones) in this “rapid-fire, song-filled spoof of union politics.” With commentaries by film historians Daniel Kremer and Lee Gambin.
THE OTHER LAMB (2019)
A teenager (Raffey Cassidy, The Killing of a Sacred Deer) raised in a remote forest commune begins to question the teachings of the male “Shepherd” (Michiel Huisman, The Haunting of Hill House) of her otherwise all-female cult. (We previously got this on DVD and have now added a blu-ray.)
P.O.W. THE ESCAPE (1986)
From the people who saw Rambo: First Blood Part II (specifically, Missing in Action producer Gideon Amir) comes this story of David Carradine as a one-man-army going behind enemy lines to rescue P.O.W.s in Vietnam, co-starring Mako (Conan the Barbarian) and Steve James (American Ninja). With new HD transfer, interviews with Amir, screenwriter James Bruner and stuntman Steve Lambert.
PERFECT NANNY (2019)
This is a psychological thriller, so you will not be surprised to find that the titular nanny is in fact far from perfect. It’s a French film based on a French novel, itself inspired by a true crime that happened in Manhattan in 2012.
THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM (1961) / THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES (1971)
Two Vincent Price classics from two distinct decades. First he plays a Spanish Inquisitor, then a colorful musicologist who commands an animatronic band and uses biblical plagues to avenge the surgeons who failed to save his wife.
This reissue from Scream Factory’s new Vincent Price Collection box set includes new commentaries with film historians Steve Haberman and Constantine Nasr, plus previous commentaries with directors Roger Corman and Robert Fuest, as well as author Justin Humphreys.
PSYCHOMAGIC: A HEALING ART (2019)
El Topo director Alejandro Jodorowsky’s latest is a documentary about his unusual theory of trauma therapy. “In the film, Jodorowsky works directly with real, suffering people who are eager to solve their problems through the use of this radical and transformative mode of therapy.” From the box set Alejandro Jodorowsky: 4K Restoration Collection, which presents these previously out-of-print films in new 4K restorations from the original 35 mm elements, with new color corrections supervised by Jodorowsky.
THE PUBLIC EYE (1992)
In that glorious post-Goodfellas period when Joe Pesci could headline a movie, Howard Franklin (Quick Change) directed him as a freelance tabloid crime photographer who falls for a widowed night club owner (Barbara Hershey) in debt to the mob. Co-starring Stanley Tucci and Richard Schiff. With audio commentary by Franklin and film historian Daniel Kremer.
RICK AND MORTY: SEASON 4
Ten more episodes of the beloved Adult Swim cartoon created by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon.
(DVD and Blu-Ray)
SANCTUARY: SEASON 1
This SyFy show from the writers and producers of Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis is about a team who study and defend monsters because, as the tagline says, “Even Things That Go Bump in the Night Need Protection.” With commentaries, making-of featurettes, webisodes, bloopers, etc.
THE SONS OF KATIE ELDER (1965)
Henry Hathaway (True Grit) directed this western about four brothers (John Wayne, Dean Martin, Earl Holliman and Michael Anderson Jr.) who return to Texas for their mother’s funeral, only to discover that their father gambled away the family ranch and was murdered. So they decide to get revenge and their ranch back.
TEN LITTLE INDIANS (1989)
This ‘80s take on the Agatha Christie classic includes Donald Pleasence, Brenda Vaccaro, Herbert Lom and, uh, Frank Stallone in its cast of ten strangers summoned to an African safari only to be picked off one by one by their mysterious host.
3:15: THE MOMENT OF TRUTH (1986)
Another VHS-only hold out finally makes it to disc (specifically blu-ray). Adam Baldwin (Firefly), shortly before Full Metal Jacket, plays a teen who quit the Cobras, a violent gang that rule the school, and now has to fight them after class. Also starring Rene Auberjonois, Ed Lauter, Wayne Crawford, Deborah Foreman and Mario Van Peebles, with appearances by Dean Devlin, John Doe, Gina Gershon, Rusty Cundieff and Wings Hauser. This Scorpion Releasing edition has a new HD master and interview with actor Danny De La Paz.
THE TICK (2016): COMPLETE SERIES
Both seasons of the short-lived cult series updating the beloved comic book and cartoon super hero parody for the post-Christopher-Nolan era. Starring Peter Serafinowicz (Shaun of the Dead) as The Tick, Griffin Newman (Vinyl) as Arthur and Jackie Earle Haley (The Bad News Bears) as The Terror.
EL TOPO (1970)(SPECIAL EDITION)
The first ever “midnight movie” combines a violent western with surrealism as the titular black-clad gunslinger (played by director Alejandro Jodorowsky) travels the desert in a spiral to kill four masters, along the way physically and spiritually transforming into a saint. Includes new and archival interviews with Jodorowsky and new extensive interview with his son/co-star Brontis. From the box set Alejandro Jodorowsky: 4K Restoration Collection, which presents these previously out-of-print films in new 4K restorations from the original 35 mm elements, with new color corrections supervised by Jodorowsky.
THE TWO JAKES (1990)
Sixteen years after Chinatown, Jack Nicholson returned to the role of private eye Jake Gittes in a film he also directed. Harvey Keitel plays the other Jake, a real estate developer who gets him to help confront his allegedly cheating wife (Meg Tilly), and pulls him into a whole lot of trouble. At the time, much of the press focused on the long and troubled development of the film, but Roger Ebert described it as “an exquisite short story about a mood, and a time, and a couple of guys who are blind-sided by love… written with meticulous care, to show how good and evil are never as simple as they seem, and to demonstrate that even the motives of a villain may emerge from a goodness of heart… It’s a deep movie, and a thoughtful one, and when it’s over you can’t easily put it out of your mind.”
VAMPIRE IN BROOKLYN (1995)
Eddie Murphy loved horror movies and wanted to star in one. Wes Craven was sick of making horror movies and wanted to do a comedy. The odd results were not well received at the time, but are at least a little more interesting than given credit for. Murphy gives a good performance as the suave African vampire Maximillian (who also morphs into a few more comical alter egos), Kadeem Hardison plays a victim who becomes his rotting henchman, and any movie with Angela Bassett as the protagonist can’t be without merit.
THE WIND RISES (2013)
Hayao Miyazaki is easily one of the most rented directors in Scarecrow history. My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Princess Miyazaki and others have been top sellers and renters from the day they were released, without wavering. His most recent feature The Wind Rises is a little different. A biography of Jiro Horikoshi, designer of fighter planes used in World War II, it lacks the fantastical worlds and creatures of Miyazaki’s other films, but shares their gentle humanity and almost religious awe for the act of flight. It’s a love story, and also the story of a passionate artist who has to make deals and compromises to get funding for his creations. Shout Factory’s edition includes the storyboards for the entire film and a few featurettes. You can watch it in the original Japanese (starring the voice of Evangelion and Shin Godzilla director Hideaki Anno) or English (with Werner Herzog in a supporting role!).
(DVD and Blu-Ray)
WITCHFINDER GENERAL (1968)
The fictionalized biography of sadistic, self-appointed 17th century witch hunter Matthew Hopkins is cited by many as Vincent Price’s darkest and scariest role. This disc from Scream Factory’s reissued Vincent Price Collection box set includes commentary by producer Philip Waddilove and actor Ian Ogilvy, interviews with Vincent and Victoria Price, a featurette about the movie, and more.
by Bryan Theiss
In this week’s new arrivals we have two surreal Ethiopian sci-fi freakouts, two movies about standup comics and murder sprees, two Telly Savalas vehicles, two Bob Hope/Paulette Goddard haunted house comedies, two movies starring and directed by Ray Milland, three Cary Grant movies, but only one violent home invasion thriller about a little girl fighting off neo-Nazi Kevin James. Also look out for a French mini-series about gay rights, some British shows, Claire Denis from Criterion, Howie Mandel as a funny monster, Jeremy Renner as a real life monster, David Cronenberg’s first feature, a new one from Abel Ferrara, and much more.