The latest from Jesse V. Johnson and Scott Adkins, Luis Buñuel’s surrealism, Doris Day’s first film, original Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling in a slasher, and more!
12 HOUR SHIFT (2020)
In this comedy-horror from writer/director Brea Grant, a nurse with a drug addiction finances her habit by selling organs of deceased patients on the black market. Her operation hits a snag and the scramble to get things back on track is a very messy one.
(DVD and Blu-ray)
ACTION OF THE TIGER (1957) (WARNER ARCHIVE)
“Action! Action! Action!” An American contraband runner helps a French woman rescue her brother from political imprisonment in Albania. Sean Connery has a supporting role, and he worked with director Terence Young again for 1962’s game-changing first Bond movie, Dr. No (they also did Thunderball and From Russia with Love together in the following few years).
ASSHOLES: A THEORY (2019)
A documentary inspired by the bestselling book asks the question: “What does it mean to be an asshole, and more importantly, how do we stop their proliferation?”
Decades after her death, a man still grieves the loss of his 4-year-old sister, Ayla. After so many years of pain, he gets the opportunity to be with her again, but the circumstances of their reunion are mysterious and dark. Andrew Pollard of Starburst Magazine says: “Ayla is an elegant, thoughtfully shot picture that is held together by some stunning performances and a script which is clever and well constructed throughout. In terms of tone, there’s feelings of a classic ghost story of yesteryear mixed with almost a childish optimism brought about by simply wanting something to be so true. Make no mistake though, this is a film about grief and what it can push us to do and to believe.” Thanks to long-time Scarecrow customer John Portanova, who is one of the producers on the film, for the donation!
BACK TO THE FUTURE: THE ULTIMATE TRILOGY
Travel through time all over again with Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) in this classic trilogy that’s looking and sounding extra nice in 4KUltra HD and Blu-ray (all three titles will be available for rent individually). Packed with over an hour of new bonus features: a tour of the props and memorabilia, a behind the scenes look at Back to the Future: the Musical, rare audition footage, and more!
(4K UltraHD and Blu-ray)
BEACH RED (1967)
U.S. marines try to take a Japanese island during WWII, and the horrors of war torment all involved. Directed by and starring Cornel Wilde, this often-overlooked film is widely considered a firm critique of the hell that is war.
BLIND RAGE (1978)
Previously only available on VHS, Efren C. Piñon’s martial arts heist movie involves five blind friends who plan to rob a bank. Stars Fred Williamson, Tony Ferrer, and Leo Fong.
CANNERY ROW (1982) (WARNER ARCHIVE)
Based on John Steinbeck’s novels Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday, this off-beat romantic comedy follows a marine biologist (Nick Nolte) working in a run-down portion of Monterey, California. He meets a headstrong woman he’s interested in (Debra Winger), but the two are clearly mismatched. Directed by David S. Ward.
CLARA’S HEART (1988) (WARNER ARCHIVE)
A housekeeper (Whoopi Goldberg) is brought to Baltimore from Jamaica by a rich couple to work in their home. While there, she develops a friendship with the couple’s precocious teenage son. Directed by Robert Mulligan, who did To Kill A Mockingbird 26 years prior.
DEBT COLLECTORS (2020)
A martial-arts-filled action ride about a pair of guys – played by Scott Adkins and Louis Mandylor – who get involved in dangerous situations while chasing down people who owe their lone shark boss money. Debt Collectors is director Jesse V. Johnson and actor Scott Adkins’ follow-up to their 2018 romp The Debt Collector, both of which are loved by many on the Scarecrow staff. Adkins and Johnson both display mastery of their physical and artistic crafts in their collaborations (they’ve come out with several in just the past few years), and their work has garnered well-deserved fans. Cian Tsang puts it this way in an essay for Flip Screen: “very few filmmakers in the West can claim to be doing what these brawny Brits are doing, with the same levels of diligence and passion.”
DISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURGEOISIE (1972) (CRITERION)
A brilliantly absurd, Oscar-winning satire from Luis Buñuel – the “father of Surrealism” – about a group of middle-class friends whose attempts to have a meal together are repeatedly thwarted by bizarre happenings.
ELIZABETH IS MISSING (2019)
Glenda Jackson returns to the screen for the first time since 1992 to play Maud, an elderly woman who struggles with dementia while she investigates the disappearance of her close friend. Adapted by Andrea Gibb from the mystery novel by Emma Healey. Intelligently helmed by Aisling Walsh, who previously directed the celebrated Maudie (2016).
After returning to her hometown with the goal of killing her abusive father, a young woman (Bella Thorne) finds that someone has beat her to it. In her search for answers, many of which turn out to be quite disturbing, she draws the dangerous attention of a no-good sheriff (Mickey Rourke). Bad Feeling Magazine says: “Shot in Northern Ontario, Faust creates the perfect middle-of-nowhere setting for this involving thriller. With great performances from the film’s cleverly cast leads, a dose of intense violence, and enough emotional heft to balance all the plot twists, Girl is well worth seeking out.”
GREAT DAY IN THE MORNING (1956) (WARNER ARCHIVE)
Set in Colorado at the beginning of the Civil War, a drifter aiming to acquire gold finds himself caught between two women vying for his affections. Directed by Jacques Tourneur, who did the classic noir Out of the Past a decade before.
INNER SANCTUM MYSTERIES (6 FILMS) (1945) (2 DISKS)
“Death, dementia, dark arts … it’s just another day in the forbidding and fascinating world of the Inner Sanctum!” Based on the popular radio shows of the 1940s, these six feature-length films starring Lon Cheney will appeal to those in search of classic horror and mystery:
Calling Dr. Death (1943)
Weird Woman (1944)
Dead Man’s Eyes (1944)
The Frozen Ghost (1945)
Strange Confession (1945)
Pillow of Death (1945)
They’re all on Blu-ray for the first time ever, and some of the “tantalizing new bonus features” include commentaries, documentaries, and interviews!
JIMI HENDRIX: LIVE IN MAUI (MUSIC, MONEY, MADNESS) (2020)
This new Blu-ray collection couples the feature-length documentary Music, Money, Madness . . . Jimi Hendrix In Maui with the accompanying live performances captured on July 30, 1970 on both audio and video and incorporates never-before-released original footage and interviews.
THE KEEPER (2018)
Based on the true story of Bert Trautmann, a German PoW who played professional football in England after WWII. Dubbed “a muscular and sympathetic story” by The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw.
L.A. BOUNTY (1989)
Worth Keeter directed this action thriller about an ex-cop-turned-bounty hunter (Sybil Danning) who’s out for revenge against a crime lord (Wings Hauser). Now on Blu-ray, it was previously only available on VHS.
THE LAST LAUGH (2020)
In this bloody horror from director Jeremy Berg, a stand-up comedian is on the verge of exciting breakout success, but there’s a problem: the theater he’s performing at has a murderer running around. Kyle Bain writes for Film Threat: “Berg hits the nail on the head and brings his vision of dark, cringe-worthy comedy to life.” Another generous donation from customer John Portanova, who was also a producer on this one.
LOVE AND MONSTERS (2020)
“After monsters take over the world, Joel (Dylan Obrien, The Maze Runner) and the rest of humanity are forced to live underground. Believing he has lost everyone he has ever loved, Joel finds his high school sweetheart Aimee (Jessica Henwick, Game of Thrones) living just 80 miles away. Facing unknown dangers that stand in his way, Joel must discover his inner hero as he makes the impossible journey across a monster-infested land to be with the girl of his dreams. Also starring Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy) and Ariana Greenblatt (Avengers: Infinity War).” This one might be a little late coming into the store, but it’s on its way!
(DVD and Blu-ray)
MARIO RUSPOLI: PRINCE OF THE WHALES (+ COLLECTED SHORTS) (2011)
Florence Dauman’s feature documentary on Mario Ruspoli, a multi-talented artist and adventurer. This release includes Ruspoli’s short films, which were restored in 2K by Cineteca di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata in collaboration with Argos Films.
MASSACRE AT CENTRAL HIGH (1976)
David is a new student at Central High who is being bullied by the “in crowd.” In response, he plots extreme revenge. First U.S. DVD/Blu-ray release ever.
(DVD and Blu-ray)
MRS. MCCUTCHEON (2017)
A 17-minute short film by John Sheedy that follows a 10-year-old who doesn’t conform to gender performance norms and chooses to go by the name Mrs. McCutcheon. Having trouble fitting in at a new school and with the dance fast approaching, Mrs. McCutcheon embarks on a courageous journey of self-discovery. This disc includes two bonus LGBTQ+ short films: Bathroom Rules (2018, Kat Hidalgo) and Stronger Together (2017, Stacey Maltin).
THE MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM (1933) (WARNER ARCHIVE)
Following a trail of disappearing people and corpses, a reporter discovers the curator of a wax museum who takes his craft to dark places. Directed by Michael Curtiz, who went on to direct the 1942 classic Casablanca.
THE PHANTOM OF LIBERTY (1974) (CRITERION)
Another directed by Luis Buñuel. Of the non-linear film that critiques society’s notions of morality, Time Out says: “As a good Surrealist who aimed to disturb rather than to please, Buñuel must have felt that the Oscar which crowned the worldwide success of The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie was the last straw. At any rate, he made sure that this isn’t such an easy pill to digest, though its delightful humour goes down just as easily… the film busily explores the process whereby the human mind, burying itself ostrich-like in convention, invariably fails to recognise the true nature of freedom and sexuality.”
RACHEL AND THE STRANGER (1948) (WARNER ARCHIVE)
A frontier widower (William Holden) marries a woman (Loretta Young) and then treats her more like a servant than a wife on his farm. When the widower’s old friend (Robert Mitchum) comes by, he shows an interest in her, leading to conflict between the two men. Mitchum showcases his musical talent (for real, he actually had it), which he later uses for spine-tingling purposes in 1955’s excellent The Night of the Hunter.
ROMANCE ON THE HIGH SEAS (1948) (WARNER ARCHIVE)
A “naughty nautical musical joy-ride… with a boatload of sparkling shipmates!” Spouses suspect each other of cheating, and in their quest to get to the bottom of things, an elaborate web of romantic misunderstandings is woven on a cruise ship. Features the charming Doris Day in her first film role!
ROUGH NIGHT IN JERICHO (1967)
Dean Martin steps outside his usual casting to play the bad guy: a rotten lawman who has seized power of a small town and runs it ruthlessly. George Peppard and Jean Simmons team up to stop him.
THE SECRET WAR OF HARRY FRIGG (1967)
“He’s a one-man army who stops at nothing!” Paul Newman slips perfectly into this role as a wise-guy private who the U.S. army sends on a mission to free a handful of generals during WWII.
SELENA (1997) (WARNER ARCHIVE)
Jennifer Lopez stars in this biopic about Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, the inspiring Texas-born Tejano singer whose legacy still shines strong today.
SLASHDANCE (1989) (30th ANNIVERSARY EDITION)
“Save the last dance… for hell!” This is the first official DVD release of James Shyman’s whacky slasher about a cop (Cindy Ferda) who goes undercover at an old theater to get to the bottom of why women are going missing after auditioning for shows. Fun fact: Cindy Ferda (then Cindy Maranne) is Americana from the original Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, and Matilda the Hun/Queen Kong (Dee Booher) is featured too. At one point in Slashdance, a couple tough guys (one of whom weirdly removes his eyebrows) attack Cindy’s character, and she takes them out in GLOW style – one of them ends up on the ground and the other in the dumpster.
SUNRISE AT CAMPOBELLO (1960) (WARNER ARCHIVE)
A drama about Franklin D. Roosevelt’s battle to save his political career after a bout with polio. Starring Ralph Bellamy and Greer Garson.
TEXAS ACROSS THE RIVER (1966)
Another western in the wide-ranging solo career of Dean Martin. This time he plays a gunrunner with a sidekick. Directed by Michael Gordon, who is best known for directing Rock Hudson and Doris Day in Pillow Talk (1959).
THAT OBSCURE OBJECT OF DESIRE (1977) (CRITERION)
Luis Buñuel’s final film dives into the sensual memories of a middle-aged man who fell passionately for a much younger woman. Roger Ebert said of the film: “Bunuel, of course, is exercising his own dry and totally original wit. His film is filled with small, droll touches, with tiny peculiarities of behavior, with moral anarchy, with a cynicism about human nature that somehow seems, in his hands, almost cheerful.”
TINTORERA: TIGER SHARK (1977)
“They are young, they are free, the night is theirs, the sea is filled with promise… but… they are not alone.” On the east coast of Mexico, lots of partying accompanies a hunt for a tiger shark that’s been attacking people and “churning up the sea.” Features audio commentary from film historians Troy Howarth and Rod Barnett.
TRUE JUSTICE: BRYAN STEVENSON’S FIGHT FOR EQUALITY (2019)
An intimate documentary about Bryan Stevenson, the remarkable Alabama attorney and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative who seeks to eradicate racial discrimination in the criminal justice system. Stevenson’s bestselling book he wrote about his work, Just Mercy, was the inspiration for the 2019 drama of the same title, which stars Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx.