by Bryan Theiss
This week’s new arrivals include vikings, one-eyed alien starfish people, Scott Adkins and Ruby Rose beat ‘em ups, a bunch of Arrow special editions, a couple of Criterions, some Ulysses S. Grant, a box load of Jason Voorhees, and more.
ALICE SWEET ALICE (1976)
Arrow’s special edition of the proto-slasher/American Gallo featuring Brooke Shields and a mysterious killer in a yellow raincoat and creepy translucent mask.
ATTACK OF THE GIANT TEACHER (2020)
From the director of six Ultraman Ginga episodes comes a comedy about a night school teacher trying to put on a musical with his class of oddball students and challenge an alien invader to a fight.
BAD MOTHERS: SEASON 1 (2019)
Australian TV drama about “a group of misfit women who join forces to help each other juggle the challenges of work, romance, parenthood – and solving a murder.”
BREAKING BAD: EL CAMINO (2019)
The sequel/epilogue film to Breaking Bad centers around Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) escaping to Alaska. Writer/director Vince Gilligan shot it widescreen to emulate Sergio Leone. Includes “Super Commentary” featuring 46 members of the cast and crew, behind-the-scenes documentary, Snow Globe: A Breaking Bad Short, a Skinny Pete in the Box teaser, an On the Radio teaser, a Rocker Salvage commercial, a Vamonos Pest commercial, an “Enchanted” music video by Chloe x Halle, and visual effects design galleries.
(DVD and Blu-Ray)
Emma Simmonds of The List writes that, “The tragedy of female oppression and the thrill of sexual discovery merge in Emily Harris’s heady, streamlined take on Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s 1872 Gothic novella.” It’s reportedly a very beautiful movie, not about vampires, and leaning more on the romance than the gothic horror side of the story. Includes behind-the-scenes featturette and short film Three Towers directed by Jonathan Bentovim and Emily Harris.
CLAUDINE (1974) (CRITERION)
Oscar-nominated Diahann Carroll stars with James Earl Jones in a romantic comedy about a single mother of six in Harlem. Curtis Mayfield wrote and produced the soundtrack, with vocals by Gladys Knight & the Pips. Criterion’s edition includes a 2003 commentary with Carroll, Jones, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, filmmaker George Tillman Jr. and Dan Pine, son of the screenwriters; a new conversation on the film between filmmaker Robert Townsend and programmer Ashley Clark; and illustrated audio excerpts from a 1974 AFI Harold Lloyd Master Seminar featuring Carroll.
(DVD and Blu-Ray)
A world famous conductor (Peter Simonischek from Toni Erdmann) takes on the challenge of creating an Israeli-Palestinian youth orchestra and struggles to simmer the tensions between the two factions at least for the three weeks until the concert.
Now on DVD, Arrow’s special edition of William Friedkin’s controversial thriller about a detective (Al Pacino) going undercover in New York City’s gay S&M subculture to find a serial killer.
THE DEEPER YOU DIG (2019) (LIMITED EDITION)
The 14-year old daughter of a tarot card reader is killed by a neighbor. So she haunts the guy and tries to make sure her mom knows what happened. We got this on DVD recently, but now we’re adding Arrow’s limited edition blu-ray, which includes commentary by writers/directors/stars Toby Poser and John Adams, an interview with the husband-wife-and-daughter trio behind the movie, a visual essay about the family themes of the film, special effects breakdown and music video.
DELIRIOUS (2006) (DIRECTOR’S CUT)
Living in Oblivion director Tom DiCillo reunites with Steve Buscemi for a comedy about a paparazzi (Buscemi) who makes a homeless man (Michael Pitt) his assistant, then gets jealous when he starts dating a pop star (Alison Lohman) and becomes a reality TV star. Also starring Gina Gershon and Callie Thorne. Includes new director commentary and introduction, plus featurettes, promotional shorts and music video.
DOG DOC (2019)
Documentary about Dr. Marty Goldstein, a veterinarian whose groundbreaking holistic treatments have helped animals that other vets had given up on.
THE DOORMAN (2020)
Former Batwoman Ruby Rose stars as a combat veteran who uses her work skills to protect her friends from a gang of thieves. Co-starring Jean Reno, Rupert Evans and Louis Mandylor, and directed by Ryûhei Kitamura (Versus, Azumi, Godzilla: Final Wars, The Midnight Meat Train, No One Lives).
(DVD and Blu-Ray)
GRANT (2020) (COMPLETE MINISERIES)
Documentary mini-series examining the Civil War and Reconstruction through the perspective of Ulysses S. Grant. According to the Wall Street Journal’s John Anderson, it “follows the standard formula for historical specials: expert testimony, dramatic re-enactments, period photography, maps and montages. But it is all executed at a much higher level than viewers are used to.” The Daily Beast’s Nick Schager describes it as “an active attempt to rehabilitate the historical record, positing Confederate adversary Robert E. Lee as a symbol of the intolerant, aristocratic, treasonous old guard, and Grant as an emblem of a more open, just, unified modern America.”
HOUSE OF CARDIN (2019) (COLLECTOR’S EDITION)
Documentary chronicling the rise of French fashion designer Pierre Cardin from apprentice to king of a fashion empire. Includes “nearly 2 hours of bonus material including rarities from Cardin’s archives and extra interview footage.” Boyd van Hoeij of the Hollywood Reporter writes, “This is a deliciously entertaining and perceptive take on Cardin’s life and how he shaped both the silhouette of fashion and branding in the fashion world and beyond.”
IVANSXTC (2000) (2 VERSIONS)
Bernard Rose (Candyman, Immortal Beloved) loosely based this drug fueled Hollywood satire starring Danny Huston, Peter Weller and Lisa Enos on Leo Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich. Arrow’s special edition includes a producer’s extended cut, the director’s preferred version, and a 2018 Q&A with Rose, Enos, Huston and Weller.
LITTLE NOTHINGS (1992)
The debut film of director Cédric Klapisch (When the Cat’s Away, The Spanish Apartment, Russian Dolls) is a comedy-drama about a manager who has one year to turn around a failing 100-year-old department store. Never available on video in English speaking countries until now, this edition from Arrow Academy includes the 52-minute behind-the-scenes documentary Leçon de cinéma de Cédric Klapisch et Jackie Berroyer and 24-minute short Ce qui me meut [What Moves Me] (1986).
MALLRATS (1995) (LIMITED EDITION) (3 VERSIONS)
Arrow presents newly restored theatrical and extended cuts of Kevin Smith’s sophomore film, plus a newly assembled TV cut “featuring hilarious overdubbing to cover up profanity.” The new extras include “Hollywood of the North: A newly produced animated making-of documentary featuring Minnesota crew members who worked on the film,” and various interviews and intros, and there’s also a trove of archival features including commentary, 10th anniversary Q&A, deleted scenes, outtakes, still gallery, music video, etc.
MR. TOPAZE (1961)
In his only film as a director, Peter Sellers stars as a school teacher fired for refusing to give a passing grade to an undeserving rich kid. A crooked government official (Herbert Lom) tries to take advantage of his reputation for honesty by hiring him to front his shady financial operation. Based on the Marcel Pagnol play Topaze and sometimes known as I Like Money, this is the first time we’ve had it in a format that doesn’t require a special player.
Documentary style movie following a Navajo boy who’s taken to a white boarding school after the death of his family, then escapes and is pursued to ancient Navajo caves, filmed on location at Canyon de Chelly. This disc has a commentary track by Francis Kee Teller, who starred in the film at 7 years old, having never seen a movie in his life, and was so good in it he received a Golden Globe special award. Also included are a featurette on Teller’s 1952 publicity tour, a photo essay, the 1952 documentary Our Navajo Neighbors, and more.
NIGHT TERROR (1989)
Anthology horror film with three stories presented as the nightmares of a confused man in an asylum. Previously only on VHS.
PENNY DREADFUL: CITY OF ANGELS SEASON 1
Showtime’s dark fantasy spinoff series follows a group of characters caught up in a conflict between Mexican folklore deities during Hollywood’s Golden Age.
PIERROT LE FOU (1965) (CRITERION)
Criterion’s new edition of the John-Luc Godard anti consumerist satire features a new 2K digital restoration with archival extras from the 2007 edition including an interview with Anna Karina, video essay by Jean-Pierre Gorin, excerpts from 1965 interviews with Godard, Karina and Jean-Paul Belmondo, and the fifty-minute French documentary Godard, l’amour, la poésie.
(DVD and Blu-Ray)
A nature photographer (Annabelle Dexter-Jones) witnesses a crime while alone in the woods. The guilty party captures her, and she must use her survivalist skills to overcome them. Co-starring Bruce Dern and Robert Longstreet.
REQUIEM FOR A DREAM (2000) (DIRECTOR’S CUT)
Darren Aranofsky’s aggressively stylized tale of love and addiction on Coney Island celebrates its 20th anniversary with a 4K Ultra Hi Def release. Ellen Burstyn, who received a best actress nomination for her work, said “I don’t think I’ve ever been this challenged in a role – it was harder than The Exorcist.”
(4KUltraHD + standard Blu-Ray)
Martial arts sensation Scott Adkins reteams with his Undisputed/Ninja/Close Range director Isaac Florentine to play an ex-Special Forces guy taking on three crime syndicates to save his kidnapped son. Co-starring Mario Van Peebles.
STREAMLINERS COLLECTION V.5: PITTS & SUMMERVILLE PLUS OTHER RARITIES (1942)
Five more of producer Hal Roach’s mid-sized movies created to be longer than shorts but shorter than features (most of them run 43 minutes): Niagara Falls (1941), Miss Polly (1941), The Devil With Hitler (1942), Nazty Nuisance (1943) and The Fabulous Joe (1947).
SWORD OF GOD (2018)
Polish-language film about two shipwreck survivors in the Middle Ages attempting to convert a pagan tribe to Christianity, one through dialogue, the other through violence. Meagan Navarro of Bloody Disgusting compares it to Nicolas Winding Refn’s Valhalla Rising, writing that “Every frame, shot, and sequence are exquisitely constructed, and the cast delivers spellbinding performances. Though the horror is steeped in realism, this is a horror film through and through.”
VAN DER VALK: SEASON 1 (2020)
Three 90 minute episodes with Marc Warren portraying the Amsterdam detective from the novels of Nicolas Freeling, previously played by Barry Foster from the ‘70s through the ‘90s.
VIKINGS: SEASON 6 VOLUME 1
The final season of the History Channel epic is divided into two 10-episode volumes. “The season mainly focuses on King Bjorn’s reign over Kattegat, Ivar’s adventures in Rus’, and Ubbe’s expedition to Iceland.”
WARNING FROM SPACE (1956) (2 VERSIONS)
Japan’s first sci-fi film shot in color comes from the writer of Seven Samurai and the special effects team of Gamera, and is about one-eyed starfish creatures designed by avant-garde artist Taro Okamoto. This includes the original Japanese version as well as the first HD transfer of the American release, with newly restored English dub track.
WOOD, RONNIE: SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME (2019)
Mike Figgis (Leaving Las Vegas) directed this intimate documentary biography of the veteran musician best known as a Rolling Stone.
We also got in Scream Factory’s spectacular new Friday the 13th blu-ray box set. Each of the films (plus a set of two bonus discs) rent separately. Some (but not all) of the extras are as follows:
FRIDAY THE 13TH (1980)
Includes theatrical version and uncut version, trailers, radio spots, director/writer/cast/composer/editor commentary, reunion panel, featurettes, vintage Fangoria article.
FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2 (1981)
“NEW Slashed Scenes – The Long-awaited Uncut Gore Footage!” New Amy Steel commentary and interview, featurettes about Crystal Lake Memories book and horror conventions, vintage Fangoria article, TV and radio spots.
FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 3 (1982) (3DBLU)
Includes a 2D version as well as, for the first time ever, a 3D Blu-Ray for those equipped, both in new 4K scans. Also cast commentary, vintage Fangoria article, TV and radio spots.
FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 4: THE FINAL CHAPTER (1984)
Director/writer/editor commentary, fan commentary by Adam Green and Joe Lynch, deleted scenes with commentary, lost ending, “Jimmy’s Dead Dance Moves,” vintage Fangoria article, TV and radio spots.
FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 5: A NEW BEGINNING (1985)
New cast commentary, new fan commentary by Adam Green and Joe Lynch, archival director commentary, vintage Fangoria article, TV spots.
FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 6: JASON LIVES (1986)
New cast commentary, new fan commentary by Adam Green and Joe Lynch, two archival director commentaries (one with actor and editor), alternate ending storyboards, vintage Fangoria article, TV spots.
FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 7: THE NEW BLOOD (1988)
Two director/star commentaries, vintage Fangoria article, TV spot.
FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 8: JASON TAKES MANHATTAN (1989)
Director commentary, cast commentary, TV spot.
JASON GOES TO HELL: THE FINAL FRIDAY (1993)
Includes theatrical version and uncut version. New director introduction, TV spots, new director commentary, archival director/screenwriter commentary, new director and Kane Hodder interviews, additional TV footage with new optional director commentary.
JASON X (2002)
Director/screenwriter/producer commentary, new Kane Hodder introduction, new screenwriter commentary, new featurettes and interviews, electronic press it, TV spot.
FREDDY VS. JASON (2003)
Director/star commentary, 21 deleted and alternate scenes with optional commentary, Pre-fight press conference at Bally’s Casino in Las Vegas, numerous archival featurettes.
FRIDAY THE 13TH (2009)
Includes theatrical version and extended version. “Terror Trivia Track With Picture-In-Picture Comments From The Cast And Crew.”
FRIDAY THE 13TH: DELUXE COLLECTION BONUS MATERIAL
Two-discs of extras including new interview features with Sean S. Cunningham, Steve Miner, Harry Manfredini, Harry Crosby, Bill Randolph and Tom McLoughlin; revisiting the locations; and a look at Alice Cooper’s “The Man Behind the Mask” video featuring interviews with Cooper and director Jeffrey Abelson. Plus trailers, storyboards, TV spots, electronic press kits, newspaper ad gallery and archival features including The Friday the 13th Chronicles (8-parts), Secrets Galore Behind the Gore (3-parts) Crystal Lake Victims Tell All!, Tales From the Cutting Room Floor, Friday the 13th Artifacts and Collectibles, Jason Forever, Legacy of the Mask, Slasher Films: Going For the Jugular, Scream Queens: Horror Heroines Exposed, Slice and Dice: The Slasher Film Forever, and more!