New Releases for October 5!

by Malakie Peters

New Release Tuesday! This week we’ve got HALLOWEENs in 4K, a heapin’ helpin’ of Don Knotts, tons of vintage horror, cartoon zombies, and more!

ALONE IN THE DARK (1982) (BLU-RAY)

Homicidal maniacs escape during a blackout, do some looting, terrorize a hated psychologist, and visit a punk-rock club.

BLITHE SPIRIT (2020) (DVD)

Best-selling crime novelist Charles (Dan Stevens) suffers from terrible writer’s block and is struggling to finish his first screenplay. His picture-perfect new wife Ruth (Isla Fisher) is doing her best to keep him focused. Charles’ quest for inspiration leads him to invite the eccentric mystic Madame Acarti (Judi Dench) to perform a seance in his home. He gets more than he bargained for when Madame Acarti inadvertently summons the spirit of his first wife: the brilliant and fiery Elvira (Leslie Mann). Ready to pick up her life right where she left off, Elvira is shocked to discover the prim and proper Ruth is now married to her husband and running her household. Charles finds himself stuck between his two wives and their increasingly over-the-top attempts to outdo one another in this lethally hilarious comedy.

CHARIOTS OF THE GODS (1972) (DVD)

“Fifty million stars in our galaxy have the potential of supporting life forms capable of traveling to other planets,” says world-renowned authority Erich von Daniken, whose film version of his best-selling book, Chariots of the Gods, gives stunning visual proof that some form of life from outer space landed on Earth centuries ago. In search of basic truths, the film takes the viewer into the far reaches of underground caves and tombs, and to the tops of desolate mountains on every major continent to show the evidence von Daniken has been collecting. Bonus full-length documentary, Mysteries of the Gods, continues von Daniken’s travels to every corner of the Earth bringing fresh and shocking proof that extraterrestrial life exists and has been here before. New 2K restoration from the original 35mm negative!

COMMANDO NINJA (2018) (BLU-RAY)

1986: John Hunter is a Vietnam veteran, half commando, half ninja, 100% American. He is forced back into action when his young daughter is kidnapped by a secret ninja organization, led by a Central American dictator who wants to create a new world order through time. Unfortunately for them, she is the only thing he would kill again for. Hunter will have to fight his way through an army of ninjas, punks, dinosaurs, mutants, and a fully equipped private army. With the help of his old friend Hopkins, Hunter will have to combine the arts of ninjutsu and guerilla warfare to become the ultimate soldier and rescue his daughter.

A DAY OF JUDGMENT (1981) (DVD)

In a 1930s small town rife with lust, corruption, and sin, a mysterious figure wielding a scythe arrives to cut an unholy swath of murder, madness and moralizing that may lead straight to Hell. William T. Hicks, Brownlee Davis, Jerry Rushing, and Harris Bloodworth star in this “early ’80s oddity worth seeing as something very different” (The Slasher Report) produced by Earl Owensby and Worth Keeter, now scanned in 2K from the IP for the first time ever.

DON KNOTTS 5-MOVIE COLLECTION (1966/1967/1968/1969/1971) (BLU-RAY)

Get ready for big laughs with one of the most popular and beloved funnymen of all time in the Don Knotts Comedy Collection. After catapulting to national fame as the often impossible but ever lovable Deputy Barney Fife on TV’s The Andy Griffith Show and before winning audiences over as wacky landlord Ralph Furley on Three’s Company, Knotts conquered the silver screen in a series of unforgettable feature films. Showcasing his incredible comic timing and physical humor, he finds himself in one outrageous situation after another in The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, The Reluctant Astronaut, The Shakiest Gun in the West, The Love God? and How to Frame a Figg.

DOWNSTREAM TO KINSHASA (2020) (DVD)

Over six bloody days in June 2000, the Congolese city of Kisangani was the scene of deadly violence between the Ugandan and Rwandan armies. More than 10,000 shells exploded, killing thousands and injuring thousands more. Since then, victims of the Six-Day War have fought for recognition and compensation. Uganda has been found guilty of war crimes by the International Court of Justice, but the victims remain uncompensated decades later. Now, they decide to take matters into their own hands. In the first Congolese film to be an official selection at the Cannes Film Festival, acclaimed director Dieudo Hamadi (Mama Colonel) captures their long journey down the Congo River to voice their claims in the capital city of Kinshasa, seeking justice at last.

ESCAPE ROOM: TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS (2021) (BLU-RAY) (DVD)

In this sequel to the 2019 thriller, six people unwillingly find themselves locked in another series of escape rooms, slowly uncovering what they have in common to survive. Joining forces with two of the original survivors, they soon discover they’ve all played the game before.

FANTASM / FANTASM COMES AGAIN (1976/1977) (BLU-RAY)

In Fantasm, a European ‘doctor’ introduces a series of bawdy vignettes covering a range of shocking and deviate behaviors. Directed by future Hollywood filmmaker Richard Franklin (Psycho II, Cloak & Dagger), Fantasm is a funny and stylish sex film that, while technically softcore, does everything in its power to push those limits as far as they can go and sometimes beyond. Featuring Rene Bond, John Holmes, Uschi Digard, and many more!

In Fantasm Comes Again, two editors for a sexual advice column read through countless letters from readers which outline their most perverse and outrageous sexual encounters, ranging from an unexpected threesome in a stalled elevator, a shocking after hours orgy, and so much more. The directorial debut of Colin Eggleston (Long Weekend), Fantasm Comes Again ups the raunch-filled ante of its predecessor and stars: Serena, Bill Margold, Cheryl ‘Rainbeaux’ Smith, Candy Samples, and dozens more!

FRIED BARRY (2020) (DVD)

Barry is a drug-addled, abusive bastard who, after yet another bender, is abducted by aliens. Barry takes a backseat as an alien visitor assumes control of his body and takes it for a joyride through Cape Town. What follows is an onslaught of drugs, sex and violence as our alien tourist enters the weird and wonderful world of humankind.

HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS (1988) (4K-UHD) (BLU-RAY)

The fourth installment in the Halloween franchise follows the unstoppable psychopath Michael Myers returning to his hometown on Halloween night once again, this time to kill his niece. Donald Pleasence also returns as Michael’s psychiatrist who is hellbent on stopping him.

HALLOWEEN (1978) (4K-UHD) (BLU-RAY)

An escaped killer stalks Jamie Lee Curtis and her cool friends on Halloween. I hate a guy with a car and no sense of humor.

HALLOWEEN II (1981) (4K-UHD) (BLU-RAY)

The old girl scout comes through again! He follows Jamie Lee Curtis to the hospital in this one because she’s too cool and resilient to be killed. Thankfully, he keeps his mask on the whole time, which we should all be doing while indoors, even if we’ve been vaccinated. 

HOW IT ENDS (2021) (DVD)

In this feel-good apocalyptic comedy, freewheeling Liza (Zoe Lister-Jones) scores an invite to one last wild party before the world ends. But making it there won’t be easy after her car is stolen, and the clock is ticking on her plan to tie up loose ends with friends and family. Accompanied by her younger self (Cailee Spaeny), Liza embarks on a hilarious journey across Los Angeles, running into an eclectic cast of characters.

THE INHERITANCE (2021) (DVD)

After nearly a decade exploring different facets of the African diaspora and his own place within it, Ephraim Asili makes his feature-length debut with The Inheritance, an astonishing ensemble work set almost entirely within a West Philadelphia house where a community of young Black artists and activists form a collective. A scripted drama of characters attempting to work towards political consensus based partly on Asili’s own experiences in a Black liberationist group weaves with a documentary recollection of the Philadelphia liberation group MOVE, the victim of a notorious police bombing in 1985. Ceaselessly finding commonalities between politics, humor, and philosophy with Black authors and radicals at its edges, The Inheritance is a remarkable film about the world as we know it.

LITTLE VAMPIRE (2020) (BD/DVD)

Little Vampire has been 10 years old for the last 300 years. Despite living in a haunted house with a merry group of monsters, he is bored to death. His dream? Going to school to meet other kids. Unfortunately, his parents won’t let him leave the mansion, because the outside world is way too dangerous! So Little Vampire secretly sneaks out on a quest for new friends. He meets a human boy, Michael, but their friendship will catch the attention of the terrifying Gibbus, an old enemy that has been chasing Little Vampire and his family for centuries.

MARTIAL ARTS DOUBLE FEATURE: DRAGON: THE BRUCE LEE STORY / UNLEASHED (1993/2005) (BLU-RAY)

DRAGON: THE BRUCE LEE STORY

Based on true events, Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story is the incredible journey of the life, love and unconquerable spirit of the martial arts legend. From a childhood of rigorous martial arts training, Lee realizes his dream of opening his own kung-fu school in America. Before long, he is discovered by a Hollywood producer and begins a meteoric rise to fame and an all too short reign as one of the most charismatic action heroes in motion picture history.

UNLEASHED

Martial arts superstar Jet Li delivers a break-out performance in the gripping, action-packed story about a man raised from childhood by a ruthless crime boss (Bob Hoskins) and becomes a violent killing machine. When a blind piano tuner (Morgan Freeman) takes him in, Danny (Li) tries to start a new life, but his brutal past follows him, forcing him to fight back. Featuring breath-taking fight choreography by Yuen Woo Ping (The Matrix).

MIDNIGHT (1982) (DVD)

Fleeing her pervy alcoholic stepfather, a hitchhiking teen is abducted by a family of crazed homicidal rednecks for an ordeal of graphic butchery, shag carpet, and devil worship. John Amplas co-stars in this “greasy, grimy guilty pleasure” (DVD Talk) featuring gore effects by Tom Savini and executive produced by Sam Sherman – now scanned in 4K from the negative of the long-rumored uncut version with all-new Special Features.

 

MRS. FISHER’S MODERN MURDER MYSTERIES: SERIES 2 (2021) (DVD)

Peregrine Fisher returns for a new set of mysteries to solve, including the death of an architect and his lover, the framing of a prized collie for the murder of a competitor at the Melbourne Kennel Club’s dog show, and the untimely demise of the band’s lead singer at Peregrine’s own New Year’s party. 

THE NEVERS: SEASON 1, PART 1 (2021) (BLU-RAY) (DVD)

An epic science fiction drama about a gang of Victorian women who find themselves with unusual abilities, relentless enemies, and a mission that might very well change the world.

NIGHT OF THE ANIMATED DEAD (2021) (DVD)

What begins as a simple visit to a grave site soon escalates into a night of sheer terror! In this dark, animated retelling of the 1968 cult classic Night of the Living Dead, bloodthirsty zombies suddenly begin amassing everywhere. As Barbara, Ben, and an odd group of strangers hide in a remote farmhouse, their struggle to ward off the flesh-eaters outside creates fierce tension inside. Containing terrifying new content not found in the original, Night of the Animated Dead will convince you to lock your doors.

NIGHT SHIFT (1982) (BLU-RAY)

Chuck (Henry Winkler) has given up life as a stockbroker because it was too stressful. Now, he works an easy gig as a night shift attendant at a New York City morgue. His co-worker, Bill Blazejowski (Michael Keaton), on the other hand, is always looking to make a quick buck. When Bill finds out that Chuck’s sex worker neighbor, Belinda (Shelley Long), needs a place to do her work, he convinces Chuck to turn the morgue into a brothel.

NOT GOING QUIETLY (2021) (DVD)

A rising star in progressive politics and a new father, 32-year-old Ady Barkan’s life is upended when he is diagnosed with ALS. But after a confrontation with powerful Senator Jeff Flake goes viral, catapulting him to national fame, Ady and a motley crew of activists ignite a once-in-a-generation political movement called “Be a Hero.” Together, they barnstorm across the country and empower people to confront their elected officials with emotional and personal stories to demand healthcare justice while Ady holds groundbreaking interviews with Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. As Ady rises to become Politico’s “Most Powerful Activist in America,” he discovers that collective action and speaking truth to power offers hope for his family and millions of others.

ONIBABA (1964) (BLU-RAY)

Deep in the windswept marshes of war-torn medieval Japan, an impoverished older woman and her daughter-in-law murder lost samurai and sell their belongings for the most meager of sustenance. When a bedraggled neighbor returns from battle, lust, jealousy, and rage threaten to destroy the trio’s tenuous existence, before an ominous, ill-gotten demon mask seals their horrifying fate. Driven by primal emotions, dark eroticism, a frenzied score by Hikaru Hayashi, and stunning images both lyrical and macabre, the chilling folktale Onibaba by Kaneto Shindo conjures a nightmarish vision of humankind’s deepest desires and impulses.

THE PAUL NEWMAN TRILOGY (1956) (DVD)

“Five In Judgment” has 2 hitch hiking college kids forced to seek shelter from a storm in a small town diner where they’re falsely accused of committing murder. The diner customers and owner terrorize the boys in the belief they committed the murder, only to discover the horrible truth. “The Rag Jungle” has Newman working for his father as a clothing manufacturer. They run up against racketeers demanding protection money, Newman refuses to pay and after his father is attacked, he organizes other manufacturers to stand up against the gangsters. “The Army Game” portrays Newman as a spoiled mama’s boy, a 9 letter man in college and a narcissist who doesn’t want to be in the Army. His efforts to get a discharge anger his friends and barrack mates and it’s not until he’s attacked in the barracks that he’s given his discharge.

PERFUME: THE STORY OF A MURDERER (2006) (BLU-RAY)

With his incredible talent for discerning scents, Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (Ben Whishaw) is one of 18th-century France’s finest perfumers. He becomes obsessed with capturing an elusive aroma: the scent of young womanhood. His search takes a deadly turn, and when the bodies of 12 young females are found, panic breaks out, with families rushing to lock up their daughters.

PLAYING FRISBEE IN NORTH KOREA (2020) (DVD)

The film follows director Savanna Washington’s journey inside North Korea, offering a first time glimpse into the everyday life of its people. Through interviews with North Korean defectors, long time aid workers, scholars, and experts on the topic, this documentary provides an authentic, inimitable perspective of the lives and struggles of a people in the face of extreme hardship and a glimpse of ordinary interactions between North Koreans. The film also shows how something as simple as a frisbee can break down barriers between people.

THE POWER AND THE GLORY (1961) (DVD)

In the 1930s, a cynical Catholic priest is sent to Mexico to preach in post-revolution Mexico, risking his life by continuing to conduct the Catholic Mass in secret after the totalitarian government has outlawed the Catholic Church. In order to confer the Christian sacraments, the priest must have wine but his attempts to obtain wine will call attention to his clandestine activities.

PSYCHO SISTERS (1994) (BLU-RAY)

[CONTENT WARNING: SA]

Sisters Jane and Jackie Sicole are driven far beyond the brink of madness after witnessing the brutal rape and murder of their younger sister Janice at the hands of a drunken gang of marauding college fraternity brothers. After undergoing extensive rehabilitation therapy, Jane and Jackie are released from the insane asylum, only to promptly embark on a relentless search for the men that callously executed their innocent sister. Obsessed with revenge and fueled by a hatred for men, the sisters kill virtually every man that crosses their path, brazenly collecting the severed genitals of their victims as morbid trophies. The bloody trail ends with a climactic confrontation between the crazed girls and the savage rapists. Will this be the end of the Psycho Sisters…or just the beginning?

SCREAM, PRETTY PEGGY (1973) (BLU-RAY) (DVD)

A sculptor hires a coed to tidy up the mansion he shares with his mother and shadow of a sister.

THE SCREAMING WOMAN (1972) (BLU-RAY) (DVD)

A rich old woman insists she has seen a woman buried alive on her estate.

SONGS MY BROTHERS TAUGHT ME (2015) (BLU-RAY)

Johnny and his sister Jashuan live with their single mother on a reservation. When their absentee father dies, Johnny feels compelled to strike out for a new life in LA, but fears leaving his sister behind.

SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY (2021) (BD/DVD)

Welcome to the Jam! When NBA champion and cultural icon LeBron James and his young son Dom are trapped in a digital space by a rogue A.I., LeBron must get them home safe by leading Bugs, Lola Bunny and the whole gang of notoriously undisciplined Looney Tunes to victory over the A.I.’s digitized champions on the court: a powered up roster of NBA and WNBA stars as you’ve never seen them before. It’s Tunes versus Goons in the highest stakes challenge of his life, that will redefine LeBron’s bond with his son and shine a light on the power of being yourself. The ready for action Tunes destroy convention, supercharge their unique talents, and surprise even King James by playing the game their own way.

SPRING BLOSSOM (2020) (DVD)

Suzanne is sixteen. She is bored with people her own age. From the outside, everything appears lovely in her charming world, but the everyday monotony of school and her relationships with friends and family feels completely uninspired. Every day on her way to high school, she passes a theater. There, she meets a 35-year-old actor named Raphaël. Despite their age difference, they find in each other an answer to their ennui and develop a strong connection. Immersed in the world of grown-ups and adult choices, Suzanne begins questioning the pitfalls of blossoming too quickly and missing out on life – the life of a 16-year-old, which she had struggled so much to enjoy in the same way as her peers. Spring Blossom is a refreshing tale of a young teen’s sense of curiosity and wonderment at first-love replete with freewheeling musical numbers that echo the song-and-dance routines of Jacques Demy’s beloved The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.

TERMINAL ISLAND (1973) (4K-UHD) (BLU-RAY)

Carmen Simms has just been sentenced to death; that is, life imprisonment on Terminal Island – an island located miles off the mainland of California, which was created to house murderers and vicious criminals in the wake of prison overcrowding. With no guards, no cells, and no laws, Terminal Island has morphed into a defacto society, whose self-appointed leader, the tyrannical Bobby, rules with an iron first, using other inmates – particularly women – for his own brutal pleasures. As tension and violence mounts, Carmen finds her place as the unlikely leader of the island’s underground resistance, which is planning to overthrow Bobby’s reign of terror. A cult movie masterpiece from acclaimed filmmaker Stephanie Rothman (The Velvet Vampire), Terminal Island wryly blends a violent action and survival film plot structure with commentary on the American justice system. 

TEX AVERY’S SCREWBALL CLASSICS VOLUME 3 (1957) (DVD)

There were several masters of animation during Hollywood’s golden era. Of the top two geniuses, one created elaborate fairy tales and ornate feature-length fantasias — the other guy was Tex Avery. He just wanted to make you laugh. After helping develop Porky Pig, Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny for Warner Bros., Avery moved to MGM in 1941 to create a set of comedy masterpieces that defined a new slapstick style for animation.

THE TIME MACHINE (2002) (BLU-RAY)

Scientist and inventor Alexander Hartdegen (Guy Pearce) is determined to prove that time travel is possible. His determination is turned to desperation by a personal tragedy that now drives him to want to change the past. Testing his theories with a time machine of his own invention, Hartdegen is hurtled 800,000 years into the future, where he discovers that mankind has divided into the hunter … and the hunted.

VICTIM (1972) (BLU-RAY) (DVD)

A rich woman goes to her sister’s house during a storm and is trapped inside with a killer.

WITCHING AND BITCHING (2013) (BLU-RAY)

When a bank heist in the city doesn’t all go according to plan, Jose and Tony find themselves in possession of some hostages and speed through the mountains of Spain, hoping to quietly slip over the border. Not wanting to give up his custody days to his ex-wife, Jose has also brought his son along, for both the robbery and the ride. Little do they know that this is only the beginning of their troubles. When they decide to make a stop in a small tavern in the Basque countryside, the group encounters a series of local wackos. Falling victim to a mysterious spell, they soon find themselves the honored guests of a fractured family of witches who are preparing for an ancient ritual. More colorful characters begin to enter the picture, including a pair of hapless cops hot on the trail, a defecting vixen witch and Jose’s controlling ex-wife, and the situation spirals further out of control, heading towards a jaw-dropping climax. 

 

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