by Ben Redder
It’s New Release Tuesday! This week we’ve got Black Widows, Boss Babies, Cold War Creatures, Video Nasties, Star Treks, Shawshank in 4K, and more!
ARABESQUE (1966, Blu-ray)
When a plot against a prominent Middle Eastern politician is uncovered, David Pollock, a professor of ancient hieroglyphics at Oxford University, is recruited to help expose the scheme. Pollock must find information believed to be in hieroglyphic code and must also contend with a mysterious man called Beshraavi. Meanwhile, Beshraavi’s beautiful lover, Yasmin Azir, seems willing to aid Pollock — but is she really on his side?
ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS (2002, Blu-ray)
Bounty hunter Bucum Jackson teams with the small-time con artist, Reggie Wright, that he is pursuing, in an attempt to locate a missing stash of diamonds and a lottery ticket worth millions of dollars. Bucum and Reggie find themselves in a race to the finish as they embark on an unlikely partnership that should — when all is said and done — prove beneficial to them both.
BAD TALES (2020, DVD)
Once upon a time, in a small family suburb on the outskirts of Rome, the cheerful heat of summer camouflages a stifling atmosphere of alienation. From a distance, the families seem normal, but it’s an illusion: in the houses, courtyards and gardens, silence shrouds the subtle sadism of the fathers, the passivity of the mothers and the guilty indifference of adults. But it’s the desperation and repressed rage of the children that will explode and cut through this grotesque façade, with devastating consequences for the entire community.
BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD (2007, Blu-ray)
Andy, a debt-ridden broker, needs some quick cash. He ropes his younger brother, Hank, into a scheme to commit the perfect crime: to rob their parents’ jewelry store. The scheme goes horribly awry, and the family patriarch takes justice into his own hands, unaware that the criminals he is hunting are his own sons.
BLACK WIDOW (2021, 4K UHD/Blu-ray/DVD)
Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must deal with her history as a spy, and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger.
BLUE PANTHER AKA MARIE-CHANTAL VS DR KHA (1965, Blu-ray)
On a train bound for Switzerland, a secret agent entrusts Marie-Chantal with a jewel in the shape of a panther with ruby eyes. Unbeknownst to her, this jewel contains a virus powerful enough to destroy all humankind. The fiendish Doctor Kha is just one among many spies from different nations trying to get their hands on the panther. But the cool-as-ice Marie-Chantal will evade all attacks by sheer female cunning, and shows panther-like qualities in dealing with her male—and female—foes.
BLUEBEARD AKA LANDRU (1963, Blu-ray)
Landru is a seemingly respectable Parisian who devises a sick and ingenious scheme to supplement his dwindling income during the First World War. First, he lures wealthy dowagers to his villa. Then, he cons them into forking over their fortunes. Finally, he kills them, chops them up and immolates the pieces.
BOSS BABY – FAMILY BUSINESS (2021, Blu-ray/DVD)
Now adults, Tim Templeton is a stay-at-home dad for two adorable daughters, while his estranged brother, Ted, is a big-shot CEO. They come together in an unexpected way when they take a magical formula that transforms them into babies for 48 hours. Joining forces with Tim’s secret-agent daughter, they must go under cover to prevent an evil genius from turning fellow toddlers into monstrous brats.
BYE BYE MORONS (2020, DVD)
A mother goes on a quest to find her son, who she was forced to abandon almost three decades ago. She enlists the help of a burned-out IT security specialist who is being pursued by the anti-terrorist police.
CAN YOU BRING IT – BILL T. JONES & D-MAN IN THE WATERS (2020, DVD)
A feature documentary that traces the history and legacy of one of the most important works of art to come out of the age of AIDS – Bill T. Jones’ tour de force ballet D-Man in the Waters. In 1989, D-Man in the Waters gave physical manifestation to the fear, anger, grief, and hope for salvation that the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company felt as they were embattled by the AIDS pandemic. As a group of young dancers reconstructs the dance in the present day, they learn about this oft forgotten history and deepen their understanding of the power of art in a time of plague.
CENSOR (2021, DVD)
Film censor Enid takes pride in her meticulous work, guarding unsuspecting audiences from the deleterious effects of watching the gore-filled decapitations and eye gougings she pores over. Her sense of duty to protect is amplified by guilt over her inability to recall details of the long-ago disappearance of her sister, recently declared dead in absentia. When Enid is assigned to review a disturbing film from the archive that echoes her hazy childhood memories, she begins to unravel how this eerie work might be tied to her past.
CIRCUS OF HORRORS (1960, Blu-ray)
When one of his operations results in disfigurement, plastic surgeon Dr. Schuler flees to France. After he successfully operates on young Nicole, her father, Vanet, lets him join the circus he owns. Vanet dies and Schuler takes over, expanding his roster of performers with female criminals he operates on. If the girls try to flee, Schuler arranges for their seemingly accidental deaths during performances, drawing large, morbid crowds.
COLD WAR CREATURES: FOUR FILMS FROM SAM KATZMAN (1955-57, Blu-ray)
Zombies! Werewolves! Atomic Mutation! Intergalactic Avians! Let this quartet of classic terrors take you back to the golden age of B-Movie Monsters! A mob boss hires an ex-Nazi scientist to reanimate his dead thugs in CREATURE WITH THE ATOM BRAIN. An auto-accident survivor is used as an experimental subject to create a vaccine for nuclear fall-out with hair-raising side-effects in THE WEREWOLF. Treasure hunters get more than they bargained for in the search for a cargo of diamonds that went down with a sunken ship when they discover the zombified crew members are guarding the loot in ZOMBIES OF MORA TAU. Meanwhile, an enormous bird from outer-space descends to chow down on the people of planet Earth in THE GIANT CLAW!
CRAZY FIST (2021, DVD)
After an opponent dies mid-match, a prominent MMA champion swore never to fight again and retired to run his family’s company. But when his best friend dies under suspicious circumstances, he has no choice but to step back in the ring.
DEVIL IN MADDALENA (1971, DVD)
Maddalena is a young sensual woman, with a tormented soul. Separated from her husband, who won’t grant her a divorce, she desperately seeks true and sincere love. During one of her erotic parties, she meets a young priest, who is dragged in front of her for a bet. Maddalena sees in the priest, doubtful about his ability to cope with his oath of celibacy, her own spiritual and physical salvation. She therefore decides to seduce him and become a constant presence in his life. Long sought by collectors, both for the presence of the disturbing Lisa Gastoni, an erotic icon of Italian auteur cinema, and for the beautiful score by maestro Ennio Morricone, considered one of his finest works.
DIVINE LOVE (2019, DVD)
It’s the year 2027 in this dystopian, fluorescent Sci Fi story of Joana, who uses her bureaucratic job to convince divorcing couples to stay together. Her secret weapon is Divine Love, an evangelical cult she belongs to that mixes in a little swinging and group fun into its more traditional prayers and services. Joana herself can’t seem to get pregnant by her own husband, but in an attempt to save her own marriage, she prays regularly at a very unusual religious drive-in, looking for a miracle to help her conceive.
DOWNFALL (2004, Blu-ray)
In 1942, young Traudl Junge lands her dream job — secretary to Adolf Hitler at the peak of his power. Three years later, Hitler’s empire is now his underground bunker. The real-life Traudl narrates Hitler’s final days as he rages against imagined betrayers and barks orders to phantom armies, while his mistress, Eva Braun, clucks over his emotional distance, and other infamous Nazis prepare for the end.
THE FLASH: THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON (2020, DVD)
Last season, Team Flash spent the last year dealing with not one, but two Cicadas, the return of Eobard Thawne, aka Reverse Flash, and the surprise arrival from the future of Barry and Iris’ daughter, Nora West-Allen, aka XS. The stakes were higher than ever during the season five finale, which culminated in Barry and Iris losing their daughter after only just getting to know her. How will they deal with saying goodbye to their speedster daughter, and what does Thawne’s escape mean for Team Flash? Find out in season six, as Team Flash contends with an all-new villain, Dr. Ramsey Rosso aka Bloodwork!
A FOOL (2014, DVD)
Based on Hu Xuewen’s novella “Running Moonlight”, this film is the story of a Chinese shepherd who tries to enlist help in getting his son released from prison, when suddenly a wandering stranger enters his life, diverting his focus and creating chaos with his plans.
FRENCH CONSPIRACY AKA L’ATTENTAT (1972, Blu-ray/DVD)
Sadiel, rebel leader in a North African state, takes refuge in Switzerland in the aftermath of a coup. Aware of the threat posed by Sadiel, the ruthless Colonel Kassar contacts the French security services to help in capturing the political activist. A police informer, Darien, is forced to lure Sadiel to Paris, allegedly to make a television coverage about the Third World. Arriving in Paris, Sadiel is captured and delivered to his opponents. Disgusted by the way he has been manipulated, Darien tries to turn back the clock, unknowing who he’s dealing with.
THE GREAT NORTHFIELD MINNESOTA RAID (1972, Blu-ray)
In 1877, Frank and Jesse James are expecting to receive amnesty from the state of Missouri for all their previous crimes. But the railroad owners whom the brothers have repeatedly robbed intervene, stopping the amnesty and sending the Pinkertons to kill the gang. Meanwhile, Frank and Jesse team up with Cole Younger and his gang, and plot to rob the biggest bank west of the Mississippi, located in Northfield, Minn.
KUFFS (1992, Blu-ray)
Down on his luck, George Kuffs is a broke young man with a pregnant girlfriend. Desperate for money, he travels to San Francisco to visit his older brother, Brad, to ask for a loan. Their reunion is short-lived, however, since Brad, who operates an auxiliary police unit, is murdered. Intent on bringing his sibling’s killer to justice and continuing his patrol, George uncovers a network of corruption and sets out to expose those involved.
MARE OF EASTTOWN (2021, DVD)
In a suburb of Philadelphia, police detective Mare Sheehan investigates the recent murder of a teenage mother while trying to keep her own life from falling apart. Mare is a local hero, having been the star of a high-school basketball championship game 25 years ago. She has also been unable to solve the case of another missing young girl for a year, leading many in the community to doubt her detective skills. Her personal troubles include a divorce, a son lost to suicide, and a custody battle with her ex-heroin addict former daughter-in-law over Mare’s grandson.
MASQUERADE (1965, Blu-ray/DVD)
The British government is in negotiations with the Middle Eastern oil-rich nation of Ramaut to allow in British drilling agencies, but Ramaut withdraws from the talks, leaving Britain desperate. British Col. Drexel is enlisted in a covert operation to kidnap the Ramaut prince, Jamil, in order to force an oil agreement between the countries. Drexel brings in American David Frazer to assist, but Frazer finds someone else has plans for Jamil.
MASTERPIECE MYSTERY – GUILT (2019, DVD)
A drunken drive home from a wedding lands two brothers in increasingly hot water, as they commit more and more serious crimes to hide their culpability in a hit-and-run. Mark Bonnar and Jamie Sives star as the brothers, with Ruth Bradley as the victim’s niece, who falls for her uncle’s killer.
MOLLY OF DENALI – MOLLY AND THE GREAT ONE (2020, DVD)
When 10-year-old Alaska Native Molly Mabray learns about Grandpa Nat’s dream to reach the top of Denali, North America’s highest mountain, she helps him and her father prepare for the expedition. Meanwhile, her friend Trini Mumford is busy getting ready for her mother’s first visit to Qyah.
MONA LISA (1986, Blu-ray/DVD)
The brilliant breakthrough film by writer-director Neil Jordan journeys into the dark heart of the London underworld to weave a gripping, noir-infused love story. Bob Hoskins received a multitude of honors—including an Oscar nomination—for his touchingly vulnerable, not-so-tough-guy portrayal of George, recently released from prison and hired by a sinister mob boss to chauffeur call girl Simone between high-paying clients. George’s fascination with the elegant, enigmatic Simone leads him on a dangerous quest through the city’s underbelly, where love is a weakness to be exploited and betrayed. Jordan’s colorful dialogue and eye for evocatively surreal details lend a dreamlike sheen to Mona Lisa, an unconventionally romantic tale of damaged people searching for tenderness in an unforgiving world.
OUT OF DEATH (2021, DVD)
A solo hiker accidentally catches a deputy mid-crime. What comes next is only the start of a terrifying fight to survive. An action thriller that pits an innocent hiker and the retired forest ranger who heard her cries for help against an armed force that is fully committed to taking whatever measures it must to bury incriminating evidence – and witnesses. Backwoods country creepy survival thriller meets dirty cop drama.
PROPHECY (1979, Blu-ray)
When a dispute occurs between a logging operation and a nearby Native American tribe, Dr. Robert Verne and his wife, Maggie, are sent in to mediate. Chief John Hawks insists the loggers are poisoning the water supply, and, though company man Isley denies it, the Vernes can’t ignore the strangely mutated wildlife roaming the woods. Robert captures a bear cub for testing and soon finds himself the target of an angry mutant grizzly.
QUIGLEY DOWN UNDER (1990, Blu-ray)
Matthew Quigley is an American rifleman who travels to the Australian outback to answer a help wanted ad calling for a sharpshooter. When Quigley meets his employer, Elliot Marston, he’s appalled to discover the job involves killing Aborigines. The two men fight, and when Quigley is knocked out, Marston leaves him and a local crazy woman to die in a remote part of the outback. They’re rescued, however, by Aborigines, and plot their revenge.
RIFIFI IN PARIS AKA DU RIFIFI A PANAME (1966, Blu-ray/DVD)
From acclaimed author Auguste Le Breton comes this stylish crime caper starring screen icon Jean Gabin. In Paris, a grizzled gold-smuggler is at war with other local gangsters who want a piece of the action. To make matters worse, he must match wits with a coin-tossing Mafioso and the U.S. Treasury Department. Denys de La Patellière directed this globetrotting Eurospy thriller chock-full of international stars.
SANTA FE TRAIL (1940, Blu-ray)
After graduating from West Point, Jeb Stuart and George Custer are both stationed to Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. Once there, they find that the violent abolitionist John Brown has laid waste to the state, killing anyone who gets in the way of his anti-slavery crusade. While the duo must work together to battle the murderous revolutionary, they also come to blows over their competing love for Kit Carson Holliday.
SECRETS OF SWEET SIXTEEN + WACKY TAXI (1972-73, Blu-ray)
The 11th installment of the Dark Force retro Drive-In series features two ’70s edgy comedies. The main feature the 1973 German SECRETS OF SWEET SIXTEEN was created from a new 4k master of the original uncut 35mm negative, rather than the usual 35mm print used for most of the drive-in releases. The result is a stunning HD image for this sleaze great with the most offensive collection of shocking skits ever. The raw comedy continues with the 2nd co-hit, the 1972 WACKY TAXI.
THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION (1994, 4K UHD/Blu-ray)
Andy Dufresne is sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison for the murders of his wife and her lover and is sentenced to a tough prison. However, only Andy knows he didn’t commit the crimes. While there, he forms a friendship with Red, experiences the brutality of prison life, adapts, helps the warden, etc., all in 19 years.
A SHOCK TO THE SYSTEM (1990, Blu-ray)
When experienced advertising executive Graham Marshall loses out on a promotion to a younger man, the situation inadvertently leads him to cause a subway accident in which a homeless man is killed. Discovering that there are no consequences to this incident, Marshall begins plotting revenge on anyone who has wronged him, and even his longtime wife, Leslie, isn’t safe. How far will Marshall travel down this path of vengeance?
SILO (2019, DVD)
Disaster strikes in a small American farm town when a teenage boy becomes the victim of a grain entrapment. As corn becomes quicksand inside of a 50-foot silo, the town locals must put aside their deeply rooted differences to save him from drowning in the grain they harvest.
THE SOUL OF MIDNIGHT SPECIAL (2020, DVD)
The ’70s was a special time for soul music, a decade filled with legendary artists like Al Green, Teddy Pendergrass, The O’Jays, Marvin Gaye, The Stylistics and so many more. Week after week, Burt Sugarman’s The Midnight Special featured soul artists performing their biggest hits live and uncut in the prime of their careers. Now, for the first time, the greatest soul performances from The Midnight Special are available in one collection, The Soul of Midnight Special. These soul performances showcase straight-from-the-heart soul singing—with live musicians in front of a live audience.
130 live uncut performances from 1973 – 1980 by soul artists including: Earth, Wind & Fire, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight and The Pips, Al Green, Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle, The O’Jays, Teddy Pendergrass, Spinners, The Stylistics, Bill Withers, and so many more.
STAR TREK ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE 4 MOVIE COLLECTION (1979-86, 4K UHD/Blu-ray)
The first four STAR TREK original motion picture adventures boldly voyage to 4K UHD in one collection. Starring the original series cast, including William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, and James Doohan, all four have been remastered in HDR for optimum picture quality from their original film elements. The human adventure is just the beginning when Captain James T. Kirk returns to the helm of a newly transformed U.S.S. Enterprise in STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE. In STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN, an adversary from Kirk’s past returns with a vengeance. The crew is forced to defy Starfleet regulations in STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK. And in STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME, an unforgettable time-travel adventure places Earth on the brink of disaster. Featuring hours of special features, this highly anticipated collection is an essential for original fans of the franchise, and beyond!
STRAIGHT OUTTA NOWHERE: SCOOBY-DOO MEETS COURAGE THE COWARDLY DOG (2021, DVD)
An original animated feature so exciting it’s scratching at the door! Comedy is unleashed when Scooby-Doo, your favorite mystery-solving mutt, teams up for the first time with Courage the Cowardly Dog. The canine colleagues sniff out a strange object in the middle of Nowhere, Kansas, the backwoods hometown of Courage and his owners, Eustace and Muriel Bagge. Soon, the mysterious discovery puts them on the trail of a giant cicada monster and her wacky winged warriors. Fred, Velma, Daphne and Shaggy know that this job is too big for a flyswatter. They’ll need the help of the doggy duo to piece together the puzzle. Can Scooby and Courage overcome their jitters and defeat the insect army before the whole world bugs out? Try not to get scared. We double-dog dare you!
TOURIST TRAP (1979, Blu-ray)
From producer Charles Band and director David Schmoeller (the team that brought you contemporary horror classics PUPPET MASTER and CRAWL SPACE) comes TOURIST TRAP, widely recognized as not only one of the scariest horror movies of the 1970s…but of all time. Legendary actor Chuck Connors stars as Mr. Slausen, a telekinetic psychopath who lures a group of young people to his ramshackle roadside attraction, unleashing an army of psychically controlled mannequins and other monstrosities upon the. As the terrified youths fight for their lives, secrets are revealed, and shock follows shock until the movie reaches its nightmarish, unforgettable finale. Get ready to enter Mr. Slausen’s house of horrors. You’ll never be the same again!
WHIRLYBIRD (2019, DVD)
Flying high above Los Angeles in a whirling news helicopter, a husband-and-wife team covered some of the city’s most historic events, and in doing so changed breaking news forever. However, their camera not only captured L.A. history, it documented the adrenaline fueled culture of live news, the strain it took on their relationship, and ultimately major life transitions. This duo, Marika Gerrard and Zoey Tur (known then as Bob), look back at the highs and lows of a career doing whatever it took to break the news. An entirely unique view of the Los Angeles story told through stunning aerial footage and remarkable home videos, Whirlybird reframes many of the city’s pivotal moments of the 1980s and 90s, including the L.A. riots and the O.J. Simpson pursuit.
WILDCATS (1986, Blu-ray)
Molly McGrath is following her dreams when she quits her cushy girls track coaching position at Prescott High to become the boys football coach at inner-city Central High. Even though she’s faced with both racial and gender prejudices, she whips the team into shape, so they can compete against Prescott High in the final. All the while, Molly is also dealing with her ex-husband, Frank Needham, who is trying to get custody of their two young daughters.
THE WITCHES (1966, Blu-ray)
What do the devil’s own do after dark? Haunted by the terrors of her experience with African witch doctors, school teacher Gwen Mayfield accepts an appointment as headmistress at the Haddaby School run by Alan Bax and his sister Stephanie. Gwen initially revels in the peacefulness she has found in the quiet English countryside but soon begins to sense “undercurrents.” Before long, a local boy falls into a coma and Gwen discovers a voodoo doll impaled by pins. The danger that follows brings her face to face with witchcraft as a series of disasters unfold and lead her to the horrible truth.
ZOLA (2021, Blu-ray/DVD)
Zola, a Detroit waitress, is seduced into a weekend of stripping in Florida for some quick cash — but the trip becomes a sleepless 48-hour odyssey involving a nefarious friend, her pimp and her idiot boyfriend. Based on a true story originally written as a series of tweets.