It’s New Release Tuesday. Tons of new titles this week from Kino, AGFA, Vinegar Syndrome and more, featuring Buck Rogers, Bugs Bunny, the Barbarian Brothers, and most importantly the greatest killer Santa Claus movie ever made.
From Robert Aldrich, the outstanding director of Vera Cruz, Attack, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, The Dirty Dozen, The Killing of Sister George and Ulzana’s Raid, comes this action-packed western that pulsates with the power and passion of an Indian war drum. Apache explodes with spectacular battle sequences, breathtaking chases and unbridled suspense. After years of bloody fighting with settlers on the American frontier, Apache Chief Geronimo (Monte Blue, Key Largo) is forced to submit to a humiliating surrender. But his fiercest warrior, Massai (Burt Lancaster, The Train), refuses to accept defeat. With enormous strength and razor-sharp cunning, Massai battles the relentless U.S. Cavalry, struggling to stay one step ahead of the highly trained soldiers who have sworn to track him down. And as his crusade escalates into a final epic showdown, Massai knows that he must persevere, not only for his life, but also for the pride of his entire race. Beautifully shot by Ernest Laszlo (Judgment at Nuremberg) and co-starring Jean Peters (Viva Zapata!), John McIntire (Horizons West), Charles Bronson (The White Buffalo) and John Dehner (The Day of the Dolphin).
There’s dissension in the ranks during the Battle of the Bulge! From Robert Aldrich, the acclaimed director of Apache, Kiss Me Deadly, Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte, The Flight of the Phoenix, The Grissom Gang and The Longest Yard, comes this WWII classic starring Jack Palance (Ten Seconds to Hell), Lee Marvin (Prime Cut), Eddie Albert (The Gun Runners), Robert Strauss (Stalag 17), Richard Jaeckel (Ulzana’s Raid), Buddy Ebsen (Breakfast at Tiffany’s) and Peter van Eyck (Five Graves to Cairo). When Lieutenant Joe Costa (Palance) learns that his men died because their commander, Captain Cooney (Albert), was too much of a coward to join the fight, Costa issues a serious warning: Don’t let it happen again! But Cooney’s cowardice forces Costa into a fateful choice: continue to risk the lives of his men… or take the life of the captain. Beautifully shot by Joseph F. Biroc (The Towering Inferno), Attack is a tightly directed and gritty film that packs a wallop.
BARBARIANS, THE (1987)
An evil ruler Kadar (Richard Lynch; Invasion USA, Bad Dreams, Cut and Run) enslaves Canary, a beautiful young queen (Virginia Bryant; Demons 2), and two twin boys from her clan. Canary’s faithful servant takes one of the twins to a distant land where he grows strong and powerful, while the other twin stays with the evil Kadar. With the help of a young outlaw woman (Eva LaRue; All My Children), the twins set out to free their mother. Starring The Barbarian Brothers (Peter Paul and David Paul – D.C. Cab, Think Big, Double Trouble) and Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes, Cut and Run, Armed Response). Directed by cult filmmaker Ruggero Deodato (Cannibal Holocaust, Cut and Run). Now see this cult classic from a brand-new HD master!
BLOODY NOSE, EMPTY POCKETS
On the eve of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and on its final night before closing, a Las Vegas dive bar becomes a stage where its employees and barflies commiserate one last time. Filmmaking brothers Bill and Turner Ross train their keenly observed quasi-fiction on the lived-in atmosphere of a haunt, whose massed warmth and love conceal its patrons’ worries – at least for a little while. Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets is a carefully constructed yet oddly affecting record of an American sensibility at once straining to survive and ready for the end.
BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25TH CENTURY (1979)
BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25TH CENTURY: SEASON 1 & 2 (1979) (5 DISKS)
Blast off to the 25th century with Buck Rogers, one of the most popular sci-fi heroes of all time! When 20th-century astronaut William “Buck” Rogers (Gil Gerard) is awakened—500 years after a deep-space disaster—to an Earth in recovery from nuclear war, he must join Colonel Wilma Deering (Erin Gray) to lead the crew of the starship Searcher against a galaxy of evil from the past, present and faraway future. Co-starring Felix Silla, Tim O’Connor and the legendary voice of Mel Blanc as Twiki. This 9-disc set includes, the pilot episode, the theatrical feature and all 32 action-packed Season One and Season 2 episodes of the epic series.
BUGS BUNNY: 80TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION (1991) (3 DISKS)
Bugs Bunny first hopped onto the screen in 1940 and he’s been a pop-culture icon ever since. More than eight generations have enjoyed the timeless antics of the carrot-munching wise guy who always outsmarts his rivals. Cartoons, movies, TV, comics, music, sports and more – this wascally wabbit has done it all. Clever pranks and one-liners are here, along with interviews with today’s most renowned animators, historians and superstars. Enjoy the full range of his silly and smart-alecky personality with 60 theatrical shorts restored and remastered to their original 4×3 aspect ratio on Blu-ray for the first time. It’s just what the doctor – er, doc – ordered.
Reiss is the greatest champion to ever fight in a LEGENDS cage. But when promoter Max Black pits him against wrestling superstar Randy Stone, Reiss finds himself in the toughest fight of his life.
CEMETERY OF TERROR (1985)
It’s Halloween night and a group of bored teenagers decide to pull a ghastly prank (as a means of getting lucky): stealing a corpse from the local morgue and taking it to a nearby cemetery where they perform a Satanic ritual in an attempt to bring it back to life. Unfortunately, they happen to choose the body of a savage serial killer who has just been shot dead by police, ending a recent spate of satanically influenced murders. Unwittingly reviving the bloodthirsty sadist to the realm of the undead, the group of fun-seeking youngsters risk becoming dinner for the devil worshipping zombie, with only occult expert, Dr. Carden (legendary Mexican character actor Hugo Stiglitz), able to try and put an end to the madness.
CONTINENTAL DIVIDE (1981)
From Michael Apted, the acclaimed director of Coal Miner’s Daughter, Gorky Park, Thunderheart, Extreme Measures and The World Is Not Enough, comes this wonderful romantic comedy starring comedy legend John Belushi (National Lampoon’s Animal House, 1941, The Blues Brothers). Ernie Souchak (Belushi) is a celebrated Chicago Sun-Times columnist famous for his blistering political exposés. While his controversial reporting has earned him the respect of his editor, Howard McDermott (Allen Garfield, The Brink’s Job), and the admiration of a legion of fans, it also earns him a trip to the hospital following a run-in with some disgruntled thugs. Suggesting he leave the city for a while, McDermott sends Ernie to the Rockies to interview renowned ornithologist Nell Porter (Blair Brown, Altered States), who studies the habits of the endangered American bald eagle. It’s a case of loathe at first sight when the chain-smoking, big city Souchak meets the reclusive nature-lover Porter. But despite their differences, Souchak’s trip west soon turns into a fun-filled romantic adventure as these two trek through the mountains at the top of the world along the Continental Divide.
CROOKED WAY (1949)
Newly Re-mastered in HD! Everyone wants a piece of Eddie Rice! John Payne (99 River Street, Hidden Fear) plays Eddie Rice, a highly decorated and wounded war veteran who has lost his memory. As he heads to Los Angeles to try and figure out his identity, two police detectives arrest him. Turns out he is really Eddie Riccardi, a former employee of the notorious mob boss Vince Alexander (Sonny Tufts, The Seven Year Itch). No one seems happy to see Eddie again and when he’s framed for murder, Eddie must find the real killer and clear his name by navigating through the crooked underbelly of Los Angeles.
D.C. CAB (1983)
When young Albert Hockenberry (Adam Baldwin) wants to become a cabbie, he’s got the wackiest teachers around, courtesy of his uncle Howard (Max Gail, Barney Miller) and the freewheeling D.C. Cab Co., including Samson (Mr. T) and Dell (Gary Busey). Along the way, Albert falls in love with beautiful waitress Claudette (Jill Schoelen, The Stepfather) and gets caught up in a kidnapping, with Mr. T and the other cabbies riding to the rescue. From a raid on a topless club and a game of chicken with an oncoming train to cameo appearances by top stand-up comedians, their hilarious hijinks spell comedy with a “capital” C!
DAVE NOT COMING BACK (2020)
In October 2004, two cave divers and long-time friends, Don and Dave, dive in Boesmansgat, a mythical cave in South Africa. Dave was breaking a world record for depth. It would take them 15 minutes to reach the bottom, but 12 hours to surface. Once he touched bottom, against all odds, Dave finds a body. The two friends decide to come back and retrieve it. They call the parents, enroll 8 support divers, and hire a cameraman to document the historic dive in its entirety – from the preparation on the surface to the operation at the bottom of the cave. Little did they know that, from that dive, Dave would not be coming back. In a time of over-performance driven by self-promotion and self-filming, Dave Not Coming Back is a story of loss and mourning where ego and altruism, hubris and self-control, risk-taking and spirituality all go hand in hand. A chain of paradoxical choices that lead to a tragedy long foreseen, yet impossible to prevent.
DEADLY GAMES (1989) (4KBLU/2 DISKS)
Young Thomas is obsessed with action movies and video games. So much so that, when his mother is out, he delights in turning the sprawling mansion where he and his invalid grandfather live into a makeshift battleground; concocting and setting elaborate traps. Home alone, grandfather aside, on Christmas Eve, Thomas is soon faced with an unexpected – and very unwelcome – guest, a department store Santa Claus, who is, in fact, a deranged maniac on the loose! Putting his skills into action, Thomas begins an all out assault against the murderous Saint Nick, rather than risking his Christmas turning into something closer to Halloween…
BLU-RAY + 4KULTRAHD
For six college students carpooling cross-country, a seemingly mundane tyre blow-out is the beginning of a gruelling fight for survival. Finding themselves under siege by a mysterious, merciless sniper, an agonising game of cat-and-mouse ensues – the sniper does not approach to finish them off, he simply waits, silent, patient, drawing them into a suspenseful battle of wits. By nightfall what was once an unassuming stretch of country road has become a smoking battlefield of wrecked cars, strewn corpses, hide-and-seek shootouts and everyone-for-themselves desperation.
FAREWELL FRIEND (1968)
Film icons Charles Bronson (Rider on the Rain, Mr. Majestyk) and Alain Delon (Un Flic, The Sicilian Clan) team up to create a one-of-a-kind buddy film with a fascinating premise. After serving together in the French Foreign Legion, Franz Propp (Bronson) and Dr. Dino Barran (Delon) go their separate ways only to be reunited by an extraordinary coincidence. Barran is persuaded by a friend to sneak into an underground bank vault and help return stolen bonds. While he is hiding, he comes upon Propp, who is actually there to rob the safe. After getting locked inside the vault, the two very different men strike up a powerful friendship that binds them together through a series of shocking developments—from a miraculous escape to being framed for murder. The strong supporting cast includes Olga Georges-Picot (Je T’aime, Je T’aime), Bernard Fresson (French Connection II) and Brigitte Fossey (The Man Who Loved Women).
GOLDEN CHILD (1986)
Eddie Murphy is “the Chosen One,” a social worker on a madcap mission to find “the Golden Child,” a young boy possessing mystical powers. Joined by Kee Nang (Charlotte Lewis), they’ll battle the countless henchmen of Sardo Numspa (Charles Dance), the mysterious and evil cult leader holding the boy captive. It’s a dangerous quest, complete with obstacle courses and a mythical amulet, sharply combining Murphy’s wit with eye-popping special effects for an unforgettable adventure.
GREEN EGGS AND HAM: SEASON 1 (2019) (2 DISKS)
A chance meeting at a diner, and a switch-up with the briefcases, results in these two unlikely companions getting mixed up on an adventure that takes them on a journey of self-discovery. The two mismatched souls cross paths with the overprotective Michellee (DIANE KEATON), whose daughter, EB (ILANA GLAZER) desperately wants a pet, and falls in love with the Chickeraffe… despite her mother’s fears that it will eat off her face (it won’t). As Michellee’s walled-up heart connects with the heart-hardened Guy, a laborious love story begins. With the foursome also unknowingly pursued by a bounty-hunter Goat (JOHN TURTURRO), two bad guys, McWinkle (JEFFREY WRIGHT) and Gluntz (JILLIAN BELL) and Snerz (EDDIE IZZARD) a tiny, evil overlord who’s out to get the Chickeraffe as his ultimate trophy, they set out on a cross-country road trip, learning to try new things along the way – like hope, friendship…and a certain delectable dish!
I AM WOMAN (2019)
I AM WOMAN tells the inspiring story of singer Helen Reddy, who wrote and sang the song “I Am Woman” that became the anthem for the women’s movement in the 1970s. The film is a story of fearless ambition and passion, of a woman who smashed through the patriarchal norms of her time to become the international singing superstar she always dreamed of being.
I START COUNTING (1970)
As young Wynne (Jenny Agutter, Walkabout and An American Werewolf in London) comes of age, a psychotic killer of teen schoolgirls stalks her hometown, which is rapidly transforming from an antiquated village to a forward-looking “new town.” Is the murderer Wynne’s much older foster brother George (Bryan Marshall, The Spy Who Loved Me and The Long Good Friday)? The conflicted Wynne is deeply in love with George, but also fears that he is guilty of the horrific crimes. Director David Greene (Godspell, The Shuttered Room and TV’s Roots) imbues Audrey Erskine Lindop’s unsettling story with sensitivity, social commentary, and a haunting ambience.
ISLAND OF BLOOD (1982)
In a large house on an otherwise uninhabited pacific island, a group of hopeful young actors have been assembled to prepare for their roles in what they’ve been told will be a very unique, family oriented film. But on their first night, one of them is horribly boiled alive and dies. Although initially assumed to be an accident, as other mangled and mutilated bodies begin to appear, it becomes apparent that a madman is lurking among them and seems to be concocting all of the diabolical deaths in accordance with the macabre lyrics to an obscure song…
MADE IN ITALY (2020)
Made in Italy is a heart-warming father son story set in glorious Tuscany about bohemian London artist Robert (Neeson), who returns to Italy with his estranged son Jack (Richardson) to make a quick sale of the house they inherited from his late wife. Neither expects to find the once beautiful villa in such a state of disrepair… Renovations go badly, with father and son soon finding themselves at odds. Robert’s comical lack of DIY experience leads him to seek help from some colorful locals including the no nonsense Kate (Duncan), an ex-pat making her living selling villas who quickly captures his attention.
MAIGRET AND THE SAINT FIACRE CASE (1958)
In this follow-up to Maigret Sets a Trap (1958), Georges Simenon s inimitable Inspector Maigret (played once again by Jean Gabin) returns to his countryside hometown to investigate an ominous letter received by his old friend, the countess of St. Fiacre. The letter portends the countess s death, and when a heart attack makes the harbinger come true, the good inspector suspects foul play. The mystery of Maigret and the St. Fiacre Case (1959) twists and turns like vines crawling up the countess s chateau, culminating in an explosive finale that finds Maigret dropping by a dinner of which all the guests are suspects.
MAIGRET SETS A TRAP (1958)
Prolific Belgian writer Georges Simenon’s famed police inspector Jules Maigret has been portrayed by numerous actors for the better of a century, but never with such cool authority and meticulousness as Jean Gabin in Maigret Sets a Trap (aka Inspector Maigret, 1958). A butcher of women stalks the dark alleyways of Paris, and it’s up to the dogged detective to ensnare the madman before more corpses pile up. Director Jean Delannoy captures his world-weariness in sumptuous black-and-white, as Gabin commands the screen in this electrifying blend of old-school policier and classic French noir.
OWNERS, THE (2020)
A group of friends think they found the perfect easy score – an empty house with a safe full of cash. But when the elderly couple that lives there comes home early, the tables are suddenly turned. As a deadly game of cat and mouse ensues, the would-be thieves must fight to save themselves from a nightmare they could never have imagined.
PERRY MASON: SEASON 1 (2020) (2 DISKS)
The world’s most renowned fictional lawyer is back on the case in this exciting HBO series that tells the origin story of master criminal defense attorney Perry Mason. Set in 1932 Los Angeles, this edgy, noirish update puts a new spin on the iconic character created by Erle Stanley Gardner and made famous by the classic TV show that ran from 1957 to 1966. The series begins with Mason (Matthew Rhys) living paycheck to paycheck as a low-rent private investigator who’s haunted by his wartime experiences and managing the fallout of a broken marriage. During eight twisty, cliff-hanger episodes, Mason is determined to do what’s right—even when it’s not necessarily “legal”—as he digs into a controversial and politically loaded case, exposing a fractured city and a possible police coverup
The legendary, beloved anvil-armed sailor of the seven seas comes magically to life in a delightful musical, starring Robin Williams as Popeye, directed by Robert Altman (Nashville). Shelley Duvall is Popeye’s devoted long-limbed sweetie, Olive Oyl, one of many loveable characters who join the “sailor man” in his adventures in the harbor town of Sweethaven.
RENTAL, THE (2020)
Two couples on an oceanside getaway grow suspicious that the host of their seemingly perfect rental house may be spying on them. Before long, what should have been a celebratory weekend trip turns into something far more sinister, as well-kept secrets are exposed and the four old friends come to see each other in a whole new light.
REST IN PIECES (1987)
Helen Hewitt has inherited her recently deceased Aunt Catherine’s humongous country villa. After arriving at their new home, she and her husband Bob immediately feel a sense of unease and hostility from the estate’s staff and tenants, all of whom do their best to make the young couple feel unwelcome. As strange and increasingly sinister events begin to take place around her, Helen becomes determined to uncover the truth about the goings on, and slowly begins to unearth the horrifying and unspeakable evil occurring at the mysterious mansion…
ROUTE ONE, USA (1989) (2 DISKS)
In 1988, nearly a decade after leaving the US for France, renegade filmmaker Robert Kramer returns. Back, he emphasizes. “Not home.” To try to understand the contemporary United States, he decides to travel the entire length of Route 1, from the Canadian border to Key West, filming all the way for five months. We are treated to a series of stops along the way an Indian reserve in Maine, Walden Pond, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC, a Georgia Thanksgiving dinner at a homeless shelter, and evangelical churches that preach the truth about the anti-apartheid movement and the dangers of Disney. There are plenty of characters along the way too, and appearances by televangelist Pat Robertson and Jesse Jackson, as they campaign for president. ROUTE ONE/USA was shot more than 30 years ago, but it feels remarkably contemporary in its portrayal of many of the racial, social, and economic challenges America continues to face.
SEVEN DAYS TO NOON (1950)
English scientist Professor Willingdon (Barry Jones, Brigadoon) runs away from a research center with an atomic bomb. In a letter sent to the British Prime Minister, he threatens to blow up the center of London if the government doesn’t stop stockpiling nuclear warheads. Special agents from Scotland Yard, led by Superintendent Folland (André Morell, The Frightened Bride), try to stop him with help from the scientist’s assistant and future son-in-law. Beautifully shot by the great Gilbert Taylor (Star Wars, Repulsion) and directed, edited and produced by John Boulting (Brighton Rock) and Roy Boulting (Run for the Sun), who also co-wrote the screenplay with Frank Harvey (I’m All Right Jack).
SHE MOB/THE GIRL FROM PUSSYCAT (1969)
Shot on the sweaty backroads of Dallas and Waco, SHE MOB is an underground miracle that feels like an alt-Earth FASTER PUSSYCAT! KILL! KILL! as realized by a young John Waters. Big Shim is the cone-bra-wearing butch leader of a wild girl gang that’s running from the law. After kidnapping a gigolo named Tony, Shim and the girls demand a ransom from Tony’s wealthy lady keeper… OR ELSE!! Produced and directed by NBC News veteran Maurice Levy, written by Diana Paschal, and featuring actresses culled from Jack Ruby’s infamous Dallas nightclub, SHE MOB is an essential jewel in the other-dimensional vortex known as Texploitation.
Shot in New York with the crude experimentation of an early Andy Warhol film, THE GIRL FROM PUSSYCAT is a fascinating outlier in the world of underground exploitation. The movie follows a girl gang of social and sexual anarchists as they have orgies, get stoned, rob banks, and torture men by jamming their fingers in toasters. Absurd and surreal, this feels like the dreamy collaboration between Jean-Luc Godard and Doris Wishman that never happened.
SONG LANG (2018)
Set in 1980s Saigon, SONG LANG is a gritty underworld noir hiding a tender, romantic heart. At the film’s core is the unlikely bond that develops between hunky, brooding Dung (Lien Binh Phat), a tough debt collector for a ruthless loan shark, and linh Phung (V-pop star Isaac), a charismatic young opera singer for a struggling company that performs cai luong, a modern form of traditional Vietnamese folk opera. The two meet when Dung comes to forcefully collect a dept from the opera troupe, but when their paths cross again, a friendship – and then more – develops, awakening surprising, tender feelings in both men. Their story soon scales operatic heights. With his first feature film, director Leon Le has delivered a rich drama: a smoldering relationship between two apparent opposites – equally uncompromising – set against the backdrop of a gorgeous, fading art form.
The drug addict Hulda is arrested accused of murdering her brother. After she is let go because of insufficient evidence, she meets Hjörtur, a thousand-year-old gay vampire. Together they have to fight a cult while being investigated by a rogue detective.
TRADING PLACES (1983)
The very rich and extremely greedy Duke Brothers (Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy) wager a bet over whether “born-loser” Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) could become as successful as the priggish Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Akroyd) if circumstances were reversed. So begins one of the funniest, most outrageous comedies of the 80s, cementing Eddie Murphy’s superstar status. Alongside the street-smarts of Ophelia (Jamie Lee Curtis), Winthorpe and Valentine are a trio ready for a riotous revenge that culminates on the commodities trading floor in New York City.
And from Kino’s new set THE JEWISH SOUL come these titles, all on Blu-ray:
HER SECOND MOTHER / MOTEL THE OPERATOR (1940)
DYBBUK, THE (1937) / MIR KUMEN ON (1938)
AMERICAN MATCHMAKER / OVERTURE TO GLORY (1940)
TEVYE / YIDDISH KING LEAR (1935)