by Malakie Peters
It’s the last New Release Tuesday of 2021! We’ve got vintage horror, long-lost gay sexplo, Super Mario, new Wes Anderson, a metric ton of classic Shaw Brothers martial arts, and more.
BLOOD-A-RAMA TRIPLE FRIGHTMARE (BLU-RAY)
HELP ME… I’M POSSESSED (1974)
A free-form nightmare that takes place at a sanitarium in the desert, this surrealist gem includes a psychopathic hunchback, delirious monsters, and a killer early synthesizer score.
NIGHT OF THE STRANGLER (1972)
A southern-fried whodunnit with murder, racial tension, and a starring role from The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz, this sweat-soaked sleazer feels like a cross between an American giallo and a trashy airport paperback novel.
CARNIVAL OF BLOOD (1970)
An ominous, semi-cinema verite horror movie that was shot at Coney Island in NYC, Carnival of Blood features an early role from Burt Young, pop-art gore that would make H.G. Lewis proud, and a gloriously seedy atmosphere.
THE BRIDGE OF SAN LUIS REY (1958) (DVD)
In this episode of The DuPont Show of the Month, Director Robert Mulligan adapts Thornton Wilder’s story in which a friar is tried by the Inquisition for questioning God’s intentions when five die in the collapse of an Andean rope bridge in 1714 Peru.
CAGED FURY (1990) (BLU-RAY)
Pray you don’t get locked up in Honeywell State Prison! Kathie (Roxanna Michaels) is innocent when they lock her up… but that won’t last long. Women in chains, a deviant warden, and murderous guards… no wonder the cops claim Honeywell State Prison doesn’t exist. Her only hope of being freed lies with Harley-riding hero Victor (Erik Estrada) and combat karate champ Dirk (Richie Barathy), who’ll take on the whole prison mano a mano if need be.
CARBON COPY (1981) (BLU-RAY)
Walter Whitney (George Segal) is a straight-laced and successful executive whose world is turned upside-down when he discovers the seventeen-year-old son he never knew he had: Roger (Denzel Washington, in his feature film debut)! In his attempts to include Roger into his family, Walter finds his comfortable life spinning hopelessly – and hilariously – out of control.
CASTLE FALLS (2021) (DVD)
After decades of neglect, Castle Heights Hospital, a symbol of the city’s segregated past, is ready to be demolished. No one knows that a gang leader, now in prison, hid the 3 million dollars he stole from his rivals inside the abandoned building. Now, three desperate parties want the money – a blue-collared ex-fighter (Scott Adkins) who finds it while working as part of the demolition crew, a prison guard (Dolph Lundgren) willing to do anything to pay for his daughter’s cancer treatment, and a ruthless gang who claim to be the rightful owners. The demolition charges are set and the Castle is set to fall in 90 minutes. The clock is ticking. Who will seize the cash… and will they get out alive?
DAUGHTERS OF SATAN (1972) (BLU-RAY)
Be careful what you witch for with this spellbinding thriller that delves into the realms of ancient covens and the conquistadors who loathe them. James Robertson (Tom Selleck, in his first starring role) is an art collector whose latest acquisition – a painting of three witches being burned at the stake – begins having a strange effect on his wife, Chris (Barra Grant)… who bears an eerily striking resemblance to one of the witches. Before he can say “eye of newt,” James is battling an ancient coven in an effort to free Chris from their evil clutches.
DAY THE WORLD ENDED (1955) (BLU-RAY)
After the world has been destroyed by nuclear war, an unlikely group of survivors takes refuge in a mountain retreat. With tensions mounting and trust all but gone, they discover that fighting each other is the least of their problems. Something outside is stalking them… something dangerous… something mutant.
THE FRENCH DISPATCH (2021) (BLU-RAY) (DVD)
A love letter to journalists set in an outpost of an American newspaper in a fictional 20th-century French city that brings to life a collection of stories published in “The French Dispatch.”
THE GARDENER (2021) (DVD)
A troubled wealthy family gathers in a quaint manor home for the holidays, never suspecting that bloodthirsty, sadistic Volker and his crew linger at the gates, ready to attack, rob, and maim them at nightfall. But the villains didn’t count on the estate’s quiet gardener, Peter Juhasz, who must rely on the brutal skills he learned as a soldier in order to save the family.
HARD LUCK LOVE SONG (2020) (DVD)
A crime thriller love story based on Todd Snider’s song, “Just Like Old Times.” Jesse is a charismatic but down on his luck troubadour making bad decisions in pool halls and cheap motels with Carla, an old flame.
KEEP AN EYE OUT (2018) (BLU-RAY)
Louis just found a dead body in front of his apartment building. Taken in for custody by Captain Buron, he finds himself on the wrong end of a surreal interrogation. But how can you prove you are innocent when the cops are crazy?
KNOCKING (2021) (BLU-RAY) (DVD)
After suffering a traumatic incident, Molly moves into a new apartment to begin her path to recovery, but it’s not long after her arrival that a series of persistent knocks and screams begin to wake her up at night. Molly’s new life begins to unravel as the screams intensify and no one in the building believes her.
L.A. PLAYS ITSELF: THE FRED HALSTED COLLECTION (BLU-RAY) (DVD)
L.A. PLAYS ITSELF (1972)
Fred Halsted plays himself in his notorious portrait of Los Angeles. Two men have a fleetingly idyllic meeting outside of town while Halsted shows a young pick-up the ropes within city limits, climaxing in what After Dark magazine described as being “the most spectacular scene since the parting of the Red Sea!”
A supposedly straight stud is given a guided tour through the seamy S/M underbelly of Hollywood’s glitzy socialite scene by his trans paramour in Fred Halsted’s highly-publicized crossover film. The first of only two gay adult features to be shot in 35mm. Sextool also marks the return of Halsted’s former screen partner, Joseph Yale.
THE SEX GARAGE (1972)
Three beautiful guys, one girl, and a motorcycle all meet in the world’s first “trisexual” porno film. Praised by Fred Halsted as being his own personal favorite of his films, The Sex Garage has often been cited as a key influence in the works of future filmmakers.
THE LANDING (2018) (DVD)
David and Mark Dodson’s faux documentary portrays an investigation into the tragic end of Apollo 18, the last US mission to the moon in 1973. In interviews conducted in 1998, on the 25th anniversary of the incident, witnesses and participants peel back the layers of mystery surrounding the events that nearly destroyed an American institution.
MAYDAY (2021) (BLU-RAY)
Ana is transported to a dreamlike land where she joins an army of girls engaged in a never-ending war along a rugged coast. Under the leadership of Martha, Ana trains as a sharpshooter and discovers newfound freedom and courage in this unbridled and exhilarating sisterhood. Though she finds strength in this thrilling new world, she comes to realize that she’s not the killer they want her to be.
PUPS ALONE (2021) (DVD)
Get ready for hilarious canine holiday hijinks! While everyone is away on a company ski-trip, a jealous inventor hires two thieves to break into his co-worker’s house and steal his top secret new creation. But they are no match for a mischievous pack of neighborhood pups, who set up tricks and traps to protect the home and save Christmas. This laugh-out-loud comedy stars Dolph Lundgren and features the voices of Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jerry O’Connell, Danny Trejo, and Rob Schneider.
RADIO ON (1979) (BLU-RAY)
A man drives from London to Bristol to investigate his brother’s death. The purpose of his trip is offset by his encounters with a series of odd people.
SHAWSCOPE VOLUME ONE: LIMITED EDITION BOX (BLU-RAY)
This inaugural collection by Arrow Video presents twelve jewels from the Shaw crown.
KING BOXER (1972)
Promising young student Chao Chih-Hao is sent away to train under a new master in the hopes of winning a martial arts tournament and preventing the local thugs from getting the power and prestige that come with it.
THE BOXER FROM SHANTUNG (1972)
Leaving the poverty of his life in Shantung to seek fortune in Shanghai, The Boxer is instead drawn into a world of corruption, gang warfare, and evil… where his only protection is his famed fighting technique.
FIVE SHAOLIN MASTERS (1974)
Five students escape from the destruction of their beloved Shaolin Temple. Now each must take revenge and train in their own separate fighting styles. They will become The Five Shaolin Masters!!
SHAOLIN TEMPLE (1976)
The Shaolin Temple is the last place to resist the Manchu Dynasty, mostly because of their unique fighting style. Men from far and wide come to the temple, hoping that they will be admitted as pupils. As the Abbot grows older, he realizes that the Manchus are determined to destroy the temple and eradicate the Shaolin fighting techniques. He decides that it’s finally time to admit worthy men into the temple as students to learn the way of Shaolin.
MIGHTY PEKING MAN (1977)
Johnny (Danny Lee) leads intrepid explorers into the dark Indian jungle to find the mysterious, giant apelike creature that lives there – the Mighty Peking Man. Johnny finds the creature, along with his beautiful but scantily clad human ward, and brings both of them back to the big city. The creature, however, proves he can never be chained as he runs amok in Hong Kong, destroying everything that gets in his way in this campy classic.
CHALLENGE OF THE MASTERS (1976)
Teenager Wong Fei-hung trains in the art of hung gar kung fu from his father’s teacher. With training complete, Wong must fight an assassin and regain the honor of his school.
EXECUTIONERS FROM SHAOLIN (1977)
A couple unites – she is fluent in the crane style of kung fu, he in tiger style. They have a son, but the boy’s father is killed by the evil eunuch Bai Mei. Disguised as a girl, he trains in crane style with his mother while secretly studying tiger style from his father’s training manual.
CHINATOWN KID (1977)
After getting in trouble with local gangs, a young man (Fu Sheng) flees to San Francisco, where the same gangs are still causing problems. He joins one gang, and eventually decides to play them against each other in order to clean up the town.
THE FIVE VENOMS (1978)
The final student of a dying martial arts master is instructed to locate the previous five students and defeat any evil ones among them.
CRIPPLED AVENGERS (1978)
Three men, crippled by an evil warlord, become friends and learn kung fu with the help of an old teacher and his idiot pupil.
HEROES OF THE EAST (1978)
A Chinese man marries a Japanese woman through an arranged marriage and manages to insult all of her martial arts family by issuing a challenge to her that is misinterpreted by the others. He must then prove his worth through a series of duels with the seven Japanese martial artists who come to meet the challenge.
DIRTY HO (1979)
A prince enlists a thief to serve as his bodyguard to protect him from assassins.
From kickass kung fu killers to crazy kaiju knockoffs to culture clash comedies, this carefully curated and gorgeously presented selection of all-time Shaw Brothers classics merely represents the tip of the iceberg of the studio’s rich output, making it both an ideal starting point for newcomers and a treat for hardcore fans alike.
SORORITY SLAUGHTER (1994) (BLU-RAY)
An innocent college prank turns deadly when a bevy of beautiful sorority girls accidentally shoot and kill their voyeuristic, Satan worshipping neighbor, Hugo. But is he really dead? See what horrible fates await each member of the sorority when Hugo mysteriously returns from the grave seeking human sacrifices to sustain his eternal life.
SUPER MARIO BROS (1993) (BLU-RAY)
Buckle up and hang on tight – the discovery of a parallel universe launches you into the adventure of a lifetime! Mario and Luigi, two wacky plumbers, undertake a daring quest to save a princess in “Dinohattan” – a hidden world where the inhabitants evolved from dinosaurs! Mario (Bob Hoskins) and Luigi (John Leguizamo) face deadly challenges from a diabolical lizard king (Dennis Hopper) and must battle giant reptilian goombas, outwit misfit thugs, and undermine a sinister scheme to take over the world!
SUPERBEAST (1972) (BLU-RAY)
A lost pathologist (Antoinette Bower) finds a doctor (Craig Littler) making hairy human targets for a hunter (Harry Lauter) in the Philippines.
TRY HARDER! (2021) (DVD)
San Francisco’s Lowell High, one of the best public schools in the country, draws high achievers – nearly 70% Asian Americans – from across the city into a fiercely competitive universe. The camera follows seniors through the hallways and into classrooms as the pressure intensifies to impress admissions officers at elite universities with their report cards, test scores, and overall awesomeness. The students proudly own their identity as nerds and tell their stories with candor and humor despite the stress. Will they achieve their dreams? What happens if they fail?