by Malakie Peters
It’s New Release Tuesday! This week we’ve got Liam Neeson, deadly roosters, Ringo Starr, vintage WWII documentaries, a whole mess of talking horse movies, and lots more.
12 MONKEYS (1995) (4K UHD)
In 1996, a deadly virus is unleashed by a group calling themselves the Army of the Twelve Monkeys, destroying much of the world’s population and forcing survivors underground. In 2035, prisoner James Cole (Bruce Willis) is chosen to go back in time and help scientists in their search for a cure.
BLACKLIGHT (2022) (BLU-RAY)
Liam Neeson stars as Travis Block, a freelance government operative living on the fringes and coming to terms with his shadowy past. When he discovers an undercover team that’s targeting U.S. citizens, Block finds himself in the crosshairs of the FBI director (Aidan Quinn) he once helped protect. But as Block attempts redemption by enlisting a journalist (Emmy Raver-Lampman) to get the truth out, his daughter and granddaughter are threatened and a danger that has existed on the margins threatens to overtake everything.
CAVEMAN (1981) (BLU-RAY)
The Beatles’ Ringo Starr is Atouk, the leader of a rag-tag group of cavemen. Atouk has his work cut out for him when he sets his sights on the beautiful Lana (Barbara Bach). Trouble is, Lana belongs to Tonda (John Matuszak), the leader of a larger group of cavemen who deem Atouk’s group inferior. Undeterred, Atouk sets out to win Lana’s hand while being pursued by the caveman-crazy Tala (Shelley Long) and fending off some very hungry dinosaurs.
COCKFIGHTER (1974) (BLU-RAY)
A small-town Georgia man caught up in the illegal sport of cockfighting is the center of this action-drama from legendary producer Roger Corman. Warren Oates stars as Frank Mansfield, one of the most infamous trainers in the brutal world of cockfighting. His reputation in tatters due to his hubris, Frank becomes obsessed with making his way to the top of the game — against the wishes of his lover, Mary Elizabeth (Patricia Pearcy).
DC SHOWCASE: CONSTANTINE: THE HOUSE OF MYSTERY (2022) (BLU-RAY)
After rewriting time and preventing the Apokolips War from happening, John Constantine finds himself imprisoned in the House of Mystery, facing a punishment he does not yet understand. As he explores the House’s labyrinths, he soon finds Zatanna and many friends, but these meetings repeatedly end in his brutal death. Facing an endless loop of his own demise, the ever-brilliant Constantine begins to unravel the path that led to his hellish confinement. Can he outwit his captor and escape, or is he destined to serve his eternal sentence?
DEMENTIA (1953) (DVD)
Set entirely in a nocturnal twilight zone that blends dream imagery with the cinematic stylings of film noir, Dementia follows the tormented existence of a young woman haunted by the horrors of her youth, which transformed her into a stiletto-wielding, man-hating beatnik. Accompanied by George Antheil’s sci-fi score, the camera follows a “Gamin” (Adrienne Barrett) on a surreal sleepwalk through B-movie hell, populated by sex workers, pimps, and would-be molesters. Two years after its original release, a narration track of foreboding psychobabble (diabolically spoken by Ed McMahon) was added and the title was changed to the more sensational Daughter of Horror. This edition presents the original cut of Dementia, digitally remastered from the 35MM negative, as well as the complete Daughter of Horror (from a 35MM print).
DR. STRANGE (1978) (DVD)
A modern hospital may seem worlds apart from the days of ancient sorcerers, but for psychiatrist Stephen Strange (Peter Hooten) and his patient Clea Lake (Eddie Benton), this is where those worlds collide… and the nightmare begins! Nothing Stephen Strange learned in medical school could prepare him for an attack by an evil sorceress from the “fourth dimension,” Morgan le Fay (Jessica Walter), a villainess who plans an invasion of unimaginable evil on Earth. Chosen by an ancient guardian of the spirit world to learn the mystic arts to defeat Morgan and safeguard the Earth, Stephen Strange must take the place of the Earth’s last sorcerer. Come along for a fantastic adventure into the “fourth dimension” with … Dr. Strange!
FRANCIS THE TALKING MULE: SEVEN FILM COLLECTION (1950-56) (BLU-RAY)
This collection features the hilarious escapades of the delightfully funny old army mule who happens to talk! Including all seven movies from one of the most beloved comic series, Donald O’Connor stars as bewildered soldier Peter Stirling, who is helped out of one tricky situation after another by the unlikeliest of heroes, his pal Francis. Join the smart-alecky talking mule who continues to enchant audiences with his yakety-yakking, wise-cracking antics that the whole family can enjoy!
GUILTY OF ROMANCE (2011) (BLU-RAY)
An abused housewife works as a nude model in order to satisfy her desires. Under the influence of a depraved English professor, she eventually turns to sex work. Elsewhere, a female cop investigates a grisly murder in which the victim’s body was mutilated and adorned with doll parts.
KANDISHA (2020) (DVD)
One summer evening, three childhood friends invoke the spirit of Kandisha, a vengeful creature from a Moroccan legend. The game quickly turns into a nightmare when their loved ones begin to disappear.
THE LARKINS: SERIES ONE (2021) (DVD)
A new adaptation of the classic novel The Darling Buds of May by H.E. Bates follows the warm-hearted, wheeler-dealing adventures of the iconic Larkin family in the idyllic Kent countryside.
LET THERE BE LIGHT: JOHN HUSTON’S WARTIME DOCUMENTARIES (1942) (BLU-RAY)
Presented in cooperation with the National Archives and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, this collection features four documentaries directed by John Huston as part of his service as an officer in the Army Signal Corps. The documentaries are not simple propaganda, but reflect Huston’s own changing attitudes toward war. Winning Your Wings (18:19 min) is a recruitment film for the U.S. Army Air Forces, hosted by Jimmy Stewart. Report from the Aleutians (44:48 min) reveals the tedium of being stationed at a remote Army post in the islands of Alaska. With San Pietro (32:05 min), however, the tone of Huston’s documentaries begin to take a dark turn, documenting an Italian military battle that cost an estimated 1,100 American lives, revealing, in unflinching detail, the retrieval and burial of casualties. The Army chose not to publicly screen the film. The final installment, the emotionally devastating Let There Be Light (57:50 min) narrated by Walter Huston, is considered to be one of the most important wartime documentaries ever made, depicting the treatment of psychoneurotics (now known as post-traumatic stress disorder), through hypnosis, drugs, and psychotherapy.
LOVE EXPOSURE (2012) (BLU-RAY)
Having grown in a devout Christian family and desperate to please his sin-obsessed Catholic priest father, young Yu (Takahiro Nishijima), a fairly normal kid who has no legitimate sins to confess, decides to take on sinning big time and becomes a master of up-skirt photography while perfecting his ninja moves required to get just the right angle on his subjects. Things become complicated when our drag-clad hero meets the woman of his dreams: the man-hating Yoko (Hikari Mitsushima), who’s involved in an all-out street brawl and delights in beating up gangs of men.
LOVECUT (2020) (DVD)
The stories of three teenage couples intersect, exposing their conflicts over identity, love, and sexuality in a fast-changing digital society that offers both incredible possibilities and extreme challenges.
MARTYRS LANE (2021) (DVD)
Ten-year-old Leah has terrible nightmares. Her mother seems distant somehow, lost in her thoughts. A small, nightly visitor brings Leah comfort, but soon Leah realizes that her little visitor offers knowledge that might be very, very dangerous.
CAPRA GOES TO WAR: FRANK CAPRA’S WORLD WAR II DOCUMENTARIES (1942-45) (BLU-RAY)
Director Frank Capra, known to millions as the man behind the beloved classics It’s a Wonderful Life and It Happened One Night, also used his talents in support of the war effort by directing, producing, and acting as an advisor on a series of World War II propaganda films. Depicting the ravages of combat, the lives of soldiers engaged in battle, as well as those left behind on the home front, five of the films that Capra was involved in bringing to the screen are represented in this special edition presented in cooperation with the National Archives.
Tunisian Victory takes us behind Allied troop lines and documents American and British forces working together to free North Africa from the grip of the Nazi stranglehold. Prelude to War, the first in Capra’s Why We Fight series of propaganda films, is a rallying cry for patriots to join the fight against the Axis powers and the tyranny of Nazism. The Battle of Russia, another of Capra’s Why We Fight films, is the longest and most ambitious of the series. Presented in two parts, the film focuses on the Nazi conquest of the Balkans in an attempt to capture Russia. The Negro Soldier, produced by Capra and directed by Stuart Heisler, was used as an enlistment tool to encourage African-American men and women to join the armed forces. The film incorporates footage of Olympic athlete Jesse Owens at the 1936 Berlin Games, highlighting and contrasting the freedom-loving citizens of the United States with Germany’s oppressive and ever-growing Nazi party. Your Job in Germany, directed by Capra and written by Theodor S. Geisel (better known as Dr. Seuss), is a short form film shown to soldiers who would be serving “occupation duty” in Germany in 1945.
THE OUTFIT (2022) (BLU-RAY, DVD)
Leonard is an English tailor who makes suits on London’s famous Savile Row. He must outsmart a dangerous group of criminals to survive a fateful night.
PARIS WHEN IT SIZZLES (1964) (BLU-RAY)
William Holden plays Richard Benson, a screenwriter pressured by a movie producer (Noël Coward) to finish his script. Richard hires a live-in secretary, Gabrielle Simpson (Audrey Hepburn) to help him, and soon they’re falling in love, enacting scenes from an unwritten screenplay. Unfortunately, the deadline to deliver a script is fast approaching.
RICKY POWELL: THE INDIVIDUALIST (2020) (DVD)
Famed street photographer Ricky Powell made a name for himself taking wild portraits of New York City’s who’s who in the 80s and 90s. From the Beastie Boys to Basquiat, Powell’s lens captured the grit and glamor of the city’s downtown scene like never before. Powell and some of his notable subjects reflect on his fascinating life and work — as well as the demons that shaped him.
RIO GRANDE [OLIVER SIGNATURE COLLECTION] (1950) (BLU-RAY)
Lieutenant Colonel Kirby Yorke (John Wayne) heads a cavalry post on the Texas side of the Rio Grande, defending settlers against Apaches launching raids from the Mexican side of the river. When Yorke’s 16-year-old son, Jeff (Claude Jarman Jr.) – who he has not seen since he was a baby – shows up at the post as one of the new recruits, he treats him more harshly than the others. Things are further complicated when Yorke’s estranged wife, Kathleen (Maureen O’Hara), returns to take her son home.
SACCO AND VANZETTI (1971) (BLU-RAY, DVD)
Two 1920s Italian immigrants are wrongfully convicted by a Massachusetts jury on charges of murder and armed robbery after a payroll heist at a shoe factory.
STAY HUNGRY (1976) (BLU-RAY)
Indolent Alabama rich boy Craig Baker (Jeff Bridges) is asked to be the front man on a syndicate’s bid to buy out the bodybuilding gym that’d been holding up a redevelopment deal. As he gets to know the facility’s regulars – including a charming receptionist (Sally Field) and a Mr. Universe hopeful (Arnold Schwarzenegger) – he finds himself with unaccustomed second thoughts.
TURNING RED (2022) (BLU-RAY)
Mei Lee is a thirteen-year-old girl who is torn between being her mother’s obedient daughter and the chaos of her youth. As if that were not enough, when she gets too excited, she turns into a big red panda!
WATCHERS II (1990) (BLU-RAY)
A shadowy government agency’s sinister experiments have resulted in a pair of unnatural creatures: one is a benign, super-intelligent golden retriever, and the other an inhuman killing machine. Linked by a psychic bond, the dog and the monster escape the watchful eyes of their creators, resulting in a brutal killing spree. Paul Ferguson (Marc Singer) discovers the dog, and with the help of an animal psychologist (Tracy Scoggins), they must stop the murderous monster before they become its latest victims.
WITHOUT REMORSE (2021) (BLU-RAY, DVD)
Michael B. Jordan stars in the explosive origin story of Tom Clancy’s action hero John Kelly, an elite Navy SEAL whose life is changed forever after uncovering an international conspiracy. Torn between personal honor and loyalty to his country, he fights his enemies without remorse (that’s the title of the movie!!!) if he hopes to avert disaster.