by Ben Redder
New Release Tuesday! This week we’ve got a fresh stack of vintage horror, some classic noirs, and Nicolas Cage wants his pig back in one of the best movies of the year.
THE BANISHING (2020, Blu-ray / DVD)
1930s, England. Linus, his wife Marianne and their daughter Adelaide move into town, where Linus has been posted as the new reverend. He’s been tasked by the Church to renew the villagers’ faith, which has been lost after the disappearance of the previous reverend’s family, who lived in the very same mysterious manor where Linus and his family have settled into. Soon after their arrival, strange events start to occur: ghostly voices, dark figures dressed as monks, mysterious totems, and Adelaide’s behaviour becoming stranger by the day. It soon becomes clear that a malicious entity seeks to possess Adelaide and that the Church is hiding a terrible secret.
BEST SELLERS (2021, DVD)
Lucy Stanbridge has inherited her father’s publishing house, but the ambitious would-be editor has nearly sunk it with failing titles. She discovers she is owed a book by Harris Shaw, a reclusive, cantankerous, booze-addled author who originally put the company on the map decades earlier. In a last-ditch effort to save it, Lucy and Harris release his new book and embark on a tour from hell that changes them both in ways they didn’t expect.
CHILDREN OF THE DAMNED (1964, Blu-ray)
The United Nations conducts a global survey on child development, identifying six children with exceptional intelligence. All were born under mysterious circumstances, with the mothers claiming they were conceived without a father. Brought to London to be studied, the children escape to an abandoned church. Alarmed by the children’s telekinetic powers, the government prepares to destroy them, while psychologist Col. Tom Lewellin tries to convince the authorities to spare them.
COME TRUE (DVD/2020)
Looking for an escape from her recurring nightmares, 18-year-old Sarah submits to a university sleep study, but soon realizes she’s become the conduit to a frightening new discovery. Dreams twist and nightmares come true in this mind-altering new work of science-fiction from Anthony Scott Burns that haunts the space between wakefulness and sleep.
THE CONVENT (2019, DVD)
A young woman who can communicate with the dead, and the spirit of a student who died years before, team up to solve a murder, that took place half a century ago. As they dig up evidence and locate witnesses, they encounter men, women, and vengeful spirits who will stop at nothing to stop them from finding out the truth.
THE CROWN – SEASON 4 (2020, DVD)
The fourth season covers the time period between 1979 and 1990, is set during Margaret Thatcher’s premiership, and introduces Lady Diana Spencer. Events depicted include the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, their 1983 tour of Australia and New Zealand, the Falklands War, Michael Fagan’s break-in at Buckingham Palace, Lord Mountbatten’s funeral, the Princess of Wales’s appearance at the Barnardo’s Champion Children Awards, and Thatcher’s departure from office.
THE EAST (2020, DVD)
A young Dutch soldier deployed to suppress post-WWII independence efforts in the Netherlands’ colony of Indonesia finds himself torn between duty and conscience when he joins an increasingly ruthless commander’s elite squad.
ENORMOUS: THE GORGE STORY (2019, DVD)
Nic Davis examines the rich history of the Gorge Amphitheatre, the internationally renowned concert venue that attracts millions of fans and the world’s best musicians. Features interviews with Dave Matthews, John Oates, Steve Miller and others.
EYE OF THE DEVIL (1966, Blu-ray)
Workers employed at a French vineyard quietly follow old pagan rituals that call for the life of the marquis owner to save his crops during dry seasons. Featuring the film debut of actress Sharon Tate, who was discovered by a producer while auditioning for Petticoat Junction.
THE FLOOD (2020, DVD)
When a woman’s husband, daughter, land and innocence are ripped from her, she embarks on a brutal journey of retribution and revenge.
HOMEBODIES (1974, DVD)
When a quiet group of pensioners learn that their homes are to be torn down to make way for a block of flats, they decide to take action. What starts as an attempt to discourage the developers soon escalates into wholesale murder of both the developers and the construction workers.
IN THE EARTH (2021, DVD)
As the world searches for a cure to a disastrous virus, a scientist and park scout venture deep in the forest for a routine equipment run. Through the night, their journey becomes a terrifying voyage through the heart of darkness, the forest coming to life around them.
JACK IRISH – SEASON 3 (DVD)
Jack Irish is a man getting his life back together again. A former criminal lawyer whose world imploded, he now spends his days as a part-time investigator, debt collector, apprentice cabinet maker, punter and sometime lover – the complete man really.
KUNG FU – COMPLETE 1ST SEASON (2021, DVD)
A quarter-life crisis causes a young Chinese-American woman, Nicky Shen, to drop out of college and go on a life-changing journey to an isolated monastery in China. But when she returns to San Francisco, she finds her hometown is overrun with crime and corruption, and her own parents are at the mercy of a powerful triad. Nicky relies on her tech-savvy sister, pre-med brother, ex-boyfriend and a new love interest, as well as her martial arts skills and Shaolin values, to protect her community and bring criminals to justice — all while searching for the ruthless assassin who killed her Shaolin mentor and is now targeting her.
LAND OF SMILES (2016, DVD)
Abby’s New York City life is falling apart at the seams. So she makes a spontaneous decision, and decides to head to Thailand to meet up with her best friend, Penny, on a backpacking trip through paradise. What starts out as a dream vacation, quickly becomes a nightmare when Abby receives a video of Penny kidnapped and being held in a dungeon by a madman in a clown mask. A thrill ride adventure through the beaches of southern Thailand ensues. A game of hide and seek in which nothing is as it seems as Abby desperately tries to rescue her best friend from certain death.
MAD DOCTOR (1941, Blu-ray / DVD)
Dr. George Sebastien, a smooth and sinister physician, woos, weds and murders several of his wealthy women patients for their fortunes. Aided by his demented manservant, he sets up a Park Avenue psychiatry practice and effects an apparently miraculous cure for troubled heiress Linda Boothe, whom he makes his fourth wife. Can the suspicious Dr. Downer and Linda’s ex-fiancé Gil foil Sebastien’s schemes and save Linda before it’s too late?
MAN IN THE FIELD – THE LIFE & ART OF JIM DENEVAN (2021, DVD)
Filmmaker Patrick Trefz profiles pioneering artist and chef Jim Denevan, founder of Outstanding in the Field, a radical alternative to the conventional dining experience. The documentary intimately reveals Denevan’s artistic and culinary gifts with land art in epic geometric formations alongside grand dinners in beautiful natural settings. Instead of bringing the food to the restaurant, Outstanding in the Field has brought the restaurant to the food since 1999. Hosted at one long table, with 100 to 1000 guests dining together, Denevan has set tables in vineyards, beaches, meadows, fishing docks, and city streets. Over 120,000 lucky patrons in all 50 states and 16 countries have experienced this once-in-a-lifetime event.
MARLENE (2020, DVD)
Frank is a contract killer working for a large Styrian crime syndicate. When he is given the task of abducting a girl named Marlene and delivering her to the syndicate, everything changes for Frank. He falls in love with Marlene and disobeys his superiors, who in turn take matters into their own hands and abduct Marlene themselves. Now Frank has to battle the blunt forces of the syndicate in order to save Marlene.
MASTERPIECE MYSTERY – BAPTISTE SEASON 2 (2021, DVD)
The second season of this spinoff of The Missing follows retired detective Julien Baptiste as he delves into Budapest’s corrupt underworld to find a British Ambassador’s family who go missing on a skiing holiday in the Hungarian mountains. Ambassador Emma Chambers, played by Fiona Shaw, is thrust into the crosshairs of Baptiste’s most complex case to date, as the detective navigates an untrustworthy police force and international media interest as he hunts for her husband and two sons.
THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD (1935, Blu-ray)
In England, school choirmaster John Jasper, a secret opium addict, develops a passion for Rosa Bud, the fiancée of his nephew, Edwin Drood. When the Landless twins — the volatile Neville and Helena — arrive at the school from Ceylon, Neville takes an interest in Rosa as well. After John invites Edwin and Neville to dinner to reconcile them over Rosa, Edwin disappears, and John accuses Neville of foul play.
NINE DAYS (2021, DVD)
Will is an interviewer of souls. His job is to determine which soul, from a selection of candidates that just show up at his home near a vast desert, is most deserving to have the opportunity to live a life after someone already alive on Earth dies. Anyone not selected by Will returns to the desert and disappears from existence. Yet, after the death of one of his most successful candidates and the appearance of a soul that doesn’t seem to care about the opportunity, Will suddenly finds himself facing self-doubt and questions about the purpose of his own life.
NUMBER ONE (1969, Blu-ray)
Ron Catlan isn’t the same football player he used to be. When the aging Saints quarterback injures his knee, the situation quickly gets worse. On the field, he contends with his injury and a talented rookie who further threatens his career. Off the field, he alienates his wife as he turns to drink and pursues an affair with a young woman. The former champion struggles to hold on before he plummets to the bottom.
OBSERVANCE (2015, DVD)
In the grip of grief following the death of his young son, his marriage on the rocks and nearing bankruptcy, Parker reluctantly returns to work as a private investigator. Embarking on an unusual assignment to observe a woman from an abandoned apartment, Parker witnesses bizarre happenings surrounding her, unaware that the derelict building that he surveys her from has birthed a dark presence which slowly threatens to consume him.
PIG (2021, Blu-ray, DVD)
Living alone in the Oregon wilderness, a truffle hunter returns to Portland to find the person who stole his beloved pig. Toss away any preconceived notions you might have concerning Nicolas Cage or the movies he makes. This is not a revenge thriller, but a simple and elegant story of a man looking for his best friend. Cage has never been better and, as with any film set in Portland, there are pointed digs at Seattle. Not to be missed.
SECRET OF THE BLUE ROOM (1933, Blu-ray)
A deadly secret from the past returns to haunt a young woman and her loved ones in The Secret of the Blue Room. Irene von Helldorf’s twenty-first birthday celebration is eclipsed when her father shares the dark details of his estate’s guest room: twenty years earlier, three people were killed there and their murders remain unsolved. Hoping to prove their own bravery and win Irene’s love, each of her three suitors agrees to spend a night in the room… and a new string of deadly mysteries is set into motion.
THE SHEIK (1921, Blu-ray)
Paris-educated Sheik Ahmed Ben Hassan provides brides for wealthy Arabs. The high-spirited Lady Diana Mayo, learning that the sheik will be in the city of Biskra, Algeria, playfully decides to disguise herself as a dancing girl to become one of the prospective brides, yet is unable to go through with the deception — much to Ahmed’s amusement. Hearing that Diana will be touring the Sahara Desert, Ahmed abducts her, intending to make her fall in love with him.
SISTERS (2020, DVD)
For thirty years, French-Algerian sisters Zorah, Nohra and Djamila have been living in the hope of finding their brother Rheda, abducted by their father, and hidden in newly decolonised Algeria. Their relationship is shaken when Zorah, the eldest sister, decides to write a play based on the traumatising events of their childhood that haunted them their whole life. But when they learn that their father is dying, the three sisters decide to go to Algeria to seize their last opportunity to have him reveal where their brother is. When the past catches up, the three sisters have no choice but to put their differences aside.
THE SPIDER WOMAN STRIKES BACK (1946, Blu-ray)
A young girl goes to work as a live-in caretaker for a spooky old woman. She doesn’t know that every night, the woman drains some blood from her to feed her strange plant. This film was billed as a sequel to THE SPIDER WOMAN (1943), but the two have nothing in common except that Gale Sondergaard plays a villainess who handles spiders in both. The characters she plays in both films are not the same person, and both characters have different names.
TIME: YEAR ONE (2021, DVD)
Mark Cobden – husband, teacher, and father – is sentenced to four years in prison after accidentally killing a man. Consumed by guilt, he openly accepts his sentence but is quickly confronted with the harsh realities of life inside. Once there, he meets prison officer Eric McNally, who endeavours to protect those in his care, but finds that his job can be demanding in a tense and understaffed environment. Both Mark and Eric are faced with difficult choices as they fight for survival.