by Malakie Peters
New Release Tuesday! This week there’s Muhammad Ali, Tina Turner, W.C. Fields, vintage Coppola, Tex Avery, Aretha Franklin, SCREAM in 4K, and more!
AN ANGEL FOR SATAN (1966) (DVD)
When a cursed statue is recovered from a villa’s lake, a young heiress (Barbara Steele) will inflict a torrent of depraved seduction and homicidal madness on the local village. Anthony Steffen, Claudio Gora, and Marina Berti co-star in “a EuroHorror classic featuring Steele in all her mid-’60s glory” (DVD Drive-In), co-written and directed by Camillo Mastrocinque and scanned in 2K from the original negative – with both the Italian and thought-lost English tracks – recently discovered in a Rome vault.
THE BANK DICK (1940) (BLU-RAY)
A lazy family man accidentally captures a crook and is given a job as bank detective.
BEYOND DARKNESS (1990) (BLU-RAY)
When a Satanic child killer is executed, she transforms the new home of a young reverend and his family into a portal to Hell. Featuring new interviews produced exclusively for this edition.
CHERNOBYL 1986 (2021) (DVD)
After reuniting with a lost love, firefighter Alexey retires to begin a new life — but the Chernobyl disaster suddenly plunges him back into danger.
COMING HOME IN THE DARK (2021) (DVD)
Ruthless drifters take a school teacher and his family on a nightmarish road trip that forces the man to confront his past self.
THE CONCUBINE (2012) (Blu-ray/DVD)
To escape a life of poverty, Hwa-yeon becomes one of the king’s concubines and two men become captivated with her.
COUNTERPOINT (1967) (BLU-RAY)
A famous orchestra conductor is captured by the Germans in WW2 and forced to put on private concerts for the Nazi generals.
CURIOSA (2019) (DVD)
A passionate love story set against a backdrop of sexual freedom, loosely based on the relationship between 19th-century French poets Pierre Louÿs and Marie de Régnier.
THE EMPEROR’S SWORD (2021) (DVD)
During a time of peace, a deadly sword that bestows great power upon its wielder was divided and hidden. After the emperor dies, a deranged rebel seizes power and stages a massacre during his search for the blade, leaving only one survivor. Now, the young daughter of a great general is all that stands between a tyrant and his quest for domination.
FOUR GOOD DAYS (2020) (DVD)
Emerging from a detox clinic, a young addict tries to stay clean while living with her mother for the next four days.
FRANCO NOIR (1962) (BLU-RAY) (DVD)
Now on Blu-ray and DVD comes the American premiere of Jess Franco’s two long-unseen film noirs! Following his international breakthrough with The Awful Dr. Orloff, director Jess Franco delivered a startling pair of crime thrillers that pistol-whipped European notions of film noir while lighting the fuse on his own insane aesthetic. Set in New Orleans, Death Whistles the Blues is a hard-boiled tale of betrayal, violence and revenge featuring smoky jazz compositions by Franco himself. Jean Servais of Rififi fame stars in Rififi in the City, a nihilistic trip through a pulp underworld of thugs, snitches, nightclub dames, and black-gloved giallo-style murders. Both films – which led an impressed Orson Welles to hire Franco as his assistant on Chimes at Midnight – now feature HD scans from the original negatives for the first time ever.
FRANKENSTEIN’S DAUGHTER [THE FILM DETECTIVE SPECIAL EDITION] (1958) (BLU-RAY)
“Look at her! She lives!” So says Dr. Oliver Frank at the sight of his new creation, a hulking beast with the transplanted brain of a beautiful young woman. He has finally carried on the legacy of his late grandfather, the notorious Dr. Frankenstein! The twist in Frankenstein’s Daughter is that it takes place in 1950s Los Angeles, where teenagers are forever in swim gear. Even as news reports warn them about a female monster menacing the neighborhood, nothing stops these kids from partying by the poolside.
FRONTLINE: RETURN TO 9/11 (2021) (DVD)
From veteran Frontline filmmaker and chronicler of U.S. politics Michael Kirk and his team, this documentary traces the U.S. response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the devastating consequences that unfolded across four presidencies. Drawing on both new interviews and those from the dozens of documentaries Kirk and his award-winning team made in the years after 9/11, this two-hour special offers an epic re-examination of the decisions that changed the world and transformed America. From the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to the January 6 insurrection, this documentary exposes the legacy of September 11 — and the ongoing challenge it poses for the president and the country.
FURY (1936) (BLU-RAY)
Joe Wilson, a wrongly jailed man thought to have died in a blaze started by a bloodthirsty lynch mob, is somehow alive… but dead to all he ever stood for and perhaps ever will be, because Joe aims to ensure his would-be executioners meet the fate that he miraculously escaped. Spencer Tracy is Joe, Sylvia Sidney is his bride-to-be, and Fury lives up to its volatile name with its searing indictment of mob justice and lynching. In his first American film, director Fritz Lang combines a passion for justice and a sharp visual style into a landmark of social-conscience filmmaking.
THE GESTAPO’S LAST ORGY (1977) (BLU-RAY)
Still banned in the UK as one of the infamous Video Nasties comes perhaps the most notorious Nazisploitation epic of them all. Daniela Levy and Marc Loud co-star in this fetid slice of filth-strudel also known as Last Orgy Of The Third Reich And Caligula Reincarnated As Hitler, now presented on Blu-ray for the very first time and restored in 2K From the original negatives.
A GIFT FROM BOB (2020) (DVD)
Christmas gifts come in all shapes and sizes. For James, a struggling street musician, a very special one arrives in the form of Bob, a strong-willed stray cat who wanders into James’s tiny flat. Bob enriches James’s life, giving him companionship, purpose, and a large, new audience. When Animal Welfare officers threaten to take Bob, the local community rallies to help James and Bob, sparking a journey that takes the pair to places they never imagined in this heartwarming, spirit-lifting movie for the whole family.
GOMORRAH: THE SERIES, SEASON ONE (2014) (DVD)
Organized crime clans fight bloody wars and forge fleeting alliances in the ruthless underworld of Naples, Italy.
THE HIDDEN LIFE OF TREES (2020) (DVD)
Renowned forester and author Peter Wohlleben discusses the life, death and regeneration of trees.
HUMAN ANIMALS (1983) (BLU-RAY)
Set in the aftermath of a cataclysmic nuclear war that has destroyed most of the world’s population, Human Animals tells of four survivors – two men, one woman, and a dog – who wake up on a strange, deserted landscape with no memory of their past lives. Brand new 4k transfer from film negative.
IT’S A GIFT (1934) (BLU-RAY)
Comedy legend W.C. Fields is up to his hilarious antics again alongside Baby Leroy in It’s a Gift. Harold Bissonnette (Fields), an inept grocer who is constantly badgered by his family, dreams of escaping to the California sunshine. A small inheritance from his Uncle Bean tempts Bissonette to sell everything and buy his dream orange ranch – sight unseen. After making the journey to California, the family quickly realizes they have been swindled and chaos ensues. Filled with some of the funniest dialogue ever to hit the silver screen, this classic comedy showcases W.C. Fields at his finest!
IT’S NOTHING MAMA, JUST A GAME (1974) (BLU-RAY)
In this controversial Spanish film from 1974, David Hemmings plays Juan, a young hacienda-owner who abuses women due to his traumatic upbringing. Juan has his eyes set on Lola, the beautiful daughter of one of the estate workers. But things do not work out the way he planned.
JACK AND YAYA (2019) (DVD)
Jack and Yaya celebrate their 30th year of friendship in their New Jersey hometown with a motley crew of family and neighbors. They party, reminisce and continue to support each other as they both fight for acceptance as trans people.
KUNG FU: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON (2021) (DVD)
A quarter-life crisis causes young Chinese-American woman Nicky Shen to drop out of college and 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 parents are at the mercy of a powerful Triad. Nicky will bring criminals to justice while searching for the assassin who killed her Shaolin mentor.
L.A. STORY (1991) (BLU-RAY)
Quirks of Los Angeles define the awkward courtship of a local TV weatherman and a journalist from England.
LADIES THEY TALK ABOUT (1933) (BLU-RAY)
A woman sent to San Quentin becomes an inmate boss and plans an escape.
THE LAST OF SHEILA (1973) (BLU-RAY)
An all-star cast headlines this witty mystery-thriller about a movie producer who invites six friends to a cruise aboard his yacht, the “Sheila,” named after his late wife who died in an unsolved hit-and-run accident a year ago that day. As the ship sets sail, those aboard begin to realize that their host has more than innocent parlor games in mind as he pits each against the other, taunting them with the knowledge that his wife’s killer is among them.
MUHAMMAD ALI – A FILM BY KEN BURNS (2021) (BLU-RAY) (DVD)
Ken Burns’s Muhammad Ali brings to life one of the best-known and most indelible figures of the 20th Century, a three-time heavyweight boxing champion who captivated millions of fans throughout the world with his mesmerizing combination of speed, grace, and power in the ring, and charm and playful boasting outside of it.
MURDER MANUAL (2020) (DVD)
Creepy, terrifying chapters from this book of horror include a little girl’s journey from a world of nightmares into the nightmare of reality, a gay couple’s romantic getaway in Palm Springs that turns murderous, a young woman whose rideshare turns deadly, and a husband’s attempt to rescue his wife who is being held captive in a circus.
NINE DAYS (2021) (BLU-RAY)
Will (Winston Duke) spends his days in a remote outpost watching the live Point of View on TV of people going about their lives, until one subject perishes, leaving a vacancy for a new life on earth. Soon, several candidates – unborn souls – arrive at Will’s to undergo tests determining their fitness, facing oblivion when they are deemed unsuitable. But Will soon faces his own existential challenge in the form of free-spirited Emma (Zazie Beetz), a candidate who is not like the others, forcing him to turn within and reckon with his own tumultuous past. Fueled by unexpected power, he discovers a bold new path forward in his own life.
THE OLD FASHIONED WAY (1934) (BLU-RAY)
W.C. Fields battles creditors, widows, and obnoxious children in the comedy classic The Old Fashioned Way. Staying one step ahead of the law, The Great McGonigle (Fields) and his impoverished theatrical troupe arrive in a small town to perform The Drunkard, a Victorian temperance play. Discovering they have only sold a handful of tickets, McGonigle promises a part to the wealthy mother of an annoying toddler (Baby LeRoy) with her appearance guaranteeing a sell-out. Staving off the local sheriff who intends to collect the receipts, McGonigle gives a performance the town will never forget in an uproarious farce featuring Fields’ legendary juggling act!
ONE MORE TRAIN TO ROB (1971) (BLU-RAY)
After taking the fall for a train robbery, Harker Fleet (George Peppard) is released from prison and exacts revenge on his former partners who cheated him out of his share.
THE OUTSIDERS 2-FILM COLLECTION (1983) (4K UHD)
The Socs oppose the Greasers in 1960s Oklahoma. Directed by Francis Coppola from the S.E. Hinton novel. The Outsiders 2-Film Collection includes The Complete Novel and the theatrical version on 4K Ultra HD.
POLICE STORY: SEASON THREE (1975-76) (DVD)
Created by ex-cop-turned-acclaimed author Joseph Wambaugh, Police Story follows the lives of LAPD officers in an anthology of realistic and gritty accounts of what it meant to carry a badge in 1970s Los Angeles. Eschewing the more simplistic, “good guys versus bad guys” approach often seen in its predecessors and contemporaries, Police Story examined this familiar genre through a complex lens. Presenting its characters as multidimensional, fallible, and very human, the series offered dramatic insight into the true nature of police work.
REMINISCENCE (2021) (BLU-RAY) (DVD)
Nick Bannister (Hugh Jackman), a private investigator of the mind, navigates the darkly alluring world of the past by helping his clients access lost memories. Living on the fringes of the sunken Miami coast, his life is forever changed when he takes on a new client, Mae (Rebecca Ferguson). A simple matter of lost and found becomes a dangerous obsession. As Bannister fights to find the truth about Mae’s disappearance, he uncovers a violent conspiracy, and must ultimately answer the question: how far would you go to hold on to the ones you love?
RESPECT (2021) (Blu-ray/DVD)
Following the rise of Aretha Franklin’s career from a young child singing in her father’s church choir to her international superstardom, Respect is the remarkable true story of the music icon’s journey to find her voice and become the Queen of Soul.
RETRIBUTION (1987) (BLU-RAY)
On the seedy side of Hollywood, an emotionally fragile painter miraculously survives a horrific suicide attempt. But when a series of grisly murders rocks the city, he discovers he may be possessed by the vengeful spirit of a murdered local hoodlum. Now scanned in 2K from recently discovered pre-print elements with 2+ hours of all-new special features.
SCREAM [25TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION] (4K UHD)
The sleepy little town of Woodsboro just woke up screaming. There’s a killer in their midst who’s seen a few too many scary movies. Suddenly, nobody is safe, as the psychopath stalks victims, taunts them with trivia questions, then rips them to bloody shreds. It could be anybody. The clues are there; are you good enough to see them?
SNOWPIERCER: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON (2021) (DVD)
At the end of season one, the survivors of the revolution are trying to pick up the pieces and maintain a fragile peace amongst the now merged classes, with Layton (Daveed Diggs) emerging as the train’s leader. Discovering Mr. Wilford (Sean Bean) is alive and headed their way on a rival train, Melanie (Jennifer Connelly) risks going outside to prevent him from invading Snowpiercer. While she’s out there, it’s revealed that Alexandra (Rowan Blanchard), Melanie’s daughter, who she thought had died, is alive and has become Wilford’s dedicated protegee. In season two, an entirely new power struggle emerges, causing a dangerous rift as people are divided between their loyalty to Layton and to Mr. Wilford, who has a new train, new technology and a game plan that keeps everyone guessing. While Layton battles Wilford for the soul of Snowpiercer, Melanie leads the charge on a shocking new discovery that could change the fate of humanity.
SPLITTING HEIRS (1993) (BLU-RAY)
From the warped and wacky mind of Monty Python alum Eric Idol comes a wickedly funny case of mistaken identity. At a wild party during the ‘60s, baby Thomas Henry Butterfly Rainbow Peace (a.k.a. the 15th Duke of Bournemouth) is accidentally “misplaced” by his rich hippie mum and dad. When the wrong baby is claimed, the real heir winds up being raised by a poor Pakistani family, while the “heir apparent” grows up in America with a silver spoon in his mouth. Once Tommy Patel (Idle) learns that he, not Henry Martin (Rick Moranis), is the true Duke of Bournemouth, he’ll do anything to get back what he’s lost! Fortunately for Henry, Tommy’s a pretty inept assassin. Unfortunately for them both, Tommy’s seedy lawyer is a tad more adept! Add to the mix a scandalous, nymophomaniacal duchess, a gorgeous golddigger, plus a host of assorted loonies, and you have a Pythonesque cavalcade of silliness. First time on Blu-ray, in retro-VHS packaging!
SWAN SONG (2021) (DVD)
A retired hairdresser (Udo Kier) escapes his nursing home and embarks on an odyssey across his small town to style a dead woman’s hair for her funeral, confronting the ghosts of his past and rediscovering his sparkle along the way.
TEX AVERY’S SCREWBALL CLASSICS VOLUME 3 (1942-57) (BLU-RAY)
Droopy, Red and the Wolf, Screwy Squirrel and the other cracked cartoon creations of Tex Avery return in another great collection of ‘40s-’50s MGM animation. Twenty-one shorts – including Happy-Go-Nutty (1944), Swing Shift Cinderella (1945), Wild and Woolfy (1945), King-Size Canary (1948), Senor Droopy (1949), Little ‘Tinker (1948), Rock-a-Bye Bear (1952), and Billy Boy (1954) – are collected here.
TINA (2021) (BLU-RAY) (DVD)
With a wealth of never-before-seen footage, audio tapes, personal photos, and new interviews, including with the singer herself, Tina presents an unvarnished and dynamic account of the life and career of music icon Tina Turner.
WHO YOU THINK I AM (2021) (DVD)
Academy Award-winner Juliette Binoche balances cunning and vulnerability in this romantic cyber-drama turned psychological thriller from writer-director Safy Nebbou. Ghosted by her hunky twenty-something lover, Claire, a middle-aged professor and single mom, creates a fake Facebook profile to do a little undetected online snooping. But when her 24-year-old avatar Clara is friended by her ex’s equally attractive roommate, superficial correspondence quickly escalates towards intense intimacy and uncontrollable obsession.
WILD BILL: YEAR ONE (2019) (DVD)
US police chief Bill Hixon (Rob Lowe) lands in Lincolnshire with his 14 year-old daughter Kelsey, hoping to flee their recent painful past. New community forces Bill to question everything about himself.
ZONE 414 (2021) (DVD)
Guy Pearce, Matilda Lutz and Travis Fimmel star in the sci-fi thriller set in Zone 414, a dangerous, dark colony of humanoids known as ”the city of robots.” The colony’s creator (Fimmel) hires private investigator David Carmichael (Pearce) to track down his missing daughter. David teams up with Jane (Lutz), a highly advanced A.I. equipped with the same technology of her fellow humanoids, but with all the emotions, feelings and dreams of a human being. They travel through the city uncovering clues and a crime that calls into question the origins and true purpose behind the city of artificial humans.