August 01, 2009

Notes from a DVD Geek

by Jeremy Lassen

Hey everyone.  Summertime is upon us, and while most of the big summer blockbusters have come and gone, there are some absolutely scrumptious movies hitting home video.

Right out of the gate we have a gem of 60's sleeze, with Elio Petri's "The 10th Victim".  Imagine a future where society is so depraved and filled with blood lust that murder is sanctioned as a sport.  The Big Hunt is an international game and its two top assassin/players are played by a Felini Playboy(Marcello Mastroanni from "La Dolce Vita")  and Bond Girl (Ursula Andress of "Dr. No" fame), you've got a recipe for a cult SF classic of distopian sex and violence.  Don't miss this one.

Staying in the 60s, I wanted to mention that Criterion is releasing Roman Polanski's classic movie of psychological horror, "Repulsion," starring Catherine Deneuve.  Polanski, Deneuve, and Criterion?  What could possibly be wrong with this?  Grab it up if you don't already own it.  And even if you do, it might be time to upgrade as this Criterion disc has audio commentary featuring Polanski and Deneuve, as well as both a 2003-era documentary, and a 1964 era documentary, both on the making of this classic piece of film history.

On a slightly different note, a film that may be worth checking out is "Necessary Evil".  It MIGHT be a cookie cutter bio-hazard "'28 Days Later' meets 'Saw'" kind of thing.  But it's got two things that are going to make me put it in my DVD player the day I get it.  Lance Henrikson and Danny Trejo.  Because even if it's a bad movie, there are worse ways to spend 90 minutes then to watch Lance Henrikson and Danny Trejo chew up the scenery.  I'm up for this one.  Anyone else?

Speaking of a different note. . . "Machine Girl" hits DVD this month.  This is the tender story of a young Japanese schoolgirl who gets her arm sawed off by the Yakuza, but survives and returns for a bloody revenge spree, with cyborg-enhanced prosthetics.  Part "Full Metal Yakuza," part "Ms. 45" this movie features cyborg violence galore.  While not by Takashi Mike or anything, this Japanese cult film is by a promising young Japanese exploitation director Noboru Iguchi ("A Larva To Love," and "Cat-Eyed Boy").

Dwayne Johnson (AKA The Rock) "Races to Witch Mountain" this month, on DVD.  The less said about this the better, I guess.  Its main problem is that it is no longer two alien kids lost and alone and getting over. . . It's The Rock, helping kids get over.  Far less compelling then the original, IMO.  But, if you are a fan of "The People's Eyebrow". . . well, I guess there are worse ways to spend your time.

Another very forgettable remake hits the shelves this month.  "The Last House on The Left," AKA "The Last Money Grab Left On The Shelf".  I'm not saying that the original movie is some kind of sacred cow that can never be touched; I'm just saying that if you want to watch this story line over again, go get the Criterion Edition of "Virgin Spring" by Ingmar Bergman and be done with it.

Having just mentioned three clunkers, let me cleanse my typing pallet by mentioning that "Coraline" is out on DVD (and Blue Ray, natch) and it is just as awesome as it was on the big screen.  I myself can take or leave the 3-D effects, but with or without, this is a great movie, and a great adaptation of the Neil Gaimen novel of the same name.  If you somehow missed this one, run out and get it.

Until next time, I am forever yours,  A DVD Geek.

No comments:

Post a Comment