DVD Release List: Sure to Make Someone Happy

With Johnny B. off partying at Comic-Con (to be fair, he’s doing some work there as well), I thought I’d take a whack at writing up this week’s DVD releases. Here’s what’s hitting stores on Tuesday, July 25th, 2006:

And Now the Screaming Starts! (1973)
Directed by Roy Ward Baker

In 1795 England a virginal young woman named Catherine moves to her fiancé, Charles’, house in the country. Upon arriving, she is immediately drawn to the portraits of his family, particularly the one of Charles’ grandfather, Henry Fengriffen, which seems to have a sort of evil entity possessing it. While admiring Henry’s face, a severed hand attacks Catherine through the wall. After marrying Charles, Catherine begins a journey of mystery, eerie apparitions, secrets, and deaths. How well does this spookfest hold up after all these years? My review of And Now. . . (right here) answers that very question. Buy it here!

Asylum (1972)
Directed by Roy Ward Baker

A young psychiatrist interviews four inmates in a mental asylum to satisfy a requirement for employment. He hears stories about revenge, a tailor who makes a suit with highly unusual qualities, a woman who questions her sanity, and a man who plays with some killer dolls. Each entry was based upon a short story written by Robert Bloch, and according to Creepy’s review (found here), it’s a bit of a hit or miss anthology but still worthy of attention from those who enjoy that sort of thing. Buy it here!

The Beast Must Die (1974)
Directed by Paul Annett

This movie is a detective story in which the viewer is the detective. The question is not “Who is the murderer?” but “Who is the werewolf?” It’s been called a crossover of Blaxploitation protagonists, Agatha Christie whodunit, and a werewolf tale with some William Castle type gimmicks thrown in for good measure. Sounds good to me, but what do I know? Check here to read what Creepy thought about it. Buy it here!

Cello (2005)
Directed by Woo-cheol Lee

Tartan is every Asian horror fan’s best friend, and this week marks their release of the Korean film Cello. Mi-ju was a successful cellist turned teacher, but following her best friend’s death she stopped all of that. One day her (seemingly) autistic and mute daughter brings home a cello, and Mi-ju begins to teach her. But between a silent and unblinking new nanny and the strange cello music her daughter plays, not to mention a former student who keeps trying to harm Mi-ju plus her tormented memories of her friend, who may or may not be back to haunt her, life sure as hell is hard for our heroine! Buy it here!

Feed (2005)
Directed by Brett Leonard

A cybercrime investigator tracks a man suspected of force-feeding women to death. One IMDB user calls it “disgusting, vulgar and fascinating.” While our own Paul McCannibal, who viewed the film at this year’s Fantasia Fest (review here), claims he’s seen worse, he does admit the gross-out factor is high in the blood, the nasty plot turns, and the excessive gluttony. If you enjoy this type of thing, make sure you don’t miss out on all the depravity. Buy it here!

Final Destination 3 (2006)
Directed by James Wong

A clairvoyant high school senior has a premonition of a fatal roller coaster accident at an amusement park that involves her and her friends. If you’ve seen either of the previous Final Destination films, you know the drill: Her vision prevents their deaths, but the unseen forces of darkness once again set out to kill the survivors who were supposed to die in the freak occurrence. You can see what Creepy thought of the shenanigans and whether or not FD3 lives it up its predecessors by reading his review here. Buy it here!

Halloween: 25 Years of Terror (2003)
Directed by Stefan Hutchinson

Truly a love letter to Halloween fans everywhere, this two-disc set includes a documentary that follows the evolution of the series over the past twenty-five years. It examines why the films are so popular and revisits many of the original locations. For the first time cast, crew, critics, and fans join together in the ultimate Halloween retrospective. My review can be found here, but any serious fan should already have this one on pre-order. Also being released the same day are Divimax versions of both Halloween 4 and Halloween 5, which Creepy reviews here and here, respectively. Check ’em out to see whether or not they’re worthy of a double dip. Buy it here!

Komodo vs. Cobra (2005)
Directed by Jim Wynorski

When a top secret island research facility goes dark, a crack team of commandos is sent to investigate. Once there, they are shocked to find that giant Komodos and Cobras live there — and they’re really hungry. Now with the deck stacked against them and nearly no hope for survival, the team is locked in a battle of survival with two of nature’s most formidable predators. Also on the island: big-breasted women and Michael Pare! If you’re thinking this one has Foy’s name all over it, you’re absolutely correct. Click here for his review. Buy it here!

Magdalena’s Brain (2006)
Directed by Warren Amerman

Magdalena Welling wasn’t always a recluse living in an abandoned warehouse, surrounded by outdated computers, archaic medical equipment, and responsibilities almost too great to bear. Before the accident she was a successful surgeon; her husband, Arthur, a brilliant scientist. But now they exist in a world of emptiness and solitude, continuing the radical artificial intelligence research that Arthur had started a lifetime before. Buy it here!

Small Gauge Trauma (2005)
Various directors

Small Gauge Trauma is named after a short film program that takes place at the Fantasia Film Festival every year. It’s a collection of films from eight different countries from Portugal to Japan to the UK and everywhere in between that were shown during the 2005 Fest. As Butane notes in his review (found here), “They’re not all horror, they’re not all fantasy, hell some of them make no sense at all, but what they do share is that they’re all interesting in their own unique ways, and it’s easy to understand nearly every inclusion on this DVD.” If you’re as big a fan of short films as I, then SGT should be at the top of your shopping list for this week. Buy it here!

Tales from the Crypt: Season Four (1989)
Various directors

If I really have to describe what this set is all about, then someone obviously stumbled onto the wrong website. But I do have some space to fill, so briefly, Tales from the Crypt are hour-long stories with many themes including horror, twist endings, black magic, sci-fi, and more. They are always introduced by a puppet called “The Crypt Keeper” voiced by John Kassir. Some have likened the series to a horror-based Twilight Zone. Don’t miss Creepy’s review of this mixed-bag fourth season set here. Buy it here!

The Unborn (2003)
Directed by Bhandit Thongdee

Originally released as The Mother, this Thai film tells the tale of Por, a drug addict who wakes up in a hospital to discover that she is ten weeks pregnant. She begins to experience vivid hallucinations and is visited by the ghost of a young girl. With only her drug counselor to turn to, Por must figure out why this ghost has decided to haunt her. I couldn’t find much information about this release except for a couple of so-so opinions, but if you can read German or Polish, you might have better luck since there are a few reviews on the Net in those languages. Otherwise, you’re on your own with this one! Buy it here!

Check back next week for business as usual with Butane.

Debi Moore

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Jon Condit

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