Strait-Jacket 08/28/18

Scream Factory
Blu-ray

Wicked William Castle, bloody Robert Bloch and Axe Lady Joan Crawford make slay-time in a camp-fest too crazy for words. Exaggerated make-up! Dresses with huge flowered prints! She’s not a lumberjack, and neither is she okay — why doesn’t Joan just go back and kill the source of her psychosis, Ann Blythe? SEE! Grown men pretend to be attracted to a crazoid woman! SEE! Diane Baker’s big acting finale stolen, and made a Miss Joan showcase instead! With Leif Erickson, Howard St. John and George Kennedy; on Blu-ray from Scream Factory.
8/28/18

The Hot Rock 08/28/18

Twilight Time
Blu-ray

Donald Westlake’s lovably luckless crook John Dortmunder is brought to life by Robert Redford, in a lightweight crime caper engineered by top talent: screenwriter William Goldman and Brit director Peter Yates. Redford’s partner is a worrisome, talkative George Segal; Moses Gunn is the unhappy client, Ron Liebman a jolly master of all things technical and Zero Mostel a major obstacle in the obtaining of a priceless diamond. A new commentary, too. With Paul Sand, William Redfield, Lynne Gordon and Robert Weil. On Blu-ray from Twilight Time.
8/28/18

Ministry of Fear 08/28/18

Powerhouse Indicator
Blu-ray

Fritz Lang’s third wartime anti-Nazi film is an Alfred Hitchcock- type spy chase taken from a psychological novel by Graham Greene, with the psychology angle transferred mostly to physical threats — ticking clocks, a mystery cake, and German bombs in the Blitz. Ray Milland is cool and collected for a man just released from a mental asylum, and proves up to the task of defeating a Nazi conspiracy. With Marjorie Reynolds, Carl Esmond, Hillary Brooke, Dan Duryea, Alan Napier and Erskine Sanford. On Blu-ray from Powerhouse Indicator.
8/28/18

Gloria 08/25/18

Twilight Time
Blu-ray

“Come on, come on, I’d love it — don’t hang back!” dares Gloria Swenson, brandishing a gun at three mobsters that know she means business. Gena Rowlands is electric as a tough New York ex- gangland moll who finds that her maternal instincts make her deadlier than the male: “I’ll kill anybody that’s trying to kill me.” John Cassavetes’ commercial crowd-pleaser is also a smart, sassy gangland mini-classic; this presentation gives us Bill Conti’s music score on an isolated track. On Blu-ray from Twilight Time.
8/25/18

The Horror of Party Beach 08/25/18

Severin Films
Blu-ray

Favorite camp hilarity — a drive-in kick when new, Del Tenney’s gloppy monsters ‘n’ bikinis epic has persevered as a nutty exemplar of ‘sixties escapist fun. Mutated aquatic zombies with goo-goo-googly eyes ravage teen girls for their blood — in between sets by the swingin’ Del-Aires. Beach bunnies! Bikers! Slimy monsters and Bosco for bloody gore! And don’t forget the soulful housemaid, Eulabelle. The extras include a good Daniel Griffith featurette narrated by Tom Weaver. On Blu-ray from Severin.
8/25/18

Filmworker 08/21/18

Kino Lorber
DVD

Stanley Kubrick had a dedicated assistant, and not one who simply held the master’s cinematic paintbrushes. He staffed research, production, post-production and marketing departments all on his own. Tony Zierra’s brisk documentary teaches us much about a genius director, the assistant that devoted himself entirely to the director’s mission, and the nature of work and ambition. With interview input from Ryan O’Neal, Matthew Modine, and R. Lee Ermey. On DVD from Kino Lorber.
8/21/18

The Shape of Water 08/21/18

20th Fox Home Entertainment
UltraHD, Blu-ray & Digital

Miracle of miracles! Oscar’s Best Picture for last year is a genuine monster movie. Guillermo del Toro’s overachieving Gill Man spectacle features a gratifyingly anti-authoritarian attitude. The emotional love story is as pure as a silent movie — and has the sentimental commitment to pull an audience into its dreamy Fairy Tale horror fantasy. Starring Sally Hawkins, Doug Jones, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Octavia Spencer and Michael Stuhlbarg. On UltraHD + Blu-ray from 20th-Fox Home Entertainment.
8//18

The Last Hunt 08/18/18

The Warner Archive Collection
Blu-ray

Robert Taylor and Stewart Granger shine in Richard Brooks’ engaging drama about the grim slaughter of the Buffalo — a fairly appalling historical episode. A disclaimer is required to explain why we’re seeing real animals killed on screen… which in this case would seem justified by the film’s ecological theme. Co-starring Lloyd Nolan, Russ Tamblyn, and Debra Paget as, what else, an ‘Indian Girl.’ It’s good just the same. On Blu-ray from The Warner Archive Collection.
8/18/18

Trapeze 08/18/18

KL Studio Classics
Blu-ray

Top stars Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis and Gina Lolobrigida earn their keep in Carol Reed’s powerful tale of ambition and excellence performing forty above a circus arena. The best circus movie ever is also among Reed’s most exciting, best directed movies, a solid show all around. Also with Katy Jurado, Thomas Gomez, Sidney James, beautiful Paris locations and the creative cinematography of Robert Krasker. On Blu-ray from KL Studio Classics.
8/18/18

Hammer Volume 3 Blood and Terror 08/14/18

Powerhouse Indicator
Blu-ray

This third collection sees Hammer bleeding its brand of filmic horror into the War and the Colonial Adventure genres: The Camp on Blood Island is a lurid exposé of Japanese atrocities, the difficult-to-watch Yesterday’s Enemy peels away the last illusions of honor in combat, The Stranglers of Bombay sensationalizes horrid crimes in India in the 1820s, and The Terror of the Tongs is a grotesque expression of classic Colonial racism. The enticing extras give us the production backstories and fill in the historical context. Starring André Morell, Stanley Baker, Leo McKern, Guy Rolfe, George Pastell, Christopher Lee and Yvette Monlaur. On Blu-ray from Powerhouse Indicator.
8/14/18

Memories of Underdevelopment 08/14/18

The Criterion Collection
Blu-ray

Memorias de subdesarrollo — Perhaps the top cinematic output of Cuban filmmaking is this investigation of a man that doesn’t embrace the revolution. Wishing to remain apolitical, the handsome Sergio prefers to pursue attractive women, as well as illusions of his own superiority. Tomás Gutiérrez Alea’s account of life with Castro doesn’t shirk from an honest view of conditions in the embargoed island, between The Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Starring Sergio Corrieri, Daisy Granados and Eslinda Núñez. On Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection.
8/14/18

Deep Rising 08/10/18

KL Studio Classics
Blu-ray

Let’s hear it for ‘undiscriminating’ audiences, the kind that want nothing more in a movie than a hundred minutes of combat action, suspense, scary monsters and gross-out gore. They’ll get their fill in Stephen Sommers’ Cuisinart blending of Titanic, Aliens and Die Hard.It’s quality fast food exploitation; just keep your medicine handy if you’re allergic to brainless cornball dialogue. The cast is certainly good: Treat Williams, Famke Janssen, Anthony Heald, Kevin J. O’Connor, Wes Studi and Djimon Hounsou. On Blu-ray from KL Studio Classics.
8/11/18

The Cat O’ Nine Tails 08/10/18

Arrow Video
Blu-ray

Dario Argento’s second murder whodunnit is less stylized but almost as enjoyable as his first, Bird with the Crystal Plumage. Reporter James Franciscus and blind ex-detective Karl Malden investigate killings at a fancy genetics institute, but everyone they interview turns up dead. Catherine Spaak is among the suspects in a crime spree with nine clues but no easy solution. Turin locations, a glossy widescreen image and Argento’s polished direction are the draw, along with some fine music cues by Ennio Morricone — who in 1971 scored 24 separate features! Also with Horst Frank and Rada Rassimov. On Blu-ray from Arrow Video.
8/11/18

It Happened Here 08/07/18

Bfi (UK)
Region A+B Blu-ray + PAL DVD

Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo were teenagers when filming began on this superlative wartime thriller. Taking over eight years to complete, it imagines life in an England occupied by Nazi Germany and run by home-grown English collaborators. The film’s realism outdoes any big-studio picture — the period detail and military hardware are uncannily authentic. It also pushes the limit of the documentary form by using the ugly testimony of real English fascists in a fictional context. Mr. Brownlow opens up his behind-the-scenes film archive for this dual-format release. With Pauline Murray and Sebastian Shaw. On Region A+B Blu-ray from Bfi (UK).
8/07/18

Heaven Can Wait 08/07/18

The Criterion Collection
Blu-ray

This may be the year for new cinephile converts to the cult of appreciation for the great Ernst Lubitsch. One of his last pictures but his first in color is this Production Code- defying tale of a serial philanderer and his relationship with the woman of his dreams, his wife. It’s a prime film blanc stylized as a series of birthdays; our hero is judged not by St. Peter but at the gates of Hades, by the Devil himself. The stars are Don Ameche, Gene Tierney, Laird Cregar and Charles Coburn. On Blu-rayfrom The Criterion Collection.
8/07/18

Cradle Will Rock 08/04/18

KL Studio Classics
Blu-ray

Writer-director Tim Robbins goes all out to recreate a politically potent chapter of Broadway legend, the true story of the rebel WPA production The Cradle Will Rock — with a dynamic sidebar about Diego Rivera’s provocative mural for the Rockefeller Center. An enormous cast works up the excitement of Depression-era revolutionary theater: Emily Watson, Bill Murray, Hank Azaria, Rubén Blades, John Turturro, Joan Cusack, John Cusack, Cherry Jones, Vanessa Redgrave, Susan Sarandon, Angus Macfadyen, Cary Elwes, Philip Baker Hall, Jamey Sheridan, Bob Balaban, Jack Black, Kyle Gass, Paul Giamatti, Barnard Hughes. On Blu-rayfrom KL Studio Classics.
8/04/18

Home from the Hill 08/04/18

The Warner Archive Collection
Blu-ray

He-bull womanizer Robert Mitchum spars with wife Eleanor Parker for the future of their son George Hamilton in Vincente Minnelli’s attractive, sprawling tale of cruel family unrest. The real winners in the picture are the fresh-faced new talent George Peppard and Luana Patten, whose small-town romance is more appealing than the main bout. With Everett Sloane, Constance Ford, Ray Teal, Denver Pyle, Stuart Randall, Dub Taylor, and Guinn ‘Big Boy’ Williams. On Blu-ray from The Warner Archive Collection.
8/04/18