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Joe Dante’s werewolf classic comes to Blu-ray thanks to Scream Factory! I’m incredibly excited about this release as The Howling is one of my favorite werewolf movies. I really like the creature design and, while American Werewolf in London may be remembered as having the best werewolf transformation, I thoroughly enjoy the transformations in The Howling as well. This Collector’s Edition comes jam-packed with bonus features and reversible artwork. The Howling Blu-ray is by far the “must buy” release of the week as far as I’m concerned.
Last summer, I did a Summer of the ’80s column in which I watched movies from the 1980s that I had never seen before. Lifeforce was one of those movies and I had a lot of fun watching this sci-fi tale about space vampires (you can read my column here). Scream Factory’s second release this week is also a Collector’s Edition that features both the the theatrical and international cuts of the movie as well as a brand new audio commentary with director Tobe Hooper. A variety of new and vintage bonus features are provided on the release that, much like The Howling, has reversible cover art.
Jack the Giant Slayer 3D
I went into Jack the Giant Slayer with an open mind and walked out wishing I hadn’t wasted my time with it. The movie is dull and lifeless and fails to bring much in the way of entertainment to the proceedings (you can read my full review here). If you haven’t seen this yet and are on the fence, I’d say skip it.
After India’s father dies in an auto accident, her Uncle Charlie, who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her emotionally unstable mother. Soon after his arrival, she comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives, but instead of feeling outrage or horror, this friendless girl becomes increasingly infatuated with him. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Stoker but missed it in the theater. I’m hoping to check it out really soon.
This Farrelly Brothers-produced sketch comedy movie aimed to be a crude modern version of Amazon Women on the Moon or Kentucky Fried Movie. There are some funny sketches here but there are just as many that fall flat and make for an uneven viewing experience. It felt like some of the sketches were trying to push the boundaries of what is funny a little too hard and suffer from trying to be so raunchy that they end up not being amusing. Movie 43 features a lot of great talent behind and in front of the camera and there is just enough here to give the movie a shot as long as shock humor is something you can sit through and you aren’t easily offended. It might work better in a group setting than a solo viewing. The Blu-ray features a non-descript “outrageous edition” of the movie, whatever that is.
21 & Over
I’m not sure that a movie advertising itself as “From the writers of The Hangover” sells me on the movie since I’m not much of a fan of The Hangover trilogy (full disclosure: I’ve not seen Hangover III yet). This college comedy does look like it could be amusing though and I’d be up for giving it a shot at some point but it’s not high on my priority list. The Blu-ray features a couple of bonus features including a gag reel.
The Last Exorcism Part II
I really liked The Last Exorcism and didn’t feel it needed a sequel. Based on the money it made though, it was no surprise that this follow-up movie was born into existence. I feel hesitant to watch this on account of all the bad reviews but I feel like my curiousity will get the better of me. The Blu-ray fails to impress in the special features department as there are just a few small and very short featurettes with a commentary from producer Eli Roth and director Ed Gass-Donelly.
Come Out and Play
This remake of 1976’s Who Can Kill A Child? is from mysterious director Makinov (whose real identity is unknown as he wears a red mask on set and in interviews). The movie follows a couple as they travel to an island where no adults seem to be present. The children on the island soon prove to be something from their nightmares as they reveal themselves to be violent and murderous. Despite some relatively mixed reviews (perhaps leaning more to the negative), I’m somewhat intrigued by this remake and am curious enough to want to see how a modern take on the original film fares.
“Twisted Twins” the Soska Sisters are back with their follow-up to the indie hit Dead Hooker in a Trunk. Strapped for cash while putting herself through medical school, student Mary Mason takes a job as a waitress at a strip bar run by Billy Barker. As she becomes increasingly disillusioned with her studies, Billy introduces Mary to a new and extremely lucrative sideline, performing extreme body modifications to an odd collection of flesh-obsessed characters. Subsequently forced to drop out of medical school, she soon takes refuge in her new career. But as her demeanor steadily darkens, and her actions take on an altogether more vengeful twist, she begins to be known and feared as “Bloody Mary.” Horrorella saw this movie back during Fantastic Fest (read her report here) and I’ve been wanting to see it on account that it has Katharine Isabelle from Ginger Snaps in it. From what I’ve seen around the web, it sounds like if you like movies that are in the vein of Clive Barker or David Cronenberg, then you might enjoy American Mary.
More titles released today:
by Ben McBride
Follow Ben on Twitter @monsterpopcorn