New, encore and low-price releases on Tuesday, July 27
BEYOND THE DARKNESS: BUIO OMEGA
1979; $24.95, UR
A near-lost entry by that redoubtable master of horror and sleaze, the late Joe D’Amato. Aka “The Final Darkness” and “Buried Alive,” this roughie — banned in West Germany and Australia — tells the tale of a rich orphan whose lover dies — supposedly due to a voodoo curse — bringing him so far past madness that he digs up the corpse, then stuffs and mounts her (on the bed, no less). He then “tries out” and kills local girls in a resurrection bid. Why this wasn’t a musical is beyond us.
2010; $29.95-$39.95, R/UR
It’s a shame this gory actioner opened and closed the same weekend, because we thought it was excellent. Jude Law (who we usually can’t stand) and Forest Whitaker make a living by repossessing organs and body parts from people who fall behind in their payments. And all is good until Law becomes an unwilling recipient of a pound of flesh he can’t afford. Wonderfully bloody in spots, with terrific action sequences, it reminds you of “Robocop” or “Brazil” — no small praise. Definitely worth checking out.
CHANGE OF LIFE
2010; $29.95, UR
A holier-than-thou, homophobic minister drives his lesbian daughter to suicide and then prays to God for a second chance. The Big Guy delivers by backing up time two weeks … and putting his spirit into a gay guy! A bit too heavy at times — shoulda been a comedy — but a unique drama nonetheless.
CLASH OF THE TITANS
2010; $27.95-$35.95, PG-13
You don’t expect us to promote this remake of a Ray Harryhausen classic, do you? Sam Worthington, Gemma Arterton, Mads Mikkelsen, Alexa Davalos, Ralph Fiennes, Liam Neeson and a host of others desecrate sacred ground with (gasp) CGI effects! Ask for the original.
DOGS VS. CATS
2010; $14.95, UR
A nice collection of Animal Planet specials that informs you about the differences between (duh) dogs and cats. Includes the entire “Cats 101” and “Dogs 101” — lively looks at many of the most common breeds of each, aimed a helping you choose what type of dog or cat would best fit within your household, and how to keep that particular animal happy and healthy. We recommend the Maine Coon cat, which can be ridden like a horse in the course of a year.
2009; $26.95, UR
Seriously wicked-hot America Olivo stars as “the girl,” a recent transplant into a ritzy suburb enclave. She gets her jollies by breaking into homes and torturing the occupants in Robert Angelo Masciantonio’s ultraviolent ode to … well, we don’t know what it’s an ode to, but it is ultraviolent. With Olivo’s hubby Christian Campbell, Mink Stole and Lauren Rooney.
2010; $29.95-$34.95, R
Completely unredeemable — and damn fine — shoot-’em-up spy outing pitting rival sociopathic assassins against each other in a no-holds-barred fight to the death. But it’s the cast that makes it work: Rob “Hot Tub Time Machine” Corddry, Zach Galifianakis, hot little Emilie de Ravin, Odette “The Unborn” Yustman, skinny Maggie Q, Ving Rhames and many, many more.
PARTING WAYS: AN UNAUTHORIZED STORY ON LIFE AFTER THE BEATLES
2010; $14.95, UR
Real nice doc on what happened to The Beatles after The Beatles. John, of course, was smothered by Yoko; Paul grew Wings; George, oddly, made the best music of the bunch with The Traveling Wilburys; and Ringo hit the road with the All-Starr Band. With lots more you probably didn’t know.
PUPPET MASTER: AXIS OF EVIL
2010; $19.95-$29.95, UR
The latest in the way-too-long “Puppet Master” franchise from our buds at Full Moon Entertainment. Worth watching if only for breathtakingly nubile redheaded siren Jenna Gallaher, last seen in 2009’s “Nightfall.”
RAY BRADBURY’S CHRYSALIS
2008; $24.95, PG-13
This tale has been in pre-production in one form or another since the ’50s, but this marks the first time it has actually been filmed. After Armageddon has left the Earth uninhabitable, a small group of scientists try to grow plants in an underground bunker. But one of them falls sick and, huddled in a fetal position, grows a protective cocoon around his entire body. Is this the next step in human evolution or the end of everything? One of his best shorts, long in need of a good film treatment.
SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH: THE COMPLETE SERIES
2010; $239.95, UR
This dippy teen version of “Bewitched” made a pop-star of Melissa Joan Hart. If you need to know more, you probably wouldn’t be interested anyway.
THE BURNT HOUSE
2010; $19.95-$24.95, UR
Latest in an as-yet-unnamed genre: the “parents who lose a child and go to live in an isolated house only to find horror” movie. Their baby dies, the dad’s mom dies, the mom has an affair, and the date “Nov. 3” keeps mysteriously appearing. Ooh-wee-ooh. We’ve seen worse.
2008; $24.95, UR
Marguerite “Parenthood” Moreau and Colin Hay of “Men At Work” (a strange casting pair, to be sure) star in this no-budget indie spooker/thriller that throws everything from unhinged co-workers, Satanists, personal evil and door-to-door salesmen into the mix. Some of it works, some doesn’t, but it all seems surprisingly fresh thanks to first-time writer/director Bob Badway. (Be aware that there are AT LEAST five other movies with this same name.)