Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Bluray Tuesday: Featuring The Dark Tower, Slaughter High and The Lift

October 31st 2017

Happy Halloween! This year my favorite holiday lands on my favorite day of the week, Bluray Tuesday. Releasing from Scream Factory this week is George A. Romero's Land of The Dead and 2005 remake of Dawn of The Dead. Both are part of their collector's edition line with a few new bonus features. Lionsgate and Vesteron Video partner in releasing the 12th title in their collector's edition line with 80's slasher, Slaughter High. I'm looking forward to watching this again, it's definitely one of my favorite releases today. Bluray Underground releases some updates to Bluray titles for Halloween as well with 2001's Down and 80's film The Lift. Both are blind buys for me but I'm looking forward to watching them. Stephen King's scifi action thriller The Dark Tower hits shelves as the newest release of the day. The Dark Tower got mixed reviews during its theatrical run earlier this year but I still want to check it out. Rounding out today is Halle Berry thriller Kidnap which I enjoyed. It's an edge of your seat kind of film and it shares today with Arrow's re-release of Hellraiser in a cool steelbook packaging. So what will you be buying, renting or skipping this week? Let us know in the comments. Hope you all have an awesome Halloween. Until next week!

The Dark Tower: Amazon - $19.99
4K: Amazon - $27.99

Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), the last Gunslinger, is locked in an eternal battle with Walter O'Dim (Matthew McConaughey), also known as the Man in Black. The Gunslinger must prevent the Man in Black from toppling the Dark Tower, the key that holds the universe together. With the fate of worlds at stake, two men collide in the ultimate battle between good and evil.

The Dark Tower (Blu-ray) 

The Dark Tower 4K (Blu-ray) 

Steelbook: Best Buy - $29.99

The Dark Tower 4K (Blu-ray) 

Slaughter High: Amazon - $28.99

An April Fools' prank returns to haunt Doddsville High's alumni when they attend a reunion at their abandoned school.

Slaughter High (Blu-ray) 

The Lift (1983): Amazon - $19.99

A lift begins displaying some erratic behavior, like trapping some party goers and nearly suffocating them, and decapitating a security guard. Felix, the technician from the lift company, can't find anything wrong with the circuitry. When he and a nosy reporter begin asking questions of the lift company's electronics partner (Rising Sun Electronics) his boss puts him on a leave of absence. A subsequent visit to a professor leads them to believe that some evil experiments are being conducted with MICROCHIPS.
The Lift (Blu-ray) 

Down (2001): Amazon - $19.99

When the express elevators in the Millennium Building, one of New York's most famous landmarks, start to malfunction and behave in erratic ways, elevator mechanic Mark Newman is sent out to find the cause of the problems

Down (Blu-ray) 

Land of The Dead: Amazon - $21.99

In a modern-day world where the walking dead roam an uninhabited wasteland, the living try to lead "normal" lives behind the walls of a fortified city. A new society has been built by a handful of ruthless opportunists, who live in the towers of a skyscraper, high above the chaos on the streets below. Outside the city walls, an army of the dead is evolving, and with the survival of the city at stake, a group of hardened mercenaries is called into action.

Land of the Dead (Blu-ray) 

Dawn of The Dead (2005): Amazon - $21.99

The dead have become zombies, stalking in an endless quest to feed on those who remain alive. A group of desperate survivors in a Wisconsin town seek refuge in a large indoor mall, where they must learn not only to protect themselves from the zombie horde, but also to co-exist with each other. Remake of the 1978 film.
Dawn of the Dead (Blu-ray) 

Hellraiser (1987) Steelbook: Amazon - $26.99

Sexual deviant Frank (Sean Chapman) inadvertently opens a portal to hell when he tinkers with a box he bought while abroad. The act unleashes gruesome beings called Cenobites, who tear Frank's body apart. When Frank's brother (Andrew Robinson) and his wife, Julia (Clare Higgins), move into Frank's old house, they accidentally bring what is left of Frank back to life. Frank then convinces Julia, his one-time lover, to lure men back to the house so he can use their blood to reconstruct himself.

Hellraiser (Blu-ray)
Temporary cover art 

J.D.'s Revenge (1976): Amazon - $27.99

A docile black law student is possessed by a 1940's mobster in mid-70's New Orleans. The mobster seeks revenge upon the people who killed him and his sister.

J.D.'s Revenge (Blu-ray) 

Kidnap: Amazon - $19.99

A typical afternoon in the park turns into a nightmare for single mother Karla Dyson when kidnappers snatch her young son Frankie. With no cellphone and no time to wait for police, Dyson jumps into her car to follow the vehicle that holds Frankie. As the pursuit turns into a frantic, high-speed chase, Karla must risk everything and push herself to the limit to save her beloved child.

Kidnap (Blu-ray) 

- The Impostor

Monday, October 30, 2017

Screenings in the Bay (Monday to Friday): Buzzard Hollow Beef, Blades of the Immortal, Day of the Dead, Keep Watching

Happy Hallows' Eve everyone! I hope your decorations are up and candy is waiting by the front door. That is, unless you like tempting the Halloween spirits...

We've got a lot going on in the bay area this week, with at least two one day only screenings landing on Halloween night. The first of which is a super advanced screening of Takashi Miike's new film, Blades of the Immortal, followed by a live Q&A with Miike at the Clay Theatre. The second is a special one night screening of Keep Watching. The Alamo is also screening the last of their George Romero Terror Tuesdays, Day of the Dead.

Of course there are also a slew of Halloween parties all over the city. Stereo Argento even temporarily moved to Tuesday in order to quench your thirst for blood and Italian horror!  

One Night Screening

Tuesday 31st @ 10pm (1hr 29min)
Horror/ Mystery/ Suspense (Rotten Tomatoes)
A family imprisoned by intruders is forced to play a terrifying game of "Kill, Or Be Killed". As the night unfolds, the game's mysterious rules become clear, and the family realizes their nightmare is being streamed live to riveted viewers all over the world, who are compelled to KEEP WATCHING... not knowing if what they're seeing is real, or staged.

40th Anniversary Black and White Screening

Tuesday 31st @ 7pm (1hr 50min)
Slasher/ Thriller (Google)
On a cold Halloween night in 1963, six year old Michael Myers brutally murdered his 17-year-old sister, Judith. He was sentenced and locked away for 15 years. But on October 30, 1978, while being transferred for a court date, a 21-year-old Michael Myers steals a car and escapes Smith's Grove. He returns to his quiet hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois, where he looks for his next victims.

Screening in Black and White

Tuesday 31st @ 9pm (1hr 32min)
Horror (IMDB)
Shaken and injured from her battle with unkillable psycho Michael Myers, Laurie Strode is taken to the Haddonfield Hospital for observation, while Dr. Sam Loomis continues his desperate search for his monstrous patient. After slashing his way through the town, Myers manages to track Laurie to the hospital. Numerous night-shift employees are slaughtered in a variety of gruesome ways as Myers closes in on his fixation.

Wednesday 1st @ 9pm (1hr 27min)
Drama/ Horror (IMDB)
Who's watching Oliver tells the story of a mentally unstable loner lost in a life forced upon him. By night Oliver aimlessly wanders the streets and bars on what can only be described as a truly shocking and humiliating killing spree. His only savior and possible way out of a life he is desperate to escape comes in the form of the beautiful Sophia with her sweet eccentricity and naivety to the danger she has put herself in.

Thursday 2nd @ 7pm (1hr 25min)
Action/ Adventure/ Drama (IMDB)
In the eleventh hour, one man's last attempt to preserve humanity may be what separates a desperate group of survivors from becoming the very monsters they are trying to escape.

Thursday 2nd @ 9pm (1hr 15min)
Horror (IMDB)
A psychedelic horror that follows a family, who after experiencing vivid hallucinations, believe that they have been poisoned by cannibalistic hillbillies.

Q&A after the screening with Director Joshua M. Johnson

Friday 3rd @ 7pm (1hr 22min)
Documentary/ Thriller/ Horror (IMDB)
Rob Grant and Mike Kovac receive a disturbing fan video inspired by their previous horror movie Mon Ami, motivating them to investigate the responsibility of filmmakers in portraying violence in movies. In their pursuit of the truth they are unwittingly introduced to the real world of violent criminals and their victims.

Screening till Thursday 2nd @ 8pm (1hr 26min)
Horror (IMDB)
Members of the all-girl punk rock band "Kill, Pussy, Kill!" must fight for their lives and attempt to outwit an unknown assailant after finding themselves trapped in a madman's maze.

Care Package

Monday 30th @ 9:55pm (1hr 31min)
Slasher/ Thriller (Google)
Several people are hunted by a cruel serial killer who kills his victims in their dreams. While the survivors are trying to find the reason for being chosen, the murderer won't lose any chance to kill them as soon as they fall asleep.

Movie Party

Tuesday 31st @ 7pm (1hr 41min)
Drama/ Fantasy/ Horror (IMDB)
A newcomer to a Catholic prep high school falls in with a trio of outcast teenage girls who practice witchcraft and they all soon conjure up various spells and curses against those who even slightly anger them.

Terror Tuesday

Tuesday 31st @ 9:45pm (1hr 36min)
Horror/ Thriller (IMDB)
Flesh-eating zombies close in on a handful of soldiers and scientists holed up in an underground bunker. Final chapter of Romero's trilogy.

Early Screening

Early Screening Tuesday 31st @ 7:30pm (2hrs 20min)
Action/ Drama (IMDB)
Samurai Manji has taken a lot of lives, both innocent and guilty, and now lives life in feudal Japan as a criminal. After being cursed with immortality until he kills enough evil men, Manji meets a young girl who enlists him to be her body-guard. Swearing loyalty, protection and vengeance against the group of sword fighters who slaughtered her family, the unlikely duo set on a remarkable quest to make right against those who did them wrong.

Followed by a live Q&A with Takashi Miike

Thursday 2nd @ 7:30pm (2hrs 4min)
Drama/ Musical (IMDB)
Adapted from the Broadway show, this hard-hitting musical drama is set in decadent 1930s Berlin during Hitler's rise to power. The film chronicles Cambridge student Brian Roberts' friendship with the high-spirited Sally Bowles, a singer at the sleazy Kit Kat nightclub, where the anti-Semitic emcee sets a tone of debauchery.


Friday, October 27, 2017

Screenings in the Bay (Friday to Sunday): Vampir-Cuadecuc, Gialloween (Extended), Jigsaw, Tragedy Girls

Happy last Friday of October guys!

Today is the official release date of the newest installment of the Saw franchise, Jigsaw, but to be completely honest there are some carefully programmed series that outshine the big budget new release for me. And that's not to say Jigsaw wasn't good either. We took a field trip to see it in XD on Thursday and it was a lot of fun to watch. But when it's put next to some of the foreign avant-garde horror films showing at the Yerba Buena, or the Mexican art house film screening at the Roxie on Sunday... it's just a lot more mainstream. And if you want to see something old that could never be made again, and that you aren't going to see in theatres too often, then take a look through the list of what's screening around the bay area this Halloween Eve weekend.

Opening Today

Opens Friday 27th (1hr 31min)
Crime/ Horror/ Mystery (IMDB)
Thirteen years ago on Halloween weekend--SAW and the character of JIGSAW introduced the world to a new face of horror. For seven straight years "If it's Halloween it must be SAW" was a holiday tradition. This October 27, Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures proudly present JIGSAW! After a series of murders bearing all the markings of the Jigsaw killer, law enforcement find themselves chasing the ghost of a man dead for over a decade and embroiled in a new game that's only just begun. Is John Kramer back from the dead to remind the world to be grateful for the gift of life? Or is this a trap set by a killer with designs of their own?

See Jigsaw in XD opening weekend and get a free poster!

Screening All Weekend (2hrs 1min)
Drama/ Horror/ Mystery (IMDB)
Dr. Steven Murphy (Colin Farrell) is a renowned cardiovascular surgeon presiding over a spotless household with his ophthalmologist wife Anna (Nicole Kidman) and their two exemplary children, 12-year-old Bob (Sunny Suljic) and 14-year-old Kim (Raffey Cassidy). Lurking at the margins of his idyllic suburban existence is Martin (Barry Keoghan), a fatherless teen who Steven has covertly taken under his wing. As Martin begins insinuating himself into the family's life in ever-more unsettling displays, the full scope of his intent becomes menacingly clear when he confronts Steven with a long-forgotten transgression that will shatter the Murphy family's domestic bliss.

Friday 27th @  7pm (1hr 42min)
Comedy/ Crime (IMDB)
The day started off as any other for Frank, but is soon disrupted when his friend Jeff shows up one morning, calling on an old drunken favour. He's got a dead body, and wants some help - no questions asked.

Friday 27th @ 9pm (1hr 38min)
Comedy/ Horror (IMDB)
Best friends Sadie and McKayla are on a mission to boost their social media fandom as amateur crime reporters hot on the trail of a deranged local serial killer. After they manage to capture the killer and secretly hold him hostage, they realize the best way to get scoops on future victims would be to, you know, murder people themselves. As the @TragedyGirls become an overnight sensation and panic grips their small town, can their friendship survive the strain of national stardom? Will they get caught? Will their accounts get verified?

Saturday 28th @ 7pm (1hr 27min)
Drama/ Horror (Google)
Members of a metal band get a chance at a comeback when they are invited to perform at Coachella. When they become stranded in the desert, they have to fight for their lives against giant ants.

Saturday 28th @ 9pm (1hr 33min)
Comedy/ Crime/ Romance (IMDB)
Scraping by flushing septic systems is not Chip's vision of a perfect life. But he's a simple guy and he's got a great girlfriend in Liza. Sure, she supplements their income with a sugar daddy, but every relationship has it's own complexities. When Liza suggests that they relieve her sleazy benefactor of a stack of cash, Chip begins to see a side of her he never knew existed...or never wanted to admit. Now he's got a gun in his hand, a girl in his trunk and less than 24 hours to figure his way out of this mess. A punk-rock romantic comedy for our jagged times.

Sunday 29th @ 9pm (1hr 25min)
International/ Horror (Rotten Tomatoes)
Every camper's worst nightmare came true at Lake Bodom in 1960 when four teenagers were stabbed to death while sleeping in their tent. As the years passed and the case grew cold, the unsolved mystery turned into an urban legend, a creepy campfire story passed from generation to generation. Now, a group of teenagers arrives at the same campsite, hoping to solve the murder by reconstructing it minute by minute. As night falls, turns out not all of them are there to play. Tonight... it's girls against boys. Let the killing games begin.

Halloween Pussy Trap Kill! Kill! (2017)
Screening All Weekend @ 8pm (1hr 26min)
Horror (IMDB)
Members of the all-girl punk rock band "Kill, Pussy, Kill!" must fight for their lives and attempt to outwit an unknown assailant after finding themselves trapped in a madman's maze.

Saturday 28th @ 11:30pm (1hr 36min)
Horror (IMDB)
There is panic throughout the nation as the dead suddenly come back to life. The film follows a group of characters who barricade themselves in an old farmhouse in an attempt to remain safe from these flesh eating monsters.

Presented by AGFA

Sunday 29th @ 6pm
Summon your black magick! Polish your machete! Because DISMEMBER THE ALAMO is coming! This Alamo Drafthouse tradition is a four-film mystery horror movie marathon that delivers 1001% fun directly to your degenerate soul. Just like a blood pact with Satan…BUT BETTER.
The night's lineup will remain a secret until just before showtime, guaranteeing maximum tricks 'n' treats. Join us this Halloween season as we celebrate the cream-of-the-rot from AGFA’s phantasmic collection with mystery movies, mystery surprises, and mysteries of every cerebral un-plane imaginable.

Balboa Theatre

Halloween Cartoons
Saturday 28th @ 10am

William Peter Blatty Double Feature

The Exorcist (1973)
Sunday 29th @ 3:30pm & 8:15pm (2hrs 2min)
Horror (IMDB)
Novelist William Peter Blatty based his best-seller on the last known Catholic-sanctioned exorcism in the United States. Blatty transformed the little boy in the 1949 incident into a little girl named Regan, played by 14-year-old Linda Blair. Suddenly prone to fits and bizarre behavior, Regan proves quite a handful for her actress-mother, Chris MacNeil (played by Ellen Burstyn, although Blatty reportedly based the character on his next-door neighbor Shirley MacLaine). When Regan gets completely out of hand, Chris calls in young priest Father Karras (Jason Miller), who becomes convinced that the girl is possessed by the Devil and that they must call in an exorcist: namely, Father Merrin (Max von Sydow). His foe proves to be no run-of-the-mill demon, and both the priest and the girl suffer numerous horrors during their struggles. The Exorcist received a theatrical rerelease in 2000, in a special edition that added 11 minutes of footage trimmed from the film's original release and digitally enhanced Chris Newman's Oscar-winning sound work. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


The Ninth Configuration (1980)
Sunday 29th @ 6pm (
Comedy/ Drama/ Horror (IMDB)
William Peter Blatty, author of The Exorcist, proved a workmanlike producer/director for 1979's The Ninth Configuration. Army psychiatrist Col. Kane (Stacy Keach) (teetering on the sanity brink himself) tries to minister to the patients in a military mental hospital. The fact that the hospital is located in a brooding old castle is hardly conducive to speedy recoveries. Nor does the mid-film barroom brawl indicate that Kane's approach to mental health is all that workable. Blatty adapted the screenplay for The Ninth Configuration from his own novel Twinkle, Twinkle, "Killer" Kane (which also served as the film's title during one of its many releases).


Saturday 28th @ 9:30pm (1hr 24min)
Horror/ Mystery/ Thriller (IMDB)
If a serial killer isn't stopped, there won't be any beautiful young models left in Rome. The killer always wears a stocking mask, making things extremely difficult for detective Thomas Reiner. The plot contains few surprises: what socks this one over is its gruesome stylishness, a trademark of director Mario Bava. As usual, however, Bava seems more comfortable with shock cuts and clever camera angles than he is with actors. Even such dependable performers as Cameron Mitchell and Eva Bartok come off like stick figures. All the same, Blood & Black Lace is a serviceable introduction to the blood-spattered ouevre of Mario Bava.

Sunday 29th @ 7pm (1hr 18min)
Horror/ Thriller (IMDB)
After the death of her parents, a young girl arrives at a convent and brings a sinister presence with her. Is it her enigmatic imaginary friend, Alucarda, who is to blame? Or is there a satanic force at work?

Sunday 29th @ 8:30pm (1hr 36min)
Thriller (IMDB)
That title alone should tell you this one isn’t to be missed. Sergio Martino’s lurid take on Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat” stars giallo queen Edwige Fenech in one of her wildest roles.

Avant-Garde Horror

Sunday 29th @ 2pm (1hr 10min)
Documentary/ Horror (IMDB)
An experimental film using the stock footage of Jeas Franco's Count Dracula with an atmospheric sound track to create a subversive experience.

Sunday 29th @ 4pm (1hr 35min)
Mystery/ Thriller (IMDB)
A collision with a sheep on a country road initiates a series of unsettling experiences for a young married couple. Slowly they become incapable of knowing exactly where they are: in the real world? in their own minds? Or could they be characters in someone else’s imagination?


Thursday, October 26, 2017

Overlooked Crowd Funding: Cryptozoologist

One of the highlights of the Super Shangri-La Show events at the Balboa Theatre inevitably ends up being whatever project Brad Abrahams and Matt Ralston are presenting. At Bigfoot Bonanza, Swan Song of the Skunk Ape captivated those of the creatures who caught it, and was then shared with those who missed it. You can watch the short in its entirety on YouTube. And this past weekend, at the Space Visitors Film Fest, Love & Saucers won over every person who was there to witness the strange love story. 

"The story of David Huggins, a 72 year-old man who claims to have had a lifetime of encounters with otherworldly beings - including an interspecies romance with an extra-terrestrial woman - and chronicled it all in surreal impressionist paintings."
Several of David's prints were on sale in the lobby.

Now the duo move onward to their next project, Cryptozoologist, which they are actually several weeks into filming. It's another documentary on subject matter that can easily be exploitative or mocking, but it is being handled with respect and care. Just take a look at the trailer they have already put together.

The pair seem to just want to shed light on the legends that are powerful enough to take up a person's entire life and imagination, and they are motivated by their own curiosity. Much like certain subgenres within the horror umbrella (slashers, found footage, etc.), studying hidden or legendary animals can be easily dismissed by most, but it can also be approached academically.

If all goes as planned, we'll be watching Cryptozoologist at the second and last Bigfoot Bonanza! But first, we need to help this film get the funding in order to be made. So let's take a look at some of the perks available on its Kickstarter campaign.

  • Oftentimes, 10 bucks will get you a shout out on social media, but in this campaign it can get you your own crytpid emojis. These little guys are adorable, and I know I'd use the hell out of them.

Under $100:
  • For $50 you'll get the set of cryptid cuties, a download of the team's short film Swan Song of the Skunk Ape, and a signed copy of Cryptozoologist either on DVD or bluray. And I'll always choose the physical copy over a download, though that opinion is becoming unpopular. On the bright side, bluray costs the same as a DVD!

Breaking The Piggy Bank:
  • There is some really cool art for this film, and for $100 you can wear it proudly in tshirt form. This perk also comes with the cute emojis, the download of the short film, AND a signed copy of the completed movie. This sounds like the one I'd go for, personally. Just check out this artwork! The shirt will have the  same image, but it's easier to see on the poster.

There are many more options that include signed books, the limited poster, and Skype hangouts, but there's one that stood out to me. 

Honorary Mention:
Courtesy of Loren Coleman and the International Cryptozoology Society, you can get a year long  membership to the ICS for $150, but they are limited to only 2 adult and 2 children. 

Be sure to check out the rest of the perk options at the Cryptozoologist campaign page.
You can also follow the film on Facebook, Twitter, and get updates at the official site.