Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Bluray Tuesday: Featuring Boo 2, Gothic & Class of 1999

January 30th 2018

The last Bluray Tuesday of the month is here. I feel like January flew by! This week is a bit lighter in releases than previous weeks but it has a few standouts. First up is The Madea sequel Boo! 2 A Madea Halloween. With the success of the original, Lionsgate green-lit a sequel. I've enjoyed a few Madea films but the first Boo! wasn't what I expected. Next up this week is numbers 13 & 14 in the Vestron Video collector's series, Gothic and Class of 1999. Both are released for the first time on Bluray. I will definitely be adding these to my collection. Vestron has been releasing some cool editions to their line and the slipcovers look great together as a set. Vinegar Syndrome releases Lucifer's Women for the first time on Bluray this week. This one I've never heard of, so if anyone has seen this let me know how it is. And finally, Shout Factory releases a dark action superhero film Rendel: Dark Vengeance, which is another film I haven't heard of but may check out in the near future. So what will you buy, rent or skip this week? Let us know in the comments. Until next week!

Boo! 2: A Madea Halloween: Amazon - $19.99

Tiffany travels to Derrick Lake to celebrate her 18th birthday at a Halloween frat party in the middle of the woods. Frantic and worried, Madea, Aunt Bam and Hattie hop in the car to save her from the same terrible fate that befell a group of teens there years earlier. Chaos soon strikes when the would-be heroes find themselves fighting for their lives against an array of spooky monsters, goblins and boogeymen.

Boo 2! A Madea Halloween (Blu-ray) 

Gothic (1986): Amazon - $31.99

Story of the night that Mary Shelley gave birth to the horror classic "Frankenstein". Disturbed drug induced games are played and ghost stories are told one rainy night at the mad Lord Byron's country estate. Personal horrors are revealed and the madness of the evening runs from sexual fantasy to fiercest nightmare. Mary finds herself drawn into the sick world of her lover Shelley and cousin Claire as Byron leads them all down the dark paths of their souls.

Gothic (Blu-ray) 

Class of 1999 (1990): Amazon - $28.99

The time is the future and youth gang violence is so high that the areas around some schools have become "free fire zones," into which not even the police will venture. When Miles Langford, the principal of Kennedy High School, decides to take his school back from the gangs, robotics specialist Dr. Robert Forrest provides "tactical education units." These human-like androids have been programmed to teach and are supplied with weapons to discipline problems. These kids will get a lesson... in staying alive!

Class of 1999 (Blu-ray) 

The Witches (1967): Amazon - $22.99 

Dino De Laurentiis brought together the talents of five celebrated Italian directors for an anthology film. Their brief was simple: to direct an episode in which Silvana Mangano plays a witch.

The Witches (Blu-ray) 

Rendel: Dark Vengeance: Amazon - $14.99

A Finnish superhero, a masked vigilante Rendel seeks for revenge and fights against VALA, the huge criminal organization.

Rendel: Dark Vengeance (Blu-ray) 

Lucifer's Women: Amazon - $23.99

Dracula (Larry Hankin) adds a twist to the tale of a Svengali and his Trilby. An evil hypnotist puts a beautiful woman under his spell.

Lucifer's Women (Blu-ray) 

Last Flag Flying: Amazon - $19.99

Thirty years after serving together in the Vietnam War, Larry "Doc" Shepherd, Sal Nealon and the Rev. Richard Mueller reunite for a different type of mission: to bury Doc's son, a young Marine killed in Iraq. Forgoing burial at Arlington National Cemetery, Doc and his old buddies take the casket on a bittersweet trip up the coast to New Hampshire. Along the way, the three men find themselves reminiscing and coming to terms with the shared memories of a war that continues to shape their lives.

Last Flag Flying (Blu-ray) 

- The Impostor

Monday, January 29, 2018

Screenings in the Bay (Monday to Friday): Winchester, SF Indie Fest, Super Shangri-La Show, Mainland Noir

We are entering festival territory in this last week of January! Noir City already had their opening night last Friday and continue with a double feature every day this week, but this Thursday, the Yerba Buena Theatre kicks off a noir festival of their own, Mainland Noir. They will be highlighting the crime and murder within several Chinese films. It shares its opening night with this year's SF Indie Fest, which will be taking over several theatres in the city for two weeks. And in non festival related screenings, Winchester opens this Friday, with a special live event taking place Thursday across several theatres. The details? Unknown. But doesn't that just add to the excitement?

Opening This Week

Early Screening Thursday 1st (1hr 39min)
Opens Friday 2nd
Biography/ Fantasy/ Horror (IMDB)
Inspired by true events. On an isolated stretch of land 50 miles outside of San Francisco sits the most haunted house in the world. Built by Sarah Winchester, (Academy Award (R)-winner Helen Mirren) heiress to the Winchester fortune, it is a house that knows no end. Constructed in an incessant twenty-four hour a day, seven day a week mania for decades, it stands seven stories tall and contains hundreds of rooms. To the outsider it looks like a monstrous monument to a disturbed woman's madness. But Sarah is not building for herself, for her niece (Sarah Snook) or for the troubled Doctor Eric Price (Jason Clarke) whom she has summoned to the house. She is building a prison, an asylum for hundreds of vengeful ghosts, and the most terrifying among them have a score to settle with the Winchesters...

Monday 29th @ 1pm (1hr 43min)
Wednesday 31st @ 7:15pm
Horror (Rotten Tomatoes)
Now that Chris and his girlfriend, Rose, have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend getaway upstate with Missy and Dean. At first, Chris reads the family's overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter's interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he could have never imagined.

Terror Tuesday

Tuesday 30th @ 10pm (2hrs)
Fantasy/ Horror (Google)
Strange and creepy happenings beset an average California family, the Freelings -- Steve (Craig T. Nelson), Diane (JoBeth Williams), teenaged Dana (Dominique Dunne), eight-year-old Robbie (Oliver Robins), and five-year-old Carol Ann (Heather O'Rourke) -- when ghosts commune with them through the television set. Initially friendly and playful, the spirits turn unexpectedly menacing, and, when Carol Ann goes missing, Steve and Diane turn to a parapsychologist and eventually an exorcist for help.

Weird Wednesday

Wednesday 31st @ 10pm (1hr 40min)
Action/ Horror/ Sci-fi (RottenTomatoes)
When alien vampires terrorize London, it's up to a determined police inspector and an astronaut to stop them. American and British space travelers discover humanoids while exploring near Halley's Comet. The astronauts bring three of these aliens aboard their spaceship and head back to earth. However, their guests turn out to be evil vampires who kill all but one of the astronauts -- Carlsen. After the ship arrives in London, the monsters -- led by a beautiful female -- escape and wreak havoc throughout the city, transforming humans into zombies. Meanwhile, the surviving astronaut and Caine, a determined police inspector, frantically try to track down the creatures, and destroy them. But the "Space Girl" has a strange hold over Carlsen, and he has trouble fighting the urge to join her.

Super Shangri-La Show

Wednesday 31st @ 7:30pm (1hr 37min)

Classics/ Drama/ Western (Rotten Tomatoes)
Samuel Fuller wrote and directed this lively drama based on the real-life adventures of James Addison Reavis, one of the most ambitious swindlers of the 19th Century. In 1871, Reavis (played by Vincent Price) began hatching an elaborate scheme to claim the Arizona territory (then three decades away from statehood) as his own. At the time, land grants established during Spanish rule of Arizona were still valid, and one rainy evening Reavis visited Pepito Peralta (Vladimir Sokoloff) and his daughter Sofia (Karen Kester) with some exciting news. While working as a real estate clerk, Reavis found documents which granted ownership of nearly the whole of the Arizona territory to one Miguel Peralta, who was named Baron of the new land by Spain's rulers, and as his heir Sofia will become Baroness when she reaches adulthood, giving her claim to the territory.

Conflict (1945)
Monday 29th @ 7:30pm (1hr 26min)
Horror/ Mystery/ Suspense (Rotten Tomatoes)
When a man (Humphrey Bogart) falls in love with his wife's sister (Alexis Smith), he asks for a divorce. The wife (Rose Hobart), however, refuses so he plots to kill her.


Jealousy (1945)
Monday 29th @ 9:30pm (1hr 11min)
Crime/ Drama/ Noir (IMDB)
The wife of an alcoholic writer must take a job as a taxi driver to make ends meet. A young man she picks up as a fare befriends her, but when her husband is found murdered, the police suspect she and her new "friend" committed the murder.

The Blue Dahlia (1945)
Tuesday 30th @ 7:30pm (1hr 36min)
Crime/ Noir/ Mystery (IMDB)
At the end of WWII, a veteran returns to Los Angeles and becomes a murder suspect when his adulterous wife is found dead. Helped by a beautiful blonde, he tries to avoid the police while looking for the killer. Raymond Chandler wrote the screenplay for this moody, hard-boiled film noir.


Night Editor (1946)
Tuesday 30th @ 9:30pm (1hr 8min)
Crime/ Drama/ Noir (IMDB)
Inspired by the radio program of the same name, Night Editor features Charles D. Brown as the editor of the New York Star. In flashback, the editor tells the tale of police lieutenant William Gargan, who forsakes his happy home life for the love of no-good society dame Janis Carter. Both Gargan and Carter begin cheating on their respective spouses, and while on a romantic rendezvous the couple witnesses a murder. They can't report the crime without revealing their own infidelities, a dilemma which leads to blackmail, double-crossing and a second murder attempt. A twist ending caps this snappy little 65-minute morality play. The script of Night Editor was based on the story "Inside Story" by Scott Littleton, previously dramatized on the Night Editor radio series.

The Unsuspecting (1947)
Wednesday 31st @ 7:30pm (1hr 43min)
Drama/ Noir/ Mystery (IMDB)
In this taut crime drama, a radio broadcaster hosts a popular murder-mystery show. However, the host himself is actually a deranged killer. After he murders a female staffmember, he thinks he's committed the perfect crime. What he doesn't realize is that the deceased's fiancé knows the truth and wants revenge.


High Tide (1947)
Wednesday 31st @ 9:35pm (1hr 12min)
Noir/ Mystery (IMDB)
A crusading newspaper editor (motor-mouthed Lee Tracy) gets more than he bargained for when he hires a private dick (tight-lipped Don Castle) to protect him from riled-up gangsters. Featuring one of the greatest flashback set-ups ever, this is as witty and moody as any "B" noir of the era—finally back in circulation thanks to a glorious 35mm restoration funded by the Film Noir Foundation in 2012.

I Walk Alone (1948)
Thursday 1st @ 7:30pm (1hr 37min)
Crime/ Drama/ Noir (IMDB)
Set during Prohibition, this crime melodrama tells the tale of two bootleggers and an upscale speakeasy. Rumrunners Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster have a thriving business until they find themselves racing up to an enormous police roadblock while running a fresh supply of hooch to their club one night. Realizing that all will be lost if they are both captured, the pair quickly make a pact. One will run on foot while the other drives to the roadblock. The one who successfully escapes is to maintain the club and save half the profits for the other. Unlucky Lancaster gets caught and spends 14 years in prison. He spends most of that time angrily dreaming of revenge and soon after his release, he sets out to get it. By this time, Douglas has turned the nightclub into a lucrative venture. Unfortunately for Lancaster, he is unwilling to share in the profits and quickly sets his accountant to doctoring the books to ensure that the vengeful Lancaster gets nothing. It's a big mistake on Douglas's part, and eventually, after much conniving, double-crossing and even a murder, he gets what's coming to him.

Bodyguard (1948)
Thursday 1st @ 9:30pm (1hr 2min)
Crime/ Drama/ Noir (IMDB)
Hollywood's biggest badass is back! Legendary lawbreaker Lawrence Tierney is ironically cast as an insubordinate lawman who gets framed off the force and goes undercover to expose corruption and murder in the meat-packing industry! Perky Priscilla Lane provides spunky support. This early Richard Fleischer programmer moves at a breakneck pace with the story co-credited to—yes, that Robert Altman!

The Accused (1949)
Friday 2nd @ 7:30pm (1hr 41min)
Drama/ Noir/ Thriller (IMDB)
The Accused is a mystery melodrama with a predictable plot involving blackmail, attempted rape and murder. Wilma Tuttle Loretta Young is a school teacher who is assaulted by a student, Bill Perry (Douglas Dick), and, while defending herself, kills him with a tire iron. Frightened, she attempts to make the murder look like an accident. Wilma, despite the fact that she acted in defense, feels increasingly guilty about her actions. Wilma is further conscience stricken when she falls in love with the student's guardian, Warren Ford (Robert Cummings). Despite a good performance by Wendell Corey as a police investigator, The Accused is a rather predictable, routine melodrama, directed without any particular distinction by William Dieterle.


The Threat (1949)
Friday 2nd @ 9:35pm (1hr 6min)
Crime/ Drama/ Noir (IMDB)
Homicidal criminal Charles McGraw busts out of jail, kidnapping the three people responsible for his incarceration. The hapless hostages include detective Michael O'Shea, district attorney Frank Conroy, and nightclub singer Virginia Grey. McGraw makes no secret of his plans to kill O'Shea and Conroy once he has successfully made a getaway; he has other plans for Grey, however, and for a while it seems as though she'll willingly play along with him. The cat-and-mouse game reaches its peak of tension some sixty minutes into this 65-minute thriller. Sparse and unpretentious, The Threat contained far more excitement than many a more expensive, star-studded film noir.

Midnight Madness

Friday 2nd @ 11:55pm (1hr 34min)
Action/ Thriller (IMDB)
"In 1979, a charismatic leader summons the street gangs of New York City in a bid to take it over. When he is killed, The Warriors are falsely blamed and now must fight their way home while every other gang is hunting them down to kill them."

Also Screening Saturday

Screening All Week (1hr 42min)
Adventure/ Animation (IMDB)
From Academy Award (R)-nominee Hiromasa Yonebayashi - animator on Studio Ghibli masterpieces Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, and Ponyo, and director of When Marnie Was There and The Secret World of Arrietty - comes a dazzling new adventure about a young girl named Mary, who discovers a flower that grants magical powers, but only for one night. Mary is an ordinary young girl stuck in the country with her Great-Aunt Charlotte and seemingly no adventures or friends in sight. She follows a mysterious cat into the nearby forest, where she discovers an old broomstick and the strange Fly-by-Night flower, a rare plant that blossoms only once every seven years and only in that forest. Together the flower and the broomstick whisk Mary above the clouds, and far away to Endor College - a school of magic run by headmistress Madam Mumblechook and the brilliant Doctor Dee. But there are terrible things happening at the school, and when Mary tells a lie, she must risk her life to try to set things right. Based on Mary Stewart's 1971 classic children's book The Little Broomstick, Mary and The Witch's Flower is an action-packed film full of jaw-dropping imaginative worlds, ingenious characters, and the stirring, heartfelt story of a young girl trying to find a place in the world. Featuring the voices of Ruby Barnhill and Academy Award-winners Kate Winslet and Jim Broadbent

Friday 2nd @ 7pm (1hr 26min)
Hybrid (?)
A hybrid of documentary and fiction, Rukus is a queer coming-of-age story set in the liminal spaces of furry conventions, southern punk houses, and virtual worlds. Rukus is a 20-year-old furry artist, living with his boyfriend Sable in the suburbs of Orlando, Florida. In his sketchbooks, Rukus is constructing an imaginary universe—a sprawling graphic novel in which painful childhood memories are restaged as an epic fantasy. He crosses paths with Brett, a 16-year-old filmmaker with OCD, who is working on a documentary about kinky subcultures in spite of his own anxiety. After an interview leads to an online friendship, their lives entwine in ways that push them into strange, unexplored territories.

Friday 2nd @ 9:15pm (1hr 20min)
Horror/ Romance/ Sci-Fi (IMDB)
A surreal sci-fi romance wherein a beautiful young woman and strange metaphysical forces threaten the reality of a reclusive video arcade technician, resulting in bizarre biomechanical mutations and a shocking self-realization.

Mainland Noir

Thursday 1st @ 7:30pm (1hr 50min)
Crime/ Mystery/ Thriller (IMDB)
Winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival, this edgy, neon-soaked mystery begins with the discovery of a severed hand in a coal factory. Cop Zhang (Liao Fan) follows the case, but five years later, when he’s drinking heavily and working as a security guard, the body parts are still showing up. This sumptuous nocturnal noir has drawn comparison to David Fincher’s Zodiac, and is a landmark among Chinese crime films.


The Overlook Theatre's Top 10 Horror Movies of 2017

And here we are. More than halfway through January, a month I somehow forgot about while booking both the Podcast and planning the Unnamed Footage Festival... But that's not why this month is important. It's important because it's 2018 and I am just now finished with our Top 10 Horror Movies of 2017 list! I do apologize for those of you that have been following The Overlook Theatre into our now 5th year! It's just been a lot busier lately, from the Overlook Hour Podcast to the Unnamed Footage Festival, and attempting to create some steady video content all while trying to wrangle the creatures for a weekly screening!

Excuses aside, it's honestly very tough to create a Top 10 list that pleases every one of these fiends, so this year I didn't even try. I had Math Mage prepare for the most brutal Top 10 list in Overlook history. A list decided by projecting every horror film we could think of from 2017 and everyone debating, manipulating, and yelling to see their favorite films make it to the number 1 spot. Some were excited by the turn-out, most were confused, and a few were just angry. But the numbers don't lie and after everyone wrote a personal Top 10 the mage worked his magic and conjured up the results:

Two parts faux-doc, one part found footage, Phoenix Forgotten was a much anticipated film. After a trailer was spotted during a random screening of John Wick 2, Trash became obsessed with learning more. This seemed silly to most of us at the Overlook, until she told us about how no one was talking about it. I think she ultimately found two others on Twitter scouring the web trying to learn more about the film, and coming up empty handed... We still aren't sure what the super early trailer with no buzz and a different name was about but had Blair Witch done better in the box office, I'm sure we would have seen more advertising.

How does a film like Wish Upon make it to our top 10 list of 2017? I'm not sure, it might have been the authentic descent our protagonist goes through, or the fact that Wish Upon is a movie that doesn't do the "careful how you word your wish" crap we're so sick of. Or maybe it's because dumpster diving dads are hot like Sriracha and the Overlook digs on the multiverse... That's probably it.

A film that will forever be compared to Joe Lynch's Mayhem, James Gunn's The Belko Experiment achieves a much broader range of emotions than one would expect from "The Office meets Battle Royale". Capturing office microcosms and butchering likable characters for maximum effect, The Belko Experiment is one that definitely had the Overlook feeling everything from joy to horror.

Raw is a French/Belgium co-production that left a lot of horror fans disappointed. The marketing for this film was something along the lines of "we dare you to watch this" (the Alamo screening we attended came with branded barf bags). So why did Raw make #7 on our list? It's a beautifully shot film that employees a powerful visual narrative, as we watch a girl find herself in college... Not only does Raw have one of the best shot party scenes, it's also got a very adult French rap that rules!
6.) Dark Night

Dark Night is the film I get the most slack for. Technically not a horror film, yet easily the scariest thing I saw in theatres. Simply the fact that it made #6 is a testament to the film's impact, considering only a handful of us saw this film. Tim Sutton's brilliant character exploration is now on Netflix, but I just can't imagine a home viewing feeling as off putting as sitting in a theatre... Still, watch it!
5.) The Evil Within

Never have I seen a film that could rightfully be called equal parts transcendent and The Room. The Evil Within was a buzz in 2017 as this 15 year project was finally released after director and heir to the cursed Getty's family fortune passed away. Come for the crazy story and stay for stunning visuals. This is a very special film (and I feel bad for saying this, but no pun intended).
4.) Rift

It's insane to think that the writer/director or Child Eater Erlingur Thoroddsen would follow up his microbudget slashers with Rokkur??? (Rift). Rift is a film about a relationship set in the beautifully barren back drop of Iceland, in a house that has so much character it rivals the Amityville horror, and filmed by a director who knows how to craft a mood. Oh and yes, Erlingur is also a huge horror fan... Keep an eye out for his Don't Look Now homage.  
3.) IT

Our poster paints an accurate picture or how split some of the creatures were on IT. The ones who loved the second coming of Stephen King however LOVED IT. In our annual debate of the Overlook Top 10, The Impostor was very vocal about how IT should be number one and was noticeably upset after the Math Mage ran the numbers... IT didn't make my Top 10 list but I will say, it's a quick 2h30m watch and that's no small feet feat. 😉

If a film lets out and the theatre lobby fills with audience members discussing what they just watched, would you say the film failed or succeeded? This was a debate all across the web after Darren Aronofsky's new film went wide. And I am very proud to say that the Overlook fiends have learned a good film is one that warrants discussion. Honestly it was a bit surreal seeing so many people leave in passionate discussion over something they had just watched (even if 80% of the crowd was traumatized squares).

Who knew 1 half of Key and Peele would end up writing/directing one of my favorite films this year, and more importantly the #1 film chosen by the Overlook Theatre to represent horror in 2017!? I don't think Get Out winning the day really surprised anyone; it appeared somewhere on everyone's list, except for The Great Hornito who still hasn't seen it. Dabbles and the Ascendant both placed it at #1 with 6 others putting it at #2. Clearly Jordan Peele had married Horror and Scifi together in a very satisfying way, but the new dialogue about modern race relations was astounding. I'd be amiss not to mention how the theatre came alive when Childish Gambino's blossoming hit played loudly in the Alamo. I think more monsters might have ranked it higher had it not been so openly embraced by the masses, but then again, that's why we have the shouting match scored by the Math Mage!

- Lord Battle

Individual Top 10 Lists
The Impostor

1. IT
2. Get Out
3. Tragedy Girls
4. Mother!
5. Better Watch Out
6. The Evil Within
7. Cure For Wellness
8. The Belko Experiment
9. 68 Kill
10. The Lure

Lord Battle
1. Dark Night
2. Descent To Darkness
3. Nocturama
4. Get Out
5. Wish Upon
6. Assholes
7. Pheonix Forgotten
8. Rift
9. Raw
10. Better Watch Out

1. The Belko Experiment
2. Mother!
3. The Evil Within
4. The Lure
5. Brawl in Cell Block 99
6. Rift
7. Tragedy Girls
8. Better Watch Out
9. Get Out
10. Colossal

The Berkeley Blazer
1. Mother!
2. Get Out
3. It Comes at Night
4. The Evil Within
5. Raw
6. Rift
7. Nocturama
8. Alien Covenant
9. Colossal
10. Wish Upon

1. Get Out
2. IT
3. Annabelle Creation
4. Hell House LLC
5. Wish Upon
6. Happy Deathday
7. Pheonix Forgotten
8. The Evil Within
9. Prankz
10. Prevenge

The Great Hornito
1. Pheonix Forgotten
2. Personal Shopper
3. Bad Ben
4. Death Note
5. Alien Covenant
6. Descent To Darkness
7. 68 Kill
8. Prankz
9. Devils Candy
10. Bedeviled

1. The Evil Within
2. Get Out
3. Wolf Cop 2
4. Rift
5. Mother!
6. IT
7. Hounds of Love
8. Annabelle Creation
9. Good Time
10. Tragedy Girls

Clark Little
1. Dark Night
2. Hounds of Love
3. Killing of a Sacred Deer
4. Mother!
5. Raw
6. IT
7. Hell House LLC
8. 1922
9. Get Out
10. Good Time

Randy The Reverberator
1. Mother!
2. Dark Night
3. Killing of a Sacred Deer
4. Get Out
5. The Lure
6. The Shape of Water
7. Raw
8. Pheonix Forgotten
9. Hell House LLC
10. IT

Wandering Panda
1. IT
2. Get Out
3. Mother!
4. Geralds Game
5. The Belko Experiment
6. Happy Deathday
7. Annabelle Creation
8. Jigsaw
9. Split
10. It Comes at Night

Midnight Bloom
1. IT
2. Get Out
3. Rift
4. The Belko Experiment
5. Mother!
6. Split
7. Hounds of Love
8. Wish Upon
9. Death Note
10. Bedeviled

Missed the White Elephant Debate
The Ascendant
1. Get Out
2. Raw
3. The Lure
4. Hounds of Love
5. The Killing of A Sacred Deer
6. We Are The Flesh (Tenemos la carne)
7. Circus of the Dead
8. The Void
9. Super Dark Times
10. A Dark Song

1. Black Coats Daughter
2. Get Out
3. Kong Skull Island
4. A Cure for Wellness
5. I Don't Feel Safe in this World Anymore
6. Dark Night
7.War for the Planet of the Apes
8. The Triangle
9. Better Watch Out
10. N/A*
*Didn't like enough films to make a list of 10. #Can'tWaitToHate 😊