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You are here: Community Film DVD/Blu-ray Roundup for July 21, 2015

DVD/Blu-ray Roundup for July 21, 2015

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Every once in a while, you get a lean week. This column would certainly qualify, with only a few highlights coming your way. Still, there are some eccentric efforts that may be worth a look. So if you can’t make it out to the movies this week, be sure to give one of these titles a try!

Big New Releases!

Kung Fu Killer - 51 year old action hero Donnie Yen headlines this Hong Kong fight flick about a killer wiping out the best martial artists in the land. It’s up to the lead’s convict/kung fu master character to help the cops track down and stop the offender. While no one has called it a classic, reviews were pretty decent for this effort. Most described it as a fun flick with better than average performances. Of course, it’s also a great showcase for Yen’s still impressive abilities.

Relentless Justice - B-movie fans may know the name David A. Prior - he’s responsible for directing several 80s and 90s low-budget action cult classics (including Killer Workout, Deadly Prey and Raw Justice). These titles are noteworthy for their cheesy, over-the-top approach. Well, he’s made a brand new one. This time, it’s about a former Australian Intelligence agent who is brought out of retirement when her teenage daughter is kidnapped on a camping trip. Leilani Sarelle plays the kick-butt heroine, with appearances by genre vets Eric Roberts, Mark Rolston and Vernon Wells. There are no reviews available, so interested parties will have to take a chance with this release.

Wild Horses - A Texas Ranger reopens a 15 year old missing persons case in this ranch-set mystery. As the case progresses, suspicion is placed on various members of the family of the disappeared. While it was directed by co-star Robert Duvall, critics didn’t end up giving this effort much praise - in fact, notices were extremely poor. They called it melodramatic and filled with too many subplots, to the point where the movie ends up an incoherent mess. Now viewers can make up their own minds. It also features James Franco, Josh Harnett and Angie Cepeda.

Blasts From the Past!

Shout! Factory have another cult item on the cards. I, Madman (1989) is a horror flick from Tibor Takacs (The Gate) about a bookstore clerk (Jenny Wright) who finds the character from her favorite horror film leaping off of the pages. The quirky tone has helped it develop a following over the years. The impressive Blu-ray features include a director commentary as well as behind-the-scenes footage, a making-of documentary and publicity materials. Looks like a little title that might be worth catching up with.

Kino also has a few terror classics on the cards. Black Sabbath (1963) in an anthology flick starring Boris Karloff that tells three spooky tales from different periods in history. It’s a beautifully shot Italian effort directed by the famed Mario Bava, whose resume contains several cult classics. This disc presents the US cut of the film (the European version is also available through Kino’s site).

They’ve also got a couple of Vincent Price titles coming to Blu-ray. The Tangiers set House of 1,000 Dolls (1967) involves a nightclub magician using his powers to kidnap women. Madhouse (1974) features a horror movie actor recently released from an asylum who discovers that one of his famous onscreen characters has begun killing people in the real world.

Leomark Studios is presenting a DVD of Furious (1984). They’ve described it as an entertainingly bizarre item that has been heavily bootlegged at comic book conventions, and is now finally gaining an official release. It follows a group of martial arts heroes who must save the world by fighting invading aliens. Personally, I know nothing about it, but what I’ve read certainly raises my curiosity. Arrow also has the Spaghetti Western Cemetery Without Crosses (1969) aka The Rope and the Colt arriving as 2 disc special edition Blu-ray. And Cheezy Flicks are distributing a DVD of the Italian Star Wars knock-off, War of the Robots (1978).

Criterion’s Blu-ray of the award-winning comedy/drama My Beautiful Laundrette (1985) is likely to impress. Stephen Frears (Dangerous Liaisons, The Grifters, The Queen, Philomena) tells this story about a Pakistani man who attempts to open a Laundromat in London, only to come under assault by a group of racist thugs. Among the group is the lead’s former boyfriend, who joins him in his business endeavor. It features an early performance from Daniel Day Lewis as the street tough. The disc features a new transfer of the film and interviews with its participants.

Finally, Lions Gate have a few interesting titles being re-released to DVD, including the somber, well-regarded dramas The Crossing Guard (1995) and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007). The most interesting oddity is Runaway Daughters (1994). In the early 90s, there were a series of Showtime “Rebel Highway” TV movie remakes of classic 50s drive-in flicks, including Roadracers (1994) from Robert Rodriquez. Runaway Daughters was directed by Joe Dante (Gremlins) and the cast included Julie Bowen and Ant-Man’s Paul Rudd as a teenaged biker. Sounds like it might be a fun little B-movie to revisit.

You Know, For Kids!

Below are the highlights that might be of appeal to kids.

LEGO - Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitsu - Tournament of Elements: Season 4

Let’s Learn Kindness (Nickelodeon)

Mia & Me: Friends to the Rescue

Scooby-Doo & Kiss: Rock & Roll Mystery