Videodrone B-Sides: Aliens, Monsters, Zombies, Killers, Oh My!
A round-up of direct-to-disc and made-for-cable pictures that slip on to the New Release racks
Despite the common wisdom that discs are a dying medium, there are still more movies coming to DVD than anyone (including me) can possibly cover. Old and new, big and small, from TV and festival runs, and especially films that arrive direct-to-disc.
As you probably noticed, I already skip most music, instructional, kidvid, and other specialty home video releases. But I have a strange affection for the outpouring of low-budget, made-for-cable, direct-to-disc, and labor-of-love genre pictures. Even though most are terrible. It's just hard to cover them all.
So this is the first monthly round-up of those titles that get lost in the mix or dumped into the hopper at the end of the New Release list. Likely you've never heard of most (if any) of these, but there just may be something here to appeal to a particular mood or interest. And for your sampling pleasure, I've included a few trailers at the end. Just click the "Read More" at the bottom of the post.
The London Brothers – Jason and Jeremy, identical twins whose early teen heartthrob days segued almost imperceptibly into churning out made-for-cable and direct-to-disc movies – have competing genre titles this month.
Jason (of "Dazed and Confused" fame) teams up with C. Thomas Howell (whose own teen career followed a similar path) to take on "The Terror Experiment" (Anchor Bay), a biological weapon attack that turns humans into mindless, violent, zombie-like creatures. Blu-ray and DVD, with commentary by director George Mendeleuk.
Jeremy, the one-time teen heartthrob of "Party of Five" and "7th Heaven," competes with wrestling icon Roddy Piper to take on an alien that crash lands in a small town junkyard in "Alien Opponent" (Shout! Factory), originally shown on the Chiller Network. DVD only, with commentary, deleted scenes, and outtakes. You can read more and see a trailer at Fangoria here.
"Hellacious Acres: The Case of John Glass" (Vivendi), from the "Bloody Disgusting Selects" series, is a post-apocalyptic indie about an amnesiac who wakes up in the aftermath of an alien invasion and wanders the devastated landscape full of crazy survivors while on a vague mission.
"7 Below" (Arc) is the closest we get to actual stars in this list. Ving Rhames, Luke Goss, and Val Kilmer (whose respective careers have been in the doldrums as of late) are a few of the strangers who take refuge in a creepy house where something is killing them all, one by one. Blu-ray and DVD, no supplements.
"Night Wolf" (Lionsgate), a British werewolf film, stars Isabella Calthorpe, Gemma Atkinson, and "Harry Potter" co-star Tom Felton, all trapped in a small town terrorized by… well, see title.
"Hidden" (eOne), an Italian/Canadian production about an addiction treatment facility with an experimental cure that has horrific side-effects, has some enigmatic credits: the director is listed only as M.R. and the screenwriters hide under the pseudonyms Alan Smithy and Alana Smithy.
"Planet of the Vampire Women" (MVD), from director Darin Wood, is another uber-low budget film where the title pretty much says it all. Almost. There are also sexy space pirates to fight the vampire women, so there's that. DVD, no supplements.
"Trippin'" (Camp Motion Pictures) is a "stoner horror-comedy from hell," according to a quote on the cover, and the two-disc set features seven bonus short films from director Devi Snively (with names like "Teenage Bikini Vampire" and "I Spit on Eli Roth").
"The Museum of Wonders" (Elite), an Italian import from special effects artist-turned-director Domiziano Cristopharo, is a vague reworking of the classic "Freaks" in a modern circus setting. DVD, with deleted scenes and bonus footage.
And from The Netherlands comes "Clautrofobia" (MVD), about a girl who moves into a hellacious apartment building. DVD, no supplements.
"Goodnight For Justice: The Measure of a Man" (eOne) is the second western made for the Hallmark Movie Channel starring Luke Perry as a wandering gunfighter with a passion for justice. DVD, with bonus interviews.
"American Reel" (MVD), a rerelease of satirical 2003 film starring David Carradine as a singer-songwriter, features interviews with Carradine and co-star Michael Maloney. DVD.
"Crew 2 Crew" (Lionsgate) is a break-dancing urban drama that claims to be "inspired by true events." DVD, with deleted scenes.
Trailers below, after the jump. Just click on the "Read more…"