A Planet Fury-approved selection of notable genre releases for August.
Jaws (1975) Universal Blu-ray/DVD/Digital combo Available Now
Steven Spielberg’s classic thriller has been painstakingly restored from the original film elements. Amity Island has never been so beautiful. The movie itself seems to improve with age, with amazing performances and scenes that still manage to unnerve — Susan Backlinie’s death at the beginning is truly one of the most horrifying ever portrayed onscreen. Making this a true “special edition” is the long-awaited release of The Shark Is Still Working, an expansive documentary on the making and the impact of the 1975 film. All of the surviving cast and crew are interviewed along with several minutes of never-before-seen footage.
*Digitally remastered and fully restored from high resolution 35mm original film elements.
*Digital Copy of Jaws
*UltraViolet Copy of Jaws
*The Shark Is Still Working: The Impact & Legacy of Jaws - An all-new feature-length documentary featuring never-before-seen footage and interviews with cast and crew, including Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss and Roy Scheider.
*The Making of Jaws - A feature-length documentary featuring interviews with key cast and crew.
*Jaws: The Restoration - An all-new in-depth look at the intricate process of restoring the movie.
*Deleted Scenes and Outtakes From the Set: An insider’s look at life on the set of Jaws, featuring an interview with Steven Spielberg.
*Storyboards, Production Photos, Marketing Jaws, the Jaws Phenomenon, Original Theatrical Trailer and more!
This critically acclaimed action film from writer/director Gareth Evans got a spotty theatrical release earlier this year. Now, genre fans can finally see what all the fuss was about. The Indonesian production features an Assault of Precinct 13-style standoff between a SWAT team and a group of no-goodnick gang members holed up in a derelict building. Starring martial arts champion Iko Uwais and several other popular Jakarta action stars, it’s one of the more engrossing action films to come along in years.
This charming ’80s teen hit was the best John Hughes film never made. Elizabeth Shue, in a star-making role, plays Chris Parker, an adorable teen who agrees to a boring babysitting gig after her date cancels for the evening. A frantic phone call from a friend stuck at a downtown Chicago bus station leads to a chaos-filled evening. The great supporting cast includes Maia Brewton (as the Thor-crazy Sara), Keith Coogan, Anthony Rapp and Penelope Ann Miller. Blues guitarist Albert Collins makes a memorable cameo as…a blues guitarist. “Nobody leaves here without singing the blues.”
One of several great films John Cusack made in the ’90s, Grosse Pointe Blank features Cusack as Marty Blank, a hit man who reluctantly returns to his hometown for his ten-year high school reunion as a cover for his latest target. Minnie Driver (who has never been as accessible), Alan Arkin, Dan Aykroyd and John’s sister Joan Cusack (hilarious!) co-star. Director George Armitage directs the proceedings with a sure hand.
This notorious ten-part serial written and directed by French filmmaker Louis Feuillade was well ahead of its time. Originally released in 1916, this gorgeously shot thriller revolves around a reporter on the trail of a gang of Paris jewel thieves (who are referred to as vampires). A beautiful and subversive little nightmare.
*Insert Essay: The Public Is My Master: Louis Feuillade and Les Vampires by Fabrice Zagury.
*For the Children (1916), a 3-minute comedy sketch by the cast and crew of Les Vampires made to raise funds for the French war orphans.
*Bout de Zan and the Shirker (1916), an 8-minute comedy that features the child actor Bout de Zan from Episode 8 of Les Vampires and directed by Louis Feuillade.
This staple of early ’80s cable TV remains a fun, daffy action ride. A sequel to the hit South African action film Kill or Be Killed, KAKA finds famous martial artist Steve Hunt (a returning James Ryan) hired to save a Nobel Prize winning chemist from evil genius Marduk and his army of martial arts henchmen. Co-starring Anneline Kriel (Miss World of 1974!) as the awesome Kandy Kane and the late Ken Gampu from The Gods Must Be Crazy. This classic-ish cult film has been remastered and is presented in its original aspect ratio for the first time since its ’81 release.
It turns out boogeyman Michael Myers and Detective Loomis (Donald Pleasence) didn’t perish in that explosion at Haddonfield Memorial after all. That Strode girl, however, didn’t fare as well… Screenwriter Alan B. McElroy contributes a thoughtful and fairly intelligent script given the limitations in place for this belated follow-up to the ’81 sequel. While the execution of the script isn't entirely successful, this third Myers outing has its charms. Lovely actress Danielle Harris and a frenzied performance from Pleasence give the film some weight. Anchor Bay has released this title several times before, but this is the first high definition presentation. A new commentary with director Dwight H. Little and several extras from earlier releases are included.
Lovely Molly (2011) Image Entertainment Blu-ray and DVD Available August 28
Director Eduardo (The Blair Witch Project) Sanchez’s follow-up to Seventh Moon revolves around newlyweds Molly (Gretchen Lodge) and Tim (Johnny Lewis), who unwisely move into Molly’s childhood home. While her trucker husband is away, repressed memories and old, bad habits begin to infiltrate Molly’s life. This creepy, beautifully shot film is definitely worth a viewing.
Double Indemnity: Universal Legacy Series (1944) Universal Studios DVD Available August 28
Billy Wilder’s classic noir thriller is one of the best films from the 1940s. Fred MacMurray (far, far away from My Three Sons) and Barbara Stanwyck get all hot and bothered over a murder insurance scheme. Wilder and Raymond Chandler’s literate screenplay and John F. Seitz’s moody cinematography make this one for the ages.
Several of Alfred Hitchcock’s most popular films are being re-released to celebrate Universal’s 100th anniversary. This great little thriller starring Tippi Hedren, Rod Taylor and a ravishing Suzanne Pleshette is one of the best. Too bad there isn’t a Blu-ray edition available.
September and October are going to be huge months for genre releases. There are about a dozen great titles coming out, including the eagerly-awaited Scream Factory Blu-rays. I get heart palpitations just thinking about "Terror Train" and "Halloween 3" presented in high definition with newly-recorded director commentaries...
I don't think there's a big culture of babysitting over here.
I think babysitting was just something you roped a reluctant older sibling or cousin into doing when the parents wanted to go out and get on the piss and didn't want to drag the kids along.
My parents used to leave my sister and I with our older half-sister, who would just go hang out with her friends and leave us on our own anyway.
I think I only had two babysitters. One was some high school girl for one night. The other was actually the guy who played Nuclear Man from Superman IV (before that movie of course), who babysat me a few times when I was 4 I think. Otherwise, my parents didn't give a shit and would just leave us alone.