Blood Money, Vol. 24
Byon Jun 20, 2012
Greetings, gore fans! It’s been another week, and there’s another list of new releases – on the big and small screens – coming your way. Alas, there’s really only one new theatrical release, and it’s more of an action movie than anything resembling horror, but rest assured we’ve scoured the world of entertainment for plenty of options to choose from regardless where you look for your entertainment.
The week’s big theatrical release is Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and we’re loathe to admit that we haven’t seen it. But having visited the set of the film, we can report that Timur Bekmambetov’s latest bears all of the same hallmarks of his earlier work, including a ridiculous mash-up of different mythologies, once-scary ideas turned into foundations for action set pieces, and a decidedly irreverent attitude about the value of life and death. But the real question of how good AL: VH is – to each individual, anyway -- may come down to screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith, whose work on Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows was, to say the very least, divisive. Mind you, we’re not fans of either Bekmabetov of Grahame-Smith, but who knows? Perhaps their individual shortcomings cancel each other out when combined in one place.
On home video there are a number of options, not that there’s anything that leaps out as anything other than a great monetary value. Speaking of which, there’s the 15-Movie Man Cave Sci-Fi Horror Pack Volume 1, which contains three discs and sells for $19.99. The set includes a totally, awesomely random collection of movies, such as Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, The Prophecy II, Hellraiser II: Hell on Earth, Dracula III: Legacy, Existenz, Children of the Corn 666: Isaac’s return, Darkness, War of the Worlds 2: The Next Wave, Monster, Live Animals, Paranormal Entity, Invasion of the Pod People, Howling IV: The Original Nightmare, The Apocalypse, and Mortuary. Notwithstanding the inclusion of a remarkably underrated David Cronenberg, the collection is full of few winners, but for $20, you can hardly go wrong with this three-disc marathon of odds and ends.
Next up is the “documentary” Below Ground: Demon Holocaust, in which a horror filmmaker chronicles a demon invasion in his hometown, and the friction that arises after a stripper, her abusive boyfriend, a religious man and his pregnant girlfriend find themselves holed up in the same location. At 76 minutes, this barely qualifies as a feature film, but there’s a certain kind of crass desperation in its concept that makes us intrigued. On the other hand, there’s The Disco Exorcist, a film which feels like it would play brilliantly as a trailer between real features in Grindhouse, but at feature length might test the limits of a viewer’s patience. Nevertheless, it’s got great box art, and we can’t resist that grindhouse “Coming Attractions” leader, so maybe watch it anyway.
Mother’s Day Evil is the next film that’s being released on home video this week, and the most noteworthy thing about it – at least as far as we can tell – is the fact that former Blur guitarist Graham Coxon did the score for the film. On the other hand, Headspace features the talents of Dee Wallace Stone, Udo Kier, Sean Young and William Atherton among others, although it sounds like a horror version of that Bradley Vooper film Limitless: a young man meets a mysterious stranger and somehow begins to get smarter, but his evolving intellect comes at a price when he realizes that the visions he’s having may be blackouts tat cover up heinous crimes.
Finally, there’s a couple of knockoff home video releases intent on cashing in on the bustling market of history buffs who also like crappy monster mythologies: Witchslayer Gretl and Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies. In both case, they’re based on familiar stories – one fabulist and one historical – which were merged with superfluous but weirdly interesting monster tales. ALvZ is the Asylum film, which means it’s the “official” unofficial knockoff film, but Gretl features a performance by none other than Shannen Doherty, so it’s hardly slacking in the z-grade talent department.
Other than a pair of reissues of Blade films – which themselves scarcely count as real horror – that pretty much wraps it up for this week. Choose value of the monetary variety, or choose quality (though we’re not sure which of the films above constitutes “quality”), but stay scared!