Blood Money, Vol. 27
Byon Jul 11, 2012
Sometimes the entertainment industry can be a little bit like a crypt or slaughterhouse – you spend enough time in there, you forget what’s going on in the outside world. With Comic-Con looming, this feels more true than ever – you’re all going and just as excited as we are, right? – which is why this week’s Blood Money seems like a littler more of an afterthought than the main event. Nevertheless, check out a cross section of the week’s new releases within the world of horror.
Unfortunately, pickings are slim theatrically: only the thriller Red Lights and the documentary The Imposter come close to offering the kinds of chills that would keep our intrepid audiences awake. From Rodrigo Cortes, the director of Buried, Red Lights follows a psychologist (Sigourney Weaver) who studies paranormal activity, and her investigation leads her and her assistant (Cillian Murphy) to the doorstep of a world-renowned psychic (Robert De Niro) whose toughest critic dies mysteriously. The Imposter, meanwhile, examines the true-life story of a French con artist who successfully pretends to be a Texas teenager after the boy disappears mysteriously.
While both feature “mysterious” thrills, The Imposter is the preferable of the two titles, since it fully explores real events and offers a portrait of a truth – not necessarily THE truth – that evokes Errol Morris’ chilling patchwork documentary The Thin Blue Line. But if you want to instead see De Niro fall further from grace, then by all means, make Red Lights your choice.
On Blu-ray, there aren’t a whole lot of true-blue horror titles, but Warner Home Video released a handful of sci-fi titles that almost fall into that category. Douglas Trumbull’s Brainstorm tops the list, a film that pre-dates such action thrillers as Strange Days but examines their subject matter in a much more nuanced and substantive way: a couple develops a device that allows people to record their memories and then share them with others. As with any totally awesome device, “the Hat” is eventually developed for use as a weapon by the military, and everything turns dangerous and conspiratorial. But overall Brainstorm is a film with a remarkably sophisticated ideas, and execution that’s as technically impressive as its conceptualization.
Coma is another of those reissue titles, but the biggest deal among Warner’s remaining titles (not counting that incredible Game of Thrones set they just released) is Blade II, which is our personal favorite of the three films in that series of comic book adaptations. Guillermo del Toro’s work turning vampire battles into WWE-style brawls is fairly brilliant, and the casting of folks like Ron Perlman only makes the experience that much more welcoming.
Next up is You’re Nobody ‘Til Somebody Kills You, a movie about a serial killer who’s targeting hip-hop stars. Notwithstanding the racial implications of that particular killing spree, it’s an intriguing concept, and it will be interesting to see what the filmmakers do with it. (It also features appearances from Doug E. Fresh and Big Daddy Kane, which sounds like z-grade stunt casting, but we’re choosing to view it as a celebration of real-deal hip-hop royalty.)
Then there’s Freakshow Apocalypse: Unholy Sideshow, whose description seems to say it all: Evil battles evil as the fate of mankind lies with the twisted and deranged. In a world of fire breathing vampires, modified killers and an onslaught of zombies, no one is safe,” its synopsis reveals. “Freakshow Apocalypse caters to all cult consumer niches, from horror and gore to sci-fi, to comics, and gamers, with an all-star cast of notable characters.” Depressingly, the film acknowledges its market share as aggressively as its actual creativity, but it seems like the kind of genre mash-up that’s becoming popular nowadays.
On the other hand, the week’s final title feels much more promising, for all generations of horror fans. Synapse Films’ Twins of Evil is a high-defintion transfer of a classic Hammer horror movie starring none other than Peter Cushing and a pair of Playboy centerfold models. In addition to a gorgeous HD transfer of the film, the disc features an 84-minute documentary, a featurette about the props entitled “The Props That Hammer Built,” a motion still gallery (which seems contradictory, but it’s cool), trailers, TV spots and an isolated soundtrack that features not only the score but key sound effects.
In other words, go back in time if you’re looking for something engaging this week. But whether that means actually revisiting an old horror movie like Twins of Evil or exploring the true story of a con artist whose infiltration of a Texas family uncovers some disturbing rumors about the family that accepted him, definitely be discriminating in your entertainment choices. And most of all, stay scared – hopefully we’ll see you at Comic-Con!
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