There's definitely a few DVD's worth picking up this week, including the Asian imports "Red Eye" and "Matrimony", the indie "The Attic", a few Italian movies and, finally, the 20th anniversary edition of "Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers". All things considered, a pretty good day...
Don't mistake this version of "Red Eye" with the Wes Craven version that was also released in 2005. This version of "Red Eye" was actually called "Redeu-ai" in it's native Korea, which, directly translated, of course, means... "Red Eye". This one's written and directed by Dong-bin Kim, who also wrote and directed the Korean rip-off of "The Ring", which he called "The Ring Virus" and I'm pretty sure he came up with that title himself. So, is this about a Korean girl who gets involved in an assination plot while flying the red eye to Seoul? Nope, it's about a stewardess who joins the night shift crew of a haunted train that comes alive and kills people, which, as far as I can tell, didn't really need to be called "Red Eye". Regardless, "Redeu-ai" or "Red Eye" did screen at a few film festivals, including The Brussels International Festival of Fantastic Film and the Silver Lake Film Festival.
"Matrimony" is the other Asian import, this one from China. It's directed by Hua-Tao Teng, who's done a couple of other films, both of which I've never heard of ("Sky of Love" and "One Hundred"), but I'm sure they were big hits in Hong Kong. Anyhow, I can't find too much about "Xin zhong you gui"... sorry, "Matrimony", except for the plotline, which is intriguing enough for me - "A woman finds the key to a room in the attic that her husband forbids her from entering. When she opens the door, she is confronted with the haunting existence of the woman her husband refuses to forget." I have to say, having a room in your house that "her husband forbids her from entering" may fly over there in China, but... "Hey, Frank, where's the bathroom?" "Over there" "Here?" "Shit, no... don't go in there, my wife won't let me go in there." "What's in there?" "I don't know, she forbids me from going in there." "Wow, we better not go in there..."
Oddly enough, the last movie could've been called "The Attic", but it wasn't... this one is... and it has nothing to do with a women who's forbidden to go in her attic, this woman is more than welcomed to go in her attic. Actually, there's a cool story behind how this film got made. Tom Malloy started out as an actor, but found himself losing out on some parts and basically only getting extra work and bit roles, so he decided to start studying every aspect of filmmaking. Since then, he has been an actor, writer, editor, producer and, of course... a motivational speaker. (You can't make this up, reminds me of "Little Miss Sunshine") However, it's always been about the acting... So, he set out to write the "scariest movie ever" and came up with the script for "The Attic", which is about Emma Callan and her family, who move into a new home where Emma starts having ghastly visions of a girl who appears to be her twin, but is pure evil. He shopped it around to everyone he knew and eventually got a budget of just under $1Million. He then managed to land director Mary Lambert, who has done some crazy horror films, including: "Pet Sematary", a "Tales from the Crypt" episode, "Pet Sematary II", "Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge" and "Urban Legends: Bloody Mary" and put himself in one of the lead roles in the film.
"Ghost Son" is the latest from Italian filmmaker, Lamberto Bava, a protege of Dario Argento's. He worked as a personal assistant, assistant director and screenwriter with his father, Mario Bava, before he began working as an assistant director with Dario Argento on "Inferno" and "Tenebrae". Eventually, Bava started directing and was involved with Argento on "Demons" and "Demons 2", then directed "The Changeling 2" on his own, which was an unofficial sequel to "The Changeling". He spent a lot of years on "Fantaghiro", which is an Italian fantasy TV show before coming up with "The Torturer" and now "Ghost Son". If you're into classic Italian horror, this is for you... "Ghost Son" is about a young mother who realizes that her newborn baby is actually housing the ghost of her recently deceased husband, who impregnated her after he died... and now wants to kill her.
...and another film from an Italian director, "Land of Death" is from Bruno Mattei. Now, if you don't know Bruno Mattei, he is a bit of cult director, making piles of rip-offs and exploitation films. The film that brought him to fame was his nazi exploitation classics, "KZ 9" and "SS Girls". He went on to create a bunch of zombi, nun exploitation and other knock offs after the so-called "success" of his previous films. He's made over 50 films and all of them would be considered low budget crap, but he's got a huge cult following. "Land of Death" was made in 2003, then he went on to make six more films before passing away on May 21, 2007. "Land of Death" draws from a few movies, but mostly from "Predator"... Seriously, just replace a hunter from the future with a bunch of cannibals and you've got the plot to "Land of Death". If you don't believe me, pick it up.
The remaining movies are old films that are finally getting a DVD release, including:
Jose Maria Forque's "Autopsy, made in 1972, is another Italian film. This one is about a young woman who marries a blind old man for his money, has an affair with his driver, then finds herself in the middle of a murder-for-money plot involving the servents.
Kenneth Hartford's "Monstroid: It Came from the Lake, made in 1978, is for all you B-Movie fans. Based on real events, a rural Colombian village is attacked by a horrible sea serpent, aroused by industrial pollution of a nearby lake.
Ota Richter's "Skullduggery", made in 1983, is something really special... with unanimous bad reviews, I dare you to see the film about Adam, a man who happens to come from a long line of cursed men and, subsequently, succumbs to the curse and goes on a killing spree.
Richard Ashe's "Track of the Moonbeast", made in 1976, is, basically, a Mystery Science Theater 3000 type film. During a meteor storm, a guy gets hit with a fragment and causes him to mutate into a giant reptilian monster that goes on a murderous rampage.
Last, but by no means least, Fred Olen Ray's classic "Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers 20th Anniversary Edition" finally makes it out on DVD. It's every bit the low-grade, low-budget, horror-comedy, boob-fest that you'd expect from a film that's about a bunch of chainsaw weilding prostitutes that like to carve people up for their cult. "Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers", they charge an arm and a leg!
New on DVD - January 15th, 2008: