Sep 25, 2012

DVD Releases That We Dig This Week (09.25.12)

Brothers and sisters, if there is one DVD release this week that is after our own hearts, it is the set, Weird Noir: Six B-Movies, released from Something Weird.

How obscure are these films? Yours truly has only heard of half of them, and has seen none. All of these B-budgeted films noir harken from the 1950s and early 1960s.

Beverly Garland stars in Stark Fear (1962), who must convince people that her husband is going to kill her; detectives investigate a murder in a burlesque theatre in Girl on the Run (1953) (yup- that sounds like a Something Weird release….); Fallguy (1962) features a teenager who is mixed up in political intrigue and a murder he didn't commit; Jacques Bergerac (The Hypnotic Eye) and Mala Powers (Cyrano de Bergerac) star in Fear No More (1961), about a mentally unbalanced woman accused of murder on a train (and I LOVE train movies….); The Naked Road (1959) is a potboiler about a model who gets involved with a sleazy ad exec and other slovenly characters; and finally, there is The 7th Commandment (1961), directed and co-written by Irv Berwick (Monster of Piedras Blancas), about an amnesiac who is now a reverend, being swindled by an old flame. (I've been curious about this title for years!)

There you have it - a half-dozen little noir quickies that seem perfect for a rainy fall night. Does this mean that Something Weird is finally getting back into releasing factory DVDs? I sure hope so.

But wait! There's more! Today, Criterion also releases actor-director Paul Bartel's hilarious black comedy Eating Raoul (1982), also with his frequent co-star Mary Woronov! As bonuses, the package also features Bartel's early shorts The Secret Cinema (1968) and Naughty Nurses (1969).

All six of the popular Lone Wolf and Cub series of films (from 1972 to 1974) based upon the manga by Kazuo Koike are released in one set by AnimEigo, each featuring Tomisaburo Wakayama as the shogun hero: Sword of Vengeance (1972), Baby Cart at the River Styx (1973), Baby Cart to Hades (1972), Baby Cart in Peril (1972), Baby Cart in the Land of Demons (1973), and finally, White Heaven in Hell (1974).

Also, with ample time before Halloween, Redemption has released Mario Bava's underrated chiller Hatchet For the Honeymoon (1970).

Flicker Alley also has a couple of DVD/Blu-Ray combo packs for the widescreen aficionado this week. This week happens to also be the 60th anniversary of the widescreen process, Cinerama, which changed the scope of movies forever, in order to compete with television. 1952's This is Cinerama introduced movie goers to a whole new movie experience unlike any before. Also, lovers of the big screen process will be thrilled with another combo release: 1958's Windjammer: the Voyage of the Christian Radich. This chronicle of the Norwegian vessel, travelling from Oslo to the Caribbean was the only film to be shot in the Cinemiracle process. Largely unseen since its release, this has been painstakingly restored; and both of these are sure to be collector's items.

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