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Tuesday, July 12, 2011


It’s Tuesday, and that means sites and stores will be full of new goodness to tickle your eyeballs with. So sit-back, relax, and take a look at what’s good enough to stick in the movie playing machine.

Another slow week on the release front but we still have a some cool titles dropping so let's boogie.

The DG Pick of the Week is THINGS from Severin's InterVision label. Fans of exploitation and horror know all about the hunt. You hear of a title and become obsessed with tracking it down, most times sight unseen. Once the VHS or DVD hits the player your reaction is one of three things: Elation, mediocre appreciation, or some times full on disappointment. Every once in a while though you find a film that goes beyond elation and into full on geek-gasm. Everything you have heard is true. Every shocking or odd scene lives up to the comments that inspired the hunt to begin with. THINGS is that movie and that’s why it’s the most unique film experience of the summer.

In the last three days I have watched THINGS four times and I still don’t think I can begin to tell you what the fuck this is about, but in a retarded nutshell: Doug lives in a remote California cabin with his wife Susan. Doug wants to have a baby and has dreams of a naked chick in a devil mask and buckwheat size bush handing over a baby. Doug enlists a local doctor to perform experiments on Susan who eventually gives birth to some spider babies that crawl out of her to wreak havoc on the cabin. Before she gives birth though, Doug’s brother Don (played by Barry J. Gillis who also wrote and produced the film) and his friend Fred decide to crash at the cabin to drink beers, eat cheese sandwiches, and talk about gifts from the queen of England in between going through his brother's freezer and filling empty beer bottles with tap water.

Yes I am serious.

There are moments in this that are legitimately disturbing. There moments that are both intentionally and unintentionally hilarious. There are moments that make about as much sense as me fingering a jar of peanut butter while I masturbate to Khloe Kardashian with Rush’s 2012 blasting in the background. The moment THINGS was over, I spent the next 60 minutes talking about it, watched it again, talked another 30-45 minutes and then watched it again with cast/crew commentary. Part of the reason I keep coming back is this endless quest to make sense of it. If nothing else, this is aptly titled.

Director Andrew Jordan and Gillis made this film out of a passion for the horror genre. This is less a horror film and more about a couple film geeks finding their way through film. Yes the dialogue is completely out of sync most of the time, yes the lines sound like they are delivered in between beer burps, but they did what film fans dream about. The cherry on the fucking cake is that THINGS has a life of it’s own now. The shit has become self aware like a Terminator. Jordan and Gillis are like a more competent Mark Borchardt from AMERICAN MOVIE. They got financing, shot on Super 8, hired a cast that included not only a hooker but also an adult film star, and made a movie. We can laugh at THINGS, and my cheeks hurt by the end of it, but they did something I haven’t. Released a film.

There were titles back in the day that my video store carried but where either frequently stolen or just checked out and never returned: FACES OF DEATH, I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE, MORON MOVIES and others. There was one film though that was always checked out that I never had a chance to see until now: THINGS. Cheers to Andrew Jordan, Barry J. Gillis for making this, and to Evan Husney over at InterVision for releasing this, it's one of the best of the year.


THINGS has two commentary tracks: one with cast/crew and one with the Cinefamily gang and both are worth the extra time. The Cinefamily crew did a great job of breaking the film down, having some laughs, but also respecting the work that went into this film. The cast/crew commentary requires drinking, and lots of it. By the end of the commentary I think most involved are shit-faced and it is awesome.

Aspect Ratio: Full-Frame, 1.33

• Audio Commentary With Director Andrew Jordan And Stars Barry J. Gillis, Jan W. Pachul And Doug Bunston
• Audio Viewing Party With The Cinefamily
• Testimonials On THINGS: All-New Interviews With Tobe Hooper (THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE), Jason Eisener And Rob Cotterill (HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN), Creator Paul Corupe, Joseph A. Ziemba And Dan Budnik Of Bleeding Skull, And “THINGS-ite” Joey Izzo
• THINGS 20th Anniversary Cast And Crew Reunion
• Behind The Scenes With Star Amber Lynn
• Vintage Barry J. Gillis TV Appearances (these are classic)
• Original Trailers

Grab this from TLA Cult here:

John Saxon as Sador: Hear me, beings of Akir. I am Sador of the Malmori. I have come with my forces to conquer you. If you resist, I will crush you. I possess a stellar converter, the most powerful weapon in the universe. You cannot resist me. I want your planet to be my colony. Your harvest comes in seven risings of your red giant. I shall return then, and you will accept me as your master. If you do not submit, your planet and all life on it will be burned to ash...You are mine.

Roger Corman knows how to quickly and efficiently pound out a genre picture. His films (outside of one or two) were always profitable, in part because of the talent he found. Scorsese, Coppola, Bogdanovich, Ron Howard, all worked with Corman early in their careers, as did John Sayles and James Cameron. Sayles wrote BATTLE and Cameron started as a model maker, designing the ship Nell to get Corman’s attention: He basically created a ship that resembled a female chest. Cameron was promoted to Production Designer by the end of the film. Along for the ride is John “steel hair” Saxon, George “Hannibal” Preppard, Robert “I am often dull” Vaughn and Sybil “I actually had to be glued into this costume because too many shots were ruined by nipple exposure” Danning. I dig the hell out this film and all that it's trying to be. A true Corman classic!

Grab this from TLA Cult here:

The magnificent epic of five people who survive the nuclear holocaust and their incredible odyssey through the nightmare world it created. And now, you will not only see it, you will feel it, live it--in "Sound 360"--a revolutionary sight and sound experience!

George Preppard makes me want to chomp on a cigar. DAMNATION ALLEY makes me want to chop on a cigar in a post-apocalyptic world while traveling in an RV from hell. I am highly impressionable.

Grab this from TLA Cult here:

We haven't had a chance to grab this one yet, but TLA Cult's description is fan-fucking-tastic: If John Waters and H.G. Lewis had sex with a video camera under the influence of strong psychotropic drugs, the end result would most likely resemble Blood Shed, a cult cannibal horror comedy from writer-director Alan Rowe Kelly.

Grab this from TLA Cult here:

I am not a huge fan of James Wan. I thought SAW was just okay, I kind of dug DEATH SENTENCE, but everything else he has done has been lacking. He has a particular style that just seems to be one-note. Having said that, everybody I have talked to down to the last person has liked INSIDIOUS so I am anxious to see if it lives up to my expectations.

Grab this from TLA Cult here:

Pinky Violence is one of my favorite genres. Where else are you going to see chick buck ass naked fighting 12 dudes in the snow with a samurai sword? Those films are just nuts and full of all kinds of badass. The double feature here isn't the best work in the genre but it still features Reiko Ike (SEX AND FURY) so it's more than worth having in the collection.

Grab this from TLA Cult here:

An ass-kicking female super-hero who gets her powers from chocolate? Yeah we're down.

Grab this from TLA Cult here:

That's it for this week kids. The New Release Wall is taking next Tuesday off since there is shit coming out and the new DG site launch is coming up which means we are slammed. When we are back on 7/26 though we have: AMERICAN GRINDHOUSE, GOBLIN, INVASION OF THE BLOOD FARMERS, LIVE LIKE A COP DIE LIKE A MAN, and MACHETE MAIDENS UNLEASHED.

So until then...

Here's to good watching this week, salute!

See you on forty deuce,