Summer Horror DVD round-up
- Henry Northmore
- 9 July 2009
First stop on our journey into the sinister world of horror is Arrow’s new ‘Masters of Giallo’ DVD imprint, launching with three decidedly depraved titles from a trio of Italian auteurs. Lamberto Bava’s Macabre (Arrow) ●●● is a dark psychosexual study of obsession with a necrophilia slant and a totally bizzaro ‘love it or hate it’ ending. Certainly not for the prudish. The House by the Cemetery (Arrow) ●●● is one of Lucio Fulci’s most coherent films, very much a riff on The Amityville Horror but with shocking moments of Fulci’s trademark extreme gore. While Dario Argento returns to serial killer territory in sharp slasher Sleepless (Arrow Video)●●● . All come packaged with new art, posters and genuinely interesting extras.
Next a double bill of frantic sci-fi splatter punk from Japan. Meat Ball Machine (4Digital Asia)●●● is an utterly insane mix of cult classic Tetsuo and the most stupidly violent episode of Power Rangers you’ve never seen. Tokyo Gore Police (4Digital Asia) ●●●● lives up to its title; the gore is so excessive it takes on a manic cartoon-ish energy as Ruka (Eihi Shiina) plays the tough, violent cop cleansing the streets of a future Tokyo.
The Burrowers (Lionsgate) ●●●● would be a decent western, with a particularly bleak take on the treatment of Native Americans, even if you removed the burrowing monsters. Just in time for The Ashes, the world’s first cricket-themed horror comedy I Know How Many Runs You Scored Last Summer (Anchor Bay) ●●● is utterly ridiculous but stupidly entertaining. Dark Floors (Metrodome) ●●● stars Eurovision rock monsters Lordi in a surprisingly watchable haunted hospital movie. What would you do if you saw a caged woman in the back of a truck while barrelling along the motorway? Hush (Optimum) ●●● turns this intriguing concept into a tense service-station-based slasher. Brazilian shocker The Embodiment of Evil (Anchor Bay) ●●● marks the return (after 40 years) of diabolical undertaker Coffin Joe. And finally the fevered Bad Biology (Revolver) ●●● , while over-exaggerated (a story of two people whose sexual organs are so mutated their sexual partners invariably end up dead), is a shockingly honest look at sexual desire. It marks director Frank Henenlotter’s first film since 1992, continuing themes of addiction and damaged but dependent relationships from his own Brain Damage and Basket Case.