Quentin Tarantino’s exploitation movie homage Death Proof proved to be a damp squib, and Robert Rodriguez’s forthcoming companion flick Planet Terror isn’t much better. In America, the films were released – and flopped – as the double bill Grindhouse, but the fake film trailers sandwiched between the features got rave reviews. Ditto Grindhouse Trailer Classics (Nucleus Films ••••), a superb two-hour splattering of teasers for the original 1960s and 70s exploitation movies. The films themselves may not always have been up to much, but the short ads for such gloriously lurid titles as Three on A Meathook, Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS and Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things are an absolute riot. Extras include a Bump’n’Grind featurette and poster art gallery.
With Warner Bros having lobotomised the forthcoming The Invasion with cuts and re-shoots (see Also Released, page 42) sci-fi fans can console themselves with the timely re-issue of the original 1950s classic Invasion of the Bodysnatchers (Universal •••••). Don Siegel’s terrific and terrifying tale about the inhabitants of a small American town who are replaced by alien duplicates is the quintessential communist red scare allegory. No extras.
Modest of means but ambitious in intention, a pair of low budget Scottish films are receiving their premiers on DVD: Wild Country (Guerilla Films •••), a gory Highlands-set horror movie starring Peter Capaldi and Martin Compston, and Night People (Guerilla Films ••••), a nocturnal drama shot in Edinburgh, for which The List’s film editor provided an ‘excellent performances’ endorsement. Extras include commentary, making of and deleted scenes.
Back to black (and white) now with a pair of Screen Icons boxed sets. The John Mills Collection (Optimum Classic •••) may not be vintage Mills, but the high sea farce The Baby and the Battleship, music teacher mentor drama It’s Great to be Young!, IRA thriller The Gentle Gunman, and 60s kitchen sink drama The Family Way prove what a versatile actor the man was. No extras. Meanwhile, The Alec Guinness Collection (Optimum Classic ••••) is a superior selection, featuring The Captain’s Paradise, Last Holiday, Barnacle Bill and two Ealing comedy classics, The Man in the White Suit and – a contender for best British comedy ever – Kind Hearts and Coronets. No extras.