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    Brian De Palma’s “SISTERS” (Arrow Blu-ray Review)

    SISTERS just might be the most important movie in Brian De Palma’scareer. Though his first feature MURDER A LA MOD laid down hints of what was to come, SISTERS was the first time De Palma ditched his satirical, political, Godard-influenced romps in favor of self-consciously accepting Hitchcock’s crown as a new master of suspense. That’s not to say that the movie is serious, of course. De Palma’s deep appreciation and understanding of Hitchcock extended to Hitch’s dark humor and refined sense of irony. So, what Pauline Kael’s once famously referred to as De Palma’s “alligator grin” is in full effect.

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    “ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW” (Blu-ray Review)

    Even preceding release from distributor PDA, ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW was already cemented in pop culture as the first fictional feature shot in a Disney Amusement Park without permission. It seemed a testament to the extent of digital guerrilla filmmaking, but conversations about the film itself came second to those surrounding the legality of its production. Considering the trippy and off-putting territory the film dives into, it’s easy to see why.

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    “BLOOD GLACIER” (Movie Review)

    You’d have to search far and wide for a genre filmmaker not influenced by John Carpenter, and more specifically THE THING. The legendary filmmaker’s arctic account of an assimilating, parasitic lifeform is a masterpiece of paranoia and puppetry, deftly blending looming atmosphere and existential angst with holy shit creature FX. Post-THE THING, the ensuing struggle between filmmaking and fandom, which is arguably a hurdle for horror filmmakers more than any other type, often leaves little else besides the impact and homage. A pleasant surprise then, that Austrian director Marvin Kren’s similarly snowbound creature feature BLOOD GLACIER isn’t just the sum of its favorite films.

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    “WILD AT HEART” (Blu-ray Review)

    As a filmmaker who provokes curiosity and emotion through visually stunning narratives, David Lynch’s films are always thrilling to rediscover via high definition. With its last domestic release currently out of print on DVD, specialty distributor Twilight Time stepped up to the plate for the Blu-ray of one of Lynch’s most entertaining and colorful films, WILD AT HEART. With only 2 other Lynch films formally released on that format in the U.S. (BLUE VELVET and DUNE) and select Lynch works unavailable on any medium, this limited edition print is surely on every collector’s shopping list.

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    “Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies” (Film Review)

    In the world of genre film, there’s a seemingly constant discussion about the validity of “fun” as a means to excuse poor filmmaking. Speaking in a narrative sense, there is admittedly leeway in terms of logic and execution with horror films even if the story comes first and foremost. When a film hinges so much on this perspective however, a certain amount of desperation permeates and criminally depreciates the fun factor.

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    “THE CANAL” (Tribeca Movie Review)

    THE CANAL begins. David addresses the camera directly (us). Within the film however, he’s speaking to an audience of children. As a cinema archivist, David is attempting to convey the importance of what these schoolchildren are about to witness. Introducing footage from the early 1900s, he tells them they’ll see ghosts, that everyone onscreen is now dead. To the viewer, it’s foreshadowing yes, but something more. Writer-director Ivan Kavanagh is engaging the dread in inevitability, as well as—through David’s profession and a host of unmistakable horror references to come—why we tell domestic horror stories: they keep occurring.

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    “13 SINS” (Movie Review)

    Never mind the fact that it’s a remake; 13 SINS, through a coincidence of release timing, is also in the unfortunate position of begging comparison to E.L. Katz’s masterful recent CHEAP THRILLS, both being films exploring the deep, dangerous lengths their characters will go for promised fortunes.

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    “HOLLISTON: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON” (Blu-ray Review)

    Few genres are as subjective as comedy. Since tastes are defined by culture, shared experiences and one’s threshold for silliness, comedy is rarely considered to be as inclusive in terms of subject matter or execution. To this point, one could look at horror as the flip side of the coin, an inclusive genre that often leans more on technical skill to achieve universally effective frights. Therefore, when horror and comedy mix, the filmmakers must carefully gel these aesthetics in order to appease both the objective lovers of horror and the subjective fans of comedy.

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