Founded in 2009, the American Genre Film Archive (AGFA) exists to preserve the legacy of genre movies, and now some of the weirdest and wildest films ever committed to celluloid have been released on Blu-ray – on the other side of the Atlantic – for the first time.
When will I learn that a great premise doesn’t necessarily mean a film will be great or even good. Just like the enjoyable Werewolves Within, the similarly titled Beast Within is a werewolf whodunit that references the party game. However, that is where the similarities end. The acting in Beast Within is woeful. There is no emotion, no chemistry, and no believability in most of the characters. When the werewolf is finally revealed, that particular character becomes a bit more three-dimensional and believable. I don’t know how much of the film’s issues lie with the bad writing or directing.
“It’s no longer a game.”
From the golden age of Kung Fu movies, the legendary Shaw Brothers bring you an action-packed tale of revenge, mayhem and flying fists. When his martial arts school is viciously attacked by a rival gang of Japanese thugs, Lei Ming swears to bring them down with violent justice. Written, starring and directed by Jimmy Wang Yu, The Chinese Boxer (1970) is a fabulously fast-paced feature full of exquisite set-pieces and mind-blowing fight choreography.
“The art of self defense turns into an act of violence and evil…”
Fin is a criminal on the run, wanted for the murder of his boss and the accidental shooting of an officer. He breaks into the home of a high-class escort, only to discover that you get more than you bargain for with Val, short for ‘Valefar’ – a demon who offers to make all Fin’s problems disappear if he agrees to follow her rules.
But in Val’s world there are no accidents, and as Fin meets her other “customers”, he learns that she was expecting him all along, and it isn’t easy to escape Val’s dungeon.
“You don’t stand a chance in hell with her.”
Ladies and gentlemen start your engines and prepare to burn rubber for contemporary comedy-horror Spree. Honk, Honk! Spree stars Joe Keery as Kurt Kunkle, an obsessed boy who wishes to be a popular social media influencer like his idols Bobby Basecamp and Jesse Adams. The only problem is he has a limited audience watching his channel as he is an excruciatingly dull person. He has tried everything to get noticed on YouTube, like playing video games, promoting shoes, and doing tutorials. But none of those are helping him in getting his foot through the social media door.
“Murder is trending…”
Blistering Italian crime classic The Violent Professionals blazes onto Blu-ray from 88 Films with every car chase and gunshot more mind-blowing than ever.
The Nun and the Devil is a headily erotic tale of seduction and persecution detailing the sinful practices which spill out of a 16th century convent.
“One man against the syndicate. Within the law or without!”
While in Florida working on a sting operation to catch a predator who has been targeting sex workers, FBI agents Helter and Lombardo cross paths with state cop Crawford, who’s investigating a separate string of female murders that appear to be related. Lombardo and Crawford team up to set a trap for the killer, with Lombardo putting her life on the line to act as the bait. When the off-the-books operation goes horribly wrong, Lombardo is plunged into grave danger and Crawford finds himself pitted against a serial killer in a twisted game of cat and mouse…
“Can they stop a serial killer who can’t stop himself?”
Waxwork Records, in partnership with Milan Records and Netflix, is proud to present Army of the Dead Original Motion Picture Score! Directed by Zack Snyder and with a fully electronic score by Tom Holkenborg aka Junkie XL, Army of the Dead is a 2021 American zombie heist film starring Dave Bautista.
“Always bet on dead.”
Remastered onto BD-R/DVD-R, Carnie Features have released the definitive edition of Thomas Lee Rutter’s Bella in the Wych Elm; a West Midlands phantasmagoria based on the world-famous unsolved Hagley Wood mystery. Part documentary, part experimental horror, Bella in the Wych Elm is a delight to watch and never comes across as exploitative.
“Mysterious, terrifying, and true.”
Mark L. Lester’s Truck Stop Women is an exploitation feature that treats sex, violence, and sensationalism with love and affection. And Steel Arena is an interesting look at small-town America, where people will risk their lives for entertainment.
“Double-clutchin’… gear-jammin’ mamas who like a lot of hi-jackin’ by day… a lot of heavy truckin’ by night!”
Murphy’s Law says that anything that can go wrong will go wrong – and that’s just how tough cop Jack Murphy feels. His marriage is over, he’s drinking too much and – oh boy – now he’s the target of a psycho trying to frame him for murder one. But Bronson isn’t licked that easily. Aided and abetted by street punk Arabella, he fights back: someone’s going to learn the hard way that you don’t mess with Jack Murphy…
“He’s a cop… She’s a thief… Together, they’re running for their lives.”
On 29th March, ’70s espionage thriller The Black Windmill (1974) arrives on Blu-ray from 101 Films for the first time in the UK. Directed by legendary filmmaker Don Siegel, the film stars Michael Caine as a British secret agent targeted for death by friend and foe alike. Underrated and under-seen, this riveting suspense thriller features a superb cast and an outstanding score from Roy Budd.