PSYCHOTRONIC NETFLIX VOL. 31
HEY BASTARDS. Welcome to another edition of PSYCHOTRONIC NETFLIX! Today we’ll be looking at ten of the best flicks new to streaming in 2012 that wither have never been released on DVD in the US or are so out of print that you’d have to trade your Barrel Entertainment version of LAST HOUSE ON DEAD END STREET just to get one!
10. They Might Be Giants (1971)
Anchor Bay released this charming comedy about a potential heir to a fortune who believes he is Sherlock Holmes (George C. Scott) and the Dr. Watson who goes along with his delusions in order to cure him (Joanne Woodard), but it’s been out of print for years and deserves to be more widely seen. With a host of great character vets, including Jack Gilford, Rue McClanahan, Al Lewis, James Tolkan, Kitty Winn, Paul Benedict, F. Murray Abraham and M. Emmet Walsh.
9. Jack’s Back (1988)
James Spader’s weirdly alluring creepiness is used to its’ best advantage in Rowdy (ROAD HOUSE) Harrington’s story as someone who may or may not be a serial killer commemorating the 100th anniversary of Jack the Ripper with a series of murders. With Cynthia Gibb, Robert Picardo and “Twin Peaks”‘s Chris Mulkey.
8. What Happened Was… (1994)
Okay, look, there’s nothing even remotely grindhousey about Tom Noonan’s darkly comic tale of an incredibly awkward first date, other than the fact that character vet Noonan (MANHUNTER) is in it, but it’s somehow never been released to DVD, and it’s just a great, great little film I happen to love.
7. Rampage (1997)
William Friedkin’s 1987 serial killer courtroom drama starring Michael Biehn as a district attorney forced with the crisis of conscience when he defends an enigmatic psychopath (Alex McArthur) sat on the shelf for four years before being quietly released in a cut form. This isn’t the preferred version, but it’s still worth a look.
6. When Eight Bells Toll (1971)
Back in the ’70s, everyone was making manly man adventure films based on Alistair MacLean novels, and Anthony Hopkins was no exception, here cast as a British agents on a mission to determine the whereabouts of a ship that disappeared near the coast of Scotland. With manly man Robert Morley.
5. The Haunting of Julia (1977)
Richard Loncraine, later the director of Ian McKellen’s excellent RICHARD III, helmed this solid British/Canadian ghost story starring Mia Farrow as a woman who separates from her husband (Keir Dullea) after the death of their daughter. Her new place of residence, however, has ghosts of its’ own. Based on Peter Straub’s novel, with a story treatment by Harry Bromley Davenport (XTRO).
4. The Young Sinner (1960)
Two years ago, this film was so obscure that Temple of Schlock listed it as “endangered,” but Tom (BILLY JACK) Laughlin’s early juvenile delinquent movie, shot in Milwaukee and originally intended as the first in a trilogy, popped up randomly on Netflix, and it’s definitely worth a look, as it combines standard JD tropes with an oddly religious bent and some plot twists that are significantly darker than you’d expect.
3. The Cold Light of Day (1996)
Based on the same novel as Sean Penn’s THE PLEDGE, Rudolf (THE JOHNSONS) van den Berg’s dark-as-hell thriller finds Richard E. Grant as a detective who uses a young woman and her daughter as bait to catch a child murderer. Haunting, eerie, and oddly not on DVD in the United States.
2. The Long Goodbye (1973)
One of the most interesting takes on noir in the ’70s, Robert Altman’s film stars Elliott Gould as Phillip Marlowe in a modern updating of the genre, featuring Sterling Hayden, Mary Rylance, Henry Gibson and Nina Van Pallandt. The DVD is long out of print. Criterion, please?
1. Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky (1991)
The DVD fetches big bucks on Amazon, but thankfully, Netflix streamers don’t have to shell out more cash to sit through this amazingly gory and insanely entertaining prison flick about a super-strong fellow sent to prison and tries to clean up the system from within. Best paired with a group of similarly-minded friends and a case of beer.