Top 5 Psychotronic streaming titles for the week:
- OKJA (Netflix) – We’ll have a full review up shortly for Bong (SNOWPIERCER) Joon-ho’s tale of a young girl’s attempt to save a unique animal, but there’s no doubt that this is one of the year’s most anticipated psychotronic titles, and hopefully, the availability of it on Netflix will be more a boon than a bust. With Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano and Jake Gyllenhaal.
2. UNEARTHED AND UNTOLD: THE PATH TO PET SEMATARY (Amazon) – 1989’s film adaptation of Stephen King’s PET SEMATARY is one of the more beloved cinematic takes on the horror meister’s yarns, and John Campopiano and Justin White’s feature-length doc on the making of the film gives great insight into its creation. A worthy companion to the likes of NEVER SLEEP AGAIN or CRYSTAL LAKE MEMORIES, the title was released on Blu-Ray last year, but sometimes, streaming is better.
3. Z (FilmStruck) – One of only a handful of foreign films that have received a “Best Picture” Academy Award nomination, Greek director Costa-Gavras’s 1969 political thriller blends humor, tension, and fictionalized versions of true events to fantastic effect. Often mentioned on lists of foreign films, political thrillers, and general movies that you really have to see, Z deserves its reputation, and FilmStruck presents it in fine form.
4. DREAM NO EVIL (Fandor) – Cult horror fans should definitely check out this underseen, deranged little 1970 gem from John Hayes, the man behind GRAVE OF THE VAMPIRE, THE CUT-THROATS and the Rue McClanahan classic FIVE MINUTES TO LOVE.
5. GLOW (Netflix) – Alison Brie in a series based on the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, produced by the creator of Orange is the New Black? Why are you not watching this right now?
Need more beyond OKJA and GLOW? Well, fine, Mr. Pickypants. The well-regarded Disney film MOANA is newly available, as well as the female-directed horror anthology XX, the documentary THE REAL MIYAGI about the martial artist that inspired THE KARATE KID, the true story of THE STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT with Ezra Miller and Billy Crudup, the Icelandic apocalypse drama BOKEH, the Mexican sci-fi thriller THE INCIDENT directed by Isaac (THE SIMILARS) Ezban, and the second season of the Manson-inspired drama Aquarius, starring David Duchovny.
New titles to Hoopla include the director’s cut of the 1993 VR thriller THE LAWNMOWER MAN, Jackie Chan in the train action/comedy RAILROAD TIGERS, John Larroquette, John Rhys-Davies, Laura Silverman, and Cheryl Ladd in a dying mall photo shop in CAMERA STORE and the WWII zombie flick SOLDIERS OF THE DAMNED. Catalog additions include the Jack Cardiff documentary CAMERAMAN, Derek Jacobi and Daniel Craig in the excellent biopic LOVE IS THE DEVIL: STUDY FOR A PORTRAIT OF FRANCIS BACON, Elijah Wood in the tale of Dylan Thomas coming to New York, SET FIRE TO THE STAIRS, the Khmer Rogue clay recreation documentary THE MISSING PICTURE, and the French gang story GIRLHOOD. You can also utilize maximum irony by allowing public library funds to enable you to watch AYN RAND: A SENSE OF LIFE.
The biggest new title to Hulu is the summer blockbuster STAR TREK: BEYOND, which I enjoyed a lot more than the previous entry in the relaunched series. Other new narrative titles include Elijah Wood being forced to play the keys in the solid conceptual thriller GRAND PIANO, the third season of the Guillermo Del Toro-produced contagion series The Strain, the Koran period action film KUNDO: AGE OF THE RAMPANT, and Stallone, Sharon Stone, Eric Roberts, and Rod Steiger in Luis Llosa’s 1994 spy flick THE SPECIALIST.
In addition, they’ve added a number of nifty new documentaries: The Miami drug war doc COCAINE COWBOYS, ADJUST YOUR COLOR: THE TRUTH OF PETEY GREENE (about the DJ who also served as the basis for 2007’s TALK TO ME), BAYOU MAHARAJAH (about pianist James Booker), the female jazz musician doc THE GIRLS IN THE BAND, the excellent Al Jazeera doc CONTROL ROOM, the BACK TO THE FUTURE DeLorean documentary OUTATIME and the Anita Hill documentary ANITA: SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER.
New titles to the horror service include Joe d’Amato’s lurid 1984 flick BEYOND THE DARKNESS, which can be paired with the exclusive French horror film set at an abandoned movie studio, AMONG THE LIVING. The Swedish teen horror pic ALENA has also been added, as well as the short films CHILD EATER, IL SONNAMBULO and THE BANISHING.
The art house streaming service had been absent for a while, but they’ve returned with a host of oddities to check out. In addition to DREAM NO EVIL, newly added titles include a batch of Jerry Warren directed (or co-“directed”, in that he added new footage to foreign films) titles like 1965’s CREATURE OF THE WALKING DEAD, 1964’s ATTACK OF THE MAYAN MUMMY, 1965’s HOUSE OF THE BLACK DEATH, 1956’s MAN BEAST and 1964’s CURSE OF THE STONE HAND, Sabu in the ridiculous 1956 film JUNGLE HELL, comic strip adaptations GASOLINE ALLEY and CORKY OF GASOLINE ALLEY (both 1951), a batch of WWII newsreels, a good group of Disney animated shorts starring Alice from 1925-1927, silent shorts (including 1928’s KEEP SMILING and 1926’s FEARLESS HARRY), Errol Flynn in 1959’s CUBAN REBEL GIRLS, ‘50s crime tales (COUNTERSPY MEETS SCOTLAND YARD, MASK OF THE DRAGON, DANGER ZONE, HIGHWAY 13, LOAN SHARK, ARSON, INC., Terence Fisher’s MAN BAIT and FINGERPRINTS DON’T LIE), the 1968 William Rostler drugmentary LIKE IT IS, 1955’s KING DINOSAUR, 1933’s JUNGLE BRIDE, 1954’s MONSTER FROM THE OCEAN FLOOR, Fred Williamson in 1975’s BOSS, the Hollywood transploitation flick DINAH EAST (1970), Tab Hunter in 1952’s ISLAND OF DESIRE, the Chicago Jazz documentary BROTHERS HYPNOTIC, animated shorts by Dave Fleischer (A KICK IN TIME, ANTS IN THE PLANTS and others) and the doc SEX, LIES AND TABLOIDS!. That oughtta keep you busy for a while.
In addition to the highly recommended Z, FilmStruck has added a number of films by director Satyajit Ray, including his equally recommended Apu Trilogy (1955’s PATHER PANCHALI, 1956’s APARAJITO and 1959’s THE WORLD OF APU) as well as Harold Lloyd in the 1923 silent comedy SAFETY LAST, and Hideo Gosha’s 1964 film THREE OUTLAW SAMURAI.
New titles to Screambox include Joseph Zito’s 1981 slasher pic THE PROWLER and 1988’s FLESH EATER, directed by Bill Hinzman, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD’s first zombie.
As is the custom, let’s do the big new titles first: You can now stream STAR TREK: BEYOND, Jim Jarmusch’s well-received drama PATERSON, the nifty horror/comedy THE SCOUT’S GUIDE TO THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, the Thai train horror pic TRAIN OF THE DEAD, Astron-6’s awesome ‘80s homage MANBORG, the Jon-Mikl Thor doc I AM THOR and the music doc UPSIDE DOWN: THE CREATION RECORDS STORY. Also Johnny Depp in MORTDECAI, if that’s the sort of thing you’re into.
The most notable new horror title is probably Herschell Gordon Lewis’s final film, the horror anthology BLOODMANIA, though there’s plenty more additions of note as well, including the winter thriller HYPOTHERMIA, the slasher sequel HATCHET III, a number of films by low-budget genre pioneer Richard Griffin (2014’s FUTURE JUSTICE, 2013’s FRANKENSTEIN’S HUNGRY DEAD), Tim Sullivan and Reggie Bannister in BLOODY BLOODY BIBLE CAMP, Mark Polonia’s SHARKENSTEIN, the not-really-a-sequel HORROR HOUSE ON HIGHWAY 6, the British-made KILLERSAURUS, 2008’s cannibal pic GNAW, Robert Z’Dar and Ari Lehman in the slasher pic EASTER SUNDAY, and the short film EL MACHO VS. THE CANADIAN MUMMIES OF MARS.
Going back beyond the immediate new releases, we’ve got Brian De Palma’s highly-recommended BLOW OUT (1981), all three of Danny Trejo’s BAD ASS films, Jim Wynorski’s bizarre sequel 976-EVIL 2 (1991) and his Treat Williams thriller EXTREME LIMITS (2001), Fred Olen Ray’s family comedy MOM’S OUTTA SIGHT (1998), Cillian Murphy in 2001’s DISCO PIGS, and a number of George Carlin comedy specials including LIVE AT CARNEGIE and CARLIN ON CAMPUS.
We’ve also got another batch of sleazy titles, including SWAMP GIRL (1971), Larry Buchanan’s 1961 THE NAKED WITCH, 1935’s FORBIDDEN ADVENTURE, 1964’s Venezuelan film THE PINK PUSSY, 1969’s THE SPY WHO CAME, 1966’s ELECTRONIC LOVER, 1965’s RENT-A-GIRL and the important 1975 political film LINDA LOVELACE FOR PRESIDENT with Lovelace and Micky Dolenz. Other notable cult flicks include 1978’s ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES, martial arts pics NINE VENOMS (1984) and SHAOLIN VS. WU TANG (1983), Sergio Carbucci’s 1974 spaghetti western SAMURAI with Eli Wallach and Tomas Milian, Brian Trenchard-Smith’s 1979 DAY OF THE ASSASSIN with Chuck Connors, Glenn Ford, Henry Silva and Richard Roundtree,1970’s BIGFOOT with John Carradine and Chris Mitchum, and Joy N. Houck Jr.’s 1976 CREATURE FROM BLACK LAKE with Jack Elam.
Other notable miscellany includes 1954’s ATOMIC ATTACK (an episode of The Motorola Television Hour with Walter Matthau and Patty McCormick), 1952’s Abbott & Costello Christmas Show, 1970’s obscure moon landing doc MOONWALK ONE, the 1976 Russian adaptation of THE LITTLE MERMAID, and Lucille Ball in the television specials LUCY CALLS THE PRESIDENT (1977) and LUCY MOVES TO NBC (1980), the latter with Jack Klugman and Gary Coleman.
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