Genre Watch – March 2007 – By Jordan Garren

 Egads! Where does the time go? Sure February is the shortest month every year (by mere days) but I’ve never had one fly by as fast as this one did! Hell, it seems like just yesterday I was reliving Groundhog Day over and over again and no matter what I did I would wake up every morning and it’d still be Groundhog Day! Oh wait… never mind, that was Bill Murray in “Groundhog Day.” My bad! In any case, March is upon us and it is looking pretty damned good thus far for all of us cult movie fanatics. Super-stylized war epics, foreign monster films, cannibalistic mutants, ninja turtles and more invade theaters this month while many forgotten classics make their DVD debuts. So it brings me great pleasure to bring you my hot picks for the month of March! (Oh and remember kids, all release dates are tentative and subject to change. If anything does change, check out the Rogue Cinema Forums for Genre Watch updates!)

Now available on DVD:

Blue Underground Italian Horror Re-releases
– After Anchor Bay’s rights expired on numerous Italian gialli and horror films, Bill Lustig’s Blue Underground DVD snapped them up immediately. Look out for reasonably priced re-releases of “Autopsy,” “City of the Living Dead,” “Deep Red,” “Don’t Torture a Duckling,” “Inferno,” and “Shock” in stores today! If you already own the Anchor Bay releases you should be fine, but if you don’t, then grab these titles ASAP!

Chainsaw Sally – Gunner “I was the original Leatherface” Hansen cameos in this popular indie horror flick in which a young girl becomes a chainsaw-wielding psychopath after witnessing the death of her parents. By day she lives in the guise of a mousy librarian, but by night, she’s one crazy b*tch that will kill anyone she considers “bad.”  The DVD of “Chainsaw Sally” features a nice 1.78:1 widescreen transfer and comes with a good assortment of special features, including: An audio commentary, interviews with Gunner Hansen and Herschell Gordon Lewis, a making-of featurette, a music video, and an artwork gallery!

Eddie Murphy: Delirious – Thought lost for years, Eddie Murphy’s raunchy stand-up comedy film finally comes to DVD! Back before Eddie did kiddie films for Disney, he was a trash-talking and insanely talented comedian that was on the rise to stardom. “Delirious” is probably his most famous (and possibly his best) bit of stand-up, in which he makes fun of celebrities (mainly Mr. T James Brown, and Michael Jackson), his family (the whole bit about Fourth of July barbeques is awesome!), and anything else that comes to the young star’s mind. The DVD features a clean fullscreen transfer and a handful of extras that for some reason aren’t listed on Man I need to pick this disc up next time DVD shopping!

The Evil Animals Triple Feature – Shriek Show (a division of Media Blasters) offers up three of its previous “nature strikes back” films in a bargain-priced ($14.99?!) boxed set. Included in the set are “Day of the Animals,” the two-disc release of “Grizzly,” and “Devil Dog.” Dang it! I bought two of those for twenty bucks apiece! Had I waited, I could’ve gotten this set for so much cheaper! Curse you Media Blasters!

Night of the Living Dorks – A group of unpopular nerds die in a car accident shortly after performing a voodoo ritual. The result? They become zombies, and decide to use their undead capabilities to become more popular in high school! I haven’t seen this flick yet, but it sounds like fun and recently got a somewhat positive review in Fangoria magazine. I think I’ll give it a shot, won’t you?! This new zomb-edy from Deutschland boasts a crisp 1.85:1 widescreen transfer with Dolby 5.1 German Surround Sound (with English subtitles) and an English 2.0 Dolby Surround audio track as well. “Night of the Living Dorks” comes complete with a movie trailer, a blooper reel, deleted and extended scenes, and a behind-the-scenes featurette!

The Prestige – Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale star as dueling magicians in “turn-of-the-century London” who begin turning to murder in order to discover each others secrets. This is yet another flick I’ve missed out on, but I plan on seeing it soon, along with (some would say, the much better) “The Illusionist” starring Edward Norton. The buzz about “The Prestige” has mainly been positive, though it is constantly compared to that “other magician flick with the dude from ‘American History X’.” The film is featured in widescreen, probably has at the very least, 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound, and definitely some extra features, but Amazon just doesn’t seem to be on the ball lately as the “Prestige” page is void of any further information. I guess I’ll begin searching elsewhere for DVD specs and extras from now on. Curse you Amazon!

Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny – I saw this flick during its short theatrical run and it was awesome! This is a musical for stoners and Jack Black fans alike and features many a memorable tune, as well as cameos by rockers Meatloaf, Ronnie James Dio, and David Grohl (of the Foo Fighters). JB (Jack Black, duh) and KG (Kyle Gass, duh again) go on an adventure to steal the magical “Pick of Destiny” in order to become the world’s greatest (acoustic?) rock duo! By the end of the film, they end up having a “rock-off” competition with Satan that is laugh-out-loud funny. This comedic musical is featured in 1.77:1 widescreen with Dolby Digital 6.1, 5.1, and 2.0 audio options! And check out this rockin’ list of extra features that can be found on the disc: Audio Commentary by Jack Black and Kyle Gass, fourteen deleted and extended scenes plus alternate endings and outtakes, “The Making of Pick of Destiny” featurette, a “Pick of Destiny” music video with making of featurette, a “Jump-to-a-Song” feature, theatrical trailers, and more! Oh yes, this DVD will be mine!

Now Playing in Theaters:

Bridge to Terabithia – The family film of choice for theater-goers. Two children from different backgrounds and upbringings become friends and invent a fairytale land where they rule as Queen and King. It’s definitely not my cup of tea, but I’m sure the kids will like it… until the tragic ending that is.

Ghost Rider – F*cking awesome adaptation of the Marvel Comics’ hellish (anti)hero! Stunt driver Johnny Blaze (Nicholas Cage) is bamboozled into selling his soul to the Devil and is forced to become The Ghost Rider, Satan’s stylish bounty hunter! Its got cool effects, Eva Mende’s cleavage, and a hero with a flaming skull for a head! What’s not to like?! Check it out! (I did! Twice!)

The Number 23 – Jim Carrey becomes obsessed with the number “23” and its evil implications. Uh yeah… I think it’s time to retire Jim.

Reno 911!: Miami – The gang from TV’s hilarious improv “reality” show, Reno 911 are Miami’s only hope when the local police force comes down with an unknown contagion. Fans of the show should be content with this flick but folks that are new to the “Reno 911” team may be disappointed.

DVDs to look for in March:

March 5th: “Borat,” “Hands of Steel,” “The Manitou,” “Night of the Comet,” “Revenge of the Nerds” (Panty Raid Edition), “Revenge of the Nerds Atomic Wedgie Collection” (features all four films!), and “Solarbabies.”

March 13th: “Casino Royale” (2-Disc set), “Ed Wood: A Salute to Incompetence” (2-Disc Set), “Ghoul School: Super Bloody Splatter University,” and “Shortbus” (Unrated Edition).

March 20th: “Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film,” “Masters of Horror: Pro-Life,” “Re-Animator” (2-Disc Anchor Bay Collection release w/glow in the dark syringe-highlighter!), “Return of the Living Dead 5: Rave from the Grave,” and “Stan Lee Presents: The Condor.”

March 27th: “42nd Street Forever: XXX-treme Edition,” “Cinema of Death,” “Dust Devil: Final Cut,” “Hundra” (2-Disc Collector’s Edition), “I Spit on Your Corpse, I Piss on Your Grave,” “Penny Dreadful,” “Turistas,” and “Ultimate Versus” (3-DVD Set).

Theatrical Films to Look for in March:

March 2nd:

Black Snake Moan – It sounds like a porn film but it’s not (at least I think it’s not). Samuel L. Jackson plays a blues man who takes in a sexually abused Christina Ricci. My guess is that they fall in love, then she gets to see his black snake, resulting in some moaning. If that’s the case, then the movie’s title makes total sense!

Zodiac – I’m really scraping here folks as March starts off slowly, so here’s something sort of genre-related for you to check out in theaters. A film about the Zodiac killer! Yawn…. NEXT!

March 9th:

300 – “Tonight, we dine in Hell!” King Leonidus of Sparta (played by a badass-looking Gerard Butler) and three-hundred of his men, hold the pass of Thermopylae against Persian King Xerxes’ legions of troops. This is looking cool as hell, with highly stylized violence, incredible visuals, and lots of angry screaming dudes with spears and shields! And remember kids, if you want to see it, tell mom and pop that this movie is an “historical epic.”

The Host – South Korea’s got Seoul (!!) which is where this latest and greatest Asian monster flick takes place. Due to a the hazardous dumping of formaldehyde into the Han River by an ee-vil American (true story!), an amphibious monstrosity is born. While the Korean and American governments waltz about with their thumbs up their butts, a dysfunctional family takes matters into their own hands and attempts to track down and kill the man-eating mutant in order to save one of their own. This movie rules and you must see it!

March 16th:

Dead Silence – A cursed ventriloquist dummy is the villain of this new film from “Saw” creator James Wan. I’ve read up on it on that latest issue of Fangoria magazine and this flick shows some promise. I may actually give it a go as I thought “Saw” was a pretty good film debut for Mr. Wan.

Nomad – [This film is getting a limited theatrical release.] A young child is destined to become the leader of Kazakstan’s three major (and constantly warring factions) in this fantasy/historical epic. No “Borat” here folks!

Premonition – A woman (Sandra Bullock) is shocked to wake up and find her husband alive and well in bed next to her, the day after he allegedly died. Is there any way she can stop this possible vision from coming true?! I don’t really give a damn, but I’ll check this movie out, if only to drool over Sandra B.

March 23rd:

The Hills Have Eyes 2 – A new family of cannibalistic mutants munches on a group of pretty National Guardsmen in a desert. I missed out on the previous film, so I’ll probably skip this one until it comes out on DVD.

The Last Mimzy – Two kids gain special powers after getting a box of toys from the future. Yeah, what the hell? I guess this one is just weird enough to be worth a look.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Woohoo! Now this is something I’m really looking forward to! (Just to defend my stance on that comment: I grew up watching the turtles’ animated adventures, collected their toys, and went to see the live-action films in theaters. Needless to say, I was a big fan in my early years, so this movie has most definitely sparked my interest.) This one takes place after “Secret of the Ooze” and pits the fearsome foursome against an army of monsters and the remaining Foot Clan. It’s all done in CGI animation and was written and directed by Turtles creator, Kevin Eastman, so I have very high hopes!

March 30th:

Meet the Robinsons – CGI kidfare in which a boy genius (not Jimmy Neutron) goes on an adventure into the future in order to save his extended family from the evil … Bowler Hat Guy? (What’s with all these weird family-oriented films?! Isn’t “The Last Mimzy” odd enough Hollywood?!)

Skinwalkers – Two werewolf clans battle it out over a 12-year old child who may tip the scales in the furry civil war. From what I’ve read and heard thus far, it seems like we’re getting another awful werewolf movie from Tinseltown. Sigh…. I hope the remake of “The Wolfman” with Bencio del Toro helps bring lycanthrope cinema back from the brink of suckiness….

Well that’s March in a nutshell fellow cult movie lovers! There’s plenty of stuff to watch and keep us all sated until next month when awesome flicks like “Grindhouse” and “Pathfinder” come our way. 2007 has been shaping up to be a great year for movies thus far, so let’s hope that Hollywood and the indie film community keep delivering more of what we all want! That’s pretty much all I have left to say so be sure to tune in next month for another installment of Rogue Cinema’s Genre Watch!