Genre Watch – November 2006 – By Jordan Garren

 Halloween has come and gone but the flow of cult movies is still going fairly strong. As we head toward Thanksgiving, DVD companies are giving us more of what we want (there’s a ton of stuff coming out that I’d literally kill for), but sadly the theatrical offerings for November are pretty damned sparse. Since Christmas if fast approaching (sure it’s two months away, but it’ll be here before you know it), now is the time to start taking notes on what you want and what you think your demented b-movie-loving friends might want! Hopefully this latest Genre Watch will help you do just that! Here’s what we all can look forward to this month… unless of course any release dates change, because as we all know at this point (disclaimer time!), all release dates are tentative!

Now available on DVD:

Feast (Unrated Edition) – I’ve never seen Project Greenlight, nor have I seen the two previous Project Greenlight films that were made before John Gulager (brother of cult movie legend, Clu Gulager) stepped in. (From what I’ve heard, neither of those flicks are anything special and are probably best forgotten.) Gulager’s Feast gets back to the roots of the simplistic, fun, and gruesomely gritty creature features a lot of us freaks grew up with. In Feast, a group of people within a secluded bar must battle for their lives against a family of man-eating monsters… and that’s it! While the plot is nothing new, the film very well could become a future cult classic and is a guaranteed good time for monster film lovers! The DVD for Feast boasts a nice 2.40:1 widescreen transfer with Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. The disc is also rounded out with these appetizing extras: An audio commentary by the film makers, a making of featurette ("Horror Under the Spotlight: Making Feast"), a special effects featurette ("The Blood and Guts of Gary Tunnincliffe"), outtakes, and deleted scenes! Just when you thought Horror was dead, movies like this suddenly appear and save the day! God bless you John Gulager!

Frankenhooker (Special Edition) – Unearthed Films brings us an all new Special Edition of Frank "Basket Case" Henenlotter’s Frankehooker. In this modern take on the Frankenstein legend, a young medical student begins rebuilding his late fiancé (who died in a lawnmower accident!) with body parts taken from prostitutes! Once his creation is given life, the "Frankenhooker" runs amok and begins turning tricks (with some messy results) around the streets of New York City! This beloved film is now available for fans (and curious viewers) in a beautiful 16:9 Anamorphic widescreen transfer on a DVD that’s crammed with extras! The disc has an audio commentary by director Frank Henenlotter and Gabe Bartalos, several "Making-Of" featurettes, a "Photo Scrapbook,” a slew of production photos, and of course some theatrical trailers! Unearthed Films really "stitched together" a great DVD here, so keep up the awesome work guys!

Nacho Libre (Special Collector’s Edition) – Jack Black stars in this very oddball comedy about a Mexican monastery cook that becomes a Luchador in order to improve the lives of the orphans he cooks for. This movie is totally offbeat and is not for all tastes, but I personally enjoyed it. (Gotta love the "corn-cob in the eye" scene!) This recent release from Paramount DVD is shown in 16:9 widescreen with Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 Surround Sound. As for the DVD extras, there’s quite a bit of stuff to check out including: An audio commentary with star Jack Black, director Jared Hess, and writer Mike White, the Nacho Libre Comic Book Creator, deleted scenes, a photo gallery, five behind-the-scenes featurettes, and more! And if you were lucky enough to grab a copy of this DVD at Best Buy upon the first day of its release, you will have been blessed with your very own Nacho Libre Luchador mask! Too cool!

The Predator / Predator 2 Gift Set – In this two film set, an alien being with advanced weaponry, and the ability to turn itself invisible, hunts commandos in the jungles of Venezuela, then gets its ass kicked by Ah-nuld Schwarzenegger. Another "Predator" returns in the 1992 sequel to give Danny "Lethal Weapon" Glover a headache. Both films were previously released in deluxe 2-Disc sets, but I guess they didn’t sell well enough separately, hence this wonderful gift set for the "sexual Tyrannosaurus" in your family!

Skeeter – One of the lesser killer giant mosquito flicks finally makes its way to DVD courtesy of Image Entertainment. A corrupt businessman dumps toxic waste near a small desert town, which results in a growing population of giant mosquitos. The film has laughable effects and is easily outclassed by Mosquito, a much better (bigger-budgeted) giant, killer mosquito flick. This bare bones DVD showcases the film in its original 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio with 5.1 Dolby Digital sound, which is probably more than this little turd of a movie deserves.

Slither – After failing to make a dent in the box office, Slither finally comes to DVD where it will hopefully get the love it deserves. A meteorites lands on Earth, near a small, podunk town. Soon the organism within the rock infects the populace, turning them into acid-spewing zombies that serve a horrific mutant monster This movie pays homage to a lot of films (most notably Night of the Creeps), and features a healthy dose of gore, frights, and laughs! (Also be on the look out for a cameo by Troma President Lloyd Kaufman, as well as an audio cameo from Devil’s Rejects‘ director, Rob Zombie.) Slither is available in either Fullscreen or Widescreen editions and comes with these awesome extras: Audio Commentary with director James Gunn and star Nathan Fillion, deleted scenes, extended scenes, a gag reel, and a handful of featurettes that chronicle the entire Slither production! I saw this flick in theaters twice and once my DVD comes in the mail, I’m going to watch a few more times! Yes folks… it’s that good!

Super Inframan – Image Entertainment gives us Shaw Bros. fans something to cheer about with their latest release of Super Inframan! When the evil Princess Dragon Mom (in the English dubbed version) awakens and declares war on humanity (i.e. China), its up to a scientist, and the goofy superhero he creates to stop the evil dragon princess. This movie is off-the-wall and features a colorful cast of monsters and lots of chop-sockey action! Image’s DVD of Super Inframan is featured in 2.35:1 widescreen and contains both the English dubbed version of the film, and the original Cantonese language version as well (with English subtitles). Sadly the number of extras on the Inframan DVD are sparse; we only get a photo gallery, a theatrical trailer, and liner notes from Asian film experts Damon Foster and August Ragone. Still, it’s nice to finally have this film on a legit DVD! Looks like I can finally retire my old worn out VHS tape of Inframan now….

X-Men 3: The Last Stand – The third (and final?) installment of the X-Men franchise features a lot of new faces with lots of cameos by comic heroes and villains like Multiple Man and Angel (who later became a bad-ass villain called Archangel in the X-Men comic series). Essentially, Jean Grey returns as Phoenix and joins Magneto’s war against humanity. Meanwhile, Wolverine, Storm, Iceman, and several lesser mutants try to stop a mutant apocalypse from occurring and lots of battles ensue. This movie is purely eye candy with a pretty thin plot, but I can forgive that because there’s plenty to like here. Though it’s the weakest of the X-Men films, The Last Stand does bring a bit of closure to the series (while simultaneously setting up room for another installment). X-Men 3: The Last Stand is available in a Fullscreen Edition, a Widescreen Edition, and a Collector’s Edition (which is just the Widescreen Edition in a fancier package with a nifty little comic book inside). All three editions come with these extras: Two audio commentaries with the film makers (including director Brett Rattner, writer Zak Penn, and producer Avi Arad), a bunch of deleted scenes, three alternate endings, and some movie trailers. As you can see, not only is this film the weakest link in the trilogy, but its DVD release is a far cry from the jam-packed double-disc sets for both X-Men and X2: X-Men United.

Now Playing in Theaters:

The Grudge 2 – Didn’t I say not to go see this film? What is it still doing in the top ten?! Well for those of you that care, this film follows the continued adventures of two evil Asian spirits that terrorize hot young girls in schoolgirl uniforms. Bo-ring!

The Marine – John Cena is "The Marine," an ex-military fellow who goes back into action to rescue his kidnaped girl. I heard a lot of bad stuff about this, but what do you expect from a film that’s a throwback to cheesy 80s action films?

The Prestige – Dueling magicians (played by Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman) try to ruin each others lives and careers in Christopher Nolan’s latest film. Next to The Departed (a.k.a. a remake of an awesome Asian crime-drama called Infernal Affairs), this is probably the best movie out in theaters right now.

Saw III – Yowza! Jigsaw and his disciple return to torture people in new and more gruesome ways! The buzz has been good about this third film in the Saw franchise and since this one has thus far been very profitable, it looks like Saw IV may be greenlit in the very near future.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning – Ok, now they’re doing prequels to remakes! What an ingenious way to milk money from consumers! Anyway, this film sets up the origins of the cannibalistic Sawyer family… but who gives a rat’s ass?! Curse all of you that went to see this film! Because of you, I bet that there’ll be a sequel to this prequel that’s actually a remake of the remake of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre!

DVDs to look for in November:

November 7th: "Debbie Does Dallas" (Ultimate Edition), "Godzilla Raids Again," "James Bond: The Ultimate Collection" (Volumes 1 and 2), "Maximum Overdrive," "Mothra vs. Godzilla," and "Zeiram" (2-DVD Set).

November 14th: "Forbidden Planet" (50th Anniversary Special Edition & the Ultimate Collector’s Edition), "King Kong" (2005 Extended Edition – 3 DVD Set), "Masters of Horror: Haeckel’s Tale," "Maniac Cop" (Synapse), and "Christmas Evil."

November 21st: "H-6: Diary of a Serial Killer," "The Return," and "We’re Going to Eat You."

November 28th: "Clerks II," "See No Evil," "Supergirl," "Superman II" (The Richard Donner Cut & 2-Disc Special Edition), "Superman Returns," and "The Ultimate Superman Collection" (14-DVD Set!).

Theatrical Films to Look for in November:

November 3rd:
Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause – Tim Allen reprises his role as Scott Calvin/Santa Claus in this holiday franchise. This time around, Scott wants to give up the Santa gig and ultimately signs things over to the ee-vil Jack Frost (played by Martin Short). Naturally things go bad for Christmas, so Scott and friends try to oust Jack Frost and save Christmas! Yeah I know it’s a kiddie family flick, but I’m really grasping at straws here folks. November’s theatrical releases blow!

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan – Sacha Baron Cohen (Ali G) plays Borat, a Kazakhstani reporter that ventures around the U.S. and interviews people from all walks of life, while poking fun at our culture. The best part of this film? Most people were fooled by Mr. Cohen, making for a lot of hilarious moments! I’m really looking forward to this film and I expect it to quickly became a cult fave!

November 10th
The Return – Sarah Michele Geller once again delves into the world of the supernatural in this crappy-looking film. Is she bearing psychic witness to a murder that happened in the past, or a murder that will happen in the near future? Who cares?!.

F*CK – Awesome! And indie film dedicated to researching and documenting the use of the word, F*CK! Holy f*ck! This is an awesome f*cking idea for a movie! Sadly it’s only playing in select theaters, but if you have the chance, give it a whirl!

November 17th:
Casino Royale – A new Bond flick.. like we wanted one. F*CK James Bond!

Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny – A goofy (but fun looking) origin film of Jack Black’s band, "Tenacious D!" Jack and his brother Kenny seek out the fabled "pick of destiny" in order to become the greatest rockers in the world!

November 24th:
The Fountain – Hugh Jackman plays a guy that’s ummm…. actually does anyone know what this is about? I guess it involves immortality and stuff…. damn it Hugh, do what you do best and play Wolverine! Stop doing these artsy-fartsy films on the side!

Deju Vu – Denzel Washington goes back in time to stop a crime from happening…. wow, what a captivating plot! The only way to make this movie even "better," is to cast Jean-Claude Van Damme as Denzel’s mush-mouthed Belgian sidekick!

Well that’s it folks, this is all we have to look forward to in November. But believe me when I say "enjoy it," because December is awful. Truthfully, I believe there are roughly three theatrical releases next month that deserve mention and I don’t think things are looking too good on the DVD front either. But as I’ve said several times before, hang in there! Once we break into January 2007, the good stuff will start pouring into theaters. Just think happy thoughts about seeing "300," "Hostel: Part II," "Pathfinder," "Ghost Rider," "Spider-Man 3," "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End," "The Fantastic Four 2: Rise of the Silver Surfer," "Grindhouse," and any other genre films you can think of. Oh yes, 2007 will rock, but as we all know, "you’ve got to go through Hell before you, get to Heaven." Well good bye for now fellow cult movie fans; be sure to tune in next month for the December edition of Genre Watch, and be sure to have a wonderful Thanksgiving this year!