Horror DVD Releases – Week of July 28th, 2009

it was hard not to go with polanski’s classic repulsion, but the pick of the week goes to the giallo torso, a film i’ve been wanting to see for years. for some reason i’ve never been able to find a copy of it on dvd, which is probably a good thing since the earlier american dvd was heavily censored. despite bestbuy.com’s misleading description (which applies to the previous release), this new version is uncut.

(descriptions from netflix and bestbuy)

Pick of the Week

Torso (1973)
A group of extremely glamourous college coeds (Suzy Kendall among them) are being stalked by a hooded sex-killer whose weapon of choice is a hacksaw. Despite this perverse premise and an equally sick title (which translates as “The Bodies Show Signs of Carnal Violence”), this remains a rather dull exercise, representing the lower end of the Italian giallo thriller spectrum and lacking much of the violence common to films of the same genre, thus failing to keep its flimsy plot in motion.

Repulsion (1965)
Roman Polanski directs this truly chilling film that tracks the descent into madness of a fragile, sexually confused beauty parlor worker named Carol (Catherine Deneuve) who succumbs to violent paranoia over the course of a harrowing weekend. Unrelenting and claustrophobic, Polanski’s masterful psychological thriller builds the tension to an almost unbearable level before its shocking, unforgettable climax.

Necessary Evil (2008)
Eager to make a name for herself, neophyte reporter Deborah Fielding (Kathryn Fiore) boldly launches an investigation into the practices of the Edgewater Psychiatric Institute and uncovers a dark government conspiracy. Deborah’s inquiry takes a treacherous twist as secrets from her past soon jeopardize more than just her story in director Peter J. Eaton’s supernatural chiller. Danny Trejo and Lance Henriksen also star.

Vampitheatre (2009)
As they tour the country with their band Theatre Peace, a covert group of blood-sucking vampires leaves behind a trail of slaughtered fans. To solve these grisly murders, a female FBI agent doggedly trails the band, unaware of their dark secret. A thrilling mix of music and horror, this pulse-pounding film stars Dana Cheshire, Christopher Forbes, Dave Mercer, Joel Hodges, Janice Olive and Stephen Gilliam.

Acolytes (2008)
After stumbling upon a freshly buried body and learning the identity of the killer, high school student Mark (Sebastian Gregory) convinces his pal James (Joshua Payne) and James’s girlfriend, Chasely (Hanna Mangan Lawrence), to blackmail the perpetrator. Believing that the killer can take out a bully who ruined their lives, Mark and James fail to realize that the rules will change once they step into the murderer’s world.

Antropophagous 2 (1982)
Aristide Massaccesi directed this gory sequel to Antropophagous under the pseudonym Peter Newton, although he is best known as Joe D’Amato. The plot is styled more after Halloween II than the original, however, as the mutant cannibal (Luigi Montefiore) murders people in a hospital while being pursued by Edmund Purdom (Pieces). Female lead Katya Berger does her best to look menaced, but despite a great deal of gratuitous bloodshed, the film raises few goosebumps. Co-stars Laura Gemser and Annie Belle appeared together in several sex films, notably Velluto Nero and Massaccesi’s L’Alcova.

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