Horror DVD Releases – Week of October 20th, 2009

(descriptions from netflix and bestbuy)

Spine Tingler: The William Castle Story (2007)
This documentary celebrates the work of independent horror movie producer William Castle, who marketed his 1950s-era films with gimmicks such as giving audience members life insurance vouchers in case the movie frightened them to death. Featuring interviews with director Roger Corman and other colleagues of the gleefully shameless promoter, this tribute from filmmaker Jeffrey Schwarz also examines Castle’s later mainstream career.

Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead (2009)
A group of friends heads for the woods, only to end up on the menu for a cannibalistic mutant known as Three Finger. Only Fonda (Janet Montgomery) manages to survive, and she’s soon joined by a truckload of escaped convicts also fleeing the ravenous freak. Throw in a cache of stolen money to distract the escapees and an unsuspecting search party, and it’s a virtual smorgasbord for Three Finger. Tom Frederic and Tamer Hassan co-star.

Hardware (1990)
A wandering soldier (Dylan McDermott) finds a robot head in the post-apocalyptic desert and brings it back to his girlfriend for use in one of her sculptures. When he investigates the origin of the head, he discovers it’s from the Mark 13 project, which was canceled because of unreliability. The couple (and everyone else) are in for a heap of trouble when the robot puts itself back together using spare sculpture parts!

Last of the Living (2008)
As the rest of humankind succumbs to a virus that turns them into flesh-eating zombies, three pals (Morgan Williams, Robert Faith and Ashleigh Southam) not only survive but thrive — enjoying the easy pickings of a deserted landscape. All of that changes, however, when they meet a pretty girl. Now, the guys’ inner heroes get a chance to emerge in this zombie comedy from New Zealand as they help the lovely young scientist in her race to find a cure.

Blood Ties (2009)
When a group of Hollow’s Pointe University graduate students writes a thesis posing a theory about the still-unsolved slayings that took place there decades prior, they suddenly find their own lives in danger. Twenty years after the original crimes, conspiracy is afoot and student sleuths are turning up dead in this Nathaniel Nose-directed thriller starring DJ Perry, Jason Carter and Anthony Hornus.

Blood: The Last Vampire (2009)
In post-World War II Japan, a top secret government agency sends the teenage katana-wielding half-vampire Saya (Gianna Jun) to an American military base with the assignment of routing out a demon who’s masquerading as a student. A series of violent swordfights leads our heroine to a confrontation with the formidably deadly vampire Onigen (Koyuki). Based on the anime film and TV series, this live-action horror thriller also stars Allison Miller.

Freaky Faron (2009)
After shooting and nearly killing a weatherman when she was 11 years old, Faron Hallowell (Courtney Halverson) claimed that alien beings ordered her to murder him. Now, fresh out of a five-year stay in a mental hospital, Faron finds herself beset by unexplained events. She’ll have to use her supernatural powers to protect herself and those around her — and to finally learn the truth about her identity — in this sci-fi spine chiller.

The Torturer (2008)
Rick (Andrew Walker), an American military interrogator working on contract during the Iraq war, resorts to extremes while questioning a Muslim female detainee (Mahsa Masoudi) in the high-stakes atmosphere of the war on terror. Now, he’s suffering the consequences. Returning to the United States with severe post-traumatic stress disorder, Rick must turn to a clinical psychiatrist (Nichelle Nichols) to get healthy enough to resume his grim work.

P (2004)
When a young witch from a remote village in northeastern Thailand travels to Bangkok in hopes of raising the money to care for her ailing grandmother, her breaking of the witch’s sacred code soon leads to disaster in this frightful tale of magic from director Paul Spurrier.

Ravage the Scream Queen (2009)
When two guys discover a DVD-R containing an amateur snuff film, one is inspired to become a murder movie auteur. Luring aspiring scream queens to his lair with the promise of appearing in a film that will launch them to super-stardom, he then proceeds to systematically torture and slaughter the would-be starlets.

Homicidal / Strait-Jacket (1961)
It’s kill and be killed in this deadly double feature: In Strait-Jacket, Lucy (Joan Crawford) tries to prove herself after spending 20 years in an asylum for murder; in Homicidal, heiress Miriam Webster (Patricia Breslin) fears for her life when a blond bombshell (Jean Arless) plots her demise. Both femme fatale flicks are from iconic horror maven William Castle, a director with a reputation for low-budget B movies and nifty marketing gimmicks.

Mr. Sardonicus / The Old Dark House (1961)
William Castle presents two classic screamers: Mr. Sardonicus, the tale of a man whose face is frozen into a horrifying grimace, and The Old Dark House, in which an auto salesman (Tom Poston) delivers a car to his client, only to find the man dead on arrival. The producer of Rosemary’s Baby, Castle began his career as an iconic director of gimmicky spine tinglers with notoriously low budgets, and this double dose of death delivers on his reputation.

13 Frightened Girls / 13 Ghosts (1960)
Several diplomats’ daughters are drawn into international intrigue and murder in 13 Frightened Girls. Then, in 13 Ghosts, a man (Charles Herbert) inherits his uncle’s mansion and stumbles upon spirits that are only visible to guests who wear special goggles. Horror maestro and iconic showman William Castle stirs a splash of comedy into his suspenseful concoctions in this pair of classic 1960s chillers.

The Tingler / Zotz! (1959)
This double feature pairs a classic horror flick — about a pathologist (Vincent Price) who experiments with a parasite that clings to the spinal cord of victims — with a classic comedy about a professor (Tom Poston) who discovers the zotz, a coin with magical properties. William Castle, who directs both films, initially introduced The Tingler in theaters with electrically “enhanced” seats that delivered a mild shock to audience members.

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