Video Vault – April 6, 2022 | Movie


THE FINAL OPTION (Kino Lorber Studio Classics): It’s a throwback to the good old days of those right-wing jingoistic action outbursts in director Ian Sharp’s 1983 feature debut. Originally titled Who dare win and produced by Euan Lloyd (of wild geese fame), it was acquired for US distribution by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, apparently on the recommendation of board member Alexander Haig (!).

Inspired by the siege of the Iranian Embassy in London in 1980, the film details the exploits of the Special Air Service (SAS), the British Army’s elite commando unit, led by Captain Peter Skellen (Lewis Collins in his first feature). Skellen is ordered to infiltrate a militant anti-nuclear (?) protest group led by fierce fatal Woman Frankie Leith (Judy Davis), who plans a raid on the American Ambassador’s residence in the presence of Secretary of State Arthur Currie (Richard Widmark) at an official dinner.

It’s all very polished and smooth, although too long and a bit wordy. Collins (who was considered for 007 at the time) is macho and tough, Davis – who seems to channel an unhinged Vanessa Redgrave at her most militant – is nothing if not entertaining, and you haven’t lived until you see her anti-nuclear protest cabaret number (!). The always welcome Widmark likes banter with Davis, and it’s nice to have established pros like Robert Webber, Edward Woodward, Kenneth Griffith, Ingrid Pitt, Paul Freeman, Patrick Allen, Norman Rodway and Tony Doyle on hand. hand to keep things. moving.

A major box office success in its native Britain, it took a critical and financial leap forward in the United States before finding an audience on cable television. Forget political correctness, this is pure popcorn entertainment for action junkies. The special-edition DVD ($29.95 retail) includes audio commentary, theatrical trailers and more. Rated R. **½


99.9 (Cult Epics/CAV Distributing): A DVD/Blu-ray combo ($34.95 retail) of writer/director Agusti Villaronga’s award-winning 1997 film, starring Maria Barranco as a television show host. radio devoted to psychic phenomena which retraces the traces of an ex-lover who was found dead in mysterious circumstances in a small Spanish village. Surreal, well-made and well-played by Barranco, but slow – although he bounces back nicely during a thrilling climax. In Spanish with English subtitles, bonus features include a retrospective interview, behind-the-scenes featurette and trailers. **½

DIRTY O’NEIL (Code Red/Kino Lorber): The 1974 B-movie Blu-ray arc ($29.95 retail) co-directed by writer/producer Leon Capetanos and debutant Lewis Teague, starring Morgan Paull in the title role of a small- A city cop and a ladies’ man stood against thugs who are terrorizing his town. Old Playboy Playmates Jean Manson and Liv Lindenland also appear in this uneven mix of action and comedy. Rated R. *½

“EDGAR G. ULMER SCI-FICTION COLLECTION” (Kino Lorber Studio Classics): The title says it all in this triple-length Blu-ray ($39.95 retail) low-budget sci-fi feature film directed by Edgar G. Ulmer (1904-’72): The man from planet X (1951) with Robert Clarke and Margaret Field (Sally’s real mother), The Incredible Transparent Man (1960) with Marguerite Chapman (in her last feature) and Douglas Kennedy, and Beyond the barrier of time (also ’60), with Clarke (who also produced) and Darlene Tompkins (in her feature debut).

GHOSTBUSTERS: THE BEYOND (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment): Jason Reitman, son of the late producer Ivan Reitman, takes the reins of directing and co-writing this long-awaited, PG-13-rated sequel to hit ’80s comedies, starring Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, Bokeem Woodbine and Paul Rudd joined by franchise regulars Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Ernie Hudson and Annie Potts as they come to terms with paranormal phenomena directly linked to earlier hauntings in New York, available on DVD ($30.99 retail), DVD/Blu-ray Combo ($38.99 retail), and 4K Ultra HD Combo ($45.99 retail), each packed with bonus features.

GIVE OR TAKE (Breaking Glass Pictures): The award-winning feature debut from writer/producer/director Paul Riccio and writer/producer James Effros is a bittersweet comedy/drama in which Effros returns to his childhood home on Cape Cod to settle the estate of his late father – and to reconcile with his father’s longtime partner (the formidable Norbert Leo Butz). Sometimes long but undeniably touching and sensitively performed by an engaging cast that also includes Joanne Tucker, Louis Cancelmi, Annapurna Siriam and Cheri Oteri, the latter providing comic relief as the endlessly heartbreaking real estate agent, available on DVD (24, $99 retail). ***

“LIES AND DECEPTION: FIVE FILMS BY CLAUDE CHABROL” (Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment Group): An explicit limited-edition Blu-ray selection ($99.95 retail) of films directed by legendary French filmmaker Claude Chabrol (1930-2010), who has been widely hailed as “The French Hitchcock”: The award-winning 1985 thriller Cop Au Vin (Chicken in Vinegar)), with Jean Poiret and Stéphane Audran (Chabrol’s ex-wife), based on the novel by Dominique Roulet One more death); Inspector Lavardin (1986), starring Poiret in the title role; the 1991 adaptation of Flaubert’s classic novel Mrs. Bovaire (rated PG-13), which earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Costume Design and stars Isabelle Huppert in the title role; 1992 Betty, after Georges Simenon, with Marie Trintignant (in the title role) and Audran; and 1994 Torment (Hell), from the screenplay of the unfinished film by Henri-Georges Clouzot from 1964 (entitled Hell), with Emmanuelle Béart and François Cluzet. In French with English subtitles, bonus features include audio commentary, retrospective and vintage interviews, an 80-page collector’s book, theatrical trailers, and more.

THE LONG NIGHT (Well Go USA Entertainment): Director Rich Ragsdale’s R-rated clash (originally titled Convent) stars “Scream Queen” Scout Taylor-Compton and Nolan Gerard Funk as a young couple who come up against a latter-day satanic cult in South Carolina, with genre stalwarts Deborah Kara Unger and Jeff Fahey in handy, available on DVD ($19.99 retail) and Blu-ray (retail price $29.98), each offering bonus features including audio commentary, behind-the-scenes reports and the short film from Ragsdale in 2019 The loop.

LOOPER (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment): One 10and– 4K Ultra HD Anniversary Combo ($30.99 retail) of writer/director Rian Johnson’s slick, award-winning 2012 sci-fi thriller, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt (also executive producer) as a futuristic assassin who is himself targeted for extermination by his future self (Bruce Willis). Sometimes convoluted, but undeniably entertaining and engrossing, with Emily Blunt, Paul Dano, Piper Perabo, Noah Segan, Garret Dillahunt and Jeff Daniels rounding out a strong cast. Bonus features include audio commentary, behind-the-scenes featurettes, deleted scenes, animated trailer, and more. To classify. ***

VEIL MIRANDA (Indican Pictures): Writer/director Levin Garbisch’s award-winning pseudo-noir comedy stars Zach Steffey as an aspiring serial killer who carefully selects the title character (Annabel Barrett) as his first victim , only to find that she can’t be killed – which sends them on an existential road trip of self-discovery. Slow at first, it picks up in the second half, with distinct echoes of Richard Kelly’s 2001 cult classic Donnie Darko. Steffey is a bit too sharp to be entirely convincing, but Barrett plays her part with conviction, available on DVD ($24.99 retail). **

MURPHY’S LAW (Kino Lorber Studio Classics): Of the many Charles Bronson vehicles made by veteran J. Lee Thompson for the Golan/Globus duo at Cannon Films, this 1986 crime thriller is among the best (relatively speaking), because Bronson is imbibed A burnt-out Los Angeles cop is framed for the murder of his stripper wife (Angel Tompkins) by psychopath Carrie Snodgress, who wields a crossbow, forcing him to team up with car thief Kathleen Wilhoite to clear his name. Bronson’s good use of location and prickly chemistry with scene-stealer Wilhoite goes a long way, with Robert F. Lyons, Lawrence Tierney, James Luisi, Richard Romanus, Bill Henderson and Janet MacLachlan all at your fingertips. Wilhoite even sings the title melody over the end credits. Yours truly has seen it three times (!) at the theater, but that’s another story. The Blu-ray Special Edition ($29.95 retail) includes audio commentary, a retrospective interview with Lyons, a theatrical trailer and radio spots. To classify. **

ROCK HUDSON’S PERSONAL FILMS (Kino Classics): Filmmaker Mark Rappaport’s award-winning, speculative 1992 pseudo-documentary explores actor Rock Hudson’s screen career by interweaving excerpts from his films that alluded, albeit obliquely, to his homosexuality with Eric Farr (in his only feature) playing Hudson as the narrator. Gimmicky but thoughtful and even contemplative, available on DVD ($29.95 retail), which includes four Rappaport-directed shorts. ***

SAINT NARCISSUS (The Film Movement): Writer/director Bruce LaBruce’s award-winning psycho-sexual odyssey stars Félix-Antoine Duval in the dual role of an out-of-control fetish man who embarks on a twisted, highly stylized and potentially redemptive when he learns he has a twin brother, now settled in a remote and morally corrupt monastery. Tania Kontoyanni plays the boys’ mysterious mother and Alexandra Petrachuck her equally enigmatic companion. Not for all tastes but certainly original, with echoes of Pier Paolo Pasolini, Peter Greenaway, Nicolas Roeg and Ari Aster everywhere. In English and French with English subtitles, available on DVD ($24.95 retail), packed with bonus features including audio commentary and deleted scenes. **½

YELL (Spyglass Entertainment/Paramount Home Entertainment): Radio Silence duo of Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett co-helmed this long-gestating, R-rated sequel to the popular ’90s slasher franchise, starring Courteney Cox, David Arquette , Neve Campbell, Marley Shelton and Skeet Ulrich reprising their previous roles as the latest incarnation of the knife-wielding “Ghostface” killer (again voiced by Roger L. Jackson) is unleashed in Woodsboro, starring Melissa Barrera, Mason Gooding, Jenna Ortega , Heather Matarazzo and Jack Quaid Caught in the Fray, available on DVD ($25.99 retail), Blu-ray ($31.99 retail) and 4K Ultra HD ($34.99 retail), this latest pair offering bonuses.

(Copyright 2022, Mark Burger)