Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Upcoming Releases Worth Noting

Here are a few upcoming releases that have caught my attention:

Pulse (2006)
This is the latest in the wave of U.S. remakes of Japanese horror films. I recently saw the original 2001 version--known in Japan as Kairo--which frankly left me cold. My full review will be appearing in the summer issue of Phantom of the Movies Videoscope, but in a nutshell there are some good moments surrounded by more moments of tedium, and the story is just plain murky (my oxymoron for the day). The story involves a series of suicides that may or may not (like I said: murky) have something to do with the spirits of the dead returning via the internet.

Despite this, I have cautiously high hopes for the remake. The poster (click on the thumbnail for a closer view) is the stuff that nightmares are made of. The trailer is included on the Wolf Creek DVD, and there are some intriguing bits. What was implied in the Japanese original seems far more upfront here, and I'm hoping that kind of clarity will help. Oddly enough, the trailer contains scenes from the Japanese original. Whether or not these scenes are also in the final film remains to be seen. Kristen Bell, star of TV's Veronica Mars, is an interesting choice for the lead as well. If you don't have the Wolf Creek disk handy you can link to the Pulse trailer at the IMDB.

The U.S. theatrical release date is July 14, 2006.

Cemetery Man (a.k.a. Dellamorte Dellamore, 1994)
This late entry in the Italian zombie movie sweepstakes finally makes its DVD debut on June 16, 2006. Directed by Michele Soavi--yes, the guy who watched his girlfriend vomit her own intestines in Lucio Fulci's City of the Living Dead/The Gates of Hell--Cemetery Man is the swan song of Italian zombie movies, but it also rises above the genre to become something else entirely. Rupert Everett plays a cemetery watchman whose job is not to keep people out, but to keep the graveyard's occupants in. The film has great horror elements, but can also be funny and touching.

You can get the full specs on the disk at Anchor Bay Entertainment's website.


Equinox (1970)
This no budget chiller has been a favorite of mine for years. I've seen it on television, VHS, and a grainy bootleg DVD, and now it makes its official DVD bow thanks to the prestigious Criterion Collection. Begun as a student project with some highly ambitious stop-motion animation, Equinox was shot over the course of several years. The story involves four friends who encounter a variety of monsters in the woods that have been conjured by an ancient and evil book of spells. Much has been made of the resemblance between this film and The Evil Dead, though personally I think the similarity is superficial. Frank Bonner is one of the stars, years before he played Herb Tarlek, General Sales Manager of WKRP in Cincinnati, a sitcom that just screams for a DVD release of its own.

Equinox hits stores on June 20, 2006.

1 comment:

Shannon said...

Cemetary Man looks fun! Rupert Everett is cool, I will check that one out. The others are most definitely going on my "when Joel goes away" list! :-)

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