Blu-ray Today: A New Nightbreed, and Pony People in the House Get Hyped


Nightbreed: The Director’s Cut – I haven’t seen the theatrical cut of Clive Barker’s Cabal adaptation since it was first on HBO, but I remember thinking it felt like huge chunks were missing that might have clarified the story some. Now restored with some 20 old minutes taken out and 45 put back in, its point couldn’t be clearer – Barker’s basically doing a grotesque take on the X-Men, with homophobia/AIDS metaphors cranked to 11. In a new introduction, he says studio executives at the time couldn’t understand monsters being the good guys, but I think he’s being euphemistic.

Dig: Boone (pretty/dumb Craig Sheffer) has a good job and a nice girlfriend, but he dreams about being a monster and running wild in a crazy underground world. His psychiatrist, the coldly detached Dr. Decker (David Cronenberg, behaving exactly the way you’d hope David Cronenberg would behave), is curious about these fantasies, as he has some of his own about murdering families, which he promptly enacts and pins the blame on self-loathing freak Boone. Boone dies and is reborn among the monsters, who have varying levels of weirdness but all accept each other, as finally the man who walks in both worlds (bisexual, in other words) must defend against an uncaring medical profession and a whole host of dumb redneck gun nuts (in a slight twist, they’re Canadian rather than Appalachian).

It’s a bit on the nose, and I wish the non-Cronenberg villains weren’t quite such caricatures. It’s still a ballsy allegory for the late ’80s (it was released in 1990 originally) and full of imaginative designs; it may be hard to take fully seriously today, but it remains a defiantly unique vision even if the hair and makeup have not aged well. Hate to say this, but a remake could work. (Note that this is different from the Cabal Cut that played a limited theatrical run with deteriorated elements; the Blu-ray cut is fully restored and not as long.)

My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks – Having seen the first one, and felt like I was being sold a really confused toy commercial that didn’t entirely give a shit about its fan base, I can’t say I’ve been psyched for this one. But Sherilyn Connelly, who knows the property better than I, has a whole bunch of reasons why it might be worthwhile.

Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist – Machinima’s web series captures a lot of what people want in a Street Fighter live-action adaptation, though from what I saw, it lingered a bit too long on the backstory. Stick to Ryu and Ken as the main characters, movies! Still, for LYT, its conversion of game moves to real life was some of the best I’ve ever seen. For Assassin’s Fist, it’s Tuesday.

The Complete Jacques Tati (Criterion Collection) – While Tati’s comedic style is not entirely my bag, no discussion of physical comedy onscreen can fairly exclude him, and movies like Mr. Bean’s Holiday owe him almost everything. Having only seen Mr. Hulot’s Holiday, I can’t opine on his whole body of work, but even as his signature character is not the most pleasant fellow, his ability to blissfully, unawarely destroy everything around him is some classic slapstick.

Deliver Us From Evil – Eric Bana fights Satan in a supposed true story that has way more digital effects than real life does.

Squirm – Killer flesh-eating worms! I presume it has to be great.

Planet of the Vampires – Mario Bava proves that space travel really sucks.

Stargate: 20th Anniversary – This apparently includes two versions of the film: a theatrical cut and “extended unrated” version. I hope that means Jaye Davidson’s penis, since he’s kinda famous for it and all. Probably doesn’t. I don’t need to see a longer version otherwise; as is, the movie is all tedious set-up followed by a very quick shooting of its load.

Devil’s Carnival – Following the cult success of Repo! The Genetic Opera, Darren Lynn Bousman and Terrance Zdunich made this musical anthology of Aesop’s Fables adaptations, and toured it as a roadshow presentation with live elements. Minus those parts, the movie that remains is only 80-some minutes long, but here it is if you want to see it unadorned.

Wish I Was Here – Thank you, Zach Braff, for making this movie and allowing me and countless other bloggers to use the line “At least it’s better than a Zach Braff movie!” in every post about Kickstarters we make.

Also, aspiring writers please note: “I wish I were here” is the grammatically correct version of the title.

And that’s all I got for this week. What can you add?