Writer-director-co-producer-co-editor-star Evan Glodell (I’m sure there are more hyphenates hiding in the credits somewhere) chose this tale of an ill-fated couple (Glodell and fearless newcomer Jessie Wiseman) whose fiery romance threatens everyone around them, to announce his arrival as a filmmaker with smoldering vision and innovative know-how – he literally built his own camera to film Bellflower. Beyond Glodell’s jagged-edged storytelling and cinematographer Joel Hodge’s scorched-Earth aesthetic, Bellflower positively hums with momentum and possibility. The plot, for what it’s worth, is told in a non-linear fashion, but essentially, Glodell plays a man whose sole hobby is to jack up his ’72 black Buick Skylark with everything from flame-throwers to surveillance cameras (y’know, in case of apocalypse) until a hookup following a friendly live-cricket-eating contest leads to infatuation, betrayal and tons of drinking and fighting. Bellflower, with its $17,000 budget and DIY ethos, has already garnered comparisons to Robert Rodriguez’s no-budget beginnings, but something about the creative restlessness on display here suggests something meatier. Whatever Glodell turns out to be, in 2011, he’s the most exciting new director to come along in many years. (available now)
Special Features: Featurettes, outtakes
Remember last year, when distributors Kino International toured theaters with a pristine version of Fritz Lang’s sci-fi expressionism masterpiece Metropolis, which incorporated half an hour of newly discovered footage? Yeah, this isn’t that one. This is the multi-Razzie award-winning, oh-so-’80s version altered and scored by Giorgio Moroder (ELO, Queen) that didn’t at all piss on cinephiles’ Shroud of Turin by adding in music cues by Pat Benatar, Bonnie Tyler, Billy Squier and Adam Ant. OK, let’s face it: This Blu-ray edition, also by Kino, is tailor-made for midnight camp screenings. And for that, we salute it. (available now)
Special Features: Featurette
The sweet, good-natured (if unfortunate-looking) rednecks at the heart of this hysterically revisionist horror film, Tucker and Dale (Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine) want only to enjoy their long-planned vacation at a fixer-upper cabin in the woods. But when a camp of attractive teenagers set up nearby – cue skinny dipping, alcohol and campfire stories of deranged, mass-murdering rednecks – get themselves worked up over some strange occurrences, Tucker and Dale’s outing devolves into a nightmare. Co-writer/director Eli Craig’s scathing indictment of the teens, who can’t stop stumbling upon gory death, and sympathetic reading of the perceived maniacal killers is a refreshing reminder in a world of Final Destination sequels that fear itself can be just as deadly as any bloodthirsty maniac with a chainsaw. Well, almost. (available now on-demand; on DVD Nov. 29)
Special Features: Commentary, featurette
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