A pretty packed week of fairly obscure catalog releases this week, but let’s focus our attention on old and new Stephen King adaptations. We kick off with the new HBO series The Outsider. In Cherokee City, Georgia, Detective Ralph Anderson (Ben Mendelsohn) has landed a case involving the gruesome murder of a young boy. The case seems open and shut when overwhelming physical evidence points to a local high school baseball coach, Terry Maitland (Jason Bateman). But when camera footage is discovered showing Terry 60 miles away at the time of the murder, Ralph must try to find out how someone could possibly be in two places at the same time. With the help of some local friends and outside investigator Holly Gibney (Cynthia Erivo), they begin to suspect something supernatural may be involved.
The Outsider is something a little different for HBO but is Stephen King through and through. Mendelsohn is fantastic as usual, as are the supporting players including the underrated Bill Camp, Mare Winningham and Paddy Considine, but it is Cynthia Erivo that really steals the show. Erivo is a brilliant investigator with an unusual personality and she is instantly likable and relatable. The story has some great twists and is a perfect blend of police procedural, murder mystery, supernatural story and creature feature. I am definitely curious as to whether they are going to continue The Outsider, one of the best and most enjoyable series in recent memory.
Also out this week is the Blu-ray debut of a lesser known but very enjoyable Stephen King property, Graveyard Shift. John Hall (David Andrews) arrives in town looking for work and ends up at a local textile mill. The mill is under threat of being closed if the foreman Warwick (Stephen Macht) does clear out the massive rat infestation, so he hires exterminator and Vietnam vet Tucker Cleveland (Brad Dourif) to take care of it. Soon Hall and some co-workers find themselves trapped in the mill basement trying to survive against legions of intelligent and voracious rats, who may be under the control of something much more dangerous.
Graveyard Shift is an incredibly fun 90s horror flick with solid performances and great thrills. Andrews is a great lead despite the fact that most of his resume has him in supporting roles. Director Ralph S. Singleton does a great job of keeping the pace fast and the jumps frequent. Singleton is mainly a production manager or producer, with Graveyard Shift being his only time behind the camera on a feature film. And this new Blu-ray from Shout Factory is loaded with brand new special features making this one well worth picking up. Highly recommended.
Also of note this week is the long out of print Mel Gibson film Apocalypto returning to Blu-ray, Wonder Woman: The Complete Series hitting Blu-ray for the first time, and the excellent Nick Nolte/Susan Sarandon drama Lorenzo’s Oil also coming to Blu-ray for the first time.
Until next week movie lovers, stay safe!
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday July 28, 2020
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1916)*
A Bigger Splash (1973)*
An Accidental Studio (2019)
Blaze and the Monster Machines: Race for the Golden Treasure
Clara's Heart (1988)*
Day of the Warrior (1996)*
El Calor Despues De La Lluvia (The Heat After The Rain)
Final Space: The Complete Season One and Two
Girl Crazy (1943)*
Graveyard Shift (1990)*
Hannibal Brooks (1969)*
Hawaii Five-O (2010): The Final Season
James Cameron's Story of Science Fiction
Light From Light (2019)
Lorenzo's Oil (1992)*
Love Hunter (1972)*
Million Dollar Mermaid (1952)*
Mondo Balordo (1967)*
NCIS: The Seventeenth Season
Pat and Mike (1952)*
Pride and Prejudice (1940)*
Return to Savage Beach (1998)*
Send Me to the Clouds
Slave of the Cannibal God a.k.a. The Mountain of the Cannibal God (1978)*
The Outsider: The First Season
The Revenge of the Living Dead Girls (1987)*
The River (1984)*
The Shakedown (1929)*
The Sin of Nora Moran (1933)*
The System a.k.a. The Girl-Getters (1964)*
The Tenant (1976)*
The Wild, Wild World of Jayne Mansfield (1968)*
Thir13en Ghosts (2001)* - Collector's Edition
Without Love (1945)*
Wonder Woman: The Complete Collection (1975-1979)*
*Catalog Blu-ray debut