Hooray! We have a bigger week this week with some stellar releases. Let’s kick it off with what is, in my opinion, one of the best new shows on TV, Evil: Season One. Katja Herbers stars clinical psychologist Kristen Bouchard, a brilliant mind, and mother of four daughters who takes on a new freelance job assisting a priest in training, David Acosta (Mike Colter) and his assistant Ben (Aasif Mandvi) as they investigate supposed miracles, cases of possession and other extraordinary events for the Catholic Church. As they investigate more and more cases, the usually skeptical Kristen starts to question the forces at work in the world as she tries to explain it all with logic and science.
First off, Evil: Season One has one fantastic cast. Herbers is phenomenal as the lead Kristen, infusing her character with courage, determination and heart. Mike Colter is a perfect partner for Herber’s Kristen as the priest in training that has strong faith in God but questions his faith in the world he lives in every day. Mandvi is a fantastic third wheel and comic relief as Ben but still delivers the goods in terms of character development and authenticity. The storylines are very well written, the scares are genuinely frightening and the entire supporting cast including Christine Lahti as Kristen’s mother and Michael Emerson as a very evil psychologist counterpart are all great. If you are looking for something different, scary and fun with exceptional production value, check out Evil: Season One. And let’s hope we see a Season Two sometime in the future.
Next up this week is one of my all time favorite thrillers finally hitting Blu-ray, Narrow Margin. The legendary Gene Hackman stars as Deputy District Attorney Robert Caulfield, who must take a compromised murder witness (Anne Archer) on a train to try and escape mob hit men who will stop at nothing to silence her. On board the train through a remote area of Canada, Cauldfield must play a deadly game of cat and mouse to figure out who the killers are and keep the witness safe until he can deliver her to the courts to testify.
Narrow Margin was made in 1990 during a time when Hollywood was producing an incredible amount of excellent thrillers. Hackman is absolutely fantastic as Caulfield, a man of profound strength and moral fortitude who will risk his very life to find justice. Archer is also very good as the witness who barely escapes death only to be confined to a train with the men who want to kill her. The script is tight and well written and the direction by Peter Hyams is fast paced and constantly tense. It is very reminiscent of classic Hitchcock or Agatha Christie stories, if you have never had the pleasure of checking it out, now is the time with this Blu-ray debut.
Lastly this week is another Blu-ray debut, this time of another film from 1990, Tales from The Darkside: The Movie. This horror anthology features three stories starting with Lot 249, a revenge story featuring an ancient Mummy. Next is Cat from Hell, the story of a millionaire plagued by a cat in his mansion that seems to be killing off people, prompting him to hire a hit man to kill the cat once and for all. And lastly Lover’s Vow, the tale of a man who has encountered a ghastly gargoyle and keeps a terrible secret that may eventually endanger his family.
Tales from The Darkside: The Movie is a big screen adaptation of the cult favorite television anthology that ran from 1983-1988 and was produced by George A. Romero. The film features segments written by Stephen King and George A. Romero and stars the likes of Debbie Harry, Christian Slater, Steve Buscemi, Julianne Moore, James Remar and Rae Dawn Chong. The stories are all well executed and definitely retain the feel of the original series, kind of a darker and more sinister Twilight Zone. The new Collector’s Edition from Shout Factory features a host of special features and is a welcome addition to any horror aficionado’s collection.
Also of note this week is a comprehensive new release called Laurel & Hardy: The Definitive Restorations, which includes new 2K and 4K restorations of some of their best comedies including 2 features and 17 shorts, the new Mel Gibson thriller Force of Nature and a new re-release of the cult hit Terrifier.
Until next week movie lovers, stay safe!
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday June 30, 2020
Bleach (TV) Set 7
Cannery Row (1982)*
Come and See (1985)* - Criterion Collection
Complete Hal Roach Streamliners Collection, Volume 2 (The Westerns)
Complete Hal Roach Streamliners Collection, Volume 3 (the Taxi Comedies)
Django (1966)/Texas, Adios (1966) Double Feature*
Evil: Season One
Force of Nature
Fulci for Fake
Hair (1979)* - Signature Edition
Laurel & Hardy: The Definitive Restorations*
Narrow Margin (1990)*
Not for Publication (1984)*
Orca: The Killer Whale (1977)*
Patty Hearst (1988)*
Promise at Dawn (2017)*
Raggedy Man (1981)*
Romance on the High Seas (1948)*
Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills (1989)*
Strange But True
Street Survivors: The True Story of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash
Strike Up the Band (1940)*
Tales from The Darkside: The Movie (1990)* - Collector's Edition
Ten Little Indians (1989)*
The Complete Lenzi/Baker Giallo Collection
The Etruscan Smile
The Immortalizer (1989)*
The Last Five Days
The Whispering Man
Wild Palms (1993)*
*Catalog Blu-ray debut