It’s June, it’s June, the lusty month of June. That means we have a new raft of releases from our friends at Anchor Bay. You’ll see them flash over in the sidebar to your right, but if you want to know a little more about these titles, read on.
Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
I know the title makes the flick sound like a VH1 special, but you don’t want to pass this one up. Count Devin as a fan, and me, too, though my opinion may be as comparatively weighty as, yea, a flea unto an ox. Director Scott Glosserman takes a deep knowledge of slasher movies and binds it to his instinctive knack at reproducing what makes them great in this part-mockumentary, part-horror-in-its-own-right. Its concept is as high as they come, and its conceit may be a little much, but I can almost guarantee that any horror fan will be won over by this guileless beast.
The release will contain commentary from four of the actors, a couple of behind-the-scenes featurettes, deleted scenes, and the screenplay as a DVD-ROM pack-in. Come on, get giddy with me!
The Screwfly Solution
Here’s Jon Dante’s contribution to the second season of Masters of Horror. The Gremlins director leaps headlong into the latest cluster of horror in which sex is made explicitly equivalent to violence, via a short story by James Tiptree, Jr. Male sexual impulses are being expressed as murderous rage all across the world, and only Jason Priestly and Elliot Gould can stop it! (I love you, Elliot Gould, but when your name comes up associated with sex, well… my murderous rages just die a silent death.) I’ve got to say that, thanks to the brazen exploitation concept, this has been one of my favorite episodes of this second season.
The disc comes packed with extensive behind-the-scenes featurettes, with special focus on the gore effects, commentary with Joe Dante and screenwriter Sam Hamm, Hamm’s script, production and publicity stills, and possibly rancor toward the opposite gender.
Highlander – The Search for Vengeance
I’m guessing Vengeance is about as hard to track down as Godot. Wait! Don’t click away. This isn’t one of those endless sequels to the original geek heartthrob. ("There can be only one," indeed.) Instead, this is a brand-new tale in the same mythology, retold in anime form by director Yoshiaki Kawajiri, whose work Ninja Scroll you may be familiar with. If that’s not the case, you might remember his little ditty "Program" on The Animatrix. You know, the one with the samurai?
This 90-minute Manga feature deals with immortal Colin, who seems to be following a man in black who fled across a desert. As it turns out, the anime sensibilities are a good match for the Highlander, action-heavy type of narrative. The disc contains the first part of a documentary about the melding of Eastern and Western stories, an interview with the director, a special teaser by production house Madhouse, and a photo montage. Of what? I don’t know, because I just have the screener. It’s probably set to the Team America soundtrack.