No big release for us this week so I’ll start with what I liked the most, the Dutch film Waterboys. It’s about a crime writing father who is thrown out of his house by his wife who then takes his son on a trip to Scotland where he is promoting his latest book. His son was recently dumped by his girlfriend and the father and son don’t see eye to eye on most things. The father is a bit of a womanizer, the son loves his girlfriend and wants to get back together with her. In Scotland the father learns the band The Waterboys are performing and the son had been conceived at a concert by the band. I will be honest, I wasn’t familiar with The Waterboys so I wasn’t sure if they were a real band, but they are. It’s a solid character study with two strong lead performances. The son reminded me a bit of Domhnall Gleeson and I actually could see the film remade with him and his father Brendan Gleeson. Being from The Netherlands, the two leads could be well known there, but I wasn’t familiar with them, but again, they are quite good. At only 93 minutes long it doesn’t wander and stays 100% focused on the story it wants to tell. I quite enjoyed it.
Second we have Switchblade Sisters, an exploitation film from 1975. It’s about a gang of tough girls taking over the turf of a boy gang after their leader is gun downed. There’s a rival gang they went revenge on and it’s all pretty laughable. These exploitation films are ridiculous, but that’s also why you watch them. Lace, the leader of the girls, is lucky if she weighs 110 pounds. She’d get knocked out in a real life fight. The other girl who takes over, Maggie, isn’t much bigger. All the gang members know how to use knives and guns and the action is so bad. But that’s also why this genre was a hit with its audience. There is nudity, over-the-top, unbelievable fights, the cops let a lot of it happen and most of them are in high school. This one is known for starring Don Stark from That 70’s Show fame. The film is also known as The Jezebels and is a favorite of Quentin Tarantino. This new Blu-ray comes with commentary, a documentary, interviews and more. If you are a fan of 70’s exploitation films, you’ll love this one.
Third we have Death Ranch. Part of me likes the film, part of me does not. It takes place in the 1970s with a young black man escaping from prison and meeting up with family at an old family ranch. Of course they run into the KKK, but not just any normal Klansmen, cannibal Klansmen! Horror films have had social commentary before, but this one is a bit on the nose. What I did enjoy about it is the gore. It has some fantastic practical effects which leads to some awesome kills. I like old school horror, practical effects, grindhouse stuff. There are some cool deaths in this. But the problem I have with it is the acting isn’t great. All the characters are pretty one dimensional and the lead did just escape from prison so are we really supposed to root for him? The second man is rather dull and it’s all rather stereotypical. But again some great gore.
The next batch of releases come from Mill Creek Entertainment. First is Interviewing Monsters And Bigfoot starring Tom Green and Les Stroud. I don’t mind movies that are intentionally bad if they are actually entertaining, but the problem with this film is that it’s not that enjoyable. It doesn’t make a lick of sense and the acting isn’t good. It opens with a professor losing his wife to an accident involving Bigfoot and him wanting to prove to the world that Bigfoot exists. Tom Green plays a park ranger that wants to debunk it all as a hoax. There are some other characters like the professor’s assistant, his son, their maybe daughter, a couple of other random women, some hoaxers and federal agents and it’s all very cluttered. Plus the interviewing parts serve no purpose to the movie whatsoever. Did I miss the explanation of why Bigfoot wears an orange jumpsuit or was that forgotten about? It’s way too complicated for an intentionally bad film. I was hoping it was going to be good because overall I like Tom Green but this is a hot mess.
Next is Dave Chappelle’s Block Party on Blu-ray which I believe is the first time it’s available on that format. This 2005 film features comedy from Dave Chappelle and music from artists like Kanye West, The Fugees (reunited for their first performance in over seven years) and more. Dave took a bus full of people from his hometown in Ohio (via Golden tickets) and brings them to Brooklyn for this event. Ohio’s Central State University marching band opened the festivities. Chappelle was at the height of The Chappelle Show when he put this together and the mix of his comedy with music is worth the watch. I hadn’t seen it in years so it was fun rewatching it and remembering a lot of it. If you were a fan of this documentary then this is a must own.
Last we have ‘Til Death – The Complete Series. ‘Til Death ran from 2006-2010 with Brad Garrett trying to follow up his supporting man success on Everybody Loves Raymond, but as the leading man opposite Joely Fisher. Others involved in the show include Eddie Kaye Thomas of American Pie fame, JB Smoove, Martin Mull, Kate Micucci, Kevin Nealon, Anthony Anderson, Krysten Ritter, Ken Jeong, Mayim Bialik, and tons of others. It’s pretty much the classic sitcom of the veteran couple living next door to the newlywed couple, not exactly groundbreaking TV, but entertaining enough. One thing it’s known for is having 4 different actresses play the Ally Stark role which is somewhat actually joked about in the series itself. It wasn’t the homerun they were hoping for, but it did last a few years. I believe this is the first time the series has been available as a complete series so if you were a fan now you can own it as a complete series.