This Review Roundup is a mix of a few new things and a few releases that I received after their release date. First is The Fatal Raid. I absolutely love The Raid: Redemption/The Raid 2 and we’ve seen many clones of that franchise since their release. There was Russian Raid out earlier this year and this one makes the people kicking ass women. The synopsis: Two elite police teams head up a secret operation following a dangerous smuggling ring across the Macau border, but when their presence is discovered, the mission ends in a deadly firefight. Twenty years later, an escort mission brings the survivors back to the scene of the tragedy—and fosters a highly unwelcome reunion. Part of me enjoyed the film, part of me expected so much more. There is some good action, but it’s overly choreographed for the female leads. Asian films have proven that women can be action stars, but the women in this aren’t that believable especially the one woman. Sure she’s absolutely adorable, but looking her up she’s a popstar type and not action type. You won’t be confusing her for The Villainess. Even the gun play seems overly choreographed which should be the easiest part to do. I was hoping it would be a film I rewatch and enjoyed enough to recommend to others, but it just doesn’t quite get there. It’s good for a watch, but there are much better action films out there.
Second we have Blind Beast. This 1969 Japanese film is about a blind artist who kidnaps a model. He sculpts female body parts and loves the feel of her body. As the film progresses it gets super dark with the model choosing to stay with him and discovering pleasure through horrifying things. I wasn’t familiar with the film, but I’m sure it has a huge cult following. It is not for the faint of heart. This new Blu-ray release comes with a new commentary, introduction, essay and more. This isn’t for everyone, but fans will eat this up.
Third we have Occupation: Rainfall. This Australian sci-fi flick hit home video August 10th, but I got my copy a few days ago. It stars Dan Ewing, Ken Jeong, Temuera Morrison and more. It’s about a group of survivors trying to stop an alien invasion of Earth. Most of the planet has already fallen and they have some aliens join their forces. Rainfall was an American post that could hold the key to a human victory. It relies heavily on CGI which I’m not a huge fan of, but the aliens are human actors in costuming which is good. It’s nothing overly original and the ending caught me off guard. I won’t spoil it, but it wasn’t what I was expecting. Overall the film is filled with sci-fi tropes like the man in charge wanting to kill all the aliens even the ones helping humans, a group of ragtag people joining the fight, a person able to speak the alien language and all that. If you don’t expect much you might like it.
Last we have Are You Afraid of the Dark?: Curse of the Shadows. I grew up watching the original Are You Afraid of the Dark? and even though this reboot isn’t as good as the original, I give it credit for trying to bring horror to a younger audience. That’s what made the original great, its influence on a generation of kids. This second season includes six hour-long episodes that follow an all-new group of kids as they tell the tale of a curse that has been cast over their small seaside town, haunted by a villain named the Shadowman. After their leader goes missing, it’s up to the remaining members of the Midnight Society to break the curse and free the Shadowman’s victims, before they too disappear into the shadows. It brings back a little bit of nostalgia for me despite being different enough and updated for today’s kids. It’s not the classic I grew up watching, but I respect it and hope they continue making the series. I like the overlapping stories and one main bad guy concept as well.