Shout Factory March Releases: Warning Sign, The Witches, Someone to Watch Over Me, Legally Blonde Collection, Clovehitch Killer, Kalifornia

Adam RuhlBlu-Ray Review, Horror, MoviesLeave a Comment

Warning Sign

Synopsis from the Press Release:

In the rolling Utah countryside, a small town is host to a fortress-like research facility, which the townspeople believe is developing new advancements in agriculture. But deep within is a top-secret project to create a bioweapon that turns anyone exposed to it into a raging, psychotic killer. When the unthinkable happens and the facility is locked down, Sheriff Cal Morse (Sam Waterston, Serial Mom) must choose between keeping the town safe and rescuing his wife Joanie (Kathleen Quinlan, Twilight Zone: The Movie), who is trapped inside. But for Major Connolly (Yaphet Kotto, Alien), there is only one remorseless solution: contain the deadly virus … at all costs.

Adam Says:

Warning Sign was doing outbreak movies years before it was really cool. The film actually features a ‘rage’ virus, with similar symptoms, decades before 28 Days Later did it. There’s a fairly good cross section of genre actors in the film including Kathleen Quinlan, Yaphet Kotto, Jeffrey DeMunn (Dale from The Walking Dead), and Richard Dysart from The Thing. It seems the film was a flop on release but it has aged fairly well and this genre is more popular now. It might be time for Warning Sign to have a resurgence; go pick up a copy and check it out.

Special Features Include:

  • New interview with director/co-writer Hal Barwood
  • New interview with producer Jim Bloom
  • Audio commentary track with director /co-writer Hal Barwood
  • TV Spot
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery

The Witches

Synopsis from the Press Release:

Haunted by the terrors of her experience with African witch-doctors, school teacher Gwen Mayfield (Joan Fontaine, Rebecca) accepts an appointment as headmistress at the Haddaby School run by Alan Bax (Alec McCowen, Frenzy) and his sister Stephanie (Kay Walsh, Stage Fright). Gwen initially revels in the peacefulness she has found in the quiet English countryside but soon begins to sense “undercurrents.” Before long, a local boy falls into a coma and Gwen discovers a voodoo doll impaled by pins. The danger that follows brings her face to face with witchcraft as a series of disasters unfold and lead her to the horrible truth.

Adam Says:

I always get a kick out of the random Hammer horror films that Scream Factory puts out. Most of them I’ve never seen and they are always a fun window into 1960’s London. For a horror film, The Witches is oddly sedate and tame. It does, however, have far more than its share of weirdness, from the 60’s style freak-outs to the witch’s weird ‘manos: the hands of fate’ birthday candle headdress. The thing that impressed me most about the film was seeing how much trauma Joan Fontaine’s hair helmet could absorb and not lose shape.

Special Features Include:

  • NEWaudio commentary with filmmaker/historian Ted Newsom
  • Hammer Glamour– a featurette on the women of Hammer
  • S. trailer The Devil’s Own
  • Double feature trailer Prehistoric Womenand The Devil’s Own
  • Still Gallery

Someone to Watch Over Me

Synopsis from the Press Release:

Newly appointed detective Mike Keegan (Tom Berenger) finds his life turned upside-down when he’s assigned to protect Claire Gregory (Mimi Rogers), the beautiful eyewitness to a brutal murder. Lured into danger and the dizzying heights of Gregory’s glamorous lifestyle, Keegan struggles to walk the line between protection and obsession — while trying to stay one step ahead of the psychotic killer. Acclaimed director Ridley Scott paints an erotically seductive portrait of high-stakes suspense in America’s power playground in SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME.

Adam Says:

Someone to Watch Over Me is a little lost to time and it’s too bad because it could have been a really great Ridley Scott neo-noir film. It’s DNA has a lot of ‘Blade Runner in a modern setting’ to it and there is an incredible cast involved in this film. Its weakness is an underdeveloped script that just doesn’t have enough meat in the middle. None of the characters have enough to do or face enough conflict to keep the second act from being just a vague noir blob. Also, the chemistry between Berenger and Rogers never quite sparks which leaves the love triangle element pretty flat as well. Still, the film looks fantastic and the performances are stellar so ‘Someone’ is not a waste of time if you love neo-noir and you’ve seen most everything else that came out of the 80’s.

Special Features Include:

  • New interview with Writer Howard Franklin
  • New interview with Director of Photography Steven Poster

Legally Blonde Collection

Synopsis from the Press Release:

In Legally Blonde, Elle’s boyfriend Warner Huntington III (Matthew Davis) dumps her for mean girl Vivian Kensington (Selma Blair), and Harvard Law, so she decides she should go too – what, like it’s hard? With her loyal sidekick Bruiser, the handsome Emmett (Luke Wilson), and new friend Paulette (Jennifer Coolidge) by her side, Elle hits the books and fights to be taken seriously, while she helps her friends stand up for themselves. Directed by Robert Luketic, the film cited as “impossible to dislike” by Roger Ebert also stars Victor Garber, Holland Taylor, Ali Larter, Linda Cardellini, and Raquel Welch.

“Never underestimate a woman with a French manicure and a Harvard Law degree,” says Congresswoman Rudd (Sally Field) In Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde. In this charming sequel, Elle (Witherspoon) storms the Capital in her one-of-a-kind fashion to pass a bill against animal testing, turning DC on its stuffy, boring head. Directed by Charles Herman-Wurmfeld, Legally Blonde 2 also stars Regina King, Jennifer Coolidge, Luke Wilson, and Bob Newhart.

Adam Says:

If you’re springing for the full Legally Blonde collection you’re either already a fan or you want to brush up for the announced Legally Blonde 3 coming in May of 2020. For everyone else, I have to give something of a trigger warning; these films had a stereotyping problem eighteen years ago and they have not aged well since. Reese Witherspoon is charming and funny sure but the movies are pretty much an exercise in failing the Bechdel test. All women, blonde and non, are portrayed as being obsessed with landing a man or an engagement ring and all their life activities ultimately lead back to pursuit of same. Negative portrayals of women abound and gay men don’t fare much better. Probably best to leave this set to the existing fans and let these dated, mildly-offensive tropes fade into the history books.

Special Features Include:

  • NEW 4K Scan Of The Original Legally BlondeNegative
  • NEW Interview With Actress Jessica Caulfiel
  • Audio Commentaries
  • Featurettes
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Gag Reel
  • Music Videos
  • Theatrical Trailers

Clovehitch Killer

Synopsis from the Press Release:

Tyler Burnside (Charlie Plummer, All The Money In The World) is a Boy Scout, a volunteer at his local church, and the dutiful son of an upstanding, community leader dad (Dylan McDermott, American Horror Story). Only one thing troubles the quiet Kentucky town he lives in: the unsolved murders — in which ten women were brutally tortured and killed by a psychopath known as Clovehitch — that rocked the community more than a decade ago. When Tyler discovers a cache of disturbing images in his father’s possession, he begins to suspect that the man he trusts most in the world may be Clovehitch … and that his deadly rampage may not be over. With unrelenting tension, director Duncan Skiles crafts a picture-perfect vision of the American family … and then rips it to shreds.

Adam Says:

This is one of the more effective films I’ve seen picked up by IFC Midnight. It rises above the standard genre tale with a thriller about a small town serial killer who might be part of the family. A well-honed script is complimented by strong performances by the leads and a talented director. Consider this one a diamond in the rough of low budget thrillers and give it a shot for your Friday night movie.

Special Features Include:

  • Making-Of Featurette
  • Theatrical Trailer

Kalifornia

Synopsis from the Press Release:

When urban intellectuals Brian (Duchovny) and Carrie (Forbes) set out on a cross-country trip to research a book about serial killers, they share the ride with a couple they barely know — Early Grayce (Pitt) and his girlfriend Adele (Lewis). Locked in a car hurtling westward, the four travelers struggle to find some common ground. But when they finally do connect, Early’s violent nature abruptly emerges and the terrified Brian and Carrie realize that they don’t need to go very far to learn about ruthless killers…because they are already face-to-face with one!

Adam Says:

I’m noticing a weird phenomenon with these Shout Select films. Many of them are ‘moderate success to underperforming’ studio films from the 80’s and 90’s. The quality and entertainment value of these films seems to shift when watched in a modern context; sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. Kalifornia is one for the better, with a story that at the time was seen as part of a wave of films exploiting gratuitous violence and bland stories. Now, over 25 years later, the violence is rather tame and you’ve got a pretty interesting little road thriller starring four excellent actors and some gripping suspense. The only downsides are the appalling narration and the fact that the film is a little padded; they need to drop about fifteen minutes and tighten it up. Overall, it’s time to pick up this shout select and rediscover Kalifornia.

Special Features Include:

  • NEW An interview with director Dominic Sena
  • NEW Also includes The Theatrical Cut – available for the first time on Blu-ray
  • Original Featurette
  • Cast Interviews
  • Trailers and TV Spots
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Adam RuhlShout Factory March Releases: Warning Sign, The Witches, Someone to Watch Over Me, Legally Blonde Collection, Clovehitch Killer, Kalifornia