What’s out from Scream Factory 2/2020: Body Parts, Let’s Scare Jessica to Death, Very Bad Things, The Nightingale, The House That Jack Built

Adam RuhlBlu-Ray Review, Horror, MoviesLeave a Comment

Body Parts

Synopsis from the Press Release:

Body Parts is a tale of a medical experiment gone very wrong. Bill Chrushank is a criminal psychologist who loses his arm and nearly his life in a grisly car accident. A daring medical operation follows, in which a donor’s arm is successfully grafted onto Bill’s body. But after the operation, the arm starts to take on a violent life of its own, striking out against Bill’s wife and children. Consumed by fears about his dangerous behavior, Bill is driven to learn the donor’s identity – and makes a horrifying discovery that delivers him into a world of unimaginable terror. Written and directed by Eric Red (Cohen & Tate, Bad Moon), this thriller stars Jeff Fahey (Alita: Battle Angel) and Brad Dourif (Child’s Play, Graveyard Shift).

Adam Says:

Body Parts is one of those early 90’s guilty pleasures that I am so glad is finally on blu-ray and with extras like the deleted gore footage to boot! Is it a good movie? I think that is in the eye of the beholder, but I can say that it is so absurd, so deliciously over the top, that it is an extremely entertaining movie. The plot is a bit ludicrous but who cares, a pre-Lawnmower Man Jeff Fahey chewing the scenery and fighting his own arm is a good time. Then Brad Dourif pops up just long enough to do a live-action recreation of one of Chucky’s better death scenes. If you’ve seen it you know what I’m talking about, if you haven’t, buy it. This is a Friday movie night must have for your collection.

Special Features Include:

  • NEW audio commentary with director Eric Red
  • NEW I Dare You to Read the Script – an interview with director Eric Red
  • NEW Something Unstoppable – an interview with actor Paul Ben-Victor
  • NEW Molded for Cinema – an interview with actor Peter Murnik
  •  NEW That One Hurt – an interview with editor Anthony Redman
  • Deleted Gore Footage with optional commentary with director Eric Red
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spots
  • Still Gallery

Let’s Scare Jessica to Death

Synopsis from the Press Release:

In Let’s Scare Jessica to Death, Jessica (Zohra Lampert, The Exorcist III) has been released from an institution after suffering a nervous breakdown and seeks the tranquility of a secluded home in Connecticut to help make her recovery complete. But instead of a restful recuperation with her husband and close friend in the New England countryside, Jessica soon finds herself falling into a swirling vortex of madness and the supernatural. Even more unsettling is that the entire region seems to be under the influence of a mysterious woman who has been living in the supposedly empty house. Jessica’s fear and dread only intensify when she discovers that the “undead” girl, Emily, tragically drowned long ago, on her wedding day. Is she back to take vengeance?

Adam Says:

There’s a certain fascination with these older horror films. Even if they weren’t box office smashes, time has made their styles and cinematography sufficiently different as to add interest simply in the experience of watching them. Jessica starts out that way but unfortunately that charm quickly runs out. The movie isn’t quite 90 minutes long but with the narrative incoherence it feels much, much longer. Events seem to happen randomly and at a glacial pace, building a plot that I don’t believe is ever really explained. I sought out a number of synopsis’ and found that a lot of people had the same issue making head or tail of it as I did. I’m sure there are fans that will be happy to finally be able to pick this one up but I for one found trying to solve this riddle more trouble than it was worth.

Special Features Include:

  • NEW audio commentary with director John Hancock and producer Bill Badalato
  • NEW Art Saved My Life – composer Orville Stoeber on Let’s Scare Jessica to Death
  • NEW Scare Tactics: Reflections on a Seventies Horror Classic with author/film historian Kim Newman
  • NEW She Walks These Hills – the film’s locations then and now
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spot
  • Radio Spot
  • Still Gallery

Very Bad Things

Synopsis from the Press Release:

Kyle Fisher (Jon Favreau, Swingers) has one last night to celebrate life as a single man before marrying Laura (Cameron Diaz, There’s Something About Mary), so he sets out to Vegas with four of his best buddies. But their swanky, drug-and-alcohol-fueled bachelor party goes bust when their “stripper” cashes in her chips during a deranged sexual escapade. And hers is just the first of the bodies to pile up. The five friends decide to bury the evidence … but fate has a way of not letting the truth stay buried for long. Featuring an all-start cast including Christian Slater (True Romance), Jeremy Piven (Entourage), Daniel Stern (Home Alone), Jeanne Tripplehorn (Waterworld), and Leland Orser (Se7en), Very Bad Things is outrageous, hilarious, and full of jaw-dropping twists and surprises. Actor-turned-director Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights, The Rundown) makes his directorial debut in this savagely funny and unexpected dark comedy.

Adam Says:

At long last, Very Bad Things is finally available on Blu-ray. This film is so tremendously dark, it is a pitch black comedy that was dangerously close to be being lost to time and now finally you can get a copy and introduce your friends to it. The raw star power in this little film is shocking, from ‘at the height of her power’ Cameron Diaz to a pre-Mandalorian Jon Favreau. Maybe I’m sick but I laugh out loud at this film every time even after twenty years and think it’s humor was just a little ahead of its time for the late 90’s.

Special Features Include:

  • NEW Audio Commentary with Film Critics Witney Seibold And William Bibbiani, Hosts Of The Podcast Critically Acclaimed
  • NEW Interview with Actor Jeremy Piven
  • NEW Interview with Actor Daniel Stern
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery

The Nightingale

Synopsis from the Press Release:

Set during the colonization of Australia in 1825, the film follows Clare (Aisling Franciosi), a 21-year-old Irish convict. Having served her seven-year sentence, she is desperate to be free of her abusive master, Lieutenant Hawkins (Sam Claflin), who refuses to release her from his charge. Clare’s husband (Michael Sheasby) retaliates, and she becomes the victim of a harrowing crime at the hands of the lieutenant. When British authorities fail to deliver justice, Clare decides to pursue Hawkins, who leaves his post suddenly to secure a captaincy up north. Clare is forced to enlist the help of young Aboriginal tracker Billy (Baykali Ganambarr), who grudgingly takes her through the rugged wilderness to track down Hawkins. The terrain and the prevailing hostilities are frightening, as fighting between the original inhabitants of the land and its colonizers plays out in what is now known as “The Black War.” Clare and Billy both suffer their own traumas and mutual distrust, but as their journey leads them deeper into the wilderness, they must learn to find empathy for one another while weighing the true cost of revenge.

Adam Says:

Jennifer Kent is one of the most extraordinary voices in filmmaking and rapidly becoming a favorite of mine. Her film The Babadook (also available from Scream Factory) opened an entirely new realm of psychological horror (and somehow created an unlikely gay icon). Now The Nightingale creates a historical drama that is in many ways more horrifying than some of the worst horror movies out there.

Be warned, The Nightingale is not for the squeamish. The film is brilliantly focused on its complex characters and the hell they walk through in an untamed land in a brutal part of history. It is shocking and heart wrenching to watch, but so genuine and masterfully crafted that you will not be able to turn it off. If you’re looking for first class storytelling and a masterclass in bloody revenge then The Nightingale is the film you’ve been waiting for.

Special Features Include:

  • The Nightingale in Context—a ‘making of’ The Nightingale featurette with the cast and crew
  • Behind the scenes featurette
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Image gallery

The House That Jack Built

Synopsis from the Press Release:

In five audacious episodes, failed architect and arch-sociopath Jack (Matt Dillon) recounts the elaborately orchestrated murders — each, as he views them, as a towering work of art — that define his “career” as a serial killer. Mixing pitch-black humor, transcendent surrealism, and renegade musings on everything from history to architecture to cinema itself, von Trier fashions a radical, blazingly personal inquiry into violence, art, and the twin acts of creation and destruction. Uma Thurman, Riley Keough, and Bruno Ganz co-star.

Adam Says:

If you’re looking for a tremendous increase in violence and gore from the American theatrical release to the director’s cut, you’re going to be disappointed. It does add about a minute and a half of material but really it just makes the violence slightly more contemporary than reveal anything truly shocking. I feel like the theatrical cut was more marketing tool than anything; meant to double dip and build anticipation for the full version.

The film itself is worth seeing once I suppose. I again find the stories of screening walkouts and standing ovations for Jack undeserved and overwrought. I found nothing particularly edgy or new in this character study and certainly nothing shocking or insightful. If I had to pull some cheap, easy words to describe it they would be desperate and self-indulgent. For an example, I might point to when the director includes clips of his own previous films in the movie. Still there is some onscreen child murder and that’s always a good time.

Special Features Include:

  • Includes both the theatrical cut and director’s cut of the film
  • Sonning Prize: An interview with director Lars Von Trier
  • Teaser Trailer
  • Theatrical Trailer
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Adam RuhlWhat’s out from Scream Factory 2/2020: Body Parts, Let’s Scare Jessica to Death, Very Bad Things, The Nightingale, The House That Jack Built