What’s Out on Blu-ray in August: Lowlife, Strait-Jacket, The Unborn

Adam RuhlBlu-Ray Review, HorrorLeave a Comment

Lowlife

Synopsis from the press release:

‘What happens when you throw together one fallen Mexican wrestler with serious rage issues, one just-out-of-prison ex-con with a regrettable face tattoo, and one recovering junkie motel owner in search of a kidney? That’s the premise of the berserk, blood-spattered, and wickedly entertaining feature debut from Ryan Prows. Set amidst the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles, Lowlife zigzags back and forth in time as it charts how fate (and a ruthless crime boss) connects three down-and-out reprobates mixed up in an organ harvesting scheme that goes from bad to worse to off-the-rails insane. Careening from savagely funny to just plain savage to unexpectedly heartfelt, this audacious thriller serves up nonstop adrenaline alongside hard-hitting commentary about the state of contemporary America.’

Adam says:

The synopsis, I think, about says it all but this movie is quite a lot of fun. The ‘seedy underbelly of Los Angeles’ subgenre is stretched so far into the ridiculous that this film is almost a parody and, frankly, Lowlife is better off for it. The characters might be perceived as borderline racist stereotypes if they weren’t so broadly drawn and ripped from the pages of a graphic novel. Ryan Prows talent here is obvious (full disclosure I met his mom once in line at SXSW) and this quirky story provides a great framework for him to just go bananas. If you like Pulp Fiction and ever wondered what it would be like halfway on its way to Naked Gun, then check out Lowlife, you won’t be disappointed.

Special Features include:

  • Audio Commentary With Director Ryan Prows And Cinematographer Benjamin Kitchens
  • Audio Commentary With Director Ryan Prows And Writers Tim Cairo, Jake Gibson, And Shaye Ogbonna
  • Making-of Featurette
  • Short Films

 

Strait-Jacket

Synopsis from the press release:

‘Crawford plays Lucy Harbin, a woman who goes berserk when she finds her husband in bed with another woman. With her three-year-old daughter accidentally witnessing the grisly act, Lucy axes the couple to death. She spends twenty years in a mental institution for the double murder.

After she is released, she moves in with her brother, Bill (Leif Erickson), his wife, Emily (Rochelle Hudson) and Carol (Diane Baker), her own daughter who is now twenty-three. Her nightmare is over … or is it? When a spate of ax murders start occurring suddenly in the neighborhood, police think Lucy has reverted to her old ways. The truth is finally revealed in a rousing, blood-chilling finale.’

Adam says:

Look, there’s no good reason at all not to have multiple Joan Crawford films in your house. I don’t just mean the career highs; I’m talking about the fun, batshit-crazy, later years pictures. First, you should already have Whatever Happened to Baby Jane and your next purchase should be Strait-Jacket. This film is just too much; you’ll get your horror fix and your camp thrill all in one film. It’s just packed full of stars too, Joan, George Kennedy, Lee Majors, and Diane Baker (who you Hannibal Lecter fans will recognize as the Senator from Silence of the Lambs). Also, for an older film, Scream Factory has come up with a huge amount of extras, taking you behind the scenes. Order this today for the best Friday night ‘Scream Factory and kill’ date you’ve ever had.

Special Features include:

  • NEW Joan Had Me Fired – an interview with actress Anne Helm
  • NEW On the Road with Joan Crawford – an interview with publicist Richard Kahn
  • NEW Audio Commentary with authors/film historians Steve Haberman and David J. Schow and film historian Constantine Nasr
  • Battle-Ax: The Making of Strait-Jacket
  • Joan Crawford Costume and Make Up Tests
  • Ax Swinging Screen Test
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • Still Gallery

 

The Unborn

Synopsis from the press release:

A young wife (Brooke Adams) suspects that a mysterious doctor (James Karen) has inseminated her with mutated sperm in an attempt to create a super-human fetus. Unfortunately, there are extreme side-effects. More frightening than Rosemary’s Baby, this horror classic is not for the faint of the heart!

Adam says:

The Unborn is a so-so, science-run-amok pregnancy horror film that I found a little slow to get going. Once it gets to the plot it’s kind of cool but at a scant 86 minutes the ride is over pretty quick. Much more fun is what an early 90’s, pre-Nirvana, waning days of the 80’s time capsule this film is. The clothes, the hair, the misogyny, it’s all just fascinating to watch. Also look for Kathy Griffin tearing up the screen as a man-hating lesbian in this early role.

Special Features include:

  • NEW 2K scan of the original film elements
  • NEW Audio Commentary with Producer/Director Rodman Flender and filmmaker Adam Simon
  • Theatrical Trailer

Adam Ruhl is a writer and life long Cinephile. He is the Executive
Cinema Editor of Pop Culture Beast’s Austin branch; covering festivals,
conventions, and new releases. When not filing reports, Adam can be
found stalking Alamo Drafthouse Programmers for leads on upcoming
DrafthouseFilms titles. Adam once blocked Harry Knowles entrance to a
theater until he was given extra tickets to a Roman Polanski movie.

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Adam RuhlWhat’s Out on Blu-ray in August: Lowlife, Strait-Jacket, The Unborn