The summer is unofficially here, and the weather isn’t the only thing that is heating up. This week sees the home video debut of plenty of film and TV releases — spanning from recent releases to ones that date back to the dawn of the entertainment industry. Given the sheer volume of the DVD, Blu-ray, and 4K Ultra HD titles that are now available, it’s understandable if you feel a bit overwhelmed. Our advice? Take a breath, relax and browse the following offerings that await you. After all, it’s an unbelievable time to be a lover of physical media!
Chaos Walking (2021)
Todd Hewitt (Tom Holland) grew up in a dystopia where a pestilence eradicated all females–and left the males subject to “the Noise,” an unceasing telepathic cacophony of one another’s thoughts. Drawn to an unusual patch of quietude, he discovered it stemmed from crash-landed woman Viola Eade (Daisy Ridley)–and he’d have a fight for their survival, and to learn the truth about his society. Doug Liman’s take on the Patrick Ness YA fiction co-stars Mads Mikkelsen, Demián Bichir, Nick Jonas.
The Tender Trap (1955)
Quintessential Fifties romantic comedy features Frank Sinatra as theater agent Charlie Reader, a hip bachelor whose ways with the women impress his unhappily married best pal and current house guest Joe McCall (David Wayne). Charlie’s lifestyle is put to the test when he meets ingénue Julie Gillis (Debbie Reynolds), who insists he drop his other girlfriends and propose. Celeste Holm, Lola Albright, Carolyn Jones, Jarma Lewis also star.
Have a behind-the-scenes look at the goings-on of a small-town California beauty pageant, where the wholesome community facade masks an assortment of conniving contestants, smarmy judges, sadistic boosters, and lecherous sponsors. Michael Ritchie’s marvelous, initially overlooked satire of Americana stars Bruce Dern, Michael Kidd, Barbara Feldon, Geoffrey Lewis; look for Melanie Griffith, Annette O’Toole, and Colleen Camp amongst the young participants.
Psycho (1960)(4K Ultra HD)
Arguably Alfred Hitchcock’s most popular film, this classic chiller, based on Robert Bloch’s novel, is still making people terrified of showers. On the run after stealing $40,000 from her boss, secretary Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) has a fateful encounter with creepy mama’s-boy hotel clerk Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins). Just what is Norman’s sinister secret? And whatever happened to Mrs. Bates? With Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam; score by Bernard Herrmann.
The Birds (1963)(4K Ultra HD)
Nature runs amok in Alfred Hitchcock’s loose adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s novelette. After an encounter in a San Francisco bird shop, wealthy socialite Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) follows handsome Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor) to a small California coastal town that is soon under attack by gulls, crows, and other fine feathered “friends.” Jessica Tandy, Veronica Cartwright, Suzanne Pleshette also star in this classic shocker.
Genius: Aretha (Season 3)(2021)
The National Geographic biodrama series’ third season spotlights Aretha Franklin, as Cynthia Erivo memorably portrays the Queen of Soul. Aretha’s influential and full life is explored in sequences flashing forward and back from the preteen gospel singer daughter (Shaian Jordan) of influential Baptist minister C.L. Franklin (Courtney B. Vance) through her remarkable performance at the 1998 Grammys. David Cross, Malcolm Barrett, Patrice Covington also star. 8 episodes on 2 discs.
Buttoned-down, politically ambitious lawyer Adam Calhorn Shaw (Edmund Purdom) found his stodgy life plan rewritten courtesy of the vivacious Athena Mulvain (Jane Powell), eldest daughter from a large and eccentric clan of free-spirited health enthusiasts. Unusual MGM musical extravaganza co-stars Debbie Reynolds, Virginia Gibson, Vic Damone, and Louis Calhern; songs include “Love Can Change the Stars,” “I Never Felt Better,” and “The Girl Next Door.”
Nightmare Alley (Criterion Collection)(1947)
A Movies Unlimited favorite, this noir-flavored drama, based on the novel by William Lindsay Gresham, tracks the rise and fall of con man/carnival worker Stan Carlisle (Tyrone Power). Seducing a sideshow performer (Joan Blondell) to learn the secret to her and her alcoholic husband’s (Ian Keith) mind-reading act, Carlisle leaves with a fellow carnie (Coleen Gray) and sets himself up as a spiritualist in Chicago. The con brings them acclaim and wealth, but Carlisle’s greed leads to his ruination. Helen Walker, Taylor Holmes also star.
My Fair Lady (1964)(4K Ultra HD)
George Bernard Shaw’s play “Pygmalion,” about the wondrous transformation of Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn) into a refined woman of society by linguist Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison), was combined with such unforgettable Lerner and Loewe songs as “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “On the Street Where You Live,” and “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly,” and the result was this winner of eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Co-stars Wilfrid Hyde-White, Stanley Holloway.
Explorers (Collector’s Edition)(1985)
A couple of junior high outcast buddies–boy genius Wolfgang (River Phoenix) and media junkie Ben (Ethan Hawke)–start having shared dreams they can’t account for. They find they’ve been given the schematics for a space vehicle from junkyard scraps, and the key to a wild and laugh-filled extraterrestrial adventure. Joe Dante’s fun fantasy co-stars Jason Presson, James Cromwell, Dana Ivey, Robert Picardo, and the great Dick Miller.
A compelling and complex crime drama starring Marlon Brando as Bud, a chauffeur who joins a gang of crooks in a kidnapping plot as they abduct a wealthy man’s daughter. Before their scheme comes off, though, Bud begins to question the plan, and bickering and jealousies within the gang threaten to destroy all involved. With Richard Boone, Rita Moreno, Diane Franklin.
After 14 years of marriage, the mutual affection and desire is still brimming over for Tom (Joel McHale) and Janet (Kerry Bishé)–and it’s pretty annoying to everyone in their circle. Between a mysterious functionary (Stephen Root) showing up at their home to solve their “problem”–and their subsequent getaway run to a planned couples’ weekend with their group–they’re going to learn who their friends aren’t. Dark comedy-mystery co-stars Natalie Zea, Natalie Morales, Charlyne Yi, Paul Scheer.
Million Dollar Mystery (1987)
Just before one of the patrons (Tom Bosley) in an Arizona diner dies of a heart attack, he tells the other customers and employees he’s stolen $4 million and stashed it in million-dollar portions in four places. Now, two newlyweds, a singer and his back-up dancers, a pair of pro wrestlers, and others must follow a series of clues as they embark on a wild adventure in search of the loot. Richard Fleischer’s wacky comedy (his last feature film) co-stars Eddie Deezen, Wendy Sherman, Rick Overton.
All American Murder (1991)
A twisted hybrid of slasher and giallo, this is the sole theatrical feature by acclaimed actor and TV director, Anson Williams and co-stars Academy Award winner Christopher Walken, Charlie Schlatter, and Josie Bissett. Tightly paced, suspenseful, and featuring an array of unexpectedly grisly murders, Vinegar Syndrome is proud to bring this under-seen piece of early 90s horror to Blu-ray, newly restored in 2K from its 35mm interpositive.
Terror Express (1980)
Have your tickets out, please. Three criminals traveling on a train manage to get their hands on a police officer’s sidearm and seize control of several sleeper cars. As the punks terrorize and sexually assault a group of passengers, the only ones with the guts to stand up to them are a prostitute (Silvia Dionisio) and a convict (Gianluigi Chirizzi). Sleaze-filled Italian crime thriller also stars Werner Pochath, Zora Kerova, Carlo De Mejo.
What was supposed to be an interplanetary “bus trip” to Earth and Disneyland, circa 1959, instead lands the Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) and Mel in a Welsh vacation camp where alien warriors have pursued a fugitive queen. Ken Dodd and Stubby Kaye guest star.
This is the seventh and final entry in the first wave of the Ultra Series, premiering in Japan in April 1974. The mighty hero Ultraseven is crippled while defending the Earth from an invasion by the tyrannical Alien Magma. He is rescued Gen Otori, a young Ultra warrior who had fled to Earth following the destruction of his homeworld, Planet L77 in the Leo constellation. Unable to return to his giant form, the injured Ultraseven resumes his human identity of Dan Moroboshi and trains Gen to become the next Ultra Hero… Ultraman Leo!
The Hand (1981)
Give classy thespian Michael Caine a hand…but not one that lives, crawls, and suddenly kills! Caine plays cartoonist Jonathan Lansdale, who loses the titular body part in a car accident. Understandably cranky minus five career-crucial fingers, Lansdale is horrified to discover the severed hand has returned to strangle anyone who angers him. Weird thriller from writer/director Oliver Stone co-stars Andrea Marcovicci, Bruce McGill, Viveca Lindfors, Rosemary Murphy.
The Green Years (1963)
Provincial 19-year-old Júlio (Rui Gomes) came to the Lisbon outskirts to live with his uncle and eke out a living as an apprentice shoemaker. Taken with the relatively worldly-wise Ilda (Isabel Ruth)–a housemaid and regular customer–the young man’s simmering frustrations with his lot will go on to fuel tragedy. Director Paulo Rocha’s evocative debut co-stars Ruy Furtado, Paulo Renato, Manoel de Oliveira. AKA: “Os Verdes Anos.”
The Groove Tube (1974)
This hilarious and influential cult comedy spoofing TV programs and commercials offers wild gags, sexy ladies, witty satire, and early appearances by Chevy Chase, Richard Belzer, and Paul Bartel, plus singer Buzzy Linhart and porn star Jennifer Welles. There’s play-by-play of the “Sexual Olympics”; commercials for “Geritan” and “Butz Beer”; a wild adventure series called “The Dealers”; and a sleazy kid’s show. Written and directed by former child actor Ken Shapiro.
The Outpost (2020)
By October 2009, the U.S. Army was well set on abandoning its more remote combat outposts in Afghanistan, like COP Keating situated near the eastern border town of Kamdash. Taliban insurgents seized upon that moment to strike…and the American soldiers that were outnumbered four-to-one would make a valiant stand. Gripping adaptation of the Jake Tapper battle chronicle stars Orlando Bloom, Scott Eastwood, Caleb Landry Jones, Milo Gibson, Jack Kesy; Rod Lurie directs.
Lights of Old Broadway (1925)
After their ship docked in mid-19th-century New York, two abandoned twin foundlings would be brought up into different fates, with Anne de Rhonde (Marion Davies) raised to Washington Square wealth and Fely O’Tandy (Davies, again) a product of the tenements. Fate would find their paths crossing again–as Fely was courted by Anne’s adoptive brother Dirk (Conrad Nagel)–in this glossy historical vehicle boasting early color sequences. Frank Currier co-stars.
When her mother is killed in an auto accident, a 4-year-old girl struggles to come to terms with the reality of her death, a struggle that becomes harder when her father sends the child away to live with relatives. Writer/director Jacques Doillon’s emotional drama features an outstanding performance by young Victoire Thivisol in the title role. Delphine Schiltz, Matiaz Bureau Caton, Léopoldine Serre also star.
Long Weekend (2021)
Dumped, living in his best friend’s garage, and clinically depressed, scuffling writer Bart (Finn Wittrock) had bottomed out…until he was awakened from a movie-theater drunk by the vivacious and eccentric Vienna (Zoë Chao). In the course of the instant amour-fou, he can’t help but notice things about her that don’t add up–no ID, no phone, paying from a fat wad of cash–but is he ready for the explanation why? Charming fantasy rom-com co-stars Damon Wayans, Jr., Casey Wilson, Jim Rash.
Kinky Boots (2019)
Recorded on London’s West End, this staging of the spirited Cyndi Lauper/Harvey Fierstein musical stars Killian Donnelly as the dispirited shoe factory heir trying to salvage the failing family business, and Matt Henry as his improbable ally, a drag queen challenging him to create comfortable ladies’ footwear for men. Enjoy the hit inspired by the 2005 fact-inspired film farce; Natalie McQueen, Sean Needham, Cordelia Farnworth, Anthony Reed also star.
Honky Tonk Freeway (1981)
Riotous, offbeat comedy about a mixed bag of crazies, outcasts, and weirdoes from the small Florida resort town of Ticlaw, who take on the governor when plans for a new highway in their state don’t include an exit leading to their safari park. Beau Bridges, Beverly D’Angelo, Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, Teri Garr, Geraldine Page, Howard Hesseman star as the assorted road-tripping tourists making their way to town. With William Devane, Jerry Hardin; John Schlesinger directs.
All 20 episodes from the final season are featured in this release.
Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki) and his brother Dean (Jensen Ackles) grow up believing that a supernatural event caused the untimely death of their mother. Raised to believe in the uncanny, the young men become roving monster hunters after their father vanishes during a hunting trip. Pursuing every case of the and strange and otherworldly, Sam and Dean travel the country battling the forces of darkness while hoping to be reunited with their father. All 327 episodes from the series are featured in this 58-disc set.
Based on the real-life reminiscences of author Earl Hamner, Jr., the touching story of a poor but close-knit family living in the Blue Ridge Mountains of 1930s Virginia was a perennial hit for CBS during its 1972-1981 run. Ralph Waite and Michael Learned starred as parents John and Olivia Walton, Richard Thomas was eldest son John-Boy, Will Geer and Ellen Corby were Grandpa and Grandma; with Jon Walmsley, Judy Norton Taylor, Mary Elizabeth McDonough, Eric Scott, David W. Harper. Includes all 221 episodes of the series.