With October upon us, it makes sense that the majority of new releases this week are horror films. From contemporary creepers to low-budget chillers, there’s something for every taste of cinemaniac now available. If fright flicks aren’t your bag, you’ll find classic comedics, recent TV season sets, foreign favorites, compelling dramas and so much more. Here’s a rundown of the titles that are now available!
The Forever Purge (2021)
Well, the free and fair election came and went, and the new administration wasted no time in striking the notorious suspension of martial law from the books. However, there’re some corners of the nation where the locals are keeping the Purge alive and well…such as the Texas ranch where a Mexican couple (Ana de la Reguera, Tenoch Huerta) fleeing a drug cartel mistakenly think they’ll find safety. Fifth and final–perhaps–franchise entry co-stars Josh Lucas, Will Patton, Cassidy Freeman.
A Night at the Opera (1935)
Considered by many to be the Marx Brothers’ finest hour (and a half), this laugh-packed outing finds Groucho, Harpo, and Chico taking on the opera world…and “Il Trovatore” will never be the same. Here, the boys plot to see that a talented tenor (Allan Jones) gets a chance to be with the beautiful soprano (Kitty Carlisle) he’s fallen in love with. Margaret Dumont, Sig Rumann co-star. Includes the classic stateroom scene.
Silver Queen (ClassicFlix Silver Series)(1942)
When her father’s fortune is wiped out just before he dies, eastern socialite Coralie Adams (Priscilla Lane) promises to repay his debts and to do so the only way she knows how: by besting deep-pocketed gentlemen at high-stakes poker. Her steadfast conviction to make good causes Coralie to head west, thus delaying her marriage to fiancée Gerald Forsythe (Bruce Cabot). While in San Francisco, Coralie is by chance reunited with dapper professional gambler James Kincaid (George Brent). Instantly smitten with each other, James’ romancing of Coralie is put on hold when he learns that Forsythe has been stealing money from his fiancé to keep his struggling “Gambler’s Luck” mine operating—a would-be bonanza that he secretly stole from her in the first place!
Young and Willing (ClassicFlix Silver Series)(1943)
For the first time on DVD from ClassicFlix comes Young and Willing (1943): a free-wheeling farce starring William Holden, Susan Hayward and Eddie Bracken. A troupe of ambitious young actors—three men and three women—reside in the same apartment. But it’s all perfectly innocent, of course, as they’re hoping to get their big break by auditioning for eccentric producer Arthur Kenny (Robert Benchley) who lives in the apartment directly below.
A frightened young fugitive (Melanie Verlin) looking to escape her drunken, degenerate dad (Lawrence Tierney), hopped a ride with two nice boys. Unfortunately, the road trip would take a detour into the clutches of a baleful backwoods blood cult! Gore galore’s in store in this chiller written and directed by “Night of the Living Dead” co-scripter John A. Russo; make-up and effects by Tom Savini, with lots more Romero alumni amongst the crew. John Amplas also stars.
The Fourth Victim (1971)
Sadly, aging playboy Arthur Anderson (Michael Craig) had just become a widower…for the third time. Since each wife had left him a substantial bequest, the authorities became interested, but he had alibis. Will his aggressive new neighbor Julie Spencer (Carroll Baker) regret her pursuit of him–or does she have a stunning agenda? Compelling giallo also stars Marina Malfatti, José Luis López Vázquez.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923)
One of the grandest spectacles of silent cinema, this lush adaptation of Victor Hugo’s novel is fueled by Lon Chaney’s wonderful (and painful) performance as Quasimodo, the deformed 15th-century Parisian bellringer who falls in love with Gypsy dancer Esmerelda (Patsy Ruth Miller) and tries to save her from execution. With Winifred Bryson, Nigel De Brulier, Brandon Hurst, Eulalie Jensen. 4K restoration features a new score by Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum and Laura Karpman.
13 Washington Square (1928)
Old-money Mrs. De Peyster (Alice Joyce) was fuming that her defiant son Jack (George J. Lewis) was planning to elope with a humble grocer’s daughter (Helen Foster). As she storms home to break it up, the kids ask an apparently kindly deacon (Jean Hersholt) to make it legal–trouble is, the “clergyman” is a cat burglar who’s been casing the De Peyster house! Agreeable farce from the Leroy Scott novel also stars ZaSu Pitts, Helen Jerome Eddy.
A Day of Judgment (1981)
A Depression-era Southern backwater was so rife with sin, selfishness, and indulgence that the local preacher threw up his hands and rode off. The town’s transgressors, however, had better hurry up with repenting–because a black-clad, scythe-wielding stranger is ready to start hustling them off this mortal coil one by one. Distinctive horror opus from the Earl Owensby studio stars William T. Hicks, Harris Bloodworth, Carlton Bortell, Inga Dennis.
Five-disc set includes The Purge (2013), The Purge: Anarchy (2014), The Purge: Election Year (2016), The First Purge (2018) and The Forever Purge (2021)
Children of the Corn (1984) (4K Ultra HD)
Creepy adaptation of Stephen King’s short story follows a young couple, Burt Stanton (Peter Horton) and Vicky Baxter (Linda Hamilton), who happen upon a small Nebraska town inhabited only by children. When they learn that the kids have formed a cult that sacrifices adults to a demonic spirit known as “he who walks behind the rows,” Burt and Vicky find themselves in a desperate fight for their lives. With R.G. Armstrong, John Franklin, Courtney Gains.
Nancy Drew: Season 2 (2021)
After her mother’s untimely passing, Nancy Drew (Kennedy McMann) had to put college on hold and turn to waiting tables back in Horseshoe Bay, Maine. She’d find herself leaning on her high school sleuthing skills after a local socialite is found murdered–and she, along with members of her circle, wind up on the suspect list. Contemporary read on kidlit’s durable detective from The CW also stars Leah Lewis, Maddison Jaizani, Tunji Kasim, Alex Saxon, Riley Smith, Alvina August, and Scott Wolf. 18 episodes on 4 discs.
Blithe Spirit (2020)
Stalled crime novelist Charles Condomine (Dan Stevens) needed something to dislodge his block, and get his no-less-vexed spouse Ruth (Isla Fisher) off his back–so he invited patently phony medium Madame Arcati (Judi Dench) to their home for a seance. This time, the spiritualist got one right–and now Charles finds himself haunted by the shade of his beloved and inspirational first wife Elvira (Leslie Mann). Charming read on Noël Coward’s classic play co-stars Emilia Fox, Julian Rhind-Tutt.
First Date (2021)
Teenager Mike (Tyson Brown) somehow worked up the guts to ask dream girl next door Kelsey (Shelby Duclos) out–and when she unexpectedly agreed, he was stuck without a car. Fortunately, a sleazy scrapyard had a ’65 Chrysler in his price range. Unfortunately, the lemon came with on-board drugs and stolen merchandise…and Mike would find a sort of action on date night he hadn’t wished for. Eighties-redolent comedy also stars Jesse Janzen, Nicole Berry, Samuel Ademola.
Straight Time (1978)
Newly released from jail, career criminal Max Dembo (Dustin Hoffman) earnestly sets out to make a life for himself outside the slammer. Max’s struggle for a normal existence is complicated by a woman who’s attracted to him, an abusive parole officer, and fellow ex-cons wanting to drag him into their “can’t miss” schemes. Gritty take on Edward Bunker’s “No Beast So Fierce” co-stars Theresa Russell, Harry Dean Stanton, Gary Busey, M. Emmet Walsh.
Death Screams (1982)
The annual carnival is in town, but those bloodcurdling cries of horror you hear sure aren’t coming from the people riding the tilt-a-whirl. Nope, it seems a psychotic, machete-swinging madman is stalking the fairgrounds and he’s set his crazy eyes on the local teens who are obviously just out looking for some good, clean fun. Rare ’80s slasher flick stars Susan Kiger, Martin Tucker, William T. Hicks, Jennifer Chase; directed by David Nelson (Ozzie and Harriet’s son). AKA: “House of Death.”
The Sparks Brothers (2021)
For half a century, California siblings Ron and Russell Mael have guided multiple, shifting incarnations of their synth-pop band Sparks to chart-toppers in Europe and influential albeit cult status in their homeland. Their quirky odyssey has now been celebrated by Edgar Wright in this documentary offering, with performance footage and observations from the Maels, plus input from contemporaries and fans like Beck, Flea, Jane Wiedlin, Todd Rundgren, many others.
Never Gonna Snow Again (2020)
Perhaps the upbringing outside Chernobyl had something to do with it, but Ukrainian émigré masseuse Zenia (Alec Utgoff) possessed some sort of magic in his hands. As he works his way around a prosperous gated community, his well-off yet unhappy clientele find the emptiness in their lives going the way of the tension in their muscles. Wistful dramedy from co-directors Malgorzata Szumowska and Michal Englert co-stars Maya Ostaszewska, Agata Kulesza.
Blood Conscious (2021)
Brittney (DeShawn White), her fiancé Tony (Lenny Thomas), and her brother Kevin (Oghenero Gbaje) arrived at the family getaway cabin–to find her parents and neighbors murdered. They’re cornered by the gun-wielding perpetrator (Nick Damici), who claimed the victims were demonically possessed. Though they subdue him and lock him in the basement, his ravings continue…to the point where he starts raising dangerous doubts among his captors, in this claustrophobic chiller.
Terminal Island (1973)
Welcome to Terminal Island, “where we dump our human garbage!” A death penalty ban leads California to send its convicted murderers–men and women alike–to a remote isle with no guards, no rules, and no hope of escape. Now two rival factions are fighting for control, and it’s “kill or be killed!” Randy Boone, Phyllis Davis, Marta Kristen, Don Marshall, and Tom Selleck as a doctor star in this brutal exploitation gem.
Terror lurks around every corner of a creepy old mansion in this fright-packed Troma release. When the estate is bequeathed to their school, a group of young female students and a nun are sent to inventory its many antiquated treasures. But they soon soon experience horror beyond imagination as they encounter a spooky spirit and something starts killing them one at a time. Mollie O’Mara, Sharon Christopher, Mari Butler star.
Auntie Lee’s Meat Pies (1992)
The best roadside eatery in a little California town was run by sweet Auntie Lee (Karen Black) and her quartet of gorgeous nieces. However, there was a terrible trade secret to her signature meat pies–they were made out of unfortunate passers-through that the girls seduced and slaughtered! It might be more than the local lawman (Pat Morita) can digest, in this video store staple co-starring Teri Weigel, Ava Fabian, Michael Berryman and–in his big-screen farewell–Huntz Hall.
Orphaned and alone on the London streets, free-running scavenger Oliver (Rafferty Law)–or, by his preferred graffiti tag, “Twist”– fell in with a clan of young thieves watched over by the crafty Fagin (Michael Caine). His new patron’s dangerous plan to relieve an art dealer of a priceless Hogarth, however, might not leave him asking for more. Riveting heist actioner spun from the Dickens classic co-stars Lena Headey, Rita Ora, Franz Drameh, Sophie Simnett.
The Transformers: The Movie (35th Anniversary Edition)(1986)
In the year 2005, the battle between the Autobots and Decepticons reaches its pinnacle as they vie for control of the Autobot Matrix of Leadership, the one thing in the universe that can stop the giant planet-devouring robot Unicron’s reign of destruction. ‘Til all are one! Feature-length animated actioner includes the voices of Judd Nelson, Leonard Nimoy, Robert Stack, Eric Idle, Lionel Stander, and Orson Welles (in his final role).
Click here for an overview of all of this week’s new releases!