Eating Raoul and More Cult Faves Coming to DVD and Blu-ray

Criterion Corner: Two long-in-the-works American cult faves hit the shelves from Criterion in both DVD and Blu-ray.

Eating Raoul (1982) is the late Paul Bartel’s outrageous black comedy in which a married couple (Bartel and Mary Woronov) discover that killing swingers is a good way to finance the opening of a new restaurant.

The Game (1997), directed by David Fincher, stars Michael Douglas as a lonely, wealthy San Francisco banker who, for his birthday, receives a gift from mysterious brother Sean Penn. It’s Douglas’ immersion into a real-life game that turns his life upside down.

As expected, both films have some dandy extras.

Also from Criterion: Marcel Carne’s Les Visiteurs Du Soir, in which two minstrels arrive in a castle in the 15th Century and are revealed to be employed by the devil to bring grief to the world…Norman Mailer, the legendary novelist, delved into filmmaking in the 1960s and early 1970s, bringing his trademark macho flair to the table. Three of these films comprise Maidstone and Other Films by Norman Mailer. Maidstone (1970), Beyond the Law ( 1968) and Wild 90 (1968) are all reflective of the egocentric writer’s feisty personality…Quadrophenia (1979) is a highly charged cinematic adaptation of The Who’s grand rock opera centering on the 1960s battle in London of the mods and the rockers…Lonesome (1928) is a long-lost treasure, a 1929 near-silent film from near-forgotten filmmaker Paul Fejos, who uses color tints, visual effects and fascinating camerawork to tell the tale of romance on Coney Island during the Fourth of July holiday.

Bravo Bava: Italian maestro of the macabre Mario Bava toiled in the gladiator genre as a writer, director and cinematographer before he became a specialist in horror and thrillers. Now, some of Bava’s most acclaimed horror works are being reissued by Kino on DVD and Blu-ray.

Black Sunday (1960) is a horrific vampire tale in which an ages-old witch is joined by her servant as they bring terror to one of her descendants. Barbara Steele, John Richardson and Andrea Checchi star in this gothic classic.

Hatchet for the Honeymoon (1970) offers Bava in giallo phase, centering on a serial killer who owns a bridal shop and kills women in order to find out what has led to his problems.

Lisa and the Devil (1973)/The House of Exorcism (1976) are essentially two versions of the same movie, as House has extra scenes added for American audiences. Elke Sommer is a tourist who winds up in an old house in Italy inhabited by a group of weird people (including butler Telly Savalas) —and, possibly, an otherworldy presence. The disturbing, tension-filled film was supplemented by producer Alfredo Leone with exorcism scenes and American priest Robert Alda in House of Exorcism. Now you can see both versions and compare.

Screams and Screams Again:  Shout Factory!, which has brought us some great cult titles (The Stepfather, the Roger Corman New World library) and TV shows (SCTV, Adam 12, All in the Family) to us in the past has just gotten into the horror movie business in a big way. They’ve introduced Scream Factory!, a terror tale line of DVDs and Blu-rays filled with titles from Universal Pictures and other sources. All are being issued in DVD and Blu-ray and loaded with cool extras. The first two batches include the Jamie Lee Curtis starrers Halloween II and Terror Train, Halloween III: Season of the Witch: Collector’s Edition and Tobe Hooper’s The Funhouse. Down the road, we will get to see John Carpenter’s They Live, Don Coscarelli’s Phantasm II, Michael Ritchie’s The Island, Dick Richards’ Death Valley and Wes Craven’s Deadly Blessing. Amen!