This week's home video releases are made up of a wide range of little-known indie films from around the world.
Supernatural forces hover over the small Texas town of Backroad in this devilishly intriguing thriller. While his mother and the town pay tribute to his recently deceased father, Jasper Hawkins is noticeably absent from the memorial service. He recovers from a previous night of debauchery in a sleazy motel room on the outskirts of town. The long walk back into town along desolate country roads gives Jasper time to reflect on the disturbing last memory of his dying father and the recent events leading up to this day. A likeable yet unnerving traveling salesman, Joseph Iblis, stops and offers Jasper a ride and leads him on a bloody road trip that culminates in the revelation of a dark family secret of biblical proportions.
Fun-loving party-planner Becca can't get enough of people adding her as a friend -- until an unhinged psychopath starts killing everyone on her friends list. As the body count rises and Backslasher closes in, Becca's forced into a desperate struggle for survival.
As a wave of vampirism sweeps the world, Annie and Guy, who have taken a road trip in a last-ditch attempt to save their relationship, find themselves part of a discordant group holed up in a decrepit country mansion. In an uneasy pact, the group agrees to protect vampire Ford Grainger during daylight hours. In return, he guarantees their safety from marauding vampires at night. Manipulation, deceit and betrayal within the group threaten the fragile agreement, leading to a terrifying and heart-rending showdown.
The Cuckoo Clocks of Hell
Most people have vanished from the plague...There are a few thousand that still walk the earth. Among them, two outlaws, Harry Russo and Terry Hawkins, come face to face with one another in a clash that sets them on a road into destiny, to find the heart of America. The lines are drawn and the sands of time are running out fast. Will mankind be saved? We better hope so... Because Harry and Terry are having a good time...and The Cuckoo Clocks of Hell are coming.
This 1997 Welsh film, which has been cited by UK critics as laying the foundation of the British horror revival, follows a newspaper reporter investigating the death of a steelworker killed in an industrial accident who uncovers a conspiracy involving paganism, witchcraft and human sacrifice.
The Dead Inside
Wes and Fi are empty. Wes is a burned-out photographer and Fi is the writer's-blocked author of zombie novellas. While their love still burns strong, artistically their hearts have been locked in a box for years. When Fi shows signs of mental illness, Wes does everything in his power to help. He soon discovers that dark forces lurk inside and has no choice but to imprison her until he can figure out what to do with this familiar-looking person he doesn't recognize any more. Fighting against her disturbed intruder, can the lovers rediscover inspiration in the grimmest corners of this musical horror movie?
Following years of a certain radioactive beast's domination at the box office, many Japanese studios tried to replicate the formula with their own brands of monster movies. One of the most fascinating, if short-lived, dives into that fiendish deep end was the one by Shochiku, a studio better known for elegant dramas by the likes of Kenji Mizoguchi and Yasujiro Ozu. In 1967 and 1968, the company created four certifiably batty, low-budget fantasies, tales haunted by watery ghosts, plagued by angry insects and stalked by aliens—including one in the form of a giant chicken-lizard. Shochiku's outrageous and oozy horror period shows a studio leaping into the unknown, even if only for one brief, bloody moment. This set includes: The X From Outer Space, Goke, Body Snatcher from Hell, The Living Skeleton and Genocide.
Donald Sinden portrays a very different kind of character role -- a cold-blooded killer -- in this taut 1956 British thriller. One night, Jay and Lucy, a young married couple quarrel and Lucy leaves to go to the cinema on her own. During the film, her anger cools but, as she leaves to return home, she unwittingly becomes a witness to a murder. The killers see her and chase her until she runs into the path of a bus and is critically injured. The two criminals wait to hear of her condition, but as she improves, one of them strikes on a plan to kill her.