Grim Pickings / 07 March 2019

Cinemas & Home Entertainment this week…

GRIM PICKINGS this week includes key dates to dismember as Lars von Trier’s latest slices, slits and stabs its way into cinemas while the most bizarre werewolf to come out of Australia…actually the world hits Blu-ray!


Thursday March 7th
Master auteur, Lars von Trier returns with his first film in over five years that is quite possibly his most controversial yet, a lurid and pitch-black comedy that prompted over one hundred walkouts following its World Premiere at last year’s Cannes Film Festival. THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT is a disturbing drama that follows the highly intelligent Jack (Matt Dillon) over a span of 12 years and introduces the murders that define Jack’s development as a serial killer. Taking place from Jack’s point of view as he postulates each murder as an artwork in itself. Inevitably as police intervention draws near, he takes greater and greater risks in his attempt to create the ultimate masterwork.

Brie Larson plays lead in this 90s set latest entry in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. Carol Danvers (Larson) is a former U.S Air Force fighter pilot who’s DNA fused with that of a Kree during an accident, leading her to question her past when Earth is caught in a galactic war between two alien races.


Joe Dante’s seminal 1981 film THE HOWLING is arguably the greatest werewolf film ever made yet as a franchise it sits with THE AMITYVILLE HORROR as one of the more questionable. Rather than retread the same sacred soil as its predecessor, Australian director Philippe Mora (MAD DOG MORGAN, THE BEAST WITHIN) approached the sequel with a sense of satire and crafted a truly absurd comedy-horror, though largely maligned HOWLING II (aka HOWLING II: IT’S NOT OVER YET, HOWLING II: YOUR SISTER IS A WEREWOLF and HOWLING II: STIRBA – WEREWOLF BITCH) is both a subversive and fun attempt at the very least and besides it gave cinema its one and only time to see legendary actor Christopher Lee in a pair of 80s new wave sunglasses! Despite the critical and initial fan backlash of the sequel, Mora once again tasked with directing the threequel though this time around he would also pen the screenplay and in doing so would outdo himself in terms of ridiculousness. HOWLING III: THE MARSUPIALS is the strangest genre hybrid that horror has ever endured and surpasses the point of satire to become an out and out spoof. An in-name sequel only, this instalment ignores any reference to characters or events that proceeded it and transplants the action to Australia, Sydney to be precise. A strange race of human-like marsupials appear suddenly in Australia and begin to create havoc. A sociologist who studies these strange creatures falls in love with a beautiful woman who happens to be marsupial. Could this be a combination far too dangerous for the world to see? In addition to a stunning new transfer taken from a recent restoration carried out by the NFSA from the original camera negative, Umbrella Entertainment’s Blu-ray contains an Audio Commentary with director Philippe Mora, a conversation featurette with Mora, extended NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD interviews with Mora & special effects artist Bob McCarron, an image gallery and trailers.
Michael B.  Jordan reprises his role as Adonis Creed in this follow-up to the critically praised ROCKY spin-off from 2015, helmed by sophomore filmmaker Steven Caple Jr. (THE LAND), this latest instalment sees Creed squaring off with Viktor Drago, son of Ivan Drago from ROCKY IV i.e. the son of the man who killed Creed’s dad (Apollo)….in the ring. While this instalment lacks the punch of its predecessor, its still a valued addition to the ROCKY universe, maintaining as much as heart in its dramas as it does thrill in the ring. Life has become a balancing act for Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan, BLACK PANTHER). Between personal obligations and training for his next big fight, he is up against the challenge of his life. Facing an opponent with ties to his family’s past only intensifies his impending battle in the ring. Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) is there by his side through it all and, together, Rocky and Adonis will confront their shared legacy, question what’s worth fighting for, and discover that nothing’s more important than family. Roadshow’s 4K Ultra-HD/Blu-ray & Blu-ray contains Deleted Scenes and four production featurettes that range from casting to the enduring legacy of the overall ROCKY franchise. Ultra-HD enthusiasts will pleased to hear that the 4K edition features both Dolby Vision and a thunderous reference quality Dolby Atmos track!
(DVD Only)
Gaspar Noé, the writer/director responsible for controversial cult favourites IRREVERSIBLE and LOVE, returns with the intense dance-horror film, CLIMAX. CLIMAX depicts the unhinged madness that takes over a dance troupe’s party after a punchbowl of sangria is spiked with LSD. Beneath strobing lights and pounding music each dancer’s psyche begins to crumble, and creeping paranoia gives rise to a hallucinatory nightmare.
Jim Hosking, the writer/director behind 2016’s wildly imaginative and hilarious THE GREASY STRANGLER, returns with his latest feature, AN EVENING WITH BEVERLY LUFF LINN. With an all-star cast of international comedy favourites including Aubrey Plaza, Jemaine Clement, Matt Berry and Craig Robinson alongside Hosking regulars Sky Elobar, Carl Solomon and Sam Dissanayake. Lulu Danger’s unsatisfying marriage takes a turn for the worse when a mysterious man from her past comes to town to perform an event called “An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn; For One Magical Night Only”.
ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE has the honour of being one of the most divisive films in Cult of Monster’s history with Ben & Jarret at odds after having caught it at last year’s Fantastic Fest. PS: It’s great! – Jarret. A zombie apocalypse threatens the sleepy town of Little Haven – at Christmas – forcing Anna and her friends to fight, slash and sing their way to survival, facing the undead in a desperate race to reach their loved ones. But they soon discover that no one is safe in this new world, and with civilization falling apart around them, the only people they can truly rely on are each other.
Nicolas Cage proves once again he’s the hardest working actor out there with his fifth local DTV release in the past year, an action-thriller from director Maria Pulera (FALSEY ACCUSED). At a way station on a lonely highway, Joe meets Julie, a spiritually gifted woman who enlists him in a desperate attempt to recover the lost soul of her comatose daughter, Billie. At the hospital, Billie suddenly awakens in Joe’s presence, but she’s not herself — her body has been taken over by another soul…Mary, Joe’s dead wife, who has returned to settle her unfinished business with the living. Now that the woman who has haunted his dreams is back in his arms, Joe finds himself trapped in the dark bonds of an obsession that reaches from beyond the grave.

Grim Pickings is written weekly by Jarret Gahan.