This is a busy month for the various indie distributors that are part of OCN distribution. Among the many Blu-ray coming out is Fun City’s
Breathless which adds to the remake that starred Richard Gere. There’s also the documentary Meet Me In the Bathroom about the New York City rock scene at the start of the 21st Century. See the early years of The Strokes. Goldenera goes into the glory of a certain video game. The Upsetter promises to let you understand the musical genius of Lee Scratch Perry. Here’s the press release from OCN:
Spring is in the air but that doesn’t mean you should spend all of your time outside! We’ve got fourteen new releases this March from our ever growing roster of partner labels, including one new label: XYZ films! We are very proud to welcome XYZ with the bold new horror film HYPOCHONDRIAC, which was a hit on the festival circuit last year and is ready to make you cringe at home! This month, you can revel in the first US HD releases for foreign imports of films from the 60s – 2000s (ASSASSIN OF THE TSAR, CALVAIRE, GINA, NIGHTMARES, SHAOLIN INVINCIBLES + SEVEN PLUS ONE); check out an official entry for this year’s Oscars (BEAUTIFUL BEINGS); revisit, or see for the first time, one of the all time great remakes (BREATHLESS); dabble in some truly wild SOV genre oddities (THE FLESH MERCHANT and GUILTY PLEASURES); embrace 90s nostalgia (GOLDENERA); learn more about time machines than you knew you wanted to (HOW TO BUILD A TIME MACHINE); and indulge in a pair of essential music documentaries from totally opposite ends of the spectrum (MEET ME IN THE BATHROOM and THE UPSETTER) – truly something for anyone! We are also happy to bring back our Partner Label Spotlight program, with this month focusing on Canadian International Pictures who celebrated a full year of releases with OCN in January! To celebrate that milestone, we will be putting their entire first year of releases on sale for 50% off from today, March 17th, through Sunday, March 19th. Take full advantage of the discount and pick up some titles you may have missed and get an education in Canadian cinema while you’re at it. See below for more information on each one of this month’s fourteen new releases!
ASSASSIN OF THE TSAR (Deaf Crocodile) ZEROGRAD filmmaker Karen Shakhnazarov followed up his surrealist comedy with something equally offbeat and hard to pin down: a Russian film featuring Malcolm McDowell in a mental hospital as someone who believes he killed the last Russian Tsar – a beguiling film with an all-timer performance from McDowell, which has been rarely seen in the US and is now newly restored for its first American disc release.
BEAUTIFUL BEINGS (Altered Innocence) A dreamy, impeccably performed, coming-of-age account of masculinity that was Iceland’s submission for the Best Foreign Film award at this year’s Academy Awards. It’s a powerful experience that is hard to shake.
BREATHLESS (Fun City Editions) Jim McBride’s freewheeling adaptation of Godard’s seminal French New Wave film should be mentioned in the pantheon of great remakes, full of stylistic flourishes, a great soundtrack, ample nudity and gratuitous conversations about The Silver Surfer – it’s truly great and ripe for rediscovery.
CALVAIRE (Yellow Veil Pictures) A favorite amongst more adventurous genre cinephiles of the 2000s, Fabrice du Welz’s gritty entry into the New French Extremity is rural horror done right; expressive, bloody and gorgeously shot by Benoit Debbie. This is a brand new restoration and the first HD presentation in the US.
THE FLESH MERCHANT (Culture Shock Releasing)
A seedy blast of 90s SOV exploitation that sits somewhere between a raucous body cop movie and the world’s nastiest episode of Law & Order – mostly repellant (in the right ways), with the requisite nudity you’d expect from a movie titled THE FLESH MERCHANT and a vicious mean streak throughout. You’ll want a shower after this one!
GINA (Canadian International Pictures) Largely known in America for his acerbic comedies, like the Academy Award Winning THE BARBARIAN INVASIONS, Denys Arcand spent time in the 70s crafting exemplary crime films like GINA, a sex worker focused revenge film with an epic snowmobile chase, all rendered in a docurealist lens that separates it even from the more fringe crime films of its era. A major discovery for American genre fans.
GOLDENERA: THE MOVIE ABOUT THE GAME THAT DEFINED A GENERATION (ETR Media) If you came of age in the 1990s, you more than likely spent some amount of time playing GoldenEye on N64 with three of your friends, arguing over who could be Oddjob and if proximity mines were allowed. This feature length documentary, follows the production, release and fervor around one of the most popular video games of all time.
GUILTY PLEASURES (Saturn’s Core) A two part SOV horror anthology that’s equal parts gory and sleazy, resulting in one of the more excessive films from the 90s straight-to-video circuit, full of great footage of vintage NYC and ample homage to the giallo greats of the 70s. Highly recommended to horror fans that aren’t even usually interested in SOV.
HOW TO BUILD A TIME MACHINE (Circle Collective) Filmmaker Jay Cheel turns in another great doc about eccentric people doing things they love following 2011’s BEAUTY DAY with this documentary about two men trying to do the unthinkable: build time machines, one a facsimile inspired by pop culture and the other a true life science experiment. Equally touching, smart and full of nerdy references (if you love sci-fi movies, you’ll be right at home).
HYPOCHONDRIAC (XYZ Films) We are elated to welcome XYZ to the OCN family to assist in bringing their brand of genre films from the margins to more viewers and are especially excited to kick that off with a film as brilliant, haunting and shocking as HYPOCHONDRIAC is – a clearly very personal horror film that is full of nightmarish imagery that embraces both queerness and anxiety of the body. A true contemporary gem.
MEET ME IN THE BATHROOM (Utopia) Anyone interested in alternative music in the 2000s or that lived in the NYC area in that era, is likely familiar with every band featured in this documentary, which charts the rise of bands like The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Interpol and The Moldy Peaches – it’s an evocative time capsule of a city in the wake of a major trauma and the grassroots scene that grew out of it. Highly recommended for music fans across any genre and anyone interested in archival footage of NYC.
NIGHTMARES (Umbrella) An Australian slasher that feels more like an erotic thriller but embraces its giallo influences (and even beats OPERA and STAGE FRIGHT to the theater setting), exceptionally sleazy and surprisingly underknown in the US, but hopefully this release (its first ever blu-ray in the states) changes that.
SHAOLIN INVINCIBLES + SEVEN TO ONE (AGFA) Rejoice, AGFA are now taking their attention to lost gems of genre cinema and exploitation to Asian cinema with this pairing of two rarely seen Taiwanese gems of carnage and mysticism – a true mind-melter of a double feature, in typical AGFA fashion!
THE UPSETTER: THE LIFE AND MUSIC OF LEE SCRATCH PERRY (Factory 25) Nobody really needs an introduction to who Lee Scratch Perry is, one of the all time legends of reggae music, but this documentary serves as not only a great intro to the man and the music but also to the culture of Jamaica at large as well. A great document and a vital release for a film that was nearly lost due to catastrophic weather (and is presented here from the only existing tape masters).