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Warner Bros.’ Blu-ray looks fantastic and,


though a bit scant on bonus goodies, features a full-length commentary from director Gregory Hoblit, as well as screenwriter Nicholas Kazan and producer Charles Roven, and a theatrical trailer. The Devil you know, they say...


MIKE BEARDSALL Jersey Devils


MOTHER’S DAY (1980) Blu-ray Starring Nancy Hendricksen, Tiana Pierce and Deborah Luce


Directed by Charles Kaufman Written by Charles Kaufman and Warren Leight Troma


“Looking back on it now, Mother’s Day is truly


one of the smartest, most subversive horror films of that entire period.” – Eli Roth. I’m not always on the same page with Roth – in


fact, it’s pretty rare – but we’re clearly of a mind regarding Charles Kaufman’s infamous 1980 rape/revenge satire Mother’s Day, a film that has slowly begun to garner the respect it truly deserves after years of blinkered condemnation from the Knee-Jerk Mafia. Troma first reissued the film on DVD in 2008, but with demand for a Blu-ray in overdrive, it’s now had a second release in both formats. For the uninitiated, Mother’s Day opens by intro-


ducing us to three former college students reunit- ing for their annual road-trip; this time, they plan to go camping deep in the Jersey Barrens. But be- fore the first night is over, they’re abducted by two psychotic hillbilly brothers who drag them home to sexually brutalize them, all at the behest of the boys’ sweet-faced, elderly mother. One girl dies and the others escape, but out of loyalty to their fallen sister, they return to wreak some big-city vengeance on the evil hicks. (Hey, you know shit’s about to get real when the ladies tie back their hair and put on headbands.) Much merry mayhem in- volving improvised weaponry ensues, but there’s a lot more than just gleefully gratuitous carnage to be had here; as sly satires on consumerism go in the horror genre, this one ranks just behind Dawn of the Dead. The new edition’s


extras are actually a bit paltry by Troma’s generous standards, but what’s on offer is worthwhile. There’s an interview segment with Charles (and a certain brother of his) conducted by Darren Lynn Bousman, who directed the recent in- name-only remake and talks faster than Martin Scorsese; a di- rector’s commentary; and sundry odds and ends. But the really pleasant surprise is the insightful and


Mother’s Day: Bacwoods boys will be boys.


affectionate appraisal of the film by Roth, who seamlessly mixes wide-eyed fanboy memories (the film was screened at his freakin’ bar mitzvah – oy vey) with the well-argued critical observa- tions of a seasoned pro. So by all means, go ahead – Mama said knock you out. Or disembowel you with a kitchen appliance, or something. JOHN W. BOWEN


Cat Came Back


SLEEPWALKERS (1992) Blu-ray Starring Brian Krause, Mädchen Amick and Alice Krige


Directed by Mick Garris Written by Stephen King Image


If we’ve learned anything from the internet, it’s


that cats – and incestuous love scenes – have staying power. This could explain why, even after twenty years of monster-movie evolution, Mick Garris’ campy Sleepwalkers (1992) is getting a Blu-ray re- lease from Image Entertainment. But there’s more to this Stephen King-scripted film (based on one of the author’s unpublished short stories) than a few cats and some awkward love scenes; Sleepwalkers has an undeniably entertaining B-movie quality that endures. The plot follows Mary (Alice


Krige: Silent Hill) and Charles Brady (Brian Krause: Charmed), who aren’t exactly your typical


mom and son. New in town, the two are actually more like werebeast energy vampires – powerful,


immortal creatures that sustain themselves by liv- ing nomadically and stealing the life force of vir- ginal women. And while they may take the form of gigantic, bipedal kitties, cats are actually their weakness, as felines can see through their human disguises, have a natural instinct to attack them, and can inflict fatal wounds with their claws. It would not be


a spoiler at all to tell you there is an official police cat named Clovis (as played by Sparks the Cat) who hap- pens to go on ride-alongs with the deputies in this town; if you can’t accept a deputy cat, just back away now. But then you’d miss the chance to see Clive Barker, Tobe Hooper, Joe Dante, Stephen King and John Landis make quirky cameos throughout the film, not to mention Ron Perlman’s (Hellboy) awe- some turn as Captain Soames. If those aren’t rea- sons enough to add this one to your collection, Sleepwalkers also holds the distinction of being one of the first movies to feature morphing VFX. More than 650,000 YouTube users have seen


“Sleepwalkers incestuous sex scene” and almost 2.5 million have tuned in to watch “Policeman vs. Kitty,” so clearly there’s a demand for this title. For the time, the monsters were unique, the subject matterz taboo and the style just campy enough. There are no special features beyond an original theatrical trailer, but the transfer is clean and Sleepwalkers looks great on the ’ray. JESSA SOBCZUK


R E I S S U E S 41 RM


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