Hard to believe that summer's almost over... but I stress almost, as Jason Statham and Paul WS Anderson show us why a remake was in order for DEATH RACE 2000 in DEATH RACE, hitting theaters this Friday. On DVD, the epic first season of THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES, the UnRated crapfest known as PROM NIGHT (somehow I doubt the unrated cut is any better than the PG-13), and the long-awaited WIZARD OF GORE, showcasing the freak known as Crispin Glover. Sci-fi action, horror, pre-teen chills, and bloody gore... there's a little something for everyone this week!
Rated R for strong violence and language.
Starring Jason Statham, Joan Allen, Ian McShane, Tyrese Gibson, Natalie Martinez
Directed by Paul WS Anderson
Run Time: ???
Terminal Island, New York: 2020. Overcrowding in the U.S. penal system has reached a breaking point. Prisons have been turned over to a monolithic Weyland Corporation, which sees jails full of thugs as an opportunity for televised sport. Adrenalized inmates, a global audience hungry for violence and a spectacular, enclosed arena come together to form the 'Death Race', the world's biggest, most brutal sporting event. Five-time NASCAR champion Jensen Ames is a man who has become an expert at survival. After eight years of hard time, he has only six weeks before reuniting with his family. But when Weyland demands a driver to headline the big game, Ames is forced to submit. Donning the costume of mythical rider Frankenstein, the racer becomes an instant crowd favorite, an unequaled sporting superstar. His face hidden by a metallic black mask, one convict will be put through a brutal three day challenge, with the trophy being the ultimate prize: freedom. The only catch is that he must survive a gauntlet of the most vicious criminals in this post-industrial wasteland to claim it. Driving a monster car outfitted with machine guns, flamethrowers and grenade launchers, Ames must now kill or be killed to win the most treacherous spectator sport on Earth: 'Death Race'.
SLAUGHTERING STORES THIS WEEK
TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES—THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON
Starring Lena Headey, Thomas Dekker
Directed by Various
Run Time: 394 Min.
Sarah and John Connor are, once again, on the run from Terminators sent back through time to kill them both. And once again, they have a sole protective Terminator soldier there to protect them and help them destroy SkyNet and prevent the war against the machines. The complete first season on three discs.
Starring Brittany Snow, Scott Porter (III), Jessica Stroup
Directed by Nelson McCormick (II)
Run Time: 89 minutes
An attractive cast of young performers lead by Brittany Snow (Hairspray) is the main selling point for Prom Night, a remake of the 1980 Canadian slasher film starring Jamie Lee Curtis. Snow makes for a capable lead as the sole survivor of her family's massacre at the hands of an obsessed teacher (Jonathan Schaech), who returns three years later to finish his campaign on the eve of her senior prom. While no one's idea of a classic horror film, the Paul Lynch-directed Prom Night offered viewers a modest whodunit angle in between the killings; here, the villain's identity is known from the get-go, and what's left is a string of mechanical stalkings (which feature a surprisingly modest amount of blood) and reams of turgid teenspeak, which is handled as best as possible by Snow and her cast mates. The end result is a dull, suspense-free chiller that manages to make its mediocre source material seem inspired by comparison. Older moviegoers may note the presence of actors Idris Elba and James Ransone, both used so well on The Wire, and so thoroughly wasted here.
THE WIZARD OF GORE
Directed by Jeremy Kasten
Starring Crispin Glover, Bijou Phillips, Kip Pardue, Jeffrey Combs, Brad Dourif
Run Time: 95 Minutes
Magic, madness and mayhem join in this diabolical remake of the 1970 horror cult classic. Crispin Glover (Willard) stars as a master illusionist whose female audience participants (The Suicide Girls) are hideously murdered onstage, only to miraculously reappear untouched. But when a smart reporter (Kip Pardue, Remember the Titans) finds they re later turning up dead with the same wounds as those inflicted during the performance, his investigation leads to unimaginable terror. Featuring Bijou Phillips (Hostel: Part II) and Brad Dourif (Rob Zombie s Halloween), Wizard of Gore takes you on a terrifying journey deep into the heart of evil.