This Week in Blu-ray / DVD Releases: Lights Out, Nerve, Exorcist III

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

This Week: Halloween goodies include Lights Out and the director's cut of Exorcist III, a bloody fine boxed set for Herschell Gordon Lewis, and Emma Roberts takes the dare in Nerve.

► You may not care for LIGHTS OUT, but I truly love the story behind it. David Sandberg made a brilliant little short film with the same name three years ago – about a freaky silhouette which only appears when the lights are turned off – and talked his wife into quitting her day job to move to L.A. when offered a chance to make the feature length version. He hadn’t even been on a film set before. With a budget of just $5 million it made nearly $70 million in North America, making it one of the year’s most profitable horror flicks. That story might have made a decent blu-ray extra, but all you get here are deleted scenes.

► Teen-bop action flick NERVE finds a high school senior (Emma Roberts) signing up for an online game which offers cash rewards for dangerous dares. It starts out innocent enough – she must kiss a stranger (Dave Franco) in a diner – but when it’s revealed he’s also a player, the game gets much more dangerous. From ‘Catfish’ directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman.

► This month’s horror biggie is Shout Factory’s two-disc collector’s edition of THE EXORCIST III, with William Peter Blatty’s never-seen Director’s Cut which he insists makes it a scarier film. Some of the lost footage is pulled from VHS copies, and is less beholden to the original film (something the studio mandated during production). Either version is still the only Exorcist sequel that matters. Hefty extras include an audio interview with Blatty, a chat with Brad Dourif, a deleted prologue and alternate takes.

► Just a month after he died, Arrow Video’s THE HERSCHELL GORDON LEWIS FEAST collects 14 of the Godfather of Gore’s essential flicks, including nine making their blu-ray debut. His two best known, ‘Blood Feast’ and ‘Two Thousand Maniacs,’ are accounted for, along with low brow classics like ‘The Gore Gore Girls’ and ‘She-Devils on Wheels.’ Seven-disc set includes new introductions by Lewis, new interviews and commentaries, a 28-page booklet, and the great documentary The Godfather of Gore. Limited to 2,500 copies in the U.S.

► Eddie Murphy gets serious again for MR. CHURCH, just his second movie in six years (not counting the miserable ‘A Thousand Words,’ made in 2008 and released four years later). He stars as a cook hired to take care of a woman who has breast cancer and just six months to live. But as she hangs on for years, Murphy grows close to the woman’s daughter, creating a (cue the Hallmark music) friendship that will be tested by tragedy. Obvious Oscar bait for Murphy. Critics hated it, but the few people who saw it seemed to love it.

► For CAPTAIN FANTASTIC, Viggo Mortensen is a guy forced to re-integrate into society after he and his family have been living off the grid for a decade. It leads to tension with his father-in-law (Frank Langella), who wants his six grandchildren to have normal lives. One of the audience faves at this year’s Cannes, where Matt Ross took home the Best Director prize.

► Ashley Jensen, part of the awesome ensemble on the British show ‘Catastrophe,’ is front and center for AGATHA RAISIN, based on the M.C. Beaton books. She stars as a London PR executive who flees office life for early retirement in a scenic village. But her shady new town pushes her into a new career as an amateur detective. Includes the feature length pilot and nine Series One episodes.

► Raquel Welch might have been the hottest woman on the planet when she made FATHOM in 1967, and this British spy comedy puts her in a bikini as much as possible. In her first starring role, she plays a skydiver recruited to drop into Spain to find the mechanism for a nuclear bomb, which is also being sought by the Chinese. Writer Lorenzo Semple Jr. had just come off the 1966 Batman movie. Blu-ray has commentary from film historians David Del Valle and Steven Peros.

Also out this week:





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