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Your weekend guide to DVD schlock

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Every week, dozens of movies are dumped onto DVD. But some weeks are special. Why? Because every once in a blue moon, the stars align in a way that an embarrassment of schlocky riches comes out all at once. This week, my friends, is one of those weeks. So if you find yourself with some time on your hands this weekend and you have a craving for cheese, why not check out some of these new releases…

*A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) If you missed this franchise reboot back in the spring, here are two reasons worth catching up with it now on DVD: 1.) The always-interesting Jackie Earle Haley dons the striped sweater as dream warrior Freddy Krueger and 2.) it’s another chance to see Rooney Mara before the American version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo comes out. Oh yeah, and a bunch of people get killed.

*Frozen (2010) Okay, this one actually came out last week, but I can’t help including it because it’s such an awesome surprise, especially given the premise: three friends bribe their way onto a ski lift and are left hanging after the last run…for five days. You might deduce that not a whole lot could happen from this bare-bones horror set-up. And you’d be wrong…dead wrong. Seriously, this is a good ‘bad movie’.

*The Human Centipede (2010) Here’s a movie that while I was watching it, I just couldn’t believe that it was allowed to be made. Sick, twisted, and just plain wrong, Human Centipede is essentially an old-fashioned mad doctor/evil scientist chiller. But in this case, the mad doctor is obsessed with forming a human chain out of three people he’s taken prisoner and whom he surgically fuses together via orifices that I can’t bear to even type. Ick…but wow. Mostly ick, though.

*Grindhouse: Special Edition Blu-ray (2007) This one isn’t so much schlock as a high-end tribute to schlock tarted up to look like schlock. That said, this double-feature from Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino has only been available thus far on separate discs for Planet Terror and Death Proof. This deluxe DVD package thankfully puts them back together and includes the amazing faux trailers that ran between and before the features in theaters, including teasers for Rodriguez’s Mexploitation flick Machete and Eli Roth’s deliciously disgusting Thanksgiving (“White meat, dark meat, all will be carved!”). NSFW clip below

*High Tension on Blu-ray (2003) When we think of French cinema, we tend of think of classy arthouse auteurs like Truffaut and Godard. Alexandre Aja is no New Wave maestro. Au contraire. Before making stateside splatterfests like year 2006’s The Hills Have Eyes and Piranha 3D, he made this import about a pair of women vacationing in the South of France on the run from a psycho. Power tools are involved. The movie’s title is pretty much its own review.

*Splice (2010) Adrien Brody was in one decent sci-fi horror film this year…and it wasn’t Predators. It was this bizarro flick about playing God to create half-human beasties in the lab. Sarah Polley costars, which is always a plus. And the creepy creature f/x are first rate (in case you subscribe to Fangoria and geek out over that kind of thing).

*Troll 2 (1990) Is it the worst movie ever made? Who knows, but it certainly is a mess and my EW colleague Clark Collis certainly enjoyed the hell out of it. You can read his thoughts here.

*The Slumber Party Massacre Collection (1982, 1987, 1990) The latest installment in the “Roger Corman’s Cult Classics” series, this heaping helping of sleepover-slasher madness includes all three Slumber Party Massacre chestnuts in one single volume (which, in my estimation, saves you at least two uncomfortable exchanges with your local video store clerk!) What can you expect? Well, women in nighties (SPM II has Crystal Bernard from Wings!), madmen with drills, and a precipitous drop in quality as the series progresses.

*30 Days of Night: Dark Days (2010) A direct-to-DVD sequel to the mediocre 2007 Josh Hartnett snowy, sub-zero vampire flick. I haven’t seen this one yet so I can’t vouch for it, but the original was okay. The f/x were cool and a bunch of blood was spilled, but it left me kind of cold (no pun intended). Still, I suppose there are a bunch of Cullen-loving teenage girls out there who will rent anything that has to do with vampires. To them, I say, ‘Dig in, ladies!’

*They Call Her Cleopatra Wong/One-Armed Executioner (1978) Why am I just finding out about Cleopatra Wong now? Marrie Lee plays Singapore’s A-number-one Interpol agent tangling with a ring of counterfeiters disguised as nuns. Come on! How can you resist? I have no idea what One-Armed Executioner is all about, but I’ll be watching it. Done and done!

*Space Chimps 2: Zartog Strikes Back (2010) They’re chimps. They’re in space. And they’re back…as is apparently someone named Zartog. Do you really need to know more than that?

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