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Blu-Ray Review: It’s Alive Trilogy
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It’s Alive Trilogy
Blu-ray
Director: Larry Cohen
Screenwriter: Larry Cohen
Cast: John P. Ryan, Sharon Farrell, Frederic Forrest, Kathleen Lloyd, Michael Moriarty, Karen Black
Distributor: Scream Factory
Rated PG/PG/R | 91/91/95 Minutes
Release Date: May 15, 2018

“There’s only one thing wrong with the Davis baby… IT’S ALIVE!”

A genuine auteur of low-budget horror and science fiction films, writer/director/producer Larry Cohen has made a career out of making audiences exclaim “holy fucking shit” in unison during his movies. Known for blaxploitation films like Black Caesar and Hell Up in Harlem, and horror flicks like Q: The Winged Serpent, The Stuff, and God Told Me To, Cohen is one the last true mavericks of cult cinema.

Cohen’s most beloved contribution to cinema, perhaps, is a series of films about monstrously deformed babies with razor-sharp fangs and claws. It’s Alive (1974), It’s Alive Again (1978), and It’s Alive III: Island of the Alive (1987) are inbred triplets hanging off one particularly fucked up branch of the Creepy Kid Family Treeâ„¢, the same gnarled oak that contains movies like The Bad Seed, Village of the Damned, Rosemary’s Baby, and The Omen. And like those classic films, they’re cautionary tales packed with scathing social commentary… and demon babies.

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Blu-ray Review: Five Easy Pieces, Criterion Collection
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Five Easy Pieces
Blu-ray | DVD
Directed by Bob Rafelson
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Karen Black, Billy Green Bush, William Challee, Lois Smith, Susan Anspach, Ralph Waite
Blu-ray Release Date: June 23, 2015
Theatrical Release: September 11, 1970

For a brief moment of time Robert Eroica Dupea (Jack Nicholson), in probably the first time in a very long while, finds himself totally immersed in something that makes him oblivious to all the chaos and rampant disorganization plaguing his life. After a grueling day of work in a California oil field Bobby finds himself stuck in traffic with his friend and coworker Elton (Billy Green Bush).

The heat is unbearable and Bobby’s patience has long been approaching an inevitable explosion. Unable to restrain himself he gets out of his car mid-traffic to see what the hold-up is. Looking far ahead by standing on other vehicles stuck in traffic Bobby sees nothing responsible for the jam. Absolutely commanding his attention, though, is an upright piano on the bed of a truck that is being hauled away somewhere. He leaps on back of the truck, throws off the sheet covering the piano and displays his magnificent talent, that, up to this point in the film, we had no clue he possessed. Completely consumed by his playing he quickly forgets the bustle surrounding him, paying no attention when the truck begins to drift out of traffic and on to an exit that takes Bobby to a different part of town. But he doesn’t care.

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Blu-ray Review: Invaders From Mars (1986)
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Invaders from Mars
Blu-ray
Director: Tobe Hooper
Screenwriters: Dan O’Bannon, Don Jakoby
Cast: Karen Black, Hunter Carson, Timothy Bottoms, Laraine Newman
Scream Factory
Rated PG | 99 Minutes
Release Date: April 07, 2015

Directed by Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Poltergeist), 1986’s Invaders from Mars is a remake of the 1953 science fiction film by William Cameron Menzies.

Synopsis: “This space-age creature feature is crawling with horrifying hordes of Martians hell-bent on stealing your soul – as well as your planet! Little David Gardner’s starry-eyed dreams turn into an out-of-this-world nightmare when invaders from the red planet land in his backyard and unleash their hostilities on unsuspecting earthlings! Paralyzed with fear as the aliens take over the minds of his mom, dad and even his schoolmates, David must somehow find a way to stop them -– before they turn the whole human race into brain-dead zombies!”

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‘Five Easy Pieces’ Actress Karen Black Dies At 74
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Longtime Hollywood actress Karen Black, who appeared in some of the great films of what was coined “The New Hollywood,” which started with the counterculture movement of filmmaking in the late 1960s, has died at the age of 74, reports CBS News.

Black’s husband, Stephen Eckelberry, confirmed the news via a Facebook post on today. Black passed away from complications of cancer.

Black, with her piercing eyes, jet black hair, and thick lips, had the kind of visage and versatility which endeared to projects that were A-list, like Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces (in which she netted a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination for her role in that picture as the ditzy and careless waitress girlfriend to Jack Nicholson’s character), and a country star with a mean streak in Robert Altman’s 1975 masterpiece Nashville (in which she, like the rest of the cast, actually sang their own songs), and also projects that were downright Z-list (Killer Fish, Channel Solitaire, Killing Heat, and other direct-to-video before the term existed cinematic flotsam and jetsam), and all in between.

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