Videomatica’s Top Ten Blu-ray

1 Based on the best-selling manga series, the six intensely kinetic Lone Wolf and Cub films elevated chanbara to bloody new heights. The shogun’s executioner, Itto Ogami (Tomisaburo Wakayama), takes to wandering the countryside as an assassin—along with his infant son Daigoro (Akihiro Tomikawa) and a seemingly infinitely weaponized perambulator—helping those he encounters while seeking vengeance for his murdered wife. Delivering stylish thrills and a body count that defies belief, Lone Wolf and Cub is beloved for its brilliantly choreographed action sequences as well as its tender depiction of the bonds between a parent and a child.
2 With Rabid, acclaimed director David Cronenberg (The Fly, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch) delivers a high-tension thriller filled with “zombified sluts and shock moments… an irresistible combination that Cronenberg handles well” (Almar Haflidason, BBC)!

After undergoing radical emergency surgery, Rose (former adult film star Marilyn Chambers in her first leading role in a mainstream film) develops an insatiable desire for blood. She searches out victims to satisfy her incurable craving, infecting them with an unknown disease which in turn swiftly drives them insane… and makes them equally bloodthirsty.

Follow the lovely but deadly Rose through her terrifying ordeal as victim by victim, the spreading circle of casualties grows… until no one can escape their grisly fate of becoming… Rabid.

3 Claire Niveau (Geneviève Bujold) is in love with handsome Beverly. Or does she love Elliot? It’s uncertain because brothers Beverly and Elliot Mantle are identical twins sharing the same medical practice, apartment and women – including unsuspecting Claire.

In portrayals that won the New York Film Critics Circle Best Actor Award, Jeremy Irons plays twin gynecologists whose emotional dependency collapses into mind games, madness and murder. David Cronenberg (The Fly) won the Los Angeles Film Critics Awards Best Director honors for melding split-screen techniques, body doubles and Iron’s uncanny acting into an eerie, fact-based tale.

4 Chaos lurks in every corner of this giddily off-kilter foray into romantic comedy by Paul Thomas Anderson. Struggling to cope with his erratic temper, novelty-toilet-plunger salesman Barry Egan (Adam Sandler, demonstrating remarkable versatility in his first dramatic role) spends his days collecting frequent-flyer-mile coupons and dodging the insults of his seven sisters. The promise of a new life emerges when Barry inadvertently attracts the affection of a mysterious woman named Lena (Emily Watson), but their budding relationship is threatened when he falls prey to the swindling operator of a phone sex line and her deranged boss (played with maniacal brio by Philip Seymour Hoffman). Fueled by the careening momentum of a baroque-futurist score by Jon Brion, the Cannes-award-winning Punch-Drunk Love channels the spirit of classic Hollywood and the whimsy of Jacques Tati into an idiosyncratic ode to the delirium of new romance.
5
Thomas Jerome Newton, a mysterious and complex personality, appears in New York. Despite his curiously frail physical presence, the strength of his intellect and scientific knowledge appear to transcend contemporary human experience. His inventions are of such originality that they will revolutionize the nation’s systems of communication, and lead, in approximately three years, to the creating of the largest corporate empire in the United States …
6 For his only foray into the zombie genre, sleaze maestro Andrea Bianchi (MALABIMBA: THE MALICIOUS WHORE) unleashes enough flesh-ripping, gut-chomping and depraved mayhem to set insane new standards in Italian horror: Mariangela Giordano (of SATAN’S BABY DOLL and MALABIMBA fame) stars in the splatter classic about a cursed country estate besieged by houseguests, undead Etruscans and the relationship between a mother (Giordano) and her mega-creepy young son (disturbingly portrayed by diminutive actor Peter Bark). Severin Films is improbably proud to present the definitive version of this gorehound favorite, now packed with all-new Extras and featuring a 2k scan and restoration from an immaculate 35mm print recently discovered beneath the floorboards of a Trastevere church rectory.
7 Director Andrei Konchalovsky’s Runaway Train (1985) – based on a story by the legendary Akira Kurosawa – is a terrifying thrill ride about a pair of convicts (Jon Voight, Eric Roberts) who, after a brutal prison break, make their escape on the titular train. Then the engineer has a heart attack and the brakes go out – and all bets are off. Both Voight and Roberts were nominated for Academy Awards® for their superlative performances.
8 William Petersen (Manhunter) and Willem Dafoe (John Wick) face off in a deadly game of cat and mouse in this “riveting” (The New York Times) action-thriller from the Oscar-winning director of The French Connection. This raw tale of corruption and revenge features one of the most harrowing car chases ever caught on film and a shockingly explosive ending.

Federal agent Richard Chance (Petersen) has a score to settle, and he’s through playing by the rules. Whether that means blackmailing a beautiful parolee, disobeying direct orders or hurtling the wrong way down a crowded freeway, he vows to take down a murderous counterfeiter (Dafoe) by any means necessary. But as the stakes grow higher, will chance’s obsession with vengeance ultimately destroy him?

9 Some people will kill for a bargain and at the Park Plaza Mall they do! Here, you can shop till you drop…dead!

High tech robots equipped with state-of-the-art security devices have been recruited as the new mechanical night watchmen for the Park Plaza Mall. When a jolting bolt of lightning short circuits the main computer control, the robots turn into killbots…on the loose after unsuspecting shoppers! Four couples are trying to make it after-house in a mattress store. They make it all right…in the morgue!

10 Unfolding in a series of eight mythic vignettes, this late work by Akira Kurosawa was inspired by the beloved director’s own nighttime visions, along with stories from Japanese folklore. In a visually sumptuous journey through the master’s imagination, tales of childlike wonder give way to apocalyptic apparitions: a young boy stumbles on a fox wedding in a forest; a soldier confronts the ghosts of the war dead; a power plant meltdown smothers a seaside landscape in radioactive fumes. Interspersed with reflections on the redemptive power of creation, including a richly textured tribute to Vincent van Gogh (who is played by Martin Scorsese), Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams is both a showcase for its maker’s artistry at its most unbridled and a deeply personal lament for a world at the mercy of human ignorance.

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