DVDs in Brief

Le cri du hibou (The Cry of the Owl)
Claude Chabrol’s 1987 faithful adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel—about a man, separated from his wife, who moves out to the country and becomes involved with a married woman whom he stalks, and who suspects him of foul play involving her husband—hasn’t aged well, and the poor disc transfer here is almost unwatchable: the obviously un-retouched source—probably from the original home video transfer—is so murky and dark as to be almost unwatchable, which is unfortunate given that most of the film takes place at night. British music video director Jamie Thraves currently has another adaptation in the works, with Julia Stiles in the lead role.

Blood: The Last Vampire
Based on the anime film of the same name, about a 400-year-old half-vampire half-human girl samurai who slices and dices other vampires in seconds. But wait, there’s more: she somehow gets involved with a shady coalition with the ominously simple title “The Council,” and goes to a US military base to battle “the deadliest vampire of them all…”

Dead Snow
Zombies are pretty great, but y’know what’d make them more awesome? Making them revenge-hungry semi-cryogenically-frozen brain-dead Nazis. Frozen somehow for decades under the snow in a remote Norwegian village, they’re awoken by a group of unsuspecting drunk medical students on a skiing trip. Cue gallons of blood, loads of gore, a few dozen decapitations, some screaming drunk girls, bungy jumping with guts for ropes, a subplot about the Nazombies wanting their gold back (?!) and lots more blood—essentially everything you want in an unashamedly cheesy Z-grade horror flick.

意外 (Yi Ngoi/Accident)
A sort-of Hong Kong-set update of Coppola’s The Conversation, Soi Cheang’s masterfully-directed film about a gun-for-hire who frames his hits as if they were accidental is a ponderous and oftentimes wonderfully philosophical character study.

Nordwand (North Face)
The thrilling story of an attempt at scaling the Eiger mountain, the titular side of the mountain was known colloquially as the “murder wall,” by an intrepid but relatively inexperienced duo in 1936. Worth watching for the tremendous aerial photography and impeccable production design alone.

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