25th October 2021
Can you feel that chill in the air? The lingering, agonizing anticipation creeping down your spine? No, no, it’s not a stray spirit or wayward witch – it’s this week’s Lost In Culture! We’re back with a smattering of media for all your physical collecting needs.
This week sees several classics getting a much-needed HD facelift. Ralph Bakshi’s controversial 1972 Fritz The Cat is finally getting a better transfer than the blurry, interlaced DVD that’s been in circulation for years. The bawdy and decidedly X-rated cartoon movie follows the titular ne’er do well as burns down his college apartment and goes on a chaotic, drug-fueled road trip in the name of self-discovery. It’s a risky and often problematic film full of lush and expressive animation, and is almost certainly something that couldn’t get made today.
If you’re more in the mood to keep the Halloween spirit alive, two cult horror 4K releases are sure to pique your interest. Blood For Dracula, out this week from Severin Films, stars Udo Kier as the notorious bloodsucker out for virgin blood in a psychedelic and hyper-sexual romp through Italy. Meanwhile, Dario Argento’s Deep Red (out from Arrow Video) keeps the Italian setting, but trades vampires for serial killers and psychics in a bonafied giallo classic.
Also, Logan and The Martian writer Simon Kinberg returns with Invasion, a new sci-fi thriller for Apple TV+. Viewers live out an alien invasion through the eyes of five different protagonists, as they struggle to survive and adapt in the face of their terrifying new interglactic overlords.
The Dark Pictures Anthology trucks right along this week with House of Ashes, a paranormal thriller set against the backdrop of the Iraq War. Following a group of marines led by Rachel (Ashley Tisdale,) the game follows the soldiers as they uncover an ancient evil beneath the desert. Written by acclaimed author Khurrum Rahman, the game seems primed to make insightful and chilling points about the American military industrial complex through a supernatural lens.
Anime fans also get their pound of horror flesh this week with Corpse Party. A digital-only release (for now,) the new reissue sees all five original chapters, fourteen extra chapters, and two entirely new chapters made for this version. All this, plus two original characters, make it a worthwhile revisit to the bloodstained halls of Heavenly Host Elementary.
But if you like your horror a little less disturbing, Limited Run’s got your back this week with their new releases of the Bloodrayne duology. Both titles have been remastered by the fine folks at Nightdive, and come with a host of modern tweaks and improvements to make them even better. Limited Run is offering up two gorgeous collector’s editions of each game, which come with special keychains, soundtracks, and posters. Plus, both premium boxes combine to make a larger image! It’s the best release of these cult classics to date.
Over half a decade since his mega-hit Bleach ended, Tite Kubo is back with a new supernatural actioner. Available now in print, Burn The Witch tells the story of Ninny Spangcole and Noel Niihashi, two witches tasked with protecting society from fairy tales run amok. Both girls serve Wing Bind, an organization dedicated to protecting London from being overtaken by every single fairy tale set in it. Full of lush, eye-catching heart and snappy, pulse-pounding action, Burn The Witch is definitely one for shonen fans.
This month, Halloween superfans and vinyl collectors alike are getting a special treat – no tricks attached! Sacred Bones Records has reissued the scores for Halloween, Halloween II, and Halloween III on vibrant and distinct colored vinyl. These releases come bundled in a glossy box with Shout Factory’s new 4K transfers of the films, making them a must-have for fans. Plus, Halloween Kills may be getting a critical drubbing, but the soundtrack is definitely a banger, and this gorgeous release is nothing to scoff at. Evil may not be dying tonight, but your bank account will be!
One of America's most terrifying haunted houses roars to life for one last week. Netherworld Haunted Houses, a nationally acclaimed and beloved institution in the horror community, is back with another pair of chilling haunts guaranteed to leave you breathless.
This year, visitors have the chance to face the eldritch terrors of the Lovecraftian "Rise of the Netherspawn," or take a trip back to '50s sci-fi with "Return to Planet X 3D." Both houses offer the signature gore and unforgetable practical effects that's come to define Netherworld since its inception. So, if you still feel entitled to one good scare, hoof it down to Georgia for an impressive horror tour de force!
LOST IN CULT
For Member’s Club, Joshua Callaghan took a look at Dave Eggers’ 2013 dystopian novel, The Circle, and wrote on its preoccupation with privacy in the face of invasive tech giants.
Dave Eggers' themes of digital identity and privacy are built on strong foundations and it was interesting to see Mae’s attitudes towards privacy and the wider Circle corporation as a whole change as the narrative evolved. The Circle is an immensely accessible read which ditches over-complicated lexis to make for a fast-paced page-turner which was perfect for casual reading over the summer.
And in music, Michael Leopold Weber touched on late singer-songerwriter Jeff Buckley’s posthumous Sketches for (My Sweetheart The Drunk), discussing why it deserves a place alongside the artist’s classic Grace.
There is a good reason that, when it comes to Jeff Buckley, most people stick with the narrative that Grace was his only album. It makes for a more tragic story of an artist robbed from us too soon, but not before giving us this perfect gem of an album. But Sketches, though very much the framework of an album, is still an LP that is worth the time needed to fully understand the complexities of Jeff as an artist. Because Sketches is a unique case study of the musician’s journey, and what happens to an album when the musician is ripped away at the pivotal moment.
Elsewhere, it’s your last chance to pick up Sam McKenzie’s “All Stars” print on our shop, so don’t miss out on your chance to get this lovely collage of gaming icons! And if you haven’t already, be sure to check out this week’s new Lost Pages – our ongoing series of standalone comic one-shots.
After being completely bummed by Halloween Kills and Jennifer’s Body, I checked out 1983 occult thriller The Devonsville Terror to wash the bad taste out of my mouth. A good thing, too – this subversive and pointed anti-sexist gem is one of the most cathartic works about the horrors of misogyny out there. At once an effective horror film and a sobering critique of religious patriarchy, The Devonsville Terror is definitely worth putting on your Halloween witch list. Erm… watch list, rather!
Until next week – be good, and watch out for razors in your apples.