January 27, 2020
Two horror films and three Mexican classics are coming on disc from MVD Entertainment Group and VCI Entertainment.
Available now on Blu-ray and DVD is the Mommy and Mommy 2 25th anniversary special edition double feature. The release includes the two horror films from the 1990s for the first time in high definition. Mommy is pretty, perfect, June Cleaver with a cleaver, and you don’t want to deny her — or her precious daughter — anything. Patty McCormack (Academy Award-nominated for her classic portrayal of The Bad Seed) stars in this thriller from the best-selling novel. The film also stars Jason Miller (The Exorcist), Majel Barrett, Mickey Spillane and “scream queen” Brinke Stevens. Special features include Leonard Martin on Mommy; the original trailer; bloopers; a PBS documentary; “Mommy’s Day,” Patty McCormack Interviewed by Max Allan Collins; and “The Making of Mommy.”
Coming Feb. 25 on Blu-ray are four Mexican classics.
In 1949’s A Family Like Many Others (Una Familia de Tantas), Rodrigo Cataño (Fernando Soler) runs his household like his own private kingdom, demanding obedience and respect from his submissive wife Doña Gracia (Eugenia Galindo) and their five children. This strictly maintained state of affairs is disturbed with the arrival of charming travelling salesman Roberto (David Silva), who convinces the initially resistant Rodrigo to purchase his newfangled household wares (first a vacuum cleaner, then a fridge) and enchants the family’s 15-year-old daughter Maru (Martha Roth). When Maru declares that she intends to marry Roberto, she defies not only her domineering father, but also the entire patriarchal order he represents. Long considered one of the key films of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema, Alejandro Galindo’s family drama depicts the tension between tradition and modernity that was gripping Mexican society at the time. The film is No. 36 on The 100 Best Movies of Mexican Cinema (Somos magazine) and was the Silver and Gold Ariel Award Winner, Mexican Cinema.
Available for the first time on Blu-ray produced from a new 4K restoration, 1946’s La Barraca is No. 21 on the List of The 100 Best Movies of Mexican Cinema (Somos). In rural Spain, a new family arrives in town to work a parcel (barraca), the townsfolk are very hostile to the idea of another working the land that once belonged to one of them. Though set in Spain and adaptated from an 1895 novel by the popular Spanish writer Vicente Blasco Ibánez (Blood and Sand), this story of an immigrant family’s struggles to establish their own small farm was close enough to the concerns of Mexico’s tradition of rural melodramas to become an immediate popular and critical success. In recent years, as part of a collaborative project, the Film Library of the UNAM and the AMACC (Mexican Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences) have joined forces to restore and preserve Mexico’s national film collection. La Barraca is one of five films restored so far. The film won nine Silver Ariel Awards and one Gold Ariel Award, including Best Director, Male Actor, Female Actor, Screenplay and Cinematography.
For the first time on Blu-ray comes 1960’s The Skeleton of Mrs. Morales (El Esqueleto de la señora Morales), a 1960 Mexican black comedy film adapted from horror master Arthur Machen’s 1927 story “The Islington Mystery” by screenwriter Luis Alcoriza, a frequent collaborator of Luis Buñuel. The film is ranked No. 19 on the list of the 100 Best Films of Mexican Cinema (Somos). It tells the tale of quiet taxidermist Pablo Morales (former matinee idol Arturo de Córdova) who suffers the demands of his prudish and hypochondriac wife Gloria (Amparo Rivelles). After 20 years of a hellish marriage, he decides to murder her. Over the top performances and an ironic, final twist make this film by Rogelio A. González a timeless satire of weepy melodramas.
The 1968 horror film Even the Wind Is Afraid (Hasta El Viento Tiene Miedo) is a tale about a group of college students, led by Claudia, a young girl who decides to investigate a creepy tower at her all girl boarding school that has figured prominently in disturbing reoccurring dreams Claudia has been having. The dream also consists of a hanged woman’s body. They are suspended from the school for the antics, but Claudia learns from one of the female staff members that the person in the dream is a student who killed herself years before, and that the school principal knows more about the situation than she’s willing to admit. The tormented and restless spirit is hell-bent on enacting her revenge. The film was remade in 2007.