‘Clown-Roaming’ Horror Comedy Film ‘Gags The Clown’ Due on Disc in November

Doppelgänger Releasing, the genre label of arthouse distributor Music Box Films, has set a Nov. 26 release date for Gags The Clown, a horror comedy directed by Adam Krause and starring Lauren Ashley Carter.

The film will be available on Blu-ray Disc and DVD at suggested retail prices of $24.95 and $19.95. Gags The Clown premiered at the 2018 Cinepocalypse and was released earlier this year on VOD platforms.

The DVD and Blu-ray Disc editions include a slew of bonus features, including the original short film, a gag reel, a feature commentary with the filmmakers, and a storyboard comparison of the ending.

Inspired by the viral media frenzy and worldwide phenomenon of “clown roaming,” Gags The Clown follows the story of an unidentified man in Green Bay, Wisconsin, who has captured worldwide attention for roaming the streets late at night dressed as a clown. His actions catch the attention of a reporter, who attempts to uncover the identity of the clown known as Gags, while broadcasting his “clown hunt” on social media.

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Gags The Clown is based on the short feature film Gags, a 2016 production that won director Adam Krause Best Director honors at the Madtown Horror Film Festival and the Above and Beyond Award at the Green Bay Film Festival.

The short film made headlines thanks to a 2016 marketing campaign in which mysterious photos of the clown lurking in Green Bay unsettled residents, and set off a string of scary clown sightings across the country.

Thriller ‘Freaks’ Coming to Digital Dec. 3 and Disc Dec. 10 From Well Go

The thriller Freaks will debut on digital Dec. 3 and Blu-ray combo pack and DVD Dec. 10 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

Directed by Zach Lipovsky (Leprechaun: Origins, “Kim Possible”) and Adam B. Stein (“Kim Possible”), the film stars Emile Hirsch (Once Upon a Time … in HollywoodSpeed Racer), Bruce Dern (NebraskaComing Home), Grace Park (“Hawaii 5-0,” “Battlestar Galactica”), Amanda Crew (The Haunting in ConnecticutThe Age of Adaline) and Lexy Kolker (“Shooter,” “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”).

In the film, kept locked inside the house by her father, 7-year-old Chloe lives in fear and fascination of the outside world, where Abnormals create a constant threat — or so she believes. When a mysterious stranger offers her a glimpse of what’s really happening outside, Chloe soon finds that while the truth isn’t so simple, the danger is very real.

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Bonus materials includes director’s commentary and a behind-the-scenes featurette.

‘Malevolence’ Trilogy on Disc in Time for Halloween From MVD

Malevolence, Malevolence 2 and Malevolence 3 are available on Blu-ray plus DVD from MVD Entertainment Group in time for Halloween and the celebration of the 15th anniversary of the first in the series.

Malevolence follows Martin Bristol, taken from his backyard swing at age 6 and forced to witness and participate in the horrific crimes of a deranged madman. For years, Martin’s whereabouts have remained a mystery until four bank robbers, on the run from the law, meet up at an abandoned house to split up the loot. The film, written, produced and directed by Stevan Mena (Brutal Massacre: A Comedy, Malevolence 2, Malevolence 3), stars R. Brandon Johnson, Samantha Dark and Heather Magee. It won Best Feature Film at the 2003 New York City Horror Film Festival and at the 2003 Long Island International Film Expo.

In Malevolence 2: Bereavement, 17-year-old Allison Miller (Alexandra Daddario, Baywatch, San Andreas, Percy Jackson) comes to live with her Uncle, Jonathan (Michael Biehn, The Terminator, Aliens) and his 9-year-old daughter, Wendy (Peyton List, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, “Jessie”). While exploring her new surroundings, Allison discovers things aren’t quite right at the farmhouse down the road. John Savage (The Deer Hunter), Nolan Funk (Riddick) and Spencer List co-star.

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In Malevolence 3: Killer, the hunt is on for Martin Bristol. Tortured and abused at the hands of his psychotic captor, Martin is damaged beyond repair. Lurking in the shadows of suburbia, he stalks and kills without remorse. Special Agent William Perkins follows his trail of terror. Martin’s family is informed that not only is Martin still alive, he’s responsible for the wave of murder sweeping through their town. The film stars Adrienne Barbeau, Katie Gibson and Kevin McKelvy.

DVD, Streaming Video Up Aussie Home Entertainment Spending 4% in 2019

Packaged media is not dead down under. Consumer spending on TV and video in the home in Australia is projected to increase 4% in 2019, according to new data from Futuresource Consulting.

The London-based research firm said Australian consumers continue to show a preference for entertainment ownership, with electronic sell-through of movies to own (EST) continuing to outperform transactional VOD movies.

Notably, physical media (DVD, Blu-ray Disc) continues to play a role, generating nearly two-thirds of transactional home video spend in 2019. However, following global trends, the Australian market is moving towards digital with transactional digital spend exceeding physical by 2021.

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“The Australian market is delivering a solid overall performance, but despite the continuing upsurge, its key components are experiencing wildly varying fortunes,” physical analyst David Sidebottom said in a statement. “SVOD is the country’s shining star, with our forecasts indicating a net subscriber increase of over 2 million expected in 2019 and consumer spend poised to break the AU$1 billion barrier for the first time.”

Sidebottom said Netflix is expected to increase its investments in Australia, as it seeks to maintain growth and increase ARPU. By 2023, the number of Australia households with at least one SVOD service is set to reach 80%.

“That’s one of the highest levels on the planet,” he said.

Futuresource found that Google Play and improved set-top box functionality for pay-TV operators have combined as key drivers in the digital transactional home video market.

“The increased visibility of movie purchasing on YouTube has also helped maintain healthy levels of EST movie growth, capitalizing on the significant YouTube audience,” Sidebottom said. “Our forecasts indicate consumer spend on transactional digital video will grow by 12% this year, the strongest year of growth since 2015, when the market was considerably more embryonic.”

Total video entertainment spend is projected to climb from AU$5.2 billion in 2018 to AU$6.1 billion by 2023, driven primarily by the rise of SVOD.

 

Three’s a Harm in Zombie Trilogy

Writer-director Rob Zombie confronted a problem when mounting a new installment in his bloody serial killer series that includes House of 1000 Corpses (2003) and The Devil’s Rejects (2005) — his lead baddies had been shot and presumably killed.

Leave it to Zombie to bring them back from the dead. He came up with the idea of a faux documentary, explaining the miraculous survival of the lead trio.

“I’ve always been obsessed with this one documentary on [Charles] Manson that came out in 1970 I think it was. It’s all real footage. The filmmakers got in there, shot him going out of court, and I thought this is the craziest thing I’ve ever seen. … Serial killers have now achieved this fame, which they always seem to do,” Zombie said in the sequel’s disc extras. “Why don’t we just explain it through this documentary that takes it to a whole other place?

“I thought it’s a good way to explain what happened and make it realistic.”

Thus, the revived killers — Baby Firefly (Sheri Moon Zombie), Otis Driftwood (Bill Moseley) and Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig) — make a repeat appearance in 3 From Hell, which debuts on digital and 4K Ultra HD combo pack (plus Blu-ray and digital), Blu-ray combo pack (plus DVD and digital), DVD and on demand Oct. 15 from Lionsgate. Special features include an audio commentary with Zombie and a four-part making-of featurette. Additionally, the 4K and Blu-ray discs feature the unrated cut.

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Unfortunately, Haig was sick during filming and appears only in the initial documentary. He passed away in September.

“It became clear that Sid was not physically capable,” Zombie recalled in the featurettes.

Richard Brake stars as Winslow Foxworth Coltrane, a new killer in the series.

Still, the director felt three was the magic number and created a new half-brother in the murderous clan, Winslow Foxworth Coltrane (Richard Brake), to assist in the mayhem. He also explored the progression of the characters: “What would it be like 15 years later with the characters?”

“I didn’t want to just make a sequel,” Zombie said, adding, “I wanted there to be a purpose to doing it. I think a lot of times the sequels that don’t work are the ones that you’re feeding the fans everything they think they want.”

Thus, the crazy Baby is even more off the wall. In fact, her jail scenes are shot in the very prison that the deranged female Manson followers occupied.

“Everything she does is bizarre, even to Otis,” the director noted.

Otis has become an elder statesman in the killing clan, prompting Winslow to continuously attempt to gain his approval.

“Now in 3 From Hell I seem to be the wise old owl of the trio,” said Moseley in the featurettes. “That’s kind of funny and strange. You know, I’m a psychopathic killer.”

Zombie’s horror projects, including 3 From Hell, are unique in tone. “When I look at what people really consider a horror movie, people being shocked in the theater, reacting to the scares, that’s not what we are doing at all,” Zombie said.

“There’s different layers to it,” added Jeff Daniel Phillips, who plays the prison warden, in the featurettes. “It’s not so simple. This isn’t just a horror film. This is a thriller. This is a road picture. There’s a dark comedic thing in it without being a comedy.”

Indeed, the film is an amalgam of Zombie’s passions and experiences that he calls “a post-modern sort of crazy bloody western.”

“I’ve taken all these things I’ve loved my whole life and sort of jammed them together,” he said.

Three for the Road

The first two titles in the Zombie serial killer series, House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects, will be included with 3 From Hell in a digital-only triple feature from Lionsgate.

House of 1000 Corpses introduces audiences to the sadistic backwater family as two young couples traveling in Texas to investigate urban legends of murder end up as their prisoners.

In The Devil’s Rejects, the murderous, backwoods Firefly clan takes to the road to escape a vengeful police force.

Korean Action-Horror Film ‘The Divine Fury’ Due on Disc and Digital Nov. 19 From Well Go

The Korean action-horror film The Divine Fury will come out on Blu-ray plus DVD combo pack, DVD and digital from Well Go USA Entertainment Nov. 19.

After losing his father at a young age in a terrible accident, Yong-hu abandons his Christian faith and chooses to only believe in himself. Now as an adult, Yong-hu is a champion fighter and has everything he has ever wanted, that is until a mysterious wound appears in the palm of his hand. He solicits help from a local priest Father Ahn, hoping the priest can help relieve him of the painful markings only to find himself in the middle of a dangerous fight against otherworldly evil forces seeking to wreak havoc on the human world.

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Directed by Jason Kim (Midnight Runners), the film stars Park Seo-joon (The Chronicles of Evil), Ahn Sung-ki (Unbowed) and Woo Do-hwan (Master), with special appearances by Choi Woo-shik (Train to Busan) and Kim Si-eun (The Beauty Inside).

The film had a North American theatrical release Aug. 2.

Actioner ‘Angel Has Fallen’ Arrives on Digital Nov. 12, Disc — Including 4K— Nov. 26 From Lionsgate

The actioner Angel Has Fallen will come out on digital Nov. 12 and on 4K Ultra HD combo pack (plus Blu-ray and digital), Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and digital), DVD, and on demand Nov. 26 from Lionsgate.

The film stars Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Jada Pinkett Smith, Lance Reddick, Tim Blake Nelson, Nick Nolte and Danny Huston.

When there is an assassination attempt on U.S. President Allan Trumbull (Freeman), his trusted confidant, Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Butler), is wrongfully accused and taken into custody. After escaping from capture, he becomes a man on the run and must evade his own agency and outsmart the FBI in order to find the real threat to the president. Desperate to uncover the truth, Banning turns to unlikely allies to help clear his name, keep his family from harm, and save the country from imminent danger.

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Special features include six making-of featurettes and a three-part audio commentary with director Ric Roman Waugh.

The 4K release includes Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.

‘Masterpiece: The Press’ and ‘Animal Babies’ Among Titles on DVD and Digital From PBS in October

Masterpiece: The Press, American Masters: Raul Julia and Animal Babies: First Year on Earth are among the titles on DVD and digital from PBS Distribution in October.

Due Oct. 22 is Masterpiece: The Press, about the committed and passionate characters behind the daily news at two fictional rival newspapers. Set in the world of newspapers in London — its past riven by hacking scandals, its present at the mercy of the digital age and the 24-hour news cycle, its future uncertain — the drama explores the current, turbulent media landscape and the ethical dilemmas that journalists and editors face each day.

Available now is American Masters: Raul Julia: The World’s a Stage, a revealing portrait of the charismatic, groundbreaking actor’s journey from his native Puerto Rico to 1960s New York City, to prominence on Broadway and in Hollywood. Filled with passion, determination and joy, Juliá’s brilliant and daring career was tragically cut short by his untimely death 25 years ago at age 54. Told in his own voice through archival interviews and in the words of those who knew him best, the film traces Juliá’s personal and professional life while showcasing performances from his collaboration with Joseph Papp’s The Public Theater to his successful cinematic career. His best-known roles include the history-making productions of Titus AndronicusTwo Gentlemen of Verona with Clifton Davis, The Taming of the Shrew with Meryl Streep and The Threepenny Opera, the Broadway musical Nine, and films such as Kiss of the Spider WomanMoon Over ParadorRomeroPresumed Innocent and The Addams Family. The program includes interviews with Anjelica Huston, Edward James Olmos, Rita Moreno, James Earl Jones, Sonia Braga, Rubén Blades and Esai Morales, illuminate his impact as an artist. In addition, actors John Leguizamo, Jimmy Smits, Andy Garcia and others.

Also available now is Magical Land of Oz, a three-part series that explores the depths of Australian animal life as unique species navigate extremes on land and sea. Cameras capture the continent’s diverse animal populations in its highest snow peaks, frigid southern seas and suburban backyards. In the first part, “Land,” viewers see the unique wildlife of Australia which includes a tree-dwelling kangaroo, a spider that survives underwater and a bird that spreads fire. In the second part, “Human,” the program explores how Australian wildlife has adapted to survive in the human environment, including a flamboyant dancing peacock spider in a suburban garden. In the final part, “Ocean,” viewers are taken to Australia’s magical coasts and islands where three oceans create the perfect environment for whales, giant cuttlefish and sharks.

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Due Oct. 22 is The Hudson River School: Part 2 — Cultivating a Tradition. In the 19th century, artist Thomas Cole and engraver Asher Durand established an artistic movement that became The Hudson River School. The next generation expanded their palette with a technique that was immersed in light. This artistic innovation was later hailed as “The Luminist Movement.” This film tells the story of these artists who became the greatest landscape painters in the world.

Available now is America’s Test Kitchen: Home for the Holidays, in which cooks share their tips and tricks for planning a stress-free gathering, while also recounting personal holiday memories and revealing their all-time favorite holiday recipes from the “Test Kitchen” archives. It features hosts Bridget Lancaster and Julia Collin Davison and the rest of the “America’s Test Kitchen” cast gathered together in a casual behind-the-scenes setting, sharing the warmth of the holidays with viewers. The program also spotlights five of the Test Kitchen’s favorite holiday recipes, including new twists on classic holiday fare such as turkey en cocotte and beef tenderloin with smoky potatoes and persillade relish. The porchetta recipe offers a flavor-packed alternative to traditional holiday roasts.

Finally, on Oct. 29 comes Animal Babies: First Year on Earth, in which viewers meet six baby animals from across the globe, the toque macaque monkey, the spotted hyena, the African elephant, the sea otter, the mountain gorilla and the Arctic fox. Like all babies, young animals can have a first year filled with joy, love and play. To survive, however, they must overcome threats and challenges — from rivals, from the elements and from predators. Wildlife cinematographers tell the stories of these magical first months in three parts, “First Steps,” “Testing the Limits” and “New Frontiers.”

Fox Preps Massive 20-Season Boxed DVD Set of ‘The Simpsons’

A limited-edition DVD collection of the first 20 seasons of “The Simpsons” is being prepped for Dec. 3 release, consisting of 441 episodes on 79 discs — for a total of 9,914 minutes of viewing time, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment announced Oct. 7.

Only 1,000 copies of the massive boxed set will be produced, the Walt Disney Co.-owned studio says — and distribution will be limited to Best Buy and Amazon.com, with each getting 500 copies.

The boxed set as of Oct. 7 was not yet available on Amazon, but it appeared on Best Buy’s website at $549.99 — with financing available of $45.84/month.

“The Simpsons” is the longest-running primetime scripted show in television history, currently in its 31st season. The show has been renewed through at least season 32.

“The Simpsons” was created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Co. The animated series is a satirical depiction of blue-collar life as experienced by the dysfunctional Simpson family, who live in the fictional town of Springfield, here patriarch Homer Simpson works in a nuclear power plant.

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The show began life as a series of sketches on “The Tracey Ullman Show” in April 1987. Three years later it began its long run as a half-hour primetime TV series on Fox.

The show has won 34 Emmy Awards, 34 Annie Awards, 12 Writers Guild of America Awards and seven People’s Choice Awards. “The Simpsons” was the first animated series to win a Peabody Award, and was nominated for an Academy Award in 2012 for the theatrical short “The Longest Daycare.”

‘The Farewell’ Due on Digital Oct. 29, Disc Nov. 12

The drama The Farewell arrives on digital Oct. 29 from A24, and on Blu-ray (plus digital) and DVD from Lionsgate and on demand from A24 Nov. 12.

Written and directed by Lulu Wang (Posthumous), based on her real-life experiences, the film stars Awkwafina (Crazy Rich AsiansOcean’s Eight, “Tawk”), Tzi Ma ( “Silicon Valley,” “Veep,” Skyscraper), and Diana Lin (“The Family Law,” Australia Day).

After learning that her family’s beloved matriarch, Nai Nai, has been given mere weeks to live, Chinese-born, U.S.-raised Billi returns to Changchun to find that her family has decided to keep the news from Nai Nai. While the family gathers under the joyful guise of an expedited wedding, Billi rediscovers the country she left as a child, and is forever changed by her grandmother’s spirit, in this story of how family can unite and strengthen us — often in spite of ourselves.

The film made $17.5 million in domestic theaters.

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Extras include two featurettes, deleted scenes, and an audio commentary with writer-director Wang and cinematographer Anna Franquesa-Solano.