‘Return of Swamp Thing,’ ‘Black Magic Live: Stripped’ and ‘Higher Ed’ Due on DVD From MVD and Lightyear in September

The 1989 Heather Locklear sci-fi fantasy The Return of Swamp Thing, the 2021 documentary Black Magic Live: Stripped and the 2001 comedy Higher Ed are coming to DVD in September from MVD Entertainment and Lightyear Entertainment.

Due Sept. 7 is The Return of Swamp Thing, in which everyone’s favorite muck-encrusted plant-man falls in love with Dr. Arcane’s sexy daughter and must rescue her from her father’s nefarious and murderous plans. Locklear (“Melrose Place,” Uptown Girls) stars as the vegetarian plant-lover in this superhero comic book adaptation. The film also stars Louis Jordan (Swamp Thing, Octopussy), Sarah Douglas (Superman II, Conan the Destroyer) and Dick Durock (Raw Deal, Stand By Me) and features elaborate mutant creatures designed by the legendary Carl Fullerton. Special features include audio commentary from director Jim Wynorski, composer Chuck Cirino and editor Leslie Rosenthal; an interview with Wynorski; an interview with Rosenthal; an interview with Cirino; an interview with Lightyear Entertainment executive Arnie Holland; the original theatrical trailer; six promotional TV clips; two TV spots; two Greenpeace PSAs; 1989 promo reel; and a photo gallery.

Also coming Sept. 7 is Higher Ed. In the comedy, at the ripe age of 19, Ed Green (Pras) is a dismal failure. He has resigned himself to smoking and selling marijuana for the psychotic local drug dealer Sadico, until Sadico’s sister pins her pregnancy on Ed and Sadico vows to kill Ed. Hearing of this, Ed decides to skip town, unsure of where to go and hide. As a last act of desperation, Ed decides to enroll at a local university and hide out by taking classes and living on campus. Unfortunately, Ed is assigned dorm room 420, with roommate “Bud” Carter (Aries Spears). Bud quickly becomes a negative influence on Ed, who falls back into his old ways. But the Mexican Gang has picked up on Ed’s trail, sending goons to register as students on the same campus to find Ed. Ed is meanwhile developing a romantic relationship with fellow student Lisa (Leila Arcieri) but must lure her away from her big man on campus boyfriend Craig (Hill Harper). The plot thickens when police detectives set up a sting operation to address the growing problem of drugs on campus. Bonus features include a director’s commentary.

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Black Magic Live: Stripped, due Sept. 21, is a trip behind the scenes of Las Vegas’ only Black male revue show and the often-complicated lives of its male strippers. Through the eyes of its owners, Eurika Pratts and Jean Claude LaMarre, viewers are taken on a fantastical journey through the male revue show, exploring the challenges that the Black Magic Live show and its core group of dancers have experienced during their four years on the Las Vegas Strip. While trying to establish their presence in sin city, the all-black show and its dancers and staff are met with racial prejudice, fierce competition and a series of emotional pitfalls as they struggle in the city. Viewers meet Allen “LoverBoy” Hayward, 46 years old, the most senior dancer in Black Magic Live, the “OG” who struggles with the reality that his time may be coming to an end, as he has aged out of the dance scene and must make room for the younger guys who will soon replace him. Viewers also meet Jetorious “KIng” Morris, 26 years old, a former NFL prospect, who saw his dream vanish after experiencing a career-ending injury and discovering stripping as a fallback career. There is also Jimmy “Lockz” Sigmond, a Vegas transplant from neighboring Los Angeles, who has served seven years in prison before becoming a dancer. Bonus features include a director’s commentary.

Doc ’16 Bars’ Due on DVD Feb. 7 From MVD

The documentary 16 Bars will come out on DVD Feb. 7 from MVD Entertainment Group and Lightyear Entertainment.

It offers a rare glimpse at the human stories and songs locked away in our nation’s jails and prisons and follows a unique rehabilitation effort in a Virginia jail that encourages inmates to write and record original music. In the jail’s makeshift recording studio, four men collaborate to produce an album with Grammy-winner Todd “Speech” Thomas of Arrested Development. As the creative process unfolds, the incarcerated artists must confront the traumas of their past, and music becomes the key to unlocking a new chapter in their lives.

Two-time Grammy-winner Thomas is widely considered one of the godfathers of conscious hip-hop. Starting in 2017, he set out on a journey to the Richmond City Jail, where he conducted music workshops with inmates. His goal was to shed light on the complex issues in our criminal justice system by bringing the voices and stories of incarcerated people to a larger audience.

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Special features include music videos for “Inspire,” “Lost One” and “Freedom Wind.”

The film was nominated for Best Independent Documentary at the Black Reel Awards, won the Audience Choice Award at Doclands, won Best Documentary at the Downtown LA Film Festival, and won Best Music Film at the Macon Film Fest.

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An original soundtrack album will be released through Caroline/UMG.

Australian Thriller ‘Goldstone’ Due on Disc Sept. 11 from Lightyear and MVD

The Australian film Goldstone, a noir thriller set in the Outback, is coming out Sept. 11 on Blu-ray and DVD from Lightyear Entertainment and MVD Entertainment Group.

The film was nominated for five Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards for Best Film, Best Direction, Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing and Best Production Design. It was written, directed, shot, edited and composed by Ivan Sen.

The story follows indigenous detective Jay Swan (Aaron Pedersen, Mystery Road) who arrives in the frontier town of Goldstone on a missing persons inquiry. What seems like a simple investigation opens a web of crime, corruption, trampling of indigenous people’s land rights, and human trafficking. Jay must pull his life together and bury his differences with young local cop Josh (Alex Russell, SWAT), so together they can bring justice to Goldstone.

It also stars two-time Oscar nominee Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom, Silver Linings Playbook) as the corrupt mayor, David Wenham (Lord of the Rings) as the greedy mine director, David Gulpilil (Crocodile Dundee) as the indigenous man who can’t be bought and Cheng Pei-Pei (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) as the unscrupulous madam.

Goldstone_Trailer_Jan2018_90sec_05_Mix from Lightyear Entertainment on Vimeo.